Romania: Russian Embassy violent attack

Strasbourg 07.04.2022 The Foreign Ministry of Romania urged not to rush to conclusions before the official investigation of the incident ends, and to refrain from drawing hasty conclusions, according to the statement from the Romanian ministry concerning a car, violently rammed into the gates of the Russian Embassy in Bucharest.

“The Foreign Ministry [of Romania] rejects the stance of the Russian Embassy in Bucharest following a dismal incident, which took place early this morning,” the statement from the Romanian Foreign Ministry reads.

“Therefore, the Foreign Ministry views any estimation of this incident as hasty, completely inappropriate and irrelevant,” the statement added.

Russian Ambassador to Romania Valery Kuzmin said earlier in the day that “a car-ramming attack at the entrance to the Russian Embassy’s building in Bucharest, should be classified as an “actual terrorist attack.”

A car rammed into the gates of the Russian Embassy in Bucharest in the early hours of Wednesday April 6 and subsequently burst into flames killing the driver behind the wheel. There were no other casualties reported in the attack.

According to pictures and videos posted earlier on Facebook – outlawed in Russia, owned by Meta Platforms, Inc. which is recognised as extremist by the Russian justice,- the burning vehicle was right in the front of the Russian Embassy’s gates.

Romanian TV channels cited their own sources that this was apparently a premeditated attack. According to some of them, the driver stopped in front of the gates and after a short exchange of words with on-duty security guards, he steered his car ahead, plowing into the gates.

The Russian ambassador in Romania said earlier that the driver of the car had several canisters in his sedan containing gasoline. After the perpetrator crashed into the gates of the Embassy building, on-duty police officers tried to drag him out of the car. “However, he directly stated to them that he would set the gasoline on fire, which he did and burnt [himself] alive inside the car,” Kuzmin specified.

The diplomat added that on the night of April 5 he was summoned to the Romanian Foreign Ministry, where he was handed a note regarding the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats from the country.

“Yesterday, I was summoned by the Romanian Foreign Ministry, where I was told about terrible protests, multiple condemnations voiced in regard to the events in [Ukraine’s] Bucha,” Kuzmin said. “I advised them to switch on the TV, which broadcasted a live session of the UN Security Council, where the Russian delegation was providing factual information and arguments.”

“However, I was told in response that we had to proceed to another issue of today’s talks and was handed a note about the expulsion of 10 diplomats from our Embassy’s staff,” the ambassador noted.

On March 29, a number of European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland, announced that they were kicking out Russian diplomats amid Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine. In particular, 21 Russian diplomats were expelled from Belgium, 17 from the Netherlands and four from Ireland. Earlier, a number of other EU states, including Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, also sent Russian diplomats home.

Russia denies Bucha massacre responsibility

Strasbourg 05.04.2022 The situation in the Ukrainian city of Bucha is a “false flag” operation to discredit Russian military and justify Western sanctions, and a genuine investigation into what happened is not something that NATO countries seek, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Tuesday, April 5.

“The only objective is to discredit Russia, justify the sanctions, weapons supplies and other unfriendly actions, as well as to further exacerbate the situation in Ukraine,” Volodin maintained.

According to the Duma speaker, “an investigation is of no use to NATO countries” because the perpetrators have already been found.

“There are no facts, just lies. The Ukrainian media had to delete the photo evidence posted by them, since the information is not confirmed. But no one cares about all this anymore. The accusations have been made,” Volodin regretted.

The Mayor of Bucha, Anatoly Fedoruk, has told AFP that 280 people have been buried after the Ukrainian Army found the city’s streets full of bodies after retaking it.

Ukraine accused Russian forces of carrying out a ‘massacre’ in the town of Bucha, while Western nations reacted to images of dead bodies there with calls for new sanctions against Moscow.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry posted a video early Sunday and accused Russian forces of executing civilians before their retreat from the suburb of Bucha, where bodies in civilian clothes dotted the streets in the wake of Russian withdrawal.

The prospects for resolution from peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are more in doubt than ever with the reported discovery of hundreds of corpses of civilians in Bucha and other Kyiv suburbs as Russian forces retreated.

The President of the European Parliament Robert Metsola said she was appalled by atrocities of Russian army in #Bucha other liberated areas. “This is cold reality of Putin’s war crimes. World must be aware of what is happening. Tougher sanctions must be imposed. Perpetrators & their commanders must be brought to justice”.

Russia-Ukraine: Medinsky continues drafting Treaty

Brussels 03.03.2022 Treaty with Ukraine is not ready yet to be discussed at the highest level, the Kremlin chief negotiator said. The Ukrainian authorities became more realistic in approaching the issues related to Ukraine’s neutral and non-nuclear status, Vladimir Medinsky continued. A draft of a Treaty between Russia and Ukraine is not yet ready “to be presented at the top-level meeting,” while Ukraine became more realistic in approaching the issue of its neutral and non-nuclear status, Medinsky who leads the Russian delegation.

“The Ukrainian side became more realistic in approaching the issues related to Ukraine’s neutral and non-nuclear status but the draft of the agreement is not ready to be presented at the top-level meeting,” Medinsky wrote on his Telegram channel on Sunday, April 3.

Commenting on the remarks by David Arakhamia, a member of the Ukrainian delegation, who stated that Russia accepted Ukraine’s stance with the exception of Crimea, he noted that Russia’s point of view with regards to the status of Crimea and Donbass remained unchanged. Medinsky added that Moscow had been trying to achieve Ukraine’s neutral and unaffiliated status as well as security guarantees for it since 2014.

The talks between Russia and Ukraine delegations would continue on Monday April 4 while editing of the text of the agreement continued in a remote format on Friday and Saturday.

On March 29 in Istanbul, the first face-to-face talks in over three weeks between the delegations of Moscow and Kiev took place. The Russian side assessed the results of this round as “positive progress.” Following the talks, Medinsky said that Russia received Ukraine’s written proposals containing provisions on Ukraine’s non-nuclear and unaffiliated status.

However the powerful head of Republic of Chechnya, said that Kremlin would make no concessions in its war in Ukraine, deviating from the official line and suggesting the Russia top negotiator was wrong in articulating the delegation position.

Ramzan Kadyrov, who has Chechen forces fighting in Ukraine as part of Russia’s military operation, said in comments on Telegram that President Vladimir Putin would not simply stop what he had started there.

Lavrov deplores West “total war” on Russia

Brussels 25.03.2022 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is facing a total war declared by the West.

Lavrov said at a meeting on Friday, March 22, that “a real hybrid war, total war was declared on us.” He added the goal was “to destroy, break, annihilate, strangle the Russian economy, and Russia on the whole.”

During the first month of what Russia describes as a “special military operation” in Ukraine, the West imposed a range of measures targeting Russia’s economy and financial system as well as President Vladimir Putin and Russian oligarchs individually.

Despite that, top diplomat insisted that as a result of this multitude of efforts Russia was not isolated.

“We have many friends, allies, partners in the world, a huge number of associations in which Russia is working with countries of all continents, and we will continue to do so,” Lavrov continued. The Minister is convinced that the vast majority of states won’t join the Western sanctions policy against Russia.

EU condemns Navalny imprisonment extension

Brussels 23.03.2022 “The European Union strongly condemns the ruling by Moscow’s Lefortovo District Court, to extend the imprisonment of the Russian opposition politician Mr Alexei Navalny by an additional 9 years. We also deeply regret that the court hearings were conducted in a de facto closed setting, inaccessible for observers in the penal colony outside Moscow, where Alexei Navalny is already serving another politically motivated sentence, which opens space for the fabrication of charges and lack of exercise of defence rights by the accused. This is the starkest indication that the Russian legal system continues to be instrumentalised against Mr Navalny” reads the Declaration by the High Representative Josep Borrell. on behalf of the EU on the ruling to extend Alexei Navalny’s politically motivated imprisonment by an additional nine years.

“The European Union deplores the systematic crackdown on civil society, independent media, individual journalists and human rights defenders in Russia. This internal repression is accelerating amid Russia’s ongoing military aggression against its sovereign neighbour Ukraine.

“The Russian Government continues to blatantly ignore all international obligations and commitments for the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“We reiterate our call on the Russian authorities for his immediate and unconditional release. We call on the Russian authorities to comply with the interim measure granted by the European Court of Human Rights with regard to the nature and extent of risk to Mr Navalny’s life”.

Kremlin way accept Jerusalem for talks

Strasbourg 13.03.2022 Anna van Densky A meeting between President Vladimir Putin and President Vladimir Zelensky is not ruled out, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on the air of the Rossiya 1 TV channel.
The official added that in order to organise a relevant event, it was necessary to understand clearly the agenda of discussion and its possible outcome.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin touched upon the topic of a possible meeting between him and Vladimir Zelensky in a telephone conversation. Cavusoglu claims that the Russian president had no objection to such a meeting.

On March 10, 2022, Foreign Ministers of Russia and Ukraine Sergey Lavrov and Dmitry Kuleba completed negotiations in Antalya, which were held with the participation of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The meeting lasted over an hour and a half.

Russia has been open to holding negotiations with Ukraine in Jerusalem, a senior diplomatic source said on March 12 to Jerusalem Post newspaper, soon after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on the phone.

Zelensky said earlier the same day that “at present it’s not constructive to hold meetings in Russia, Ukraine, or Belarus. These are not the places where we can agree to stop the war… Do I consider Israel, Jerusalem in particular, to be such a place? I think the answer is yes.”

Russia has not rejected the idea of negotiations in Jerusalem, the diplomatic source said, but Israel is not sure it should host the talks.

Borrell regrets Ukraine NATO membership promise

Strasbourg 13.03.2022 Anna van Densky The West made a mistake by promising Ukraine NATO membership, the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said in an interview with LCI TV channel, France.

“There are moments in which we could have reacted better. For example, we proposed things that we could not guarantee, in particular Ukraine’s accession to NATO. This was never realised. I think it was a mistake to make promises that we could not fulfil,” the diplomat explained.

The head of European diplomacy also admitted that the West had made mistakes when building relations with Russia. “Thus, we lost the opportunity to bring Russia closer to the West in order to deter it,” Borrell continued.

Interviewed in Versailles just before the opening of the Summit of the 27, Josep Borrell said he believed that “Russia is bombarding indiscriminately”. According to him, “Mariupol is undoubtedly a war crime, but it’s not just that hospital. Russia is incapable of taking the cities, the Ukrainian resistance is very strong, so it is doing as it did in Syria or Chechnya, it bombs. The Russian army is an artillery army. So it bombs, it bombs, indiscriminately, sometimes a hospital, sometimes a pavement of a house.”

On February 24 President Vladimir Putin announced a special Russian military operation in response to a request for help from the heads of the Donbass self-proclaimed Republics. The head of state has pointed out that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, but aims to “de-militarise and de-nazify” the neighbour. Later he added that one of Moscow’s key demands was that Ukraine remain neutral, and rejected plans to join NATO. As Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin had earlier confirmed, it is critical for Russia because it is the “minimum territorial barrier” the country needs to preserve the existing security system.

UK: Seven Russian oligarchs under sanctions

The UK has added Russian oligarch and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich (pictured) to its list of sanctioned individuals as part of its efforts to “isolate” Russian President Vlamidir Putin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — throwing the sale of the London club into doubt and prohibiting the buying or selling of players until further notice.

In a statement Thursday, March 10, the UK government said it was adding seven further oligarchs and politicians — including Abramovich — to its list of sanctioned individuals.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government as part of efforts to “isolate” Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Abramovich announced this month he plans to sell Chelsea, as it is “in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.” This came after he declared he gave “stewardship” of the club over to trustees of the club’s charitable foundation.

But the new sanctions will see his assets frozen and will prohibit “transactions with UK individuals and businesses,” the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said in a statement Thursday. The billionaire will also face a travel ban forbidding him to enter the UK.

According to the UK government Chelsea will be given a special license to continue to “fulfil its fixtures and carry out football business” — including the payment of players and club staff — but certain actions will not be permitted, such as buying and selling new players and selling tickets for games beyond those already sold to fans.

Existing season ticket holders will be allowed to attend matches as well as fans who purchased tickets prior to Thursday, March 10.

Fans can buy food and drink at these matches, according to the statement, and under the sanctions, third party retailers who bought or produced club merchandise prior to Thursday will be allowed to sell their existing stocks as long as no money is given to Chelsea. For now, the special license lasts until May 31.

“Abramovich won’t be allowed to put any money into the club or take any money out of it. As we know, he has funded Chelsea to the tune of billions of pounds and has a £1.5 billion ($1.98 billion) loan that Chelsea currently owes to Abramovich,” said Ben Peppi, sports commercial expert at JMW Solicitors, while discussing at CNN Sport programme that unless the UK government introduces a new license, Chelsea can’t be sold.

“after seeing a leaked 2019 UK government document that said Abramovich was of interest due to his “links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices,” the MP said in a Twitter post.

Abramovich is worth is an estimated £9.4 billion ($12.36 billion), according to the UK government.

The UK is “absolutely determined” to sanction Russian oligarchs, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said this month, adding that the UK was working through “a further list” of oligarchs to sanction.
“There is nowhere for any of Putin’s cronies to hide,” Truss continued.

Russia and Ukraine top diplomats meet

Strasbourg 09.03.2022 Kiev has confirmed that a meeting between Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov will take place on the sidelines of a diplomatic forum in Turkey’s Antalya on Thursday, March 10, so Moscow expects that the meeting will indeed be held, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said to Russian journalists.(Image: Istanbul, Turkey).

“We believe that since Ukraine has confirmed it, the meeting will indeed take place, particularly because it was initiated by Turkey, the host of the event on the sidelines of which the meeting is expected to be held,” she pointed out.

Zakharova emphasized that Russia was making preparations for the talks but there was no need to rush things. She added that Lavrov’s flight to Antalya was scheduled for Wednesday March 9.

Lavrov and Kuleba are expected to meet on the sidelines of a diplomatic forum in Antalya on March 10, the meeting will also involve Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” based on a request from the heads of the Donbass self-proclaimed Republics. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian territories and the goal of the operation was to “de-militarise and de-nazify” the Ukranian state.

Putin: Ukraine is Bolshevik project

Brussels 21.02.2022 Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 21, during a televised address, announced the recognition of the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). The head of state signed decrees on the recognition of the DPR and LPR, as well as agreements on mutual assistance with the republics.

Key quotes from the President’s address:
– Modern Ukraine was created entirely by Bolshevik Russia. The Bolsheviks literally squeezed Donbass into Ukraine;

– Do you want decommunisation? Well, that suits us. We are ready to show you the real de-communisation;

– Ukraine has never had a true statehood of its own;

– It is impossible to recall the terrible tragedy of Odessa without a shudder, the criminals were not punished, but we know them by name. We will do our best to find and punish them;

– Ukraine’s entry into NATO and the deployment of alliance facilities is a foregone conclusion;

– Statements about Ukraine’s creation of its own nuclear weapons are not empty bravado. Ukraine still has Soviet nuclear technology;

– In NATO documents, our country is officially and directly explicitly declared a threat to Euro-Atlantic security;

We will not compromise our sovereignty. Russia has every right to ensure its security.

– I consider it necessary to make a long overdue decision – to immediately recognise the independence and sovereignty of the DNR and LNR.

Recall what preceded this truly historic decision. On Monday, on February 21, a meeting of the Security Council of the Russian Federation was held in an expanded format.

– We have gathered with you to discuss the situation that is developing today in the Donbass, – Vladimir Putin began his opening speech in the Catherine’s Hall of the Kremlin, the very one where the meeting on Crimea was held 8 years ago. – The purpose of our meeting today is to listen to colleagues and determine our next steps in this direction. I mean both the appeal of the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics to Russia with a request to recognise sovereignty, and the State Duma’s resolution on the same subject calling on the head of state to recognise the independence and sovereignty of the DPR and LPR.

After that, Putin noticed that he had not previously discussed this topic with anyone and began to ask those present for their opinion on the topic.

– It is quite obvious that neither Ukraine nor the West needs Donbass today. They need to freeze the conflict, – said Dmitry Kozak, deputy head of the presidential administration.

– Tell me and my colleagues: will the Kiev authorities implement the Minsk agreements or not? Putin interrupted him.

“In the usual course of events, they won’t,” Kozak specified. – Never will be! It is obvious that they do not want to return Donbass to Ukraine.

And he spoke in favour of recognising the independence of the republics. Foreign Minister Lavrov also supported him.

– Modern Ukraine was created entirely by Bolshevik Russia. The Bolsheviks literally squeezed Donbass into Ukraine;

– Do you want de-communisation? Well, that suits us. We are ready to show you the real decommunization

– Ukraine has never had a true statehood of its own.

– It is impossible to recall the terrible tragedy of Odessa without a shudder, the criminals were not punished, but we know them by name. We will do our best to find and punish them.

Ukraine’s entry into NATO and the deployment of alliance facilities is a foregone conclusion.

– Statements about Ukraine’s creation of its own nuclear weapons are not empty bravado. Ukraine still has Soviet nuclear technology.

– In NATO documents, our country is officially and directly explicitly declared a threat to Euro-Atlantic security

We will not compromise our sovereignty. Russia has every right to ensure its security.

– I consider it necessary to make a long overdue decision – to immediately recognise the independence and sovereignty of the DNR and LNR.