Putin follows Peter the Great footsteps

Brussels 11.06.2022 President Vladimir Putin compared himself to the country’s Emperor, Peter the Great (pictured), in a speech marking the 350th anniversary of the figure’s birth.

Putin made the comments while visiting a multimedia exhibit about the 18th-century tzar, who led a conquest of the Baltic region while at war with Sweden. Putin remarked that Peter the Great viewed the land as rightfully Russian, drawing a connection to the current war Russia is waging against Ukraine.

“He was returning it and strengthening it,” Putin said, according to Russian media. “Well, apparently, it has also fallen to us to return and to strengthen.” Putin also underlined that when Peter founded the city of St. Petersburg, “none of the countries of Europe recognized it as Russian.”

“It is impossible — do you understand — impossible to build a fence around a country like Russia,” Putin added. Putin has repeatedly attempted to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since the Feb. 24 beginning of the war, which has since resulted in thousands of deaths and millions of displaced people. Shortly after he launched the invasion, Putin said he was “forced” to attack Ukraine due to Western “intransigence” over security issues.

The Russian president’s comments occurred after the war in Ukraine surpassed 100 days last week.

“Peter the Great fought the Northern War for 21 years. It would seem that he fought with Sweden and rejected something there. He didn’t reject anything! He returned,” the head of state explained.

Putin noted that the fate of modern Russia also fell to “return and strengthen” its sovereignty and territories.

Russian Ambassador Antonov on food crisis

Brussels 28.05.2022 Russian ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov on Friday, May 28, said the food crisis, which had been unfolding for the past couple years, worsened due sanctions on Russia by the U.S. and its allies.

“The crisis was further exacerbated due to the introduction by Washington and its satellites of illegitimate sanctions against Russia,” the diplomat said in statement released by the Russian Embassy in Washington. “Despite the references of the U.S. officials to exemptions from the restrictions, which allegedly provide for the opportunity for our country to trade in farm goods, domestic exporters often don’t have a chance to make shipments.”

“They face blocked payments, denials of loans and insurance, problems with booking freight ships, purchase of farm equipment and even seeds,” he went on to say. “In addition, the US continues to increase import taxes on our fertilizers.”

Antonov described such actions as “the utmost hypocrisy” and called the US attempts to blame Russia for the food crisis as absolutely unfounded.

“We urge a halt to shifting the blame,” he continued. “Russia is committed to its export obligations and is ready for negotiations to resolve this most serious problem, including through the UN.”

The diplomat also said that difficulties in the food market have been building up for a long time, at least over the past two years. “They are associated with miscalculations and systemic errors in the macroeconomic policy – primarily financial and foreign trade policies – and energy and food policies of Western countries,” he said. “At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant disruptions of supply chains.”

“Freight costs have almost doubled,” he continued. “Naturally, all this couldn’t not fail but lead to a sharp increase in food prices. Wheat prices increased by a quarter over 2021.”

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is negotiating with Russia and Ukraine to unblock the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea in exchange for the lifting of a number of sanctions that hinder the export of Russian fertilizers. Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Vasily Nebenzya and Permanent Representative of the United States Linda Thomas-Greenfield confirmed that there are talks on resuming the exports of Ukrainian grain and Russian fertilizers to the global market. However, the sides insists that these issues are discussed separately from each other and don’t assume any exchanges.

Lavrov: West declared total war on Russia

Brusels 27.05.2022 The West has declared a total war on Russia and the Russian world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (pictured) said on Friday, May 27.

“The West has declared a total war on us, on the Russian World. Nobody makes any secret of this,” Lavrov said at a meeting of the Council of the heads of Russia’s constituent territories at the Foreign Ministry.

Lavrov warned that the Western policy of “cancelling” Russia would continue for a long time.

“The culture of cancelling Russia and everything related with our country has reached a point of absurdity. Bans have been imposed on such classics as Tchaikovsky, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Pushkin. Persecution is underway against Russian culture and art workers. In general, one can be certain that this situation will last,” Lavrov said.

“We must realize that it has exposed the West’s real attitude to the beautiful slogans that were put forward 30 years ago after the end of the Cold War, the calls for universal humanitarian values, for building a common European home from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Now we can see the real worth of these fine words,” Lavrov said.

The top diplomat has underlined that Russia would certainly not agree to put up with these policies.

“In this situation there is a great demand for a concrete discussion on how we develop our cooperation, cooperation between our ministry and civil society, including at the level of regions,” he added.

Lavrov: no timetalbe in Ukraine

Brussels 02.05.2022 Moscow won’t set artificial timetable for its military operations in Ukraine in order to complete it by Victory Day, celebrated in Russia on May 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (pictured) said in an interview with Italy’s Mediaset broadcaster.(Image above: illustration).

“Our troops won’t artificially base their activities on a specific date, including Victory Day,” he pointed out in response to a question. “We will solemnly celebrate May 9 the way we always do,” Lavrov added.

According to the top diplomat, the pace of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine first and foremost depends “on the need to mitigate risks for civilians and Russian troops.”

Lavrov underlined that the operation was particularly aimed at ensuring the safety of civilians and making sure that there were no threats from Ukraine to civilians and Russia, “which would be related to offensive weapons and the spread of Nazi ideas that the West is trying to downplay.”

“I have seen reports on NBC, I have read the National Interest magazine. Serious articles have started to appear there that are warning against playing games with Nazis, like it happened in 1935-1938,” the Russian Minister has underlined.

Russian prisoners of war killings

Brussels 11.04.2022 The evidence has emerged revealing Ukrainian soldiers killings of captured and bound Russian prisoners of war near Bucha, the small town near Kyiv where presumed massacre of Ukrainian civilians happened according to President Zelensky and the international community accusing Russia of war crimes.

Kiev is plotting, with the West’ support, provocations with massacre of civilians in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) to place the blame for it on the Russian army, Colonel Mikhail Mizintsev, chief of Russia’s National Defense Management Center, said on April 10.

“Official Kiev, with the support from several Western countries, continues to plan barbarous and ruthless actions with mass killings of civilians in the Lugansk People’s Republic to later accuse the Russian armed forces and LPR troops,” he said.

According to the Colonel, a provocation is planned in the Ragovka community in the Kiev region. The Ukrainian side, in his words, is plotting to shoot a fake video about searches of places of mass burials of civilians allegedly killed by Russian troops. “A team of Ukrainian forensic experts and police officers will be involved in the provocation to make it look more trustworthy,” he said.

“Reporters from foreign mass media outlets have arrived in the city of Kremennaya in the Severodonetsk district and have accommodated in the building of the local hospital. They are supposed to record the Ukrainian army’s provocation with the alleged selling of ambulance cars carrying patients by Russian troops,” he said.

Apart from that, he said that Ukrainian nationalists have mined reservoirs with chlorine at a water utility in the Popyasnaya district and plan to blow them up when forces of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) approach the city.

Russia suspended from UN HRC Geneva

Brussels 07.04.2022 Today UN’s general assembly on Thursday, April 7, voted to suspend Russia from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, in a new international reaction to Kremlin over the invasion of Ukraine and alleged atrocities, especially in the town of Bucha near the capital.

Ninety-three (93) UN members approved Russia’s suspension — the first imposed on any permanent member of the UN Security Council.

However, 24 UN members, including China, Iran, Bolivia and Kazakhstan, voted against Russia’s suspension. Another 58 countries abstained, including India, Indonesia and Egypt, showing that a wide range of countries are either siding with Moscow or remaining neutral as the military conflict continues.

Reacting upon the news Russian diplomat Gennady Kuzmin from the mission to the UN, said that the Human Rights Council has been in fact “monopolised by a single group of states that exploits the mechanism to achieve their opportunistic goals”.
“These states over years have either engaged in gross and mass violations of human rights or showed indulgence towards such”.

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.

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.

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.