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”.

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”.

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.

Russia-Japan: blaming U.S. for failures

Brussels 08.02.2022 Washington seeks to keep Japan’s unfounded territorial claims against Russia afloat in order to prevent the two countries from full-scale cooperation, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a TV interview. Japan claims the four southernmost islands, including two of the three largest ones – Iturup and Kunashir, – as an integral part of its territory along with Shikotan and the Habomai islets, which has led to the ongoing Kuril Islands dispute between Japan and Russia.

While commenting on U.S. Ambassador to Tokyo Rahm Emanuel’s statement that Washington supported Tokyo in the issue of the Northern Territories (southern Kuril Island) and recognised Japan’s sovereignty over them, the diplomat pointed out that “over the past decades, the United States has transformed Japan from an independent state into a dependent one.”

The spokesperson reminded that Moscow had repeatedly called for abandoning the “attempts to artificially pump up hysteria” and tensions around the territorial issue, while the Japanese leadership kept neglecting “the need to build normal and full-fledged economic, financial and cultural ties” with Russia. “Every time, we highlighted the artificial nature of this issue and the related tensions,” the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman underlined.

“It is being fueled by a certain part of Japan’s political establishment. And who’s behind it? The U.S. ambassador has stepped forward and made it clear,” she added. Zakharova explained that Washington benefited from keeping the issue afloat because “this artificial problem prevents Japan from engaging in full-scale, mutually beneficial and long-term cooperation with Russia.”

The Russian diplomat recommended that the US envoy to Japan “should spend more time telling the Japanese public about the United States’ crimes.” “Particularly, about how the United States used nuclear weapons to attack the country’s civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Unfortunately, the Japanese public knows little about the U.S. role in those tragic events,” Maria Zakharova concluded.