Russia: response to two Ukraines

Brussels 08.02.2023 Russian former President Dmitry Medvedev (pictured) recalled that “the division along the 38th parallel (demilitarized zone between the DPRK and South Korea) created two independent countries.”

Medvedev, nowadays the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council has depicted Kiev’s speculation that the West is allegedly ready to split Ukraine “according to the Korean scenario” as the first step towards recognizing the existing territorial realities.

“It is clear that the “Korean scenario” speculation is just wishful thinking: ‘We, the rest of Ukraine, would be under Western control and protection. And then we would reach the level of the Republic of Korea. Also, there would remain some hope for reunification with the former territories’,” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday, February 7. The politician commented that such hypothetic thinking “is meant for internal use only.”

“There is something else that is noteworthy here,” Medvedev stressed. “Kiev has in fact made a timid hint that there can be no victory. At best, they will follow the country’s division into parts. But in fact, this is the first step towards recognizing the realities that have developed on the ground,” he said.

Medvedev recalled that “the division along the 38th parallel (demilitarized zone between the DPRK and South Korea – TASS) created two independent countries.”

“In the meantime, Donbass and other territories have become part of Russia, which is the largest state with full sovereignty and the most formidable weapons,” Medvedev stressed.

Earlier, a former adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office Alexey Arestovich admitted that Ukraine lacked the strength to win and that the Western countries were ready to implement the concept of “two Koreas” in the region. Prior to this, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Alexey Danilov claimed that Kiev might be offered a “Korean option” of the settlement, involving an “equivalent of the 38th parallel.”

As Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov also expressed a position of Kremlin, commenting on Kiev’s speculation about alleged discussions between the deputy chief of the Russian presidential staff, Dmitry Kozak, over the possibility of a “Korean option” for a settlement in Ukraine was a media concoction. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed Danilov’s statement that Russia might allegedly offer Ukraine a “Korean option” as rumors and far-fetched speculation.

Ukraine top executives killed in crash

Strasbourg 18.01.2023 The three leading figures in Ukraine’s interior Ministry have been killed in a helicopter crash next to a nursery in an eastern suburb of the capital Kyiv – Brovary.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, 42, died alongside his first deputy Minister and State secretary.

Nine people were killed when the helicopter came down in Brovary and another nine died on the ground, including three children.

Minister Monastyrsky is the highest profile Ukrainian casualty since the war broke out on February 24, 2022.

The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said the Minister had been on errand to a war “hot spot” when his helicopter went down.

There is no indication the crash was anything other than an accident, although witnesses said Russia’s war was to blame for the disaster.

“It was very foggy and there was no electricity, and when there’s no electricity there are no lights on the buildings,” local resident Volodymyr told the BBC.

The 42-year-old Interior minister was a prominent member of President Volodymy Zelensky’s cabinet. The top executive played a key role in updating the public on casualties caused by Russian missile strikes since Ukraine was invaded in February 2022.

Gen.Clark: Ukraine can regain control over Crimea

Brussels 12.01.2023 Since August, Ukraine has conducted successful counteroffensives in the north and south, taking back over 50 percent of the territory that Moscow seized after the full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022. Ukraine has also conducted successful strikes on Russian military bases in Crimea and on Black Sea Fleet near Sevastopol (pictured).

Some experts have argued that now is the time for Ukraine to retake Crimea, nine years after Vladimir Putin’s annexation in 2014. Were Ukraine to move in the south and break the land Kerch bridge running from Russia to Crimea, Moscow’s hold on the peninsula would be in danger.

Ukraine can regain control over Crimea, said Gen.Wes Clark, on condition it would be given the offensive weapons. The retired general expressed his opinion of a strong possibility of such a scenario on condition of the U.S. military support in the various fields, including intelligence.

Image: social media.

Paris Mosque versus writer Houellebecq

The rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris has filed a complaint against award-winning French writer Michel Houellebecq over “staggeringly brutal” comments made during a recent interview in which the author drew divisions between “native French people” and “the Muslims” responsible for “robbing and assaulting them”.

In a statement published on Twitter, the Grand Mosque of Paris announced it had filed a complaint against Michel Houellebecq following “very grave comments he had made about Muslims in France”.

The statement referred to a “long conversation” between Houellebecq and philosopher Michel Onfray – the founder of “anti-system” magazine Front Populaire – published in November.
The wish of the native French population, as they say, is not that Muslims assimilate, but that they stop robbing and assaulting them. Or else, another solution, that they leave,” Houellebecq is quoted as saying.

The statement, signed by the mosque’s rector Chems-Eddine Hafiz reads:

“When entire territories are under Islamic control, I think that acts of resistance will take place. There will be attacks and shootings in mosques, in cafés frequented by Muslims, in short Bataclan in reverse,” referring to the 13 November 2015 terrorist attack on the Paris concert hall.

“The wish of the native French population, as they say, is not that Muslims assimilate, but that they stop robbing and assaulting them. Or else, another solution, that they leave,” Houellebecq is quoted as saying.

Houellebecq, one of France’s most renowned authors, has written fictionalised accounts of the “Islamisation” of France, but the Paris Mosque claims his comments in a published interview infringe France’s anti-discrimination laws.

Houellebecq, one of France’s most renowned authors, has written fictionalised accounts of the “Islamisation” of France, but the Paris Mosque claims his comments in a published interview infringe France’s anti-discrimination laws.

The rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris has filed a complaint against award-winning French writer Michel Houellebecq over “staggeringly brutal” comments made during a recent interview in which the author drew divisions between “native French people” and “the Muslims” responsible for “robbing and assaulting them”.

In a statement published on Twitter on Wednesday, the Grand Mosque of Paris announced it had filed a complaint against Michel Houellebecq following “very grave comments he had made about Muslims in France”.

The statement referred to a “long conversation” between Houellebecq and philosopher Michel Onfray – the founder of “anti-system” magazine Front Populaire – published in November.

The statement, signed by the mosque’s rector Chems-Eddine Hafiz, quotes an extract:

“When entire territories are under Islamic control, I think that acts of resistance will take place. There will be attacks and shootings in mosques, in cafés frequented by Muslims, in short Bataclan in reverse,” referring to the 13 November 2015 terrorist attack on the Paris concert hall.

“The wish of the native French population, as they say, is not that Muslims assimilate, but that they stop robbing and assaulting them. Or else, another solution, that they leave,” Houellebecq is quoted as saying.

The Grand Mosque described the remarks as “unacceptable” and implied that Muslims were “not real French people”.

It wrote that the comments constitute “an incitement to hatred against Muslims” and “a call to reject and exclude the Muslim component as a whole”.

The statement cites a recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which upheld the conviction of former far-right French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour for “inciting discrimination and religious hatred” over comments targeting France’s Muslim community.

“The court held that the interference with the applicant’s right to freedom of expression had been necessary in a democratic society to protect the rights of others that were at stake,” the ECHR wrote in a statement on 20 December.

Houellebecq won the Goncourt Prize – France’s highest literary honour – in 2010.

But he is no stranger to controversy.

His 2015 fictional novel Submission, about the rise to power of an Islamist president in France, won acclaim but also sparked concern over fomenting anti-Muslim sentiment.

The philosopher, Robert Redeker, who was the victim of a fatwa forcing him to live for a time under police protection, supports Michel Houellebecq, targeted by a complaint from the Great Mosque of Paris for “provoking hatred against Muslims”

Lavrov: Donbass “must be liberated”

Brussels 29.12.2022 The Donetsk (DNR) and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR), as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, which joined Russia following referendums, “need to be liberated”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to Russian Channel One TV. (Image above: archive)

While answering a question about the borders of the regions that he was referring to, Lavrov said: “I am certainly talking about their borders as parts of the Russian Federation, based on the Russian Constitution.”

“It stems from the people’s will expressed in the four regions. It happened a while ago in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and this fall in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions,” Lavrov added.

The top diplomat underlined that Russia was determined to make sure that its special military operation would achieve its goals. The four regions “need to be liberated from the threat of Nazification that they have faced for years” he added.

From September 23 to September 27, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), as well as the Kherson Region and the Zaporozhye Region, held referendums where the majority of voters opted to join Russia. On September 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of the DPR and the LPR, the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions signed treaties on their accession to Russia. On October 4, Putin signed laws ratifying the treaties.

Russia refuses gaz price dictatorship

Brussels 19.12.2022 “This is a violation of the market pricing process, an encroachment on market processes. Any references to the “ceiling” are unacceptable,” the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov (pictured) said to the reporters, reacting upon the EU Energy ministers decision to create a cartel of gas buyers to dictate price of Russian natural gas.

The EU countries have agreed on a dynamic gas price ceiling of €180 per MWh (approximately €1.85 thousand per thousand cubic meters), which will apply from February 15, 2023. This is stated in a statement issued by the EU Council on Monday, December 19.

Winter 2023/24: point of no return for the European Union?
“The gas price correction mechanism can be activated from February 15 under two conditions: if the gas price holds for three days at the level of €180 and if the difference between TTF (EU) prices and the average world price for liquefied natural gas is more than €35 “, the document says.

The corridor for setting prices for futures will be limited to the mark, which is equal to the average price of LNG on the world market plus €35. It will be impossible to place trading positions above this mark with the current price correction mechanism.

“Thus, this mechanism does not set a hard price ceiling, but it will prevent the occurrence of sharp jumps in gas prices,” European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said at a press conference in Brussels.

Lavrov: Russia resists sanctions

Brussels 19.12.2022 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Belarusian counterpart Sergey Aleinik discussed the Ukrainian crisis and ways to resist the West’s waves of sanctions pressure at a meeting on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, TASS news agency reports.

“The parties exchanged views on international and regional issues, including the situation around the Ukrainian crisis. They reaffirmed their determination to coordinate steps on international platforms and efforts to resist the political and illegal sanctions pressure that Russia and Belarus have been facing from unfriendly countries,” the statement reads.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the parties also discussed pressing bilateral issues, interaction within the Union State and other Eurasian organisations. “Special attention was paid to ensuring diplomatic support for the implementation of Union State programs concerning the economic integration of the two countries, cooperation within the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States], Russia’s upcoming chairmanship of the EAEU [Eurasian Economic Union] and Belarus’s chairmanship of the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization],” the statement added.

The diplomats also discussed upcoming foreign policy events, including preparations for a joint board meeting of the Russian and Belarusian foreign ministries.

Ukraine: Orban warns EU of consequences

Brussels 07.12.2022 The Hungarian leader Viktor Orban told “Good morning, Hungary!” that EU sanctions on Russian energy are bound to fail, and that “not only our children, but also our grandchildren will suffer the consequences” of a mass borrowing scheme proposed by the EU, adding that potentially insolvent states will require support as well.

Orban reiterated Hungary’s opposition, and suggested that agreements to support Ukraine should be at the national level via bilateral agreements between individual countries, ReMix reports.

He highlighted that Ukraine has now found itself in a situation whereby it is incapable of functioning as an independent nation because of the ongoing conflict, and while it needs help from its neighbors and allies in the short-term, it is not for Brussels to speak on behalf of all member states.

What’s more, Orban believes that any further sanctions on Russian gas or nuclear energy would have “tragic consequences,” and argued that Hungary should be exempt from such a decision.

“We are facing a difficult winter, Ukraine is in an increasingly difficult situation, Russia is suffering difficulties, but its revenues from energy carriers are at their peak, so the policy of sanctions has not achieved its goal,” he said, explaining that while Hungary won’t be subject to an upcoming ban on European imports of Russian oil, it will still be affected by the “price-inflating effect of the sanctions.”

“We have always achieved our own national goals in the negotiations on sanctions, so we are participating in the discussion of the ninth package with good hopes,” Orban concluded, while noting that the “pressure is constant,” and that Hungary must “constantly fight to protect our interests.”

Brussels bailing out Ukraine will ruin Europe for generations, Hungary’s Orban warns.

EU regrets Russian LGBT law

Brussels 24.11.2022 “The EU regrets further repressive measures adopted by the Russian State Duma, related to the so-called “foreign agents” legislation and the LGBTI legislation. The recently proposed amendments to the citizenship legislation are also deeply worrying” the European External Action service press person said.

“These legislative developments fuel homophobia and further deepen the harsh repression of any critical and alternative discourse in the context of Russia’s illegal, unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine, which the EU continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms”.

“The European Union stands in solidarity with Russian citizens who are prevented from exercising their human rights”.

NATO: Russia as “terrorist state”

Strasbourg 22.11.2022 The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) on Monday 21 November supported the proposal of the Ukrainian delegation and adopted a unanimous resolution defining Russia as a “terrorist state” during its 68th Annual Session.

The PA passed a series of resolutions calling on the 30 NATO allies to intensify support to Ukraine’s resistance and assistance to the country’s integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. The PA announced to the allies that the “Russian state under the current regime is a terrorist one.”

President of the PA Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam condemned Russia´s war on Ukraine and noted that “Western allies had failed to listen to the warnings of their Eastern partners before President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine.”

“Now, no doubt is possible, Russian leaders, are acting like real terrorists, showing unprecedent barbarism by attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure. We must act, and they must be judged as terrorists in front of international tribunals. As NATO parliamentarians, we must support Ukraine, we must support its people. People who are everyday showing courage and resilience in the service of our values of Freedom, democracy and sovereignity”, the president Garriaud-Maylam declared.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Assembly through video conferencing and called the NATO Allies to stand firm against Russian aggression and step up support to Ukraine.

“Ukrainians are sure we can defend ourselves in this war, we can reinstate our borders, European borders, along the full length of our southern and eastern flanks. The power of our democracy will be a guarantee that no tyranny to the east of us will be able to threaten Europe.

Other international bodies have also condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine.On October 13, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. (PACE) unanimously adopted a resolution calling the Russian Federation a terrorist regime. PACE became the first international organisation to recognise Russia as a terrorist state. PACE passed another resolution on November 16 to recognise Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. On November 14, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution stating that Russia must be held accountable for international law violations during its war in Ukraine and must pay war reparations.