Russia

Russia33 posts
11 Oct, 2016
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Russia to open Syrian naval base

Makes Statement

Russia says it will create a permanent naval base in Syria to help their ally. Russia already has an active air base in Syria which was effectively being used in the current conflict. Spokesperson:

By doing this Russia is not only increasing its military potential in Syria but in the entire Middle East. The necessary papers are ready and are in the process of being approved by different agencies. We hope we can ask you to ratify these documents soon.

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Russia rebuffs UK

Makes Statement

Following a statement from UK Defence Minister Fallon, Russia defends its action in Syria.

Before launching into incoherent conjecture about Russia’s supposed responsibility for the situation in Aleppo in particular, and Syria in general, it is necessary to think – what has the UK contributed to this poor country? Where was the UK when ISIS nearly reached the Mediterranean coast, almost turning Syria into a terrorist caliphate, like Libya. After all, it was you who controlled the skies at the time. We delivered over 1000 liberated settlements, thousands of tons of humanitarian aid, and thousands of square kilometers freed from ISIS’ hold, to which peaceful life has returned. How many settlements have been liberated, how much humanitarian aid delivered, and how many square feet have been cleared of ISIS by the UK?

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Accuses Russia of war crimes

Accusation

President Hollande accuses Russia of war crimes in Syria, and says he wants to sue the country in International Criminal Court for their role in alleged war crimes over the Syrian city of Aleppo. Hollande also says he may not receive the Russian president who is scheduled to visit Paris, late this month, for a church opening ceremony.

I have asked myself that question: Is it useful? Is it necessary? Could we do something that pushes him as well and stop what they’re doing with the Syrian regime — that is to say the help they are providing to the Syrian regime, which sends bombs to the population of Aleppo? If I receive him, I would tell him that it is unacceptable, that it is bad even for the image of Russia. What I tell them, is that these populations are populations that are today victims of war crimes and those who commit those acts will have to pay for their responsibility in front of the International Criminal Court.
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British forces may join coalition

Makes Statement

Conservative MP Mitchell, who will lead an emergency Commons debate on the situation in Syria, says British forces may join an international coalition that will defend Aleppo against alleged war crimes by Russian air strikes.

What we are saying is very clear. No one wants to see a firefight with Russia, no one wants to shoot down a Russian plane. But what we do say is that the international community has an avowed responsibility to protect and that protection must be exerted. If that means confronting Russian airpower defensively, on behalf of the innocent people on the ground who we are trying to protect, then we should do that…It’s not a declaration of war against Russia but it is an absolute declaration that we will seek to protect the innocent victims of these war crimes. I think that Britain should explore with its allies how it would enforce a no-fly zone. It is clearly not something we can do on our own but as part of a coalition of the willing to confront this appalling catastrophe we should certainly be willing to explore that and implement it if we are able to do so.

9 Oct, 2016
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Russia vetos Aleppo resolution

A French-backed UN resolution to maintain peace in Aleppo, aimed at protecting the lives of more than 250,000 trapped civilians receives 11 votes in favor, but despite crossing the minimum number of votes, Russia uses its veto power to halt the resolution. It is the fifth time Russia vetoes such a resolution on the five-year -long conflict. A Russian backed Resolution [when] received only four votes in favor which is not enough for the resolution to pass.

25 Aug, 2016
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Russia backs Aleppo UN truce

Ceasefire

Russia agrees to a UN-backed 48-hour humanitarian ceasefire in the divided Syrian city of Aleppo to allow aid deliveries, but security guarantees are awaited from other parties on the ground. UN spokesperson:

We have…agreement now from the Russian Federation for the 48-hour pause, we’re waiting (for) it from the other actors on the ground. That has taken more time frankly than I thought was needed.

US State Dept spokesperson:

If the U.N. says they need 48 hours, of course we support the U.N. But … our focus is on a nationwide sustainable cessation of hostilities.

19 Aug, 2016
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Claims responsibility for attack

Makes Statement

A still image taken on August 19, 2016 from an August 18, 2016 video posted on social media shows two Islamic State spokespersons of the Islamic State, as they claim responsibility for an attack on a traffic police post outside Moscow, Russia. The Arabic text (bottom) reads, "We are mujahideen of the Islamic State".   Social MediaIslamic State claims responsibility for an attack on a traffic police post outside Moscow in which both attackers were killed, calling it revenge for Russia’s aerial bombing campaign in Syria. The militant group made the claim in a video in which the purported attackers say they want to take revenge for Russia killing Muslims in the Middle East.

24 Nov, 2015
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Russian miltary jet downed by Turkey

Plane Crash

A Russian Su-24 jet crashes near the Turkey-Syrian border, after being hit by a Turkish missile. Turkey says its jets shot at the plane after giving 10 warnings that it was violating Turkish airspace. Moscow says the jet never strayed from Syrian airspace. One of the two pilots is killed in the air by fire from the ground. The second pilot’s situation is not known. Two Russian Mi-8 helicopters perform a search-and-rescue operation, but one of them is damaged by small arms fire and makes an emergency landing. A Russian marine is killed during an operation. Turkish President Erdogan:

[The Russian plane was dealt with because it] did not answer our warning.

Russian President Putin says there will be “serious consequences” for Moscow’s relations with Turkey.

[This] represents a stab in the back by the terrorists’ accomplices. I can’t describe what has happened today in any other way. Our plane was downed over Syrian territory by an air-to-air missile from a Turkish F-16 jet. The plane fell on Syrian territory 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away from the Turkish border. It was flying 1 kilometer away from the Turkish border when it was attacked. In any case, neither our pilots nor our jet posed any threat to Turkey. That is obvious. They were carrying out an operation fighting against ISIL in Northern Latakia.

Turkey Shoots Down Russian Military Plane Near Border With Syria

12 Nov, 2015
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Orders doping investigation

Opens investigation

President Putin has orders an investigation into claims by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), that the country’s athletes were using performance enhancing drugs during the 2012 London Olympics. WADA wants to ban Russian athletes from competing. Athletes who are found to be doping would have their Olympic Medals taken away from them and be banned from participating in future Olympic events. Putin said athletes should be punished individually, rather than collectively.

Sportsmen who don’t dope – and never have – must not answer for those who break the rules. If we find that someone must be held responsible for something of the sort that breaks the rules in place against doping, then the responsibility must be personalised – that’s the rule…The battle must be open. A sporting contest is only interesting when it is honest. It is essential that we conduct our own internal investigation and – I want to underline – provide the most open professional co-operation with international anti-doping structures

10 Nov, 2015
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Russia sends 4000 troops to Syria

Military Action

President Putin is sending 4000 troops to Syria to fight the Islamic State. Russia’s foreign ministry has stated that these troops will not serving a combat role, and are to guard Russian bases and working with the Syria military. The figure has doubled since Moscow began airstrikes against the terror group, according to US officials

1 Nov, 2015
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Report: Russian delivering Iranian weapons

Anonymous sources in western intelligence agencies have told Fox News that Russia is helping Iran violate a UN Security Council embargo and transport arms and munitions to Syria. The sources say Russian cargo flights have been delivering Iranian weapons to the Russian-operated air base outside of Latakia, a strategic city on the Mediterranean coast, twice a day for the past ten days.

10 Sep, 2015
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U.S.: Russia building military in Syria

The U.S says that Russia is continuing its military buildup in Syria. Aerial imagery shows Russia two tank-landing ships have recently arrived at Tartus and about a dozen Russian armored personnel carriers are now at the Bassel al-Assad airport, named after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s older brother. An Antonov-124 Condor military transporter had flown into the airport, bringing the total number of transport flights to at least four in recent days. Despite the buildup of military equipment, officials noted there was no immediate indication Russia had sent in any ordnance or heavy weaponry. A US military official says “under 50” Russian troops had arrived in Syria in recent days. The Russian naval infantry that are already in Syria say their mission is to protect their military hardware rather joining the war. U.S official:

There’s not consensus in the intelligence community about what it means. You have to take what Russia says with a grain of salt because they haven’t always been transparent and honest about their intentions.

9 Aug, 2015
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Russia urges US to include Syria

Makes Statement

Russia says the United States is ‘unprepared’ for including the Syrian government in international plans to counter extremist ISIS. Lavrov says he discussed Putin’s proposal on coordinating efforts against IS during a recent meeting in Qatar with Kerry.

I asked him if it wouldn’t be easier to reach an agreement, to sit down at the negotiating table and discuss everything with the involvement of the Syrian Army. Unfortunately, the Americans are unprepared for that.

Lavrov says he also expressed concern about a U.S. decision to provide air support for Syrian opposition groups fighting against Assad’s government. He said he warned Kerry that some ‘grave mistake,’ such as the accidental bombing of civilians, could

explode the situation to such an extent that nobody would be able to control it.

Lavrov also rejects allegations that the Assad government has undeclared stockpiles of chemical weapons. He says ‘groundless accusations’ must be avoided and gave his ‘guarantee’ that all the claims ‘will be double-checked.’

We have every reason to believe that the Syrian government will continue cooperating closely.

7 Aug, 2015
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UN to examine chemical weapons attacks

Opens investigation

The UN adopts a resolution aimed at identifying those behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Ban and the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will be asked to prepare a plan for an inquiry. US ambassador to the UN, Power:

Today’s resolution has been adopted with the council’s unanimous support. This sends a clear and powerful message to all those involved in chemical weapons attacks in Syria. The joint investigative mechanism will identify you if you gas people. It bears repeating as well that we need to bring the same unity that we have shown today to urgently find a political solution to the Syrian crisis.”

The resolution follows months of negotiations between the US and Russia. Syria’s ambassador to the UN denies his government was behind the attacks, claiming the Islamic State (IS) group and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front are to blame. Under the terms of the agreement, a team of expert inspectors will be given full access where possible to all locations in Syria and be allowed to collect materials and interview witnesses. Churkin, the UN’s Russian representative, says he hopes that the joint investigative body will work

impartially, objectively and professionally.

The resolution calls for Ban and the OPCW to recommend a team of investigators within 20 days.

4 Aug, 2015
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Russia claims Arctic

The Russian government says it has provided “ample scientific data” to the U.N. to support its right to claim over 460,000 square miles of Arctic ocean including the North Pole. This is believed to include a large amount of energy, gems and precious metals. Foreign Ministry:

To justify Russia’s rights in this area, ample scientific data collected during many years of Arctic research has been used.

The area Russia claims includes the Lomonosov Ridge, the Mendeleyev-Alpha Rise and the Chukchi Plateau, along with the Podvodnikov and Chukchi basins between the three sections. Russia expects the U.N. to begin discussing its claim in the fall but a U.N. spokesman says the commisions isn’t likely to gather fully until early next year. Until then they will review the submitted materials which include charts, maps and research data.

25 Jul, 2015
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Security council MH17 vote set

Makes Statement

The UN Security Council is set to vote on whether to set up an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of bringing down Malaysia Airlines MH17. Russian ambassador:

Malaysia did include some language from our draft in their draft text but it did not go to the core of our concern, they kept insisting on the need to establish right now an international criminal court. This is not a proper thing for the Security Council to do because it’s not a case of a threat to international peace and security.

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Says Blatter deserves Nobel prize

Makes Statement

Putin praises Blatter in an interview by the Swiss broadcaster RTS:

We all know the situation developing around Mr Blatter right now. I don’t want to go into details but I don’t believe a word about him being involved in corruptiton personally. I think people like Mr Blatter or the heads of big international sporting federations, or the Olympic Games, deserve special recognition. If there is anyone who deserves the Nobel prize, it’s those people.

17 Jul, 2015
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Expels Russia’s consul general

The Ukrainian government expels Shibeko, Russia’s consul general, from the Black Sea port of Odessa, declaring him ‘persona non grata’ after the Security Service of Ukraine accuses him of ‘actions incompatible with diplomatic activity.’ Ukraine security:

The security service will continue to identify foreigners who work against our government using their diplomatic status as cover.

24 Dec, 2014
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Inflation tops 10%

Russian inflation reaches more than 10% for the first time in more than five years due to sanctions and the rouble collapse, which is the biggest since 1998. Сonsumer prices increased 10.4 percent this year through Dec. 22, the Federal Statistics Service in Moscow said. Prices grew 0.9 percent in the week through that date, the most since April 2008, when the service started to provide weekly data. ING Groep economist:

Companies are saying ‘everybody is raising prices and so will I, especially when people start panic-buying not only electronics and cars but also everyday goods’

A Bank of Russia base case forecast predicts inflation to reach 11.5% next quarter, before then decelerating.

17 Oct, 2014
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Monitors all west African students

The Russian government has placed all students arriving from west Africa – more than 1,000 people – under monitoring. Deputy education minister Kaganov:

I’m sure there is no real danger of Ebola getting into [Russia].

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Credit rating cut to just above junk grade

Moody’s Investors Service cuts its rating on Russian government debt to Baa2, the second ratings notch above speculative grade. The outlook on the credit rating is Negative. It cites ‘increasingly subdued medium-term growth prospects,’ exacerbated by the Ukraine crisis. Low oil prices and other factors also contribute.

12 Sep, 2014
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Sanctions against Russia

The EU has introduced new sanctions on Russia which would take effect on Friday 12 Sept The EU and NATO believes that Russia still have about 1,000 armed troops in east Ukraine. The EU and US accuse the Kremlin of directly helping pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions by sending regular soldiers across the border, along with sophisticated weapons including tanks. Moscow denies the allegations.

 

5 Sep, 2014
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Ceasefire begins

Ukraine, Russia and the Kremlin-backed separatists sign a ceasefire deal. Gunfire and shelling appear to fall silent across the east of the country as the agreement takes effect. Poroshenko says he ordered his forces to halt hostilities at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. EDT) after the deal was signed in Minsk, Belarus capital, by the three sides and a representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Separatist leaders also say they ordered their forces to hold fire. Poroshenko says the cease-fire is based on an agreement reached during a ‘long conversation’ with Putin and will be overseen by international monitors from the OSCE. The European Union is preparing additional sanctions in case it fails. The negotiators also agree on withdrawal of all heavy weaponry, the release of all prisoners and the delivery of humanitarian aid to devastated cities in eastern Ukraine.

3 Sep, 2014
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‘Cannot appease Putin’

Cameron says at a closed-door EU summit in Brussels that the international community cannot afford to appease Putin, comparing Russia’s actions to Hitler in 1938.  The Italian La Repubblica newspaper obtains details of the discussion:

We run the risk of repeating the mistakes made in Munich in ’38. We cannot know what will happen next. This time we cannot meet Putin’s demands. He has already taken Crimea and we cannot allow him to take the whole country.

Downing Street declines to confirm the remarks, but does not contest the accuracy of the report.

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‘Russia at war with Europe’

Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite says that Russia is now effectively at war with Europe:

It is the fact that Russia is in a war state against Ukraine. That means it is in a state of war against a country which would like to be closely integrated with the EU. Practically Russia is in a state of war against Europe. That means we need to help Ukraine to … defend its territory and its people and to help militarily, especially with the military materials to help Ukraine to defend itself because today Ukraine is fighting a war on behalf of all Europe.

0

Suspends uranium trade

Abbott announces that uranium trade with Russia is ruled out until further notice due to its actions in the Ukraine, several days after the government announces other sanctions including restrictions on investment, travel, and access by Russian banks to Australian capital markets.

Australia has no intention of selling uranium to a country which is so obviously in breach of international law as Russia currently is

2 Sep, 2014
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‘Russia can take Kiev in two weeks’

Barroso questions Putin on the apparent presence of as many as 1,600 Russian troops in Ukraine at a closed-door discussion at an EU summit in Brussels, and the Russian leader responds that he could take the country’s capital in a fortnight. Details of the talk leaked by the Italian La Repubblica newspaper show that he responds:

The problem is not this, but that if I want I’ll take Kiev in two weeks

A Kremlin foreign policy advisor says the remarks are out of context, however the Kremlin does not deny that Putin has spoken of taking Kiev.

1 Sep, 2014
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Increases sanctions

Abbott announces increased sanctions on Russia, bringing Australia’s sanctions in line with the European Union. The extra sanctions include restrictions on arms exports, restrictions on Russian State-owned banks to Australia’s capital markets, stopping exports used for oil exploration and production, restrictions on Australian trade and investment in Crimea, and targeted travel bans and financial sanctions on 63 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities. He doesn’t impose sanctions on the uranium trade, but says:

The government does not rule out further sanctions in the future

30 Aug, 2014
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European ultimatum to Russia

European leaders give Russia one week to scale back its intervention in Ukraine – or face fresh economic sanctions. European leaders order officials to make urgent preparations for a toughening of measures, likely to target senior Kremlin figures as well as the defence, energy and financial sectors. Barroso:

We are in a very serious, I would say, dramatic situation … where we can reach the point of no return. If the escalation of the conflict continues, this point can come.

29 Aug, 2014
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Condemns Russian ‘invasion’

Abbott says an apparent movement of Russian troops into Ukraine represents an ‘invasion’ and is unacceptable:

Clearly if, as seems to have been the case, Russian armed forces have simply moved across the border that is an invasion and it is utterly reprehensible. It is an absolutely clear cut case of a larger country bullying a smaller country and should have no place in our world.

The act presents a risk to global security:

You cannot have an international order if might is right. You cannot have a safe and secure world if powerful countries are able to take what they want and plainly what we’ve seen in the Ukraine over the last six moths or so is an increasingly aggressive role by Russia and it seems that Russia is now stepping out of the shadows and overtly trying to achieve its objects of domination in the Ukraine. It is completely, absolutely and utterly unacceptable.

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