Category: Foreign Policy

Diplomat promises tit-for-tat response if US ramps up containment of Russia

Diplomat promises tit-for-tat response if US ramps up containment of Russia

© AP Photo/Hasan Jamali MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. Moscow predicts that Washington will apply very tough measures in order to contain Russia militarily, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said at a news conference on Thursday. “It is vital to conclude that measures for Russia’s military containment will be taken and they will be very tough,” the diplomat stressed. “We will respond to them in a tit-for-tat manner,” he vowed. The diplomat emphasized, however, that Russia would not initiate any measures. “But (our) colleagues who are now dwelling on how to seriously sting Russia must comprehend all this,” the deputy foreign minister stressed.

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Moscow still supports Maduro — Kremlin

Moscow still supports Maduro — Kremlin

MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. Moscow keeps holding its stance firmly regarding the support of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. “The position of Kremlin remains unchanged,” Peskov told journalists commenting on a recent report from Bloomberg that Moscow allegedly started doubting the necessity of keep providing its support for the Venezuelan president. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday citing its unnamed sources close to the Kremlin that “Russia is starting to show signs of doubt about his ability to survive an opposition challenge.” According to the agency, “While Moscow hasn’t given up its public backing of Maduro, it increasingly recognizes that the disastrous…

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Russian diplomat comments on French missile test

Russian diplomat comments on French missile test

© French Defense Ministry/ECPAD via AP MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. The recent test of a nuclear-capable missile carried out in France was a routine one, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said at a press conference on Thursday. “All countries of the so-called Nuclear Five carry out tests in various forms and at different intervals in order to confirm the efficiency of their nuclear deterrence potential,” he said. “This is why there is no drama about it, it is nothing special,” Ryabkov added. “There is no need to discuss anything in this particular case and use words other than ‘routine’,” the senior Russian diplomat stressed. In…

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Russia ready for dialogue with US if it revises its stance on INF Treaty — diplomat

Russia ready for dialogue with US if it revises its stance on INF Treaty — diplomat

MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. Russia is open for a constructive dialogue with the United States if Washington revisits its destructive position on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said at a news conference on Thursday. “Amid new threats created by Washington we will definitely take comprehensive measures to provide our own security,” the high-profile diplomat said. “However, if the US revisits its destructive course and returns to commitment to the INF Treaty, Russia is open for a meaningful dialogue.” Russia expects the US to unveil its official proposals on the possibility of renewing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty,…

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Kremlin voices concerns over criminal probe against Ukrainian opposition leader

Kremlin voices concerns over criminal probe against Ukrainian opposition leader

MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has slammed a criminal investigation against the leader of Ukraine’s Opposition Platform – For Life, Viktor Medvedchuk, as political repression. “If this happens [opening of criminal case against Medvedchuk] then this will be just another political repression,” Peskov told reporters, noting that there are contradictory reports that the case has been either opened or some preliminary legal actions are ongoing. “In any case, information either on opening or a possibility of opening this criminal case is certainly alarming,” Peskov stressed. On February 5, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office launched a criminal case against Medvedchuk, who chairs a…

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Lavrov on Trump’s INF remarks: Plenty of Russian non-proliferation offers on the table

Lavrov on Trump’s INF remarks: Plenty of Russian non-proliferation offers on the table

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov © Alexander Shcherbak/TASS ASHGABAT, February 6. /TASS/. There is no shortage of Russia’s initiatives on arms control and strategic stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said when asked by a TASS correspondent to comment on US President Donald Trump’s remarks about the possibility of signing a new agreement to replace the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. “As for the INF Treaty, we said everything in response to the United States’ unsubstantiated accusations,” the minister stressed. “[Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin outlined our stance clearly. We will provide a tit-for-tat response. The Americans suspended their participation in the treaty, and we did the…

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No censorship in Russia, but curbing foreign control of media ‘right’, Kremlin assures

No censorship in Russia, but curbing foreign control of media ‘right’, Kremlin assures

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov © Mikhail Metzel/TASS MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. The government does not practice media censorship in Russia, and regarding the curtailment of foreign ownership of media outlets, this is a universal practice, which is appropriate and legitimate, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at the Media Day forum organized by the Kommersant publishing house. “There is no censorship, that’s for sure,” Peskov stressed. “Restrictions on media ownership for foreigners and citizens holding foreign passports is a practice employed by various countries throughout the world. The threshold of ownership may differ, but the idea itself is absolutely right.” According to the Kremlin spokesman, media…

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UK seeks to support US campaign to accuse Russia of violating INF treaty — embassy

UK seeks to support US campaign to accuse Russia of violating INF treaty — embassy

LONDON, February 6. /TASS/. The United Kingdom is seeking to keep afloat the US-initiated media campaign to blame Russia for violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the Russian embassy in London said commenting on a statement by UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field. “We took note of Field’s yesterday statement in the context of the INF Treaty with calls to Russia to destroy our 9M729 cruise missiles. It appears that such statements by UK officials are intended to keep afloat the US-initiated media campaign to accuse us of violating the INF Treaty,” the embassy said in a statement. According…

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Russia doesn’t view China as rival in Central Asia, says Lavrov

Russia doesn’t view China as rival in Central Asia, says Lavrov

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov © Alexander Shcherbak/TASS DUSHANBE, February 5. /TASS/. The plans of Russia and China in Central Asia do not contradict each other, Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday. “We do not consider China a competitor. We are strategic partners, and the plans of Russia and China regarding that region (Central Asia) and overall regarding the Big Eurasia do not contradict each other,” he said. The minister mentioned the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin to form a large Eurasian project, in which member-states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations…

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Putin to take part in Russia-Iran-Turkey summit on February 14

Putin to take part in Russia-Iran-Turkey summit on February 14

MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will carry out a trilateral summit on Syria with the Iranian and Turkish presidents and a separate bilateral meeting with his counterpart Hassan Rouhani on February 14 in Sochi, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. “There is an isolated meeting with Rouhani on [Vladimir Putin’s] schedule: it will be held on February 14 in Sochi on the sidelines of the trilateral meeting on Syria between Putin, [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and Rouhani,” he said.

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Top Russian diplomat blasts US for failing to furnish evidence of INF violations

Top Russian diplomat blasts US for failing to furnish evidence of INF violations

© AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster DUSHANBE, February 5. /TASS/. Washington has so far not provided a single shred of evidence to prove that Russia had violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Russian-Tajik Slavonic University on Tuesday. According to Russia’s top diplomat, Washington seeks to retain its dominance on the global stage at any cost. “We see the basic concepts of the security architecture that was shaped after World War II being undermined, key strategic stability agreements being dismantled,” he stressed. “The latest example is in plain sight, specifically, the United States’ pullout from the INF Treaty under a…

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Russia’s top diplomat indicates US deploying missile launchers to Japan violates INF

Russia’s top diplomat indicates US deploying missile launchers to Japan violates INF

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov © Alexander Shcherbak/TASS DUSHANBE, February 5. /TASS/. The placement of US missile shield launchers in Japan violates the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday. “As for the INF Treaty and the Kuril Islands, there is a certain link here, since the placement of the US global missile shield launchers on Japan’s soil is among the problems that exist in our relationship with our Japanese neighbors in the sphere of security,” Lavrov said in his speech at the Russian-Tajik Slavic University. “These launchers are similar to the systems that have already been deployed by the…

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Moscow wants answers from Paris over allegations about Russian media

Moscow wants answers from Paris over allegations about Russian media

MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry will request official comments from France’s authorities, as well as the French Embassy in Moscow concerning a media-cited statement by President Emmanuel Macron alleging that Russian media is meddling in the republic’s affairs with regards to the ‘yellow vests’ protests, Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday. “If this piece of news cites everything correctly (and we will officially request the French side both in Moscow and in Paris about this), then President Macron is the main producer of fake news in France, and all his activity towards fighting this is a sham,” Zakharova blogged on her Twitter…

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Kremlin stresses only Venezuelans themselves can find way out of crisis

Kremlin stresses only Venezuelans themselves can find way out of crisis

MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Moscow has labeled the attempts by other countries to legitimize the usurpation of power in Venezuela as meddling into the country’s internal affairs, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. The Russian presidential spokesman thus responded to a journalist’s question about the circumstances under which Russia could recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the republic’s interim president. “Any solution to the internal political crisis in Venezuela is possible only by Venezuelans themselves,” the Kremlin spokesman stressed. “Imposing any solutions or efforts aimed at legitimizing the attempt of usurping power is, in our view, just direct and indirect meddling in Venezuela’s…

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Russia blames NATO for dismantling INF due to plans to deploy launchers to Poland

Russia blames NATO for dismantling INF due to plans to deploy launchers to Poland

MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. NATO shoulders direct responsibility for the undoing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty given its plans to deploy US missile defense systems to member states, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday. “Unfortunately, Alliance member states have demonstrated that they are not ready for a substantive dialogue on the Mk-41 missile launchers, which are deployed to Romania and are planned to be deployed to Poland next year in breach of the INF Treaty,” the statement reads. “These systems are part of NATO’s missile defenses so the Alliance is directly responsible for the destruction of the Treaty,” the Russian…

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Moscow takes Western hubris in stride, says Lavrov

Moscow takes Western hubris in stride, says Lavrov

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS BISHKEK, February 4. /TASS/. Moscow can see Western countries’ reluctance to communicate on equal footing on various platforms but is calm about it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University on Monday. According to him, Russia calls for building contacts between the Eurasian Economic Commission and the European Commission, as well as between the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the European Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and NATO. “We can see that our Western colleagues are reluctant to communicate on equal footing on various platforms,” he said. “We are calm about it. Arrogance and a sense of…

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Lavrov predicts Cold War won’t re-ignite following suspension of INF

Lavrov predicts Cold War won’t re-ignite following suspension of INF

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS BISHKEK, February 4. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov does not expect a new Cold War to follow the suspension of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), as he himself said at Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University on Monday. “I don’t think that we should talk about a new Cold War. A new era has begun, an era when the United States decides to move towards destroying the entire arms control system, which is regrettable,” the Russian top diplomat noted.

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Lavrov to hold talks with Kyrgyz leadership in Bishkek

Lavrov to hold talks with Kyrgyz leadership in Bishkek

BISHKEK, February 4. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with the leadership of Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek on Monday ahead of a state visit of President Vladimir Putin to that country. The agenda includes such issues as interaction between the two countries in integration associations, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Lavrov will be received by the President of the Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov and will hold talks with Foreign Minister Chingiz Aydarbekov. Kyrgyzstan will be the first point of the Russian Foregn Minister’s Central Asian tour, he will also visit Tajikistan on February 5 and Turkmenistan on February…

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Russia has to wait for US maturity to restart disarmament talks – lawmaker

Russia has to wait for US maturity to restart disarmament talks – lawmaker

MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. Russia should not stand at a closed door and knock, seeking resolution to the disarmament issue and Moscow has nothing but wait when the United States is mature enough, Konstantin Kosachev, chair of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament), told TASS on Saturday. According to the senator, should Washington deploy missiles of intermediate and shorter range near the Russian borders if the US withdraws from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), Moscow will respond in kind, but the initiative will not come from the Russian capital. “Russia does not have any longer to…

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OSCE envoy’s plan for Donbass runs counter to Minsk Agreements — diplomat

OSCE envoy’s plan for Donbass runs counter to Minsk Agreements — diplomat

VIENNA, February 1. /TASS/. The initiative on Donbass put forward by Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Representative Martin Sajdik runs counter to the letter and spirit of the Minsk Agreements, Russian Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said on Friday. “We have seen media reports about a plan to engage the United Nations in efforts to resolve the crisis, which was put forward by Ambassador Martin Sajdik. This plan runs counter to the letter and spirit of the Minsk Agreements that closely link security and political issues. And the main thing is that the plan completely ignores the role of…

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Kiev’s reluctance to negotiate with Donbass impedes crisis resolution, says OSCE envoy

Kiev’s reluctance to negotiate with Donbass impedes crisis resolution, says OSCE envoy

VIENNA, February 1. /TASS/. The main reason for the continued crisis in Ukraine is Kiev’s reluctance to adhere to agreements and to hold direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich stated during a session of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna. According to the Russian envoy, the crisis in Ukraine is far from being resolved. “The main reasons for that are Kiev’s failure to adhere to the agreements that had been reached, its reliance on the force-based scenario and the unwillingness to establish direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk,” Lukashevich noted. The Russian envoy stressed that adherence to…

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Putin’s visit to Kyrgyzstan scheduled for March — ambassador

Putin’s visit to Kyrgyzstan scheduled for March — ambassador

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state visit to Kyrgyzstan is scheduled to be held in March 2019, Kyrgyz Ambassador to Russia Alikbek Jekshenkulov told TASS. “Three official meetings between the two countries’ heads of state Sooronbay Jeenbekov and Vladimir Putin were held last year alone. The Russian president’s state visit to Kyrgyzstan at the invitation of the Kyrgyz president is planned this coming March. Its date, program, agenda and events during the visit are currently being agreed on by the parties,” he said. The ambassador added that during the visit it was also planned to hold a meeting of the Kyrgyz-Russian intergovernmental…

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Russian national’s death in Ukrainian prison caused by torture, says envoy

Russian national’s death in Ukrainian prison caused by torture, says envoy

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Forensic examination has revealed that the death of Russian citizen Valery Ivanov in a Ukrainian prison had been caused by torture, Russia’s envoy to the Contact Group on the settlement in the Donbass region Boris Gryzlov told reporters on Friday. “Valery Ivanov’s death was not an accident. Forensic tests have revealed that it had been caused by torture. The lives of the people held by Ukraine are in danger. The Russian delegation to the Contact Group will do its utmost to secure the return of the individuals illegally held by Ukraine,” he said. Valery Ivanov was a Russian national…

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Russia hopes to boost dialogue with new Lebanese government

Russia hopes to boost dialogue with new Lebanese government

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Moscow welcomes the agreement of Lebanese political forces to form a new government, and hopes to continue active dialogue with Beirut, the Russian Foreign Ministry informed on Friday. “Moscow welcomes the successful ending of the eight-month domestic policy marathon on establishing the composition of the highest organ of Lebanon’s executive power. An important step has been made on the path towards further strengthening of the country’s unity. Important decisions have been found, which help maintain a mutually acceptable balance of interests in the pluralistic Lebanese society, at the same time taking into account the results of the general election that took…

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Russia will counter destructive steps on arms control — foreign ministry

Russia will counter destructive steps on arms control — foreign ministry

The Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow © Valery Sharifulin/TASS MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Russia will continue decisively countering US destructive steps in the sphere of arms control and non-proliferation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Friday. “The Russian Federation will continue decisevely countering destructive steps in the sphere of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation by consolidating the international community around the constructive agenda on strengthening the existing system of international law,” the foreign ministry said. “All initiatives that we promote are based on international law and are directed at ensuring equal and indivisible security for all countries,” the ministry added. “We…

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Migrant flows to US from Venezuela to grow — diplomat

Migrant flows to US from Venezuela to grow — diplomat

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Migrant flows to the United States from Venezuela will grow dramatically in case of a civil confrontation in that Latin American country, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday. “In case of an all-round civil confrontation in Venezuela, do they [the US administration] really think migrant flow will subside? On the contrary, it will grow dramatically,” she said in an interview with the 60 Minutes program on the Rossiya-1 television channel. She welcomed the change in the European Union’s position on the situation in Venezuela. “We see the change in Brussels’ position. Now it says a contact group on…

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Russian politician says Trump’s remark about military response indicates collapse of INF

Russian politician says Trump’s remark about military response indicates collapse of INF

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump’s statement the United States intends to devise options of military response to Russia’s alleged violations of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty explains Washington’s wish to withdraw from that agreement, the chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachyov, said on Friday. “Trump’s statement the United States intends to ‘move forward with developing our own military response options’ in retaliation for Russia’s alleged violations of the INF Treaty is in fact the most simple explanation of the whole affair and why the emphasis was put on ruining such an important treaty in the sphere of security. The…

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Russian Foreign Ministry: Washington not interested in global counterterrorism cooperation

Russian Foreign Ministry: Washington not interested in global counterterrorism cooperation

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Statements of US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats concerning the threat to the US from the side of Russia prove that Washington has lost interest in the international counterterrorism cooperation, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Friday. According to the ministry, Coats’ statements suggest that “international terrorism is far from being the main threat,” and that they highlight “the need to stand against Russia and China, whom Washington sees as its principal adversaries, along with Iran and North Korea.” “Of course, such an approach is a shame. In general, there is a feeling that the USA has lost interest in…

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Pompeo’s statement confirms US decided to quit INF long ago, says legislator

Pompeo’s statement confirms US decided to quit INF long ago, says legislator

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. The statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said Washington was suspending its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and would withdraw from it in six months was no sensation. He only conveyed a decision that had been made a long time ago, Head of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev said on Friday. “Unfortunately, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement didn’t stir up any sensation. The US confirmed its intention to put the final nail into the coffin of another important arms control pillar,” Kosachev told reporters. “We…

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Russian diplomat warns against military scenario in Venezuela

Russian diplomat warns against military scenario in Venezuela

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. A high-ranking official of the Russian foreign ministry has reiterated Moscow’s position on the inadmissibility of a force scenario against Caracas, the ministry said on Friday after a meeting between Latina American department director Alexander Shchetinin and ambassadors of a number of Latin American nations. “During the open and trust-based conversation, the Russian side reiterated Russia’s position on the inadmissibility of destructive, the more so force, outside interference into Venezuela’s affairs, the harmfulness of the sanction pressure and the importance of settling current problems through a peaceful domestic dialogue,” the ministry said. On January 23, Venezuelan parliament speaker and opposition leader…

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