Category: Politics & Diplomacy

Afghanistan expects Russia to help arrange talks with Taliban

MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Kabul expects that Moscow will succeed in convincing the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) to come to the negotiating table, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Russia Abdul Qayoum Kochai said at a press conference on Monday. “Russia has also been maintaining contacts with the Taliban. [Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asia Department Zamir] Kabulov says Russia has contacts with the Taliban. If Russia really wants to help Afghanistan and has the ability to convince the Taliban to sit at the negotiating table with the Afghan government to resolve all issues, it would be good,” the ambassador said. The Russian Foreign Ministry…

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions during a joint news conference following talks with Lebanon’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Gebran Bassil, Moscow, August 20, 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, We have held talks with Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of the Lebanese Republic Gebran Bassil. The talks took place in a traditionally friendly atmosphere, were highly informative, and included bilateral relations and regional issues. Given the nature of multi-faith Lebanese society, Russia has always regarded stability there as a crucial element of regional architecture. We consistently express support for Lebanon’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity. We proceed from the assumption that the Lebanese should address any issues on the national agenda independently, through dialogue, and while displaying mutual respect and willingness to compromise. We welcomed the results of…

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Lavrov to discuss Russia’s initiative on Syrian refugees with his Lebanese counterpart

MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said he will discuss Moscow’s proposals to solve the problem of Syrian refugees with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil. “It will be important for us to hear your assessments of what is going on around Lebanon, first and foremost, in terms of efforts on the Syrian settlement,” he said addressing the Lebanese minister before bilateral talks. “I know how much you are worried about the refugee problem. The Russian president said the other day that we are trying to help solve it as soon as possible.” “We have put forward an appropriate initiative. We maintain…

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Medvedev congratulates new Belarusian PM on being appointed

Medvedev congratulates new Belarusian PM on being appointed

Belarusian PM Sergei Rumas © Alexei Nikolski/TASS MOSCOW, August 19. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has thanked Belarus’ ex-Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov for cooperation and congratulated Sergei Rumas on being appointed the country’s new Prime Minister, according to Medvedev’s telegram posted on the Russian government’s website on Sunday. “I am sure further cooperation between the governments of our countries will help boost the entire spectrum of Russian-Belarusian relations,” the telegram said. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko changed the country’s government on Saturday. Sergei Rumas was appointed Prime Minister to replace Andrei Kobyakov, who has been head of government since 2014.

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Egypt’s defense minister sets off on official visit to Russia

Russian Defence Ministry headquarters © Stoyan Vassev/TASS CAIRO, August 19. /TASS/. Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Ahmed Zaki has set off for an official visit to Russia, the Sada al-Balad media outlet said, adding that the minister is accompanied by a high-ranking military delegation. While in Russia, Zaki is expected to participate in the fifth meeting of the Joint Russian-Egyptian Military Commission and the Army 2018 International Military and Technical Forum, scheduled to take place at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Park outside Moscow on August 21-26. According to the news outlet, the Egyptian defense minister will also hold talks with high-ranking officials at the Russian Defense…

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Russian senator lauds Su-57 fighter’s ‘success’ in real combat in Syria

MOSCOW, August 19. /TASS/. Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jet has proved its worth during combat mission in Syria, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Sunday. “The Su-57 has successfully accomplished the first stage of state trials and proved all of its designated flight characteristics. It proved its worth not only on testing grounds but also in real combat operations,” Viktor Bondarev, chairman of the defense and security committee of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house, told journalists. He recalled that Su-57 pilot prototypes were sent to Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria six months ago. The Su-57 “has a huge potential for modernization that will be…

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US authorities have yet to explain reason for Butina’s transfer to another jail — attorney

US authorities have yet to explain reason for Butina’s transfer to another jail — attorney

Maria Butina © EPA-EFE/Press Service of Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation WASHINGTON, August 20. /TASS/. The US authorities have not yet explained the reason for transferring Russian citizen Maria Butina to a jail in Alexandria, Virginia, defense attorney Robert Driscoll said. He told TASS earlier that the US authorities had not informed him about their plans in advance. A thing to note is that many cases concerning the national security of the United States are heard in Alexandria, and Butina is charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of Russia within the US. Butina case Russian citizen Maria Butina, 29, was arrested in Washington…

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Russian MP: Su-57 fighter jet has proved its characteristics in combat conditions in Syria

MOSCOW, August 19. /TASS/. Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jet has proved its worth during combat mission in Syria, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Sunday. “The Su-57 has successfully accomplished the first stage of state trials and proved all of its designated flight characteristics. It proved its worth not only on testing grounds but also in real combat operations,” Viktor Bondarev, chairman of the defense and security committee of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house, told journalists. He recalled that Su-57 pilot prototypes were sent to Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria six months ago. The Su-57 “has a huge potential for modernization that will be…

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Egyptian defence minister sets off for visit to Russia

Egyptian defence minister sets off for visit to Russia

Russian Defence Ministry headquarters © Stoyan Vassev/TASS CAIRO, August 19. /TASS/. Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Ahmed Zaki has set off for an official visit to Russia, the Sada al-Balad media outlet said, adding that the minister is accompanied by a high-ranking military delegation. While in Russia, Zaki is expected to participate in the fifth meeting of the Joint Russian-Egyptian Military Commission and the Army 2018 International Military and Technical Forum, scheduled to take place at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Park outside Moscow on August 21-26. According to the news outlet, the Egyptian defense minister will also hold talks with high-ranking officials at the Russian Defense…

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Medvedev congratulates Sergei Rumas on appointment Belarusian PM

Medvedev congratulates Sergei Rumas on appointment Belarusian PM

Belarusian PM Sergei Rumas © Alexei Nikolski/TASS MOSCOW, August 19. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has thanked Belarus’ ex-Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov for cooperation and congratulated Sergei Rumas on being appointed the country’s new Prime Minister, according to Medvedev’s telegram posted on the Russian government’s website on Sunday. “I am sure further cooperation between the governments of our countries will help boost the entire spectrum of Russian-Belarusian relations,” the telegram said. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko changed the country’s government on Saturday. Sergei Rumas was appointed Prime Minister to replace Andrei Kobyakov, who has been head of government since 2014.

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Experts: Berlin interested in implementing Russia’s refugee initiative

Experts: Berlin interested in implementing Russia’s refugee initiative

MOSCOW, August 19. /TASS/. Berlin is interested in Moscow’s initiative concerning the return of Syrian refugees to their home country, it was a focus of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Vice President of the Center for Political Technologies Alexey Makarkin told TASS on Sunday. “The German chancellor, who recently had difficulties in overcoming a domestic political crisis over the migrant issue, showed interest in the Russian initiative concerning the return of Syrian refugees and I think that the two leaders thoroughly discussed it,” he said. However, in Makarkin’s view, all refugees, particularly those who have already settled down in…

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Egyptian foreign minister sets off for visit to Russia

Russian Defence Ministry headquarters © Stoyan Vassev/TASS CAIRO, August 19. /TASS/. Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Ahmed Zaki has set off for an official visit to Russia, the Sada al-Balad media outlet said, adding that the minister is accompanied by a high-ranking military delegation. While in Russia, Zaki is expected to participate in the fifth meeting of the Joint Russian-Egyptian Military Commission and the Army 2018 International Military and Technical Forum, scheduled to take place at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Park outside Moscow on August 21-26. According to the news outlet, the Egyptian defense minister will also hold talks with high-ranking officials at the Russian Defense…

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Russian-German dialogue important for international affairs, says Russian senator

MOSCOW, August 19. /TASS/. Dialogue between Moscow and Berlin is important for international affairs, Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev said, welcoming the Saturday talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Yesterday’s Russian-German meeting in Berlin is undoubtedly a global event and not just talks between the two countries’ leaders… It received no less attention than the recent Russian-US summit,” Kosachev wrote on Facebook. At the same time, he noted that all eyes were on the meeting not because it was unique in its nature – as was the case with the meeting between…

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Lavrov to discuss return of Syrian refugees with Lebanese top diplomat

Lavrov to discuss return of Syrian refugees with Lebanese top diplomat

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS MOSCOW, August 19. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will discuss the situation in Syria, including the return of Syrian refugees, with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil on August 20, the Russian Foreign Minister said in a statement on Sunday. “The two top diplomats will thoroughly discuss pressing regional and global issues, focusing on the situation in the Middle East, first and foremost, in Lebanon and Syria, as well as the situation surrounding Syria, including the Russia-initiated comprehensive work on the return of Syrian refugees to their home country,” the statement reads.

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Putin, Merkel discuss Syria, Ukraine, Nord Stream-2 at 'serious, detailed' talks — Kremlin

Putin, Merkel discuss Syria, Ukraine, Nord Stream-2 at ‘serious, detailed’ talks — Kremlin

BERLIN, August 19. /TASS/. Saturday’s talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which lasted three hours, were serious and detailed, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters after the meeting. “The conversation was a lengthy one,” he said, adding that it was also “very serious and detailed.” Nord Stream-2 project The issue of possible sanctions against the companies taking part in the Nord Stream-2 pipeline project has been raised during the talks, the Kremlin spokesman has said. “This issue has been raised,” Peskov told reporters. The two leaders also agreed that that it would be wrong to politicize the project. “The purely commercial…

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Putin-Merkel talks end in Germany, they lasted three hours

BERLIN, August 18. /TASS/. Three-hour talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ended in the Meseberg castle near Berlin on Saturday evening. Before the talks began, the leaders told the media that they were set to discuss the Syrian issue, the Ukrainian conflict settlement, the situation around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, and bilateral issues, including the Nord Stream-2 pipeline project. The talks were also attended by Russian Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who is also deputy head of the presidential administration.

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Putin stresses importance of Iranian nuclear deal

Putin stresses importance of Iranian nuclear deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin © Mikhail Metzel/TASS BERLIN, August 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the importance of maintaining Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, Talking to reporters before talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel he also said that he was going to discuss this issue with his counterpart during the upcoming meeting. “We will discuss the situation around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for the settlement of the Iranian nuclear program. Of course, this cannot be omitted. It is extremely important to maintain this multilateral agreement, approved by the UN Security Council, aimed at…

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Energy is one of the priorities of Russian-German cooperation — Putin

Energy is one of the priorities of Russian-German cooperation — Putin

BERLIN, August 18. /TASS/. Russia attaches great importance to the development of mutually beneficial cooperation with Germany and energy is one its priorities, President Vladimir Putin told reporters before the talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Russia attaches great importance to the development of mutually beneficial cooperation with Germany in the political, economic and other areas. One of the priority areas is energy,” Putin said. The President recalled that “Germany is the largest buyer of Russian energy resources.” “In 2017, we delivered 53.8 bln cubic meters of gas, which covers more than 30% of the German market, while the consumption of Russian gas is constantly…

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Putin, Merkel ready to keep searching for solutions to Ukrainian crisis

Putin, Merkel ready to keep searching for solutions to Ukrainian crisis

BERLIN, August 18. /TASS/. In the run-up to their talks in Germany on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they were ready to continue working on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. “Of course, we will also talk about Ukraine,” Putin said, referring to the agenda of the upcoming talks. “In the context of the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, which, unfortunately, does not make headway at all, we are inclined to stress the lack of alternative to implementation of the Minsk agreements, to note our interest in working within the Normandy format and the contact group, our readiness to continue cooperating…

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Putin flies from Austria to Germany to hold talks with Merkel – portal

VIENNA August 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin flew from the airport of Graz in Austria to Berlin, where he is to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, news portal OE24 reported. The Russian leader spent about three hours in Austria, where he attended the wedding of Austria’s Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and businessman Wolfgang Malinger. The meeting with Merkel is scheduled for 6:00 pm local time (7:00 pm MSK). It will take place at Meseberg, the residence of the government of Germany near Berlin.

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Russia, Turkey, Iran helped Syrian government fight IS – Russian official

Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin © Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS/ ANKARA, August 18. /TASS/. Russian State Duma [lower house of parliament] Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and Turkish Parliament Speaker Binali Yildirim noted the success of coordinated actions of Moscow, Ankara and Tehran concerning Syria. “Russia, Turkey and Iran have joined efforts on combating terrorism and helped the Syrian government to fight against the terrorist state (the Islamic State, outlawed in Russia – TASS),” Volodin said on Saturday during a meeting with Yildirim in Ankara. “And now, peace has come to the long-suffering Syrian land,” the Russian State Duma speaker added. “Yes, I agree.…

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Putin’s presence at Kneissl’s wedding will have political implications - expert

Putin’s presence at Kneissl’s wedding will have political implications – expert

MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin attending Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl’s wedding is a political sign, and foreign media will have different reactions to it, expert of the International Valdai Discussion Club Andrey Bystritsky told TASS. “We live in a political world, an internationally political one even, where everything is symbolic, and this is definitely a symbol. When the Austrian foreign minister invited a president of one of the world’s leading countries, it is, of course, a sign,” Bystritsky noted. “A private sign, but still, it remains a sign.” According to the expert, it is hard to predict for sure what it…

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Russia’s consul general visits detained Mekhanik Pogodin tanker in Ukraine’s port

Russia’s consul general visits detained Mekhanik Pogodin tanker in Ukraine’s port

Mekhanik Pogodin tanker © V. F. Tanker press-service MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. Russia’s consul general in Ukraine paid a visit to the Mekhanik Pogodin vessel, which remains blocked in the Ukrainian port of Kherson since last week, a spokesperson for the vessel’s operating company V. F. Tanker told TASS. According to the company, the Russian diplomat confirmed that the crew of the vessel feels fine and there is enough medical supplies and foodstuffs on board of the blocked tanker. “Complaints regarding the inaction of authorized bodies have been submitted by the company with all involved instances, including the border and custom services, the administration of the…

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OPCW has no mandate for independent investigation into Amesbury incident — Russian embassy

LONDON, August 17. /TASS/. The Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has no mandate to carry out an independent investigation into the poisoning of two British nationals in the city of Amesbury, said the press secretary of the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom on Friday, commenting on the information about the work of OPCW experts to provide “technical assistance” to London in the investigation into the Amesbury incident. The previous practice of providing technical assistance to OPCW shows that “it is extended only to those countries that lack the professional expertise, equipment or technologies to reach the CWC…

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Russia’s Security Council confirms meeting between top Russian, US security officials

Russia’s Security Council confirms meeting between top Russian, US security officials

US National Security Adviser John Bolton © AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. The Russian Security Council has confirmed the upcoming meeting between the Council’s Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and US National Security Adviser John Bolton. It will be held before the end of August, spokesman for the Russian Security Council Yevgeny Anoshin said on Friday. “A meeting between Patrushev and Bolton is planned,” he noted. “It is expected to be held in Geneva before the end of August.” “The agenda of the Russian-US consultations on security and their format are now being agreed,” Anoshin added. Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier confirmed reports on…

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Russia issues note of protest to US over violations against its diplomatic missions

Russian Foreign Ministry © Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. Moscow has issued a note of protest to Washington over violations of international law with respect to Russia’s diplomatic missions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. “In connection with persisting gross violations of international law by the US with respect to the Russian diplomatic and consular missions in the US, the Russian Foreign Ministry lodged strong protest to the US Department of State sending a corresponding note through diplomatic channels,” the ministry said. “The UN’s attention has been drawn to the situation whose consequences are beyond Russian-American bilateral relations and affect interests…

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No confirmation yet of Kim Jong Un’s plans to attend Eastern Economic Forum — Kremlin

No confirmation yet of Kim Jong Un’s plans to attend Eastern Economic Forum — Kremlin

© AP Photo/Wong Maye-E MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. Moscow has not received a confirmation from Pyongyang that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “We haven’t received a confirmation from Pyongyang yet,” he said when asked to comment on North Korean media reports saying that Kim Jong-un had decided to attend the event. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a meeting with the North Korean leader conveyed an invitation to him to visit Russia. The Eastern Economic Forum was mentioned as a fine occasion for such a visit.…

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Kremlin declines to comment on Putin’s alleged support for Iran’s exit from Syria

Kremlin declines to comment on Putin’s alleged support for Iran’s exit from Syria

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov © Mikhail Metzel/TASS MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. The Kremlin will not comment on reports claiming that Russian leader Vladimir Putin at his Helsinki meeting with US President Donald Trump allegedly supported the idea that Iran must withdraw from Syria, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “I will not comment on that,” he said. “We have already said everything we had to say about the Helsinki summit, we have nothing to add,” Peskov pointed out. A number of media outlets reported earlier, citing their own sources, that Putin had allegedly supported Trump’s idea that Iran’s presence in Syria must end. In…

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Russian, Turkish defense ministers discuss security in Syria

MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar held talks in Moscow on Friday to discuss regional security issues, the situation in Syria, and bilateral cooperation. “Special attention was paid to ways of achieving fast settlement of the humanitarian situation in Syria, including the return of refugees,” the Russian Defense Ministry told the media.

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Kremlin comments on Putin-Merkel talks' agenda

Kremlin comments on Putin-Merkel talks’ agenda

© Sergei Savostianov/TASS MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss the implementation of joint projects with due account for threats from third countries at a meeting in Germany on August 18, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “These are the implementation of large-scale joint commercial projects amid threats from third countries regarding these projects and the most relevant issues, both Ukraine and Syria, of course,” he said referring to the agenda of the upcoming negotiations. According to the Kremlin spokesman, the two leaders are unlikely to discuss the possibility of providing joint assistance to Turkey due to economic…

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