Category: Press Review

Press review: What to expect from Ukraine’s comedian president and first Putin-Kim meeting

Press review: What to expect from Ukraine’s comedian president and first Putin-Kim meeting

  Media: Ukrainians expect change from Zelensky Ukraine’s President-elect, comedian Vladimir Zelensky, who won a landslide victory over Pyotr Poroshenko in Sunday’s runoff, will not be able to change the country’s political establishment overnight and destroy the corruption schemes created by the previous leaders, Ukrainian lawmaker Yevgeny Balitsky told Izvestia. “The old elites will not willingly give everything up. One person’s will is not enough here, and he will not be able to do that quickly,” he said. However, Zelensky will be able to put an end to hostilities in the Donbass region, if he is ready to compromise, the lawmaker went to say. “The…

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Press review: Would NATO have hit Serbia if Putin were in power and US snubs Russian offer

Press review: Would NATO have hit Serbia if Putin were in power and US snubs Russian offer

Kommersant: US ignores Russia’s initiative for joint statement on prevention of nuclear war According to Kommersant, Moscow called on Washington to make a high-level joint statement on the prevention of nuclear war and the need to strengthen strategic stability. A draft statement was handed over to the US in October 2018 but Washington has not yet responded to Russia’s initiative. The newspaper said that the Russian-drafted joint statement on behalf of the Russian and US presidents was supposed to confirm the two countries’ intention to avoid a nuclear confrontation, eliminate the possibility of nuclear war and take the necessary measures to prevent the accidental or…

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Press review: Trilateral talks on Rukban camp’s fate and site for pending Putin-Kim summit

Press review: Trilateral talks on Rukban camp’s fate and site for pending Putin-Kim summit

Izvestia: Russia, Jordan, US gearing up for meeting to discuss Rukban camp Russia, Jordan and the United States will soon hold trilateral talks to discuss the situation in the Rukban refugee camp, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in an interview with Izvestia on Thursday. The diplomat arrived in Moscow to take part in the fifth Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum. The event focused on the so-called “deal of the century,” the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan, which is expected to be unveiled after the Israeli election. According to the Jordanian minister, peace in the region can be only achieved through creating two states – Israel and…

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Press review: Lavrov hosts Mideast meeting in Moscow and set to discuss Kosovo with Serbia

Press review: Lavrov hosts Mideast meeting in Moscow and set to discuss Kosovo with Serbia

Kommersant: Russia, Arab states discuss Middle East conflicts in Moscow A record high number of diplomats from Arab countries gathered in Moscow on Tuesday to take part in the fifth ministerial session of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum, Kommersant writes. While Russia and Arab countries declare that they have ideal relations, behind the closed doors it seemed that they have more differences than they wanted to show. Some of them are linked to conflicting positions inside the Arab League. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Moscow with high-ranking diplomats from Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Qatar, Lebanon, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia,…

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Press review: Budding July thaw in Russian-US ties and glimmer of hope in Nagorno-Karabakh

Press review: Budding July thaw in Russian-US ties and glimmer of hope in Nagorno-Karabakh

  Izvestia: Summer warming as Russian, US lawmakers may meet in July A meeting between Russian and American senators may take place on the sidelines of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in early July, Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev told Izvestia. Political sources in Washington confirmed there was no consensus on the exchange of delegations among US lawmakers but meetings in third countries and on international platforms were possible. Two visits to Moscow by US legislators in the summer of 2018 paved the way for resuming dialogue between Russian and US lawmakers. However, issues concerning any delegation exchange and the establishment of a…

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Press review: Poroshenko loses debate with empty podium and Russia eyes return to PACE

Press review: Poroshenko loses debate with empty podium and Russia eyes return to PACE

  Izvestia: Russia ready to pay fee to Council of Europe if rights fully restored Moscow is ready to return a debt of 60 mln euro to the Council of Europe, which has been accumulated over two years of non-payment, a diplomatic source familiar with the situation told Izvestia. Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev has laid down the condition under which payments can happen: only when the rights of the Russian delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) are fully restored. The Federation Council noted the need to reform the Council of Europe so that each delegation has a guaranteed…

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Press review: What awaits Assange and Sudanese coup rattles Moscow

Press review: What awaits Assange and Sudanese coup rattles Moscow

Media: Assange arrested on US extradition request, may face capital punishment   The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the charges against him can be only a ploy to extradite him to the United States, BMS Law Firm Partner Alexei Gavrishev told Kommersant. “Since the British authorities made it clear as day not to extradite him to a country where he could face the death penalty, relatively mild charges were pressed. However, once he is extradited, he could be charged with espionage, for example, as some in the US suggested, and the journalist could even face capital punishment,” he explained. Assange’s arrest by London…

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Press review: Turkey eyes buying more S-400s and is NATO tightening a noose around Serbia

Press review: Turkey eyes buying more S-400s and is NATO tightening a noose around Serbia

  Kommersant: Turkey may buy another batch of Russia’s S-400s Russian industry has all the necessary capacities to meet Ankara’s request for the S-400 air defense systems, Kommersant’s sources said in the wake of remarks by top Turkish diplomat Mevlut Cavusoglu who said that his country could purchase an additional batch of S-400s and, possibly, Russian-made fighter jets. According to Kommersant’s experts, the key condition is Turkey’s political will. Today, Moscow and Ankara have one arms contract providing for the supplies of four S-400 battalions to Turkey in the summer of 2019. The deal, which includes the delivery of various components, 40N6 missiles and the…

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Press review: EU, May wrangle over Brexit delay and India snaps up Russian tanks

Press review: EU, May wrangle over Brexit delay and India snaps up Russian tanks

  Kommersant: India set to buy several hundred T-90 tanks from Russia India is preparing to buy 464 Russian battle tanks (T-90MSs) from Moscow for around $2 bln. The agreement, according to Kommersant, does not include a supply of ready-made tanks, but vehicle sets for subsequent assembly in the country. Moscow took this major step for the manufacturer of tanks, the Uralvagonzavod corporation. This is one of the largest foreign contracts in recent years. In addition, New Delhi decided to buy the T-90MSs in the run-up to its elections, thus demonstrating its attitude towards Russia as a partner in the field of defense cooperation, according…

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Press review: Putin, Erdogan bolster bilateral ties and the battle for Tripoli escalates

Press review: Putin, Erdogan bolster bilateral ties and the battle for Tripoli escalates

Media: Putin, Erdogan bolster bilateral ties Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the situation in Syria and agreed to further ease visa restrictions at their Kremlin meeting, but their main focus was on economic cooperation between the two countries, Izvestia writes. The prospects for Turkish-Russian trade and economic relations look promising, said Turkish political scientist Togrul Ismail. Both countries are particularly interested in cooperation in the energy sector, the automotive industry and tourism. Putin pointed out at the meeting that Russia and Turkey are boosting ties between their foreign and defense ministries. In addition, defense cooperation is carrying on.…

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Press review: Libya’s Haftar strikes Tripoli and US squeezes Turkey over Russia ties

Press review: Libya’s Haftar strikes Tripoli and US squeezes Turkey over Russia ties

  Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Libya’s Haftar launches attack on Tripoli to gain control over oil The Libyan National Army led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar on Sunday carried out its first airstrike on Tripoli’s suburb. In response, the government forces have declared a counterattack, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Moscow is apparently sympathizing with Haftar and the Tobruk government, which is backing him. Although Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied reports that Russia was supporting the LNA, official army spokesman Ahmed Mismari said that Haftar’s forces had welcomed Russia’s position on Libya. Haftar’s offensive against Tripoli comes amid Western media reports that fighters from the Wagner private military company…

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Press review: Netanyahu’s milestone Moscow visit and Trump’s upset of NATO’s anniversary

Press review: Netanyahu’s milestone Moscow visit and Trump’s upset of NATO’s anniversary

Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Israeli PM’s Moscow visit may serve as trump card in outcome of elections Russian President Vladimir Putin has done a great favor for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in light of the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Jewish state. The two leaders held talks only five days ahead of the polls, which is crucial for Netanyahu. Experts point out that a demonstration of good ties with Russia may influence voters, Nezavisimaya Gazeta notes. On April 9, it will become clear if Netanyahu can retain his position as prime minister. He has nothing left to do but play his trump cards, particularly demonstrating a…

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Press review: Angolan leader kicks off Russia tour and Hamas seeks to mend ties with Assad

Press review: Angolan leader kicks off Russia tour and Hamas seeks to mend ties with Assad

Kommersant: Angolan president’s expectations from Moscow visit An Angolan delegation led by President Joao Lourenco has arrived in Moscow for a four-day visit. Although this is the Angolan leader’s first visit to Russia in this capacity, he does have first-hand knowledge about the Russian capital, since he studied at the Military-Political Academy here in 1978-1982. While attending the Russia-Angola business forum on Wednesday, Lourenco assured Kommersant that the two countries were close spiritually in many areas, not only in international politics. He informed the paper that representatives of both countries’ specialized agencies would sign six cooperation agreements in various areas in the presence of both…

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Press review: Elections looming, Netanyahu to meet Putin and Erdogan to muscle up in Syria

Press review: Elections looming, Netanyahu to meet Putin and Erdogan to muscle up in Syria

Kommersant: Netanyahu to seek success with Putin in talks on Syria Five days before the snap parliamentary election, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to visit Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which are expected to focus on Syria, Kommersant writes. This may be the first time when the Israeli prime minister leaves the country in the run-up to the election, which will be crucial for his political future. According to experts, Netanyahu would not have decided on coming to Moscow if he hadn’t expected success at the talks, which could become an important trump card for him ahead of the polls.…

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Press review: US can’t stop Russian arms sales and runoff to spell Poroshenko’s defeat

Press review: US can’t stop Russian arms sales and runoff to spell Poroshenko’s defeat

Kommersant: Russia’s arms exports reach $15 bln despite US sanctions Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to hold a meeting of the commission on military-technical cooperation soon, where he will announce the official results of Russia’s arms exports for 2018, sources close to the government and the presidential administration told Kommersant. The final figures, according to the newspaper, exceeded expectations – arms and military equipment to the tune of $15 bln have been delivered abroad and new contracts for over $20 bln were signed, which is one of the biggest sums in the history of modern military-technical cooperation. This was achieved in the first year of…

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Press review: Comic gets last laugh in Ukraine’s first round and Russia eyes Africa ties

Press review: Comic gets last laugh in Ukraine’s first round and Russia eyes Africa ties

  Media: Comedian Vladimir Zelensky wins first round of Ukrainian elections TV comic Vladimir Zelensky may have the last laugh as he clinched a victory in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential elections with over 30% of the vote and will face the current President Pyotr Poroshenko in the runoff on April 21. According to Russian media, the outcome of the political race between the contenders depends on the support of other candidates. Meanwhile, the battle will not end after the election. The parliamentary campaign starts this fall, and could be even far more crucial than the presidential one. According to Izvestia’s source in the…

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Press review: Russia, Kyrgyzstan to expand ties and comic leads in Ukraine’s election race

Press review: Russia, Kyrgyzstan to expand ties and comic leads in Ukraine’s election race

Kommersant: Russia, Kyrgyzstan agree to expand military, economic ties Russian President Vladimir Putin has paid an official visit to Bishkek. According to the information obtained by Kommersant, the Russian leader asked his Kyrgyz counterpart Sooronbay Jeenbekov whether Bishkek had plans to revive an agreement on humanitarian cooperation with the US. Jeenbekov in response made it clear that his country would prioritize military, economic and cultural ties with Russia. One of the focal points during the talks was Russia’s military presence in Kyrgyzstan. The two countries agreed to amend the 2012 agreement on the status of the Russian military base in the Central Asian country. The…

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Press review: Bannon revives Cold War-era lobby against China and UK’s May vows to resign

Press review: Bannon revives Cold War-era lobby against China and UK’s May vows to resign

  Nezavisimaya Gazeta: US revives decades-old committee to target China A group of US political scientists, including Steve Bannon, former top advisor to President Donald Trump, have resurrected the Committee on the Present Danger. During the Cold War era, this organization took aim at the Soviet Union demanding that the Pentagon’s budget be tripled. Currently, it brands China as “an aggressive totalitarian foe” posing an existential and ideological threat to the United States, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. The committee said in a statement that China was a threat to both America and the very idea of freedom. Frank Gaffney, who used to serve as the Assistant…

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Press review: Trump’s Golan move infuriates Lebanon and PACE haggles over Russia’s rights

Press review: Trump’s Golan move infuriates Lebanon and PACE haggles over Russia’s rights

Izvestia: Council of Europe to partially restore Russia’s rights for electing Secretary General The Council of Europe is set to harmonize statutes and bring back the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). However, at this stage, the Council is ready to give Moscow only a temporary right to elect the organization’s Secretary General, a high-ranking source in Russian diplomatic circles told Izvestia. According to the source, neither Russia nor the Council members want Moscow to leave the organization and the situation will become clear in May. Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev told Izvestia that the Russian delegation is…

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Press review: Second chance likely for US, Russia and can Caracas sway US-China trade

Press review: Second chance likely for US, Russia and can Caracas sway US-China trade

Media: Russia-US relationship gets second chance A small window of opportunity has opened after the results of US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation were announced, but Washington has to take certain steps to improve relations with Russia, Izvestia writes. According to Mueller’s report, there was no collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russia but nevertheless, the report claims that there was Russian interference that did not involve Trump. Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev told the paper that shifts in Russia-US relations “are possible if Trump has the political courage to use the current situation to the advantage of…

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Press review: Ukrainian opposition’s visit to Moscow and Kim’s imminent Russia tour

Press review: Ukrainian opposition’s visit to Moscow and Kim’s imminent Russia tour

Kommersant: Moscow gets entangled in Ukraine’s presidential race In the run-up to Ukraine’s presidential election on March 31, Moscow for the first time has laid out its stance on the race, making a surprise move, Kommersant business daily writes. Two leading opposition politicians – Yuri Boyko, who is running for president, and Head of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform – For Life party Viktor Medvedchuk – held talks in Moscow with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller. The visit of two politicians, whom Kiev labels as pro-Russian, fueled tensions: incumbent Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko blasted the trip as treason,…

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Press review: Moscow to ignore ‘malign influence’ crusade and Kabul rejects Taliban talks

Press review: Moscow to ignore ‘malign influence’ crusade and Kabul rejects Taliban talks

Izvestia: Moscow to shrug off Trump’s initiative on ‘Russian influence’ Russia will not respond the most recent initiative by US President Donald Trump to counter Russia’s “malign influence,” which he included in the draft US budget for 2020, Russian Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told Izvestia. The diplomat stressed that the proposed move is in line with the anti-Russian sentiment, currently prevailing in Washington. “How Trump intends to spend taxpayer money is a big question. The funding of his pet project, the famous wall on the border with Mexico, has been cut recently. I believe that funds to fight the elusive Russian threat…

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Press review: NATO bid for Brazil may jolt BRICS and US eyes ‘Star Wars’ after INF failure

Press review: NATO bid for Brazil may jolt BRICS and US eyes ‘Star Wars’ after INF failure

Izvestia: Farewell to disarmament: INF collapse may trigger chaos in missile defense Washington’s remarks about its plans to sign a new comprehensive deal on intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles is just wishful thinking, a Russian diplomatic source told Izvestia. The US dreams of limiting Chinese missiles and has even asked Moscow to help it persuade Beijing to agree to this. However, Beijing has signaled that it is not planning to destroy its arsenals. Speaking at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that Washington’s destruction of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the creation of uncertainty around the future of…

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Press review: Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev resigns and Algerian unrest alarms Moscow

Press review: Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev resigns and Algerian unrest alarms Moscow

Media: Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev steps down after 30 years in power Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has announced his resignation. However, he will remain head of the country’s Security Council and leader of the Nur Otan party. Under the constitution, Senate Speaker Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will become Kazakhstan’s acting president, Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote. According to Arkady Dubnov, an expert on former Soviet countries, the scenario for such a move was set some time ago, when the powers of the Security Council’s chair were approved, which now exceed those of the president, so a Security Council chair such as Nazarbayev will keep an eye on any president, or,…

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Press review: Taliban terror on Central Asia’s doorstep and a possible Maduro successor

Press review: Taliban terror on Central Asia’s doorstep and a possible Maduro successor

Kommersant: Afghan conflict reaches Central Asia’s doorstep The years-long standoff between the Taliban and the Afghan authorities has made itself felt in the post-Soviet area, knocking on Turkmenistan’s door. Tensions flared up when the Taliban attacked checkpoints on the Afghan-Turkmen border in the Badghis province. The incident has made it clear that the Taliban is searching for new inroads into Central Asia, demonstrating their growing strength in Russia’s zone of strategic interests, Kommersant notes. Afghan border guards who had to fend off the offensive were largely outnumbered. As a result, the Taliban announced the success of its operation, adding that about 100 border guards had…

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Press review: Venezuela on envoys’ Rome agenda and Russia’s super anti-terrorist weapon

Press review: Venezuela on envoys’ Rome agenda and Russia’s super anti-terrorist weapon

Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Russian, US diplomats to hash over Venezuelan crisis in Rome On Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov is due to meet with US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams in Rome, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Russia will warn Washington against military intervention and other forms of illegal influence on the legitimate authorities in Caracas, Ryabkov told TASS. Deputy Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Latin American Studies Dmitry Rozental called this meeting a positive step, which could prevent the crisis in Venezuela from deteriorating into an armed conflict. “This is a common humanitarian agenda. Russia and the United States may…

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Press review: Russia slams US for junking arms control and Yemen’s fate hinges on Saudis

Press review: Russia slams US for junking arms control and Yemen’s fate hinges on Saudis

  Media: Russia blames US for dismantling arms control deals Russia’s Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov at a meeting with his CIS counterparts accused the US of ripping up nuclear arms control agreements. This primarily concerns the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) that will expire in 2021, Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes. “We have on numerous occasions suggested initiating expert discussions on this treaty but the other party keeps mum,” military expert Viktor Murakhovsky told the newspaper. According to him, the Americans may refuse to extend the New START, citing alleged Russian violations. Murakhovsky supposed that Washington had suspended all contacts concerning the treaty because…

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Press review: US Treasury clamps down on Moscow and who’s been buying up Russian bonds

Press review: US Treasury clamps down on Moscow and who’s been buying up Russian bonds

  RBC: US Treasury to clamp down on Russia The US Treasury Department has established six Strategic Impact Units dealing with issues related to terrorism and financial intelligence. They will focus on top priority areas – Russia, North Korea, the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia), Iran, virtual currencies, human rights and corruption, RBC writes. Acting United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Sigal Mandelker said the Trump administration had put more than 270 individuals and legal entities related to Russia on its sanctions lists. Many of those targeted by our sanctions have become outcasts for the international community, losing their ability to make…

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Press review: US Treasury clamps down on Moscow and who’s been buying up Russian bonds

Press review: US Treasury clamps down on Moscow and who’s been buying up Russian bonds

  RBC: US Treasury to clamp down on Russia The US Treasury Department has established six Strategic Impact Units dealing with issues related to terrorism and financial intelligence. They will focus on top priority areas – Russia, North Korea, the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia), Iran, virtual currencies, human rights and corruption, RBC writes. Acting United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Sigal Mandelker said the Trump administration had put more than 270 individuals and legal entities related to Russia on its sanctions lists. Many of those targeted by our sanctions have become outcasts for the international community, losing their ability to make…

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Press review: Ukraine bans entry to Russian reporters and will TurkStream bypass Bulgaria

Press review: Ukraine bans entry to Russian reporters and will TurkStream bypass Bulgaria

Izvestia: Kiev to bar Russian journalists from covering Ukraine’s presidential election Most Russian reporters will be denied the opportunity to cover the Ukrainian presidential election live from the scene. Several sources in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) informed Izvestia that the accreditation for Russian journalists would be selective. “It is pointless to allow those correspondents who promote Moscow’s stance [to enter the country]. The final decision on who will come and who will be denied entry to Ukraine will be made soon,” one of them said. According to another source, there a list of Russian media outlets and journalists who are “not recommended” for entry into…

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