Category: Press Review

Press review: UN Syria envoy quits and Moscow slams rights violations in Ukraine, Baltics

Press review: UN Syria envoy quits and Moscow slams rights violations in Ukraine, Baltics

Kommersant: UN Special Envoy for Syria to step down Consultations are underway in the United Nations on choosing a new Special Envoy for Syria to replace Staffan de Mistura, who decided to retire at the end of November. The Italian diplomat spoke about his decision at a time when the negotiations on forming a constitutional committee in Syria, which he oversaw, had been deadlocked. Sources told Kommersant about candidates being considered to replace him. “Even if the constitutional committee is formed, it will be mired in contradictions. Perhaps, de Mistura decided to leave now, having achieved the most that he could,” a source familiar with…

Read More »
Press review: Motives for Crimea college tragedy and Russia proceeds with de-dollarization

Press review: Motives for Crimea college tragedy and Russia proceeds with de-dollarization

Media: Lone student shooter kills 20 in Crimean college Yesterday’s tragedy in Kerch, Crimea, where 20 people were killed and scores were wounded in a shooting and an explosion orchestrated by a student at the Kerch Polytechnic College, topped the headlines in the Russian media on Thursday. A criminal case was initially opened on terrorism charges, but was later reclassified as murder. According to Kommersant, the alleged shooter, Vladislav Roslyakov, had to have been plotting the crime for more than two months. The motives behind this unprecedented attack for Russia, according to the newspaper, will be clarified by a special group headed by Major General…

Read More »
Press review: US pulling Constantinople’s strings and IS sleeper cells awaken in Syria

Press review: US pulling Constantinople’s strings and IS sleeper cells awaken in Syria

Izvestia: Global geopolitics behind Ukrainian religious rift Obtaining autocephalous status for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has become an integral part of Kiev’s current policies aimed at driving a wedge between the Ukrainian and Russian peoples, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told Izvestia. “All that fits into the policy of breaking all ties with Russia – cultural, economic and religious ones. It is clear now that the US has exerted pressure on [Ecumenical Patriarch] Bartholomew [of Constantinople]. Perhaps, we have paid too much attention to the Ecumenical Patriarch who has not been ‘ecumenical’ over the past few centuries. The city of Constantinople no longer exists.…

Read More »
Press review: Calling it quits with Constantinople and EU takes aim at chemical ‘attacks’

Press review: Calling it quits with Constantinople and EU takes aim at chemical ‘attacks’

Media: Russian Church breaks ties with Constantinople over Ukraine crisis The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has responded to the actions by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which decided to proceed with granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church. The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate also revoked a legally binding status of the 1686 letter, which empowered the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev and decided to reinstate the heads of two non-canonical churches in Ukraine to their hierarchical and priestly ranks. In light of that, The Russian Church said it was severing full communion with the Ecumenical…

Read More »
Press review: UK wants more sanctions against Moscow and Russia attracts global investors

Press review: UK wants more sanctions against Moscow and Russia attracts global investors

Media: London urges EU to retaliate against chemical, cyber attacks On Monday, EU foreign ministers will be discussing two sanctions packages in Luxembourg against countries that carry out cyber attacks and use chemical weapons, and Russia may become their key target, Kommersant business daily writes. The United Kingdom, the key lobbyist of both packages, has garnered the backing of five EU countries (on cyber attacks) and nine member-states (on chemical weapons use). France is the co-author of the initiative, earlier reports said. Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania back these sanctions against those responsible for using chemical weapons, according to…

Read More »
Press review: Soyuz launch aborted and Constantinople crosses Orthodox world’s red line

Press review: Soyuz launch aborted and Constantinople crosses Orthodox world’s red line

  Vedomosti: Botched Soyuz launch sensitive topic for public, expert says Thursday’s aborted launch of a Soyuz manned spacecraft ended with the successful rescue of the crew consisting of Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague. Roscosmos space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine were watching the launch and later met the crew after the successful search and rescue operation. Although the crew had to endure significant overloads, as far as their health is concerned, they are reported to be in good condition. Ovchinin and Hague were to replace three members of the ISS international crew who had returned from…

Read More »
Press review: Moscow nixes ECHR rulings across Russia and SCO unites to fight US sanctions

Press review: Moscow nixes ECHR rulings across Russia and SCO unites to fight US sanctions

Izvestia: ECHR decisions no longer valid on Russian soil Moscow will not return to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). This move was taken after a decision on restoring Russia’s voting rights in the organization had been postponed, Vice-Speaker of the Russian State Duma Pyotr Tolstoy told Izvestia. He also noted that the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is no longer valid on the territory of the Russian Federation due to the fact that Moscow was denied the right to participate in the election of their judges. However, members of foreign delegations interviewed by Izvestia hoped that a…

Read More »
Press review: Slovak envoy’s view on Russian ties and Washington’s ‘Cold War’ with China

Press review: Slovak envoy’s view on Russian ties and Washington’s ‘Cold War’ with China

  Kommersant: Top Slovak diplomat highlights importance of dialogue with Russia Russia has historically been one of Slovakia’s most important trading partners, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak told Kommersant. “The trade and economic area requires greater attention. The point being that a gradual decrease in Russia’s share of Slovak trade exists. This is due to the current international political climate, as well as Slovakia’s accession to the EU and the fact that we use the potential offered by the free European market,” he explained. In addition, the minister who speaks excellent Russian said he was proud to be a graduate of the Moscow-based MGIMO University…

Read More »
Press review: Russia, India ink milestone S-400 deal and NATO trains Kiev to battle Russia

Press review: Russia, India ink milestone S-400 deal and NATO trains Kiev to battle Russia

  Vedomosti: Russian arms exporter inks landmark S-400 deal with India A contract between Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and India’s Defense Ministry on the delivery of five S-400 Triumf missile systems was the major outcome of last week’s visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to India, Vedomosti writes on Monday. The contract was the biggest ever in Russian-Indian defense cooperation and the largest in Rosoboronexport’s history, the company’s CEO Alexander Mikheyev said. Since the start of Soviet-Indian defense cooperation in 1960, the volume of Moscow’s military supplies to the South Asian country has exceeded $65 bln, he noted. The S-400 contract was signed to…

Read More »
Press review: EU, US stricken with ‘hacker’ mania and Indian market seeks Russian capital

Press review: EU, US stricken with ‘hacker’ mania and Indian market seeks Russian capital

Media: Russian hackers everywhere Tensions between Russia and the West have escalated once again, this time over the Netherlands’ allegations about a cyber attack on the Hague office of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The blame for the attempted hacking attack through the local Wi-Fi network was pinned on Russian intelligence agencies. This sensation instantly went global. NATO and the European Union vowed to beef up their cyber defense capabilities. British authorities accused Moscow of attacking the country’s Home Office and announced new sanctions. The US, in turn, charged seven “hackers from Russia” with cyber attacks, Kommersant noted. “Russia is an…

Read More »
Press review: Russia eyes dumping US dollar and NATO backs Washington’s INF accusation

Press review: Russia eyes dumping US dollar and NATO backs Washington’s INF accusation

Izvestia: Russian cabinet mulls dumping dollar to shield economy from sanctions Russia’s cabinet of ministers is hammering out a plan to support the nation’s economy to weather the West’s sanctions, a federal official and a source in the administration told Izvestia. The government is gearing up for a slew of restrictions ranging from harsh to mild ones. So with that in mind, reducing the Russian economy’s dependence on the dollar is just one of the proposed measures, the paper says. Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin said on Wednesday that the Finance Ministry, the Economic Development Ministry and the Bank of Russia had laid the…

Read More »
Press review: What’s behind the Kosovo crisis and Turkey talks terrorists out of jihad

Press review: What’s behind the Kosovo crisis and Turkey talks terrorists out of jihad

Media: What’s behind the recent Kosovo crisis? Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic have held talks in Moscow, focusing on the situation in northern Kosovo, where local commandos attempted to seize the Belgrade-controlled Gazivoda dam and hydroelectric power station over the last weekend. Serbia responded immediately by mobilizing its military forces. Consequently, Vucic said he would ask Moscow for assistance, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. The Gazivoda incident is nothing but a PR stunt, Leading Research Fellow at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for European Studies Pavel Kandel told the paper. “Talks between Pristina and Belgrade have come to a standstill and…

Read More »
Press review: North Korean denuclearization needs and Iran’s second warning to terrorists

Press review: North Korean denuclearization needs and Iran’s second warning to terrorists

Izvestia: North Korean denuclearization needs experts from top global powers, says Russian envoy North Korea’s denuclearization should proceed exclusively with the participation of experts from five nuclear powers (Britain, China, Russia, the US and France), while the presence of IAEA experts in that country will only be possible after Pyongyang sends a formal invitation to the agency, Russian Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov told Izvestia. “Diplomacy implies the flexible use of a wide range of tools, from carrots to sticks, while Western countries have focused solely on pressure and intimidation. Together with our Chinese friends, we countered these attempts quite…

Read More »
Press review: What CIS agreed on in Dushanbe and tensions flare up between Serbia, Kosovo

Press review: What CIS agreed on in Dushanbe and tensions flare up between Serbia, Kosovo

Izvestia: CIS summit focuses on cooperation, expanding non-dollar transactions The Dushanbe-hosted CIS summit showed that cooperation within the organization remains a priority for the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Russian Federation Council told Izvestia. The parties agreed to strengthen cooperation on all fronts, discussed widening mutual settlements in national currencies and maximizing the potential of the free trade zone. In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged his colleagues to coordinate foreign policy actions. First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council on Foreign Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov told the newspaper that the key issue the CIS leaders focused on was bolstering interest in cooperation within the organization.…

Read More »
Press review: Russia seeks WMD-free Middle East and F-16 deal for Taiwan stirs China’s ire

Press review: Russia seeks WMD-free Middle East and F-16 deal for Taiwan stirs China’s ire

  Izvestia: Russia pursuing WMD-free zone in Middle East Moscow is continuing efforts to organize an international conference on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East, Director of the Foreign Ministry Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov told Izvestia. Experts interviewed by Izvestia believe that forming this sort of zone is essential, and this subject should be discussed together with ways to settle conflicts in the region. “Creating a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East today does not have real prospects. It is necessary to convene an international conference on this issue to…

Read More »
Press review: Moscow to join WTO reform efforts and Russia, US vie over Afghan settlement

Press review: Moscow to join WTO reform efforts and Russia, US vie over Afghan settlement

  Izvestia: Russia to join WTO reform campaign Moscow is interested in reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO) and believes it necessary to bolster the effectiveness of its Dispute Settlement Body, Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development told Izvestia, noting that “far from all of its members” support reforming the organization. Last week, the European Commission (EC) presented its proposal to revamp the WTO. “There are systemic things that require adjustment, and operational ones, which need to be improved. This includes reforming the Dispute Settlement Body, rethinking approaches to the issue of development, expanding and improving the negotiating and monitoring functions of the WTO, working on…

Read More »
Press review: EU to save Iran from sanctions and China may drive wedge between US, Israel

Press review: EU to save Iran from sanctions and China may drive wedge between US, Israel

Kommersant: EU to set up mechanism to shield Iran from US sanctions The European Union will create a mechanism, called “a special purpose vehicle,” for trade with Iran to reduce the effect of US sanctions against Tehran, and salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, a joint statement by Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, the European Union and also Iran said after a ministerial meeting at the UN General Assembly in New York. Kommersant business daily writes that this decision is set to calm Tehran ahead of the second package of US sanctions, which limit cooperation with Iran in the oil and gas sector.…

Read More »
Press review: S-300s coming to protect Syrian skies and Russia’s grain boom spooks US

Press review: S-300s coming to protect Syrian skies and Russia’s grain boom spooks US

Media: S-300s coming to protect Syrian skies Russia will provide Syria with the S-300 air defense systems. Thus, Moscow will ensure the safety of Russian military personnel in Syria and strengthen the capabilities of Syria’s air defenses, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a telephone call with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad on Monday. Russia had to take this step following the downing of its Il-20 aircraft, which claimed the lives of 15 servicemen. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the S-300 systems will be deployed to Syria within two weeks, Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes. Moscow’s decision will bring Russia and Israel to the brink…

Read More »
Press review: Russia may clip Israel’s wings in Syria and gears up to use Iranian airbase

Press review: Russia may clip Israel’s wings in Syria and gears up to use Iranian airbase

  Kommersant: Russia may deploy S-300s to Syria after Il-20 downing Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Sunday that Israel is solely to blame for the crash of its Il-20 aircraft in Syria last week. The Israeli F-16 fighter jets had not only issued a warning about carrying out strikes on Syrian facilities but also used the Russian military jet as cover knowing that Syrian air defense missiles would hit a larger target. The visit by the Israeli military delegation to Moscow, which denied the complicity of its Air Force in the tragedy, did not ease tensions over the incident, Kommersant wrote. Russia has vowed to…

Read More »
Press review: Israel pleads not guilty to Russia and Kabul to meet Taliban in Moscow

Press review: Israel pleads not guilty to Russia and Kabul to meet Taliban in Moscow

Kommersant: Israel presents proof of non-involvement in Il-20 tragedy to Moscow On Thursday, Moscow hosted talks between representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry and an Israeli military delegation led by the country’s Air Force Commander, Major-General Amikam Norkin. The Israelis brought a 40-page report to shed light on the incident with the Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft shot down over the Mediterranean Sea on Monday. According to them, the materials point to Israel’s non-involvement in the tragedy, Kommersant wrote. In particular, according to the Israeli version, the Syrian missile that shot down the plane was launched almost an hour after the Israeli F-16 fighters left for…

Read More »
Press review: Kremlin seeks to defuse Il-20 tragedy and Trump does U-turn on Nord Stream 2

Press review: Kremlin seeks to defuse Il-20 tragedy and Trump does U-turn on Nord Stream 2

  Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Response to Il-20 tragedy unlikely, Kremlin needs Israel to contain Iran in Syria The Kremlin will thoroughly review the Israeli data on the incident with Russia’s Il-20 plane that was shot down over Syria earlier this week, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moscow isn’t likely to take action against Israel, which was blamed for the tragedy, despite the fact that Syrian missiles hit the plane. The Kremlin needs Israel in Syria, the newspaper wrote. According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, starting from the moment when the Russian military launched its operation against terrorist groups in Syria, Moscow and Jerusalem have…

Read More »
Press review: Russia’s response to jet downing in Syria and Korean sanctions stalemate

Press review: Russia’s response to jet downing in Syria and Korean sanctions stalemate

Media: Russia faults Israel over military jet’s downing in Syria, vows response The tragic incident with Russia’s Il-20 military jet, which was downed by Syrian air defenses over the Mediterranean while repelling an Israeli attack, dominated headlines in the Russian press on Wednesday. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as “a chain of tragic accidental consequences.” The Russian Defense Ministry blamed Israel saying that the Syrian air defenses shot down the Russian jet while trying to target Israeli fighter jets, which were carrying out a strike on Syria’s military facilities. Israel denied its responsibility, but offered condolences over the death of 15 Russian servicemen.…

Read More »
Press review: Putin, Erdogan strike deal on Idlib and Ukraine ditches friendship treaty

Press review: Putin, Erdogan strike deal on Idlib and Ukraine ditches friendship treaty

Media: Russian, Turkish leaders agree to create demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed at their talks in Sochi on Monday that no military operation will be carried out in Syria’s Idlib, the last of four de-escalation zones, which is still not under the control of Damascus, Kommersant writes. The two countries’ defense ministers signed a memorandum on stabilizing the situation in the province and creating a demilitarized zone along the contact line between Syria’s military forces and the armed opposition. Meanwhile, just several hours after the memorandum was signed a missile strike from the…

Read More »
Press review: Putin, Erdogan to meet in Sochi and Brexit postpones anti-Russian sanctions

Press review: Putin, Erdogan to meet in Sochi and Brexit postpones anti-Russian sanctions

Izvestia: Russian, Turkish leaders continue seeking common ground on Idlib The ongoing crisis in Syria’s Idlib Governorate will again dominate talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Izvestia writes. Another round of high-level negotiations will be held on Monday in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, where the two leaders are also expected to focus on bilateral ties. The Astana trio (Iran, Russia and Turkey) summit in Tehran on September 7 failed to yield a final solution on Idlib, the paper says. Despite their differences, Putin and Erdogan will again sit down at the negotiating table just ten days…

Read More »
Press review: Who are the Skripal saga ‘suspects’ and Russia-US energy talks just a facade

Press review: Who are the Skripal saga ‘suspects’ and Russia-US energy talks just a facade

  Media: Skripal case ‘suspects’ offer too few details The interview of Alexander Petrov and Rulsan Boshirov, whom British authorities suspect of poisoning former Russian military intelligence (GRU) officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, did not help ease tensions between Russia and the West. The British prime minister’s spokesman said that claims about the two visiting Salisbury for tourist purposes were “an insult to the public’s intelligence,” while members of US Congress began even more zealously to discuss ways to turn up the sanctions pressure on Russia, Kommersant writes. Journalists and social media users pointed to numerous questions that remained unanswered, particularly asking that if…

Read More »
Press review: Putin stuns Japan with peace deal bid and will Russia exit Council of Europe

Press review: Putin stuns Japan with peace deal bid and will Russia exit Council of Europe

  Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Japan seeks Kurils rather than peace treaty Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on Japan to sign a peace treaty with Russia by the end of this year without any preconditions. By doing so, he actually placed Tokyo in a difficult position where it is the one having to justify itself as to why it finds this offer unacceptable and why a peace deal should envisage, in one way or another, Russia’s potential abandonment of the southern Kuril Islands, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Valery Kistanov, Director of the Center for Japanese Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Far Eastern Studies,…

Read More »
Press review: Did Russia time EEF with Vostok 2018 and Beijing, Moscow to boost investment

Press review: Did Russia time EEF with Vostok 2018 and Beijing, Moscow to boost investment

  Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Moscow, Beijing agree to step up cooperation Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping emphasized after their meeting on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok that the two powers could consolidate economic and cultural ties as well as their trajectory in global politics. Meanwhile, foreign media outlets have been focusing on the military aspect of this bilateral cooperation noting that China is taking part in Russia’s military drills. According to news analysts, Washington has pushed Moscow and Beijing closer together by imposing sanctions on them. Nevertheless, despite growing trade turnover, Russia lags behind other countries…

Read More »
Press review: Idlib could open old Russia-Turkey wound and fourth EEF kicks off

Press review: Idlib could open old Russia-Turkey wound and fourth EEF kicks off

  Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Idlib discord may spark renewed friction between Russia, Turkey Turkey is beefing up its positions in the Idlib Governorate while Damascus hopes to bring it back under its control, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Al-Jazeera TV reports of a growing Turkish contingent in the enclave, where the moderate opposition’s forces loyal to Ankara are working hand in glove with radical groups. This gesture is likely to draw a “red line” for the Syrian regime and its allies. Experts warn that a new confrontation between Russia and Turkey may flare up to levels seen back in 2015. Last week’s summit in Tehran between Russia, Turkey…

Read More »
Press review: Russia may play Butina’s human rights card and US to talk energy with Moscow

Press review: Russia may play Butina’s human rights card and US to talk energy with Moscow

  Izvestia: Russia could appeal to Trump over Butina’s human rights Russia’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Tatiana Moskalkova, does not rule out she could personally appeal to US President Donald Trump over the case of Russian national Maria Butina who was detained in Washington in July, the ombudsperson’s adviser Vyacheslav Tolmachev told Izvestia. “We do not rule out the possibility of appealing to US President Donald Trump. Besides, the Butina issue was raised at a meeting with US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman. Anyway, this problem will remain on the agenda during future contacts with the head of the US diplomatic mission. After all,…

Read More »