Category: World

Yanukovich’s attorney castigates Kiev prosecutor’s ‘cash confiscation’ claim as utter lie

Yanukovich’s attorney castigates Kiev prosecutor’s ‘cash confiscation’ claim as utter lie

Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovich © Vladimir Gerdo/TASS KIEV, February 18. /TASS/. Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovich, has nothing to do with the money that has been reportedly confiscated according to Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General Yuri Lutsenko, one of Yanukovich’s lawyers, Vitaly Serdyuk, told TASS. “The claims Yanukovich has something to do with the 1.5 billion hryvnias, which, according to Prosecutor-General Yuri Lutsenko, has been confiscated and will be entered to the accounts of the Treasury soon are an absolute lie,” Serdyuk said. “The fourth president has nothing to do with this money. Lutsenko’s statement must be regarded only as another election slogan.” Serdyuk said that not a…

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Putin has great trust towards Erdogan, says Kremlin spokesman

Putin has great trust towards Erdogan, says Kremlin spokesman

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Sochi, February 2019 © EPA-EFE/MICHAEL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL ANKARA, February 18. /TASS/. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said in an interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin has great trust towards his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Peskov’s interview granted to the newspaper Hurriyet Daily News was published on Monday. Asked if Erdogan was one of the most trusted leaders for Putin, Peskov replied: “Of course. They understand each other very well.” “There were truly two big crises [in our relations]. Thank God we left them behind. Their effects could have been truly…

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Syria’s return to Arab League will encourage political settlement, says Lavrov

Syria’s return to Arab League will encourage political settlement, says Lavrov

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Syria’s return to the League of Arab States will contribute to searching for a political solution to the Syrian crisis and normalizing the relations between Damascus and Arab countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a joint news conference after talks with his Omani counterpart Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah on Monday. “We share stance on Syria,” Lavrov said. “The Security Council Resolution 2254 has no alternative, it should be fully implemented and in this context we informed our interlocutors about the efforts taken in this direction by the countries-guarantors of the Astana format – Russia, Iran and Turkey – including…

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Venezuela lost $38 billion over 3 years because of US sanctions — vice president

Venezuela lost $38 billion over 3 years because of US sanctions — vice president

© EPA-EFE/ERDEM SAHIN CARACAS, February 18. /TASS/. Venezuela’s direct losses sustained as a result of US sanctions over the last three years stand at around $38 billion, Venezuela’s Vice President for Planning Ricardo Menendez told Agencia Venezolana de Noticias on Monday. Menendez said that $23 billion refer to the country’s GDP losses, while another $15 billion in losses are linked to the activities of Citgo Petroleum — the US-based oil company which is majority-owned by PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.). “If we add another $20 billion lost in the sabotage of the oil industry we will get $58 billion in losses. That is almost $60 billion…

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Yanukovich’s public defender appeals verdict in high treason case

Yanukovich’s public defender appeals verdict in high treason case

KIEV, February 18. /TASS/. The state defender of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, Yuri Ryabovol, has filed an appeal against the verdict in the high treason case of the ex-president. “The public defender asks the Court of Appeal to revoke the sentence, declare Yanukovich not guilty under all articles of accusations, as the court of the first instance had violated “substantive law and procedural law”. Ryabovol, appointed as public defender by the Free Legal Aid Center, refused to disclose details of his appeal to TASS. TASS has also failed to receive official comments from the Obolonsky district court. Meanwhile, the Aver Lex law firm, whose…

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South Korean fishing vessel detained by Russian border guards

South Korean fishing vessel detained by Russian border guards

SEOUL, February 18. /TASS/. Russian border guards have detained a South Korean vessel on suspicion of illegal fishing in Russia’s waters, the South Korean Foreign Ministry reported on Monday. According to the ministry, the vessel, which has 11 crew members, has been towed to the port city of Nakhodka. “All sailors are safe. Employees of the South Korean Consulate have left for Nakhodka from Vladivostok to provide assistance to them,” the ministry said. According to the South Korean Foreign Ministry, the vessel assigned to Uljin departed from the port a few days ago and was detained on Sunday. The name of the vessel has not…

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Collected Department Releases: Freedom of Movement for Internally Displaced Persons in Rukban

Collected Department Releases: Freedom of Movement for Internally Displaced Persons in Rukban

Press Statement Robert Palladino Deputy Spokesperson Washington, DC February 18, 2019 The United States applauds the recent success of the United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) humanitarian convoy which brought life-saving humanitarian assistance to more than 40,000 displaced people at the Rukban informal camp in south-eastern Syria. The delivery, complete with careful distribution to all groups and UN/SARC monitoring, ensured that aid reached all those who needed it. We urge that access for humanitarian assistance must continue to Rukban and to all areas in Syria where people are in need. The United States has long advocated and will continue to advocate for freedom of…

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Collected Department Releases: The Gambia’s National Day

Collected Department Releases: The Gambia’s National Day

Press Statement Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State Washington, DC February 18, 2019   February 18, 2019 On behalf of the United States, I congratulate the people of The Gambia as you celebrate the 54th anniversary of your independence on February 18. We remain committed to a strong partnership with The Gambia and look forward to continued cooperation on efforts to promote democracy, good governance, and economic growth. The United States celebrates with The Gambia as you honor this historic day. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.External links to…

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OSCE mission says explosions did not affect security situation in Donetsk

OSCE mission says explosions did not affect security situation in Donetsk

VIENNA, February 18. /TASS/. The Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE SMM) has registered no changes in the overall security situation after the explosions in Donetsk, the mission reported on Monday. According to the mission, two SMM staff members standing in front of its office heard at least two explosions approximately 100-150 meters away from them. “Other SMM personnel were in the residence. Nobody was injured,” the mission reported. “The SMM noted no significant changes in the general security situation in the city.” According to the mission of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) at the Joint Center…

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Erdogan criticizes US for supporting Kurdish units in Syria

Erdogan criticizes US for supporting Kurdish units in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan © EPA-EFE/ERDEM SAHIN ANKARA, February 18. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized the United States for supporting Kurdish People’s Protection Units (abbreviated as YPG) in Syria. “Through Iraq, you sent around 23,000 trucks with weapons to terrorists,” Erdogan said at a demonstration in the city of Burdur on Monday. “But when we asked you [to purchase weapons], you refused to sell it to us. What kind of North Atlantic Alliance is this, what kind of NATO cooperation?” Erdogan was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying. The Turkish president noted that countries who support terrorists “put their own security in…

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UN not involved in opening corridors from Syria’s Rukban camp — spokesperson

UN not involved in opening corridors from Syria’s Rukban camp — spokesperson

© AP Photo/Bilal Hussein GENEVA, February 18. /TASS/. The United Nations is not involved in the opening of humanitarian corridors for internally displaced persons leaving Syria’s Rukban refugee camp, Jens Laerke, Spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said on Monday. “The UN is not involved in the opening of humanitarian corridors from Rukban. “The initiative has been announced by Syrian and Russian authorities and will reportedly start on February 19 at 9am,” he noted when asked by a TASS correspondent to comment on Russia and Syria’s appeal to the UN to join that humanitarian operation. Laerke stressed that the UN…

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Populism thrives in the run-up to Ukraine’s presidential election

Populism thrives in the run-up to Ukraine’s presidential election

KIEV, February 18. /TASS/. The presidential election campaign that kicked off in Ukraine on December 31, 2018, has reached its halfway point. As the Election Day is nearing, the presidential hopefuls are getting increasingly sophisticated in attempts to secure the victory. The billboards that used to advertise exotic trips and luxury cars, are now highlighting across the country the campaign pledges of social benefits, an economic breakthrough and other promises of better life. Some are promising jobs, others ‘the last chance’ or a slump in gas prices. Most promises are pouring in from the frontrunners, Ukrainian showman Vladimir Zelensky, leader of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) Party…

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Venezuela lacks investment to boost crude production, says advisor to central bank

Venezuela lacks investment to boost crude production, says advisor to central bank

CARACAS, February 18. /TASS/. Venezuela does not have sufficient resources for boosting its oil production and redirecting export supplies now, Advisor to the Central Bank of Venezuela and former Venezuelan Ambassador to Russia (2003-2005) Carlos Mendoza Pottela said in an interview with TASS. “Currently it is very difficult to say how much funds will be needed to raise crude production,” he said, adding that “it will take several years to resume production,” and “in today’s state resources are insufficient to boost output.” According to the official, “the US is the main buyer of (Venezuelan – TASS) oil.” “Of course, supplies of Venezuelan oil should be…

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Warsaw forum on Middle East aims to create dividing lines, says Russian Foreign Ministry

Warsaw forum on Middle East aims to create dividing lines, says Russian Foreign Ministry

© Sergei Fadiechev/TASS MOSCOW, February 18./TASS/. The results of a Middle East conference in Warsaw demonstrate the US policy towards creating new dividing lines in the region, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a commentary on Monday. “We have to state with regret that the conference in Warsaw came as a new demonstration of the US administration’s policy towards creating new dividing lines in the Middle East, which is already oversaturated with conflicts and contradictions,” the diplomat said. “However, this is the signature style of Washington that has been staking since long on imposing unilateral recipes, like the notorious ‘deal of the century’ [on…

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Venezuela to face severe crisis if crude production falls, says advisor to central bank

Venezuela to face severe crisis if crude production falls, says advisor to central bank

CARACAS, February 18. /TASS/. Venezuela will face a severe economic crisis if its oil production continues going down, Advisor to the Central Bank of Venezuela and former Venezuelan Ambassador to Russia (2003-2005) Carlos Mendoza Pottela said in an interview with TASS. “The capacity of the oil sector has been falling for several years already. If it continues falling the economic crisis will be very severe,” he said, adding that “revenues from sales of crude oil account for 95% of foreign currency flowing to Venezuela.” “It is necessary to pour funds in the development constantly for at least maintaining the production level, whereas for raising it…

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UK authorities stay mum on article on Skripal’s health

UK authorities stay mum on article on Skripal’s health

LONDON, February 18. /TASS/. The British authorities have refused to comment on UK media reports saying the health of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergey Skripal has deteriorated. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where a TASS correspondent sought comments on Monday, redirected him to the Metropolitan Police. A similar response came from the police of Wiltshire, the county where Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in March 2018. It said the counter-terrorism unit of Scotland Yard was dealing with the case. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police refused to comment on reports back on Sunday, saying they had no information to this respect. On Sunday, The Sunday…

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Niece of Sergei Skripal believes her uncle is dead

Niece of Sergei Skripal believes her uncle is dead

Victoria Skripal, a niece of Sergei Skripal, poisoned in Salisbury, said she was sure of his death. “Well, Skripal is not among the living,” she said. She came to this conclusion because the ex-spy has not informed his relatives about his state of health for a year. An earlier edition of The Sunday Times, citing an intelligence source, reported that the former GRU officer, Sergey Skripal, who had been poisoned by a nerve agent in British Salisbury, was feeling worse. – ‘Skripal is dead – niece’ | Russian spring We remind our readers that the alleged poisoning of the Skripals was the excuse for the…

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Russia’s private “space yachts” to fly tourists to near-Earth orbit in 5 years

Russia’s private “space yachts” to fly tourists to near-Earth orbit in 5 years

Private space tourism is taking off in Russia with plans to send tourists to near-Earth orbit in spacecraft capable of launching from ordinary airfields, chief designer of NPO Aviation and Space Technologies Aleksandr Begak said. He told Sputnik news agency the first flights may start in five years and will cost about $200,000 to $300,000 per person. According to Begak, a number of private companies are currently working on the unmanned spacecraft dubbed Selena Space Yacht. The works are conducted with the support of the National Technology Initiative’s (NTI) AeroNet and SpaceNet working groups.

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SOTT FOCUS: Mutiny in Western Ranks as Top French Commander Slams US’ Phoney War Against ISIS

SOTT FOCUS: Mutiny in Western Ranks as Top French Commander Slams US’ Phoney War Against ISIS

A senior French officer faces punishment after publicly condemning the US-led coalition’s military tactics against Daesh in the east of Syria, accusing Washington of prolonging the conflict and disregarding a growing civilian death toll, the army said on Saturday. Colonel Francois-Regis Legrier – who has been in charge of directing French artillery supporting Kurdish-led groups in Syria since October – said the coalition’s focus had been on limiting its own risks and this had greatly increased the death toll among civilians, as well as raised the level of destruction. Comment: Unlike the Russians, who die on the field side-by-side with Syrian forces and thus swiftly…

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Lavrov disapproves ‘NATO-centric’ approach to crises, but extends hand to US on nuclear treaty

Lavrov disapproves ‘NATO-centric’ approach to crises, but extends hand to US on nuclear treaty

The annual Munich Security Conference, a Cold War era trans-Atlantic focused meeting to address severe military challenges, but which has over the years grown to include nations from around the world addressing pressing security issues, kicked off late this week on a pessimistic note. “The whole liberal world order appears to be falling apart,” Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, wrote in an essay introducing the conference. “We are experiencing an epochal shift; an era is ending, and the rough outlines of a new political age are only beginning to emerge.” And on Saturday German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of a “disintegration of…

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Double suicide attack in Syria’s Idlib kills at least 15

Double suicide attack in Syria’s Idlib kills at least 15

On 16 February, the Russian Defence Ministry’s Centre for Reconciliation in Syria said that terrorists from the Idilb de-escalation zone had attacked Tall-Salhab and Kibriya in Hama Province as well as the Hara settlement in Aleppo over the past day. At least 15 died and 30 were wounded as a result of a double suicide attack in Syria’s Idlib, the Turkish NTV broadcaster reported citing local sources. Two blasts took place in the city centre and preliminary reports indicate that they were caused by the detonation of two cars loaded with explosives, according to NTV.

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Horror in Russian forest: 6yo boy spends night alone in the wild after getting lost…or even worse

Horror in Russian forest: 6yo boy spends night alone in the wild after getting lost…or even worse

The bizarre incident occurred in Losiny Ostrov National Park in Moscow, where a 6-year-old boy got lost in the wild, according to his mother. Multiple witnesses accounts, however, suggest he was left there on purpose. Early on Sunday, a woman called the police, stating that her 6-year-old son got lost in Losiny Ostrov (Moose island) the evening before. The mother had apparently searched for him for hours, before giving up and seeking help from the authorities. The mother and her son were driving past the park, and the child all of a sudden asked her to go for a stroll there. While in the forest,…

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Hey UK! It’s not just Venezuela, what happened to Australia’s gold?

Hey UK! It’s not just Venezuela, what happened to Australia’s gold?

Geopolitical and trade tensions along with US sanctions have shaken trust in the US dollar over recent years. As a result, a number of global central banks have been boosting their national reserves of gold bullion. In 2018, world central banks added 651.5 tons to official gold reserves, as a greater pool of regulators turned to the precious metal as a diversifier, according to data released by the World Gold Council. Some countries, like Russia and Turkey increased their gold reserves while dumping US dollar holdings at the same time. India, China, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Poland and Hungary were among the other big purchasers of the…

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Gold thieves: It’s not just Venezuela – Australia’s gold is under lock-and-key in London

Gold thieves: It’s not just Venezuela – Australia’s gold is under lock-and-key in London

Geopolitical and trade tensions along with US sanctions have shaken trust in the US dollar over recent years. As a result, a number of global central banks have been boosting their national reserves of gold bullion. In 2018, world central banks added 651.5 tons to official gold reserves, as a greater pool of regulators turned to the precious metal as a diversifier, according to data released by the World Gold Council. Some countries, like Russia and Turkey increased their gold reserves while dumping US dollar holdings at the same time. India, China, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Poland and Hungary were among the other big purchasers of the…

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Why is Schiff-ty waffling now? House Intel chairman claiming Trump-Russia collusion “compelling” but not necessarily “criminal”

Why is Schiff-ty waffling now? House Intel chairman claiming Trump-Russia collusion “compelling” but not necessarily “criminal”

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, one of the most visible purveyors of the narrative that Trump and his associates engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia to rig the 2016 election, apparently no longer believes that Trump committed a crime by “colluding” with the Russians. During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Schiff ticked off a litany of suspicious activities involving Trump and his associates that he said suggest that collusion did take place – but instead of labeling the behavior as evidence of a criminal conspiracy, Schiff declared that “there’s a difference between seeing evidence of collusion and being able…

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Russia’s Gazprombank freezes Venezuela PDVSA accounts, Lukoil halts oil swaps after US sanctions

Russia’s Gazprombank freezes Venezuela PDVSA accounts, Lukoil halts oil swaps after US sanctions

Russian lender Gazprombank has decided to freeze the accounts of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and halted transactions with the firm to reduce the risk of the bank falling under U.S. sanctions, a Gazprombank source told Reuters on Sunday. While many foreign firms have been cutting their exposure to PDVSA since the sanctions were imposed, the fact that a lender closely aligned with the Russian state is following suit is significant because the Kremlin has been among Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s staunchest supporters. “PDVSA’s accounts are currently frozen. As you’ll understand, operations cannot be carried out,” the source said. Gazprombank did not reply to a…

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Lavrov claims US, militants blocking refugees from exiting Rukban camp

Lavrov claims US, militants blocking refugees from exiting Rukban camp

Earlier, the Syrian government and Russian military accused US forces and “illegal militant groups” under their control of forcibly keeping women and children in the camp, situated in southern Syria on the war-torn country’s border with Jordan. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has blasted the US’ inaction on the Rukban refugee camp, reiterating Moscow’s long-standing concerns about the fate of refugees in the US-controlled territory. “It’s long past time to withdraw the refugees from the Rukban camp,” Lavrov said, speaking to reporters following his meeting with Omani Foreign Affairs Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah in Moscow on Monday. “We, along with the Syrian government,…

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Social media giants ‘recruited’ by foreign states to pressure Russian-linked media  –  Kremlin

Social media giants ‘recruited’ by foreign states to pressure Russian-linked media – Kremlin

International social media giants hurt their own reputation when they join the forces with the foreign governments to exert pressure on Russian-linked media, the Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said. “Many large companies which offer social media services and, let’s say, other digital formats, are recruited by the authorities of unfriendly nations to be used as tools to apply pressure on Russian media,” Peskov told reporters on Monday. “We’ve seen it being done multiple times,” he said, adding that such actions “lead to the loss of trust and seriously damage the reputation.” At the same time he advised people not to rush to conclusions regarding the…

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Pepe Escobar: US elites remain incapable of understanding China

Pepe Escobar: US elites remain incapable of understanding China

A new report on US policy toward China launched by the Asia Society in New York is another example of how supposedly bipartisan US intellectual elites, instead of offering impartial advice, do little more than parrot Washington’s talking points, failing to admit they know nothing of substance about the existential “threats” posed by Russia and China. The report ‘Course Correction: Toward an Effective and Sustainable China Policy’ was written in collaboration with the 21st Century Chinese Center at the University of California, San Diego. Orville Schell, one of the chairs of the Task Force Report, should be seen as one of the least biased among…

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Russia strongly opposes European security zone in Syria

Russia strongly opposes European security zone in Syria

MOSCOW, Russia – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on the idea of ​​US President Donald Trump to create a security zone in northern Syria with the participation of European countries. The chancellor rejected the proposal, saying that the participation of European countries will hardly help to solve the crisis in the Arab country. “It […] The post Russia strongly opposes European security zone in Syria appeared first on Fort Russ.

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