Dhaka August 05 2022 :
Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on August 05 2022
Moscow wants ‘I hate Russians’ diplomat to leave
A Norwegian consul who insulted Russian hotel staff can no longer stay in the country, Moscow says
Moscow has summoned ambassador Rune Resaland after a Norwegian consul was filmed insulting staff in a Russian hotel.
In a video published by news outlet Mash on Saturday, Elisabeth Ellingsen, who is stationed in the northern city of Murmansk, was heard saying “I hate Russians” during an argument over room service.
Moscow voiced a “resolute protest” over the incident, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
She revealed that the altercation between Ellingsen and the staff occurred on July 6. Ellingsen’s “Russophobic” remarks are “unacceptable,” she reiterated.
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry released a statement, saying that it “deeply regretted” the incident, and Ellingsen’s tirade did not reflect Oslo’s attitude towards Russia and the Russian people.
Zakharova said on Thursday that Moscow has taken the statement into account.
“At the same time, we stressed that the further presence of Elisabeth Ellingsen on the territory of the Russian Federation is impossible,” she said.
Bank of Russia considers feasible to convert state companies’ funds from dollars and euro
Similar recommendations of the national government can also pertain to the need of abandoning currencies of unfriendly states in new contracts
MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. The Bank of Russia believes that it is reasonable to convert accumulated funds of state-owned companies to different currencies, the regulator said on its website.
“It is feasible for nonfinancial organizations to convert accumulated funds in currencies of unfriendly states to other currencies. The release of relevant directives (recommendations) by the Russian government will be justified in respect of companies with the government participation,” the Central Bank said.
Similar recommendations of the national government can also pertain to the need of abandoning currencies of unfriendly states in new contracts, the regulator added.
Forty countries confirm participation in Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum
VLADIVOSTOK. Aug 4 (Interfax) – Forty countries have confirmed participation in the upcoming Eastern Economic Forum, the press service for the Roscongress foundation said.
“A month before the opening of the 7th Eastern Economic Forum, representatives of 40 countries have confirmed their participation in it. Such significant interest in the forum shows that the Eastern Economic Forum has become the most relevant global business platform for broadening international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. We expect foreign leaders and high-ranking guests to attend it,” the press service quoted Russian Presidential Advisor and Executive Secretary of the Eastern Economic Forum’s organizing committee Anton Kobyakov as saying.
The forum’s business program is dedicated to the most important issues concerning the development of the Far East, the global and regional economy, and international cooperation, as well as discussions on ways out of the crisis and the world’s new architecture, Kobyakov said.
“We are already in the new reality today, and our key objective, which is formulated in the forum’s main theme ‘En route to a multipolar world’, is to transform business processes and to find new footholds for economic cooperation and growth. I am confident that the forum will once again confirm its status as a leading communication platform in Asia-Pacific region,” he said.
The program of the 7th Eastern Economic Forum, which will take place in Vladivostok from September 5 to September 8, consists of more than 70 business events. It includes countries’ business dialogues, Russia-India, Russia-Vietnam, and Russia-ASEAN, as well as a meeting of the Russia-China Business Council and a conference on investments and trade in the Arctic.
Some 4,000 delegates and journalists are expected to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in 2022.
Gazprom wants to receive turbine after repairs in Canada, but it needs document certifying it is not under sanctions
MOSCOW. Aug 4 (Interfax) – Gazprom is interested in receiving the turbine for the Nord Stream gas pipeline after its repairs in Canada, but it should secure itself against possible sanction risks, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on Gazprom’s statement that Canada’s, the European Union’s, and the United Kingdom’s sanctions make the turbine’s delivery to Russia impossible.
Asked whether this means that Gazprom is refusing to receive the turbine, Peskov replied, “No, Gazprom would like to receive this turbine very much. But it wasn’t Gazprom that imposed the sanctions, after all. They were imposed on Gazprom.”
Gazprom is seeking “to receive legal documents saying that it [the turbine] is not under sanctions,” Peskov said.
“Mere words are absolutely not enough in this case,” he said.
Russia’s Medvedev Says US Will Face Global Consequences After Pelosi’s Trip to Taiwan
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States will see serious global consequences, such as deteriorating security situation in Asia, after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council and ex-president Dmitry Medvedev told Sputnik on Thursday.
“This is probably what the Americans, who are fueling regional tensions, wanted, but in vain. After all, they will have much more serious consequences on a global scale. Security in Asia will deteriorate dramatically. The distrust will be enormous. Markets will continue to fall. Prices of gasoline and groceries will rise,” Medvedev said.
He also expressed his skepticism regarding statements from the White House, which claimed that the administration hadn’t approved Pelosi’s trip and had warned her about possible risks. Medvedev noted it was nothing but a staged play.
“Such visits are planned in advance. Scenarios are written for all participants. The roles in them are distributed, the remarks are scrupulously coordinated. There are no internal contradictions between the Biden administration and Congress on this issue,” the ex-president said.
Pelosi travelled to Taiwan on Tuesday as part of her Asian tour, despite multiple warnings from Beijing, saying that such a move is a provocation undermining US-China relations and a violation of the One-China policy, which stipulates that Taiwan is not an independent state, but a part of the country.
Following the visit, the situation around has sharply escalated, with China launching large-scale military drills with live-firing exercises.
SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE
Moscow reacts to Amnesty’s accusation against Ukraine
Russia has frequently pointed out the violations committed by Ukrainian forces, foreign ministry spokeswoman says
A report by Amnesty International, blaming Ukraine for placing its military assets in residential areas, only corroborates what Moscow has been saying throughout the conflict with Kiev, Maria Zakharova, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, has said.
“We’ve been talking about this constantly, calling the actions of the Ukrainian armed forces the tactics of using civilians as a ‘human shield,’” Zakharova wrote on Telegram on Thursday.
The UK-based human rights group has issued a report, which accuses the Ukrainian military of following a pattern of placing troops and military vehicles in residential areas, including turning hospitals into de facto military bases.
The NGO said that its investigation had found dozens of such violations, adding that the actions by Kiev’s forces went against international law and put civilians at risk.
Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, have been sounding the alarm about Ukraine using people as “human shields” since the launch of the military operation in late February. However, those warnings have been largely ignored by Western politicians and media.
Ukraine asked for POWs to be placed in prison it shelled – Russia
Kiev deliberately struck a facility holding captured troops in Donbass, according to Moscow
Russia’s Defence Ministry has accused Ukraine of deliberately targeting a prison in Donbass where it knew dozens of its own POWs were being held.
The Ukrainian authorities were aware that their soldiers, who surrendered to Russian forces at the Azovstal steel plant, were being held at the prison in the village of Yelenovka, as Kiev itself insisted on them being placed there, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Aleksandr Fomin said on Wednesday.
The shelling of Correctional colony No.120 in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in late July killed 50 inmates and left 73 others wounded. The facility held members of the infamous Azov neo-nazi battalion, who were captured in May after being holed up for weeks at the Azovstal steelworks during the Russian siege of the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.
“On May 20, 2022, the surrendered servicemen of the Azov nationalist battalion were taken to the pre-trial detention center in the village of Yelenovka. The Ukrainian side insisted on this particular place for their detention,” Fomin said during a briefing for foreign military attachés in Moscow.
Kiev’s attack on the prison was deliberate, with “the Ukrainian leadership giving the order to carry out the missile strike because the Azov fighters started giving testimonies exposing their crimes, including those perpetrated against peaceful civilians,” he insisted.
Another reason for Ukraine hitting Yelenovka was to scare its own troops on the battlefield and “deter them from surrendering,” the Russian defense official said. Many Ukrainian soldiers have been recently laying down their arms, he added.
Aleksandr Fomin denied Ukraine’s “groundless” claims that Moscow struck the prison itself to pin the blame on Kiev, saying all the evidence shows that the missiles came from the north-western direction, where Kiev’s forces were located.
Last week, RIA Novosti news agency cited an unnamed high-ranking Pentagon official, who suggested that if Ukraine did shell the prison in Yelenovka, then it did so unintentionally.
The Russian deputy defense minister insisted that those words were nothing but “a clumsy attempt to justify the provocation by the Kiev regime.”
The attack on the detention facility was carried out with HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, supplied to Ukraine by the US, and the Americans have been claiming that those are “high-precision systems, which hit the targets they were meant to hit,” he said.
Also, in planning its strikes, the Ukrainian military actively relies on space and air reconnaissance data provided by the US and its allies, Fomin added.
In a bid to curb further speculation, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that it had officially invited experts from the UN and the International Red Cross Committee to carry out an impartial investigation into the incident in Yelenovka.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.
Five Dead as Ukraine Shells Donetsk Drama Theater Amid Farewell to Deceased Colonel Kachura
DONETSK (Sputnik) – Ukrainian troops have shelled the building of the Donetsk Drama Theater, hosting the farewell to the deceased Olga Kachura — the legendary commander of the rocket artillery division of the People’s Militia of the DPR, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Thursday.
The center of the city is under intense shelling, according to the correspondent. Though air defenses went off, at least two shells were missed.
The farewell ceremony did not start because of the shelling, everyone was evacuated to shelters.
According to Donetsk authorities, five people died and six were wounded as a result of the shelling.
Kachura was a colonel of the DPR militia from the city of Gorlovka, who fought over the years as Kiev waged war against the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. She was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation and Hero of the DPR.
Over the past months, Ukrainian forces have intensified their attacks on Donetsk and other Donbass cities, destroying apartment buildings and bombarding residential areas with landmines. At least 283 civilians have been killed by Ukrainian shelling since the beginning of tensions in mid-February, the DPR authorities reported.
US government may be complicit in emergence of Covid – Russian MoD
Moscow is assessing the possibility that a Washington DC agency played a part in the creation of Covid-19
Russia’s Defense Ministry says it’s investigating the possible role of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in the creation of the Covid-19 virus.
In a press briefing on Thursday, the head of Russia’s Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces, Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov, claimed that US-backed bio-laboratories in Ukraine had been conducting questionable research and clinical tests on Ukrainian citizens, and that “over 16,000 biological samples, including blood and serum samples, were exported from the territory of Ukraine to US and European countries.”
He went on to explain that a statement from Jason Crow, a member of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, who warned Americans that their DNA samples could be used to create targeted biological weapons, caused Russia’s Defense Ministry to “take a fresh look” at the origins of the Covid pandemic.
“Taking into account the interest of the US administration in the study of narrowly targeted biological agents, such statements force us to take a fresh look at the causes of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the role of US military biologists in the emergence and spread of the Covid-19 pathogen,” Kirillov said.
Russia now suspects that USAID might have been directly responsible for the emergence of the Covid-19 virus, according to Kirillov, who pointed to a Lancet article by Columbia professor Jeffry Sachs, who suggested that the virus was likely created in a lab with the help of the America’s latest achievements in the field of biotechnology.
Kirillov pointed out that since 2009, USAID had been funding a program known as “Predict,” conducting research into new coronaviruses which involved the capture of wild bats infected with such pathogens, and that one of the project’s contractors, Metabiota, had been known for its military biological activities on the territory of Ukraine.
In 2019, the agency shut down the ‘Predict’ program while the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security coincidentally began studying the spread of a previously unknown coronavirus.
“The implementation of the COVID-19 development scenario and USAID’s emergency phasing out of the Predict program in 2019 suggest the deliberate nature of the pandemic and US involvement in its occurrence,” Kirillov said.
He added that the recent emergence of the monkeypox virus, as well as the US’s purported history of using biological agents against its enemies, has led Moscow to observe a “clear trend” of pathogens which for whatever reason are of interest to the Pentagon, eventually turning into pandemics.
The US has repeatedly denied using biolabs in Ukraine to conduct military research and claims the “46 peaceful Ukrainian laboratories, health facilities and disease diagnostic sites” were used to assist Kiev in improving biological safety, security and disease surveillance for both human and animal health.
The exact origins of the Covid-19 virus have yet to be conclusively proven. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated in February 2021 that it was most likely transmitted from an animal, possibly a bat, to humans.
Dmitri Trenin: Russia cannot afford to lose in Ukraine, but neither can the US – is there a non-nuclear way out of the deadlock?
By Dmitri Trenin, a member of the Russian International Affairs Council
An escalation can lead to a bigger and more dangerous conflict. Are Moscow and Washington ready to take the risk?
The threat of the conflict in Ukraine getting out of control is not just an ever-present concern, but a reality.
The authors of the RAND Corporation’s recent paper, ‘Pathways to Russian Escalation Against NATO From the Ukraine War’, warn US policymakers to be careful in their statements and moves. This is particularly when deciding on military postures, deployment patterns, weapons capabilities, and the like, so that the steps taken by them do not provoke the Russian leadership into pre-emptive or retaliatory strikes, including using non-strategic nuclear weapons, or taking the campaign into NATO territory.
This is totally in line with America’s overall approach of doing the maximum to weaken Russia on the battlefield in Ukraine while avoiding being drawn directly into a war against Moscow.
Seen from here, Washington is clearly escalating its participation in the conflict by constantly testing the limits of Russian tolerance of these moves. It started with the provision to Kiev of Javelin anti-tank systems; it was then amplified to include M777 howitzers and HIMARS MLRS systems; it is now moving in the direction of providing Ukraine with U.S.-made military aircraft and training its pilots to fly them. In addition to the new packages of Western sanctions, Russia is also facing pressure on its geopolitically vulnerable outposts, whether regarding goods transit to and from its Kaliningrad exclave or the status of its forces in Transnistria, a small territory wedged between Ukraine and Moldova. Some refer to the latter as attempts by America’s junior allies in Eastern Europe to open a second front against Russia.
So far, Russia’s actions and inaction have sometimes appeared surprising, even puzzling to US watchers. Moscow has refrained from strikes against transport links to Poland, cyberattacks against Ukrainian – not to mention U.S. – critical infrastructure, or even destroying bridges across the Dnieper River. As for the most concerning step of all – Russia using tactical nuclear weapons – this scenario is irrelevant in a situation where hostilities are taking place on Ukrainian territory with Russian forces slowly but steadily advancing, and a “threat to the existence of the Russian Federation” – the doctrinal condition for such deployment – is out of the question.
Moscow’s failure to respond immediately to high-profile Ukrainian actions, such as the constant shelling of the center of Donetsk; missile attacks against Russian villages and towns close to their shared border; or even the loss of the Moskva, the flagship of its Black Sea Fleet, hit and sunk by Ukraine with the material assistance of the United States, probably demonstrates the Kremlin’s unwillingness to be provoked by the enemy. President Vladimir Putin probably prefers his revenge to be served cold, and at the time of his choosing. It would be safe to say that nothing from this conflict will be forgotten by either side, but at least the Russians have refused to be distracted from their current central task – defeating the enemy’s forces in Donbass and taking control over Ukraine’s east and south.
So far, U.S.-led assistance to Kiev, whether military, financial or diplomatic, has not had a decisive impact on the battlefield. It has certainly propped up the Zelensky government and compensated for the Ukrainian forces’ losses of military equipment, thus contributing to the slowing down of Russian advances, but has not turned the tide of the war. One may conclude that the Kremlin sees no need, for now, to do things that would breach the resistance of the Biden Administration to domestic U.S. demands for a more rapid escalation of the U.S. involvement in the conflict. Jake Sullivan’s recent comment to the Aspen Strategy Group, demonstrating the reluctance of the White House to provide ATACMS systems to Kiev, suggests that this approach has some value.
Looking ahead, one should expect more US escalation in any scenario of the evolution of fighting in Ukraine – whether Russia continues to gain ground (and integrate various new territories into the Russian Federation), or Ukraine mounts a counter-offensive (which so far it has failed to do). Russian officials express concern that a Ukrainian provocation presented as Moscow’s use of chemical weapons – which makes no military or any other sense but would certainly be believed in the US as a major egregious act by the Russians – could lead to Washington climbing abruptly up the escalation ladder.
Things may become even more serious, however, if the US or its NATO allies enter Ukraine, or otherwise become directly involved in the conflict; if the material assistance which they provide to Kiev starts making a major difference on the battlefield; or if those weapons are used to strike significant targets on Russia’s territory, such as the Crimean Bridge. There are parallel American concerns about Russia attacking transshipment points on NATO territory, launching significant counter-attacks against the United States or its allies, and using weapons of mass destruction. The last point has already been discussed, and as to the previous two, they could be in response to an adverse turn of events in the theater of operations.
Neither Russia nor the US can afford to lose in the conflict now raging in Ukraine. However, the difference between the situations faced by Washington and Moscow is huge. For the American leadership, a failure in Ukraine would be a strategic setback, politically costly both at home and internationally; for the Russian leadership, the outcome of its special military operation is an existential matter. In an asymmetrical conflict like this one, this amounts to an escalation advantage, if not dominance. What is vital for the two countries and the rest of the world is that this fight does not cross the nuclear threshold.
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