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Russia boosts gas supply to EU nation

Bangladesh Beyond
  • Updated on Sunday, August 14, 2022
  • 145 Impressed

Russia boosts gas supply to EU nation

 

Dhaka August 14 2022 :

 

Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on August 14 2022

 

INSIDE RUSSIA

Russian envoy to Vienna says Financial Times misinterpreted his words about IAEA mission

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. Russian Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said on Saturday that The Financial Times (FT) newspaper has distorted his comment about the possibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visit to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

“The Financial Times attributed to me the words that Mr. Grossi’s visit to ZNPP couldn’t take place before the end of August. In fact I said that Mr. Grossi could wish to suggest this timeline,” the Russian diplomat wrote in his Telegram channel. “Judging by the title of the article in FT, it was intentional misinterpretation.”

Russia’s Izvestia newspaper published an interview with Ulyanov on Friday, quoting the envoy as saying that “no one, including Grossi himself, can give a clear answer” about when the IAEA mission’s visit may take place. “I think he would come up with some sort of a reference point, maybe late August or early September.”

The Financial Times wrote later in the day: ‘Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s envoy to international missions in Vienna, told the Izvestia newspaper in an interview published on Friday that a visit by Grossi could not take place before ‘the end of August or early September’.” The article was headlined: “Russia rebuffs calls to allow access to Ukraine nuclear plant.”.

 

Russia boosts gas supply to EU nation

Russian energy giant Gazprom has increased gas supplies to Hungary via the TurkStream pipeline, a Hungarian official confirmed on Saturday.

According to Foreign Ministry State Secretary Tamas Menczer, the Russian company stepped up flows to Hungary by 2.6 million cubic meters per day starting Friday and for the rest of August. The extra supplies are being delivered by the TurkStream pipeline that brings gas to Hungary via Serbia.

“The Hungarian government had previously decided to purchase some 700 million cubic meters of natural gas in addition to the already contracted volumes,” the official posted in his Facebook account.

Menczer added that the nation is currently in talks with Moscow about additional volumes for September.

Hungary, which is about 85% dependent on Russian gas, is trying to bolster its reserves before the cold season. Budapest has been strongly opposing calls to introduce EU sanctions on Russian gas imports. The country’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, has also managed to secure an exemption from the bloc’s sanctions on Russian crude oil imports.

Hungary along with Poland refused to support the EU’s rationing plan aimed at cutting gas consumption by 15%.  

Under a deal signed with Gazprom last year, Hungary receives 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year via Bulgaria and Serbia, and a further 1 billion cubic meters via a pipeline from Austria.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

 

Moscow names condition for ‘normalization’ with US

There are currently no visible grounds for compromise with Washington, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official says

The US needs to start respecting Moscow’s interests before damaged bilateral relations can be amended, a senior Russian diplomat has said.

“I’ll be frank: we’re not seeing grounds for finding compromises with Washington, which is not quite capable of negotiating,” Aleksandr Darchiev, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s North American Department, told the Russian news agency TASS on Saturday.

“Of course, if the American side finally turns to common sense and Washington takes a sober look at the changing geopolitical landscape, demonstrating – not with words, but with actions – the intent to respect Russian national interests, then a basis for a gradual normalization of bilateral relations will appear,” he added.

The US and its allies in NATO imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February.

However, the attempt to tank the Russian economy has failed, Darchiev argued, as have “the attempts to muster an international anti-Russian coalition that would be broader than the traditional bond between the US and its vassals.”

“We are reacting calmly, and not going out of our way to seek talks,” the diplomat said, adding that it was Washington’s decision to suspend wider contacts with Moscow since February.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his US counterpart Antony Blinken spoke over the phone in late July, their first conversation since Russia’s military campaign began.

The conversation occurred around the same time the US Senate unanimously passed a non-binding resolution that called for the State Department to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. The Kremlin said that such a move would only further strain the relations between the countries.

 

Russia’s food safety guaranteed by grain harvest — official

Farmers in Russia have threshed 78 million tons of grain, an amount sufficient to completely ensure the country’s food security, Roman Nekrasov, director of the Plant Growing Department of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, told RIA Novosti on Saturday.

He highlighted that the pace of reaping was fast “despite the difficult weather conditions and other challenges.”

The Russian Agricultural Ministry had previously projected a grain harvest of 130 million tons this year, including a record 87 million tons of wheat, and expected exports to reach up to 50 million tons of grain.

Last year, Russia harvested nearly 121 million tons of grain, including about 76 million tons of wheat. 

Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev warned last week that the late start of work in several regions due to the cold spring and bad weather, along with some difficulties with the supply of foreign components for agricultural equipment, had created risks to reaching the 130 million-ton target.

The minister also said that the 50 million-ton export plan may have to be revised, which would inevitably affect the global grain market.

Meanwhile, Patrushev warned that sanctions imposed on Russia, the world’s largest exporter of wheat, in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine are disrupting grain harvests in Russia and could exacerbate the food crisis overseas.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

 

Eighth International Army Games to get rolling Aug 13

FACTBOX. On August 13-27, 2022, the 8th International Army Games (IAG-2022) will be held at the military training grounds in twelve countries: Russia, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, Vietnam, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. The IAG is a series of field combat training competitions for military personnel from Russa and dozens of other countries.

The Russian Defense Ministry is the Games’ organizer. During the Army Games, soldiers and officers representing different arms and services demonstrate their skills and abilities. Russia is represented by units that emerged the winners in the latest domestic national army contests that put to test their professional skills. As a rule, the equipment for the Games is provided by the host country, where a particular context is held. For example, most of the participants in the tank biathlon use Russian tanks, while Russian military contestants in China performed in a number of competitions using Chinese equipment. At the same time, China traditionally participates in competitions in Russia and other countries with its own equipment.

More than 260 teams from 35 countries will join the 2022 Games. The two newcomers are Bolivia and Rwanda.

IAG history

In 2013, Russia hosted international competitions for tank crews called Tank Biathlon and for air pilots Aviadarts. Both aroused great interest in Russia and abroad. After their success, the Russian Defense Ministry decided to arrange a kind of army Olympics, aimed at bolstering the combat capability of the Russian army and strengthening international military cooperation. For the first time, the Games were held on August 1-15, 2015 at eleven military training grounds in Russia, with 56 teams from 17 countries taking part: Azerbaijan, Angola, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, Egypt, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Kuwait, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia and Tajikistan. Iran, Vietnam, the Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Turkmenistan and Brazil attended the IAG as observers. The program included 14 competitions on land, in the air and at sea. In the overall medal standings, Russia placed first (31 gold medals), China second (three golds), and Belarus, third (one gold).

Since then, the International Army Games have been held annually, and since 2016, not only in Russia, but also at training sites in other countries. In the team standings Russian contestants excelled on all occasions. China won second place five times, and Belarus and Kazakhstan, one time each. The program and list of competitions have changed several times.

The International Army Games-2021 were held on August 22-September 4 in eleven countries (Russia, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Vietnam, Iran, Qatar, Kazakhstan, China, Serbia, Uzbekistan). More than 5,000 military personnel (277 teams from 42 countries) took part in 34 competitions (which is the Games’ record). The Russian team was first with 34 medals (including 18 golds). China placed second (4 golds), and Uzbekistan, third (4 golds).

IAG program

In 2022, the International Army Games program consists of 34 competitions, including the Tank Biathlon – a competition for tank crews. Its stages: individual race, sprint, pursuit and relay race were borrowed from ordinary biathlon. Since 2013, it has been held annually at the Alabino training ground near Moscow. Twenty-one countries will take part in the competition this time: Russia, Abkhazia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Laos, Mali, Mongolia, Myanmar, Syria, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and South Ossetia (the list of participating countries was taken from the official website of the Games as of August 12). Most competing crews use T-72B3 tanks provided by the organizers.

 

OUTSIDE RUSSIA

Russia slams diplomat’s expulsion from Montenegro as episode of West’s hybrid campaign

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Moscow views the expulsion of a Russian diplomat from Montenegro as a new episode of the hybrid campaign unleashed by the West against Russia, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday.

“We view the act by the Montenegrin authorities as yet another episode of the hybrid campaign unleashed by the West and its minions against Russia. We perceive this move as the unwillingness and the inability of official Podgorica to get away from the policy of mechanically following this destructive line – to the detriment of international security and, likewise, its own national interests,” the diplomat said.

The attempt to substantiate this step in a corresponding public commentary laid bare the absence of the reasons and logic of this demarche, Zakharova stressed.

“We reserve the right to take measures in kind in accordance with the generally accepted practice,” the spokeswoman said.

On August 12, Montenegro declared a Russian diplomat persona non grata. On April 7, the Montenegrin Foreign Ministry declared personae non grata four Russian diplomats who were ordered to leave the country within seven days. On May 31, Russia retaliated by declaring an employee of the Montenegrin Embassy in Moscow persona non grata.

 

SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE

Ukrainian POWs reluctant to be exchanged – Moscow

The captured military personnel do not want to return to the frontlines, the Russian Defense Ministry says

Ukrainian soldiers that were captured as prisoners of war by Russia have decided to remain in the territory controlled by Moscow and allied forces, expressing reluctance to continue fighting, Russia’s Ministry of Defense claimed on Saturday.

“Ukrainian prisoners of war belonging to the units of the Naval infantry, National Guard, air assault and ground forces chose to stay in the territory controlled by Russia because of their reluctance to fight and fear of being sent to the frontlines again,” the ministry wrote on its Telegram channel.

The Defense Ministry said the Ukrainian POWs do not want to be used as “cannon fodder” and die on the battlefield while “carrying out criminal orders” issued by Kiev.

The Russian military also posted a video of what appears to be an interview with a Ukrainian POW who said he laid down his arms voluntarily and turned himself in to the allied forces.

According to the prisoner, he has been treated well and does not want to return to Ukraine as part of any future swaps.

 

Few soldiers manage to surrender voluntarily due to a crackdown by Ukraine’s nationalist battalions, the ministry claimed, noting that the nationalists threaten to shoot any soldiers that seek to abandon their combat positions.

According to the ministry, the POWs have told of rampant corruption among the Ukrainian ranks, the use of intimidation tactics by Kiev, and “barbaric treatment of civilians who are used by [the] nationalists as human shields on a regular basis.”

Earlier this month, Moscow claimed that it scrupulously observes the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war, while Kiev’s forces have tortured, starved, and deprived of medical care Russian POWs. At the time, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Aleksandr Fomin also condemned the West’s unwillingness to hold Kiev accountable for these violations and crimes.

In July, Moscow blamed Kiev, and Ukranian President Vladimir Zelensky personally, for the fatal shelling of a detention facility in the Donetsk People’s Republic. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a missile strike using the US-made HIMARS multiple rocket launcher killed 50 Ukrainian POWs, injuring another 73.

 

Allied forces fully liberate settlement of Peski in DPR — Russian top brass

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. The allied forces of the Donbass republics and the Russian army completely liberated the settlement of Peski in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Saturday.

“As a result of offensive operations by the allied forces, the settlement of Peski in the Donetsk People’s Republic has been completely liberated,” the spokesman said.

Spokesman for the DPR People’s Militia Eduard Basurin told reporters on August 10 that the allied forces were conducting major combat operations in the Donetsk area around the settlements of Maryinka, Peski and Avdeyevka. In Soledar and Artyomovsk in the republic’s north, the people’s militia forces were already fighting in the urban and industrial area, he added.

 

Ukrainian nuclear site faces new threat

Kiev is flirting with disaster by shelling the hydroelectric facility that services the Zaporozhye nuclear plant, says a local official

Shelling of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station by Ukrainian forces risks a “nuclear catastrophe” at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Arseniy Zelensky, the Kakhovka facility’s deputy director for reconstruction, told reporters on Saturday. 

According to Zelensky, as quoted by TASS, Kakhovka is now operating in a “very dangerous” emergency mode.

The Kakhovka plant is located in Kherson Region in southern Ukraine, which was seized by Russian forces in the early stages of Moscow’s military operation. Together with Russia-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the biggest in Europe, it has been attacked by Kiev’s troops – with use of Western-supplied weapons – according to the regional authorities.

“In case of problems with the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, there will be big troubles at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. [This] could lead to a nuclear catastrophe,” the deputy director of the Kakhovka plant said. 

He explained to journalists that if the dam is destroyed, the nuclear facility would be deprived of the water needed to cool its reactors.

He revealed that the station has been working in emergency mode “since the first days of hostilities.”

“The station’s own needs, backup 6 kV, are lost, we are working in a very dangerous mode,” he said, adding that one of the turbines had to be turned off following Ukrainian rocket attacks.

If the military action ceases, Zelensky said, the plant can be “restored within a week.”

“Fortunately, the station has not yet received major damage, except for hydroelectric unit number three, which burned down in March, it takes 1.5 years to complete the work,” he said.

Zelensky’s remarks came the day after Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the military-civilian administration of Kherson Region, revealed that the city of Novaya Kakhovka had again been attacked by “Ukrainian nationalists” but “no tangible damage” was caused. “The hydroelectric power station was not damaged,” he said.

On Thursday, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, told the Security Council that a nuclear disaster can happen “at any moment” amid the “reckless” shelling of the Zaporozhye plant by Kiev’s forces.

“Kiev’s criminal attacks on the nuclear infrastructure facilities are pushing the world to the brink of a nuclear disaster that would rival the Chernobyl one,” Nebenzia said.

Responding to Kiev’s claims that Russia was the one targeting the plant in an alleged plot to discredit Ukraine, the diplomat said that Russia has no reason to target the facility or its own troops, and that multiple attacks on the facility have been documented from Ukrainian-held territory in Dnepropetrovsk Region. 

The US Department of State, however, took Kiev’s side by endorsing the demand for a demilitarized zone around the Zaporozhye nuclear plant and calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops that control the area.

 

INSIGHTS

US Has Done Nearly 400 Military Interventions Since 1776, Quarter in Past 30 Years Alone: Study

Ilya Tsukanov, Sputnik News

Detractors of US foreign and security policy have long accused Washington of donning itself the job of ‘world policeman’, and of starting or getting involved in conflicts abroad to try to preserve the post-Cold War US-led security and economic ‘world order’.

The United States has carried out some 392 military interventions since the American revolution, with nations in Latin America & the Caribbean and Asia becoming its favorite targets, a new study has found.

The study, entitled ‘Introducing the Military Intervention Project: A new Dataset on US Military Interventions, 1776-2019’, has been published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and features a new, expanded list of parameters defining interventions, and other important details, such as their geographic scope, and is based on mathematical modeling.

“The cumulative impact of what we discovered from our data collection was indeed surprising. We hadn’t expected both the quantity and quality of US military interventions to be as large as revealed in the data,” study coauthor Sidita Kushi, an assistant professor at Bridgewater State University, said.

“Currently, the United States has US special forces deployed in more countries than it does ambassadors,” Monica Duffy Toft, the other coauthor, and professor at Tufts University, said of the research.

Using a new dataset combining over 200 variables called the ‘Military Intervention Project’, Kushi and Toft calculated that US military interventions abroad have accelerated with time, with about half taking place since 1950 alone, and one quarter since the end of the Cold War in 1991, despite a relative decline in threats to US national security.

“Since 2000, alone, the US has engaged in 30 interventions at level 4 (usage of force) or 5 (war). The post-Cold War era has produced fewer greater power conflicts and instances in which to defend vital US interests, yet US military interventions continue at high rates and higher hostilities,” the authors explained. “Thus, this militaristic pattern persists during a time of relative peace, one of arguably fewer direct threats to the US homeland and security.”

The dataset includes everything from full-on wars, counterinsurgency operations and troop deployments to displays and threats of force, plus little-known covert operations. The study found that over the past two-and-a-half centuries, 34 percent of the US’s interventions have been against countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, 23 percent against East Asia and the Pacific, 14 percent in the Middle East and North Africa, and 13 percent in Europe.

The scholars also pointed to the so-called “humanitarian” and “democratizing” justifications for the use of force, as well as validations under the ‘Global War on Terror’ doctrine, have been used liberally over the past thirty years, notwithstanding their often legally flimsy and practically counterproductive nature.

Toft lamented that even if Washington were to return to a foreign policy in which military force becomes less of a go-to-tool, it could take “years” for such a policy to bear fruit. However, given current global security environment, and “inertia” of the Washington political machine, Tofts said she and Kushi expect “to see a continuing upward trend on US interventions in both the Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

 

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