Dhaka August 02 2022 :
Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on August 02 2022.
Sanctions against Russia do not reflect realities of global politics and economy — Putin
MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. Anti-Russian sanctions do not reflect the realities of global politics and the economy, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday at a meeting with representatives of the metal industry.
“I have already said that these decisions were made by Western countries for the sake of political interests – the current, opportunistic ones that do not reflect the realities either in global politics or the global economy,” he said.
Putin added that western politicians who imposed sanctions against Russia simply “threw away” the principles of the WTO. “[Western] politicians are not interested in ordinary citizens’ diminishing well-being and quality of life, particularly in Europe. Not to mention such things as adherence to the principles of the World Trade Organization – they were simply thrown away,” Putin said.
In general, Russian metal companies continue to face restrictions on foreign markets, Putin added.
Putin talks about nuclear war
There can be “no winners” in a nuclear war and it must never be fought, Russian president warns
Russian president Vladimir Putin has commented on the prospects of fighting a nuclear war after his US counterpart Joe Biden called on Russia to negotiate a new arms-control deal to potentially replace the landmark New Start treaty. Putin made the remarks on Monday in his letter to participants of the tenth NPT review conference.
“Russia consistently follows the letter and spirit of the Treaty. Our obligations under bilateral agreements with the United States on the reduction and limitation of relevant weapons have also been fully fulfilled,” Putin said, adding that Moscow believes “that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it must never be unleashed.”
The president said Russia believes all the countries following the NPT rules should have acess to peaceful use of nuclear energy without any conditions. “We’re ready to share our experience in the field of atomic energy with our partners,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Putin’s US counterpart Joe Biden produced his statement ahead of the review conference, calling on Russia to engage in talks to produce a new arms-control agreement to replace the New START treaty, set to expire in 2026. At the same time, he accused Moscow of “shattering peace in Europe” with its ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
“Negotiation requires a willing partner operating in good faith,” Biden said. “In this context, Russia should demonstrate that it is ready to resume work on nuclear arms control with the United States.”
The landmark New START remains the only major arms control agreement between Moscow and Washington left standing. The deal was on the brink of collapse in early 2021, when it was set to expire. It was ultimately salvaged shortly after Biden’s inauguration, when Washington finally agreed to Moscow’s repeated calls to prolong the deal without any preconditions.
Russia ‘absolutely’ supports Serbia – Kremlin
Kosovo’s decision to ban Serbian license plates and IDs was ‘unreasonable,’ Moscow insists
Moscow fully backs its ally Belgrade in the dispute with Kosovo over the decision by the breakaway province to ban Serbian license plates and identification papers, the Kremlin press-secretary Dmitry Peskov has said.
“Of course, we absolutely support Serbia,” Peskov replied, after being addressed on the issue by journalists on Monday.
The decision by the Kosovo authorities to outlaw Serbian license plates and IDs was “absolutely unreasonable,” he stated.
On Sunday, Serbs in the north of the breakaway province set up roadblocks and rang alarm bells as heavily armed special police took control over two administrative crossings with Serbia, preparing to implement the order by Pristina.
As tensions mounted, Kosovo’s prime minister Albin Kurti announced late in the day that the ban had been postponed at the request of the US ambassador to the province. However, Kurti stressed that the measure, which according to Pristina was needed to impose “law and order,” has only been delayed, not canceled.
“Thank God, the escalation was avoided tonight, but this situation has only been postponed for one month, so it’s paramount for all sides to show prudence,” the Kremlin press-secretary pointed out.
Russia’s ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko also warned on Monday that “it was difficult to see the conditions for finding sustainable solutions to those issues that caused the current spike in tension.” The lack of agreement on license plates and IDs, and many other similar matters, are “being used by Pristina to make one-sided, spontaneous decisions aimed at squeezing [the Serbs] out of Kosovo,” he added.
According to Peskov, Moscow believes that that the Western countries, which recognized the mainly Albanian-populated Kososvo in 2008, “should now use their influence to warn the authorities in Kosovo against making any ill-conceived steps,” he said.
Serbia considers Kosovo a part of its territory, and is backed in doing so by Russia, China and the UN in general, who haven’t recognized the territory as an interdependent entity.
Russia was behind the “peaceful and constructive” stance taken by Belgrade regarding the dispute and voiced by the Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic, the Kremlin press-secretary pointed out.
In his address to the nation on Sunday, Vucic urged all sides to “keep the peace at almost any cost. I am asking the Albanians to come to their senses, the Serbs not to fall for provocations.”
However, he also blamed the authorities in Kosovo of violating the human rights of the local Serbs, and promised that they “will not suffer any more atrocities.”
Freight traffic growing in Russia’s Arctic – official
Maritime cargo shipping along the Northern Sea Route is up 5% compared to last year
Cargo shipments via Russia’s Northern Sea Route in the first half of this year were 5% higher than in the same period of 2021, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday.
“In 2021, the cargo flow was 35 million tons, which is 2 million tons more than the planned amount. This year, up to July, we increased traffic by 5%,” Novak said during a meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, adding that international goods transit along Russia’s Arctic coast was three times greater than in 2020.
“We can also see that the number of passages through the Northern Sea Route has doubled. This indicates the Northern Sea Route is in high demand,” Novak added.
The deputy premier noted that the Northern Sea Route has benefited from additional nuclear icebreakers, with two added in the past two years, bringing the total to six. He said four more icebreakers would be put into service in the next five years, with plans to build six more.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced that Russia will set up a Main Directorate of the Arctic route to organize the movement of cargo.
“A Main Directorate of the Northern Sea Route is being created, on the president’s orders. Its main purpose will be to organize the passage of ships, including issuing and withdrawing permits for this activity,” the premier said.
Mishustin stressed that the government continues to view the northern route as a transport corridor of global importance.
“Most deliveries in the north are carried out through [the Northern Sea Route], including metals and energy supplies to the world market, and cargo transit between Asia and Europe goes through it. It is fully located in the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone of Russia, which is especially important amid external sanctions pressure, when supply chains are being disrupted,” Mishustin said.
Russia is extensively developing its Northern Sea Route by modernizing port infrastructure, along with rail and river transport corridors.
According to Novak, the authorities expect cargo flows along Arctic route to reach 80 million tons in 2024, and as much as 200 million tons by 2030. He noted that these plans depend on several construction projects, including Novatek’s LNG plants, oil projects by Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, and the Baimsky mining and processing plant in Chukotka.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section
Biden calls on Russia to show readiness to work with U.S. on arms control
WASHINGTON. Aug 1 (Interfax) – Washington believes Russia should show readiness to resume its work with the United States on nuclear weapons control, U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement released by the White House on Monday.
“Today, my Administration is ready to expeditiously negotiate a new arms control framework to replace New START when it expires in 2026. But negotiation requires a willing partner operating in good faith,” the statement said.
“In this context, Russia should demonstrate that it is ready to resume work on nuclear arms control with the United States,” it said.
“China also has a responsibility as an NPT nuclear weapons state and a member of the P5 to engage in talks that will reduce the risk of miscalculation and address destabilizing military dynamics,” the statement said.
Russia and Belarus could become closer – Lukashenko
The Belarusian leader believes Moscow and Minsk could form a union stronger than a federation or confederation and stay independent
Russia and Belarus could form a union stronger than a federation or confederation without losing their sovereignty, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday as he appointed a new ambassador to Russia.
As reported by local media outlets, the Belarusian leader noted that his country’s sovereignty and independence were “a constant.”
“The West is generating this idea that we are losing our sovereignty and independence by cooperating with Russia,” Lukashenko told Dmitry Krutoi, the new Belarusian ambassador to Russia, adding that the question of Belarusian sovereignty is not even up for discussion.
Lukashenko went on to say that “by preserving the independence of Russia and Belarus, we will build such a union that both federal and confederate states, and, perhaps, even unitary states will be envious of.” He added that, “We are quite smart people. The Russian president is an absolutely reasonable person and understands in which direction we should move.”
Belarus has been one of Russia’s closest allies in Europe since Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. However, Minsk has in turn become the target of sweeping sanctions imposed by Western countries, who aim to punish those supposedly aiding Russia’s military campaign.
Earlier this month, the UK introduced economic, trade, and transportation sanctions on Minsk, which included a ban on importing Belarusian steel and iron to the UK as well as a ban on exporting advanced technology components to Belarus.
In response, Belarus announced last week the withdrawal of its ambassador from the United Kingdom and a reduction of the country’s diplomatic presence in London to a charge d’affaires. Minsk explained the decision by citing “unfriendly steps” taken by British authorities, which aimed to cause “maximum damage to Belarusian citizens and legal entities.”
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the “unprecedented political and social pressure” from the West, and the sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine, are pushing Belarus to integrate more quickly with Russia.
SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE
French Volunteer: I Witnessed Bucha Frame-Up
Former soldier and writer Adrien Bocquet visited Ukraine and told Sputnik that he witnessed preparations for a false flag provocation in the Kiev suburb of Bucha in April.
French writer Adrien Bocquet traveled to Ukraine twice in April on missions to deliver humanitarian aid, medical equipment, and medicines. He visited both the Polish-Ukrainian border and the Kiev suburb of Bucha, observing Russian prisoners being tortured and killed and Ukrainian fighters setting the stage for a false flag frame-up of civilian massacres.
The writer alleges to have witnessed the torture and murder of Russian POWs in a hangar in the northern part of Bucha in early April when the Ukrainian military had regained control of the city.
“When I talk about murder and torture, I am talking about the murder and torture of the Russian military. Officers were the first to be executed. I heard shouts when the ‘Azov men’ asked who the officer was. As soon as they got the answer, they immediately shot that person in the head […] The worst thing is that I saw no human attitude, no emotions, because I saw people being executed, people being tortured, people being killed, shot in their limbs, heads,” Bocquet said.
Bocquet noted that he often interacted with the Ukrainian Armed Forces and Azov fighters, who shocked him with their inhumane treatment of Russians, Jews, and people of other races.
“I had to pretend a lot to avoid showing my opinions and emotions and above all not to show disagreement with their opinions. Disagreement with their Nazi ideology, especially when they expressed attitudes toward Jews and people of color, because they made very cruel statements. And first of all, I’m talking about hatred towards Russians, because they […] call you ‘Russian dogs’. And for all these soldiers, for members of the Azov Battalion, the main task, as they have always told me, is to torture and kill ‘Russian dogs’. As a former military man, I was surprised. Because everything showed that their main goal was to torture and kill ‘Russian dogs’ while they never even talked about the liberation of their population,” the volunteer recalled.
Furthermore, he witnessed preparations for a false flag provocation in Bucha, which looked to accuse the Russian military of massacring civilians.
“When we entered Bucha by car, I was in the passenger seat. And as we drove through the city, I saw bodies of people on the sides of the streets, and at the same time I saw people’s bodies being taken out of trucks and laid out next to the bodies lying on the ground to give the effect of mass killings,” Bocquet said.
He added that there were journalists nearby who immediately started filming as soon as piles of bodies were set up.
“One of the volunteers who was at this place the day before, I emphasize that I didn’t witness this, but one of the volunteers told me… He told me that the day before he saw refrigerator trucks from other cities of Ukraine coming to Bucha and unloading bodies and laying them out in rows. I realized from this that they were staging mass massacres,” the interviewee explained.
He noted that both volunteers and locals were pressured and threatened with imprisonment and reprisals to avoid bad publicity.
“We distributed medicines, including those containing narcotic substances, painkillers, containing morphine. They told us openly: if you don’t share with us, you won’t get where you need to go. I clearly remember that we had to deliver these painkillers to a children’s hospital, and we were told that if we didn’t share, we wouldn’t get there. Moreover, when we were near Bucha, we were escorted by military guards, they were Azov fighters. They escorted us to one of the hangars and told us to prepare a separate box of morphine-containing drugs to allow us to drive on,” Bocquet said.
Furthermore, the volunteers were restricted from taking photos and videos.
“We were warned that [if we took photos or videos] we would get imprisonment for ten years or more severe consequences. This ban also applied to the locals. This pressure was exerted by the military, primarily by the Azov men. Today, Europe does not understand how great the pressure is on the population of Ukraine,” said the Frenchman.
He admitted that he himself started receiving threats after he began talking about the crimes of Ukrainian fighters. He also expressed fears that he would be persecuted by the French authorities.
“Of course, I’m afraid of that, I’m afraid that they are going to fabricate some things against me in order to silence me or put me in jail,” he concluded.
In early April, Ukrainian media and social networks published photos and videos of dead bodies lying in the streets, which were allegedly taken in Bucha after the Russian military withdrew. The Kiev authorities accused Russia of massacring civilians.
In response, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that this was yet another provocation and stressed that not a single Bucha resident had been harmed by the Russian military while the city was under its control. The ministry also noted that all units had fully withdrawn from Bucha on March 30, and the city’s exits to the north were not blocked, while the Ukrainian troops were shelling Bucha with artillery, tanks and multiple rocket launchers around the clock.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in turn, called on the international community to conduct an impartial investigation into the provocation in Bucha. He stressed that Russia categorically rejected any allegations of involvement in the deaths in that city and demanded that international leaders should not rush to draw sweeping accusations, but listen to Russia’s arguments.
Threat of war in Balkans remains, but diplomacy has a chance — expert
MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. The risk of a military standoff between Kosovo and Serbia remains, but Pristina’s decision, made as a result of international efforts, to postpone till September 1 the procedure of enforcing a ban on Serbian documents opens a window of opportunity to step up diplomatic efforts capable of preventing a direct military confrontation. A sensible agenda of Belgrade’s and Pristina’s integration with the EU and the development of a corresponding roadmap might be one of the possible solutions on this track, the head of the Russian International Affairs Council, Andrey Kortunov, told TASS.
“For now, it is premature to say that the crisis has been resolved. It’s just a postponement, and not some fundamental change in Pristina’s position,” Kortunov said. “It is very important to use this window of opportunity in order to step up diplomatic attempts to somehow settle this crisis. The threat [of a military clash] is still there.”
The expert drew attention to a statement by the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, who welcomed the delay and the timely prevention of the conflict’s active phase. The chief European diplomat stressed that “open issues should be addressed through EU-facilitated dialogue and focus on comprehensive normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia,” which is necessary for their integration into the EU. Kortunov believes that on this integration track certain success can be achieved in persuading the conflicting parties to refrain from direct hostilities if “a convincing prospect of integration into the European Union” is offered.
“Both Serbia and Kosovo would be offered some specific, preferably well-defined roadmaps for their integration,” he speculated. “We know that there were precedents in the European Union of countries that spent many decades on the waiting list but have not joined the union to this day. This, of course, undermines the credibility of the proposals that come from Brussels. Certain questions are addressed to the European Union as well. How ready is the European Union to consider the issue of Kosovo’s and Serbia’s admission in practical terms? There are other countries nearby that are probably more ready to join, but their membership prospects are rather vague. This, of course, undermines the credibility of talks about integration somewhat.”
To a certain extent Kortunov agreed with the Russian Foreign Ministry that at the moment it was not possible to consider the European Union’s activity on the track of settling the Balkan crisis as “unequivocally successful”.
“The main mission of the European Union was to try to build strong institutions, help form a civil society and create prerequisites for Kosovo’s democratic development and for the sustainable economic development of that territory,” Kortunov said. “We now see that these efforts have continued for almost a quarter of a century, but the results are not very impressive. And, of course, this affects security in the Balkans and beyond the Balkan Peninsula in Europe as a whole.”
European integration issue
Serbia’s foreign policy envisages accession to the European Union while maintaining friendly relations with Moscow and Beijing, as well as developing ties with Washington. Belgrade intends to maintain military neutrality and avoid joining NATO and other military and political blocs. This position draws objections from the West. Serbia has been repeatedly told that European integration will be possible only on two conditions: the recognition of Kosovo’s independence and termination of friendly relations with Russia.
The autonomous Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija declared independence unilaterally in February 2008. Lately, it has been actively trying to join international organizations, including UNESCO and Interpol. More than 60 countries, including Russia, India and China, as well as five EU member states are against Kosovo’s recognition. Earlier, the prime minister of unrecognized Kosovo, Albin Kurti, said at an Atlantic Council seminar in the Washington that Pristina wished to join NATO and the EU. On May 12, unrecognized Kosovo applied for the Council of Europe’s membership.
New spiral of tensions
On Sunday evening, the situation in Kosovo and Metohija worsened sharply after the police of the unrecognized entity closed the checkpoint on the administrative line with Serbia. In response, Serbs in the northern part of Kosovo took to the streets to demonstrate and block the main roads. Sirens were heard in a number of cities in the north of the region. Police and personnel of the international security force in Kosovo KFOR, operating under the auspices of NATO, were moved to the bridge across the Ibar River, which connects the north and south of Kosovska-Mitrovica.
As a result of international efforts Pristina postponed the procedure of enforcing the ban on Serbian documents till 1 September.
Pristina’s previous attempt to ban vehicles with Serbian license plates from entering the territory resulted in a serious escalation of the conflict. On September 20, 2021, hundreds of Kosovo police officers, including snipers, occupied the Jarinje and Brnjak checkpoints. Kosovar Albanians began to forcibly remove license plates from Serbian cars, replacing them with Kosovo’s plates and charging a “fee” of 5 euros. In response, Serbs blocked the checkpoints and staged mass protests. Ten days later, Belgrade and Pristina reached an agreement to de-escalate tensions in northern Kosovo and agreed to set up a working group to deal with the long-term problem of license plates on vehicles belonging to the residents of this predominantly Serb region.
However, Pristina blocks any negotiations with Belgrade and it has refused to discuss the issue in question, too. Moreover, on June 29, 2022, the Kurti-led Cabinet adopted two acts, which this time concerned not only license plates, but also Serbs’ personal documents issued by Belgrade. In early July, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic warned that Pristina’s initiative might entail dire consequences. He urged the international community to get involved in resolving the issue, but his call fell on the deaf ears of the Kosovar Albanians’ Western patrons.
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