Dhaka July 27 2022 :
Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on July 27 2022.
Russia regrets Israel’s attitude towards Ukrainian conflict
Rhetoric has been “unconstructive and unobjective”, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova says
Moscow considers Israel’s anti-Russian stance on the Ukrainian conflict regrettable, according to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. During a TV talk show appearance on Tuesday, she noted that West Jerusalem’s recent rhetoric was “absolutely unconstructive” and “unobjective.”
Relations between Russia and Israel have soured since the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, and Zakharova drew attention to the fact that this “did not happen by itself.”
“In recent months we have heard absolutely unconstructive and, most importantly, biased rhetoric from Tel Aviv,” Zakharova stated. She noted that anti-Russian assessments coming from various levels of authority in Israel raised serious questions in Moscow, especially since they were being framed in an exclusively pro-Ukrainian manner.
“And this was not in terms of supporting the Ukrainian people, but only in support of the Kiev regime,” the diplomat noted, adding that the rhetoric was “absolutely in tune with the strange and wild voice of the West.”
Zakharova also emphasized that the “impulse” to complicate bilateral relations with Israel did not come from Russia.
“When we now hear comments from the leadership of this country that some of Russia’s actions on the bilateral track may affect relations, I would like to ask if these same people do not think that their actions and statements over these months have already affected bilateral relations,” she said.
The spokeswoman’s statements come after Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid ordered his country’s foreign ministry to prepare a set of reactionary measures in the event of the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency being shut down.
The prime minister warned on Sunday that the closure of the quasi-governmental agency, which promotes the immigration of people with Jewish heritage to Israel, would have a “grave” impact on ties between Moscow and West Jerusalem.
In the Tuesday interview, Zakharova stated that the fate of the organization in Russia was in the hands of Russia’s justice ministry and was solely a matter of law.
Last week, a Moscow court said it had received a formal request from the Justice Ministry to liquidate the Russian branch of the agency, citing alleged violations of local laws related to data storage and protection. A pretrial hearing on the case is set to be held on Thursday.
The Kremlin has also insisted that the situation around the Jewish Agency was a matter of law and has warned against politicizing the issue. “Indeed, there are questions for the Jewish Agency regarding adherence to Russian laws. But this situation should not be politicized or projected onto the entirety of Russian-Israeli relations,” said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.
Relations between Moscow and West Jerusalem have considerably worsened since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. Israel has condemned the operation as a “breach of international law,” however it has so far refrained from joining international sanctions against Moscow. It has also only sent humanitarian assistance and non-lethal aid to Ukraine, unlike other backers that have supplied Kiev with weapons.
Russia to quit International Space Station after 2024
By that time, Russia will start building its own space station, Roscosmos chief says
Russia is going to withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) project with the West after 2024, the new head of the country’s space agency Roscosmos, Yury Borisov, said on Tuesday.
Moscow is going to fulfill all its obligations to foreign partners as part of the ISS project, but “the decision to withdraw from this station after 2024 has been made,” Borisov told President Vladimir Putin during a meeting at the Kremlin.
“I think, by that time, we’ll start putting together a Russian orbital station,” the space boss added.
According to Borisov’s vision, Russia’s manned space flights should be carried out in line with a balanced and systematic scientific program, so that each mission would provide the country with new knowledge in the field of space.
The previous head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin had predicted that the ISS, which NASA plans to operate until 2030, would “fall apart” by that time unless “huge amounts of money” are invested in its repair. But work to keep the station in orbit is no longer effective for Russia due to the current geopolitical environment, he pointed out.
Borisov also acknowledged in April that the Russian modules of the station have exhausted their lifespans.
The ISS was launched in 1998 as a joint effort by Russian, American, Japanese, Canadian and European space agencies. It’s divided into the Russian and American sections, with the latter being run by the US and other participants of the project.
West running out of measures to put pressure on Russia, Kremlin spokesman says
MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. Western countries are competing with each other to take steps against Russia but they are running out of measures to put pressure on Moscow, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.
When commenting on a possible ban on the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians, he said: “We can see that EU countries and North American nations are literally competing with each other to take unfriendly measures against Russia.”
“However, we can also see that they are running out of measures that they expect to put pressure on us and make us change our position, though it’s a mistaken belief,” Peskov noted.
Kremlin Spokesman stressed that Moscow will react very negatively and take action in case Finland limits issuing visas to Russians; however, Russia hopes that such an initiative will not be implemented.
“Russia’s reaction will be negative; as far as we understand, so far this idea has not been implemented; let’s hope it won’t [be implemented]. But, of course, any such activities in regard to Russian citizens will trigger countermeasures, a response,” the Kremlin spokesman said.
He added that Moscow’s reaction to such Finland’s decision would be “understandable and quite predictable”.
NATO builds up efforts to create military threats to Russia — Security Council
MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. The Russian Security Council’s Scientific Board discussed Moscow’s strategy towards the West, taking into account national security interests and the results of NATO’s Madrid summit in June, the Security Council’s press office reported on Tuesday.
“Experts of Russia’s Security Council pointed to mounting NATO efforts aimed at creating direct military threats to Russia,” the press office said in a statement following a meeting of the Security Council’s group on global problems and international security.
The Madrid summit “again demonstrated that the North Atlantic alliance continues to be a mechanism of imposing US interests on the collective West,” the statement reads.
“It should be noted that contrary to statements by the NATO leadership, the alliance’s activity does not contribute to ensuring international stability and strengthening the security of its member states,” the Russian Security Council said.
The meeting worked out proposals that should be examined in government agencies. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council Alexander Venediktov.
Putin, Erdogan to hold talks in Sochi on August 5, Kremlin confirms
MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. The Kremlin has confirmed that talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan will take place in Sochi on August 5.
“Yes,” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in response to a question by TASS as to whether such a meeting is planned.
Earlier on Tuesday, the administration of the Turkish leader said that Erdogan was planning to come to Sochi on August 5 on a one-day visit for a meeting with Putin. According to Ankara, it is planned to discuss bilateral and regional issues.
The last time Erdogan and Putin met was in Tehran on the sidelines of the Astana-format summit. Over recent months, the two leaders repeatedly held phone conversations. The last time Erdogan visited Russia was last September when he also met with Putin in Sochi.
Ex-German Chancellor Schroeder arrives in Russia for talks on gas supplies — media
BERLIN, July 26. /TASS/. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has arrived in Moscow for energy talks, Der Spiegel reported on Tuesday, citing sources.
According to the sources, Russian gas supplies via the Nord Stream pipeline will be the focus of the talks. The media outlet added that it was unclear with whom the former German chancellor would meet.
Schroeder last visited Moscow in March to discuss the situation in Ukraine with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday that a meeting between the Russian leader and the former German chancellor was possible.
Schroeder said earlier in an interview with the New York Times that it was impossible to “isolate a country like Russia in the long run, neither politically nor economically.”
Russian embassy in US slams State Department’s statements on Moscow’s isolation ‘baseless’
WASHINGTON, July 26. /TASS/. The US State Department’s statements about Russia’s growing isolation don’t withstand criticism and are triggered by US officials’ ‘inflamed imagination’, the Russian Embassy in the US said on Monday.
“We paid attention to the statement of the State Department’s press office that our country is allegedly becoming an “outcast”, and Russian contacts are aimed at “controlling the onslaught of outrage” against us,” the Russian diplomatic mission said in a message published on its Telegram channel.
“Baseless statements do not stand up to criticism. The Russian leadership is actively involved in international affairs. Another confirmation of this is the busy schedule of the African tour of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov,” the diplomats stressed.
“Attempts to present our country as an isolated one are caused by the “inflamed imagination” of US officials who are increasingly losing touch with reality,” the embassy pointed out. “It is noteworthy that the soaked in Russophobia desire of the US State Department to distort the actual picture of events causes confusion not only among us, but also among the American media,” the diplomats added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived on a working visit to Uganda on Monday.
This country is the third destination on the Russian top diplomat’s tour of Africa. Before that, he has visited Egypt and the Republic of the Congo. He will also visit Ethiopia before July 28.
Kherson Region vows to hold referendum regardless of Kiev’s intimidation
TASS, July 26. A referendum on the Kherson Region joining the Russian Federation will take place in spite of all Kiev’s attempts to intimidate the region’s residents or organize information terror, the deputy head of the military-civilian administration of the region, Kirill Stremousov said on Tuesday.
“I would like to comment on the situation around the ‘counterattack’, <..> which is constantly being announced by the Ukrainian authorities. <…> By sending fighters, the Ukrainian people to their certain death, these people [Kiev authorities] don’t understand that the pointless offensives are taking dozens, or even hundreds of lives of representatives of the Ukrainian people – our brothers. So, we want to say that no matter what you do: criminal responsibility, intimidation, information terror, there will still be a referendum in the Kherson region that will clearly define the region as part of the Russian Federation,” Stremousov said in a video message posted on his Telegram channel.
He added that the referendum is to be held soon. “After the referendum takes place, we will become [part of] the Russian Federation, it will be another history, another country,” the deputy head of the military-civilian administration said.
Earlier, Stremousov told TASS that the Kherson Region authorities supported the Zaporozhye Region authorities’ idea to hold a referendum on the same day. According to him, preparations are already underway, in particular, the electoral commissions are being prepared.
ATMs in Cuba begin to accept Mir payment system cards
MOSCOW. July 26 (Interfax) – Russian tourists can now withdraw cash in pesos from the cards of the Mir payment system in Cuba, tourism counselor of the Cuban embassy to Russia Juan Carlos Escalona Pellicer told Interfax.
“Russians can now use the Russian Mir bank card in Cuba. However, so far only ATMs accept it. Now the technical issues are being resolved, and by the end of the year it will be possible to pay with it in all outlets,” he said.
The ATMs are located both in Havana and at the country’s resorts, Pellicer said. Tourists can withdraw cash pesos to pay for their purchases at Cuban resorts.
The National Payment Card System was considering the possibility of using Mir cards in Cuba, General Director of the company Vladimir Komlev said in late March.
As previously reported, Russia is looking into the service of cards belonging to the Mir national payment system with Egypt and Venezuela.
Mir cards are currently accepted in 11 countries: Turkey, Vietnam, South Korea, Armenia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The National Payment Card System was set up by the Russian authorities in 2014 after a number of sanctions were imposed on Russia. The company announced the issuance of its first Mir cards in December 2015.
Lavrov arrives in Ethiopia, last leg of his tour of Africa
From Ethiopia, the foreign minister will travel to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Council of Foreign Ministers
ADDIS ABABA, July 26. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived on Tuesday in Ethiopia on a working visit, TASS reports from the site.
On Wednesday, Lavrov is expected to hold talks with his Ethiopian counterpart Demeke Mekonnen.
The top diplomat visits Ethiopia on the last leg of his tour of Africa. From Ethiopia, he will travel to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Council of Foreign Ministers.
SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE
Only part of Russian armed forces engaged in special military operation — top brass
Sergey Shoigu stressed that the number of troops engaged in the operation is quite sufficient to implement all the tasks set forth by the commander-in-chief
MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. Only a part of Russia’s armed forces is involved in its special military operation in Ukraine and the number of troops engaged is sufficient to fulfill the tasks set forth by the commander-in-chief, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday with regards to the plans to hold the Vostok 2022 (East 2022) strategic command and staff exercise.
“We are drawing your attention to the fact that only a part of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is engaged in the special military operation and its size is quite sufficient to implement all the tasks set forth by the commander-in-chief,” the military agency noted.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported that the Vostok 2022 (East 2022) strategic command and staff drills will be held from August 30 through September 5. The exercise will involve the servicemen of the Eastern Military District.
Africa Will Play a Bigger Role in Russia’s Foreign Policy, Lavrov Tells Sputnik
Russia is currently developing a new edition in the country’s foreign policy as western nations impose fresh sanctions against Moscow that result in severed political and business ties.
The new foreign policy guidelines being developed by the Kremlin should include a provision for enhancing ties between Russia and African countries regardless of the actions that western countries take, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stated, responding to Sputnik’s question during his joint press conference with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
The minister likewise confirmed that the West’s current policy, which mostly boils down to attempts at isolating Moscow and hitting it with sanctions, prompted a greater emphasis on Africa in the yet-to-be-released foreign policy guidelines.
“We have our principle, our long-term relations, which do not depend on the current global situation and so, apparently, our work in the sphere of ties with African countries will expand. But given the current situation and the current activities undertaken by the West, objectively the role of the African continent will grow in our work,” Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister added that apart from the ever-increasing importance of the African line of the Ministry’s work, the western line of work effectively “cancels itself out”.
Lavrov stressed that in addition to boosting cooperation with the African continent in the Russian foreign policy guidelines, Moscow is also preparing for the second Russia-Africa summit, after the success of the first one organized in 2019 in Sochi, Russia. The second summit is set to take place in 2023 and preparations have already begun, the minister said, adding that participant countries’ working groups are already discussing parameters of future meaningful cooperation agreements.
Russia’s increased pivot towards Africa, as well as Asia, comes while western sanctions increasingly cut ties with Moscow, citing its decision to launch a special military operation in Ukraine. Moscow’s relations with the West, which had already been at historic lows after the 2014 coup in Ukraine in which the West played a major role, deteriorated rapidly as western countries started slapping new sanctions against the Russian government, officials, economy and businesses after February 24 – the day when the operation began.
In total, the West has imposed seven packages of sanctions that target the Russian banking system, oil, gold and other wares. In addition, a handful of other countries started to unilaterally cut cooperation with Russia in various spheres.
The sanctions not only deteriorated inter-governmental relations, but the flak from them also caused the deterioration of business ties. Sanctions against banks and other sectors of the Russian economy undermined logistics and financial routes, prompting many companies to leave the country due to the inability to import wares or components for their production in Russia.
Sanctions’ Impact on Africa and Rest of the Globe
The Kremlin condemned western sanctions as illegal and pointed to their global negative impact on the lives of people not just in Russia and the West, but elsewhere in the world. Following the introduction of the first sanctions packages, already-high inflation in many countries jumped even higher, while oil prices surged bagging along gasoline pricetags, and global fertilizer costs skyrocketed.
In addition, western countries’ action in concert with Ukraine’s mining of its own waters prompted a global shortage of grain as shipments from two major producers (Russia and Ukraine) were ground to a near halt.
The West attempted to point the finger at Russia, claiming that its special military operation was to blame. Moscow rejected these claims, stressing that grain supplies from Russia were undermined by western sanctions, which prevented Russian ships from entering European ports and European vessels from docking in Russian ports. As a result, global grain prices surged, impacting countries of the Middle East and Africa and sparking fears of possible famine.
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