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EU’s next potential sanctions target revealed Forging High-quality Partnership For a New Era of Global Development : Xi Jinping পদ্মা সেতুর উদ্বোধন উপলক্ষে ১০০ টাকা মূল্যমানের স্মারক নোট ২৪ জুন এক নজরে বাংলাদেশ পদ্মা সেতু উদ্বোধন উপলক্ষ্যে প্রধানমন্ত্রী ও রাষ্ট্রপতির বাণী  Pentagon unveils new Ukraine weapons shipment Germany warns entire industries could stop due to gas shortage ২৪ জুন কোভিড-১৯ সংক্রান্ত সর্বশেষ প্রতিবেদন Japan wants more people-to-people cultural bond with Bangladesh হাওর এলাকার আশংকাজনকহারে জলাভূমি হ্রাস বন্যার ভয়াবহতা বাড়িয়ে দিচ্ছে : আইপিডি PM to open Padma Bridge on June 25  EU and NATO forming coalition ‘for war against Russia’ : Lavrov President, PM greet all involved with Padma Bridge project অবিলম্বে দেশে ভোজ্যতেলের দাম সমন্বয়ের দাবি ক্যাব এর ২১ জুন এক নজরে বাংলাদেশ ২৩ জুন কোভিড-১৯ সংক্রান্ত সর্বশেষ প্রতিবেদন AL means independence, developed Bangladesh: PM  imo steps in to facilitate flood victims LafargeHolcim signs agreement with Swisscontact Bangladesh to support waste management in MSMEs তামাকের দাম বাড়াতে মন্ত্রিপরিষদ সচিবকে ব্যবস্থা গ্রহণের সুপারিশ ৯৭ সাংসদের
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EU’s next potential sanctions target revealed Forging High-quality Partnership For a New Era of Global Development : Xi Jinping পদ্মা সেতুর উদ্বোধন উপলক্ষে ১০০ টাকা মূল্যমানের স্মারক নোট ২৪ জুন এক নজরে বাংলাদেশ পদ্মা সেতু উদ্বোধন উপলক্ষ্যে প্রধানমন্ত্রী ও রাষ্ট্রপতির বাণী  Pentagon unveils new Ukraine weapons shipment Germany warns entire industries could stop due to gas shortage Japan wants more people-to-people cultural bond with Bangladesh হাওর এলাকার আশংকাজনকহারে জলাভূমি হ্রাস বন্যার ভয়াবহতা বাড়িয়ে দিচ্ছে : আইপিডি EU and NATO forming coalition ‘for war against Russia’ : Lavrov অবিলম্বে দেশে ভোজ্যতেলের দাম সমন্বয়ের দাবি ক্যাব এর ২১ জুন এক নজরে বাংলাদেশ imo steps in to facilitate flood victims LafargeHolcim signs agreement with Swisscontact Bangladesh to support waste management in MSMEs তামাকের দাম বাড়াতে মন্ত্রিপরিষদ সচিবকে ব্যবস্থা গ্রহণের সুপারিশ ৯৭ সাংসদের Prerona Foundation-Bengal Meat collaborates NATO chief ‘cannot guarantee’ membership for Finland and Sweden Energypac Sponsors 4th Dhaka Automotive Show 2022 Putin’s Global Ratings Drop to 20-Year Low : Pew Australian envoy expects Padma Bridge to enhance regional growth

West’s hybrid war against Russia opens doors for expanding China ties, says Lavrov

Bangladesh Beyond
  • Updated on Thursday, June 2, 2022
  • 108 Impressed

West’s hybrid war against Russia opens doors for expanding China ties, says Lavrov

#Lavrov

Dhaka June 02 2022 :

 

Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Bangladesh on June 02 2022.

 

INSIDE RUSSIA

Kremlin says Putin, Zelensky could meet only to finalize `certain document’

MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky could meet only to finalize “a certain document”, yet the two sides suspended work on it long ago, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

“No one could ever exclude such a meeting a priori, but arrangements for it should be made. Putin and Zelensky could meet only to finalize a certain document, yet work on it was suspended rather long ago and has never been resumed,” Peskov said.

In response to a question about whether Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Turkey on June 8 would be related to a potential meeting in Istanbul between Moscow, Kiev and the United Nations, Peskov said that these would be “single-context” events.

“Therefore, there is an indirect connection between the events, indeed,” he said. “Yet there is still no clear-cut vision with regard to a meeting (between Russian, Ukrainian and UN delegations – TASS),” the presidential spokesman said.

Nor is there an indication for Putin’s potential visit to Turkey, Peskov added. “There is an invitation, and the timing will be agreed via diplomatic channels,” he said, failing to give the exact date.

 

Putin vows Russia will keep bolstering its strength, independence and sovereignty

MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. Russia will build up its strength and sovereignty in a rapidly changing world, President Vladimir Putin said in a video address on International Day for Protection of Children, which was featured at a Bolshoi Theater event dedicated to the date.

Putin extended his congratulations to parents, teachers, and pupils. “You are living and growing up in a very dynamic time when the world is changing, and it’s changing rapidly. I am confident that in this complicated world, Russia will only bolster its strength, independence and sovereignty,” Putin assured.

According to him, this “is not about working on some specific track.” “It covers the economy, technology, science and many other areas, as well as efforts to strengthen civil society and patriotic education. I believe that these activities also involve a strong civil society and the patriotic activities of the youth,” the head of state noted.

 

Russia applauds China’s unbiased stance on Ukraine, says top diplomat Lavrov

MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. Moscow appreciates Beijing’s support in its efforts to uphold Russia’s principal approaches to the formation of Europe’s security architecture and values China’s stance regarding the situation in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

“We highly appreciate the balanced and unbiased stance of our Chinese friends regarding the situation in and around Ukraine,” Lavrov said in a video address to participants of the ‘Russia and China: Cooperation in a New Era’ conference.

“We are supported by Beijing in efforts to defend Russia’s principal approaches to the security architecture formation in Europe,” he continued.

Constructive approach

According to Lavrov, tectonic shifts in the modern geopolitical landscape serve as a catalyst for deepening joint foreign policy coordination between Moscow and Beijing.

“Together with our friends from China, we maintain a constructive approach in building relations with third-party countries,” he noted. “At the same time, our positions on the vast majority of key issues on the global and regional agenda either coincide or are extremely close.”

The Russian minister stressed that Moscow and Beijing jointly favor strengthening the coordinating role of the UN in global affairs, adherence to the fundamental principle of equal and indivisible security, which implies not strengthening one’s own security at the expense of others.

“We are united with our Chinese friends by our drive towards the democratization of international life so that the voices of all countries – whether large or small – are heard, and a narrow clique of the Western countries led by the United States, will no longer be able to dictate to the world its own rules of the game,” he said. “We reject all illegitimate and unilateral sanctions as an unscrupulous instrument of political diktat.”

Lavrov also noted that “the philosophy of dialogue and mutually-equal cooperation shared by Russia and China are at the heart of the ‘Global Security Initiative,’ voiced by Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the opening of the Boao Forum for Asia’s annual conference [in China] on April 21. Moscow and Beijing are doing their utmost to fight against terrorism and extremism.”

“We are working hard in the name of a political and diplomatic solution to such important global issues as the Iranian nuclear program, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the settlement of the conflict in Syria and Afghanistan,” Russia’s top diplomat continued.

Lavrov also spotlighted the significance of successfully maintaining cooperation between Moscow and Beijing in various multilateral formats.

“Our countries are closely coordinating their positions in the United Nations, the G20, the SCO [the Shanghai Cooperation Organization], BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa], APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] and on other international platforms,” Lavrov stated. “Special attention is being paid to bolstering regional integration processes, particularly within the framework of the EAEU [the Eurasian Economic Union] and China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.”

According to him, it all provides for the enhancement of interaction in the Asian-Pacific and Eurasian regions, the formation of the Greater Eurasian Partnership in the interests of the regional infrastructure’s further development and stable economic growth on the shared continent.

 

West’s hybrid war against Russia opens doors for expanding China ties, says Lavrov

MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. The hybrid war unleashed by the collective West against Russia opens up new opportunities for expanding cooperation between Moscow and Beijing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday in a video address to the participants in the 7th international conference ‘Russia and China: Cooperation in a New Era’.

“It is a well-known fact that the word ‘crisis’ in Chinese is a combination of two characters: ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity.’ I am sure that the hybrid war unleashed by the collective West against Russia opens up new opportunities for expanding Russian-Chinese practical cooperation, including in investment and finance,” the top diplomat stressed.

Lavrov pointed out that Russia and China intend to step up the use of the ruble and yuan in mutual settlements. “At a time when the US and the EU have turned their currencies into a tool for blackmail, we intend to develop an independent financial infrastructure and significantly increase the use of the ruble and the yuan in settlements between our states. They already account for a quarter of our trade turnover,” the minister stressed.

Example of commitment to the future

Lavrov pointed out that in this difficult and crucial time the world is going through today, the comprehensive development of the strategic partnership with the People’s Republic of China remains among the priorities of Russia’s foreign policy. “President Vladimir Putin has described the relations between Moscow and Beijing as ‘a model of efficiency, responsibility and aspiration for the future’. The experience of joint work under the new conditions shows that our ties have a powerful and truly inexhaustible potential, confidently passing the strength test,” he emphasized. “Despite the sanctions pressure and information war from the US and its satellites, we were able to not only maintain the entire range of bilateral cooperation, but also saturate it with a relevant substantive agenda. New formats and areas of joint efforts are being created. The scale and intensity of such cooperation will grow.”

Lavrov is convinced that the prosperous future of the peoples of Russia and China and, to some extent, the outline of a more just and democratic polycentric world order being shaped will depend on how effectively the two nations will be able to achieve their objectives.

Positive dynamics

The Russian top diplomat noted that the strategic vector of joint efforts between the two countries is formed primarily as a result of the dialogue of trust at the highest level. He reiterated that on February 4 the Russian president paid a historic visit to Beijing where he held the first face-to-face talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping since the outbreak of the pandemic and adopted a weighty political document: the Joint Statement on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development.

“It enshrines common positions on the issues of international security, the democratic process, human rights and sustainable development. I would like to emphasize its provision, which was successfully formulated earlier by my esteemed colleague and friend Foreign Minister Wang Yi: there are no restrictions and prohibited topics in our cooperation,” Lavrov added.

Foreign Minister Lavrov stressed that China has long been Russia’s main foreign trade partner. “Our economies successfully complement each other. Last year, bilateral trade turnover grew by a third and reached a historical maximum, exceeding $140 billion. Serious positive dynamics are still observed today,” he noted.

“Russia and China are systematically implementing all approved cooperation programs. The energy partnership has acquired a strategic character. Large projects in industry, agriculture and transport are being implemented. The construction of road and railroad bridges across the Amur River is completed. Traffic will start soon,” Lavrov stressed.

 

OUTSIDE RUSSIA

US cyber chief admits to attacks against Russia in Ukraine

US Cyber Command specialists were deployed to Ukraine and conducted offensive operations against Russia, its commander and NSA Director General Paul Nakasone said on Wednesday.

In an interview with Sky News, on the sidelines of a cyber conference in Estonia, Nakasone also revealed that US eavesdroppers conduct information warfare, with the help of corporate media such as CNN.

Nakasone, a four-star general, heads both the Cyber Command and the National Security Agency out of Fort Meade, Maryland. He was in Tallinn on Wednesday for CyCon – the 14th International Conference on Cyber Conflict, hosted by NATO.

Gen Nakasone @CYBERCOM_DIRNSA describes cybersecurity as national security— highlighting a policy of persistent engagement, hunt forward operations, and enabling public-private partnership by moving from reliance on classified information to open rapid sharing #Cycon#CCDOE#w00pic.twitter.com/DgBbFRo1UM

— J. A. Guerrero-Saade (@juanandres_gs) June 1, 2022

In the interview with Sky, the general said US cyber specialists have been deployed to 16 overseas countries at the invitation of their allied governments, to “hunt forward”: seek out foreign hackers and identify the tools they use.

“We went in December 2021 at the invitation of the Kiev government to come and hunt with them. We stayed there for a period of almost 90 days,” Nakasone said. This team left Ukraine in February, along with all other US troops, ahead of the Russian incursion.

Nakasone also confirmed – for the very first time, according to Sky – that the US was conducting offensive hacking operations in support of Ukraine.

We’ve conducted a series of operations across the full spectrum; offensive, defensive, [and] information operations.

According to the general, the difference between Russian and US information warfare is that Moscow lies while Washington tells the truth. As an example, he cited a 2020 case of “troll farms” he said Russia was developing in Africa. The NSA and Cyber Command responded by informing the FBI – but also CNN, which provided “a flashlight that suddenly exposes this type of malicious behavior.”

In December 2020, Facebook announced a purge of accounts – allegedly both Russian and French – suspected of “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” in central and northern Africa.

Nakasone said that the NSA and CYBERCOM have been developing this “strategic disclosure” since 2018, when he took over as the leader of both. As other examples, he said the NSA also put forth information about what “the Russians were trying to do in our midterm elections” in 2018 as well as in 2020. Moscow has denied any meddling in US elections, electronic or otherwise.

“The ability for us to share that information, being able to ensure it’s accurate and it’s timely and it’s actionable on a broader scale has been very, very powerful in this crisis,” he said.

US intelligence officials admitted to NBC News in April that they have leaked intelligence to the media about the conflict in Ukraine that was either “not rock solid” or was outright made up on multiple occasions, in order to win an “info war” against Russia. The misinformation was part of an effort to “undermine Moscow’s propaganda and prevent Russia from defining how the war is perceived in the world,” they said.

 

Lavrov says ‘no smoke without fire’ responding to Borrell’s vision of EU as military power

RIYADH, June 1. /TASS/. The statement by the top EU diplomat, Josep Borrell, that the EU should become a serious military power is mere words “but there’s no smoke without fire,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference following a visit to Saudi Arabia.

“Probably, this is primarily mere words, but there is no smoke without fire,” Lavrov said. “There really is such a strong Russophobic wing in the European Union, which for many years effectively imposed its position on everyone else, exploiting the principle of solidarity and consensus.”

This wing, according to the minister, “is now stepping up its activity.”

“Borrell’s statements, despite the impropriety of the belligerent words coming from the mouth of the top diplomat of the European Union, reflect the trend that an aggressive minority is imposing on the entire European Union,” the minister said. And the ideal for this minority, Lavrov said, is “a militarized European Union as an appendage of NATO.”

The minister also described German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s statements about Germany’s intention to become the EU main military force as evidence of resurgent “dominant aspirations” in the country.

“We have taken note of the statement by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz who stated that Germany would become the main military force in the European Union,” Lavrov said. “I have already read feedback by observers who said they were seriously bewildered that such statements were made by the German leader.”

“This evokes some thoughts because this is far from being the sole evidence of the resurgence of dominant aspirations in Germany,” Russia’s top diplomat said.

Such statements “must be heard by other EU members and must become a subject of a serious talk,” Lavrov said. “A talk about how Europe will develop further and how it will continue to draw lessons from its hard history of past centuries.”.

 

Russian-Polish relations hit rock bottom, says envoy

WARSAW, June 1. /TASS/. Russian-Polish relations have dropped to a historic low, Russian ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev said at a press conference on Wednesday.

“They [relations] have reached a historic low. There is practically no contact at the moment. There have been no political contacts at the ministerial level since 2014. And now there are no contacts at all, except for technical issues. There is no dialogue,” he said.

As the ambassador pointed out, in the economic sphere, Polish companies that used to work in the Russian market are actively encouraged to leave this market, and many Russian companies in Poland are put on the sanctions list by the authorities.

“Our relations in all spheres, including culture, are tending toward zero,” Andreev summarized.

When asked if he feels safe in Poland, the Russian ambassador answered in the affirmative. “For many years of my stay here, except for the situation of May 9, I have never encountered hostility from the Poles I’ve met,” Andreev said.

According to him, after the May 9 incident, the embassy have been receiving daily “calls, letters of regret, apologies, etc.” for a week. “So, in my opinion, the Poles’ reaction was mostly adequate,” he pointed out.

Attack on diplomats

Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev arrived on Victory Day at the war memorial cemetery of Soviet soldiers on Zwirki i Wigury Street in Warsaw in a diplomatic car with a Russian flag. As he stepped out of the car, he was surrounded by an aggressive crowd that had previously convened at this memorial site, carrying Ukrainian flags, sheets soaked with red paint and anti-Russian slogans. The police weren’t present on the square at that moment. Diplomats were able to make several dozen steps, but the crowd didn’t allow them to move further.

For several minutes, the crowd shouted at the diplomats and hurled packages with a red substance at them. As the ambassador said on Rossiya-24 TV channel later, the diplomats were doused with sweet syrup. After a while, the police pushed back the crowd and escorted the diplomats to their cars. None of them were seriously hurt.

The Russian Foreign Ministry sent a strong protest to the Polish authorities, requiring them to immediately arrange a wreath-laying ceremony and protect its participants from any kind of provocation. The Polish Foreign Ministry said that the attack on the Russian ambassador is deplorable and should not have happened, as diplomats of all countries are protected.

 

Russia interested in boosting presence in Saudi Arabian food product market

MOSCOW. June 1 (Interfax) – Russia is interested in expanding its presence in the food products market of Saudi Arabia, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement following negotiations between Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev and the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture of Saudi Arabia Abdulrahman Al-Fadli.

Owing to the joint work of the agriculture ministries of Russia and Saudi Arabia, cooperation between the two nations over the past few years has strengthened significantly, Patrushev was quoted as saying in the statement. Despite the pandemic, the turnover of agricultural goods and food products between the countries remained level in 2021.

The turnover of agricultural products between Russia and Saudi Arabia in 2021 amounted to $694.1 million, of which Russian exports accounted for $686 million, the Agriculture Ministry’s Agroexport center said. In particular, barley deliveries totaled $257.7 million, wheat – $141.3 million, poultry – $57.2 million, sunflower oil – $39.6 million and chocolate products $1.1 million.

Meat, dairy and confectionary products are among the promising export items, the ministry said. Furthermore, the ministry said that the development of trade cooperation could be driven by an increase in supplies of domestic halal products, the high quality of which has already been recognized in Persian Gulf countries.

The parties pointed to the high level of cooperation between the oversight agencies of Russia and Saudi Arabia during the talks. As a result of this work, certificates for the primary types of livestock products have been agreed upon, which has made it possible to boost supplies from Russia.

Russia is planning to take part in the 39th agricultural exhibition in Riyadh this fall.

 

SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE

 

Russia Warns OPCW About Impending Provocations by Ukraine With Chemical Weapons

The Russian Ministry of Defence previously uncovered Ukrainian plans to stage a “false flag” attack involving chemical weapons on its own soil, in a bid to frame Russia and trigger a confrontation between Moscow and NATO.

Moscow has notified the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) about possible provocations by Kiev, Russian Permanent Representative to the organisation Alexander Shulgin said on Wednesday.

“We have already informed [the OPCW]. In total, we have recently sent 12 verbal notes, in which we wrote in detail about the places and methods of the supposed provocations [by Ukraine]”, he told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

The OPCW is currently researching this information, the diplomat added.

Kiev and Washington previously tried to speculate that there was a threat that Moscow would launch a chemical attack – despite the fact that Russia had destroyed its last stockpiles of chemical weapons in 2017; this was certified by the OPCW.

Later, the American press reported, citing sources, that the narrative propagated by the US officials contradicted intelligence reports on the issue.

The statement by Moscow expressing concerns about possible provocations from Kiev come as Russian and Donbass forces are advancing amid the special operation, pressing Ukrainian troops out from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

The operation was started back in February, in order to stop the eight-year-long war, waged by Kiev’s forces in Donbass, as Moscow called the action of Ukrainian military there a genocide and promised to stop the conflict, aiming for the “demilitarisation and denazification” of Ukraine.

 

Kiev Regime Plans to Attack Russia Using US Rocket Systems, MoD Warns

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the Kiev regime is planning to attack Russia using the HIMARS rocket systems, which the US has decided to supply to Ukraine. The attack will be launched from the city of Shostka, Sumy region, the MoD warns. The Kiev authorities seek to use Ukrainian and foreign journalists to create fakes, namely photos and videos about “Russians killing civilians”, the defence ministry stated. These photos and videos would be picked up by Western media in an instant, the ministry added.

The Defence Ministry also confirmed that Ukrainian nationalists had blown up a tank with nitric acid in Severdonetsk, as they were retreating. A toxic cloud has moved from the site of the explosion to Kremennaya and Rubezhnoye. Numerous civilians have been hurt, the ministry revealed.

 

Russia weighs in on signals about Ukraine’s stance regarding US-supplied MLRS

MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. Moscow is picking up signals that Kiev has no intention of using US-supplied Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) against targets on Russian soil, but it will link them to the real state of affairs, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told TASS on Wednesday.

“I would rather not comment on something, which is mostly secondary. The question is not about the range of any system or anybody’s intentions,” he said, when asked to comment on Ukraine’s assurances that it would not use American MLRS to strike targets on the territory of Russia.

“We are certainly picking up all of these signals, but we are linking them to what is going on in reality,” Ryabkov stated. “In reality, Kiev is still being flooded with uninterrupted and perpetual supplies of the newest weapons systems.”

He added that such steps on behalf of Washington are aimed at “delaying the moment,” when Russia announces that it will have reached the set objectives of its special military operation in Ukraine, and they will be attained despite the measures undertaken by the United States.

“They [the set objectives] will be eventually reached, no matter what steps are taken on behalf of the United States, or their satellites and clients,” the diplomat noted.

A high-ranking official in the Biden administration stated earlier in the week that the United States would announce on Wednesday the delivery of its 11th package of military aid to Ukraine, which is set to include multiple launch rocket systems, namely HIMAR (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems).

The official added that the striking range of the supplied HIMAR systems, mounted on a wheeled chassis, would not exceed 80 kilometers (up to 50 miles). According to him, Ukraine reassured Washington that it would not be using US-supplied MLRS for striking targets on the territory of Russia.

Russia’s military operation in Donbass

The situation at the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. Back then, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardment by the Ukrainian military in months, which damaged civilian infrastructure and inflicted casualties upon the population.

On February 21, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would recognize the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Moscow recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions stipulating the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.

Russian President Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics, he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.

 

Russia not blocking Ukrainian grain exports – Moscow

A Kremlin spokesman says Kiev should clear mines from its ports and begin shipping

Russian military forces are not blocking grain shipments from Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday, as quoted by Interfax. He said the ports have been mined by the Ukrainian military, which prevents ships from going out to sea.

According to the official, Moscow is willing to find ways for Ukraine to resume the shipment of grain from its Black Sea ports, though a final agreement hasn’t been reached.

Peskov added that the issue has been discussed with Turkey, as well as several other states.

“And in fact, all the heads of state and governments with whom there have been conversations recently, as well as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, received detailed explanations from [President Vladimir] Putin that Russia does not interfere with the export of grain,” he said.

Peskov said the world could be on the verge of a major food crisis due to decisions being taken by Ukrainian authorities, as well as the “illegal restrictions” imposed on Russia by Western countries.

“Moreover, if Ukraine still manages to move on to demining ports and ensuring conditions for safe maritime navigation, then Russia will be ready to assist in escorting [ships] to international waters,” he said.

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

 

Kremlin responds to Ukraine’s pledge on US arms

President Zelensky cannot be trusted not to use weapons to attack targets in Russia, Moscow says

Ukraine cannot be trusted to abide by Washington’s wishes and not use US-supplied rocket launchers against targets in Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. Kiev has a poor record on keeping its word, the official claimed.

Peskov was commenting on the US decision to provide Ukraine with HIMRAS multiple rocket launchers. US officials stated that the weapon systems would not be used against targets in Russia, arguing that this made Washington not a party to the Ukraine conflict.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky pledged to honor the US assurances when he spoke to Newsmax.

“We’re not interested in what’s happening in Russia,” he said in an interview published on Wednesday. “We’re only interested in our own territory in Ukraine.”

When asked about the promise, Peskov said Russia didn’t trust Zelensky to keep his word.

“Unfortunately, such a thing is not what our experience suggests,” he said. Zelensky has been breaking his word throughout his relatively short political career, “starting with his main election campaign promise to put an end to the war in southeastern Ukraine,” Peskov said.

Zelensky, a former comedian, made a surprise switch to politics in January 2019, announcing his decision to run for president. He quickly gained momentum in the race, partly because he had played a character in a political comedy show, who took power in Ukraine by a chance and used it to take down entrenched corruption in the government while challenging global institutions like the International Monetary Fund.

The unorthodox candidate pledged to reconcile with rebel forces of the Donbass, who turned against the central government after the 2014 armed coup in Kiev. He received an unprecedented level of public support, scoring over 73% of votes in the second round face-off against incumbent President Petro Poroshenko.

Instead of delivering peace, Zelensky continued his predecessor’s policies regarding the breakaway republics and openly refused to implement the Minsk agreements, an EU-brokered peace roadmap for the Donbass.

Considering the circumstances “we give no credit of trust to the Ukrainian side,” Peskov said. Russia does not believe that the US was acting in good faith either, the Kremlin spokesman added.

“The US is pouring gasoline on the fire deliberately and with enthusiasm,” and American arms supplies “encourage the Ukrainian leadership not to resume peace talks,” he said.

Peskov pledged that the Russian military will take precautions to minimize the potential threat posed to Russia by American missiles in Ukraine’s possession.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

 

Top Russian MP suggests how Ukraine operation might end

The conflict will conclude once Kiev is ready to negotiate, the head of the State Duma Defense Committee has said

Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine could come to an end if Kiev agrees to negotiate, the head of Russia’s State Duma Defense Committee Andrey Kartapolov claimed on Wednesday.

The operation “will develop in accordance with the plan, and, I think, will end when the current Ukrainian leadership is ‘ripe’ for negotiations,” Kartapolov said in an interview with RIA Novosti news agency. He said the situation on the ground has changed and that Kiev’s forces are beginning to crack.

The last round of face-to-face talks between the two countries was held on March 29 in Istanbul, where Kiev proposed penning an international agreement on security guarantees for Ukraine in return for agreeing to the neutral status that Russia has been demanding since before the conflict began.

However, those talks ultimately fell through and the two sides have continued to blame each other for the lack of progress in negotiations.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invited Moscow and Kiev to hold a new round of talks in Istanbul, noting that the peace process had appeared to make at least some progress before breaking down.

“President Erdogan stated Turkey’s readiness, if agreed upon in principle by both parties, to meet with Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations in Istanbul, and to assume a role in a possible observation mechanism,” the presidency’s directorate of communications said in a statement.

Russia attacked the neighboring state following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

 

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