Erdogan rules out approval of Sweden’s NATO membership without extradition of PKK fighters

Turkey believes that joining the alliance of countries supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party will make it unsafe. Erdogan also rebuked NATO for disrespecting Ankara

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Swedish representatives should not bother negotiating with Turkey about the Kingdom's entry into NATO, as it will not approve it without the extradition of members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organization in Ankara. This was stated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Milliyet reports.

“They are going to arrive on Monday. Let them not trouble themselves, our attitude is obvious. Terrorist organizations are still marching in Sweden, — Erdogan explained.

The Turkish leader found the simultaneous support of the kingdom of Kurdish formations and requests to Turkey to support his membership in NATO inconsistent.

“We asked Sweden to extradite 30 terrorists, they said they would not extradite them. Terrorists are not extradited, but they ask us to accept them into NATO, — he explained (quoted from Hurriyet). According to Erdogan, Sweden's accession to the alliance, given the situation with the PKK, will make it unsafe.

The Turkish President also rebuked the alliance for disrespecting Ankara's concerns, noting that some other members are treated differently there.

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Earlier, Erdogan also accused Sweden and Finland of supporting sanctions against Turkey.

On the eve of Bloomberg, it was reported that Ankara is asking for approval of the entry of these countries into the North Atlantic Alliance, the return of Turkey to the training program for pilots of American F-35 fighters and the removal of sanctions from it for the purchase of the S-400 anti-aircraft complex from Russia. Stockholm and Helsinki should also publicly denounce the Kurdish formations and recognize the PKK as a terrorist organization.

The Turkish edition of Sabah listed ten demands from Ankara. Among other things, she demands from the Finnish and Swedish authorities not to admit members of the PKK to parliaments and avoid contacts with them, to stop disinformation from the followers of the preacher Fethullah Gülen (their organization FETO is also recognized as a terrorist organization in Turkey) and to block the bank accounts of these structures.

On May 18, Sweden and Finland filed formal applications to join NATO. Now they will be considered by the Council of the North Atlantic Alliance, then it must be ratified by the parliaments of all 30 members.

The leader of the European People's Party, the largest faction of the European Parliament, Manfred Weber noted that any member of the alliance who will prevent these countries from joining, will be isolated within the bloc.

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Foreign Ministry announces retaliatory expulsion of 24 Italian diplomats

Russia has declared 24 Italian diplomats persona non grata. Thus, the Foreign Ministry responded to the expulsion of employees of Russian diplomatic missions: in early April, the Italian authorities ordered 30 people to leave the country

Russia will expel 24 Italian diplomats as a response, RIA Novosti reported. at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Italian Ambassador to Russia, Giorgio Starace, was summoned to the ministry to announce response measures.

Italy declared 30 employees of the Russian diplomatic mission persona non grata in early April. Then, after the publication of reports about the events in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, a new wave of expulsions of Russian diplomats began. As stated in the Italian Foreign Ministry, the decision was made “in agreement with the partners.” and for “national security reasons.” At the time, the Russian Foreign Ministry promised “an appropriate response.”

Earlier, on May 18, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced retaliatory measures against the expulsions of Russian diplomats by France. The country's ambassador, Pierre Levy, “was strongly protested against the provocative and unsubstantiated decision.” France to declare 41 employees of Russian diplomatic institutions persona non grata.

As Le Figaro and BFM TV reported in early April, in early April the French authorities considered the activities of 30-35 employees “contrary to security interests”, and then in mid-April declared six more Russian diplomats persona non grata, suspecting them of working for intelligence agencies.

Now Russia has announced retaliatory measures, deciding to expel 34 French diplomats. In addition, the ambassadors of Spain and Sweden were summoned to the Foreign Ministry, RIA Novosti reported.

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Foreign Ministry announces expulsion of 27 Spanish diplomats

As a response, Russia declared 27 employees of the Spanish embassy and consulate general persona non grata. Earlier today, the Foreign Ministry decided to expel 58 French and Italian diplomats

The building of the Spanish Embassy in Moscow

The Russian authorities have declared 27 employees of the Spanish Embassy in Moscow and the Spanish Consulate General in St. Petersburg persona non grata, the Foreign Ministry reports. They will have to leave Russia within seven days.

This was a response to the expulsion of 27 Russian diplomats from Spain. Earlier Wednesday, Spanish Ambassador to Moscow Marcos Gomez Martinez was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and protested. “It is emphasized that this unfriendly step will have a negative impact on Russian-Spanish relations,” — added in the ministry.

Madrid decided to expel the Russian diplomatic mission in early April, the authorities explained this by the fact that the diplomats “pose a threat to the interests and security” Spain. According to Russian Ambassador Yuri Korchagin, he was told that the activities of the embassy employees being expelled were “not compatible with diplomatic work.” According to the Ambassador, no explanation or evidence was provided to him.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albarez said in early May that Korchagin had “almost no” contact with the department. At the same time, he stressed that Madrid does not intend to expel the ambassador. The representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that Moscow regards this remark as “an unethical attempt to put pressure on the head of the Russian diplomatic mission.”

Earlier on May 18, Russia declared 24 Italian diplomats and 34 members of the French diplomatic mission persona non grata. This step was also a response to the actions of Rome and Paris.

After the start of the military operation in Ukraine, many European countries declared employees of Russian diplomatic missions persona non grata, including Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and others.

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The Investigative Committee demanded to arrest in absentia the founder of the CIT investigative group

A case was opened against the journalist under an article about the dissemination of fakes about the actions of the Russian military “by an organized group with the artificial creation of evidence for the prosecution.” Leviev himself is not in Russia

The European Commission has presented a new plan to phase out energy from Russia

The Commission identified three principles for accelerating the phase-out of Russian oil and gas: reducing energy consumption, finding new suppliers and accelerating the transition to renewable energy

The process of EU phase-out of Russian fossil energy sources will be based on three principles: it is saving energy, accelerating the transition to renewable sources and diversifying supplies, said the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

Von der Leyen stressed that the process is progressing well in presenting the finalized exit plan. She recalled that the European Union refused coal from Russia, and Russian gas supplies in 2022 began to occupy 26% in the structure of EU consumption— against 40% in 2021.

However, the reduction of the EU's dependence on Russian hydrocarbons must be accelerated. This can be done at three levels, von der Leyen explained.

  • Energy savings for consumers. The head of the European Commission called it the fastest and cheapest way to respond to the current energy crisis.
  • Replacing supplies from Russia with gas from other reliable suppliers.
  • Accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy. At this level, the EC proposes to increase the share of renewable energy in the total composition of its sources from 40 to 45%.

All this will require impressive funding, said von der Leyen. The EU will need €300 billion for these purposes

The EC presented the first version of the strategy for the transition to other energy sources in early March. It said that Europeans should strive to diversify suppliers by increasing imports of LNG and pipeline gas from other sources, increase production and imports of biomethane and fuel hydrogen, and accelerate the reduction in the use of fossil fuels for heating.

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In early May, Bloomberg reported that one of the ways to diversify gas supplies Brussels considers increased cooperation with African countries. In particular, “untapped potential in the field of liquefied natural gas” Nigeria, Senegal and Angola have. The agency claimed that a decision on deliveries from there could be made at the end of May.

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Moscow State Duma decided to change the address of the US embassy to the square of the Defenders of Donbass

Deputies of the Moscow Duma proposed to name the place near the American Embassy in Moscow as the Defenders of Donbass Square and change the address of the US diplomatic mission

Deputies of the Moscow City Duma from “United Russia”, “Fair Russia”, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and the deputy association “My Moscow” proposed to name the area near the US Embassy in the capital “the square of the Defenders of Donbass”. We are talking about an unnamed place at the intersection of Bolshoi Devyatinsky Lane and Konyushkovskaya Street.

According to the head of the faction of the party “United Russia” in the Moscow City Duma, Stepan Orlov, chairman of the Moscow State Duma commission on urban economy and housing policy, the parliamentarians also propose changing the address of the US diplomatic mission from 8, Bolshoy Devyatinsky Lane, to the Defenders of Donbass Square. According to the authors of the initiative, if the proposal is approved, “American diplomats will receive a much more easily remembered topographic landmark.”

According to Orlov, residents of Moscow and city public associations “repeatedly turned to the deputies of the Moscow City Duma with requests to perpetuate on the map of the capital in memory of the heroism and military prowess of the defenders of Donbass».

The head of the Communist Party faction in the Moscow City Duma, Nikolai Zubrilin, said that the authors of the initiative “went on a constructive path”: they proposed not to change the Soviet names, but “to give the new square a worthy name.”

The proposal was handed over to the Moscow mayor's office.

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The issues of naming and renaming the territorial units of Moscow are handled by the City Interdepartmental Commission for the naming of territorial units, streets, metro stations, organizations and other objects; its activities are coordinated by the capital's department of cultural heritage.

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In February 2018, a section of Wisconsin Avenue in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington was named after Boris Nemtsov. The politician was killed in 2015 in the center of Moscow with four shots in the back. In 2020, on the fifth anniversary of the assassination, the name of Boris Nemtsov was given to the square Pod Chestnuts, where the Russian embassy is located in Prague.

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Turchak opposed Mironov’s idea to cancel the autumn elections

Turchak did not see the possibility of weakening Russia due to political competition in the elections. The day before, the leader of the Right Russians warned about this, who also proposed to send money instead of election campaigns to support the army

Andrey Turchak

«United Russia» I do not agree with the proposal not to hold elections on the Single Voting Day in September, Andriy Turchak, Secretary of the Party General Council, said on his Telegram channel. So he commented on the initiative of the head of the faction «Fair Russia— For the truth” Sergei Mironov.

“United Russia” strongly disagree with this. First, the source of power in Russia is the people. It is written in our Constitution. And this is the case when it is not just the letter, but the spirit of the law. It is impossible to deprive people of this right under any circumstances,»,— Turchak said.

He did not agree with the opinion that political competition weakens the country, noting that it makes it stronger. As Turchak pointed out, “all parties agree on the meaning and justification of the special military operation.” and the election campaign cannot shake that consensus.

According to Turchak, “United Russia” is preparing for the preliminary voting procedure, it will begin on May 23.

The day before, Mironov, speaking in the State Duma, proposed to refuse to hold elections in the fall. In his opinion, funds for holding election campaigns should be directed to support the army or to territories taken under control.

“After all, today we must be all as one. Today, all of us in this hall support the president. And in the elections we will have to fight with each other, talk about our contradictions, about what we do not agree with. I think that it is absolutely not the time and place to deal with elections where political parties will compete, — Mironov explained. He also proposed to elect the heads of regions through legislative assemblies, as is the case in Adygea.

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In March, Kommersant wrote about the proposal of several governors to cancel direct elections due to the economic situation against the backdrop of a special operation. with reference to sources in the presidential administration. At the end of April, RBC sources familiar with the discussion of the issue said that the likelihood of direct gubernatorial elections being canceled was high, and the regions could switch to elections through legislative assemblies.

In addition, they allowed the postponement of elections to legislative assemblies and city dumas for 2023 or 2024, when presidential elections are scheduled in Russia.

President Vladimir Putin will make the final decision on changing the format. As expected, he could speak about this at a meeting of legislators in St. Petersburg on April 27, but this topic was not raised. The day before, the press secretary of the head of state, Dmitry Peskov, said that so far no decisions had been made to postpone the elections.

A single voting day should be held in Russia on September 11th. Then 15 heads of regions, as well as deputies of six legislative bodies of the country's constituent entities, will be elected.

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Kursk governor announced new shelling of the border village of Alekseevka

The village is shelled for the second day in a row. According to the governor, Ukraine tried to attack the cell tower, which was repaired after damage the day before

Cell tower in Alekseevka

The village of Alekseevka in the Glushkovsky district of the Kursk region was subjected to mortar fire, governor Roman Starovoit said in Telegram.< /p>

“Apparently, the enemy purposefully aimed at the cell tower, which had just been repaired. The return fire of our border guards and the military did not allow this attack to unfold, — he wrote.

According to the head of the region, no one was injured, no damage was caused as a result of the shelling.

The last time Starovoit reported about the shelling of Alekseevka from large-caliber weapons was the day before, on May 17th. As a result, three private houses, a car and a school building were damaged. At that time, the cell tower was also damaged, several cables were broken.

In the evening of the same day, the governor reported that the Tetkino border checkpoint was shelled by Ukraine. Later, he clarified that the territory of a sugar factory on the outskirts of the village of the same name was subjected to mortar fire. “The enemy fire was suppressed by the response of our border guards and the military. There were no casualties,— noted Starovoit.

The village is located on the border with the Sumy region of Ukraine. According to 2020 data, about 500 people lived in Alekseyevka.

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Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in late February, the authorities of the regions bordering Ukraine, including including the Bryansk, Belgorod regions and Crimea, have repeatedly reported shelling, falling shells, as well as downed Ukrainian drones.

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FT learned of Turkey’s blocking of negotiations on Sweden and Finland in NATO

Ankara prevented the consideration of the applications of the two countries to join the alliance. Erdogan said earlier that Turkey will not approve the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO due to sanctions and the lack of a clear position towards the Kurds

Turkey blocked the start of negotiations in NATO on joining the North Atlantic Alliance of Finland and Sweden, according to the Financial Times, citing a source.

According to the newspaper, NATO ambassadors met on Wednesday, May 18, to discuss the applications for joining the bloc, which were submitted by Helsinki and Stockholm, but Ankara did not give negotiations begin.

NATO declined to comment on information about the blocking of negotiations and cited the statement of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that “it is necessary to take into account the security interests of all allies.” According to him, the alliance expects to “work through all the issues and come to a quick solution.”

The FT notes that the delay caused by Turkey's actions calls into question NATO's ability to conduct an accelerated procedure for approving the applications of the two countries, as previously promised in the alliance. According to the newspaper, “several weeks of diplomatic tensions” are expected. between the United States, Turkey, Finland and Sweden on this issue.

All 30 countries must ratify applications for membership in the alliance— members of the bloc, but this process can only begin after NATO issues an accession protocol and formally invites Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, the publication points out.

The Scandinavian countries filed formal applications to join NATO on May 18, they should be considered by the Council of the North Atlantic Alliance.

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Two days earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara could not support this decision, since Helsinki and Stockholm refused to extradite members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and FETO, whom the Turkish authorities consider terrorists, do not expressed a clear position in relation to these organizations imposed sanctions against Ankara. He also advised Sweden and Finland to “not bother” attempts to negotiate with Turkey.

According to Bloomberg and the Sabah newspaper, Turkey put forward conditions in exchange for agreeing to admit Sweden and Finland to NATO. Among them— the recognition of the PKK as a terrorist organization in these countries, the return of Turkey to the training program for pilots of American F-35 fighters and the lifting of sanctions from it for the purchase of the S-400 anti-aircraft complex from Russia.

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Chemezov called the start date for mass production of Checkmate

The production of the fighter is scheduled to begin in 2027. Checkmate is focused mainly on exports, Chemezov emphasized, nevertheless expressing the hope that the Russian Ministry of Defense will also be interested in it

Model of the Su-75 Checkmate fighter

Serial production of the single-engine Checkmate fighter is scheduled to begin in 2027, the CEO of Rostec told Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sergey Chemezov. He expressed the hope that the Ministry of Defense would like to purchase such an aircraft.

“I think that this aircraft will be very good. This is a fifth generation machine, a light aircraft. <…> This is a new generation multifunctional platform. It is capable of effectively resisting fifth-generation aircraft in long-range and short-range combat,— said the head of the state corporation.

He noted that Checkmate is mainly focused on exports. The aircraft is being created at Rostec's own funds. without attracting budget money, the CEO emphasized.

For the first time, Rostec presented a prototype fighter developed by the Sukhoi company at the International Aviation and Space Salon in 2021. The maximum combat load of the aircraft is 7.4 thousand kg, the flight range in the absence of external fuel tanks & mdash; 2.9 thousand km. Checkmate plans to arm with air-class missiles air” guided missiles “air” earth”, corrected laser-guided aerial bombs, unguided aircraft missiles and cannon weapons. The creators took the basis of the on-board equipment and the engine from the fifth-generation Su-57 aircraft with some changes, Chemezov said.

As the creators of the aircraft noted, the cost of a flight hour will be six to seven times lower than that of the F- 35 (for an American fighter this figure is $33–35 thousand).

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The first flight of the fighter is scheduled for 2023.

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Borisov announced the use of laser weapons by Russia in Ukraine

The new laser weapon is already being used in Ukraine, Borisov said. According to him, we are talking about Zadira complexes. Unlike past developments, they can burn through the target and allow you to “not waste expensive missiles”

Combat laser complex “Peresvet”

The Russian military is using a new generation of combat laser systems “Zadira” during a special operation in Ukraine, said on the air of “Channel One” Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov.

According to him, if the existing laser systems “Peresvet” “blind” target, then a new generation of laser weapons can already burn through objects, so you can “not spend expensive missiles like” Shell ” and “Torah”. Such new systems can “absolutely freely shoot down drones of various classes at a distance of up to 5 km,” the Deputy Prime Minister noted.

He added that new laser systems are “already on the way.” and “already starting to do” into service with the Russian army. In this regard, Borisov was asked if samples of these new systems were used during a special operation in Ukraine. “Yes, the first samples are already in use,” — he answered. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, we are talking about the Zadira complexes.

The Ministry of Defense ordered the Zadira-16 combat complex based on new physical principles. in August 2017. The contract was executed by the Russian Federal Nuclear Center (part of the state corporation Rosatom), which is located in the closed city of Sarov in the Nizhny Novgorod region and Mordovia. The contract was signed with the participation of Borisov, who at that time held the post of Deputy Minister of Defense.

Predecessor of “Badass” “Peresvet” is already being supplied to the army in series, the vice-premier said. According to him, this complex can “dazzle all satellite reconnaissance systems of a potential enemy in orbits up to 1.5 thousand km”, putting them out of action.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the closure of the office of the Canadian CBC TV channel in Moscow

Russia will close the office of the Canadian CBC TV channel in Moscow and cancel the visas of journalists, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing.

“A decision was made to introduce retaliatory measures in connection with with the actions of Canada, namely & mdash; closure of the Moscow office of the Canadian state broadcasting corporation CBC, including the annulment of accreditations and Russian visas of its journalists,— she said at the briefing.

Zakharova noted that the measure is not directed against the people of Canada. According to her, the CBC has become a “propaganda mouthpiece”.

The material is being supplemented

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Experts warn of a “trap” for the dollar until the end of May

The dollar exchange rate depends on the behavior of the euro, analysts say.

Evgeny Mironyuk, an expert on the stock market at BCS Mir Investments, in an interview with the media, mentioned the “pitfalls” that the dollar will have to face before the end of May.

Recall that recently the dollar has already reached record highs over the past twenty years, updating highs against other currencies. If some experts believe that the peak of inflation has already been passed, others are sure that not everything is over yet.

Thus, in April the inflation rate was 0.3%, and in March 1.2%, but prices are still continue to grow.

Mironyuk told “Prime”that according to the statement of the head of the Fed (analogous to the Central Bank in the United States) Jerome Powell, rates will increase by 0.5% for each of the federal funds, which will lead to a decrease in the difference in rates with the economies of developing countries and increase compared to the developed ones.

The head of the Fed said that he would not hesitate to support raising the rate above the “neutral” level.

The US also points to the increased attractiveness of the dollar for the so-called carry trade rates, when an investor borrows in one currency at a lower rate and invests in another at a higher rate.

The American expert is sure that the fall of the euro is to blame for the weakness of the dollar.

As Mironyuk clarifies, on May 12, the euro reached 1.05 per 1 dollar, after which there was “a breakdown into a figure” – the quote was 1.0357, which means a fall of the euro by 0.3%.

It is highly likely that the euro will continue to fall in the short term.

According to Mironyuk, before the end of the month, a strong the movement of the EUR/USD pair down and the growth of the dollar index is small. Weak US sales of retail and durable goods, as well as GDP figures in the first quarter, may play into the hands of the dollar.

The analyst believes that the targets “bulls”(securities traders who earn on the growth of assets in price) will be 1.057 and 1.062 euros for 1 dollar.

If the fall of the euro continues, then the dollar to euro exchange rate will be about 1.034-1.055 euros per one American monetary unit. As for the currency index, the dollar will not exceed the frame of 103.4-105 points.

Earlier, Topnews wrote that the expert called the real value of the dollar.

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The Russian “daughter” of Google began bankruptcy proceedings

Due to the arrest of a bank account, the Russian office stops working.

The media found out about the beginning of the bankruptcy proceedings of the Russian subsidiary of Google. This is due to the arrest of a bank account.

According to RBC, Google some time ago suspended the vast majority of commercial operations in Russia. Due to the arrest of the bank account, it is impossible to pay salaries to employees, pay for supplies, work of contractors.

Google explained that other financial obligations are also impossible.

After this message, Google representatives said, that their services continue to work in Russia. Free search engine, video hosting YouTube, Gmail, maps, Android and Play.

“We know that people in Russia rely on our services to access quality information, and we will continue to provide free services” , – made a statement to Google.

The company's press service also assured that the bankruptcy of the Russian subsidiary and the closure of the office in Russia would not affect the work of Google in the country in the future.

By the way, in Russia they assured that they would not close Youtube.

“We do not plan to close Youtube. When we restrict something, we must be clear that our users are not affected”, – said Maksut Shadayev, head of the Ministry of Digital Development.

As Topnews wrote earlier, Russian developers have made a domestic analogue of Google Play – the NashStore app store.

The store presents Russian applications, including including banking, which fell under sanctions.

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Medvedev assessed the impact of the nuclear shield on those pushing for the Third World War

Medvedev: Russia's nuclear shield helps to calm those who are pushing towards the Third World Countries that have taken an “openly hostile position” towards Moscow, are trying to push it towards the Third World War, but they are “calmed” by the presence of Russia's nuclear shield, Medvedev said

Russia's nuclear shield helps to “calm down” those who are trying to push the country towards the Third World War “or some other problems”, said Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev.

According to him, Moscow sees such attempts “on the part of those states that have taken an openly hostile position towards our country, and those who use Russophobic rhetoric.” (quote from RIA Novosti).

“The historical merit of those who worked here lies precisely in the fact that a reliable nuclear shield was created for Russia and our allies. And this shield has ensured our independence for so many years, — he said at a meeting in Sarov about the prospects for the development of the National Center for Physics and Mathematics.

Last week, Medvedev said that the sending of Western weapons and “mercenaries” to Ukraine, as well as NATO exercises near Russian borders, “increase the likelihood of direct and open conflict.” with the North Atlantic Alliance, which “always has the risk of going into a full-fledged nuclear war.” Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded by saying that everyone wants to avoid such an outcome, but Russia will be ready to give the “most decisive answer” on any attempts to “get into Ukraine and into a special military operation.”

On April 25, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that he considered “very significant” risks of nuclear war. At the same time, a month earlier, he said that he did not believe in its possible beginning. “The nuclear topic in the context of the events that have unfolded in Ukraine in recent years and have escalated literally in recent months and weeks, the nuclear topic was thrown into this discourse exclusively by Western representatives, primarily NATO members,” — the Minister pointed out.

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Lavrov stressed that Russia is committed to the thesis of the inadmissibility of nuclear war. Medvedev noted at the end of March that a country can use nuclear weapons in four cases: if the country is hit by a missile attack using nuclear weapons; any other use of nuclear weapons against a country or allies; encroachment on critical infrastructure; an act of aggression against Russia or its allies, when the existence of the country was threatened. The Kremlin also pointed out that the use of nuclear weapons by Russia is possible only in the event of a threat to its existence, which is reflected in the concept of national security.

February 27, three days after the start of the military operation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the containment forces, which include nuclear weapons, to be put on special alert. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to the President that the strategic forces have begun increased duty.

The Pentagon said they see no reason to change the state of the US strategic deterrence forces. At the same time, according to the head of department Lloyd Austin, the Russian nuclear arsenal presents “significant problems”; for the USA.

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The deputies of Yekaterinburg appealed to the prosecutor’s office because of the words of Solovyov

According to the chairman of the City Duma, with a request to find out how Solovyov's statements “look according to the law,” veterans and social activists turned to the deputies. After that, the city parliament filed an appeal to the prosecutor's office

The building in which the Yekaterinburg City Duma is located

The City Duma of Yekaterinburg sent an appeal to the city prosecutor's office with a request to check the words of the presenter Vladimir Solovyov about the city. This was reported to RBC by the speaker of the city parliament, Igor Volodin.

“Veterans, social activists turned to us in the city duma in order to determine how much this all looks like according to the law and give a legal assessment. Therefore, I sent all this, all complaints to the city prosecutor's office. The Duma does not give a legal assessment. Literally recently [sent an appeal to the prosecutor's office]»,— Volodin said.

RBC turned to Solovyov for comment and sent a request to the prosecutor's office of the Sverdlovsk region.

Earlier, the deputies of the City Duma said that they had applied to the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company with a request “to assess the actions of TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov, who organized a public debate with the Urals, including the governor of the region Yevgeny Kuyvashev and Senator Eduard Rossel.” The parliamentarians considered that the presenter's statements cast a shadow on the region, and his “inappropriate polemics” with the Urals leads to the division of society.

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At the end of April, Solovyov, on the air of his program, called Yekaterinburg the center of the “vile liberota”. To these words, the governor of the Sverdlovsk region, Yevgeny Kuyvashev, answered him, advising him to “watch your language.” Solovyov commented on his reaction on the air of his program, stating: “Are you hammering an arrow for me, governor?”

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Mayor Alexei Orlov, senator from the region Eduard Rossel and head of the Yekaterinburg theater, singer Alexander Novikov, also reacted to the host's statement about the city. Rossel later argued for amendments to the media law “prohibiting the use of the media for the purpose of subjective out-of-court evaluation of citizens' actions.” He explained that “it is impossible to be rude”; and journalists should bring culture to society.

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Pranksters Vovan and Lexus announced a video with George Bush about Ukraine

In the announcement for the pranksters' conversation with George W. Bush, footage is shown where he says that he “wants to [see] Ukraine in NATO.” The video was released on Rutube, YouTube blocked their account after recording with Ben Wallace ” alt=”Pranksters Vovan and Lexus announced a video with George Bush about Ukraine” />

Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov (left to right)

On the channel of pranksters Vovan and Lexus (real names — Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov) in Rutube there was an announcement of a video conversation with former US President George W. Bush, who held this post in 2001–2009. The release of the full version of the conversation is expected on May 19 as part of the New Horizons educational marathon. society “Knowledge”.

The video contains moments from the conversation. The footage shown quotes Bush Jr., where he says that he “wants [to see] Ukraine in NATO” and also “thought Russia would be more accommodating, but then Putin changed dramatically.” The video contains an address by the former US President: “Your mission is to destroy as many Russian troops as possible”, it is not indicated to whom these words are addressed.

The video also contains footage where Bush says the phrase ” “Glory to Vovan and Lexus, connect them,” and later salutes, while his words sound off-screen: “I’m proud of you.” (addressee not specified). The video is built in such a way that at this moment frames with the prankers themselves appear on the screen.

Educational marathon “New Horizons” runs from 17 to 19 May. During the event, “outstanding speakers of Russia and the world” will speak to the participants, including Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

In late February, Bush Jr. condemned the conduct of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. He warned of “the worst security crisis on the European continent since World War II.”

Kuznetsov and Stolyarov are known for their pranks on politicians. So, in March, videos appeared on their YouTube channel with British Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace, as well as British Home Secretary Priti Patel. Both conversations were conducted by the pranksters on behalf of the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal.

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During the conversation with Wallace, the pranksters asked him about Britain's position on Ukraine's entry into NATO. The head of the Ministry of Defense stressed that London is interested in joining Kyiv to the alliance.

On March 17, Wallace tweeted about a conversation with an “impostor posing as the Ukrainian prime minister.” “He asked some misleading questions, and after I got suspicious, I ended the call,” — the minister spoke. On the same day, British Home Secretary Priti Patel said she had received a similar call earlier this week. “The same thing happened to me this week. A pathetic attempt to divide us in such difficult times. We support Ukraine»,— she wrote on Twitter.

Neither Wallace nor Patel disclosed the details of the conversations and did not say for certain who was behind the calls, but hinted that they suspected Russia of this. On March 18, Wallace ordered an internal audit in connection with the incident.

On March 23, the British Ministry of Defense sent a request to YouTube to remove the video of Wallace's conversation with Vovan and Lexus. The statement noted that the videos pose a “significant risk to the national security of the United Kingdom” and also that “the Russian state is responsible for the fake call.” ;.

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Austrian Chancellor called the question of the country’s membership in NATO irrelevant

Chancellor Karl Nehammer said he understands the desire of Sweden and Finland to join NATO, but in the case of Austria this is out of the question. According to the country's defense minister, “neutrality is in the heart of the Austrians”

Karl Nehammer

Austria's accession to NATO is not on the agenda, Chancellor Karl Nehammer said during a visit to Prague. This is reported by OE24.

“For Austria, this issue is not relevant,”— he said and added that the country is in a different position than Sweden and Finland, which share a common border with Russia. The chancellor says he understands why the Scandinavian countries want to join the defense alliance, but in the case of Vienna, “that's out of the question.”

Nehammer repeated the thesis that he expressed before the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine: “Austria was, is and will remain neutral.” declaring that “neutrality is in the heart of the Austrians”. At the same time, she added, neutrality needs to be discussed both in society and in parliament, especially given the Russian operation.

Austria has maintained a policy of neutrality since 1955, but cooperates closely with NATO. In particular, in May, Vienna resumed interaction with the block under the Partnership for Peace program. (program of NATO's bilateral military cooperation with non-alliance countries). Turkey blocked it in 2017 in response to Vienna's refusal to support the country's EU membership.

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On May 17, Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO. The documents will be considered by the North Atlantic Council, after which the agreement must be ratified in all 30 countries of the bloc. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier promised that if Helsinki and Stockholm want to join the alliance, they will promptly receive a positive response. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO does not pose a threat, but the expansion of military infrastructure in the territory of the Scandinavian countries “will certainly cause our response.”

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The State Duma Committee proposed to return the draft law on withdrawal from the WTO to the authors

It was proposed to leave the organization in A Just Russia. The Economic Policy Committee indicated that withdrawal from the WTO would lead to a change in the country's financial obligations, so the bill requires the government's opinion

The State Duma Committee on Economic Policy proposed to return to the authors the draft law on the denunciation of the treaty on Russia's accession to the WTO, the review is posted on the page of the initiative in the database of the lower house of parliament.

The committee pointed out that the authors did not attach the government's conclusion to the document. They explained that the decision to withdraw Russia from the WTO would allow other countries— members of the organization to impose increased duties on the export of Russian goods. “Thus, exports from the Russian Federation may be reduced and lead, among other things, to a reduction in tax bases for VAT, excise duties, and customs duties, which are the sources of formation of the federal budget,” — members of the legal commission explained. The reduction in exports, as well as the termination of payment of membership fees to the WTO, will lead to a change in the financial obligations of the country, and the bills that entail such consequences, according to Art. 104 of the Constitution, can be submitted to the State Duma only if there is a government opinion.

The bill on Russia's withdrawal from the WTO in March was introduced by the deputies of the “Fair Russia”; For the truth. The explanatory note stated that after the deterioration of relations with the EU, the US and other countries in 2014, Russia's benefits from membership in the organization were reduced. “In order to protect the national interests of the Russian Federation, the need to pursue a protectionist policy, as a response to sanctions pressure and as a self-defense [the country should leave the WTO]”, — consider the authors.

Party chairman Sergei Mironov said that the WTO “did a lot of harm with its restrictions” Russian economy.

Russia joined the WTO in 2012. In mid-March, the organization reported that they had received a proposal from 14 countries to deprive the country of the most favored nation treatment in trade because of the military operation in Ukraine.

The Russian mission responded by stating “dangers looming over the multilateral trading system due to recent aggressive and politically motivated trade restrictive actions by some members” and criticized proposals to exclude Moscow from the WTO or suspend its membership.

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In March, Russia left the Council of Europe, in April— The UN Human Rights Council and the UN World Tourism Organization.

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Zelensky spoke about a “long and intense” conversation with Macron

The presidents discussed Ukraine's accession to the EU, the evacuation of the Ukrainian military from Azovstal, and new sanctions against Russia. Macron promised Zelensky to increase the intensity of aid supplies to Kyiv about a “long and intense” conversation with Macron” />

Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held a “long and rich telephone conversation” with French colleague Emmanuel Macron.

As Zelensky reported on his Twitter, they discussed:

  • the course of hostilities and the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the territory of Azovstal;
  • prospects for the negotiation process between Moscow and Kyiv;
  • fuel supplies to Ukraine;
  • defense support from France and possible ways of exporting Ukrainian agricultural products;
  • preparation of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia;
  • consideration of Ukraine's application for EU candidate status.

The Élysée Palace said in a statement about the call that Macron “confirmed his intention to respond to all Ukraine's requests for assistance: military equipment, fuel, humanitarian aid, economic and financial support.” The French President promised that “the intensity of the supply of arms and humanitarian aid will increase in the coming days and weeks.” He said that over 800 tons of French humanitarian aid had been delivered to Ukraine since February 24.

The Macron office added that the presidents discussed security guarantees that Paris could provide Kyiv.

The President France noted that “a huge part of the world” depends on food supplies from Ukraine. He discussed with Zelensky ways to organize the export of Ukrainian grain.

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Macron said that Ukraine's application for EU membership will be considered at a meeting of the European Council, while taking into account the opinion of the European Commission provided by that time. On May 9, Macron warned that Ukraine's accession to the European Union could take several years and even decades. He, however, noted that the EU “cannot be the only means of structuring the European continent”, and proposed the creation of a new “European political community”, which would include Kyiv.

Paris from the very beginning of the Russian military operation declares support for Ukraine and advocates for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. Macron has spoken on the phone with both Zelensky and Vladimir Putin several times since late February. During his last telephone conversation with the Russian President in early May, the French leader stressed that the actions of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine would lead to “consequences of extreme gravity”, so the fighting must be stopped immediately. Putin, in turn, pointed to the ignoring by the EU countries of the “crimes of the Ukrainian security forces”; and called for an end to the supply of arms to Kyiv. He noted the readiness of the Russian side to continue negotiations, despite the “inconsistency and lack of preparation”; Ukrainian delegation.

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Polyansky announced the “unconditional surrender” of the Azov battalion in Mariupol

He criticized the way The New York Times described the decision of Ukrainian fighters at Azovstal to surrender: the American edition wrote about the “completion of the combat mission” and the “end of the battle” at the plant

The militants of the nationalist battalion “Azov” plant “Azovstal” in Mariupol “surrendered unconditionally”, said Russian Deputy Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky.

He commented on a tweet from The New York Times that said Ukraine had “completed its 'combat mission'” in Mariupol and announced that the fighters were being evacuated, which meant the end of the battle at the metallurgical plant.

unconditionally surrendered,— wrote Polyansky.

The fact that the participants in the defense of Mariupol had fully completed their combat mission was announced on May 16 by the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar, reports Ukrayinska Pravda. “The supreme military command ordered the commanders of the units located at Azovstal to save the lives of the personnel. An operation is underway to rescue the defenders of Ukraine blocked on the territory of the plant, — she said.

The NYT tweet was published immediately after Maliar's statement. The chronicle of hostilities on the publication's website says that Ukraine “apparently surrendered control”; over Azovstal.

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Fighting in Mariupol went on from the very beginning of the military operation. In late April, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin that he had control of the city, with the exception of the territory of Azovstal, where “remnants of nationalists and foreign mercenaries” were hiding. Putin ordered to cancel the assault on the plant and block its territory.

In early May, the military department announced the completion of the evacuation of civilians from the industrial zone.

In the morning, the DPR said that on May 16 they left the territory of the plant ten soldiers with white flags. They initiated negotiations on the removal of the wounded. The Russian Defense Ministry later announced the start of the evacuation.

In the evening of the same day, Reuters reported that about a dozen buses with the Ukrainian military had left Azovstal. Malyar specified that 53 seriously wounded were taken to the hospital in Novoazovsk, another 221 were sent to Olenivka, the Ukrainian side expects to exchange them. On May 17, the Ministry of Defense announced that 265 “militants of the Azov nationalist unit” had surrendered at the plant in a day. and Ukrainian servicemen”, including 51 people with severe injuries.

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The United States called the condition for the conversation between Lavrov and Blinken

According to the official representative of the US State Department, the condition for negotiations between the heads of the two departments may be “reducing the level of violence” and improving the humanitarian situation in Ukraine

During the meeting between Anthony Blinken (left) and Sergey Lavrov in December 2021

The United States believes that a conversation between the heads of the US and Russian diplomatic departments, Anthony Blinken and Sergey Lavrov, under the current conditions “would not be constructive,” but it could take place on the condition that it would help “reduce the level of violence in Ukraine.” This was stated at a press conference by US State Department spokesman Ned Price.

“If conditions are right, and if we believe that a conversation between them [Blinken and Lavrov] will help reduce the level of violence or improve the humanitarian situation for the Ukrainians, then this will be done,” — he said.

Blinken last spoke to Lavrov on 15 February. At that time, the two diplomats, among other things, discussed proposals for security guarantees that Moscow had handed over to the US and NATO. Lavrov noted “the inadmissibility of aggressive rhetoric whipped up by Washington and its closest allies” and called for a pragmatic dialogue on the entire range of issues raised by Russia.

Russia is conducting a military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine since February 24. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the time of the announcement that NATO's eastward expansion was of “special concern and concern.” In his opinion, the alliance has become “an instrument of foreign policy”; Washington.

Russia opposes Ukraine's plans to join NATO. In particular, this requirement became one of the key ones during the negotiations on security guarantees with NATO and the United States, which Moscow initiated in December 2021. Negotiations on this issue were not successful, as the alliance stated that this requirement was not acceptable.

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The United States condemned the special operation in Ukraine and imposed sanctions against Moscow. The restrictions included foreign exchange reserves, financial and industrial companies, as well as high-ranking officials and the military. Lavrov himself was also included in the SDN list: all his assets (if any) in US jurisdiction will be blocked.

Russia has called Western sanctions illegal and has repeatedly introduced mirror measures, including against Blinken and other top officials USA.

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Bloomberg learned about Turkey’s demands for the admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO

Ankara demands a return to the F-35 pilot training program, the lifting of sanctions for the purchase of Russian C-400s, as well as public condemnation by Sweden and Finland of the PKK banned in Turkey

For approving the inclusion of Sweden and Finland in NATO Turkey demands, among other things, the return to the F-35 pilot training program and the lifting of sanctions for the purchase of Russian C-400s. Bloomberg reports this with reference to several high-ranking Turkish sources.

Another condition— public condemnation by these two countries of Kurdish formations and the recognition of the PKK as a terrorist organization. Ankara also demands that Sweden and Finland lift restrictions on the supply of weapons to it, which have been in effect since 2019 due to Turkey's operation in Syria.

The interlocutors of the agency explained that Turkey's official consent to the return of Greece to NATO in 1980 is now is seen as a mistake that the Turkish leadership did not want to repeat with the Scandinavian countries (Turkey and Greece have disagreements over Cyprus).

Finland and Sweden decided to join NATO after the start of Russia's military operation in Ukraine. On May 17, countries submitted official applications.

NATO membership requires consideration of applications by the North Atlantic Council— NATO's main political governing body. After that, the agreement on the membership of countries in the alliance must be ratified at the national level in all 30 countries that are in the military-political bloc.

On May 16, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara “can't say yes” for Finland and Sweden to join NATO. He explained this by the fact that the countries declared their unwillingness to extradite “terrorists” to Turkey. TRT wrote that Sweden and Finland refused to extradite members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party and FETO (a movement that arose around the ideas of Turkish writer Fethullah Gülen, which Turkey considers involved in a coup attempt in 2016).

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In turn, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö noted that Erdogan's statements “confused” him, because the Turkish leader told him by phone that he would accept joining the alliance. Niinistö also announced his readiness to discuss membership issues with his Turkish counterpart.

In addition, the leader of the largest faction of the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, threatened Ankara with isolation if it impedes the admission of new NATO members. “Anyone who questions the unity of NATO will be isolated within the Commonwealth,” — he said.

Russia and Turkey signed a contract for the S-400 in December 2017. The first deliveries began in July 2019. The United States opposed Turkey's decision and excluded it from the F-35 supply program. The Pentagon feared that as a result, Russia could obtain the data necessary to counter the F-35.

In December 2020, the United States also imposed sanctions against Turkey due to the purchase of the C-400, prohibiting the issuance of licenses and export permits Turkish Defense Industry Authority (SSB), which concludes contracts for the purchase of military equipment.

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Why Hungary and Turkey interfere with the plans of the European Union and NATO

And will the two countries be able to achieve the cancellation of the initiatives criticized by Moscow The special positions of Hungary and Turkey hinder the efforts of the EU and NATO in their confrontation with Russia. What is the reason, does Budapest and Ankara have a desire to take into account the position of Moscow and how everything can end – RBC figured out

Statue of the Goddess of Europe in Brussels

On Wednesday, May 18, representatives of the EU countries will meet again in Brussels to discuss the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. But European leaders cannot expect that it will be adopted in the near future in the proposed form: the reason for this is the position of Hungary and the fact that decisions in the union are made on the basis of consensus.

A few days earlier, Turkey announced that he cannot agree to the admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO.

Why Hungary continues to insist on its veto

The sixth package contains a proposal to introduce a ban on the import of crude oil from Russia in six months, as well as on the import of Russian oil products from 2023. Even at the initial stage of discussing these measures, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were against the oil embargo, since they are heavily dependent on energy supplies from Russia. The European Commission decided to meet them halfway and allowed Hungary and Slovakia to continue importing Russian oil until the end of 2024, and the Czech Republic— until June 2024. After that, Bratislava and Prague withdrew their objections. However, Budapest is still not ready to withdraw its veto.

The position of the government of Viktor Orban was sharply criticized at the EU ministerial meeting on 16 May. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told reporters that Hungary is holding the European Union hostage. “The whole union is being held hostage by one member state that cannot help us find a consensus,” — complained Landsbergis, specifying that the EU expected that Hungary's proposed delay would be enough for it to lift the veto.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, stood up for Budapest, pointing out that Hungary's objections are not political, but economic. He explained that the country is concerned about the problem of creating new infrastructure and purchasing new equipment for receiving and processing oil not from Russia, for which its refineries are designed. In addition, the rejection of Russian oil will mean that Budapest will have to purchase it from other suppliers at higher prices, which will affect the Hungarian economy.

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Viktor Orban has previously compared ditching Russian oil to “a nuclear strike on the Hungarian economy.” On the air of Kossuth Radio, he recalled that Hungary has no access to the sea, and therefore it is forced to receive oil through the pipeline. “The pipeline to Hungary starts in Russia… that's the reality,” — he stated.

Hungary's dependence on Russian energy is really significant— 60% of oil and 85% of gas the country receives from Russia. Orban said the country needs five years to convert oil refineries and other infrastructure to process raw materials from non-Russian sources. This process will require huge investments, and the increase in the cost of oil will lead to an increase in unemployment and call into question the national program to reduce public utility costs, which is largely based on low prices for Russian energy resources.

The high inflation rate in the country and the budget deficit, including the blocking by Brussels of a €8 billion tranche intended for the recovery of the Hungarian economy after the pandemic (the reason was the divergence of views between Budapest and Brussels on the rule of law), carry significant risks for the country .

Against this backdrop, on May 16, Budapest decided to raise the stakes in the game: Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that “a complete modernization of the Hungarian energy infrastructure is needed on a scale from «15 billion to»18 billion”, later specifying that Hungary has the right to expect a new proposals from Brussels. At that time, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was in Budapest on a visit, but her negotiations with Orban ended in nothing.

According to the Euractiv portal, the clause on lifting the Hungarian veto from the sixth package of sanctions in exchange for economic preferences may be submitted to an informal EU summit scheduled for late May. The Financial Times quoted an unnamed European official as saying the EU should make the Hungarian prime minister a lucrative offer. “Orban is very pragmatic, it's business,” — he explained.

What is Turkey counting on in the dispute over NATO expansion

As for NATO expansion, Turkey's position has become an unexpected obstacle to the alliance between Sweden and Finland, says Asli Aydintashbash, senior political analyst at the European Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFR). Ankara cannot yet give a positive conclusion on the admission of the two new countries, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last Friday. “Scandinavian countries as guest houses for terrorist groups”, — he gave one of the reasons.

Indeed, Ankara has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with the fact that many supporters of the PKK found refuge in Sweden and Finland. (PKK, classified as a terrorist organization in Turkey), as well as supporters of US-based preacher Fethullah Gülen (whom Ankara considers the organizer of the coup attempt in 2016).

On May 17, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö expressed hope that that the crisis can be overcome. “Turkey's statements have changed very quickly and become tougher in the last few days,” he said on Tuesday in an address to the Swedish parliament (quoted by Reuters).— But I am sure that with the help of constructive discussion we will solve the problem.

As Aydintashbash notes, it is not yet clear what exactly Erdogan wants— change the position of the US Congress on the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey (the deal was canceled after Ankara bought and received the Russian S-400 air defense system), get more money to support Syrian refugees or extradite political activists suspected of terrorist activities to Turkey.< /p>

“It is unlikely that Erdogan had one specific political goal in mind, but he will certainly expect to be persuaded, persuaded and rewarded for his cooperation, as he has been in the past,” concluded the ECFR analyst.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry describes relations with both northern countries in calm tones. As stated on the website of the department, relations with Sweden date back to the 17th century, when the Swedish king Charles XII, after being defeated in the Northern War by Russia in 1709, fled to the Ottoman Empire and ruled the kingdom from Bender and Edirne for five years. Diplomatic relations with Finland were established in 1924. Trade turnover with Sweden in 2020 amounted to about $2.6 billion, with Finland— approximately $1.3 billion.

The main problem is not in Finland, but in Sweden, says Al-Monitor. The kingdom has received several waves of Turkish migrants, including Kurds, as well as refugees from Turkey's neighboring countries, and the Swedish Foreign Ministry regularly criticizes Turkish military operations in Kurdish territories in Syria.

In 2019, Sweden and Finland imposed an arms embargo on Turkey due to military operations in Syria. By this time, both countries had become leaders among countries selling military goods to Ankara: Swedish military exports to Turkey in 2018 reached $30 million, Finnish exports in the same year amounted to $17 million. in the terrorist activities of immigrants (On Monday, the Turkish Ministry of Justice said that Ankara had requested the extradition of six members of the PKK from Finland and 11 from Sweden).

“Ankara's statements cause concern in Sweden, among other things, because they hit exactly one of the arguments that was cited by those who did not quite agree with joining NATO, — fear that Sweden will lose the right to vote in matters of human rights and democracy, — Paul Levine, director of the Institute for Turkish Studies at Stockholm University, told Al-Monitor.

“Based on the statements of the Turkish authorities, it can be assumed that Turkey will continue to insist on its position, will bargain for concessions from the two northern countries,— predicted in a conversation with RBC director of the Center for the Study of Modern Turkey, researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Amur Gadzhiev.— Will two countries go to give in, & mdash; this is a big question. We see that, on the contrary, there were marches against concessions, which indicates that the process will not be easy and it will not be easy for them to give in on these issues.

Other NATO countries no longer have leverage to influence Turkey so much, the expert notes, therefore, based on the previous experience of conflict situations involving the republic, one can expect, he believes, that a compromise option will appear, which will eventually be accepted by all parties.

According to Hajiyev, in the Turkish position, Ankara's intention to take into account Russia's negative position regarding the membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO is not traced.

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The President of Estonia called impossible the complete isolation of Russia

Moscow is more economically isolated than ever, but it still has partners, including China and India, explained Estonian President Alar Karis

The West will not be able to completely isolate Russia, even if it takes decades. This was stated by Estonian President Alar Karis in an interview with Newsweek magazine. According to him, Moscow is more economically isolated than ever, although it still has key trading partners outside the West, including China and India.

At the same time, the head of state noted that it is important to maintain a dialogue with Russia.

“Of course, we cannot completely isolate Russia. We need to find a way to communicate with Russia and do business with it. But it takes time, it can take decades, — he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in April that Russia is not going to shut itself off from the world, other states will not be able to force it to do so either. “In the modern world, it is generally impossible to strictly isolate anyone, such a huge country as Russia is absolutely impossible,” — he said.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said that Western countries, imposing anti-Russian sanctions because of the military operation in Ukraine, will not be able to isolate Russia, because “the world is too big.” With the refusal of the United States, the European Union and allies from relations with Russia, including economic ones, certain channels of dialogue remain for Moscow, he added.

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Venezuela confirms the lifting of US sanctions on the work of oil workers in the country

The US oil embargo on Venezuela has been in place since 2019. Negotiations to lift part of the restrictions have been ongoing since March. According to Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, this step was the beginning of the complete abolition of “illegal sanctions”

The United States abandoned restrictive measures that prevented the work of American and European oil companies in Venezuela. This was announced on Twitter by the vice-president of the Latin American country, Delcy Rodriguez.

“The Venezuelan government has verified and can confirm that the US has allowed its and European companies to negotiate and resume operations in Venezuela,” she wrote.

Rodriguez also noted that “Venezuela hopes that after this decision, the United States will start moving towards the complete removal of illegal sanctions.”

Earlier in the day, the US Treasury, in consultation with the State Department, issued a narrow license allowing US oil and gas company Chevron to negotiate a possible resumption of production in Venezuela that was halted by US sanctions.

United The states severed diplomatic relations with Caracas, imposed sanctions, and closed their embassy in 2019, accusing President Nicolás Maduro of electoral fraud. Negotiations between the United States and Venezuela on lifting the oil embargo resumed after Russia launched a special operation in Ukraine and imposed oil supply sanctions against Moscow.

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In early March, Reuters, citing sources, reported that US officials could not agree with the leadership of Venezuela on the easing of sanctions on oil exports. Proposals to ease sanctions included allowing Caracas to sell oil through Western companies. Venezuela demanded, among other things, the return of control over the state oil company PDVSA.

A few days later, US President Joe Biden announced the release of two Americans who were in custody in Venezuela. This happened after the visit of an American government delegation to Caracas.

Against the backdrop of the military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing anti-Russian sanctions, gasoline prices in the United States reached record levels. Biden has repeatedly accused Russia and President Vladimir Putin personally of rising prices and inflation, which also began to rise since the beginning of the conflict.

The Russian Embassy in the United States has previously stated that Washington is trying to earn political points through Russophobia to justify its own failures in solving domestic problems. The real cause of the fuel crisis, according to the embassy, ​​is record inflation for the United States— “unsecured trillion-dollar financial investments in the economy, as well as sanctions wars against objectionable states.”

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The Pentagon did not find those responsible for the deaths of residents due to US Air Force strikes on Syria

We are talking about the 2019 airstrikes in the Syrian Baguz, which killed dozens of civilians. The investigation was launched in November 2021 after the revealing publication of The New York Times ” alt=”The Pentagon has not found those responsible for the deaths of residents due to US Air Force strikes on Syria” />

The Pentagon investigation found no fault of US military personnel in the deaths of civilians as a result of US airstrike in Syrian Bagouz in 2019 year. The results of the investigation, launched in November 2021, are published by the US military.

“There were no violations of the rules of engagement or the laws of war, <…> [The US Air Force] acted within the framework of a defensive strategy approved by the President and did not strike deliberately or unreasonably for high civilian casualties,” — said in the conclusion of the head of the command of the ground forces, General Michael Garrett, who conducted the analysis of the incident at the direction of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. civilians.

Pentagon spokesman John Kibri, answering journalists' questions related to the publication of the conclusion, noted that holding the military accountable for the delay in providing information on civilian casualties is a “hypothetical issue.” He also said that the Pentagon regrets and apologizes for the incident, but sees no reason to hold those involved accountable.

On November 14, 2021, the American newspaper The New York Times, citing military sources, reported that the United States deliberately covered up the deaths of at least 80 people after an air strike by the US Air Force in March 2019 near the Syrian city of Bagouz (located on the border with Iraq).

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According to the publication, on March 18, 2019, an American F-15E attack aircraft dropped one 500-pound bomb and two bombs weighing 2 thousand pounds (227 and 907 kg, respectively) on a crowd of people. The military then said that terrorists were hiding among the civilians in the crowd.

The NYT also indicated that high-ranking military and officials tried to cover up the consequences of the “catastrophic strike”, and the number of victims was underestimated . According to the newspaper, coalition forces bulldozed the site of the bombing and did not conduct an independent investigation.

Two weeks after the publication of the material, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered a new investigation into the airstrikes.

The United States has been involved in the military operation in Syria since 2014. With the support of the aviation of the United States and its allies, it was possible to liberate a significant part of the provinces of Al-Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor from militants, and also to occupy the city of Raqqa. In December 2018, former US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of military contingents from Syria. He explained his decision by the defeat of the main part of the militants.

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CNN learned about the development of US and EU routes for the export of Ukrainian grain

According to the TV channel, Western countries are considering the possibility of exporting wheat and corn from Ukraine by rail and aircraft

The US authorities, together with European partners, are working on ways to export wheat and corn from Ukraine in order to further deliveries to global markets, CNN reports, citing sources.

According to the channel, the administration of US President Joe Biden began to work on this issue with European allies after the blockade of the Ukrainian port by the Russian Navy. The interlocutors of CNN specified that the States are considering, among other things, the possibility of exporting grain by rail and by plane.

At the same time, according to sources, the development of scenarios will not include Russia's position on this issue. “There is still a long way to go before any deal is reached. There are many factors, many things that can influence the course of these discussions, — one source said.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Russia is the world's largest exporter of wheat, and Ukraine ranks fifth. Together they provide 19% of the world's supply of barley, 14%— wheat and 4%— corn.

After the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, wheat prices jumped to record levels. Bloomberg attributed the jump in prices to fears that military operations in Ukraine would lead to a shortage of this cereal on the market. The fighting has cut off more than a quarter of global wheat exports, according to the agency.

In April, the Russian Ministry of Defense suspended the passage of foreign warships and other government vessels in three areas of the Black Sea for six months, from April 24 to October 31. We are talking about an elongated section of the water area along the coast of Crimea (approximately from Sevastopol to Gurzuf), a rectangular area off the coast of the Kerch Peninsula (abeam of the Opuk Nature Reserve), as well as a small area of ​​the sea near the western tip of Crimea.

On Against this background, Biden announced the search for an opportunity to export 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine. The US president explained the need to export grain with record food prices in the world. According to him, the return of Ukrainian grain to the world market should help reduce prices

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The Wall Street Journal, citing informed diplomatic sources, previously wrote that UN Secretary General António Guterres proposed easing restrictions on export of Russian and Belarusian potash fertilizers in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukrainian ports. According to the sources of the newspaper, the UN Secretary General is negotiating with Russia, Turkey and other countries, and Ankara has already agreed to participate in the clearance of the Black Sea.

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The EU will consider a project on the transfer of income from assets under sanctions to Kyiv

The European Commission plans to create a RebuildUkraine fund to restore Ukraine. As part of this initiative, the EC will propose to send there income from the European assets of Russian businessmen against whom sanctions were imposed

The European Commission will consider a project on the use of income from the frozen assets of Russian businessmen subject to EU sanctions for recovery Ukraine. This is reported by Bloomberg with reference to the corresponding project.

According to the document, on May 18, the EC will propose an updated financial strategy to help cover Ukraine's $15 billion deficit over the next three months.

The Commission will also propose the creation of a fund called RebuildUkraine, where all resources for the restoration of Ukraine. As part of this initiative, the EU will consider using proceeds from confiscated assets from Russian individuals who have been sanctioned since the start of the special operation in Ukraine.

In addition, according to Bloomberg sources, the EC will offer Kyiv loans ranging from €7 billion to 9 billion to finance urgent government bills as part of this package.

Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, hundreds of businessmen, officials and military from Russia fell under EU sanctions: their assets and accounts are frozen, they are banned from entering the EU.

On May 9, head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell urged the EU to consider withdrawing Russia's frozen foreign exchange reserves to also help pay for Ukraine's post-conflict reconstruction costs. Borrell cited “billions of dollars” of assets seized by the United States as an example. from the Central Bank of Afghanistan, which, according to him, will later be used to compensate victims of terrorism and for humanitarian assistance to the country. The diplomat noted that “it was logical” consider similar steps with Russia's frozen reserves.

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According to the Central Bank, as of April 1, 2022, the volume of Russia's international reserves amounted to $606.5 billion. The Ministry of Finance previously reported that after the outbreak of hostilities, Western countries froze about half of Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves (about $300 billion). At the same time, assets in Chinese yuan, monetary gold stored in Russia (as of February 1, about $132 billion), cash reserves and special drawing rights (SDR, about $24 billion) in the IMF remain legally out of reach for sanctions.

Earlier that the frozen Russian reserves must be transferred to Ukraine, said Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal. “We are having these negotiations [on the withdrawal of Russian reserves] with the United States, with all our partners,” — he said. In early May, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky estimated the cost of restoring the country after the Russian special operation at $600 billion.

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