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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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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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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Biden decided to send US troops to Somalia

The White House is at risk of stepping on the rake of “Black Hawk Down”

US President Joe Biden is taking steps to bring US troops into Somalia. Troops will be deployed from other parts of Africa to train and provide other support to local forces in their fight against Islamist militants.

Photo: Global Look Press

Joe Biden signed an order on Monday to redeploy hundreds of US troops to Somalia to counter the Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab. (recognized as terrorist and banned in several countries).

US troops will be brought in from other parts of Africa to train and provide other support to Somali forces in their fight against what is considered the largest and richest affiliate of the al-Qaeda extremist network. (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation). As POLITICO notes, this serves as a reminder that the United States continues to wage a long struggle against Islamic extremists around the world, even as these efforts are overshadowed by the conflict in Ukraine and other events.

The decision to re-deploy US forces to Somalia is intended to “maximize the safety and effectiveness of our forces and enable them to provide more effective support to our partners,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in announcing the redeployment.

According to a senior Biden administration official, US forces in Somalia will number “less than 500” and are not sent for direct participation in hostilities. Instead, US military personnel will work with Somali forces and ensure the safety of State Department and US Agency for International Development personnel in the African country.

At the end of his presidential term in January 2021, Donald Trump abruptly ordered the withdrawal of about 700 US military personnel from Somalia, which was an extension of his broader policy of pulling the US out of what the 45th President called “endless wars” around the world.

Meanwhile, the head of the US Africa Command, General Stephen Townsend, told Congress in March that the rotations, which he called “traveling to work,” are inefficient and ineffective and put US troops at greater risk.

The Biden administration believes that Al-Shabaab remains a “conspicuous priority given the threat it poses” and that “permanent” the presence of the United States in Somalia will be necessary to counter the extremist group.

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin has requested a deployment “to re-establish a permanent US military presence in Somalia to better deal with the al-Shabab group, which has grown in numbers and poses a heightened threat,” — said an administration official.

Biden's decision to sign the order was first reported by The New York Times, which also reported that the president had approved a Pentagon request for permanent authority to prosecute about a dozen suspected al-Shabaab leaders. The group is accused of killing more than a dozen Americans in East Africa, including three in a January 2020 attack on a base used by US counterterrorism forces in Kenya. Later that year, the US accused a Kenyan who took flying lessons in the Philippines of planning a 9/11-style hijacking on behalf of the Al-Shabaab group.

In recent months, the group has made territorial gains against the federal government of Somalia, wiping out the gains of the African Union peacekeepers who once pushed the militants into the country's remote areas.

The news of the decision to deploy the US military came after how on Sunday Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somalia's president from 2012 to 2017, was declared the winner of the presidential election.

Decades of military-political turbulence in Somalia began to fall apart in 1991, when the field the commanders overthrew the dictator Siad Barre, and then fought against each other. American soldiers were sent there in 1992 as part of a peacekeeping mission that continued until their withdrawal in 1994 — about five months after the humiliating fiasco known as Black Hawk Down in late 1993, when Somali militants shot down two American helicopters. As a result of the crash of aircraft and the subsequent rescue operation, 18 military personnel were killed.

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In Chechnya, they announced the death of seven US citizens in a special operation in Ukraine

Seven Americans who fought on the side of Ukraine as part of the special forces were killed in the Donbass, the Chechen authorities said. The State Department previously said that one of them is alive and safe

Rubezhnoye

Seven American citizens who fought on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as part of special forces were killed in the Ukrainian city of Rubezhnoye, RIA Novosti said. assistant to the head of Chechnya on the security bloc Apta Alaudinov.

He clarified that US citizens died as a result of the battle at the Dye Plant, one of them was named Joseph Ward Clark. “They were fixed by us, and they all departed to another world, leaving behind Javelins, documents and their weapons,” — Alaudinov reported.

A month earlier, on April 14, Clark's documents were published by the Minister of Information and Press of Chechnya, Akhmed Dudayev. He posted on VKontakte video showing the passport of a US citizen named Joseph Ward Clark.

Dudayev claimed that the passport belonged to one of the “representatives” of the US intelligence agencies that “work on the territory of Donbass and are engaged in the destruction of the civilian population.” “They all find shelter here in the Ukrainian land, the so-called,” added the Chechen minister.

On the same day, the State Department called reports of Clark's death or capture untrue. “I'm limited in what I can say due to privacy concerns, but I have reason to believe this person is safe,” — said department spokesman Ned Price.

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The US administration then recommended that US citizens refrain from traveling to Ukraine and not participate in hostilities. “We know that people want to help, but we urge Americans to find other ways to do it, — urged the representative of the White House Jen Psaki.

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Antonov announced US plans to limit the use of Sarmat missiles

According to the Russian ambassador to the United States, Washington “really dislikes” Russia's Sarmat intercontinental missiles and Poseidon unmanned underwater vehicles, so they insist on limiting their use

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov

Washington “doesn't like” Russia's strategic weapons, including the intercontinental ballistic missile “Sarmat” and the carrier of unmanned underwater vehicles “Poseidon”, they insist on the restriction or complete ban on their use. About this on the air «Soloviev Live» said Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov.

«Poseidon» they really don't like, they really don't like Sarmat, and in all the meetings that we have with academia, we are told all the time that in a future arms control agreement, these Poseidons should be banned, of course, it is necessary to limit the use of “Sarmatians” and so on»,— said the diplomat.

«Sarmat»— complex with a heavy intercontinental missile, its weight exceeds 200 tons. Firing range— 18 thousand km. The missile has a short active flight segment, which complicates the process of intercepting it by means of air defense.

According to the director general and designer of the State Missile Center. Makeev (the developer of Sarmat) Vladimir Degtyar, the rocket is capable of providing a flight path around the entire globe.

On April 20, the Ministry of Defense announced the first successful launch of the Sarmat. The launch was carried out from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, the warheads of the rocket reached the test site in Kamchatka, and the design characteristics of the rocket were confirmed at all stages of the flight, the ministry said. Head of Roskosmos Dmitry Rogozin then stated that the first Sarmat missiles will be put into service in the Krasnoyarsk Territory no later than the autumn of 2022.

On the development of the missile “Sarmat” first told by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018. He called the rocket “unique” a weapon that can ensure the security of Russia from external threats, and also stated that there are no analogues “in the world and will not be for a long time to come.” He repeated these words, congratulating the military on the launch in April this year.

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Biden announced his intention to cut the US budget deficit by $1.5 trillion

According to the President of the United States, reducing the budget deficit is one of the main ways to ease inflationary pressures .jpg” alt=”Biden announced his intention to cut the US budget deficit by $1.5 trillion” />

The US authorities intend to cut the US budget deficit by a record $1.5 trillion this year. This was stated on his Twitter by American President Joe Biden.

“Under my predecessor, the deficit increased every year. This year we [the administration] are on track to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion— biggest one-year cut in history,— he wrote.

Biden stressed that deficit reduction— one of the main ways to ease inflationary pressure.

By the end of 2020, the US budget deficit increased by $3.12 trillion, and by the end of 2021— for $2.77 trillion. In early February 2022, the total US national debt for the first time exceeded $30 trillion, the amount became equal to $30.012 trillion.

Last December, Biden signed into law an increase in the national debt limit by $2.5 trillion to $31.4 trillion. If not for this measure, the funds in the federal budget could run out by December 15, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned.

On May 4, the US Federal Reserve System (FRS) announced the largest interest rate hike since 2000— immediately by 0.5 percentage points, up to a range of 0.75 & ndash; 1% per annum. At the same time, the American regulator pointed to the appropriateness of further tightening of its policy. Thus, in March, the growth rate of prices in the US broke a 40-year record, rising to 8.5%. Nevertheless, inflation slowed down in April and, according to the US Department of Labor, amounted to 8.3%. For 2022, the Fed predicts inflation of 4.3% with US GDP growth of 2.8%.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on May 10 that the US labor market may be experiencing the biggest supply-demand imbalance since World War II. Unemployment in the US rose to 6.1% in April from 6% in March, according to the country's Department of Labor. At the same time, in the first quarter of 2022, the US economy shrank by 1.4% year-on-year, according to preliminary data from the US Department of Commerce.

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The Pentagon announced the rotation of US troops in Europe

10.5 thousand troops will return to the United States, while the other 10.5 thousand will go to bases in Europe. The Pentagon spokesman stressed that American soldiers are not sent there to participate in hostilities in Ukraine

The United States plans to rotate the military contingent in Europe in the near future, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at a briefing. Washington continues its course to strengthen the defensive capabilities on the eastern flank of NATO against the backdrop of events in Ukraine, he explained.

“For this reason, Secretary [of Defense Lloyd] Austin has ordered the dispatch of approximately 10,500 troops in the coming months to replace the previously sent army units that serve in the European zone, — told Kirby.— This is a one-on-one replacement of military units. Thus, the total number of American soldiers stationed in Europe will remain the same— about 100,000. Replacements will be carried out gradually over the summer.

Kirby stressed that the newly arrived military “won't fight in Ukraine” and the deployment of troops is not permanent.

In April, US Charge d'Affaires in Estonia Brian Roraff said that Washington allows the deployment of troops in Europe not only on a rotational basis, but also on a permanent basis.

Army Chief of Staff James McConville said at the end of March that the United States would not increase its military presence in Europe to the level of the Cold War (350 thousand).

The American authorities emphasize that US troops are in the region to protect allies for NATO, and not for the war with Russia and participation in hostilities in Ukraine.

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WP learns about US development of guidance on intelligence sharing with Ukraine

WP: The US has banned the transfer of data on Russian military leadership and targets outside Ukraine to Kiev Washington will not be able to transfer information to Kyiv about Russian targets outside Ukraine and the top leadership of the Russian Armed Forces, for example, about Shoigu or Gerasimov. The ban does not apply to data on Russian officers on the territory of Ukraine

The administration of US President Joe Biden has developed guidelines for intelligence sharing with Ukraine in order to avoid escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow, The Washington Post reports, citing sources.

The document, according to the newspaper, prohibits the United States from transmitting Ukraine information that “helped to take life” high-ranking Russian officers. This also applies to Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

At the same time, the newspaper writes, the ban does not apply to data on Russian officers, including generals, who are on the territory of Ukraine. However, a senior Pentagon official told WP that Washington has tacitly decided not to give Kyiv information about the whereabouts of the Russian generals.

The second category of information that Washington will not be able to share with Kyiv,— this is any data that would help the Ukrainian side to attack Russian targets outside of Ukraine, the newspaper writes. According to WP sources, the ban is in part to prevent “the United States from becoming a participant in attacks that Ukraine could carry out on Russian territory.”

The United States regularly exchanges intelligence with Ukraine about Russian ships in the Black Sea, which could be used to support offensives against cities like Odessa, according to an unnamed Pentagon official. He stressed that it— “not specific information,” the purpose of the data transfer is not for Ukraine to strike at them, but for Kyiv to be able to prepare for defense. For example, the authorities may take measures to strengthen the defense of the city or evacuate civilians, the source said.

According to US and Ukrainian officials, in addition, the United States transmits real-time information to Ukraine about the location and movement of Russian troops on territory of the country. This includes satellite imagery and intelligence.

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The New York Times also reported that the United States gave Ukraine intelligence data that the Ukrainian military used to strike Russian positions, stating, that they do not include information about the advances of high-ranking officials of the Russian military leadership. The Pentagon indicated that Kyiv is provided with the information “which they can use for self-defense.”

On May 6, CNN, citing sources, reported that the United States had provided intelligence to Ukraine about the location of the Moskva cruiser. in the Black Sea shortly before the fire started on the ship. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, on April 14, due to a fire on board, ammunition detonated, the cruiser sank. As a result, the ministry said one person was killed, 27 were missing and 396 more were evacuated. The Pentagon denied passing this information to Kyiv.

NBC reported May 7 that Biden, in a meeting with CIA Director William Burns and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, demanded an end to leaks of information about the exchange of data between US and Ukrainian intelligence, as it “distracts from our common goal».

According to the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, the transfer of intelligence by the West to Ukraine will not prevent Russia from achieving the goals of the military operation.

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Medvedev warned about “hunters to share” $ 40 billion in US aid to Ukraine

The allocation of this amount to help Ukraine was approved by the House of Representatives of Congress. Medvedev said that the purpose of providing Kyiv with such “huge” funds is to continue the proxy war against Russia in order to limit its development

Dmitry Medvedev

Money, the allocation of which to Kyiv was approved by the US House of Representatives, — huge, and “there will be a lot of hunters to divide them in the American military-industrial complex,” Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, is sure.

“It is clear that ‘help’ on such an unprecedented scale is not at all due to love for Ukraine and not even support for its own economy. Her goal— the continuation of the proxy war against Russia, the desire to inflict a heavy defeat on our country, limit its economic development and political influence in the world,— Medvedev wrote in his Telegram. In his opinion, Washington will not be able to carry out its plan: “their printing press will break faster”, due to which the US national debt is constantly increasing, and the goals of the Russian military operation in Ukraine will be achieved.

The politician noted that the Americans can thank “their Russophobic authorities” for rising prices for gasoline and groceries.

Earlier, the House of Representatives passed a bill on additional assistance to Ukraine for $40 billion. The aid package includes the supply of weapons and humanitarian aid to Kyiv. Now the initiative must be approved by the upper house of the US Congress— Senate.

President Joe Biden asked for $33 billion in bailouts, but congressmen, as Medvedev put it, “donated a couple more billion out of generosity.”

Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Washington has transferred more than $3.5 billion worth of weapons (howitzers, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, Javelin anti-tank missiles, Ghost drones) to Kyiv. The government’s funding package for the current fiscal year, adopted by the Senate, includes humanitarian, military and economic assistance Ukraine in the amount of about $13.6 billion.

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On May 9, Biden signed a law on lend-lease for Ukraine (under a similar program, the United States during the Second World War leased or transferred military equipment and equipment to its allies on a long-term loan).

The Russian side has warned Western countries more than once that convoys with foreign weapons on the territory of Ukraine will become legitimate military targets. At the same time, the authorities emphasize that the supply of weapons to Kyiv will not prevent Moscow from conducting a special military operation.

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Bulgaria agrees to buy LNG from the US at prices lower than those of Gazprom

The Bulgarian government has not specified how the cost of gas will be calculated when buying from the United States and how much it will be. At the end of April, Gazprom stopped deliveries to Bulgaria due to non-payment in rubles .jpg” alt=”Bulgaria agreed to buy LNG from the US at prices lower than from Gazprom” />

Bulgaria will buy LNG from the US at prices lower than those of Gazprom, the Bulgarian government said in a statement. Deliveries will begin in June.

The corresponding agreement was reached during a meeting between Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov and US Vice President Kamala Harris.

“The Bulgarian Prime Minister pointed out that what is happening in Europe is a clear sign of the need for accelerated and real measures in the energy sector. Vice President Kamala Harris congratulated Bulgaria on taking decisive action to defend its energy sovereignty,— said in a government release.

The Bulgarian government has not indicated how the price of gas supplied from the United States will be calculated, and how much it will be.

Until March 2020, the cost of Russian gas for Bulgaria was determined by a contract with a link to the price of oil. However, from the beginning of 2020, Sofia began to seek a discount, as prices on the spot European gas markets turned out to be lower and countries whose contracts were not linked to the price of oil found themselves in more favorable conditions.

In March 2020, ” ;Gazprom» reduced the price of gas for Bulgaria by 40%.

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At the end of April of this year, Bulgaria reported that Gazprom Export notified its Bulgarian partner, the Bulgargaz company, of the suspension of gas supplies. The Russian company later confirmed the message, specifying that such a decision was made due to non-payment in rubles.

Bulgarian Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov later explained that the procedure for paying for gas in rubles, on which Russia insists “involves significant risks.” “In practice, we will lose control of our money after paying in US dollars, as we agreed. There will be a risk of breach of obligations— non-fulfilment [of conditions] by a Russian bank, which will be responsible for converting the corresponding amount into rubles, — he clarified.

Bulgaria warned the Russian side about the refusal to pay for Russian gas in rubles even earlier.

French Minister of Environmental Transformations Barbara Pompili called the cessation of gas supplies to Bulgaria a violation of contracts.

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US will give Ukraine a second batch of Mi-17 helicopters

Photo: ruwikipedia

According to CNN, on May 10, the US authorities began deliveries to Ukraine of another batch of Mi-17 helicopters. In total, 11 such aircraft will be sent.

The Pentagon clarified that the Ukrainian military had already received a batch of Mi-17 helicopters from the United States earlier.

The plans to deliver these helicopters to Kyiv were announced in January by an official representative White House Jen Psaki. It was then about helicopters in the Pentagon's stocks.

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The Ministry of Defense announced the destruction of weapons from the US and Europe near Kharkov

The Russian military also intercepted three Ukrainian Tochka-U ballistic missiles and nine Smerch multiple rocket launchers in the Kharkiv region, Konashenkov said

View of the building of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Russian aviation struck at a railway station in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine and destroyed a large batch of weapons from the United States and Europe, said Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

“As a result of the strikes, up to 280 nationalists were killed, 48 pieces of weapons and military equipment were disabled.” ,— he claims.

At the request of Roskomnadzor, RBC provides data on the details of the military operation in Ukraine based on information from Russian official sources.

Video

According to him, Russian air defense systems intercepted three Ukrainian Tochka-U missiles overnight. and nine rockets of the Smerch multiple launch rocket system over the city of Izyum in the Kharkiv region. The military also shot down nine Ukrainian drones over the Kharkiv and Kherson regions, as well as over the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic.

In addition, the Russian Aerospace Forces hit five areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment, as well as an ammunition depot in the DPR.

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The United States, the EU and other countries began to supply weapons to Ukraine even before the start of the Russian military operation. The Russian side stated that it could consider shipments of foreign weapons on the territory of the country as its legitimate military goals, and called on the United States and NATO to stop deliveries to Kyiv.

Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, for his part, noted that the Western weapons cannot “stop the advance” and will not prevent Russia from achieving the goals of the special operation.

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Washington Post learned about US purchases of new types of weapons for Ukraine

The United States plans to purchase laser-guided missiles, Puma handheld drones, and additional Switchblade kamikaze drones for Ukraine, writes The Washington Post

“Switchblade” drone;

The Pentagon decided to expand the supply of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine through purchases from US enterprises worth $136 million, The Washington Post reported. We are talking about laser-guided missiles, drones, binoculars and other military assistance.

According to the publication, the United States has not previously sent weapons and equipment that are planned to be purchased from American manufacturers to Ukraine. Previous shipments have been made from existing Pentagon stocks, the newspaper writes.

As for the purchase of weapons for Ukraine by Washington, it includes high-precision helicopter-launched 70mm missiles for a total of $22.6 million, as well as Puma handheld drones for $19.7 million. called in the Pentagon, “kamikaze drones” Switchblade for $17.8M

Deputy head of the Pentagon Bill LaPlante told reporters that the department has at its disposal funding approved by the US Congress in the amount of $300 million, which can be spent on the purchase of weapons for Ukraine. He also added that the US Department of Defense is negotiating with contractors to replace missiles for the Stinger and Javelin systems, which were previously transferred to Kyiv from the Pentagon's stocks.

“We are in contact with manufacturers every day as our requests grow. , and [the administration of US President Joe Biden] will continue to use all available tools to support the armed forces of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, — cites the edition of LaPlante's word.

On May 6, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby announced another round of military assistance to Kyiv in the face of the “offensive of Russian troops” in the east of Ukraine. The supply of weapons and equipment from the US Department of Defense stockpiles totaling $150 million includes 25,000 155mm artillery shells, 3 AN/TPQ-36 anti-artillery radars, electronic jamming systems, as well as field equipment and spare parts.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a special operation in Ukraine on February 24. He called its goal “demilitarization” and “denazification” neighboring country, as well as protecting the population of Donbass. Kyiv in response to this declared martial law and general mobilization. At the end of March, the Ministry of Defense announced the regrouping of troops in connection with the implementation of the main tasks in the Kiev and Chernigov directions. The ministry also called the “complete liberation of Donbass” the main goal of the operation.

After the start of the special operation, Western countries, led by the United States, increased their military assistance to Ukraine. This has repeatedly provoked criticism from Moscow. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that by supplying weapons to Kyiv, NATO was actually entering into a “proxy war”; with Russia. He also said that any cargo in Ukraine that Moscow considers foreign weapons will become targets for Russian troops.

The Ministry of Defense has repeatedly reported the destruction of warehouses with foreign weapons in Ukraine, including near Lvov, near Kharkov and in Zaporozhye.

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US to supply 25,000 artillery shells and radars to Ukraine

US to supply Ukraine with 25,000 artillery shells and $150 million worth of radars The cost of this military assistance package will be up to $150 million. will supply Ukraine with 25,000 artillery shells and radars” />

The new military aid package for Ukraine will include 25,000 155mm artillery shells, AN/TPQ-36 anti-artillery radars and jamming equipment, total the package will cost up to $150 million, according to the Pentagon.

The United States will also supply field equipment and spare parts.

“The capabilities of this package are tailored to meet Ukraine's critical needs in today's struggle as Russian forces continue their offensive in eastern Ukraine,” the message says.

The agency notes that this is the ninth delivery of military aid to Ukraine since August 2021. During the time that President Joe Biden has been in charge of the United States, Washington has allocated about $4.5 billion to Kyiv in security assistance, with $3.8 of them— since the beginning of the Russian military operation on February 24. Since 2014, the United States has provided more than $6.5 billion in aid to Ukraine, the Pentagon said.

The military department added that the United States continues to work with its allies and partners to identify and provide Ukraine with additional capabilities for self-defense.

New deliveries of military aid to Ukraine were previously announced by Biden. At the same time, he said that the presidential administration, after this announcement, had practically exhausted the funds that could be used to send military assistance to Ukraine without the approval of Congress. Biden called on lawmakers to quickly approve the additional funding needed.

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Prior to this, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced the president's intention on May 9 to sign a law on the lend-lease program for Ukraine (a program under which the United States leased or transferred military equipment to allies on a long-term loan during World War II).

At the end of April, Biden urged Congress to increase aid to Ukraine by more than 10 times — from $3 billion to $33 billion. Of this amount, $20 billion should go to armaments, military equipment and equipment for soldiers, $8.5 billion — for direct economic support, $3 billion — for humanitarian aid and food security. On April 29, Psaki said that the authorities had $250 million left to provide military assistance to Kyiv.

The United States, the European Union and some other countries began to supply Ukraine with weapons even before the start of the Russian military operation and increased their support after the outbreak of hostilities. On April 21, the Pentagon promised to transfer to Ukraine 72 howitzers and 144 thousand artillery shells for them, 72 towing vehicles and 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical drones. On the same day, Biden announced his intention to provide Kyiv with $800 million in security assistance and $500 million in direct economic support. On April 30, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on the United States and NATO to stop supplying Ukraine with weapons and ammunition and accused the alliance of trying to prevent the completion of the military operation by reaching political agreements between Moscow and Kyiv.

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CNN learned about the transfer of US data to Kyiv on the location of the cruiser Moskva

According to CNN sources, Washington, at the request of Kyiv, provided data on the location of the cruiser shortly before the fire started on the ship. At the same time, the United States did not know exactly how Ukraine would use the intelligence data alt=”CNN learned about the transfer of US data to Kyiv on the location of the cruiser “Moskva”” />

Guards missile cruiser “Moskva”

The United States provided Ukraine with intelligence on the location of the Moskva cruiser. shortly before the fire started on the ship, CNN reports, citing sources.

According to the TV channel, the Ukrainian military, having noticed a warship in the Black Sea, checked with their American colleagues, who confirmed the target and provided accurate cruiser position data. Some time later, on the “Moscow” a fire started and the ship sank, clarifies CNN.

At the same time, the channel's sources emphasize that the United States did not know exactly how Kyiv would use the intelligence.

On the night of April 14, the Ministry of Defense reported a fire on the Moskva cruiser. Due to the fire on board, the ammunition detonated, later the fire was localized, and the explosions stopped, the ministry said. They also stated that the cruiser was seriously damaged, and the crew of the “Moskva” was evacuated.

Late in the evening of the same day, the ministry reported that the cruiser, as a result of the damage to the hull and in the “conditions of stormy seas” sank during towing.

At the request of Roskomnadzor, RBC provides data on the details of the military operation in Ukraine based on information from Russian official sources.

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On April 22, the Ministry of Defense reported one dead and 27 missing as a result of an incident on the cruiser Moskva. “In the course of the struggle for the ship's damage, one serviceman was killed, another 27 crew members were missing. The remaining 396 crew members were evacuated from the cruiser to the ships of the Black Sea Fleet in the area and taken to Sevastopol, — indicated by the department. The deceased turned out to be midshipman Ivan Vakhrushev, they have already said goodbye to him in Sevastopol, said the governor of the city, Mikhail Razvozhaev.

The flagship cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet was laid down on the slipway of the Nikolaev Shipbuilding Plant in 1976 with the original name “Slava”. In 1979 he was launched. In 1999, “Moscow” relocated to Sevastopol. In 2008, the cruiser participated in the Russian operation in South Ossetia, aimed at “forcing the Georgian authorities to peace”, and from September 2015 to January 2016, she provided cover from the sea direction of the air base of the Russian Aerospace Forces Khmeimim in Syria.

< p> Experts interviewed by RBC said that the failure of the cruiser is unlikely to have an impact on the course of the special operation in Ukraine. During the operation “Moscow” mainly provided information obtained from the cruiser's radar system, said Navy specialist Ilya Kramnik. Vasily Kashin, an expert of the Russian International Affairs Council, specified that the cruiser was outdated long ago and shortly before the start of the special operation, the issue of decommissioning it was decided.

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Russian embassy urges US to redirect ‘irrepressible energy’

The American authorities recognize the connection between the rise in fuel prices in the United States and the sanctions imposed against Russian energy carriers, the Russian embassy said. The diplomatic mission urged the United States to redirect forces to solve their own problems The Russian Embassy called on the United States to redirect “irrepressible energy” />

International sanctions against Russia are counterproductive, with US officials acknowledging that restrictive energy measures will lead to instability in the energy market and higher fuel prices, the Russian embassy said.

“We recommend that America's ruling circles send their irrepressible energy to solve their own problems in the United States, — said in the message.

Sanctions will be ineffective, they are confident in the diplomatic mission, they said that the strengthening of the Russian currency speaks of the stability of the economy and the financial sector of the country. “This is recognized by the experts themselves from Western countries,” — say the embassy.

The ruble began to strengthen against the dollar and the euro in mid-March against the backdrop of statements by the Russian leadership about Russia's intentions to continue delivering oil and gas abroad in the national currency. After President Vladimir Putin signed the corresponding decree at the end of March, the dollar exchange rate reached 83 rubles, the euro— RUB 87.7

Then the Russian currency continued to strengthen: at the end of April, the dollar exchange rate for the first time since November last year fell below 71 rubles, and on May 4, for the first time since March 2020, it fell to 66.6 rubles. The euro exchange rate during the auction fell below 70 rubles— up to 69.8 rubles— for the first time since February 2020.

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At the White House, during a briefing in early April, the strengthening of the ruble was explained by “artificial pumping”; The Central Bank and the government of Russia, expressing confidence that the exchange rate of the Russian currency cannot be considered a real indicator of the state of affairs in the economy. White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield then expressed confidence that the sanctions against Russia are working.

The Kremlin did not agree with this assessment at the time. “You can focus [on the ruble exchange rate],” — said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president.

In early March, the United States imposed a ban on oil and gas supplies from Russia, President Joe Biden announced this. He pointed out that this decision was supported by representatives of both parties of the Congress— Republican and Democratic. Then the cost of Brent oil exceeded $130, and the price of gasoline in the United States broke a historical record, the cost of a gallon (3.785 liters) reached $4.17. The last record was set in July 2008, when the price per gallon of gasoline was $4.11. At the end of March, the American president called the increase in gasoline prices “Putin's rise in price”.

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US allowed deals with Gazprom Germania until the end of September

All transactions involving Gazprom Germania or any legal entity in which the company owns a stake of 50% or more can be carried out until September 30, follows from the license of the Ministry of Finance. Previously, Gazprom ceased participation in the German subsidiary

The US Department of the Treasury has allowed transactions involving Gazprom Germania GmbH until September 30, 2022, according to the general license published on the agency's website.

The same applies to any legal entities in which Gazprom Germania owns a 50% or more share.

«All transactions related to Gazprom Germania GmbH or any legal entity in which Gazprom Germania GmbH owns directly or indirectly 50% or more <…> are permitted until 00:01 ET time September 30, 2022»,— it says.

On February 24, the day the Russian military operation in Ukraine began, the United States imposed sectoral sanctions that included Gazprom. Restrictions apply to the acquisition of debt and raising capital.

In early April, Gazprom terminated its participation in Gazprom Germania and withdrew its representatives from the governing bodies. The company also demanded from the former “daughter” abandon Gazprom's trademarks, including in names and symbols, “to avoid further identification of their activities with a Russian company.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that

Gazprom Germania will come under the control of the Federal Network Agency by 30 September. Earlier Bloomberg reported that Berlin is looking for a buyer for the former “daughter” “Gazprom”. At the same time, the authorities do not exclude the nationalization of Gazprom Germania, but this will be extreme measures, Bloomberg reported.

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Gazprom Germania unites a number of companies operating in Europe, including Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd, Wingas, Gascade Gastransport, Astora, Gazprom NGV Europe (operator of gas filling stations in Germany and the Czech Republic) and others.

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Congress submitted a resolution on the involvement of the US military in Ukraine

The author of the resolution proposed to allow the use of US military forces in Ukraine if Russia uses chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said that the risks of nuclear war are very significant alt=”Resolution submitted to Congress to bring US military to Ukraine” />

US Congressman Adam Kinzinger

US Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) introduced a draft resolution that allows the use of American Armed Forces in Ukraine, if Russia uses chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, follows from the statement on the congressman's website.

“I am introducing this AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force) as a clear red line so that the administration [of US President Joe Biden] can take appropriate action if Russia uses a chemical. biological and/or nuclear weapons,— Kinzinger said.

He clarified that this resolution authorizes US President Joe Biden to use “forces to respond to a scenario” in which Russia uses any of these weapons.

“Having spoken to Secretary of State [Anthony] Blinken and listened to his serious concerns about [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's use of chemical weapons, I am confident that the United States will demonstrate to the world community that we will not tolerate senseless violence,”— added by Kinzinger.

Three days after the start of the military operation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered that the strategic deterrence forces (SSS) be placed on a special alert regime. These forces are designed to deter aggression against Russia and its allies in order to defeat the aggressor, including— in a nuclear war.

In March, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he did not believe in a possible nuclear war. “I draw your attention to the fact that 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 has been thrown into this discourse exclusively by Western representatives, primarily NATO members,” — he said.

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At the same time, in March, he announced the dispatch of the US military to Europe. “Our troops are heading to Europe not to fight in Ukraine, but to protect our NATO allies in case Putin decides to continue moving west,” the president explained. According to him, the hostilities in Ukraine, which is not part of NATO, do not require the direct participation of the United States.

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Georgia urges US to increase its political support

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili called on Western partners, including the United States, to “remember” Georgia and Moldova and demonstrate political support for these countries, which will be an “important signal” to Moscow

Georgia now needs the political support of Western partners, including the United States , as an “important signal” for Moscow, President Salome Zurabishvili said in an interview with The Hill.

She said she hoped to see Georgia among the talking points released by the Biden administration, saying it would send “an important message” for Moscow. Zurabishvili stressed that this is not about increasing military assistance, but about demonstrating political support for Georgia, as well as Moldova.

According to her, despite the fact that Moscow cannot now deploy troops to start a new operation, Russia “can still play on nerves,

and this is what it is doing in Transnistria, trying to sow fears, destabilize the population”

“In this way, Russia shows that even if it is focused on Ukraine, it does not forget Moldova and [Georgia]. So, again, our Western partners should, for their part, not forget Georgia, — she said.

Zurabishvili also indicated that Georgia does not intend to back down from its NATO aspirations, as it seeks security guarantees.

In early April, after announcing the resignation of Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani and his appointment as the country's ambassador to the United States, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili called Washington the most important strategic partner of Georgia. According to him, the task of Tbilisi — bring relations between the two countries to a new, higher level. “I believe David can do it,” — he said.

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In mid-February, Reuters reported that Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze, while on a visit to Brussels, said that the country's accession to NATO is the only way to preserve the country's territorial integrity. In early March, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the issue of membership of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO is not currently on the agenda. Presidents of the United States and France Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron and Secretary General of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg also spoke about this.

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FT reports talks between the US and Britain on the “Chinese threat” to Taiwan

Washington and London held high-level talks in March on closer cooperation to reduce the likelihood of a war with China over Taiwan. During the meeting, the parties studied emergency action plans for the first time “FT Reports US-UK Talks on 'China Threat' to Taiwan” />

The US and UK held high-level talks in early March to discuss options for closer cooperation to reduce the likelihood of war with China from -for Taiwan, according to the Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter.

White House Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific Region Kurt Campbell and senior National Security Council spokesperson for China Laura Rosenberger held a meeting in Taiwan with British representatives. During the talks, the parties studied contingency plans for the first time, the publication writes.

Taiwan— an island in the South China Sea, about 150 km off the coast of China. In 1949, during the revolution, the territory declared secession from China, but Beijing considers it one of the Chinese provinces.

The United States does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but at the same time sells weapons to it. Officially, the United States, like Russia, supports the One China principle.

The situation in the South China Sea escalated last March. China has repeatedly accused the United States of having its warships enter waters that China considers its own. The Taiwan Ministry of Defense, in turn, has repeatedly reported violations of the island's airspace by Chinese aircraft. Beijing claimed that the planes were taking part in the exercise.

In October 2021, US President Joe Biden said that Washington would side with Taiwan in case of a potential attack on it by the PRC. According to him, the United States has assumed the corresponding obligations. Taiwanese President Zai Ing-wen has said that the US military is on the island to train the local army, but she said there are “not as many US soldiers in Taiwan as people think.”

In mid-April, Beijing decided to conduct exercises off the island of Taiwan. The Chinese Defense Ministry said they were provoked by “serious misinformation” that the United States is sending to “Taiwanese separatists.” Prior to this, a delegation of six US congressmen arrived on the island to meet with Tsai Ing-wen, Reuters wrote. During the talks, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez said that Taiwan— “country of global importance” and its safety matters “for the whole world.”

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On April 26, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Washington intends to provide Taiwan with everything necessary to protect against any potential aggression, including from China. In response, Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, urged the US to avoid “wrong signals to separatist forces supporting 'Taiwan independence' so as not to cause serious damage to Sino-US relations, as well as 'peace and stability on both sides of the Taiwan Strait'.” ;.

On April 28, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that NATO must solve global problems, including protecting the Pacific region, so that democracies like Taiwan “have the opportunity to defend themselves.”

< /p>

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FT learned about the discussion in China of protecting foreign assets from US sanctions

The FT's interlocutors reported that China is concerned about the freezing of foreign assets of the Bank of Russia and fears the introduction of such measures against Beijing “in the event of a regional military conflict or other crisis”

Chinese regulators held an emergency meeting with local and international banks, where they discussed ways to protect China's overseas assets from possible US sanctions similar to those imposed on Russia, according to the Financial Times, citing sources familiar with the discussion.

According to the interlocutors of the publication, representatives of the central bank and the Ministry of Finance of China, as well as heads of local and international banks, took part in the discussion on April 22. The publication noted that the meeting began with the words of a senior official of the Chinese Ministry of Finance that Beijing was alarmed by the ability of the United States and its allies to freeze the dollar assets of the Bank of Russia.

According to the Financial Times, Chinese officials are wary of imposing such measures against Beijing “in the event of a regional military conflict or other crisis,” while the meeting did not mention specific scenarios in which China could face sanctions.

One of the sources told the publication that in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan, “the separation of the Chinese and Western economies will be much more serious” than with Russia, since Beijing's economic influence affects the whole world. Another source of the newspaper noted that the Chinese banking system is not ready to freeze its foreign exchange assets or disconnect from the SWIFT system. at a high level, which discussed options for closer cooperation to reduce the likelihood of a war with China over Taiwan.

Taiwan — an island in the South China Sea, about 150 km from the coast of China. In 1949, during the revolution, the territory declared secession from China, but Beijing considers it one of the Chinese provinces.

The United States does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but at the same time sells weapons to it. Officially, the United States, like Russia, supports the One China principle.

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In mid-April, Beijing decided to conduct exercises near Taiwan, saying that it was provoked by the “serious misinformation” that the US is sending to the “Taiwanese separatists.” Before that, a delegation of six US congressmen arrived on the island to meet with the President of Taiwan, Reuters wrote.

On April 26, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Washington intends to provide Taiwan with everything necessary to protect Taiwan from any potential aggression, including including from China.

In response, Beijing urged the United States to avoid “wrong signals to separatist forces supporting 'Taiwan independence' so as not to cause serious damage to Sino-US relations, as well as 'peace and stability on both sides'. Taiwan Strait».

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Lavrov called on the US and NATO to stop the supply of weapons to Ukraine

NATO publicly expresses support for Kyiv, but in fact it does everything to prevent the completion of the operation by reaching political agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said

The US and NATO should change their minds and stop supplying weapons to Ukraine and ammunition if they are interested in resolving the crisis. This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview with Xinhua.

According to Lavrov, the world is now witnessing the “hypocrisy of the Western establishment.” Thus, NATO, publicly expressing support for Ukraine, is doing everything to prevent the completion of the operation by reaching political agreements between Moscow and Kyiv.

“Various weapons are coming to Ukraine through Poland and other NATO countries in an endless stream. All this is done under the pretext of “fighting the invasion”, but, in fact, the United States and the European Union intend to fight Russia “to the last Ukrainian”, and they are absolutely indifferent to the fate of Ukraine as an independent subject of international relations, & mdash; he stressed.

The Russian Foreign Minister added that the Ukrainian people now need a solution to humanitarian issues, and not Stingers; and Javelins.

Earlier, Sergei Koshelev, Deputy Director of the North America Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that the Russian military may consider shipments of US and NATO weapons on the territory of Ukraine as their legitimate military targets.

“We warned about what consequences the thoughtless transfer to Ukraine of such types of weapons as man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems, anti-tank missile systems can have, — said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

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In response, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan indicated that Washington, despite the “Russian threats”, will continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine, as it is necessary for defense.

The United States, the EU and other countries began supplying weapons to Ukraine even before the start of the Russian military operation. On April 21, Washington promised a new military aid package to Kyiv that would include 72 howitzers and 72 towing vehicles, 144,000 artillery shells, and 121 tactical drones. Prior to that, US President Joe Biden announced that Ukraine would receive $800 million in security assistance.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Western weapons cannot “stop the offensive.” and will not prevent Russia from achieving the goals of the special operation.

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What kind of multi-purpose UAV MQ-9 Reaper is the US going to put in Ukraine?

Feature Russian special operation in Donbass and Ukraine

Ukrainian representatives met in Washington last week with General Atomics, a Californian manufacturer of military drones. He makes the MQ-9 Reaper, the US Air Force's primary reconnaissance and strike UAV. These are heavy attack drones, so it makes sense to learn more about them. 

Why the MQ-9 Reaper

Actually, General Atomics did not mention specific models that it could sell . However, the most likely candidate is the Reaper, which has been the lead vehicle in U.S. military drone operations for over 20 years. 

MQ-9 Reaper. Photo: www.globallookpress.com/Andrea Ronchini

Specs

This is a really powerful drone. MQ-9 has a wingspan of about 20 meters, weighs about 5 tons, fully loaded with fuel and weapons. The Reaper flies at over 480 km/h. 

It has a range of almost 2,000 km for the base version and 2,500 km for the extended range version. The maximum flight altitude is up to 15400 m. The maximum flight duration — 27 hours.

Armament

Here the military has a choice, which depends on the specific task. Let's start with the AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. These are air-to-ground guided missiles designed to destroy armored, lightly armored and other targets that require precise strikes.

They are not inferior in power to the GBU-12 Paveway II, there are high-precision bombs based on classic bombs Mk 82, weighing 227 kg and equipped with a laser guidance system.

The GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions can also be used on the MQ-9 Reaper. The operator also has the GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II, which can be controlled by laser and GPS/INS.

Finally, GBU-54 laser ammunition systems can also be used, combining the accuracy of JDAM with laser pointers. These bombs can also attack moving targets. 

The drone has six external hardpoints with a payload capacity of up to 1361 kg. It can carry up to 4 air-to-ground missiles, or 8 in the MQ-9a modification. Another option — 4 Hellfire missiles and two laser-guided Mark 82 bombs.

Features

The entire system consists of an unmanned aircraft equipped with sensors and weapons, a ground control station, a Predator Primary Satellite Link and support systems. Pretty complicated technique, right? Obviously, it will require very competent handling. 

The main crew consists of an operator, who is the commander of the apparatus, and his assistant, responsible for working with sensors and pointing weapons.

One of the “chips” drone — an on-board computer with artificial intelligence that promises to autonomously find, track and suggest targets to operators. Targets are identified from data collected by the MQ-9 airborne electro-optical sensor radar and synthetic aperture radar.

Disadvantages

Of course, this drone also has disadvantages. For example, the price. The MQ-9 is valued at $32 million apiece. Let's say the 2020 sale of four MQ-9Bs to Taiwan (plus ground stations, spare parts and training) was valued at $600 million.

Another tricky moment — training and familiarization. The Ukrainian military is accustomed to operating Russian (actually Soviet) equipment, rather than Western ones, and the US Air Force requires a year of training for UAV pilots. However, a company representative said that military pilots already familiar with UAVs can be trained to quickly fly the MQ-9 Reapers.

Conclusions

UAVs are actually quite effective  means of air defense. Although in the end they will adapt to them and learn to shoot them down.

Until now, the MQ-9 was used in those areas — Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria — where the enemy lacked serious air defense systems. 

Source:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelpeck/2022/04/13/ukraine-may-get-us-mq-9-reaper-strike-drones/?sh=2fc61e605b3b

Источник aif.ru

Bloomberg learned about US plans to impose sanctions against Abramovich

The United States considered Abramovich's mediation in the negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv ineffective and returned to discussing sanctions against him, writes Bloomberg. Earlier, the US Treasury postponed sanctions against the businessman at the request of Zelensky, noted WSJ alt=”Bloomberg learned about US plans to impose sanctions against Abramovich” />

Roman Abramovich

In the United States, senior officials are again pushing for sanctions against billionaire Roman Abramovich after his recent trip to Kyiv to resume talks failed to materialize, Bloomberg reported, citing two sources.

During the latest trip In Kyiv, Abramovich did not meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, but instead spoke with his chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, three people who have information about the meeting told the agency.

According to Bloomberg, against this background, high-ranking officials of the White House began to insist on the imposition of sanctions, which were developed several weeks ago.

RBC sent a request to the representative of Roman Abramovich.

< p>In mid-April, the American magazine Fortune, citing informed sources, wrote that Abramovich visited Kyiv to discuss the possibility of resuming Russian-Ukrainian negotiations, which had stalled.

Nevertheless, the representative of the businessman then denied these data. “Mr. Abramovich is not in Kyiv and has not been there recently,” — he told RBC.

Read on RBC Pro Pro Foreign companies refuse to fulfill their obligations. What to do Instructions Pro The company has suspended business in Russia. What to prepare for its director Articles Pro IT companies on suitcases. Will support measures stop them from leaving? Pro Articles How to spot an economic downturn in skirt lengths and demand for panties and lipstick Pro Articles You need to lower your payroll. How to do it legally How To Do It Legal Pro 6 Career Essential Skills You'll Learn During Your Job Search >Earlier, The Wall Street Journal wrote that the administration of US President Joe Biden was preparing to impose sanctions against Abramovich along with the UK and the EU, but the US National Security Council instructed the Treasury to refrain from imposing sanctions against him.

According to the publication, this happened after Zelensky called Biden and advised him to wait with a decision on sanctions, since Abramovich could become an intermediary in negotiations on a settlement between Moscow and Kyiv.

The adviser On March 31, the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, Mikhail Podolyak, said that the businessman is “extremely efficient”; mediator during the negotiations between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations.

“He partially moderates the process from the point of view, so that there is no misunderstanding “at the entrance.” That is, when a side declares something, and the other side misunderstood it, from the point of view of the logistics of the negotiation process, — explained Podolyak.

The Kremlin pointed out that the businessman was not an official member of the Russian delegation, but he was “involved in providing certain contacts”; between the sides.

Abramovich was noticed on March 29 at the Dolmabahce Palace right before the start of negotiations between delegations in Istanbul. He talked with Turkish President Recep Erdogan, next to them was Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The latter noted that the businessman “is making sincere efforts” to help resolve the situation in Ukraine.

On April 22, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that negotiations between Russia and Ukraine were moving forward ” slowly-slowly. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Russia has lost confidence in the Ukrainian negotiators, as Kyiv is changing its position and trying to “drag out the negotiation process.”

Podolyak, in turn, said that the process became more complicated after the events in Bucha, Mariupol, Volnovakha and Kyiv region. “The emotional background in which the negotiations are taking place today gives grounds for a slightly different look at the situation as a whole,” — he said.

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Источник rbc.ru

US citizen Gonzalo Lira fell into the hands of “Azov” and disappeared

The journalist criticized the Kiev authorities and wrote about the crimes of the Nazis

Gonzalo Lira, a US citizen of Chilean origin, blogger and director, was probably executed by neo-Nazis from the Azov terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation. “Kidnapped, tortured and killed by the Kraken unit,” writes American military analyst Scott Ritter. Lira disappeared in Kharkiv a few days ago, his last posts on Telegram and Twitter were made on April 15.

Photo: Frame from video

As social media users suggest, Gonzalo Lira could have been captured and executed by Sergey Velichko, nicknamed “Chile” from the special unit “Azov” “Kraken”, operating in the Kharkov region. Previously, Velichko and his “brother” Konstantin Nemichev appeared in footage of the executions of Russian prisoners of war. It was even reported that they were captured by Russian special forces, but this information was not confirmed.

“Kraken”, by the way – it is a mythical sea monster, a giant squid that attacks ships and kills sailors. Only people with a very perverted imagination could name their unit after this disgusting creature.

About who Gonzalo Lira, “MK” said Oleg Yasinsky, a well-known expert on Latin America.

– I don't know him personally, but I read his publications. Therefore, the ending of this story did not surprise me. – said the expert. – It is known that he was born in the USA, he has dual citizenship – American and Chilean. He spent most of his life in the USA. His life is much more closely connected with America than with Chile. Although Lyra – this is a very famous family of Chilean aristocrats, but they are by no means political immigrants. In the United States, their family, most likely, just got on some business-related matters. We can say that he belonged to the Chilean elite.     

Lira has been living in Kharkiv since 2016, as he married a Ukrainian. He began visiting the country in 2012.  

– Before the start of the special operation in Ukraine, Lyra was such a fairly traditional American, however, an opponent of globalization. – Yasinsky says. – At the same time, he was not a left-wing activist; rather, he was right-wing.

With the beginning of the special operation, he took a very clear anti-government, pro-Russian position. He very specifically and accurately exposed many things, Nazism in Ukraine. Those of his publications that I saw were very honest and fair. His behavior can be called heroic, since he knew perfectly well what could await him. I don't know what he hoped for. Now a group of Ukrainian Nazis “Kraken” is suspected of his abduction and murder, because they threatened him. They promised to capture and kill him.

– The Chilean Foreign Ministry said it was trying to conduct some kind of investigation, but I don't think that Kharkiv has the right conditions to find out something. The American side did not react at all, although this is their direct responsibility – deal with the fate of their citizen who disappeared in Ukraine. The story is complicated, but, all things considered, he has little chance of being alive now, unfortunately.

Gonzalo Lira is also known as a novelist and film producer. His book “Acrobat” filmed by Miramax. He ran a YouTube channel in opposition to the Kiev authorities, where he talked about the atrocities of Ukrainian militants in Mariupol and exposed the fakes of Ukrainian and Western media.

Before his disappearance, he claimed that he was being persecuted by the SBU, and warned that if he does not get in touch within 12 hours, then his name can be included in the list of opposition politicians, journalists and bloggers abducted or killed in Ukraine published by him. “If you haven't heard from me for 12 hours or more, put me on this list,” the Chilean wrote.

Источник www.mk.ru

US imposes visa restrictions against more than 600 Russians

In the United States, they are accused of human rights violations and involvement in the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine jpg” alt=”The US imposed visa restrictions on more than 600 Russians” />

The US Treasury announced that the State Department is imposing visa restrictions on 635 Russians. All of them, according to Washington, are involved “in the suppression of dissent in Russia and abroad” and “activities that threaten the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

In addition, the US State Department introduced visa restrictions against three Russian officials “for involvement in gross violations of human rights” and 17 persons “responsible for undermining democracy in Belarus.” the imposition of sanctions against several dozen Russian companies and individuals who, according to Washington, are involved in bypassing previously imposed restrictions. Among them was the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, Ksenia Yudaeva, and the chairman of the board of Otkritie Bank; Mikhail Zadornov. In addition, companies associated with businessman Konstantin Malofeev were sanctioned.

The fact that Russia could be subject to visa restrictions in the event of a military conflict in Ukraine, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman announced as early as 11 February. On February 24, Russia launched a military special operation in Ukraine.

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Источник rbc.ru

WSJ reports sharp deterioration in US relations with Saudi Arabia

Differences between Washington and Riyadh intensify over Ukraine

U.S.-Saudi relations have reached their lowest level in decades under Joe Biden's presidency. The Wall Street Journal reports on the critical point in relations between the two countries.

Photo: Global Look Press

The publication notes that relations between Washington and Riyadh have become especially aggravated against the backdrop of the situation in Ukraine.

Thus, the United States insisted that Saudi Arabia significantly increase oil production in order to reduce its prices and deprive Russia of a significant part of its income. However, the kingdom refused Washington.

It is noted that in mid-March the United States sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia, but the host country met them rather coolly. In addition, in early February, the White House tried to arrange a telephone conversation between Biden and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but he refused to dialogue.

At the same time, in March, Salman spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and during the conversation reaffirmed Riyadh's commitment to maintaining the oil deal with Moscow.

In addition, relations between the two countries were noticeably shaken by the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, to which the United States reacted very sharply.

As writes WSJ, in September 2021, Salman allegedly met with US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and after he raised the issue of the murder of a journalist, the Saudi prince allegedly yelled at the American politician and said that the US could forget about the request to increase oil production .

Источник www.mk.ru

Putin’s Arab rear: The Kremlin has neutralized the US geopolitical superweapon

Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vitaly Naumkin told why Saudi Arabia refused to bring down world oil prices

Having organized an almost complete blockade of Russia from the west after the start of a special operation in Ukraine, the United States could not do the same most in the east. And not only China, a superpower that has no reason to help Washington, has acted as an obstacle in the American path. America was refused support by its main allies in the Arab world, including the planetary energy giant Saudi Arabia.

Putin and Saudi Crown Prince : the fate of world oil prices depends to a large extent on the mutual understanding of these two leaders. Photo: RIA Novosti

In the era of the reign of the last Soviet general secretaries, the Saudis made a very significant contribution to the destruction of the economy of the USSR, purposefully dropping world oil prices. But now Biden's request to contribute to the destruction of the now Russian economy planned by the Americans has come up against a categorical refusal.

What is behind this Riyadh decision? How big are the chances that the Yankees will still manage to crush their partners? And how did Moscow manage to take such a strong position in the Middle East, a region from which it seemed to have been forever squeezed out under Gorbachev and Yeltsin?

Vitaly Naumkin at the presentation of the State Prize of the Russian Federation. Photo: kremlin.ru

Vitaly Naumkin, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Scientific Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation, answered these and many other questions of MK.

Yes, this is largely justified. Although “collapse” is too strong a word. The threat of repetition is also an exaggeration. Today we have a much greater margin of safety. Yes, and relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia are now fundamentally different than in the days of the Brezhnev USSR.

The basis of these relations in the energy sector is our rapprochement on the site of the OPEC + project. This project dates back to the middle of the second decade of our century, when there was a collapse in world oil prices. This forced competitors, what were then the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and Russia, to join forces to stabilize these prices.

By the beginning of December 2016, an agreement was signed in which its participants pledged to reduce the production of “black gold” by 1.7 million barrels per day. The quotas allocated to the parties to the agreement were observed, and the agreement was regularly extended until March 2020, when the agreed amendments were made to it.

In the summer of 2021, an agreement was reached on a slight increase in daily oil production, and the project itself was extended until the end of December 2022, when another reassessment of the situation should take place. It is assumed that Russia's quota will increase from 11 to 11.5 million barrels per day. On April 16, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, during which a positive assessment was given to cooperation between the two states within the framework of OPEC+.

He persuaded, persuaded, but never persuaded: US Secretary of State Blinken could not convince the de facto ruler of the UAE, Muhammad bin Zayed, to oppose Moscow. Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Washington's attempts to isolate Russia by pitting it against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been fruitless. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS, as he is known in the West) showed respectable consistency, independence and firmness.

We began to change, and Saudi Arabia began to change – towards greater pragmatism. Not so long ago, communism in any form was regarded by the Saudis as a terrible enemy. And now communist China is among the leading trade and economic partners of the kingdom.

An important role in our reconciliation with the kingdom was played by the change in the role and place of religion in our lives, the departure from official atheism and, especially, the granting of full religious freedom to Russian Muslims. And the differences that were between us during the short period of active struggle of our state against religious extremism and terrorism in the Caucasus have long been overcome.

Russia has been an observer country in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation since 2005. And today, the head of the Islamic World League, created at the initiative of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Abdel Karim al-Isa, is received by the top leaders of the Russian Federation. To a certain extent, the normalization of our relations is a return to “historical roots”. The Soviet Union was the first country in the world to recognize the state created by the founder of Saudi Arabia, Ibn Saud, and establish official relations with it. In 1938, these relations, however, were interrupted. But up to that moment they were quite friendly. This is preserved in the traditionally strong historical memory of the Saudis.

– The Saudis associated their refusal with the threat from unmanned aerial vehicles of the Yemeni anti-government Houthi movement Ansarullah. This movement is supported by Iran and opposes the alliance led by Saudi Arabia, conducting an anti-Houthi military operation in Yemen.

In the kingdom, as well as in the UAE, they stated with resentment that Washington does not react in any way to the painful attacks of the Houthis on the territory of both monarchies and does not provide the necessary assistance to its allies. Washington even had to make excuses. Only on March 21, responding to grievances poisoning cooperation with Arabian partners, did Washington hand over Patriot missile and anti-aircraft systems to Riyadh. However, while Washington has condemned the Houthis, there are growing calls in the United States to resolve peacefully the decade-long bloody conflict between the Arab coalition-backed government and the Houthis.

“The point here is not so much in Yemen itself, but in Iranian influence in Yemen. Saudi Arabia traditionally views itself as the leader of the Islamic world – a huge part of the world community, whose weight, role and influence in it is constantly growing. Let me remind you that the king of Saudi Arabia bears the title of “servant of the two shrines”, the pilgrimage to which is one of the main duties (“five pillars of faith”) of every Muslim.

Of the more than a dozen and a half million guests who annually arrive in the kingdom, the bulk are pilgrims who make both the main, obligatory pilgrimage in the month of the Hajj and Umra – the “small Hajj”, the rites of which can be performed at any time of the year.

The second important role of Saudi Arabia is the role of defender of the interests of the Sunni majority of the Islamic world, since most of the approximately 36 million people of the Kingdom consider themselves to be one of the madhhabs, or interpretations, of this trend in Islam.

But all this does not mean that Saudi Arabia's relations with all Muslim states are cloudless. For example, the kingdom has difficult relations with another most influential country in the Islamic world – Turkey. The leadership of Turkey, as is commonly believed, belongs to the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. Saudi Arabia regards the “brothers” as competitors and, to a certain extent, as opponents. Of course, this hostility is not as harsh as the hostility of the UAE, for which the “brothers” represent almost the main internal threat to the security of the state. But this is still hostility.

However, Saudi Arabia, like the UAE, considers the Islamic Republic of Iran as the main external threat. Iran positions itself as a protector of the Shiite part of the population of the Middle East. Containing Iran's influence is the main objective of Saudi foreign policy.

“There is not one, but three major oil superpowers in the world, each producing more than a dozen million barrels a day of crude oil: Russia, the United States, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But you are right that the United States has indeed been the main ally and partner for the kingdom since the 1930s, when the Americans discovered the richest oil fields in the country.

Why are there significant nuances in the current situation, which are partly manifested in the position of Riyadh regarding the Ukrainian crisis? Because the growth of general distrust of the United States in the region and the attitude towards them as a power “leaving” the Middle East really takes place.

Some distancing from Washington is already becoming a quite stable trend in the politics of most Arabian states. The Kingdom, like the UAE, another influential oil-producing state of Arabia, has been pursuing a multi-vector foreign policy in recent years.

Saudi Arabia seeks to balance close relations with its long-standing partners, the US and Europe, by developing relations with non-Western countries “new” to it, primarily China, as well as Russia and India.

However, in- firstly, these relations are highly asymmetric and, secondly, they are subject to fluctuations due to changes in the world arena and the situation in the region. As is often the case with “balancing states” — they sometimes literally have to “walk on a wire” — they show some inconsistency and even indecision in their foreign policy, being influenced by one or another of their partners, in this case, the West.

The main guarantee of the stability of the multi-vector course of Saudi Arabia is the undoubted political will of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is able not to stop at political risks.

— There can be no doubt that Washington is the stronger participant in this partnership, and the KSA is more weak. However, weak participants sometimes tend to “show their teeth” more often than strong ones. Same here.

After talking with Stalin in Yalta in 1945, the then US President Franklin Roosevelt went to establish relations with the first king of Saudi Arabia. However, during the Ukrainian crisis, traditional allies took fundamentally different positions. Photo: en.wikipedia.org

At the same time, in the East, especially in the Arab world, the personal factor is always very significant. The Saudi establishment has not forgotten the defamation campaign launched in the US against MBS, who was allegedly personally behind the kidnapping and murder of prominent Saudi opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. Russia backed the crown prince at the time, reinforcing its image as Saudi Arabia's “new partner” and showing that cooperation with it could be beneficial for the young Saudi reformer. This largely predetermined the fact that Riyadh basically refrains from criticizing Russia in the Ukrainian crisis, although in some ways it shows flexibility, hedging its fundamentally multi-vector positions.

Yes, it is not difficult to assume that Washington will increase pressure on Saudi Arabia, trying to turn it against Moscow. Riyadh's defense of its position will be facilitated by its actual coincidence with the position of other Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Qatar and Kuwait.

But Washington's capabilities should not be underestimated either, even given its image of an unreliable partner in the region.

However, we also have our own trump cards. Reliability and loyalty to allied obligations are the unconditional pluses of the Russian leader in the eyes of his Arab colleagues. In this sense, the Syrian experience is working for Moscow's reputation even among the opponents of Bashshar al-Assad (Vitaly Naumkin specifically pointed out that the name of the Syrian president should be spelled that way. – “MK”).

Vitaly Naumkin and Syrian President Bashshar al-Assad

By the way, Saudi Arabia occupies the most prominent place among these opponents. Riyadh is one of the main sponsors of the Syrian opposition to Assad.

– Of course, in the current most difficult international situation, the Russian military base in the Eastern Mediterranean makes our country a serious geopolitical player in the region and beyond.

– For all its firmness in the pragmatic independent defense of the interests of the kingdom, MBS is well aware that he should not cross certain “red lines”. One of these lines is the development of military cooperation with Russia and the purchase of Russian military equipment.

But a general independent trend in the foreign and defense policy of Riyadh is indeed observed. The proof is, for example, this project, information about which was leaked to the media. We are talking about the creation of a joint air defense system by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Israel. It will most likely be based on a multi-level missile defense structure, in which its three levels are integrated and supplemented with early warning equipment.

On the territory of Israel in Sde Boker (Negev desert) on March 27-28 this year, for the first time, an Arab-Israeli meeting of foreign ministers was held with the participation of representatives of Bahrain, Israel, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as the US Secretary of State.

Representatives of Saudi Arabia in Sde Boker, however, was not. Riyadh is not joining some of its Gulf neighbors in establishing official relations with Israel. And the Saudis have not yet given the go-ahead to public contacts with Israeli diplomats. The reason is the lack of progress in implementing the plan to create a Palestinian state.

But at the same time, there is information in the media about a series of allegedly held secret talks between representatives of the special services of the two states on security issues. It is easy to see that these interests overlap. Israel's main enemy is also Iran. It is not surprising, therefore, that the talks between the leaders of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt discussed the Iranian nuclear threat, the consequences of a new agreement between world powers with Iran, and the US “withdrawal” from the Middle East. Unlike Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are not ready to strike directly at Iranian targets – although the Iranian-backed Houthis did damage their oil facilities.

But the main thing is that the summit participants in the current situation were not inclined to trust Blinken's promises on behalf of the United States to guarantee their safety in the event of an escalation in the Persian Gulf.

The Kingdom is not interested in strengthening the positions of the Iranian-linked Shiite Lebanese party Hezbollah on the eve of the Lebanese parliamentary elections. She is accused of supporting the Yemeni Houthis. And representatives of this party, for their part, claim that Riyadh is financing the election campaign of the former Sunni Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, who opposes them.

It is believed that the military power of Hezbollah surpasses the forces of the Lebanese army. It is also a serious political force. The emigration from Lebanon of a significant part of the liberal-minded, pro-Western elite to the West and the countries of the Persian Gulf creates a certain political vacuum, which is filled by representatives of the Shiites. Interested in weakening the pro-Iranian Hezbollah, Washington is stepping up sanctions pressure on Lebanon to show that this party is to blame for the acute financial and economic crisis. Here the interests of the United States and Israel, on the one hand, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, on the other, coincide. However, this is not enough to change the policy of the two leading Arabian monarchies in relation to the two main rivals of the United States – Russia and China.

“You should not think that the achieved level of prosperity saves the kingdom from social, political and even economic problems and upheavals. In particular, the tension between the Sunnis and the Shiite minority does not subside. There is evidence of popular dissatisfaction with the ongoing operation in Yemen, which has to spend a lot of money.

From time to time, underground cells of terrorist organizations threatening the security of the kingdom are found in the country. Recently, 84 terrorists were executed here, the last three of them right on the day of the visit of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who failed to convince his Arabian partners to increase oil production and condemn Moscow.

Let me give you one more example. Although the country has harsh laws against illegal drug trafficking, drug trafficking and drug use cannot be completely eradicated. It is reported that another attempt to smuggle a large consignment of drugs – 456,000 amphetamine tablets hidden in various equipment – was thwarted at the border the other day. Earlier in April, 1.5 million Captagon tablets were seized at the Jordanian border, and 1.6 million tablets were seized at the port of Jeddah in March.

In 2020, 7–8% of Saudis were reported to have used drugs, with amphetamines being among the most common and most users between the ages of 12 and 22. This is facilitated by the closeness of the kingdom, the dominance of inert norms of life.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched unprecedented measures to modernize public life, including allowing women to drive. This is supported by a large young part of the country's population, but is faced with acute dissatisfaction with the Wahhabi clergy. An ambitious program for the development of the kingdom's economy by 2030 has been put forward based on its diversification and reduction of oil dependence, which includes, among other things, the development of tourism. However, it is doubtful that the target figures for tourism – 100 million people a year – can be achieved without a fundamental change in the norms of life in the kingdom. And there are not so many cultural heritage sites here, not to mention the entertainment industry for tourists.

– I think that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman can certainly be considered one of the most reliable partners of Russia. The same applies to the de facto ruler of the UAE, the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed.

Another thing is that the extremely high unpredictability of the development of the situation both in the Middle East region and throughout the world, the constant pressure on the Arabian states of their Western partners, ongoing crises and regional conflicts, fueled by intense competition for resources and influence, cannot but affect the positions of any regional leader. Therefore, the absolute reliability of any of the well-known heads of state is hardly worth it.

At the same time, much will depend on our ability to constantly strengthen the existing trust in our country, convincing regional players that it is simply impossible to solve their ever-complicating political and economic problems without Russia.

— The UAE, like Saudi Arabia , refuse to join the anti-Russian sanctions and condemn Russia. First, the UAE abstained from voting in the UN Security Council on the American draft resolution condemning Russia's actions in Ukraine, and then repeatedly confirmed its intention to remain neutral.

This position is based both on the unwillingness of the UAE rulers to blindly follow the course of the United States and the desire to be guided by their interests, including in the field of security, and on their close and extensive business and political ties with Russia. Moscow is traditionally seen here as a counterbalance to Washington's desire for dominance. So far, this position can be considered fairly stable. But some analysts believe that it could be shaken if the military conflict in Ukraine drags on too long. This position is shared by most Arab states. A pro-American position (for various reasons and with some nuances) was taken by Kuwait, Qatar.

—I think that cooperation with key countries in the Middle East can certainly mitigate the effect of the imposition of sanctions against Russia by the West and some other countries. However, in a number of cases, cooperation will be difficult.

In addition, some, not the most powerful countries in the region, not wanting to put their economies at risk, declare their unwillingness to help Russia circumvent sanctions. At the same time, prospects are opening up for Moscow's cooperation with Arab and other countries of the Middle East region, which will not be hindered by any sanctions, if there is a political will to do so. This may apply, for example, to the sphere of military-technical cooperation, as evidenced by the experience of implementing the deal on the purchase of S-400 missile and anti-aircraft systems by Turkey.

In this regard, it is worth saying a few words about the plans of the UAE to develop its own military-industrial complex. In many ways, the change in the military-industrial policy of this country resembles what Russia is doing today in the field of import substitution, including aircraft manufacturing and other strategic areas. The UAE is committed to the self-sufficiency of its armed forces in certain types of weapons and military equipment and to reduce dependence on foreign supplies. Their experience can be useful for our country, regardless of whether the sanctions regime is maintained or relaxed/lifted.

Thus, in the UAE, the task was set to turn the state into a major manufacturer of world-class civil and military aviation equipment. One example of the accomplishment of this task is the creation of a large center for the repair and maintenance of aviation equipment. There is a center for research and technology of unmanned aerial vehicles. The armored industry is developing. In one of the industrial zones in Abu Dhabi, a joint venture of two large local companies has been created, which produces Nimr multi-purpose armored vehicles. The production of armored personnel carriers based on a South African armored car has been launched.

– President Assad, with the help of Russia and Iran, managed to almost put an end to the ISIS terrorist movement banned in the Russian Federation and inflict serious strikes on the bases of other terrorist groups. The “big” war is over.

But sporadic clashes between government forces and armed opposition groups are an integral part of the Syrian reality. The government in Damascus has established control over a significant, but, unfortunately, not over the entire territory of the country. Thus, its region, located in the northeast of the country, on the left bank of the Euphrates, is under the control of Kurdish forces in alliance with some local Arab tribes and the American administration. Together, these forces profit from the trade in oil produced in this territory, as well as grain.

Russia, together with the Syrian authorities, demands the departure of the Americans and an end to the shameless plunder of the country's resources.

In the northwest, in Idlib, there is a zone controlled by the armed opposition, including both its pro-Turkish detachments and terrorist organizations banned by the entire world community. In Syria, they fear that if Turkish dominance in this zone drags on, then in the future it may be annexed by Ankara. However, cooperation between Russia, Iran and Turkey on Syria continues. The country's sovereignty is violated by Israel's illegal occupation of the Golan Heights in the southwest of the country and the Israeli Air Force's occasional strikes on targets in Syrian territory, which our country condemns.

< img src="https://static.mk.ru/upload/entities/2022/04/20/16/articlesImages/image/9a/52/9d/85/377b530bba3ef86dffcf1bc34c947df7.jpg" height="0" width=" 0" />

Vitaly Naumkin with the King of Bahrain.

– It is not unusual that the Arab street almost everywhere is sympathetic to the actions of Russia and is not inclined to support the course of the United States and its allies due to the fact that they, guided by double standards, do not condemn the actions of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories and consign to total oblivion the internationally recognized national rights of the Palestinians. The greatest understanding of Russia's actions is met in Syria (with the exception of the opposition), as well as in Palestine.

Vitaly Naumkin with the first president of the Palestinian national administration by Yasser Arafat.

Источник www.mk.ru

UK court approves extradition of WikiLeaks founder Assange to US

The floor is up to the British Home Secretary

During the meeting on April 20 at the Westminster Magistrates Court (England), the decision to extradite Julian Assange to the American side was approved. The infamous whistleblower, famous for “plums” confidential information through the WikiLeaks media resource founded by him, has long been the object of close attention from the United States. However, numerous delays, including the sheltering of Assange by the Ecuadorian embassy in London, dragged out the process for years. Now, Home Secretary Priti Patel has the final say.

Julian Assange in court Photo: AP

The American side accuses Assange of espionage, since a significant part of the “leaks” published by WikiLeaks concerned precisely US overseas military operations. There was a place in the archive of revelations for many other events and persons, but it was the facts that highlighted the “dirty” reality that had the greatest resonance. Washington policy.

In addition to the United States, Assange wanted to see Sweden on her territory. There, the whistleblower was accused of rape. In particular, he was charged with inappropriate sexual contacts (by mutual consent, but either with the use of contraceptives, or without them – against the will of the partner, which is equated to a crime under Swedish law). However, of course, the American agenda outweighed other claims against the scandalous figure.

The situation for Washington was complicated by the fact that the Ecuadorian embassy in London granted Assange the right to live in his building. Since the land on which the diplomatic mission is located is equated to the territory of its state, then “smoking out” whistleblower was impossible: an invasion by British security forces would be equated with an attack on Ecuador. As a result, Assange spent almost seven years in his asylum.

During the meeting of the Westminster Court on April 20, the protagonist of the event was present virtually — via video link from the British Belmarsh prison, where he was sent after he left the Ecuadorian embassy, ​​and where he even managed to get married. However, his speech was short: he only confirmed the name, surname and date of birth.

Mark Summers, Assange's royal (that is, provided by the British side) lawyer, told the Chief Justice that the defense now had no choice but to send the case to the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel. According to the lawyer, due to insurmountable circumstances, in particular, the fact that the client was behind bars, there was no opportunity to collect new evidence of his innocence, but there were some “fresh events”. Summers is supposed to present some “serious material” to Patel; regarding Assange's imminent sentencing in the United States. Paul Goldspring, who chaired the meeting, noted that he had no right to prevent the appeal to the head of the Home Office (analogous to the Ministry of Internal Affairs).

Short — just seven minutes — Wednesday's hearing comes after the British Supreme Court rejected a whistleblower's appeal against his extradition last month. The American side, in turn, gave guarantees that, if Assange were extradited to it, he would be imprisoned (and, if desired, the sentence could be “cut” even more severe, which many supporters of the founder of WikiLeaks feared) on ordinary, and not super-tough conditions. The defense, apparently, will now try to play on the fact that for the client “moving” in the United States, it would be potentially more dangerous to remain in Belmarsh.

At the same time, the former leader of the British Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, went even further in his forecasts, expressing the hope that Patel would decide to release Assange altogether. “He just told the world about military planning, military policy and the horrors of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I think he deserves thanks,” — said the Laborist during a conversation with reporters following the court session.

However, given the relationship between London and Washington, in which the need for bilateral cooperation has increased significantly against the backdrop of events in continental Europe, few doubt that Patel will approve the extradition. Moreover, Assange was, in principle, an unwanted “splinter” for the UK. If the whistleblower is extradited, he will face a separate trial in the United States, which, in turn, may stir up the American society: the founder of WikiLeaks still has many supporters there.

Источник www.mk.ru