Tag Archives: Moscow

In Moscow, Some See Opportunity in Comedian's Victory in Ukraine

In Moscow, Some See Opportunity in Comedian's Victory in UkraineThe three leading candidates took tough lines on relations with Russia, with which Ukraine has been at war since the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russian forces. “The Kremlin didn’t believe Zelenskiy could win until March as they just don’t understand these things,” said Gleb Pavlovsky, a Moscow political analyst who has advised Russian officials on Ukrainian politics, referring to the success of the comedian’s insurgent campaign.



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Trump Tower in Moscow: Why did the project end and why does the Mueller investigation care so much?

Trump Tower in Moscow: Why did the project end and why does the Mueller investigation care so much?An intriguing area of focus in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Kremlin’s role in the 2016 US election is a proposed Moscow real estate deal that Donald Trump pursued while running for president despite denying at the time any links to Russia. The special counsel has revealed in court filings numerous details about the project, which never came to fruition. Further information has come from Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer who was instrumental in the negotiations, in congressional testimony and in his guilty plea to a charge of lying to Congress about the project.



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Why an unbuilt Moscow Trump tower caught Mueller's attention

Why an unbuilt Moscow Trump tower caught Mueller's attentionFurther information has come from Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer who was instrumental in the negotiations, in congressional testimony and in his guilty plea to a charge of lying to Congress about the project. Mueller’s team said in a December 2018 court filing that “the Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government. If the project was completed, the Company (the Trump Organization) could have received hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues.” The project is significant because it shows Trump was chasing a lucrative business deal in Russia at the same time that President Vladimir Putin’s government, according to U.S. intelligence agencies, was conducting a hacking and propaganda campaign to boost his candidacy.



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Venezuela to move state oil firm PDVSA office from Lisbon to Moscow

Venezuela to move state oil firm PDVSA office from Lisbon to MoscowMoscow has backed Maduro in the face of a political challenge from opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president in January — a move backed by most Western nations. Rodriguez, explaining the decision to move PDVSA’s office at a joint news conference in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said Europe had shown it was no longer able to guarantee the safety of Venezuela’s assets. The PDVSA office move corresponded with plans to expand technical cooperation in extracting oil with Russian oil companies Rosneft and Gazprom, she added.



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Michael Cohen: Trump did not ‘directly’ tell me to lie to Congress about Moscow project

Michael Cohen: Trump did not ‘directly’ tell me to lie to Congress about Moscow projectMichael Cohen provided a detailed account of a crucial and disputed element of his business dealings with President Trump in his testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. Cohen, who was Trump’s longtime personal attorney and an executive at the president’s real estate company up until he took office, said Trump did not explicitly tell him to lie to Congress about the scope of their efforts to build a skyscraper in Moscow.



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Russia to create hypersonic missile in response to Trump pulling US out of nuclear treaty, Moscow says

Russia to create hypersonic missile in response to Trump pulling US out of nuclear treaty, Moscow saysVladimir Putin has said he supports the creation of new hypersonic land-based missiles in response to Donald Trump pulling the US out of a nuclear arms control treaty in place since the Cold War. The Russian president said on Saturday Russia had suspended the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty after the US’s exit after Donald Trump accused Moscow of violating the pact’s terms. In a meeting with the head of Russia’s ministry of defence, Sergei Shoigu, and foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, Mr Putin gave his approval to plans which include the building of hypersonic land-based missiles as well as a ground-based version of the Kalibr (also known as Caliber) sea-launched cruise missile.



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Russian painting stolen from Moscow gallery during exhibition

Russian painting stolen from Moscow gallery during exhibitionA 20th century landscape painting by a Russian artist was stolen from a Moscow art gallery in a brazen act of theft during an exhibition, police said on Sunday. Crimea”, was painted in 1908 by Arkhip Kuindzhi, a Russian artist of Greek origin, and depicts a mountain in the Crimea peninsula. Russian news agencies said the painting was stolen from the Tretyakov gallery, one of Russia’s leading art galleries, which has been targeted by criminals several times in recent years.



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Erdogan and Putin vow closer cooperation on Syria at Moscow talks

Erdogan and Putin vow closer cooperation on Syria at Moscow talksRussian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday vowed to coordinate their actions more closely in Syria. “Cooperation between Russia and Turkey is a touchstone for Syrian peace and stability,” Erdogan said in translated comments at a joint press conference after their talks, which lasted around three hours. “We agreed how we’ll coordinate our work in the near future,” Putin said, calling the talks which included the countries’ defence ministers “effective”.



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Moscow warns US against intervention in Venezuela as Maduro clings on to power amid protests

Moscow warns US against intervention in Venezuela as Maduro clings on to power amid protestsRussia accused the United States of trying to usurp power in Venezuela and warned against US military intervention there, putting it at odds with Washington and the EU which backed protests against one of Moscow's closest allies. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim leader on Wednesday, winning the support of Washington and parts of Latin America and prompting Socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who has led the oil-rich nation since 2013, to sever diplomatic ties with the United States. The prospect of Maduro being ousted is a geopolitical and economic headache for Moscow which, alongside China, has become a creditor of last resort for Caracas, lending it billions of dollars as its economy implodes. Moscow has also provided support for its military and oil industry. Russia on Thursday accused Washington of stoking street protests and of trying to undermine Maduro, whom it called the country's legitimate president. "We consider the attempt to usurp sovereign authority in Venezuela to contradict and violate the basis and principles of international law," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Guaido vs Maduro | Who is backing Venezuela's two presidents He said Russia had not received a Venezuelan request for military help and declined to say how it would respond if it did. Maduro, who met President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in December, was the legitimate president, said Peskov. The Russian Foreign Ministry weighed in too, complaining that Washington was seeking to determine the fate of other nations by using a well-tried strategy of trying to depose an undesirable government. It told Washington not to intervene militarily, warning outside interference was the path to bloodshed. "We warn against such adventurism which is fraught with catastrophic consequences," it said. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan offered support for Maduro too. A demonstrator throws back a gas canister while clashing with security forces during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Credit:  CARLOS EDUARDO RAMIREZ/ REUTERS "My brother Maduro! Stand tall, we stand by you!" presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, writing on Twitter, quoted Erdogan as saying. China, a major lender to Caracas, also voiced its support for Maduro, saying it opposed outside interference in Venezuela and supported efforts to protect its independence and stability. The European Union, which has imposed sanctions on Venezuela and boycotted Maduro's swearing-in for a second term earlier this month, took a different tack. Nicolas Maduro remained defiant, leading counter protest in Caracas Credit:  Anadolu/ Anadolu Although it stopped short of following Washington and recognising Guaido as interim president, it called on the authorities in Venezuela to respect his "civil rights, freedom and safety" and appeared to support calls for a peaceful transition of power away from Maduro. "The people of Venezuela have massively called for democracy and the possibility to freely determine their own destiny. These voices cannot be ignored," the 28-nation bloc said in a statement. French President Emmanuel Macron saluted the courage of Venezuelans marching for freedom and called Maduro's 2018 election victory illegal. housands of protesters gather at Plaza Baquedano to demonstrate their support for opposition leader Juan Guaido Credit: Getty /Agencia Makro A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said the election has been neither free nor fair and expressed support for Guaido as national assembly head. Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez planned to call Guaido after talks with Latin American leaders in Davos, a government source said on Thursday.



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Model who alleged Russian meddling in US election tells Moscow court she will not publish Deripaska recordings

Model who alleged Russian meddling in US election tells Moscow court she will not publish Deripaska recordingsAnastasia Vashukevich, the model who recorded a former employer of Paul Manafort allegedly discussing US relations with a Russian deputy prime minister during the 2016 election, has promised in a Moscow court not to release any further recordings.  Ms Vashukevich previously claimed to have evidence of Russian interference in the US election from a fling with Oleg Deripaska, the metals magnate to whom Donald Trump's campaign manager Manafort reportedly promised private briefings, something Deripaska always denied. Video she uploaded to Instagram showed Mr Deripaska speaking on a yacht in 2016 with Sergei Prikhodko, a deputy prime minister and long-time aide to Vladimir Putin. In a separate audio recording, Mr Deripaska is heard discussing Russia's “bad relations with America”. The pair talked about the “issue with America,” Ms Vashukevich had claimed. After her Instagram posts were discovered in February 2018, Ms Vashukevich was arrested while leading a sex training seminar in Thailand, and Mr Deripaska successfully sued Ms Vashukevich for violating his right to privacy with her photographs and recordings. A Russian court ordered her to delete the posts and pay him £5,800 in emotional damages. She and her partner from the sex training received a suspended sentence for soliciting and conspiracy last week and deported to Belarus, their native country. On her way there, they were arrested in a Moscow airport on Thursday. They face prostitution charges carrying up to six years in prison. After being led by bailiffs into a glass defendant's cage on Saturday, Ms Vashukevich asked Mr Deripaska's forgiveness and promised no more revelations. Ms Vashukevich was deported by Thailand and arrested at Moscow airport Credit: Vasily Maximov/AFP “There won't be any more audio recordings about Oleg Deripaska,” she told journalists from a glass defendant's cage. “I won't compromise him anymore, so he can relax, really, I've had enough." She claimed that she was now subject to "fabricated" criminal cases in Thailand, Russia and Belarus. Ms Vashukevich declined to comment when asked by The Telegraph if the prostitution charges against her were related to claims of Russian election interference. The court delayed a hearing on her confinement until Tuesday after investigators said they didn't have enough evidence to make their arguments. Mr Deripaska has denied interference and said he never received an offer of private briefings. He is under US sanctions, but sanctions against some of his companies are set to be lifted this week despite controversy in congress. Mr Deripaska is seen speaking to Mr Prikhodko in footage posted by Ms Vashukevich Credit: Instagram The meeting on the yacht took place in August 2016 off the coast of Norway, according to an investigation by opposition activist Alexei Navalny. A private jet linked to Mr Deripaska had flown between New York and Moscow and then to Norway in the previous days, Mr Navalny found. Manafort, who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller's investigation into election interference, told a Russian acquaintance he could offer private briefings to Mr Deripaska the month before, according to emails seen by The Atlantic and other publications. Russia ordered YouTube to take down Mr Navalny's video investigation, but it is still available and has more than 8 million views. While in jail in Thailand, Ms Vashukevich claimed to have more than 16 hours of audio recordings and photographs providing evidence of Russian interference in the US election. She promised to provide the evidence if the United States gave her asylum. Miss Vashukevich in detention in Thailand  Credit:  JORGE SILVA/REUTERS Ms Vashukevich told CNN she witnessed Mr Deripaska meeting three Americans in 2016 and 2017 and said “they had a plan for the election”. She said she had photographs of one of the Americans with Mr Deripaska, but refused to name any of the men. CNN also reported FBI agents had unsuccessfully tried to see her in Thailand.



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