Tag Archives: Russia

Britain spy case: Watchdog rejects Russia nerve agent claim

Britain spy case: Watchdog rejects Russia nerve agent claimTHE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The head of the global chemical watchdog agency on Wednesday rejected Russian claims that traces of a second nerve agent were discovered in the English city where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned.



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Trump Gets Roasted On Twitter After Bragging About How Tough He Is On Russia

Trump Gets Roasted On Twitter After Bragging About How Tough He Is On RussiaPresident Donald Trump boasted Wednesday about taking a tough stance on Russia



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George W. Bush: U.S. should be tough on Russia — 'not belligerent, but forceful'

George W. Bush: U.S. should be tough on Russia — 'not belligerent, but forceful'Former President George W. Bush said on Monday that he has “always felt” the United States should be tough in countering Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression.



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Russia may have tampered with chemical attack site, U.S. envoy says

Russia may have tampered with chemical attack site, U.S. envoy saysBy Anthony Deutsch THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Western countries accused Moscow on Monday of preventing inspectors from reaching the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with evidence on the ground. The United States, Britain and France launched air strikes on Saturday against what they described as three Syrian chemical weapons targets in retaliation for a suspected gas attack that killed scores of people in the Damascus suburb of Douma on April 7. Syria and its ally Russia deny using poison gas during their offensive this month, in which they seized the town that had been the last major rebel stronghold near the capital.



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Trump squirming over Russia sanctions ties White House in knots

Trump squirming over Russia sanctions ties White House in knotsCarol Leonnig, national investigative reporter for The Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about Donald Trump's panicked concern about appearing to sanction Russia more than other countries and turning back his own.



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Russia to allow chemical weapons inspectors into Douma amid concerns attack site has been 'tampered with'

Russia to allow chemical weapons inspectors into Douma amid concerns attack site has been 'tampered with'Chemical weapons experts are due to arrive in Douma on Wednesday to probe the alleged poison gas attack, Russian officials said, as the US voiced fears Moscow may already have "tampered with" evidence at the site. Following weekend missile strikes on Syria by the US, France and Britain, Russia traded accusations with Western nations on Monday, dismissing as "a blatant lie" accusations that Moscow was hindering the investigation in Douma. The four nations confronted each other in tense emergency talks at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague as inspectors prepare for a difficult and dangerous mission. Syrian state media early Tuesday said air defence had shot down missiles over the central province of Homs, with the strikes reportedly targeting regime air bases. It was not known who carried out the attack, with Pentagon spokeswoman Heather Babb saying: "There are no US or coalition operations in that area." Israel's military declined to comment, as is its custom. Initial reports indicated that the incident may have been a false alarm and that Syrian forces may have opened fire by mistake. Syrian authorities distribute bread, vegetables and pasta to Douma residents more than a week after the attack Credit:  Hassan Ammar/ AP The developments came as UK parliament geared up for its second debate on the West's missile strikes on chemical weapons facilities at the weekend. Ahead of an emergency debate called by Jeremy Corbyn has insisted on parliamentary approval for intervention, Lord Hague told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday morning that the Government had “quite possibly made a mistake” by recalling MPs to vote on action in Syria after the chemical attack in 2013. He said: “I don’t subscribe to the idea that any military action makes things worse. There have been many military actions and wars that have made it worse. "But I do strongly believe that if in 2013 Parliament had given us the permission to launch limited strikes … I do strongly believe that there would have been less Russian adventurism, less foreign intervention and fewer attacks by chemical weapons in the years since then.” The weekend missile strikes by the US, Britain and France were in response to an alleged chlorine and sarin gas attack in Douma on April 7 in which 40 people were said to have been killed. OPCW director general Ahmet Uzumcu said his nine-strong, all-volunteer team had reached Damascus, but so far "the team has not yet deployed to Douma". Syrian and Russian officials had warned of "pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place," Uzumcu said. Igor Kirillov, head of Russia's radiological, biological and chemical protection unit, told reporters the roads still had to be de-mined and cleared and would be tested by UN security services on Tuesday. "On Wednesday is when we plan the arrival of the OPCW experts," he added at a press conference in the Russian embassy in The Hague. Pro Assad supporters were among an anti-war demonstration outside parliament in London on Monday Credit: TOLGA AKMEN/ AFP The US ambassador to the OPCW, Ken Ward, claimed however the Russians had already visited the site and "may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW fact-finding mission". The Kremlin dismissed the claims. "I can guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the BBC. And the Russian ambassador to the Netherlands, Alexander Shulgin, said it was a "blatant lie" that Moscow was hampering the investigation. Instead he said it was the United States, France and Britain who were "standing in the way" of the investigation by ordering air strikes "in the blink of an eye" before the OPCW team had had a chance to do their work. The missiles that US, French and British warships fired on suspected chemical facilities Saturday constituted the biggest Western attack against the regime in the seven-year war to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The targeted sites were largely empty, and were all said to be facilities for chemical weapons storage or production. British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron faced anger Monday from their lawmakers for conducting the air strikes with the United States. Despite polls showing scant support for the move, May said it had been her "responsibility as prime minister to make these decisions," while Macron also defended his move as part of his constitutional powers. France urged OPCW nations to boost the organisation's work so it can completely dismantle Syria's "secret" toxic weapons programme. And the United States called for a clear condemnation by the OPCW of "the Syrian government for its reign of chemical terror". A boy sits on a chair along a damaged street in Douma, which was allegedly hit with a chlorine attack Credit: ALI HASHISHO/REUTERS The trio of Western powers that carried out the strikes warned they would repeat the operation if Damascus used chemical weapons again. Regime forces have now entered Douma and declared the entire Eastern Ghouta region around it fully retaken, ending a five-year siege and reclaiming an opposition bastion on the edge of the capital. Even though the OPCW team was not allowed in, the Syrian authorities organised a tour of the town for some foreign press. It included a visit to the main hospital to which the victims of the alleged chemical attack where taken. Medical student Marwan Jaber said no chemical weapons were used on April 7. "Suffocation cases arrived as a result of the debris, dust, fire and smoke. They were given routine treatment", he said. But "strangers entered as we were in a state of chaos and spread a rumour among people there had been a chemical attack, and people became alarmed". Damascus and Moscow have vehemently denied that any chemical weapons were used in Douma and alleged instead that grim videos showing civilians foaming at the mouth after the attack were staged. Russian ambassador Shulgin repeated the accusations telling reporters in The Hague that Douma residents had not been able to produce "a single body".



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U.S. suggests Russia, Syria may tamper with Douma evidence, Moscow denies it

U.S. suggests Russia, Syria may tamper with Douma evidence, Moscow denies itBy Laila Bassam and Anthony Deutsch DAMASCUS/THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The United States accused Russia on Monday of blocking international inspectors from reaching the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with evidence on the ground. Moscow denied the charge and blamed delays on retaliatory U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria on Saturday. British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron faced criticism from political opponents over their decisions to take part in the air strikes.



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Republicans Befuddled By Trump’s Abrupt Reversal On New Russia Sanctions

Republicans Befuddled By Trump’s Abrupt Reversal On New Russia SanctionsWASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump's sudden decision not to impose tough new



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US to impose new Russia sanctions over Syria: Haley

US to impose new Russia sanctions over Syria: HaleyThe United States will impose new sanctions on Russia over an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday. Haley said the sanctions, to be announced Monday by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, would target companies that supplied Damascus with equipment and other material related to chemical weapons.



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US to impose new Russia sanctions over Syria: Haley

US to impose new Russia sanctions over Syria: HaleyThe United States will impose new sanctions on Russia over an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday. Haley said the sanctions, to be announced Monday by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, would target companies that supplied Damascus with equipment and other material related to chemical weapons.



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