Tag Archives: Russian

Trump 'flouting his oath of office' by hosting Russian envoy and 'echoing Putin's propaganda', Democrats say

Trump 'flouting his oath of office' by hosting Russian envoy and 'echoing Putin's propaganda', Democrats sayPresident Donald Trump's decision to grant Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov an Oval Office meeting is yet another example of his abdication of his responsibilities, several Democratic politicians have told The Independent.Mr Lavrov arrived at the White House at about 2.15pm on Tuesday afternoon, entering the West Wing after telling reporters he was there to "say good afternoon to the president". The pair met behind closed doors and Mr Lavrov left after about an hour.



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Remember When Russian Diesel Submarines Chased Down A British Nuclear Sub?

Remember When Russian Diesel Submarines Chased Down A British Nuclear Sub?Depends if it actually happened.



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The Russian Navy Has Some Problems

The Russian Navy Has Some ProblemsYes, they received 23 new ships this year. That's where the good news ends.



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Russian Foreign Minister to Visit Washington for Talks Tuesday

Russian Foreign Minister to Visit Washington for Talks Tuesday(Bloomberg) — Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will host his Russian counterpart in Washington Tuesday for Sergei Lavrov’s first visit to the U.S. capital since a trip in 2017 set off a storm of criticism.Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced the plans Monday. Lavrov is also expected to meet with President Donald Trump, state-run Tass news agency reported, citing an unnamed person in the Foreign Ministry. In May, Pompeo and Lavrov met in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, when the top U.S. diplomat also held talks with President Vladimir Putin.While Pompeo called those talks “very productive,” relations between the countries remain at the lowest point since the Cold War. Trump called again for closer ties with Russia while at a NATO summit in London last week, highlighting the possibility of reaching a deal to extend the New Start nuclear-arms-control agreement, which expires in 2021.“With respect to nuclear weapons, I’ve spoken to President Putin and I’ve communicated with him,” Trump said. “We are — he very much wants to and so do we — work out a treaty of some kind on nuclear weapons.”Arms TreatyThe visit comes as Trump is facing an impeachment investigation that turns in part on his embrace of a theory that Ukraine rather than Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. Lavrov arrives a day after the Justice Department’s inspector general is to release the results of a probe on Russia’s 2016 meddling.Russia has criticized U.S. plans to keep troops in Syria and warned that time is running out to extend the New Start agreement.“It’s hard to say what the rush is” for the Lavrov meeting, said Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat and foreign policy analyst. “The only thing would be to get the negotiations started on extending” the New Start agreement, he said.Lavrov’s last trip to Washington, in May 2017, included talks with Trump in the Oval Office and drew attacks amid reports that Trump had provided his Russian guest with sensitive intelligence information.Tuesday’s meeting comes a day after Putin meets in Paris with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for talks on ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine.Trump has also said he’s considering Putin’s invitation to come to the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II on May 9 in Moscow.(Updates with possible Trump meeting in second paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Stepan Kravchenko in Moscow at skravchenko@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory L. White at gwhite64@bloomberg.net, Tony HalpinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Iran says new budget bucks US oil embargo, uses Russian loan

Iran says new budget bucks US oil embargo, uses Russian loanIran’s president said on Sunday his country will depend less on oil revenue next year, in a new budget that is designed to resist crippling U.S. trade embargoes. Iran is in the grips of an economic crisis. The U.S. re-imposed sanctions that block Iran from selling its crude oil abroad, following President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.



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Weak Arctic ice sees 56 polar bears descend on Russian village

Weak Arctic ice sees 56 polar bears descend on Russian villageMore than 50 polar bears have gathered on the edge of a village in Russia’s far north, environmentalists and residents said, as weak Arctic ice leaves them unable to roam. The Russian branch of the World Wildlife Fund said climate change was to blame, as unusually warm temperatures prevented coastal ice from forming. The WWF said 56 polar bears had gathered in a one-square-kilometre (0.4-square-mile) area near the village of Ryrkaipy in Chukotka on the northeastern tip of Russia.



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Russian spies used French Alps as 'base camp' for hits on Britain and other countries

Russian spies used French Alps as 'base camp' for hits on Britain and other countriesFifteen Russian spies, including those accused of the Salisbury nerve agent attack, used the French Alps as a “base camp” to conduct covert operations around Europe over a five-year period, according to reports. The revelations came as Germany expelled two Russian diplomats after prosecutors said there was “sufficient factual evidence” linking Moscow to the killing of a former Chechen rebel commander in central Berlin. According to Le Monde, British, Swiss, French, and US intelligence have drawn up a list of 15 members of the 29155 unit of Russia's GRU military spy agency who all passed through France’s Haute-Savoie mountains close to the Swiss and Italian borders. They stayed between 2015 and late 2018, notably in the towns of Evian, Annemasse and Chamonix – the scene of a ski chase in the 1999 James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough. They arrived from London, Moscow, Spain and often Geneva. The Le Monde report added five new names to those already published by online investigative outlets such as Bellingcat and The Insider. Their identities and movements were uncovered during a joint probe by allied counterespionage services in the wake of the attempted poisoning of defector Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in March 2018, said the paper. Britain and its allies accuse the Kremlin of seeking to assassinate Mr Skripal, a charge Russia vehemently denies. Those who stayed in the Haute-Savoie included Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – the cover names of the two GRU agents accused of carrying out the attack on Mr Skripal, along with Serguei Fedotov, the suspected mastermind. According to Le Monde, a fourth agent believed to be linked to the Skripal assassination attempt and who stayed in the Alps, Serguei Pavlov, was located in the UK by MI6 in 2017. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the Russian suspects in the Skripal poisoning, are among those alleged to have used the French Alps as a base Credit: Getty Images Europe Le Mondesaid the five new names cited, all aliases, are Alxandre Koulaguiine, Evgueni Larine, Tour Nouzirov, Naman Youssoupov and Guennadi Chvets. The unit was also active in areas such as Bulgaria, Moldova, Montenegro and Ukraine. Western intelligence services involved found no material or arms left behind by the agents during their stays in France, Le Monde said, but their presence was confirmed by where they ate, stayed and shopped. "The most likely hypothesis is to consider it (Haute-Savoie) as a rear base for all the clandestine operations carried out by unit 29155 in Europe," said a senior French intelligence official, quoted by Le Monde. The paper said that one theory is that by staying in the Alps, the agents hoped to shake off any suspicion before they carried out their missions, which could explain why they conducted no covert missions on French soil. On Wednesday, Angela Merkel’s government summoned the Russian ambassador and ordered two of the embassy staff to leave the country within seven days. The two diplomats concerned are believed to be Russian intelligence officers, according to local media reports. The German foreign ministry said they had been declared persona non grata in protest at Russia’s failure to cooperate with investigations into the killing of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian national shot dead in a Berlin park in August. The suspected killer was captured by police attempting to dispose of a gun believed to be the murder weapon in the nearby river Spree. He was carrying a Russian passport which identified him as Vadim Sokolov, but German prosecutors on Wednesday confirmed that they now believe that is a false identity. Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were both poisoned with Novichok, a banned chemical weapon, in Salisbury Credit: Social media/EAST2WEST NEWS Police findings indicate that it is “highly likely” the arrested man is Vadim Krasikov, a Russian national previously wanted for the murder of a businessman in Moscow in 2013, prosecutors said. A senior MP in Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat party (CDU) on Thursday described the case as a “return to the days of the Cold War”. “Counterintelligence and foreign reconnaissance against Russia must be significantly expanded,” Armin Schuster told Bild newspaper. “Germany must get its act together if a foreign state can order murder on German soil.”. France denies any “laxism” by its embassy in Moscow for handing him a 90-day emergency visa on July 29 on a fictitious address. He passed through Paris before travelling on to Berlin. British and French intelligence sources told Le Monde the assassination was “ordered by the pro-Kremlin Chechen regime of Ramzan Kadyrov with logistical help of the Russian state”. According to Le Monde, French intelligence suspects the Berlin assassination was leaked to the public for “political reasons” linked to President Emmanuel Macron's apparent rapprochement with Moscow. Last week, Mr Macron said: “Has the absence of dialogue with Russia made the European continent any safer? … I don’t think so.” “France's desire to rebuild strategic ties with Moscow has clearly prompted reactions from states who prefer direct confrontation with Russia,” said one French intelligence source, who denied any French “complacency or naivity” towards Moscow. French surveillance of foreign Russian espionage was, the source told Le Monde, “no doubt higher than any other service in Europe”.



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Germany expels Russian diplomats in probe of Berlin killing

Germany expels Russian diplomats in probe of Berlin killingGermany expelled two Russian diplomats Wednesday over the brazen killing of a Georgian on the streets of Berlin in August as prosecutors said evidence suggested the slaying was ordered either by Moscow or authorities in Russia’s republic of Chechnya. The allegation by Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office was the latest from a Western European nation accusing Russia of an attack on its soil, after Britain last year blamed Moscow for an attempt to poison a former Russian spy in the English city of Salisbury.



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Russian scientists present ancient puppy found in permafrost

Russian scientists present ancient puppy found in permafrostRussian scientists on Monday showed off a prehistoric puppy, believed to be 18,000 years old, found in permafrost in the country’s Far East. Discovered last year in a lump of frozen mud near the city of Yakutsk, the puppy is unusually well-preserved, with its hair, teeth, whiskers and eyelashes still intact.



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Trump thanks GOP senator for pushing Russian disinformation

Trump thanks GOP senator for pushing Russian disinformationPresident Trump praised Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., for pushing the theory that Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential election was equivalent to Russian efforts.



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