Tag - Russia

Türkiye to discuss Black Sea grain corridor in Russia

Ankara: On June 21, according to the statement by Türkiye's presidency, a Turkish military delegation would travel to Russia this week to discuss details of a possible sea corridor in the Black Sea for Ukrainian grain exports. "A four-way meeting between Türkiye, Ukraine, Russia, and the United Nations would be held in Istanbul within 10 days, and President Tayyip Erdogan and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres could join the meeting," the statement added.

Russia claims it destroyed Ukrainian weapons depot

Kyiv: On June 12, Russian forces fired cruise missiles to destroy a large depot containing U.S. and European weapons in western Ukraine's Ternopil region. The governor of the Ternopil region said a rocket attack on the city of Chortkiv fired from the Black Sea had partly destroyed a military facility, injuring 22 people. A local official refuted Russia's claims and said that there were no weapons stored there.

Russia , China open cross-border bridge as ties deepen

On June 10, Russia and China opened a new cross-border bridge in the far east. Both countries hope that it will further boost trade as Moscow reels from sweeping Western sanctions imposed over its actions in Ukraine. The bridge links the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk to the Chinese city of Heihe across the Amur river - known in China as Heilongjiang. It is just over one kilometre long and cost 19 billion roubles ($342 million), the Russian news agency reported.

No Iron Curtain will close off Russia’s economy: Putin

London: On June 9, President Vladimir Putin said that no Iron Curtain would fall over the Russian economy despite the sanctions imposed by the West. Moscow would not close itself off from the world as the Soviet Union did, he started. "We did not have a closed economy - or rather we did in the Soviet times when we cut ourselves off, created the so-called Iron Curtain, we created it with our own hands. We will not make the same mistake again - our economy will be open," Putin declared.

U.S. rocket supplies could widen Ukraine conflict: Russia

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the supply of U.S. advanced rocket launchers to Ukraine raised the risks of a "third country" being dragged into the conflict. "We believe that the United States is purposefully and diligently adding fuel to the fire," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated. Such supplies would not encourage Ukraine's leadership to resume stalled peace talks, he added.

Facing difficulties exporting grain, says Russia

On June 1, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow was facing difficulties exporting grain due to sanctions against its ships. "There are also problems with the export of Russian grain... Vessels that carry Russian grain have fallen under sanctions," Lavrov said during a visit to Saudi Arabia. Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which is also a major grain exporter, has driven world food prices higher.

Putin says West won’t succeed in cutting Russia off

On May 26, President Vladimir Putin asserted that Western sanctions against Russia were disrupting its supply chains, but they would not succeed in cutting it off from technology. Speaking by video link to leaders of ex-Soviet states, Putin said Russia would keep working to find alternatives for imports no longer available to it. "Representatives of our businesses face problems, of course, especially in the field of supply chains and transport. Nevertheless, everything can be adjusted, everything can be built in a new way," Putin declared.

Unfair to punish Pakistan for Russia visit: Bilawal Bhutto

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari defended Imran Khan's travel to Russia on Thursday, saying it is unjust to penalise Pakistan for this "innocent move." Following the conclusion of a two-day visit, the foreign minister spoke during a press conference at the UN Headquarters. Secretary of State Antony Blinken invited Bilawal to a meeting on world food security. The top Pakistani ambassador was questioned about the former prime minister's visit on February 24, the day Russia began its offensive in Ukraine, and how the current government planned to "correct the mistakes" of its predecessors.  

Russia will rebuild “freed” territories in Ukraine

On May 18, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin announced that Russia would finance the reconstruction of territories in Ukraine that it has taken control of. He added that it would also repair roads that link those areas with Russia. Khusnullin said Russia had "freed" the territories. "The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the biggest in Europe by capacity, will supply energy to Russia and to Ukraine if the latter pays for it, " Khusnullin said.

Russia expels 40 German diplomats

On Monday, Russia's foreign ministry announced that it had declared 40 German diplomatic staff "personae non gratae" in a retaliatory move after Berlin ousted the same number of Russian diplomats. In a statement, Russia's foreign ministry said it had taken the decision after Germany on April 4 declared a "significant number" of officials at the Russian embassy in Berlin "undesirable".

Russia launches new ballistic missile amid tensions

London: On April 20, Russia said that it had conducted a first test launch of its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile. This is a new addition to its nuclear arsenal which President Vladimir Putin said would give Moscow's enemies 'something to think about'. "The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defense. It has no analogues in the world and won't have for a long time to come," Putin said.

Russia should refrain from G20 meeting: France

Paris: On April 20, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire urged his Russian counterpart not to take part in Wednesday's meeting with finance ministers from the Group of 20 economic powers. "We demand that Russia ceases right now its military action and we ask Russia to refrain from attending G20 meetings. War is not compatible with international cooperation," Le Maire said during the meeting by an online connection.

Russian envoy warns Poland of consequences

Warsaw: The Russian ambassador clarified that Russia would retaliate against Poland if its embassy in Warsaw ceased working because it could not receive fresh funds from Moscow. In March, Poland ousted 45 Russian diplomats over allegations of working for Russian intelligence and blocked the embassy's bank accounts. Moscow, which dismissed the accusations as baseless, retaliated in kind.

Czech companies to repair damaged Ukrainian tanks

Prague: On April 19, the Czech Defence Ministry declared that Czech defense companies would repair Ukrainian tanks and other military vehicles that had been damaged in fighting or need servicing after long-term storage. "Small faults or fighting damage will be repaired by the Ukrainian army's and Ukrainian defense industry's efforts," the ministry said. "Czech assistance will utilize the capacities of Czech defense industry companies for more extensive works, including overhauls and bringing equipment in long-term storage to service."

Pope Francis criticizes Russia for war on Easter

Vatican City: On April 17, Pope Francis implicitly criticized Russia for dragging Ukraine into a "cruel and senseless" conflict and urged leaders to strive for peace as he marked what he called an "Easter of war". "Our eyes, too, are incredulous on this Easter of war. We have seen all too much blood, all too much violence. Our hearts, too, have been filled with fear and anguish, as so many of our brothers and sisters have had to lock themselves away to be safe from bombing," he said. "May there be peace for war-torn Ukraine, so sorely tried by the violence and destruction of the cruel and senseless war into which it was dragged," he added.

France expels 6 suspected Russian spies

After French intelligence agencies discovered a clandestine operation on its soil, France is expelling six Russians suspected of working as spies under diplomatic cover, the foreign ministry announced on Monday. "Six Russian agents operating under diplomatic cover whose activities were found to be contrary to our national interests have been declared persona non grata," the foreign ministry said in a statement.    

Ukraine says troops still holding out in besieged Mariupol

Lviv: On April 11, Ukraine said that its forces were still holding out in the port of Mariupol, where Russia was renewing its assault in a siege. Ukraine also claimed that Russia had killed thousands of trapped civilians. "Communication with the units of the defense forces heroically holding the city is stable and maintained," Ukraine's military commander-in-chief, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, said on Facebook.

Russia expels 45 Polish embassy, consulate staff

On April 8, it emerged that Russia declared 45 Polish embassy and consulate staff "persona non grata". Russia's move came in retaliation for Warsaw's expulsion of 45 Russian diplomats from Poland, Moscow's foreign ministry explained. Poland said, in March, that the 45 Russian diplomats were suspected of working for Russian intelligence.

Ukraine says 39 killed in rocket strike on rail evacuation hub

Kyiv: On April 8, Ukraine said dozens of people died and many more were wounded in a rocket strike at a railway station. The site was packed with civilians escaping fighting and a threat of a major Russian offensive in the country's east. Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region where the Kramatorsk station is located, said at least 39 people were killed and 87 wounded, with many in serious condition, in a deliberate attack by Russian forces. "They wanted to sow panic and fear, they wanted to take as many civilians as possible," he said.

Finland to return confiscated artworks to Russia

On April 8, it emerged that Finland would return Russian artworks seized by Finnish customs. Finnish customs had stopped three shipments of artworks worth around 42 million euros ($46 million) to check whether they were classed as luxury goods and were therefore subject to economic sanctions. Exceptions for cultural artifacts in the European Union sanction rules will become effective on April 9, after which the foreign ministry will grant customs officials permission to release the artworks, the ministry said.

United Nations suspends Russia from human rights body

United Nations: On April 7, it emerged that the United Nations General Assembly had suspended Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council. The decision was taken over reports of "gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights" by Russian troops in Ukraine. The U.S.-led push garnered 93 votes in favor, while 24 countries voted no and 58 countries abstained.

U.S. building pressure on Russia: Blinken

Brussels: On April 7, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States was maintaining and building its pressure on Russia, as he warned that there are more credible reports of torture, rape, and killings by Russian forces in Ukraine. Blinken also said there is a growing coalition of countries with Ukraine and against Russia. "We're sustaining and building up pressure on the Kremlin and its neighbors," he said.

World to face food shortage due to sanctions: Putin

London: On April 5, President Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia must keep a close eye on its food exports to hostile countries because the West's embargoes had initiated a global food crisis and spiraling energy prices. "They will inevitably exacerbate food shortages in the poorest regions of the world, spur new waves of migration, and in general drive food prices even higher," Putin told a meeting on developing food production. The West's sanctions over Putin's invasion of Ukraine have sent Russia back towards its worst economic crisis since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

Russia waged deliberate campaign in Bucha: Blinken

Washington, On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the killings in the Ukrainian town of Bucha were no random act of a rogue unit but part of a deliberate Russian campaign to commit atrocities. He offered no proof to support his statement of a deliberate campaign. "What we've seen in Bucha is not the random act of a rogue unit," he said. "It's a deliberate campaign to kill, to torture, to rape, to commit atrocities. The reports are more than credible, the evidence is there for the world to see," he added.

UK urges G7 to ban Russian ships

WARSAW: On April 5, Britain urged G7 and NATO nations to ban Russian ships from their ports, agree on a timetable to phase out oil and gas imports from Russia, and further tighten sanctions on banks and key industries. Speaking in Poland ahead of a meeting of NATO and G7 countries later this week, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said, "On Thursday, I will be urging our NATO and G7 partners to go further in sanctions by joining us in banning Russian ships from our ports, cracking down on more Russian banks, going after industries that are filling Putin’s war chest like gold, and agreeing on a clear timetable to eliminate imports of Russian oil, coal, and gas."

Russia to resume flights with 52 ‘friendly’ countries: PM

On April 4, Russia announced that it planned to end restrictions on flights to and from 52 countries after April 9, part of its plans to reduce measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Monday that Russia would resume flights to and from Argentina, South Africa, and other "friendly countries". Other countries with which Russia will resume flights after April 9 include Algeria, China, Lebanon, Peru, and Pakistan, Russia's coronavirus task force said.

U.S. pushes to suspend Russia from Human Rights Council

Bucharest: On April 4, it emerged that the United States would ask the U.N. General Assembly to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said on Monday, after Ukraine accused Russian troops of killing dozens of civilians in the town of Bucha. A two-thirds majority vote by the 193-member assembly in New York can restrain a state from the council for persistently committing gross and systematic violations of human rights. Speaking in Bucharest on Monday, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, "Russia's participation on the Human Rights Council is a farce".

EU must end all economic ties to Russia: Lindner

Brussels: On Monday, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said that the European Union must work toward cutting all economic ties with Russia over its "criminal" war in Ukraine. He showed doubt over an immediate ban on Russian gas imports. "We are dealing with a criminal war," stated Lindner in Brussels before talks with his EU colleagues. "It is clear we must end as quickly as possible all economic ties to Russia. Gas cannot be substituted in the short term," he added.