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Moscow and Beijing see a threat, which doesn't come from the missiles but radars U.S. to monitor Russian and Chinese intercontinental missiles.

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Due to a number of limitations the THAAD missile defense system doesn’t directly pose a major risk to Russia and China. However, Moscow and Beijing still see a potential threat, which does not come from the missiles but the system’s radars that would allow U.S. to monitor launches of Russian and Chinese intercontinental missiles. Despite the U.S. and South Korea repeatedly claiming that THAAD poses no threats to China or Russia, and is being deployed to defend the South from North Korean missile launches, Moscow and Beijing still harbor serious concerns about the deployment.

Gatilov: there isn't only the fight against terrorism in Yemen, but also the intra-Yemeni conflict

At the opening of an annual student conference in Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gatilov said the humanitarian disaster in Yemen is a tragic catastrophe. In Yemen there is not only the fight against terrorism, but also the intra-Yemeni conflict, which is a serious humanitarian disaster. As Gatilov said about 80 percent of the population in Yemen is affected by humanitarian crisis, but western countries are more focused on what is happening in Syria. Finally he said that a solution should be found.

Mosca will call a meeting with regional powers to resolve the afghan conflict

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Russia has affirmed that Mosca will call a meeting with regional powers to risolve the afghan conflict and pushing to include Taliban in dialogue. Russian Minister of the Interior, Sergej Lavrov, has confirmed on 7 febbraio to the Afghan Minister of the Interior, Salahuddin Rabbani, that Mosca will host a conference to risolve the Afghan crisi. At this conference will take parte Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Iran e India. This meeting don’t concern the partecipation of the NATO powers who have Always had troops in te afghan territory since american invasion in 2001.

Moscow and the extradition of blogger Alexander Lapshin

Moscow has made a statement on the extradition of blogger Alexander Lapshin, who holds Russian citizenship, to Azerbaijan. “According to the available information, the Supreme Court of Belarus, having considered the case in a closed session on Feb. 7, dismissed the complaint of the citizen of Russia and Israel Alexander Lapshin against the decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Belarus on his extradition to Azerbaijan. The Russian side expresses disappointment with this decision,” reads a message on the website of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “We intend to continue taking all the necessary measures to protect the rights and legitimate interests of the Russian citizen to quickly return him to his family,” the message said.

Moscow on the International community’s efforts

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov affirmed on Thursday that the West seeks to prevent attacking Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization in Syria to take advantage of it. During a press conference with Benin’s foreign minister in Moscow, Lavrov said that the UN Security Council recently condemned the use of civilians as human shields by ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul but it didn’t do the same thing against the practices of Jabhat al-Nusra in the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo. The Russian Minister pointed out that Moscow is concerned that the international community’s efforts regarding overcoming the crises in Syria, Iraq and other areas should be transparent, fair and not accompanied with attempts to achieve certain geopolitical goals.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Moscow in 2017

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On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected in Moscow for an official visit in 2017. Putin said Russia and China have recently marked anniversary of a major treaty on friendship. Russian leader marked very good, businesslike relations with Xi Jinping during his meeting with Li Kequiang. Li Keqiang, for his part, also conveyed greetings from the Chinese President to President Putin, stressing that Russia and China are major neighbours  and strategic partners.

Journalist Roman Sushchenko mistreated on his first day of detention in Moscow

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Journalist from Ukraine’s Ukrinform News Agency Roman Sushchenko, who has been arrested in Moscow, was left without food and water on the first day of his detention, and he has lost about six kilograms while in custody, according to Russia’s Novaya Gazeta, Sushchenko told them he had lost about six kilograms. In Lefortovo, Sushchenko got his personal belongings back, but he had to return the borrowed clothes, thus he has no second pair of clothes now, his Russian colleagues wrote.

Bashar Al Assad flies to Moscow

Middle East - Africa di

For the first time since the outbreak of the crisis, Syrian President Bashar Assad has left the capital for a corporate trip to Moscow.

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An Unexpected Journey, the Kremlin said in a press release, but suggests a renewed confidence in his government by the Syrian president.

In Moscow Bashar Al Assad met with Vladimir Putin, with whom he discussed the results of the current joint military actions and future initiatives to reach a political solution to the internal conflict in Syria. This his first international public from the beginning of the conflict in 2011 following the Arab Spring of Damascus shows how the changed situation on the ground thanks to Russian, so as not to cause fear a temporary removal from the capital.

The same destination of this presidential trip is emblematic, a kind of recognition of the importance of the Russian intervention as stated on the same Bashar Al Assad, “the terrorism that is spreading through the region now would make even greater losses without it. ”

Iran is also a great supporter of the Assad regime but the choice of Russia as the first visit of the Syrian leader can be interpreted as a sign of the need for the government to Assad to secure recognition of reward legitimacy by a major international player with a seat on the UN Security Council. Many international reactions to the meeting in Moscow was a sign of how Russian intervention is considerable in this quadrant.

Shortly after the visit, Putin has received phone calls from Turkey and Saudi Arabia leaders. Prime Minister turkish Ahmet Davutoglu said that after this meeting could start a political negotiation with Assad while Putin himself has informed the Saudi king Salman on the results of the meeting. Instead, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov received a phone call from US Secretary of State John Kerry after the visit.

A further consequence of the talks in Moscow is the convening on 22 October a series of talks on the Syrian crisis between the top diplomats of Russia, the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia in Vienna although a great skepticism emerges as to finding a agreement for a transition plan in Syria. There are many factors that complicate the search for a political solution of the conflict, not least that of the deep Syrian divisions.

The question of how will Syria after the transition from the leadership of al-Assad will be crucial to the multilateral talks in Vienna. Many of the rebels have refused to accept a deal that allows the government to Assad to continue its work of government in any form. The United States and Turkey, among others, are not happy at the prospect that al-Assad will have a say in any political negotiations.

 

Alessandro Conte

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Belarus: Lukashenko’s two faces

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Released six political opponents a few months before elections. Lukashenko tries a timid rapprochement towards Brussels, but, fearing a repetition of Maidan, he has reinforced military alliance with Moscow.

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President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has declared release of six political opponents, including Mykalai Statkevich, presidential candidate in 2010: “I did not think that Lukashenko would have had the courage to break free me before the election (on November 20, ed) – Statklevick said-. Maybe government has not more money to the prison. Now the situation is optimum for them. The opposition is in a stalemate. It can not disrupt the consultation and is not able to support even its own candidate. That’s why they let me go. ”

In addition to the charges about the difficult economic situation, these six opponents, as well as many activists, have always accused Lukashenkoto be too pro-Russia and to be too far from European Union.

The news was welcomed as “a big step forward,” EU High Representative Federica Mogherini affirmed. While Italian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Benedetto Della Vedova said that this according could be an “improvement in relations between Belarus and the European Union is moving in the hoped for direction of human rights protections and civil liberties. “The liberation of these six prisoners”, Della Vedova observed, “meets the expectations that, both bilaterally and within the broader dialogue between the EU and Minsk, have been repeatedly demonstrated by the Belarus authorities”.

Considered Europe’s last dictator, Lukashenko, in office since 1994, has always moved their pieces based on political convenience of the moment. As in 1997, the year of the agreement, “Union State” with Russia. As today, with release of the six detainees like reconciliation towards Brussels, in order to reduce sanctions against Belarusian oligarchs decreed in 2004.

But also the Ukrainian issue exists. Beyond agreement between Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France set out in the capital Minsk, Lukashenko is fearing for another Maidan 2 in his country, especially because all the European chancelleries have always marginalized him. Aware of this risk, he has reach, last August 19, a military agreement with Putin about the common space of short-range air defense.
Giacomo Pratali

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Ukraine: Russian soldiers “were armed, but had no orders to shoot”

Europe di

They caught fighting with the Donbass rebels. Despite the daily non-compliance of the ceasefire, the civil war is not going anywhere. Next winter could be crucial to Ukrainian national unity.

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“They were armed, but they had no orders to shoot. One of them said he had received orders from his military unit to go to Ukraine”. Today, th eOsce communcates it after two Russian soldiers were captured on Ukrainian soil while fighting alongside the pro-Russian militias on Monday, May18. After the arrival of military convoys last winter, intercepted by US satellites, this has definitely proved external interferences in the Donbass’ civil war. Interference which follows the video, of January 2015, whereas a US soldier was shot with Kiev’s army.

But the crisis in Ukraine still seems to be not going anywhere. Despite continuous clashes, especially near the airport of Donetsk and around the port city of Mariupol, confirm the no-compliance of the ceasefire declared by Minsk Protocol. The real showdown could take place next winter, when gas issue, supplied by Moscow, will become relevant again.

Meanwhile, the War has apparently become less Cold on the international front. The meetings in mid-May between the Secretary of State Kerry and President Putin, the first official visit on Russian soil since the crisis Ukrainian, show a willingness to dialogue between Washington and Moscow.

As well as having discussed the Syria case, the possible sale of Russian S-300 missiles to Iran and the Yemen war, Ukraine’s future was the main topic on the table. The US should want to entered in negotiating table consists of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, which led to the Protocol of Minsk in February.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov, Kerry said that respect for these agreements should lead to the end of civil war in the Donbass. However Kiev’s desire to recover militarily Donetsk caused embarrassment.

The US military troops presence in the NATO base in Javorov (near the border with Poland) is a source of discord with Russia. Here, they are ongoing training of almost 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers from April.

The constant anti-Russian releases from the Ukrainian President and Prime Minister Poroshenko Yatseniuk also show how far is the solution to this crisis. On one side, Kiev accuses the Kremlin of having anti-Western aims and would economic and military aid to the United States and the European Union. On the other side, Moscow doesn’t want to give up the Russian-speaking regions (Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea), which is the reply to Nato military forces and armaments’ developement in the former Soviet countries.

Cold war issues, Putin’s place in Syria and in other geopolitical contexts will be crucial to possible the Russian-speaking regions independence from Ukraine.
Giacomo Pratali

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Giacomo Pratali
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