Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is visiting China, on Wednesday had a meeting with the Vice-Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, Gen Xu Qiliang, in the course of which he proposed to have a detailed discussion about the situation in Syria, Iraq and Libya, as well as about the prospects for a bilateral cooperation in the military sphere and in defense-related technologies. Shoigu also met his Chinese counterpart, Chang Wanquan. During the meeting between the two Ministers, Shoigu affirmed that Military cooperation between Russia and China contributes to bring peace and stability on the Eurasian continent and beyond. China has been an active buyer of Russian defense technology. Just this month, Russia announced the delivery of S-400 defense systems to China by 2020. Beijing has also become the first state in the world authorized to buy the one of a kind system. According to media reports, the transaction amounted to around $3 billion. According to some experts, with relations between Moscow and the West deteriorating over the past two years, due to the Ukraine crisis and the following sanctions, Russia has seemed content to increase cooperation with its Chinese neighbor, and the entire region has profited from it.
Russian Presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, in the wake of media, reported that Russia had placed coastal missile systems Bastion and Bal on the Iturup and Kunashir islands, affirmed that the deployment of missile systems in the Kuril Islands is well founded and it should not harm Russia’s talks with Tokyo, including those on concluding a peace treaty. Russia and Japan have been in talks (with intermissions) over a peace treaty based on the outcome of World War II. Sovereignty over the southern part of the Kuril Islands is the stumbling block. After the war, the Soviet Union took over the whole of the Kuril archipelago. Japan keeps disputing sovereignty over the Iturup, Kunashir and Shikotan islands and the uninhabited string of small islands Habomai. On Saturday, after a meeting with Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, affirmed that the peace treaty between the two countries isn’t a simple problem to resolve but Moscow-Tokyo consultations on the issue are continuing. At the same time, the Russian President affirmed that talks on signing a peace treaty prove the evidence of the progress in the relations between the two countries.
MEPs in Strasbourg have voted on a non-legislative resolution which calls the EU to respond to the information warfare by Russia. RT and Sputnik news agency are alleged to be among from the most dangerous tools of hostile propaganda. Early in October, the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs approved a report on combating propaganda which named the Russian media one of the main threats. Commenting the news, Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed that the European Parliament’s resolution on the Russian media’s activities proves the fact that the Western countries’ perception of democracy has been degrading. In the Wednesday vote, 304 MEPs supported the resolution based on the report ‘EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties’, with 179 voting against it and 208 abstaining. The report suggests that Moscow provides financial support to opposition parties and organizations in EU member states, causing disintegration within the bloc. At the same time, Russia is accused of “information warfare” with such entities as RT TV channel, Sputnik news agency, Rossotrudnichestvo federal agency and the Russkiy Mir (Russian World) fund alleged to be among its most threatening propaganda tools.
On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, affirmed that there is still no possibility in sight for another ministerial meeting of the Normandy Quartet (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) since a road map on Donbass, that the ministers will have to approve, hasn’t been agreed on yet. Lavrov also said that the Normandy Quartet leaders gave instructions to their foreign policy aides to draw up a road map, the aides have been maintaining constant contacts with each other. The aides have been working to outline the sequence of steps, taking into account the principle of simultaneous efforts, agreed on by the four leaders in Berlin on 20th of October. The principle concerns security sphere and political reforms that the Ukrainian authorities should carry out according to the Minsk agreements dated February 12, 2015.
On Tuesday, the press service of the Russian Embassy to Ukraine affirmed that the Russian consulate general in Odessa has sent a note to Ukraine asking it to present copies of the documents confirming the identity of the detained Russian nationals. Late on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that two Russian servicemen had been abducted by Ukraine’s Security Service in Crimea and taken to Ukraine’s Nikolayev region. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry’s spokesman on the Donbass Military Operation, Alexander Motuzyanik, affirmed that the Russian servicemen detained on the border with Crimea are the former servicemen of Ukraine’s army accused of breaking the military oath. According to a Russian Black Sea Fleet source, the Russian servicemen abducted by Ukrainian security operatives in Crimea have been lured under the pretense of providing them with documents confirming obtaining higher education in Ukrainian universities. The Russian Ministry warned that the Ukrainian authorities could use psychological and physical pressure to force the Russian servicemen to confess their alleged crimes against Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Major-General Igor Kanashenkov, affirmed that the United States are creating a security threat by saturating Europe with their armaments. The Defense Ministry spokesman thus commented on a statement by the US State Department that Russia was deploying S-400 antiaircraft missile systems and Iskander tactical missile complexes in its Kaliningrad Region. The general mentioned the construction and deployment of US missile shield facilities in Poland and Romania and the upcoming deployment of NATO’s combat units mostly composed of US servicemen in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland, as well as the dispatch of US marines to Russia’s neighbor Norway in the imminent future. On Monday, Russian Senator Viktor Ozerov, chair of the upper house Defense and Security Committee, said Russia will be forced to deploy ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad, responding to the threat posed by US cruise missiles recently sent to Poland and Romania.
On Monday, a source in the Kievsky district court in Simferopol, affirmed that has arrested for two months two Ukrainians suspected of espionage. According to the source, Both suspects, who earlier served in Ukraine’s Navy, have confessed to the crimes. Their task was to collect data on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and servicemen. Russia’s Federal Security Service arrested on the 9th of November three other members of Ukraine’s sabotage group from the main intelligence directorate of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. On the 10th of August, Russia’s FSB announced the detention of a group of saboteurs and the deterrence of planned terrorist attacks on the Crimean Peninsula that had been plotted by Ukraine’s main intelligence directorate.
Saudi Arabia and Italy have pledged to work closely in the field of security and counter-terrorism following wide-ranging talks between Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, Minister of Interior, on Monday. The talks focused on new initiatives in the fields of security, police training and counter-terrorism, besides a range of bilateral and regional issues. Alfano, who has had two-hour marathon talks with Crown Prince Mohammed on Sunday night, conveyed his country’s preparedness to train Saudi police personnel on security and counter-terrorism. “The training in Italy will help the Saudi personnel to acquire more policing skills and improve professionalism in the force” he added that “a technical delegation from Italy will shortly visit the Kingdom, or differntly, to prepare the details of the training programs.” The agreement in the field of police collaboration comes within the framework of a long-dormant security pact that was signed between the Kingdom and Italy in 2007.
On Friday, during a conference with Russian generals and defense industry captains in Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted that Russia will oppose attempts to disrupt the strategic balance around the world, such as NATO’s global anti-ballistic missile defense system. He said Russia will continue to develop advanced military technology to protect itself. Moscow accuses the US and its NATO partners of compromising Russian national security by developing means to counter Russia’s nuclear deterrence, expanding the alliance towards Russian borders and developing advanced conventional strike technology that may be used for a large attack.
According to the relevant resolution signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and posted on the government’s legal information web portal on Wednesday, Russia has no intention to become a member of the Rome Statute, which is the basic document establishing the International Criminal Court. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow refused to ratify the ICC Statute because the International Criminal Court has not lived up to what was expected, , especially in terms of becoming a genuinely independent judicial body According to Russian authorities, there is a large number of contradictions existing between separate provisions of the statute and the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which is one of the reasons for Russia’s refusal to ratify the document. The Rome Statute (The ICC Charter) was developed with Russia’s participation and adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Rome on 17th of July, 1998. It entered into force on 1st of July, 2002 and started operating in 2003. Russia signed the document on 13th of September, 2000.