Category Archives: Conflict

Abha airport resumed flights

This morning the airport in Abha in southern Saudi Arabia was hit by a rocket, injuring at least 26 civilians. The attack has been claimed by the Houthi movement.

“The European Union expresses its wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured” says the European External Action Service spokesperson statement.

At a time when tensions in the region are on the rise, it is essential to show maximum restraint and refrain from further acts of escalation. Such provocative attacks pose a threat to regional security and undermine the UN-led political process in Yemen”.

“The EU reiterates its full support to the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and his work to ensure the implementation of the Hodeidah Agreement and promote political consultations. Only an inclusive political agreement can put an end to this conflict.”

 

OSCE records ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk

In Donetsk region, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMMrecorded more ceasefire violations, however, fewer explosions (about 110), compared with the previous reporting period (about 150 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded at southerly directions of Chermalyk (government-controlled, 31km north-east of Mariupol), in areas south of Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk) and in areas south-east of Donetsk city centre. (Image above: illustration).

In Luhansk region, the Mission recorded more ceasefire violations, including more explosions (about 670), compared with the previous reporting period (30 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations, including about 600 explosions, were recorded at southerly and easterly directions of Popasna (government-controlled, 69km west of Luhansk).”

The Ukrainian army has shelled the positions of the militia in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) six times over the past 24 hours, the LPR defense ministry reported.

The shelling targeted the areas of Pervomaisk, the urban-type settlement of Frunze, the villages of Zhelobok and Smeloye,” the LuganskInformCenter news agency quoted a spokesman for the LPR people’s militia as saying.

According to the spokesman, the fire was conducted from mortars.

The Contact Group’s security subgroup agreed to declare a new ‘spring’ ceasefire in Donbass on March 7. It entered into force from the midnight of March 8 according to Kiev time. However, the Ukrainian military broke the truce just five minutes after it had taken effect.

Putin facilitates naturalisation procedure for Donabass

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree, which makes it possible for residents of Donbass to obtain Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure. The document has been published on the Kremlin’s website.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko  accused Moscow of crossing a “red line” by signing a decree to facilitate the process of obtaining Russian citizenship in eastern Ukraine.

It’s a fact that this is about the Kremlin preparing the next point of aggression against our country: the annexation of Ukraine’s Donbass or the creation of a Russian enclave in Ukraine,” he said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says that Russian citizenship degree is “the continuation of aggression and interference in our internal affairs,” urges Ukrainian citizens in areas held by Russia-backed separatists “not to accept Russian passports.”

Russia has deprived you of your present lives and now it is encroaching on your future”  Minister concluded.

“Individuals permanently residing in certain areas of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions have the right to apply for Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure,” the decree reads. According to the document, the decision has been made “in order to protect human rights and freedoms” based on generally accepted international laws.

Gratitude to Russia for making a decision on granting citizenship under a simplified procedure. It is an outstanding event all LPR citizens have been waiting for,” said Leonid Pasechnk, Head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR).

 

EU reminds Pakistan need to address terrorism

“Following the recent terrorist attack in Pulwama, tensions along the ‘Line of Control‘ between India and Pakistan have escalated militarily during the last days. This has the potential to lead to serious and dangerous consequences for the two countries and the wider region”- the statement of  the EU top diplomatFederica Mogherini says.

We expect both countries to now exercise utmost restraint and avoid any further escalation of the situation. To this end, the resumption of diplomatic contacts at political level and implementation of urgent measures by both sides is vital.

“Terrorism can never be justified. I spoke a few days ago by telephone with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, to emphasise the need to continue to address terrorism, including clear and targeted actions related to all forms of terrorist activity.

“The European Union will remain in contact with both countries and will continue to closely monitor the situation”.

 

Venezuela military intervention as “option”

President Donald Trump said military intervention in Venezuela was “an option” as Western nations increase pressure on Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to step down, while Russia in its capacity of the UN Security Council permanent member warned against “destructive meddling.”

The level of technical equipment and training of the Venezuelan army is very high today. The 30 Russian Su-30 fighters currently in service with the country’s air force are a serious factor, so if the US decides to go on any adventure against Caracas, then they will have to prepare for a serious combat”, said Russian military expert Dr.Konstantin Sivkov.

The United States, Canada, the UK, several Latin American and European countries have recognized self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido as the country’s rightful leader after the disputed elections.

The EU countries supporting the candidacy of Juan Guaido in his claim of presidency have formed a contact group, which will meet in Montevideo (Uruguay) on February 7. The Contact Group will bring together the EU and eight of its Member States (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and countries from Latin America (Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay)

However in an interview the incumbent President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro regarded international support of a self-proclaimed elections winner as a circus, and Juan Guaido as a “clown“.

Maduro also blamed the West the return to the “era of empires“.

Russian State Duma assessed the support of the self-proclaimed President of Venezuela Guaido as “absolutely incorrect and unacceptable under international law”.

Dr.Sivkov added that a major factor that could contain the potential aggression of neighboring countries is a powerful Venezuelan air defense system, which includes, in particular, S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, according to Novosti agency.
In 2009, Venezuela purchased a large party of weapons, including the Pechora-2M, S-300, Buk-M2EK anti-aircraft missiles, Igla-S, armored personnel carriers BTR-80A, using a $ 2.2 billion Russian loan, T-72B1V tanks, Smerch and Grad multiple rocket launchers.

Nagorno Karabakh signal for progress

Exchanges in recent months between the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, as well as meetings of the Foreign Ministers under the auspices of the Co-Chairs of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, most recently in Paris on 16 January 2019, send a positive signal for progress in the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict” said the statement by the European External Action (EEAS) service spokesperson on recent developments toward the peaceful settlement of the frozen conflict.

“The European Union is looking forward to the full implementation of their outcomes, including the recent Foreign Ministers’ agreement on the need to take concrete measures to prepare the populations for peace, as well as the consideration of steps aimed at reinvigorating the negotiations.

“The European Union continues to fully support the mediation efforts and proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, including through the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, as well as through civil society confidence-building measures across the conflict divide. All would stand to benefit from lasting peace, which would help to enable the South Caucasus region to fulfill its potential.”

Political analyst Stepan Danielyan reminded before the meeting in Paris, that the election thesis of the incumbent Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on the issue of Nagorno Karabach was Yerevan refusal to conduct negotiations on behalf of Stepanakert. Many voters made their choice based on this thesis, Danielyan underlined.

Now the ministers of foreign affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan continue negotiations – they are discussing the Karabakh problem. What is discussed is not clear” the expert said. “In the past, Charles de Gaulle deceived the French, promising that France would not leave Algeria, before the elections, but after winning he did the opposite”, but Nagorno Karabakh is not Algeria, and Pashinyan is not de Gaulle, the expert warned.

According to the Armenian prosecutors the military casualties in Nagorno Karabakh in 2018 amounted to 38 servicemen, non-combat losses to 25 people.

Ukraine Azov sea ports blocked

Two Ukrainian Azov Sea ports, Berdyansk and Mariupol (pictured), are de facto under blockade by Russia as vessels are being barred from leaving and entering, Ukraine minister, Volodymyr Omelyan, said.

Overall, 35 vessels have been prevented from carrying out normal operations and only vessels moving towards Russian ports on the Azov Sea are permitted entry, he said on Facebook.

Previously the EU and NATO called for de-escalation, and restraint of all parties involved, there was also a clear message of a negotiated solution of the problem.

The president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani received the Ukrainian delegation, and discussed the developments in the Azov sea and Kerch Strait. 

NATO issued a statement, calling for restraint and de-escalation.

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