Category Archives: Europe

Macedonian President rejects new name

Macedonia’s president Gjorge Ivanov (pictured) said that he would not sign off on a historic deal that would change the country’s name, the most potentially disruptive reaction so far to the agreement with Greece that has received diverging reactions in both countries.

President Gjorge Ivanov said the agreement, which would rename Macedonia as the Republic of North Macedonia, or Severna Macedonia, gave too many concessions to Greece: “Such a harmful agreement, which is unique in the history of mankind, is shameful and unacceptable for me,” Ivanov said in a TV address.  “It violates the Constitution (and) the laws … I will not legalize political illegal agreements.”

If the president refuses to sign, the deal would return to parliament for another vote. Ivanov would have to sign off on the agreement if it is passed a second time.

The deal reached by the prime ministers of the two countries is expected to be signed by their foreign ministers this weekend.

 

Vienna expels foreign-funded imams

Austria is considering to expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams and their families and would shut down seven mosques as part of a crackdown on “political Islam“.

 

“The circle of people possibly affected by these measures – the pool that we’re talking about – comprises around 60 imams,” said Interior Minister Herbert Kickl of the  Freedom Party (FPÖ), the partner in Austria‘s coalition government.

Kickl was referring to imams with alleged links to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations (ATIB) organisation, a branch of Turkey‘s religious affairs agency Diyanet.

The interior minister underlined that the government suspects them of contravening a ban on foreign funding of religious office holders.

The ministry informed that 40 of them had an active application for extending their residency and that a number of these had already been referred to immigration authorities, where a process for expelling them was underway.

Once family members were taken into account, a total 150 people were under procedure of losing their right to residence, Kickl told a Vienna press conference.

Putin calls for implementing Minsk agreements in Donbass

Kiev does not need electorate from Donbass territories, DNR and LNR” – Russian President Vladimir Putin said, while answering  ‘direct line‘ question on possible attacks of self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk Republics by Kiev troops. If Kiev launches an assault on Donbass, ignoring Minsk agreements, it will certainly have “serious consequences for Ukrainian state, Ukrainian statehood”, Putin warned. 

The President underlined that there is no alternative to Minsk agreements, and also criticized position of Kiev government declaring the Donbass population as Ukrainian citizens, but the same time continuing artillery shelling, causing victims among civilians.

“It is clear, that these people will not vote for Kiev authorities“, – Putin underscored, he presumed that the current hostile position of the Ukrainian government towards the population of the Donbass is explained by the upcoming elections.

Women prevail in Sanchez government

The new Prime minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez (PSOE) informed King Felipe of the members of his new cabinet during an audience at Zarzuela Palace on Wednesday evening. It was an exceptionally good news for women, as the majority of appointments were made, favoring women candidates: 11 women versus 7 men.

“Spain’s new government reflects the best of the society it aspires to serve. A joint, open, committed and intergenerational society. A progressive, modernizing and European government prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century” – Sanchez wrote in his Tweet microblog.

Moscow demands Kiev to investigate real assassinations not fake

In a comment on fake news, and a staged assassination of Kiev journalist Arkadi Babchenko Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) requested from Ukrainian   authorities to  investigate the assassinations of journalists, and activists happened in the past, instead of indulging in theatrical performances of doubtful effects. Moscow has also assessed the operation as a stir, with a purpose of creating a whirlwind of  a Russophobic sentiments.

“The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported that journalist Arkady Babchenko is in fact alive and that his “murder” was nothing but an incident staged as part of a special operation. We are glad to hear that the Russian national is alive. However, we must point out the following” – the comment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation says.

As a direct consequence of these actions, obviously designed to attain a certain propaganda effect, the entire global community, which quickly responded to the reports of a media representative from Ukraine, was in fact misled. Now we are learning the true motives for this staged incident that was apparently another anti-Russia provocation”.

“Right after the rumour was spread that Arkady Babchenko had been murdered, the Ukrainian Prime Minister and several other officials made statements in which they directly accused Russia of being involved in the murder. Now Ukrainian officials are planning to spin this Russophobic lie. According to the head of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak, Ukrainian security forces detained a murder suspect who, as Hrytsak stressed, was allegedly recruited by Russian security services. SBU’s further action is clear. Naturally, they will continue to forment this provocation” – the comment continues.

The MFA is also reminding about the events in Odessa (2014, May 2), when  officially 48 people were killed, 250 wounded, however Member of Parliament from Odessa Vadim Savenko insists the real number of people burned alive in Trade Unions House amounts to 116. Throughout the fire, hundreds of local riot police were drawn up outside the building, but they mostly did not intervene to stop the massacre.

“Apparently, Ukrainian officials cannot find another way to demonstrate their performance other than to stage a murder instead of investigating actual crimes, including the murders of Oles Buzina, Pavel Sheremet and other journalists as well as the Odessa residents who were burned alive.” 

“We have to state that, in Ukraine, matters of life and death and the trust of the international community in its policy are nothing but a bargaining chip in Kiev’s efforts to incite anti-Russia hysteria.”  

“We are certain that our foreign partners and relevant international institutions will reach their respective conclusions” – the MFA comment suggests.

The fake news about assassination of  Russian journalist Arkadi Babchenko  caused a a wave of reactions, primary from journalistic community, but also from diplomats, and human rights activists. Reporters without Borders issued a special communiqué condemning deliberate creation of fake news by Babchenko as damaging to cause of mass media, combating desinformation.

 

 

Reporters without Borders condemn Babchenko fake news

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the distressing simulation of Russian exile journalist Arkady Babchenko’s murder, which was done with the aim of unmasking those who wanted to kill him, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) claimed today.

A day after he was reportedly gunned down at the entrance to his Kiev apartment building, Babchenko was very much alive when he appeared at a press conference organized by the SBU today in Kiev.

He said he was told a month ago that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) was planning to kill him and he had no choice but to cooperate in the SBU’s simulation of his death. He apologized to members of his family who were not in the know.

SBU chief Vasil Gritsak said that, thanks to this operation, they were able to arrest the Ukrainian citizen who was recruited by the FSB to organize Babchenko’s murder, and to prevent the deaths of 30 other persons who were in the sights of the Russian authorities.

“This journalist’s reappearance is a great relief but it was distressing and regrettable that the Security Service of Ukraine played with the truth,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “Was such a scheme really necessary? There can be no grounds for faking a journalist’s death.”

According to reports confirmed yesterday by the Ukrainian police, the 41-year-old journalist died while being rushed to hospital from the injuries he received when he was shot three times in the back as he was returning to his Kiev apartment.

An outspoken critic of the Russian government since its annexation of Crimea in 2014, Babchenko has often received death threats on social networks. Fearing for his safety after Russian state TV channels launched a campaign against him, he fled to Prague in February 2017 but moved to Kiev a few months later and has been hosting a programme there on the Tatar TV channel ATR since last October.

Ukraine is ranked 101st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.

 

 

#EBS2018: EU preserving multilateralism

The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini participated in a #EBS2018 debate on the changing role of the European Union at global stage, and challenges to bloc’s defence of a multilateral rules based international order. Mogerini took floor at the European Business Summit in Brussels #EBS2018 together with her Belgium counterpart Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of Belgium Didier Reynders. “The EU awareness of its own role has changed… in the past couple of years”, – Mogherini said. The EU crucial influence on maintaining multilateralism, liberal democracies, and open societies are the challenges the bloc faces today, she continued.

Mogherini gave special attention to the European values as a binding element for the member-states, describing the organisation as a “family” of nations, which came to “rule together”. “The EU is not only about budget but it is a community of citizens”, the diplomat added.

Pacta servanda sunt. It’s a test on EU, that we can take our own decisions, exercise sovereignty, protect our interests. And show strength. We have challenges, but we can preserve the deal if the Iranians stay in and respect it as they are doing” – Mogherini said,  reflecting upon the situation with the nuclear deal #JCPOA.

Belgium Minister Didier Reynders confirmed that his country will continue contributing in finding multilateral solutions to the big challenges of our times alongside and in support of the European Union, namely in the issues of foreign policy, defence and migration.  He also put forward his proposals on strengthening the rule of law mechanism in the EU – “internal credibility enhances EUs external credibility”, the diplomat said, underlining that the internal strength of the bloc inevitably translates into its foreign policy potential.

 

 

« Older Entries