Category Archives: Europe

Moscow suggests US reparations for Yugoslavia bombings

The United States must ask for forgiveness for its bombardments of the former Yugoslavia(1999) and pay reparations to the relatives of those killed and injured in air raids, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on September 15.

And for a start, the United Stets should ask for forgiveness to those they bombed, pay reparations for those killed and to those who were wounded and lost their health because of shells stuffed with depleted uranium. And only with this done, with a proper groundwork laid, it can call on others to move forward,” the diplomat wrote on her Facebook page, commenting on the statement by the US outgoing ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott, who said that the Serbs should look at NATO’s bombings in 1999 from a “broader perspective.”

On March 24, 1999, NATO began a military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Alliance leadership claimed that prevention of genocide of the Albanian population in Kosovo he as the ultimate reason behind the air operation called Allied Force. NATO said that during the 78-day operation its aircraft flew 38,000 sorties to carry out 10,000 bombing strikes.

Military experts have found that the Alliance launched 3,000 cruise missiles and dropped 80,000 bombs, including cluster bombs and low-enriched uranium bombs. According to Serbian forces, the bombardments killed 3,500-4,000 and injured 10,000 people, two thirds of them civilians.

According to Serbian experts, NATO dropped 15 tonnes of depleted uranium over the three months of bombings to make the country Europe’s number one in terms of cancer cases. About 30,000 new cancer cases were registered in the first ten years after the bombings, with the lethal rate from 10,000 to 18,000 patients.

Material damage totaled $100 billion. The strikes against oil refineries and petrochemical plants poisoned the country’s water supply system with toxic chemicals.

According to Ljubisa Rakic, an acknowledged Serbian scientist, the amount of low-enriched uranium dropped by NATO on the Balkans was enough to make 170 A-bombs like the one that was dropped by the United States on Japan’s Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

EU Crimea sanctions prolongation

The Council has extended the restrictive measures over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine for a further six months, until 15 March 2020.”

 

The measures consist of an asset freeze and travel restrictions. They currently apply to 170 persons and 44 entities. The relevant information and statement of reasons for the listing of these persons and entities have been updated as necessary.

 

 

“Other EU measures in place in response to the crisis in Ukraine include:

  • Economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy, currently in place until 31 January 2020.
  • Restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, currently in place until 23 June 2020.

The decision was adopted by the Council by written procedure. The legal acts will be published in the Official Journal on 13 September 2019.”

 

 

 

ESA Aschbacher calls for investing in space

At opening of the #PhiWeek2019 the Director of Earth Observation Programmes Josef Aschbacher called for investing in European space industries, ensuring the EU leadership in space.

The European Earth observation mission is a unique project, assembling the creative family of Space innovators, EU enthusiasts and Earth Science lovers, however it goes far beyond the fascination with starts, and space, it is enhancing progress, preserving planet, bestowing wealth to businesses and societies.

The #PhiWeek provides an excellent platform for exploration of the  latest applications of transformative technologies affecting Science Innovation and FutureEO missions and services; Connecting with innovation ecosystems and emerging EO players, including for example data scientists, deep tech innovators, large ICT corporates and startups; gather and foster emerging EO Open Science communities.

#PhiWeek2019 is also a momentum of inspiration of early career scientists, entrepreneurs, citizens and dreamers by showcasing the scientific and business opportunities related to Open Science and FutureEO.

 

 

Trump supports Conte as Italian PM

Former Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte could recover to lead a coalition between the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD). (Image: archive).

The two parties are in talks to try and form a coalition following the collapse of a pact between PD and the League party which led to Conte’s resignation last week.

We positively greet the openings from authoritative members of the PD on the future role of Prime Minister Conte. We are ready for a dialogue on policies”  5-Star said in a statement. American President Trump also tweeted his opinion: “Starting to look good for the highly respected Prime Minister of the Italian Republic, Giuseppe Conte. Represented Italy powerfully at the G-7. Loves his Country greatly & works well with the USA. A very talented man who will hopefully remain Prime Minister!”

Matteo Salvini’s party, the League, is indignant, underlining that the party won 34% of the national vote in the European elections and that it was polling as high as 39% in the beginning of August.

Let’s hope that if a Democratic Party-Five Star government is formed, the people will rise up as soon as possible,” said Alessandra Locatelli, a League minister.

A government made up of Five Star and the Democrats will not correspond to the sentiment of the people,Salvini said, who remains as Interior minister and deputy prime minister in spite of the governmental crisis.

Russian Ambassador Yakovenko left London

Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko (65) has relinquished his duties in London and left for Moscow, the Embassy in the UK informed on August 24.

24 August 2019 Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Mr Alexander Yakovenko relinquished his duties and departed to Russia,” the embassy stated.” Ivan Volodin, minister-counsellor, will act as chargé daffaires a.i.”

Mr.Yakovenko was appointed ambassador to the UK in 2011.

25/08/2019 AMENDED

According to Novaya Gazeta Andrei Kelin, former Russian Permanent Representative to the OSCE, will be appointed as Moscow envoy to London.

Russians demand fair elections

Around 50 thousands of Moscovites  expressed their solidarity with rejected the access to elections opposition politicians participating in a demonstration “For Freedom and Justice” . The last five weeks the demands for fair elections and inclusion of independent candidates in upcoming municipal ballot united people from different views and backgrounds.

The crowd gathered under umbrellas in spite of rain, while riot police and vans have cordoned off the area in anticipation of a possible further march of participants through the city center following the event.

People chanted that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “thief”,

White Counter”, an independent activist group that tracks attendance at Russian demonstrations, estimated the Moscow crowd at around 47 thousand by 3:30 PM local time, but people still were arriving.

Moscow police, suspected by critics of deliberately diminishing the numbers of protesters in official statistics,  assess that  20,000 people participated in the event.

In spite of the outstanding support independent candidate Lubov Sobol was arrested, according to TASS Russian news agency wire.

The participants of the demonstration are putting forward the following demands:
1. Withdraw the criminal and administrative cases that have been opened against participants of peaceful protests during last five weeks.
2. Release the illegally arrested in the criminal case of the so-called riots and withdraw the case.
3. Publicly investigate and prosecute those responsible for violating election laws and building a mechanism of political repression.
4. Resignation of the head of election commission Valentin Gorbunov and lustration of the members of election commissions at all levels.
5. At the fall session of the State Duma, amend the electoral law and lift the signature barrier.

Simultaneously there were demonstrations in support of independent candidates and fair and free elections in the other Russian cities.

AMENDED: video of independent candidate Lubov Sobol arrest in Moscow. She has registered video of storming of her accommodation by OMON (anti-riot police).

EU blames Moscow “disproportionate use of force”

“Over a thousand peaceful demonstrators, including prominent opposition figures and journalists, have been detained in Moscow today. They were calling for free and democratic elections in Moscow in September 2019.

These detentions, and the disproportionate use of force against peaceful protesters, follow the worrying series of arrests and police raids against opposition politicians carried out in recent days, and once again seriously undermine the fundamental freedoms of expression, association and assembly. These fundamental rights are enshrined in the Russian constitution and we expect them to be protected.

For the upcoming local elections in September 2019 to represent a genuinely democratic process, it is essential to create the conditions for a level playing field and an inclusive political environment.

We expect the authorities of the Russian Federation to respect Russia’s OSCE commitments and other international obligations when conducting the upcoming local elections.

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