Category Archives: International

U.S. lawmakers send Snowden to war

Brussels 27.09.2022 American officials and Republican and Democrat lawmakers responded to the news of granting Russian citizenship to Edward Snowden by saying he should now be drafted and put on the frontline to fight against Ukraine.

State Department spokesman Ned Price told a briefing: ”Perhaps the only thing that has changed is… apparently now he may well be conscripted to fight in the reckless war in Ukraine.’

GOP Senator Lindsey Graham said: ‘Now that Edward Snowden has been granted full Russian citizenship, I expect he will be on the battlefield in Ukraine fighting for Putin any day now. Or could it be that he will be exempt while other Russian citizens are told to fight in a war of aggression on Putin’s behalf?

President Vladimir Putin on Monday, September 26, granted Russian citizenship to U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, 39, who exposed massive surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) and was granted refuge by Moscow, while fleeing to Latin America from Hong-Kong.

Snowden, who is wanted in the U.S. on espionage charges, is one of 75 foreign nationals listed by the decree as being granted Russian citizenship.

The former NSA staffer has been living in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the U.S. after sharing classified documents detailing government surveillance programs with the British newspaper, The Guardian.

He was granted permanent residency in 2020 and said at the time that he planned to apply for Russian citizenship, without renouncing his U.S. citizenship.

Russia first granted him asylum in 2014 and have refused calls to extradite him to the U.S.

Borrell on Russia major escalation

Brussels 22.09.2022 “What President Putin announced today constitutes another major escalation in the unprovoked war that he has launched against Ukraine” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, while addressing press at margins of his visit to the UN, New York.

“It looks like he is speaking in a measure of panic and desperation. Putin is doubling down a failing strategy.

“By the threat of using nuclear, he is trying to intimidate Ukraine and all countries that support Ukraine. But he will fail. He has failed and he will fail again.
Unfortunately, this latest escalation is in line with the approach taken by the Russian regime until now.

“Putin’s threat to use “all weapon resources at our disposal” – this was his sentence – implies the possibility of using weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. And such a threat is unacceptable.

“Threatening with nuclear weapons is a real danger to the whole world. The international community has to react in front of this threat.

“Doing it on the International Peace Day is even more cynical. Maybe it is a coincidence, but it is particularly shocking to hear such threats during the United Nations General Assembly when the world community unites to work on peace and progress.

“Russia’s Putin is demonstrating again that it completely disregards the international norms, rules and principles. Rules, principles and norms that we have all signed [up to] – Russia also – as members of the United Nations. And these rules and principles start with territorial integrity.

“The intention to annex territories occupied by force since February 2022 and to hold sham referenda will not change their legal status. They are and they will remain internationally recognised as an integral part of Ukraine. And this is not going to change by holding sham referendum.

“Now it is clear that Russia wants to destroy Ukraine by all means, violating international law and the United Nations Charter since the beginning. But now it looks like Russia’s Putin wants to destroy Ukraine. The international community gathered here in New York needs to take the full measure of what is at stake.

The [United Nations] Security Council will meet and discuss about Ukraine tomorrow in [the light of] this new scenario. I will speak on behalf of the European Union to the Security Council. I will have the great honour and responsibility of addressing the Security Council on behalf of the European Union at that critical moment.

And tonight, immediately after hearing about the words of Mr Putin, I am convening an extraordinary and ad-hoc informal meeting of the European Union’s Foreign Ministers with the purpose to agree on a common line. And the common line – I am sure – could be summarised saying that we will not be intimidated and we will continue our full support for Ukrainian sovereignty and democracy, and continue working for this war to stop as soon as possible – before going into bigger challenges, before facing bigger threats, and before the international community has to react to such threats.

Baku-Yerevan: EU welcomes ceasefire

Brussels 15.09.2022 The EU welcomes the agreement on a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which entered in force yesterday at 20:00. We are encouraged by local reports stating that the ceasefire is being respected so far.

“We call on the sides to continue its implementation and coordinate humanitarian steps, such as the handover of bodies of soldiers.

The EU Special Representative, Toivo Klaar, carries on his high-level consultations, as mandated by HR/VP Borrell, in Baku yesterday and in Yerevan today.

The EU remains strongly involved in the normalisation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan, including at the highest level through President of the European Council, Charles Michel”.

EU suspends Russia visa facilitation

Brussels 09.09.2022 The European Union countries have decided to fully suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia, the Council informed in a press release published on Friday, September 9.

“Today the Council adopted a decision that fully suspends the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia. Consequently, the general rules of the visa code will apply to Russian citizens,” the press release reads.

The decision will result in “an increase in the visa application fee from 35 euros to 80 euros, the need to present additional documentary evidence, increased visa processing times and more restrictive rules for the issuance of multiple-entry visas.”

“The decision is expected to be published in the Official Journal on 9 September 2022. It will enter into force on the day of its adoption and will apply as of 12 September 2022,” the Council of the EU indicated.

The full suspension of the visa facilitation agreement with Russia was proposed by the European Commission on September 6.

Borrell: Queen Elizabeth Il remarkable reign

Brussels 09.09.2022 “Queen Elizabeth Il’s remarkable reign oversaw key events of the 20th & 21st century. The EU pays tribute to her unique contribution to building peace & reconciliation” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell writes.
“While her loss will be felt around the world, our immediate thoughts are with her family & the people of the UK”

“In honour of HM Queen Elizabeth II, all EU delegations around the world will be flying the flag on half-mast. We stand with the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom in mourning Her Majesty’s passing”.

At the moment the Queen died, the throne passed immediately and without ceremony to the heir, Charles, the former Prince of Wales.

But there are a number of practical – and traditional – steps which he must go through to be crowned King.

Russia: Kuril travel regime ends

Brussels 05.09.2022 Russia terminated the agreement with Japan on facilitated visits to the islands of Kunashir, Iturup and the Lesser Kuril ridge by Japanese citizens – former residents of these islands. The corresponding order of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is published on the official portal of legal information.

“In accordance with Article 37 of the federal law “On International Treaties of the Russian Federation”, terminate the agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan on the procedure for mutual trips dated October 14, 1991 and the agreement between the government of the Russian Federation and the government of Japan on the organization the most facilitated visit to the islands of Kunashir, Iturup and the islands of the Small Kul ridge (Sakhalin region) by Japanese citizens – former residents of the islands and members of their families (in the form of an exchange of notes) dated September 2, 1999, ”the document says.
The Russian Foreign Ministry was instructed to notify the Japanese side of the decision.

EU Ambassador left Moscow

Brussels 05.09.2022 The European Union changed the Ambassador to Moscow on a scheduled basis and German diplomat Markus Ederer, who has already left Russia, will be succeeded by Roland Galharague of France, a diplomatic source in Brussels told TASS New Agency on Sunday, September 4.

“The rotation of the head of the EU delegation to Russia is carried out on a schedule basis. Markus Ederer has left Russia and this post will soon be taken by France’s former Ambassador to Malaysia Roland Galharague. His appointment was endorsed by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in June,” the source said.

The diplomat noted that despite the unprecedented crisis in relations with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, “the European Union upholds the position that diplomatic channels of communication with Moscow should be kept open.”

In an interview with RTVI recorded on August 31 and released on Friday before the departure H.E. M.Ederer said that August 31 was his last working day as the EU Ambassador to Russia.

Ederer was born in 1957 in Germany. In 1988, he started his career in the German Foreign Ministry; between 1990 and 1993 he served in the economic department of the German Embassy in Moscow. After a number of diplomatic offices, he served in the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), where he headed the department of political and economic analysis. Later, he continued his service in the Foreign Ministry. On May 16, 2017, he was appointed the EU Ambassador to Moscow, succeeding Lithuania’s Vigaudas Usackas.

U.S. Ambassador leaves Moscow

Brussels 05.09.2022 The U.S. Ambassador to Russian John Sullivan has concluded his work in Moscow and departed on Sunday, September 4, the U.S. Embassy said in a press statement on its website.

“U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation John J. Sullivan has concluded his tenure as U.S. envoy and departed Moscow today,” it said. “Elizabeth Rood will assume duties as Charge d’Affaires at U.S. Embassy Moscow until Ambassador Sullivan’s successor arrives.”

Sullivan was appointed as the Ambassador to Russia in December 2019 and has served for nearly three years.

“…Why the change? Ambassadors have little power to set policy, but they control the *tone* of daily diplomatic communications. The Biden administration wants to take a harder line with Russia. Expect the new ambassador to be someone the Russians will hate,” the foreign policy analyst Clint Ehrlich writes.

Borrell: Gorbachev era “vanished”

Brussels 31.08.2022 “Mikhail Gorbachev brought with Glasnost and Perestroika a wind of freedom to the Soviet block.
He helped end the Cold War and fundamentally change global security, ushering in an era of mutually beneficial cooperation. An era that vanished and is urgently needed again” wrote the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, reacting upon news of Gorbachev,91, passed away.

However the EU diplomat has not expressed condolences to the family, closed ones or Russian people, altogether indicating the EU is not prepared to follow the path of peace Gorbachev perused all his life. At present the European diplomacy continues to outline three major goals: putting pressure on Russia; supporting Ukraine, and addressing the wider fallout of the armed conflict in Ukraine that affects the whole world. Moreover Borrell promised to address the issue of visa ban for Russian citizens, aiming at stripping Russian citizens from their right of free movement, bringing back the realities of Cold war and Iron Curtain.

EU on Armenia-Azerbaijan hostilities

Brussels 03.08.2022 “The European Union calls for an immediate cessation of the hostilities which have broken out between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces around the Lachin corridor and other places along the Line of Contact. Regrettably, these clashes already led to loss of life and injuries.

“It is essential to de-escalate, fully respect the ceasefire and return to the negotiating table to seek negotiated solutions.

“The European Union remains committed to help overcome tensions and continue its engagement towards sustainable peace and stability in the South Caucasus”.​​

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