Tag Archives: Kremlin

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).

 

Russians dream to immigrate

Russian Federation is dangerously close to a large-scale demographic crisis, with its population declining for the first time in a decade in 2018, one in five Russians (20%) now say that they would like to leave Russia if they could, according to Gallup research.

Typically young people are more likely to migrate — as they are the most mobile group within a population — the 44% of the youngest Russians who want to move is unprecedented number in within the past decade.

Paradoxically  Moscovites, who have higher living standards that the rest of the country,  are in first ranks of those who are willing to leave. Since 2014, the percentage of working-age Russians who say they would like to move has at least tripled, jumping from 14% to 44% among 15- to 29-year-old, from 7% to 22% among those between the ages of 30 and 45 and from 3% to 9% among those aged 46 to 60.

Russians who wish to migrate prefer countries within the European Union (40%), followed by North America (16%). Russians are most likely to name Germany (15%) and the U.S. (12%) specifically.

Larger potential migration numbers could accelerate the population decline, and losses could potentially exceed the 8% of the population that the United Nations currently projects Russia to lose by 2050.

 

MEPs against Russia ‘strategic partner’ status

At Strasbourg Plenary (13.03.2019) Members of the European Parliament agreed that the EU should remain open to imposing further sanctions if Russia continues to violate international law.

Parliament adopted a resolution by 402 votes to 163, with 89 abstentions, assessing the current state of EU-Russia political relations.

The time for nice and diplomatic language is over. There is very little room for any cooperation as long as Russia continues to occupy parts of Ukraine and attacks other European countries“, said rapporteur Sandra Kalniete (EPP, Latvia).

Sanctions must be prolonged MEPs also draw attention to new areas of tension between the EU and Russia which have occurred since 2015, including Russia’s intervention in Syria, interference in countries such as Libya and the Central African Republic, and continuous aggressive action in Ukraine. They also highlight Russia’s support for eurosceptic parties and far-right movements, and accused Russians in meddling in elections and systematically violating human rights.

MEPs underlined that the EU should consider adoption of further sanctions against Russia, especially those targeting individuals. Sanctions should be proportionate to the threats posed by Russia, they add. In December last year, the Council prolonged economic sanctions until 31 July 2019.

The Europarliament resolution underlines that the EU should review its current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Russia and limit cooperation to areas of common interest. Global challenges, such as climate change, energy security, cyber, artificial intelligence and counter terrorism, calling for selective engagement.

Closer relations will only be possible MEPs suggest on condition of Russia full implementation of the Minsk agreements to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine and respect to international law, says the text.

MEPs condemn Russia‘s disinformation campaigns and cyber attacks, aimed at increasing tensions within the EU and its member states. They are deeply concerned that the EU‘s response to propaganda and disinformation is insufficient and should be further strengthened, in particular before the upcoming European elections in May 2019. In this regard, the funding and human resources for the EU‘s East Stratcom Task Force must be substantially increased, they stress.

In resolution MEPs strongly denounce Russia‘s violation of the airspace of EU states, especially in the Baltic Sea region, where territorial waters and the airspace have been repeatedly breached. This disregard for international rules poses a threat to Russia‘s neighbours in the Black Sea, Baltic Sea and Medditeranean regions.

MEPs also reiterate their concerns that the Nord Stream-2 project could reinforce the EU‘s dependence on Russian gas supplies and threaten the EU internal market.

In the resolution the concern is expressed about Russia‘s continuous support for authoritarian regimes and countries such as North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Syria. They also regret that in order to destabilise EU candidate countries, Russia gives its support to organisations and political forces like those opposing the Prespa Agreement that has resolved the long-standing dispute on the name between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece.

MEPs condemn illegal financial activities and money laundering by Russia, potentially amounting to hundreds of billions of euros being laundered through the EU every year, which poses a threat to European security and stability. Sandra Kalniete’s report underlines that EU countries concerned must end all ‘golden visa/passport‘ programmes, which benefit Russian oligarchs.

 

 

Putin receives Bolton in Kremlin

Preparations for a potential Russian-US summit is among the issues brought up by US National Security Adviser John Bolton at his current meetings in Moscow, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed.

“While in Moscow today, Ambassador Bolton is meeting with President Vladimir Putin and other senior Russian officials to discuss United States-Russia relations, as well the potential for a Presidential meeting,” she tweeted.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier told reporters that “Bolton’s key contacts will take place in the Russian Security Council, with the Foreign Minister, and he will also contact with Presidential Aide Ushakov” and President Putin himself.

 

 

 

EU calls for transparent investigation of Babchenko assassination

“The European Union expresses its sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of journalist Arkady Babchenko, who was killed at his home in Kyiv on 29 May”- the External Action Service reacted in a statement of a spokesperson.

“Mr Babchenko was a respected war correspondent, who left his native Russia in 2017 following threats to his life in relation to his journalistic work there. Each time that a voice of freedom is violently silenced, it risks weakening our societies and undermining our democracies. The best way to honour Mr Babchenko‘s memory and his work, and to firmly counter any attempt to endanger our shared fundamental rights is through a swift and transparent investigation that brings those responsible for this crime to justice.”

“The European Union stands in solidarity with journalists and will continue to work to protect them and their work, which is vital to all democracies, within and beyond our borders.”

The assassination evoked a wave of condamnation from behalf of the leading European international institutions as Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland requested full and rapid investigation, pointing at danger the attack on free speech represents to democracy.

The assassination of a dissident Russian journalist, who lived and worked in Ukraine since 2017, took place next to his apartment, where he was shot three times in his back. There Ukrainian police said the hideous act may have been tied to his reporting.

Babchenko, 41, died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, a government official said.

Russian authorities vehemently reject accusations made ahead of the investigation.

AMENDMENT (!) 30/05/3028 17:45

“The reported killing of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko on Tuesday in Kiev was actually a ruse played by the Ukrainian law enforcement to prevent a planned hit, the Ukrainian authorities said.

Reporting on the high profile case on Wednesday, the head of the SBU, Ukraine’s national security service, Sergey Gritsak said Babchenko was alive and unhurt”.

Putin IV inauguration reduced opulence

The Kremlin press secretary, Dmitry Peskov informed that the inauguration ceremony is planned to begin at noon Moscow time in the Grand Kremlin Palace, where Vladimir Putin will arrive from his office in building 1 located on the same Kremlin territory, according to TASS news agency.

Russian media reports Kremlin decided to skip the traditional opulent reception, and procession in the streets of Moscow. The ceremony would be more ‘simple and humble’ than previous three times.

Hundreds of guests assisting the ceremony will assemble in the St Andrew’s hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace and the stand-bearers of the Kremlin’s silent drill platoon will bring into the hall the National Flag of Russia and the Standard of the Russian President and the Emblem of the President and the Constitution, on which Putin will hold his hand while taking the oath the fourth time.

The Judge presiding the Constitution Court, Dr. Valery Zorkin, will place the Constitution and the Sign of the President on the rostrum.

The Commandant of the Kremlin, Lt-Gen Sergei Khlebnikov, will meet Putin at the entrance of the Palace. After his salute Putin will walk up the ceremonial staircase and pass through the Halls of the Orders of St George and St Alexander Nevsky to the St Andrew’s Hall accompanied by the sounds of the welcoming march and  fanfare.

At arrival to the ceremony Judge Zorkin will hand to him the insignia of the Presidential Power, including the Presidential Emblem of the Golden Cross of St George, depicting the double-headed eagle, the ‘Virtue, Honesty and Glory’ slogan attached to a golden chain.

Putin will pronounce the oath holding his right hand on the Constitution. The text reads: “I hereby take the oath to respect and safeguard the rights and freedoms of man and citizen, to observe and to protect the Constitution of the Russian Federation, to defend the sovereignty, security and integrity of the state, and to serve the people in earnest in the course my tenure of the presidential office.”

Judge Zorkin, who conducts the ceremony the fourth time as well, will make announcement that the President-Elect has become the President, afterwards Putin is expected to deliver a brief speech.

he Russian authorities designed a special inauguration ceremony by the time of Boris Yeltsin’s election for a second term of office in 1996. The procedure has been gradually simplified, and stylistically modernised, but its fundamental elements remain intact.

Putin leads with 73% of votes

According to partial results made public by the electoral commission the incumbent President Vladimir Putin is leading with 73% of votes:
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First-time Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin is running second with 15 percent, while veteran nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who first ran against Boris Yeltsin in 1991, rounds out the top three with about seven percent.

None of the other five candidates is on track to receive more than two percent of the vote.

The early results are in line with exit-polls conducted by Russian polling agencies FOM, which predicted Putin would take 77% of the vote, and VCIOM, which forecast a final share of 73.9% for the current president.

Ella Pamfilova, head of the Russian Central Election Commission, has said that there were no major violations during the vote, and that only “minor and local complaints” were received. She also phased Russian system of voting, and calculating the votes “without analogy” in the world.

Meanwhile social media discusses ballots stuffing, carousels, and desert polling stations

doubting the official figures.
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