Tag Archives: Moscow

Russia-Georgia flights cancelled

President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree, which imposes a temporary ban on passenger flights between Russia and Georgia from July 8, the Kremlin press service announced. (Image above: illustration).

From July 8, 2019, Russian airlines are temporarily prohibited from carrying out air transportation (including commercial flights) of citizens from the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of Georgia,” the ukaz reads.

In addition, tour operators and travel agents are recommended “for the duration of the ban … to refrain from selling a tourist product that includes transportation of citizens from the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of Georgia”.

Putin instructed the government to take measures to repatriate Russian citizens temporarily staying in Georgia.

The decree was signed “in order to ensure the national security of the Russian Federation, to protect citizens of the Russian Federation from criminal and other unlawful actions and in accordance with federal law on Security dated December 28, 2010,” the document says.

The ban will stay in place until that country’s authorities can guarantee security of Russian nationals, president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

On June 20, several thousand protesters demanded resignation of the interior minister and the parliament’s speaker, and tried to storm the building of Parliament in the capital Tbilisi.. In response, police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators. According to Georgian media, dozens were detained, 240 people suffered injuries.

The protests infuriated by Russian State Duma delegation’s participation in the 26th session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO). On Thursday morning, IAO President Gavrilov opened the session in the Georgian parliament building. Opposition lawmakers were outraged by the fact that Gavrilov addressed the event from the parliament speaker’s seat. In protest, they did not allow the IAO session to continue.

Later, a decision was taken to wrap up the session and for the Russian delegation to leave the country. Members of the ruling ‘Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia’ party said that they did not know that Gavrilov had been scheduled to open the event, claiming that the protocol office had made a mistake.

Secretary General of the ruling ‘Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia’ party and Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze announced on Friday that Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze decided to step down.

Jagland raises concerns about journalist Golunov case

 

 

 

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, has made the following statement with regard to the situation of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov in Russia:

I am very much concerned and saddened by reports coming from Moscow alleging that investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was subjected to violence and injured by police forces while in custody in a Moscow police station.

Violence by police during investigation procedures is absolutely prohibited by Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which the Russian Federation is party.

Moreover, the fact that Mr Golunov claims that evidence against him was manipulated raises even greater suspicion over the current situation.

Taking into account the particular gravity of the alleged facts, I call on the Minister of Interior of the Russian Federation, Mr Kolokoltsev, to personally address this situation.

I also hope that Human Rights Commissioner Moskalkova will look into these allegations.

Freedom of expression and the right to security are fundamental in a democratic society and law enforcement bodies must also defend these values.”

Spokesperson of the European External Action Service also made a statement, underlining that the European Union relevant institutuios follows closely the case of journalist Godunov, arrested in Moscow.

AMENDMENT:

British Forign Secretary Jeremy Hunt made a statement via his Twitter microblog on the arrest of Ivan Golunov. He also mentioned “fear of retribution” among  negative effects on practice of investigative journalism in Russia in general.

AMENDEMNET:

According to Golunov’s lawyer Chikov claims his client suffered from police brutalty, being beaten at his arrival to custody. He added paramedics suspected Golunov had suffered broken ribs, bruising and a concussion, and that “police chiefs” were refusing his hospitalisation

AMENDEMENT

Today the international organisation Reporters without borders (RSF) launched  mobiliseation to manifest in front of Russian Embassy in Paris, demanding liberation of Golunov, and dropping all charges against him.

 

AMENDEMENT

Poroshenko signs law criminalizing multilingualism

The incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko has signed the law on provision of the functioning of the Ukrainian as the state language. The signing ceremony was broadcast by all central Ukrainian TV channels.

Poroshenko  said he had the “greatest honor and a unique opportunity to sign the law on provision of the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language,” adding the signature “is one of the most important acts for the formation of Ukrainian statehood” since the language is the platform and foundation on which the state is being built.

I emphasize that this law does not affect the languages of national minorities living in Ukraine,” Poroshenko said. “…The only thought we did not intend to take into account was Moscow’s opinion. Let them do with Russian”  he added.

“Very few issues are as fundamental to a person’s identity as their native language. Challenging this may provoke a defensive response. History teaches us that any such attempts often end badlywarned Lamberto Zannier, High Commissioner on National Minorities of the OSCE.

Although Ukraine is officially aiming the European Union integration de facto Poroshehnko opposed the European values, namely the linguistic rights of the minorities. At present 23 official and 60 regional languages are practiced on the EU territory.

In Europe, linguistic diversity is a fact of life. Languages are an integral part of European identity and the most direct expression of culture. In an EU founded on the motto ‘United in diversity’, the ability to communicate in several languages is an important asset for individuals, organisations and companies. Languages not only play a key role in the everyday life of the European Union, but are also fundamental for respecting cultural and linguistic diversity in the EU” the European Commission explains.

In Ukraine the case of attempts to introduce bilingualism or multilingualism, or to grant official status to any other language in the whole country or in a separate region, this equates to overthrowing the constitutional order. You can get up to 10 years in prison for this in accordance with section 109 of the Penal Code.

Here is the list of ten top changes language law imposes on the citizens of Ukraine:

1. The only state and official language in Ukraine is Ukrainian. Public disrespect and ignoring the law is equated with the abuse of state symbols: from a fine of up to 6.800 hryvnia up to imprisonment up to 3 years.

2. All the representatives of the central executive bodies of Ukraine and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, deputies, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, notaries, medical workers, and teachers must have proficiency of the Ukrainian language. All meetings, events, working communication in government bodies, including Crimea, in state and municipal events should be held in Ukrainian. If the event organizers deems it necessary to apply another language, they must ensure it “provides a translation into the state language”.

3. Language requirements for members of the government, high-ranking officials, and people’s deputies will be determined by the National Commission for Standards of the State Language, and the Ukrainian Language Center will test them for compliance. In addition to these two new institutions, the Terminology Center of the Ukrainian language will be created. One of its tasks is the “development of the standards of the Ukrainian sign language.”

4. In public kindergartens, the language of instruction is Ukrainian, in private there may be other options, however Ukrainian language should be present. As for universities, the teaching should be conducted in Ukrainian, but lectures in one of the EU languages ​​are allowed. That is, Chinese and Yiddish, as follows from the text, are banned on a par with Russian.

5. In theaters, cinemas should sound the Ukrainian language. Performances and films in a foreign language must be accompanied by subtitles. “Cinemas can show foreign films in the original language, accompanying the subtitling in Ukrainian. The total number of showcases of such films cannot exceed 10% of the total number of showcases of films in a cinema a month,” the bill said.

6. Mass media is also switching to the Ukrainian language. If, say, your favorite newspapers or magazines were printed in Russian, then after the law came into force, they should have half the circulation of the Ukrainian version. The total duration of foreign language television and radio programs and broadcasts may not exceed 10% of the daily broadcasting time for national broadcasters, and 20% for regional and local broadcasters.

7. In bookstores should be on the shelves at least 50% of the products in the Ukrainian language.

8. A language ombudsman  is becoming  a leading authority for complaints. The language inspector will get rights akin to a police officer. He will be able to request documents or their copies and other information, including those with limited access, to freely visit state authorities, enterprises and institutions regardless of their form of ownership, attend their meetings, receive documents or their copies and other information from civil associations upon request, political parties, legal entities of private law.

9. The draft law also provides for the creation of an institution of language inspectors, who will observe the purity of speech in their region. It is assumed that there should be 27 language inspectors.

10. All who wish to obtain Ukrainian citizenship must pass the exam on the knowledge of the Ukrainian language.

 

41 died in plane crash in Moscow airport

In Sukhoi Superjet 100 plane crash at Sheremetyevo Airport 41 passengers lost their lives, Yelena Markovskaya, spokesperson for the Moscow interregional transport investigation department of the Russian Investigative Committee, told reporters.

“Forty-one people died,” she said. In total 78 passengers and crew were on board, 37 of them survived, including four crew members.

Sheremetyevo is considered as the main Moscow airport, and the main hub for Aeroflot company.

The main version of a fire on board the Sukhoi Superjet 100  is a lightning  TASS News agency quotes the  emergency services.

“The main version is a lightning strike on the plane, after which the automatics failed. During landing, according to preliminary data, the plane hit the runway twice. A lightning version is also confirmed by one of the crew members,” the source said.

According to him, after departure from Moscow to Murmansk, one of the passengers noticed a fire in the wing, which he immediately reported to the crew. The captain has decided to return to Sheremetyevo.

The plane landed with an excess mass and a large overflight of about 1,400 meters. As a result, landing occurred in the middle of the strip. The landing gear collapsed. Its elements may have fallen into the engine, which caught fire, “- said another source to  Interfax news agency.

Russia considers facilitation of Ukrainians naturalisation

Russia is considering the possibility of facilitating the naturalisation rules for all Ukrainian nationals, President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference concluding his visit to China.

We are thinking about providing the right to obtain Russian passports under a simplified procedure to all Ukrainian nationals,” he said.

Putin emphasized that the decision to ease Russian citizenship for self-proclaimed Donbass Lugansk and Donetsk Republics residents “was not spontaneous, it was not made at the spur of the moment.”

Before the decree was singed, we had made all the calculations concerning the number of people that may apply for citizenship, including the number of retired persons – they account for about 30% of the possible applicants,” Putin underlined.

On April 24, in Moscow (pictured) the Russian President signed a decree, which eases Russian citizenship rules for residents of certain regions of southeastern Ukraine.

Individuals permanently residing in certain areas of 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.

 

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.

 

MAMIKINS MEP on Russian sanctions “stalemate”

MEP Andrejs MAMIKINS (Socialist, Latvia) reflects on the “stalemate” of anti-Russian sanctions, and strategy chosen by the European Parliament to continue their further imposition. MEP considers a new resolution, proposing  to strip Russia from the status of a ‘strategic partner‘, and imposing additional sanctions as a part of the upcoming European election campaign, pleasing a part of electorate, and flaunting the might and significance of the European Union.

However even the rapporteurs here, in the European Parliament don’t believe that Russians will react on the reports, Russian simply doesn’t read them”, MAMIKINS said. “None of Russian civil servants with self-respect will read them, and nobody believes they will have any effect. The real sanctions, or the construction of the second pipeline of the Nord Stream II  to be abandoned, orthe sectoral sanctions to be strengthened, – all this will not happen, because the European Parliament is a big lightening rod, it is blowing off steam, but the real power is with the European Council, and the decisions are taken there by the heads of states and governments. We know that recently Mekel agreed with Macron on the Nord Stream II, and that is all – as soon as there is an agreement in the Council, that will be implemented”, MEP underlined.

Regular Europeans don’t read what is issued by the European Parliament, MEP continued, regretting that politicians don’t hear opinions, and wishes of millions of the EU citizens, affected by sanction war initiated by the EU, defining it as a “philosophic” question to the European political class. He also mentioned fading interest of the Europeans in the Europarliament, referring to the declinign turnout in the 2014 elections: in eastern Latvia 22%, in Slovakia 13%, indicating the attitude to the EU project in member-states. “This shows to what extend the regular people believe in what we are doing here” MAMIKINS lamented.

The failure of the political class is compensated by the citizens, who in “parallel develop their own ‘people’s diplomacy'” MEP  explained, mentioning enlarging, and broadening the exchanges of students, scientific and business cooperation, but also growing interest to invest in Russia, illustrating with example of Austria, formally supporting sanctions, but multiplying its investments the same time.

Concluding MAMIKINS reiterated his assessment of the EU sanctions policy as the “stalemate,” a result of a self-imposed ‘mantra‘ repeated last five years dabbing Russia as “foe” and Putin as an “aggressor, which caused their current awkward posture, they have no clue how to correct.

Is is very similar to NATO, spending 16 times more than Russia, but repeating relentlessly that “Russia is our foe”, and “danger is looming from the East“, – MEP pointed out. Subsequently or they “steal this money“, which is beneficial to some circles, or they “lie” that Russia is a foe, able to attack any moment, he added.

However even before the Ukrainian crisis, and Crimea, Russia has been an effective ‘scarecrow‘ for quite some time.  When President Putin, during his trip to Siberia suggested to join the North Atlantic Alliance, the reaction was absolutely negative MAMIKINS reminded.

Nevertheless counter-terrorism, space programmes, exploring Arctic,  energy dialogue, including nuclear energy, and nuclear waste, – cooperation in all these fields between the EU and Russia will continue in spite any sanctions, so will the gas and oil export, MEP ensures. “This is real politics, not the loudmouths here in the European Parliament – the civil servants in the European Commission understand that European can’t without Russia’, – he said.

MEP believes that in the upcoming election forces, promoting normalisation of relations with Russia will be represented by ultra-right and ultra-left parties, as Matteo Salvini, and European Left with portrait of Che Guevarabut not the systemic political congregations unable to get out of the actual impasse.

VIDEO: in Russian language from the European Parliament, Strasbourg 12 March 2019.

MEP Andrejs MAMIKINS (43) “Saskaņa” (Harmony) party, Latvia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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