Tag Archives: Moscow

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Russia presumes US intervention in Venezuela

Moscow presumes Washington is preparing a military intervention in Venezuela, Nikolai Patrushev (pictured) the secretary of Russia’s Security Council said, quoted by Russian news agencies.

Russia had agreed to a proposal from Washington to hold consultations on Venezuela crisis, but the United States had repeatedly postponed them on “invented pretexts”. The United States show “sarcasm and arrogance towards the Venezuelan people” while it imposes humanitarian aid that will be rejected. Patrushev stressed that the United States, deploying military forces to Puerto Rico and Colombia are preparing an invasion to Venezuela to overthrow legally elected incumbent President Maduro.

Lavrov “unpleasant surprise” of Austria spy scandal

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said it was an “unpleasant surprise” in absence of any request from Vienna for  explanations over the affair of a retired Austrian army colonel who had allegedly spied for Moscow.

This was an unpleasant surprise to me. It has been a custom from time immemorial for any country that feels some concerns or suspicions over actions by another country to ask for explanations directly in accordance with the rules of international communication. Lately, our Western counterparts have made it a rule not to use traditional methods but rather megaphone diplomacy.They accuse us in public and then demand public explanations over an issue we know nothing about,” Lavrov underlined, according to TASS News Agency.

“It is essential to follow the rules that have been shaped in the process of international communication. We have invited Austria’s ambassador to the Foreign Ministry. We will draw his attention to what methods should be used, if they have any questions for Russia,” Lavrov added.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said at press conference that the 70-year-old army official, now retired, is suspected to have begun working with Russian intelligence in the 1990s and carried on until 2018, for three decades.

The public prosecutor’s office in Salzburg province confirmed the colonel is under investigation for the crime of revealing state secrets.

 

 

 

 

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