Tag Archives: Russia

Japan considers visa-free for Russians

Moscow has welcomed the deliberations in Tokyo for ending the visa system for Russians travelling to Japan, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Such discussions are undoubtedly welcomed and this fits into the general course towards further developing [bilateral] relations,” the Kremlin spokesman said.

Although the visa issue was not discussed at the latest talks between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the spokesman added.

The Japanese newspaper Sankei earlier reported that Tokyo was looking into cancelling short-term entry visas for Russian citizens, which means that they would be able to enter Japan visa-free for 90 days, if they register data of their passports in any Japanese consulate in advance, the newspaper writes.
Earlier Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there can be a pilot visa-free prjoect between  Sakhalin and Hokkaido.

The visa  issue might be discussed between the Russian and Japanese foreign ministers, at during Munich Security Conference set for February 16, the newspaper writes.

Tourism to Japan is booming: last year 31 travelers enjoyed visit to the Land of the Rising Sun.

 

Venezuela military intervention as “option”

President Donald Trump said military intervention in Venezuela was “an option” as Western nations increase pressure on Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to step down, while Russia in its capacity of the UN Security Council permanent member warned against “destructive meddling.”

The level of technical equipment and training of the Venezuelan army is very high today. The 30 Russian Su-30 fighters currently in service with the country’s air force are a serious factor, so if the US decides to go on any adventure against Caracas, then they will have to prepare for a serious combat”, said Russian military expert Dr.Konstantin Sivkov.

The United States, Canada, the UK, several Latin American and European countries have recognized self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido as the country’s rightful leader after the disputed elections.

The EU countries supporting the candidacy of Juan Guaido in his claim of presidency have formed a contact group, which will meet in Montevideo (Uruguay) on February 7. The Contact Group will bring together the EU and eight of its Member States (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and countries from Latin America (Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay)

However in an interview the incumbent President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro regarded international support of a self-proclaimed elections winner as a circus, and Juan Guaido as a “clown“.

Maduro also blamed the West the return to the “era of empires“.

Russian State Duma assessed the support of the self-proclaimed President of Venezuela Guaido as “absolutely incorrect and unacceptable under international law”.

Dr.Sivkov added that a major factor that could contain the potential aggression of neighboring countries is a powerful Venezuelan air defense system, which includes, in particular, S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, according to Novosti agency.
In 2009, Venezuela purchased a large party of weapons, including the Pechora-2M, S-300, Buk-M2EK anti-aircraft missiles, Igla-S, armored personnel carriers BTR-80A, using a $ 2.2 billion Russian loan, T-72B1V tanks, Smerch and Grad multiple rocket launchers.

Three GRU officers under EU sanctions

The Council imposed  sanctions on nine persons and one entity under the new regime of restrictive measures against the use and proliferation of chemical weapons created on 15 October 2018.

These designations include the two GRU  officials, and the Head and Deputy Head of the GRU (also known as the G.U., or the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces) responsible for possession, transport and use in Salisbury (UK) of a toxic nerve agent on the weekend of 4 March 2018. Sanctions are also imposed on the Syrian entity responsible for the development and production of chemical weapons, the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), as well as five Syrian officials directly involved in the SSRC’s activities. These persons and entity are the first one being listed under the new chemical weapons sanctions regime. The SSRC was already listed under the Syria sanctions regime.

Sanctions consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze for persons, and an asset freeze for entities. In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to those listed. This decision contributes to the EU’s efforts to counter the proliferation and use of chemical weapons which poses a serious threat to international security.

The legal acts, including the names of the persons concerned, are available in the EU Official Journal.

Russian owner released lion cub in streets

According to the ‘Petersburg Diary‘ ( «Петербургский дневник») online residents of a residential complex located along one of the cities avenues, noticed a lion cub on the street, who was frozen (-5C°) and placed himself  sunder a car to keep warm. It turned out that the animal belongs to a man living in a house near the place where the little inhabitant of savanna was found by shocked pedestrians.

The owner of the lion cub said that sometimes he walks with the lion cub, but sometimes he releases him into streets alone, he plans to sell the cub in the nearest future, because he is “growing very fast”. The owner was not punished for cruelty, and the animal was returned to him as if nothing wrong happened.

Although Russia signed to CITES the black market of wild animals flourishes. Lion cubs are in high demand for photo shooting at parties, and events. There are companies renting lion or tiger cubs for an evening for a photo session for weddings, or fashion presentation.

lion cub bride

However they grow quickly, and owners are willing to get rid of them, selling to private zoos, where the stay in misery locked in cages until the end of their days. Some of them are sold to circuses to be trained by electroshock collar to jump through the fire ring. The Stone age entertainment, subsidized by the Ministry of Culture.

padalko lion update

 

 

Kadyrov doesn’t seek reelection

The leader of Chechen Republic (Russia) Ramzan Kadyrov is willing  to end his term as the governor without renewal, he said on the Moscow 24 TV channel.

Kadyrov told that he does not see himself in another high-ranking federal position “I am not a man of this level,” he added.

Kadyrov, 42, has ruled the Russian North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya since 2007, taking over the lead after his father Akhmad brutal assassination (2004) in a terrorist act. He was re-elected by the Chechen parliament in 2011 and won the position of a head of the Republic in election in 2016 with 97.5% of the vote.

EU ‘Sanctions war’ with Russia continues

On 21 December 2018, the European Council prolonged the economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 July 2019.

This decision follows an update from President Macron and Chancellor Merkel to the European Council of 13-14 December 2018 on the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements, to which the sanctions are linked. Given that no progress has been made, the European Council took the political decision to roll-over the economic sanctions against Russia.

The West should either recognize the results of Crimea referendum on reunification with Russia,  or stop imposing sanctions against people living in Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his traditional annual news conference on December 20.

In his words, “it is a curious situation” as Russia is being accused of Crimea’s annexation or in the other words of taking Crimea by force. “But if it was annexation and forcible takeover, then people living in Crimea have nothing to do with that,” he noted. “And if it was their choice in voting, then it was not annexation whatsoever.”

However not all the political forces in the EU share the European Council point of view: since 2014 Marine Le Pen, the leader of French RN (former Front National) has not seen any reason to dispute the result of the referendum.

I see no grounds whatsoever to question this referendum,” she said. She also added that she regards Crimea as a integral part of Russia. According to TASS News Agency Marine Le Pen “hopes to visit Crimea in April” 2019.

Japanese support graduate return of Kuril Islands

The majority of Japanese believe that the country’s government in negotiations with Russia should focus on the return of the two southern islands of the Kuril archipelago in the first place, and decide the fate of the two remaining ones in the course of further consultations. The public opinion was published on December 16, quoting data from a survey conducted by the Japanese agency Kyodo. (Image: Kuril from space).

Thus, according to the survey, 53.2% of respondents agreed that the Japanese government in negotiations with the Russian Federation should focus on “the return of two islands, and continue negotiations on the remaining two islands.” At the same time, 28.6% of respondents stressed that it is necessary to seek the return of all four islands at once.

The 1956 declaration said that the peace treaty between Russia and Japan could be concluded after the delivery of Khabomai and Shikotan islands to Japan. Japan had refused to sign the declaration because of the wish to receive more than just two islands.

In 2017, the Russian government established an advanced economic development zone on Shikotan Island and assigned Shikotan to the territory of special economic cooperation between Russia and Japan.

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