Tag Archives: Russia

ECR: President Putin – Russia Deep State

Strasbourg 04.10.2022 “With timely debates on Russia’s hybrid threats and the war it is waging on Ukraine over the week, ECR Coordinator on Foreign Affairs MEP Anna Fotyga has invited a panel of renowned Russian and Ukrainian politicians, historians and dissidents to participate in a high-level conference entitled “Not Only Putin – Russia’s Deep State, Society, and Foreign Assets in the War Against Ukraine” writes the the European Conservatives and Reformists Group of the European Parliament (ECR). ECR is a centre-right political group in the European Parliament, established in 2009 under the founding principles of the Prague Declaration. These principles brought together MEPs from across the European Union who supported a vision of common sense reform for the whole EU.

“​Ms Fotyga will be joined by co-host MEP Kosma Złotowski, historian Yuri Felshtinsky, Russian politician llya Ponomarev – the only State Duma Member who voted against the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Oleksiy Arestovych – Adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Mark Feygin – Russian lawyer and politician – former MP and Vice-Mayor of Samara, and Russian scientist, political writer and analyst Andrei Piontkovsky. Participants will share their views on the prospects of dealing with Russian aggression and putting an end to its imperialism once and for all. The conference will also be streamed live in both English and Russian languages from the ECR Group’s and Anna Fotyga’s social media channels”.

EU rejects Donbass referenda

Brussels 30.09.2022 “We firmly reject and unequivocally condemn the illegal annexation by Russia of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. By wilfully undermining the rules-based international order and blatantly violating the fundamental rights of Ukraine to independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, core principles as enshrined in the UN Charter and international law, Russia is putting global security at risk” reads the Statement by the Members of the European Council.

“We do not and will never recognise the illegal ‘referenda’ that Russia has engineered as a pretext for this further violation of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, nor their falsified and illegal results. We will never recognise this illegal annexation. These decisions are null and void and cannot produce any legal effect whatsoever. Crimea, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk are Ukraine. We call on all States and international organisations to unequivocally reject this illegal annexation.

“In the face of Russia’s war of aggression as well as Moscow’s latest escalation, the European Union stands resolutely with Ukraine and its people. We are unwavering in our support to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Ukraine is exercising its legitimate right to defend itself against the Russian aggression to regain full control of its territory and has the right to liberate occupied territories within its internationally recognised borders.

“The nuclear threats made by the Kremlin, the military mobilisation and the strategy of seeking to falsely present Ukraine’s territory as Russia’s and purporting that the war may now be taking place on Russia’s territory will not shake our resolve.

“We will strengthen our restrictive measures countering Russia’s illegal actions. They will further increase pressure on Russia to end its war of aggression.

“We reiterate that the European Union firmly stands with Ukraine and will continue to provide strong economic, military, social and financial support to Ukraine for as long as it takes”.

Ukraine applies for NATO membership

Brussels 30.09.2022 Ukraine has submitted an official application to join NATO, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said after Moscow organised referenda in controlled by Russian troops four Ukrainian regions. (Image: social media)

“We are de facto allies already,” Zelenskyy said. “De facto, we have already proven compatibility with Alliance standards.”

“Ukraine is applying to confirm it de jure by an expedited procedure,” he stated.

NATO’s “open door policy” is based on Article 10 of the Alliance’s founding document, the North Atlantic
Treaty (1949).

The Treaty states that NATO membership is open to any “European state in a position to
further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area”.
It states that any decision on enlargement must be made “by unanimous agreement”.
NATO claims it has helped increase stability and prosperity in Europe. It also announces that the Alliance is aimed at promoting stability and cooperation, and at building a Europe united in peace, democracy and common values.

To join the Alliance, nations are expected to respect the values of the North Atlantic Treaty, and to meet certain political, economic and military criteria, set out in the Alliance’s 1995 Study on Enlargement. These criteria include a functioning democratic political system based on a market economy; fair treatment of minority populations; a commitment to resolve conflicts peacefully; an ability and willingness to make a military contribution to NATO operations; and a commitment to democratic civil-military relations and institutions.

EU concerned about Nord Stream leaks

Brussels 28.09.2022 “The European Union is deeply concerned about damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that has resulted in leaks in the international waters of the Baltic Sea” reads the statement of the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell.

“Safety and environmental concerns are of utmost priority. These incidents are not a coincidence and affect us all.

“All available information indicates those leaks are the result of a deliberate act. We will support any investigation aimed at getting full clarity on what happened and why, and will take further steps to increase our resilience in energy security.

“Any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure is utterly unacceptable and will be met with a robust and united response”.

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.

MEPs debate energy price

Strasbourg 14.09.2022 Measures against the dramatic rise in energy prices were up for a debate with the Czech Council Presidency and the Commission on Tuesday, September 13. (Image above: illustration).

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is set to present emergency proposals on energy during her State of the European Union speech in plenary September 14.

During the debate, the Czech Council Presidency announced that Council will seek to approve the European Commission’s upcoming proposals during an emergency meeting at the end of September.

European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said that the Commission will propose measures to reduce electricity demand during peak price hours in order to bring more balance to the market. It will also introduce an EU-wide limit on the remuneration of low-carbon energy, so that revenues above that cap will be used to help member states support vulnerable consumers. She also said that the Commission will work with electricity market regulators to address the liquidity problems on the market.

During the debate, MEPs emphasized the need to ensure that the EU response is built on solidarity, and that profits made by energy companies must be used to protect consumers.

Many urged for a further boost for renewables and developing cross-border energy interconnections – in particular between France and Spain. Germany should not close its remaining nuclear plants in the current circumstances, several said. Other MEPs demanded measures against speculation on the gas market and to cut peak electricity demand, while some considered electricity to be a public good that should not be traded on a stock market.

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.

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.

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