The EU will consider a project on the transfer of income from assets under sanctions to Kyiv

The European Commission plans to create a RebuildUkraine fund to restore Ukraine. As part of this initiative, the EC will propose to send there income from the European assets of Russian businessmen against whom sanctions were imposed

The European Commission will consider a project on the use of income from the frozen assets of Russian businessmen subject to EU sanctions for recovery Ukraine. This is reported by Bloomberg with reference to the corresponding project.

According to the document, on May 18, the EC will propose an updated financial strategy to help cover Ukraine's $15 billion deficit over the next three months.

The Commission will also propose the creation of a fund called RebuildUkraine, where all resources for the restoration of Ukraine. As part of this initiative, the EU will consider using proceeds from confiscated assets from Russian individuals who have been sanctioned since the start of the special operation in Ukraine.

In addition, according to Bloomberg sources, the EC will offer Kyiv loans ranging from €7 billion to 9 billion to finance urgent government bills as part of this package.

Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, hundreds of businessmen, officials and military from Russia fell under EU sanctions: their assets and accounts are frozen, they are banned from entering the EU.

On May 9, head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell urged the EU to consider withdrawing Russia's frozen foreign exchange reserves to also help pay for Ukraine's post-conflict reconstruction costs. Borrell cited “billions of dollars” of assets seized by the United States as an example. from the Central Bank of Afghanistan, which, according to him, will later be used to compensate victims of terrorism and for humanitarian assistance to the country. The diplomat noted that “it was logical” consider similar steps with Russia's frozen reserves.

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According to the Central Bank, as of April 1, 2022, the volume of Russia's international reserves amounted to $606.5 billion. The Ministry of Finance previously reported that after the outbreak of hostilities, Western countries froze about half of Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves (about $300 billion). At the same time, assets in Chinese yuan, monetary gold stored in Russia (as of February 1, about $132 billion), cash reserves and special drawing rights (SDR, about $24 billion) in the IMF remain legally out of reach for sanctions.

Earlier that the frozen Russian reserves must be transferred to Ukraine, said Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal. “We are having these negotiations [on the withdrawal of Russian reserves] with the United States, with all our partners,” — he said. In early May, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky estimated the cost of restoring the country after the Russian special operation at $600 billion.

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Venezuelan government resumes talks with opposition

Negotiations between the Venezuelan government and opposition took place for the first time since October 2021. Reuters sources specified that this was due to Washington's demand in exchange for the lifting of a number of sanctions in the oil industry /756528341542238.jpg” alt=”The Venezuelan government resumed negotiations with the opposition” />

The Speaker of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Jorge Rodriguez, met with opposition representative Gerardo Blyde for the first time since October 2021. Rodriguez posted a photo of the meeting on his Twitter.

“As a representative of the delegation of the Venezuelan government, I met with Gerardo Blyde to find a plan of action for the future,”— the politician wrote under the photo.

Earlier, sources told Reuters about the imminent resumption of negotiations between the government and the opposition of Venezuela. According to them, this is due to Washington's demand in exchange for the lifting of a number of sanctions against the work of foreign oil companies in the country.

Amid the mass protests of 2019 in Venezuela, the United States supported opposition leader Juan Guaido, and former President Donald Trump proclaimed him head of the country. Washington also imposed sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his entourage, imposed restrictions on the export and import of oil.

Earlier on May 18, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez confirmed the lifting of US sanctions on the work of foreign oil companies in the country. On the same day, the US Treasury, in agreement with the State Department, issued a license that gives permission to the American oil and gas company Chevron to negotiate a possible resumption of production in Venezuela.

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Negotiations between the United States and Venezuela to lift the oil embargo resumed after Russia launched a special operation in Ukraine and imposed sanctions against Moscow on oil supplies. In early March, Reuters, citing sources, reported that US officials are trying to negotiate with the leadership of Venezuela to ease sanctions on oil exports. According to the interlocutors of the agency, Maduro personally insisted on lifting the US sanctions.

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TASS learned the name of the new flagship of the Black Sea Fleet

Frigate “Admiral Makarov”

After the sinking of the cruiser “Moskva” The missile frigate “Admiral Makarov” may become the new flagship of the Black Sea Fleet. This is reported by TASS with reference to a source close to the power structures of the Crimea.

“After the death of” Moscow ” one of the three frigates of the far sea zone of project 11356 can become the new flagship of the Black Sea Fleet. said the source of the agency.

At the same time, citing another source, TASS clarifies that in the fall of 2021, they planned to make the project 23900 ship “Mitrofan Moskalenko” the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet. The corresponding infrastructure is allegedly already being prepared for its deployment in Sevastopol.

“Admiral Makarov” is the third frigate of project 11356R and is part of the 30th division of surface ships. The transfer of the frigate to the Navy took place on December 27, 2017.

The flagship of the Black Sea Fleet cruiser “Moskva” sank on April 14 as a result of damage to the hull and in “stormy sea conditions”. Before that, the Ministry of Defense reported a fire on the ship and detonation of ammunition. They also stated that as a result of the fire, the cruiser was seriously damaged, and the crew of the “Moskva” was evacuated.

At the request of Roskomnadzor, RBC provides data on the details of the military operation in Ukraine based on information from Russian official sources.

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On April 22, the Ministry of Defense reported one dead and 27 missing as a result of the incident on the cruiser Moskva. “In the course of the struggle for the ship's damage, one serviceman was killed, another 27 crew members were missing. The remaining 396 crew members were evacuated from the cruiser to the ships of the Black Sea Fleet in the area and taken to Sevastopol, — indicated by the department. Midshipman Ivan Vakhrushev turned out to be dead, they have already said goodbye to him in Sevastopol, said the governor of the city Mikhail Razvozhaev.

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WP learns of disagreements in NATO in connection with the presence in Eastern Europe

According to the publication, the Baltic countries and Poland demand the deployment of large NATO forces on their territories. At the same time, a number of European countries believe that this is too costly and will weaken their military potential in other parts of the world

Countries — members of the North Atlantic alliance cannot reach a compromise on the scale of the expansion of the alliance's military presence in Eastern Europe. The Washington Post (WP) reports this with reference to alliance documents.

According to the publication, disagreements are growing among European allies over how NATO's military presence in Eastern Europe will be built against the backdrop of Russia's special operation in Ukraine.

“The Baltic countries and Poland demand a significant expansion of the military presence on its territory and new capabilities, such as air defenses, which would greatly hamper a potential Russian invasion, — newspaper writes.

The publication says that against the backdrop of these requests, other members of the alliance, such as France and Italy, expressed skepticism about Russia's ability to pose a real threat to the allies in the foreseeable future.

At the same time, in the presence of such a threat, it is proposed to deploy in these countries, contingents of 20 thousand people each. At the same time, many states fear that the transfer of such significant forces to Eastern Europe will be too costly and will weaken their military potential in other parts of the world.

The publication indicates that a preliminary decision on the scale of the military presence in Eastern Europe should be made by the end of June, when the leaders of the countries of the alliance will gather for a summit in Madrid.

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Discussions on increasing the size of the NATO contingent in Eastern Europe have been going on for several months. On January 12, against the background of publications about the accumulation of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas spoke about negotiations with the alliance on this topic. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg subsequently said that such a measure would be considered in the event of the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. They began on February 24: Russia announced a special operation on “demilitarization and denazification” on the territory of a neighboring state.

Latvian President Egils Levits said in March that the country needed a permanent presence of US troops. According to him, the NATO contingent should be deployed on the eastern flank in the Baltics, Poland and Romania: such a move would be a “powerful signal” for Russia. on the readiness of the alliance to defend its member countries.

In addition, on March 24, the leaders of the alliance countries approved the deployment of additional combat groups in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. The Russian authorities expressed concern about the strengthening of NATO's eastern flank. In particular, the press secretary of the President of Russia, Dmitry Peskov, said that the alliance de facto began this strengthening even before the official decision was made.

On May 14, the Baltic countries again asked NATO to increase their presence on their territory. Stoltenberg previously said that the alliance is working on plans to send permanent and full-scale military forces to the eastern borders to protect against a possible Russian attack.

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The Foreign Ministry confirmed the negotiations on the export of grain from Ukraine

Earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported on the request of UN Secretary General António Guterres to Moscow not to interfere with the export of grain from the Black Sea ports of Ukraine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the fact of negotiations, but “not at the UN level” alt=”The Foreign Ministry confirmed negotiations on the export of grain from Ukraine” />

Issues of the supply of Russian potash fertilizers and the export of Ukrainian grain are being discussed, RIA Novosti said. Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Alexander Pankin.

Earlier, the Wall Street Journal, citing diplomatic sources, reported that UN Secretary General António Guterres asked Moscow not to interfere with the export of grain from the Black Sea ports of Ukraine, and in return promises to help ease sanctions against fertilizers from Russia and Belarus.

“Difficult question. You already know that potash and mineral fertilizers, grain, the possibility of exporting Ukrainian grain— complex tangle of issues that are now being considered, — Pankin said in response to a request for comment on the WSJ information.

At the same time, he clarified that the issue “is not discussed at the UN level, [but] is discussed with us.”

As The Wall Street Journal sources specified, the UN Secretary General is negotiating on the export of Ukrainian grain with Russia, Turkey and other countries, and Ankara has already agreed to participate in the clearance of the Black Sea.

Earlier, the fact of negotiations was also confirmed by the US representative to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “At the moment, there are discussions about how such corridors can be unblocked. <…> The UN Secretary General [Antonio Guterres] spoke to Russia about this. We also discussed these issues with the Ukrainians»,— she said.

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In early May, Guterres said that fertilizers and products from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine must be returned to world markets to ensure food security despite the fighting. The UN fears that rising grain prices and food shortages could destabilize the situation in poor countries dependent on Ukrainian grain and lead to conflicts.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Russia is the largest world exporter of wheat, and Ukraine ranks fifth. Together they provide 19% of the world's supply of barley, 14%— wheat and 4%— corn.

In early April, the European Union decided to limit the import of Russian fertilizers. Later, the Russian Ministry of Defense suspended the passage of foreign warships and other government ships in three areas of the Black Sea for six months, from April 24 to October 31.

Against this, US President Joe Biden announced that he was looking for an opportunity to take 20 million tons of grain. The US president explained the need to export grain with record food prices in the world. According to him, the return of Ukrainian grain to the world market should help reduce prices.

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During the shelling of the Belgorod border village, the power line was damaged

The village of Bezymeno, Graivoronsky District, Belgorod Region, was fired on from Ukraine on May 17. The head of the region reported one victim

Vyacheslav Gladkov

As a result of the shelling from the side of Ukraine of the village of Bezymeno, Belgorod Region, which occurred on May 17, the power transmission line (power transmission line) was broken. This was announced by the Governor of the region Vyacheslav Gladkov.

“The power line was broken, we will start the restoration in the morning. The destruction of residential buildings is insignificant, mostly glass is broken, — he wrote on the VKontakte social network.

The victim of the shelling was operated on, he feels satisfactory, the head of the region specified.

Gladkov reported on the shelling the village of Bezymeno on the evening of May 17. It is located near the border with the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, 908 people live in the village.

In mid-April, residents of Bezymeno were evacuated after Ukrainian shelling of the neighboring village of Spodaryushino. There were no casualties then.

Since the beginning of the Russian military operation, the authorities of the regions bordering Ukraine have repeatedly reported shelling, falling shells, as well as downed Ukrainian drones.

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Sociologists made portraits of supporters and opponents of the special operation

Sociologists have compiled a portrait of supporters and opponents of the military operation. Russians who support it dominate all but the least wealthy groups. More often, young people and Russians with minimal income oppose it

Women support the special military operation in Ukraine less often than men, among its supporters there are most law enforcement officers and civil servants, and among opponents— workers of science, culture, mass media and advertising. This follows from a study by the sociological company Russian Field, which is at the disposal of RBC.

At the beginning of the month (May 2-5), the sixth survey of the company on the support of the special operation was held, the survey was conducted using a telephone survey. The last survey involved 1609 respondents from all regions of Russia. Russian Field— a research group that specializes in conducting socio-political research on the territory of Russia. The project team consists of sociologists, political scientists and journalists who have been conducting research for more than five years.

The authors of the study classified the opponents of the operation as people who answered that they would cancel it if they could, among the supporters of— those who answered this question in the negative.

55% of respondents said they would not cancel the special operation, 29% were in favor of its cancellation. The military operation is supported by 59% of men and 52% of women. 25% and 32%, respectively, spoke out against it (the remaining percentages are accounted for by respondents who refused to answer or found it difficult to answer).

The majority of Russians in all age groups over 30 spoke out against the cancellation of the operation, only among people from 18 to 29 years of those who support the operation, less than half— 42%. With age, the number of its supporters is growing, it follows from the survey.

Russians supporting the special operation prevail in all groups except the least well off. In them, more than a third of the respondents spoke out against the military operation (we are talking about people who said that they did not have enough money even for food, and about those who only have money for food and clothing). With the growth of income, the number of supporters of the operation is growing.

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Among those who support the special operation, most of all are law enforcement officers (80%), pensioners (63%), civil servants (62%), housing and communal services workers (54%). Most scientists (85%) are against the military operation, more than half of the advertising and media employees (54%), 40% of cultural workers, about the same number of students and the unemployed.

Among Russians who have been abroad, the share of opponents special operations are higher than those who have never traveled (34 vs. 25%).

The majority of respondents who support the military operation learn about the situation in Ukraine from TV news (66%), more than half read the materials in Yandex/Google (56%), half (50%) learn the news from word of mouth. Opponents of the special operation, as a rule, read online media (47%), view VK groups (48%), Telegram channels (38%) and watch news on YouTube (42%).

Supporters of the special operation, as a rule, they are not afraid for their savings (71%) or do not have them (54%), while opponents, on the contrary, tend to worry about their money (47%).

According to 79% of those who support the operation, it is going well for the Russian troops, most of its opponents do not agree with them— 72%. The vast majority of supporters of the operation are in favor of its continuation— 84%, and most of her opponents would like to move on to peace negotiations— 63%.

Among those satisfied with the situation in Russia, 12% are opponents of the operation and 73% of its supporters (the remaining 15% of the survey participants could not answer). On the contrary, 34% of supporters of the special operation and 51% of those who are against it are dissatisfied with the state of affairs in the country, the rest of the respondents (15%) did not answer the question.

Most Russians who support the special operation think that the US, NATO, the European Union and/or Ukraine are responsible for worsening relations between Russia and the West. On the contrary, respondents who want to cancel the operation are sure that Russia is to blame for the aggravation of relations (93%). The situation is the same with responsibility for sanctions against Russia: the majority of supporters of the special operation blame the West (USA, NATO, EU) and/or Ukraine (72%) for sanctions. Opponents usually blame Russia for them (60%).

Most of those who support the military operation believe that it will strengthen Russia's position in the world (71%), while the majority of those who do not support it are sure that this is not will happen (65%).

Three-quarters of the supporters of the operation (77%) would like to restore the borders of the USSR, more than half of its opponents do not support this idea (66%).

Those who have friends/relatives in Ukraine, as a rule, are more likely to oppose the special operation, but in general the difference is small (65% versus 60%).

In early May, VCIOM presented a study according to which more than half of Russians believe Russia's special operation in Ukraine rather rallied Russian society (61%), while every fifth (20%) adheres to the opposite position. Also, the majority of respondents said that Russia should live by its own rules, not looking back at the countries of the West (89%).

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Sweden and Finland apply to join NATO

The ambassadors of Sweden and Finland applied for these countries to join NATO. Putin said that their entry into the alliance would not pose a threat to Russia, but it would respond if the military infrastructure in these territories was expanded. .

Now applications for membership must be considered by the Council of the North Atlantic Alliance— the main political governing body of NATO. Then the agreement on membership of the countries in the alliance must be ratified at the national level in all 30 countries included in the bloc.

Sweden and Finland declared their intention to join NATO NATO against the background of the Russian special operation in Ukraine. Finland noted that the decision on membership in the alliance is not directed against anyone. According to President Sauli Niinistö, the country wants to “strengthen its security.”

The material is being supplemented.

even in blocking conditions

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State Duma deputy proposed to change the flag of Russia

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State Duma Deputy from Crimea Mikhail Sheremet (United Russia) proposed to make the Victory Banner the state flag of Russia, RIA Novosti reports.

“Today, Western countries have actually declared war on the Victory Banner, banning it everywhere. They are afraid of this symbol, because the red flag of victory reminds them of the greatness of our people and our great victory. I think the time has come to recognize the Victory Banner as our state flag,»,— he explained.

Sheremet emphasized that he was proud of the current Russian flag. however, in his opinion, in the current situation, the Victory Banner “as a symbol of a resurgent superpower” is more relevant than ever, the agency writes.

Banner of Victory— assault flag of the 150th Order of Kutuzov II degree of the Idritsa Rifle Division, which Soviet soldiers hoisted on the Reichstag building in Berlin on May 1 (Moscow time) 1945. It is the official symbol of the victory of the Soviet people over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War.

The Banner of Victory was used more than once during the Russian operation in Ukraine. In early April, a video circulated on the Internet, in which in one of the Ukrainian villages a grandmother with a banner in her hands met the Ukrainian military, possibly mistaking them for Russian soldiers. The military offered the woman a food package, but took away the banner and trampled on it. In response, she refused food.

Grandmother became one of the symbols of the special operation in Ukraine. Her sculpture was installed in Belgorod, but after the vandalism, the authorities promised to find another place for it. A graffiti with a grandmother appeared in Obninsk, but due to the fact that vandals ruined it, the drawing was painted over so as not to leave it damaged.

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In addition, in March, Russian singer Yulia Chicherina installed the Victory Banner on the building of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Melitopol, the mayor's offices of Berdyansk and Energodar.< /p>

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed that the Kremlin was aware of the use of the Soviet flag during the operation. “We notice what is really being used. [The Banner of Victory] has a special meaning, literally a sacred meaning,»,— he said.

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Ilya Kiva explained why the “Azov” people who laid down their arms asked them not to shoot

Photo source% video screen.

When the second batch of militants of the Azov nationalist extremist battalion banned in the Russian Federation prepared to hand over their weapons, they asked not to film this process.

Former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Ilya Kiva explained what was behind their desire. The surrender of the Mariupol garrison of the Armed Forces of Ukraine came as a complete surprise to the Zelensky regime. No orders were given to them.

“The Azov people who surrendered realize that now they are outlaws and their relatives will be in danger. The counterintelligence of Ukraine will make every effort to close the mouths of all those who were captured,” Kiva stressed.

Earlier, the Minister of Justice of Ukraine, Denis Malyuska, said that Kyiv had sent 363 pardoned prisoners to fight against Russia. They will not be returned back, as they “have definitely lost public danger.”

Pale faces and knapsacks: footage of militants who surrendered from Azovstal appeared

< img src="https://static.mk.ru/upload/entities/2022/05/17/13/photoreportsImages/detailPicture/51/03/11/37/89f0dd656c329f4fe8b7103be806e75a.jpg" height="0" width=" 0" />

See related photo gallery

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In Latvia, a businessman was convicted on charges of spying for Russia

Photo: pixabay.com

The court of the Vidzeme suburb of Riga at a closed session sentenced businessman Valentin Frolov to five years in prison. The businessman was accused of direct transfer of illegally collected information to foreign intelligence.

According to the prosecution, Frolov collected intelligence about the arrival and deployment of NATO forces in the Baltic countries.

Before the verdict entered into force as measures of restraint will continue to operate a bail and a ban on leaving. The six months that the accused spent in custody during the trial will be counted towards the term of imprisonment.

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Biden decided to send US troops to Somalia

The White House is at risk of stepping on the rake of “Black Hawk Down”

US President Joe Biden is taking steps to bring US troops into Somalia. Troops will be deployed from other parts of Africa to train and provide other support to local forces in their fight against Islamist militants.

Photo: Global Look Press

Joe Biden signed an order on Monday to redeploy hundreds of US troops to Somalia to counter the Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab. (recognized as terrorist and banned in several countries).

US troops will be brought in from other parts of Africa to train and provide other support to Somali forces in their fight against what is considered the largest and richest affiliate of the al-Qaeda extremist network. (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation). As POLITICO notes, this serves as a reminder that the United States continues to wage a long struggle against Islamic extremists around the world, even as these efforts are overshadowed by the conflict in Ukraine and other events.

The decision to re-deploy US forces to Somalia is intended to “maximize the safety and effectiveness of our forces and enable them to provide more effective support to our partners,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in announcing the redeployment.

According to a senior Biden administration official, US forces in Somalia will number “less than 500” and are not sent for direct participation in hostilities. Instead, US military personnel will work with Somali forces and ensure the safety of State Department and US Agency for International Development personnel in the African country.

At the end of his presidential term in January 2021, Donald Trump abruptly ordered the withdrawal of about 700 US military personnel from Somalia, which was an extension of his broader policy of pulling the US out of what the 45th President called “endless wars” around the world.

Meanwhile, the head of the US Africa Command, General Stephen Townsend, told Congress in March that the rotations, which he called “traveling to work,” are inefficient and ineffective and put US troops at greater risk.

The Biden administration believes that Al-Shabaab remains a “conspicuous priority given the threat it poses” and that “permanent” the presence of the United States in Somalia will be necessary to counter the extremist group.

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin has requested a deployment “to re-establish a permanent US military presence in Somalia to better deal with the al-Shabab group, which has grown in numbers and poses a heightened threat,” — said an administration official.

Biden's decision to sign the order was first reported by The New York Times, which also reported that the president had approved a Pentagon request for permanent authority to prosecute about a dozen suspected al-Shabaab leaders. The group is accused of killing more than a dozen Americans in East Africa, including three in a January 2020 attack on a base used by US counterterrorism forces in Kenya. Later that year, the US accused a Kenyan who took flying lessons in the Philippines of planning a 9/11-style hijacking on behalf of the Al-Shabaab group.

In recent months, the group has made territorial gains against the federal government of Somalia, wiping out the gains of the African Union peacekeepers who once pushed the militants into the country's remote areas.

The news of the decision to deploy the US military came after how on Sunday Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somalia's president from 2012 to 2017, was declared the winner of the presidential election.

Decades of military-political turbulence in Somalia began to fall apart in 1991, when the field the commanders overthrew the dictator Siad Barre, and then fought against each other. American soldiers were sent there in 1992 as part of a peacekeeping mission that continued until their withdrawal in 1994 — about five months after the humiliating fiasco known as Black Hawk Down in late 1993, when Somali militants shot down two American helicopters. As a result of the crash of aircraft and the subsequent rescue operation, 18 military personnel were killed.

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The political scientist assessed the chances of deploying NATO infrastructure in Sweden and Finland

The bloc's activities on their territory may be restricted

In mid-May, Sweden and Finland officially announced their intentions to join the North Atlantic Alliance, although both countries had maintained a neutral status for many years. Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the entry of these countries into NATO does not pose a threat to Russia, but with the expansion of the bloc's military infrastructure, a response will follow. However, experts believe that military expansion may not happen, but much will depend on the development of the situation in Europe.

Photo: AP

In an interview with Lenta.ru, Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, said that there is a conditional Scandinavian model of participation in NATO, which implies certain restrictions on its activities on the territory of member countries from Northern Europe.

As an example, the political scientist cited Norway, which was one of the founders of the bloc, joined it in 1949, but its entry into NATO was accompanied by restrictions on infrastructure, the presence of foreign troops in Norway, and joint exercises.

According to the expert, this also applies to other Nordic countries, including Iceland and Denmark. Kortunov noted that everything depends on the specific situation that develops for different countries. Thus, the political scientist added that the same Norway, against the background of changes in the general situation in the world, began to treat NATO activities on its territory and in its territorial waters more favorably.

The specialist believes that much will depend on the development of the situation both in Europe as a whole and directly in Northern Europe. Kortunov finds it difficult to imagine that Sweden and Finland will be pushed towards deeper integration into various NATO projects. According to the political scientist, everything will depend on the firmness of these states in defending their interests, as well as their readiness to show restraint in matters of concern to Russia.

The expert stressed that the member countries of the bloc have no obligations to deploy NATO forces in their territories. According to Kortunov, states have the right to independently determine the format of interaction with other members of the Alliance. Thus, the political scientist cited Turkey as an example, which, during the American intervention in Iraq, did not allow the United States to use the NATO infrastructure deployed on its territory.

The specialist concluded that in case of conflicts there is pressure, but there are also disagreements in NATO, and on the example of the Iraq incident, you can see that there was a split inside the bloc.

Read also:Turkey's disapproval of the entry of Sweden and Finland worried NATO.

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Volodin said that “Nazi criminals” should not be exchanged

Instead, captured criminals should be brought to justice, the State Duma speaker said in response to the proposal of the deputy Anatoly Wasserman to ban the exchange of Azov battalion fighters. Some of them were captured on May 16 at Azovstal

Vyacheslav Volodin

"Nazi criminals" should not be exchanged as prisoners, their fate should be decided by the court, said the speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin in Telegram.

“Nazi criminals should not be exchanged. <…> Our country humanely treats those who surrendered or were captured. But as far as the Nazis are concerned, our position here must remain unchanged: these are war criminals, and we must do everything so that they are brought to justice, — he wrote.

Earlier on the same day, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that a day at the Azovstal plant 265 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered in Mariupol, including members of the Azov Battalion. The Ministry of Defense did not specify how many specific soldiers from this unit voluntarily laid down their arms.

Moscow and Kyiv have been conducting prisoner exchanges since March 21. The Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova told about the first of them, then Russia transferred the mayor of the city of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov to Ukraine in exchange for nine Russians. The last exchange of prisoners, according to the Ukrainian authorities, took place on May 6. Then Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk announced the transfer of 41 people to Kyiv, including 28 military and 13 civilians. The Russian authorities did not report any exchanges of prisoners that day.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a special military operation to “demilitarize” and “denazification” Ukraine 24 February. Also among its goals, he called the protection of the population of Donbass. At the end of March, after completing key tasks in the Kiev and Chernihiv directions, the Ministry of Defense called the main task of the special operation “the complete liberation of Donbass”.

mobilization and severed diplomatic relations with Russia.

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Peskov sent the Ministry of Defense a question about the status of evacuees from Azovstal

The evacuation of the Ukrainian military from Azovstal began the day before, they were brought to the DPR. Peskov forwarded the question to the Ministry of Defense whether they would be considered prisoners of war Peskov sent the Ministry of Defense a question about the status of evacuees from Azovstal” />

When asked if Russia considered prisoners of war evacuated from the territory of the metallurgical plant “Azovstal” the Ukrainian military in Mariupol, the Ministry of Defense can answer, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters, RBC correspondent reports.

“I will redirect you to our military. The only thing I want to remind you is [President Vladimir] Putin's statement that they will be treated in accordance with international laws, — he said.

According to Peskov, the topic of the release of the Ukrainian military from the territory of the plant was raised by Putin's interlocutors during telephone conversations, and it was also discussed “during personal contacts.” He recalled the President's order to the Russian military not to storm the plant: “Putin also guaranteed that they would be treated with the relevant international laws.”

“I do not have detailed information about about what's going on there, — answered the press secretary in response to a question about the current situation at the plant.

Video

The day before, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the start of the evacuation of wounded Ukrainian servicemen from the territory of Azovstal. The department said that they should be taken to a hospital in Novoazovsk in the Donetsk People's Republic through the humanitarian corridor. On the evening of May 16, as Reuters reported, about a dozen buses with Ukrainian military left the plant.

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The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine clarified that 53 seriously wounded were brought to Novoazovsk, where they will be provided with medical care. Another 211 Ukrainian servicemen were taken through the humanitarian corridor to Yelenovka, which is also under the control of the DPR. The next day, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that 265 Ukrainian soldiers had laid down their arms and surrendered, including 51 people with serious injuries.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message: “We hope that we can save the lives of our children. <…> I want to emphasize that Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle.

On May 10, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk announced that Azovstal more than a thousand Ukrainian soldiers remain. “There are those who have received serious injuries and need urgent evacuation,” — she emphasized. The same estimate of the number of military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was given in the DPR. The next day, Vereshchuk reported that Kyiv had offered Moscow to exchange the wounded from Azovstal. on Russian prisoners, but so far there have been no agreements on this matter.

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Scholz and Zelensky called the condition for a peaceful settlement of the conflict

Scholz and Zelensky: a peaceful settlement of the conflict is possible only with the withdrawal of Russian troops Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that Ukraine did not respond to the draft peace treaty alt=”Scholz and Zelensky called the condition for a peaceful settlement of the conflict” />

The settlement of the conflict in Ukraine is possible only if hostilities cease and Russian troops withdraw. This was stated by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky following the talks, wrote the representative of the German Cabinet of Ministers Steffen Hebeshtreit on Twitter.

“They made it clear that the solution [to the conflict] through negotiations can only be with immediate the end of hostilities by Russia and the withdrawal of military personnel,— he said.

In addition to the prospects for peace talks, the leaders discussed the situation on the front lines, further pressure on Russia, and increased sanctions, Zelensky wrote on Twitter. He thanked Germany for its defense support and expressed hope for Berlin's help on Ukraine's path to the EU.

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24. In early March, the UN General Assembly condemned the actions of the Russian authorities, demanded a ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops. The Kremlin continued to declare its desire to achieve the goals of military operations— “denazification” and “demilitarization”.

Negotiations between the delegations of Russia and Ukraine began on February 28, took place in several rounds, but did not give a result. The last face-to-face meeting in Istanbul on March 29 was the most effective. Then Ukraine offered to ensure its security to the countries from among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, including Russia, Turkey, Germany. At the same time, Kyiv noted that the system of guarantees would not operate in Crimea and part of the territory of Donbass. According to the same agreement, the guarantor countries must help Ukraine join the EU.

In exchange for these conditions, Ukraine must accept a neutral and non-nuclear status, as well as refuse to produce and deploy all types of weapons of mass destruction, including foreign military bases and troops.

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In early April, Moscow and Kyiv announced that the negotiations had stalled. On May 9, the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, said that the negotiations were taking place remotely. But they are “sluggish and ineffective,” said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

On May 12, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said that Kyiv was ready for discussion, but Moscow “does not show any desire to participate in real and substantive negotiations.” The next day, Putin, in a conversation with Scholz, accused Kyiv of “essentially blocking” negotiation process.

On May 17, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Andrey Rudenko said that there were no negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow, they were not conducted “in any form”, since Ukraine did not respond to the Russian draft peace treaty and practically withdrew from the negotiation process. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pointed out that the Ukrainian delegation was led by the United States and Great Britain. The Pentagon ruled out interference in the negotiations.

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The Kremlin said there was no decision to postpone the regional elections

As RBC previously reported, the idea of ​​canceling direct gubernatorial elections this year and transferring elections to legislative assemblies is being discussed. According to Peskov, no decisions were made on this topic. “The Kremlin announced the absence of a decision to postpone the regional elections” />

Decisions to postpone the regional elections, which should be held in September, were not made, said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, RBC correspondent reports.

< p>“No, no decisions have been made on this matter,” — he said, answering the question, included such a topic in the agenda.

The question of a possible change in the usual format or timing of the Single Voting Day— postponing or canceling direct elections of governors— been discussed for the past month and a half. In March, Kommersant citing sources close to the presidential administration, said that several heads of regions had asked to cancel direct elections due to the current economic situation against the background of the military operation in Ukraine and sanctions.

The interlocutors of the newspaper argued that the elections require quite large expenditures, including from the budgets. In addition, they pointed out that it is now more difficult for governors to work with sponsors and run campaigns, which, among other things, involve changing the work schedule.

At the end of April, RBC sources also reported that the likelihood of canceling direct gubernatorial elections and the transition of regions to elections through legislative assemblies is high. One of the interlocutors clarified that direct elections could be canceled this year, and then the situation is unclear.

In addition, RBC sources allowed the postponement of elections to legislative assemblies and city dumas to 2023 or 2024, when presidential elections.

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The President will make the final decision on changing the format of the elections. It was expected that he would express his position during the meeting of the Council of Legislators in St. the question of a possible postponement of the elections was not discussed.

According to the plan, the Single Voting Day should take place in Russia on September 11th. 15 heads of regions will be elected, as well as deputies of six legislative bodies of the country's constituent entities.

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Peskov called theft the idea of ​​seizing Russian assets in favor of Ukraine

Nobody spoke to the Russian side about plans to seize its assets in favor of Ukraine, but in the event of such a development of events, Moscow will take retaliatory measures, Peskov said. “It will be, in fact, outright theft,” he believes “Peskov called the theft the idea of ​​seizing Russian assets in favor of Ukraine” />

Dmitry Peskov

If foreign countries take steps to use the frozen Russian assets to restore funding for Ukraine, “this will be, in fact, outright theft.” This was stated to journalists by the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, RBC correspondent reports.

“Such a decision would be illegal, flagrant,” he said and added that such actions would require a response from Moscow.

According to the presidential press secretary, foreign states did not notify Russia that such plans existed: “No, no one told the Russian side and the Kremlin about this.”

From the beginning Russian military operation in Ukraine, Western countries have imposed sanctions against dozens of Russian entrepreneurs and top managers of companies. They were banned from entering and their assets, including shares in companies, accounts and real estate, were frozen. In addition, at the end of February, the European Union and SWA decided to block the international reserves of the Bank of Russia.

According to the Central Bank, as of April 1, 2022, the volume of international reserves amounted to 606.5 billion in dollar terms. The head of the Ministry of Finance, Anton Siluanov, previously stated that about half of the— $300 billion— got frozen. Assets in Chinese yuan, monetary gold stored in Russia (as of February 1, about $132 billion), cash reserves, as well as special drawing rights (SDR, about $24 billion) in the International Monetary Fund remain legally out of reach for sanctions.

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The head of the regulator Elvira Nabiullina said that Russia will challenge the freeze of gold reserves, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western countries of actually stealing assets.

The Ministry of Economic Development of Ukraine estimated the size of the frozen gold and foreign exchange reserves of the Russian Central Bank at $415 billion and stated that it was working with western partners over the mechanism of confiscation of this money in favor of Kyiv. The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, suggested that the European Union consider this issue. He cited as an example the assets “worth billions of dollars” that the United States seized from the Central Bank of Afghanistan, — in the future, according to Borrell, the funds will be used to compensate victims of terrorism and for humanitarian assistance to the country.

On May 17, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said that the idea of ​​arresting foreign assets of the Russian Central Bank is being discussed among the countries— members of the G7 and the EU.

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Russia has notified the Council of the Baltic Sea States of its withdrawal

The Foreign Ministry called the hostile actions of other members of the organization the reason for the exit. In early March, the Council announced the removal of Russia, she was not invited to the ministerial meeting in May

Plenary session at the CBSS ministerial session

Russia is withdrawing from the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.

“In response to hostile actions, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation S.V. Lavrov sent a message to the ministers of the CBSS member countries, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as well as to the secretariat of the council in Stockholm with a notification of withdrawal from the organization, — The Foreign Ministry said.

At the same time, the Russian Federal Assembly decided to withdraw from the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, the ministry added.

The ministry explained that the contradictions in the council had been brewing for a long time, Western countries were adjusting its work to the detriment of Russian interests. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Russia was not invited to the ministerial session of the council on May 25, and Moscow's contribution to the organization's budget was “actually stolen”.

“The prospect of restoring normal work in the council, which is increasingly mired in Russophobia and lies, is not visible under these conditions. We consider the further stay of our country in the CBSS to be inexpedient and counterproductive,— added to the Foreign Ministry. The department emphasized that the termination of membership in the council will not affect Russia's presence in the Baltic region.

The day before, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin announced Russia's plans to withdraw from the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference. According to him, such a decision was made at the Council of the Duma.

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The members of the conference are Germany, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Finland, Sweden and Estonia. “Today there is no dialogue with the parliamentarians of most of these countries either in the format of this organization or through inter-parliamentary channels,” — Volodin explained.

In early March, Norway's Foreign Ministry announced that members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States had decided to bar Russia from participating in its activities. Belarus' observer status was also suspended.

The Council of the Baltic Sea States was formed in 1992. The organization provides cooperation in the region and is engaged in solving regional problems, is engaged in the implementation of the UN sustainable development goals, the Paris climate agreement and other international documents. In 2023, the chairmanship of the Council was to be transferred to Russia.

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Volodin instructed to work out in the State Duma a ban on the exchange of war criminals

According to the speaker of the State Duma, Russia humanely treats those captured in Ukraine, but if we are talking about war criminals, they should be brought to justice

State Duma committees were instructed to study the issue of a ban on the exchange of war criminals, the chairman said lower chamber Vyacheslav Volodin.

“As far as the Nazis are concerned, our position here must remain unchanged: these are war criminals, and we must do everything so that they are brought to justice,” — he wrote in the Telegram channel.

The question of the ban on the exchange of war criminals at a meeting of the State Duma was raised by deputy Anatoly Wasserman. He proposed to adopt a resolution or a law regulating this topic.

Volodin approved his proposal. “You are making the right offer. Nazi criminals should not be exchanged,— he said.

Volodin said that the Russian side humanely treats those who surrendered or were taken prisoner, and also contributes to their treatment.

On April 21, Vladimir Putin instructed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to cancel the assault on the Azovstal plant. in Mariupol, where Ukrainian servicemen remain, and ordered to completely block it. The Ministry of Defense stated that on the territory of the plant “securely blocked” militants of the Ukrainian nationalist battalion “Azov” (recognized as extremist in Russia and banned) and foreign mercenaries.

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After that, negotiations on the evacuation of civilians from the territory of the enterprise intensified, on May 7 their removal from the plant was completed. According to the head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, there are no civilians left at the plant, but about 1,200 Ukrainian soldiers are hiding there.

On the eve of the Ministry of Defense reported that from the territory of “Azovstal” began to take out the wounded Ukrainian military, they are taken to the Novoazovsk hospital in the DPR. Prior to this, the commander of the battalion “Vostok” People's Republic of Alexander Khodakovsky said that ten soldiers with white flags had left the territory of the enterprise.

According to the Ministry of Defense, over the past day, 265 soldiers and militants of “Azov”, including 51 seriously wounded, have surrendered.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said the night before that work to rescue the military from the plant and return them to the territory controlled by Kyiv continues. He stated that Ukraine “needs them alive.” The press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, forwarded the question to the Ministry of Defense whether Russia considered those evacuated from Azovstal prisoners of war. He promised that the Russian side would treat them in accordance with international laws.

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The Kremlin called the condition for the resumption of exports of fertilizers

Dmitry Peskov: it was not Russia that introduced restrictions on the export of fertilizers, the West should remove them Earlier, the UN Secretary General proposed to ease restrictions on the export of Russian and Belarusian potash fertilizers in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukrainian ports. The UN fears starvation and destabilization of the situation in poor countries The Kremlin called the condition for the resumption of exports of fertilizers” />

Russia did not impose restrictions on the supply of fertilizers, such barriers should be removed by Western countries that introduced them. This was stated to journalists by the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, RBC correspondent reports.

“The Kremlin did not impose restrictions. We do not need to remove anything here, the restrictions imposed by the United States, European countries and others must be lifted here, — Peskov said, responding to a request for comment on reports of a proposal by UN Secretary General António Guterres to ease restrictions on the export of potash fertilizers from Russia in exchange for the passage of grain from Ukrainian ports.

“Our suppliers are interested to carry out their international commercial contacts, but, unfortunately, sanctions have been introduced that are boomeranging all over the world. <…> It is these limitations that do not allow moving forward, — he added.

Speaking about the possibility of using Ukrainian ports for grain supplies, a Kremlin spokesman said that they are “heavily mined and the waters are now extremely dangerous for navigation.” “A demining operation is needed there now, it is a very difficult operation. While the danger for navigation and navigation in general in those parts, for navigation, is very, very high, — said Peskov.

At the same time, he acknowledged that President Vladimir Putin and the UN Secretary General discussed the topic of fertilizer supplies at a meeting held on April 26. “This was indeed discussed at a recent meeting in Moscow between President Putin and Secretary General Guterres, and he did raise the issue that direct and indirect restrictive measures that were introduced against suppliers of Russian fertilizers are fraught with great dangers for world food security,” & mdash; said Peskov.

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In early May, Guterres said that fertilizers and products from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine must be returned to world markets to ensure food security despite the fighting. On May 16, the Wall Street Journal, citing diplomatic sources, reported that the UN Secretary General proposed to ease restrictions on the export of Russian and Belarusian potash fertilizers in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukrainian ports.

The UN fears that growth grain prices and food shortages could destabilize poor countries dependent on Ukrainian grain and lead to conflict. According to Wall Street Journal sources, Guterres is currently negotiating with Russia, Turkey and other countries, and Ankara has already expressed its willingness to take part in the clearance of the Black Sea and ensuring maritime navigation.

After the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, wheat prices rose to record levels. Bloomberg attributed the jump in prices to fears that military operations in Ukraine would lead to a shortage of this cereal on the market. The fighting has cut off more than a quarter of global wheat exports, according to the agency.

In April, the Russian Defense Ministry suspended the passage of foreign warships and other vessels in three areas of the Black Sea for six months, from April 24 to October 31. We are talking about an elongated section of the water area along the Crimean coast (approximately from Sevastopol to Gurzuf), a rectangular area off the coast of the Kerch Peninsula (abeam of the Opuk Nature Reserve), as well as a small area of ​​the sea near the western tip of Crimea.

< /p>

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Russia is the world's largest exporter of wheat, and Ukraine ranks fifth. Together they provide 19% of the world's supply of barley, 14%— wheat and 4%— corn. Almost 50 countries depend on food supplies from Russia and Ukraine, which provide at least 30% of their wheat import needs with their help.

The European Union limited the import of Russian fertilizers on April 9. The quota for potassium chloride will be 837.57 thousand tons, for other fertilizers containing potassium— 1.57 million tons. Imports of potash fertilizers are limited by the EU and from Belarus.

At the same time, the United States, on the contrary, having imposed sanctions against Russia, on February 24 excluded fertilizers, medical equipment and medicines from the sanctions list. On March 24, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury issued a new general license, categorizing fertilizers, food, water, and vitamins as non-sanctioned essential agricultural products, among others. The United States allowed the export, import and re-export of these goods.

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The Ministry of Defense showed footage of the surrender of the Ukrainian military from Azovstal

During the day, 265 people laid down their arms and surrendered, 51 of them were seriously injured, the ministry said. All those in need of medical assistance will be sent to a hospital in the city of Novoazovsk. (recognized as extremist in Russia), located on the territory of the Azovstal plant; in Mariupol.

Video

The footage shows how soldiers with white bandages on their sleeves search those who have surrendered. The wounded are carried on stretchers, they are provided with medical care— make dressings.

According to the Ministry of Defense, over the past day “265 militants laid down their arms and surrendered,” of which 51 were seriously wounded. “All those in need of medical care were sent for treatment to the hospital of the city of Novoazovsk, Donetsk People's Republic,” — added in the department.

The Ministry announced the start of the evacuation of wounded Ukrainian soldiers from the territory of Azovstal On May 16, after a discussion with representatives of the military blocked in the industrial zone— according to the commander of the battalion “Vostok” Donetsk People's Republic Alexander Khodakovsky, 10 people in the morning of the same day left the plant with white flags and initiated negotiations. A humanitarian corridor has been opened for evacuation.

Reuters, citing an eyewitness, wrote that from the territory of Azovstal about ten buses with Ukrainian military left. Later, the RT channel reported that about 300 soldiers left the plant, of which about 50 were injured. Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar said that the plant “Azovstal” 274 people left, including 53 seriously injured, who are expected to be exchanged.

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On May 7, the Ministry of Defense announced the completion of the evacuation from Azovstal civilians.

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Finnish parliament approves country’s accession to NATO

188 deputies out of 200 expressed their support for membership in the alliance. The counterproposal to refuse to join NATO was put forward in the Union of Left Forces, but it was not supported

The Finnish Parliament called for an application for NATO membership. 188 deputies voted out of 200, eight— against, three were missing, writes Yle. The majority of parliamentarians rejected the proposal of the deputy of the “Union of Left Forces” Markus Mustajärvi on refusing to join the military bloc.

In their speeches, representatives of various parties emphasized that Finland's intention to become a member of the alliance is not directed against anyone. Prime Minister Sanna Marin, speaking at the opening of the meeting, formulated the goal of joining NATO as follows: “If we are attacked, we will be helped. And if others are attacked, then we will help already.

On May 14, Marin and President Sauli Niinistö announced that the Finnish government had officially decided to join the North Atlantic Alliance and would submit an application after consultations with Parliament: for such a step, its approval is necessary. Now that the positive opinion of the deputies has been received, the State Council and the President should officially announce the submission of the application— this will happen on Tuesday, according to Yle. Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said that Helsinki plans to apply on May 18.

The Swedish authorities have also announced their intention to join NATO, Foreign Minister Ann Linde has already signed the application.

Turkey opposed the membership of the two Scandinavian states in the alliance: according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, these countries pander to organizations recognized by Ankara as terrorist — in particular the PKK. In addition, Helsinki and Stockholm imposed sanctions against the republic, so Turkey cannot support their entry into NATO, the head of state said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who previously said that he would do everything possible for the speedy entry of Sweden and Finland to the bloc, after Erdogan's statements, he called to take into account Ankara's fears. “Turkey is a valuable ally and any security issues must be resolved. We must be together at this historic moment,»— stressed Stoltenberg.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation with Niinistö called Finland's refusal of neutrality erroneous, since “no threats” there is no security in the country. Moscow will react “appropriately” in the event of the expansion of NATO's military infrastructure in Sweden and Finland, he warned.

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Zelensky’s office, following the Russian Foreign Ministry, announced the suspension of negotiations

Since the meeting in Istanbul at the end of March, Kyiv sees no change or progress in the negotiations. Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the negotiations were not going on and Ukraine had practically withdrawn from them jpg” alt=”Zelensky's office, following the Russian Foreign Ministry, announced the suspension of negotiations” />

Mikhail Podolyak

The process of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine on a peace agreement has been suspended, adviser to the head of the presidential office of Ukraine Mikhail Podolyak said, UNIAN reports.< /p>

“Today he (the negotiation process.— RBC) is suspended. After the Istanbul communiqué, there are no changes, no progress, — Podolyak said. He also expressed the opinion that all hostilities end at the negotiating table.

Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko announced the termination of negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv. “Negotiations are not ongoing. Ukraine has practically withdrawn from the negotiation process»,— said Rudenko, noting that the Ukrainian side has not responded to the Russian draft treaty.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz last week that Kyiv had essentially blocked talks with Moscow.

Russian-Ukrainian consultations on a peace agreement, including security guarantees for Ukraine and its neutral status, began in late February. From that time until the end of March, several face-to-face rounds took place. At the talks of delegations in Istanbul, the Ukrainian side presented its proposals for a settlement in writing. The document, in particular, said that Ukraine was ready to be a neutral and non-nuclear state, and security guarantees for it did not apply to Crimea and Sevastopol. However, in early April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Kyiv had departed from the proposals made in Turkey and sent a new document. After that, the Russian authorities said that negotiations with Ukraine via video link were continuing, but were proceeding slowly. At the end of April, Russia handed over its draft document to the Ukrainian side, the Kremlin reported.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly said that he considers the negotiations of the delegations ineffective, and also advocated a meeting with Vladimir Putin “without intermediaries.” Moscow emphasizes that negotiations between the leaders are possible only after the delegations agree on the draft agreement.

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The Foreign Ministry refused to “please the West” by withdrawing from the act with NATO

Moscow will not withdraw from the Russia-NATO founding act, despite the “provocative fuss” of the alliance countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. In his opinion, this document is treated with disdain in the West

View of the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Moscow is not going to abandon the founding act Russia— NATO, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on the air of the Rossiya 24 channel. The Deputy Minister believes that Western countries are dismissive of this document and are engaged in “provocative fuss”; to bring Russia out of balance. “And at the same time, they discuss with each other what the fundamental act is, and in the end Russia came out of it. No, we won't give them that pleasure,” — he assured (quote from RIA Novosti).

Russia hears that at the upcoming NATO summit in June in Madrid, the members of the alliance are going to adopt an updated strategic concept, as well as a decision on additional deployment of forces and assets on the eastern flank, Ryabkov added. At the same time, according to him, there is a “paradoxical internal discussion” going on inside the bloc; whether it would be in accordance with the provisions of the act.

The Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between Russia and NATO was signed in Paris on May 27, 1997. The document provided for meetings and the establishment of a permanent representation of Russia to NATO in Brussels, as well as an information bureau and a military mission of the alliance in Moscow. In the fall of 2021, after NATO reduced the size of the Russian mission in Brussels, the Russian side suspended the activities of the military mission of the alliance in Moscow and the work of the Russian representation at the organization.

February 25, the day after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine , the North Atlantic Alliance said that Russia “rejected the path of diplomacy and dialogue” offered by NATO, and its actions were “a blatant rejection of the principles enshrined in the Russia's Founding Act — NATO».

In early February, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the act Russia— NATO is “virtually the only 'survivor' at the moment” an instrument of military restraint in Europe” and urged NATO Allies to keep it in mind as they develop plans for strengthening in the region. The block responded by saying that the agreement continues to exist, but “will not prevent us from doing what we have to do.”

The NATO summit will be held in Madrid on June 29-30. According to Reuters sources, members of the alliance may either before or during this meeting approve the application of Sweden and Finland to join the bloc. Prior to the accession of the Scandinavian countries to the alliance, NATO could strengthen its presence in the Baltic region, said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

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The Supreme Court will consider the recognition of the terrorist battalion “Azov”

The Supreme Court will consider the case on the recognition of the Ukrainian nationalist battalion “Azov” terrorist, the press service of the Ministry of Justice reports. In 2015, a court in Vladimir recognized the graffiti with the Azov emblem as extremist material, later it was included in the corresponding list of the Ministry of Justice. The movement itself is not on the list of extremist organizations.

(other names used: Azov Battalion, Azov Regiment) by a terrorist organization and the ban on its activities on the territory of the Russian Federation is scheduled for trial on May 26 in the building of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, — The message says.

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Euractiv announced the approaching limit of EU sanctions against Russia

On the eve of the foreign ministers of the EU countries were unable to agree on the sixth package of sanctions due to disagreements about the oil embargo. According to the source of the publication, it is difficult to imagine what restrictions could be included in the seventh package .jpg” alt=”Euractiv announces imminent limit of EU sanctions against Russia” />

The European Union is approaching the limit of sanctions against Russia, the adoption of the seventh package would be extremely difficult, a diplomatic source in Brussels told Euractiv.

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“We are very close to reaching the limit. What could be in the seventh package?»— the interlocutor of the edition asked a question. According to him, now there is a “mess with Russian oil”, the import of which the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen proposed to ban under the sixth package. “Imagine what will happen when they propose to ban gas? ..” — continued the source.

According to him, the foreign ministers at the meeting the day before took a “step back” when discussing new sanctions. On May 16, EU foreign ministers failed to agree on a sixth package of sanctions. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said he did not know how long it would take to agree on new restrictions, including an embargo on Russian oil. Hungary has repeatedly spoken out against such a measure: its authorities refuse to approve the package if it contains a ban on oil imports from Russia. Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic also raised concerns about the embargo, according to Reuters.

An Euractiv source noted that no one, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, “wants to take things to the EU summit.” The diplomat suggested that progress can be expected after May 18, when the REPowerEU strategy to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels will be announced. As part of this strategy, Hungary, as Politico wrote, will be able to receive financial compensation for the refusal of oil from Russia.

The EU introduced the first package of anti-Russian sanctions on February 23, after Moscow recognized the independence of the DNR and LNR. It included personal restrictions on 351 State Duma deputies and another 27 individuals and legal entities. Brussels approved the next four packages after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The measures affected import and export, business, industry, the Central Bank and banks, Russian politicians, journalists and the military.

The Russian authorities call the sanctions illegitimate. President Vladimir Putin warned the European Union in May of “intractable consequences” continued sanctions pressure on Russia. He cited “short-sighted, overblown political ambitions” as the reason for the restrictions. and “Russophobia”. According to Putin, Western countries “hit their own national interests, their own economies, the well-being of their citizens,” while Russia is “confidently coping with external challenges.”

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Medvedev assessed the impact of the nuclear shield on those pushing for the Third World War

Medvedev: Russia's nuclear shield helps to calm those who are pushing towards the Third World Countries that have taken an “openly hostile position” towards Moscow, are trying to push it towards the Third World War, but they are “calmed” by the presence of Russia's nuclear shield, Medvedev said

Russia's nuclear shield helps to “calm down” those who are trying to push the country towards the Third World War “or some other problems”, said Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev.

According to him, Moscow sees such attempts “on the part of those states that have taken an openly hostile position towards our country, and those who use Russophobic rhetoric.” (quote from RIA Novosti).

“The historical merit of those who worked here lies precisely in the fact that a reliable nuclear shield was created for Russia and our allies. And this shield has ensured our independence for so many years, — he said at a meeting in Sarov about the prospects for the development of the National Center for Physics and Mathematics.

Last week, Medvedev said that the sending of Western weapons and “mercenaries” to Ukraine, as well as NATO exercises near Russian borders, “increase the likelihood of direct and open conflict.” with the North Atlantic Alliance, which “always has the risk of going into a full-fledged nuclear war.” Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded by saying that everyone wants to avoid such an outcome, but Russia will be ready to give the “most decisive answer” on any attempts to “get into Ukraine and into a special military operation.”

On April 25, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that he considered “very significant” risks of nuclear war. At the same time, a month earlier, he said that he did not believe in its possible beginning. “The nuclear topic in the context of the events that have unfolded in Ukraine in recent years and have escalated literally in recent months and weeks, the nuclear topic was thrown into this discourse exclusively by Western representatives, primarily NATO members,” — the Minister pointed out.

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Lavrov stressed that Russia is committed to the thesis of the inadmissibility of nuclear war. Medvedev noted at the end of March that a country can use nuclear weapons in four cases: if the country is hit by a missile attack using nuclear weapons; any other use of nuclear weapons against a country or allies; encroachment on critical infrastructure; an act of aggression against Russia or its allies, when the existence of the country was threatened. The Kremlin also pointed out that the use of nuclear weapons by Russia is possible only in the event of a threat to its existence, which is reflected in the concept of national security.

February 27, three days after the start of the military operation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the containment forces, which include nuclear weapons, to be put on special alert. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to the President that the strategic forces have begun increased duty.

The Pentagon said they see no reason to change the state of the US strategic deterrence forces. At the same time, according to the head of department Lloyd Austin, the Russian nuclear arsenal presents “significant problems”; for the USA.

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The deputies of Yekaterinburg appealed to the prosecutor’s office because of the words of Solovyov

According to the chairman of the City Duma, with a request to find out how Solovyov's statements “look according to the law,” veterans and social activists turned to the deputies. After that, the city parliament filed an appeal to the prosecutor's office

The building in which the Yekaterinburg City Duma is located

The City Duma of Yekaterinburg sent an appeal to the city prosecutor's office with a request to check the words of the presenter Vladimir Solovyov about the city. This was reported to RBC by the speaker of the city parliament, Igor Volodin.

“Veterans, social activists turned to us in the city duma in order to determine how much this all looks like according to the law and give a legal assessment. Therefore, I sent all this, all complaints to the city prosecutor's office. The Duma does not give a legal assessment. Literally recently [sent an appeal to the prosecutor's office]»,— Volodin said.

RBC turned to Solovyov for comment and sent a request to the prosecutor's office of the Sverdlovsk region.

Earlier, the deputies of the City Duma said that they had applied to the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company with a request “to assess the actions of TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov, who organized a public debate with the Urals, including the governor of the region Yevgeny Kuyvashev and Senator Eduard Rossel.” The parliamentarians considered that the presenter's statements cast a shadow on the region, and his “inappropriate polemics” with the Urals leads to the division of society.

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At the end of April, Solovyov, on the air of his program, called Yekaterinburg the center of the “vile liberota”. To these words, the governor of the Sverdlovsk region, Yevgeny Kuyvashev, answered him, advising him to “watch your language.” Solovyov commented on his reaction on the air of his program, stating: “Are you hammering an arrow for me, governor?”

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Mayor Alexei Orlov, senator from the region Eduard Rossel and head of the Yekaterinburg theater, singer Alexander Novikov, also reacted to the host's statement about the city. Rossel later argued for amendments to the media law “prohibiting the use of the media for the purpose of subjective out-of-court evaluation of citizens' actions.” He explained that “it is impossible to be rude”; and journalists should bring culture to society.

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