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Why Hungary and Turkey interfere with the plans of the European Union and NATO

And will the two countries be able to achieve the cancellation of the initiatives criticized by Moscow The special positions of Hungary and Turkey hinder the efforts of the EU and NATO in their confrontation with Russia. What is the reason, does Budapest and Ankara have a desire to take into account the position of Moscow and how everything can end – RBC figured out

Statue of the Goddess of Europe in Brussels

On Wednesday, May 18, representatives of the EU countries will meet again in Brussels to discuss the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. But European leaders cannot expect that it will be adopted in the near future in the proposed form: the reason for this is the position of Hungary and the fact that decisions in the union are made on the basis of consensus.

A few days earlier, Turkey announced that he cannot agree to the admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO.

Why Hungary continues to insist on its veto

The sixth package contains a proposal to introduce a ban on the import of crude oil from Russia in six months, as well as on the import of Russian oil products from 2023. Even at the initial stage of discussing these measures, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were against the oil embargo, since they are heavily dependent on energy supplies from Russia. The European Commission decided to meet them halfway and allowed Hungary and Slovakia to continue importing Russian oil until the end of 2024, and the Czech Republic— until June 2024. After that, Bratislava and Prague withdrew their objections. However, Budapest is still not ready to withdraw its veto.

The position of the government of Viktor Orban was sharply criticized at the EU ministerial meeting on 16 May. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told reporters that Hungary is holding the European Union hostage. “The whole union is being held hostage by one member state that cannot help us find a consensus,” — complained Landsbergis, specifying that the EU expected that Hungary's proposed delay would be enough for it to lift the veto.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, stood up for Budapest, pointing out that Hungary's objections are not political, but economic. He explained that the country is concerned about the problem of creating new infrastructure and purchasing new equipment for receiving and processing oil not from Russia, for which its refineries are designed. In addition, the rejection of Russian oil will mean that Budapest will have to purchase it from other suppliers at higher prices, which will affect the Hungarian economy.

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Viktor Orban has previously compared ditching Russian oil to “a nuclear strike on the Hungarian economy.” On the air of Kossuth Radio, he recalled that Hungary has no access to the sea, and therefore it is forced to receive oil through the pipeline. “The pipeline to Hungary starts in Russia… that's the reality,” — he stated.

Hungary's dependence on Russian energy is really significant— 60% of oil and 85% of gas the country receives from Russia. Orban said the country needs five years to convert oil refineries and other infrastructure to process raw materials from non-Russian sources. This process will require huge investments, and the increase in the cost of oil will lead to an increase in unemployment and call into question the national program to reduce public utility costs, which is largely based on low prices for Russian energy resources.

The high inflation rate in the country and the budget deficit, including the blocking by Brussels of a €8 billion tranche intended for the recovery of the Hungarian economy after the pandemic (the reason was the divergence of views between Budapest and Brussels on the rule of law), carry significant risks for the country .

Against this backdrop, on May 16, Budapest decided to raise the stakes in the game: Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that “a complete modernization of the Hungarian energy infrastructure is needed on a scale from «15 billion to»18 billion”, later specifying that Hungary has the right to expect a new proposals from Brussels. At that time, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was in Budapest on a visit, but her negotiations with Orban ended in nothing.

According to the Euractiv portal, the clause on lifting the Hungarian veto from the sixth package of sanctions in exchange for economic preferences may be submitted to an informal EU summit scheduled for late May. The Financial Times quoted an unnamed European official as saying the EU should make the Hungarian prime minister a lucrative offer. “Orban is very pragmatic, it's business,” — he explained.

What is Turkey counting on in the dispute over NATO expansion

As for NATO expansion, Turkey's position has become an unexpected obstacle to the alliance between Sweden and Finland, says Asli Aydintashbash, senior political analyst at the European Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFR). Ankara cannot yet give a positive conclusion on the admission of the two new countries, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last Friday. “Scandinavian countries as guest houses for terrorist groups”, — he gave one of the reasons.

Indeed, Ankara has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with the fact that many supporters of the PKK found refuge in Sweden and Finland. (PKK, classified as a terrorist organization in Turkey), as well as supporters of US-based preacher Fethullah Gülen (whom Ankara considers the organizer of the coup attempt in 2016).

On May 17, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö expressed hope that that the crisis can be overcome. “Turkey's statements have changed very quickly and become tougher in the last few days,” he said on Tuesday in an address to the Swedish parliament (quoted by Reuters).— But I am sure that with the help of constructive discussion we will solve the problem.

As Aydintashbash notes, it is not yet clear what exactly Erdogan wants— change the position of the US Congress on the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey (the deal was canceled after Ankara bought and received the Russian S-400 air defense system), get more money to support Syrian refugees or extradite political activists suspected of terrorist activities to Turkey.< /p>

“It is unlikely that Erdogan had one specific political goal in mind, but he will certainly expect to be persuaded, persuaded and rewarded for his cooperation, as he has been in the past,” concluded the ECFR analyst.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry describes relations with both northern countries in calm tones. As stated on the website of the department, relations with Sweden date back to the 17th century, when the Swedish king Charles XII, after being defeated in the Northern War by Russia in 1709, fled to the Ottoman Empire and ruled the kingdom from Bender and Edirne for five years. Diplomatic relations with Finland were established in 1924. Trade turnover with Sweden in 2020 amounted to about $2.6 billion, with Finland— approximately $1.3 billion.

The main problem is not in Finland, but in Sweden, says Al-Monitor. The kingdom has received several waves of Turkish migrants, including Kurds, as well as refugees from Turkey's neighboring countries, and the Swedish Foreign Ministry regularly criticizes Turkish military operations in Kurdish territories in Syria.

In 2019, Sweden and Finland imposed an arms embargo on Turkey due to military operations in Syria. By this time, both countries had become leaders among countries selling military goods to Ankara: Swedish military exports to Turkey in 2018 reached $30 million, Finnish exports in the same year amounted to $17 million. in the terrorist activities of immigrants (On Monday, the Turkish Ministry of Justice said that Ankara had requested the extradition of six members of the PKK from Finland and 11 from Sweden).

“Ankara's statements cause concern in Sweden, among other things, because they hit exactly one of the arguments that was cited by those who did not quite agree with joining NATO, — fear that Sweden will lose the right to vote in matters of human rights and democracy, — Paul Levine, director of the Institute for Turkish Studies at Stockholm University, told Al-Monitor.

“Based on the statements of the Turkish authorities, it can be assumed that Turkey will continue to insist on its position, will bargain for concessions from the two northern countries,— predicted in a conversation with RBC director of the Center for the Study of Modern Turkey, researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Amur Gadzhiev.— Will two countries go to give in, & mdash; this is a big question. We see that, on the contrary, there were marches against concessions, which indicates that the process will not be easy and it will not be easy for them to give in on these issues.

Other NATO countries no longer have leverage to influence Turkey so much, the expert notes, therefore, based on the previous experience of conflict situations involving the republic, one can expect, he believes, that a compromise option will appear, which will eventually be accepted by all parties.

According to Hajiyev, in the Turkish position, Ankara's intention to take into account Russia's negative position regarding the membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO is not traced.

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The President of Estonia called impossible the complete isolation of Russia

Moscow is more economically isolated than ever, but it still has partners, including China and India, explained Estonian President Alar Karis

The West will not be able to completely isolate Russia, even if it takes decades. This was stated by Estonian President Alar Karis in an interview with Newsweek magazine. According to him, Moscow is more economically isolated than ever, although it still has key trading partners outside the West, including China and India.

At the same time, the head of state noted that it is important to maintain a dialogue with Russia.

“Of course, we cannot completely isolate Russia. We need to find a way to communicate with Russia and do business with it. But it takes time, it can take decades, — he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in April that Russia is not going to shut itself off from the world, other states will not be able to force it to do so either. “In the modern world, it is generally impossible to strictly isolate anyone, such a huge country as Russia is absolutely impossible,” — he said.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said that Western countries, imposing anti-Russian sanctions because of the military operation in Ukraine, will not be able to isolate Russia, because “the world is too big.” With the refusal of the United States, the European Union and allies from relations with Russia, including economic ones, certain channels of dialogue remain for Moscow, he added.

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Venezuela confirms the lifting of US sanctions on the work of oil workers in the country

The US oil embargo on Venezuela has been in place since 2019. Negotiations to lift part of the restrictions have been ongoing since March. According to Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, this step was the beginning of the complete abolition of “illegal sanctions”

The United States abandoned restrictive measures that prevented the work of American and European oil companies in Venezuela. This was announced on Twitter by the vice-president of the Latin American country, Delcy Rodriguez.

“The Venezuelan government has verified and can confirm that the US has allowed its and European companies to negotiate and resume operations in Venezuela,” she wrote.

Rodriguez also noted that “Venezuela hopes that after this decision, the United States will start moving towards the complete removal of illegal sanctions.”

Earlier in the day, the US Treasury, in consultation with the State Department, issued a narrow license allowing US oil and gas company Chevron to negotiate a possible resumption of production in Venezuela that was halted by US sanctions.

United The states severed diplomatic relations with Caracas, imposed sanctions, and closed their embassy in 2019, accusing President Nicolás Maduro of electoral fraud. Negotiations between the United States and Venezuela on lifting the oil embargo resumed after Russia launched a special operation in Ukraine and imposed oil supply sanctions against Moscow.

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In early March, Reuters, citing sources, reported that US officials could not agree with the leadership of Venezuela on the easing of sanctions on oil exports. Proposals to ease sanctions included allowing Caracas to sell oil through Western companies. Venezuela demanded, among other things, the return of control over the state oil company PDVSA.

A few days later, US President Joe Biden announced the release of two Americans who were in custody in Venezuela. This happened after the visit of an American government delegation to Caracas.

Against the backdrop of the military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing anti-Russian sanctions, gasoline prices in the United States reached record levels. Biden has repeatedly accused Russia and President Vladimir Putin personally of rising prices and inflation, which also began to rise since the beginning of the conflict.

The Russian Embassy in the United States has previously stated that Washington is trying to earn political points through Russophobia to justify its own failures in solving domestic problems. The real cause of the fuel crisis, according to the embassy, ​​is record inflation for the United States— “unsecured trillion-dollar financial investments in the economy, as well as sanctions wars against objectionable states.”

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The Pentagon did not find those responsible for the deaths of residents due to US Air Force strikes on Syria

We are talking about the 2019 airstrikes in the Syrian Baguz, which killed dozens of civilians. The investigation was launched in November 2021 after the revealing publication of The New York Times ” alt=”The Pentagon has not found those responsible for the deaths of residents due to US Air Force strikes on Syria” />

The Pentagon investigation found no fault of US military personnel in the deaths of civilians as a result of US airstrike in Syrian Bagouz in 2019 year. The results of the investigation, launched in November 2021, are published by the US military.

“There were no violations of the rules of engagement or the laws of war, <…> [The US Air Force] acted within the framework of a defensive strategy approved by the President and did not strike deliberately or unreasonably for high civilian casualties,” — said in the conclusion of the head of the command of the ground forces, General Michael Garrett, who conducted the analysis of the incident at the direction of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. civilians.

Pentagon spokesman John Kibri, answering journalists' questions related to the publication of the conclusion, noted that holding the military accountable for the delay in providing information on civilian casualties is a “hypothetical issue.” He also said that the Pentagon regrets and apologizes for the incident, but sees no reason to hold those involved accountable.

On November 14, 2021, the American newspaper The New York Times, citing military sources, reported that the United States deliberately covered up the deaths of at least 80 people after an air strike by the US Air Force in March 2019 near the Syrian city of Bagouz (located on the border with Iraq).

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According to the publication, on March 18, 2019, an American F-15E attack aircraft dropped one 500-pound bomb and two bombs weighing 2 thousand pounds (227 and 907 kg, respectively) on a crowd of people. The military then said that terrorists were hiding among the civilians in the crowd.

The NYT also indicated that high-ranking military and officials tried to cover up the consequences of the “catastrophic strike”, and the number of victims was underestimated . According to the newspaper, coalition forces bulldozed the site of the bombing and did not conduct an independent investigation.

Two weeks after the publication of the material, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered a new investigation into the airstrikes.

The United States has been involved in the military operation in Syria since 2014. With the support of the aviation of the United States and its allies, it was possible to liberate a significant part of the provinces of Al-Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor from militants, and also to occupy the city of Raqqa. In December 2018, former US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of military contingents from Syria. He explained his decision by the defeat of the main part of the militants.

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CNN learned about the development of US and EU routes for the export of Ukrainian grain

According to the TV channel, Western countries are considering the possibility of exporting wheat and corn from Ukraine by rail and aircraft

The US authorities, together with European partners, are working on ways to export wheat and corn from Ukraine in order to further deliveries to global markets, CNN reports, citing sources.

According to the channel, the administration of US President Joe Biden began to work on this issue with European allies after the blockade of the Ukrainian port by the Russian Navy. The interlocutors of CNN specified that the States are considering, among other things, the possibility of exporting grain by rail and by plane.

At the same time, according to sources, the development of scenarios will not include Russia's position on this issue. “There is still a long way to go before any deal is reached. There are many factors, many things that can influence the course of these discussions, — one source said.

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.

After the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, wheat prices jumped 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 Ministry of Defense suspended the passage of foreign warships and other government 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 coast of Crimea (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.

On Against this background, Biden announced the search for an opportunity to export 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine. 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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The Wall Street Journal, citing informed diplomatic sources, previously wrote that UN Secretary General António Guterres proposed easing restrictions on export of Russian and Belarusian potash fertilizers in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukrainian ports. According to the sources of the newspaper, the UN Secretary General is negotiating with Russia, Turkey and other countries, and Ankara has already agreed to participate in the clearance of the Black Sea.

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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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Peskov announced the preparation of a “Direct Line with Putin”

According to a Kremlin spokesman, the broadcast, in which the president will answer questions from citizens, is planned for this year, but there are no dates yet. He also commented on plans for a message to the Federal Assembly

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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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