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Biden postponed the US shutdown

Photo: Still from video

A release has been released on the White House website stating that US President Joe Biden signed an extension law government funding until February 18.

Thus, he postponed the shutdown – the suspension of government work due to lack of funding. Earlier, the US Senate approved the allocation of funds until February 18.

It is clarified that among the goals of government agencies is to support evacuated citizens from Afghanistan.

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Funny nickname of the President of Abkhazia led to criminal cases and shooting

The Deputy Minister of Tourism has decided to stand up for the blogger

In Abkhazia, another armed showdown is vigorously discussed, this time with the participation of government representatives. Prosecutor General of the Republic Adgur Agrba said that in connection with the shooting incident in the New district of Sukhum, Deputy Minister of Tourism Dato Kajaya was detained. This is far from the first and probably not the last case when representatives of the Abkhaz authorities openly use firearms. Why, almost three decades after the war, the republic still sometimes resembles the Wild West?

Photo: kremlin.ru

The shooting incident in the New district of Sukhum occurred on the night of December 3. As reported by the Abkhaz Telegram channels, he was associated with a night search, which local law enforcement officers decided to conduct in the house of a certain Angela Brandzia, an opposition group subscriber on Facebook and sister of the Hero of Abkhazia. The search was carried out as part of a criminal case, which the day before was initiated against her by the prosecutor's office under Part 2 of Art. 321 of the RA Criminal Code – Insulting a government representative. As the telegram channel “Abkhazia – Center” clarifies, the reason for the initiation of the case was the fact that in the publications of the woman on the social network Facebook, President Aslan Bzhania was referred to as “Bzhaka”. The case was also initiated against another active user of the social network – Lolita Khalvash.

Late on the evening of December 2, law enforcement officers went to Brandzia's home to confiscate her mobile phone and laptop. However, according to the telegram channel Respublica, “the gathered neighbors, friends and relatives obstructed the law enforcement officers, considering the charges brought forward as far-fetched”. Then the deputy minister arrived and allegedly fired a series of shots, as a result of which a resident of Sukhum was slightly wounded. The wounded did not need hospitalization.

According to the opposition deputy of the Abkhaz parliament Valery Agrba, “a group of deputies was informed about the invasion of Brandzia's house without a court order.” According to him, “people complained that their constitutional rights were being violated”. “Investigative actions, interrogations were completed, attesting witnesses were invited and, perhaps, the actions would have been completed, but several people rushed to Brandzia with insults, obscenities, one of them pulled out a weapon, they tried to block him, but he fired a shot and wounded a citizen of Sukhum. Through joint efforts we managed to disarm and withdraw him, “Agrba said.

Interestingly, Agrba himself was recently accused of opening fire in the center of the capital. On November 13, together with three other deputies, he allegedly shot in the air from a pistol in the office parking lot near the parliament in honor of the birthday of his colleague, deputy Natalie Smyr. On this occasion, one of the Abkhaz telegram channels wrote that Agrba had become the “new cowboy” of “our Wild West.” He himself, however, denies his involvement in the shooting. Earlier, on September 30, MP Garry Kokaya opened fire from a pistol on the embankment of Sukhum near the restaurant where the presidents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia Aslan Bzhania and Anatoly Bibilov celebrated Victory Day in the 1992-1993 Georgian-Abkhaz war. Also, on the night of September 30 to October 1, another member of parliament, Almaskhan Ardzinba, opened fire from an illegally acquired Kalashnikov assault rifle near the Interior Ministry building, shouting obscene curses at the police.

After the incident in the New District near the residence of the President of Abkhazia Aslan Bzhania, several dozen people gathered, demanding punishment for those responsible for the shooting. Negotiations were held between the president and the chairman of the opposition organization “Aidgylara” Kan Kvarchia, as a result of which he urged the audience to disperse until morning.

In the morning it became known that the defendants in the criminal case of insulting the president – Angela Brandzia and Lolita Khalvash – were summoned to the Prosecutor's Office of Sukhum to testify. The Minister of Tourism nominated his deputy Dato Kajay to the Prime Minister for dismissal, and he was fired. The Abkhazian opposition in connection with all these events convened a press conference at 4 pm, at which it accused the authorities of putting pressure on dissidents.

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Putin interrupted Pamfilova’s complimentary speech about foreign agents

The head of the CEC spoke about their not violated rights, the president spoke about the shortcomings of the laws

The President of Russia and the head of the CEC Ella Pamfilova, discussing the results of the elections held in the fall, touched upon the topic of legislation on foreign agents. What Vladimir Putin said gives rise to little hope, if not for a softening of the existing laws on foreign agents, then at least for some adjustment in the practice of their application. This topic will certainly be raised during the President's meeting with members of the Human Rights Council, scheduled for December 9.

Photo: kremlin.ru

Ella Pamfilova and Vladimir Putin talked on December 3, Friday, and it remained to wait a little to find out whether the Ministry of Justice would, by an unkind tradition, expand the list of various “foreign agents” – NGOs, public associations without the formation of a legal entity, the media, “individuals performing the functions Media-foreign agent “, and just individuals: it just so happened that in recent months the expansion of” black lists “was most often announced on Friday nights.

Telling the head of state about the September voting and the summer election campaign, Ms. Pamfilova emphasized: “Since the topic of foreign agents is being heard now, I would like to say that none of them was deprived of their rights in these elections.” One candidate at the federal level, she said, and six people in the regions “participated along with everyone else,” despite the fact that they were either affiliated with “foreign agents” or directly by these “agents”.

None of them won the election, we note.

In addition, Pamfilova continued, both among the observers and among the media that covered the campaign and the voting process, there were also “foreign agents, and they worked” for on an equal footing with everyone else. “

Then, unexpectedly, the president decided to intervene. “I know your position, which is to carefully look, analyze the practice of applying this law, and make certain adjustments there. I know about it, “he said.

” Yes, you are right. There it is necessary to streamline it so that it is more effective and targeted, purposeful, targeted, “agreed the head of the CEC.

” To meet the goals for which it was adopted, “the president continued.

“Yes, and did not undeservedly hit those who do not deserve …” – said the head of the CEC.

“He did not violate the rights of citizens,” the president summed up.

Assurances that the status of a “foreign agent” does not interfere with living and working for those who are on the “black lists” of the Ministry of Justice – there would be a desire, they say – have recently been heard more and more often from the lips of government officials. Literally the day before, the presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, talking about preparations for the large press conference of Vladimir Putin scheduled for December 23, drew attention to the fact that some media foreign agents would be invited by the Kremlin, because the status of “foreign agents,” according to him, is not a ban for the media to work in Russia …

It is noteworthy that in his first remark, pulling the topic of “foreign agents” to the surface from the general heap, the president at first spoke only about “law enforcement practice” and the introduction of certain corrections “there”. But Ella Pamfilova, it seems, had in mind precisely the amendment of the law on foreign agents (of which there are actually several), because she used the pronoun “he”. And then the president also switched to the masculine gender, apparently also talking about the law.

On December 9, the head of state plans to communicate via video link with members of his Council for Human Rights and Civil Society Development. It can be assumed that in preparation for this annual event, he plunged into the problem, because with a very high probability one of the HRC members will voice it.

It is worth recalling that during the autumn months at least it became known about several attempts to amend the legislation on “foreign agents”.

Some members of the HRC and the Union of Journalists of Russia prepared their own version of the amendments (recognition by foreign agents in court is one of the main proposals here, along with, for example, easing the requirements for labeling information posted by natural persons-“foreign agents” in social networks): these amendments were submitted to Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications.

The chief editors of a number of Russian media outlets (among them – the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov) also prepared 12 amendments, the main of which can be called recognition of the “foreign agent” only by the court and only if the connection between the received abroad with money and political activity in the interests of the state from which the money came. These amendments were submitted to the Presidential Administration.

But at the moment, the only legally formalized initiative aimed at softening the current rules is a bill submitted to the State Duma on November 17, which was signed by most of the members of the Just Russia – For Truth “Headed by its leader Sergei Mironov. This document speaks only of foreign media agents and individuals performing the functions of foreign media agents. The relevant Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications has not yet begun its consideration.

Everyone is waiting for what the president will say to human rights defenders on December 9 – if he says, of course.

Meanwhile, on the resource change.org petition for the complete abolition of laws on foreign agents has received almost 259 thousand signatures and is one of the most widespread.

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America and Europe reacted differently to Omicron coronavirus

The pandemic leaves less and less ways to fight the infection

The new strain of the coronavirus COVID-19 “Omicron” has stumped the world powers that have not yet managed to adapt to the relatively recent version of the “Delta” … In the midst of New Year's Eve preparations and Christmas bustle, scientists and politicians have to hastily adjust their actions, although so far none of the available tactics of behavior looks 100% reliable. We compared the American and Western European approaches to the fight against Omicron.

Photo: pixabay.com

Back on December 1, in its report, the European Commission warned about the need to introduce new restrictions, primarily on the movement of citizens and goods.

“The high transmissibility of the Delta variant, the significant immunity gap and the weakening of non-drug interventions will bring us a tough winter,” said Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, among others. – The appearance of the Omicron variant only aggravates the situation. There is an urgent need to vaccinate and increase our immunity in order to break the chains of transmission of the virus. Where necessary, effective public health measures, including social distancing and the wearing of masks, should be taken. We must act quickly and decisively to limit the spread of the virus and mitigate its impact and impact. ”

In most EU countries, local authorities, even without instructions from the “center”, independently call for more active vaccination against coronavirus, including with booster, that is, third doses. Of course, no one is being driven to vaccinations with sticks, but for anti-vaccination people there is still a “stick policy”.

So, in particular, the German government intends to prohibit unvaccinated citizens from visiting cultural institutions, events, shopping and entertainment centers (SEC) – in general, everything except pharmacies, grocery stores and medical facilities. It is curious that it will not be possible for an unvaccinated person to get into a grocery supermarket or shop located, for example, directly in the mall, even through a separate entrance. Of course, such plans disturb the population, in connection with which the Bundestag is considering the possibility of universal vaccination.

In this case, however, the question arises whether everyone is allowed to be vaccinated for health reasons: in Russia, for example, doctors are in no hurry to send vaccinate patients with chronic autoimmune diseases. The discussion of the decision on the possibility of universal vaccination in Germany will last until January of next year, after which, if approved, will enter into force.

To overcome the spread of “Omicron”, many believe, it would be effective to close the borders within the European Union. However, the French Foreign Ministry has already stated that this will not happen immediately and the countries will prefer to act situationally. The complete and one-time closure of all borders is dangerous with serious logistical costs: and this is not only food, but also medicines.

The Prime Minister of the UK that left the EU, Boris Johnson, in turn, believes that it is necessary to continue to act within the same framework as before, without looking at the new strain. It is not difficult to understand it: “lockdowns” on the continent and the possible severing of trade ties to the proud island Kingdom are unlikely to benefit now.

“Johnson speaks as a politician who has not yet shown himself from his best side,” said Briton David Blinkensopp from Sheffield in this regard in a conversation with MK. – Therefore, he tries to convince everyone that everything is okay, that you just need to move forward. I'm not sure if this is the right path, he should have looked at the EU, where they are doing at least something. My friends there complain that they are injecting something. But this is often not done in vain. “

Not at all easier than in Europe, the spread of Omicron is on the other side of the Atlantic.

By the end of the week, US President Joe Biden, whose ratings continue to plummet, reached out to Americans with his five-step plan to tackle the pandemic: Scaling up a booster campaign across the country, expanding networks of family clinics where vaccinations can be obtained, and making access easier. of the population to be tested at home, strengthening medical personnel, intensifying efforts to vaccinate the rest of the world, and strengthening travel regulations for people coming to the United States.

The problem, American observers note, is that while Europe is talking about toughening existing measures and the possibility of introducing new ones, the United States is only proposing an extension of the previous restrictions, which have already proved their ineffectiveness. Some experts doubt that Biden can do much to change the current trajectory of the pandemic.

“He faces a hostile public, hostile political opposition and a hostile judicial system,” recalls Lawrence Gostin, professor of public health at Georgetown University. in close contact with the White House. “And so he only has to do what is largely ineffective.”

The so-called “winter” strategy for countering the coronavirus was in the works even before the Omicron variant was discovered late last month, and the administration is cautious not to take more aggressive measures (which health experts say could quickly curb the pandemic) – for example , the introduction of vaccination requirements for households, compulsory quarantines for them in the event of even one sick person, etc. The reason for this indecision also lies in the political plane. Fearing further fomenting opposition by the GOP, Democrats are extremely timidly probing the soil.

The Biden administration also continues to fight Republican governors over mask and vaccination requirements that could help reduce cases in most affected cities. In states such as Florida and Texas, Republican leaders are upholding their right not to follow various preventive measures and, unfortunately for Biden, the American political tradition (and legislation) is on their side.

The situation can reverse the sad fact is that the number of victims of the coronavirus in the “covid-dissident” states is growing. However, earlier this did not motivate proud anti-vaccines and anti-masochists. White House officials and others close to tackling the pandemic agree on the weak potential of Biden's five-step system, although some believe fear of the unexplored Omicron will cause someone to take a root.

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The conversation between Putin and Biden could become fatal: the end of the world crept unnoticed

Will the “war party” win in Europe?

In Russian-American relations, the smell of Cuba is becoming more and more distinct. And no, we are not talking about a fresh sea breeze, but about the prospect of a sharp escalation of confrontation, including balancing on the brink of war. When Joe Biden was almost twenty years old, the Cuban missile crisis broke out: the USSR deployed nuclear missiles in Cuba, and the United States demanded their withdrawal, threatening otherwise to start hostilities. A very similar situation is taking shape in the world now. Only Ukraine claims the “role of Cuba”, and Russia is the country that declares that it will not tolerate such a threat to its national security. Predictably, it was not possible to resolve these contradictions at the level of the heads of foreign affairs agencies. Now it's up to Putin and Biden, whose remote communication may take place in the very near future.

Photo: pixabay.com < p>During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the USSR, as you know, “blinked first.” Nikita Khrushchev agreed to remove Soviet nuclear missiles from the “island of freedom” in exchange for lesser concessions from America. Will the United States do the same now? Partially the stakes on the part of the collective West have already been reduced. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “Ukraine is not a NATO member. Therefore, it does not have the same security guarantees as NATO members, which are obliged to defend each other if they attack one of them. ” Translated from diplomatic language into generally understandable language, this means the following: if Zelensky finally loses his sanity and brings the matter to a direct military confrontation with Russia, then the West will warmly sympathize with Kiev, but will not get into a fight himself.

I hope Kiev appreciated this political equivalent of an ice-cold shower. The strategy of Ukraine under Poroshenko and under Zelensky comes down to solving its problems with Russia with the hands of the West. That is why our troubled neighbor is constantly looking for more and more new reasons for confrontation. Through the mouth of Stoltenberg, official Kiev made it clear that such a trick would not work for him. On the West side, this is definitely a step in the right direction. Or maybe it would be more correct to write it like this: a step in the right direction? The general dynamics of the development of the situation near the Russian borders in Europe is still clearly negative.

On the continent, an informal political alliance with the code name “For the War” has been formed de facto. The members of this alliance are well known. This is Britain, whose new foreign minister, Liz Truss, has just parodied the famous photograph of Margaret Thatcher while driving a tank near Russian borders. This is Poland, whose political class is clearly suffering (however, why does it suffer? Enjoys!) From the loss of contact with reality and megalomania. These are the Baltic countries, one of which – Estonia – has just given Liz Trass the opportunity to show off on a tank. This is the same Ukraine. Finally, this is a part of the American political elite, which is in favor of arming Ukraine to the teeth and thus showing the mother of Russia to Kuz'kin.

I want to obey right away: by calling this constellation of political forces and countries the Alliance “For War!”, I somewhat simplified a more complex reality. I think no one wants to be massacred in Europe. The calculation of the “party of war” is based on the fact that Russia is a “paper tiger” that growls loudly, but does not bite. The West is still corrupted by its success in the 90s. The situation, standard for the Yeltsin era, when the Kremlin repeatedly declared “We will not tolerate this!”, And then wiped it off again and again and marked new, much less ambitious “red lines”, taught American and European politicians to the fact that warnings from Moscow are safe ignore. Of course, Putin has proved many times by deeds that he has never been Yeltsin. Let me remind you of only two dates: Georgia, 2008. Crimea, 2014.

However, unfortunately, even such a demonstration of the seriousness of intentions – as well as actions – could not reverse the inertia of the thinking of Western politicians. Putin recently said this in plain text: Moscow's signals are not getting through, and Western partners continue to think that they are only being frightened. It is this real or feigned blindness of the collective West that may turn out to be the wick for the chain of tragic (or at least very dramatic) events in Europe. The upcoming talks between Putin and Biden is one of the ways to flood the fuse with water. Will this opportunity be used? As is known, the policy of the current US president is based on the need for de-escalation in relations between Moscow and Washington. Following Trump, Biden is consistently redirecting America to new challenges. The world's main superpower aims to prevent China from overthrowing it from this “pedestal”. In theory, this means that America does not need a crisis in Europe.

But is this theory supported by practice? In fact, de-escalation in relations between the United States and the Russian Federation was only partially achieved. In some places, something has been achieved. But so far there are more slippages than successes. By making the thesis “Russia does not have the right to veto further NATO enlargement at the expense of Ukraine and Georgia” an obligatory part of its political vocabulary, the West has driven itself and everyone else into a logical trap. To go to a very tough confrontation with Moscow because “I cannot give up my principles” the West does not want. But openly “sacrificing principles” is also not an option in the eyes of the United States. The admission that in fact Putin does have the right to veto further NATO enlargement means, in the eyes of the Americans, their complete humiliation.

A logical impasse arises, and the West is trying to get out of it with the help of maneuvers such as Stoltenberg's statement cited above. They say, we love Ukraine, but if something happens, then our hut is on the edge! Thank you, of course, and on this one. But this is not enough, too little. Even if NATO is neutral, a direct large-scale armed confrontation between Russia and Ukraine will set Europe back several decades. This development of the situation must be prevented. I hope that Putin and Biden will succeed.

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The admiral spoke about the provocative activities of the United States in the Arctic

Intelligence records an increase in NATO military activity near the Russian borders

The Arctic is of great interest to various states, including those located thousands of kilometers from the region. NATO's military activity in the Arctic has increased. All this forces Russia to take measures to protect its interests in the northern latitudes. This was stated by the commander of the Russian Northern Fleet, Admiral Alexander Moiseev at the International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg.

Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

The Northern Fleet has long received the status of a joint strategic command and is equated to a military district. For example, the rather large Pacific Fleet is operatively subordinate to the commander of the Eastern Military District, and the Black Sea Fleet is subordinate to the commander of the Southern Military District. But the Northern Fleet today, on the contrary, unites not only divisions of submarine missile carriers and surface ships, but also brigades of ground forces, air defense units and aviation, which are deployed in the north – from the border with Norway and almost to Alaska.

The Northern Fleet protects the country's territory from attacks from the sea and air in the most important direction. Protects the most important transport artery – the Northern Sea Route, the wealth of our shelf. The military task is to be ready to inflict unacceptable damage on any aggressor.

After the collapse of the USSR, the military infrastructure in the Far North was severely degraded. Due to a lack of funds, many military camps and airfields were abandoned, and air defense units were reduced. In the reconnaissance system of the sea and air situation, huge holes were formed, which, if desired, could be used by any enemy. But now the matter has been corrected, said Admiral Moiseev. For example, a continuous zone of radar detection of air and surface targets along the northern border of the Russian Federation has been recreated, the underwater situation in the coastal areas of the Arctic zone is being monitored.

The polar airfield network and port infrastructure are being restored. New military camps have been built on the islands of the Arctic Ocean and on the Arctic coast. Now it is possible to use military airfields as spare for civil aviation.

Admiral Moiseev responded to accusations from the West against the Russian Federation of “militarizing” the Arctic. “Russia is significantly inferior to the United States and NATO in terms of the number of military facilities in the Arctic,” the admiral said and cited intelligence data. In the Arctic, there are up to 50 military infrastructure facilities of foreign states, such as the USA, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Iceland. These are 22 airfields, 23 naval bases, basing points or ports used, including for military purposes, as well as 4 nuclear-strike warning radars. 19 thousand people are serving at these facilities.

The military activity of foreign states in the North has grown. The US Navy and NATO regularly send ships to the Barents Sea. In 2019-2021, almost 60 military exercises and trainings were held in the region. Over the past three years, the number of single and group flights over the Arctic by strategic bomber aircraft of the US Air Force has increased. In 2019, there were 7 such flights (17 aircraft), and in 2021 – already 10 (28 aircraft). Such actions are provocative and have a negative impact on the regional security system as a whole, ”warned Admiral A. Moiseev.

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Soyuz rocket launch with Galileo satellites postponed again

Arianespace announced that the launch of the Russian Soyuz-ST-B launch vehicle with two satellites of the European global navigation system Galileo, scheduled for Saturday from the Kourou cosmodrome in French Guiana, has been postponed, Interfax reports.

The launch was reportedly canceled 8 minutes before the launch. According to the head of Arianespace, Stephane Israel, it was postponed due to high-altitude winds.

The next attempt will be carried out in a day.

It is noted that the rocket was allowed before the launch by the security service of the National Center for Space Research of France.

Initially, it & nbsp; was scheduled & nbsp; for December 2, but was & nbsp; postponed due to bad weather.

Recall that since October 2011 & nbsp; 25 Russian launches have been performed from the Kuru cosmodrome missiles.

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Biden refused to recognize Russian “red lines” across Ukraine

The American president said that he was counting on a long conversation with Vladimir Putin

US President Joe Biden shared his expectations from the upcoming conversation with Vladimir Putin. In particular, he reacted to the statements about the “ red lines '' mentioned by the President of Russia.

During his conversation with reporters before leaving for the weekend at the Camp David residence, Biden said that he was counting on a long conversation with Putin. “ We are afraid of Russia's actions, and I would like to discuss this issue, '' & mdash; said the American president.

He added that he had prepared certain proposals for the Russian president, but did not go into details.

Biden also said that he did not recognize anyone's “ red lines ''. Thus, he reacted to the latest statement from Moscow. Vladimir Putin speaking at the Russia Calling! Forum stated that the “ red lines '' in relation to Ukraine, “ first of all, in creating threats for us that may come from this territory. ''

On the eve of the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that for Moscow the “ red line '' is Ukraine's accession to NATO.

On December 1, during his speech at the presentation of his credentials in the Kremlin, Putin announced that he was proposing to begin substantive negotiations on the achievement of legal guarantees that would exclude any NATO advance to the east … The White House said to this that only the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance can decide who is a NATO member and who is not. “ It is important to remember who is the provocateur in this situation, and it is not the United States or Ukraine, '' & mdash; White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday.

On Friday, December 3, the Russian presidential aide for foreign policy, Yuri Ushakov, said that the date of the meeting had already been agreed, but it was necessary to wait for clarification of all the parameters of negotiations with Washington. Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov advised to wait for the meeting “ at any time. ''

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State Department reported on progress on visas with Russia

The United States and Russia have made progress on the issue of diplomatic visas, writes TASS, citing a State Department official.

“ These are current issues that we continue to deal with. In recent days, we have made progress on bilateral issues and look forward to continuing to move in that direction, '', & mdash; said the interlocutor of the agency. He stressed that a functioning embassy “ is of decisive importance for diplomacy. ''

Earlier, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Yevgeny Ivanov, said that consultations on the issuance of visas between Moscow and Washington are not easy, but “ some solutions are being found. '' and some progress has been made.

In April of this year, the United States expelled ten Russian diplomats from Washington. The Russian side responded by banning the American embassy from hiring employees from Russia or other countries. Because of this ban, Washington has laid off more than 180 employees in diplomatic missions in Moscow, Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg. After the mutual reductions of personnel, 100 American diplomats remained in Russia, in the USA & mdash; 300 Russian, American senators wrote in a letter to Joe Biden. They called on the president to increase the number of staff at the embassy in Moscow.

In October, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the United States had demanded 55 Russian diplomats and diplomatic staff to leave the country in the coming months. According to Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, accreditation is revoked from spouses of diplomats, and children are not issued visas. Antonov warned that such an outflow of employees could lead to “ staff shortages. '' The deputy head of the press service of the US State Department, Jalina Porter, stressed that such a measure was introduced to “ ensure parity between the diplomatic missions of the United States and Russia.

Zakharova, in turn, said that Moscow regards Washington's actions as expulsion. By January 31 of next year, US embassy officials who have worked in the country for more than three years will leave Russia. After July 1, another group of diplomats will leave Moscow if the United States does not compromise.

In early August, the US Embassy in Russia announced the termination of consular services for Russians, inviting them to contact embassies in other countries. to get nonimmigrant visas. In November, Sergei Koshelev, Minister Counselor of the Russian Embassy in Washington, said that there is a chance to agree on the resumption of the issuance of US visas in Russia.

The material is being updated.

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Biden firmly outlined the position on the “red lines” of Russia

US President: “I expect we have a long conversation”

photo: whitehouse .gov

“I will not accept anyone's red lines,” US President Biden told reporters in Washington before leaving for the Camp David country residence. According to the head of the White House, he is preparing comprehensive initiatives that will make it difficult for Russia to “invade” Ukraine, according to the BBC.

According to the media, Joe Biden commented on the statements made at the Russia Calling forum by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who considers the “red lines” for Moscow not only to bring NATO infrastructure closer to Russia's borders, but also to deploy strike complexes on Ukrainian territory.

Commenting on the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border, Joe Biden also added that he hopes for a “long conversation” with his Russian counterpart: “We have known about Russia's actions for a long time. I expect we will have a long conversation with Putin. ”

As you know, a virtual Russian-American summit should soon take place, at which, among other things, it is planned to discuss the situation around Ukraine, events in Afghanistan, negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program and bilateral relations.

Earlier, the US president said he was preparing “the largest and most significant set of initiatives that will make it very difficult for Putin to do what people fear he is going to do.” Biden did not elaborate on what specific measures were in question, saying only that his administration is in constant contact with the Ukrainian leadership and European allies.

According to the Associated Press, US intelligence officials have determined that Russia is allegedly planning a possible military offensive, which could begin as early as 2022.

Recently, the heads of the diplomatic departments of the United States and Russia exchanged harsh statements regarding the situation around Ukraine. At a meeting of OSCE foreign ministers in Stockholm, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that Russia would face “serious consequences” if the conflict with Ukraine escalated.

As noted by AP, although the head of the State Department did not specify what sanctions could be applied, potentially one of them could be disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT international payment system, which, in turn, threatens to “disconnect” Russian business from the global financial system. It is reported that the Western allies considered such a step in 2014-2015, during the escalation of tensions around Ukraine.

In turn, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the North Atlantic Alliance of ignoring Russian interests, as well as “ military pumping “Kiev. According to the Foreign Minister, “a nightmare scenario of military confrontation is returning,” NATO's military infrastructure is approaching Russian borders, and anti-missile defense systems have been deployed in Romania and Poland, which can be used as strike systems.

As noted by CNN, Russia denies that it has any plans to attack Ukraine, but has also demanded security guarantees from the West, such as a promise that it will not allow Ukraine to join NATO.

The United States and its allies in Europe and NATO has warned Russia of serious economic sanctions if it invades Ukraine. But Western officials are reluctant to get involved in a direct military conflict with Russia, which Moscow understands, a senior Western intelligence official told CNN.

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New COVID-19 Strain Identified in Six More American States

Plot of a novel coronavirus pandemic that spread from China

A new strain of coronavirus 'omicron' was identified in six more American states, Interfax reports.

It is reported that the states of New Jersey, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Utah have informed about the appearance of a new version.

Earlier, “ ; omicron & raquo; was recorded in California, Colorado, Minnesota, New York and Hawaii.

Meanwhile, New York authorities believe that a new strain of coronavirus is already spreading in the city. The City Hall said in a statement that the omicron-strain-infected patient, & nbsp; found & nbsp; in Minnesota, attended a conference in New York. As a result, the City has reiterated its call on New Yorkers to get vaccinated and wear masks in public. & Nbsp;

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In Moscow and the Moscow region announced the yellow level of weather hazard

The press service of the Hydrometeorological Center reported that a yellow hazard level due to wind has been declared in Moscow and the region.

“ Yellow & mdash; the weather is potentially dangerous '', & mdash; the message says.

It is noted that gusts of wind can reach 15 meters per second.

The service clarified that in Moscow the warning is valid until 20.00 Saturday, in the area & mdash; until Saturday 12.00.

Also in the region there is a warning of ice until Sunday 12.00.

Earlier & nbsp; scientific director of the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia Roman & nbsp; Vilfand told what winter will be in European Russia. He noted that the fluctuations are associated with global warming. According to the forecaster, temperatures are expected to be five degrees above normal in the central part of European Russia at the very end of November. At the same time, in the north of European Russia, frosts can reach minus 20 degrees.

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NASA will give SpaceX three contracts with Boeing for the delivery of people to the ISS

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration intends to conclude a contract for three additional deliveries of astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on SpaceX spacecraft, Interfax reports.

Reportedly that NASA plans to conclude a contract with SpaceX on a non-competitive basis. & nbsp; According to the contract between SpaceX and NASA, the last announced flight to the ISS on the Crew Dragon spacecraft is scheduled for March 2023. & nbsp;

Earlier it was reported that the astronauts Anton Shkaplerov and Petr Dubrov & nbsp; will conduct a training & nbsp; on manual docking of the nodal module “ Science '' on the ISS. & nbsp; Recall that on January 19, a spacewalk is planned, during which the cosmonauts will connect the “ Berth '' to the station, and on March 18, the & nbsp; first manned spacecraft Soyuz will dock to it.

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Rocket “Zircon” for nuclear submarines can be put into service with the Russian Navy in 2025

A source close to the RF Ministry of Defense said that the latest hypersonic cruise missiles Zircon for submarines it is planned to put into service the Russian Navy in 2025, reports TASS.

“ State tests of Zircon '' for the nuclear submarine will be roughly completed in 2025. The first full-time carrier of Zircons will take part in them. – Perm. At the same time, it is planned that the boat, along with missiles, will enter service with the Russian Navy '', & mdash; he said.

Earlier it was reported that the Russian Navy & nbsp; first tested the Zircon rocket & nbsp; from a nuclear submarine. Zircon hypersonic cruise missile capable of reaching speeds of about 9 Mach numbers and hitting sea and ground targets at a distance of more than 1,000 km.

At the end of September, it was reported that the flight design tests of the Zircon were completed. from the frigate Admiral Gorshkov. In the summer, the same ship successfully fired a hypersonic missile at a ground target located on the coast of the Barents Sea. & Nbsp;

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How much will Russia sell to India the right to produce a Kalashnikov assault rifle?

Weekly “Arguments and Facts” # 48. Not cheap help 01/12/2021 Expert's answer 1 + –

In & nbsp; this year, the parties are going to sign contract for 590 & nbsp; million & nbsp; dollars, providing for the production of 680 & nbsp; thous. AK-203 for & nbsp; India, in & nbsp; t. & Nbsp; h. on & nbsp; its territory.

'It's a good deal, & nbsp; & ndash; thinks director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and & nbsp; Technologies Ruslan & shy; Pukhov . & nbsp; & ndash; With & nbsp; taking into account the fact that the market for small arms is oversaturated with all sorts of copies of the AK, to sell the plant for & nbsp; production of this & shy; assault rifle & nbsp; & ndash; unconditional luck. To & nbsp; besides, to produce AK completely and & nbsp; India will not be able to immediately. First, 70 & nbsp; thous. Will be delivered there. purely Russian AK. In & nbsp; for 2 & ndash; 3 & nbsp; years, the share of Russian parts will be reduced to & nbsp; 20 & ndash; 30%, and & nbsp; only after that it will be possible to talk about & nbsp; Indian AK. All this time Russia will receive royalties from & nbsp; India. In & nbsp; Soviet times, AK was issued under a & nbsp; license in & nbsp; 12 & nbsp; countries, but their validity period has expired. Currently, only & nbsp; Armenia, Azerbaijan and & nbsp; Venezuela have licenses.

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