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Antonov announced US plans to limit the use of Sarmat missiles

According to the Russian ambassador to the United States, Washington “really dislikes” Russia's Sarmat intercontinental missiles and Poseidon unmanned underwater vehicles, so they insist on limiting their use

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov

Washington “doesn't like” Russia's strategic weapons, including the intercontinental ballistic missile “Sarmat” and the carrier of unmanned underwater vehicles “Poseidon”, they insist on the restriction or complete ban on their use. About this on the air «Soloviev Live» said Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov.

«Poseidon» they really don't like, they really don't like Sarmat, and in all the meetings that we have with academia, we are told all the time that in a future arms control agreement, these Poseidons should be banned, of course, it is necessary to limit the use of “Sarmatians” and so on»,— said the diplomat.

«Sarmat»— complex with a heavy intercontinental missile, its weight exceeds 200 tons. Firing range— 18 thousand km. The missile has a short active flight segment, which complicates the process of intercepting it by means of air defense.

According to the director general and designer of the State Missile Center. Makeev (the developer of Sarmat) Vladimir Degtyar, the rocket is capable of providing a flight path around the entire globe.

On April 20, the Ministry of Defense announced the first successful launch of the Sarmat. The launch was carried out from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, the warheads of the rocket reached the test site in Kamchatka, and the design characteristics of the rocket were confirmed at all stages of the flight, the ministry said. Head of Roskosmos Dmitry Rogozin then stated that the first Sarmat missiles will be put into service in the Krasnoyarsk Territory no later than the autumn of 2022.

On the development of the missile “Sarmat” first told by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018. He called the rocket “unique” a weapon that can ensure the security of Russia from external threats, and also stated that there are no analogues “in the world and will not be for a long time to come.” He repeated these words, congratulating the military on the launch in April this year.

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Khusnullin announced the start of assistance in restoring the infrastructure of the LPR

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the first column of equipment and specialists from Russia has already arrived on the territory of the republic

Russia has begun to assist the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in restoring infrastructure, the first column of equipment and specialists has already arrived in the region . This was stated by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin on his Telegram channel.

“We have begun active assistance to the LPR in restoring infrastructure! The first convoy of 70 vehicles and about 350 specialists arrived in the region today! The plans include the repair of housing, roads and infrastructure,»,— he wrote.

According to him, “this is only the first step.” He promised to continue to cooperate with the authorities of the republic.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a special military operation in Ukraine in the early morning of February 24. According to him, the main goals of the operation— “demilitarization” and “denazification” Ukraine, as well as protecting the population of the republics of Donbass. Ukraine, in response, imposed martial law and announced mobilization.

On May 9, Minister of Construction and Housing and Public Utilities Irek Fayzullin said that the Ministry of Construction was assessing the costs required to restore the infrastructure of Donbass. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky previously estimated the restoration of Ukraine's damaged infrastructure at $600 billion.

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Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly stated that foreign funds from the Bank of Russia, frozen as a result of sanctions, can be used to restore the country. The Ministry of Economy of Ukraine has estimated their size at $415 billion and asks Western partners to develop a mechanism for the confiscation of this money in favor of Kyiv. According to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, the West has frozen about $300 billion out of $640 billion in Central Bank reserves abroad.

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US diplomat called an acceptable version of the agreement between Russia and Ukraine

According to the US Charge d'Affaires in Ukraine, Washington is counting on a diplomatic solution to the conflict, but it must first of all be acceptable to Kyiv

Chargé d'Affaires of the United States in Ukraine Christina Quinn (center)

The United States is ready to support a peace agreement between Moscow and Kyiv, in which Ukraine will emerge victorious from the conflict. This was stated by Chargé d'Affaires of the United States in Ukraine Christina Quinn on ICTV.

“I would like to see a diplomatic solution to this [conflict], but obviously there cannot be a diplomatic solution where Ukraine loses and Russia wins. This is an unacceptable way to end this unilateral aggression. Yaby wanted Ukraine and Russia to reach an amicable agreement that would be acceptable to Ukraine. And if it is so, then the United States will support it, — she declared.

Earlier on May 14, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said that Russian diplomats “firmly and clearly” declared the United States of the impossibility of capitulation of Moscow in Ukraine. “The Americans, in principle, are pushing us to negotiate from all sides, but under certain conditions, and I would name three such conditions. This is, firstly, to stop hostilities in the course of a special military operation. Second— withdraw our troops behind the line until February 24 of this year. And the third — “repent for everything you have done,” — he said and clarified that “there will never be such a surrender.”

Antonov also expressed confidence that all the tasks set by Russian President Vladimir Putin for the armed forces would be completed.

Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine on a peace agreement and security guarantees for Kyiv began a few days after the start of the special operation. Several meetings were held in person at the end of February— early March. On March 29, delegations from both sides met in Istanbul, then Ukraine submitted written proposals to Moscow to resolve the conflict.

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According to the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, Kyiv confirmed Ukraine's desire to remain a neutral and non-nuclear state. The theses on the status of Donbass and Crimea have disappeared from the list of provisions on security guarantees. In addition, Kyiv decided not to return the peninsula under its control by military means.

In early April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that after the publication of materials on the situation in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, Kyiv tried to interrupt the negotiation process and abandon its proposals. Since then, the Russian authorities have repeatedly said that negotiations have stalled. On May 11, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov described them as “sluggish and ineffective”, and a day later said that the results of the meetings “have nothing to brag about.”

In turn, the head of US national intelligence, Avril Haynes stated that Washington sees no prospects for successful negotiations around the situation in Ukraine in the near future. “Given that both Russia and Ukraine believe they can continue to make military gains, we see no viable way forward through negotiations.” at least in the short term,»— she said. In addition, in her opinion, in Ukraine there is the possibility of a “potential escalation” in the next few months.

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Blinken discussed with Stoltenberg a new strategic concept of NATO

The new concept of the North Atlantic Alliance should be adopted at the summit in Madrid, which will be held from 28 to 30 June. This document will guide the alliance over the next decade discussed NATO's new strategic concept with Stoltenberg” />

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, during a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, discussed support for Ukraine and the defense potential of the alliance, according to the website of the American diplomatic department.

< p>“[They] reaffirmed their support for the Ukrainian people and the territorial integrity of Ukraine and discussed the importance of maintaining NATO's credible deterrence and defense policy,” said in the message.

Blinken and Stoltenberg also discussed preparations for the upcoming NATO summit in Madrid on June 28-30, including a new NATO Strategic Concept Paper. This document will guide the alliance for the next decade.

NATO's Strategic Concept defines the Alliance's long-term strategy. It sets out NATO's purpose, nature and fundamental security missions, and the challenges and opportunities the Alliance faces in a changing security environment.

In the current Strategic Concept “Active Participation, Modern Defense” (2010) outlined three main objectives: collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security.

Against the backdrop of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, NATO countries have already held extraordinary congresses several times and announced the redeployment of troops. On April 10, Stoltenberg said that NATO was “in the midst of a fundamental transformation”; and is working on plans to send a permanent and full-scale military force to the eastern borders to defend against Russia.

At the same time, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stressed that NATO does not want a direct confrontation with Russia. According to the head of the Pentagon, the clash between Russia and the alliance “will quickly develop into another kind of struggle and no one would like to see it.”

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Russian Ambassador to Germany expressed hope for the launch of Nord Stream 2

At the same time, the diplomat noted that in Germany there is a “political order” not to use gas from Russia and reduce dependence on Moscow

Russian Ambassador to Germany Sergei Nechaev expressed hope that the German authorities will eventually return to the Nord Stream gas pipeline project; 2". The diplomat stated this on the air of Solovyov Live.

“The time will come to return to this project, at least I hope so,”— he said.

According to him, technically the project is completed, the pipes are not only laid, but also filled with process gas. He explained that Nord Stream— 2″ can start supplying gas to Germany at any moment.

“On the other hand, there is a political order not to use gas from Russia in any way, on the contrary, to follow the path of reducing imports from Russia,”— added by Nechaev.

Germany suspends Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline certification February 22, the day after Moscow recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.

On February 23, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck allowed the project to be completely stopped. In his opinion, it was wiser not to build the gas pipeline at all, because it turned out to be a “lump of risk”; in the Baltic Sea, and energy policy “should be assessed from a security policy and geopolitical perspective.” On the same day, US President Joe Biden instructed his administration to impose sanctions against the project.

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The Kremlin expressed hope that the suspension of certification by the German regulator would be temporary. At the same time, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak did not rule out that Moscow had the right to respond to the refusal to certify Nord Stream 2 stopping the flow of gas through Nord Stream 1.

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline consists of two strings of pipes with a length of about 1200 km. Their total power— 55 bcm m of gas per year. The preliminary decision to start construction of the gas pipeline with the participation of an international consortium, which included ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall, was made in 2012. The construction of the gas pipeline was completed in September 2021.

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German business called a catastrophe the cessation of gas supplies from Russia

Stopping Russian gas supplies will have devastating consequences for the country. This was stated in an interview with the Bild am Sontag newspaper by the head of the German industrial union, Siegfried Ruswurm.

“To date, the consequences of cutting off Russian gas supplies would be catastrophic. We must proceed from the fact that with a shortage of such volumes, gas would no longer enter the final branches of our gas pipeline system at all, — he said.

According to him, with the introduction of an embargo on energy resources from Russia, a number of German enterprises would have to stop production.

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Since the beginning of the Russian operation in Ukraine, Berlin has already imposed several packages of sanctions against Moscow, and the country's top officials have repeatedly spoken about their intention to get rid of energy dependence on Russia. The head of German diplomacy Annalena Burbock, in particular, on May 10 announced the country's intention to completely and forever abandon energy from Russia in the future.

Prior to this, the G7 countries (G7), which includes Germany, agreed to gradually abandon the import of Russian oil or impose an embargo after the United States. At the same time, the German Ministry of Economy noted that the rejection of Russian oil would be a “heavy burden”, but indicated their readiness to take this step.

Earlier, the fact that some subsidiaries of Gazprom Germania GmbH do not receive gas due to retaliatory sanctions that Russia has imposed on the West was announced by the Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habek. According to him, due to Russian sanctions, the country receives less than 10 million cubic meters. m of gas per day.

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The first level of the emergency prevention regime is introduced if there are signs of a future deterioration in the gas supply situation. If they are implemented, a second level is introduced. The third is announced in case of a significant disruption of gas supply. In this case, the government takes measures to provide gas to citizens, hospitals, fire services and the police.

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Czech Republic supports Finland and Sweden joining NATO

The Czech Republic fully supports the entry of Finland and Sweden into the North Atlantic Alliance, said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky.

“We warmly welcome Finland and Sweden, and support their interest in joining [NATO], we believe them with their friends», — he said.

At the same time, the diplomat recalled that time is needed to expand the alliance through the two Scandinavian countries. “We still need to reach a political agreement. As soon as we have it, the question of ratification in the national parliaments will remain, — indicated by the head of the Czech Foreign Ministry.

On May 12, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin issued a statement that Helsinki should immediately apply to join NATO. According to the Finnish leader, his decision was influenced by Russia's demand from NATO to abandon the advance to the east and the start of a military operation in Ukraine.

On the same day, the Swedish newspaper Expressen reported on Stockholm's plans to apply for membership in the North Atlantic Alliance in Monday, May 16 the next day, the President of Finland is scheduled to visit Sweden, during which he will hold talks with Andersson.

Today, Sweden and Finland have the status of states— NATO partners. 30 countries are members of the bloc, including Scandinavian Denmark and Norway.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin considered it a mistake for Finland to abandon its traditional policy of neutrality and join NATO, warning that this step could negatively affect on Russian-Finnish relations. He also held a meeting of the Security Council, where they discussed possible risks in connection with the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO.

As stated by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, Finland and Sweden, having joined NATO, “will become a space of confrontation between the North Atlantic bloc and Russia with all the ensuing consequences. According to her, the alliance has been “processing” Helsinki and Stockholm to influence their politics, “carefully sculpting the image of the enemy from Russia.”

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Biden announced his intention to cut the US budget deficit by $1.5 trillion

According to the President of the United States, reducing the budget deficit is one of the main ways to ease inflationary pressures .jpg” alt=”Biden announced his intention to cut the US budget deficit by $1.5 trillion” />

The US authorities intend to cut the US budget deficit by a record $1.5 trillion this year. This was stated on his Twitter by American President Joe Biden.

“Under my predecessor, the deficit increased every year. This year we [the administration] are on track to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion— biggest one-year cut in history,— he wrote.

Biden stressed that deficit reduction— one of the main ways to ease inflationary pressure.

By the end of 2020, the US budget deficit increased by $3.12 trillion, and by the end of 2021— for $2.77 trillion. In early February 2022, the total US national debt for the first time exceeded $30 trillion, the amount became equal to $30.012 trillion.

Last December, Biden signed into law an increase in the national debt limit by $2.5 trillion to $31.4 trillion. If not for this measure, the funds in the federal budget could run out by December 15, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned.

On May 4, the US Federal Reserve System (FRS) announced the largest interest rate hike since 2000— immediately by 0.5 percentage points, up to a range of 0.75 & ndash; 1% per annum. At the same time, the American regulator pointed to the appropriateness of further tightening of its policy. Thus, in March, the growth rate of prices in the US broke a 40-year record, rising to 8.5%. Nevertheless, inflation slowed down in April and, according to the US Department of Labor, amounted to 8.3%. For 2022, the Fed predicts inflation of 4.3% with US GDP growth of 2.8%.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on May 10 that the US labor market may be experiencing the biggest supply-demand imbalance since World War II. Unemployment in the US rose to 6.1% in April from 6% in March, according to the country's Department of Labor. At the same time, in the first quarter of 2022, the US economy shrank by 1.4% year-on-year, according to preliminary data from the US Department of Commerce.

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UK authorities will oblige realtors to disclose the names of home buyers

The UK government will soon introduce a new bill as part of the fight against the oligarchs, which will oblige realtors to disclose the names of the end buyers of real estate in the country. This was stated in an interview with The Telegraph by Michael Gove, UK Housing Minister.

“We want to put an end to the fraudulent use of ill-gotten funds that have flooded the British property market. Our market will no longer be open to corrupt officials and regimes laundering their money and hiding their identities,— he said.

Under the bill, the British authorities will be able to require any company, trust or other legal entity involved in a real estate transaction to provide the Land and Real Property Registry with information about the ultimate owner of the home in order to complete the sale. It is noted that the changes will also allow the regulator to request information about the source of origin of property buyers' funds.

According to The Telegraph, the relevant amendments will affect, among other things, a number of Russian businessmen who, after the imposition of sanctions by the UK, “began to transfer their property to various trusts.”

< p>The UK has already introduced several packages of sanctions against Russia in connection with the recognition of the DPR and LPR and the military operation in Ukraine. The restrictions, among other things, included the first persons of the state and large businessmen. The sanctions provide for the freezing of assets in the UK and a ban on entry into the country.< /p>Read on RBC Pro Pro x The Economist Why economists and ordinary people estimate inflation differently Articles Pro Pick up IKEA customers: how advertising campaigns worked after February 24 Pro Advertising as a Cure for Depression: How Kellogg's Survived the 1930s Recession Articles Pro x The Economist How the Largest Consumer Goods Manufacturers Cope with Inflation Pro Articles How Top Managers Look for Jobs Right Now: Four Tips Instructions Pro Philip Kotler's Digital Marketing Principles: How to Work with

British Foreign Minister Liz Truss said earlier that the property of the “Russian oligarchs” in London may be confiscated under the forthcoming draft of tougher sanctions. Also, the British authorities did not exclude measures against law firms that would begin to provide assistance to Russian businessmen who fell under sanctions and wished to challenge their inclusion in the sanctions list.

In addition, the British authorities introduced a limit of £50 thousand ( $66.8 thousand) on the amount of money that Russians can keep in British bank accounts.

The Russian authorities have repeatedly called the sanctions imposed against Moscow illegal.

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Zelensky promised to do everything for Eurovision to be held in Mariupol

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated the Kalush Orchestra on their victory at Eurovision and promised to do everything for the song contest to be held in Mariupol one day. The Ukrainian leader wrote about this in his Telegram.

«Our courage amazes the world, our music conquers Europe! Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision! For the third time in its history. And I believe— not the last one. We will do everything so that one day Ukrainian Mariupol will host Eurovision participants and guests. Free, peaceful, rebuilt,"— Zelensky said.

He also expressed his gratitude to everyone who voted for Ukraine.

The Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision 2022 with the song Stefania. She scored 631 points. Second place went to — Great Britain (466 points), third & mdash; Spain (459).

At the end of the performance in the final of the competition, the group asked to help Mariupol and the people who are at the Azovstal plant.

The organizers did not disqualify the group. “We understand the strong feelings when it comes to Ukraine these days, and we consider the statements of the Kalush Orchestra and other artists in support of the Ukrainian people more as a humanitarian gesture than as a political one,” & mdash; they said.

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Fighting in Mariupol has been going on almost since the beginning of the Russian military special operation in Ukraine. At the end of March, the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov announced the storming of the city, in mid-April he announced control over 98% of Mariupol. On April 13, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the encirclement of “the remnants of Ukrainian troops and Nazi units located in the city.” at Azovstal.

On April 21, the head of the Ministry of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, reported to President Vladimir Putin about the capture of the city. According to the minister, only on the surrounded “Azovstal” “the remnants of nationalist formations” remained. Putin then explained that it was necessary to think about saving the life and health of the Russian military, so he ordered the assault to be canceled. After that, civilians who remained there began to be evacuated from the territory of the plant.

On May 7, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk announced that Azovstal evacuated all women, children and the elderly, without specifying their number. On the same day, the Ministry of Defense announced the completion of the operation to evacuate civilians from the enterprise.

necessary for this heavy weapons. Zelensky promised to decide the fate of the city through diplomacy.

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International Criminal Court to send more than 40 investigators to Ukraine

Next week, 42 ​​investigators from the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, including forensic experts and analysts, will arrive in Ukraine. ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan stated this in an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde.

“Next week, 42 ​​investigators will be sent to Ukraine. This is the largest shipment my institution has ever undertaken. 30 of them were seconded by the Dutch government, including forensic experts and analysts,— he said.

The prosecutor noted that the first thing to do was to “investigate the facts and establish the truth.” Khan added that the ICC has a cooperation agreement with a joint investigation team set up by Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine. “The main thing is that the investigations are credible, honest and independent, and that the judge can then make a decision,” — emphasized the prosecutor.

The ICC is not part of the UN structures, it was established in accordance with the Rome Statute, signed in 1998. The court is mandated to try not states, but individuals, its competence includes bringing to justice for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Ukraine and Russia signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but have not ratified this document .

< /p>

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a special military operation to “denazify” and “demilitarization” Ukraine 24 February. He called the protection of the population of Donbass from “genocide by the Kyiv regime” one of the goals of the operation.

On February 27, Ukraine filed a lawsuit against Russia with the International Court of Justice in The Hague. President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded that Moscow be held accountable “for manipulating the concept of 'genocide'” to justify aggression. Also, the Ukrainian authorities asked the ICC to initiate proceedings, applying for recognition of the court's jurisdiction over crimes allegedly committed in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Khan said in early May.

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On March 16, the International Court of Justice demanded the termination of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. “The Russian Federation must immediately suspend military operations that it launched on February 24, 2022 on the territory of Ukraine,” — called on the court. 13 judges supported this decision, two voted “against”.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative Maria Zakharova said earlier that the court has no jurisdiction in considering the issue of a special operation.

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New York to tighten gun laws after Buffalo shooting

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On Tuesday, May 17, New York City officials will introduce a package of laws to combat gun trafficking, said State Gov. Kathy Hokul, CBS reports. .

This is how the Governor reacted to the shooting at the Buffalo supermarket near New York. Ten people were killed in the attack, and three more were injured.

“This must be stopped. On Tuesday, we already planned to announce a comprehensive package (of laws. — RBC) to combat arms trafficking in order to eliminate the remaining loopholes in the current legislation,— she said.

Hokul vowed that New York State would do “everything possible to keep laws tough to give law enforcement the resources they need.”

Shooting at Tops Friendly Supermarket Markets in Buffalo, New York took place on May 14th. According to the latest police reports, ten people were killed and three others were injured. At the same time, 11 out of 13 victims were African Americans.

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The police specified that the attacker was an 18-year-old white man who was heavily armed, wearing a helmet and other equipment. After the shooting, he was apprehended.

BNO News reported that the shooter broadcast his attack on Twitch and published an extremist manifesto. “In the document, he identified himself as an 18-year-old male and identified himself as a white supremacist, racist and anti-Semite,” published the publication. Twitch temporarily blocked the man's account and promised to take measures to prevent the distribution of the record, follows from the company's statement.

Later, the New York prosecutor's office charged the man with first-degree murder— the state's most serious allegation, Attorney John Flynn said at a news conference. The article provides for life imprisonment without the right to parole. The suspect was assigned a medical examination and may be charged with terrorism, said the prosecutor.

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Finland plans to apply for NATO membership on May 18

The Permanent Representative of Finland to NATO in Brussels is likely to apply to join the alliance on Wednesday 18 May. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told the Aftonbladet newspaper about this.

“For our part, this [application] will be done by the NATO ambassador in Brussels physically, probably on Wednesday. Then, if negotiations with NATO begin, they will be dealt with by a delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence. said Haavisto.

Earlier, Finland's intention to apply for NATO membership “in the coming days” said President Sauli Niinistö during a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

On May 12, Niinistö and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin stressed in a joint statement the need to apply for NATO membership. Haavisto explained this decision by the fact that “the hostilities launched by Russia created a danger to the stability of the whole of Europe.” Similar plans are being considered by Sweden, which, like Finland, has the status of a state— NATO partner.

The next day, Putin held a meeting of the Security Council, where they discussed possible risks in connection with the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Moscow views such a scenario as a threat and Russia's actions will depend on how the “expansion process” is expressed. and how the military infrastructure of the alliance will move.

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Volodin announced bills to counter sanctions

At the spring session of the State Duma, deputies will consider bills to counteract anti-Russian sanctions. The documents will cover IT, education, tax breaks and external management of companies alt=”Volodin announced bills to counter sanctions” />

Initiatives aimed at protecting the citizens and economy of Russia will be considered during the spring session of the State Duma. Speaker of the lower house of parliament Vyacheslav Volodin stated this on his Telegram channel.

“Many of your appeals are devoted to the questions of what measures are being taken to counteract the sanctions imposed against our country. <…> These initiatives, aimed at protecting our citizens and the economy, will be considered without fail during the spring session,— he wrote.

One of the bills concerns the security of personal data. It provides for the commission of cross-border transfer of personal data, and also establishes the possibility of interference by the Russian authorities in the processing of data of Russian citizens on the territory of other countries.

Another bill allows the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, when identifying “unfriendly” actions of a foreign state against Russian media to block or restrict the activities of publications of this country in Russia. Also, the work of these media outlets may be terminated if materials are published that discredit the Russian armed forces or call for sanctions against Russia.

In addition, the authorities intend to simplify obtaining a residence permit for foreign IT specialists, as well as increase the number of state-funded places in the magistracy of Russian universities. Also, the concept of “compatriot abroad” will be changed in the legislation. They will be considered all persons who speak Russian and belong to the peoples “historically residing on the territory of the Russian Federation, and those whose direct ancestors were born on the territory of the Russian Federation.” “At the same time, from the definition of the concept of“ compatriot ” the connection with the citizenship of the USSR is excluded, — notes Volodin.

The State Duma will also consider a draft law on the external management of companies that have left the Russian market. It is noted that the initiative will affect only those companies that are “essential for the Russian economy and left without obvious economic reasons, based on anti-Russian sentiments abroad.” The State Duma also intends to support lessees: companies will be able to repay leasing ahead of schedule without penalties and fines.

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The bills will also affect fiscal changes. The State Duma intends to extend the period for reducing income tax rates until January 1, 2024. The term now ends on January 1, 2023. In addition, the State Duma intends to simplify the treasury support of contracts. Funds will be credited to the supplier's settlement account without opening an account of a treasury support participant. And the government will have the opportunity, without changing the law, to use revenues from oil and gas exports to replace government borrowings and pay off the public debt.

Sanctions against Russia began to be actively introduced after February 24 due to the start of a special military operation in Ukraine. Simultaneously with the sanctions, foreign companies began to leave the Russian market.

Senior economist at the Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT, an institute specializing in the analysis of the Russian economy) Heli Simola estimated that due to sanctions, Russia's GDP could decrease by 4– eighteen%. “Trade sanctions could have a significant negative effect if Russia fails to find alternative markets for imports and exports,” — BOFIT economist states.

According to the World Bank, by the end of 2022, the Russian economy may shrink by about 11.2%. According to the authors of the document, “the severe consequences of the already imposed sanctions” may lead to the fall of the Russian economy, including due to a reduction in domestic demand. In 2023 and 2024, according to the report, Russia's GDP should grow by 0.6% and 1.3%, respectively.

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German Foreign Minister urged to quickly accept Sweden and Finland into NATO

Annalena Burbock emphasized that there should be no “grey zone” between countries applying for NATO membership and their acceptance, the allies should ensure their security after the initiative of Helsinki and Stockholm

Annalena Burbock

Germany will do everything to speed up the process of Finland and Sweden joining NATO, Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock told reporters ahead of a meeting of the alliance's foreign ministers in Berlin, Reuters reports. She emphasized that the period between countries submitting applications and their inclusion in NATO should be minimal.

“If they decide to join, they can join quickly <…>. We must give them security guarantees, there should be no transitional period, no gray area, when their status would be indeterminate,— underlined Burbock.

The process of ratifying countries' applications to join the alliance could take up to a year, Reuters explains. During this time, candidates are not covered by the article of the North Atlantic Treaty on collective defense, according to which an armed attack on any of the participating states is regarded as an attack on the entire alliance.

On the need for security guarantees from allies for the period between The Swedish Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist previously spoke about the application and its ratification.

Helsinki and Stockholm have started talking about possible NATO membership amid the escalation in Ukraine. Finnish President and Prime Minister Sauli Niinistö and Sanna Marin on May 12 announced the need to immediately apply for the country's accession to NATO. Edition Helsingin Sanomat wrote that Finland and Sweden plan to apply at the same time. Niinistö is scheduled to visit Sweden on May 17.

The Finnish President spoke about his intention to make a decision in the near future to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation on May 14. Niinistö explained that in this way his country “strengthens its own security.” Finland's desire to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance was influenced by “Russia's massive invasion of Ukraine in February 2022,” the head of state noted. Putin called Finland's refusal of neutrality a mistake. The country's minister for European affairs and property management, Tytti Tuppurainen, said that Helsinki is not afraid of threats and is ready for Moscow's response.

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