Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Russia Expresses Concern Over Rights Violations in the Ukraine at UN Human Rights Council Session

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During the 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Genève, the Russian delegation expressed its concern over numerous violations of human rights and freedoms in the Ukraine. In particular, delegation head Olga Chekrizova noted the increasing number of infringements on freedom of speech and attacks on journalists. She said during the discussion on the 22nd quarterly report of the UN mission in the Ukraine:

We share the UN’s concern over the growth of attacks on the freedom to express opinions, the freedom of the media, as well as by physical attacks on journalists. In January-March of this year, there were attacks on 21 media workers and we recorded 71 violations of freedom of speech. We condemn the expulsion of Russian journalists from the Ukraine and the arrest of the RIA Novosti Ukraine chief. Russia is seriously concerned by the persistently high level of arbitrary detention, torture, inhumane treatment, and sexual violence in areas adjacent to the Line of Contact in the Donbass. According to UN estimates, Ukrainian law-enforcement officers are responsible for about 75 percent of those crimes. Just like the observer mission, we’re convinced by stalled investigations into violations related to activities of the Mirotvorets website, and by the emergence of similar databases, such as the Parazyt Centre. The level of hate rhetoric and crimes has been on the rise in Ukrainian society… in the period between 16 February and 15 March, we recorded 23 attacks on dissidents, anti-corruption/human rights activists, and Romani.

The Russian delegation also urged Kiev to follow UN recommendations regarding its biased law on education, which infringes on the right of ethnic minorities to have an education in their native language.

4 July 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/world/1011873

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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

ROK President Moon to Visit Russia This week

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Yonhap News Agency reported, citing an anonymous presidential administration official, that ROK President Moon Jae-in will pay a three-day state visit to Russia later this week to meet President Putin. The two presidents will meet on Thursday, shortly after the ROK leader’s arrival in Moscow. This’ll be Moon’s first visit to the Russian capital since his election in May 2017 and the first state visit by a ROK President to Russia since 1999. Most expect Moon and Putin to pay special attention to the DPRK nuclear issue during the summit. Yonhap quoted the anonymous official:

Russia made significant contributions to efforts to denuclearise the DPRK, it also played a significant role in pressuring it, considering its economic relationship with the DPRK. In addition, the visit should help promote strategic cooperation between the two countries to establish peace in Northeast Asia amidst positive developments in security conditions and efforts to denuclearise the Korean peninsula.

Whilst in Moscow, Moon will also meet with Chairman of the RF Government D A Medvedev and other high-ranking officials. He’ll also be the first ROK President to address the RF Gosduma (lower house of the RF Federal Assembly). Later on, Moon will travel to Rostov-on-Don to attend the FIFA World Cup match between the ROK and Mexico before returning home on Saturday.

18 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/world/1009968

US Senate to Ban US Weapon Supplies to Turkey Over Potential Purchase of Russian S-400 System

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On Monday, the US Senate adopted the National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which obliges the Secretary of Defense to present a special report regarding the potential purchase by Turkey of the S-400 air/missile defence system from Russia. The document stated:

Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of the Act, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the status of the US relationship with the Republic of Turkey. The Secretary of Defense may not take any action to execute the delivery of a foreign military sale for major defence equipment to Turkey until the report is submitted.

The document stipulates:

The required report should include an assessment of the potential purchase by the Government of Turkey of the S-400 air and missile defence system from the Russian Federation and the potential effects of such purchase on the USA-Turkey bilateral relationship, including an assessment of impacts on other US weapon systems and platforms operated jointly with Turkey to include the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike aircraft, the Patriot surface-to-air missile system, the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter, the AH-1 Attack helicopter, the UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter, and the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. The Secretary of Defense isn’t allowed to take any action to execute the delivery of a foreign military sale for major defence equipment subject to congressional notification to the Republic of Turkey until the Secretary submits to the appropriate congressional committees the report.

Earlier reports said that Ankara intends to purchase over 100 F-35 warplanes. The proposed measure may hinder the execution of the contract.

The S-400 Triumf is an advanced long-range antiaircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and surface targets. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 kilometres and at an altitude of up to 30 kilometres. In November 2016, Turkey and Russia were negotiating a contract for the supply of S-400 air defence systems. Russia confirmed the conclusion of the contract on 12 September 2017.

19 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/world/1010065

Pentagon Sez Washington and Seoul Suspend Joint Military Drill

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Late Monday, US officials said that US and ROK forces won’t conduct a joint military drill that scheduled to take place in August, following a historic meeting between US President Donald Trump and DPRK Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in which the two heads of state agreed to make peace on the Korean peninsula. Trump verbally vowed to end USA-ROK “war games” following the summit with Kim in Singapore on 12 June. An official told Reuters that the Ulchi Freedom Guardian drill wouldn’t take place this year as it did last year. Meanwhile, on Monday, Pentagon source Dana White said in a press release that the USA and the ROK suspended planning for a joint military exercise near the Korean peninsula scheduled to take place in August:

Consistent with President Trump’s commitment and in concert with our ROK ally, the US military suspended all planning for this August’s defensive war-game Freedom Guardian. There have been no decisions on subsequent war-games. Also, this decision hasn’t affected Pacific exercises outside of the Korean peninsula. US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Advisor John Bolton will meet later this week to discuss the issue.

Last year, Pyongyang requested the UN Security Council to discuss Ulchi Freedom Guardian because it was essentially a rehearsal for an invasion of the DPRK. According to the Pentagon, the drill would involve 17,500 of the 28,000 US troops in the ROK and UN Command forces from seven countries, including Australia, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Britain.

19 June 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201806191065528849-south-korea-usa-drills-suspension/

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