Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Bojo Bows Out In Blow to UK Soft Brexit

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On Monday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said in a statement:

This afternoon, the Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary. His replacement will be announced shortly. The Prime Minister thanks Boris for his work.

On 8 July, Brexit Minister David Davis resigned over disagreements with the government’s policy, as Eurosceptics, Davis included, view the Brexit plan presented on 6 July as a major concession to Brussels, particularly as far as access to the EU common market and customs union is concerned. According to media reports, Johnson strongly criticised the plan. On Monday, Johnson was set to participate in a press conference alongside his German and Polish counterparts on the sidelines of the Western Balkans Summit taking place in London. However, he didn’t turn up at the summit. Political analysts say that such a turn of events may put May in an exceptionally difficult position and cause a struggle for leadership in the ruling Conservative Party. In theory, it could result in May’s resignation as party leader and the country’s prime minister. Johnson served as British Foreign Secretary for nearly two years.

9 July 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/world/1012474

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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Russian Billionaire Abramovich Gets Israeli Passport Amidst UK Visa Issue

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Editor:

Increasingly, the oligarchs are either fleeing to the West or adapting to increasing control by the state. First, it was Berezovsky. Then, it was Khodorkovsky. Now, it’s Abramovich. Russia is turning up the heat on the looters of the Nasty Nineties. I feel no compassion for these bloodsuckers. They stashed a lot of boodle in the West. They won’t suffer. Slowly, but surely, Russia is turning its back on that noisome decade. It won’t return to the USSR as it was, but it won’t return to the Nasty Nineties, either. A new synthesis is arising; it’ll take some time to show its true outlines. However, I’ll confide that it’d embody the best of the USSR, the Empire, and Old Russia. It’s all ours… or none of it is ours.

BMD

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The move came after Abramovich failed to extend his UK visa amidst Moscow-London diplomatic tensions. On Monday, The Times of Israel reported that Russian billionaire and owner of the British Football Club Chelsea R A Abramovich obtained Israeli citizenship. According to the Times, he arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv earlier in the day and got an Israeli passport under the Law of Return due to his Jewish ethnicity. As reported by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Abramovich already opened a bank account in Israel. Previously, media reports stated that his decision to immigrate to Israel came amidst the diplomatic conflict between Moscow and London, a result of which being that he couldn’t extend his UK visa. His previous visa reportedly expired in April, when he was outside of Britain. Reportedly, his application for an extension is under consideration.

Last week, the UK House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Select Committee issued a report “Moscow’s Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK”, in which it called on the UK government to boost sanctions against people close to the Kremlin, as well as those responsible for human rights violations. The committee also asked the UK government to work with the USA, the EU, and the G7 countries to tighten the sanctions regime on Russian sovereign debt. On Wednesday, in response, Ministry of Foreign Affairs source M V Zakharova said that the UK campaign against alleged Russian corruption in Britain looks laughable since London has long attracted foreign funds regardless of their origin and refuses to extradite criminals charged in Russia with corruption.

Over the last couple of months, after the alleged poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yuliya with a deadly nerve agent, UK-Russian relations became increasingly strained. Both Skripals are out of hospital. The UK blamed Moscow for the attack and decided to expel Russian diplomats as a response. Russian officials strongly denied any involvement in the case.

28 May 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/russia/201805281064887175-abramovich-gets-israeli-passport/

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

EU Slams Pompeo’s Iran Strategy: It Won’t Make Region Safer From Nuclear Threat

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s promise to slap the “strongest sanctions in history” on Tehran after Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal prompted an outcry from European officials. EU foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini, commenting on the possible unprecedented sanctions against Iran pledged by Pompeo, warned:

There’s no alternative to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Secretary Pompeo’s speech hasn’t demonstrated how walking away from the JCPOA made or will make the region safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation or how it puts us in a better position to influence Iran’s conduct in areas outside the scope of JCPOA. The Iran nuclear deal is the result of more than a decade of complex and delicate negotiations; it’s the best possible outcome, striking the right balance. This deal belongs to the international community, endorsed by the UN Security Council. The international community expects all sides to keep the commitments they made more than two years ago. Iran’s adheres to the JCPOA; the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed ten times that Iran delivered on all its nuclear-related commitments.

Just hours before Pompeo’s speech on Iran, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson declared:

Washington’s plan to tighten the screws against the Islamic Republic won’t work. If you try now to fold all those issues… the ballistic missiles, Iran’s misbehaviour, Iran’s disruptive activity in the region and the nuclear question… if you try to fold all those into a giant negotiation, I don’t see that being very easy to achieve, in anything like a reasonable timetable. After Washington’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal, the prospect of a new jumbo Iran treaty is going to be very, very difficult. I’m not totally pessimistic about the situation. In the end, there’s a deal to be done that gives Iran greater economic access to the West but also constrains it. I think, in the end, we’ll get back to the kind of additions to the JCPOA that we initially envisaged, but it may take a long time.

For his part, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said:

Berlin took into account the US position. It didn’t come as a surprise. During my visit to Washington later this week, I’ll meet with Pompeo to discuss the issue. The situation hasn’t changed for us. During its summit in Sofia, the EU gave a unified signal that we want to keep the Iran nuclear deal. Without this agreement, we could run the risk that Iran could restart a nuclear programme.

In turn, the Iranian Foreign Ministry used stern language to comment on Pompeo’s speech:

Iran rejects the allegations and lies in this so-called new strategy; it condemns the US Secretary of State’s open interference in its internal affairs and its unlawful threats against a UN member state. Pompeo’s remarks are a naïve attempt to divert the international community’s attention away from Washington’s violation of the JCPOA. The US government will be responsible for the consequences of any persecution as well as unlawful and violent actions against the Iranian nation. The insignificant, insulting, and secondary remarks of the new US Secretary of State and his unacceptable attitude to the great and civilised Iranian nation testify to the US government officials’ despair and helpless stance on the Iranians.

In his speech “After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy” at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, Pompeo pledged:

The USA will apply unprecedented financial pressure on Tehran via sanctions. The sting of sanctions won’t ease until Iran changes its course. The new sanctions will be the strongest in history and will make Tehran battle to keep its economy alive. The USA would hold any entity conducting business with Tehran to account; we hope that US allies beyond Europe will support the new anti-Iranian sanctions.

In early May, President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, in a move that sparked a cold snap in Washington’s ties with its European allies and co-signatories to the deal, including the EU, Germany, France, the UK, Iran, Russia, and China.

22 May 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/world/201805221064672753-pompeo-iran-sanctions-mogherini

Editor:

The USA is sounding desperate. It doesn’t have the ground forces to attack Iran… neither can it count on any from its allies, especially not from the KSA and Israel, which are its only local allies with any substantive ground forces (and they don’t match the Iranian ground forces in size). Naval force is irrelevant, as carriers couldn’t operate in the Persian Gulf and Iran could trade via land links to China and Russia. Air forces would face a robust air-defence system. Therefore, the only card left to the peevish Anglo toddlers is the nuclear option. With the adolescent Trump in charge, we’re in the deep kimchi, indeed. The only saving grace in this is that Hillary would’ve already used nukes on Iran… God alone knows what that would’ve led to.

The world holds its breath and waits…

BMD

22 May 2018. Another View of “Royals”, “Aristos”, and Their Milieu

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Let’s not forget the sordid side of “royalty” and “aristocracy”. There was a reason that there was a Revolution in Russia… the aristos went off the deep end and the royals didn’t stop them. Many monarchists are simply displaced aristos who want their old power, privileges, and money back; to be frank. outside of a small fringe element, there’s no mass movement for a monarchy. There’ll be no Romanov Restoration in Russia and the world is better for that.

BMD

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