Voices from Russia

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

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Monday, 18 June 2018

Media Reports Speculate that Trump May Meet with Putin in Europe in July

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The Washington Post cited “a senior administration official and two diplomats familiar with his schedule”:

We expect that President Trump shall meet Russian President Vladimir Putin next month while he’s in Europe for a NATO summit. On Friday, in a nod to those plans, Trump told reporters that “it’s possible” he’d meet with Putin this summer.

NATO is going to hold a summit in Brussels 11-12 July. The Post went on:

Trump’s interest in a meeting with Putin became public in March after the Kremlin disclosed that Trump extended an invitation in a phone call with the Russian leader. However, US officials say Trump privately asked his aides for a bilateral meeting ever since he met with Putin in Vietnam in November on the sidelines of a multilateral economic summit. A US official said, “After that meeting, the president said he wanted to invite Putin to the White House. We ignored it. At the time, top aides in the National Security Council opposed the idea of a meeting and said they didn’t view Trump’s interest in a summit as an order to set one up. They decided, ‘Let’s wait and see if he raises it again’”.

The push for engagement with the Kremlin follows months of prodding by Trump, who faced resistance from senior political aides and diplomats questioning the value of meeting with Putin and worry that a tête-à-tête could cast a shadow over the NATO summit in Brussels. Senior officials at the State Department acknowledged that a meeting between the two leaders could, in theory, help resolve long-standing differences on the Ukraine, Syria, cybersecurity issues, and interference in foreign elections. However, some of those officials said a summit between the two leaders is premature given the lack of progress on resolving minor issues, such as the return of Russian dachas on the East Coast seized as punishment for Moscow’s interference in the election.

In late December 2016, the Obama administration introduced a new round of sanctions against some Russian companies, the Federal Security Service, and the Main Intelligence Agency of the General Staff. Besides that, US authorities expelled 35 Russian diplomats and shut down two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland. Washington attributed these sanctions to cyberattacks against US political institutions, accusing Russia of being involved. However, Moscow fully rejected all allegations and refrained from giving a tit-for-tat response at the time.

On Wednesday, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia with the US National Security Council Richard Hooker told us that Washington and Moscow were considering the possibility to arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin. On 20 March, the two presidents held a telephone call and agreed to hand down instructions to start preparations for a Russia-USA summit. Putin and Trump earlier held talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit held in Hamburg in July 2017. They had another opportunity to negotiate during the APEC summit in Vietnam in November 2017 but managed only to exchange a couple of phrases. On 4 June, Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov said that we’ve taken no specific steps in order to prepare for a summit. Meanwhile, Putin confirmed on 10 June that he was ready to meet with Trump as soon as the USA was also ready for that.

16 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/world/1009827

Kot Mosta: The Bridge is in Good Hands

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Пока в отпуске, я за стройку спокоен! На страже отряд чаек во главе с Чайка Валера. 

I’m unruffled as long as I’m on holiday! The seagull squad is on alert, led by Chaika Valera. 

16 June 2018

Kot Mosta

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Saturday, 16 June 2018

Izvestiya: Russia and China Confirm High-Level Partnership

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President V V Putin wrapped up his three-day visit to China this weekend during which he held comprehensive bilateral negotiations and took part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. Russia and China signed multibillion-dollar contracts, which included the construction of two additional power units at the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant and building the new Xudabao Nuclear Power Plant. According to experts, the talks set the tone for relations between Moscow and Beijing for the next few years. Putin said the parties confirmed “a very high level” of relations. The Chinese side also positively assessed the outcome of the talks. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs source Geng Shuang said, “The current visit by President Putin is an absolute success”. Zhao Huasheng, Director of the Department of Russia and Central Asia at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, noted:

The meeting of the two leaders was shortly after their election to new terms. For both countries, this visit is the new beginning of cooperation for the next five or six years. It once again showed that the sides are ready to continue and enhance cooperation.

Yang Cheng, a Sino-Russian relations expert from the Shanghai International Studies University, said:

For the first time, India and Pakistan participated in the SCO summit in Qingdao. Amidst difficult relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, there were fears that Indian-Pakistani bilateral tension would affect the SCO’s activity. However, on the contrary, their membership in the SCO made it possible to ease tensions.

13 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/pressreview/1009261

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