The Pentagon announced the rotation of US troops in Europe

10.5 thousand troops will return to the United States, while the other 10.5 thousand will go to bases in Europe. The Pentagon spokesman stressed that American soldiers are not sent there to participate in hostilities in Ukraine

The United States plans to rotate the military contingent in Europe in the near future, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at a briefing. Washington continues its course to strengthen the defensive capabilities on the eastern flank of NATO against the backdrop of events in Ukraine, he explained.

“For this reason, Secretary [of Defense Lloyd] Austin has ordered the dispatch of approximately 10,500 troops in the coming months to replace the previously sent army units that serve in the European zone, — told Kirby.— This is a one-on-one replacement of military units. Thus, the total number of American soldiers stationed in Europe will remain the same— about 100,000. Replacements will be carried out gradually over the summer.

Kirby stressed that the newly arrived military “won't fight in Ukraine” and the deployment of troops is not permanent.

In April, US Charge d'Affaires in Estonia Brian Roraff said that Washington allows the deployment of troops in Europe not only on a rotational basis, but also on a permanent basis.

Army Chief of Staff James McConville said at the end of March that the United States would not increase its military presence in Europe to the level of the Cold War (350 thousand).

The American authorities emphasize that US troops are in the region to protect allies for NATO, and not for the war with Russia and participation in hostilities in Ukraine.

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Media: 20 companies in Europe opened accounts with Gazprombank to pay for gas

Against this background, it became known that several subsidiaries of Gazprom in Germany stopped receiving gas from Russia.

According to the American media, 20 accounts of European companies have already been opened with Gazprombank.

With their help, Russian gas consumers intend to pay for blue fuel in rubles.

According to Bloomberg quoting informed sources, the same number of European companies that previously opened accounts with Gazprombank joined the 10 European companies that had previously opened accounts with Gazprombank.

In addition, 14 more companies requested the necessary data in order to open accounts with Gazprombank in the future.

It is reported that such companies will pay for gas from Russia in foreign currency.

The names of 20 companies that opened accounts with Gazprombank are not specified.

Against this background, it is reported that several subsidiaries former daughter “Gazprom” Gazprom Germania GmbH does not receive gas after the imposition of sanctions against Western companies in Russia.

According to the German Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habek, the market is able to compensate for the shortage of gas from Russia, and Germany found an alternative supplier. At the same time, he did not specify the details, TASS writes.

Earlier, TopNews wrote that Gazprombank did not accept payments for gas in rubles for Austria and Germany. According to media reports, ruble payments from Gazprom Germania were rejected.

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Serbia to convene Security Council over Kosovo’s bid to join the Council of Europe

Kosovo's intention to apply for membership in the Council of Europe violates the UN Security Council resolution and other agreements, Vučić said. Earlier, he promised that Belgrade would immediately respond to Pristina's actions and “show its teeth” .jpg” alt=”Serbia will convene the Security Council because of Kosovo's application to join the Council of Europe” />

Aleksandar Vucic

Serbia will convene a meeting of the country's Security Council in connection with the application of partially recognized Kosovo to join the Council of Europe, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said.

The intention to apply for membership in the Council of Europe was confirmed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, Donika Gerwalla-Schwarz, Vučić told reporters after a dinner organized in Brussels for the leaders of the Western Balkans by the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borel.

“I said that this violation of not only the principles of international public law, but also the norms of some agreements, including UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Washington Accords (an agreement on the normalization of economic relations between Serbia and Kosovo, concluded in Washington in 2020.— RBC< /em>)»,— quotes Serbian President Dnevnik.rs.

“We will start to react politically. If someone thinks they can blackmail us and break Serbia <…>, it won't be so easy»,— he added.

On May 6, Vučić promised that Belgrade would give an answer the same day it learned that Pristina had officially applied for membership in the Council of Europe. In the words of the Serbian leader, “the reaction will be much stronger than they think”: “Believe me, we will show you our teeth.” On the same day, the Kosovo news agency RTK reported that an “influential European country”, whose name was not given, was ready to send an invitation to Pristina to the Council of Europe.

In March, the European Stability Initiative think tank called on Kosovo to apply for CE membership after Russia announced its decision to withdraw from the organization, writes Euractiv. The center believes that the republic has every chance of joining the Council of Europe, given that 34 out of 46 of its members recognize the independence of Kosovo.

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Kosovo— member of the World Bank, IMF, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Olympic Committee; a partially recognized republic is not a member of the UN, WTO and other international organizations.

Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, before that it was an autonomous republic within Serbia. Kosovo has been recognized by most EU countries and more than a hundred countries— UN members. Serbia, China, Iran and a number of other countries do not recognize Kosovo as a separate state. Russia also does not recognize Kosovo as a separate state, there is a Russian diplomatic office in Pristina, which is a division of the embassy in Belgrade.

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Lavrov said that Russia does not want war in Europe

The West, in turn, constantly talks about the need to “defeat Russia,” said the Foreign Minister, who is visiting Oman

Video

Russia does not wants war in Europe— it is “The West constantly insists that <…> Russia must be defeated,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Oman.

According to him, the end of the military operation in Ukraine will stop Western attempts to undermine international law and promote a unipolar world. “The era of colonialism is a thing of the past— it must be acknowledged,— stressed the Foreign Minister.

Lavrov arrived in Muscat after a visit to Algeria. The minister held talks with the foreign ministers of both countries.

Russia launched a special operation on “demilitarization and denazification” Ukraine and protecting the population of Donbass from “genocide” 24 February. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared martial law and severed diplomatic relations with Moscow.

Western countries condemned Moscow and supported Kyiv, many of them provided Ukraine with humanitarian and military assistance, but none announced that they were sending their soldiers to the war zone— on the contrary, the United States and other countries declare their unwillingness to enter into a conflict. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised on May 8 that NATO would not become a party to the conflict in Ukraine. Putin at the Victory Parade on May 9 called for preventing a global war.

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US, EU and Britain suspected Russia of cyberattacks on Europe

The UK Foreign Office said the Russian-backed cyberattack affected Viasat's operations in Ukraine, but also disrupted the Internet in Central Europe. Russia has previously denied involvement in cyberattacks

Russia has been behind a series of cyber attacks since the start of a military special operation in Ukraine, the EU, UK, US and other allies believe.

“The most recent the attack on the communications company Viasat in Ukraine had a wider impact across the continent, disrupting wind farms and Internet users in Central Europe,— said the British Foreign Office.

According to the UK National Cyber ​​Security Centre, Russian military intelligence may be involved in the attack on Ukrainian government websites on January 13 and the deployment of Whispergate malware, as well as in the cyber attack on Viasat on February 24.

The US State Department said that Washington supports Kyiv, strengthening the country's cyber defense. Thus, the FBI provides direct support to law enforcement agencies in Ukraine, including informing Ukrainian partners about the “cyber operations of the Russian special services.”

Also, the FBI, the State Department and other US government agencies provided assistance to Ukraine in the purchase of equipment and software to support network protection.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided more than 6.7 thousand emergency communication devices, including satellite phones and data terminals, government officials and critical infrastructure operators in key sectors such as energy and telecommunications.

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The US government has worked closely with Ukrainian ministries until February of this year to ensure Ukraine's cyber resilience, including by providing more than $40 million in aid since 2017.

In mid-January, hackers attacked at least 70 Ukrainian websites, including the portals of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Sports and other departments of Ukraine. On the pages of departments, unknown people posted messages in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish. They urged Ukrainians to “be afraid and expect the worst.” The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine stated that Russia was involved in the cyber attack.

After that, on February 13, representatives of the White House, US intelligence, the US Department of Homeland Security and other US agencies discussed preparations for repelling cyber attacks in Ukraine, CNN reported quoting sources in the US administration.

The Russian embassy in the United States said that Moscow categorically rejects accusations from the administration of US President Joe Biden of involvement in cyber attacks on Ukrainian government websites.

&laquo ;Russia has nothing to do with the mentioned events and, in principle, has never carried out and does not conduct “malicious” operations in the virtual space»,— assured in the diplomatic mission.

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The Foreign Ministry said they do not plan to close Russian embassies in Europe

Russia does not intend to voluntarily close diplomatic missions in European countries, said Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, RIA Novosti reports.

“This is not in our tradition. Therefore, we believe that the work of diplomatic missions is important, — he answered a question about such a possibility against the backdrop of Western sanctions.

At the same time, Grushko emphasized that Moscow did not start a “diplomatic war, a campaign of expulsions.”

The material is being supplemented .

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Macron called for the return of food independence to Europe

Photo: Video still

The EU needs to regain its food independence and reassess its production strategy. This was stated by French President Emmanuel Macron.

According to the head of the French state, this reassessment is necessary against the backdrop of events in Ukraine. Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, led, according to Macron, to the destabilization of food supplies.

To ensure Europe's food sovereignty, Macron said, EU countries need to reassess their production strategy. He made this conclusion while speaking at a conference on the future of Europe. This event was held in Strasbourg at the European Parliament.

Источник www.mk.ru

The Ministry of Defense announced the destruction of weapons from the US and Europe near Kharkov

The Russian military also intercepted three Ukrainian Tochka-U ballistic missiles and nine Smerch multiple rocket launchers in the Kharkiv region, Konashenkov said

View of the building of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Russian aviation struck at a railway station in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine and destroyed a large batch of weapons from the United States and Europe, said Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

“As a result of the strikes, up to 280 nationalists were killed, 48 pieces of weapons and military equipment were disabled.” ,— he claims.

At the request of Roskomnadzor, RBC provides data on the details of the military operation in Ukraine based on information from Russian official sources.

Video

According to him, Russian air defense systems intercepted three Ukrainian Tochka-U missiles overnight. and nine rockets of the Smerch multiple launch rocket system over the city of Izyum in the Kharkiv region. The military also shot down nine Ukrainian drones over the Kharkiv and Kherson regions, as well as over the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic.

In addition, the Russian Aerospace Forces hit five areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment, as well as an ammunition depot in the DPR.

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The United States, the EU and other countries began to supply weapons to Ukraine even before the start of the Russian military operation. The Russian side stated that it could consider shipments of foreign weapons on the territory of the country as its legitimate military goals, and called on the United States and NATO to stop deliveries to Kyiv.

Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, for his part, noted that the Western weapons cannot “stop the advance” and will not prevent Russia from achieving the goals of the special operation.

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Bloomberg: EU plans to ban Russians from real estate transactions in Europe

The publication reports on measures within the sixth package of EU sanctions.

The international publication Bloomberg, which refers to the draft proposal of the European Commission, reports that the EC intends to ban any transactions of both individuals and legal entities of the Russian Federation with real estate in the EU.

In addition, according to the media , it is planned to introduce a ban on the transfer of property, the rights to which cannot be delegated to residents and companies registered in Russia.

They will also not be able to sell and acquire real estate, which is located on the territory of the EU countries, in the property,

The same applies to actions with “parts of collective investments”, which are banned.

All measures will be included in the sixth package of sanctions, which may be introduced by the EU this week.

As Topnews wrote earlier, the EU intends to expand restrictive measures against Russia.

According to the head of the European Committee Ursula von der Leyen, it is planned to phase out Russian oil completely.

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General who studied Russia will become the new commander of NATO forces in Europe

US General Christopher Cavoli has been appointed the new commander of NATO forces in Europe. This was announced by the head of the US Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, CNN reports.

In his new position, Cavoli will replace Tod Walters, who served in this post for three years. Cavoli's appointment to the post was signed by US President Joe Biden with NATO approval.

According to CNN, approximately 100,000 NATO troops from all services deployed in Europe will be under Cavoli's leadership when he officially takes office.

p>

Cavoli was born to an Italian-American family, his father was a US Army officer. Raised in Rome, he joined the US Army in 1987. Currently he is the commander of the US Army in Europe and Africa. He holds an MA in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University. Fluent in Russian, Italian and French.

Against the backdrop of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on April 10 that the alliance is working on plans to send permanent and full-scale military forces to the eastern borders to protect against a possible attack from Moscow. NATO is now “in the midst of a fundamental transformation,” he explained. As part of this process, the forces of the alliance on its eastern borders will be strengthened so that they can “repel an attempt to invade the territory of member states, such as Estonia or Latvia,” Stoltenberg pointed out.

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In addition, after the start of a special operation in Ukraine, the authorities of Sweden and Finland announced their desire to apply for membership in the alliance. The Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, citing sources in the ruling party, indicated that Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson plans to apply in early June. In early April, Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin said that Helsinki would decide the issue of joining NATO within nine weeks.

Russia has repeatedly opposed NATO expansion. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the Swedish and Finnish authorities should be aware of the consequences of accession for “bilateral relations and the European security architecture in general, which is now in a state of crisis.” Also in Russia, NATO was accused of “combat management”; in Ukraine.

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Summer month May. Vilfand about the upcoming summer, crop prospects and floods

Weekly “Argumenty i Fakty” No. 18. With entry into cash. Will ATMs dispense money? 04/05/2022

Scientific Director of the Hydrometeorological Center, Honored Meteorologist of Russia Roman Vilfand told Arguments and Facts where the early fires came from, what to expect from floods and special operations.

“AiF”: — Roman Mendelevich, what will the summer be like?

Roman Vilfand: — Let me remind you that such long-term forecasts — It's definitely a thankless task. But still I will say that so far we predict a comfortable summer in temperate latitudes with temperatures near and above normal. There will be frequent periods of hot, dry weather followed by periods of heavy rainfall.

— The fires started early this year , and Does mean more burns than usual?

— The situation with fire danger in a number of regions is not at all simple. This year, a high fire danger was already predicted in advance in the Asian part of the country and in some other regions. The fire danger is especially strong in the east of the Stavropol Territory, things are slightly better in Dagestan, in the Irkutsk region, in the Transbaikalia. The threat of fires in the Amur region, in Buryatia, in the south of the Khabarovsk Territory, in fact, in the entire Asian part of the country. In all these regions, there was little snow in winter, it melted very quickly, there is traditionally little precipitation, and this year it has fallen even less than the norm. Therefore, the soil is parched and the conditions for a fire hazard exist. But the reason is not only in the prevailing natural conditions. People also, alas, “help.” Because many people still have an opinion about the incredible benefits of last year's grass, this dry grass burns. That if      the reason forest is often purely natural, then in landscape fires, then there     fields, man is always to blame.

By the way, in almost the entire European part of the country, the situation is completely different. Here the soil is well moistened, because the winter was snowy. That that even if there is hot weather without rain, capillary moisture will come from highly moistened soil, and there are no prerequisites for fires here.

&mdash ; There was a lot of snow, but floods passed without consequences?

In the center, in the west, in the south of European Russia, the floods have almost passed. But at the same time, in the dangerous flood level is predicted in                     This year, the soil was very weakly frozen, and in many regions in the center of European Russia, in the Moscow region, it did not freeze at all, it was thawed. And  this contributed to the fact that the melted snow is absorbed into the soil, does not leave along the catchment area of ​​the riverbed, as is the case with a large depth of soil freezing.

Therefore, there were no significant flood conditions. But in April a lot of snow fell, in Moscow the snow depth was 21 cm, for example, and the soil was no longer able to absorb additional moisture. That's why the  water is now rising in parts of the rivers.

And in the north, the flood is still ahead. It is predicted in May of a normal, moderate level. A difficult situation is predicted in the great Siberian rivers: both the Lena and  Yenisei. But that's yet to come. We  will warn of the possibility of potentially dangerous situations.

— Snowywinter gives hopefor a good harvest this year?

— There are winter and spring crops. Winter crops overwintered very well, winter even contributed to the fact that in many regions where not very good conditions were observed even during the sowing autumn, they improved. Winter crops give 45-50% of the total gross harvest. Since the soil moisture is good, it means that the sowing of spring crops will also be quite successful. So, as they say, the  harvest prospects are good.

— There are fewer planes flying over Europe, is it good for the environment?

— Aircraft pollution is not the most serious. The main problem — is the use of fuel. And now, when environmental issues in the world have somewhat moved aside, it can be stated that this year will not be the best for combating the consequences of climate warming.

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Medvedev said that Ukraine “sits on the neck” of Europe

Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Medvedev: Ukraine “sits on the neck” of European sponsors Medvedev also warned the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and other countries after the Hungarian Prime Minister Orban was included in the Peacemaker database as an “anti-Ukrainian propagandist.” “Beware. You, too, are under suspicion! — he noted

Zelensky offered Europe an exchange of electricity for gas

Photo: Still from video

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proposed to European countries a scheme for exchanging electricity for gas. His words were heard in an interview with a Polish TV channel.

Zelensky explained this by the fact that a large amount of electricity is produced in Ukraine, which will allow European countries not to depend on Russia.

The Ukrainian leader cited Greece as an example , Moldova and Romania as countries that can receive electricity in exchange for gas.

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Zelensky proposed to Europe a scheme for the exchange of electricity for gas

Kyiv would like to receive gas from Europe and supply its own electricity there, which is generated in large volumes. At the end of February, Ukrenergo asked residents of the country not to save electricity because of its surplus

Ukraine can help European countries with electricity supplies, in exchange the country expects to receive financial assistance or gas, relevant discussions among the competent departments have already are underway, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an interview with Polish journalists. The video was published in his Telegram channel.

“We will be happy to give the opportunity not to depend on Russia and to provide electric energy, and, on the other hand, we can, on mutual friendly relations, receive an insufficient amount of gas for us, for example, from Europe. Give electricity— get gas»,— said the Ukrainian leader.

As examples of potential recipients of Ukrainian electricity, Zelensky named Greece, Moldova and Romania, noting that many countries could become them.

According to him, in Ukraine “a very large” generation of electricity at nuclear power plants, the issue of its supply to European countries is already being worked out. “Our ministers and all the relevant leaders of various oil and gas companies began to communicate,” — said the President of Ukraine, noting that as long as hostilities continue and the associated difficulties persist, this issue will not develop quickly.

“We have a financial deficit today. Today we have somewhere €5-7 billion per month. This is something that is not enough just for wages. And so we also need the generation of this money,»,— Zelensky emphasized.

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On the night of February 24, Ukrenergo announced the complete disconnection of Ukraine from the Russian and Belarusian energy systems. This happened as part of the tests of our own power system, isolated from the systems of Russia and Belarus, the purpose of which was to prepare for synchronization with the ENTSO-E power system of Europe.

Four days later, on February 28, Ukrenergo urged Ukrainians to consume more electricity and not save, explaining that since the beginning of the Russian special operation, the level of consumption has fallen by 27%, because of which “three nuclear power units and two conventional ones have stopped working.” In addition, the energy company pointed out that twice as much coal had accumulated in the warehouses of the TPP than a year earlier— 733 thousand tons against 376 thousand tons.

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Medvedev praised Scholz’s article with the words “Europe is shrinking”

German Chancellor Scholz wrote in an article that “Vladimir Putin's actions are directed against everything that constitutes democracy.” Medvedev considered his material “mediocre” and added that such an approach would not help him go down in history

Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev called “mediocre” article by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for Welt.

“The article is mediocre, the slogans are the same: we have democracy, and Putin and the Russians are to blame for everything <…> I wrote so that the SPD [Social Democratic Party of Germany] would not be suspected of sympathizing with Russia. And the rating itself is falling and inflation is prohibitive. Therefore, the Russians are to blame, of course,»— he wrote in Telegram.

According to Medvedev, such an approach will not help Scholz go down in history and become better than the “beloved by the Germans” former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“The caliber of Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt or Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle is a thing of the past. Europe is shrinking»,— concluded the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia.

Earlier, Scholz published an article in the newspaper Welt, in which he stated that “Vladimir Putin's actions are directed against everything that constitutes democracy.”

In his opinion, the Russian side “opposes freedom, equality before the law, self-determination, human dignity”, while the democratic countries of the world, according to Scholz, are now united.

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At the end of March, Medvedev stated that relations between Russia and Western countries are currently worse than during the Cold War period, since at that time the Western countries “did not try with such a degree of fury to bring the situation in the Soviet Union to the boiling point».

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Poland to send mobile anti-Russian billboards across Europe

Photo: pixabay.com

At the personal request of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, mobile billboards will be sent to Western European cities as part of the campaign Stop Russia Now.

As Kommersant reported, Morawiecki himself will travel to Germany and other countries to remind him of the situation in Ukraine every hour. Promotions will be supported in social networks. The billboards will be sent to Austria, France and Italy.

Earlier it became known that since the beginning of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, Poland has supplied arms worth $1.6 billion to the republic.

Источник www.mk.ru

Political scientist Satanovsky: an unbeaten generation has come to power in Europe

Photo source: video screenshot.

It has become fashionable in Europe to revise the results of the Second World War, whitewash the ideology of Nazism and present the Third Reich as the forerunner of the current “United Europe”. This happens because an unbeaten generation has come to power on the continent.

As political scientist Yevgeny Satanovsky clarified in his TG channel, it did not fight, did not rebuild destroyed Europe after the war. For the most part, they are self-confident and pompous to the extreme petty bureaucrats and party functionaries.

“Russia is a native and primitive country for them, which they do not hide. That is why they behave the way they do. So, on the one hand, Ukraine must fight until victory over the Russians (!), For which she will receive all the weapons she needs. On the other hand, we must show mercy and compassion to the local Nazis and foreign mercenaries fighting in their ranks, allowing them to escape through humanitarian corridors,” the expert wrote.

Moscow is allegedly obliged to negotiate with European officials according to their rules. When this does not happen, they begin to resent. Satanovsky mockingly noted that these people, with a heightened sense of their own importance and personal superiority, are not able to understand that they are not the ultimate truth for everyone.

It's hard to get used to, but you have to. After all, this is just the beginning, Satanovsky concluded.

See also: “Satanovsky commented on Scholz’s intention to prevent Russia from winning in Ukraine”

Источник www.mk.ru

The IMF called the deadline for the refusal of Russian gas without consequences for Europe

Europe should prepare for a possible cessation of gas supplies, save it and fill storage, says the head of the European Department of the IMF, Alfred Kammer /3/56/756506637673563.jpg” alt=”The IMF called the term for the refusal of Russian gas without consequences for Europe” />

European countries will be able to do without Russian gas for six months, but after that their economies will face serious consequences, Alfred Kammer, head of the European department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told AFP. He urged European countries to reduce gas consumption in order to build up stocks in UGS facilities.

“During the first six months, Europe can cope with such shutdown (with the help of) alternative sources (and) use of stocks of existing storage facilities”,— Cummer said (RFI radio quote).

If the withdrawal of Russian gas continues for a longer time, for example, until next winter, Europe will face a significant impact of such a decision on its economy, he added. The International Monetary Fund predicts that a complete shutdown of gas supplies from Russia could cost the EU economy 3% of GDP, depending on how severe next winter is.

The Dutch government announced on April 22 that it plans to by the end of the year to stop the consumption of Russian gas. The Dutch authorities are planning to do this with the help of energy saving, more environmentally friendly policies and significant imports from different countries.

“In this way, the Netherlands will be able to fully save or replace the Russian share of its gas by the end of the year,” — cites a Reuters government statement.

The share of gas in the energy sector of the Netherlands is 44%, Russia's share in its supplies to the country— about 15%, the agency writes, citing government data.

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At the same time, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that Prague cannot refuse gas from Russia at the moment.

“For the Czech Republic, this would be practically impossible or extremely difficult at the moment. As for our dependence on Russian gas, it is over 90%. But we will do our best to get rid of it as soon as possible,— said Fiala in an interview with Prazsky denik newspaper.

Since the beginning of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, the EU countries have been discussing the possibility of reducing dependence on Russian energy carriers. A number of countries, including those heavily dependent on such supplies— Germany, Austria and Hungary oppose the embargo. The Baltic countries have already announced that they will no longer buy gas from Russia.

Russia is the EU's largest supplier, providing 40% of gas, more than a quarter of oil imports and almost half of all coal supplies. So far, Brussels has decided to reduce only coal imports from Russia by imposing appropriate sanctions.

The US and the EU are now negotiating various options for limiting Russian oil imports, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the discussion. Washington fears that a full oil embargo could drive up prices and “increase the Kremlin's revenue.” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier that such a decision could deal a strong blow to the European economy without having a similar effect on the Russian one.

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Europe is ready to pay for Russian gas in rubles

The countries of the Old World are trying to cope with the shortage of energy resources

The EU members confirmed the possibility of paying for the supply of “blue fuel” from our country in Russian currency. Thus, the states of the continent actually agreed with the ultimatum of Vladimir Putin, who shifted the Western coalition to re-register the payment for hydrocarbon supplies into rubles. True, the recalculation system will turn out to be quite cunning: money for the export of energy resources will go to special accounts that allow the supplier to purchase specific, but far from needed products.

Photo: Pixabay.com.

Paying for Russian gas in rubles is a violation of EU sanctions. This decision, according to Reuters, was made by the European Commission. True, at the same time, the top representatives of the diplomacy of the Old World made a reservation: gas deals with Russia do not exclude a scheme of transactions by which buyers will be able to pay for energy resources in dollars or euros to the accounts of Russian financial organizations “for subsequent conversion into rubles under existing contracts.”

In other words, European consumers of Russian energy resources have secured a legal cut blanche for themselves: on the one hand, most Western countries, coupled with the fifth package of anti-Russian sanctions, cannot afford to pay for gas imports from our country, which provides from 30% to 100% of the fuel consumption of the countries of the Old World , directly in rubles; on the other hand, the Europeans allowed themselves conditional disregard for this ultimatum.

For understanding, it is necessary to explain that after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine and the imposition of additional sanctions against our country by the West, including the freezing of Western accounts of Russian state banks, President Vladimir Putin demanded that foreign contractors pay for the supply of energy resources, oil and gas, in rubles. Such castling should help support the national currency and slow down domestic inflation.

“At first, the transition to rubles in payments for Russian gas exports was categorically not approved by the governments of the countries of the Old World. Then some states, such as Serbia and Slovakia, offered to find a compromise. Despite the loud statements of European officials, the transition to a new financial scheme is quite possible. The European energy ball is mainly run not by political demagogues, but by large commercial organizations interested in the ultimate profit. No one is going to wait for the final completion of political disagreements between Russian suppliers and Western officials: it is beneficial for both parties to purchase Russian pipeline raw materials,” said Sergey Severov, investment strategist at Arikapital Management Company.

At the same time, as stressed by the financial expert Mikhail Belyaev, the transfer of funds for the supply of energy resources to formal bank accounts is fraught with new restrictions. “Europe will not allow paying with “fuel” money the requests of the Russian industry for new, modern technologies, software, components for the automotive industry. The choice for imports from Russia may be limited to the “formal office”, which is far from being in the first place in demand in the ordinary life of Russians. Russia will have to import jeans and sneakers for oil and gas billions, which Europeans can resell through Asian manufacturers. Russia needs to achieve a shift in real imports, and correspondent accounts, which will have billions of dollars that cannot be spent on economic development, will again turn out to be ballast, ”the MK interlocutor believes.

Источник www.mk.ru

The IMF called the period that Europe will stretch without Russian gas

Photo: Gennady Cherkasov

Head of the European Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Alfred Kammer called the period during which Europe will be able to do without of Russian gas during its complete shutdown.

“Within the next six months,” the France Press agency reports Kammer.

At the same time, he noted that if the shutdown lasted until winter or longer, then it would have “significant negative consequences” for the European economy.

He advised to look for alternative sources of supply, and the population to learn to reduce energy consumption so that gas could be accumulated and mitigate the effect of it possible shutdown.

Источник www.mk.ru

Paris with a swastika. How the French fought for the triumph of Nazism in Europe

Plot World History with Andrey Sidorchik

For eight years from 2014 to 2022, European countries did not make real efforts to peacefully resolve the crisis in Ukraine within the framework of the Minsk agreements. But now an incredible amount of teachings and threats against Russia is flying.

“Did they defeat us too?”

In particular, the Europeans decided to teach the Russians the correct understanding of the terms “Nazism”; and “genocide”. «This war is not a fight against Nazism, it is a lie», — French President Emmanuel Macron announced in one of his speeches.

Legend has it that the representatives of the Wehrmacht, who arrived at the ceremony of signing the unconditional surrender, were surprised to see the French. “Did these guys also defeat us?” — the losers asked rudely.

Regrettably for the French, there was a lot of truth in this surprise. On May 15, 1940, French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud telephoned Winston Churchill in London, declaring: “We have been defeated… They are rushing into the gap with tanks and armored vehicles.” Churchill tried to calm Reynaud, but he kept repeating like a clockwork: “No, we are beaten, we lost the battle.” 

On June 22, 1940, the Compiegne Armistice was signed, according to which 60 percent of the country's territory, including Paris and the entire Atlantic coast, became the occupation zone of Germany. The French army was to disarm and hand over heavy weapons to the German troops. It was envisaged to maintain minimal formations to maintain order, the number of which was to be determined by Germany and Italy. The French navy was to be demobilized and placed in ports under the supervision of the occupying forces. France was also entrusted with the obligation to maintain German troops on its territory. France handed over to the Reich all German prisoners of war, while French soldiers had to remain in POW camps until the end of hostilities in Western Europe. In addition, France was obliged to extradite to the Reich the citizens of Germany who were on its territory, who were indicated by the German command.

“Legion of French volunteers against Bolshevism”

The so-called Vichy France has become a real satellite of the Third Reich. In the Soviet years in our country they preferred to talk about the Normandie squadron — Neman» and the resistance movement, without specifying that the number of those French who supported Hitler in the period from 1940 to 1944 was dozens of times greater than the number of those who fought Nazism.

According to the NKVD of the USSR, a total of 23,136 French were in Soviet captivity. We are talking about those who directly participated in the battles against the Red Army.

There is no question of any bondage. Immediately after the German attack on the USSR, on the initiative of a number of French political parties and with the approval of the authorities of the Third Reich, the Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism was formed. As part of the Wehrmacht, it was called the 638th Infantry Regiment, but, curiously, its fighters fought … under the banner of France.

Another noteworthy fact for “French pride” — The 638th Infantry Regiment was the only foreign unit in the Wehrmacht that advanced on Moscow in 1941.

morale, but the level of their combat training is low. The sergeants, in general, are not bad, but they do not show activity, since the senior staff does not show efficiency. The officers are not capable of much and were clearly recruited on a purely political basis.

Due to heavy losses, the “Legion against Bolshevism” taken to the rear for retraining and reorganization.

Punishers and SS men: the dark pages of the “Gallic roosters”

Can you fall even lower? Can. After retraining and replenishment in 1942, the French battalions were placed at the disposal of the Wehrmacht security divisions on the territory of the Byelorussian SSR. Modern Parisian historians write that the formations were used for “anti-partisan actions”, but it would be more correct to call it otherwise — French soldiers played the role of punishers.

Belarusian partisans, however, did not breed politeness, sending immigrants from French lands to the other world as diligently as all other Nazis and their accomplices.

In the summer of 1944, the Legion Against Bolshevism, completely worn out by losses, poured into the new division — 7th SS Grenadier Brigade Charlemagne.

In general, the French were recruited into the SS on an individual basis from 1942, and from 1943 recruitment points in France operated under the auspices of the government in Vichy. In August 1943, a French SS regiment was created, and in the fall of 1944, a whole brigade of French SS men was recruited. In February 1945, Charlemagne was reorganized into an SS division.

And here again the historical parallels: according to the documents, for the first time the French SS battalion collided with the Red Army during the fighting … near Lvov. Here the Nazis noted the special zeal and combat effectiveness of the French, but it cost them very dearly — in a month of fighting in the summer of 1944, the French SS battalion lost up to 90 percent of its personnel killed and wounded. did not let up.

The Iron Cross and the absence of regret: the career of the French Hauptsturmführer Fehne

Historical fact — in the last days of the defense of Berlin in the Reichstag area, a combined hodgepodge of Finnish, Danish, Norwegian and French SS men fiercely defended, and collaborators showed much more zeal than the Germans themselves.

April 29, 1945, French Hauptsturmführer Henri Joseph Fene received the Iron Cross for valor in the battles for Berlin.

Fene was taken alive, and this is how he recalled it: “We were herded to the damaged Brandenburg Gate, where we stood and looked with a heavy heart at the parade of winners — hundreds and hundreds of tanks adorned with red flags. We were crushed. It was a complete disaster. We were erased, thrown into the abyss of insignificance and impenetrable darkness … When the Russians moved the camp to the east, they decided not to take me with them, and I returned to France. “You will suffer a punishment worthy of traitors!“ Such a poster met me at the border».

Kara, however, turned out to be a kind of — Fene, sentenced to 22 years in prison, was released after three and a half years. Moreover, he claimed that they met him as a hero: “On the day of my release, the entire administration of the prison gathered, and they offered me champagne. The town priest arrived in his little “Citroen” and waited for me at the gate. They were all sincerely glad to see me free.

In France, they “understood and forgave” me. earlier than in Ukraine

Fenet lived until 2002, regularly held meetings with French colleagues at Charlemagne, at which the SS men proudly posed with the Iron Crosses received from the Third Reich. The Hauptsturmführer willingly gave interviews to the media, in which he stated that he did not regret anything, and he was not ashamed of anything at all.

The truth is that the justification and rehabilitation of French collaborators, including the SS, began much earlier than in Ukraine. But it was furnished with the elegance inherent in the French, and it’s not so noticeable to us from the outside.

Источник aif.ru

Medvedev threatened Europe with “stinking bonfires from tires” because of Ukrainian refugees

Photo: kremlin.ru

Deputy head of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev commented on the statement of the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who expressed her opinion about the inevitability of a default Russia. Medvedev outlined his vision of the situation and criticism of von der Leyen on the social network, starting the post with the phrase “semantic hallucinations.”

“European aunt Ursula began to actively issue texts …” – writes Medvedev.

According to him, “their main meaning is no longer about suffering”, the resolution of the situation in Ukraine and the like, but about the collapse of the Russian economy.

“Here what is the deep strategy of the European Union, the secret intention of the masochists, – continues Medvedev. – Only two obvious points. Russia's default may turn into Europe's default…"

Medvedev believes that “Europe's default” can be simultaneously “moral” and “material” that “the EU's financial system is not entirely stable” and that “people's trust is falling.” He recalled the period of his presidency: “And it didn't shake so much even in the memorable 2008, and then it was very difficult.”

The second “moment” according to Medvedev – “wait for the powerful gratitude of ordinary Europeans for hyperinflation”, also “for the lack of elementary products” and “for the influx of refugees.” The latter, the author of the post believes, will start riots.

"On the streets of well-groomed European cities, – writes Medvedev, – smelly bonfires from tires will burn in honor of the heroes of Maidan and Velikoï Overcome €Europe!"

Источник www.mk.ru

Novak explained why Europe “hardly” will replace energy resources from Russia

The EU countries will most likely not find a reasonable replacement for Russian energy resources, since the United States will not be able to quickly increase supplies to the required level, and South American and South African fuels are more expensive

European countries are unlikely to be able to find a “reasonable replacement” for Russian energy resources with the help of supplies from other exporters due to lack of infrastructure, high cost and logistical problems, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak wrote in an article for the Energy Policy magazine.

American producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have been claiming a significant share of the European market for several years, Novak said. At the end of March, the US and the EU agreed to supply at least 15 billion cubic meters. m of gas during this year, US gas exports to Europe are expected to grow, the vice premier continued.

However, just last year, Russia supplied the European Union with ten times more gas— 156 bcm m, he pointed out. According to Novak, European countries will not be able to quickly increase supplies from the United States due to the lack of the necessary infrastructure.

“The cost of liquefied gas is much higher than pipeline gas from Russia. The factor of reliability remains important. We remember how last fall, due to higher prices in the Asian market, Europe missed a significant amount of LNG,— added the Deputy Prime Minister.

The European Union is also exploring the possibility of energy supplies from Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Algeria, Novak continued, recalling that OPEC had warned that it was impossible to replace supplies from Russia . European states may agree on the supply of coal from South Africa and South America, but experts, he said, are skeptical about the ability of these exporters to provide an acceptable price due to high demand and logistics costs.

“Thus, a reasonable alternative to energy sources from Russia hardly exists today. Taking into account Russia's share in the market, it becomes obvious that without Russian energy resources it is impossible to speak of a guarantee of Europe's energy security, — considers the Deputy Prime Minister.

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The European states have been discussing the possibility of imposing an embargo on energy imports from Russia since the end of February, searching for alternative suppliers. Washington has already imposed a ban on fuel imports from Russia, London plans to take a similar measure by the end of this year. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the embargo would help “end the bullying by the Kremlin”, noting that the process of cutting off supplies from Russia would not be easy and would cause “hard times”.

The embargo on gas and oil from Russia was not included in the fifth and last package of restrictive measures of the European Union to this day, despite the discussion of this decision. At the same time, the new sanctions imply a ban on the purchase and import of Russian coal, hot shale, peat and other solid fossil fuels.

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Medvedev accused Europe of “trying to pocket” paintings from Russia

The Deputy Head of the Security Council called the countries of Europe, because of whose position the return of paintings from Russian collections is delayed, “banal thieves”

Dmitry Medvedev

Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev accused Europe of trying to appropriate paintings from Russian collections that are delayed or unable to return to the country due to the difficulties caused by the sanctions.

“What is characteristic: Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Shostakovich and Pushkin are anathematized by many Europeans with clinical pleasure. But material values ​​temporarily located abroad are quite ready to be pocketed with the help of formal delays. <…> Well done Europeans, simply handsome & hellip; Well, or banal thieves, from which side to look, & mdash; wrote Medvedev in Telegram.

According to him, “the bureaucracy of the European Union impudently forced Finland under far-fetched” sanctions ” prepositions» to detain at the border the paintings of the Hermitage, the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum, exhibited in Italy and Japan. Medvedev noted that “colossal efforts” succeeded in persuading the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs to back down and issue permission to transport the paintings to Russia.

Also, the deputy head of the Security Council noted, “neither shaky nor rolled” the process of returning to Russia the paintings exhibited by the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris as part of the display of the collection of the Morozov brothers.

“This is a good lesson for the whole world for the future. If you do not want your property to be under arrest, in the third decade of the 21st century, you cannot take the word of the authorities of European countries. Their letters of guarantee are not worth the paper they are printed on. <…> And I recommend that representatives of the degenerate European establishment still watch the film “Alexander Nevsky” and listen to the final cantata. It will help to better understand: do not anger the Russians, return someone else's, so that in the end you will not be under the ice of Lake Peipsi again, — Medvedev noted.

Read on RBC Pro Pro Anti-crisis measures for business: what the owner should do right now Instructions Pro Hunt for a system administrator: how the crisis affects the hiring of IT staff and vacation Instructions Pro Without VHI or without bonuses: what companies should give up first of all Articles Pro The world is waiting for a decade-long commodity supercycle. And that's why Articles Pro It won't be possible to wait it out: how Russian business will change in two or three yearsHe stated that Russia would not shut itself off from the world in response. “We have a busy agenda with the countries of the CIS, BRICS, Latin America and Africa. In these states, there are billions of adequately minded people who value us, love and wait for us, — he added.

On April 4, Special Presidential Envoy for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi announced the detention of paintings from Russian museums, including those from the Hermitage, in Finland. According to him, the exhibits got stuck at customs. He attributed the delay to bureaucratic procedures. At the same time, the Finnish Customs confirmed that three consignments of goods “falling under EU sanctions” were detained at the Vaalimaa checkpoint from 2 to 4 April.

In addition to paintings from the Hermitage, we are also talking about exhibits from the museum-reserves “Tsarskoe Selo”, “Pavlovsk”; and “Gatchina”, the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Museum of the East and the Pushkin Museum. They were presented at two exhibitions in Italy (in Milan and Udine) and at the Chiba Museum in Japan.

On April 7, the Russian Foreign Ministry protested to Finnish Ambassador Antti Helanter. After that, the Finnish customs officers requested an explanation from the European Commission (EC). The EC said that paintings that participated in European exhibitions are not subject to restrictions. Ultimately, the Finnish Foreign Ministry allowed the work to be returned to Russia.

On 9 April, the Hermitage announced that the paintings had arrived in Russia. Among them are the works of Antonio Canova, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Vigée Lebrun, the painting “The Tolstoy Family in Venice”; Giulio Carlini, the press service of the museum specified.

At the same time, the French Ministry of Culture reported that two paintings from the collection of the brothers Mikhail and Ivan Morozov, which were on display at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, will remain in France. According to Le Monde, the first canvas belongs to businessman Peter Aven, who fell under EU sanctions. The publication clarifies that we are talking about the painting “Self-portrait in gray” Peter Konchalovsky. Second job— portrait of Margarita Morozova Valentin Serov— belongs to the Dnepropetrovsk Museum of Fine Arts in Ukraine.

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Kosachev said that it makes no sense for Russia to return to the Council of Europe and PACE

Photo: Artem Makeev

There is no point in returning to the Council of Europe and PACE in their current configuration, over time new politicians will appear, then and dialogue with Moscow will be more in demand. Vice Speaker of the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev shared his point of view.

He believes that Russia ended up in these structures in the 90s on “rather romantic ideas and expectations”, but in a completely different historical context.< /p>

As the parliamentarian noted, Russia was moving towards another Europe, which we knew around the end of the 20th century with its ideological and media diversity, openness to interaction, universalism in respect for human rights and other attractive features.

< p> At the same time, today it is rather rigidly ideologically colored, intolerant of dissent societies of “postmodern values”, where the nominal principles have lost their universality, Kosachev believes. In his opinion, freedom of the media is becoming more conditional, and the multi-party system, previously existing Christian or social democratic parties, have been replaced by “50 shades of gray” liberalism.

Источник www.mk.ru

Europe asked Zelensky to prove Ukraine’s non-involvement in Bucha

Photo: Video frame

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted that one of the leading European politicians urged him to provide evidence that the events in Bucha were not staged by Kyiv. He said this in an interview with the Bild newspaper.

During the conversation, Zelensky was asked if this politician was the head of government of one of the European countries. Zelensky answered this in the affirmative. However, he did not name names.

The day before, on April 8, high-ranking officials of the European Union visited Bucha, Ukraine. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell arrived there. The Prime Minister of Slovakia, Eduard Heger, also arrived with them. Black plastic bags were laid out in front of them. According to the Ukrainian side, they contained the bodies of people who died in Bucha.

Before that, Ukraine and the West accused Russian troops of being involved in the death of civilians in Bucha. The RF rejects these allegations as they are untrue and provocative. The Kremlin described the accusations as an attempt to disrupt negotiations between Kiev and Moscow.

Источник www.mk.ru

Zelensky said that Europe demanded evidence on Bucha

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that one of the European leaders asked him to prove that the events in Bucha were not staged

Volodymyr Zelensky

One of the European leaders demanded that the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky prove that the events in Bucha were not staged. The Ukrainian leader said this in an interview with the German publication Bild. He declined to name the politician.

“Show us evidence that this was not staged,”— Zelensky cited an unnamed European politician.

When asked if this person is the head of the government of one of the European countries, Zelensky answered: “Yes.”

The President of Ukraine noted that Germany openly opposed Ukraine's membership in NATO and did not support Kyiv with weapons, however, according to him, Berlin's rhetoric has changed. “Germany is conservative and cold, but the train has started,” — Zelensky said.

In early April, the Ukrainian authorities and Western media, including Reuters and AFP, published photos and videos from the city of Bucha (Kyiv region), which showed corpses on the streets. The Russian Ministry of Defense called these materials a provocation and said that the Russian military left Bucha on March 30, and while the city was under their control, not a single local resident was injured.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry called the publication of shots from Bucha the goal of disrupting negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv. Later, the head of the department, Sergei Lavrov, said that the Ukrainian side tried to interrupt the negotiations after the publication of the “fake about the city of Bucha”

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The Chinese Foreign Ministry explained the crisis in Ukraine by the imbalance of security in Europe

The reason for the crisis in Ukraine was an imbalance in the European security system, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. He said this during a telephone conversation with the French President's diplomatic adviser Emmanuel Bonn.

< p> According to the minister, it is necessary to create a new system, which will be based on the principle of indivisibility of security. In this way, “long-term stability” can be achieved; in Europe, he said.

Wang Yi said that Beijing is supporting Paris in its desire to “adhere to European strategic independence and put the fate of Europe in the hands of the Europeans themselves.” “At the same time, we believe that the return of the Cold War mentality cannot be allowed. Mankind has entered the 21st century, the interests of all countries are interdependent,— the minister said.

The Foreign Minister added that Beijing is counting on an early cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and is in favor of facilitating peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv. However, one cannot call for negotiations and at the same time “continuously supply a large number of advanced weapons and equipment”; Ukraine, as well as to impose unilateral sanctions against Russia, since such actions contribute to the escalation of the conflict, the diplomat is sure.

The material is being supplemented

in blocking conditions

Источник rbc.ru

Revealed the meaning of the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Europe

“Of course, there will be damage to both sides”

The expulsion of Russian diplomats from two dozen European countries, although an expected step by the collective West, turned out to be unprecedented in its kind. In total, since the start of the special operation in Ukraine, at least 24 states, as well as the European Union, have announced such a decision. The total number of expelled domestic diplomats exceeded 300 people. Moscow has announced symmetrical retaliatory measures, while experts agree on one thing: like an exchange of sanctions, a new round of confrontation is dangerous for all sides.

The building of the Russian Embassy in Germany Photo: Global Look Press

The immediate reason was the information about allegedly found in the Ukrainian Bucha “numerous victims of the Russian operation.” As a result, within a little over a day, almost two dozen European states declared Russian diplomats persona non grata. Such a status implies that the employees of the missions carried out activities incompatible with their position (whether it be espionage or something similar), therefore, they are now deprived of immunity and must leave the host country within the agreed time frame.

Among the leaders were, of course, countries where the diplomatic missions of the Russian Federation are traditionally numerous – Germany (40 deported), France (35 deported), – as well as states that have long and systematically pursued an openly anti-Russian line, not losing sight of any opportunity to demarche.

Poland jumped ahead of the largest members of the European Union, declaring 45 diplomats persona non grata, and in total expelled the Baltic countries as many, and Latvia and Lithuania even refused the presence of Russian ambassadors on their territory.

But some countries, even despite in solidarity with the common “anti-Russian front”, they decided to postpone the reduction of diplomatic relations. For example, the Japanese authorities, according to local media, fear that Moscow's reaction will affect the situation of Japanese citizens in our country.

Russia announced retaliatory measures, and the steps taken abroad were called an element of information warfare.

“In recent decades, the collective West has begun to use the declaration of Russian diplomats persona non grata as a tool not for diplomatic work, but for information and political attack,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

As a rule, the responses of the Russian side in such situations are symmetrical. Suffice it to recall the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats from abroad so far in March 2018, after the incident in Salisbury, in which the West blamed Russia. But even then, the scale was much smaller than it is now, since in two weeks 29 countries and NATO expelled a total of just over 150 diplomatic staff.

In the case of each state, Russia acted on the principle of reciprocity, expelling exactly the same number of foreign employees of embassies and consulates (the exception was the UK, which was ordered to recall another 27 people in order to bring the number of the British diplomatic mission in Moscow and the Russian one in London into full compliance) . But the mass expulsions seemed to be over: the subsequent “exchanges” of their own diplomats were already narrowly focused. So, last year, the Czech Republic expelled 18 Russian workers (in connection with which, along with the United States, it was included in the list of countries unfriendly to the Russian Federation), but the process did not expand in breadth.

In the current situation, it is quite likely that the process launched by the West will not stop at mutual and equivalent measures. As Alexander Panov, head of the Department of Diplomacy at MGIMO MFA of Russia, ex-ambassador of the Russian Federation to Norway, South Korea and Japan, noted in a conversation with MK, it is possible that “the exchange itself” will not follow the “one-on-one” scheme: in in any case, the expulsion from the Russian side will be significant.”

“Of course, the current steps of the European countries are a coordinated demarche,” the diplomat said. “As for who he harms, of course there will be harm for both sides. The mass expulsion of diplomats radically reduces the possibilities of communication, obtaining information, providing visa services, and helping their own citizens. We are talking about interrupting all contacts: political, economic, cultural – this will have the most negative effect on bilateral relations. It is double-edged, as is the imposition of sanctions on the economy, which we are already seeing. In the history of diplomatic relations, I do not remember such a mass phenomenon, this is the first such case.

According to Alexander Panov, declaring the exiled diplomats persona non grata is just a stupid pretext: “The West needs to somehow cover up its own strange actions. Therefore, statements were made about persona non grata, who were allegedly engaged in some dubious activities abroad. But in this case, a natural question arises: why, with such a scale of the problem, the wait turned out to be so long? So the pretext is not even just unconvincing, but tritely stupid. If we talk about the prospects of replacing the expelled diplomats with new ones, then I think many countries may refuse such an option.”

If in the case of the “Skripal case” it was possible to slow down the process of confrontation and continue contacts, albeit with the “truncated » missions, now there are few chances to get out of the diplomatic crisis.

“This is not a matter of the next few months, and everything will depend on the further development of events in Ukraine and around it. But under any scenario, the restoration of diplomatic relations to the previous level will be long and difficult,” Alexander Panov is sure.

First Vice President of the Center for Political Technologies Alexei Makarkin, in turn, considers the recent actions of the West not an attempt to put pressure on Russia, but part of a strategy to “fence off” from it.

“I do not think that anyone seriously expects that such measures will entail some immediate result. Even in current events, it is impossible to imagine that Russia will change its policy in response to the expulsion of diplomats. This, as we see, is not happening,” the political scientist said in a conversation with MK. – In my opinion, the matter is different: for Western countries, these steps are a stage on the path of fencing off from Russia.

The situation is changing quite quickly – even if we look at the trends at the beginning of the year, we will see that, rather, Moscow fenced itself off from the West. In the same place, on the contrary, they talked about the need to preserve relations, that they should not be driven into a corner, and negotiations and any contacts are better than their absence … And although even then there were expulsions of diplomats, they were of a targeted nature. At that time, the “cold war” was actually going on, within which individual such steps were not something extraordinary.

At the same time, if you look at the experience of the previous Cold War, then mass expulsions were quite rare, usually timed to coincide with some kind of spy scandals, and were not accompanied by similar actions by several countries at once. Suffice it to recall the expulsions of Soviet diplomats from Great Britain under Margaret Thatcher, or from France, to which, for example, Germany or Belgium did not react in any way, it was a matter of exclusively bilateral relations against the backdrop of a general confrontation.

Now we are seeing a mass phenomenon, the actual reduction to a minimum of the apparatus of embassies in a number of states, and this means that since February 24, the West has switched to a policy of isolating Russia in various areas. In particular, in the case of the exclusion of the Russian Federation from the Council of Europe, Western countries even outstripped Moscow, which, despite its rhetoric, was in no hurry to leave the CE.

Aleksey Makarkin also doubts the possibility of “compensating” losses in diplomatic missions for counting new figures – this will depend on the specific country.

“It is important to understand that we are not talking about automatic replacement of employees. The declaration of persona non grata in this case is an element that speaks not of a simple reduction in staff, but of an actual accusation of acts against the host country. In addition, any diplomat sent “for replacement” must still apply for accreditation, and we saw how they can be considered in the United States, where some of the workers were expelled, but new candidates were not approved. Even in calmer times, there were situations when, for example, a diplomat's term of office expires, and the one who should replace him is not accredited, although this seems to be a routine situation. With the United States, this confrontation at the level of embassies began earlier, but in Europe it can happen now,” the expert concluded.

Источник www.mk.ru