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June 8, 2016

EU divided over Russia sanctions

EU divided over Russia sanctions – Wikinews, the free news source

EU divided over Russia sanctions

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

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Greece, Italy, Germany, Finland and Brussels are reported to be in favour of relaxing the trade sanctions imposed against Russia, following its invasion of Ukraine in 2014.

Ahead of a NATO summit in July[1], which will discuss furthering the sanctions, Russia has sought to strengthen its diplomatic ties with EU nations involved in the summit, which it hopes will lead to a relaxation of the sanctions.

The sanctions restrict EU investment in Russian banks and energy firms, and the import and export of Russian military equipment.[2]

While EU relations with Russia appear to be warming, the U.S. has dispatched envoys to the EU, urging its member states to extend the sanctions. Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, told a Senate Relations Committee that “the largest piece of leverage that we have on Russia is the sustainment over two years of deep and comprehensive sanctions across the U.S. and EU countries… So again this is why we are advocating – because Minsk is not being implemented – that the sanctions have to be rolled over again.”[3]

Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza also recommended that the committee extend the sanctions to other Russian politicians and journalists, who he claims are buying property and educating their children in the West.

“The most effective way and frankly the most principled way… to deal with those human rights abusers is to place them on that sanctions list,” he said.[4]

The EU has suspended travel and frozen the assets of 149 Russian nationals[5], while the U.S. has imposed similar sanctions on 39 individuals.[6]

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has voiced strong opposition to the sanctions, telling reporters at a press-conference in May that, “We have repeatedly said that the vicious circle of militarisation, of Cold War rhetoric and of sanctions is not productive. The solution is dialogue.”[7]

Recent comments by German senior ministers reflect a softening of the German Chancellery’s previously hard-line stance on Russian sanctions, with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmier saying that, “My approach has aways been that sanctions are not an end in themselves. When progress is made on the implementation of the Minsk Protocol, we can also talk then about easing sanctions.”[8]

The Russian sanctions will be a key item on the NATO summit’s agenda, to be held in Warsaw on July 8-9.[9]



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January 1, 2016

Russia ready to cooperate with Taliban, considers NATO as threat

Russia ready to cooperate with Taliban, considers NATO as threat

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Friday, January 1, 2016

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an updated National Security Paper describing Nato‘s expansion as a threat to the country. Two days earlier, Russian President’s special envoy to Afghanistan stated that his country was ready to cooperate with Taliban. After having expanded Russia’s territory into Ukraine and caused an ongoing war, and after strengthening his support to al Assad in Syria and bringing his country into another crisis with a Nato member and own ex-ally Turkey, the Russian President now declares Nato as threat to the Russian Federation, while his envoy to Afghanistan qualifies Nato actions as a “total failure” and calls for cooperation with Taliban.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

On December 29, while assessing the impact of the ISAF for Afghanistan (International Security Assistance Force), the Russian President’s special envoy , Zamir Kabulov, told Russian news Agency TASS that the U.S. NATO mission in Afghanistan had been a total failure.

“Assessing the results of the actions of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, it can be said that they have completely failed their mission”, Kabulov stated in an interview to a Russian news agency. He added that NATO campaign’s eventual aim of creating a “democratised central state'” by fighting terrorism did not succeed. According to Kabulov, Afghan governmental forces “show inability to affect the situation due to a lack of arms and equipment, as well as an insufficient level of training and low morale.”

Kabulov mentioned Russia’s support to Kaboul and its intention of “consistently lend[ing] comprehensive assistance” to central State. Russia supports the Afghan policy of national reconciliation and “is ready to be flexible over a potential easing of the UN Security Council’s sanctions regime against Taliban if it does not contradict the Afghan national interests,” Kabulov stated.

The special envoy also alleged that the National Reconciliation Policy supported by NATO would bring the Taliban back into the executive : “No one is talking today about achieving a victory by military means over the Taliban, while the implementation of the national reconciliation policy would in practice mean their return to power”.

“I have already said earlier that we and the Taliban have channels for exchanging information,” Kabulov added, in remarks reported by Interfax and confirmed to The Washington Post by a ministry spokesman.

The Russian President signed a national security paper alleging that Russia’s “independent domestic and foreign policy” compelled the U.S and its allies to “counter-action’, describing these countries as imperialist powers threatening Russia from all sides. Putin brought back memories of the Cold War when Stalin put forward American Imperalism as a reason to buil a united ‘independent socialist’ front. Its seems that the Russian President wants to be considered by the US as an equal partner by maintaining its influence in Central Asia and Eastern Mediterranean, hence reinforcing its negotiation power with Europe as well.

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December 23, 2015

Suicide bombing in Afghanistan kills six US NATO members

Suicide bombing in Afghanistan kills six US NATO members

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

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On Monday, a suicide bomber blew himself up on a motorcycle in Bagram District, Afghanistan. The bombing killed six US NATO service members and injured several others.

According to NATO and Afghan officials, the bombing occurred at 1:30pm local time in a village near Bagram Airfield. Bagram Airfield is located about 40 km (25 mi) north of Kabul, the Afghan capital.

The bombing killed six US NATO soldiers. The US Department of Defense delayed officially releasing their names, following policy, but all the victims have been identified.

One of them is Joseph Lemm, aged 45. Lemm served fifteen years as an officer of the New York City Police Department and has a wife and two children.

Another is Adrianna Vorderbruggen, an openly lesbian US Air Force major. Vorderbruggen advocated repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and is now married to her same-sex partner. The couple has a son.

The others are Peter Taub from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Michael Anthony Cinco from Rio Grande Valley, Texas, age 28; Chester McBride Jr., Statesboro, Georgia; and Louis Bonacasa, Coram, New York.

The bombing also injured others, including two US military personnel and, according to an Afghan official, three local police officers.

Via email and Twitter, the Taliban, whose regime the US overthrew after invading the country in 2001, claimed responsibility to the bombing.

Currently, about 10,000 US, and less than half as many NATO, military personnel remain in Afghanistan.



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December 22, 2015

Suicide bombing kills six American NATO members

Filed under: Afghanistan,NATO,Pages with defaulting non-local links — admin @ 5:00 am

Suicide bombing kills six American NATO members

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

On Monday, a suicide bomber blew himself up on a motorcycle in Bagram, Afghanistan. The bombing killed six American NATO service members and injuring three others.



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Suicide bombing kills six US NATO members

Suicide bombing kills six US NATO members

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

On Monday, a suicide bomber blew himself up on a motorcycle in Bagram, Afghanistan. The bombing killed six US NATO service members and injured several others.

According to NATO and Afghan officials, the bombing occurred at 1:30pm local time in a village near Bagram Airfield, the largest US base in Bagram of the Parwan Province. Bagram is located around 40 km (25 mi) north of Kabul, the Afghan capital.

The bombing killed six US NATO soldiers. Although the US Department of Defense has not officially released the names, the victims are identified.

One of them is Joseph Lemm, aged forty-five. Lemm served fifteen years as an officer of the New York City Police Department and is a married father of two children.

Another is Adrianna Vorderbruggen, an openly lesbian soldier. Vorderbruggen advocated repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and was the first openly gay military member to marry her wife. The couple has a son. According to Reuters, she was the first openly lesbian to be killed in action.

Another is Peter Taub. Taub’s family owns a sandwich shop in Washington, DC, and his brother is a chef known as Chef Jon in the city.

The rest are Michael Anthony Cinco from Rio Grande Valley, Texas, age 28; Chester McBride Jr., Statesboro, Georgia; and Louis Bonacasa, Coram, New York.

The bombing also injured others, including two US soldiers and, according to an Afghan official, three local police officers.

Via email and Twitter, the Taliban, whose regime the US overthrew when the US invaded the country in 2001, claimed responsibility to the bombing.

The War in Afghanistan started during the late 1970s phase of the Cold War. Even after the Cold War ended in 1991 and after the US invasion, the War still continues. Currently, around 9,800 US and 4,800 NATO soldiers remain in Afghanistan.



Sources[]

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November 26, 2015

Navigator of downed Russian jet found alive in Syria

Navigator of downed Russian jet found alive in Syria

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

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Russian officials said yesterday navigator Captain Konstantin Murakhtin, from the fighter jet shot down by a Turkish warplane on Tuesday, has been found alive. He was rescued following a twelve-hour mission to find him in Syria.

Vladimir Putin denies Russian jet was in Turkish airspace
Image: Kremlin.ru.

The pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov, died after being shot by rebel fighters. During the rescue attempt for Captain Murakhtin, a helicopter landed in Syria after being shot at by rebel fighters. Russian marine Alexander Pozynich died during the attack. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said Pozynich and Murakhtin will be rewarded the Order of Courage and Peshkov will receive the Hero of Russia award.

NATO supports Turkey’s claim that the Russian Su-24 bomber did go into Turkish airspace before it was downed. Turkish officials said they warned the Russian pilot to leave their airspace on ten occasions before their F-16 warplane shot at it near the Turkey-Syria border Both men on board the Russian plane ejected.

However, Russian authorities deny that the Russian plane did enter Turkish airspace. President Putin insists the jet was flying over Syria when the Turkish Air Force shot at it and called the event a “stab in the back”. During a television interview on Wednesday, Captain Murakhtin claimed there is “no way” the Russian bomber was flying over Turkey when the Turkish plane shot it down and that Turkey did not give a warning before shooting at the jet.

Despite President Putin’s warning of “serious consequences”, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “We do not intend to go to war with Turkey.” NATO has also encouraged both countries to soothe their relationship following the incident.



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November 25, 2015

Russian navigator found alive

Russian navigator found alive – Wikinews, the free news source

Russian navigator found alive

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Russian officials said on Wednesday navigator, Captain Konstantin Murakhtin, from the fighter jet shot down by a Turkish warplane on Tuesday has been found alive. This followed a twelve-hour rescue mission to find him in Syria. The pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov, died after allegedly being shot by Turkmen rebel fighters.

Vladimir Putin denies Russian jet was in Turkish airspace
Image: Kremlin.ru.

During the rescue attempt for Captain Murakhtin, a helicopter was forced to land after being shot at by rebel fighters. A Russian marine named as Alexander Pozynich died during the attack. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said Pozynich and Murakhtin will be rewarded the Order of Courage and Peshkov will receive the Hero of Russia award.

NATO supports Turkey’s claim claim that the Russian Su-24 bomber did go enter Turkish airspace which lead to the Russian bomber being downed. Turkey officials said they warned the Russian pilot to leave their airspace on 10 occasions before their F-16 warplane shot at it near the Turkey-Syria border which resulted in both men on board the Russian plane being forced to eject.

However, Russian authorities deny that the Russian plane did enter Turkish airspace. President Putin insists the jet was flying over Syria when the Turkish Air Force shot at and called the event a “stab in the back”. During a television interview on Wednesday, Captain Murakhtin claimed there is “no way” the Rusasian bomber was flying over Turkey when the Turkish plane shot it down and that Turkey did not give a warning before shooting at the jet.

Despite President Putin’s warning of “serious consequences”, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Levrov has said: “We have no intention of fighting a war with Turkey.” NATO has also encouraged Turkey and Russia to soothe their relationship between one another following the incident.



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Navigator of downed Russian jet found alive

Navigator of downed Russian jet found alive

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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Russian officials said on yesterday navigator Captain Konstantin Murakhtin, from the fighter jet shot down by a Turkish warplane on Tuesday, has been found alive. He was rescued following a twelve-hour mission to find him in Syria.

Vladimir Putin denies Russian jet was in Turkish airspace
Image: Kremlin.ru.

The pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov, died after being shot by rebel fighters. During the rescue attempt for Captain Murakhtin, a helicopter landed in Syria after being shot at by rebel fighters. Russian marine Alexander Pozynich died during the attack. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said Pozynich and Murakhtin will be rewarded the Order of Courage and Peshkov will receive the Hero of Russia award.

NATO supports Turkey’s claim that the Russian Su-24 bomber did go into Turkish airspace before it was downed. Turkish officials said they warned the Russian pilot to leave their airspace on ten occasions before their F-16 warplane shot at it near the Turkey-Syria border Both men on board the Russian plane ejected.

However, Russian authorities deny that the Russian plane did enter Turkish airspace. President Putin insists the jet was flying over Syria when the Turkish Air Force shot at it and called the event a “stab in the back”. During a television interview on Wednesday, Captain Murakhtin claimed there is “no way” the Russian bomber was flying over Turkey when the Turkish plane shot it down and that Turkey did not give a warning before shooting at the jet.

Despite President Putin’s warning of “serious consequences”, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Levrov said: “We do not intend to go to war with Turkey.” NATO has also encouraged both countries to soothe their relationship following the incident.



Sources[]

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September 6, 2014

NATO leaders meet for two day summit in Wales

NATO leaders meet for two day summit in Wales

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

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Leaders from NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) member states met in Wales over Thursday to Friday in a summit addressing the organisation’s role in Afghanistan and new threats from Russia and the Islamic State.

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Image: Ssolbergj.

Role in Afghanistan

Since the 2010 NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal countries involved in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), NATO’s military operation in Afghanistan, have been committed to full transition of security responsibilities to Afghan forces by the end of 2014. This would mark the end of ISAF’s 13 year mission in Afghanistan, with troops changing to a training and assistance role.

Plans had originally intended for Afghanistan’s new President, or President-elect, to attend this year’s summit, but due to the political situation and ongoing election process it is still unknown who will replace outgoing President Hamid Karzai. Bismullah Khan Muhammadi, the country’s defence minister, instead attended the summit in the absence of a President.

This political stalemate has put at risk NATO plans for a continuing military presence in the country, with troops expected to pull out at the end of the year without new security agreements being signed, signature not possible without a new President in place. NATO members have urged Afghanistan’s presidential candidates to reach an agreement, with officials indicating that if no agreement can be reached by the end of the month, then troops would begin to leave.

Threat from Russia

On Thursday, NATO leaders pledged support for Ukraine at a meeting with the country’s President, Petro Poroshenko, in the face of recent moves from Russia. On their website, NATO outlined four areas where the alliance would provide support for Ukraine, “rehabilitation for injured troops, cyber defence, logistics, and command and control and communications”, with assistance expected to have a monetary value of about 15 million euros (about US$19 million).

On Friday, peace talks in Minsk, Belarus resulted in a ceasefire agreement between Ukraine and rebel forces, whom NATO has accused Russia of supporting in their bid for separation of eastern regions of Ukraine. The UK said sanctions being prepared are likely to go ahead, regardless of the outcome of these talks, until it is seen that Russia is acting upon them.

Threat from Islamic State

On Friday morning, a meeting of ten countries chaired by the UK and US agreed to jointly working to combat the threat posed by the Islamic State in the Middle East. John Kerry, US Secretary of State, stated after the meeting that the group should aim to make firm plans and raise support from within the region affected before the UN General Assembly annual meeting later this month. Philip Hammond, UK Foreign Secretary, also said it was clear that regional support was needed, adding “with a new and inclusive Government of Iraq leading the efforts”.

It was also announced NATO would help a non-sectarian Iraqi government, on request, to build defence capabilities in Iraq to help fight the Islamic State, as well as coordinating the humanitarian airlift of supplies.

Increased readiness

Plans for a Readiness Action Plan were agreed at the summit. Speaking on Monday before the summit, NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, described this as a response to “Russia’s aggressive behaviour”, but outlined how he hoped it would increase the responsiveness of the alliance to face any security challenge.

These plans aim to allow reinforcements to reach any NATO member state within 48 hours, in what Rasmussen described as a “spearhead” of the preexisting Response Force. This requires logistical, and headquarters facilities to be set up in Eastern European countries, the ones most under threat from an attack by Russia, or the Islamic State. These plans are also to be rehearsed through joint military exercises.


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  • “Australia and Afghanistan to be represented at NATO summit” — Wikinews, September 2, 2014
  • “Russia accused of supporting Ukrainian rebels’ advance” — Wikinews, September 2, 2014

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September 2, 2014

Russia accused of supporting Ukrainian rebels\’ advance

Russia accused of supporting Ukrainian rebels’ advance

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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Yesterday Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of “direct and open aggression” as his country’s military were said to be battling a column of Russian tanks.

Coastline of the Azov sea
Image: Materialscientist.

Ukraine’s military has suffered recent setbacks in their ongoing conflict with pro-Russian rebels in the East of the country which started in April, following the annexation of Crimea by Russian forces.

Officials in Kiev said armored Russian units aided rebels who took the Ukrainian border town of Novoazovsk last week, and were reportedly yesterday threatening the strategic port of Mariupol, where residents were digging trenches against the possibility of an attack. The area of Novoazovsk and Mariupol lies between the Russian border and Crimea.

Ukrainian coastguards reportedly searched for two missing sailors after artillery hit their patrol boat in the Sea of Azov on Sunday, in what rebels reportedly called their first victory at sea. Eight other sailors were rescued, and were being treated for burns and other wounds. Officials said it was as yet unclear where the shell was fired from.

Russia denied any of their troops were involved in the conflict. NATO said last week at least 1,000 Russian troops have been sent into the country and have been fighting alongside the rebels there. They also accused Russia of supplying the rebels with military hardware, including air defense systems and tanks.

In response to the alleged increase of Russian involvement, European Union (EU) leaders threatened Russia with further sanctions, extending those first imposed in July, if they did not back down from their involvement in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladmir Putin has dismissed the threat, claiming the EU is backing an armed coup in Ukraine against the former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.



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