Tag Archives: Russia

India may purchase Russia’s newest S-400 air defense systems – report

New Delhi has given the green light to purchase several Russian-made S-400 air defense systems, local media report. Indian military could become the second country in the world after China to procure state-of-the-art S-400s.

On Friday, the Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar cleared the purchase 5 regimental units of the S-400 from Russia, the Economic Timesreports. The deal is expected to be sealed within days to come during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow next week.

Defense Ministry sources told the Economic Times that the fast-tracked decision is to strengthen the country’s air defense capabilities. The cost of the deal was not disclosed so far, though the source said it will “happen shortly thereafter.”

Rough estimates suggest the air defense systems alone will cost India about 400 billion rupees (around $6 billion).

Read more » RT
See more » https://www.rt.com/news/326593-india-purchase-russian-s400/

Afghan leader begs Putin to send gunships to fight Taliban insurgents in clear signal of worsening security in the war-torn country

By Larisa Brown Defence Correspondent For The Daily Mail

Putin asked by Afghan government to help country fight the Taliban
President Ghani appealed to the Kremlin for help after recent violence
Afghan President asked for artillery, small arms and helicopters
Russian officials have said they are ‘willing to help’

Read more » Daily Mail
See more » http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3290914/Afghan-leader-begs-Putin-send-gunships-fight-Taliban-insurgents-clear-signal-worsening-security-war-torn-country.html

Greece looks to China and Russia for help but cannot get around its euro zone partners

Running out of room

ALEXIS TSIPRAS, the Greek prime minister, and his radical Syriza party are beginning to feel the heat. Two months of bluster by Greece’s first left-wing government have failed to produce the results it wanted. Those include an injection of fresh cash from the country’s current €172 billion ($185 billion) bail-out programme, and a new deal with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that would allow Athens, not its creditors, to decide on future economic reforms.

Greece’s eurozone partners are still waiting for Athens to come up with details, promised two weeks ago, on the country’s deteriorating public finances. Mr Tsipras has promised Greek voters that Syriza has banned the hated “troika” of bail-out monitors (from the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank) from Athens. To protect that political narrative, a team of mid-level officials from the three institutions sits ensconced in a four-star Athens hotel, gathering information by exchanging e-mails with their finance ministry counterparts. The ministry itself is strictly off-limits. “This system works quite well,” claims Dimitris Mardas, the budget minister. The visitors disagree, complaining about delays and inaccurate replies that could be avoided if they were allowed to meet Greek colleagues face-to-face.

Continue reading Greece looks to China and Russia for help but cannot get around its euro zone partners

Europe may become irrelevant due to short-sighted policies – Gorbachev

Western policies toward Russia championed by Washington have led to the current crisis, and if the confrontation continues, Europe will be weakened and become irrelevant, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warns.

Speaking to a forum in Berlin amid the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, he called on western leaders to de-escalate tensions and meet Russia halfway to mend the current rift.

Read more » http://rt.com/news/203475-gorbachev-speech-berlin-wall/

‘China, Russia back India on UN terror resolution targeting Pakistan’

NEW DELHI: China and Russia decided on Monday to back the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) — a resolution supported by India and heavily biased against Pakistan.

At a meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC) in Beijing, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said her counterparts from the two countries understood the need for endorsing the resolution that has been pending at the UN for nearly two decades and seeks to widen the existing definition of terrorism.

The CCIT was proposed by India in 1996 in lieu of Pakistan allegedly backing Kashmiri separatists.

In Tuesday’s meeting, the RIC communiqué vouched to oppose terrorism of all forms and called all countries to join efforts in combating terrorism together with the United Nations.

Speaking at a press conference after the RIC meeting, Swaraj told reporters: “Our discussions on terrorism brought consensus on two issues. Firstly, there can be no ideological, religious, political, racial or any other justification for the acts of terrorism and secondly the need to bring to justice perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these acts of terror.”

Swaraj added that the ministers emphasized the need to step up information gathering and sharing and prevent the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the purposes of recruitment and incitement to commit terrorist acts.

News courtesy » The Express Tribune
Read more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/832183/china-russia-back-india-on-un-terror-resolution-targeting-pakistan/

Leaving the West Behind – Germany Looks East

By Hans Kundnani

Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 was a strategic shock for Germany. Suddenly, Russian aggression threatened the European security order that Germany had taken for granted since the end of the Cold War. Berlin had spent two decades trying to strengthen political and economic ties with Moscow, but Russia’s actions in Ukraine suggested that the Kremlin was no longer interested in a partnership with Europe. Despite Germany’s dependence on Russian gas and Russia’s importance to German exporters, German Chancellor Angela Merkel ultimately agreed to impose sanctions on Russia and helped persuade other EU member states to do likewise.

Nevertheless, the Ukraine crisis has reopened old questions about Germany’s relationship to the rest of the West. In April, when the German public-service broadcaster ARD asked Germans what role their country should play in the crisis, just 45 percent wanted Germany to side with its partners and allies in the EU and NATO; 49 percent wanted Germany to mediate between Russia and the West. These results led the weekly newsmagazine Der Spiegel, in an editorial published last May, to warn Germany against turning away from the West.

Germany’s response to the Ukraine crisis can be understood against the backdrop of a long-term weakening of the so-called Westbindung, the country’s postwar integration into the West. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the enlargement of the EU freed the country from its reliance on the United States for protection against a powerful Soviet Union. At the same time, Germany’s export-dependent economy has become increasingly reliant on demand from emerging markets such as China. Although Germany remains committed to European integration, these factors have made it possible to imagine a post-Western German foreign policy. Such a shift comes with high stakes. Given Germany’s increased power within the EU, the country’s relationship to the rest of the world will, to a large extent, determine that of Europe.

THE GERMAN PARADOX

Germany has produced 
the most radical challenge to the West from within.

Germany has always had a complex relationship with the West. On the one hand, many of the political and philosophical ideas that became central to the West originated in Germany with Enlightenment thinkers such as Immanuel Kant. On the other hand, German intellectual history has included darker strains that have threatened Western norms—such as the current of nationalism that emerged in the early nineteenth century. Beginning in the latter half of the nineteenth century, German nationalists increasingly sought to define Germany’s identity in opposition to the liberal, rationalistic principles of the French Revolution and the Enlightenment. This version of German nationalism culminated in Nazism, which the German historian Heinrich August Winkler has called “the climax of the German rejection of the Western world.” Germany, therefore, was a paradox: it was part of the West yet produced the most radical challenge to it from within.

Read more » Foreign Affairs
Learn more » http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/142492/hans-kundnani%E2%80%A8/leaving-the-west-behind

China pledges to help Russia overcome economic hardships

China’s foreign minister has pledged support to Russia as it faces an economic downturn due to sanctions and a drop in oil prices. Boosting trade in yuan is a solution proposed by Beijing’s commerce minister.

Russia has the capability and the wisdom to overcome the existing hardship in the economic situation,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi told journalists, China Daily reported Monday. “If the Russian side needs it, we will provide necessary assistance within our capacity.

The offer of help comes as Russians are still recovering from the shock of the ruble’s worst crash in years last Tuesday, when it lost over 20 percent against the US dollar and the euro. The Russian currency bounced back the next day, but it still has lost almost half of its value since March.

Read more » RT
Learn more » http://rt.com/news/216563-china-russia-economic-hardships/

Russian Rouble falls further

UPDATE 3-Rouble falls further as central bank seen intervening

Rouble has tumbled more than 40 percent vs dollar in 2014

* Central bank seen intervening on Friday to halt slide

* Rosneft’s dollar buying adds pressure – traders (Updates prices, adds extension of FX swap limit)

By Vladimir Abramov and Vladimir Soldatkin

MOSCOW, Dec 12 (Reuters) – The Russian rouble dropped to a new low of almost 58 to the dollar, continuing a slide that traders said led the central bank to intervene in the market on Friday after a rate hike failed to break the currency’s fall.

Read more » REUTERS
See more » http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/12/russia-rouble-idUSL6N0TW0KE20141212

Lithuania Puts Military Units on Alert Due to Russian Activities in Kaliningrad

BY LITHUANIA TRIBUNE

“Since the end of the last week, since Saturday, we have observed a rise in the activity of the Russian Federation’s forces in the Kaliningrad region as well as in the western part of the Russian Federation. Therefore, a decision was made to put several of our military units on a higher state of preparedness. These are rapid response units as well as units responsible for military tasks during peacetime,” Chief of the Joint Staff Vilmantas Tamošaitis said.

Read more » Atlantic Council
See more » http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/natosource/lithuania-puts-military-units-on-alert-due-to-russian-activities-in-kaliningrad

Putin Woos Pakistan as Cold War Friend India Buys U.S. Arms

 

By Natalie Obiko Pearson and N.C Bipindra

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking to build military ties with Pakistan as India buys more weapons from the U.S., changing an approach toward the nuclear-powered neighbors that has endured since the Cold War.  Sergei Shoigu, making the first visit by a Russian defense minister to Pakistan since the Soviet Union’s collapse, last week signed a “milestone” military cooperation agreement. The world community “wants to do business with Pakistan now,” Shoigu said, according to a Pakistan government statement.
Read more » Bloomberg
See more » https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-23/putin-looks-to-pakistan-as-cold-war-friend-india-buys-u-s-arms.html

 

Falling oil price costs Russia $100bn

Oil price slide and sanctions ‘cost Russia $140bn’

The falling oil price is costing Russia up to $100bn a year, while Western sanctions have hit the country by $40bn, its finance minister has said.

Anton Siluanov made the comments on Monday at an international financial and economic forum in Moscow.

Reports on Monday suggested Russia could cut its oil production by about 300,000 barrels a day in an attempt to support the oil price.

Opec members meet in Vienna this week where falling prices will be discussed.

Vladimir Putin has said that Russia could suffer “catastrophic consequences” from sanctions, the falling oil price and the sliding rouble, while claiming they would have knock-on effects for other countries.

“The modern world is interdependent. It’s far from guaranteed that sanctions, the steep fall in oil prices and the loss of value of the national currency will lead to negative results or catastrophic consequences only for us,” the Russian president told TASS, the official news agency, on Sunday.

The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions on Russia following its annexation of the Crimea region in Ukraine and its alleged involvement in eastern Ukraine.

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30174650

China launches ‘world’s longest’ train route: Cargo train from China to Spain.

Move over Trans-Siberian: China launches ‘world’s longest’ train route

The 82-wagon cargo train is expected to take 21 days to travel 6,200 miles, passing through six countries between China and Spain.

Dubbed Yixinou, the train left Yiwu, an industrial center less than 200 miles south of Shanghai, on Tuesday and is expected to reach Madrid in December after traversing Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, and France, reports the Local.se.

Read more » RT
See more » http://rt.com/news/207447-china-spain-longest-train/

Putin, Xi Jinping sign second mega gas deal on new gas supply route

President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have signed a memorandum of understanding on the so-called “western” gas supplies route to China. The agreement paves the way for a contract that would make China the biggest consumer of Russian gas.

Russia’s so-called “western” or “Altay” route would supply 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year to China.

The new supply line comes in addition to the “eastern” route, through the “Power of Siberia” pipeline, which will annually deliver 38 bcm of gas to China. Work on that pipeline route has already begun after a $400 billion deal was clinched in May.

“After we have launched supplies via the “western route,” the volume of gas deliveries to China can exceed the current volumes of export to Europe,” Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller told reporters, commenting on the deal.

Speaking to journalists on the eve of his visit to Beijing, Putin was optimistic about prospects for the new gas deal with China.

“We have reached an understanding in principle concerning the opening of the western route,” Putin said. “We have already agreed on many technical and commercial aspects of this project, laying a good basis for reaching final arrangements.”

The “western” route deal is one of the 17 agreements signed at the Sunday meeting between Putin and Xi.

Read more » RT
http://rt.com/business/203679-china-russia-gas-deal/

Putin To Western Elites: Play-Time Is Over

 

by Tyler Durden

Via Club Orlov blog,

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin’s speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn’t get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don’t think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion)this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946.

In this speech, Putin abruptly changed the rules of the game. Previously, the game of international politics was played as follows: politicians made public pronouncements, for the sake of maintaining a pleasant fiction of national sovereignty, but they were strictly for show and had nothing to do with the substance of international politics; in the meantime, they engaged in secret back-room negotiations, in which the actual deals were hammered out. Previously, Putin tried to play this game, expecting only that Russia be treated as an equal. But these hopes have been dashed, and at this conference he declared the game to be over, explicitly violating Western taboo by speaking directly to the people over the heads of elite clans and political leaders.

To sum it all up:  play-time is over. Children, put away your toys. Now is the time for the adults to make decisions. Russia is ready for this; is the world? 

The Russian blogger chipstone summarized the most salient points from Putin speech as follows:

Read more » Zerohedge.com
See more » http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-30/putin-western-elites-play-time-over

 

Russian army beefs up Artic presence over Western threat

By next year Russia will be ready to “meet unwelcome guests” coming from any direction, after completing a network of radar stations in the Arctic, the Russian Defense Minister said.

The massive buildup of facilities in Russia’s north is part of the country’s strategy to ensure control of the Arctic. The military is currently rebuilding two northern bases in the Novosibirsk Islands and in the Franz Josef Land archipelago, Sergey Shoigu told the defense ministry’s public council on Tuesday. Military airfields at Tiksi, Naryan-mar, Alykel, Vorkuta, Anadyr and Rogachevo have been scheduled for modernization.

“The plan involves the building of 13 airfields, one land test range for the Air Forces, 10 radar sites and direction centers,” said Lt. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the National Defense Control Center, who took part in the session.

The general heads a recently created body in the ministry, which is tasked with day-to-day monitoring of potential threats to national security and launching a rapid military response, should it be needed.

Read more » RT
http://rt.com/news/200419-russia-military-bases-arctic/

Sneak peak at Russia’s ‘under renovation’ Arctic base

Kotelny Island is a nondescript piece of frigid wasteland of no particular note. Except hosting a military base-in-the-making, the first of many from which Russia plans to project its military might to and across the Arctic. RT visited with the Navy.

The island is the largest in the Novosibirsk Archipelago, located in the Laptev Sea off the eastern Siberian coast. Back in the soviet days the military deployed an observation post and a radar station on the Kotelny Island, but with the fall of the country all the troops were withdrawn, leaving behind only a civilian meteorological station.

But now, after decades of desolation, the former military base is being rebuilt. Last year sailors and engineers of the Russian Northern Fleet began construction works, cleaning up rusty barrels and broken vehicles abandoned on the island and constructing a landing strip so that supplies could be airlifted rather than air-dropped.

Read more » RT
http://rt.com/news/188712-arctic-russia-military-base/

No nuclear waste: Fuel of future produced at Russia’s high-tech underground plant

Russia’s ‘Breakthrough’ energy project enables closed a nuclear fuel cycle and a future without radioactive waste. The first batch of MOX nuclear fuel has been manufactured for the world’s only NPP industrially power generating breeder reactors.

The first ten kilograms of the mixed-oxide fuel (MOX) – a mixture of plutonium and uranium dioxides (UO2 and PuO2), have been industrially produced by Russia’s nuclear monopoly, Rosatom, at the Mining & Chemical Combine (GKhK) in the Krasnoyarsk region.

A world first, tablets of the fuel of the future have been put on serial production and are destined for Russia’s next generation BN-800 breeder reactor (880 megawatts

Read more » RT
http://rt.com/news/188332-mox-nuclear-fuel-production/

Moscow will respond to NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders, President Vladimir Putin said

‘We will react to NATO build-up!’ Key Putin quotes from defense policy address

Moscow will respond to NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders, President Vladimir Putin said at the emergency Security Council meeting in Moscow. Here are his key quotes on Russia’s defense, Western sanctions, and violence in eastern Ukraine.

Read more » RT
http://rt.com/news/174768-putin-security-nato-ukraine/

Brics nations to create $100bn development bank

The leaders of the five Brics countries have signed a deal to create a new $100bn (£58.3bn) development bank and emergency reserve fund.

The Brics group is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The capital for the bank will be split equally among the five participating countries.

The bank will have a headquarters in Shanghai, China and the first president for the bank will come from India.

Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, announced the creation of the bank at a Brics summit meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil on Tuesday.

A new player

At first, the bank will start off with $50bn in initial capital.

The emergency reserve fund – which was announced as a “Contingency Reserve Arrangement” – will also have $100bn, and will help developing nations avoid “short-term liquidity pressures, promote further Brics cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements”.

The creation of the Brics bank will almost surely create competition for both the World Bank and other similar regional funds.

Brics nations have criticised the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for not giving developing nations enough voting rights.

One of the goals for the bank – whose creation has been discussed for some time – would be to increase the amount of money loaned to developing countries to help with infrastructure projects.

Courtesy: BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28317555

Putin Writes Off $32 Billion of Cuba’s Debts to Russia

 

By Polly Mosendz | The Atlantic Wire

Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently on a grand tour of Latin America. His first stop is in Havana, Cuba. Ahead of arriving in Cuba, Putin decided to bestow a gift upon the Cuban government. With one swift signature, he eliminated $32 billion of Cuba’s debt, left over from the Soviet era.

Read more » Yahoo News
https://ca.news.yahoo.com/putin-writes-off-32-billion-cubas-debts-russia-150048853.html

Russia to supply Mi-35 helicopter to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Russia has decided to lift the ban on the Mi-35 Hind attack helicopter to Pakistan, said Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Dedov, Express News reported.
In a press conference on Tuesday, the ambassador also said Russia had agreed to sell the helicopters to Pakistan to assist the country with terrorism and the security related issues.
Earlier this month, Russia was still holding talks with Pakistan on the supply of the combat helicopters, and had lifted its embargo on the arms supply to Pakistan.
“Such a decision has been taken. We are holding talks on supplying the helicopters,” head of state-owned Rostec, Sergei Chemezov said, adding that the negotiations were about Russian Mi-35 Hind attack helicopters.

Read more » The Express Trubune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/719921/russia-to-supply-mi-35-helicopter-to-pakistan/

Russia lifts arms embargo to Pakistan: report

By AFP

MOSCOW: Russia has lifted its embargo on arms supplies to Pakistan and is holding talks on supplying Islamabad with combat helicopters, the head of state-owned Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, said Monday, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported. “Such a decision has been taken. We are holding talks on supplying the helicopters,” Chemezov said, adding that the negotiations were about Russian Mi-35 Hind attack helicopters.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1110131

 

Russia-China deal: Even energy pivots East

By Patrick L Young

The thing about globalization is that it involves the whole world. Hence Russia exercises its option to pivot East when faced with an obdurate West.

Bubbles share a core attitude of mind: complete incapacity to recognize that the real world may not correspond to your immediate surroundings. Thus investors become absorbed by manias from tulip bulbs to the South Sea, the internet et al, and fail to realize that ‘asset’ values have fundamentally decoupled from reality.

Read more » http://rt.com/op-edge/160212-russia-china-gas-deal-east/

Russian battleships in Shanghai for joint naval drills

A squadron of Russia’s Navy Pacific Fleet has arrived in Shanghai to participate in joint Russian-Chinese naval training dubbed ‘Joint Sea-2014’. The drills in the northern part of the East China Sea start on Tuesday and will go on until May 26.

The Russian squadron consists of six battleships and support vessels: the flagship of the Pacific Fleet, missile cruiser Varyag, anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, large landing ship Admiral Nevelskoy, anti-surface destroyer Bystry, tanker Ilim and ocean tug Kalar.

Read more » http://rt.com/news/159912-russia-china-naval-drills/

Pakistan, Russia to improve relations

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir

Islamabad: Pakistan and Russia have decided to improve their multi-dimension ties and for the first time, Pakistan’s parliamentary delegation led by its speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq is proceeding to Moscow next Sunday on a bilateral visit.

The six-member delegation is undertaking the visit on the invitation of Chairperson of Federation Council Ms Valentina Matviyenkov, who is in order of precedence, comes after president and prime minister of her country. She is an experienced diplomat and of Ukrainian origin. Well placed sources told The News that the Foreign Office will provide special briefing to the members of the delegation before embarking for the trip.

Former federal minister Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, who is member of the National Assembly from Peshawar, will accompany the speaker as deputy leader of the delegation. Haji Bilour, belongs to the Awami National Party (ANP), that has the history of having close association with the Russian leaders. The parliamentary delegation will also have meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has expressed his keenness to improve relations with Pakistan.

Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq will convey message from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the Russian leader, the sources said. 

The occasion will help strengthening relations between parliaments of the two countries. The delegation from Pakistan will also visit State Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament. The delegation will be meeting the Chairman State Duma and will watch the proceedings of the two houses of the Parliament during its stay in the Russian capital.

The delegation from the Russian Parliament will also undertake return visit to Pakistan later and for the purpose an invitation would be extended by Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. The delegation will stay in Moscow from 21st of this month till 23rd, and its members will also visit St Petersburg before returning home, the sources said.

– See more at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-244062-Pakistan-Russia-to-improve-relations#sthash.9GbC0DiO.dpuf
http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-244062-Pakistan-Russia-to-improve-relations

Russia: Historic 30-yr gas deal with China set to be signed next week

A historic, long-term deal for the delivery of Russian gas to China that has been 10 years in the making is 98 percent ready, Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky has said. All that’s needed are the two countries’ signatures, he added.

Read more » RT
http://rt.com/business/158396-gasprom-russia-china-cnpc/

Afghanistan Backs Russia’s Crimean Invasion, Fails Irony 101

By Adam Weinstein

Afghan President Hamid Karzai threw U.S. observers for a loop over the weekend, announcing that his country would join Syria and Venezuela in supporting Russia’s Crimea invasion annexation:

Citing “the free will of the Crimean people,” the office of President Hamid Karzai said, “we respect the decision the people of Crimea took through a recent referendum that considers Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.”…

Aimal Faizi, the spokesman for Mr. Karzai, said that the Russian annexation of Crimea was a “legitimate move” and that the palace statement represented Afghanistan’s official recognition of the new borders.

“Afghanistan always respects the free will of the nations on deciding their future,” he wrote in an email. He did not elaborate.

Continue reading Afghanistan Backs Russia’s Crimean Invasion, Fails Irony 101