MOSCOW: ‘ Putin looking for talks with Shinzo Abe over Kuril Islands ‘

#AceNewsReport – MOSCOW:June.20: Russian president Vladimir Putin said he was “very keen” to hold talks with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, in a bid to resolve the dispute over the Kuril Islands, Kyodo news agency reported.

https://twitter.com/Kyodo_News_EN/status/612116305127194625

“All problems have a solution,” the Russian leader said during a press briefing at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. The sparsely populated Kuril Islands were assigned to the Soviet Union at the conclusion of World War II, but Japan has insisted on the return of the four southernmost islands, which it says are not a part of the Kurils, and should never have been seized by the USSR.

Putin also said that “Japan bears responsibility for the cooling of relations between our countries” and suggested that Tokyo “needs to come up with new ideas for resolving the territorial dispute, which has reached an impasse.”

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VIDEO: RUSSIA-AZERBAIJAN: ‘ Closed door talks on Energy ‘

#AceNewsReport – Featured Post:June.13: The leaders of Russia and Turkey have held talks behind closed doors in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. They attended the opening ceremony of the first European Games, before discussing energy projects and the Ukrainian conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counteroart recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed large energy projects, such asthe construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant,and the situation in Ukraine, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov revealed. The leaders confirmed their readiness to bring bilateral trade turnover between Russia and Turkey to $US 100 billion by 2020. In 2014, trade between the two countries exceeded $31 billion.

During a photo session that preceded the talks, the presidents didn’t talk much and only exchanged opinions about the previous day’s opening ceremony. The presidents agreed the ceremony was superb and wished success to the host team of Azerbaijan.

When President Erdogan remarked that none of the EU leaders had attended the event, President Putin replied: “As EU accession candidate, Turkey represented the whole of the European Union.”

The Russian delegation included Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak, head of Gazprom Aleksey Miller, head of Rosatom nuclear monopoly Sergey Kirienko and the Russian president’s senior foreign policy adviser, Yury Ushakov.

In December 2014, after opposition from the EU, Russia announced the scrapping of the South Stream gas pipeline project that would have bypassed the current routes via Ukraine. Moscow presented a new project, the Turkish Stream – a gas pipeline that will pass through Turkey.

This new 1,100-kilometer transportation route will be laid out under the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey. It will deliver Russian gas to Turkey and the EU border. Europe will have to arrange a means of accessing the gas by itself.

The Turkish Stream will consist of four lines with a capacity of up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Some 16 billion will be reserved for Turkey; the rest will go to Europe when the necessary infrastructure is in place.

In 2014, Russia supplied 27.4 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey, primarily through the Blue Stream pipeline that also passes across the Black Sea. Russia and Turkey agreed earlier to increase Blue Stream capacity from 16 to 19 billion cubic meters per year.

Tension between Moscow and Ankara had arisen after Putin attended the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), which took place in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

President Erdogan had threatened to withdraw the Turkish ambassador from Russia, but the meeting in Baku apparently diffused things. President Putin congratulated Erdogan on his party’s win in Turkey’s parliamentary elections on June 7.

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#FIFA ‘ Refutes reports of stripping Russia as Hosts of 2018 World Cup in Favour of Qatar ‘

#AceNewsReport – #BreakingUpdate:#FIFA on Thursday refuted media reports that the world football organization considered stripping Russia of the right to host the 2018 World Cup over the Ukraine crisis, a source in the #FIFA press service said.

The Spanish sports daily As, on Wednesday, reported that FIFA had asked Qatar to speed up its preparations for the 2022 World Cup, so that the country could be ready to host the competition in 2018 instead of Russia, should the situation in Ukraine worsen. It was not specified when the offer was made.

“This information is absolutely wrong,” the source told R-Sport on Thursday.

The West has imposed restrictive measures against Russia as it accuses Moscow of fueling the internal conflict in Ukraine. The Kremlin denies the allegations.

The news comes amid the FIFA corruption scandal. In late May, several high-ranking FIFA officials were arrested on a US federal corruption warrant. Swiss authorities launched a separate probe into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. @AceNewsServices

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MOSCOW: ‘ Russian Investigators open criminal case against Ponomaryov for Embezzlement ‘

#AceNewsReport – MOSCOW:June.09:. /TASS/. Russian Investigative Committee Chairman Alexander Bastrykin has opened a criminal case against State Duma deputy Ilya Ponomaryov over his complicity in embezzling 22 million rubles ($750,000) from the Skolkovo hi-tech hub’s funds, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Tuesday.

The criminal probe was opened into the misuse of $750,000 allocated under a 2010 contract on the fulfillment of R&D work and lecturing, the spokesman said.

Under the existing legislation, Russia’s Investigative Committee has received consent from the State Duma, the lower house of the country’s parliament, for opening the criminal case against Ponomaryov, Markin said.

The investigation of the case has been assigned to the Investigative Committee’s Department for High-Profile Investigations, the spokesman said.

“Considering that Ponomaryov is currently staying outside the Russian Federation, investigators plan to initiate his international search with his subsequent extradition so that he can go on trial in Russia.

Along with this, measures will be taken to compensate for the damage caused by this crime,” Markin said. @AceNewsServices

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‘ Russians Show Indignation Against Western Sanctions With Putin Tee-Shirts ‘

#AceNewsServices – MOSCOW- September 23 – Any Russian is now free to demonstrate his or her indignation against Western sanctions by simply wearing a designer T-shirt with a patriotic print.

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

A campaign of swapping T-shirts with slogans on foreign languages for the ones with patriotic prints free of charge was kicked off in Moscow’s central Pushkin Square on Tuesday.

' Putin and Crimea Sanctions '

‘ Putin and Crimea Sanctions ‘

Various T-shirts were set out on a stall with a samovar in front of the Pushkin monument. The T-shirts displayed featured funny and provocative texts in Russian. Some read “Sanctions?

Don’t make my Iskanders laugh” and featured pictures of these mobile ballistic missile systems.

Some had the text of the Russian anthem on the background of St. Basil’s Cathedral /on Red Square/.

All are trendy, nice and funny. Our action is called ‘Fashion’s Answer to the Sanctions is No!’,” designer Anastasia Zadorina, whose company had manufactured 30,000 such T-shirts, told ITAR-TASS.

#ANS2014

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‘ Ukraine Prepares to Cease Bi-Lateral Trade with Russia ‘

#AceWorldNews – KIEV –  July 18 – Kiev authorities should prepare for a full halt of trade with Russia, parliament-appointed Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at a meeting over diversification of sale markets and sources of industrial produce supplies on Friday reported Tass.

 “We should prepare for almost full restriction on bilateral trade with Russia,” he said.

“Russia is not the only market in the world where Ukrainian produce should be delivered,” the prime minister said. “The government is prepared to do everything so that we will diversify the sale market for a brief period of time,” the prime minister said, citing several Ukrainian companies which protect alternative markets successfully as an example.

Yatsenyuk stated that if Russian market was closed for Ukraine “Ukrainian export will reduce by around five billion dollars”.

#ANS2014  

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' Imposing Sanctions on Russia Contradicts US Interests and Damages Bi-Lateral Trade '

#AceWorldNews – MOSCOW – July 17 – Imposing sanctions on Russia and blaming it for destabilizing Ukraine contradicts US national interests, President Putin said at the BRICS summit in Brazil, emphasizing that declared support of Ukrainians should not be limited to the country’s oligarchs.

READ MORE: US widens sanctions on Russia, EU takes time to think over

Speaking to the press following the BRICS summit in Brazil, Vladimir Putin was asked to comment on the new package of sanctions against Russia announced just minutes earlier by the US President.

“We aren’t the ones introducing sanctions, you should ask them,” Putin said.

“But as for sanctions, they usually have a boomerang effect, and without a doubt will force US-Russian relations into a corner,” he elaborated. “This is a serious blow to our relationship. And it undermines the long term security interests of the US State and its people.”

Putin said that it is “regrettable” that “our partners” have chosen to impose new sanctions, but Russia “will not close doors to negotiations.”

“We’re open to finding ways out of this situation,” Putin said. “I really hope that common sense and the willingness to resolve all issues through peaceful diplomatic means will prevail.”

#ANS2014 

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‘ Russia and Cuba Soviet Spy Base to Re-Open Putin Denial Reports Say Different ‘

#AceWorldNewsMOSCOW – July 17 – Russian President Vladimir Putin has refuted reports that Russia and Cuba agreed to resume work at the Soviet-built intelligence facility in Lourdes near Havana, Cuba.“No, it’s not true,” Putin answered a question during his meeting with reporters following the BRICS summit in Brazil.RT  

cuban-missile-crisis-over

“There is nothing to regret, we are capable of solving the challenges in the field of national defence without this component, there is nothing unusual here, we in agreement with our friends closed the work of this centre, we have no plans to resume work,” said Putin.

Reports of resumption of work at the USSR‘s largest electronic intelligence facility was published in Kommersant newspaper on Wednesday.

(VoA July 16 2014 ) Reported that Russia will reopen an intelligence base in Cuba that closed in 2001, according to Russian media reports on Wednesday.

The newspaper Kommersant claims an agreement to resume operations at the Lourdes base, which was once a leading source of Cold War-era electronic surveillance on the United States, was made during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Havana last week.

Cuban Missile Base

The signals intelligence base located south of Havana opened in 1964 to spy on the U.S. during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Only 250 kilometers from the U.S. coast, it had radar capable of intercepting signals from a significant amount of U.S. territory, according to Kommersant.

In 2001, Putin ordered the base closed in a cost-cutting move, after repeated requests from the United States, the Russian paper said, citing sources close to the Kremlin.

The paper also quoted Raul Castro as saying that up to 75 percent of Moscow’s intelligence on the United States came from the base.  

#ANS2014 

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‘ G7 Leaders Prepared to Impose Further Sanctions ‘

#AceWorldNews – BRUSSELS – June 05  – Leaders of the G7 industrial nations meeting in Brussels say they are prepared to impose further sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine.


A joint statement condemned Moscow for its “continuing violation” of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

The G7 summit is the first since Russia was expelled from the group following its annexation of Crimea in March.


On Thursday, leaders are set to discuss the global economic outlook, climate change and development issues.

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin is not at the Brussels summit, he will hold face-to-face talks with some G7 leaders – not including US President Barack Obama – in Paris afterwards.

However, both Mr Putin and Mr Obama will attend a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France on Friday.

While in Poland on Wednesday, President Obama warned Moscow against what he called its “dark tactics” in Ukraine.

Diplomacy has intensified to try to resolve the biggest crisis in years between Russia and the West, says the BBC’s Chris Morris in Brussels.’Further destabilisation’

“We stand ready to intensify targeted sanctions and to consider meaningful additional restrictive measures to impose further costs on Russia should events so require.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters: “We can’t afford a further destabilization of Ukraine.

G7 Reuters – AFP – AP – BBC  

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`Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry to Meet in Paris ‘

#AceWorldNewsMOSCOW, June 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet in Paris on June 5, a source at the Russian Foreign Ministry has said.

 “Such meeting is expected to be held,” the source told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.

Earlier, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Lavrov and Kerry would have a bilateral meeting in Paris.

The US Secretary of State accompanies President Barack Obama, who left for the European tour on Monday, June 2.

The crisis in Ukraine and the internal conflict in Syria will be major topics due to be raised at the talks, Psaki said.

In the meantime, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier President Vladimir Putin was expected to have meetings with several world leaders within D-Day 70th anniversary in Normandy.

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#AceWorldNews BRITAIN London President Obama isn’t scheduled to…

#AceWorldNews – BRITAIN (London) – President Obama isn’t scheduled to meet with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin this week in Europe, but two U.S. allies are.

Russia has coordinated a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and UK Prime Minister David Cameron in Normandy, France, the presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

The office of British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he will meet with Putin this week after they attend events in Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings Friday.

Cameron’s 10 Downing St. office said talks between the British and Russian leaders are a chance to “to set out the importance of a dialogue between the Russian government and the new Ukrainian government.”

Obama will attend the D-Day anniversary event but doesn’t have Putin on his schedule.

#ANS2014

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` Ammunition Was Seen Still Lying on the Ground After Fighting in Aleksandrovka, Lugansk Region ‘

#AceNewsServices – UKRAINE – FRIDAY – May 30 – SNAPSHOT NEWS – Kiev‘s Bloody Campaign Continues.

18:17 GMT:
Ammunition was seen still lying on the ground after fighting in Aleksandrovka, Lugansk region, on Thursday.

18:09 GMT:
The UN will publish its next human rights report on June 17. The paper will highlight the Odessa Trade Unions House fire, in which 48 anti-Kiev protestors died on May 2, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said during a briefing. The deadly fire in Odessa will also be the subject of another report that will be presented by Ivan Shimonovich, assistant to the UN’s secretary-general, at the end of June. Dujarric stressed that the UN is staying in contact with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) because “if a chemical weapon was used, this is the main business for OPCW.”

15:10 GMT:
A criminal case, on the use of prohibited means and methods of warfare in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions by the Ukrainian military, has been opened by Russia’s Investigative Committee.

The proceedings have been launched against as “yet unidentified servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as members of the National Guard and Right Sector movement with regard to the shelling of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Donetsk, Mariupol and other settlements in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics,” Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Committee, told ITAR-TASS news agency.

Markin says the investigation believes Kiev violated the convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, signed in Geneva in 1949, by intentionally using weapons, artillery and aviation to kill civilians.

13:49 GMT:
Russia has withdrawn the bulk of its troops from the Ukrainian border, though seven battalions, numbering in the thousands, remain in position, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Friday.

“The majority have gone,” Reuters cites him as telling reporters on the eve of a security conference in Singapore. “But seven battalions remain.” The official said he had no figure for the number of troops that had withdrawn. “But … thousands still remain,” he said.

Hagel called the withdrawal a promising sign, but said all troops positioned near the Ukrainian border earlier this year need to be pulled back.

13:48 GMT:
The Interior Ministry of Ukraine has asked the self-declared People’s Republic of Lugansk to enter into negotiations, “the people’s governor” Valery Bolotov said on Friday, Ria Novosti reports. Bolotov replied he was only prepared to enter talks on condition that all Ukrainian military forces leave the Luhansk region. He added that in the event of talks, a third party should be invited to the negotiating table.

“Most likely, it will be Russia,” he said.

13:17 GMT:
#saveDonbassChildren pic.twitter.com/mK4iXZ5mWk
— Bystrova Natali (@BystrovaNatali) May 30, 2014
13:10 GMT:
Seven children were hurt as the Ukrainian military shelled the city of Slavyansk, a stronghold of the protesters, in the country’s South East on Friday night, Pavel Astakhov, Russia’s ombudsman for children’s rights, said.

A local children’s hospital came under fire as Kiev’s troops renewed the shelling of Slavyansk on Friday morning

Ukraine claimed it had regained control of swathes of the separatist east on Friday even as Washington expressed concern over the appearance of fighters from Russia’s war-ravaged region of Chechnya among the insurgents.

The rebels for their part dismissed speculation of a rift in their ranks after a dozen local militants were evicted from their seat of power in Donetsk by a military brigade comprised largely of Chechens and other Russians from the volatile North Caucasus.

Both Kiev and its Western allies have long accused the Kremlin of choreographing a seven-week insurgency that has shaken Ukraine’s foundations — a charge that Russian President Vladimir Putin denies.

But the recent appearance among the separatists of trained gunmen from Chechnya — a mostly Muslim region that fell under Kremlin control following two post-Soviet wars for independence — has fuelled fears of the conflict being transformed into a proxy war involving elements from other unstable regions of the former Soviet Union.

Ukraine’s acting defence minister said his forces were in high spirits despite the downing of a military helicopter on Thursday by the rebels that killed 11 soldiers and a general.

RT – RIA Novosti – Moscow Times – UNIAN

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` Speaker of the Federal Council Comments on Sanctions at Economic Forum ‘

#AceNewsServicesST. PETERSBURG, May 24, /ITAR-TASS/. The negative effect of the West’s economic sanctions against Russia is not as serious as Western nations hoped it would be, the speaker of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, said while commenting on the results of a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

Federal Council Economic Forum

“That’s because Russia has made a serious breakthrough in economic development in the past 15-20 years,” Valentina Matviyenko explained to an Itar-Tass correspondent.

“Our footholds are not only the energy and raw materials sectors, but also the military industrial sector and the airspace and nuclear industries,” Matviyenko said. “We have footholds that will prevent destruction of Russia’s economy and social sphere. All reasonable politicians realize that.”

The United States and the European Union have suspended cooperation with Russia in some spheres over Moscow’s position on Ukrainian developments. Some Russian and Crimean officials and companies have been subjected to sanctions by Western nations, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Crimea’s incorporation by Russia.

Russia has dismissed the threats of further penalties, including economic ones, against it, saying the language of punitive measures is counter-productive and will have a boomerang effect on Western nations.

“The economic orientation of sanctions declared by Western nations has a political character,” Matviyenko said.

russia-spief-st-petersburg-economic-forum-story-top

She blasted “Western countries’ pressure on international economic and financial institutions, recommendations to Western companies not to strike deals with Russian companies, stiff pressure on company leaders not to attend the SPIEF”.

“For big world powers this looks a bit too small and frankly speaking unseemly, all the more so as such sanctions will not produce the desired effect,” the official said.

In this connection, the upper house speaker said “many European companies formally fulfill the EU’s sanctions demands” but at that “in the normal course of business continue business contacts, keep expanding their presence because no one is interested in losing such an advantageous, big and attractive market”.

“It’s more like a political club being swung above Russia to change its attitude on a number of problems, to deprive it of an independent foreign policy,” Matviyenko said. “But [these efforts] won’t succeed.”

She stressed that Moscow “has no plans to impose sanctions in response”.

“We believe that international financial and economic institutions should speak out here as such sanctions are out of line with the principles and norms set by international free trade and market competition,”

Matviyenko said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 television channel.

But “should the situation develop differently”, she said, Russia may impose tit-for-tat sanctions at a certain stage.

Instability embraced Ukraine after a coup occurred in the country in February. Russia’s position is that the Ukrainian authorities in Kiev, brought to power by the coup, are illegitimate.

The Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, held a referendum on March 16, in which most Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and reunify with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deal March 18.

In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954.

Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession was in line with the international law, the West and the de facto Kiev authorities refuse to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

After Crimea’s incorporation by Russia, massive protests against the coup-imposed Ukrainian authorities in Kiev erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking south-eastern territories. Kiev has conducted a punitive operation against pro-federalization activists.

#ANS2014  

 

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Prince Charles ‘Compares Putin To Hitler’


Not helping UK/Russian friendship

Why can’t the Royals shut up? We have the Duke of Edinburgh (My City and the Queens jester and husband) who is the mouth of stupid Royalty now this fool Charles has gone and totally knocked UK/Russia ties to the ground! His Mum’s (The Queen) Nuclear Arsenal is in my country, not England! Royal Family, please, give it a rest you fools!

Prince Charles has reportedly compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler over his actions in Ukraine. The Prince of Wales’ alleged remark about Mr Putin came during a four-day tour of Canada when he spoke to a woman who fled the Nazis and lost family members in the Holocaust. A spokesman for Clarence House said: “We do not comment on private conversations. “But we would like to stress that the Prince of Wales would not seek to make a public political statement during a private conversation.” Charles was being shown around the Museum of Immigration in Halifax, Nova Scotia, along with Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. The royal couple paid tribute to World War Two veterans and their families, and during the course of the visit they spoke to museum volunteer Marianne Ferguson. Ms Ferguson told the Prince she fled to Canada with her family in 1939, not long before Hitler annexed the Baltic coastal Free City of Gdansk.

Video – Sky News


Prince Charles and Camilla in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island

After meeting Charles, the 78-year-old told the Daily Mail: “The Prince said ‘And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler’.”I must say that I agree with him and am sure a lot of people do. “But I was very surprised that he made the comment as I know they [members of the Royal Family] aren’t meant to say these things. “I told the Prince that while my family and I were lucky to get a permit to travel, many members of my relatives had permits but were unable to get out before the war broke out on September 1. “They were sent to the concentration camps and died.” The Mail reported that the Prince made his comments while surrounded by media and they were heard by several witnesses. Mr Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Sky News: “I don’t know anything about it. I can’t really trust the Daily Mail as a source.”


Protesters in Kiev have also compared Putin to Hitler

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg backed Prince Charles on his LBC Radio phone-in, saying: “Prince Charles should be perfectly entitled to express views in the confidence that he’s expressing them privately.” But Labour (Co-op) MP Mike Gapes, who represents Ilford South, said the Prince “should abdicate” if he wants to make controversial statements. He said on Twitter: “If Prince Charles wants to make controversial statements on national or international issues he should abdicate and stand for election. “In constitutional monarchy, policy and diplomacy should be conducted by parliament and government. Monarchy should be seen and not heard.” UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who has backed Mr Putin’s anti-EU stance in the past, said: “Prince Charles has made those comments – I know some people feel that way about Putin. “I think there’s a difference. The difference is right from the very start Hitler was expansionist, and we haven’t see very much evidence of that until now from Putin and arguably, what’s happened in the Ukraine is because he’s been poked with a stick by the rest of the world.”


Mr Putin is in Shanghai meeting with Xi Jinping and other world leaders

Charles and the Russian leader are due to meet next month when they attend the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6. Mr Putin has faced international anger over Russia’s actions in neighbouring Ukraine, including the controversial annexation of Crimea. In March, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly said Mr Putin’s claim to be be defending ethnic Russians in Crimea was “what Hitler did back in the ’30s”. She later backtracked, claiming she was not making a direct comparison but that Russia’s behaviour was “reminiscent” of Germany in the build-up to the Second World War. Prince Charles has been known for speaking his mind on issues such as architecture and the environment, but he rarely makes his feelings known on diplomatic matters. There is an ongoing legal battle over the publication of letters he has sent to politicians, with the attorney general concerned their release could compromise the Prince’s neutrality and create constitutional problems.

#russia, #adolf-hitler, #british-royal-family, #camilla-the-duchess-of-cornwall, #charles, #hitler, #mr-putin, #prince-charles, #prince-of-wales, #putin, #russian-president-vladimir-putin, #the-prince, #vladimir-putin

`EU Refuses to Recognise Referendum in South Eastern Ukraine and Expands Sanctions ‘

#AceNewsServices – BRUSSELS – EU – MAY 12 – PRESS RELEASE –  The EU Council has refused to recognize the referendum in south-eastern Ukraine and expanded sanctions against Russia.

EU Council on Referendum

This says a final statement on Ukraine issued by the Council of the European Union after the meeting of 28 ministers of foreign affairs representing the 28 member states on Monday.

“The EU will not recognize yesterday’s nor any future illegitimate and illegal ‘referenda’,” the statement says.

 “The Council has decided to add a new group of individuals and entities to the list of persons, entities and bodies subject to restrictive measures,” the document emphasizes.

Earlier, a diplomatic source reported that another 13 Russian individuals and 2 Crimea-based companies were added to EU’s black list.

Ministers of foreign affairs of 28 EU member countries have included another 13 people and 2 Crimean companies to the sanctions list against Russia, a European diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS on the margins of the ministerial meeting on Monday.

“As an addition to the black list, there were named 13 individuals and two Crimea-based companies,” the source said, adding that the measures will come into effect on Tuesday.

“In light of the recent developments and in the absence of any steps towards de-escalation the Council has agreed to expand the criteria allowing individuals and entities to be subject to visa ban and asset freeze,” the statement says.

According to the statement, this will allow imposing sanctions on individuals and organizations “responsible for actively supporting or implementing actions or policies which undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”, as well as on “legal persons, entities or bodies in Crimea or Sevastopol whose ownership has been transferred contrary to Ukrainian law”.

#ANS2104 

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#AceWorldNews DONETSK May 10 The referendum on the…

#AceWorldNews – DONETSK – May 10 – The referendum on the status of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) scheduled for May 11, has begun early in two districts of the province as the situation has aggravated, Chairman of the DNR Election Commission Roman Lyagin told reporters on Saturday.

“In Mariupol, the referendum began May 9 following the news about possible aggravation of the political situation in the region,” Lyagin said adding that “This was the cause behind the Ukrainian‘s army stepping up its activity on May 9.”

According to the election commission official, federalization supporters prepared 53 election districts and set up more than 1,500 local election commissions.

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`Russia’s Ongoing Confrontation with the West Sparks Debate NATO – US Alliance ‘

 

#AceWorldNews – BRUSSELS  – May 10 – Russia’s ongoing confrontation with the West has ignited debate inside and outside the U.S.-led NATO alliance about what its responsibilities are, and how much of its time and effort should be spent to prepare for and if necessary counter Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s military ambitions.

Pavol Demeš (Senior Fellow, Zentral- und Osteu...

Pavol Demeš (Senior Fellow, Zentral- und Osteuropa, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Bratislava) Foto: CC-BY-SA Stephan Röhl / www.boell.de (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ian Lesser, senior director for foreign and security policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, said NATO must remain mindful of other modern security challenges, including cyber-terrorism, threats to energy supplies and armed Islamic extremism.

But he predicted the trans-Atlantic alliance’s focus will shift dramatically because of what he termed the biggest game changer in European security and defense environment in 20 years: Russia’s armed aggression in Crimea and the Kremlin’s continuing military pressure on Ukraine.

“Today we have a situation in which Russia and especially the Russian leadership is highly unpredictable,” Lesser said. “There is something about the current crisis that suggests Russia is a rogue state, with all that would imply for deterrence and reassurance of allies.”

As the alliance ponders how to react in Europe after years of fielding operations in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan, one of NATO’s top commanders told The Associated Press that Russia’s demonstrated ability to swiftly mobilize large numbers of troops in so-called snap exercises and Moscow’s uncertain intentions have forced a rethink of NATO’s capacity to respond and the deployment of its forces.

“What I am thinking about now is, is NATO correctly positioned and is it at the right state of responsiveness?” U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s supreme commander in Europe, said in a recent  interview. “If we expect that Mr. Putin is going to be in charge of Russia for many years, if we are going to see this kind of exercise behavior in the future, are we prepared to react to the next  snap exercise that goes across a border to impose its will on another sovereign nation in a different part of Europe? That’s what I’ve done a lot of thinking about.”

AP 

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` UKRAINE CRISIS – DAILY UPDATE – MAY 09 – MORNING, NOON and NIGHT ‘

#AceNewsServices – UKRAINE – DAILY UPDATE – FRIDAY MAY 09 2014

17:12 GMT:

The EU has criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for attending a Victory Day military parade in Crimea, Russia’s southern region.

“The European Union notes with regret the presence of President Vladimir Putin at a military parade … in Sevastopol, Crimea,” Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said.

She accused Putin of using the “important day in our shared history, dedicated to honoring the enormous sacrifices and giving remembrance to the millions of dead in the Second World War as an instrument “to give visibility to the illegal annexation of Crimea.”

17:10 GMT:

The people’s militia has seized a health resort building in the Budenovsky district of the city of Donetsk, which was housing 120 Ukrainian soldiers, local media reported. After several minutes of fighting the soldiers surrendered their weapons and left on buses. Earlier a co-chairman of the Donetsk People’s Republic government Miroslav Rudenko said the soldiers clashed with the people’s militia and several people were injured.

16:53 GMT:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary John Kerry have spoken on the phone discussing the possible joint effort of the OSCE, Russia, the US and the EU to help resolve the Ukrainian crisis.

Lavrov pointed out the need to urgently start an all-inclusive national dialogue between the coup-installed Kiev authorities and representatives of the eastern part of the country under the mediation of the OSCE.

Lavrov said he hopes that Washington will work with Kiev to stop its punitive operation in the east, taking into account US positive attitude towards the ‘road map’ developed by the OSCE under Swiss chairmanship, on the implementation of the April 17 Geneva agreement.

14:48 GMT:
14:07 GMT:

An unidentified person has shot and wounded a 12-year-old boy “who was wearing St. George’s ribbon” in the center of the town of Slavyansk, the local self-defense HQ told Interfax. The source said that the bullet entered the boy’s chest “in the heart area” and his condition is currently unknown.

The St. George’s emblem, originally a Tsarist-era Russian military award, was adopted as a symbol of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII.

RIA Novosti, citing the child’s relative, reported that the boy “was simply walking” when he was wounded in the chest and shoulder. He was taken to the hospital and is undergoing surgery, the source said.

13:21 GMT:
13:21 GMT:

Victory Day celebrations were held in the anti-government stronghold in eastern Ukraine, the city of Slavyansk. Several thousand people gathered for a demo in the city’s central square. A “parade” of military equipment was held as two captured APCs with self-defense forces on them drove through the streets.

13:17 GMT:

About 1,500 protesters took to the streets of the eastern city of Kharkov for an anti-government rally on Victory Day. The demonstrators criticized the policy of the coup-appointed Kiev authorities, calling them a “junta” and “US protégés” and slammed the punitive military operation in eastern Ukraine, saying that the regime was waging “war against its own people.” Local police cordoned the demonstrators off from those attending the Victory Day concert for war veterans.

12:13 GMT:

RT’s stringer in Mariupol has been injured while trying to film and is now in hospital. Doctors say that in spite of his bulletproof vest he has sustained an injury to the stomach.

11:36 GMT:

The main Interior Ministry building is on fire, 0629.ua news portal reported.

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` UKRAINE CRISIS – DAILY UPDATE – MAY 08 – MORNING, NOON and NIGHT '

#AceNewsServices – UKRAINE – DAILY UPDATE – THURSDAY MAY 08

#AceWorldNews – UKRAINE – DONETSK – May 08 – Several hundred people are rallying in the centre of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk in support of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic despite heavy rain.

They are urging fellow citizens to vote for the Republic in the upcoming referendum on the status of the region slated for May 11. They are chanting “We will win!”, “We won’t forgive Odessa” and “Away with the junta!” and urging law enforcers to join their ranks.

The Donetsk region and the neighbouring Luhansk region have decided against postponing the referendum and will hold it on May 11 as planned.

After the rally its participants were planning to march along the streets of Donetsk but cancelled their plans because of the rain.

Activists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic are ensuring law and order during the rally.

RIA Novosti – Donetsk News – Tass – VoR

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1. VoR – May 08 – http://tinyurl.com/mwwegug

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19.47 GMT:
An initiative to organise “round tables of the national unity” has been announced by the coup-installed Kiev officials. According to Itar-Tass, the acting president Aleksandr Turchinov and the interim Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk want to use the OSCE experience in the dialogue. Such issues as decentralization of political power, reforms in local government, court system and law enforcement, as well as protection of minorities are planned to be raised. Turchinov and Yatsenyuk say they invite all political forces from all regions to join their initiative. At the same time, they say there are no plans to stop the military operation in the south-east of Ukraine.

16.18 GMT:
2,000 police officers will patrol the streets of Odessa on May 9. The civil forces will do their best to prevent any incidents on Victory Day, its representative in the Odessa region has told Interfax-Ukraine agency. On May 2, dozens of people were killed and hundreds injured in mass clashes in Odessa. Several people including senior officials of Odessa’s militia have been arrested as part of the investigation.

15:55 GMT:
Russia has reacted to sanctions against its citizens applied by the US and Canada. A comment by Aleksandr Lukashevich, an official representative of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was published on its official website. “Sanctions are not our approach, but unfriendly actions force us to fight back,” Lukashevich said. Names of those who fall under Russia’s sanctions will not be published. According to the official, those on the list will learn about it when they apply for a visa.

14:57 GMT:
Kharkov City Council’s executive committee has asked residents to avoid getting involved in any political actions on Victory Day. Due to the current situation in the region, it has warned people of possible provocations from various political forces “who are ready to use even such a sacred day to reach their instantaneous political goals,” an announcement on the city’s website says, reminding locals of the sacrifice of millions of Soviet people in WW2 and the need to respect and honor both those who died in the conflict and those still living who survived the war. Earlier, Kharkov’s mayor promised residents they would be able to enjoy Victory Day celebrations after “Ukraine calms down.”

14:54 GMT:
Monday’s fierce fighting at #Semonovka saw fatalities and destruction, yet now Thursday little sign of any clean-up. pic.twitter.com/itHn0JZlCL
— GrahamWPhillips (@GrahamWP_UK) May 8, 2014
13:47 GMT:
One person was killed after the shooting that took place near a checkpoint in the Lugansk region in eastern Ukraine, local police told RIA Novosti. Two people were injured in the attack.

13:26 GMT:
Ukrainian troops have taken control of the city council in the eastern city of Mariupol, Donetsk Region, a representative of the self-defence forces said. One person has been injured during the seizure.

“People in black camouflage have taken control of the city council building… they aren’t letting anyone in,” he said.

13:09 GMT:
A checkpoint manned by anti-government protesters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk has been targeted by mortars, a representative from the local self-defence forces told RIA Novosti.

On Wednesday, the checkpoint was attacked and one person was injured.

13:08 GMT:
Russia has received a proposed roadmap from the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) to resolve Ukraine’s crisis, said President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.

“Now we need time to study it thoroughly,” he said.

On Wednesday, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter said the organization will offer a roadmap to defuse tensions in Ukraine.

12:57 GMT:
Ukrainian presidential candidate Sergey Tigipko has condemned the use of force by Kiev authorities against southeast Ukrainian regions.

“My position is clear – peace at any price… saber rattling will not help anyone… the conflict should end in peaceful negotiations,” he said.

He also recommended Kiev authorities to consider the proposal of Vladimir Putin who urged an end to Kiev’s military operation.

“Since we have a positive reaction on Ukraine’s presidential elections and a proposal to postpone a referendum [in Donetsk and Lugansk regions], we need to catch it,” he said. “We don’t have a strong position now.”

Tigipko also called upon Kiev authorities to amnesty all the participants of the protests in the southeast of the country.

“Yes, there are some lawbreakers who committed serious crimes, but the majority are peaceful civilians who can be amnestied,” he added, “The main issue is to stabilize the situation.”

12:17 GMT:
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has welcomed Vladimir Putin’s “constructive tone” on Ukraine, after the Russian president suggested that the anti-government protesters in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the east of the country consider postponing their federalization referendums on May 11.

“I welcome the constructive tone that President Putin used after his meeting with the OSCE President Didier Burkhalter,” Steinmeier said, adding that “what was discussed in Moscow” should be implemented immediately.

“The situation is critical, but there is still a chance that we can avoid a fresh escalation of violence and the total loss of control in eastern Ukraine by diplomatic means,” he added.

12:05 GMT:
The Kremlin will analyze the situation on eastern Ukraine’s refusal to postpone the referendum, said President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.

He added that Kremlin hasn’t yet received any proposals from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Ukraine’s crisis.

12.00 GMT:
Ukrainian troops are trying to take the City Council building in Mariupol in the Donetsk region by storm. According to the press service of the proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, the anti-government activists are making efforts to stand their ground by putting barricades of car tires on fire, Itar-Tass agency reports.

09:36 GMT:
#Donetsk activists tell me they’re open 2 negotiations with #Kiev as #Putin called 4, but face brickwall with Kievs insistence on “ATO”
— Lizzie Phelan (@LizziePhelan) May 8, 2014
09:31 GMT:
Ukrainian coup-imposed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has promised to give local councils the right to grant official status to the Russian language, along with other languages.

“The Ukrainian government also proposed legislation to hold an overall Ukrainian… referendum scheduled May 25. We wanted to know people’s opinions on the country’s integrity, its polity” he said, “Unfortunately, the parliament hasn’t supported us yet.”

08:37 GMT:
The military operation in the south-east of Ukraine will continue, regardless of the decision made on the Donetsk regional referendum expected on May 11, Kiev said.

The chairman of the Ukrainian Security Service, Andrey Parubiy, who made the announcement, said that “the counter-terrorist operation will continue unhindered despite the presence of terrorist and insurgent groups in the Donetsk region.”

08:27 GMT:
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has reported that two anti-government protesters’ cars have been destroyed overnight in the southeast of the country.

“Last night the sixth checkpoint of the anti-terrorist operation units has been attacked … The units then opened retaliatory fire which destroyed two cars [of protesters],” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry did not specify in which region or city the cars were destroyed.

07:34 GMT:
Russia’s Foreign Ministry suggested NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was “blind” after he wrote he had seen no signs Russia is withdrawing troops from Ukraine’s border, Itar-Tass reported on Thursday.

Rasmussen’s statement, posted on his Twitter microblog, directly contradicted a statement by President Vladimir Putin made earlier in the day.

“We suggest that the blind familiarise themselves with the May 7 statement of the President,” Itar-Tass reported the Foreign Ministry as saying.

00:32 GMT:
There are reports that the ultra-nationalist Right Sector has fired at the prosecutor’s office in Severodonetsk in Lugansk region, UNIAN news agency reported, citing the head of the Center for Military-Political Studies Dmitry Timchuck.

The head of the NGO states that according to his sources on the ground in Severodonetsk the prosecutor’s office was attacked by “more than 100” people who identified themselves to be from the Right Sector.

Wednesday, May 7
19:29 GMT:
The White House has withdrawn Russia from the US Generalized System of preferences (GPS) trade benefits program, its press-office said in a statement. GPS is a program designed to promote economic growth in the developing countries by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 5,000 products when imported from one of 123 designated beneficiary countries and territories.

18:47 GMT:
Ukraine presidential candidate Pyotr Poroshenko (UDAR Party) has welcomed President Vladimir Putin’s statements, saying that the situation significantly improved following the news from Moscow.

“We have an appeal to stop an illegal referendum, Russia accepting presidential elections. I think this is great news for stabilizing the situation in eastern Ukraine,” Poroshenko told reporters in Berlin.

17:58 GMT:
The situation in Donetsk region has stabilized after President Vladimir Putin’s speech in Moscow, a self-defense unit’s representative told Interfax. No shooting has been heard in the city of Slavyansk. The situation remains calm in Mariupol, where anti-Kiev protesters regained control of the city council.
12:00 GMT:
Ukrainian troops are trying to take the City Council building in Mariupol in the Donetsk region by storm. According to the press service of the proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, the anti-government activists are making efforts to stand their ground by putting barricades of car tires on fire, Itar-Tass agency reports.

09:36 GMT:
#Donetsk activists tell me they’re open 2 negotiations with #Kiev as #Putin called 4, but face brickwall with Kievs insistence on “ATO”
— Lizzie Phelan (@LizziePhelan) May 8, 2014
09:31 GMT:
Ukrainian coup-imposed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has promised to give local councils the right to grant official status to the Russian language, along with other languages.

“The Ukrainian government also proposed legislation to hold an overall Ukrainian… referendum scheduled May 25. We wanted to know people’s opinions on the country’s integrity, its polity” he said, “Unfortunately, the parliament hasn’t supported us yet.”

08:37 GMT:
The military operation in the south-east of Ukraine will continue, regardless of the decision made on the Donetsk regional referendum expected on May 11, Kiev said.

The chairman of the Ukrainian Security Service, Andrey Parubiy, who made the announcement, said that “the counter-terrorist operation will continue unhindered despite the presence of terrorist and insurgent groups in the Donetsk region.”

08:27 GMT:
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has reported that two anti-government protesters’ cars have been destroyed overnight in the southeast of the country.

“Last night the sixth checkpoint of the anti-terrorist operation units has been attacked … The units then opened retaliatory fire which destroyed two cars [of protesters],” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry did not specify in which region or city the cars were destroyed.

07:34 GMT:
Russia’s Foreign Ministry suggested NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was “blind” after he wrote he had seen no signs Russia is withdrawing troops from Ukraine’s border, Itar-Tass reported on Thursday.

Rasmussen’s statement, posted on his Twitter microblog, directly contradicted a statement by President Vladimir Putin made earlier in the day.

“We suggest that the blind familiarise themselves with the May 7 statement of the President,” Itar-Tass reported the Foreign Ministry as saying.

00:32 GMT:
There are reports that the ultra-nationalist Right Sector has fired at the prosecutor’s office in Severodonetsk in Lugansk region, UNIAN news agency reported, citing the head of the Center for Military-Political Studies Dmitry Timchuck.

The head of the NGO states that according to his sources on the ground in Severodonetsk the prosecutor’s office was attacked by “more than 100” people who identified themselves to be from the Right Sector.

RT – RIA NOVOSTI – TASS – REUTERS – UNIAN – KYIV – TWITTER – FACEBOOK – INTER-UKRAINE – OSCE

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` UKRAINE CRISIS – DAILY UPDATE – MAY 07 – MORNING, NOON and NIGHT '

#AceNewsServices – UKRAINE – DAILY UPDATE – MAY 07

19.29 GMT:

The White House has withdrawn Russia from the US Generalized System of preferences (GPS) trade benefits program, its press-office said in a statement. GPS is a program designed to promote economic growth in the developing countries by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 5,000 products when imported from one of 123 designated beneficiary countries and territories.

18:47 GMT:
Ukraine presidential candidate Pyotr Poroshenko (UDAR Party) has welcomed President Vladimir Putin’s statements, saying that the situation significantly improved following the news from Moscow.

“We have an appeal to stop an illegal referendum, Russia accepting presidential elections. I think this is great news for stabilizing the situation in eastern Ukraine,” Poroshenko told reporters in Berlin.
17.58 GMT:
Ukraine presidential candidate Pyotr Poroshenko (UDAR Party) has welcomed President Vladimir Putin’s statements, saying that the situation significantly improved following the news from Moscow.

“We have an appeal to stop an illegal referendum, Russia accepting presidential elections. I think this is great news for stabilizing the situation in eastern Ukraine,” Poroshenko told reporters in Berlin.

17:58 GMT:
The situation in Donetsk region has stabilized after President Vladimir Putin’s speech in Moscow, a self-defence unit’s representative told Interfax. No shooting has been heard in the city of Slavyansk. The situation remains calm in Mariupol, where anti-Kiev protesters regained control of the city council.
17:57 GMT:
Kiev has prepared its own “roadmap” to solve the political crisis in Ukraine, Interfax news agency reports citing the coup-imposed Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk. He said that the plan has been worked out by country’s acting Foreign Minister Andrey Deschitsa.

Yatsenyuk expressed bewilderment over discussions on resolving the Ukrainian conflict being held between Moscow and OSCE without representatives from Kiev. He still said he hopes the OSCE, which also came up with its roadmap, will accept Kiev’s plan of actions.

17:13 GMT:
Reuters reports, NATO has said it has “no indication of a change in the position of military forces along the Ukraine border” despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement.
“We have been told that our troops on the Ukrainian border are a concern – we have withdrawn them. They are now not on Ukrainian territory, but at locations where they conduct regular drills at ranges,” Putin said at a press conference with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter in Moscow.

16:37 GMT:
The Pentagon is shipping new aid to Ukraine, which comes in the form of walkie-talkies, binoculars, fuel pumps, spare tires and barbed wire, USA Today reports citing Army Col. Steve Warren.

16:37 GMT:
Anti-government activists in the Donetsk region exchanged three previously detained Ukrainian Security Service members for one of their leaders Pavel Gubarev.

Gubarev was proclaimed “the people’s governor” of Donetsk on March 1 and was later arrested by the Ukrainian Security Service. Together with him, several other anti-government activists have been freed.


Protest leader Pavel Gubarev (2nd R, top) and other demonstrators take part in a rally in front of regional government building in Donetsk March 5, 2014. (Reuters)rotest leader Pavel Gubarev (2nd R, top) and other demonstrators take part in a rally in front of regional government building in Donetsk March 5, 2014. (Reuters)

16:28 GMT:
The EU has established a preliminary agreement on possible further Russian sanctions. The potential additional measures could be approved as early as Monday during a meeting of EU foreign ministers. “We have political approval, and it will have to be rubber-stamped,” one diplomat told Reuters, on conditions of anonymity. A further two officials stated that specific names were to be discussed on Wednesday. Extended sanctions are likely to enable the EU to target Russian companies.

13:42 GMT:
British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced on a visit to Ukraine on Wednesday that further sanctions on Russia were being prepared. Hague stated that a “third tier” was being devised. “We will be ready to impose those if necessary,” Hague told a news conference in Kiev. However he did not clarify at which point they would be imposed, and stated that “we will not say they will only be imposed if there is a military invasion of Ukraine.” Hague added that a specific “red line” was not being set on the point at which sanctions would be imposed, as its setting would mean that all other actions up to the red line could be taken.

Hague said that while the UK was not providing direct military assistance to the Kiev government, it was contributing in other ways, such as with “technical know-how.” “Financial management… areas of government… that is the sort of help we give,” he said. He added that the UK would be supplying a “big proportion” of the election monitors for Ukraine’s presidential election on May 25.

12:15 GMT:
Vladimir Putin suggested to OSCE chairman Didier Burkhalter that the Ukrainian situation should be “analyzed and means to overcome the crisis be found.”

The two leaders spoke today in the Kremlin, and the Russian president has said that this meeting with the Swiss President and Foreign Minister is very well-timed.


The head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Swiss President Didier Burkhalter (L), and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attend a press conference in the Kremlin in Moscow, on May 7, 2014, after their meeting. (RIA Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin)The head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Swiss President Didier Burkhalter (L), and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attend a press conference in the Kremlin in Moscow, on May 7, 2014, after their meeting. (RIA Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin)
Burkhalter currently chairs the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Ukrainian crisis was among the meeting’s highlights.

Putin has said that it’s known where Russia stands in the situation.

The Russian leader has also pointed that according to his previous discussions with the Swiss politician, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office has his suggestions and ideas on how to resolve the situation.

Burkhalter commented that possibility of a dialogue is very important.

12:13 GMT:
At least 14 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and 66 injured since the beginning of the military operation in Eastern Ukraine. The numbers were given as of late May 6 by the Ukrainian information agency UNIAN, based on security service data.

12:03 GMT:
Activists in the south-eastern city of Slavyansk are prepared to face an army offensive at any time, day or night. The threat has driven women to take up arms to protect their children and their future. Every night they join their men at one of the checkpoints.

“I’m ready to fight them with my bare hands,” a woman named Lena told RT’s Paula Slier. She is a mother of two teenage boys, who are every night left to wait nervously at home, not knowing if their parents will return.

Lena and the other women there hope their presence will stop the army, Slier reports from Slavyansk.

11:26 GMT:
A group of journalists with the channel Lifenews has come under fire from an RPG in the vicinity of Slavyansk, it was reported on the news channel. The TV report said that the incident took place during a live broadcast.

Shortly before that, reporter Aleksey Kazannikov said that the Ukrainian army has masked a couple of Grad rocket weapons systems. Latest reports indicate that Kazannikov and his cameraman Aleksandr Matveev are hiding out in the woods nearby.

This is not the first such instance.

11:18 GMT:
The European Union is open to holding more talks with Ukraine, Russia and the United States to try to defuse the crisis in Ukraine, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said on Wednesday.

“What we are doing is keep(ing) open the track of negotiations and dialogue. We are even open to the idea of a second Geneva meeting. We are open to this idea and will work with colleagues on the possibility of it,” Van Rompuy told a news conference with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Reuters)

11:13 GMT:
#Slavyansk: Pro-#unity forces open fire agnst #checkpoint that leads to the city of #Andreyvka (in the same region). pic.twitter.com/caSLtt4ZrH
— PaulaSlier_RT (@PaulaSlier_RT) May 7, 2014
10:44 GMT:
People bury Irina Boyevetz in Slavyansk. 2 days ago, the 30-year-old woman was shot in the head by sniper fire while standing on her balcony.

Outside the church, scenes of fury from the crowd, inside, mourners grieve -https://t.co/O2ivmxVwpF
— GrahamWPhillips (@GrahamWP_UK) May 7, 2014
10:35 GMT:
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday called on Kiev to immediately stop “the use of force against its own people”.

“The illegitimate authorities in Kiev go on crudely trampling on widely-recognised rights, with the connivance of their Western patrons,” the ministry also said in a statement.

07:45 GMT:
#Odessa: Deputy chief of regional Interior Ministry department detained. Dmitry Fuchedzhi is accused of misfeasance during the May 2 riots.
— PaulaSlier_RT (@PaulaSlier_RT) May 7, 2014
06:49 GMT:
Kiev loyalist forces have taken the city hall of Mariupol, its website reported. Construction workers are currently dismantling barricades previously erected by anti-government activists who were in control of the building.

The announcement comes after reports of heavy fighting overnight for Mariupol, which involved an estimated 1,000 Ukrainian government troops.

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