RUSSIAN EMBASSY WEEKLY #149
RUSSIANS TO THE RESCUE
The task force of the Russian Emergencies Ministry completed the search and rescue effort at the blast scene in the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut, the crisis center told TASS on Sunday.
"The search and rescue works in Beirut are over," the crisis center reported, adding that the emergency relief effort was ongoing.
The Lebanese authorities don’t hope anymore to find alive people under the rubble following the blast, it said. "The representatives of Lebanon’s Defense Ministry as the receiving party officially stated that they don’t expect anymore to find anyone alive under the rubble," a spokesperson said.
On August 4, Vladimir Putin sent a message of condolence to President of the Republic of Lebanon Michel Aoun in connection with the loss of human life and large-scale destruction caused by an explosion in the port of Beirut.
“We in Russia share the grief of the Lebanese people. Please convey my words of sympathy and support to the victims’ families and friends and wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured,” the President of Russia noted.
A self-confessed workaholic, Englishman John Kopiski has worked hard his whole life. First, as a steel trader, and now, as a Russian dairy farmer. A proud cheese-maker and owner of a riding school, not to mention a hotel, which is a recent addition after he decided to delve into agritourism.
John lives in a converted “kolhoz” or cowshed with his wife and 5 children, and is a staunch supporter of Vladimir Putin, while supplying Muscovites with artisanal cheeses like “Red October” and “Tovarishch”, which means 'comrade'.
<…> This year is marked by the 75th anniversary of the end of the most large-scale and the bloodiest war in the history of mankind. Therefore, we address not only its results, which enabled peoples’ transition to the principles of a peaceful life and formed the basis of the modern system of international relations, but also remember the human cost in order to prevent a recurrence of the tragedies of that time.
On August 6, 1945, the United States launched a nuclear attack against Hiroshima and three days later against Nagasaki. To this day, the terrible death of innocent civilians strikes a chord with millions of people on our planet. Even with a clear idea of the reasons behind and course of World War II, it is hard to fully understand what the masterminds and perpetrators of such an inhumane act were guided by.
Soviet representatives were among the first foreign observers to visit the site of the tragedy and collect detailed materials that were submitted to the leadership of the country. This and other information on the results of the study into the consequences of nuclear explosions in Japan was subsequently made public and presented to the wider international community. We would expect others to follow suit, showing respect to historical truth and ensuring transparency with regard to those events.
An impartial analysis of what happened in August 1945 confirms that the world’s leading capitals could not but realize that World War II was really coming to an end. The Soviet offensive in the Far East, as part of the agreements between the Allies, not only liberated China and Korea, but also took away Japan’s motivation to continue military operations. In that situation, atomic bombings by the United States were in fact a show of force and an operational test of nuclear weapons on civilians. The United States was the first and only country to use this type of weapons of mass destruction.
As a nuclear-weapon State, Russia recognizes its responsibility for international security, and global and regional stability. We are aware of the impact that the use of nuclear weapons may have. Our country pursues a policy of peace and non-confrontation in international affairs.
Today, we note with great concern the degradation of the international arms control system, denunciation of treaties, disregard of the principles of undiminished security of States, and a significant increase in nuclear risks. There has been an alarming shift in doctrinal military and political policies towards the idea that it is acceptable to employ nuclear weapons as a means of warfare.
We need to eliminate the risk of military confrontation between the nuclear powers and rule out the possibility of a nuclear war. We firmly believe that such a war cannot be won and must never be unleashed. We suggest that all nuclear powers officially confirm their commitment to this tenet.
In a bid to free the world from the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, we reaffirm our commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and, in this connection, call for extension of the START Treaty. In the face of the dismantlement of the INF Treaty by the United States, Russia unilaterally undertook not to deploy ground-launched intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles in any given region of the world until relevant US-made weapons are deployed there.
Russia has unwaveringly supported constructive dialogue with all political forces and social movements advocating the nuclear threat reduction. In this context, it is crucially important to hold a substantive discussion on the issues that have to be dealt with in order to create favorable conditions for further movement towards nuclear disarmament. These issues include the deployment of a global missile defense system by the United States, development of high-precision non-nuclear strategic offensive arms, weaponization of outer space and cyberspace, and the United States' refusal to ratify the CTBT.
We must join our efforts to ensure that the terror and pain of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will never repeat. The tragedy left a deep imprint on the hearts of the Russian people, finding its way into our literature, art and music. Every Russian schoolchild knows the story of a girl named Sadako, who, hoping to be cured from radiation sickness, was trying to make a thousand paper cranes.
That is why, on August 6, our thoughts will be with the people of your city.
The center will be fitted out with new aviation, marine, fire-fighting, diving, rescue and other equipment, with due account of the extreme natural conditions typical for the region, complicated supply logistics and transport safety regulation in the Extreme North, as well as with cutting-edge communications technology.
To ensure security in the Arctic, the Emergencies Ministry plans to establish a multi-purpose emergency-and-rescue center in Dikson, the northernmost village of the Krasnoyarsk Territory.
The center will include a local unit of the Emergencies Ministry, a search-and-rescue team and an Arctic aviation-rescue crew.
The main responsibilities of the center will be to enhance the security of Arctic residents, issue warnings about natural and man-made emergencies, create conditions for the safe implementation of large-scale
economic, infrastructure and investment projects, and cooperate with other federal authorities to ensure fail-safe navigation along the Northern Sea Route.
Amids the Covid-19 pandemic contacts between Russia and the U.S. go on. And at the very TOP-level they have even intensified. President Putin and President Trump have conducted eight telephone conversations in recent months, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Tuesday.
According to the diplomat, speaking at the interactive conference "USA - Latin America - Russia: an Agenda for Constructive Cooperation in the Post-COVID-19 Era"
, some countries in the international arena, unfortunately, continue to pursue their self-serving goals, which seriously harms common interests of the international community.
"It is the context, in which we view the counterproductive decision of the United States to withdraw from the WHO, which plays and, we believe, will continuously play a central role in coordinating global efforts to combat COVID-19," Ryabkov said.
Russian-US energy cooperation is in interests of both countries, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Tuesday.
"Development of trade and investment ties as well as energy and technology cooperation serve our common interests," Ryabkov said during the interactive conference "USA - Latin America - Russia: an Agenda for Constructive Cooperation in the Post-COVID-19 Era."
Russia at the same time is "quite realistic" about bilateral cooperation prospects, given the election struggle in the United States, according to the diplomat.
"We will act pragmatically and respond to attacks on us when necessary. But we are open to interaction with Washington on a broad range of issues if it shows readiness to engage on a constructive and mutually respectful basis," he added.
The Russian side does not discuss with Washington the possibility of trading Paul Whelan, an American convicted in Russia of espionage, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated on Tuesday.
"We are not having a dialogue with the US as regards trading Paul Whelan. It is not clear what the basis for the periodic revival of this subject is. Americans are aware of our proposals to resolve an issue of the return of the compatriots who were unjustly convicted with lengthy sentences, which is important to us," the senior diplomat stressed.
In this regard, Ryabkov reiterated that earlier Moscow had submitted to Washington lists of its citizens who could have been considered as candidates for applying the mechanism of the Council of Europe’s convention on extraditing the arrested to their country of citizenship. "They did not show any interest. So, from all points of view, the ball is in their court," the senior diplomat pointed out.
MFA Russia: We would like to comment on the Pentagon-announced intention to deploy more units in Poland and the Baltic area.
A higher concentration of the US Armed Forces’ attack units on the so-called Russia-NATO contact line, just like any reconfiguration of the US military presence closer to the Russian border, will not enhance security in Europe, no matter how hard Washington may try to prove the opposite. On the contrary, such actions escalate tensions in Europe. We have emphasised more than once that attempts to deter us by force and intimidate our country will receive a befitting and timely response.
The striving of some countries to ensure their own security at the expense of Russia is an absolutely unproductive approach. Reliance on such a policy will merely complicate the already difficult military-political situation and will make it more difficult to develop our dialogue with NATO.
We believe the plans to build up the US military presence in Poland deal a serious blow at one of the key provisions of the 1997 Russia-NATO Founding Act, in accordance with which the alliance gave up on the additional permanent deployment of substantial combat forces on the territories of NATO member states.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
An amazing journey taking place along the Erie Canal—part of a massive globetrotting adventure by Russian sailor Sergey Sinelnik.
Sergey began the trip in the fall of 2018 aboard his handmade replica of an 18th century Russian vessel appropriately named Pilgrim. For the first 10,000 miles of the journey his wife and sons were his crew. They have since returned to Russia and a pair of Russian crew mates have joined him.
The pandemic slowed him down for four months but Sergey refused to let COVID-19 sink his childhood dream of sailing around the world. He will continue west today, eventually getting to Duluth, Minnesota —sister city to Petrozavodsk, where the ship was built. He will stay there for three weeks, rest up before continuing on to Alaska.
This amounts to systematic violations of international legal standards and international humanitarian law by Washington, its commitments as an occupying power. Moreover, the US administration has again demonstrated its obvious disdain for the UN Charter and Security Council and General Assembly resolutions in favour of strict respect for Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity as a UN member.
According to the media, the US Department of the Treasury has provided Delta Crescent Energy with a waiver from the unilateral sanctions that ban any transactions involving Syrian hydrocarbons.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo officially confirmed the signing of the deal. He noted that the paperwork on the deal took more time than Washington had hoped and that the agreements would help all the residents of northeastern Syria.
ccording to incoming reports, in late July, the US Delta Crescent Energy company signed an agreement with the self-proclaimed Kurdish administration in Syria on oil production and on the development of oil deposit infrastructure in the northeast of the country. In addition, as part of the deal, the US company plans to transfer two mobile oil refineries to the Kurds that are supposedly designed to reduce any damage to the environment due to oil and oil product spills.
The United States is illegally occupying territories in the northeast and south of Syria. Moreover, it is taking part in robbing and illegally trading in the country’s natural resources that are the asset of all Syrians. And this is being done against the backdrop of yet another toughening of unilateral sanctions adopted in circumvention of the UN Security Council. Exceptions are demonstratively made for the territories beyond Syrian government’s control. As is known, the sanctions undermine the failsafe supply of fuel and electricity for the Syrian people and create an artificial shortage of energy resources. Moreover, they are preventing Syria from receiving vital medications and medical equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.
It should be noted that the oil products produced in the northeastern regions of the country and the profits from smuggling them are not benefiting all the residents in that part of Syria. The media and analytical centres regularly publish information on civil protests in northeastern Syria against the illegal US presence and arbitrary rule of Kurdish authorities that do not care about the wellbeing of civilians. The US policy of artificially strengthening the Kurds at the expense of other ethnic and religious groups in northeastern Syria provokes domestic tensions and creates serious threats to regional security and stability.
We are seriously concerned and we regret these arbitrary and illegal actions, as well as the absence of a proper reaction from the international community.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY
Russia has 47 ethnic groups that represent indigenous peoples, including 40 indigenous minorities of the North, Siberia and the Far East. Since 2017, the sub-programme Indigenous Minorities of Russia has been implemented as part of the State Ethnic Policy programme. A total of 1.3 billion roubles will be allocated for supporting these groups until 2025. Article 69 of the Russian Constitution guarantees the rights of the small-numbered indigenous peoples according to the universally recognised principles and norms of international law and international treaties and agreements.
We expect specialised international agencies and human rights organisations to respond accordingly and give an impartial assessment of these actions of the US media corporation, which look dubious considering the free distribution of information.
We call on these internet platforms to wave away the authority of self-proclaimed political censors and not to deprive their audiences of the right to free and unlimited access to information in violation of fundamental democratic principles.
We see these politicised and biased actions of American IT giants as their ambition to squeeze Russian media content out of the international information space by decreasing its citation rate.
MFA Russia: We regard the move by the administration of Twitter, following Facebook, to label Russian media accounts as state-affiliated, while Western media outlets financed by the government remain unlabeled, as a violation of the key democratic principles of ensuring the free distribution of information and free access to it. This step once again shows the systematic policy of double standards and country discrimination, which align with Washington’s foreign policy and the unfair competition between US mainstream media and alternative sources of information.
MFA Russia: Despite statements, made in July this year, on the reduction of permanently stationed US Marines in Norway, there is no talk about a real decrease in US military activities. We do not rule out that their new “dynamic” presence really conceals the intention to substantially increase the number of US contingent. Under the pretext of joint exercises with the Norwegian Armed Forces, the Americans, on the contrary, can considerably strengthen positions in northern Norway.
There are reasons for such assumptions. In the past few years, we have seen Norway’s consistent war preparations. They are particularly active in the areas adjacent to the Russia-Norway border. Despite voluntary commitments under “the basic policy,” foreign military troops have been stationed in Norway on a permanent basis and their number has been steadily built up. Disclaimers about the rotation-based stay of these units are not convincing. The number of exercises that include foreign contingents is increasing, and Russia is featuring as a potential enemy in them. Plans for developing national armed forces, arms purchases and upgrading the military infrastructure are openly anti-Russian in nature. We believe such actions by Oslo are destabilising the situation in the region.
We hope Oslo will pursue a responsible and forward-looking policy in the North and refrain from actions that undermine regional stability and damage bilateral relations by actually cutting the foreign military presence on its territory.
August 4 marks the 25th anniversary of Russia's accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the only multilateral missile export control mechanism. Adopted in 1987, the Regime has since established itself as an authoritative consensus-based forum that effectively combines the participating countries’ national approaches and expertise to develop solutions that make a meaningful contribution to building a reliable infrastructure to prevent the proliferation of WMD delivery vehicles. So far 35 states have joined the agreement.
Over the past quarter century, the Russian side has always been deeply involved in all MTCR projects. Russia is one of the leading donors in the information exchange under the Regime and makes a significant contribution to the MTCR's Licensing and Enforcement Experts Meetings. As a country that possesses advanced rocket and space technologies, Russia actively participates in the work of the MTCR Technical Experts Meetings to regularly update the list of controlled goods and technologies.
The MTCR list of dual-use products that can potentially be used in the development of ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles, has become a benchmark in the corresponding areas of export control even for non-regime states.
We are in favour of preserving the purely technical character of the Regime and admitting new members only if they have major rocket and space potential and can make a tangible contribution to the implementation of the MTCR goals and objectives.
In 2021-2022, the Russian Federation will preside over the Regime, approved by a unanimous decision of the participating states. Both in the chairmanship and in our national capacity, we will strive to uphold and further improve the effective work of the MTCR in the interests of attaining the imperative goals of non-proliferation of WMD delivery vehicles.
MFA Russia: The INF Treaty ended a year ago when the US walked away from it, unilaterally. We still believe Washington made a grave mistake. Although the treaty was less than ideal in today’s security environment, it definitely promoted predictability and restraint in the missile and nuclear weapons area.
Russia firmly believes that the INF Treaty should have been preserved. It was possible and necessary to duly mitigate the crisis around it. The sides should have promptly started settling the accumulated differences in its implementation. However, this would have taken political will on both sides. Regrettably, the US did not have this and began to see the treaty as an obstacle on the road to victory in the US-proclaimed “Great Power Rivalry.”
It is regrettable how the Americans prepared to discard an agreement they no longer wanted. To justify its destructive actions, the US orchestrated a propaganda campaign based on completely groundless accusations against Moscow. Instead of a Russia-suggested practical and professional analysis of reciprocal grievances, the Americans set forth patently unacceptable ultimatums. The US instantly rejected Russia’s realistic solutions on settling existing concerns by taking measures on reciprocal transparency. Having blocked the potential paths to resolve the problems, the US deliberately engineered the end of the treaty.
Now, there are no limitations on short- and intermediate- range missiles, whereas the threats for universal security and stability have increased manifold. After abandoning the treaty Washington immediately embarked on completing the development of missiles previously banned under the treaty. The US conducted full-scale tests of these missiles, which fully confirmed that Russia’s long-standing grievances with Washington regarding the treaty were fully justified. The US publicly announced its intention to deploy advanced missiles as soon as possible, primarily in the Asia-Pacific Region. Deployment in Europe has not been ruled out, either.
Obviously, the deployment of US ground-based short- and intermediate- range missiles in various parts of the world will seriously undermine regional and global security and provoke a new and dangerous round in the arms race. Russia cannot ignore the potential risk of additional missiles adjacent to its territory, which would be of a strategic nature for us. This would require an immediate response regardless of whether these are nuclear or conventional missiles.
After the INF Treaty, a number of specific steps were made to ensure predictability in the missile area and the preservation of a “window of opportunity” for dialogue-based solutions. President of Russia Vladimir Putin announced a moratorium on the deployment of these missiles on the ground as long as US weapons of similar classes were not deployed. The US and other NATO countries were directly urged to announce a reciprocal moratorium. Moscow announced its willingness at the highest level to hold a discussion on the parameters and potential verification measures as regards mutual commitments.
We strongly believe that the only viable step now is a joint search for settling the existing situation through political and diplomatic means. Russia remains open to equitable and constructive approaches to restoring trust and enhancing international security and strategic stability. We hope the US will also display an interest in this responsible approach.
The U.S. State Department is not very fond of the existence of alternative sources of information. Serious resources are employed to discredit them. Any voice that contradicts Washington is dubbed “disinformation” in the service of the “Kremlin” and Russian intelligence.
It runs to the absurd. As an example, the U.S. foreign service has assigned Vladimir Zhirinovsky and the private radio-station "Govorit Moskva" (how Sergey Dorenko would have reacted to this?) as "Official Government Communications". If this serves as the pinnacle of the entire structure, so carefully built by our American colleagues, then it seemingly looks like a house of cards.
Russian and foreign media outlets that dare to criticize the United States should bear in mind that they can and almost certainly will become the subject of thorough scrutiny. Their accounts in American social media are at risk of being suspended with no explanation.
The above mentioned report is an attempt to silence Russian official proposals to resume cooperation in key areas on which the security of the entire world depends.
We recommend the U.S. Department of State to at last subscribe to the accounts of Kremlin, Government, MFA and gather official Russian information using them.
HISTORY OF WWII
Wings Of Freedom WWII
In August 1941, the Nazis were advancing on Moscow, Smolensk had fallen, Leningrad was in mortal danger, and Hitler declared that the Soviets were on the brink of defeat. So the Soviet aviation started bombing Berlin in retaliation 79 years ago.
On August 5, 1943 the RedArmy liberated the cities of Oryol and Belgorod during the Battle of Kursk [Soviet Battle of the Bulge]. Moscow marked the occasion by a major firework, the first one since the beginning of WWII.
The governments of the Soviet Union, the USA, the UK and France signed an Agreement on the prosecution and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis. It was the USSR’s initiative to hold public trials over Nazi criminals.
HAVE A NIСE WEEK
"Pipeline to Russia: The Alaska-Siberia Air Route in World War II" – now available online!
This publication by the U.S. National Park Service and Alaska-Siberia Research Center is free for the public. You are welcome to download and share this book with your friends, colleagues and affiliated institutions, and keep this title in your e-library.
The heroism and dedication of the Soviet and American participants of the Alaska–Siberia Airway will not be forgotten. It is our civic duty to express our deep respect to those whose efforts led to the program’s success and, in the process, brought the war to a close. This is our history. Future generations should be brought up with a respectful spirit of patriotism to understand this history of cooperation between our countries. This edition will preserve awareness of that massive effort for all time.
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