Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Russia. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Russia. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Δευτέρα, Αυγούστου 07, 2017

Tillerson: US to Respond to Russia's Ouster of Diplomats

he asked Lavrov "several clarifying questions"
US Secretary of State said Washington will respond by Sept. 1 to Russia's move to force a major reduction in American diplomatic staff, a move that echoed former President Barack Obama's action to kick out Russian diplomats for Moscow's meddling in the 2016 American election.

Σάββατο, Αυγούστου 05, 2017

U.N. Security Council passes tough new sanctions on North Korea

U.N. Security Council
The United Nations Security Council voted Saturday to enact tough new sanctions on North Korea over its continued pursuit of long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.

UN to Vote Saturday on US-Drafted Resolution to Cut North Korean Exports

The UN’s main body
The UN’s main body will convene at 3:00 p.m. (19:00GMT) in New York to hold talks on "Non-proliferation/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea," according to its daily program.

Russia reserves right to retaliate against new EU sanctions: FM

Russian Foreign Ministry
The European Union (EU)'s decision to expand the sanction list against Russia over the Siemens turbine spat is "deeply regrettable", and Moscow reserves the right to retaliate, Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

Σάββατο, Φεβρουαρίου 21, 2015

Obama to weigh next steps on Ukraine 'in next few days' (John Kerry)

U.S. President Barack Obama will evaluate the next steps in dealing with the conflict in eastern Ukraine in the coming days, including arming Ukrainian forces and sanctions against Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday.
"In the next few days I anticipate that President Obama will evaluate the choices that are in front of him and will make his decision as to what the next step will be," Kerry told a news conference after meetings with his British counterpart.

"There are serious discussions taking place between us and our European allies as to what those next sanctions steps are to be and when they ought to be implemented," he said.

Πέμπτη, Φεβρουαρίου 19, 2015

Over 100 tons of space junk fell on Earth in 2014 (NASA)

More than 600 non-operating satellites, used-up stages of rockets and other pieces of space vehicles burnt last year reentering the atmosphere.

According to the American weekly newspaper Space News, the data was reported by NASA to the UN Committee on the peaceful uses of outer space, where the space junk disposition was discussed. 

Specialists estimate that last year's space junk fall was more intense than usual because of high solar activity which raised the atmosphere boundary and made a part of space junk from low orbits approach the Earth’s surface.

According to experts the overall weight of the space junk that entered atmosphere is over 100 tons. It is impossible to find out how many pieces have reached the earth having crossed the dense atmosphere, but it is known that no one suffered from the phenomenon.

According to NASA experts, after the space junk fall the space has become cleaner. They claim that there are fewer 10-cm objects classified as space junk. Meanwhile, the weight of used-up satellites and pieces of orbital platforms has increased from 5 to 6.5 thousand tons over the last 10 years.

Specialists offer different ways of space junk disposition, even such exotic ones as special orbital “vacuum cleaners”. At the same time almost everybody agrees that it is most important for all countries to abide by the rules of the spacecraft usage.


Τετάρτη, Φεβρουαρίου 18, 2015

Germany says peace plan for Ukraine 'damaged' not dead

Germany condemned the seizure of a strategic east Ukrainian town by pro-Russian rebels on Wednesday as a "massive violation" of a ceasefire, but said it was too early to call the broader Minsk peace plan dead or ratchet up sanctions against Moscow.

The withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the encircled town of Debaltseve on Wednesday was a blow to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's efforts to clinch a negotiated solution to the year-long conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

But Berlin appears to be hoping that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who the West accuses of actively supporting the rebels, will respect other aspects of a peace plan agreed last year in the Belarus capital, now that the rebels have achieved their goal of capturing Debaltseve.
Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert pointed to a resolution by the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday as a positive signal. Backed by Russia, the resolution called on all parties in eastern Ukraine to stop fighting and to implement the Minsk peace deal.

"The German government resolutely condemns the military actions by the separatists in Debaltseve. It is a massive violation of the ceasefire that went into effect on Sunday," Seibert said.
"We believe the Minsk process is under strain, it has perhaps been damaged, but we still believe it makes sense to continue working. The UN resolution appears to send a signal in the right direction."

Merkel, speaking later at a gathering of her conservative party in eastern Germany, did not mention the developments in Debaltseve, but said she wanted to work with Russia, not against it, to restore peace in Europe.

Some German politicians, including Juergen Hardt, a defense expert in her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said the siege of the town was reason to consider tough new sanctions against Moscow.
But Merkel's spokesman was more cautious, saying more punitive measures hinged on developments on the ground in eastern Ukraine.
"If the fighting doesn't stop after the fall of Debaltseve, new sanctions are likely," said Ulrich Speck of the Carnegie Europe think tank.
"I don't think yet that the 'nuclear economic option', cutting off Russia from SWIFT, is going to happen," he added, referring to the international bank transaction system.
Although Merkel's pursuit of dialogue with Putin is popular at home, the rebel advance has left her vulnerable to critics abroad, among them hawks in the U.S. Congress, who have accused her of naively persisting with diplomacy in the face of repeated broken promises by Putin.
In a statement on Tuesday, Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham accused Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, who negotiated the ceasefire last week with Putin and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, of "legitimizing the dismemberment of a sovereign nation in Europe".
They have called on President Barack Obama to send defensive arms to the Ukrainian army, a step Merkel opposes and cautioned against during a visit to Washington earlier this month. The rebel siege of Debaltseve could increase pressure on the president to ignore her warnings and send such weapons.
"The open question is what Putin does now," said a senior German official who requested anonymity.
"Is Debaltseve another step in a process that goes even further or does Putin now have an interest in sticking to the other aspects of the Minsk agreement? If Minsk does fall apart then there will have to be consequences." 

Πέμπτη, Φεβρουαρίου 05, 2015

Washington’s actions deadlock Russian-US relations (Russian Foreign Ministry)

Washington is intentionally dead-locking the Russia-US relations, and it will take a long time to get out of that deadlock, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday...

According to Lukashevich, the reason behind the US policy is simple: to interfere with natural integration processes in the territory of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

"The US military budget allocates $640 million for Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine to enable them to counteract Russia," Lukashevich said.

"If the United States has switched over to fixing special appropriations in its budget designed to counteract Russia, the process has really gone too far. Russia has no doubt that the White House, which is playing a senseless game of sanctions, has set on a course of confrontation (with Russia). But now, the talk is about plans to finance some subversive activities directed against our country. That is raising tensions in Russian-American relations to a new level," Lukashevich stressed.

"Such concepts vividly prove that the US policy line is brought down to pure geopolitics. Its aim is to tear away Ukraine and other neighboring countries from Russia by all means and without fail," the Russian diplomat stressed.

Παρασκευή, Ιανουαρίου 30, 2015

Greece warned against trying to reverse bailout deals

The head of the Eurogroup warned on Friday that Greece could not ignore its international obligations, after a first meeting with the new anti-austerity government that wants to renegotiate its multi-billion-euro bailout...

"Taking unilateral steps or ignoring previous arrangements is not the way forward," Jeroen Dijsselbloem, representing Greece's eurozone creditors, told a news conference after talks with the leftist government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

For his part, new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Greece was willing to broker a deal, but not through the detested "troika" of fiscal auditors representing the country's international lenders.

Varoufakis, a maverick economist, said the government would seek "maximum cooperation" with the EU, the eurozone and the IMF and had already begun talks but would not cooperate with "a committee built on rotten foundations."

Dijsselbloem warned before arriving in Athens that the new Greek government is already setting itself an impossible task, raising expectations it cannot meet.

"If you add up all the promises (made in the election campaign), then the Greek budget will very quickly run totally off course," he said in Amsterdam.

Friday's talks come on the heels of warnings by the European Union and Germany that there was little support for reducing the debt, which the radical new government is hoping to cut in half.

New maverick Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will begin a tour of European capitals next week to press home Greece's case, meeting his British, French and Italian counterparts on Monday and Tuesday. Tsipras will also visit Italy and France next week.

Debt rating agency Fitch said Greece was still likely to reach a deal with its creditors but only after protracted talks damaging to the economy.

"There is a high risk that protracted and difficult negotiations will sap confidence and liquidity from the Greek economy," it said in a note.

Ahead of the meeting, Greek stocks lost another 1.59 percent a day after after plunging on concerns about the first moves of Tsipras's radical new administration to roll back several reforms underpinning the bailout.

European Parliament chief Martin Schulz, the first visiting foreign dignitary to meet Tsipras' government, on Thursday said the prime minister had assured him that Greece would seek "common ground" with its EU peers.

But in an interview late on Thursday, Schulz said Tsipras' coalition alliance with the Independent Greeks, a hardline nationalist party, was "not something good for the country."

"This government will enter into confrontation with the European Union at a time when dialogue is needed," he told SKAI TV.

Elected on Sunday, the new government has already begun to roll back years of austerity measures demanded by the EU and the International Monetary Fund in return for the huge bailout granted to avoid a financial meltdown in 2010, and says it will negotiate to halve the debt.

‘Debt reduction not on radar'

But European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said a reduction of the 315-billion-euro debt linked to the bailout "is not on the radar".

"I don't think there's a majority in the Eurogroup... for a reduction of the debt," he told Germany's ARD television, referring to the eurozone's finance ministers.

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's vice-chancellor and also its economy minister, said he expected Greece to "stick to its commitments" for fiscal and economic reform made in exchange for the bailout.

He was critical of a decision by the new government to scrap the privatisation of the two main ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki, and the biggest Greek power company, decisions which have also drawn a rebuke from China that has a major investment in Piraeus.

  • The Greek central bank said 4.0 billion euros in private deposits had been withdrawn from banks in December.

But Daniele Nouy, head of the European Central Bank's Supervisory Board, said despite the post-election turbulence, Greek lenders were "pretty strong".

First row over Russia statement

Tsipras' government managed to have its first foreign policy row this week after it complained to Brussels over allegedly not being consulted when the EU threatened new sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine.

EU foreign ministers eventually overcame Greece's reluctance and agreed Thursday to extend the sanctions against Russia.

Tsipras' Syriza party has been seen as pro-Russian, with Moscow's ambassador becoming the first foreign official to be received by the prime minister after his election victory. Many party members are former Communists.

Tsipras, who ousted the conservatives of former prime minister Antonis Samaras, has said Greece is no longer prepared to bow to the "politics of submission”, in a clear swipe at its international creditors.

Varoufakis has said the government wants "a pan-European New Deal" to encourage growth and help the continent deal with Greece's crisis.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)


Bulgaria Still Hopeful of South Stream Pipeline

Bulgaria still hopes that the South Stream gas pipeline project will be implemented, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said Friday...

"We aren't excluding any options [concerning South Stream], because we have not received the official Russian position," Plevneliev said in an interview with the Prague newspaper Lidove noviny.

Plevneliev also indicated that the Bulgarian government is proceeding with the preparatory work for the project's implementation and expressed hope that construction of the gas pipeline would be resumed.

"I hope that the project will eventually get all the necessary construction permits. The Bulgarian position is clear – the project can be implemented only on condition that it will be in compliance with the legal standards of the EU," Bulgarian President emphasized.

The announcement comes at a time when Bulgaria is highly dependent on Russian energy supplies, with about 90 percent of its natural gas coming from Russia.

On December 1, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was abandoning the South Stream gas project.

Among the reasons cited by the president for the project's cancellation, included the "non-constructive" position of the European Commission. Brussels claimed that the project violated the European Union's Third Energy Package, which prohibits the companies simultaneous owning both the gas and the pipeline through which it runs.

On the same day, the head of Russia's energy giant Gazprom Alexei Miller confirmed that the South Stream project had been abandoned, saying that it would be replaced by an alternative pipeline routed through Turkey.

The so-called Turkish Stream will deliver Russian gas to Turkey and customers in South Europe by means of a transit hub on the Turkish-Greek border.


Παρασκευή, Ιανουαρίου 23, 2015

Russia ‘Holds Keys’ to End Ukraine Crisis, US State Department Says

Russia is responsible for resolving the conflict in Ukraine and ending the violence in the region, US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki said during a press briefing on Friday...

“Russia holds the keys to peacefully resolving a conflict [in Ukraine]. It started and bears responsibility to end the violence which has devastated the lives of so many innocents in Donesk and Luhansk,” Psaki said.

Psaki added that the United States “remain deeply concerned by the increasing violence and bloodshed in Eastern Ukraine,” which she said had resulted from “a surge in Russia-backed separatist attacks against the ceasefire line.”
  • “Separatists leaders have publically stated their intention today to take more territory,” Psaki said during the press briefing.
Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis and continues to urge parties involved to establish direct dialogue.....

Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 14, 2015

Astronauts to stay in Russian segment of ISS overnight (NASA official)

Astronauts working aboard the International Space Station will stay overnight in the Russian segment of the station and will be able to return to the US segment only by noon on Thursday, the director of NASA’s manned space flights programs in Russia, Sean Fuller told TASS on Wednesday.
Earlier reports indicated a possibility of foreign astronauts’ return to the US segment of the station as early as Wednesday night.

On Thursday, the crew will get up at 06:00 GMT and if the results of onboard systems checking are satisfactory, the astronauts will then have an opportunity to move back to the US segment of the station, Fuller said.

Their return will be possible if experts confirm that Wednesday’s emergency situation, which compelled them to take shelter on the Russian side of the station, had been caused by a faulty operation of a gauge.

Fuller said it was not ruled out that NASA specialists would clear out the cause of the incident within the coming several hours but he said along with it analysis of the causes might take far more time since the ISS was an extremely sophisticated system.
In any event, the clearing out of the causes of the incident would take hours, not days, he said, adding that a glitch in the functioning of gauges was the most probable cause of alarm aboard the ISS.

Fuller gave the assurances that the incident had not wielded any impact on the work of the ISS international crew or the station as such.
It did affect in some measure the works the crew had not managed to round up by the time the alarm system started sending signals of problems in the cooler loops and a possible leak of ammonia but the Russian cosmonauts and the astronauts would be able to do them somewhat later.

As for the station as an orbital object, there was no risk for it at all, Fuller said.
NASA said it did not have the data confirming a leak of ammonia at the US section of the station. The experts were considering three possible options at the time of reporting — a spike of pressure, a failure of the gauges and a computer glitch. Rob Nevis, NASA’s official spokesman told TASS the astronauts moved into the Russian segment of the station after the alarm system went off.

Reports on the unscheduled situation were released by the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos. Its officials said the crew was safe and sound, as the concentration of hazardous admixes in the atmosphere was within acceptable parameters.

Τρίτη, Δεκεμβρίου 23, 2014

Russia launches new heavy-class Angara space rocket

Russia successfully carried out the first test launch of a newest heavy-class Angara A5 rocket on Tuesday.

The rocket was launched at Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia's northern Arkhangelsk region at 08:57 a.m. Moscow Time (0557 GMT), according to the Defense Ministry press service.

Twelve minutes after the liftoff, the orbiting payload model separated from the third stage.

The Briz-M upper stage would carry the model to the target orbit for payload weight and dimension tests, said the press service.

Russian President Vladimir Putin watched the rocket launch via video.

"This is indeed a great and very important event for our aerospace industry and for Russia in general," Putin said later.

The president added that the Angara A5, using the most advanced technologies, will help place any type of satellites into orbit, for either military or scientific purposes.

"(These satellites) are intended for missile attack early-warning systems, intelligence use, navigation, as well as communications and rebroadcast. It will allow us to further consolidate Russia's security," Interfax news agency quoted Putin as saying.

Angara A5 can be placed into orbit with a payload of 1.5 to 35 tons. The first manned mission using Angara is planned for 2018 from the newly built Vostochny cosmodrome in the Amur region in Russia's Fast East.

Investment in the Angara project has exceeded 3 billion US dollars over the last 20 years.
 Source: Xinhua- globaltimes.cn

Κυριακή, Δεκεμβρίου 21, 2014

Economic slump in Russia to wield telling impact on Germany companies

Economic slump in Russia poses an increasingly serious threat to the German companies operating in that country, the President of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), Dr. Volker Treier said in an interview published by Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

The crisis in the Russian economy is putting an increasingly bigger brake on the business operations of German companies in Russia, Dr. Treier said, adding their activities were suffering in the first place from the falling exchange rate of the ruble.
A poll taken among the 300 or German companies in Russia showed that one company in three would have to cut their staffs if the situation did not improve shortly.

Executives of as many as 36% companies believed they would have to cancel the previously planned projects, Dr. Treier said.

In addition, he indicated that 10% companies reported their time-tested Russian partners were reorienting to the Asiatic markets.

To round out the rather discouraging picture, one company in eight was pondering withdrawal of its business from Russia, Dr. Treier said.

Τετάρτη, Δεκεμβρίου 17, 2014

Bulgaria to send delegation to Moscow to discuss South Stream (reports)

Bulgaria’s Cabinet plans to send a government delegation to Moscow on December 19 to discuss the prospect of reviving the South Stream gas pipeline project, Russian and Bulgarian media quoted Economy Minister Bozhidar Loukarski as saying in Belgrade on December 16, following meetings with Serbian officials.
“Bulgaria never intended to give up on the South Stream project and would like to hear the official position of the Russian Energy minister on it,” he is quoted as saying. He also said that the pipeline could be brought in line with the EU regulations, although it remains unclear to what extent Russia is willing to do so, given that EU rules were one of the main obstacles cited by Russian president Vladimir Putin when he announced the project’s cancellation in Ankara on December 1.

It is unclear, also, whether Russia has agreed on holding such a meeting, with Russian news agency Itar-Tass reporting on December 17, citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation, that Russian energy minister Alexander Novak was still deliberating on the issue of a meeting..........http://sofiaglobe.com/2014/12/17/bulgaria-to-send-delegation-to-moscow-to-discuss-south-stream-reports/


Τρίτη, Δεκεμβρίου 09, 2014

Bulgaria, Greece, Romania to Develop Regional Gas Infrastructure

Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania have signed a contract on cooperation in the development of regional gas infrastructure.

The contract was signed Tuesday by the energy ministers of the three countries.

In February 2011, the EU decided that each Member State had to have at least two sources of natural gas and electricity by 2014 in order to be able to cope with a cut-off of Russian supplies.

Romania still lacks a connection to Bulgaria’s gas grid, despite the fact that a project for the construction of a gas pipeline between Giurgiu and Ruse has been available for years, according to reports of the BGNES news agency.

The gas pipeline, evaluated at around EUR 24 M, is to be completed by 2016.

Romania’s gas transmission grid is connected to those of Hungary and Moldova.

In the case of a suspension of imports from Russia, however, it will not be able to make up for the losses through these connections because the gas imports from Hungary are negligible and the pipeline to Moldova is used for exports.


Δευτέρα, Δεκεμβρίου 01, 2014

Russia-Turkey relations in energy sector rise to strategic level. Russia will reduce by 6% gas price for Turkish consumers from January 1, 2015

Russian-Turkish relations in the energy sector have raised to strategic level, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after talks with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Russia will increase gas supplies to the Turkish market by 3 billion cubic meters under the Blue Stream project, Putin said. Russia will reduce by 6% gas price for Turkish consumers from January 1, 2015, Putin said. 

Russia ready to further reduce gas price for Turkey as its strategic partner, Putin noted, adding that the 6% discount on gas price for Turkey is only the first step. The Russia president also said the free trade regime with Turkey is possible.
Putin has vowed the Akkuyu NPP (nuclear power plant) in Turkey will be built in due time, and all safety requirements will be observed. The Akkuyu nuclear plant is being built by Russia’s state-run corporation Rosatom.

South Stream construction

In the current situation, Russia cannot launch the South Stream gas pipeline project, the Russian president noted. However, Russia is ready to build another pipeline transportation system to meet Turkey’s economic needs and create additional gas hub on the border, he stressed. 
  • "If this idea is considered to be expedient, we can create an additional gas hub for consumers in southern Europe in the Turkish territory on the border with Greece,” Putin said.
Putin stressed that the EU's position on South Stream project is not constructive. 
  • Therefore, energy resources will be re-oriented to other regions and to LNG (liquefied natural gas) projects, he added. 
The Russian president also suggested that Bulgaria demands from EU to repay its loss of profit on the South Stream project.
[ itar-tass.com]


Κυριακή, Νοεμβρίου 30, 2014

Turkey nuke plant to last 100 years (Rosatom CEO)

Turkey’s first nuclear power plant to be built on the country’s southern coast will connect Turkey and Russia for at least 100 years, said the plant’s Russian builder, Rosatom.

“We are giving 60 years of guarantee for the Akkuyu nuclear plant, but I’m sure that it will have a lifespan of 80-100 years,” said Rosatom CEO Sergei Kirienko.

“We signed an agreement that undertakes mutual commitments for over 100 years,” he also added, speaking to the media in Moscow on Nov. 29.

Rosatom, Russia’s state-run atomic energy corporation, signed an agreement with Turkey in 2011 to build and operate a four-reactor nuclear power plant in the Mersin province on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

“Russia will provide $4 billion from its state budget for this project. We will not reduce the financial support of this project,” Kirienko said.

“Russian and Turkish investors will be preferred at first. The project is expected to draw 50-70 percent of investment. This will happen through investors mostly, not bank loans,” he added.

Training support

The Akkuyu plant, which is a sister project to Russia’s Novovoronezh plant in Voronezh Oblast, central Russia, will require $22 billion with construction beginning in 2016 and it becoming operational in 2020.

Kirienko said the use of Russian expertise and technology for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is a sign of “trust” for Russia, adding that the plant is significant for the strategic cooperation between the two countries, while it will contribute to Turkey’s energy needs.

Recalling that Russia is giving nuclear energy training to 250 Turkish experts, Kirienko emphasized that Russia will help Turkey with the technical and infrastructural aspects. 



Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 27, 2014

Russian divers plan to reach 100-meter depth in Antarctica

An expedition to the Antarctica started out in Russia on Thursday with divers from the Republic of Tatarstan who plan to dive to a 100-meter depth near the Antarctic coast.
The expedition is organized by the Russian Geographical Society.

The press secretary of the society’s Tatarstan organization, Alina Iskanderova, told TASS that it would be another stage of the Cold Pole project to study Far North, Arctic and Antarctic water environment systems and work out methods for diving under extreme conditions.

The first two stages were devoted to the study of the unique Russian Arctic lakes Labynkyr and Vorota in Yakutia.

Expedition members plan to dive to a depth of 100 metres, which has not ever been done by anybody. In the region, 20-meter diving is considered safe. Divers will take samples of water at the depth to study micro organisms,” the press secretary said.

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