Tag Archives: Russia

Navalny’s Treatment “Targeted Torture,” Said Member of the German Parliament | Instant News


German Bundestag members described the treatment of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny as “targeted torture” and demanded that the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture review the conditions of his detention.

The letter, posted on Facebook on April 10, called Navalny’s treatment “incompatible” with the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture, saying Russia was a party to the convention as a member of the Council of Europe.

The letter was signed by Manuel Sarrazin, with the German Green Party, and a bipartisan group consisting of 11 other members of the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament. It is available on Sarrazin’s Facebook page at German and Russia.

“Regardless of the arbitrariness and illegality of the verdict being pronounced against you, we demand a review of the conditions of your detention by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture,” said the politician.

Lawmakers said they believed the legal proceedings against him were not carried out under the rule of law standards and considered the decision to be politically motivated and arbitrary with the aim of silencing him.

They said they were following reports of his imprisonment and health condition with great concern and expressed their “full solidarity” with him.

Navalny was jailed after returning to Russia in January from his recovery in Germany after being exposed to the nerve agent last August in Siberia. He accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering security agents to kill him, something the Kremlin denies.

Navalny was treated in Germany after the poisoning, and Sarrazin said he was under the impression that Navalny’s treatment was meant to reverse partial recovery.

Navalny complained of back pain and numbness in his hands and feet and accused authorities of withholding adequate medical care.

Navalny announced a hunger strike last week, raising concerns about his overall health.

Lawyer Navalny, 44, said after visiting him on April 8 that he had two herniated disks on his back and a third protruding disc, and said he was losing about 1 kilogram a day.

With reporting by dpa and Der Tagesspiegel

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British Coroner’s Rules Exiled Russian critics of Putin Strangled | Instant News


A British coroner has determined that a Russian critic in exile President Vladimir Putin was strangled to death by “third parties” at his home on the outskirts of southwest London.

Self-exiled Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov was found dead at his home in New Malden, England, in March 2018.

Senior coroner Chinyere Inyama ruled that Glushkov was “unlawfully murdered” after the West London Coroner’s Court heard evidence suggesting that his death looked like suicide and that there was “involvement of a third party.”

Glushkov fled Russia after authorities accused him of fraud while serving as deputy director of state-owned airline Aeroflot.

He was granted political asylum in Great Britain in 2010.

He is a close friend of exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, also an outspoken critic of Putin, who was found hanged in his home in west London in 2013.

In 2017, during Glushkov’s trial in absentia, a Russian court convicted him of stealing an estimated $ 120 million from Aeroflot. This sentenced him to eight years in prison.

Glushkov is scheduled to appear at the Commercial Court in London to defend himself on March 12, 2018 – the day his body was found by his daughter, Natalia.

His death came a week after the Novichok poisoning in Salisbury, England, of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

‘Unlawful Murder’

A pathology report filed with the West London Coroner’s Court said Glushkov’s injury “could be consistent with a neck brace, applied from behind, and the attacker being behind the victim.”

The pathology report said: “There is a lack of injuries suggesting prolonged grappling or restraint with a third party, and a lack of defensive injuries to the upper limbs.”

The coroner’s verdict said: “From all the documentation, all the evidence gathered, Nikolai Glushkov died of extrajudicial killings.”

British detectives renew calls for witnesses who were in the New Malden area on March 11-12 2018.

The inquest coincided with a new request by the counterterrorism unit of the London Police for more information on Glushkov’s death.

Commander Richard Smith said more than 1,800 potential witnesses had been contacted and more than 420 statements taken.

London police said no arrests had been made and the motive for the murder was not yet known.

Reported by Reuters and BBC

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Time testing relations: Hindu editorials on India-Russia relations | Instant News


India and Russia must ensure their relationship is not strained by changing realities

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Delhi this week saw him and Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar reaffirm traditional India-Russia relations, but there are signs that ties are being tested. Mr Lavrov’s trip is to make preparations for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit for the annual summit – it was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. On the bilateral side, the two sides appear to be making progress on strategic cooperation, cooperation in the fields of energy, nuclear and space, and talks on a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). More deals were also discussed on military-technical cooperation for the joint production of Russian-made Indian weapons, with Mr Lavrov highlighting Russia as the only partner supplying India’s “cutting-edge military technology”. While neither side was referring to the upcoming $ 5 billion delivery of S-400 missile defense systems directly, they reaffirmed their commitment to their defense partnership, as well as avenues for more investment in connectivity including the International North-South Transport Corridor and Chennai- Vladivostok East Maritime Corridor. Their area of ​​difference in world views seems to have emerged during their public speech, which was preceded by Mr. Jaishankar on the “balanced nature” of international relations. Mr Lavrov’s praise for Russia-China relations was clearly not accepted by Jaishankar. While he repeatedly refers to India’s “Indo-Pacific” strategy, Mr Lavrov prefers a more continental reference to the “Asia-Pacific” region. Lavrov’s indirect derisive reference to the Quad as “Asian NATO” is significant, although he says both sides agree that a military alliance in Asia is discouraged and counterproductive. In Afghanistan too, Russia’s push to bring the Taliban into power-sharing arrangements in Kabul appears to run counter to India’s consistent push for a “democratic Afghanistan”.

Despite these differences, it was the optics from Mr Lavrov’s brief visit that sparked the impression that New Delhi and Moscow were not on the same page as usual; it does not include a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, like never before. The absence of a meeting at the highest level seemed more of a focus, as Mr Modi met US Special Envoy John Kerry only a day later, and at the next stop, in Islamabad, Mr Lavrov was received by Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Commander of the Pakistan Army, Bajwa. This is Mr Lavrov’s first visit to Pakistan in nine years, and is a clear message about strengthening ties. Unlike 2012, Lavrov said this time that Russia was ready to strengthen Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts with a supply of “relevant equipment”, which would be a surprise in Delhi. While India and Russia have managed to overcome their differences, even the deep, traditional and time-tested relationship of the kind they have shared for decades cannot be taken for granted, and both sides must move quickly, if they are to dispel the idea. that the bond is under any stress.

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Time testing relations: Hindu editorials on India-Russia relations | Instant News


India and Russia must ensure their relationship is not strained by changing realities

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Delhi this week saw him and Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar reaffirm traditional India-Russia relations, but there are signs that ties are being tested. Mr Lavrov’s trip is to make preparations for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit for the annual summit – it was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. On the bilateral side, the two sides appear to be making progress on strategic cooperation, cooperation in the fields of energy, nuclear and space, and talks on a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). More deals were also discussed on military-technical cooperation for the joint production of Russian-made Indian weapons, with Mr Lavrov highlighting Russia as the only partner supplying India’s “cutting-edge military technology”. While neither side was referring to the upcoming $ 5 billion delivery of S-400 missile defense systems directly, they reaffirmed their commitment to their defense partnership, as well as avenues for more investment in connectivity including the International North-South Transport Corridor and Chennai- Vladivostok East Maritime Corridor. Their area of ​​difference in world views seems to have emerged during their public speech, which was preceded by Mr. Jaishankar on the “balanced nature” of international relations. Mr Lavrov’s praise for Russia-China relations was clearly not accepted by Jaishankar. While he repeatedly refers to India’s “Indo-Pacific” strategy, Mr Lavrov prefers a more continental reference to the “Asia-Pacific” region. Lavrov’s indirect derisive reference to the Quad as “Asian NATO” is significant, although he says both sides agree that a military alliance in Asia is discouraged and counterproductive. In Afghanistan too, Russia’s push to bring the Taliban into power-sharing arrangements in Kabul appears to run counter to India’s consistent push for a “democratic Afghanistan”.

Despite these differences, it was the optics from Mr Lavrov’s brief visit that sparked the impression that New Delhi and Moscow were not on the same page as usual; it does not include a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, like never before. The absence of a meeting at the highest level seemed more of a focus, as Mr Modi met US Special Envoy John Kerry only a day later, and at the next stop, in Islamabad, Mr Lavrov was received by Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Commander of the Pakistan Army, Bajwa. This is Mr Lavrov’s first visit to Pakistan in nine years, and is a clear message about strengthening ties. Unlike 2012, Lavrov said this time that Russia was ready to strengthen Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts with a supply of “relevant equipment”, which would be a surprise in Delhi. While India and Russia have managed to overcome their differences, even the deep, traditional and time-tested relationship of the kind they have shared for decades cannot be taken for granted, and both sides must move quickly, if they are to dispel the idea. that the bond is under any stress.

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Punishing Germany for Nord Stream 2 didn’t stop Putin | Instant News


Speaking after his meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Brussels last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reset his advance warning that the Biden government is ready to impose sanctions on companies involved in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany.

The controversial pipeline supported by the German government – and many in Washington, especially in Congress, fiercely opposed – has emerged as a major obstacle to better relations between the United States and its main European ally, Germany. The Biden administration may only want to sanction Russian companies, but pipeline opponents in Congress will inevitably demand that they also extract a pound of meat from Germany.

This is just the latest example of US reliance on sanctions as a substitute for policy on Russia and the US’s repeated illogical attempts to force it to change its destructive course with little or no effect, while expecting a different outcome.

The Nord Stream 2 sanctions represent one of the rare issues in Washington that both political parties agree on, and which have few, if any, constituencies in the home district whose interests will be undermined by hitting Russian President Vladimir Putin hard.

Such a bogus bipartisan is a call to proceed with little regard for the immediate effects of the sanctions or their possible long-term consequences.

One of the main arguments against Nord Stream 2 put forward by its opponents is that it will allow Russia to increase its grip on European energy supplies. That’s right, Russia donates approx 45 percent EU gas imports – down from 75 percent in 1990. But it also supplies almost 30 percent of its oil imports – not a trivial amount.

However, no one spoke of Russia’s oil trade with Europe as a grip. The reason is simple: Oil is a commensurate commodity that is traded in large quantities on both the physical market and the futures market that Russia does not control.

And Russia is no longer the dominant gas supplier to Europe as it used to be. More suppliers, major reforms introduced by the European Union, infrastructure investment (including liquefied natural gas terminals and new pipelines to connect underserved markets), and sluggish gas demand have reduced Russia’s influence and empowered its customers to negotiate better prices. .

With Europe’s ambitious Green New Deal aiming to dramatically reduce the continent’s carbon footprint, Nord Stream 2 will reduce, not increase Russia’s influence. Pipe it 95 percent finished, and Russia, which has already invested $ 11 billion in it, will not leave it. But it won’t be “giggleOn the European gas supply to which its opponents are blamed.

Since 2014, when the Kremlin illegally annexed Crimea and went to war with Ukraine, various rounds of US sanctions have not forced Russia to abandon its aggressive policies. If anything, it has gotten even bolder in the last seven years. The sanctions have not prevented Russian military intervention in Syria and Libya, or interference in US domestic politics, all of which have intensified as the United States has imposed more sanctions on the Kremlin and its rogue agents. To be sure, they have a punitive effect, but when it comes to stopping and stopping the Kremlin, there is little chance of that happening.

The US’s post-2014 reliance on sanctions as a major element of its policy on Russia is even more problematic when we look at US-Russia relations as a whole since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. For nearly a quarter of a century, expanding trade and economic ties with Russia has been a staple US policy meant for that stabilizes the relationship. Successive US administrations have encouraged US oil companies to invest in Russia’s energy sector. US business executives join senior US officials on a trip to Russia to promote trade and investment. Senior US government officials attended a forum of US and Russian business leaders, whose participants included prominent figures such as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld before they continued their public service. Obama administration first for the big Exxon Mobil Corp. deal with Russia’s Rosneft to develop Arctic oil deposits in 2011 before turning against it and killing it with sanctions after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The irony of the situation with Nord Stream 2 sanctions is that unlike Russia, Iran or North Korea, Germany is a treaty ally of the US – the most important US ally in Europe. Without his leadership and cooperation, there would be no US-EU sanctions to punish Russia for its malign activities. Threats to punish Germany sound especially reckless when the United States buys oil from Russia – more than half a million barrels per day by 2020, according to Bloomberg – and donating millions of dollars to Putin’s war chest.

The Biden administration has pledged to rebuild relations with US allies that were badly damaged during Trump’s four-year presidency. The US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 would be a self-defeating move that may not cause major injury to a key US ally in Europe, but one that is sure to be an insult.

The Nord Stream 2 sanctions are a matter of US law. But the law also allows waiver. Establishing the conditions for waiver after consulting Berlin is a way out of the deadlock. No US president will tolerate the kind of interference in US sovereignty that sanctions on Nord Stream 2 would represent. There is no reason to subject US ally Germany to that.

Eugene Rumer is the director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously worked as a national intelligence officer in Russia and Eurasia for the US National Intelligence Council.

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