Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Germans have fun at the quiet Carnival | Instant News

DUESSELDORF – Several floats poking fun at the likes of Russian President Vladimir Putin, former US President Donald Trump, German politicians and the fight against the Coronavirus walked on Monday through the largely empty streets of Duesseldorf, which would normally be the venue festive celebration.

Parades, street festivals and other major gatherings have been canceled this year.

But organizers in Duesseldorf, one of Germany’s main Carnival strongholds of the Rhineland, don’t want to leave Rose Monday in 2021 completely devoid of traditional caricatures of current events.

They sent eight floats across the city – separately, not in parades, and on previously undisclosed routes to prevent crowds from gathering.

“This is a small signal that we are still alive,” float maker Jacques Tilly told German news agency dpa.

This year’s tribute includes a depiction of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny kicking a much larger Putin, both wearing judo suits, and a caricature of Trump on fire marked with the words “Make America Great Again!”


There is also a float showing Earth trying to contain the virus while a monster painted with the word “Climate” appears behind it. Others describe brains flying out of the head of an activist fighting coronavirus restrictions.

Armin Laschet, the new leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party and contenders to replace her after the elections in September, was described as Merkel – a reference to the ideological closeness felt by two politicians – with the words “Continue Merkeling with Armin Laschet. “

One of Germany’s first super-spreading events stems from Carnival celebrations in a city west of Cologne in February 2020, during which large numbers of people came into contact with infected men. This year the authorities took no chances, with alcohol consumption in some places banned by the public.

Germany has seen more than 65,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths during the pandemic and has only limited its borders with Austria and the Czech Republic to prevent new virus variants from circulating in those countries.



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Navalny trial, Myanmar coup, Italian politics, Marjorie Taylor Greene | Instant News

Issued in:

Alexei Navalny at the Moscow court twice in the same week. Thousands were arrested on charges brought against the first anti-corruption crusader who was poisoned, then jailed. 44-year-old Navalny once again relaxed and shot straight because this Friday he faced charges of insulting a veteran World War II war hero. And without Josep Borrell’s knowledge, the Kremlin chose that day to announce the expulsion of diplomats from Poland, Germany and Sweden who had been covering the Navy demonstrations.

The optics are not great as the conversation turns to talk of a promising prognosis for Russia’s Sputnik V Covid vaccine.

Can you put it back in the bottle? Geared toward legislative elections, Myanmar’s military called for a fragile five-year democratic transition period. Catch and hit back. For now it looks like a leaderless movement. That was after the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s civilian president Win Myint and now, the right hand man of Nobel peace winner Win Htein.

Will Mario Draghi save? The former European Central Bank president tasked with crafting the coalition after former PM Matteo Renzi pulled the rug from under the exiting government. The country’s president Sergio Matterella summoned a political superstar who had never held a political office in his home country.

Washington is watching the prologue Thursday for Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment hearing next week. The House of Representatives voted to remove Georgia congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene from committee duty, even though Republicans in the first half rejected the QAnon conspiracy, as well as the doubts she cast on the Parkland high school mass shootings and the September 11, 2001 attacks. Democratic House majority leader Steny Hoyer refused remorse that does not include a formal apology and features Greene’s Tweet with an assault rifle aimed at a left-wing congressman who stood out when he was a candidate.

Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain and Laura Burloux.


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Mexico, Germany welcomed the Russian-World Sputnik V virus vaccine | Instant News

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday said all coronavirus vaccines were “accepted” in the EU after they received regulatory approval, after Russia’s Sputnik V injection was found to be 91.6 percent effective in trial results.

“Every vaccine is accepted in the European Union,” Merkel said in an interview with German broadcaster ARD, as the bloc faced growing anger over the slow start to its injection campaign.

The veteran leader stressed that all injections must first be authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), whose decision can only be reached with “necessary data”.

“Today we’ve read good data for the Russian vaccine as well,” Merkel said.

He repeated that he recently spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the Sputnik vaccine, a conversation that sparked hopes another jab could be added to accelerate efforts to end the pandemic.

Merkel said on January 21 that Germany had offered to help Russia with its application process at the EMA, through Germany’s Paul Ehrlich Institute.

“And if this vaccine is approved by the EMA, then we can talk about co-production or also about use,” said Merkel at the time.

This Handout photo provided by the German government press office shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron, via video link, at the Chancellor in Berlin, Germany, on May 18, 2020 about the effects of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Bundesregierung / AFP / Sandra Steins)

Sputnik V – named after a Soviet-era satellite – was approved in Russia months before the results of its final stage clinical trial were published, which caused skepticism from experts.

But an analysis of new data from 20,000 Phase 3 trace participants, published in the medical journal The Lancet, shows that two-dose vaccination offers more than 90 percent efficacy against Covid-19 symptoms.

The encouraging results come at a time when the block vaccine push is dogged by supply bottlenecks and delivery delays.

In the ARD interview, Merkel again said that even though the United States, Israel and Britain were continuing their vaccinations, Germany was right to choose a more cautious EU approach.

While BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna jab supplies will remain limited in the first quarter of 2021, Merkel said the pace will pick up at the end of the year, once production issues are resolved and more vaccine candidates approved.

The outgoing chancellor renewed his pledge that Germany was on track to offer every German the Covid-19 jab by the end of September.

But he also urged Germans “to exercise restraint a little longer” and to adhere to strict restrictions on public life, which will remain in effect until at least mid-February.

“We still have a long way to go, and the hardest stretch is this winter,” said Merkel.


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Who is Matthias Warnig, Putin’s friend from former East Germany? | Europe | Latest news and events from all continents | DW | Instant News

Matthias Warnig is, in many ways, an extraordinary person. The 65-year-old is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s oldest German friend and the most activeGerman in the Russian business environment. He is a former Stasi agent who became a banker in the 1990s. Since then, he has sat on the supervisory boards of many German-Russian banks and companies.

He is currently the CEO of Nord Stream 2, and happens to be in the rolein a recent YouTube video by Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), in which Russian opposition activists exposed a wide network of corruption surrounding the construction of a palace estate for the Russian president on the Black Sea coast.

In the video, Navalnymentions Warnig when talking about the exchange of letters between Putin’s ex-wife Lyudmila and a German friend of hers in the mid-1990s. One of the letters was sent from the Warnig fax machine. The Russian opposition leader, citing a DW article, said that Warnig provided financial assistance to Putin, a former KGB officer in Dresden, and his family. It is thought the two had met through their respective secret services in former East Germany, but the official route is that they made contact only later, at St. Petersburg. Petersburg, after they both changed professions.

Meeting Putin ‘no problem’

Warnig likes to avoid publicity. He prefers to operate in the background. Austrian newspaper Pers published an interview with him in 2018, in which he was asked how often he met Putin. Warnig replied that the Russian president does not have a cell phone, before adding: “But if I want something and need to see it, we arrange it.”

In Putin’s 20 years ruling Russia, Warnig has become the most influential German business manager in the Russian economy.

In Pers, Warnig said he has accepted this position for two reasons, which are both coincidence and interdependent. “I received most of the seats on the supervisory board in 2012,” he said. “Nord Stream 1 was completed in 2012, and my contract is running out. So I am open to accepting new assignments. At the same time there was conflict between the then president, Dmitri Medvedev, and the government. Medvedev’s decision that all ministers and senior civil servants have to give up his position on the supervisory board. And then they need people to fill these posts. “

He dismissed speculation that, as Putin’s confidant, he had control over the running of business. “No, absolutely not. I’m not a spokesman for the Kremlin. And I didn’t report to the Kremlin, or chat casually about what happened there.”

Matthias Warnig and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder await Vladimir Putin at the North Stream reception on the occasion of Schröder’s 70th birthday in 2014

From Rosneft to Schalke 04

Matthias Warnig’s list of employers includes some of the largest companies in Russia. He has sat on the supervisory board of the state oil companies Transneft and Rosneft since 2011. On the Rosneft board he works with Gerhard Schröder: The former German chancellor, also a friend of Putin, has been its chairman since 2017. Schröder, however, is not mentioned in the film Navalny.

Warnig is also on the supervisory board of Russia’s VTB bank. And until 2015 he held the same position as the St. bank. Petersburg Rossiya [“Russia”] – which, according to Navalny’s video exposure and various media reports, are linked to President Putin’s inner circle.

From 2012 to 2018, Warnig chaired aluminum producer RUSAL’s supervisory board, but he had to relinquish this position after US sanctions were imposed on the company. However, the German executive quickly found another one – in his homeland. In 2019 he secured a seat on the supervisory board of German football club FC Schalke 04, whose main sponsor is the Russian energy company Gazprom. Several fans protested against his appointment.

Nord Stream 2

Germany is determined to continue with Nord Stream 2, despite objections from the EU and US

Main project: Nord Stream 2

Warnig’s most important current project is the construction of Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany that runs along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Warnig is the managing director of the Swiss-based company Nord Stream 2, of which one of the most important owners is Gazprom. Previously, for ten years, he ran his predecessor, Nord Stream, which laid the first twin pipes across the Baltic Sea. Both projects should benefit the eastern German state, which means for Warnig they are close to home: He comes from the state of Brandenburg, which surrounds Berlin.

It is an irony of fate that Warnig’s most important project is threatened with extinction when the Russian opposition politiciansAlexei Navalny was taken to Germany for treatment. In August 2020, Navalny survived a near deadly poisoning on Russian soil with the nerve agent Novichok. Call for the Nord Stream 2 project, already under US sanctions, frozen or stopped altogethergetting louder. Given the fact that Germany and Russia plan to continue the controversial project despite this resistance, Warnig can be said to have successfully fulfilled his role as lobbyist for Russia in Germany.

Adapted from Russian into German by Markian Ostaptschuk


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Russian Putin and German Merkel discuss the possibility of joint vaccine production, World News | Instant News

First, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel placed a phone call on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of jointly producing a coronavirus vaccine.

“The issue of cooperation in fighting the Corona virus pandemic was discussed with an emphasis on the possible prospect of co-production of the vaccine,” read a Kremlin statement.

Read also | Schools, salons were closed in Germany as Merkel announced another COVID-19 lockdown

The phone calls come days after the two countries started a mass vaccination program, with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and the German pharmaceutical company BioNTech’s vaccine working with Pfizer.

Russia’s local vaccine, Sputnik V – named after a Soviet-era satellite – was hailed as the first vaccine registered in August. The vaccine was registered long before trials began, which raised concerns about its efficacy at that time. However, since then, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have taken the lead and have been approved by several countries.

The Putin-led country kicked off a mass vaccination campaign in early December, making injections available for the first time to high-risk groups including medical workers, teachers and the elderly. Local vaccines were also sent to Belarus, Serbia and Argentina, and it was also announced to send nearly 2.6 million doses to Bolivia if production levels were satisfactory.


While information about the ongoing phone calls has been reported, the same results have not been revealed. The Kremlin only claims that an agreement has been reached to “continue contact on the matter” between health experts and concerned government officials from the two countries.

The heads of the two countries also discussed a settlement between Kiev and pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. The topic was discussed at length because it had stalled since the signing of the peace agreement in 2015.


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