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June 1, 2016 / 24 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Moscow’

High-Ranking Security Team Joins Netanyahu Meeting With Putin in Moscow

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is traveling to Moscow today (Monday Sept. 21) to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, together with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.

Military Intelligence director Maj.-Gen. Hertzi Halevy, National Security Council head Yossi Cohen and Netanyahu’s military secretary Col. Eliezer Toledano are also accompanying the prime minister to the meeting, which is scheduled to last three hours.

The officials are expected to discuss Russia’s activities and military involvement in Syria, as well as questions about Russia’s cooperation with Iran.

The United States is holding parallel talks with Moscow on the same issues, according to numerous media reports.

There are no journalists on the plane with the prime minister for this trip, underscoring the gravity of the meeting.

Last week a source told the Reuters news agency that new, advanced weapons have been delivered to Syrian government troops, who are being trained in their use. It is believed the weapons are being sent from Russia.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Steps Up in U.S.-led Nuclear Talks with Iran

Monday, July 6th, 2015

With a wide gap remaining between the delegation of world powers led by the United States and Iranian negotiators, the prospects for a nuclear deal look questionable with one more day till the July 7 deadline.

On Monday, July 6, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met separately in Vienna with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, in an effort to break the deadlock.

Russia has been deeply involved in helping Iran with its nuclear technology development from the start. Moscow has helped Iran build a number of nuclear energy plants in the Islamic Republic, and has also sold Tehran a sophisticated surface-to-air anti-missile defense system as well.

“A mutual desire to find as soon as possible mutually acceptable solutions on disputed issues was expressed,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a cryptic statement released to media.

Iran, however, appears to still not be budging on its positions, with the deadline less than 24 hours away. An Iranian source told news agencies that ‘serious differences’ remained between the two sides.

“The ministerial meeting between Iran and the [six] world powers showed there are still serious differences,” a source close to the Iranian negotiating team told the Iranian state news agency IRNA. “But both sides are also serious about resolving the differences.”

Negotiators on both sides indicated they may stretch the deadline past July 7, as had been done with the June 30 deadline and the deadline prior to that.

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing on Monday, “I wouldn’t set any expectations at this point… I would say that it’s certainly possible” that the “final, firm” deadline for the talks could once again “slip.”

What is even more likely is that Iran will continue to demand impossible concessions — and the world powers will be forced to decide whether they are willing to simply cave to Tehran, or find the strength to walk away from the table.

Hana Levi Julian

Lebanese Media Report Russia Offers to Host Fatah-Hamas Meeting

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Russ has offered to host a peace-pipe meeting between Hamas and Fatah, the Lebanese as-Safir newspaper reported this week.

It added that Hamas accepted the proposal while Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, is still thinking about it.

A meeting hosted by Russia would solve the thorny problem of where Fatah and Hamas officials could meet without one side feeling the other has a home advantage.

Russia for years has been trying to play the heavy-weight in the Middle East to counter American influence, which is eroding.

Moscow always plays on both sides of the fence, It is one of the P5+1 countries trying to convince Iran to accept terms to supervise its nuclear development, but it also is building nuclear reactors for the Islamic Republic,

Russia’s trade with Israel amounts to $4.6 billion, but it also has generously armed the Palestinian Authority with weapons and material, such as armored personnel carriers.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Art Spiegelman’s ‘Maus’ Removed from Moscow Bookstores for Promoting Nazism

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

A Russian government’s plan to rid the capital Moscow of swastikas and everything else of Nazi origin, in time for Victory Day, when Russians celebrate the Soviet Union’s defeat of Hitlerism, resulted in an unhappy consequence: eager to comply with the new policy, Moscow bookstores removed cartoonist Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” from their display windows, the NY Times reported.

The Pulitzer-Prize winning graphic novel, depicting the tribulations of a family of Jewish mice during the Holocaust (their persecutors are evil cats), bears a big swastika on its cover, so off the window shelves it went, together with everything else Nazi-related.

“They just got scared that someone would see the swastika on the cover,” Varvara Gornostaeva, chief editor of Spiegelman’s Russian publisher, Corpus, told the Times. “But the swastika there is just a caricature. It does not fall afoul of the law banning fascist symbols.”

The Respublika bookstore chain said it decided to remove the book for fear that government inspectors would fail to discern the subtle differences between books for and against Nazism. A swastika is a swastika, apparently.

Boris Kupriyanov, co-owner of an independent bookstore in Moscow, said his fellow bookstore owners should be forgiven, because, alas, they’re idiots.

Kupriyanov quoted from Alexander Griboyedov’s satirical work “Woe From Wit,” about Moscow’s post-Napoleonic society: “An obliging fool is more dangerous than an enemy.”

Shalom Bear

Russia Backs Down and Says Iran Won’t Get S300 System in ‘Near Future’

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Russia has backed down on delivering the advanced S-300 advanced anti-missile system to Iran in the “near future,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Russian media on Thursday

Moscow announced two weeks ago that it was lifting the bean of selling Iran the S-300, causing “concern” in Washington and fierce anger in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Russian president Vladimir Putin last week that Israel would bomb the S-300 systems if Iran were to ship them to Syria or the Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Tass News agency quoted Ryabkov on Thursday as saying:

I do not think that it is a matter of near future. It is far more important that a political and legal decision has been taken to open up such an opportunity

Before the ban, Iran had paid nearly $170 million in advance for five of the anti-missile systems that would make it more difficult for Israel or any other country to attack Iran.

Russia’s retreat will somewhat calm down a storm in Congress, where support is growing to cripple the emerging deal with Iran after President Barack Obama and the other P5+1 countries agreed to a temporary framework arrangement.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Lithuania Restores Military Draft, Eyes Ukraine’s Fight for Life

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

As the situation in Ukraine provides an object lesson in what to avoid in national defense strategies, Lithuania has decided to restore mandatory army service to its list of “to do”s for young men entering adulthood.

Lithuanian males from ages 19 to 27 will be called to serve their country for a period of nine months beginning in September 2015. The draft will be in force for the next five years.

Some 3,000 eligible males will be drafted, government officials told international media on Tuesday. President Dalia Grybauskaite said after a meeting of top government officials and military leaders the measure was necessary due to the “growing aggression in Ukraine. Lithuania has no tanks or military aircraft, however. Its entire military force totals some 15,000 troops.

The move comes amid tensions that continue to widen concern around the region — as well as around the world — as Ukraine fights for its life with pro-Russia separatists seizing control over an increasingly wide area.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday, according to the DW website.

Speaking to a meeting of U.S. senators, an irritated Kerry said Tuesday that officials in Moscow had been “lying” about Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.

“Russia has engaged in a rather remarkable period of the most overt and extensive propaganda exercise that I’ve seen since the height of the Cold War,” Kerry told the Senate subcommittee meeting. “And they have been persisting in their misinterpretations — lies — whatever you want to call them — about their activities to my face, to the face of others, on many different occasions,” he added.

On Saturday, he and the Russian foreign minister would meet to discuss “Syria and other things” before leaving for Iran to continue negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear development program.

Hana Levi Julian

Western Leaders Head to Ukraine to Try for Peace with Russia

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

US Secretary of State John Kerry, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all intend to try and make peace between Ukraine and Russia this week.

Kerry is already in Ukraine to show America’s support for the Kiev government.

Hollande told international media Thursday in Paris that he and Merkel would head first to Kiev and then to Moscow on Friday to present Russian President Vladimir Putin with a proposal “based on the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

NATO, meanwhile, is unveiling details of a plan to bolster its military presence in eastern Europe in response to the Ukraine crisis, according to the BBC. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told the news service it will be the biggest reinforcement of its collective defense since the end of the Cold War, centering on a “spearhead” force of up to 5,000 troops with lead units able to deploy within two days. A network of command centers is being established in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, Stoltenberg said, in response to “the aggressive actions we have seen from Russia, violating international law and annexing Crimea.”

The French president described the months-long conflict with pro-Russia rebels that wreaked havoc in Ukraine as a full-fledged war. “Ukraine is at war. Heavy weapons are being used and civilians are being killed daily,” Hollande said.

Kerry told the BBC in Kiev that the U.S. wants to see a diplomatic solution to the conflict, but will not close its eyes to Russian aggression.

“We want a diplomatic resolution but we cannot close our eyes to tanks that are crossing the border from Russia and coming into Ukraine,” Kerry said at a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

More than 5,000 people have died in the fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebel troops, some of which include Russian “volunteers,” since April 2014. The eastern Ukraine cities of Donetsk and Lugansk are both under rebel control.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/western-leaders-head-to-ukraine-to-try-for-peace-with-russia/2015/02/05/

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