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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Vladimir Putin’

Russian diplomat: Moscow, Jerusalem Friendship at Highest Point Ever

Friday, December 9th, 2016

While the man who was condemned as Vladimir Putin puppet is getting ready to change the drapes in the Oval Office, and considering as his Secretary of State ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson – whom Putin awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship, Israel, too, appears to bask these days in the Kremlin’s new, sunny sphere of friendly smiles and sunshine.

Relations between Russia and Israel are at their highest point ever, President Putin Envoy to the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said at “The 10th Convent of RISA (Russian International Studies Association): 25 years of Russia’s Foreign Policy,” a conference hosted this week by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, TASS reported.

According to Bogdanov, President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold regular telephone conversations. “This year bilateral contacts have been unprecedentedly intense,” Bogdanov told the conference.

“Russia’s leadership places great importance on boosting trade, economic and investment cooperation with Israel,” Bogdanov continued, noting, however, that “unfortunately, turnover statistics are a bit disappointing, though Israel remains one of Russia’s biggest economic partners in the region.”

According to Bogdanov, “Given the unfavorable global economic situation and the strength of the US dollar compared with the Russian ruble, in 2015 our turnover (sales) with Israel dropped by 31% to $2.3 billion. At the same time, we have been constantly working to restore turnover to its previous level.”

Bodganov stated that “it is no exaggeration to say that relations between Russia and Israel are now at their highest point ever.”

According to Anna Borshchevskaya, a Fellow at The Washington Institute, Putin pursued improved ties with Israel since he came into office in March of 2000, and the two countries have significantly improved relations on a number of fronts. “Russian and Israeli officials hold meetings and telephone conversations on a regular basis and maintain multiple open channels of communication,” she wrote in 2015. “The two countries have an agreement on visa-free tourist travel for their citizens. Israel is home to over a million immigrants from the former Soviet Union, which bolsters Russia’s ties to Israel. Russian is the third most popular language in Israel after Hebrew and English. Economic relations between the two countries have especially improved, exceeding $3 billion in 2014, a figure slightly higher than Russia’s trade with Egypt the same year. Military relations improved as well, [so much so that] in late 2015, according to press reports, Israel sold ten search drones to Russia, despite Israel’s concerns about Russia’s military and political ties to Iran.”

Для жизни (Google Translate says it means L’chayim).

David Israel

‘Holocaust on Ice ‘ Latest Rage (literally) in Moscow [video]

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Vladimir Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov’s wife Tatiana Navka and actor Andrei Burkovsky performed a Holocaust-themed ice skating routine Saturday night which was called “shameful” but many who have watched it.

Dressed in black and white pinstriped death camp inmate pajamas complete with a gold Magen David, with the Israeli song “Beautiful That Way” for background, the couple performed figure skating jumps, spins, lifts, and other bits of ice rink choreography, in a kind of Auschwitz meets Grenoble show.

Tatiana Navka, a gold medalist in ice dancing at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, posted photos from her Holocaust on Ice routine on Instagram, with an inspirational message to parents to let their children watch the movie “Life is Beautiful,” because “Our children need to know and remember that terrible time, which I hope, God willing, they will never know!”

holocaust-on-ice-instagram

Source: Instagram

Amazingly, Tatiana’s performance was received with applause by the audience, but social media folks have been condemning it in a mix of rage and disbelief, demanding an apology for an astonishing desecration of the memory of the most terrifying event in recent human history.

Sarah Silverman twitted: “Oh those whacky Holocaust victims (OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD).”

Deborah E. Lipstadt twitted: “HAVE YOU LOST ALL SENSE OF DECENCY? HAVE YOU NO SHAME? The Holocaust on ice, complete with a sound track of barking dogs.”

Many people kept their all-caps key on when responding to this one.

And Michael Ian Black twitted: “This might be offensive if they hadn’t take such great care to recreate all the wonderful ice dancing going on at Aushwitz at the time.”

David Israel

Putin Sending 2 Giant Firefighting Planes to Israel

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin who acceded to Israel’s request for assistance in extinguishing the wave fires plaguing the country and promised to immediately send two giant Beriev be-200 firefighting aircraft to save the day.

The Beriev Be-200 Altair is a multipurpose amphibious aircraft designed by the Beriev Aircraft Company and manufactured by Irkut. Marketed for fire fighting, search and rescue, maritime patrol, cargo, and passenger transportation, it has a capacity of 12 tons (3,170 gallons) of water, or up to 72 passengers.

Beriev developed unique fire-fighting equipment for the Be-200, allowing it to scoop water while skimming the water surface at 90-95% of takeoff speed. This system was developed using a specially modified Be-12P, coded “12 Yellow.”

In 2006 the Be-200 was leased by the Portuguese Fire Fighting Services for evaluation during the forest fire season. On July 6, 2006, the Russian crew of the Be-200 were carrying out a water pick-up from the Aguieira dam near Santa Comba Dão, when on climbing away they clipped treetops and at least one of the engines suffered ingestion damage and had to be shut down.

In October 2006, two Be-200 were leased to Indonesia to fight fires for 45 days, to the tune of $5.2 million. These operations prompted press reports that the Indonesian government had agreed to purchase two Be-200s, each with a projected price of $40 million. China bought 4 Be-200 during Zhuhai Airshow 2016.

Two Be-200 also operated in Greece, fighting the 2007 forest fires for the entire season.

In August 2016 two Be-200s were sent to Portugal to help in extinguishing forest fires. Four days later it was reported that thanks to the work of the Russian pilots, the fire was prevented from spreading in the direction of two settlements — Castro Laboreiro with a population of 1,000 people and Viaden de Baixo, where 15 farms were saved from fire, and Peneda-Gerês National Park.

Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked Russian President Putin for the response and the assistance.

JNi.Media

Trump, Putin Speak By Phone

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spoke Monday by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a statement released by the Trump transition team.

“During the call the two leaders discussed a range of issues, including the threats and challenges facing the United States and Russia, strategic economic issues and the historical U.S.-Russia relationship that dates back over 200 years,” the Trump team said.

Both men agreed to set up a face-to-face meeting soon, according to the Trump team, and also according to the Kremlin, which released a separate statement.

Putin congratulated Trump, the Kremlin said in its statement, adding a pledge to build “dialogue with the new administration on the principles of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of each other.”

According to the statement from the Kremlin, the two leaders “agreed to assess the current very poor state of Russian-American relations” and “agreed to continue contacts on the phone and in the future to provide for a personal meeting.”

Hana Levi Julian

Trump Once Again Promising to Deal Peace for Israel

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

President Elect Donald J. Trump, possibly the most unpredictable man in American political history, has reiterated his promise to employ his “Art of the Deal” in achieving lasting peace between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. In an interview to the Wall Street Journal Friday, in which he also said he would leave in place parts of Obamacare, and said he got a “beautiful” letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin upon his victory,  Trump repeated his promise “to help craft a resolution” for the Israel-Palestine situation, which he called “the war that never ends.”

Back in March 2016, candidate Trump told the NY Times regarding the 2-state solution, “I would love to see if a deal could be made. If a deal could be made. Now, I’m not sure it can be made, there’s such unbelievable hatred, there’s such, it’s ingrained, it’s in the blood, the hatred and the distrust, and the horror. But I would love to see if a real deal could be made. Not a deal that you know, lasts for three months, and then everybody starts shooting again. And a big part of that deal, you know, has to be to end terror, we have to end terror.”

Trump then said, “Basically I support a two-state solution on Israel,” with the proviso that “the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Have to do that. And they have to stop the terror, stop the attacks, stop the teaching of hatred, you know?”

The Trump/Pence campaign website has since then removed all references to the 2-state solution from its “Foreign Policy and Defeating ISIS” positions page. But now, in his WSJ interview, the President Elect confessed to his desire for incorporating what he termed “the ultimate deal,” noting that “as a deal maker, I’d like to do… the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.”

Walid Phares, a Trump top foreign policy adviser, told BBC Radio on Thursday that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is a Trump top agenda item. “He is ready and he will immediately move to try and solve the problem between Palestinian and Israelis,” Phares said. “He told me personally that, as the author of ‘The Art of the Deal,’ it’s not going to be impossible for him to broker a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians. At least he’s going to go in that direction and not waste eight years — four years for now — not doing something for the Palestinians and Israelis.”

Somebody should tell Ivanka Trump and Jason Greenblatt as soon as Shabbat is out. Greenblatt on Thursday told Israel’s Army Radio that “Trump thinks Israel is in a difficult situation and must defend herself. Peace must arrive through a bilateral initiative and he has no plan to get involved in it.”

But that was Thursday.

JNi.Media

Netanyahu Congratulates President Elect Trump, ‘True Friend of the State of Israel’

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, September 25, 2016. / Photo credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning issued a statement saying, “I congratulate Donald Trump on being elected the 45th President of the United States of America. President-elect Trump is a true friend of the State of Israel, and I look forward to working with him to advance security, stability and peace in our region.”

Netanyahu added that “the ironclad bond between the United States and Israel is rooted in shared values, buttressed by shared interests and driven by a shared destiny. I am confident that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between our two countries and bring it to ever greater heights.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Donald Trump on his victory in a telegram, according to the Kremlin, which said in a statement: “Putin expressed hope for joint work to restore Russian-American relations from their state of crisis, and also to address pressing international issues and search for effective responses to challenges concerning global security.”

Putin said he is sure a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington would serve the interests of both countries, the Kremlin statement added.

British Prime Minister Theresa May congratulated Trump and said the UK and the US would remain “strong and close partners on trade, security and defense.” Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage also congratulated Trump.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier noted that “In the course of the election campaign Donald Trump has found critical words about Europe and Germany,” and admitted that “we must adjust to the fact that American foreign policy will get less predictable in the near future.”

In a similar spirit, French President Francois Hollande said about Trump’s victory, “I congratulate him as is natural between two democratic heads of state,” adding, “This American election opens a period of uncertainty.”

JNi.Media

Russia Announcing Delivery of S-300 Missiles to Syria in Wake of Collapsed Talks with US

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Monday’s suspension of nuclear disarmament talks with the US over the latter’s challenge of Russian involvement in Ukraine and Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that it had delivered one battery of the air defense system S-300 to Syria.

“It is true that one battery of the S-300 air defense systems has been delivered to Syria. It is to provide protection for the naval logistics facility in Tartus and the Russian Navy’s task force,” Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters in Moscow.

Last year, Russia moved to Syria its newest air defense system S-400, and last March Putin announced that the S-400 systems and the short-range systems Pantsir-S1, a combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system, would remain on permanent combat duty in Syria.

As the website Liberty Unyielding noted Wednesday, “nothing about the fight against the rebels in Syria requires an S-300V4-enabled, full-scale land war according to Russian doctrine. Nothing about it requires the level of air defense represented by the S-400, for that matter. The rebels don’t have anything at all that requires bringing either system to the fight.” Instead, the same website contends, “the system is being put there to mark and hold Russian territory against the US, our most advanced allies, and (potentially, someday) China.”

The White House has been watching helplessly as Putin suspended the treaty with Washington on cleaning up weapons-grade plutonium. Over the past three decades, Russia and the US have signed a series of accords to reduce the size of their nuclear arsenals. All that good work is being threatened now with Putin’s decree that suspended a 2000 agreement binding the two sides to dispose of surplus plutonium intended for use in nuclear weapons.

Asked by a reporter on Monday, White House Spokesman Josh Earnest admitted the Administration was “disappointed” by Putin’s move.

“The decision by the Russians to unilaterally withdraw from this commitment is disappointing, and the reason for that is that this agreement that went into force in 2011 pledged the disposal of thousands of nuclear weapons’ worth of plutonium,” Earnest stated, adding, “And this was an agreement that was reached by the United States and Russia because we’re the two countries that have the largest amount of this material and both leaders in Russia and the United States have made nonproliferation a priority. And certainly the United States is interested in limiting proliferation and trying to reduce the risk associated with potential nuclear terrorism. And again, we know that Russia’s leadership has recognized this risk. The United States has been steadfast since 2011 in implementing our side of the bargain, and we would like to see the Russians continue to do the same thing.”

Konashenkov responded to Earnest’s statement by saying the US “is to blame for the disruption of all September 9 ceasefire agreements on Syria and for letting the militants build up reserves again.” He continued: “It is the United States that has fallen through with a crash regarding the implementation of the September 9 ceasefire agreements. It failed to separate a single group of the so-called opposition from  [Al Qaeda offshoot] Jabhat al-Nusra, thus letting the terrorists regroup themselves and replenish reserves.”

“Isn’t it the right moment for our US counterparts to recognize in public that the whole opposition in Syria they have reared all along and still keep under control are part and parcel of the same ‘umbrella brands’ Al-Qaeda and Jabhat Al-Nusra?” Konashenkov asked, and invited Earnest “to come down to earth from the sky.”

The plutonium accord is not the cornerstone of post-Cold War US-Russia disarmament, according to Reuters, which suggests that the practical implications from the suspension of the deal will be limited. It comes down, instead, to “powerful symbolism.”

This also comes down to a growing realization in the West that President Obama, in his zeal to foment the “Arab Spring,” has enlarged the political vacuum created by President GW Bush in the Middle East, and with the current White House’s policy of avoiding at all cost a “boots on the ground” military intervention in Syria or Iraq, Putin’s Russia is never going to leave, regardless of who gets elected President come November. Putin is grabbing this opportunity offered by a reluctant Obama to flank the West and guarantee naval access in the Eastern Mediterranean.

So far, Putin has planted Russian troops in Syria, forged long term relations with Iran, flirted with Egypt and with Israel — which receive about $6 billion annually in US aid, and patched up his relations with Turkey, a NATO member.

And, as Sen. Pence mentioned in Tuesday night’s debate (although he was off by a couple trillions), Putin’s Russia managed these sound regional gains with a mere $1.3 trillion GDP, compared with the US’ $17.9 trillion GDP (which is 13.7 times stronger).

It could be time for extensive language courses for Washington officials, except this time it’s the optimists who will study Mandarin, while the pessimists will take up Russian.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-announcing-delivery-of-s-300-missiles-to-syria-in-wake-of-collapsed-talks-with-us/2016/10/05/

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