Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Dmitry Peskov’

US, France Warn Russia of ‘New Measures’ Over Ukraine.


President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande warned Saturday of “new measures” against Russia if it fails to work toward defusing the crisis in Ukraine, the French presidency said.

In a phone call on Saturday, Obama and Hollande insisted on the “need for Russia to withdraw forces sent to Crimea since the end of February and to do everything to allow the deployment of international observers,” it said.
Obama’s conversation with Hollande was one of a half dozen telephone conversations he had with world leaders Saturday about Ukraine, the White House says.

He  also spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and held a conference call with the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

The new warnings come in the wake of Russia’s insistence that any U.S. sanctions will have a boomerang effect on the United States and that Crimea has the right to self-determination as armed men tried to seize another Ukrainian military base on the peninsula.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

In a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned against “hasty and reckless steps” that could harm Russian-American relations, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

“Sanctions…would inevitably hit the United States like a boomerang,” it added.

It was the second tense, high-level exchange between the former Cold War foes in 24 hours over the pro-Russian takeover of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said after an hour-long call with U.S. President Barack Obama that their positions on the former Soviet republic were still far apart. Obama announced the first sanctions against Russia on Thursday.

Putin, who later opened the Paralympic Games in Sochi which have been boycotted by a string of Western dignitaries, said Ukraine’s new, pro-Western authorities had acted illegitimately over the eastern, southeastern and Crimea regions.

“Russia cannot ignore calls for help and it acts accordingly, in full compliance with international law,” he said.

Serhiy Astakhov, an aide to the Ukrainian border guards’ commander, said 30,000 Russian soldiers were now in Crimea, compared to the 11,000 permanently based with the Russian Black Sea fleet in the port of Sevastopol before the crisis.

On Friday evening armed men drove a truck into a Ukrainian missile defence post in Sevastopol, according to a Reuters reporter at the scene. But no shots were fired and Crimea’s pro-Russian premier said later the standoff was over.

Putin denies the forces with no national insignia that are surrounding Ukrainian troops in their bases are under Moscow’s command, although their vehicles have Russian military plates. The West has ridiculed his assertion.

The most serious East-West confrontation since the end of the Cold War – resulting from the overthrow last month of President Viktor Yanukovich after protests in Kiev that led to violence – escalated on Thursday when Crimea’s parliament, dominated by ethnic Russians, voted to join Russia.

The region’s government set a referendum for March 16 – in just nine days’ time.

JETS, DESTROYER

Turkey scrambled jets after a Russian surveillance plane flew along its Black Sea coast and a U.S. warship passed through Turkey’s Bosphorus straits on its way to the Black Sea, although the U.S. military said it was a routine deployment.

European Union leaders and Obama said the referendum plan was illegitimate and would violate Ukraine’s constitution.

The head of Russia’s upper house of parliament said after meeting visiting Crimean lawmakers on Friday that Crimea had a right to self-determination, and ruled out any risk of war between “the two brotherly nations”.

Obama ordered visa bans and asset freezes on Thursday against so far unidentified people deemed responsible for threatening European Union leaders Ukraine’s sovereignty. Earlier in the week, a Kremlin aide said Moscow might refuse to pay off any loans to U.S. banks, the top four of which have around $24 billion in exposure to Russia.

Japan endorsed the Western position that the actions of Russia constitute “a threat to international peace and security”, after Obama spoke to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

China, often a Russian ally in blocking Western moves in the U.N. Security Council, was more cautious, saying economic sanctions were not the best way to solve the crisis and avoiding comment on the Crimean referendum.

The EU, Russia’s biggest economic partner and energy customer, adopted a three-stage plan to try to force a negotiated solution but stopped short of immediate sanctions.

The Russian Foreign Ministry responded angrily on Friday, calling the EU decision to freeze talks on visa-free travel and on a broad new pact governing Russia-EU ties “extremely unconstructive”. It pledged to retaliate.

“GUERRILLA WAR?”

Senior Ukrainian opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko, freed from prison after Yanukovich’s overthrow, met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Dublin and appealed for immediate EU sanctions against Russia, warning that Crimea might otherwise slide into a guerrilla war.

Brussels and Washington rushed to strengthen the new authorities in economically shattered Ukraine, announcing both political and financial assistance. The regional director of the International Monetary Fund said talks with Kiev on a loan agreement were going well and praised the new government’s openness to economic reform and transparency.

The European Commission has said Ukraine could receive up to 11 billion euros ($15 billion) in the next couple of years provided it reaches agreement with the IMF, which requires painful economic reforms like ending gas subsidies.

Promises of billions of dollars in Western aid for the Kiev government, and the perception that Russian troops are not likely to go beyond Crimea into other parts of Ukraine, have helped reverse a rout in the local hryvnia currency.

In the past two days it has traded above 9.0 to the dollar for the first time since the Crimea crisis began last week. Local dealers said emergency currency restrictions imposed last week were also supporting the hryvnia.

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom said Ukraine had not paid its $440 million gas bill for February, bringing its arrears to $1.89 billion and hinted it could turn off the taps as it did in 2009, when a halt in Russian deliveries to Ukraine reduced supplies to Europe during a cold snap.

In Moscow, a huge crowd gathered near the Kremlin at a government-sanctioned rally and concert billed as being “in support of the Crimean people”. Pop stars took to the stage and demonstrators held signs with slogans such as “Crimea is Russian land”, and “We believe in Putin”.

IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said no one in the civilised world would recognise the result of the “so-called referendum” in Crimea.

He repeated Kiev’s willingness to negotiate with Russia if Moscow pulls its additional troops out of Crimea and said he had requested a telephone call with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

But Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov ridiculed calls for Russia to join an international “contact group” with Ukraine proposed by the West, saying they “make us smile”.

Demonstrators encamped in Kiev’s central Independence Square to defend the revolution that ousted Yanukovich said they did not believe Crimea would be allowed to secede.

Alexander Zaporozhets, 40, from central Ukraine’s Kirovograd region, put his faith in international pressure.

“I don’t think the Russians will be allowed to take Crimea from us: you can’t behave like that to an independent state. We have the support of the whole world. But I think we are losing time. While the Russians are preparing, we are just talking.”

Unarmed military observers from the pan-European Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe were blocked from entering Crimea for a second day in a row on Friday, the OSCE said on Twitter.

The United Nations said it had sent its assistant secretary-general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic, to Kiev to conduct a preliminary humans rights assessment.

Ukrainian television has been replaced with Russian state channels in Crimea and the streets largely belong to people who support Moscow’s rule, some of whom have harassed journalists and occasional pro-Kiev protesters.

Part of the Crimea’s 2 million population opposes Moscow’s rule, including members of the region’s ethnic Russian majority. The last time Crimeans were asked, in 1991, they voted narrowly for independence along with the rest of Ukraine.

“With all these soldiers here, it is like we are living in a zoo,” Tatyana, 41, an ethnic Russian. “Everyone fully understands this is an occupation.”

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Newsmax Wires

Russian President Putin Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.


 Image: Russian President Putin Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

 

By Cathy Burke

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World, a Russian advocacy group, made the nomination, citing the former KGB officer’s bid to dismantle Syria’s chemical arms stockpile.

The group, taking a dig at President Barack Obama, told reporters in Moscow that Putin was more deserving than the U.S. leader, who won the prize in 2009, UPI reported.

“Barack Obama is the man who has initiated and approved the United States’ aggressive actions in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Iosif Kobzon, a popular singer known as “Russia’s Frank Sinatra” and a member of the State Duma, according to Interfax news agency.

“Now he is preparing for an invasion into Syria. He bears this title nevertheless. Our president, who tries to stop the bloodshed and who tries to help the conflict situation with political dialogue, is, in my view, more worthy of this high title.”

Members of the group said Putin had steadfastly opposed military intervention throughout the 2 1/2-year-old civil war.

Putin has a footprint in Syria, the Washington Times reported.

He’s an ally of Bashar al-Assad and has sold and provided weapons to the Syrian regime — against the wishes of the West. Critics of the nomination also say Putin has led the Russian delegation at the U.N. Security Council into blocking international intervention in Syria that could have prevented the deaths of 100,000-plus civilians.

The group said it proposed Putin as a candidate for the prize Sept. 16, two days after Moscow and Washington reached an agreement in Geneva, Switzerland, on a plan for Syria’s surrender of its chemical weapons.

The Nobel Committee received the nominating letter Sept. 20, group head Georgy Trapeznikov said.

This made it too late for this year’s award, whose nominations had to be postmarked by Feb. 1. This year’s award is to be announced Oct. 11 in Oslo.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the government’s ITAR-Tass news agency Putin had not discussed any Nobel nominations with any individuals or groups.

“The main criterion for the president is his satisfaction from the results of his work,” Peskov said.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Putin to Visit Iran.


Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation to visit Iran to discuss the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Fars News Agency, the media outlet run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said Iranian President Hassan Rowhani issued the invitation to Putin Friday while the two leaders attended a conference in Kyrgyzstan.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Putin had accepted, the Daily Caller reports.

“Russia could possibly take new steps in solving the Iranian nuclear dossier,” Rowhani said.

“The Russian initiative in relation to the Syrian chemical weapons and the steps taken by the Syrian officials provide this hope that a new war can be averted in the region.”

Putin called Iran “a good neighbor.”

The United States and its allies believe Iran’s nuclear program is intended to produce nuclear weapons.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Jim Meyers

Putin Adviser: Super Bowl Ring Claim ‘Weird’.


Russian President Vladimir Putin mockingly said he’s having an “expensive” replacement made for the Super Bowl ring New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft accused him of pilfering.

“If it is so precious to Kraft and the team, I have a proposal. We will ask our firms to make a really good, big thing, so everyone will see what an expensive thing it is, with good metal and a stone,” the Russian president insisted, according to the New York Post.

In that way, “this jewel is passed on from generation to generation in the team whose interests Mr. Kraft represents.”

Putin’s remarks came on Friday during a panel discussion with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in his hometown.

The Moscow-based newspaper Kommersant reported at the time that Putin tried on the ring, which is studded with 124 diamonds, and then pocketed it after Kraft showed it to him during a meeting with U.S. executives in Russia. Kraft then issued a statement saying the ring was gift, “an act of serendipity, and one that I am honored to have experienced.”

Kraft rekindled the debate at an awards ceremony in New York last week when he told a crowd that Putin did indeed put the ring in his pocket and walk out of the room after trying it on and saying, “I could kill someone with this,” the New York Post reported.

That was just “a humorous, anecdotal story that Robert re-tells for laughs,” an unidentified Patriots spokesman said in comments posted on the National Football League’s website.

“In 2005, I was standing right behind the president and I saw how he was given this ring as a present,” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told reporters in the U.K. over the weekend, where Putin attended the Group of Eight summit.

He called accusations that Putin stole the ring “weird.”

“What Mr. Kraft is saying now is weird,” Peskov said told CNN. “I was standing 20 centimeters away from him and Mr. Putin and saw and heard how Mr. Kraft gave this ring as a gift.”

Putin said today that he doesn’t remember either Kraft or the ring.

Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer

By Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer

Putin Adviser: Super Bowl Ring Claim ‘Weird’.


Russian President Vladimir Putin mockingly said he’s having an “expensive” replacement made for the Super Bowl ring New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft accused him of pilfering.

“If it is so precious to Kraft and the team, I have a proposal. We will ask our firms to make a really good, big thing, so everyone will see what an expensive thing it is, with good metal and a stone,” the Russian president insisted, according to the New York Post.

In that way, “this jewel is passed on from generation to generation in the team whose interests Mr. Kraft represents.”

Putin’s remarks came on Friday during a panel discussion with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in his hometown.

The Moscow-based newspaper Kommersant reported at the time that Putin tried on the ring, which is studded with 124 diamonds, and then pocketed it after Kraft showed it to him during a meeting with U.S. executives in Russia. Kraft then issued a statement saying the ring was gift, “an act of serendipity, and one that I am honored to have experienced.”

Kraft rekindled the debate at an awards ceremony in New York last week when he told a crowd that Putin did indeed put the ring in his pocket and walk out of the room after trying it on and saying, “I could kill someone with this,” the New York Post reported.

That was just “a humorous, anecdotal story that Robert re-tells for laughs,” an unidentified Patriots spokesman said in comments posted on the National Football League’s website.

“In 2005, I was standing right behind the president and I saw how he was given this ring as a present,” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told reporters in the U.K. over the weekend, where Putin attended the Group of Eight summit.

He called accusations that Putin stole the ring “weird.”

“What Mr. Kraft is saying now is weird,” Peskov said told CNN. “I was standing 20 centimeters away from him and Mr. Putin and saw and heard how Mr. Kraft gave this ring as a gift.”

Putin said today that he doesn’t remember either Kraft or the ring.

Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer

Putin Says Super Bowl Ring Was Gift.


Russian President Vladimir Putin is denying insinuations that he stole New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft‘s Super Bowl ring that’s now on display in the Kremlin, but says he’s ready to buy him another ring as a gift.

Putin was reacting Sunday through a spokesman to a New York Post story quoting remarks made by Kraft at an awards gala at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel last Thursday.

“I took out the ring and showed it to (Putin). And he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring,'” Kraft said, as quoted by the Post. “I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”

The diamond-encrusted Super Bowl ring worth about $25,000 changed hands while Kraft was visiting St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2005 with an American business delegation that met Putin. At the time, Kraft had said he gave the ring to Putin as a gift.

But the Post story quoted Kraft as saying at Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala that he had an “emotional tie to the ring” and wanted it back, but the White House intervened and said it would be in the interest of U.S.-Russian relations to claim it was a gift.

Putin arrived in London on Sunday to meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was asked about the Post story.

“Back in 2005 I stood behind the president’s back and I saw how that ring was presented to him. All that talk about some kind of pressure that was exerted on him (Kraft) should be the subject of a detailed talk with psychoanalysts, I think,” Peskov told The Associated Press.

“At the same time, I am aware that this gentleman (Kraft) is feeling such a horrible pain about the 2005 loss,” Peskov said. “The president will be ready to send him another ring as a gift, which he (Putin) can buy with his own money.”

Stacey James, a spokesperson for the Kraft Group, the holding company for Kraft’s business ventures, including the Patriots, said Sunday that the Post article shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

“It’s a humorous, anecdotal story that Robert retells for laughs,” James said in a statement. “He loves that his ring is at the Kremlin, and, as he stated back in 2005, he continues to have great respect for Russia and the leadership of President Putin. In particular, he credits President Putin for modernizing the Russian economy. ”

The statement added that “an added benefit from the attention this story gathered eight years ago was the creation of some Patriots fan clubs in Russia.”

The Super Bowl ring is on display in the Kremlin library along with other gifts to the Russian leader, according to Peskov.

Kraft can take some consolation because he has two other Super Bowl rings given to him for his team’s other NFL championships.

 

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: NEWSmax.com

Russia Media Compassionate About Putin’s Divorce.


MOSCOWRussian media have reacted with unusual compassion to Thursday’s announcement of President Vladimir Putin‘s divorce.

Putin and his wife Lyudmila, rarely seen in public, announced the end of their marriage less than two months shy of their 30th anniversary in an interview with Russian television. His spokesman Dmitry Peskov could not say when they would formally divorced, adding that this did not matter.

While break-ups involving prominent politicians are rare, some sections of the media often sneer at celebrity splits.

Opposition-leaning Kommersant Radio lauded the couple’s announcement for keeping the public informed instead of “living a double life.”

One of Russia’s best-selling tabloids, Moskovsky Komsomolets, credited the president with breaking a long-held taboo.

Russian leaders, unlike their American counterparts, generally keep their domestic lives well out of public view.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: NEWSmax.com

Tag Cloud