Topic: Russia

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NATO: Judge Russia by actions, not words

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As Ukraine and Pro-Russian separatists agreed to a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, the deputy NATO military commander said Moscow must be judged by its actions, not its words. "If [the ceasefire] is the portent of a peaceful solution to this conflict in eastern Ukraine that's welcome news. But I think we need to judge things by actions and not by words,” General Adrian Bradshaw told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Friday. “I'm afraid during this crisis in the past we've heard words said which haven't been reflected by actions on the ground. So we need to just ensure that people are being genuine here."

New Russia sanctions to be ‘deeper and more significant’

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A new round of Western sanctions against Russia, yet to be approved, will “be deeper and more significant” than those already on the books, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday. The sanctions being discussed are “fairly substantial measures that are going to have fairly substantial impact on critical sectors of the Russian economy.” Bildt would not go into further details about the measures, because they are still under discussion. He spoke with Amanpour from Wales, where NATO is holding what is likely its most significant meeting since the end of the Cold War. The military alliance is getting back to its roots – collective defense – as the West grapples with how to deal with a Russian intrusion into Ukraine and ISIS radical militants. “We are trying to understand what can be done in order to stop the Russians,” Bildt said.

Russia is emotionally in Ukraine, its troops are not, says Russian MP

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by Henry Hullah NATO satellites, journalists on the ground and Ukrainian officials have all reported Russian troops in Ukrainian territory, but how much longer can Russia claim it has no military presence in Eastern Ukraine? "Russia will say that until it really has some forces on the ground. As at this point, definitely we don’t have any." answered Russian Member of Parliament Vyacheslav Nikonov. He told Michael Holmes, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, that the Russian government had not been providing weapons, such as T-72 tanks which the MP insisted came from Hungary, to separatists and also had nothing to do with the current state of Ukraine. "It is a completely domestic Ukrainian mess and people living there, in the eastern part of Ukraine, are mostly Russian. So I think it’s very understandable why Russia emotionally is there. Though Russian troops are definitely not there." With high stakes and emotional investment in the dire situation of those in the Eastern Ukraine, the program asked what is the Russian Endgame here, do they want, as some believe, a land bridge to Crimea? "The end game for Russia is of course a peaceful Ukraine, and Russian national security." "In case of the Crimea, it was an immediate reaction of the people of the Crimea for reunification with their mother country, with Russia. " "Crimeans never had any Ukrainian identity whatsoever. The people in Donetsk and Luhansk have maybe a little bit stronger Ukrainian identity, but it would be very hard for Kiev to convince them that they should stay inside Ukraine."

Russia has ‘imperial ambitions’ says the top Ukrainian representative in London

Added by 3 years ago

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by Henry Hullah As the United Nations held an emergency meeting over reports of Russian troops in Ukrainian territory, Christiane Amanpour was joined by the top Ukrainian official in London, Andrii Kuzmenko, for analysis of what this could mean for his nation. Amanpour asked what the diplomat was hoping for from the U.N meeting in New York. "Since the sanctions that are already imposed against Russia we do have the terrible aggravation of the situation, it means that those sanctions are weak and insufficient. We are calling for a full stop of cooperation with the aggressor, for further tougher sanctions and further support of Ukraine." "We are not at this stage asking for military assistance" After what happened to Georgia in 2008, was he confident that Ukraine could defend itself against a potential Russian attack? "This is a very new stage of conflict. We will halt the aggressor and I have no doubt we will defeat them but, for that reason we will need assistance from the West since we are fighting not just for territorial integrity of Ukraine." "We are fighting against the war in Europe that could explode the continent." 'It is inappropriate to tolerate the use of force in the 21st century' Kuzmenko  was  unrelenting in a powerful attack on the Russian government's behavior in this conflict. He told the program that he believed Putin's Russia was acting in a manner befitting the "19th century." "We are witnessing another war crime," he told Amanpour. "Just due to the certain imperial ambitions." Summing up Russia's actions, the diplomat said, "We should remember the war started with imperial ambitions and will end with shame for the nation."

Aid or invasion? Russia and Ukraine officials battle it out over convoy on live TV

Added by 3 years ago

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A convoy of 280 Russian trucks are heading towards Ukrainian border. Russian officials say they are full of aid desperately needed for relief efforts in Eastern Ukraine, officials across the border are not so optimistic. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has come out strongly against the convoy said the move is "cynical," and that "it would be better for Russia to send 300 empty Kamaz trucks to take their bandits back. Then there would be no need to send humanitarian aid." Russian officials have insisted the move is to deliver humanitarian aid to areas in need. Oleksandr Scherba, the Ambassador-at-Large to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, echoed the view of his Prime Minister on the program: "Of course we are very distrustful of Russia's intentions from the very beginning Russia didn't show any goodwill whatsoever." "But on the other hand," Scherba stated, "The humanitarian situation on the ground is very desperate, very difficult. We are not in the kind of situation to be very adamant about sending back anything we receive even from the nation that is behaving in a really hostile manner." When questioned by Hala Gorani, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, about why there has been no coordination with red cross, Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's Special Representative for Human Rights, rebutted "I am amazed to hear that it hasn't been coordinated. From what has been said many times, not just by Russian officials, all the details, all the parameters of this humanitarian convoy have been meticulously discussed and agreed upon by: Russia, Ukraine, the International Committee for the Red Cross." "As far as I understand he [Scherba] works in the Foreign Ministry" the special representative went on to say. "The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has officially, by sending a reply note to the Russian Foreign Ministry, has confirmed that all the details of that humanitarian convoy have been agreed upon. Once they have confirmed that all the details have been agreed upon. This was a very precise official reaction." "The green light was on in Kiev." Ukraine's Ambassador-at-large responded: "Nobody except for Moscow knows about that meticulous discussion."

Obama talks tough on Hamas, Russia

Added by 3 years ago

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Rep. Karen Bass, D-Ca., Salon's Joan Walsh, and The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim join Rev. Sharpton to discuss President Obama's wide-ranging press conference on Wednesday evening.

Will Europe support sanctions on Russia?

Added by 3 years ago

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NBC News reports that Russia is still providing military equipment to rebels in Ukraine. While Senators urge President Obama to impose harsher sanctions on Russia, in Europe, sanctions are a tough sell. Former Amb. To...

U.S.: Russia’s ‘actions, incredibly, are heading towards escalation of the crisis’

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Far from the moderating role Russian President Putin says he is seeking, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine on Wednesday said that Russia is “escalating the military confrontation.” “The fact is, we have worked through every diplomatic channel available to us. We have exercised economic leverage,” Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said. “But so far, and sadly – although there have been occasional positive statement from Moscow – the actions are going in the wrong direction at this point. The actions, incredibly, are heading towards escalation of the crisis.” The Netherlands on Wednesday paid solemn respects to the first of the victims of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 to be flown to Holland. In Ukraine, where so many of the victims remain – some not even yet found – the conflict rages on. Two Ukrainian military jets were shot down in areas controlled by pro-Russian rebels, the Ukrainian government says. “It’s simply incredible, but it’s an established fact that even after the shootdown of the Malaysian Airlines flight you still have heavy weapons, tanks, rocket systems moving across the border from Russia, enflaming the conflict, escalating the military confrontation, at a time when President Poroshenko has made very clear his desire to find a political solution,” Ambassador Pyatt said.

Russia: It’s decision time ‘for everybody’

Added by 3 years ago

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The downing of MH17 was indeed a "game-changer" as many Western leaders have called it, Vladimir Chizhov, Russian ambassador to the EU, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday. "I agree it's a game-changer," he said. "It should serve as a wake-up call for everybody to stop instigating violence, stop supporting the Ukrainian government in its military campaign against civilians." In the past 24 hours, Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken tentative steps to quell the mounting public outrage over the botched recovery and investigation of the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine. Nonetheless, Putin has said that in fact Ukraine is at least indirectly to blame for the downing of the civilian airplane, because, he alleges, of its continuing offensive against pro-Russian separatists. "I think it's a time of decision for everybody, including those Western countries that have been supporting Ukraine," Chizhov said.

Russia today: what would Reagan do?

Added by 3 years ago

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As Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) launched fresh criticism at U.S. foreign policy, Lawrence and Eugene Robinson compare Obama's handling of the Russians to Reagan's.

Obama’s warning to Russia and Putin over MH17

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Rev. Al Sharpton talks to Rep. Gregory Meeks, Linda Kinstler and Greg Feith about Pres. Obama’s remarks following the crash of a Malaysian passenger plane and new evidence about the missile that brought it down.

Destruction of plane puts Russia on defensive

Added by 3 years ago

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Andrea Mitchell, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about why the likelihood of a Russian role in the shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet puts Russia in a very difficult diplomatic position.

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