Tag: Russia

The Foreign Ministry said that Russia will not violate contracts for the supply of food

Zakharova called groundless the accusations of Western politicians of trying to block foreign ships in the Black Sea ports. According to the diplomat, Western countries are trying to “blame all the troubles on a special military operation.”

In particular, the port of Mariupol resumed operation when it came under the control of the Russian military and troops of the Donetsk People's Republic. They managed to open the fairway and create conditions for ships to leave the harbour, she explained.

In addition, Russian troops “daily from 8:00 to 19:00 open two maritime humanitarian corridors— safe lanes for ship traffic,” the diplomat added. One of them is open in the Black Sea in the south-west direction from the territorial sea of ​​Ukraine. Through it, according to Zakharova, ships can leave the ports of Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhny.

The second corridor was opened in the Sea of ​​Azov. It starts in the “assembly area in the immediate vicinity of Mariupol”; and ends in the “disbandment area at the confluence of the Kerch Strait into the Black Sea”, concluded the representative of the Foreign Ministry.

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On May 25, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the opening of corridors for the exit of foreign ships from ports on the Black and Azov Seas. Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the National Defense Control Center of Russia, said that they would be lanes for the safe movement of ships. The day before, the Ministry of Defense recalled that they had created all the conditions for the exit of foreign ships from the ports. According to the data provided by Mizintsev, 70 ships from 16 countries remained blocked in six Ukrainian ports.

In early May, the UN stated that about 4.5 million tons of grain had accumulated in Ukrainian ports. It cannot enter the world market due to a Russian special operation, the organization believes. The same opinion is expressed by some Western politicians. In particular, US President Joe Biden spoke about this. At the same time, the head of state cited data on 20 million tons of unexported grain. Moscow denies the allegations and cites “illegal actions” as the cause of the food crisis. West and anti-Russian sanctions.

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The Bank of Russia lowered the key rate to 11% per annum

The head of the Ministry of Economic Development, Reshetnikov, called for a return to the previous equilibrium exchange rate of the ruble

The key rate was reduced by 3% by the decision of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and now stands at 11%.

Such a decision was made against the backdrop of the strengthening of the ruble against the dollar and the euro and a slowdown in price growth, which reduced the risks of financial stability.

Recall that, according to estimates on May 20, annual inflation slowed down and amounted to 17.5%.

< p>Moreover, it is expected to decrease to 5.0-7.0% in 2023 and return to 4% in 2024. This is influenced by monetary policy.

It is also noted that in the coming weeks, another key rate cut is allowed at an extraordinary meeting.

Meanwhile, the head of the Ministry of Economic Development Reshetnikov called for a return to the previous equilibrium ruble exchange rate, as the current exchange rate and its forecast are a long-term problem.

He explained that the effective exchange rate of the ruble is 40% stronger than the average over the past five years. And this represents a serious challenge for the domestic producer, since with the gradual restoration of external supply channels, he will increasingly feel the pressure of imports, compete with them and lose.

At the same time, if the current ruble exchange rate is maintained, Russian business will not be able to develop import substitution projects, as there will be no competitiveness.

Earlier, Topnews wrote that pensions, the cost of living and the minimum wage will be increased by 10% in Russia from June 1.

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Why did the FSB detain Stanislav Matyukhin, the grandson of the first head of the Bank of Russia?

On Wednesday, May 25, employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB detained in Moscow the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank of Russia Georgy Matyukhin — 36-year-old Stanislav Matyukhin. About This is reported by “Kommersant”. Matyukhin is charged with participation in an organized criminal community (OPS). Matyukhin, according to law enforcement agencies, served as the CEO of a “large financial pyramid” called  QBF, stole about 2 billion rubles from investors. 

How was the arrest of the grandson of the first head of the Central Bank Stanislav Matyukhin? 

It is reported that the businessman was detained on Wednesday morning, May 25, in his apartment on Kutuzovsky Prospekt. Moreover, as the publication notes, it is unlikely that the “visit” operatives came as a surprise to Matyukhin, since all of his colleagues have either already been arrested in the QBF case or are on the run. Previously, the suspect was in the status of a witness in the same case, and his apartment was searched twice, so this time the security forces did not repeat these activities. 


What is Stanislav Matyukhin accused of? 

Now Matyukhin is charged with participation in an organized criminal community, inflicting heavy damage to investors in the amount of 2 billion rubles. It was he, according to law enforcement agencies, even after the flight abroad of the main beneficiary of the financial group QBF Roman Shpakovconvinced depositors that they had nothing to worry about. Fundraising continued until the company's license was revoked.

 What did the defendants invest money in?

According to investigators, the organizers of the financial pyramid, instead of the promised investment in serious financial projects, “were taken offshore,” the newspaper writes. Then the defendants in the case invested their assets in the purchase of shares, real estate, expensive cars and other things. Some of them (about 1 billion rubles) have already been arrested by the court. 

Is it true that Anastasia Volochkova turned out to be one of           company's investors?

Yes, truth. The ballerina, according to Kommersant, invested about 3 million rubles in QBF . Of these, Matyukhin returned only 500 thousand rubles to Prima, hoping that the Russian ballet star, thanks to his connections, would help unblock the company's accounts in the regions. But she refused this request, after which the company's employees stopped contacting her. The remaining amount of the ballerina was not returned. Matyukhin advised Volochkova to discuss further issues with  the beneficiary of the financial group Shpakov.

 What is known about Stanislav Matyukhin? 

It is reported that before being appointed CEO of QBF in 2017 Matyukhin worked for the Federal Financial Markets Service. Later — at the Central Bank, where he dealt with the regulation of the activities of financial organizations and supervised QBF, «» reports. 

The suspect does not admit his guilt. According to him, he was always “trying” to save a sinking ship. and allegedly did not carry out any theft of funds in the company. However, according to the newspaper, Matyukhin bought an apartment on Kutuzovsky Prospekt while being an employee of QBF.   



https ://www.kommersant.ru/doc/5080231  

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Yakut miracle. Startupers of Russia showed the best technological projects

In the innovation center “Skolkovo” the tenth international technological conference Startup village, the largest in Russia and the CIS, was held. It traditionally brought together founders of startups, mentors and investors, representatives of business, science, and authorities from all over Russia. The largest participant of the event was the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

Innovative developments

At the beginning of the conference, Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Aisen Nikolaev.

“I am very glad that today, within the framework of the 10th anniversary exhibition Startup village, Yakutia is one of the main regions of participants. Of course, I consider this a recognition of the 10-year cooperation that we have with the Skolkovo Foundation. carried out. We always conducted it consistently, never shied away from right or left, depending on any proofreading. We consistently built up our information infrastructure in the republic with the full support of the fund. And the results that we have today in the republic in the development of innovations, in the development of technological start-ups, in my opinion, are also based on fruitful cooperation with the Skolkovo Foundation. This is not just money, but it is also competence, help, advice, this is the communication that allows startups to really become on the same level with the largest Russian and international startups. I am sure that everything will be fine in Yakutia in this direction. They are afraid that this process may slow down due to sanctions, but I believe that for regions like us, sanctions provide clear opportunities that must be used. I am doubly glad that this event is taking place within the framework of the centenary of our republic. And the path that it has traveled, from a region with 4% of the literate population to one of the most advanced highly developed regions of the Russian Federation, is just an indicator of what people's knowledge and talent can do with the right direction. I thank all the participants who represent Yakut startups. There are a lot of them, and from us came those of them who today are the most prepared to represent our country, », — said the head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Aisen Nikolaev.

Signing an agreement with Skolkovo. Photo: Website of the President of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

This year, Yakutia presented its developments in a separate pavilion built in the form of a urasa. Here, 65 startups presented their projects in the field of high technologies. Among other things, projects for medicine and life in the extreme conditions of the North were shown. Among them: a fire-fighting system unique for Russia “Silvan”, all-wheel drive mini-loaders with increased cross-country ability “Batrak (Labor laborer)”; — winner of the Grand Prix of the Startup Tour 2022 in Yakutsk, “smart” clothing based on graphene and new nanomaterials, “Freeze Protect”, a skin protection product against frostbite, which includes cryoprojectors produced by insects in Yakutia.

Opening of the pavilion of Yakutia at the X international technology conference Startup Village. Photo: Website of the President of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

Also, the company “Syberia” presented its product. — resident of the technopark “Yakutia”, who has developed a completely domestic integrated software for medical institutions, capable of automatically recognizing various pathologies using artificial intelligence.

Photo: Website of the President of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

Symbol of friendship

Also, as part of the event, a solemn ceremony of installing the serge — ritual hitching post, which is a sacred hitching post, a symbol of Yakut hospitality and evidence of many years of friendship. Its installation is dedicated to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Yakut ASSR and the 10th anniversary of cooperation between Yakutia and the Skolkovo Foundation. 

“In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of our republic, here, in the center of the innovative development of our country, the Yakut serge appeared. I thank the Skolkovo Foundation for supporting our idea. For us, for the Sakha people, serge is not just some ordinary object, not just a hitching post, it is a sacred tree that unites all worlds. And, of course, where the serge is established, the spirit of our people is present. Therefore, I would like it to bring good luck not only to the Yakut startups that work in the center, but to the whole of Skolkovo, — emphasized the head of Yakutia.

Opening serge. Photo: Website of the President of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

The secret of success

Aisen Nikolaev also answered a question from an AiF journalist: “Yakutia occupies a leading position in technological entrepreneurship both in the Far Eastern Federal District and in Russia as a whole. How did the republic manage to achieve this?»

«This is the result of a lot of work. Only with the “Skolkovo” we have been cooperating for 10 years. We have a number of other projects with the largest development institutions in our country. And, of course, we have always paid great attention to supporting and creating an innovative ecosystem. These start-ups would not have arisen if a serious system of development institutions had not been created in Yakutia, including a technology park and an IT park. A creative cluster is already being created and a venture company is operating, various accelerators and financial institutions are operating. In the form of a regional bank: “Almazergienbank”. We were one of the first in the country to have the Ministry of Digital Development and Innovation. All this together, with the right approach and organization, gives the result that is called the “Yakut innovative miracle”. In fact, this is the result of the painstaking work of hundreds of thousands of people, », — noted Aisen Nikolaev.

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Russia to develop ethical standards for the behavior of judges in social networks

Chairman of the Council of Judges of Russia Viktor Momotov noted that “this will allow us to avoid many controversial issues in the future”

In Russia, it is necessary to develop ethical standards of behavior in social networks for officials vested with judicial power. This was stated during a speech at the Council of Judges of Russia by its chairman Viktor Momotov.

“Judges are required to comply with the rules and restrictions set for them in connection with their special status, including in the digital public space. In connection with the emergence of difficulties and issues related to the maintenance of social networks by judges, I ask the commission of the Council of Judges on Ethics to develop recommendations, ethical standards of behavior in social networks, supplementing them with the Code of Judicial Ethics. This will allow us to avoid many controversial issues in the future,»,— said the head of the council.

At the same time, Momotov noted that the council does not seek to limit judges in this way. “We believe that such standards should help the judge in choosing this or that behavior without fear of being held accountable,” — he added.

On March 4, President Vladimir Putin signed a law criminalizing fakes about the actions of the Russian Armed Forces. For the distribution of such materials threatens a fine of up to 5 million rubles. or imprisonment for up to 15 years. Responsibility is also provided for discrediting the Armed Forces and calls for anti-Russian sanctions. Later, an addition to this law came out— about punishments for fakes about government agencies abroad.

On March 21, the Tverskoy Court of Moscow banned the activities of the American Meta Platforms * social networks Facebook and Instagram in Russia. The reason was a change in the company's policy regarding calls for violence and the permission to publish them in relation to the Russian military participating in a special operation in Ukraine, as well as the leaders of Russia and Belarus. Meta also owns the WhatsApp messenger, but its restrictions did not affect “due to the lack of functions for the public dissemination of information.”

* Meta Platforms is recognized in Russia as an extremist organization and banned.

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Von der Leyen accused Russia of using food as a weapon

The head of the European Commission announced that Brussels is taking measures to ensure that grain enters the world market. The Russian authorities are blaming the potential food crisis on Western countries that have imposed sanctions against Moscow jpg” alt=”Von der Leyen accused Russia of using food as a weapon” />

Ursula von der Leyen

Moscow uses food as a weapon, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) ) in Davos. “Russia uses hunger and grain to gain influence,” — she said (excerpts from the speech were posted on her Twitter).

“The Antidote to Blackmail” von der Leyen called global cooperation in food supplies. According to the head of the EC, Europe is making efforts to get grain to world markets, increase its own production and provide food assistance to Africa.

Fears of a global food shortage began to sound after the start of the military operation in Ukraine: Moscow and Kyiv one of the largest grain suppliers in the world (16% and 10% of world wheat exports in the 2021/22 season, respectively). In addition, Ukraine— one of the leaders in the export of corn (14%).

Wheat prices have jumped to record levels since the outbreak of hostilities.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has accused Russia of aggravating the food crisis in Ukraine. About 20 million tons of grain remain unused on the territory of the country, he specified. The Russian Ministry of Defense has suspended the movement of foreign warships and other government ships in three areas of the Black Sea for six months.

On May 21, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio announced the danger of a “food war” in case of persisting problems with the supply of Ukrainian grain.

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The EU was talking about its readiness to help export grain from Ukraine.

The Russian authorities say that Western countries, which imposed sanctions against Moscow, are responsible for the crisis. According to Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya, Russia remains a responsible supplier of grain crops and can offer 25 million tons of grain for export through the port of Novorossiysk from August 1 until the end of the year.

The Wall Street Journal reported, that UN Secretary General António Guterres proposed easing restrictions on the export of Russian and Belarusian potash fertilizers in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukrainian ports. The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that this issue is being discussed.

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Russia bans 154 members of the British House of Lords from entering the country

The Russian Foreign Ministry explained the restrictions as retaliatory measures against sanctions against “almost the entire” composition of the Federation Council 756533999599819.jpg” alt=”Russia banned 154 members of the British House of Lords from entering the country” />

Russia banned 154 members of the British House of Lords from entering the country in response to sanctions against “almost all” members of the Federation Council of Russia. This is stated in a statement on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“In response to the decision taken in March by the UK government to include almost the entire composition of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on the sanctions list, on the basis of reciprocity, personal restrictions are being introduced against 154 members of the House of Lords of the British Parliament,” — said in the message.

The sanctions list, in particular, included the chairman of the House of Lords, John McFall, as well as many members of the Conservative Party (led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson). According to the Foreign Ministry, these individuals “made a direct contribution to the development of London's anti-Russian sanctions measures aimed at creating conditions for the political isolation of Russia and the destruction of its economy, used their authority to whip up anti-Russian hysteria.” All of them are now banned from entering Russia.

Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Western countries, including the EU, the US and the UK, have already introduced several packages of sanctions against Moscow. The UK, in particular, imposed sanctions on 345 Russians on May 15, including many members of the Federation Council, as well as Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov and others.

< p>In March, London continued to include Russian entrepreneurs, officials, politicians and companies in the sanctions lists. Among others, Roman Abramovich, the owner of the Millhouse investment company, Andrey Kostin, the president and chairman of the board of VTB, the head of Gazprom, were subject to restrictions. Alexey Miller, head of Rusal Oleg Deripaska, head of Rosneft Igor Sechin, President of Transneft Nikolai Tokarev and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rossiya Bank Dmitry Lebedev.

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The last time Britain updated the sanctions list on April 13, then it was replenished with another 206 Russian individuals and organizations. Under the restrictions, including the largest co-owner of AFK “Sistema” Vladimir Yevtushenkov, President of LUKOIL Vagit Alekperov, General Director of Surgutneftegaz Vladimir Bogdanov and others.

The Russian authorities called the sanctions of Western states illegal and promised to respond to them. In particular, many foreign politicians, businessmen and cultural figures have already fallen under Moscow's retaliatory restrictions. Russia has also converted zagaz payments into rubles and announced a number of other measures against unfriendly countries.

Medvedev has previously warned that sanctions against Russia could lead to logistical, energy, financial and food crises, new regional conflicts and the activation of terrorists. According to him, as a result, “new international alliances of countries based on pragmatic rather than ideological Anglo-Saxon criteria” may also appear.

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Russia and China conduct joint air patrols in the Pacific region

Air groups of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Chinese Air Force conducted joint patrols in the Asia-Pacific region as part of the provisions on military cooperation between countries for 2022, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Russians took part in the maneuvers Tu-95MS missile carriers and Chinese Hun-6K bombers. They flew over the waters of the Sea of ​​Japan and the East China Sea. 

According to the agency, at some stages of the route, the missile carriers were accompanied by South Korean F-2 aircraft and Japanese F-15s.  

The Russian Defense Ministry stressed that the Russian and Chinese Air Forces acted “strictly in accordance with the provisions of international law, no violations of the airspace of foreign states were allowed.”

We will add, last week Beijing warned Washington against interfering in China's internal affairs, calling to refrain from playing  "the Taiwan card".  

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How will schoolchildren from the DPR and LPR take the USE in Russia?

Graduates who were forced to interrupt their studies in the LPR, DPR and Ukraine and were enrolled in schools in Russia will take the USE with the general flow in the main period. Head of Rosobrnadzor Anzor Muzaev stated this in an interview with the Vedomosti newspaper.

How will graduates who remain in the DPR and LPR take the exam?

According to Muzaev, in 2022, for the first time, five USE examination points will open on the territory of the LPR. The number of such points in the DPR will be increased from four to 14.

The authorities of the republics will assess the safety of the tests and “make decisions on the appropriateness of the exam according to the situation.” If the situation turns out to be unfavorable, “high school graduates may have to travel to Russia to take the exam,” Muzaev said. In this case, schoolchildren will be provided with all the conditions for passing the exam on the territory of the Russian Federation and ensure the safety of the trip.

The head of Rosobrnadzor recalled that graduates of Donbass schools came to take the exam in Russia even earlier — since 2014. Schoolchildren wrote the exam in the border regions of the Russian Federation: Rostov, Voronezh, Kursk and Belgorod regions.


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Glorious battles of the past. Computer games on the history of Russia

Russian history is again in the center of attention of the creators of computer games. Cyberia Limited received a grant to create a game in the genre of role-playing action “Trouble”, writes “Kommersant”. The basis for the plot of the game will be the novel by the Russian writer Mikhail Zagoskin “Yuri Miloslavsky, or the Russians in 1612”, published in 1829. The novel tells about Prince Miloslavsky (this is a fictional character), who participates in the events of the end of the Time of Troubles and in the fight against the Polish invaders. The game is scheduled for release in 2024.

“Trouble” — not the first computer game that shows the events of Russian history. We are talking about some projects that were once very popular among gamers.

«XIII Century: Rusich", 2007

Formally, this is an addition to the strategy «XIII Century. Glory or Death”, in which, by the way, it was possible to play for the faction of the Russians (Western, Central or Northern). To play in the actual “Rusich” the main game was not needed, and the main character was the Lithuanian prince Dovmont, who fled to Russia and ruled Pskov for more than thirty years. During this time, Dovmont performed many feats of arms (and the player is invited to repeat them), and after his death he was canonized as a saint and is considered the heavenly patron of Pskov.

«Cossacks: European Wars», 2000

A historical real-time strategy game dedicated to the wars of the XVII and XVIII centuries. The player has access to several campaigns — French about the events of the Thirty Years' War, English (about pirates in the Caribbean), and Ukrainian (developer — Ukrainian company GSC Game World), which dealt with the war of the Cossacks with Poland, and Russian — from the uprising of Stepan Razin to the battles of the Northern War. In the second part (“Cossacks II”, 2005), the player could command the armies of the Napoleonic Wars. About the events of the first “Cossacks” you can also learn from the game “Mount & Blade: With fire and sword (2011) — independent addition to the role-playing action «Mount & Blade".

"Tannenberg", 2019

A multiplayer online first-person shooter whose title refers to the Battle of Tannenberg in 1914. The plot of the game develops around the battles of the Eastern Front of the First World War, and the player can choose one of the sides of this conflict (including the side of the Russian army) and fight with authentic weapons of that time on maps based on real battles of that war.

«Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia», 2016

It's part of the larger Assassin's Creed franchise. (“Assassin's Creed”), in which the player becomes an assassin-assassin and receives tasks to kill various historical characters. There are many games in the franchise, their action takes place in different historical eras and in different countries. Trilogy “Chronicles” also tied to geography and history — in "Chinese" part the player finds himself in China XVI century, in the "Indian" — in India XIX  Well, in the “Russian” the player leads his character through the 1918 Russian Civil War engulfed — gets a valuable artifact from the palace captured by the Bolsheviks, saves the daughter of the last tsar Anastasia from execution, and at the same time fights the Templars.

«IL-2 Sturmovik», 2001

For obvious reasons, a huge number of — games are dedicated to the events of the Great Patriotic War, both by Russian developers and foreign ones, who, however, consider it as part of the Second World War. “IL-2” — this is a flight simulator, and the player is waiting for several campaigns covering the entire period of the war, from 1941 to 1945. You can also recall the game “Death to Spies”, dedicated to the activities of SMERSH, the games “Blitzkrieg” or “Behind enemy lines” and many others, covering, perhaps, all game genres.

«Kholat», 2015

Adventure horror from the Polish studio IMGN.pro —&nbsp ;this is a very free reconstruction of the events of the winter of 1959 in the Urals, when for some unknown reason a group of student skiers led by Igor Dyatlov died. The player does not participate in the “Dyatlovites” campaign, but can shed light on what happened to them.

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YouTube CEO says the company wants to stay in Russia

Video service YouTube has no plans to leave Russia because of a special operation in Ukraine, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said Tuesday, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“We see in this conflict that information really plays an important role. This is the reason why we are still working in Russia. We believe it is important to deliver independent news to Russia, – she said.

Despite these statements, YouTube has disabled and removed a number of accounts of Russian media and politicians in recent months. Including two warnings, the Russian Foreign Ministry account received.

Recall that at the end of April, Google, which owns the YouTube service, was fined 7 billion rubles for not removing prohibited content.

Earlier head Ministry of Digital Development Maksut Shadayev said that the closure of YouTube video hosting is not included in Russia's plans, as many domestic users will suffer from this.

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Scholz urged Schroeder to leave all posts in Russia

German Chancellor Scholz called on Schroeder to leave all posts in Russia after leaving Rosneft. Gerhard Schroeder previously announced the impossibility of extending his powers on the board of directors of Rosneft. The German chancellor urged him to leave all posts in Russia

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged Schroeder to leave all posts in Russia after leaving Rosneft, Der Spiegel reports.

“We note that this happened with one [post], more should follow”, — he said.

Schroeder was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. Board of Directors of Rosneft he has been in charge since 2017. He is also Chairman of the Shareholders' Committee of Nord Stream AG, operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. In addition, in early February, Schroeder was nominated to the board of directors of Gazprom. instead of the son-in-law of the former President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev Timur Kulibayev.

Schroeder left the board of directors of Rosneft May 20. The company said they understand the decision of the former chancellor.

This happened after the European Parliament proposed imposing sanctions against European board members of large Russian companies and politicians who continue to receive money from Russia. In particular, the deputies mentioned Schroeder, who, against the backdrop of the events in Ukraine, was already offered by the current German Chancellor to leave his posts in Russian state-owned companies.

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Schroeder himself stated that Russia should not isolate in the long run and German industry needs Russian resources. According to him, after the special operation in Ukraine, the West will have to interact with Russia again. summed up the former chancellor.

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Reshetnikov urged to solve logistics issues for Russia’s “pivot” to Asia

According to the head of the Ministry of Economic Development, the current supply chains with Asian countries are more suitable for trade in raw materials, and for the development of mutual trade, Russia needs to “solve issues with logistics”

For a successful turn of Russian foreign economic activity to Asia Russia needs to solve logistics issues in a new way. About this “RIA Novosti” said Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov.

“If we are talking about the development of trade [with Asia], then we will also have to solve logistics issues. The logistics chains that exist now are suitable for trade, relatively speaking, in grain, trade in petroleum products. And as for, for example, the supply of fertilizers, here the logistics are already more complicated— where to carry, how to ship»,— the minister explained.

According to him, it is problematic to transport such cargoes through the north-west of Russia, therefore, at present, the authorities are developing the corridor north— south using the infrastructure of the southern neighbors. “There are also opportunities to use the Eurasian infrastructure, the potential of our neighbors as transit countries,” he added.

In addition, Reshetnikov announced an increase in the capacity of Russia's Far Eastern ports. “We are evaluating how ready our ports are to export all this— These are the questions we are currently working on. We need new opportunities there, including an increase in container handling,— he said.

Since the end of February, many Western companies have announced the suspension of activities in Russia, as well as the suspension of supplies. Such a decision was made, for example, by the world's largest container operator Maersk and the American logistics company UPS. Sea lines MSC, Hapag-Lloyd and Yang Ming have also suspended vessel bookings (bookings) in the direction of Russia. In addition, several dozen countries closed the skies for Russian airlines, which forced them to stop flying to the EU countries, the USA, Canada, etc.

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In turn, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov at the end of March estimated the time needed to rebuild logistics in the country at “three, maximum six months.” According to him, distribution channels during this time will be reoriented to those countries that are ready to buy Russian products and supply their own to Russia.

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Blinken joked about relations with Russia with a line from a Taylor Swift song

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, speaking to alumni of Georgetown University, quoted a song by American singer Taylor Swift, hinting that Washington might not restore relations with the Russian leadership. The broadcast was hosted by the Reuters YouTube channel.

“Indeed, Taylor Swift spoke at the graduation ceremony at New York University. Unfortunately, my team did not allow me to bring my guitar to dedicate the song “We are never ever getting back together” President [of Russia Vladimir] Putin, — said Blinken.

According to the diplomat, such a move on his part would be “undiplomatic and cringeworthy.”

After launched a special operation in Ukraine, many Western countries, including the EU and the United States, imposed sanctions against Russia. The restrictions included foreign exchange reserves, financial and industrial companies, as well as high-ranking officials and the military. In addition, in April, the United States expelled 10 Russian diplomats from Washington, bringing the number of diplomatic workers from Russia to a historic low.

Russia called Western sanctions illegal and repeatedly introduced mirror measures, including against Blinken and other first US persons. At the end of March, Deputy Head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said that relations with Western countries are now worse than during the Cold War.

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Commander of the Strategic Missile Forces of Russia revealed the technical characteristics of “Sarmat”

According to the general, the Sarmat missile is capable of flying across the North and South Poles, and the means to intercept it are unlikely to be developed in the coming decades

The latest Russian intercontinental ballistic missile “Sarmat” capable of flying over the North and South Poles and other trajectories. About this on the air of the TV channel “Star” said the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) of Russia, Colonel-General Sergei Karakaev.

“Due to the power supply of the new missile system, the trajectory has the ability to change. From our notorious trajectory through the North Pole, if necessary, it is possible to lay a trajectory through the South Pole, which, in principle, is not protected today. And also there are possibilities of other trajectories— from the point of view of the possibility of launching into outer space,»,— he said.

According to Karakaev, in the coming decades it is “hardly possible” create means to intercept a Russian missile.

On April 20, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the successful launch of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile. from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region. This missile system will replace the “Voevoda” complex with the intercontinental ballistic missile R-36M2, which is currently armed with the Russian strategic missile forces. President Vladimir Putin watched the test launch via video link.

Head of Roskosmos Dmitry Rogozin said that the deliveries of “Sarmatov” the troops will begin in the fall. He noted that only one such missile is capable of destroying half of the coast of the “disliked” continent. Technical capabilities of “Sarmat” “allow it to become much more invulnerable to US missile defense,” the head of the state corporation claimed.

At the same time, the Pentagon did not see Sarmat ICBMs in tests a threat to the United States.

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Monkeypox infection. How dangerous is it, and is there a vaccine

In May 2022, the monkeypox virus began to spread around the world, which usually does not go beyond endemic countries. How the virus is transmitted, what its characteristic symptoms are, and whether there is a vaccine against it – RBC understood

Where the monkeypox virus was found

In Europe, the first case of monkeypox infection was detected in the UK on 7 May. The infected person recently returned from Nigeria, which is characterized by the spread of this virus. It is the countries of West and Central Africa— breeding grounds for this virus. The virus was discovered in 1958, and was first detected in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

By May 20, there were already 20 cases in the UK. After the UK, the virus was found in Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium and other countries. The virus has also been detected in patients in the United States, Australia, Canada, where examinations are carried out in 13 people who are presumably infected.

Some of the cases identified in the UK were not directly related to travel to Africa, meaning that the virus was already transmitted within the country. The Ministry of Health notes that a significant proportion of the identified cases were among gay and bisexual men, because of this, the ministry calls on this part of society to be especially on the alert. Until now, it was not believed that the virus was transmitted sexually, the department draws attention. The virus is transmitted through close contact with the sick person, as well as through contact with the clothes or bedding of an infected person, the materials indicate. “The virus does not usually spread easily between people. Population risk remains low,— government release says.

Outbreaks in Africa

In May 2018, an outbreak was in Cameroon— one confirmed case, another 15 suspected, no one died.

Nigeria— from September to December 2017— 172 suspected cases, 61 confirmed, no death reported.

Central African Republic— September—October 2016, there were 26 suspected cases, three confirmed, one person died.

Source: African Union data.

By May 21, WHO had confirmed 92 cases of monkeypox from 12 non-endemic countries. The organization further clarified that the confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox were not associated with the travel of infected people to endemic areas, which is a “highly unusual event.” The cases now identified are of the West African variant of monkeypox— they are similar to what was recorded in the UK, Israel and Singapore in 2018-2019, the WHO reported.

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How the virus is transmitted

The so-called natural reservoir of the virus are monkeys and some rodents (African squirrels, prairie dogs), from which the virus can be transmitted to humans. Experts interviewed by RBC note that outbreaks of monkeypox have happened before, they occurred mainly in endemic countries, but cases of importation to Europe were also known and occurred annually.

The type of transmission of the virus is similar to the type of transmission of smallpox— close contact of a person with a person, you can also become infected by contact with human body fluids, by contact with secretions from the patient's pustules and by interacting with his personal belongings. Due to the fact that transmission requires close contact, Konstantin Severinov, head of the laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Genetics and the Institute of Gene Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, explains to RBC, the rate of spread of this infection is much lower than with coronavirus, which is transmitted by airborne droplets.

The possibility of airborne transmission is now being discussed, but to date it is not known how effectively it is being implemented, says the director of the Institute of Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Vector-borne Diseases. E.I.Martsinovsky Sechenov University Alexander Lukashev.

Experts note that monkeypox, like other infectious diseases, has an incubation period. Identified 92 cases— this is the result of an infection about a week ago, so it can be argued that there are others infected, and expect an increase in the number of cases, regardless of the efforts of doctors, warns Lukashev.

The fact that there are more gay and bisexual males among monkeys with smallpox than statistically expected may be due to the fact that sexual contacts of people from this group are more traumatic and often lead to damage to the mucous membranes and skin, due to which the virus is transmitted. says Severinov. According to him, this may simply be an accident, since there are not so many infected yet. “In heterosexual intercourse, the same thing will happen if there are cracks or damage to the outer integument and mucous membranes,” — the expert explains. The WHO also notes that the identified cases are mainly, but not exclusively, recorded among men who have sex with men.

Will monkeypox appear in Russia

The official health departments, the Ministry of Health and Rospotrebnadzor, said on May 22 that there were no cases of monkeypox in Russia. Rospotrebnadzor considered the risk of importation “extremely low”.

Despite the fact that experts interviewed by RBC consider the risk of importation of the virus unlikely, Alexander Lukashev notes that monkeypox can spread among various ethnic groups.

< p>Among the measures to be taken to minimize the risk of a wide spread of the disease in Russia, the Deputy General Director for Research at the Center. Chumakov Ilya Gordeychuk calls: PCR diagnostics, isolation of infected and contact persons— at the health system level. On an individual level— careful monitoring of flu-like respiratory symptoms in yourself and others, wearing masks and cleaning hands with disinfectants.

How the disease progresses

The initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue. A rash may develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body, including the genitals. The rash changes and goes through different stages and may look like the varicella or syphilis rash before finally forming a scab that later falls off, UK Department of Health describes symptoms.

According to WHO, the incubation period ranges from six to 13 days, but can be from five to 21. Two periods can be distinguished during the course of the disease. The first lasts up to five days and is characterized by fever, severe headache, swollen lymph nodes, back pain, myalgia, and fatigue. Abnormal sizes of lymph nodes— a characteristic sign of this particular type of smallpox, with chickenpox, measles and smallpox this is not. After one to three days after the onset of the heat, rashes begin on the skin.

The rash tends to be more concentrated on the face and limbs than on the trunk. The rash develops in succession from macules (lesions with a flat base) to papules (slightly raised firm lesions), vesicles (clear fluid-filled lesions), pustules (yellowish fluid-filled lesions), and crusts that dry up and fall off. The number of lesions ranges from several tens to several thousand. In severe cases, lesions may coalesce until large areas of skin are shed.

Monkeypox, the WHO continues, usually— self-limiting disease with symptoms lasting two to four weeks. Severe cases are more common among children and are related to the degree of exposure to the virus, the health of the patient, and the nature of the complications. The case fatality rate for monkeypox has historically ranged from 0% to 11% in the general population and has been higher among young children. Recently, the fatality rate has been around 3–6%.

With damage to the cornea, loss of vision is possible, added in a conversation with RBC, the chief researcher of the Center. N.F. Gamalei Viktor Zuev, who took part in the suppression of an outbreak of smallpox in Moscow in the 1960s.

Is there a vaccine for monkeypox

While smallpox vaccination was a protection in the past, today people younger than 40-50 years old (depending on the country) may be more susceptible to monkeypox due to for ending smallpox vaccination campaigns around the world after the eradication of the disease, says WHO.

“I started working on monkeypox in 2002 in the DRC. Now, 20 years later, the vast majority of people in the world do not have immunity to smallpox viruses, — noted in an interview with The Telegraph Anne Rimouin, professor of epidemiology at the University of California at Los Angeles. She estimates that as the world becomes more susceptible to poxviruses (smallpox viruses) and as travel increases, the number of cases could increase.

The smallpox vaccine also works against monkeypox, Vector said earlier, as all poxviruses provide good cross-protection. “The two viruses are similar, so the immune response generated by the smallpox vaccine is effective against monkeypox,” confirms RBC Gordeychuk.

Also in Vector; spoke about their own previously developed test system, which allows to detect cases of monkeypox infection. According to the center's experts, the test is specific and does not detect cross-reactions with rubella and chickenpox viruses.

The experts with whom RBC spoke explained that in the Vector center contains a strain of smallpox, but it is not needed to create the smallpox vaccine itself. “A vaccinia virus is used, similar to the vaccinia virus, which the physician Edward Jenner used to vaccinate back in the 18th century. The same vaccine can protect against monkeypox, & mdash; says Severinov.

Such a vaccine, if necessary, can be quickly developed, since the technology is not new. Experts confirm that there is no independent vaccine against monkeypox in the world.

Vaccination against smallpox was carried out in the USSR. Will the vaccinated be protected now

In 1979, the World Health Assembly issued a declaration declaring the world's victory over smallpox. In the USSR, vaccination was carried out until about 1982, after which it stopped. The smallpox vaccine is expected to provide protection against monkeypox, Lukashev says. “Perhaps, the inhabitants of Russia, vaccinated before the 80s, will be partially protected when they meet with monkeypox, but we do not know how effective their immunity is, because more than 40 years have passed after vaccination,” — he says. Chief Researcher at the Center N.F. Gamalei Viktor Zuev doubts that the vaccinated still have protection.

The smallpox vaccine gave sterile immunity, that is, the vaccinated person ceased to be a source of new viruses, and vaccination gave lifelong immunity, Konstantin Severinov believes. “Since young children were vaccinated, it can be assumed that almost everyone born before the 80s will be resistant to monkeypox,” — explains the expert.

Nevertheless, one cannot speak of significant herd immunity, since the vast majority of people under 40 years of age have not been vaccinated against smallpox, Gordeychuk summarizes.

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Ukraine withdrew from agreements on taxes with Russia and on the heroism of the peoples of the CIS

We are talking about the Agreement on perpetuating the memory of the courage and heroism of the peoples of the CIS in the Great Patriotic War (it regulated the cooperation of countries in this area) and an agreement that excludes double taxation

Ukraine denounced agreements on perpetuating the memory of the courage and heroism of the peoples of the CIS in the Great Patriotic War and on the avoidance of double taxation of income and property and the prevention of tax evasion, members of the Verkhovna Rada spoke in support of these decisions. This was announced in the Telegram channel by a member of the Ukrainian parliament from the party “Voice” Yaroslav Zheleznyak.

“The following changes were voted: <…>

  • withdrawal from the Agreement on perpetuating the memory of the courage and heroism of the peoples of the CIS in the Great Patriotic War;
  • Agreement on perpetuating the memory of the courage and heroism of the peoples of the states— participants of the CIS in the Great Patriotic War, Russia and Ukraine signed September 3, 2011 in Dushanbe. Two years later, Kyiv ratified the document. On February 23, the day before the start of the Russian special operation, the government of Ukraine approved the withdrawal from the agreement, calling participation in it “unreasonable.” Then the draft document was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada.

    The document defines such terms as “commemoration”, “dead soldiers”, “military graves”, “military monuments”, “arrangement of military graves” and “search job”.

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    According to its provisions, the parties undertook to coordinate their actions to perpetuate the memory of the courage and heroism of the peoples of the states— participants of the CIS in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Russia and Ukraine also agreed on how exactly they will preserve the memory of the fallen servicemen, equip and maintain memorials and military graves, and search for the remains of the dead.

    The Ukrainian Ministry of Finance noted that after the innovation, the state budget will not lose income from taxes that Ukrainians pay to the Russian treasury. In addition, Kyiv will stop exchanging tax information with Moscow.

    These are not the first agreements between Russia and Ukraine that Kyiv has been denouncing since the end of February. So, on May 3, the Ukrainian parliament canceled the agreement on conducting a coordinated policy in the field of standardization, metrology and certification of 1992, and on March 25 withdrew from the agreement with Russia on the mutual recognition of diplomas.

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Truss rejected the British desire for a change of power in Russia

British Foreign Minister Truss: London and Washington are not seeking a change of power in Russia London and Washington are not making efforts to change power in Russia, Truss said. Earlier, Biden said that Putin could no longer remain in power, the White House explained that he meant influence on neighboring countries

Great Britain and the United States do not set the goal of their policy to change power in Russia, said British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in an interview with Corriere della Sera.

“We are not seeking regime change, but we must ensure that Russia can no longer commit these acts of aggression,”— she said.

The office of the British Prime Minister previously stressed that London only wants to “stop Russia seeking to subdue a democratic country.” “That's been our message all along,” — said in the message.

At the end of March, American President Joe Biden said during a speech in Warsaw: “For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power.” Later, the White House assured that he did not call for a change in Russian power, but meant “power over neighbors.” Russia. Biden also rejected the suggestion that he meant a change of power in Russia.

The United States is not interested in a change of power in Russia, US Vice President Kamalla Harris assured in early April. “This is not our policy. Dot»,— she said.

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The Kremlin then noted that they did not know the meaning of the words of the US President, but called him “a victim of many delusions.” The representative of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, added that the issue of people in power in Russia is decided by the Russians during the elections, and not by the governments of other countries. “In general, of course, this speech and those passages of the speech that relate to Russia are amazing, if not worse,” — stressed Peskov.

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The EC urged European companies to pay Russia for gas in euros

According to the vice-president of the European Commission, the agreements concluded with Gazprom clearly spell out the gas payment scheme in euros, and the Russian president violates the agreements with his demands

European companies must pay for Russian natural gas exclusively in euros . Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission, stated this on ERR.

Commenting on reports that a number of large European gas companies have opened accounts with Gazprombank through which payments made in euros are converted into Russian rubles, Timmermans said that “this is not normal.”

“The agreements are very clear, the agreements speak about euros and dollars. It's not rubles. With this trick that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is trying to use, he is trying to keep his Central Bank afloat with foreign currency, which is not allowed by the sanctions, — said the Vice-President of the EC.

Timmermans said that the Russian Central Bank is under sanctions, and European companies, in accordance with existing agreements, must pay for gas exclusively in euros. “It's written in the contracts. Putin Demands Violation of Treaties»,— he emphasized.

According to the decree of the President of Russia of March 31, in order to pay for gas under the new scheme, foreign buyers must open two accounts with Gazprombank— currency and ruble. The company transfers the payment to the first one, after which the bank sells the currency on the stock exchange, and credits the rubles to the second one. Russia recognizes the payment as completed only after the funds are credited to the ruble account.

In April, the European Commission issued a document in which it considered the gas payment scheme proposed by Russia to be contrary to European sanctions. At that time, Brussels explained that the conversion of currencies into rubles at Gazprombank could be considered a foreign currency loan, which was prohibited by the 2014 restrictions. They also pointed to the involvement of the Central Bank in transactions.

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At the same time, on May 12, Bloomberg reported that the total number of European companies that opened ruble accounts with Gazprombank had reached 20. Another 14 buyers said they needed to prepare documents. At that time, four companies had already paid for gas in rubles, the agency noted.

On May 19, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that about half of the 54 companies that had contracts with « Gazprom».

At the end of April, due to non-payment for gas in rubles, Gazprom suspended deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria. At the same time, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi previously claimed that Germany had already paid for the supplies in rubles.

Last year, the EU imported 155 billion cubic meters from Russia. m of natural gas (pipeline and LNG) in the amount of €17.8 billion, followed from the data of the European Commission.

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Blinken said that Russia itself refused NATO membership in the 1990s

According to Blinken, the idea of ​​Russia joining NATO was indeed discussed in the 1990s. The Kremlin said that the doors of the alliance were closed for the country at that time ” alt=”Blinken said that Russia itself refused NATO membership in the 1990s” />

Anthony Blinken

Russia itself abandoned the idea of ​​joining NATO in the 1990s, said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in an interview with The Late Show TV presenter Stephen Colbert. The transcript of the conversation is published on the website of the State Department.

Discussing with Blinken the political situation in the world, including the events in Ukraine and Russia's fears about the possible expansion of NATO to the East, the host proposed a “crazy idea” & mdash; “invite Russia to join the alliance.” According to him, then the Russian authorities would have nothing more to worry about.

The Secretary of State replied that the issue had already been discussed in the past, but Russia abandoned this idea.

“You know what? Back in the 1990s, this question (Russia's proposal to become part of NATO.— RBC) has indeed been discussed. The Russians decided that this was not what they wanted to do, — he said.

The fact that the United States offered Russia to join NATO was also announced in early April by former US President Bill Clinton. According to him, in the 1990s, relations between the North Atlantic Alliance and Moscow developed: it participated in the Partnership for Peace program, the founding act of Russia was concluded; NATO on mutual relations, cooperation and security, and the United States provided financial assistance to Russia for the withdrawal of its military from the Baltics. “All this time we have kept the doors of NATO open for Russian entry, as I clearly stated to Yeltsin, and then to his successor Vladimir Putin,” Clinton said.

The Kremlin, commenting on his words, said that the doors of NATO in the 1990s were closed for Russia. According to the press secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov, the United States has repeatedly spoken about the impossibility of the country's entry into the alliance.

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Putin instructed to revise Russia’s strategy in the WTO

The President also instructed to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the measures taken by WTO members in relation to Russia, for compliance with the principles of the organization

President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to analyze the restrictions adopted against Russia by countries— members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and submit proposals for updating the strategy for the country's participation in the organization, according to the Kremlin website.

“The Government of Russia to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the adopted in 2022 by the states— members of the World Trade Organization of measures to restrict trade with Russia for their compliance with the rules and principles of this organization,— follows from the list of instructions of the head of state following the meeting on the development of the metallurgical complex.

In addition, Putin instructed the Cabinet of Ministers “to submit proposals for Russia to challenge such measures within the framework of the organization, as well as to update the strategy for Russia's participation in the World Trade organizations».

Russia joined the WTO in 2012. Against the background of the military operation in Ukraine, in mid-March, the WTO received a statement from 14 members of the organization depriving Russia of the most favored nation in trade.

In response, the Russian representative office in the WTO warned of dangers to the multilateral trading system due to aggressive and politically motivated trade restrictions. The mission also accused Western countries of trying to undermine the Russian economy through sanctions. The Foreign Ministry considered Russia's withdrawal from the WTO a “gift to enemies”.

Most favored nation treatment— this is a key principle of the WTO, which implies that when trading with a particular state, member countries enjoy the same privileges. The absence of this status in a country means that any customs duties can be set for it. WTO rules do not provide for the direct possibility of excluding states, but do not prohibit the withdrawal of the most favored nation treatment.

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Nevertheless, on May 17, the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy proposed returning the bill to the authors. The committee pointed out that the authors did not attach the government's conclusion to the document. They also explained that the decision to withdraw Russia from the WTO would allow other countries— members of the organization to impose increased duties on the export of Russian goods.

In March, Russia left the Council of Europe, in April— the UN Human Rights Council, the UN World Tourism Organization, and in May— Council of the Baltic Sea States.

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Canada bans exports of luxury goods to Russia

Ottawa also expanded the sanctions list by adding 14 Russians to it. From Russia it is forbidden to import alcoholic beverages, seafood, fish, diamonds =”Canada has banned the export of luxury goods to Russia” />

Canada has imposed new sanctions against Russia, banning the import into the country and the supply of luxury goods from it, the country's Foreign Ministry said. Ottawa also expanded the sanctions list by adding 14 Russians, their names are not named.

“Canada prohibits the export of luxury goods to Russia, including alcoholic beverages, tobacco, some textiles and sportswear, shoes, luxury clothing and accessories, jewelry, dishes and art, — the message says. It is forbidden to import alcoholic beverages, seafood, fish and diamonds from Russia.

According to the Canadian authorities, we are talking about goods worth $75.7 million.

The material is being supplemented.


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Finland has announced the date of cessation of gas supplies from Russia amid record sales

Helsinki reported that they had not received notifications from Gazprom.

A message appeared on the website of the Finnish state-owned gas company Gasum that fuel supplies from Russia are being stopped this week.

The statement also mentions the dates when the pumping will be stopped – the evening of May 20, or the 21st. The company also noted that no information about the suspension was received from the Russian side. That is, neither “Gazprom Export”, nor the Russian operator reported anything to the Finnish side.

However, Gasum believes that such a risk is very real. Their opinion was formed against the backdrop of a statement made on May 17 by Finland refusing to fulfill the conditions of Gazprom, that is, to pay for fuel in rubles.

Recall that according to the contract, payments from Finland to Russia must arrive no later than May 23 . Official Helsinki already assumed that there would be no deliveries from May 14, but did not comment on the situation.

The scenario may be possible because Gazprom has already deprived Bulgaria and Poland of Russian fuel after a similar refusal to pay. On the eve of the blackout, Varashava imposed sanctions against “Gazprom”.

At the same time, France reports a record increase in Russian revenues against the backdrop of European fuel supplies. So, the Echos edition, citing Citi analysts, called the size & # 8211; $100 billion. They cite rising prices as the reason.

It is indicated that the amount is twice the transfers of 2021.

“And this is without taking into account income from oil, coal and other raw materials” and the embargo, imposed on Russia, he emphasizes. Thus, Moscow can celebrate the first victory in the “energy battle” with Europe. Even a decrease in fuel purchases will not affect income, because. prices compensate for the gap.

The French observer believes that the embargo has trapped Europe itself, and the President of the Russian Federation “wins”.

Earlier, Topnews wrote that about twenty European companies opened accounts in “Gazprombank” to pay for Russian gas supplies. And EU members have still not been able to agree on the size and terms of the embargo.

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The President of Estonia called impossible the complete isolation of Russia

Moscow is more economically isolated than ever, but it still has partners, including China and India, explained Estonian President Alar Karis

The West will not be able to completely isolate Russia, even if it takes decades. This was stated by Estonian President Alar Karis in an interview with Newsweek magazine. According to him, Moscow is more economically isolated than ever, although it still has key trading partners outside the West, including China and India.

At the same time, the head of state noted that it is important to maintain a dialogue with Russia.

“Of course, we cannot completely isolate Russia. We need to find a way to communicate with Russia and do business with it. But it takes time, it can take decades, — he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in April that Russia is not going to shut itself off from the world, other states will not be able to force it to do so either. “In the modern world, it is generally impossible to strictly isolate anyone, such a huge country as Russia is absolutely impossible,” — he said.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said that Western countries, imposing anti-Russian sanctions because of the military operation in Ukraine, will not be able to isolate Russia, because “the world is too big.” With the refusal of the United States, the European Union and allies from relations with Russia, including economic ones, certain channels of dialogue remain for Moscow, he added.

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State Duma deputy proposed to change the flag of Russia

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State Duma Deputy from Crimea Mikhail Sheremet (United Russia) proposed to make the Victory Banner the state flag of Russia, RIA Novosti reports.

“Today, Western countries have actually declared war on the Victory Banner, banning it everywhere. They are afraid of this symbol, because the red flag of victory reminds them of the greatness of our people and our great victory. I think the time has come to recognize the Victory Banner as our state flag,»,— he explained.

Sheremet emphasized that he was proud of the current Russian flag. however, in his opinion, in the current situation, the Victory Banner “as a symbol of a resurgent superpower” is more relevant than ever, the agency writes.

Banner of Victory— assault flag of the 150th Order of Kutuzov II degree of the Idritsa Rifle Division, which Soviet soldiers hoisted on the Reichstag building in Berlin on May 1 (Moscow time) 1945. It is the official symbol of the victory of the Soviet people over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War.

The Banner of Victory was used more than once during the Russian operation in Ukraine. In early April, a video circulated on the Internet, in which in one of the Ukrainian villages a grandmother with a banner in her hands met the Ukrainian military, possibly mistaking them for Russian soldiers. The military offered the woman a food package, but took away the banner and trampled on it. In response, she refused food.

Grandmother became one of the symbols of the special operation in Ukraine. Her sculpture was installed in Belgorod, but after the vandalism, the authorities promised to find another place for it. A graffiti with a grandmother appeared in Obninsk, but due to the fact that vandals ruined it, the drawing was painted over so as not to leave it damaged.

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In addition, in March, Russian singer Yulia Chicherina installed the Victory Banner on the building of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Melitopol, the mayor's offices of Berdyansk and Energodar.< /p>

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed that the Kremlin was aware of the use of the Soviet flag during the operation. “We notice what is really being used. [The Banner of Victory] has a special meaning, literally a sacred meaning,»,— he said.

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The European Commission has presented a new plan to phase out energy from Russia

The Commission identified three principles for accelerating the phase-out of Russian oil and gas: reducing energy consumption, finding new suppliers and accelerating the transition to renewable energy

The process of EU phase-out of Russian fossil energy sources will be based on three principles: it is saving energy, accelerating the transition to renewable sources and diversifying supplies, said the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

Von der Leyen stressed that the process is progressing well in presenting the finalized exit plan. She recalled that the European Union refused coal from Russia, and Russian gas supplies in 2022 began to occupy 26% in the structure of EU consumption— against 40% in 2021.

However, the reduction of the EU's dependence on Russian hydrocarbons must be accelerated. This can be done at three levels, von der Leyen explained.

  • Energy savings for consumers. The head of the European Commission called it the fastest and cheapest way to respond to the current energy crisis.
  • Replacing supplies from Russia with gas from other reliable suppliers.
  • Accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy. At this level, the EC proposes to increase the share of renewable energy in the total composition of its sources from 40 to 45%.

All this will require impressive funding, said von der Leyen. The EU will need €300 billion for these purposes

The EC presented the first version of the strategy for the transition to other energy sources in early March. It said that Europeans should strive to diversify suppliers by increasing imports of LNG and pipeline gas from other sources, increase production and imports of biomethane and fuel hydrogen, and accelerate the reduction in the use of fossil fuels for heating.

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In early May, Bloomberg reported that one of the ways to diversify gas supplies Brussels considers increased cooperation with African countries. In particular, “untapped potential in the field of liquefied natural gas” Nigeria, Senegal and Angola have. The agency claimed that a decision on deliveries from there could be made at the end of May.

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Borisov announced the use of laser weapons by Russia in Ukraine

The new laser weapon is already being used in Ukraine, Borisov said. According to him, we are talking about Zadira complexes. Unlike past developments, they can burn through the target and allow you to “not waste expensive missiles”

Combat laser complex “Peresvet”

The Russian military is using a new generation of combat laser systems “Zadira” during a special operation in Ukraine, said on the air of “Channel One” Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov.

According to him, if the existing laser systems “Peresvet” “blind” target, then a new generation of laser weapons can already burn through objects, so you can “not spend expensive missiles like” Shell ” and “Torah”. Such new systems can “absolutely freely shoot down drones of various classes at a distance of up to 5 km,” the Deputy Prime Minister noted.

He added that new laser systems are “already on the way.” and “already starting to do” into service with the Russian army. In this regard, Borisov was asked if samples of these new systems were used during a special operation in Ukraine. “Yes, the first samples are already in use,” — he answered. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, we are talking about the Zadira complexes.

The Ministry of Defense ordered the Zadira-16 combat complex based on new physical principles. in August 2017. The contract was executed by the Russian Federal Nuclear Center (part of the state corporation Rosatom), which is located in the closed city of Sarov in the Nizhny Novgorod region and Mordovia. The contract was signed with the participation of Borisov, who at that time held the post of Deputy Minister of Defense.

Predecessor of “Badass” “Peresvet” is already being supplied to the army in series, the vice-premier said. According to him, this complex can “dazzle all satellite reconnaissance systems of a potential enemy in orbits up to 1.5 thousand km”, putting them out of action.

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Bloomberg learned about the EU plan to buy gas from Russia without violating sanctions

Importers will have to declare the fulfillment of all obligations to Russia after paying for gas in euros or dollars, the EC plan says, writes Bloomberg, further actions are unacceptable. Poland did not see clarity in the plan

The European Commission has prepared a plan for the purchase of Russian gas, which will allow importers to comply with Moscow's conditions without violating sanctions. In particular, European companies will have to indicate that they consider their obligations fulfilled after payment in dollars or euros in accordance with the contracts, Bloomberg writes, citing sources.

The EC informed the European governments about this at a closed meeting. Once the importers have made payment in euros or dollars and declared that they have fulfilled their obligations, Russia should not require them to take any further action regarding the payment.

Bloomberg interlocutors added that the European Commission decided not to prevent companies from opening an account with Gazprombank in US or European currency, but did not specify its attitude towards opening a ruble account.

Bloomberg sources indicated that European countries were divided in assessing the new recommendations of the European Commission. Germany, Hungary, France and Italy generally approved of the plan, but the Polish representatives felt that it did not bring legal clarity, calling for discussion of this topic by EU ambassadors. The rest of the countries, the agency’s interlocutors added, noted the absence of specific instructions on opening a ruble account.

German companies have already approved the European Commission’s plan, one Bloomberg source added.

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Moscow's requirements oblige buyers from the list of “unfriendly countries” open two accounts in Gazprombank— currency and ruble. After the payment is received on the first account in dollars or the Eurobank independently converts the funds on the Moscow Exchange, after which it credits rubles to the second account.

The European Commission called for not fulfilling the requirements of Russia, noting that this would be regarded as a violation of the laws imposed against countries of sanctions. Bloomberg notes that these warnings were made verbally without being fixed in documents.

Bulgaria and Poland at the end of April refused to comply with the conditions of Moscow, Gazprom; then suspended gas supplies to these countries. At the same time, a number of European companies noted that they would continue to buy gas from Russia even if they opened an account with Gazprombank. “We will pay the invoice amount, which will continue to be denominated in euros, to accounts with Gazprombank in accordance with the planned procedure,” explained in German VNG.

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The United States announced the reflection of the deterrence of “aggression” of Russia in the NATO concept

The US Secretary of State warned that NATO's updated strategic concept would reflect a policy of deterring “any aggression” from Russia. Bloomberg wrote that the alliance could call Moscow's actions a direct threat in the document

Anthony Blinken

The new strategic concept of NATO will fully reflect the deterrence of any manifestation of “aggression”; Russia, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said during a press conference in Berlin following the meeting of the foreign ministers of the alliance countries. The broadcast was conducted on YouTube.

“The basis of NATO, the basis of the strategic concept is the concept of defense and deterrence. This led to the formation of the alliance. And this includes, among other things, the containment of any aggression on the part of Russia,»,— said Blinken.

Strategic Concept— NATO's flagship document, last updated in November 2010.

“It will identify the security challenges facing the Alliance and outline the political and military tasks that NATO will undertake to address them.” ,— stated on the website of the alliance.

NATO also indicates that over the past ten years, “the world has changed radically”, strategic competition has grown.

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According to Bloomberg, NATO may designate Moscow's actions as a direct threat if Russian foreign policy does not change. The countries of the alliance also touch upon the topic of providing assistance to those states that have been subjected to aggression, the interlocutors of the agency said.

“The new NATO strategic concept will become the basis for an era of strategic rivalry,” announced the secretary general of the organization Jens Stoltenberg on May 15.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, during the announcement of the start of a special operation in Ukraine, said that the expansion of NATO to the east causes “special concern and alarm”. In his opinion, the alliance has become “an instrument of foreign policy”; Washington. In mid-March, the Foreign Ministry announced that relations between Russia and NATO had reached a “zero mark”, accusing the bloc of suspending military and civilian cooperation with the Russian side since 2014 and ignoring Moscow's security concerns.

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Sweden says NATO membership is not directed against Russia

Sweden, following Finland, announced that it intends to join NATO. The Cabinet of Ministers of the country stated that this decision is the best for the security of Sweden, it is not directed against Russia

Magdalena Andersson

Swedish's decision to apply for NATO membership was made in order to secure the country, told Aftonbladet newspaper head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry Ann Linde.

“This decision is not directed against Russia”,— she emphasized.

Her point of view was supported by the Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson: “We, the Social Democrats, believe that the best thing for the country's security would be joining NATO.” “If Sweden becomes the only non-NATO country in the Baltic Sea region, we will be in a vulnerable position,” — quotes her SVT.

According to Andersson, Sweden should apply to join NATO along with Finland, and this must be done “as soon as possible.” Countries need to get security guarantees from bloc members, the politician added.

Andersson said the world's security situation has changed since the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine; she did not rule out that “similar aggression could be directed against Sweden.”

The ruling Social Democratic Party (S/SAP) announced its official decision to join NATO on the evening of 15 May. According to Aftonbladet, the Swedish authorities have already prepared a corresponding application, in Stockholm they intend to send it along with the Finnish side.

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Finland announced similar plans on the same day. As Helsinki said, the country will submit an application to NATO after consultations in Parliament, which will be held on Monday, May 16.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Security Council, where they discussed possible risks in connection with the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO; He considered Helsinki's decision to join the bloc erroneous. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Moscow views such a scenario as a threat, and Russia's actions will depend on how the “expansion process” will be expressed; and how the alliance's military infrastructure will move.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised in early April that if Helsinki and Stockholm want to join the alliance, they will promptly receive a positive response. The desire of Finland and Sweden to join NATO was supported by the United States, while Turkey did not see this as a positive. According to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Scandinavian countries are “a guest house for terrorists” (he is referring to the PKK, banned in Turkey). At the same time, Ankara stated that they support the principle of “open doors”; in NATO.

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