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Posts Tagged ‘Sanctions’

Putin: Economic blockade of E. Ukraine a ‘big mistake’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 16, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Klimentiev)

                                Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Klimentiev

READ MORE: Ukraine scraps human rights treaty for rebel areas, cuts services, freezes banks

“I don’t understand why Kiev authorities are cutting off those territories with their own hands. Well one can understand – to save money. But it’s not the time or the case to save money on,” he said.

Putin compared Kiev’s debacle with the Donetsk and Lugansk regions to Russia’s own armed conflict in the Chechen Republic that erupted several times since the early 1990s and officially ended in April 2009. But even at the worst moments, Moscow did not stop paying pensions and other social benefits to the Chechen people, he said.

“At moments that appeared to be stupid, because the people who were in control there not only embezzled that money but also could use them for obviously less-than-noble goals. But we did it due to our moral obligations to the common people. And in the end it turned out to be the right decision, as Chechens appreciated what Russia did to support the common people,” Putin said.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference at the end of the G20 summit in Brisbane November 16, 2014. (Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference at the end of the G20 summit in Brisbane November 16, 2014. (Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev)

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Russia, China veto western-backed Syria resolution at UN Security Council

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 20, 2012

Russia and China have vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that threatened Syria with more sanctions.

­It was the third time in nine months that Russia and China used their powers as permanent members of the 15-nation council to block resolutions on Syria. There were 11 votes in favor of the resolution. Russia and China voted against it, while South Africa and Pakistan abstained from voting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Clinton: Russia and China will ‘pay price’ for supporting Assad

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 7, 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a meeting of the "Friends of the Syrian People" at the MFA Conference Center July 6, 2012 in Paris, France (AFP Photo Pool/Brendan Smialowski)

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a meeting of the “Friends of the Syrian People” at the MFA Conference Center July 6, 2012 in Paris, France (AFP Photo Pool/Brendan Smialowski)

Russia rejects in the strongest possible terms allegations that it supports President Assad in the Syrian conflict. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Moscow and Beijing must ‘pay a price’ for backing Assad.

“I do not believe that Russia and China are paying any price at all – nothing at all – for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime.  The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price,” Clinton warned.­

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov  said the west is operating within a friend-or-foe framework that he called outmoded.

“We categorically reject that such a question would even be posed regarding the current situation in Syria and Russia’s ‘backing’ of President Bashar Assad. This is not a question of supporting certain political figures or leaders. This is a question of managing a crisis situation in the country within a normal political framework,” Ryabkov said.

“Unfortunately, we’re unable to get a basic understanding from our western partners. The west is still appealing to “friend-or-foe” terms. We considered such terminology to be a thing of the past,” Ryabkov explained.

Russia and China once again opted not to attend the “Friends of Syria” meeting. Neither Moscow nor Beijing believe the meeting in the French capital will be helpful in uniting the Syrian opposition “on a constructive basis”.

We have frankly laid out the reasons why we have restrained from joining the mechanism, the very name of which has a contradiction between the word and the deed,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier this week. Read the rest of this entry »

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Must-Reads from Around the World: March 20, 2012

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 20, 2012

Syrian President Bashar Assad speaking during a Ramadan Iftar banquet in honor of Muslim clergymen, in Damascus, Syria, 24 August 2011. (Photo: SANA / EPA)

SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR ASSAD SPEAKING DURING A RAMADAN IFTAR BANQUET IN HONOR OF MUSLIM CLERGYMEN, IN DAMASCUS, SYRIA, 24 AUGUST 2011. (PHOTO: SANA / EPA)

More Syria Leaks – Al Jazeera reveals details from confidential Syrian intelligence and security documents handed over by one of the government’s most trusted officials who recently fled to Turkey. The trove shows President Bashar Assad’s strategy to suppress anti-government protests, including orders to stop protesters from getting into Damascus and detailed security plans for crushing protests in the cities of Aleppo and Idlib, as well as warnings about countries trying to influence Syrian diplomats to defect and indications the government spied on last year’s Arab League monitoring mission in Syria. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can China Benefit From Growing U.S.-Iran Tensions?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 16, 2012

By AUSTIN RAMZY

U.S. efforts to reduce global demand for Iran’s oil exports as a means to pressure it into curbing its nuclear ambitions could present major problems for China, the leading customer of Iranian crude exports. China reacted strongly over the weekend to U.S. sanctions on Zhuhai Zhenrong, a Chinese firm the U.S. calls the largest supplier of refined petroleum to Iran. (Although a major petroleum producer, Iran is dependent on gasoline imports due to limited domestic refinery capacity.) Those imports violated U.S. law, the U.S. State Department says, and as a result Zhuhai Zhenrong is “barred from receiving U.S. export licenses, U.S. Export Import Bank financing, and loans over $10 million from U.S. financial institutions.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the company appears to have no U.S. assets, so the sanctions are “largely symbolic.” But they raised the ire of the Chinese government. On Saturday Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin called U.S. efforts to internationalize its  sanctions against Iran by target a Chinese company were “completely unreasonable and don’t conform with the spirit or content of U.N. Security Council resolutions,” according to a statement (in Chinese) posted on the ministry’s website.

Last week U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner visited Beijing, seeking to convince China to back further sanctions against Iran. Last month President Obama signed legislation that would block firms that deal with Iran’s central bank—the key processor of oil receipts—from the U.S. financial system. Exceptions would be made for states that significantly reduce crude oil purchases from Iran. Japan, a major importer of oil from Iran, said it would support the U.S. measure. But China responded cautiously. Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said ahead of Geithner’s visit that China’s oil imports should be considered separately from the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tighter Sanctions On Iran: An Alternative to War — or a Road to War?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 12, 2011

By TONY KARON

A security guard patrols Marun petrochemical plant on September 28, 2011 in Mahshahr, southern Iran.

Pity President Barack Obama trying to stay off the slippery slope to war with Iran in an election year, while his challengers perform crowd-pleasing, spoken-word versions of Senator John McCain’s ”Bomb Iran” adaptation of the Beach Boys. As they demonstrated last Wednesday in a forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), GOP presidential hopefuls are free to rattle imaginary sabers at Iran (“If I were president…”) without risk or consequence, while branding Obama as feckless in the face of the grave and gathering danger of Tehran’s nuclear program.  (The somewhat less alarmist consensus of U.S. intelligence remains that Iran has not made, let alone implemented, a decision to build nuclear weapons, despite steadily accumulating the means to do so.)

Republican frontrunners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney committed themselves, at the RJC forum,  to policies that would effectively put the U.S. at war with Iran. Both stressed that regime-change in Tehran would be the goal of their Iran policy (now there’s an incentive for Tehran’s regime to seek a nuclear insurance policy), and both signaled a willingness to use military force to stop Iran’s nuclear program. When CNN interviewer Wolf Blitzer asked Gingrich later how he would respond to the proverbial 3 a.m. White House phone-call telling him that Israel had bombed Iranian nuclear facilities, Gingrich answered that it would never come to that, because he’d plan a joint military operation with Israel rather than put it in a position where it felt compelled to act alone. Besides, the former House Speaker said, Israel would never spring that surprise on him; they know he’s an ally and willing to help. Read the rest of this entry »

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You Say You Wanna Bomb Iran? Take a Number and Stand in Line

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 3, 2011

by 

Yes, you heard right: Britain  is preparing to bomb Iran. Well, that’s if the latest reported leaks from the British government are to be believed. The Guardian — not known, like some of its British rivals are, for frequent breathless front-page claims of imminent military strikes on Iran — reported Wednesday that Britain’s Defense Ministry has stepped up plans for military action against Iran. Not that the Brits would kick things off, of course; their contingency planning is ostensibly geared towards playing a largely symbolic support role (think “Coalition of the Willing”)  should the Obama Administration “decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities.”

Beneath the attention-grabbing headline, the story is a familiar one:  British officials believe that while President Barack Obama “has no wish to embark on a new and provocative military venture before next November’s U.S. election … the calculus could change because of mounting anxiety over intelligence gathered by Western agencies, and the more belligerent posture that Iran appears to have been taking.”

The Guardian’s sources create the impression of dramatic new developments and a ticking clock, although the consensus among the  world’s intelligence agencies that Iran remains some years away from having  nuclear weapons, and has not yet decided to actually build them even though it is assembling the means to do so. But the alarmist messaging certainly jibes with an Israeli diplomatic campaign launched to persuade reluctant governments to impose tough new sanctions on Iran if they hope to avoid a potentially catastrophic war. Israel underscored the point, Wednesday, announcing it had successfully tested a missile capable of reaching Iran — at the same time as Israeli papers were filled with stories claiming that  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking cabinet approval for bombing Iran. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will the Washington Bomb Plot Force Obama into War with Iran?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 14, 2011

By Tony Karon 

“We are not talking to Iran, so we don’t understand each other,” outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen told the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace last month. “If something happens, it’s virtually assured that we won’t get it right — that there will be miscalculation, which could be extremely dangerous in that part of the world.”

Mullen’s warning of the perils arising from the two sides’ inability to communicate and understand each other’s intentions — “Even in the darkest days of the Cold War, we had links to the Soviet Union” — seems especially prescient amid the fallout from the alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington, blamed by the U.S. on “elements of the Iranian government.” Claims that officials within the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps initiated a bizarre scheme via an Iranian-American used-car salesman — described by his former business partner as “a sort of hustler” — to enlist the services of a Mexican drug gang for a terrorism strike in the U.S. capital have been seized on by the Administration to press for tougher international action against Tehran.

“We see this as a chance to go out to capitals and around the world and talk to allies and partners about what the Iranians tried to do,” an unnamed official told the Washington Post. “We’re going to use this to isolate them to the maximum extent possible.” Vice President Joe Biden added, darkly, that when it came to responding to Iran’s behavior, “nothing has been taken off the table.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Obama: Syrian President Assad Must Step Down

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 18, 2011


He must step down, but not sure who steps up s/he should step down again for another group. Many countries spoiled a lot due to this step down and step up game and people getting sick without any achievemen­t with this kind of game.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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