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Russia stands by Georgia actions Monday, 1 September, 2008

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BBC NEWS | Europe | Russia stands by Georgia actions.

Welders repair a gas pipeline in Russia (archive image)

Russia supplies roughly a quarter of the EU’s natural gas

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said his decision to recognise Georgia’s breakaway regions as independent is irrevocable.

On the eve of a special EU summit on Georgia, he warned that Russia was ready to retaliate against any sanctions the EU might impose.

Germany and the UK have differed in tone over how the EU should proceed, with Berlin warning against escalation.

Moscow’s envoy to London said sanctions would hurt the EU more than Russia.

Ambassador Yuri Fedotov told the BBC that Russia did not want any further confrontation and was not seeking a new Cold War.

He was speaking after UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown called in a newspaper article for a fundamental review of relations with Russia to prevent further “Russian aggression”. (more…)

Who risks more, Russia or West? Saturday, 30 August, 2008

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Press TV – Who risks more, Russia or West?.

The following is Press TV’s exclusive interview with Vladimir Sotnikov from the Centre for International Security in Moscow.

Press TV: Tbilisi has ended ties with Moscow. How does this move add to the tension that already exists between Russia and Georgia?

Sotnikov: I would like to say that this is wholly Georgia’s decision to stop the diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and Georgia and Georgia is to blame. I think for Georgians it will be bad to do during this diplomatic crisis which followed after the short war between Russia and Georgia and it would be better to keep up the diplomatic relations and to conduct negotiations. As the ordinary Georgians say it’s better to have a close friend which is your neighbor than to have a close friend which is an outside power.

Press TV: There is a military build up in the Black Sea and Russia is also seeking military bases in South Ossetia. What are the West and Russia both demanding from these moves?

Sotnikov:According to the situation which is now in the Black Sea, we have several NATO warships and Russian Black Sea fleets now is in position. I think that the NATO seeks a situation where it can control the movements of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea and Russia would like to prevent the possible breaking up of this truce by Georgia and the possible situation when Georgians could again be in a state of war with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. (more…)

Russia: US still looking for WMDs in Iraq? Friday, 29 August, 2008

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Press TV – Russia: US still looking for WMDs in Iraq?.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin

Russia has slammed what it calls the UN Security Council’s hypocritical stance on the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin has accused the world body of adopting a double standard approach in dealing with the issue.

He said members of the Council are ignorant about the essence of the Caucasus conflict, Russia Today reported on Friday.

The remarks were made after a Thursday’s meeting of the Security Council during which the Western powers criticized Moscow’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

“Russia violated the security zone patrolled by UN peacekeeping forces deployed by the UN Security Council,” said Alejandro Daniel Wolff, US Representative to the UN. “In Abkhazia, Russia is violating not only the territorial integrity of Georgia, but also the integrity of this Council.” (more…)

Georgia war for Obama, McCain Friday, 29 August, 2008

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Press TV – Georgia war for Obama, McCain.

Putin: US created the conflict to benefit the candidates

John McCain and Barack Obama are making capital from the South Ossetia standoff which the US engineered for the competing candidates’ sake.

In a CNN interview, the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States of having opened the conflict in the region to help invigorate the US presidential race with a specific view to boost the chances of Sen. John McCain for the White House.
“The fact is that US citizens were indeed in the area in conflict during the hostilities…following direct orders from their leaders,” he added.
Putin’s stance is shared by the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin as well as several others of the Russian officials.
“It is hard to imagine that (Georgian President Mikheil) Saakashvili embarked on this risky venture without some sort of approval from the side of the United States,” he told Russia’s NTV television earlier in the month.
Wednesday in an interview with the Press TV, Russian Duma Deputy Sergei Markov also accused the Bush administration of serving McCain and Vice President Dick Cheney’s interests while claiming that the two US officials had started the Iraq war ‘without any real cause’.
He alleged that McCain was baiting Russia through criticism “because he is a crazy militant and wants war. It is ‘McCain paranoia”.
Putin’s revelations remarks, however, were attacked by the State Department deputy spokesman, Robert Wood and White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino who described the former Russian president’s comments as “patently false.” And though that is the official rejoinder, the history of this administration makes clear it has no compunction of lying through its teeth in the face of clear evidence.

Duma deputy warns of ‘McCain paranoia’ Friday, 29 August, 2008

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Press TV – Duma deputy warns of ‘McCain paranoia’.

By Afshin Rattansi, Press TV, Tehran

The following is an exclusive Press TV interview with Russian Duma Deputy Sergei Markov on Russia’s recognition of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states:

Q: I noticed across the wires that the United States says Russia’s recognition is unacceptable.

A: I think now the United States’ administration work not for the United Stats’ interests but for the interest of Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Dick Cheney, who without any real cause started the war in Iraq and is ready to start a war with Iran. They want to create an impression of the cold war with Russia. From our point of view South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which have never in their entire history been a part of independent Georgia, have more right to independence than Kosovo. The United States imposed independence of Kosovo on Serbia. It was not a matter of vote. (more…)

NATO divided over Georgian conflict Wednesday, 27 August, 2008

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Press TV – NATO divided over Georgian conflict.
By Yusuf Fernandez, Press TV, Madrid

Georgian tanks near Tskinvali on August 8

On August 19, NATO foreign ministers convened in Brussels to discuss the Georgia crisis, following intense pressure from the US. The final declaration accused Russia of using “disproportionate” military force and “deliberately destructing civilian infrastructure”, but said nothing about the Georgian aggression against South Ossetia that began on August 8 and initiated the conflict.

THE AMERICAN VIEW

In recent weeks, the US political establishment has demanded that Russia be “taught a lesson”. American officials have called on NATO allies to punish Moscow for its military operations in Georgia. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned, “There need to be consequences for Moscow’s behavior.” Relations with Russia, which has had a partnership with NATO for more than a decade, will not be the same for years to come, he continued.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also stepped up her anti-Russia rhetoric. “We have to deny Russian strategic objectives, which are clearly to undermine Georgia’s democracy, to use its military capability to damage and in some cases destroy Georgian infrastructure and to try and weaken the Georgian state,” she said. “We are determined to deny them their strategic objective.” (more…)

Pavlyuchenko heads for Tottenham Wednesday, 27 August, 2008

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BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Tottenham | Pavlyuchenko heads for Tottenham.

Roman Pavlyuchenko

Pavlyuchenko scored three goals for Russia at Euro 2008

Spartak Moscow have told BBC Sport that striker Roman Pavlyuchenko is poised to join Premier League side Tottenham.

“A deal has been agreed between the clubs and the transfer may be concluded by Thursday,” said a club spokesman.

The 26-year-old Pavlyuchenko, a Russian international, is still in Moscow awaiting a visa that will allow him to travel to London to complete the move.

“Right now I’m getting my visa and as soon as it is ready I will fly to England to sign a contract,” he said.

“Everything has happened very quickly so I could not even say goodbye to my team-mates.”

BBC Sport understands that the deal is not yet a formality but Spartak’s general manager Valery Karpin told Russian newspaper Soviet Sport that Pavlyuchenko was on his way to White Hart Lane. (more…)

Press TV – Russia mulling Baltic nuke fleet Sunday, 17 August, 2008

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Press TV – Russia mulling Baltic nuke fleet.

Sun, 17 Aug 2008 08:01:00 GMT

Russia may arm its Baltic fleet with nuclear warheads.

Russia may arm its Baltic fleet with nuclear warheads in response to a US plan to build a missile shield in Poland, Sunday Times reports.

The London-based newspaper quoted senior military sources as saying that the Russian nuclear warheads could be supplied to submarines, cruisers and fighter bombers of the Baltic fleet based in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania.

“In view of America’s determination to set up a missile defense shield in Europe, the military is reviewing all its plans to give Washington an adequate response,” a senior military source in Moscow told the Sunday Times.

This comes in response to an agreement signed by the US and Poland allowing a missile defense shield to be deployed in the European country in exchange for Washington’s pledge to boost Warsaw’s air defenses. (more…)

Press TV – Israeli involvement in the Georgian-Russian war Sunday, 17 August, 2008

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Press TV – Israeli involvement in the Georgian-Russian war.

Sun, 17 Aug 2008 14:37:36 GMT
By Yusuf Fernandez, Press TV, Madrid

For seven years, Israeli companies have been helping the Georgian army to prepare itself for a war against Russia through arms deals, training infantry units and offering security advice, The Jerusalem Post recently claimed.

The war between Russia and Georgia has served to bring Israel’s intensive involvement in the Caucasus into the limelight.

“Israel’s defense industries have sold remote-piloted vehicles (RPVs) -one of which was shot down by Russian fighters in May-, automatic turrets for armored vehicles, antiaircraft systems, communication systems, shells and rocket to Georgias” the Post said.

The Moscow Times has reported that, according to Koba Liklikadze, an independent military expert based in Tbilisi, Israelis have also helped upgrade Soviet-designed Su-25 ground attack jets assembled in Georgia. Israel has been supplying Georgia with infantry weapons and electronics for artillery systems too.

According to the Post, the initiative to sell arms to Georgia was taken by a group of Georgian citizens who immigrated to Israel and became businessmen. (more…)