Russian warships head to Cuba for official visit

A flotilla comprising Russia's most modern warship and its escorts will on Monday arrive at the Havana port for an official visit, said Cuban Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces on Sunday.

One of Russia's newest warships, the Project 22350 missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov, heads the naval group.

"During their stay in our country, the Russian sailors will carry out a program of activities that includes courtesy visits to the chief of the Revolutionary Navy, as well as touring places of historical and cultural interest," said the official daily Juventud Rebelde.

The Northern Fleet's naval group departed from the port of Severomorsk for its long-distance voyage on Feb. 26, according to Russian media.

Its journey included stops in Djibouti and Sri Lanka before visiting China, where Admiral Gorshkov took part in a major naval parade, marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy.

Admiral Gorshkov entered service in July 2018 and is one of the first to carry Russia's Poliment-Redut air defense system, which consists of the Poliment phased array radar and the Redut surface-to-air missile system, a navalized version of the ground-based S-350.

  • Published in Cuba

Russia Warns of Possible Conflict in Persian Gulf

Moscow, Jun 20 (Prensa Latina) Russia on Thursday confirmed its fears of the emergence of a new war in the Persian Gulf region and therefore calls for full-time work to stabilize the situation in that area.

We still have time to think it over, stop the military escalation and avoid a fall to an uncontrolled conflict, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

I think that most of the international community shares this position and considers it the only alternative, said Riabkov, who lamented that such recommendations in no way have repercussions in the United States.

Washington continues its efforts to tighten the crisis and we have no doubt that the US military and political leadership will maintain its maneuvers to worsen the situation and increase the pressure on Iran.

One week ago, a fire was reported on board of the Front Altair and Kokuka Courageous tankers in the Oman Strait, near Iran, coinciding with the visit to that country of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The White House immediately accused Tehran of an attack against the two vessels. The North American media first talked of the impact of torpedoes and after that, of mine explosions. They blamed Iran in both cases.

 

  • Published in World

We won’t sell out our allies or principles to strike Syria deal with US, says Putin

Russia will not reach any agreement with the United States on the future of Syria at the cost of Syria itself or Moscow’s interests and principles, President Vladimir Putin has said.

During his annual Q&A session on Thursday, a journalist asked Putin if there would be a “grand deal” with the US on Syria as the country begins to recover from years of hostilities and destruction.

“What do you mean ‘a grand deal’? Sounds like some commercial act. No. We don’t sell out our allies, our interests or our principles,” Putin said.

He said that Russia is willing to negotiate a political transition in Syria with various stakeholders. “Can it be done? I believe it can, provided there is goodwill of everyone involved in the conflict.”

Also on rt.com Russian Air Force targets militants in Syria’s Idlib at request of Turkish military...

Putin highlighted Turkey and Iran as Russia’s immediate partners in resolving the Syrian crisis, but said countries like the US, Israel, Egypt, and Jordan have legitimate interests in what happens in Syria as do the European nations, which were hurt by mass migration triggered by it. “We have to work together on it,” he stressed.

  • Published in World

Russia, Iran have potential to increase bilateral trade - minister

Russian-Iranian trade exceeded $1.7 billion in 2018, but the two countries have the potential to increase this indicator, Russian Minister for North Caucasus Affairs Sergei Chebotarev said on Sunday, Trend reports citing Sputnik.

"In 2018, bilateral trade exceeded $1.7 billion, and it grew compared to 2017", Chebotarev said at a conference in the Iranian capital of Tehran.

The minister noted that this volume was very modest adding that Russia and Iran had a "much higher potential" in this field. According to him, the two sides must do everything possible to achieve a new level in bilateral trade.

The two countries maintain close ties in hydrocarbons trade and work jointly on peaceful nuclear power projects in Iran. Earlier this week, Iran moved to create a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union, which Russia is part of.

Moscow also supports Tehran's position on the Iranian nuclear deal. The Islamic Republic suspended some of its obligations under the accord a year after the US withdrew from it, re-establishing anti-Iranian sanctions.

  • Published in World

Chinese President Xi Jinping celebrates 66th birthday with cake and Russian ice cream from Putin

Chinese President Xi Jinping celebrated his 66th birthday on Saturday (June 15) with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who Xi considers a close friend and who gave Xi ice cream as a present, Chinese state media reported.

The discussion of senior leaders' private lives is extremely rare in China, and the exact birth dates of most of them are not revealed publicly, as they are considered a state secret.

State television showed pictures of Xi and Putin holding up champagne glasses to toast Xi's birthday at the hotel he is staying at in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, where they are both attending a regional summit.

While Putin gave Xi Russian ice cream - the flavour was not mentioned - Xi gave Putin back some Chinese tea, the report said.

Xi thanked Putin and said that in China Putin was extremely popular, it added.

Pictures on Chinese state television's website showed the two men inspecting a white cake decorated with red and blue confectionery flowers with the words written on it, in somewhat shaky red-coloured Chinese characters, "good fortune double six".

  • Published in World

Russia Stands Stronger against the US Blockade On Cuba

Russia stands stronger against the US blockade on Cuba gaining more supporters every day, affirmed on Friday the solidarity activist with the country Lena Loshkina.

Loshkina told Prensa Latina that they were always searching a way out to end the US blockade against Cuba. On such fight, the five Cuban heroes´release from US jails has played a relevant role.

Now we are again facing difficult times, the negative shadow of reactionary elements appears but Cuba is much stronger than when its Revolution triumphed´, the activist estimated.

About 99 percent of the population, politicians and countries worldwide speak out against the US blockade against Cuba, Loshkina assured after participating in a tribute to both Ernesto Che Guevara and Prensa Latina´s 60th anniversary foundation.

The blockade´s policy was always atrocious and unfair but now it angers even those who once stood aside. Such an economic blockade has no right to exist, she said.

The Cuban people demonstrated US inability to put pressure on Cuba with their heroic struggle and deeds to resist all these years the US blockade including failed destabilizing attempts, Loshkina stated.

We are by no means going to stop our struggle, above all, because it is also now confronting many of the elements of the blockade carried out by the West.

  • Published in Cuba

IAAF Extends Suspension to Russian Federation

Monaco, 9 Jun (Latin Press) The Board of Directors of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has decided to extend the suspension it has imposed on the Russian Federation since 2015 as a result of the doping scandal within it.

The Russian entity, through its president Dmitri Shliajtin, trusted that he would be readmitted after having fulfilled the conditions imposed by the IAAF for his reinstatement, but the leadership of the world organization decided to maintain the privations.

One of the requirements met by the European nation's federation was to pay the 3.2 million dollars debt owed to the IAAF.

This amount was broken down into 1.5 million in court costs for the Court of Arbitration for Sport, one million in expenses for IAAF working groups to readmit the Russian Federation and other minor matters.

The other condition that Russia had to meet to be readmitted to international competitions is access to the Moscow Laboratory, an event that took place last January, as well as the review of these tests, a process to be conclude on June 31.

Shliajtin and prominent Russian athletes such as world and European 110m hurdles champion Sergey Shubenkov are confident that the nation will be able to participate as a delegation at the World Outdoor Championships in Doha in late September.

  • Published in Sports

Russia to make its own show about Chernobyl that implicates the US

Russian state TV is working on its own version of Chernobyl, a series based on the worst nuclear accident in history.

The NTV drama will deviate from the acclaimed HBO series - and from historical reality - by claiming that the CIA was involved in the disaster.

Director Alexey Muradov claims it will show "what really happened back then".

HBO's miniseries, which concluded on Monday, received the highest ever score for a TV show on IMdB, as well as a 9.1 rating on Russian equivalent Kinopoisk.

But in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia's most widely-read tabloid, Mr Muradov said his version of the show "proposes an alternative view on the tragedy in Pripyat".

"There is a theory that Americans infiltrated the Chernobyl nuclear power plant," he told the paper. "Many historians do not rule out the possibility that on the day of the explosion, an agent of the enemy's intelligence services was working at the station."

The Hollywood Reporter reports that the Russian culture ministry has contributed 30 million rubles ($463,000; £363,000) to the show.

The No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded on 26 April 1986 in the Ukrainian city of Pripyat.

At least 31 people were killed in the immediate aftermath, and the effects continue to be felt to this day.

What did Russia think of HBO's Chernobyl?

There has been plenty of praise in Russia for the authenticity of Chernobyl.

Izvestia newspaper declared it a more 'realistic' portrayal of the era than most Russian films manage. There's also admiration of how the series conveys the heroism of ordinary people.

But there's been a crescendo of criticism, too. One columnist declared the show a plot to undermine Russia's current atomic agency. Others called it American 'propaganda', blackening the image of the USSR and exaggerating the callousness of the Soviet response.

No-one disputes that it's got people talking. They're been busy sharing their own Chernobyl stories on social media, with younger Russians often hearing them for the first time. So one Twitter user thanked the series for 'giving us back our history.'

In the end, as one commentator concludes, the main reason for the backlash is likely a feeling of shame that it was the US that told the tale of Chernobyl, not Russia itself.

The show has been particularly unpopular with Russian state TV and the country's tabloid newspapers.

Speaking to TV website Teleprogramma, columnist Anatoly Wasserman said: "If Anglo-Saxons film something about Russians, it definitely will not correspond to the truth."

This, he continued, was because "they don't like us" and "they cannot understand us".

Komsomolskaya Pravda published several negative articles about the show - including one floating a conspiracy theory that it was produced by competitors of Rosatom, Russia's state nuclear company, to ruin the country's reputation as a nuclear power.

But reviewers in independent media outlets praised its writer Craig Mazin for his minute attention to detail.

Slava Malamud, a US-based journalist who grew up during the Soviet era in what is now Moldova, wrote on the independent Russian news site Meduza that "the respect and meticulousness the show's creators brought to their work is breathtaking".

"Like I see the license plate for a car in one scene has the real numbers for the [Kiev] region," he said. "Who's going to notice that in America or England?"

Meanwhile, Moscow Times journalist Ilya Shepelin says that the fact that a US channel produced the show "is a source of shame that the pro-Kremlin media apparently cannot live down".

"[The show's] episodes focus on the harrowing and self-sacrificing struggle that the Soviet people waged against the consequences of the explosion. And it was these people who saved Europe - at the cost of their own lives and health," he writes.

"Russia, however, does not honour these individuals as heroes who saved Europe."

  • Published in Culture
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