The United States to End Missiles Treaty with Russia

¨The United States is saturated with weapons and it does not need additional nuclear weapons.¨the former Congressman Ron Paul said in reference to the very likely withdrawal of Donald Trump the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty while making an statement to the Russian RT mass media.

Ron Paul stated that the very likely withdrawal from that treaty signed in 1897 would not improve the U.S. security at all.
According to that former Republican Congressman for Texas State, his nation will justify the accumulation of nuclear weapons under the pretext that China was also militarizing itself.

¨We have enough weapons not only to destroy ourselves but also to destroy the word ten times. We should not be worried due to a lack of weapons.¨ He added.

Trump's Announcement

On the last October 20th, Trump announced the very likely possibility about the withdrawal of the aforementioned treaty with Russia in a political meeting in Nevada State.

The agreement forbids the United States and Moscow the possession, production and tests of nuclear missiles tests with a range among the 500 to 5.500 kilometers. It was reached in 1987 between the then president of the United States Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Mijail Gorbachov and that was the key aspect in relation to the easing of tension between the two powers, during the then Cold War period.

Russian sources accuse the United States to use a blackmail to achieve concessions after Trump's announcement about his nation's withdrawal from that treaty.

Putin and Trump Meeting

 Putin and Trump Meeting

The United States and Russia reached a preliminary agreement about the meeting between the president Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to be held on November 11th in Paris, said the political advisor of the Kremlin.

Yuri Ushakov expressed to the reporters that Putin and Trump's national security advisor, John Bolton, who had some meetings with Moscow on Tuesday, confirmed a preliminary agreement in relation to the two heads of states gathering in Paris.

According to Xinhua news agency, the Defense Minister of Russia, Sergei Shoigu, asked for solving many global issues, along with the mutual effort by Moscow and Washington.

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Kremlin alarmed by MoD report that US spy plane coordinated drone attack on Russia's Syria base

The Kremlin has said it is concerned about a report by Russia’s Defense Ministry that a US spy plane was in control of a drone attack on Russia's Khmeimim Airbase in Syria in January.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made clear that the military has analyzed all available data and has drawn the necessary conclusions before saying that the drone attack on the Russian airbase was directed from a US P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane.

“This is undoubtedly a very alarming report,” he noted. 

All further details will be provided by the Defense Ministry. But President Vladimir Putin may raise the issue with his US counterpart Donald Trump when the opportunity arises.

READ MORE: US spy plane circled between Russian airbase & port facility during Syria drone attack – MoD

The Kremlin's response comes after Colonel General Alexander Fomin, the deputy defense minister, had reportedly addressed the January drone attack during the Beijing Xiangshan Forum, a high-profile conference on defense and security.

According to the top defense military official, 13 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) had approached Russia’s Khmeimim base at the time when the Poseidon plane was traversing skies over the Mediterranean. When Russian electronic countermeasures were turned on at Khmeimim, the drones continued their flying mission in manual mode.

He said the drones were not manned “by some peasant,” they were flown from “a standard, well-equipped P-8 Poseidon,” which had manual control over the UAVs in question.

When these drones came across Russia’s electronic warfare measures, they pulled back from the kill zone and began receiving some commands via satellite communications, General Fomin explained. Someone, he said, “guided the UAVs to the so-called holes [in Russian defenses],” which they utilized before being downed by Khmeimim’s surface-to-air missiles.

The incident occurred overnight on January 8, involving 10 UAVs targeting Khmeimim itself. Three more drones attempted a strike on the Russian naval facility at the Syrian port city of Tartus. All 13 craft were then engaged by the Pantsir-S1 air-defense system.

READ MORE: Drones are new serious terrorist threat in Syria – Russian defense minister

Three enemy drones, overridden by the Russian electronic warfare team, landed intact outside Khmeimim and were later inspected by the military. It was the first time that Syrian militants had used remote-controlled top-notch weaponry in the war. The Defense Ministry said the drones had been acquired “only from a country possessing state-of-the-art technologies.”

The Pentagon tried to rebut the Russian allegations at the time, with spokesman Adrian Rankin-Galloway claiming “those devices and technologies can easily be obtained in the open market.”

The January attack was not the only one of its kind. Russian air defenses at Khmeimim have dealt with intruder UAVs on numerous occasions throughout this summer. No drone managed to get close to the facility.

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Withdraw first, ask later: He nuked Russia-US relations, now Bolton arrives in Moscow to talk

The alleged mastermind behind the US pullout from the historic INF treaty, John Bolton will expect a wintry reception in Moscow, with only the embers of the long-forgotten Helsinki summit to warm the parties.

Washington can be commended at least on laying its cards on the table with Friday’s announcement by Donald Trump that he was considering withdrawing from the Gorbachev-Reagan 1987 agreement, which limits both sides from producing intermediate range missiles.

But the news is likely to cast a pall over Bolton’s two-day visit, during which the National Security Advisor will meet not only his Russian counterpart Nikolay Patrushev, but foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and, on Tuesday, likely Vladimir Putin himself, though the face-to-face has not been given final approval by the Kremlin.

 
Pershing IA missile launcher and RSD-10 Pioneer (SS-20) missile. © Wikimedia Commons / RIA Novosti / Sputnik

 

The foreign ministry has already demanded “to hear a coherent explanation” of Washington’s actions, while various senior Russian officials have called the prospect of withdrawal “blackmail”, “a landmine under the nuclear disarmament process”, and a harbinger of “complete chaos in the sphere of nuclear armaments.”

And this is not one Bolton can blame on his boss. Appointed only in March, Bolton has become arguably the most influential US foreign policy architect, and is a long-time critic of arms control treaties. According to senior staff sources who spoke to the Guardian and the Washington Post last week, he personally persuaded Trump to quit INF. Stateside reports indicate that despite Trump’s customarily hazy pronouncements, Bolton will definitively signal US intentions to leave – a six-month notice is required to leave the indefinite-term agreement - during the Russian visit.

For nearly two decades the two states have taken turns claiming the other is violating the treaty, which bars both of them from producing all land-based ballistic and cruise missiles – not just nuclear-tipped ones – with ranges between 500 and 5,500 km. The Pentagon – citing its classified intelligence –claims that Russia has developed an intermediate range missile for the Iskander-M launcher, the existence of which Moscow has never acknowledged. In turn, Russia insists that the launchers that form the US missile defense shield in eastern Europe are themselves capable of firing intermediate range missiles, and should be destroyed under the terms of the agreement.

But the likelihood is, even if Moscow somehow assures Bolton that it is perfectly compliant, Washington is not interested. INF was signed in a two-bloc world that was ending an arms race but, in the intervening years, other world powers have sprung up and developed their own intermediate missiles, while Russia and the US are the only major countries that continue to suffer restrictions. In his oblique manner, Trump hinted at this on Friday, when he said that a new agreement may be possible, but would have to include China.

 
FILE PHOTO.

 

While getting all the three major powers to sign such a self-limiting document in the current conditions seems like a phantom prospect, if Bolton had come bearing a new proposal, he could have at least let all sides save face. Instead, he landed in Moscow with a unilateral decision that – like many others recently taken by Washington – leaves the Russians with little scope for a constructive counter-move.

Meanwhile, a little diplomatic smoothness from the famously straight-shooting veteran hawk would have gone a long way this week. The parties have important international issues to discuss: North Korea, where the US reportedly has no plans to drop its sanctions, Iran in the aftermath of the JCPOA withdrawal by Trump, and Syria, which remains a bloody theater of operations. As well as the fate of the nuclear control New START treaty, which expires in 2021, which neither side will likely dare to mention now. Arranging a new meeting between Putin and Trump, which many speculated had been the buried agenda of such a high-powered series of talks, now also becomes harder, as real opportunities loom during several upcoming international events.

READ MORE: As Bolton heads to Moscow, US charges another Russian with ‘election meddling’

The Helsinki summit in July between Putin and Trump may have been famously short on specifics – though Bolton name-checked it before flying overseas – it did signal a potential warming of relations that a Russian official this week described as being “in dire straits.” But with every action taken by Washington since, the goodwill has dwindled and, instead of making things better, this week both sides will simply hope to avoid aggravating the strife.

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Russia Warns NATO Against Provoking Third World War

Members of the NATO-Russia Council have only met three times in the last two years and when they have, NATO focuses strictly on Ukraine.

On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to avoid taking steps that may lead to a third World War.

RELATED: Lavrov: US Trying to Establish Mini-State in Syria

Lavrov was unequivocal about the prospects of war, “I believe everyone will be wise enough to prevent that. However, we are certainly very much concerned about the total absence of any professional dialogue between the Russian military and NATO.”

Members of the NATO-Russia Council have only met three times in the last two years and when they have, NATO focuses strictly on Ukraine and “attempts were made to use the NATO-Russia Council as another tool to blame all mortal sins on us, and another way of satisfying the whims of our Ukrainian neighbors who dream of sanctions being endlessly perpetuated and want nothing more than Russia to always be subject to intense criticisms.”

United States' influence over NATO is a factor that Russia considers to be a determinant in the organization’s behavior. “So, look at this situation. I believe it is absurd to remain hostage to US legislator’s whims,” the minister added.

Lavrov's statement comes at a time when there have been military accidents in the region — such as the accidental shooting of a missile by a Spanish fighter jet in Estonia due to NATO activities — in addition to NATO member countries' intention to hold naval drills in the Sea of Azov bordering Russia’s eastern coast, which according to Lavrov, would require the Federation’s permission.

In recent weeks, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the United States is making the colossal mistake of countries that treat themselves as "empires," by imposing sanctions on countries around the world.

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Student Opens Fire At College In Crimea, Kills Himself, 17 Others

Moscow: At least 17 people were killed and dozens injured at a college in the Black Sea region of Crimea on Wednesday when a student went through the building shooting at fellow pupils before killing himself, Russian law enforcement officials said.

Eighteen-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov turned up at the college in the city of Kerch on Wednesday afternoon carrying a firearm and then began shooting, investigators said. His body was later found in the college with what they said were self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

There were no immediate clues as to his motive in mounting such an attack, which recalled similar shooting sprees carried out by students in U.S. schools.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, prompting international condemnation and Western sanctions, but since then there have been no major outbreaks of violence there.

Many of the victims from Wednesday's attacks were teenage students who suffered shrapnel and bullet wounds.

Pupils and staff described scenes of mayhem as panicked pupils tried to flee the building. They said the attack had started with an explosion, followed by more blasts, and a hail of gunfire.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a meeting in the southern Russian resort of Sochi with his Egyptian counterpart, declared a moment's silence for the victims.

"This is a clearly a crime," he said. "The motives will be carefully investigated."

"CHILDREN'S BODIES EVERYWHERE"

The director of the school, Olga Grebennikova, described the scene that she encountered when she entered the college building after the attack.

"There are bodies everywhere, children's bodies everywhere. It was a real act of terrorism. They burst in five or 10 minutes after I'd left. They blew up everything in the hall, glass was flying," Grebennikova told Crimean media outlets.

"They then ran about throwing some kind of explosives around, and then ran around the second floor with guns, opened the office doors, and killed anyone they could find."

Soon after the attack, Russian officials said they were investigating the possibility that it was terrorism. Troops with armoured personnel carriers were sent to the scene. Local parents were told to collect their children from the city's schools and kindergartens for their safety.

However, the Investigative Committee, the state body that investigates major crimes, said later that it was re-classifying the case from terrorism to mass murder.

Officials had previously given the death toll as 18, but the Committee revised that to 17 killed. An employee at Kerch's hospital said dozens of people were being treated for their injuries in the emergency room and in the operating theatre.

Anastasia Yenshina, a 15-year-old student at the college, said she was in a toilet on the ground floor of the building with some friends when she heard the sound of an explosion.

"I came out and there was dust and smoke, I couldn't understand, I'd been deafened," she told Reuters. "Everyone started running. I did not know what to do. Then they told us to leave the building through the gymnasium."

"Everyone ran there... I saw a girl lying there. There was a child who was being helped to walk because he could not move on his own. The wall was covered in blood. Then everyone started to climb over the fence, and we could still hear explosions. Everyone was scared. People were crying."

Photographs from the scene of the blast showed that the ground floor windows of the two-storey building had been blown out, and that debris was lying on the floor outside.

Emergency services teams could be seen in the photographs carrying wounded people from the building on makeshift stretchers and loading them on to buses and ambulances.

A second pupil at the college, who gave his name as Sergei, said he had taken a few steps out of the building into the street when the first blast went off. He was hit by debris from the blast and injured in the leg.

Sergei, 15, told Reuters he ran to another building, but said he could hear more explosions going off every few seconds. He took cover and after the attack was over, he was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

"I arrived at the hospital, the scene there was awful. They're bringing in people all covered in blood, some with arms missing, some with legs missing."

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Che and Beginning of Cuban Independence Wars Remembered in Russia

The Association of Cuban Residents in Russia commemorated the fall in combat of the heroic guerrilla fighter Ernesto Che Guevara and the beginning of the wars for independence in Cuba, at an event held here on Sunday.

The screening of a documentary about Commander Camilo Cienfuegos and Che opened the event, which also remembers the physical disappearance of Camilo, also known as the Hero of Yaguajay.

The Association also screened a recent speech by President Miguel Diaz-Canel at the event to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of Cuba's wars for independence, held at the emblematic La Demajagua sugar mill, in eastern Cuba.

Cuban Deputy Consul Ricardo Carbajo Perez noted the possibilities opened for Cuban residents in Russia after an agreement is ratified between Moscow and Havana to extend to 90 days the period during which Cubans can stay in the country without a visa.

In addition, the diplomat noted that Cuban residents here can submit their proposals to modify the Constitution on the Internet.

The meeting also included a cultural gala at which musicians from the Cuban community in Russia played songs by the Cuban composer and pianist Ernesto Lecuona.

Participants at the meeting were called to celebrate Cuba's Culture Day on Saturday, October 20, to recall the first time when the National Anthem was sung in the country.

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After Aborted Launch Astronauts To Go To Space Next Year: Russia

Moscow: Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague are likely to go into space in the spring after their flight was suddenly aborted, the head of the Russian space agency said Friday.

"The guys will fly for sure," Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said on Twitter, posting a picture of himself with smiling Ovchinin and Hague. 

"We are planning their flight for the spring of next year," he said, adding the men had returned to the space training centre Star City outside Moscow.

Ovchinin and Hague had a close brush with death when a Soyuz rocket failed shortly after launch from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday.

It was the first such accident in Russia's post-Soviet history and a major setback for its once proud space industry.

The aborted launch took place in the presence of NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine who was visiting Russia and Baikonur this week and was a huge embarrassment for Russia, which has recently touted plans to send cosmonauts to the Moon and Mars.

The Soviet-designed Soyuz rocket is currently the world's only lifeline to the International Space Station and the accident is expected to affect the work of the orbiting laboratory. 

All manned launches have been suspended and a criminal probe has been launched.

The astronauts escaped unharmed and were in good spirits on Thursday. Official photographs showed them embracing their wives and tucking into food.

Industry experts say the country's space industry has in recent years suffered so many mishaps -- including the loss of cargo spacecraft and numerous satellites -- that a serious accident during a manned mission was simply a matter of time. 

'Collapse of Soyuz'
The failed launch earned scathing criticism from the usually pliant Russian media. 

"The breakup of the Soyuz," Kommersant broadsheet said in a frontpage headline, while Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily wrote: "The space industry crashed in a couple of minutes."

"There will be significant damage to the image of the industry," Vedomosti business daily said.

The fiercely pro-Kremlin Izvestia daily pointed out however the accident proved that the Soyuz had a reliable rescue system, designed in 1986.

There have been two similar aborted manned space launches in the history of the Soviet space programme.

In 1983, cosmonauts Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov miraculously survived a fire during launch in Kazakhstan.

In 1975, cosmonauts Oleg Makarov and Vasily Lazarev made a successful emergency landing in the Altai mountains after problems during booster separation. The harrowing accident went down in history as the world's first manned space launch abort.

Both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) expressed confidence in the reliability of the Soviet-era workhorse Soyuz rockets.

In a letter to the Russian space agency released Thursday, ESA director general Johann-Dietrich Worner praised the "extreme reliability" of the Soyuz and its importance for all countries with space programmes.

The United States is developing commercial space launches but problems with the Soyuz present a headache for NASA, which has a policy of having a continuous presence in space.

An interruption would also be disastrous for the research aboard the ISS, as the orbiting station serves as a scientific laboratory.

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Russia to supply India with 5 S-400 systems, defying Washington sanctions

A contract for the delivery of five S-400 systems, one of Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft weapons, has been signed between Moscow and New Delhi, the Kremlin has confirmed.

 

© Reuters

India signed a $5.43 billion deal to purchase five advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia, defying threats of potential sanctions from Washington.

The deal was finalized after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in New Delhi.

The advanced air defense system can defend against different kinds of cruise and ballistic missiles. China was the first foreign nation to purchase S-400 systems.

With its S-400 purchase, India now risks being sanctioned under Washington’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which targets countries that purchase arms from Russia.

During a joint media conference after their meeting, Putin said that Russia would work with India to boost bilateral cooperation in the United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and G20.

The Russian leader also said both nations would coordinate counter-terrorism efforts. Modi noted that both countries support a multipolar world.

The two leaders also signed a deal on space cooperation. Modi said during the joint press conference that he hoped Russia would help India develop its space program. The Indian leader recently announced that he aims to send astronauts into space by 2022.

Putin stated during the press conference that they had discussed regional security issues, including counter-terrorism efforts in Syria, as well as the status of the Iran nuclear deal.

Modi hailed his country’s close ties to Moscow, saying that Russia has always "stood shoulder-to-shoulder with India in the energy sector and our goals."

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