Iran, Russia to Abandon Dollar, Trade in National Currencies

Iran and Russia, two countries dealing with U.S. imposed sanctions, are abandoning the dollar for bilateral trade and adopting national currencies.

Russia and Iran have decided to end trading in dollars for their bilateral economic relations. The countries want to use their national currencies instead. They also could use the euro for trade as reported by the Russian ambassador to Iran, Levan Dzhagaryan.

RELATED: Russia Pulls Out of The INF in Tit For Tat With The US

"We will support the Russian ruble and the Iranian rial, in case of urgent need [we will work] in euros, in the absence of other options, " said Dzhagaryan to TASS, adding that for Moscow, "the transition to mutual calculations" in national currencies with Tehran "is vital."

The ambassador believes that despite the difficulty of the task, the banking institutes of both nations have the ability to implement the initiative.

Various countries are trying to minimize the usage of the dollar. Last August, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey was preparing to adopt payments in national currency to Russia, China, Iran, and Ukraine and use euro for European Union.

Rampant sanctions against countries that oppose the United States hegemony have been using alternative currencies to retaliate against the sanctions.

Last year Iran announced the suppression of the U.S. dollar and replaced it with euro, Iraqi dinar, and Iranian rial.

In order to maintain economic security in the country, Russia on Jan. 10 transferred almost US$100 billion to the Chinese yuan, the euro and Japanese yen.

The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini said Thursday that the EU is launching INSTEX (Instrument of Support to Commercial Exchanges) to trade with Iran in order to evade sanctions imposed by the U.S.

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Russia follows US in suspending nuclear deal

Russia has suspended the cold war-era intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty after a similar move by the US.

Vladimir Putin announced the decision on Saturday and also instructed the government not to initiate disarmament talks with Washington.

Moscow’s relations with the west are strained over a number of issues, including Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine as well as charges of meddling with the presidential election in the US and allegedly being behind a nerve agent attack in Britain.

“The American partners have declared that they suspend their participation in the deal; we suspend it as well,” the Russian president said during a televised meeting with foreign and defence ministers.

The US announced on Friday it would withdraw from the INF treaty with Russia in six months unless Moscow ended what it said were violations of the landmark 1987 arms control pact.

Putin said Russia would start work on creating new missiles, including hypersonic ones, and told ministers not to initiate disarmament talks with Washington, accusing the US of being slow to respond to such moves.

“We have repeatedly, during a number of years, and constantly raised a question about substantiative talks on the disarmament issue, notably, on all the aspects,” Putin said. “We see that in the past few years the partners have not supported our initiatives.”

During the meeting, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, also accused the US of violating the INF and other arms deals, such as the non-proliferation treaty.

Putin said Russia would not increase its military budget for the new weapons and it would not deploy its weapons in Europe and other regions unless the US did so.

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US production of new nuke warhead increases risk of nuclear war – Russian FM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the US of bringing a nuclear conflict closer after the Trump administration ordered the production of a new nuclear warhead, the W76-2.

The country’s top diplomat reminded journalists that Moscow voiced its concern last year that the production of small-capacity nuclear weapons “lowers the threshold of nuclear weapons use and, of course, boosts the risk of a nuclear conflict.”

“Apparently, these plans were put into practice,” Lavrov said. “Certainly, it won’t contribute to global security.”

Russia will now await Europe’s reaction to the US move to begin production of the new weapon.

Also on rt.com ‘The new abnormal’: Doomsday clock holds steady at two minutes to midnight... 

The warhead, known as the W76-2, is being produced at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Pantex Plant in the Texas Panhandle, according to the National Nuclear Security Agency. The US Navy is expected to receive the first batch of new warheads in September.

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Russia and China warn Washington of launching attack on Venezuela

Moscow, January 25 (RHC)-- Moscow and Beijing have issued statements in support of Venezuela against U.S. meddling with the sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic through military interference, which includes a planned coup d'état.

The Russian Foreign Ministry says "only Venezuelans have the right to determine their future," and that "destructive external intervention is unacceptable," citing a catastrophic outcome, the Interfax news agency reported.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia indicated that the United States’ intention to interfere with Venezuela was unsurprising, further noting that "the swearing in of a 'president in charge of Venezuela' opposition, and its immediate recognition in that capacity by the U.S. and several regional states, aims to increase the division in Venezuela, incite violence and essentially seeks to destabilize the internal political situation and further escalate conflict.”

Russia made the remarks following President of the National Assembly Juan Guaido -- with the support of the United States, Canada and some Latin American neighbors -- unconstitutionally declaring himself president of the state of Venezuela on Wednesday.  Within minutes, the U.S. formally recognized the illegal, parallel government.      

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the "duality of powers, intentional and, obviously, well thought out" in the Latin American country "is a direct path to chaos and the destruction of the foundations of the Venezuelan State."

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has promised to fight against the push of U.S. and its allies, aiming to preserve the Bolivarian Republic even severing diplomatic and political relations with Washington.

Meanwhile, China also declared full support for the Venezuelan government, sternly rejecting the "intrusion in internal affairs" of the country by the United States, which backs illegitimate self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido.

"China supports the efforts of the Government of Venezuela to maintain its sovereignty, independence and stability," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying remarked in a press conference.

The Chinese official expressed opposition to all external interference and recommends a peaceful resolution within the framework of Venezuela’s Constitution.   "We hope that all parties will oppose any external interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela, the complication of the situation will not contribute to the maintenance of stability," Hua said to TASS.

"We always follow the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, we oppose foreign interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and we hope that the international community will also follow this principle.”

Edited by Ed Newman
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Cuba for Effective Participation of Russia in Its Development

The vice president of the Council of Ministers of Cuba, Ricardo Cabrisas, spoke today to guarantee an effective participation of Russia in the socioeconomic development program of the island until 2030.

By attending the meeting of co-chairs of the Russia-Cuba intergovernmental commission, along with his Russian counterpart, Yuri Borisov, Cabrisas highlighted the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The Cuban vice president also stressed that on this occasion issues and projects is addressed which are followed, after the celebration in Havana of the XVI session of the intergovernmental commission between the two countries, held last October.

He stressed that there is much work ahead to bring economic-trade relations to the current level of political ties between the two states.

In turn, Borisov said that at the end of the official talks the signature of the final act of the XVI session of the intergovernmental commission that took place in Havana is expected.

The co-chairman for the Russian side of the intergovernmental commission highlighted the progress of work for industrial, commercial, energy and other cooperation.

The delegation headed by the Cuban vice president also plans a meeting with the first Russian Deputy Prime Minister and finance minister, Anton Siluanov.

Cabrisas arrived last Wednesday in this capital, from France where he also held meetings with senior officials of that European nation.

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Explosion rocks area near Russian Embassy in Damascus

A blast has occurred in the Syrian capital of Damascus close to the Russian Embassy, the diplomatic mission has confirmed. The explosion has inflicted only material damage, according to SANA news agency.

A car bomb detonated in the area, according to state TV. Other media outlets, however, suggest that the attack might have been carried out by a suicide bomber. The explosion has apparently caused only material damage, no casualties have been reported so far.

Several government buildings, as well as the Embassy of Russia, are located in the vicinity of the area, where the blast occurred.

The explosion occurred some 500 meters away from the Embassy, Russian mission confirmed, adding that its staff was not affected by the blast.

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A number of photos, purportedly showing the scene of the blast, have emerged online. The explosive device was apparently planted in an old blue car, which was badly damaged in the explosion.

 

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Russia, China Caution US Against A Venezuelan Coup

Russia says the "duality of powers, intentional and, obviously, well thought out" in the Latin American country "is a direct path to chaos and the destruction of the foundations of the Venezuelan State."

Thursday Moscow and Beijing issued statements in support of Venezuela against U.S. meddling with the sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic through military interference, which includes a planned coup d'état.

RELATED: New Coup Attempt In Venezuela Led by Juan Guaido

The Russian ministry says "only Venezuelans have the right to determine their future," and that "destructive external intervention is unacceptable," citing a catastrophic outcome, the Interfax news agency reported.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia indicated that the United States’ intention to interfere with Venezuela was unsurprising, further noting that "the swearing in of a 'president in charge of Venezuela' opposition, and its immediate recognition in that capacity by the U.S. and several regional states, aims to increase the division in Venezuela, incite violence and essentially seeks to destabilize the internal political situation and further escalate conflict.” 

Russia made the remarks following President of the National Assembly Juan Guaido - with the support of the United States, Canada and some Latin American neighbors - unconstitutionally declaring himself president of the state of Venezuela Wednesday.      

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the "duality of powers, intentional and, obviously, well thought out" in the Latin American country "is a direct path to chaos and the destruction of the foundations of the Venezuelan State."

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has promised to fight against the push of U.S. and its allies, aiming to preserve the Bolivarian Republic even severing diplomatic and political relations with Washington.

China

Meanwhile, China also declared full support for the Venezuelan government, sternly rejecting the "intrusion in internal affairs" of the country by the United States, who backs illegitimate self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido.

"China supports the efforts of the Government of Venezuela to maintain its sovereignty, independence and stability," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying remarked in a press conference.

The Chinese official express opposition to all external interference and recommends a peaceful resolution within the framework of Venezuela’s Constitution. 

"We hope that all parties will oppose any external interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela, the complication of the situation will not contribute to the maintenance of stability," Hua said to TASS.

"We always follow the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, we oppose foreign interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and we hope that the international community will also follow this principle.”

  • Published in World

Russia unveils evidence on missile that US claims violates INF Treaty, Washington snubs briefing

The Russian military presented evidence contrary to the US claim that Moscow possesses a missile which violates the terms of the INF Treaty. The Americans had been invited to the event but apparently were not interested.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) was signed by the US and the USSR to denuclearize the European continent. The treaty bans ground-based missiles with a range between 500km and 5,500km – plenty of which had been deployed by both sides of the Cold War by the time it was signed. The US is about to scrap it, citing alleged violations by Russia.

Russian military presents 9M729 missile, which US claimed violates...

Despite claims from Washington, the American move is motivated by America’s self-interest, not anything done by Russia, told journalists on Wednesday Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. He took part in a joint conference with top generals from the Russian Defense Ministry, meant to provide extra details about the missile, which the US claims are in breach of the INF. The diplomat stressed that complaints from Washington are simply a pretext to walk away from the deal, which the current US leadership no longer wants.

The recent events make it obvious that some forces in the US are not interested in allowing us to overturn through technical expert dialogue the erroneous – or even fabricated – information, which could resolve this issue once and for all. Hyping up this problem was not done to simply resolve it, obviously.

Speaking alongside Ryabkov was General Lieutenant Mikhail Matveevsky, the commander of the Russian Missile and Artillery Troops, who went into details about the 9M729 missile, the one that the Americans claim to be violating the agreement. Washington says it has intelligence data, which prove that the projectile was tested several years ago for a range banned by the INF. But apparently, it was not interested in evidence from Russia, since no American experts were sent to the event, according to Ryabkov.

The missile, Gen. Matveevsky said, is an upgraded variant of the 9M729, a cruise missile launched by the Iskander-M launcher. Compared to the older version, the 9M729 has a heavier, more powerful warhead, and a more accurate but bulkier targeting system. This required increasing the missile’s length and the size of its transport and launch container.

The size increase made it incompatible with the launcher used for the 9M728 version, so the defense ministry had a new launcher developed for it. It is bigger and carries four 9M729 missiles, compared to two for the 9M728 variant. He showed diagrams of both weapons for comparison.

The increased size had an impact on the range of the 9M729, which is not only below the threshold of the INF, but also about 10km lower than that of the 9M728. The bigger missile can fly up to 480 km, and was tested to that range during a major military exercise in 2017, the official said.

Gen. Matveevsky stressed that the 9M729 is a solid-propellant missile that is sealed in its container at the plant and can not be modified in the field.

As for the US claim that one test of the missile breached the terms of the INF, Matveevsky assured the intelligence was wrong. The launch pad, from which the supposedly violating launch was made, is used by other branches of the Russian armed forces to test their weapons. Those include long-range strategic missiles, the tests of which are conducted with prior notifications of the US, as is required by the transparency rules between the two countries. The general provided statistics for test launches conducted from the site between 2008 and 2014 for reference.

Also on rt.com US & Russia trade blame on INF as last-ditch talks to save nuclear treaty fail in Geneva...

The journalists were also given a chance to compare the 9M728 and the 9M729, which were displayed in their containers, and inspect the 9M729 launcher. According to Ryabkov, US military inspectors were offered a chance to take part in the Wednesday event, but Washington chose to ignore it. US officials reportedly said there was no sense inspecting the Russian missile since the Russian side refused to allow opening it up and seeing its classified internal structure.

The diplomat reiterated Russia’s own complaints about US actions, which Moscow sees a violation of the INF, including the use of intermediate-range target missiles during tests of ABM weapons. Russia believes that the INF has to be preserved, Ryabkov added, but stressed that it will not destroy its stockpile of 9M729 missiles, as demanded by the US.

The US indents to withdraw from the INF on February 2, after last-ditch talks in Geneva failed to resolve the stand-off.

 

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