The Estonian authorities’ attempts to legalize the dismantling of monuments to Soviet soldiers are insulting and could have an impact on Russian-Estonian relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry website said on Thursday.
Popularity: 8% [?] January 19, 2007
Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos arrives in Moscow for a three-day visit Monday with an agenda dominated by bilateral economic and international issues, Kremlin press office reported in Monday.
Russia has been seeking to re-establish contacts with African states, including oil-rich Angola, under President Vladimir Putin. The president and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made separate tours of the continent this fall, signaling a fresh interest in business cooperation since the collapse of the Soviet Union, which supplied arms and other goods to Africa in the ideological standoff with the West.
Russia is currently Angolaâ€™s 10th largest partner, according to Rossiiskaya Gazeta, a government daily. But meeting with Lavrov in September, Soviet-educated Dos Santos urged more intensive cooperation with Russia, above all in the development of new iron ore, oil and gas deposits, and space.
The Kremlin press office said: â€œA set of bilateral documents is expected to be signed at the meeting.â€ Other areas of cooperation between Russia and Angola include diamond production, power engineering, and fisheries. Russiaâ€™s largest diamond producer, Alrosa, has about a 40% stake in the Catoca diamond joint venture in Angola, which produces around 6 million carats of crude diamonds a year.
Russian companies are helping the country build the largest hydropower plant in the region, with a capacity of 520 mWt, and are in talks on the construction of power lines. Russian fishing companies also catch up to 25,000 metric tons of sea products a year in Angolan waters.
Angola has shown brisk economic development exploiting its vast mineral resources since the government signed a ceasefire agreement with American-backed UNITA rebels in 2002, following 27 years of bloody civil war. The country, which was in ruins several years ago, plans to export up to 2 million barrels of oil annually, largely to the United States and China, by 2008, RIA Novosti reports.
Popularity: 5% [?] October 30, 2006
Syria has done nothing to deserve international sanctions as it has cooperated with a UN probe into the killing of Lebanonâ€™s former premier Rafiq Hariri, Russiaâ€™s foreign minister has said in an interview quoted by AFP.
â€œFrankly, I do not see what Syria could have done to deserve facing sanctions,â€ Sergei Lavrov told the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday.
â€œWe believe that Syria is actively cooperating with the UN investigation in the (February 2005) assassination of Lebanonâ€™s former PM Rafiq Hariri. International investigators visit Syria frequently, meet Syrian officials and present their reports to the UN security council,â€ he said.
â€œI have not heard any accusation of default against Syria,â€ in this regard, he told the London-based Arabic daily.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said late September the United States was hoping to convince its allies to back new sanctions against Syria in response to its purported role in destabilizing Lebanon and Iraq and supporting the radical Palestinian movement Hamas.
Lavrov also praised Syria for avoiding turning the July war between Lebanonâ€™s Hezbollah and Israel into a regional conflict.
â€œThank God that war did not turn into an all-out regional war … That did not happen because the Syrian leadership took a very responsible stand and avoided all that could have dragged Syria into the furnace of the military conflict,â€ the minister said.
Syria earned rare praise from U.S. President George W. Bushâ€™s administration for thwarting an attack on its embassy in Damascus on September 12.
Popularity: 4% [?] October 27, 2006
International action over Tehranâ€™s nuclear program must be in proportion to the real situation in Iran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said, the Reuters news agency reports.
â€œIt is necessary to act on Iran but that action should be in direct proportion to what is really happening,â€ RIA Novosti news agency quoted Lavrov as saying on Wednesday.
â€œAnd what is really happening is what the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) reports to us. And the IAEA is not reporting to us about the presence there of a threat to peace and security,â€ the minister stressed.
French UN Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere told journalist earlier that the European powers were going to put forward a draft UN Security Council resolution during the course of this week.
According to the media reports, the resolution would impose limited sanctions, including bans on nuclear and missile cooperation.
Six countries â€” U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany offered Iran a package of economic incentives and political rewards in June 2006 if it agreed to consider a long-term moratorium on enrichment and commit to a freeze on uranium enrichment before talks to discuss details of their package, the Associated Press reported.
But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said his country would continue enrichment, and is not intimidated by the possibility of sanctions.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who has led talks on behalf of the six nations, said he spoke to top Iranian negotiation Ali Larijani on Monday but â€œthe situation hasnâ€™t changed,â€ and Iran continues to refuse to suspend its nuclear enrichment program.
â€œWe have to see if we can overcome the situation that makes it impossible to start negotiations,â€ he said.
Solanaâ€™s negotiations with Tehran were seen as a final bid to avoid a full-blown confrontation between Iran and the U.N. after it ignored an Aug. 31 deadline to suspend enrichment or face punishment.
The United States has called for broad sanctions, such as a total ban on missile and nuclear technology sales, while the Russians and Chinese back prohibitions of selected items as a first step.
Popularity: 4% [?] October 18, 2006