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Archive for Russia

Newsline: Moscow recalls controversial ambassador to Washington back

The U.S.-Russia Business Council will host a farewell party for #Russian Ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak on July 11 at the St. Regis Hotel. The event confirms a BuzzFeed News report that Moscow has recalled the controversial envoy whose alleged #secret meetings with Trump campaign officials has led to an obstruction of justice investigation against #President Donald Trump. The recall, although expected because the ambassador has been in his U.S. post since 2008, comes at a time that the Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election has been linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kislyak’s secret meetings with Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Trump, and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.


Newsline: Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Hopes for Quick Resolution of Border Issues

Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Igor Petrishenko told Sputnik he hoped for a quick settlement of the situation related to the border control between the two states. In January, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree under which citizens of 80 countries can enter Belarus through the checkpoint of the Minsk National Airport and stay during five days without a visa. The decree, which affects Russia due to the free movement regime between the countries under the Union State of Russia and Belarus, entered into force in February. Russia in its turn established a border zone in Pskov, Smolensk and Bryansk regions on the border with Belarus to block illegal transit migration, drug trafficking and illegal movement of material assets in the wake of Lukashenko’s decree. The move was criticized by Minsk. “One of the current problems, which raises concern and criticism among citizens of Belarus and Russia, as well as among nationals of third countries, is some of the… changes related to crossing the Belarusian-Russian border…,” Petrishenko said. The ambassador pointed out that establishment of the border zones and restoring passport control created many difficulties for the Russian and Belarusian citizens.


Newsline: Russian ambassador to help search for missing Colorado officer

The efforts to grow a search for a Colorado officer and National Guardsman who is missing in Russia amid a hiking trip added an international partner. The search for Littleton Police Department Officer and Colorado National Guardsman Steven Beare now includes U.S. and Russian assets after a meeting between Colorado Representative Mike Coffman and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Coffman stepped in and offered his help after a Denver7 report highlighted Olivia Beare’s quest to find her husband despite little support from Russian authorities. Beare, an experienced officer who has been deployed overseas multiple times, is an avid hiker who was on a quest to summit the world’s seven tallest peaks. He was on his second mountain, Mount Elbrus in Russia, when he went missing on June 16. The hike was his first solo climb and was expected to go smoothly, however a storm moved in over the mountain and dumped several feet of snow. Beare is believed to be lost in that storm, and it’s not known if he is alive or dead. Beare’s family and friends have organized assets through the U.S. to move in and begin searching, with a searcher arriving to the mountain not long ago. Now Russian authorities have pledged their support, too, according to Rep. Coffman. “I want to thank Ambassador Kislyak for meeting with me this afternoon,” Coffman said in a release. “I received assurances that his government will do everything possible in the search for Steven Beare. Discussed today was the deployment of specialized mountain search and rescue teams and Russian military helicopters to aid in the search.”


Newsline: Russian Embassy Hands Note to Paris Over Attack on Military Agency Delegate

The Russian Embassy in Paris handed a note to the French Foreign Ministry over an assault and robbery of Russia’s Rosoboronexport arms exporter chief delegate at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday. “The Russian embassy sent a note to the French Foreign Ministry over the incident with a request to thoroughly investigate this case,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters at a weekly briefing. Sergey Kornev, Rosoboronexport’s chief delegate, was en route from the air show late on Tuesday when his vehicle came under attack in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said Wednesday that Kornev was slightly injured but did not require hospitalization.


Newsline: Ex-chief accountant of Russian embassy in Vietnam to go on trial on embezzlement charges

Former chief accountant of Russian embassy in Vietnam Vladislav Balabkin charged with embezzling 6 million rubles (about $104,700) will go on trial, the official website of the Prosecutor General’s Office said. Investigators allege that In February 2013, Balabkin abused trust of Russian ambassador and received $200,000 from joint Vietnamese-Russian bank in Hanoi for his own purposes. The embassy received damage estimated at 6 million rubles as a result. Balabkin admitted guilt in full. His case will be reviewed by the Presnensky District Court of Moscow.


Newsline: Russia’s embassy urges North Korea to release crew of detained yacht

Russia’s Embassy in North Korea has called on the authorities to release the crew of a detained Russian yacht Katalexa, a spokesman for the diplomatic mission in Pyongyang, Denis Samsonov, told TASS on Friday. The embassy has “expressed bewilderment” over a statement of the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s consular department that the yacht was detained while sailing in the Sea of Japan for violating the country’s border. According to Samsonov, the Russian yacht was detained in the area located no closer than 50 miles away from the shore. Now Katalexa is in the port of Rajin, in the country’s northeast. Russia’s Consul-General in Chongjin Yury Bochkarev is heading there to meet with the crew members and verify details of the incident. The head of Russia’s company in Rajin, RasonKonTrans, Ivan Tonkih is finding out if the Russians have drinking water and food. The Katalexa yacht was being towed from Taiwan to the Russky Island off Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East, the regional Yachting Sport Federation told TASS. According to this organization, three crew members were onboard the yacht. Last year, another Russian yacht en route from South Korea’s Busan to Vladivostok was apprehended approximately 80 miles from the North Korean coast. The vessel was released when Russian diplomats intervened. North Korean authorities said it was held “by mistake” after a crew of a North Korean fishing vessel noticed a South Korean logo on its hull.


Newsline: Turkish Police Identify 5 Suspects Connected to Russian Ambassador Killing

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has identified five suspects in connection with the murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov and is pursuing the possibility that one of the five might have ordered the assassin police officer to kill the envoy. Details continue to emerge regarding the assassination of Karlov, who was killed late on Dec. 19, 2016, as the prosecutor’s office has been conducting an extensive investigation to determine who was behind the murder. Prosecutors have determined five suspects who might have been in contact with the assassin.