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Archive for Russia

Newsline: 400 kilos of cocaine found in Russian embassy in Argentina

Six people, including a former Russian diplomat and an Argentinian police officer, have been arrested following an investigation into cocaine smuggling through the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires. The arrests were the result of a joint operation between Russia and Argentina which began in December 2016 when cocaine was discovered on the embassy’s grounds. “We have dismantled an international cocaine trafficking organization operating between Argentina, Russia and Germany,” Argentina’s Security Minister Patricia Bullrich told journalists on Thursday. Russia’s Ambassador to Argentina Viktor Koronelli in late 2016 alerted local authorities after finding 16 bags of drugs hidden in a school on the embassy’s grounds. Argentinian police seized the 389 kilograms of cocaine worth over $60 million and replaced it with bags of flour fitted with a tracking device, Reuters reports. The bags were then traced as they were shipped to Russia as diplomatic luggage in December last year. Two men who collected the bags in Russia have been arrested. Bullrich named a “Mr. K,” who “remains at large in Germany” as responsible for supplying the cocaine to the Russian Embassy. A former embassy official identified as Ali Abyanov, who reportedly helped plan the shipment, was detained at his apartment in Moscow on Thursday, media report.

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russian-embassy-in-argentina-embroiled-in-cocaine-smuggling-scandal-60617

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Newsline: Turkish Embassy in Moscow receives envelope containing white powder

The Turkish Embassy in Moscow received an envelope containing white powder, said an Embassy employee. Preliminary examinations showed that this white powder was not hazardous, the Embassy employee told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media. Since last week, 12 embassies in Moscow reported the reception of envelopes with white powder, according to security sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. No poisonous substances were discovered after examination.

https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2018/02/21/turkish-embassy-in-moscow-receives-envelope-containing-white-powder

Newsline: Iraqi ambassador to Moscow calls Turkish forces in Iraq “invaders”

The Iraqi ambassador to Moscow Haydar Hadi has described the presence of Turkish forces on Iraqi soil as an “invasion”, the Russian news site Sputnik Türkiye reported on Tuesday. “We see the Turkish soldiers’ presence in Iraq as an invasion, and have sent a message of protest on the topic,” said Hadi at a press conference in Moscow, adding that countries from the Arab League had supported Iraq’s stance. Turkish forces entered Iraq in 2015 to help the international coalition to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS), the extremist jihadist organisation that declared itself a caliphate in 2014 after seizing the Iraqi city of Mosul. The Turkish parliament voted to extend the deployment of troops at a military base in the town of Bashiqa for another year in September 2017, even though its stated objective of forcing ISIS out of Mosul had been achieved.

https://ahvalnews.com/iraq-turkey/turkish-forces-iraq-invaders-iraqi-ambassador

Newsline: Bulgarian Embassy in Moscow Received Letter with White Powder

The Bulgarian Embassy is among the 13 which have received letters with white powder. According to local sources, the substance is an insect venom, including the pesticide fipronil used in agriculture and veterinary medicine. Such letters were sent to the Embassies of US, Canada, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, France, Romania, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, etc. Russian security agencies assure that letters do not pose a threat. This was confirmed by a representative of the headquarters of the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

http://www.novinite.com/articles/187985/The+Bulgarian+Embassy+in+Moscow+Received+a+Letter+with+White+Powder

Newsline: Syrian ambassador rebuffs UN envoy’s efforts

Syria’s ambassador to the U.N. says his government will not recognize any constitutional reform body formed outside the framework of a Russian-led peace initiative for his country. Bashar Jaafari’s remarks to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday appeared to rebuff efforts by U.N. Envoy Staffan De Mistura to facilitate and mediate constitutional reform for Syria, one of the guiding principles of a 2015 Security Council roadmap for peace for Syria. Jaafari’s remarks echoed an earlier statement by Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Sousan who said de Mistura had no authority to select delegates to a constitutional committee for Syria. Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Sousan said Tuesday that only participants in a Russian-led “Syrian Congress of National Dialogue” convened in Sochi last month could be delegates on a constitutional committee. Several members of the Syrian opposition refused to attend the Sochi conference. De Mistura has said the Sochi congress delivered a mandate to allow him to convene a constitutional committee with members from the broader Syrian opposition.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/latest-syria-chemical-weapons-53078658

Newsline: Russian embassy says the Netherlands is spreading anti-Russian sentiment

The Russian embassy in The Hague has condemned the way perceptions of Russia are being twisted in Dutch public opinion, in its first comment on foreign minister Halbe Zijlstra’s admission that he lied about a meeting with president Vladimir Putin. Zijlstra has been under fire since admitting on Monday that he lied about overhearing Putin define ‘Greater Russia’ as ‘Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states,’ then adding that ‘Kazakhstan was nice to have’. In a two page English statement, the embassy says it considers Zijlstra’s comments as a domestic matter. It then goes on to say ‘we cannot ignore how perceptions of Russia’s aggressive intentions are being persistently propagated in Dutch public opinion.’ ‘The attempts to attribute to Russia “great-power ambitions” and the desire to recreate “the Soviet Empire” do not hold up against any criticism,’ the statement said.

http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2018/02/the-netherlands-is-spreading-anti-russian-sentiment-the-hague-embassy-says/

Newsline: Moscow considers Dead End address for US embassy as rival powers revive Cold War name games

Russia and America have resurrected one of their favourite Cold War games, renaming streets to inflict maximum embarrassment and tweak each other’s dignity. Moscow’s city government announced that it will examine a request to change the address of the US embassy in Moscow to 1 North American Dead-end. The proposal appears to be a tit for tat measure after Washington’s city council last month changed the name of the block housing the Russian embassy to 1 Boris Nemtsov Plaza, after the opposition politician who was shot dead near the Kremlin in 2015.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/13/moscow-considers-dead-end-address-us-embassy-rival-powers-revive/