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Archive for March 7, 2022

Newsline: Russia’s top diplomat insists on linking sanctions to Iran nuclear talks

Iran said on Monday it would not be dictated to by foreign interests, while Russia stuck to its position of linking the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal to Western sanctions over Ukraine by saying the pact cannot discriminate between participants. After 11 months of intensive talks between Tehran and world powers in Vienna to revive the nuclear agreement, all parties involved in the negotiations had said an agreement was close. But on Saturday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow wanted a guarantee from the United States that its trade, investment and military-technical cooperation with Iran would not be hindered by sanctions imposed since it invaded Ukraine. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Tehran would not allow “any foreign elements to undermine its national interests”, Iran’s state media reported on Monday, while the foreign ministry said it awaited an explanation from Russia. (https://news.yahoo.com/irans-shamkhani-says-tehran-evaluating-045204572.html) A few hours later, Lavrov told Amirabdollahian in a phone conversation that the revived nuclear deal should not allow for any discrimination between participants.

Newsline: Top Russian, Ukrainian diplomats to meet Thursday in Turkey

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba have agreed to meet at a forum in southern Turkey on Thursday, the first potential talks between the top diplomats since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, made the announcement on Monday and said he would attend the meeting in the resort city of Antalya. Russia’s foreign ministry confirmed the plan. NATO member Turkey, which shares a maritime border with Russia and Ukraine in the Black Sea, had been offering to mediate between the sides. Ankara has good relations with both Moscow and Kyiv, and has called Russia’s invasion unacceptable even as it opposes sanctions against Moscow. Cavusoglu said that in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated Turkey’s offer to host the meeting and Lavrov later accepted. “We especially hope that this meeting is a turning point and … an important step towards peace and stability,” he said, adding both ministers had asked for him to join the talks. (https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Ukraine-war/Top-Russian-Ukrainian-diplomats-to-meet-Thursday-in-Turkey) Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova confirmed the meeting on Telegram. Kuleba had said on Saturday he was open to talks with Lavrov but only if they were “meaningful.”

Newsline: Lorry crashes through gates of Russian embassy in Dublin as man arrested

A man has been arrested after a large lorry crashed through the gates of the Russian embassy in Dublin. Irish police said the lorry hit the gates of the embassy on Orwell Road in south Dublin at about 1.30pm on Monday. (https://news.yahoo.com/lorry-crashes-gates-russian-embassy-145935694.html) The embassy has been the scene of protests in recent days, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A garda spokesman said an incident of criminal damage at the property was being investigated. The arrested man has been taken to Rathfarnham garda station.

Newsline: China’s top diplomat lashes Washington over Quad, North Korea

China’s top diplomat on Monday accused Washington of trying to create an Asian version of the U.S.-European NATO military alliance and said it is up to the Biden administration to improve relations with North Korea. U.S. policy toward East Asia and the Indian Ocean and efforts to strengthen military ties with Japan, Australia and India are a “disaster that disrupts regional peace and stability,” Wang Yi said at a news conference. “The United States is playing geopolitical games under the pretext of promoting regional cooperation,” Wang said. He said this “runs counter” to regional desires for cooperation and “is doomed to have no future.” (https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/china-lashes-washington-quad-north-korea-83292438) Wang complained Washington is organizing U.S. allies to “suppress China.” Beijing is irritated by growing military ties among the Quad nations of the United States, Japan, Australia and India. China criticized a U.S. decision last year to supply technology for Australia to field its first nuclear-powered submarines.

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Newsline: Diplomats say U.N. Security Council set to discuss humanitarian situation in Ukraine

The United Nations Security Council on Monday will hold a meeting to discuss the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine, diplomats said, after more than 1.7 million Ukrainians have so far crossed into central Europe. The meeting was expected to start at 3 p.m. ET (2000GMT), three diplomats said. (https://news.yahoo.com/u-n-security-council-discuss-145442730.html) The United Nations has been at the forefront of diplomatic efforts urging an end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia has called the campaign it launched on Feb. 24 a “special military operation”. France and Mexico last week worked on a resolution to the U.N. Security Council to address the humanitarian impact, but it was unclear if it would be formally tabled on Monday’s meeting. A total of 1,735,068 civilians – mostly women and children, as men stayed home to fight – have crossed the border into central Europe, the UNHCR said.

Newsline: UK ambassador to Ukraine has left the country

British foreign minister Liz Truss said on Monday Britain’s ambassador to Ukraine had left the country because of the “serious security situation” after Russia invaded. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/uk-ambassador-ukraine-left-country-143706298.html) “Our ambassador has left Ukraine because of the serious security situation,” Truss told a parliamentary committee.

Newsline: U.S. top diplomat gets Lithuania’s warning on Russia

Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda on Monday warned Washington’s top diplomat Antony Blinken that a failure to stop Russia’s aggression in Ukraine would lead to a global conflict. Addressing the U.S. secretary of state as he began a tour of Baltic states, Nauseda said Russian leader Vladimir Putin “will not stop in Ukraine” and that the world had an obligation to help Ukrainians “by all means available.” “I mean indeed all means if we want to avoid the Third World War. The choice is in our hands,” he said. (https://news.yahoo.com/putin-not-stop-ukraine-lithuanian-090312853.html) NATO member Lithuania has sent military aid to Ukraine and welcomed small numbers of Ukrainian refugees since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24. Blinken was set to visit neighboring Latvia and Estonia on Monday and Tuesday. Belarus, which borders Lithuania and Latvia, allowed Russia to launch the assault from its territory after it had its troops stationed there for weeks under the guise of joint military exercises.

Newsline: ‘President Zelensky Way’ Street Sign Erected Outside Russian Embassy In D.C.

Activists have erected a new street sign outside the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C., to show support for Ukraine. A sign reading “President Zelensky Way” was posted outside the Consulate of Russia on Sunday afternoon in honor of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has been fighting to fend off the invading Russian army. (https://news.yahoo.com/president-zelensky-way-street-sign-010815142.html) “It was a symbolic gesture on our part,” Claude Taylor, photographer and chair of the progressive Mad Dog PAC, told HuffPost. The Russian embassy is located on a small offshoot along Wisconsin Avenue, a major street in D.C. Protesters outside the building have been calling on Russia to end its war, writing messages on the pavement in chalk and waving Ukrainian flags.