Thursday 23rd of January 2020

renewing the dialogue, without the yankee doodles...

vlads

After talking by phone, the Russian and Ukrainian Presidents announced their willingness to hold a meeting at the "Normandy Format" on the situation in Ukraine. Emmanuel Macron has given his "total support" to the initiative.


Volodymyr Zelensky's arrival in power is reshaping the cards for solving the Ukrainian crisis? At the initiative of the Ukrainian side, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart spoke by telephone on August 7, and agreed to hold a meeting in the "Normandy Format", that is to say with France and Germany.

"The working groups are still developing documents to be signed at the highest level," the press service of the Ukrainian president said in a statement quoted by the Kremlin. This is a significant development on the Ukrainian side, since on July 8, Volodymyr Zelensky had already mentioned the possibility of such a meeting by wishing to associate the United States, which is no longer the case.


Anxious to finalize as soon as possible the details of this summit, Volodymir Zelensky called in the wake of French President Emmanuel Macron, who has lent his support to the initiative. "Emmanuel Macron expressed his full support for Ukraine's initiatives and agreed on the need for a summit in the near future, which should be preceded by a meeting of the official representatives of the four parties", said the Ukrainian press service.


The Elysee said that Emmanuel Macron had "welcomed the constructive spirit and concord" in which acted Volodymyr Zelensky and "insisted that the progress of the last weeks will have to be consolidated." The French president "assured" his Ukrainian counterpart "of the full mobilization of France to achieve concrete results in the near future, within the framework of the Normandy format".


Strictly respect the ceasefire

The telephone conversation between Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin was also an opportunity for the two heads of state to address the issue of settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In particular, they stressed the importance of strictly adhering to the ceasefire established on 21 July 2019, as well as the agreements on the disengagement of military forces from the demarcation line. The Russian president insisted that it was necessary, in order to defuse the conflict, to rule out the possibility of further bombing of the Donbass towns and villages by the Ukrainian army, which still generates civilian casualties.

 

Read more:

https://francais.rt.com/international/64891-ukraine-zelensky-poutine-pro...

 

vying for peace...

KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday pressed Russian leader Vladimir Putin for a resumption of peace talks after four Ukrainian soldiers were killed by shelling in the eastern Donbass border region.


Conflict between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed forces has killed an estimated 13,000 people since 2014. A ceasefire deal brokered by France and Germany ended major conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2015, though small-scale clashes still occur regularly. 

Bringing peace to the Donbass region was a top campaign pledge for Zelenskiy, helping him to a landslide presidential election victory in April. He strengthened his power base in a parliamentary election last month. 

He said that, in a phone call with Putin on Wednesday, he had urged his Russian counterpart to exert influence over the Donbass fighters and agree to relaunch peace talks. 

Tuesday’s four deaths marked the highest toll of Ukrainian troops in a single day since Zelenskiy took office. 

“I said that this doesn’t bring us closer to peace,” Zelenskiy said of the phone call. “I beg you to influence the other side so that they stop the killing of our people.”

He said the Russian president had promised him something, details of which would be disclosed later. 

Putin in turn said Ukrainian forces must stop the shelling of settlements in the Donbass that led to civilian casualties. 

Both sides agreed to intensify work on prisoner exchanges. Russia holds dozens of Ukrainian captives from the conflict but it is unclear how many Russians are being held in Ukraine. 

The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany last met in 2016 for their “Normandy Format” talks on the Donbass. 

Zelenskiy said he planned to speak to French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel about arranging more talks. The Kremlin said Putin and Zelenskiy had discussed the prospect of such a meeting.

Read more:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-russia-zelenskiy/resum...

prisoners swap...

A prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine is under way, the president's office in Ukraine says.

The statement did not indicate who was being swapped, and would only say the process was "ongoing" and had yet to be completed.

But a Ukrainian prosecutor earlier said those being freed include the film-maker Oleg Sentsov and 24 Ukrainian sailors who were detained last year.

There has been no confirmation of the swaps from Russia.

Relatives of some of the detainees are already reported to be gathering at airports in Kiev.

Rumours that a prisoner swap is imminent have spread in recent days as Sentsov was moved to Moscow from a prison in Russia's Arctic north.

Who are the prisoners?

Sentsov was found guilty of plotting terrorist acts in Crimea after Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014.

The Ukrainian was arrested in 2014 during a protest against the annexation. 

Sentsov was given a 20-year jail sentence after prosecutors said he was involved in two attempted arson attacks in the city of Simferopol, ordered by extremist Ukrainian group Right Sector. He denied the charges.

The trial was condemned by the US, EU and other film directors.

Sentsov started a hunger strike in May last year to press Russia to free 64 jailed Ukrainians whom he calls political prisoners. After more than 140 days he abandoned the strike to avoid being force fed.

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49518616

ukrainian president is likable...

Ukraine, pro-Russia separatists carry out landmark prisoner exchange


The Ukrainian government has exchanged dozens of prisoners with Russian-backed separatists in a pre-planned exchange. The swap may indicate the start of a better working relationship between Russia and Ukraine.

Pro-Russia separatists and the Kyiv government carried out a landmark prisoner swap of Ukrainian soldiers in exchange for Ukraine-held separatists on Sunday near the rebel-controlled town of Gorlivka.

It is unclear exactly how many people were involved in the swap, but officials and Russian press previously said separatists would get 87 prisoners while 55 people would be handed over to Kyiv.

The exchange was agreed upon by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Paris in December, in a meeting that France and Germany helped broker.

Read more: Opinion: Germany's policy on Russia — silence implies consent

The swap took place in the rebel-controlled Donetsk region. "At the Mayorske checkpoint the process of releasing detained persons has begun," the official Twitter account of the Ukrainian president said on Sunday.

The all-for-all prisoner exchange has been seen as a sign of the gradual thaw between Moscow and Kyiv after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and the years-long conflict in eastern Ukraine that killed some 13,000 people.

"We are all waiting for this," the Ukrainian leader said on Saturday. He described the exchange as "the most difficult task this year."

Many commentators hope that this could spell an end to the conflict, given improved relations between Zelenskiy and Putin, who has described the Ukrainian president as "likable."

 

Read more:

https://www.dw.com/en/ukraine-pro-russia-separatists-carry-out-landmark-...

 

 

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defrost...

Kiev and Moscow announced on the night of December 30-31 that they had signed, after tough negotiations, a contract for the transit of Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine, raising fears of a new crisis in the middle of winter. "Ukraine has signed a five-year transit contract," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Facebook. "Europe knows that we are not going to drop it," he said.


The final agreements were reached after five days of uninterrupted negotiations in Vienna. A whole series of documents have been signed,” confirmed the boss of the Russian gas giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, quoted by the Russian agencies. He added that these documents would make it possible to continue "the transit of gas after December 31", the expiration date of the existing contract. Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed in a telephone conversation on December 31 the "importance" of this agreement and the "constructive nature of the talks, the results of which create an atmosphere favorable to the resolution of other problems" , according to a press release from the Kremlin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, quoted by AFP without specifying place or date, is said to be "happy" with this "successful conclusion" which she would have called "important signal". Despite the first agreement in principle obtained on December 19 in Berlin, talks to finalize it proved to be very tense, raising fears of a last-minute failure at the risk of disrupting supplies to European countries.

 

Find out more on RT France: https://francais.rt.com/economie/69571-kiev-moscou-ont-finalise-leur-acc...

 

 

This will piss off the Yamerikans as they won't be able to sell their overpriced and environmental disaster fracking gas to Europe...

rewriting history as a legend...

There is a weird article (naive or decidedly viciously slanted?) by a young journalist at the ABC. James Glenday is a North America correspondent based in Washington DC. He has previously been the ABC's Europe correspondent in London and a political reporter at Parliament House in Canberra. James has won several journalism awards, including the ABC's prestigious Andrew Olle Scholarship

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-02/whats-going-on-with-americas-mayo...

I knew Andrew Olle. I knew him enough to believe he would have been horrified by this young gun’s work here. It’s not that James is telling porkies, but he is leaving the important stuff out of the equation. What is the important stuff?

The important stuff is that the US policy in Ukraine has been to extract it from the Russian influence, using any means possible including giving moneys to Ukrainian Nazis “to fight corruption” and create “a revolution". If one carefully reads the speech by United States Ambassador to Ukraine, Mr Slava Ukraini, one should see the usual corrupt way of "soft" arm twisting that has served the USA well in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Vietnam, and in Europe after WW2. It’s generosity with thick strings attached. This is a way (often overt) to shift “local corruption” into a “US way to do corruption in a more acceptable profitable way for the US, as long as we do it the “US democratic way” — which "everyone” should know is corrupt. And not just Trump's baby. This has been the case under all presidents, including Obama and his acolyte Biden. Back in 1964, the General de Gaulle saw clearly through all this crap.

The whole system is corrupt for favours. Believing that in just a few years a "corrupt system” can be changed to a “justice the American way” by loading the dice with American moneys is delusion plus… Nulan worked on corrupting Ukraine with "cookies", far more than Russia ever did. Mr Slava Ukraini tells us:

"I take great pleasure in announcing that U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will return to Ukraine in October. During her visit, Secretary Pritzker will take a serious look at what Ukraine has accomplished since her last visit. I am confident that she will see a government and business community serious about reforms, and ready to establish more connections and partnerships with U.S. businesses and investors.

What is this shit?… Getting the headmistress of the school to come and give a tick of approval to the pacified bullies?… Come on, wake up, open your eyes! 


Oh and now, young James Glenday tells us as well:

"There's no evidence Mr Biden acted improperly.”

"Since the impeachment drama got underway, Ukrainian prosecutors have decided to reopen 15 investigations related to Burisma.


Ukraine's most senior prosecutor, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, says he's unaware of any wrongdoing by the younger Biden.


Hello? Unaware? Should this prosecutor find something unsavoury (which should not take long, I believe the Russian "new KGB” would know a few things) he will keep it unaware for a while because Biden could become US President, you know… We don’t want bad blood, do we?

And what was Young Biden doing at Burisma when he was an unwashed greenhorn at this job for which he was paid 50 grands a month? Is this sheer corruption, mates rates or who-you-know rather than what-you-know?

Sounds like pompous Captain Mainwaring deciding that old Godfrey who wants to quit the Platoooon is too valuable to the “Platooooon” because Godfrey is rostered for make tea for the Platoooooon of old foggies…

Yes Guiliani is a loose cannon, Trump is a loose cannon and this is the point that somewhere, in the US secret service AND the Russian secret service, someone knows what this shit was really all about. We should all know that Biden is a smart operator but cannot be trusted… He is a warmonger


Presently, Volodymir and Vladimir have made an uneasy peace. Volodymir knows of the pressures placed on the previous “non-corrupt” (laugh all you can) government of Poroshenko supported by the USA. The Ukrainians prefered to elect a comedian as president rather than do a few more years with Poro… Doesn't this tell you something?

Volodymir knows that many Ukrainians are not happy about the US and their moneys interfering with their politics. He also knows that Ukraine has an uneasy relationship with the Nazis, a dormant movement which was revived with US cash to create the Maidan revolution, which despite the US ambassador praising this “movement” was deviously vicious as all get out. The more honest people in Ukraine do not like this and may prefer “socialism” rather than being ruled by thugs, paid for by the USA, who turn their life into becoming servile to a big brother that can break their windows should they not pay protection moneys — through a vast empire of "more connections and partnerships with U.S. businesses and investors”.


Young James Glenday again:

"In fact, Mr Biden was part of an international consortium pressing to fire Mr Shokin because he wasn't investigating corruption actively enough.


The policy was made by the State Department, in coordination with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. 


The concern was the West wouldn't get value for the huge amount of treasure it was sending Ukraine's way to help it defend itself against Russia.


The firing of Mr Shokin in 2015 was widely applauded, and Ukraine was granted the aid money.


If this isn’t international ganging-corruption, what is? The IMF and the EU OBEY the US State Department, because, they themselves depend on the US teats — and countries fear being sanctioned (BLACKMAILED), AS THEY ARE UNDER TRUMP, PRESENTLY, in regard to Russian gas (NordStream2).

Of all these countries, Turkey is the one that is playing a double game of dare. Should the US sanction Turkey for buying Russian S400, the US would lose its Incirlik base and Europe would be flooded with a new wave of 2 million plus refugees… It’s a game of chicken... And Biden is thick in it.

What Biden did in Ukraine was no other thing than pure blackmail, to suit US interests, and do a favour for his son. Biden should be seen as a Mafioso thug, nothing less.

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See also:
http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/35901