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Brussels gives Poland five days to demonstrate ‘significant progress’ in addressing concerns.

Poland faces the prospect of becoming the first EU country to be sanctioned for failing to uphold the rule of law after Brussels issued Warsaw with another warning over its constitutional overhaul.

On Wednesday, the European Commission gave Poland five days to demonstrate “significant progress” in addressing Brussels’ concerns over controversial changes to the country’s constitutional court and its state media................

To read further go to this link: (Financial Times) 
A prominent Kremlin-connected nationalist ideologue said he was briefly detained at the Greek border and told he was being denied entry into the European Union despite not being on an EU sanctions list.

Aleksandr Dugin, the virulently anti-Western head of the Russia-based International Eurasian Movement, said on May 17 that Greek border guards refused to let him enter the country after he arrived at the airport in the city of Thessaloniki.

The border guards said he was stopped from entering the EU at the request of Hungarian authorities, Dugin told the conservative, religious-themed television channel Tsargrad, where he serves as editor in chief.

Tsargrad subsequently reported that Dugin was later allowed into the country after intervention by Russian diplomats.

The television channel is owned by Russian tycoon Konstantin Malofeyev, who is believed to have bankrolled much of the Russia-backed separatist movement in Ukraine and has been sanctioned by the EU for his alleged role in the conflict.

The United States last year slapped sanctions on Dugin, citing his affiliation with a group that Washington says has "actively recruited individuals with military and combat experience to fight on behalf of Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine."................

To read further go to this link:
Queen Elizabeth II in her throne speech said the resolution of Ukraine's conflict, support of international efforts to establish peace in Syria, as well as fight against the terrorist group Islamic State were among the main foreign policy priorities of the UK for the year.

Censor.NET reports citing RIA Novosti.

The Queen said her government would continue to work to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.

It will play a leading role in the campaign against the IS and in support of international efforts to establish peace in Syria, Elizabeth II added.

The throne speech is annually made by the Queen at the State Opening of the Parliament's new session. The speech is prepared by the ministers of the crown in the cabinet.  In Ukrainian/український
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko initiates the establishment of a working group under the Constitutional Commission to develop amendments to the Constitution concerning the Crimean Tatars’ right for self-determination.

"Albeit belatedly, but we have realized the need to create Crimean Tatars' national autonomy in Crimea, fully guaranteeing equal rights and freedoms of ethnic Ukrainians, Russians, and other peninsula ethnicities. We must initiate the process of making amendments to section 10 of the Constitution of Ukraine and Autonomous Republic of Crimea in the Parliament of Ukraine, which would be fully reasoned from the inalienable right of the Crimean Tatar people to self-determination as part of a sovereign and independent Ukrainian state," he said speaking at the event dedicated to the memory of the victims of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people held in the National opera of Ukraine on Wednesday, Censor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine.

The president assured that he would urge the Constitutional Commission to create a working group with the participation of members of the Commission, representatives of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, and experts to develop amendments to the relevant section of the Constitution in the near future.   In Ukrainian/український
A new video of Russian war planes' passes over the destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea have been released on the Internet.

Censor.NET reports referring to YouTube.

As previously reported, the incidents occurred thrice on April 10 and 12. The planes were not carrying missiles. They flew over the destroyer in a combat maneuver. According to The Wall Street Journal, one of the episodes took place when a Polish helicopter was about to take off the Donald Cook. This caused the heli to postpone the flight. According to AFP, one of the planes' maneuvers was performed only nine meters above the destroyer.

Washington sees the maneuvers as unsafe and potentially provocative.

On April 29, the U.S. expressed its protest to Russia over the fact that a Russian Su-27 carried out a roll 30 meters away from an American plane in the skies over the Baltic Sea.  In Ukrainian/український

By Tom Whitehead, security editor of the Telegraph, London, UK, May 18, 2016

David Cameron has made Britain a “semi-pacifist” nation more interested in protecting “welfare and benefits” than adequate defences, one of the country’s most senior retired generals has warned.

General Sir Richard Shirreff, former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander of Nato, said the UK had “shrunk in to itself” and carries an “increasingly impotent stick”.

He said the country now risked losing its post-Falklands global reputation for military might.

The devastating attack came as Sir Richard warned Britain and the West could be at war with Russia within a year if it fails to stand up to President Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

David Cameron is accused of being concerned with welfare than defence

In a new book, he said the risk of conflict between the two sides is at its greatest since the Cold War and predicts they would be pushed over the edge if Russia invaded the Baltic States, who are NATO members.

In the preface, Sir Richard also criticises the demise of Britain’s standing on the world stage and its creeping unwillingness to engage militarily overseas.

He said Britain’s recapture of the Falklands in 1982 had impressed the world, including Russia, but that was now being lost by a government “terrified of being seen to commit”...............
28 million hryvnia on the account of former president Viktor Yanukovych in Oshchadbank (State Savings Bank) have been arrested.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Ukrainski Novyny, this was announced by his lawyer Vitalii Serdiuk.

"Funds in amount of approximately 28 million hryvnia ($1.12 million) have been arrested at the official bank account in Oschadbank Ukrainy," he said.

According to him, another 50,000 UAH were arrested on Yanukovych's accounts in other Ukrainian banks.   In Ukrainian/український
The U.S. wants the Minsk agreements, aimed at settling the conflict in Ukraine, be implemented as soon as possible, U.S.

Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said in Moscow.

As informed by Censor.NET, this is reported by RIA Novosti.

Nuland said after consultations in Moscow that the U.S. wants to see the Minsk agreements implemented as soon as possible.

According to her, implementation of the Minsk agreements will have positive effect on peace and security, on Russian-Ukrainian relations, as well as on the U.S. and allies' relations with Russia.

Nuland also noted that President Obama had said earlier that as soon as the Minsk agreements are implemented, the sanction might be lifted.

She called the talks constructive and said it was important to support them and try to solve the problems jointly.

The Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs arrived in Moscow on May 17 to spend two days there and discuss the situation in the east of Ukraine.   In Ukrainian/український
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State Victoria Nuland and Personal advisor to the Russian President Vladislav Surkov have just exchanged views during the meeting but no decisions were taken.

Spokesperson to the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said, Censor.NET reports citing TASS.

"It (yesterday's meeting held in Moscow - Ed.) was not meant to yield some results. It was a brief exchange of views," he said.

Peskov confirmed that the subject of the conversation between Surkov and Nuland was the situation in the Donbas and implementation of the Minsk agreements. "You know that the United States is not a party to the Normandy format and it was decided to share the first-hand knowledge, to establish the working mechanism of exchange. Such contacts take place just within this mechanism," Putin's spokesperson said.   In Ukrainian/український
Kyiv's Armour Repair Plant has manufactured a remote-control combat module with a grenade launcher and machine gun. It can be mounted on stationary military equipment as well as combat vehicles.

This is according to Ukraine's major state-owned arms producer Ukroboronprom. The innovative computer fire control system 'Kashtan' ('Chestnut') is intended for remote control of weapons with target tracking cameras.

What makes 'Kashtan' special is that it is made using electronics of a universal protected computer and microprocessors. The module features all the latest approaches to automated systems of video surveillance and intelligent image processing. As many as possible camcorders of different types can be connected to the system..................

To read further go to this link:
The E.U. has started constructing Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP). This is reported by the European Commission spokesperson Margaritis Schinas.

The pipeline is planned to become the key element of the Southern Gas Corridor in order to transport gas bypassing Russia: it will connect Greece and Italy through the Adriatic Sea and the Balkans. TAP will be 870 kilometres long.

"The official ceremony to launch the construction works of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline takes place in Thessaloniki, Greece, on May 17, the European Commission is represented by Vice President of the Commission for the Energy Union Maros Sefcovic," Schinas informed....................

To read further go to this link:
The pro-Russian armed gangs do not stop assaulting the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) forces’ positions. The cease-fire regime was breached almost along the entire demarcation line. The militants are using heavy weapons banned by the Minsk agreements with increasing frequency.

Censor.NET informs citing the situation report by the ATO Staff press center as of 6 a.m. May 18.

According to the Staff, the enemy used weapons against the Ukrainian defenders 24 times over the past day.

"The militants grossly violated the cease-fire deal at the Mariupol section of the front last night. They were shelling our positions near Slavne village over an hour using 152-mm artillery. At the same section of the front, the enemy fired at the ATO forces' strong points on the approaches to Novotroitske with 120-mm mortars, in the vicinity of Hranitne - with high-caliber machine guns, and near Pavlopil - with grenade launchers," the latest update reads.

According to the report, the militants again employed 82-mm and 120-mm mortars, grenade launchers, and small arms against the ATO forces' strongholds near Avdiivka.

The situation in the Luhansk region was also tense as the enemy used grenade launchers and high-caliber machine guns to attack the Ukrainian forces' positions near Triokhizbenka and Stanytsia Luhanska.

"Three enemy drones breached the airspace over the territory controlled by the Ukrainian Armed Forces yesterday. One of them was an UCAV (unmanned combat aerial vehicle) that bombarded the Ukrainian troops' positions with explosive devices," the Staff added.   In Ukrainian/український
RAF fighter jets intercepted five Russian aircraft flying near Estonia on Tuesday.

The incident took place just days after British Typhoon jets were scrambled from the same base to intercept three Russian military transport planes, Censor.NET reports citing The Telegraph.

The Typhoon jets scrambled from their post in Estonia as part of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission after the security alert and initially shadowed two Su-27 Flanker fighters and an IL-20 'Coot-A' Reconnaissance aircraft to the north of Estonia when two more Su-27 Flankers were detected and intercepted.

The Russian aircraft were flying in international airspace along the northern and western borders of Estonia.

The Russian warplanes were not communicating with air traffic control and did not transmit a recognized identification code.

The lead Typhoon pilot said the team remained on standby to respond to any requests of this nature.

"The Baltic Control and Reporting Centre had radar contact on the unidentified aircraft and ordered us to scramble, as always we were airborne in minutes and intercepted and identified the variety of Russian military aircraft.We remain on standby all day, every day to respond to any requests of this nature, this is what we do," the pilot said.

It is the second time British fighter jets have been scrambled during their current deployment to intercept Russian aircraft in Nato's area of interest.

Just five days ago, RAF fighter jets were forced to respond to Russian "aggression" when they planes reportedly carried out "textbook intercepts".

On Monday, Michael Fallon, the Defense Secretary, said: "For the second time in a week, the RAF have been on hand to respond to Russian activity at a moment's notice. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we will continue to secure the Baltic skies on behalf of NATO and our allies."   In Ukrainian/український
The European Broadcasting Union has decided not to revise the results of the "Eurovision-2016".

This was reported on "Eurovision" in the Facebook page.

Thus, the European Broadcasting Union responded to the petition, which was registered on the website . The authors of the petition asked the organizers to review the results of the competition, lamenting the difficult judging.

"The winner of" Eurovision-2016 "was chosen by music industry professionals, and you, the audience, each of which gave a 50% share of the vote, influenced the result. Ukrainka Jamal won, thanks to broad support from both the jury and and viewers. She made it is thanks to the outstanding performance of the emotional song that tells a personal story ", - the organizers of the contest.

At the same time the competition organizers noted that the Australian They Dami, who won the vote of the jury, and Russian Sergey Lazarev, who won the televoting, both "deserve credit for their world-class performances, great songs."
The organizers stressed that Lazarus They did not win the competition, but "responded to the results as the winners."

"Eurovision -. A competition there can only be one winner We understand that not everyone agrees with the outcome of the competition." Eurovision "this year, but in the competition, where the results are determined on the basis of the subjective and often very personal opinion, there are always people, who do not agree. Regardless of this, the result remains in force. Ukraine is and will remain, the winner of "Eurovision-2016". Do you agree or disagree, we encourage those who signed the petition, accept the result, which conforms to the rules and to continue the constructive dialogue on how to further strengthen and improve the "Eurovision", - summed up in the European broadcasting Union.

As reported by the "Observer", a triumph of "Eurovision-2016" was the Ukrainian Jamal , who spoke with a song about the genocide of the Crimean Tatars . At the same time the judges' decision was quite hysterical perceived in Russia. In Russian/русский

Since May 1, in Ukraine the minimum wage of state employees for the first time exceeded the subsistence minimum for able-bodied.

Thus, he writes "Today," now the cost of living for those who can work, is equal to 1450 UAH, and the minimum wage of state employees - 1516 UAH, which is 66 UAH more than the PM. Slightly increased and the minimum pension - from 1074 USD to 1130 USD.

The increase for them ranged from 130-140 USD for low-skilled workers to 98-324 UAH for highly skilled.

For example, a teacher of the highest category will receive 131 USD more, or 2157 USD, and the surgeon - to 141 UAH or 2334 UAH.

At the same time, non-budget sphere remained minzarplata 1450 UAH.

As considered in the Cabinet, increasing social standards will cost the budget 6.7 billion UAH.
As in Europe: Groisman said, where will the money for salaries to officials

But economists believe that their growth is by no means compensates for inflation of 2015, when prices rose by almost 25%, and most painful items of expenditure such as utilities, - twice.

"Such social standards rise -. A shame imitation of social protection If you compare how increased gas prices and the" minimum salary ", then it is frivolous To date, it is necessary to calculate the fair prozhminimum even then gradually raise it And so we have it is fictitious.." - says the president Ukranalittsentra Alexander Okhrimenko.

By the way, even on the Ministry of Social Policy estimates that real prozhminimum should be more than 2500 USD, and economists estimate it at 4-5 thousand. UAH.

Recall, Yatsenyuk before the resignation from the post of prime minister twice raised payments to officials. In Russian/русский

Russia sent nearly $19 million in cash to the militant-held occupied territory in eastern Ukraine to finance needs of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" (DPR). As Ukraine's Intelligence Service reports, this is the money Russian-backed separatists obtained in May, according to Ukraine Today.

"In early May, nearly $19 million in cash was delivered from the Rostov region of Russia to the 'DPR' through the border checkpoint of Marynivka to ensure the functioning of local authorities and day-to-day operations of military units of Russian Armed Forces," according to the intelligence agency, Ukraine Today reports.

35,000 blank passports have reportedly been transferred from Russia to the Donbas region for acquiring the Russian citizenship.......
Last night, one of our military units in the area of ant-terrorist operation (ATO) was attacked by an enemy UAV. The drone dropped six cumulative grenades. No losses in personnel or equipment have been reported.

Censor.NET reports referring to ATO press center.

As noted, Ukrainian anti-aircraft gunners tried to shoot down the enemy UAV, but because of poor visibility due to weather conditions, it still managed to drop several bombs and escape to militant-held territory.   In Ukrainian/український
on Wed May 18, 2016 2:57 amAdmin
The whole shift of officers at Maly Berezny customs at the Ukrainian-Slovak border was sacked when their head officer was caught taking a bribe, Zakarpatya Governor Hennady Moskal ordered May 17.

After the police investigate the charges the officers will be dismissed, he said.

Their duties will be taken over by officers from other customs houses, he said.

The head officer was caught taking a euro 420 bribe for allowing smugglers to take cigarettes into Slovakia.
A prominent Kremlin-connected nationalist ideologue says he has been denied entry into the European Union after arriving at a Greek airport, despite not being on an EU sanctions list.

Aleksandr Dugin, the virulently anti-Western head of the Russia-based International Eurasian Movement, said on May 17 that Greek border guards refused to let him enter the country after he arrived at the airport in the city of Thessaloniki.

The border guards said he was stopped from entering the EU at the request of Hungarian authorities, Dugin told the conservative, religious-themed television channel Tsargrad, where he serves as editor in chief.

The United States last year slapped sanctions on Dugin, citing his affiliation with a group that Washington says has “actively recruited individuals with military and combat experience to fight on behalf of Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.”

Dugin has courted both left-wing and right-wing political groups in Hungary, Greece, and other EU member states. He said he had traveled to Greece in connection with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s planned upcoming visit to the country........

The United Nations called on Russia to respect minority rights on the May 18 anniversary of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's mass deportation of Tatars from Crimea in 1944.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville said the persecution of Tatars has grown during two years of Russian annexation of the peninsula, marked by the intimidation, harassment, and jailing of Tatar officials.

"Since April 2014, Crimean Tatars have been subjected to arbitrary searches, seizure of books, and arrest," he said in a statement on May 17. "Last year, the authorities shut down a number of Crimean Tatar media outlets, and last week were reported to have also blocked Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Crimea news website."

Colville said Russia has "a duty to ensure the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples" and should immediately lift the ban on the Mejlis, the Tatars' legislative body..................
NSW Coroner Michael Barnes has released a report on the deaths of six NSW passengers in the Malaysia Airlines flight 17 crash in 2014 in Ukraine's Donbas.

Censor.NET reports citing Sky News Australia.

According to him, the MH17 passengers fell unconscious or died in the moments after a missile detonated within a meter of the plane's cockpit.

"But it would be pointless not to acknowledge that these deaths were part of a gross mass murder. The fatal injuries were inflicted as a result of a person, or persons who has, or have not yet, been identified by deliberately firing a missile equipped with an exploding warhead at the jet liner," the report reads.

As noted, the inquest was opened in the interests of the relatives of six killed residents of the state.   In Ukrainian/український
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