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Ukraine Launches Black Sea Missile Tests; Russia 'On High Alert'.  Peace Talks on Ukraine End Without Agreement. Bloomberg: Russian 'provocation' risk worries Estonia amid U.S. transitionl.  Ukrainian marines conduct drills with Yurii Olefirenko landing ship.   U.S. to restrict movement for Russian diplomats.  Erdogan explained his plans to dethrone al-Assad in Syria.

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US OSCE: Russia is trying provocations to wrest concessions at the talks in Minsk

Russia specifically creates tension on the contact line in an attempt to wrest power concessions from Kyiv

Russia has resorted to the tactics of deliberate aggravation of fighting and violence in eastern Ukraine to strengthen the negotiating position and obtain concessions in their favor. This was announced during a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday, the US representative to the OSCE Ambassador Daniel Baer, ​​reports Ukrinform.
"Russia has exacerbated tensions at the contact line in an attempt to wrest power concessions from Ukraine", - said the representative of the United States.

He stressed that the fighting further complicate achieving political progress of the Minsk agreements.

"If Russia really wants to reach an agreement on the conditions of the local elections, amnesty, the special status, as well as issues of decentralization, the way this very clear: to stop the attack Ukrainian forces withdraw heavy weapons and provide full access to observers SMM throughout Ukraine, including in the border region with Russia" , - said Bayer.

US Representative stressed that the combined Russian-separatist forces continue to violate the ceasefire, and it is responsible for the Russian government directly. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
After winning Trump will be difficult to build a unified EU policy towards Russia - Tusk

The key factor that allowed Europe to build unity on the crisis in Ukraine is Normandy format.

Economic sanctions against the EU is likely to continue for the next six months.
In an interview with TV channel tvn24 said European Council President Donald Tusk - UKRINFORM reports.

"Everything indicates that at least once more be able to extend sanctions against Russia. And what will happen in six months, as is likely to continue to authorize the next six months - no one can predict, "- said Tusk.

He added that a fairly strong pro-Ukrainian position on this issue in the EU occupied Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, part of the UK, but this view is not common in Europe.

According to him, the key factor that allowed Europe to build unity on the crisis in Ukraine is Normandy format.

"This format is often ineffective, and not always the cause of action, too, and I have enthusiasm. However, the participation of the Berlin and Paris, helped preserve the unity of the whole EU ", - said the president of European Council.

From added that no mechanism Normandy format was difficult to keep the unity of the whole EU in the case of sanctions.

Tusk also said that the importance to preserve the unity of the EU in the case of Ukraine in the global dimension had support of President Barack Obama.

"We can critically assess some of his decisions, but in this particular case, especially in the last over ten months, I have had from him their support and I will say frankly: we used each other when it was necessary to convince some countries in Europe and outside Europe, to maintain this solidarity front "- said Tusk.

President of the European Council acknowledged that during his first telephone conversation with US President-elect Donald Trump, he tried to interest interlocutor, above all, the situation in Ukraine, as this would require fairly quick solutions. According to him, the conversation was very general, and Trump interested in a conversation topic exit the UK and the EU.

Tusk admitted that after winning Trump will be difficult to build a unique and unified Western policy toward Russia.

Head European Council also noted that the return of Russia to the G7 is "an open question", which will depend on the political agreement and consensus of all the leaders of major countries. Thus, in his view, none of the reasons why Russia was excluded from the "Group of Eight" has not disappeared, and therefore no reason to return it to this format. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
on Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:42 pmAdmin
Video Posted falling Russian spacecraft

The loss of the ship "Progress-MS04" occurred at an altitude of 190 km above the hard-deserted mountainous territory of the Republic of Tuva

The network posted a video falling Russian space cargo ship "Progress-MS04."

Video posted on YouTube.

Recall, according to "Roskosmos" after 382 seconds of flight the spacecraft stopped receiving telemetry data.

According to preliminary data, the loss of the ship "Progress-MS04" occurred at an altitude of 190 km above the hard-deserted mountainous territory of the Republic of Tuva (the subject of). It is noted that many of the pieces burned in the dense layers of the atmosphere.

Russian resource RNS citing a source in the rocket and space industry says that total losses as a result of the failed launch of spacecraft "Progress-MS04" to "Roskosmos" can be more than 4 billion rubles., In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Klimkin said that Trump's election does not mean that Ukraine has lost Crimea

Ukraine is not going to strike at Russia, said Klimkin

Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin said that he intends to vigorously engage " Crimean issue " to return Ukraine Peninsula. It is reported by the BBC.

When asked radio program on the BBC World Update, Mr Klimkin said that does not share the opinion that with the arrival of Donald Trump as US President Crimea may be lost to the country.

" Crimea belongs to Ukraine. This is not only a political but also a key moral question - the minister said. - Last month, we introduced a UN General Assembly resolution on human rights violations in the Crimea. I am convinced that no civilized person can not recognize Crimea. We enjoyed the support of the UN before - and, I am sure it will continue " .

" We need Russia focused their talks on the occupation of the Crimea. I will make every effort to return the Crimea " , - added Mr. Klimkin.

The Minister also commented on the military exercises, conducted by Ukraine over the Black Sea, Russia and protest about this.

" This is not about some kind of provocation, but a test of our sovereign rights are not a threat to anyone " - he said.

He said that Ukraine is not going to strike at Russia.

It was reported that soon (December 15), the newly elected president of the US billionaire Donald Trump will hold a press conference to discuss his departure from the business to focus on running the country. The corresponding message he posted on November 30 on his page on micro-blogging network Twitter. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Several hundred supporters of the OUN-started the rally course in the center of Kyiv

Participants are street Grushevskogo

Today, about 18 hours OUN supporters went to the Independence Square in Kiev to the government quarter.

As the correspondent of "Hlavkoma" on the street. Hrushevskoho column goes activists. It approximately 300-400 people.

Passing by the Cabinet, one of the protesters threw toward the government building fire.

Some protesters holding banners "Right Sector".

Around 18:30 the participants walk on the street. Bankova read their demands to release political prisoners. Then they moved on the street. Instytutska Independence Square. However, some of the protesters threw snowballs at police officers.

As you know, the city authorities today blocked traffic on several central streets due to the fact that the leader of OUN Nicholas Kokhanivsky along with his supporters decided to take Khreshchatyk and adjacent streets. The exact start time shares are not communicated.

It was noted that one of the measures will rally, march to the Presidential Administration of Ukraine to the "liberation" of all political prisoners and "removal Medvedchuk and Kuchma.", In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Erdogan explained his plans to dethrone al-Assad in Syria

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the situation in Syria in a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the Reuters agency reports.

During the conversation, Turkish leader explained his announced plan to topple Syrian president Bashar al-Assad by continuing a combat operation in neighbouring Syria, devastated by the 5-years long civil war.

This statement surprised Moscow, a strong supporter of the Damascus regime. On Wednesday, the spokesperson for Kremlin Dmitry Peskov expressed Russia's concern over the alleged plans to topple its only ally in the Middle East.......
on Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:27 amAdmin
Peace Talks on Ukraine End Without Agreement

Four-way talks on ending a separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine finished without a breakthrough Tuesday, with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier declaring that "lip service" statements were not enough to achieve lasting peace.

Amid low expectations, the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia met in the Belarussian capital to discuss ways of implementing last year's Minsk cease-fire accord for Ukraine's Donbass region.

Steinmeier said both Ukraine and Russia had hardened their positions and there was no political agreement in sight on holding local elections in Donbass, as demanded by Russia and the Kremlin-backed separatists.

"It was very tedious again today," Steinmeier said. "Pure lip service will not be enough to solve this conflict."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, meanwhile, pushed back on a Ukrainian proposal to allow armed OSCE monitors in Donbass.

"There weren't any breakthroughs today. The Minsk agreements are stalled — we're not managing to agree on the sequence of steps," Lavrov told reporters.

Highlighting some positives, Steinmeier did, however, say the International Red Cross could help facilitate a significant exchange of prisoners before the end of the year and was optimistic about more phased troop withdrawals taking place....................

Access complete text of the editorial: In English
State Food-Grain Corporation initiates revision of rate for China's loan

Public joint-stock company State Food-Grain Corporation has initiated the reduction of the rate under a government-secured loan of $1.5 billion issued to the corporation in 2012 by Export-Import Bank of China

"Today we are working on the important issue – the reduction of the credit rate. It is a large burden for the corporation, while the financial markets sank," acting Board Chairman Oleksandr Hryhorovych said at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday.

He said that today's rate is 4.5%.

"As far as I know, the Cabinet of Ministers has instructed the Finance Ministry and Foreign Ministry to consider a letter with a proposal to change the conditions of the loan agreement. We hope that the issue would not be delayed," he said.

The corporation hopes that the rate would be decreased to 3%.

"China in the person of CCEC understands our proposal," he said.

Hryhorovych said that the corporation placed some funds of the Chinese loan at Ukreximbank at 4% per annum.

"The deposit expired and the rate was 0.25% for the past two months," he said..................
Ukrainian marines conduct drills with Yurii Olefirenko landing ship

Ukrainian marines have conducted drills by participating in a sea trek of Yurii Olefirenko landing ship to Izmail.

Censor.NET reports citing the press service of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine.

When crossing the sea and the Danube river, the marines worked out combat training tasks and special training, conducted elements of counter-sabotage actions, suspicious ship inspection, and trained to seize an offending vessel.

In the city of Izmail, the Odesa region, marines together with law enforcement officers provided security for the meeting of the Ukrainian Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ihor Voronchenko with the Chief of Naval Staff of Romania, Vice Admiral Alexandru Mirsu, held on board of Yurii Olefirenko.

Upon the return of the ship to its home base, the marine unit conducted sea landing together with search and reconnaissance operations in Tendra spit area.

This is the first sortie of Ukrainian marines redeployed from Crimea, who have been conducting combat tasks in Mariupol direction over the past two years. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Ukraine Launches Black Sea Missile Tests; Russia 'On High Alert'

Ukraine says it has started two days of missile tests in the Black Sea, as Russia reportedly put its air-defense forces on high alert on the annexed Crimean Peninsula.

"It is our responsibility to build air defense for Kyiv and the whole of Ukraine and no one can stop us," President Petro Poroshenko said on December 1.

Military spokesman Volodymyr Kryzhanovsky said the exercises were taking place at least 30 kilometers from Crimea's airspace.

Kryzhanovsky said the tests were being held in accordance with international law, adding that Ukraine's military was ready for "any developments."

Meanwhile, warships from Russia's Black Sea Fleet have taken up positions off Crimea's western coastline to help strengthen the peninsula's air defenses in response to the start of the missile tests, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted a military source in Crimea as saying.

"The ship's air-defense units have been put on a higher state of alert," the source said.

The tests are a "new large-scale provocation" aimed at "escalating the conflict between Ukraine and Russia," Russia's Foreign Ministry said on November 30........
EU and NATO: Defense spending increase best response to Trump

Boosting defense spending by EU and NATO member countries is one of the best solutions to problems that might arose in Europe's defense sector upon Donald Trump's taking of U.S. presidential office.

Top NATO and European military officials called in Berlin on Wednesday for more military spending to deal with threats to Europe and said that would help address concerns raised by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, Censor.NET reports citing Reuters.

During his election campaign, Trump questioned whether the United States should protect allies seen as spending too little on their defense, raising fears he could withdraw funding for NATO at a time of heightened tensions with Russia.

In Brussels on Wednesday, the European Union unveiled its biggest defense funding and research plan in more than a decade to reverse billions in cuts and demonstrate that it wants to pay for its own security.

"The best answer to Mr. Trump is to prove that he's wrong, to prove that Europe is strong enough to defend itself," French Admiral Philippe Coindreau, vice chief of defense staff, said during a panel discussion at the Berlin Security Conference.

"I think European nations should increase their defense budgets."

Czech General Petr Pavel, who heads the NATO military committee, said U.S. demands for higher military spending were nothing new.

Pavel said it was more important to focus on tangible improvements in military capabilities than fixate on the 2 percent target, which he said was "too far and too big" for many NATO members to meet anytime soon.

NATO's European members cut defense spending to historic lows after the break-up of the Soviet Union a quarter of a century ago, leaving the United States to make up around three-quarters of the alliance's military expenditure.

Spending has increased in recent years after Russia's annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine, the growing threat of Islamist attacks and large migrant flows. However, only Britain, Poland, Greece and Estonia meet a NATO goal of spending at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense. , In Ukrainian / на українській мові
Bloomberg: Russian 'provocation' risk worries Estonia amid U.S. transition

Estonia is braced for "provocations" from neighboring Russia, which it says could seek to undermine Western solidarity during Donald Trump's transition to the U.S. presidency, according to Bloomberg.

Instability in the Baltic region has risen because of "the growing aggressiveness of Russia's regime over several years," according to Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser, Bloomberg wrote.

While the threat of provocations would have increased irrespective of who won the U.S. election, Hillary Clinton's experience on security issues could have shortened the risk period "somewhat," said Mikser, who was appointed in this month's change of government.

Russia's leaders "have tried to break the solidarity of Western countries, sow insecurity and exploit windows when readiness to react to their provocative steps is lower," Mikser, 43, said Tuesday in an interview in Tallinn, the capital. "It's inevitably a moment when we must be ready ourselves to react very quickly to these changing threat assessments and keep the attention of our allies."

The Baltic region, home to a large Russian-speaking minority, has been at the center of concern over expansionist rhetoric from President Vladimir Putin following Russia's annexation of Crimea and support for the separatist war in Ukraine. The Western response has included U.S. and European Union sanctions and an increased NATO presence in the continent's east. Putin has repeatedly denied having any intention designs on the Baltics...............
on Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:13 amAdmin
U.S. to restrict movement for Russian diplomats

The U.S. House of Representatives has agreed to restrict movement of Russian diplomatic officers and envoys within territory of the United States, according to Ukraine Today.

The lower chamber of the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, November 30, approved a draft bill providing a ban on travel for over 25 miles away from mission buildings for Russian diplomats without U.S. authority's notification in the previous calendar quarter. Also, the document includes additional measures such as creating a committee on opponency towards Russia's hidden influence in the country, Ukraine Today reported.

The mentioned restrictive measures were invoked to resist Russia's intelligence activities, the document says......
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