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Ukraine News. Thursday 12 April. [Ukrainian sources]

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:03 pm
THURSDAY HEADLINES:
Russia would not dare to retaliate US, NATO massive strike on pro-Assad forces.  NATO chief says Kremlin increasingly prepared to use nuclear weapons.  Ukraine is struggling on two fronts - with Russian aggression and corruption, - US ambassador to NATO.  "Foolish militaristic" statements from a number of NATO countries affect markets - Medvedev on the implications of US sanctions. We will be glad for Ukraine's membership in NATO, US Ambassador.  Most of Russian vessels left Syrian Tartus Port due to possible near-future strikes.  Russia should withdraw troops from Transnistria. Yulia Skripal turns down assistance offered by Russian Embassy, asks her cousin not to visit her.  Prime Minister of Lithuania Squernialis about reforms in Ukraine: You have to be faster than us.  Germany refuses to actively participate in a possible military operation in Syria.  Poland is a real ally of Ukraine, - said Ambassador.  

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Russia would not dare to retaliate US, NATO massive strike on pro-Assad forces, - Butusov

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:17 pm
Russia would not dare to retaliate US, NATO massive strike on pro-Assad forces, - Butusov



Given NATO’s complete superiority, Russia would not dare to respond militarily to possible airstrike on Syria by the U.S. and its allies. Russians stand little chance of success in the Middle East.

"Syria is surrounded by Putin and Assad’s enemies: Turkey is a NATO country, Israel is America’s closest ally, Iraq is full of U.S. military personnel and pro-American forces, and Jordan is also a U.S. ally. The Mediterranean Sea itself is under control of the NATO forces: U.S. 6th Fleet, the British, French, Italian, Turkish, Spanish Navies," Censor.NET Chief Editor Yuri Butusov wrote on social media.

According to the journalist, the main advantages of the U.S. and NATO in Syria are: 400 combat aircraft based in Iraq, at Turkish Incirlik air base, on two U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carriers; 20 American warships and submarines armed with hundreds of cruise missiles; the allies - especially such close and powerful one as Israel - which seek destruction of the Assad regime and kicking Russia and Iran out of Syria; extensive network of military bases making possible rapid build-up and forces maneuver.

"In fact, the Russian Federation operates only Khmeimim airbase located in five minutes by air from Turkey and Tartus naval base, meaning that Russia’s force is extremely vulnerable as its entire infrastructure hinges on two facilities. The attack of Syrian rebels on Khmeimim in January revealed that the base can hardly defend itself from guerillas," Butusov said.

The journalist believes sustainable and comprehensive radar coverage is another advantage the U.S. and its allies have in Syria.

"Neither Russia nor pro-Assad forces monitor the airspace. NATO sees everything being able to run a battle while Russia needs to bring in its only Syria-based Il -76 aircraft equipped with warning and control system," Censor.NET chief editor said.

The journalist also said that the international coalition would apparently go beyond airstrikes and get boots on the ground.

"NATO can easily and quickly build up its forces while Russia does not have such an opportunity. A NATO member – Turkey – yesterday closed navigation through the Bosporus allegedly because of the fog. This means that the Russian contingent has lost its main supply route. There is only one and extremely vulnerable supply channel left – by air. Russia just has no means to build up its naval force. The only aircraft carrier of the Russian Federation, Admiral Kuznetsov, was again laid up for repairs. This vessel is extremely unreliable, it is not sailable, and its airpower is incapacitated because the problem with the landing on its deck has not yet been solved by the Russian engineers. Two aircraft crashed during Kuznetsov’s last mission in Syria due to the arresting device failure. Reinforcement of the task air force in Khmeimim also makes no sense as it simply has not enough room, no protective aircraft shelters, no reliable air defense. I believe that the conflict in Syria would continue to be one-sided. NATO would be bombing pro-Assad forces while the Russian and Iranian troops would be hiding in their rat-holes to avoid getting on the chopping block too. Meanwhile, NATO special operation forces backed by airpower would secure the outskirts of the key cities hosting Assad's adversaries. Self-government bodies would be established on the liberated territory and the local armed formations would be reinforced," Butusov said.

On April 11, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump said that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad would still be held accountable for the recent chemical weapons attack in Douma regardless of Russia's threats to bring down any missiles fired at Syria and target launch sites.

Syrian activist groups on Saturday said toxic gas inside barrel bombs dropped from helicopters over a rebel-held city in Syria killed dozens of civilians and wounded scores more. Syrian state news said an "official source" denied the allegations.

In the early hours of Monday morning, Syria State TV reported that "several missiles" had been fired at the T4 air base in Homs, in the country's west, adding that it was "likely an attack by the U.S." The Pentagon issued a statement Sunday denying it was conducting air strikes in the region.

On April 9, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia said that Moscow had warned the United States of "grave repercussions" if it carries out an attack against Syrian government forces over reports of a deadly chemical weapons attack.

"There was no chemical weapons attack," Nebenzia told the U.N. Security Council.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council that Washington "will respond" to the attack on a rebel-held town in Syria regardless of whether the United Nations Security Council acts or not.

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NATO chief says Kremlin increasingly prepared to use nuclear weapons

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:19 pm
NATO chief says Kremlin increasingly prepared to use nuclear weapons



NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg insists on decisive action of the Alliance members against Russia stressing that it is critical to show Moscow that its actions in Crimea, cyberattacks, or violations of international laws will not be tolerated.

As reported by Censor.NET referring to DW, Stoltenberg said in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung released on Thursday, April 12.

According to him, Russia invaded Ukraine and used its troops in Moldova and Georgia against these countries’ will. In addition, Moscow supports Assad regime in Syria and modernizes its nuclear arsenal, NATO secretary-general said.

Stoltenberg noted that the Russian authorities lower their psychological barrier towards the use of nuclear weapons.

NATO troops will remain in eastern Europe and sanctions against Moscow will not be lifted until Russia changes its behavior, Stoltenberg stressed.

However, he said, the Alliance seeks dialogue with Russia.

"We want no Cold War," the NATO chief said.

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Ukraine is struggling on two fronts - with Russian aggression and corruption, - US ambassador to NATO Hutchison

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:22 pm
Ukraine is struggling on two fronts - with Russian aggression and corruption, - US ambassador to NATO Hutchison



Ukraine continues to fight on two fronts - with Russian aggression in the Donbass and Crimea, as well as with corruption inside the country.

According to Cenzor.NET, referring to Interfax-Ukraine , Kay Bailey Hutchison, Permanent Representative of the United States to NATO, said.

"Ukraine is fighting on two fronts, of course, in the Donbass and in the Crimea, and here we will do everything to respond to the aggression of Russia. In addition to that, you will fight corruption, and this must be done before you master a stable democracy. Fighting corruption, consolidating the principles of democracy and the rule of law - all of this can ensure the future of Ukraine as a modern European state, "said the diplomat in the panel discussion" NATO-Ukraine: Partnership Action for Peace in Europe "at the 11th Kiev Security Forum in Thursday.

According to her, Russia's aggressive actions are manifested not only in the Donbass, but also through interference in democratic elections in different countries, through propaganda, etc.

Hutchison noted that the United States is very impressed with the progress made in reforming Ukraine.

"Allow me to say about the reforms that are awaiting NATO (from Ukraine - Ed.) This is a law on" national security "that guarantees civilian control over the military ... In order to become a part of NATO, you must demonstrate a stable democracy. , rule of law, freedom of the press, that you have a government that can uphold and defend itself, because NATO is based on power and democracy, "the ambassador emphasized.

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"Foolish militaristic" statements from a number of NATO countries affect markets - Medvedev on the implications of US sanctions

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:25 pm
"Foolish militaristic" statements from a number of NATO countries affect markets - Medvedev on the implications of US sanctions



Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev sees the rise in uncertainty in markets in "militaristic statements" from a number of NATO countries.

This is reported by Censor.NET with reference to RBC.



"You know the events of the last period when the next package of sanctions on the part of the United States was approved. As a result, our stock and foreign exchange markets responded emotionally enough, and, of course, the fall of stock indexes also affected the performance of Russian companies," Medvedev said. during a meeting of the government commission on import substitution.

According to the prime minister of Russia, "the situation in general is completely controlled", but requires close attention from the government. "Moreover, uncertainties in the markets are accompanied by various absurd militaristic statements that sound from a number of NATO countries," Medvedev said.

As it was reported, the US Treasury on Friday announced that after consulting with the State Department, the US administration imposed sanctions on seven Russian businessmen, 12 companies, 17 government officials of the Russian Federation, and also against a Russian arms trade and related company the bank.

Shareholders of the companies on the list of sanctions in a few days lost hundreds of millions of dollars. At the same time, Russian companies faced with a fall, which formally did not fall under the sanctions. Only on Monday, April 9, the total loss of Russian billionaires amounted to about $16 billion.

Sanctions also led to a weakening of the Russian currency. Yesterday on the Moscow exchange, the euro exchange rate for the first time since March 2016 overcame the mark of 80 rubles., The dollar - 64 rubles. As of 14.34 Moscow time, the dollar was worth 64.7 rub., Euro - 80.1 rubles.

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We will be glad for Ukraine's membership in NATO, US Ambassador Hutchison

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:28 pm
We will be glad for Ukraine's membership in NATO, US Ambassador Hutchison



The United States supports Ukraine's aspiration to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance and sees the implementation of the Annual National Programs as real steps to make progress on this path.

According to Cenzor.NET, referring to Ukrinform, Kay Bailey Gatchison, Permanent Representative of the United States to NATO, said in a speech at the 11th Kiev Security Forum.

"NATO membership does not take place instantly, each country goes a different way, and the annual national program is a real step for Ukraine to make progress in its aspirations to become a NATO member, I want to assure you that we will be happy for your NATO membership," - said Hutchison.

She predicted that Russia's reaction to this would undoubtedly be "not good".

"We have seen in Montenegro that Russia can become quite aggressive when a country returns to NATO and wants to gain membership, and this also applies to other countries that will consider joining NATO," she said.

According to Hutchison, to destabilize the situation in such a country, Russia uses methods of cyberwar, hybrid warfare, that is, it tries to find all possible ways how it can harm its relations with NATO.

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Most of Russian vessels left Syrian Tartus Port due to possible near-future strikes

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:32 pm
Most of Russian vessels left Syrian Tartus Port due to possible near-future strikes

Russia took almost all its Naval Forces from Tartus Port, Syria due to possible near-future strikes.

As reported by Censor.NET, Image Satellite Internacional (ISI) revealed disappearance of most of the Naval Forces of the Russian Federation previously deployed at Syrian Port of Tartus.



ISI says the pictures were taken on April 11, 2018.

On April 11, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump said that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad would still be held accountable for the recent chemical weapons attack in Douma regardless of Russia's threats to bring down any missiles fired at Syria and target launch sites.

Syrian activist groups on Saturday said toxic gas inside barrel bombs dropped from helicopters over a rebel-held city in Syria killed dozens of civilians and wounded scores more. Syrian state news said an "official source" denied the allegations.

In the early hours of Monday morning, Syria State TV reported that "several missiles" had been fired at the T4 air base in Homs, in the country's west, adding that it was "likely an attack by the U.S." The Pentagon issued a statement Sunday denying it was conducting air strikes in the region.

On April 9, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia said that Moscow had warned the United States of "grave repercussions" if it carries out an attack against Syrian government forces over reports of a deadly chemical weapons attack.

"There was no chemical weapons attack," Nebenzia told the U.N. Security Council.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council that Washington "will respond" to the attack on a rebel-held town in Syria regardless of whether the United Nations Security Council acts or not.

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Russia should withdraw troops from Transnistria, - Prime Minister of Moldova Philip

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:34 pm
Russia should withdraw troops from Transnistria, - Prime Minister of Moldova Philip



The Russian Federation should withdraw its troops from the territory of Transnistria, as their presence contributes to the further degradation of the situation and the disintegration of Moldova.

According to Censor.NET, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Pavel Philip stated during the 11th Kiev Security Forum.

"Illegal military presence in the countries does not lead to a peaceful settlement of the conflict, on the contrary, it encourages the destructive forces to continue their plans for the separation of pieces of the country, which is why we are constantly demanding and asking for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Moldova, as well as the transformation of the current operation in Transnistria" She is in an international civilian mission with an international mandate, convinced that it will create a proper ground for resolving the Transnistria conflict through negotiations, "he said.

The Prime Minister of Moldova emphasized that the current security environment in the Eastern European region "is under the influence of constant changes that in themselves generate new challenges and threats." "These challenges and challenges define the concept of security in a new way, and the security agenda must be based on a new approach to asymmetric and unconventional risks, which, on the other hand, require a new nature of international solidarity," he said.

P.Filip stressed that today the traditional threats have not diminished, but also new hybrid threats, cyber threats have arisen. "The traditional threats, such as the military, still exist, we see them also in the Republic of Moldova, because there are Russian troops in our territory, such threats are relevant for the whole of Eastern Europe, such" hot spots", conflicts, the presence of foreign troops, who are illegally in a foreign territory, have such a threat that the policy of confrontation will only increase, "he said.

P.Filip also emphasized that the Republic of Moldova is a reliable partner of Ukraine and "will support all efforts of Ukraine to overcome the crisis in the Donbass and the political and diplomatic settlement of the Crimea problem in order to ensure the peace and territorial integrity of Ukraine, its sovereignty." "The Republic of Moldova has condemned and now condemns the illegal annexation of the Crimea and it supports the efforts of Ukraine to resolve the crisis in the Donbass, as envisaged by the Minsk Agreements," he said.

Note that the annual "Kyiv Security Forum", an international event launched by the Open Ukraine Foundation in 2007, is a platform for debates on the most urgent security issues in Europe and the Black Sea region. The Forum aims to strengthen security cooperation between the European Union and the Black Sea region, raise awareness of security development among key players, and strengthen the role of independent and non-governmental actors in solving security problems in Europe.

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Russia willing to use Ukraine's pipeline for gas transit after 2019, - European Commission

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:37 pm
Russia willing to use Ukraine's pipeline for gas transit after 2019, - European Commission



Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak assured Vice-President of European Commission (EC) Maroš Šefčovič of Moscow’s willingness to supply gas to the European Union through Ukraine after 2019.

Spokesperson responsible for communicating climate action and energy policy of the European Commission Anna-Kaisa Itkonen told Russian TASS news agency following the phone conversation between Novak and Šefčovič, Censor.NET reports citing 112 Ukraine TV channel.

"Novak expressed Russia’s willingness to supply the natural gas to Europe through Ukraine without interruption after 2019," she said.

According to the spokesperson, Šefčovič stressed the need to maintain profitable level of gas transit through the Ukrainian route.

"He once again noted the necessity to find a solution according to Stockholm Arbitration and cooperate with both sides on both bilateral and trilateral basis. In this context, after the bilateral meeting of Gazprom and Naftohaz, there could be further contacts," Itkonen added.

On Feb. 28, 2018, Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal ruled that Naftohaz be paid $4.63 billion. Following two arbitration proceedings, Gazprom owes $2.56 billion.

Later on, Gazprom reversed Naftohaz Ukrainy the advanced payment it received for gas supplies in March. "Evidently, there will be no gas supplies to Naftohaz Ukrainy starting from March 1," Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said.

CEO of the Russian gas giant Alexey Miller said March 2 that Gazprom had to immediately start the procedure for the termination of gas contracts with Naftohaz Ukrainy at the Stockholm Arbitration Institution.

The European Commission called on Ukraine and Russia to find immediate solutions in line with the decisions of the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal.

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Yulia Skripal turns down assistance offered by Russian Embassy, asks her cousin not to visit her

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:39 pm
Yulia Skripal turns down assistance offered by Russian Embassy, asks her cousin not to visit her



Daughter of former Russian spy Sergey Skripal, Yulia, who survived nerve agent attack along with her father in British Salisbury, said she refused the assistance the Russian Embassy had offered her and asked her cousin Viktoria not to visit her or try to contact her for the time being.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Yulia's statement the Scotland Yard issued on her behalf , she continues to receive police support following her release from hospital.

"I was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital on the 9th April 2018. I was treated there with obvious clinical expertise and with such kindness, that I have found I missed the staff immediately.

"I have left my father in their care, and he is still seriously ill. I too am still suffering with the effects of the nerve agent used against us.

"I find myself in a totally different life than the ordinary one I left just over a month ago, and I am seeking to come to terms with my prospects, whilst also recovering from this attack on me.

"I have specially trained officers available to me, who are helping to take care of me and to explain the investigative processes that are being undertaken. I have access to friends and family, and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can. At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services, but, if I change my mind I know how to contact them.

"Most importantly, I am safe and feeling better as time goes by, but I am not yet strong enough to give a full interview to the media, as I one day hope to do. Until that time, I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves. I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father's.

"For the moment I do not wish to speak to the press or the media, and ask for their understanding and patience whilst I try to come to terms with my current situation," Yulia said and thanked people of Salisbury and hospital staff.

As reported, Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and daughter Yulia Skripal, 33, remain critically ill in hospital, after they were found unconscious on a bench in the Wiltshire city on March 4. The UK government says they were poisoned with a nerve agent of a type developed by Russia called Novichok and PM Theresa May said she believed Moscow was "culpable."

UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats as part of a "full and robust" response – prompting Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to say it will "certainly" expel British diplomats in response.

On March 16, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance had "no reason to doubt the findings and assessments by the British government" which suggested Russian responsibility. He said the "UK is not alone" and Nato allies gave "strong political support" to Britain, following a joint statement from the US, France and Germany backing Mrs May's government and a pledge of support from Australia.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said that the U.K.'s government believes that it was likely Putin's decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the U.K.

On March 26, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russians from the United States, including 12 people identified as Russian intelligence officers who have been stationed at the United Nations in New York.

BBC earlier reported that the 33-year-old left Salisbury District Hospital on Monday and has been taken to a secure location.

The hospital told BBC: "This is not the end of her treatment but marks a significant milestone."

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Prime Minister of Lithuania Squernialis about reforms in Ukraine: You have to be faster than us

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:42 pm
Prime Minister of Lithuania Squernialis about reforms in Ukraine: You have to be faster than us



Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernialis believes that Ukraine needs a high rate of reform.

Within the framework of the panel discussion "Regional Cooperation: United Common Objectives" at the 11th Kiev Security Forum on Thursday, he noted that the old Europe, the old democracy "had tens of decades to make changes in their countries." And new states, such as Lithuania, had to reform 10 or less years and made changes very quickly, reports Censor.NET with reference to Interfax-Ukraine.

"It's not hard for you to hear it, but you have to be faster, faster than us," expressed the opinion of the Lithuanian Prime Minister.

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Germany refuses to actively participate in a possible military operation in Syria

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:45 pm
Germany refuses to actively participate in a possible military operation in Syria

Germany does not plan to take an active part in a possible military operation against the forces of the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

According to Censor.NET, referring to the Anadolu Agency , today, on April 12, the special government coordinator, Peter Bayer, announced this.

Byer condemned the chemical attack in the Syrian Duma, but called for a refusal to escalate the conflict and come to a diplomatic solution.

"The killing of a large number of people, in particular women and children, should receive an answer. Asad's regime, like Russia, must understand this," he said. At the same time, he stressed that military methods should be used in the last resort.

"I hope that the parties will hold diplomatic talks, including within the UN Security Council, for any missile strikes," Bayer said.

According to him, Germany's active participation in the attack, if any, will not happen. To date, Germany has provided one ship to accompany the US destroyer in the Mediterranean Sea, but no longer plans to do anything.

Earlier on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said about a future rocket attack on Syria.

"Russia is promising to knock down any missile that will fly to Syria. Get ready, Rosie, new brilliant smart rockets will fly! You should not be friends with an animal that kills people with chemical weapons and enjoys it!" - wrote Trump on Twitter.

In another tweet, Trump said that now relations with Russia are worse than during the Cold War , and proposed to stop the arms race.

On the eve of the day, it became known that a US Navy strike team headed by a nuclear carrier, Harry Truman, will leave Wednesday from the American Norfolk (Virginia) to patrol in the Middle East. The air carrier will be accompanied by a rocket cruiser and four destroyers. At the first stage of the campaign they will join the frigate of the Navy of Germany.

US President Donald Trump said on Monday that he would announce a decision within 48 hours whether to use military force against the Syrian government, which Washington is responsible for attacking, in connection with alleged chemotatics in the Duma.

Human rights organizations have claimed a new case of the use of poisonous substances in Syria, estimated at least 60 people as a result of chemotacles. In Moscow, they said that there was no chemical attack, and it was about informing.

The day before, Tramp had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Teresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron. They agreed that the international community should respond to a likely chemotac.

However, according to The Times, while Mei did not promise the United States support on this issue, she demanded to provide more evidence that the chemacacity actually took place. In turn, Macron, according to Reuters, reported that the Elysee Palace is considering an option with the task of air strikes on chemical production sites in Syria.

On Australia's readiness to support the United States in the event that Washington decides to strike Syria in connection with a likely hit, Wednesday, April 11, announced the country's Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop.

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Poland is a real ally of Ukraine, - said Ambassador Peklo

on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:47 pm
Poland is a real ally of Ukraine, - said Ambassador Peklo



Poland is a real ally of Ukraine and is trying to provide maximum assistance, so Ukrainian politicians should focus more on common interests and maintaining unity between countries.

This was stated by Ambassador of Poland to Ukraine Jan Piecko in a speech at the 11th Kiev Security Forum, reports Censor.NET with reference to Ukrinform.

"We support the democratic stability of Ukraine at various possible levels - through military exercises, the creation of a Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian brigade, which is located on the border with Poland and is fully prepared for action, we give advice and consultations through the Special Defense Committee, financially support some projects for internally displaced people in the Donbass - in Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, and Mariupol. Please keep in mind and do not forget that Poland is a real ally of Ukraine and we try to do our best to make it possible. yve for Ukraine", - said Piekło.

In this context, he noted that some Ukrainian politicians regard Poland as a country that generates problems in bilateral relations. In his view, such an approach is unconstructive.

"We must think about our common interests, we must think about unity, we must focus on this, because Russia is interested in violating our unity and creating problems," the diplomat said.

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Aggravation in Syria: a bold statement by the Russian Federation to the United States

on Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:43 am
Aggravation in Syria: a bold statement by the Russian Federation to the United States

The Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, Vasyl Nebenzha, said that "it can not exclude" the military conflict between Russia and the United States in connection with the exacerbation of the situation in the Middle East caused by the terrible chemistry of the forces of Bashar al-Assad.

He said this after a closed session of the UN Security Council convened at the request of Bolivia on the threats of military action in Syria, US President Donald Trump, reports UNN .

"The first priority is to prevent the war, and we hope there will be no point of non-return," he said.

When asked if he had a possible war between Washington and Moscow, he replied: "We can not exclude any opportunity, unfortunately, because we saw messages coming from Washington. They were very militant."

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