Putin assessed the results of United Russia in the State Duma elections

Putin said that United Russia showed itself worthily during the election campaign

Putin evaluated the results of

Vladimir Putin

“United Russia” proved itself worthily during the election campaign and rightfully won the elections to the State Duma. This was stated by President Vladimir Putin in a video message to the participants of the plenary session of the third stage of the XX Congress of the party, the correspondent of RBC reports.

“I believe that United Russia has shown itself worthily in the rather difficult, in many ways extraordinary conditions of the election campaign, withstood a tough, open competition and won confidently, with a solid advantage, once again proving that it is rightfully the leader party, the party of people’s representation and parliamentary majority,” Putin said.

The Head of State called the party’s program constructive and creative.

The State Duma elections were held from September 17 to 19. According to their results, for the first time in almost 20 years, five, rather than four, parties entered the lower house of parliament. In addition to “United Russia”, the necessary threshold was overcome by the Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party, “Just Russia” For the Truth” and “New People”. “United Russia” has received 326 mandates and has an absolute majority.

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The US ambassador refused to consider the departure of Russian diplomats as “expulsion”

Washington brings the rules of work for diplomats in line with Russian ones, so Russians will have to leave the United States after three years of work, the US ambassador told RBC. The Russian Foreign Ministry compared this requirement with expulsion

The US Ambassador refused to consider the departure of Russian diplomats as

Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington

The United States follows the logic of Russia adhering to the principles of reciprocity in diplomatic relations, so there was a requirement for Russian diplomats to leave the territory of the United States after three years of work. This was stated by the American ambassador to Russia John Sullivan in an interview with RBC. He did not agree with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Antonov, who announced the “de facto expulsion” of diplomatic staff from the United States who had worked in the country for more than three years. The United States will have to leave 55 Russian diplomats at the end of January and the end of June next year.

Read the interview of US Ambassador John Sullivan on the RBC website on the morning of December 5.

“When an American diplomat comes to Russia, he receives a visa for three years and is allowed to enter the country and stay for three years, he also receives diplomatic accreditation and with this receives diplomatic status and immunity. In this sense, he cannot be subjected to criminal prosecution and so on. We also issued visas for Russian diplomats for three years, but when the visa expired, the immunity and privileges that the Russian diplomat received did not expire. They could stay with privileges and diplomatic immunity, as diplomats, they didn’t have to leave. To us, to ourRussian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, commenting on the planned departure of Russian diplomatic workers, promised that Moscow would respond in a mirror way: “An appropriate number of American personnel will leave our country. According to the same principle: those who “sit out” a three-year term”. Ryabkov also said that Moscow offers the United States to abandon this requirement.

In recent months, Deputy Minister Ryabkov has also reported on the Russian proposal to Washington to “reset” the situation with diplomats and start work “from scratch”. Commenting on this proposal in an interview with RBC, Ambassador Sullivan said that “it’s not so easy to say that we will lift all restrictions.” However, the head of the American diplomatic mission in Russia aims to work together andstabilization of diplomatic work. “I do not know exactly what limitations he had in mind. But let me say that we are committed to our work with the Russian government to stabilize diplomatic platforms and bring the American diplomatic presence here to parity with the Russian diplomatic presence in the United States, which significantly exceeds ours,” Sullivan said.

Mutual cuts and a ban on the American Embassy in Russia hiring local employees and employees from third countries have led to the fact that now the number of diplomatic staff at the US Embassy is at the level of 120-130 people, Sullivan cited.

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Putin and the President of South Africa discussed the fight against omicron-a strain of coronavirus

The heads of state also talked about the Russia—Africa summit, BRICS and trade and economic cooperation

Putin and the President of South Africa discussed the fight against the omicron strain of coronavirus

Cyril Ramaphosa and Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, the Kremlin’s press service reports.

The heads of the two countries agreed to “join forces in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic,” especially in light of the identification of a new strain of omicron.

Putin and Ramaphosa also discussed preparations for the Russia-Africa summit, BRICS cooperation and trade and economic cooperation.

The discovery of a new strain of coronavirus in South Africa and Botswana was reported by British scientists at the end of November. WHO has warned about the danger of a new variant of the virus, called “omicron”: due to mutations in the spike protein, it can be more contagious than others.

In Russia, cases of infection with the omicron strain have not yet been identified. The country has introduced a 14-day quarantine for arrivals from South Africa and neighboring countries. Since November 28, Russia has restricted entry from South Africa, several other African countries and Hong Kong. The restrictions also apply to foreigners who have visited these places within the last ten days.

Putin instructed the government to develop an action plan to combat the omicron strain by December 7. He called for special attention to be paid to improving the effectiveness of vaccines.

On December 3, two people who arrived from South Africa were infected with coronavirus. It is not specified which strain the passengers were infected with, which airport they arrived at and how many people were on board with them.

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What sanctions were demanded by Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland, and what was Moscow’s response

Vilnius, Warsaw and Kiev demanded tougher sanctions against Russia because of “aggression against Ukraine.” In particular, they called for the introduction of measures against the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. What Russia answered to this – in the RBC video

What sanctions were demanded by Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland, and what Moscow answered

Video

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The State Department announced progress on visas with Russia

The representative of the department noted that the US policy, including the requirement for Russian diplomats to leave the country, is aimed at achieving parity between the diplomatic missions of the two countries

The State Department reported progress on visas with Russia

The Embassy of the Russian Federation in the United States, Washington, the United States and Russia have made progress on the issue of diplomatic visas, writes TASS with reference to a representative of the State Department.

“These are current issues that we continue to deal with. In recent days, we have made progress on bilateral issues and hope to continue moving in this direction,” the agency interlocutor said. He stressed that a functioning embassy is crucial for diplomacy.

Earlier, the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Yevgeny Ivanov, said that consultations on the issuance of visas between Moscow and Washington are not easy, but “some solutions are”, and some progress has been achieved.

In April of this year, the United States expelled ten Russian diplomats from Washington. In response, the Russian side banned the American embassy from hiring employees from Russia or other countries. Because of this ban, Washington has reduced more than 180 employees in diplomatic missions in Moscow, Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg. After the mutual staff cuts, 100 American diplomats remained in Russia, and 400 Russian diplomats in the United States, American senators wrote in a letter to Joe Biden. They called on the President to increase the number of embassy staff in Moscow.

In October, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that the United States had demanded that 55 Russian diplomats and diplomatic mission staff leave the country in the coming months. According to Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, the spouses of diplomats are revoked accreditation, and children are not issued visas. Antonov warned that such an outflow of employees could lead to “personnel starvation”. The deputy head of the press service of the US State Department, Jalina Porter, stressed that such a measure was introduced to “ensure parity between the diplomatic missions of the United States and Russia”.

The representative of the State Department stressed to TASS that the diplomats in question have been in the United States for more than three years. They were notified that at the end of their business trip they would have to leave the country (the United States limited the terms of business trips of employees of Russian diplomatic missions in the country to three years). The interlocutor of the agency added that the approach of the American side is aimed at achieving parity between the diplomatic missions of the two states and establishing “more stable and predictable relations with Russia”.

Zakharova previously stated that Moscow regards Washington’s actions as an expulsion. By January 31 next year, employees of the US Embassy who have worked in the country for more than three years will leave Russia. After July 1, another group of diplomats will leave Moscow if the United States does not compromise.

In November, Russia asked the UN to start arbitration proceedings due to problems with issuing American visas to diplomats. According to Sergey Leonidchenko, a representative in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Russian delegation has been facing problems in this area for more than four years. He mentioned visa denials to employees of the Permanent Mission of Russia to the UN and delegates from Moscow.

In early August, the US Embassy in Russia announced the termination of consular services for Russians, inviting them to apply to embassies in other countries to obtain nonimmigrant visas. In November, Sergei Koshelev, the envoy-adviser of the Russian embassy in Washington, said that there was a chance to agree on the resumption of issuing visas to the United States in Russia.

On Friday, The Washington Post reported on a “breakthrough” in negotiations on issuing visas to employees of the American embassy in Moscow. According to the newspaper’s sources, a final agreement may be reached in December.

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Biden refused to recognize Russian “red lines” on Ukraine

The American president said that he expects a long conversation with Vladimir Putin

Biden refused to recognize Russia's

US President Joe Biden shared his expectations from the upcoming conversation with Vladimir Putin. In particular, he reacted to the statements about the “red lines” mentioned by the President of Russia.

During a conversation with journalists before departing for the weekend to the Camp DavidBayden residence, he said that he expects a long conversation with Putin. “We are afraid of Russia’s actions, and I would like to discuss this issue,” the American president said.

He added that he had prepared certain proposals for the Russian president, but did not go into details.

Biden also said that he does not recognize anyone’s “red lines”. This is how he reacted to the latest statement from Moscow. Vladimir Putin during his speech at the forum “Russia is calling!”he stated that the “red lines” in relation to Ukraine “are primarily in creating threats to us that may come from this territory.”

On the eve of the Russian Foreign Ministry said that for Moscow “the red line” is Ukraine’s accession to NATO.

On December 1, Putin, during a speech at the presentation of credentials in the Kremlin, said that he proposed to start substantive negotiations on achieving legal guarantees that exclude any NATO advance to the east. The White House said that only the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance can decide who is a member of NATO and who is not. “It’s important to remember who is the provocateur in this situation, and it’s not the United States or Ukraine,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Friday.

On Friday, December 3, the assistant to the Russian president for foreign Policy, Yuri Ushakov, said that the date of the meeting had already been agreed, but it was necessary to wait for clarification of all parameters of negotiations with Washington. The press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov advised to wait for the meeting “at any time”.

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The White House responded to Putin’s demand for guarantees of non-expansion of NATO

Earlier, the Russian president made a proposal to start substantive negotiations on achieving legal guarantees of non-expansion of NATO to the east

The White House responded to Putin's demand for guarantees of non-expansion of NATO

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki

The decision on a country’s membership in NATO is made by the member states of the alliance, not Russia. This was stated by White House press Secretary Jen Psaki, reports The Washington Post.

“Only NATO countries can decide who is a member of the alliance, not Russia. It is important to remember who is the provocateur in this situation, and it is not the United States or Ukraine,” she answered a journalist’s question about Russia’s demand for guarantees of non-expansion of the alliance.

She also added that the United States is actively consulting with European partners and the US Congress on the issue of the buildup of Russian troops near the borders of Ukraine. “We know that the President [of Russia Vladimir] Putin has done it in the past. We see how he faces difficulties in giving the order to invade [Ukraine] in a short time,” she added.

On December 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to start substantive negotiations on achieving legal guarantees of non-expansion of NATO to the east. According to him, Russia intends to seek “reliable and long-term security guarantees” and in negotiations with the United States and its allies will “insist on developing specific agreements”.

In early December, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said that the decision on the degree of readiness of Ukraine to join NATO will be made by the members of the alliance, and Russia does not have the right of veto in this matter. According to him, any future Russian aggression against Ukraine will be costly and will entail serious political and economic consequences for Moscow. In November, Stoltenberg also admitted that American nuclear weapons deployed in Europe could end up in Eastern European countries if Germany refuses to deploy them.

In early November, the Washington Post and Politico reported, citing their own sources and satellite imagery data, that Russia was building up troops on the border with Ukraine. Kiev initially denied the threat, but later the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, announced 100 thousand Russian troops concentrated on the eastern borders.

In response, Putin said that the topic of the “invasion” of Russian troops in Ukraine was raised at the beginning of the year, but the invasion itself has not yet happened. He also noted that he sees threats to those who live in the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR due to the movement of the armed forces of Ukraine near their territories.

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Minsk warned the EU about the “final loss of Belarus”

According to Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, there are those in the EU who understand the need to resolve the current situation. But they are ready to discuss it only on the sidelines

Minsk warned the EU about the

Vladimir Makei

Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel, said that the fifth package of sanctions from the European Union is not really beneficial to anyone. Speaking at the end of the OSCE Foreign Ministers’ Council in Stockholm, he expressed confidence that sane people have an understanding that it is necessary to get out of the current situation.

“In the end, no one will be the winner. Belarus risks losing its statehood if the sanctions pressure continues. Although we will do everything to prevent this from happening, and the European Union will lose Belarus forever. And I think this is absolutely not in the interests of Europe,” Makei said.

According to the minister, there is a certain understanding, but such a position is discussed only behind the scenes.

Makei also accused the EU of not doing anything concrete to resolve the border crisis with migrants. “The problem is that a lot of them want to get into the European Union for family reunification. And our proposal was to try together to convince them to make some clear decision in one direction or another. Unfortunately, we have not received any concrete actions in response from our European partners,” he said.

The EU accuses Belarus of deliberately organizing a crisis at the border. On the evening of December 2, the European Union approved the introduction of another package of sanctions against Belarus – 17 people and 11 companies were on the list, in total restrictions were imposed against 183 individuals and 26 organizations. As part of this package, sanctions are imposed inin particular, against the Belarusian airline “Belavia”, the Syrian air carrier Cham Wings, judges of the Supreme Court, hotels “Planet” and “Minsk” and the heads of border detachments.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry promised retaliatory “tough, but adequate measures”. RBC application Set up a feed by interests, read only what is important to you

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The State Department called the main topic of negotiations between Putin and Biden

According to Anthony Blinken, the American president, during a conversation with Vladimir Putin, will insist on the territorial integrity of Ukraine

The State Department called the main topic of the Putin-Biden talks

The main topic of the upcoming talks between the presidents of the United States and Russia will be the situation around Ukraine. According to Reuters, this was stated by the head of the US State Department Anthony Blinken.

According to him, Joe Biden intends to tell Vladimir Putin that the United States will definitely insist on the territorial integrity of Ukraine and will oppose any “aggressive steps of Russia” in this matter.

Blinken also said that Biden intends to inform the Russian president that he expects more stable and predictable relations between the two countries.

Earlier, the American Secretary of State said that negotiations between the presidents of Russia and the United States will take place “in the very near future”. At the same time, the head of the Foreign Ministry did not specify in what format this conversation would take place.

On Friday, December 3, the assistant to the Russian president for foreign Policy, Yuri Ushakov, said that the date of the meeting had already been agreed, but it was necessary to wait for clarification of all parameters of negotiations with Washington. The press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov advised to wait for the meeting “at any time”.

Peskov also noted that the presidents’ topics of conversation will be the situation in Ukraine and Russia’s relations with NATO. «Naturally, Ukraine—there are a lot of disputes around Ukraine»,— he appreciated. Ushakov said that Putin and Biden will also discuss the situation in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Iran. Subscribe to YouTube RBC Live broadcasts, videos and recordings of broadcasts on our YouTube channel

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Reuters learned about the hacking of the iPhone of State Department employees by an Israeli program

Hackers attacked American diplomats who were studying the situation in Uganda

Reuters found out about hacking the iPhone of State Department employees by an Israeli program

The iPhones of at least nine employees of the US State Department were hacked using equipment created by the Israeli company NSO Group. This is reported by Reuters with reference to four sources.

According to them, the hackers were targeted by department employees who either worked at the US Embassy in Uganda or dealt with issues related to the situation in that country. At the same time, it has not yet been possible to determine who exactly was behind the hacking of smartphones.

In response to this, the NSO Group reported that they had no data that the equipment of the Israeli company was used for the hacker attack. They promised to conduct an investigation, and in case of confirmation of the information, to permanently cease cooperation with the perpetrators. The NSO Group also stated that they are interested in cooperation with all governments and are ready to provide the necessary data.

According to Bloomberg, the fact of hacking was confirmed by Apple, which sent appropriate notifications to the victims.

The State Department has so far refused to comment on the Reuters information, but clarified that the US Department of Commerce has recently placed the NSO Group on its blacklist, which should make it difficult for American companies and departments to cooperate with it. The Foreign Ministry explained this by the fact that the Israelis had previously supplied their equipment to foreign governments, which used it to spy on officials, journalists, public figures, scientists, and employees of diplomatic missions.

On November 24, it became known that Apple had filed a lawsuit against the NSO Group. The company is seeking a permanent ban for NSO Group to use any of its software.

In July, there was information that the software developed by NSO Group was used to spy on the owners of 1 thousand phone numbers. However, there was no confirmation of these data from the government authorities.

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