In Washington is “not very positive” about the project, so the possibility of introducing new restrictions cannot be ruled out, the German Foreign Minister said. At the same time, he allowed the “resolution of the issue” in the coming months
The US administration has a negative attitude to the Nord Stream-2 pipeline project, so it is impossible to completely exclude the possibility of imposing sanctions, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview with RTL.
“I have not said that there will be no more [sanctions]. Both Democrats and Republicans are not very positive about the “Nord Stream-2”, the minister said in response to a question whether he expects Washington to refuse to tighten restrictions against the pipeline.
At the same time, according to Maas, the discussions on this issue over the past few weeks are such that one can hope for its resolution in the coming months. “So this topic will not always remain a source of conflict in the really broad cooperation between Germany and the United States,” the Foreign Minister said.
On Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after meeting with US President Joe Biden at the G7 summit, said that negotiations on the “Nord Stream-2” are going in the “right direction”. She also agreed with the American leader that it is “vital” for Ukraine to continue to participate in the transit of gas from Russia to Europe.
In July, Merkel will travel to Washington for talks with Biden. Berlin reported that the exact agenda of the meeting has not yet been determined, but the Handelsblatt newspaper wrote that the leaders will first discuss the future of Nord Stream 2. At the meeting, Merkel intends to resolve the conflict over the pipeline, the newspaper reported.
At the end of May, the United States included two Russian companies, one institution, and 13 vessels in the sanctions list in connection with the construction of the Nord Stream-2. At the same time, Washington did not impose sanctions against the project operator Nord Stream 2 AG and its executive director Matthias Warnig.
Biden explained that the construction of the pipeline is almost finished and the introduction of new restrictions would be “unproductive” for US-European relations. On June 4, President Vladimir Putin announced the completion of the first line of the Nord Stream-2. On June 11, Nord Stream 2 AG began preparatory work to fill it with gas.
Withthe ammit will consist of three parts: a conversation in a narrow format, then in an expanded format and the continuation of negotiations after a break, said Yuri Ushakov. The presidents will discuss “almost all topics” that concern Moscow and Washington
Villa La Grange
The meeting of Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, which will be held in Geneva on June 16, will begin at 13: 00. This was stated at a briefing by the assistant to the Russian leader Yuri Ushakov, the correspondent of RBC.
According to Ushakov, Putin will arrive in Geneva on Wednesday. At the Villa La Grange, he will be met by Swiss President Guy Parmelin, then Biden will arrive there. After the photo-taking ceremony and Parmalen’s speech, the Putin-Biden summit will begin.
“The negotiations are planned in three parts. The first conversation was in a narrow format, then in an extended format. Then a short break for tea and coffee and then the continuation of the negotiations, ” Ushakov said. The presidents will then speak separately at press conferences, and after the summit, Putin will meet with his Swiss counterpart, the presidential aide said.
The Russian delegation at the talks with the American side, in addition to Ushakov, will include, in particular, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, presidential press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov, Head of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. They also invited Deputy head of the presidential Administration Dmitry Kozak and Special Representative for the Syrian settlement Alexander Lavrentiev.
According to Ushakov, the talks in a narrow format will involve Lavrov from the Russian side, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken from the American side.
The aide to the president added that Moscow and Washington agreed on the agenda of the summit, and even pre-agreed on the order of issues to be discussed. According to Ushakov, the presidents will discuss “almost all topics that are currently of concern to us and the American side,” including the state and prospects for the development of Russian-American relations, issues of strategic stability, the fight against cybercrime, issues of economic cooperation, the climate and the Arctic.
Then Putin and Biden will talk about regional issues: the Middle East, Syria, Libya, the situation around the Iranian nuclear program, Afghanistan, the Korean Peninsula, Nagorno-Karabakh and Ukraine. Ushakov did not rule out that the leaders may touch on other issues, such as Belarus and Alexei Navalny.
When asked how long the talks will last and whether the next meeting of the presidents is planned, Ushakov replied: “It all depends on how the discussion will take place.”
The White House announced on May 12 that Putin and Biden will not give a joint briefing following the summit. The New York Times wrote that the proposal for a joint conference came from Moscow, but Washington rejected it. The reason, according to the newspaper, is that at a briefing with Donald Trump in Helsinki in 2018, the Russian president “took over”. Biden said that the briefing is not a competition, but an opportunity to clearly explain what the conditions of relations between the countries are.
The main goal of the future summit, Putin called the restoration of personal contacts and direct dialogue, as well as the creation of really functioning mechanisms in areas in which Russia and the United States have mutual interests. He expressed the opinion that relations between Moscow and Washington have reached the lowest level in the last few years. Biden agreed with this view, adding that the future of relations between the two states depends on whether Russia will act “in accordance with international norms”.
The leader of the Communist Party explained that the national wealth is distributed unfairly and inequality in society is growing. Similar crises in the first half of the XX century ended with World wars, he said
The chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Gennady Zyuganov, in an interview with “Kommersant” before the start of the campaign for the elections to the State Duma, said about the “very great danger”.
Answering the question of how the upcoming elections will differ from the previous ones, Zyuganov noted that the situation in the country has changed since then, so the elections themselves are fundamentally different from the previous ones. “Our country and the entire planet have been gripped by a systemic crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to its exacerbation, but it is not the point. It is in the degradation of the system of public administration, which is observed both in our country and in the West, ” he believes.
Also, according to him, it is worth paying attention to the unfair distribution of national wealth and the constant growth of inequality, which is an inevitable consequence of neoliberal capitalism. “In the first half of the twentieth century, two similar crises ended in world wars. And today we are again standing on the threshold of a very great danger, ” Zyuganov said.
According to the Communist leader, there are only two ways to solve problems of this magnitude. This can be achieved either through fair elections that reflect the true will of society, rather than falsifying it, or with the “rifle and the cobblestone”. “In my opinion, the world is now at a political fork: either follow the path of socialist transformation, or move towards fascization,” Zyuganov said.
As the leader of the Communist Party noted, the principles of social justice were previously at the heart of the country’s development. “But we have all been robbed: the main resources of the country are owned by a narrow group of individuals who have concentrated nine-tenths of our resources in their hands,” the politician said. Without these resources, Zyuganov stressed, neither the government nor society can count on becoming one of the world’s leading economies and achieving a technological breakthrough, as well as overcoming mass poverty and stopping the demographic catastrophe.
The State Duma elections are scheduled to take place on September 19 on a single voting day. According to the VTsIOM poll for June 6, the Communist Party is supported by 12.7% of respondents (they answered the question of which party they voted for if the elections were held next Sunday). This is the second result, with United Russia in first place with 30.6% support.
Pa resident of Russia during an interview with the TV channel quoted the hero of the novel “The Golden Calf” Ostap Bender. Putin used the phrase ” you can complain to the International League of Sexual Reforms.” NBC translated it verbatim and without quotes
The NBC television channel, which was interviewed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the eve of the summit with his American counterpart Joe Biden, literally translated most of the quotes and phraseological units used by the head of state during a conversation with a journalist.
In particular, the phrase “you can complain to the International League of Sexual Reform” is translated verbatim and without quotation marks. Translated by NBC, “you can take your complaint to the International League of Sexual Reform”. The TV channel did not provide any explanations about what kind of organization it is.
These words in the novel “The Golden Calf” are uttered by Ostap Bender. The hero of the work said this phrase to Mikhail Panikovsky, who said that girls do not like him. Putin used this phrase to stop the flow of accusations against Russia on the topic of cyber attacks.
Also, the TV channel literally translated the proverb “nothing to blame on the mirror, kolyrozha kriva” (don & #39; t be mad at the mirror if you are ugly). These words Putin said, talking about the domestic policy of the United States.
In addition, the journalist who interviewed the Russian president, Keir Simmons, recounted Biden’s words about the previous meeting of politicians. Then Biden allegedly told Putin that he did not see the soul in his eyes. Responding to the journalist, the Russian president used the passage “something with my memory has become” from the song “For that guy”. It was also translated without quotation marks (“something wrong with my memory”).
Keir Simmons said that Putin continued to talk with him after the interview ended. Their conversation, he said, dragged on for another hour and a half. “Even when the recording ended, he continued to talk to me, convincing me of something,” he said. The journalist noted that after the recording was stopped, Putin continued to convince him that the West was financing the opposition in Russia.
Fragments of Putin’s interview were published daily last week. On Monday, June 14, NBC published the full transcript of the conversation with the Russian president.
This was stated by the US President at the end of the NATO summit. The leaders of the alliance’s member states stressed in their final statement that Russia has “stepped up its hybrid actions” against its NATO partners.
Washington is not looking for a conflict with Moscow, but is ready to respond to the “malicious” activity coming from Russia. This was stated by US President Joe Biden at a press conference following the NATO summit.
“We will respond if Russia continues its malicious activity,” the American leader said.
According to Biden, during the summit, the participants ” talked about Russia’s aggressive actions that threaten the integrity and security of the alliance members.”
According to the president, he told the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, with whom he met at the NATO summit in Brussels, about the support of the United States in countering Russia’s actions.
Biden stressed that the NATO countries will stick together. “This is how we dealt with the threats of the past. <..."We will defend the transatlantic alliance," he concluded.
Following the summit, the leaders of the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance said that Russia had “stepped up its hybrid actions” against NATO partners. These include “attempts to interfere in elections,” political and economic pressure, “cyber attacks, as well as” illegal and destructive actions of the Russian special services on the territory of the allied countries.” The Russian side has repeatedly denied these accusations.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, commenting on the results of the NATO summit, expressed the opinion that the results of this event require in-depth study. “The general impression is that the psychology of a besieged fortress prevails in NATO,” he said.
Putin and Biden will meet in Geneva on June 16. After it, politicians will hold separate press conferences. According to the White House administration, this is the most appropriate form of communication with the “free press”. The Kremlin noted that the refusal to hold a joint press conference does not indicate low expectations regarding the results of the summit.
Biden himself said that their meeting with Putin will not turn into a contest of press conferences. “It’s not a competition to see who can perform better at a press conference to embarrass each other. It is about explaining very clearly what the conditions of relations between the countries are, ” the president explained.
Biden, answering the question, paused several times, starting the thought anew. “In the past, he has essentially admitted that he had certain things that he could have done or did,” the US president said.
US President Joe Biden at a press conference in Brussels following the NATO summit answered the question whether he continues to consider his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a murderer.
Reporters told Biden that Putin, during a recent interview with NBC, laughed after being told that the US president had called him a murderer. After that, Biden was asked if he continues to consider Putin a murderer. “I laugh too,” the American president replied.
Then Biden did not immediately find the words and broke off several times, starting the thought again. “They actually, I… well, look, I mean, he made it clear that…»
“I believe that in the past, he essentially admitted that he had certain things that he could have done or had done. But, look, when I was asked this question on the air, I answered honestly, ” Biden concluded.
At the same time, he noted that this situation does not matter much from the point of view of the meeting with Putin, which is due to take place on June 16 in Switzerland.
An ABC News reporter asked Biden if he thought Putin was a murderer during an interview the American president gave on March 17. The interviewer said: “So you know Vladimir Putin. Do you think he’s the killer?”Mmm, yes,” Biden replied.
The next day, Putin commented on Biden’s statement. “As for my American colleague’s statement, we are indeed, as he said, personally acquainted. So that I can answer him? I said to him, ” Be well!” I wish him good health, “Putin said, and clarified that he was saying this” without irony and without jokes.”
The Russian president also recalled the disputes and conflicts that took place in his childhood in the courtyard. “We used to say,’ Whoever calls himself that, calls himself that.’ And this is not accidental, this is not just a joke, the psychological meaning in this is very deep, ” Putin added.
Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, commenting on Biden’s statement, called it “very bad”. “He definitely does not want to establish relations with our country, we will continue to proceed from this,” the Kremlin representative said.
State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that such statements offend the citizens of Russia, and called Biden’s words “hysteria from impotence”. First Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Andrey Turchak considered Biden’s statement a triumph of the US political insanity and age-related dementia of their leader.
In turn, White House press secretary Jen Psaki then said that Biden does not regret his words about Putin. “The president gave a direct answer to a direct question,” she said.
The head of the State Department, Anthony Blinken, in an interview with The Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, answering the question of how the American leader can simultaneously call Putin a murderer and work with him, said that Biden is guided by a pragmatic approach in relations with Russia. According to Blinken, Biden ” understands two things very well.”;: he needs to hold Russia accountable for any reckless and hostile actions it takes, and at the same time be open to cooperation in the common interests of the two countries.
On June 16, the first meeting of Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden will take place in Geneva. What the parties approached it with and what results in politics, economics and business to expect from the Russian-American summit, RBC understood
Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin
Under what circumstances will the Russian-American summit be held
For the sake of the meeting at the Geneva Villa La Grange, Russian President Vladimir Putin will break the pause in foreign travel caused by the pandemic-the last time he went abroad on a visit was in January 2020, for events in Jerusalem. Biden will also come to Switzerland during the first foreign trip since the beginning of his presidency, which began on January 20 this year.
If you look at the chronology of the last meetings of the American and Russian presidents, you can see that usually the first meeting after the inauguration of the new head of the United States was held just in the next spring or summer. Putin met with George W. Bush in May, with Barack Obama in April, with Donald Trump in July, and with Biden in June.
Biden’s trajectory to the summit with Putin follows the trajectory of his predecessor Trump, who also arrived at a separate bilateral summit with Putin (held in July 2018) during a European tour, after a visit to the UK. Biden began his European tour with a visit to the G7 summit in the United Kingdom, and will come to Geneva from Brussels, from the NATO summit.
What do the parties expect from the meeting
As relations between Russia and the United States continue to deteriorate, expectations from the current meeting between the parties are quite low. “We do not have any high expectations, illusions that some “breakthroughs” are coming. But there is an objective need for an exchange of views at the highest level on what threats Russia and the United States see as the two largest nuclear powers in the international arena, ” the Foreign minister stated on June 9.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. According to him, the very fact of the conversation between the leaders of the two leading nuclear powers is important. This repeats the approaches of the Russian side to the previous Russian-American summit in 2018. “Whatever we say, the very fact of the meeting is very important for building the appropriate chemistry of relations between the presidents in the future,” said Yuri Ushakov, an assistant to the Russian president, three years ago.
Trump as president, the Russian leader assessed positively, and in an interview published on June 12, NBC repeated that he considers him a “talented, outstanding politician”. Putin defined Biden as a “professional politician”. The American president in the run-up to the meeting avoided harsh characteristics of his future counterpart. If at the beginning of the term he agreed that Putin can be called a murderer, then during a press conference on June 13, he limited himself to calling the Russian leader an autocrat.
In any case, both presidents expressed their willingness to engage in dialogue. It can be conducted on several topics. According to Lavrov, Russia wanted to find out the US approach to issues of strategic stability and cybersecurity. Biden said that the United States does not intend to seek confrontation, but intends to discuss issues on which the two countries have opportunities for interaction. AmongThe topics to be discussed were bilateral relations, Ukraine, Libya and Syria, North Korea, Afghanistan, and the coronavirus pandemic. This agenda is not much different from the one that was discussed three years ago. At that time, the focus was also on the crisis state of bilateral relations and ways to improve them, as well as international issues (Syria, North Korea, and others).
Putin and Biden assess the level of relations between the two countries equally. “Our bilateral relations have sunk to their lowest point in recent years,” Putin told NBC. “I think he’s right, this is the lowest point,” Biden agreed. The level of relations and expectations eloquently illustrates the refusal of Putin and Biden from the usual joint press conference for such meetings.
Since the previous summit, Russia and the United States have further complicated the work of each other’s diplomatic missions. In the spring, Russian and US Ambassadors Anatoly Antonov and John Sullivan returned to their capitals. Russia added the United States to the list of unfriendly states, banning the embassy from hiring Russians, which led to a further reduction in the size of the embassy and stopping the issuance of American visas to Russians. Moscow and Washington mutually expelled diplomats and government officialsin the sanctions lists (among those included in the US-deputy head of the presidential administration Sergey Kiriyenko and FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov; in the Russian-US Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray). Washington has twice imposed sanctions on Russia during Biden’s administration. The reasons were the poisoning and the situation with the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election, and a cyber attack on the Solar Winds company.
“I think that during the meeting, both sides will focus on marking their red lines. It’s not just about getting every president to show a domestic and international audience that he can stand up to a colleague, it’s also important to move toward a more constructive relationship, ” Chris Tuck, Deputy director of political risk at GPW Consulting, told RBC.
What can be the political outcome
According to Putin, a good result of the summit was the opportunity to restore our personal contacts, establish a direct dialogue, and create a mechanism for interaction on topics of mutual interest. Experts call approximately the same key points. As stated at the conference & laquo; Primakov Readings & raquo; Americanexpert Tom Graham, the success of the meeting was the continuation of the dialogue after it. For this number, it is necessary to return to “normal diplomatic relations,” he recalled. “Our ambassadors must return to their seats so that normal, stable diplomatic relations can be conducted for dialogue, then it will be a success,” Graham said.
The summit can provide a basis for stabilizing relations, another American expert, Michael Kofman, said at the same conference. In his opinion, the rivalry between the countries will continue, but its borders may be outlined. Russian expert Sergei Rogov is sure that a new cold war is already underway and there are no prerequisites for it to stop in the near future, and we can hope to get some reduction in tension in relations from the summit. At the same time, Moscow does not exclude the possibility of further deterioration of relations-this was stated by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
“I would see the success of this event in the fact that, following its results, both presidents said that they understand the complexity of the situation and the responsibility that lies on them, and therefore instruct experts to begin a detailed analysis of how strategic stability can be ensured,” Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of the magazine “Russia in Global Politics”, told RBC. After that, a professional conversation on this topic should begin between the countries.a topic, he thinks. If the summit has some practical results, it will be easier for Biden to implement them than for Trump, since, unlike his predecessor, he does not face systemic sabotage, and in general, the information background of this meeting in the United States is much more constructive-Russia has ceased to be a factor in domestic politics to such an extent as it was under Trump, Lukyanov notes.
What to expect from the summit in terms of business and economy
“I don’t expect the summit to bring any positive news in terms of business, trade, or the sanctions agenda,” Nick Trickett, an independent political risk analyst and editor-in-chief of the OGs and OFZs blog, told RBC. But relations between Russia and the United States are so bad that even the absence of news will already be good news, Trickett added. “Ifthe summit will simply pass without significant signs of confrontation, the ruble and other Russian assets may receive short-term support, ” predicts Chris Tuck. But since Biden tends to use the policy of carrot and stick, even if the summit goes relatively well, it is impossible to exclude negative “surprises” after it, the analyst points out.
The economic context of the meeting is the US sanctions that came into force on June 14, prohibiting US investors from buying Russian federal loan bonds (OFZ) at auctions of the Ministry of Finance, and the decision of the Russian government to completely withdraw the National Welfare Fund (NWF) from dollar assets. The fact that the de-dollarization of the NWF was announced shortly before the summit is intended to send a signal to the markets and Washington that sanctions will not change Moscow’s behavior and in response it will only strengthen its macro-financial protection, Tuck said.
Since 2014, economic relations between Russia and the United States have been steadily deteriorating. Bilateral trade fell by 18% by 2020 compared to 2014, according to the Federal Customs Service of Russia. The supply of Russian goods to America mainly consists of low-grade products-oil and petroleum products, steel, palladium, mineral fertilizers, while Russia depends on imports.American civil aircraft, automobiles and spare parts, industrial equipment, medicines and medical devices. The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) predicted in a 2019 report that economic ties are likely to shrink further over the next five to seven years as the overall sanctions regime tightens.
Trickett is confident that the Biden administration will continue to pursue its current strategy toward Russia, including sanctions. Biden is experiencing quite a lot of political pressure in Washington, which forces him to at least raise the issue of the treatment of the Russian authorities with Alexei Navalny and his organization.expert. On June 2, three months have elapsed since the White House formally considered that Navalny was poisoned by a banned chemical weapon, and under the American Chemical and Biological Weapons Control Act (CBW Act), Biden now has clear grounds for imposing a second, mandatory round of sanctions, Tuck recalls.
At the same time, the US administration is likely to seek some diplomatic steps forward, as it “cannot afford to spend money endlessly on deterring both Russia and China, while it has to overcome the economic consequences of COVID-19 and choose among a long list of political priorities”.;,Trickett counts. “Biden is trying to balance” avoiding unnecessary confrontation with Russia and at the same time not looking too weak as a president, ” Tuck agrees. Even if relations between Russia and the United States deteriorate further, Biden will try to avoid rash steps that could cause a domino effect for international markets, he said.
In In an interview with NBC, Putin said that relations between Russia and the United States “have sunk to the lowest point in recent years.” “This may be the only thing I agree with Putin on, an accurate description,” the head of the State Department said.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in an interview with MSNBC that relations between Moscow and Washington are at a low point.
“From our point of view, it is quite clear that the reckless and aggressive actions that Russia consistently takes are responsible [for the deterioration of relations],” he said.
The head of the State Department agreed with the assessment that relations between Russia and the United States are at a low point. “This may be the only thing I agree with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin on,” the Secretary of State said.
Blinken stressed that for US President Joe Biden, the goal of the meeting with Putin is to say that the US wants a more stable and predictable relationship. According to him, Washington is ready for such relations and would prefer them, as it is in the interests of both states and the whole world.
At the same time, Blinken noted that if Russia continues to behave as it does now in relation to the United States and its allies, Washington will respond decisively.
Last week, NBC interviewed Putin, during which the Russian president said that relations between Russia and the United States ” have sunk to the lowest point in recent years.” Biden later said that he agreed with Putin’s point of view. “I think he’s right, this is the lowest point,” the US president said.
According to him, the future of the dialogue between the countries depends on whether Russia will act “in accordance with international norms”. At the same time, Biden stressed that Washington is not looking for a conflict with Moscow.
Putin and Biden will hold a face-to-face meeting in Geneva on June 16. They plan to discuss the state and prospects of bilateral relations, strategic stability and topical issues on the international agenda, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the settlement of regional conflicts. The main goal of the future summit, Putin called the restoration of personal contacts and direct dialogue, as well as the creation of really functioning mechanisms in areas in which Russia and the United States have mutual interests.
The reason was the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus (Indian strain), which the UK authorities call more contagious. Now it is detected in more than 90% of infected people
The removal of restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 in England is postponed for four weeks-from June 21 to July 19. This was announced at a press conference by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, reports Reuters.
“I think it’s wise to wait a little longer,” he said. The main reason for the delay was the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus (the so-called Indian strain). According to the authorities, it is 40-80% more contagious than the alpha variant (the British strain).
Previously, this possibility was not ruled out in the British government. According to the Financial Times, the country’s chief health officer, Chris Whitty, was able to convince Johnson to postpone “freedom day” from restrictions for a month.
According to the Prime Minister, in two weeks the government will study the statistics and make a final decision on the removal or extension of restrictive measures, Sky News reports. According to Johnson, the authorities expect that by July 19, two-thirds of the adult population will receive both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
The UK authorities imposed a lockdown in January due to the spread of a new strain of coronavirus. The government then developed a four-step plan to break the restrictions as the number of vaccinated people increased. The first two stages were held in March and April. Catering establishments and service organizations were opened, residents were allowed to walk in the parks in small companies. In May, the third stage came: hotels, theaters, and museums were opened. The authorities also allowed to hold sports events with spectators and return universities to full-time education. The removal of the remaining measures was scheduled for June 21.
On June 14, 7.7 thousand new cases of coronavirus infection were confirmed in the UK. As noted by Sky News, the daily increase is held at this level for the sixth day in a row. According to the head of the Ministry of Health, Matt Hancock, 91% of new cases are infected with the delta variant of the coronavirus. He said that the government plans to modify the vaccines as soon as possible.
According to the medical director of the Health Service of England, now most often infected young Britons who have not yet had time to get vaccinated.
The ex-editor-in-chief of Nexta responded negatively to the question of whether the Belarusian authorities promised him freedom in exchange for cooperation. He explained the work with the investigation with the desire to “help his country”
The former editor-in-chief of the Telegram channel Nexta, Roman Protasevich, said at a press conference in Minsk organized by the Belarusian Foreign Ministry that he was not forced to cooperate with the investigation.
Answering a question from a RBC correspondent about whether he was promised freedom in return for cooperation, Protasevich said: “I did not have any bargaining with the investigation, any participation in the events is voluntary.”
According to the young man, it also concerns his interview with the program “Markov”. Nothing personal”, which was released on the Belarusian state TV channel ONT in early June. “You know, my conscience is absolutely clear. I don’t betray anyone, I don’t betray anyone. I cooperate with the investigation, I help my country and I intend to help further, ” Protasevich added.
According to the ex-editor-in-chief of Nexta, his cooperation with the investigation is due to the fact that he is aware of the damage he has caused to the country: “Now I want to do everything in my power to correct this situation.”
At this conference, the young man also stated that he had “heard a lot of fakes about his health” and the information that he had been beaten in the pre-trial detention center was not true: “I am all right, I have no complaints about anything, no one has beaten me, no one has touched me.” Protasevich’s words about voluntary participation in the briefing did not convince some EU diplomats who were invited to the conference, and journalists: for example, a BBC film crew left the hall, believing that he was forced to do so.
Representatives of the Belarusian opposition previously called Protasevich’s interview with ONT, in which he admitted guilt in organizing and preparing riots, ” a record of the result of torture.” Nexta founder Stepan Putilo and Protasevich’s parents are also convinced that the ex-editor-in-chief’s statements made in the interview were made under pressure.
Protasevich was among the passengers of the Ryanair plane that flew from Athens to Vilnius on May 23. The airliner was forced to land in Minsk because of a report about a bomb, which was not confirmed. Then the plane was allowed to continue the flight, but without the ex-editor-in-chief of Nexta-he was removed from the flight along with his girlfriend, Russian Sofia Sapega. The Belarusian authorities accuse the girl of inciting social hostility and discord. Now both are in pre-trial detention.