Zaitsev from the Foreign Ministry: even the idea of a war with Ukraine is unacceptable, the Foreign Ministry has ruled out any plans for Russia to attack a neighboring country. But the “overseas curators” of Kiev continue to adhere to the scenario they invented, said the representative of the ministry
Russia does not even allow the thought of war with Ukraine, said Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexey Zaitsev.
He mentioned the statements of the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Alexei Danilov, that Kiev sees no grounds for “Russia’s invasion” of Ukraine, which the West is talking about. The country’s Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov agrees with him, the diplomat said.
“For our part, we have repeatedly stated that our country is not going to attack anyone. We consider unacceptable even the idea of a war between our peoples,” he said.
However, Zaitsev continued, “overseas curators of Ukraine” have a different opinion on this matter. “It seems that they intend to firmly adhere to the scenario they invented, according to which Russia should attack Ukraine, having turned the whole Western world against itself, and are trying to do everything possible to bring it to life,” the deputy director of the DIP believes.
If “something is not going according to plan”, the West begins to escalate the situation. As an example, he cited the order to evacuate embassy staff from Kiev, the buildup of military supplies. “And they shout even louder about the mythical Russian threat, even naming the planned time of Russia’s attack on Ukraine: sometime between now and mid-February,” he added.
At the same time, anyone who dares to have his own point of view will inevitably pay with his career, and possibly with his safety. He recalled the resignation of German Vice Admiral Kai-Achim Schoenbach, who said that Kiev had lost Crimea, and called statements about Russia’s plans to attack Ukraine nonsense.
“The President of Croatia, who considered that Ukraine had no place in NATO, was included in the database of the extremist website “Peacemaker”, as, indeed, the above-mentioned German Vice Admiral”,” Zaitsev pointed out.
After a foreign Ministry statement on the inadmissibility of the war between Russia and Ukraine, the dollar fell nearly ₽1,9, to ₽77,61, Euro— for ₽2,8, to ₽86,57. The U.S. currency fell below $ ₽78 for the first time since January 24 of this year, the European currency was below ₽87 for the first time since January 21.
The West has repeatedly claimed that Russia is preparing an invasion of Ukraine. The possible timing of the attack in the White House, in particular, was called mid-January – mid-February. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman also said that Russia is planning aggression against Ukraine by mid-February. Washington claims that Russia is preparing a militaryprovocation under a false flag, looking for an excuse to invade a neighboring country. The Kremlin denied these words. The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, said that the West seeks “a real provocation” so that the Kiev regime breaks into a military operation in the Donbass, or in some other way finally bury the Minsk agreements.
The West threatens Russia with unprecedented sanctions in case of aggression, and NATO has already announced the transfer of forces.
The Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly urged the population not to panic because of reports of a possible Russian attack. In particular, President Vladimir Zelensky asked Ukrainians to take care of “nonsense”.
DMitri Medvedev urged not to frighten Russia with “infernal sanctions” “Unprecedented sanctions” against Russia, Western countries promise to impose in the event of its invasion of Ukraine. Dmitry Medvedev believes that those who threaten sanctions themselves do not believe in the effectiveness of their statements
Even those who threaten Russia with sanctions do not believe that this threat will work, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Russian media.
“This is such a figure of speech, a part of political culture: “Let’s say this in order to perform this ritual dance.” And they regularly perform it,” Medvedev explained (quoted by RIA Novosti). He urged not to frighten Russia with “infernal sanctions”.
“There can always be problems, but these problems are definitely solvable,” the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council stressed.
Commenting on the possibility of a ban on the conversion of the ruble, Medvedev said that in case of restrictions on transactions in dollars and euros, Russia will switch to Chinese yuan.”The absence of dollar payments can be replaced by payments in euros. If there are decisions on the euro, there is the yuan. <..."I do not know who will lose more from this," he said. Medvedev recalled that Russia is already pursuing a course for a more balanced currency basket and, if necessary, can make a certain redistribution within this basket.
Earlier, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said that the threats of sanctions from the West do not belong to the category of real politics.
The United States and other states are warning Russia of “unprecedented sanctions” in the event of its invasion of Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is not planning an attack.
On January 25, a representative of the US administration at a briefing said that the country was preparing sanctions measures against Russia in case of escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. The package of measures will include export and financial restrictions, and as a result, more extensive consequences for Moscow are implied than those that were considered after the annexation of Crimea to Russia in 2014. According to Reuters, Washington expects European partners to join the sanctions.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on the same day that Western countries would “react in unison” to Russia’s attack on Ukraine and sanctions in this case would be tougher than those previously mentioned.
The Bild newspaper wrote that the damage from the new restrictions could amount to more than $ 50 billion. According to the publication, the West plans to block the supply of raw materials from Russia, restrict the work of embassies and reduce the supply of Russian weapons. During the visit of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and CIA Director William Burns to Berlin, the German side assured that in the event of a Russian invasion it would not allow the launch of the Nord Stream-2, Bild reported.
In the United States, senators from the Democratic and Republican parties have introduced bills on measures against Russia. Both the Democrats’ draft and the document from Republican Marco Rubio include personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Wednesday, January 26, a CBS correspondent, citing sources, reported that the authorities had abandoned sanctions against Putin because it would make it difficult for Western colleagues to negotiate with him.
GThe Prosecutor General’s Office of Germany has filed charges of espionage against a Russian detained in June, according to the prosecutor’s office, a Russian who worked at a German university for a fee transferred information to Russian intelligence about European developments in the aerospace field
The building of the German Prosecutor General’s Office
The German Prosecutor’s office has charged Russian citizen Ilnur N. with working for Russian special services (the authorities do not give his full name). The charges were filed on December 9, the ministry said in a statement.
RBC has contacted the Russian Embassy in Germany for comment.
The accused was detained in June last year. According to the prosecutor’s office, he worked as a researcher at a university in Bavaria. In the period from October 2020 to June 2021, the Russian met at least three times with representatives of the SVR and transmitted information from the university for a monetary reward, the department said.
“Ilnur N. transmitted information about research projects in the field of aerospace technologies, in particular about the different stages of development of the Ariane launch vehicle,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement published on January 27. The accused received for these data €2,5 thousand
In October last year, a court in Berlin found 56-year-old German Jens F. guilty of espionage in favor of Russia and sentenced him to two years in prison on probation and a fine of 15 thousand (more than 1 million rubles). According to Deutsche Welle, he previously served as an officer of the tank division of Communist East Germany, and was also associated with the Ministry of State Security of the GDR.
According to the investigation, in 2017, Jens F. he worked for a security company that checked electronic devices in the buildings of the German parliament. He was able to obtain drawings of these buildings and tried to transfer them on a CD to an employee of the Russian embassy in Germany.
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NTension between Russia and NATO has not weakened since the end of 2021: the West has decided to transfer forces to Eastern Europe, Russia and the United States are trying to agree on security guarantees. How the media react from both sides – in the RBC review
What the Western media write about the aggravation between Russia and NATO
The decision on the additional transfer of NATO troops to the east raised the stakes for both sides, notes The Guardian (UK) in the article, “The growing stakes in the Ukrainian adventure are pushing Russia to make decisions”: “It is more difficult for Moscow to abandon its position after the United States and NATO announced the additional deployment of troops on the eastern flank of the alliance. The unilateral reduction of forces would mean a clear loss of the Kremlin in the confrontation, which provoked the strengthening of the NATO presence, which he so wanted to get rid of.
The current situation has historical prerequisites, the columnist of The Guardian believes,Writer and journalist Simon Jenkins: “In the 1990s, the West made a calculated bet on NATO expansion. He did not even consider the Finnish option – cautious and pragmatic neutrality towards the Baltic neighbors located in the sphere of influence of Russia. Post-Soviet Russia was lying on the floor, and NATO could not resist kickinglying down. NATO’s attitude towards Russia has made retaliatory displays of chauvinism almost inevitable. Moscow’s tentative attempts at the time of Boris Yeltsin to raise the topic of joining NATO were rejected. The possible association with the EU was ridiculed. He did everything possible to wipe Russia’s nose. And Putin’s current antics are a completely predictable result.
Fiona Hill, an intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, an employee of the National Security Council under Donald Trump, agrees with him. Putin “wants to drive the United States out of Europe,” she writes in her column for The New York Times (USA). “Having watched Mr. Putin for two decades, I see that his actions are consistent, and the moment to throw down the gauntlet to Europe and the United States was not chosen by chance.”..> Putin wants to make the US feel the same bitterness that Russia did in the 1990s. He believes that the United States is now in the same predicament as Russia after the collapse of the USSR: the country is weak from within and losing ground on the world stage,” she notes.
The sanctions package under discussion does not seem to everyone to be an effective measure. “It should be remembered that this game will not end with the introduction of sanctions,” says Nicolas De Pedro, head of the research department at the Institute of Public Administration in London, his words are quoted by the Spanish edition El Pais (Spain). Russia is waiting for them, has prepared for them to some extent and is ready to tolerate them, the article notes. “The situation is very complicated. The EU chose to be a herbivore, fine. But we must remember that he is surrounded by predators,” says De Pedro.
The Wall Street Journal (USA) In one of the articles, he reproaches Germany for not proving to be a reliable partner in the current situation: “Against the background of Vladimir Putin’s possible invasion of Ukraine, most Western allies are acting in such a way as to support Kiev and reassure the most vulnerable members of NATO. Germany takes a different approach, putting the interests of Russia above the interests ofOf the West. This is a harsh reality. Faced with the two main threats to the United States and the global democratic rule of law established after World War II, China and Russia, Germany ceased to be a reliable ally. For Germany, cheap gas, car exports to China and Putin’s calmness seem more important than solidarity.
In another article The Wall Street Journal He emphasizes that the leaders of NATO member countries have made controversial statements in the past few days: “French President Emmanuel Macron chose the worst moment to say that Europe should negotiate with Russia on the situation with Ukraine separately from the United States. Joe Biden also stumbled with his remark about a “small invasion”.
On January 19, US President Joe Biden spoke at a press conference about the possibility of a “minor invasion” of Russia into Ukraine, “according to him, “then we will have to argue about what to do and what not to do.” After that, the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, wrote on Twitter that “there is no such thing as minor aggression.”
On the same day, January 19, in an address to the European Parliament, Macron called on Europe for greater autonomy, including in relations with Russia. “For the sake of the security of our continent, Europe must strategically rearm, act as a guarantor of peace and stability, especially in dialogue with Russia. I have been defending this dialogue for many years. He is needed for us, for Russia, for security on our common continent,” the French president said, in particular. He called on the EU to develop its own security plan and then submit it to NATO and Russia.
AFP later reported that Macron intends to offer Russian President Vladimir Putin his own version of de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine. A telephone conversation between the two leaders is being prepared and will take place before the end of the week, the Kremlin said.
What the Russian media wrote about the tension in relations with the West
“Playing to aggravate the situation in some circumstances can be very effective, but are the risks inevitably associated with it justified in this particular case? Do Russian strategists have confidence that with a constant increase in rates, Western players will blink first, throw cards on the table and Moscow will take the bank?— reasoned in the material for the Carnegie Moscow Center Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian Council for International Affairs.Here, first of all, it is necessary to determine what is more important for Russia to hurt the unyielding and hypocritical West, to take revenge for defeats and unilateral concessions of the 1990s, or to try to strengthen its own security as much as possible, with all the objective restrictions imposed by the current geopolitical situation.
“The logic of the phase of the Russian-American conflict that we are in is that after the first round of negotiations on security guarantees, which did not lead to a change in positions, there should be some kind of escalation. Demonstrative and noisy. Actually, it happens. Moreover, it happens to a lesser extent from the Russian side, Russia simply continues to stand firmly in the position that it was. And from the West, we see either an imitation of panic, or a real panic,” said RBC The editor-in-chief of the magazine “Russia in Global Politics” Fyodor Lukyanov.
When asked about the likelihood of an armed conflict, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center Dmitry Trenin in an interview with “Kommersant” He replied: “If we talk about a very short term, about the next month, then I think not. As for the longer term, here I have questions for both sides.”
“There is a traditional escalation of verbal threats, which usually ends with a micro-discharge, but the danger of the current situation is that one of the parties may get carried away,” political scientist Vadim Karasev warned in a conversation with RBC .
“The presence of an external enemy in the person of Moscow allows the Americans to strengthen the alliance, which has been participating in wars since 1999 only as a coalition of willing and in the conditions of aggravation of relations with Turkey within NATO,” writes in a column for “Izvestia” political scientist Vladimir Evseev. In addition, this “allows Washington to take a stronger position in negotiations with Moscow when the threat of imposing tough anti-Russian sanctions no longer works,” he believes.
The United States gave Russia its written response on security guarantees on January 26. The head of the State Department, Anthony Blinken, said that he includes US concerns about Russia’s actions and Washington’s proposals. He clarified that the United States will not publish the document in order to leave room for closed negotiations. The content of the document, according to him, correlates with what the American side said publicly.
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MThe Interior Ministry said that, according to one version, the former diplomat was going to sell drugs to students of the Anglo-American school where he worked. The American himself said that medical marijuana was found in his possession
A former employee of the US Embassy in Russia, Mark Vogel, has been arrested on charges of smuggling and drug possession, said Elena Babanova, the head of the press service of the transport department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Central Federal District. Vogel was detained in the summer of 2021 in Sheremetyevo.
The police said that Vogel was detained at Sheremetyevo airport, where he flew from New York. “The reason was the reaction to his luggage of service dogs who are trained to detect prohibited substances. During customs control, marijuana and hashish oil were found in the foreigner’s luggage,” the report says.
Vogel hid marijuana in contact lens packaging, and cannabis oil in cartridges for electronic cigarettes.
A criminal case has been initiated against an American citizen under Part 3 of Article 229.1 and Part 2 of Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Since there was a possibility that he would hide on the territory of the US Embassy, the Khimki City Court decided to place him in custody.
As indicated in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mark Vogel is currently a teacher at the Anglo-American school. He had diplomatic status until May 2021.
“According to one of the versions of the investigation, the person involved could have used it to organize a channel for the supply of narcotic drugs to Russia for the purpose of subsequent sale among the students of the specified school,” the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported.
The US Embassy in Russia told RBC that they are monitoring the situation.
“Interfax” wrote in early December that members of the Public Monitoring Commission found Vogel in one of the capital’s pre-trial detention centers. The American himself claimed that he was detained back in August 2021 for transporting 17 grams of marijuana. At the same time, the former diplomat said that marijuana was medical (to alleviate the consequences of spinal surgery) and he had a prescription written by a doctor.
WithThe Senate of Kazakhstan proposed not to coordinate with Nazarbayev the main directions of policy, Nazarbayev, following the post of head of the Security Council, is deprived of other powers that he had in the status of Elbasy – the first president. Among them is the need to coordinate the country’s policy with him
The Senate of Kazakhstan has taken the initiative to change the status of the first president of Kazakhstan – Elbasy, which is possessed by Nursultan Nazarbayev. He suggests that the main directions of domestic and foreign policy should no longer be coordinated with him. The meeting is broadcast on the website of the Upper house of the Parliament of Kazakhstan.
The status of the first President is enshrined in the relevant law adopted in 2000. The need to coordinate state policy with it was fixed by the 2010 amendments.
The draft law on amendments to legislative acts related to the status of the first president was approved by the Majilis (lower house) on January 19 and submitted to the Senate for consideration. Among the amendments, the law on the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (an advisory body under the President) excludes the lifelong right of Elbasy to head it, and the law on the Security Council excludes the lifelong right to head the Security Council. The Senate approved this bill, making another amendment to abolish the need to coordinate the main policy directions with Nazarbayev.
The bill must be signed by the current President to enter into force.
The provision on the right of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to head the country’s Security Council for life was finally fixed in 2018. A year later, in 2019, he left the post of president, former diplomat Kassym-Jomart Tokayev became the new head of state. However, Nazarbayev retained a large amount of authority. He began to partially abandon them even before the January riots in Kazakhstan. In November 2021, Nazarbayev left the post of chairman of the ruling Nur Otan party, and in April of the same year, the post of chairman of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan.
On January 5, 2022, against the background of the clashes that began in Kazakhstan, Tokayev assumed the powers of the head of the Security Council. The press secretary of Nazarbayev said that he himself decided to transfer his post to the current president. For the first time, Nazarbayev publicly commented on the protests only on January 18, he made a video message in which he stated that there was no conflict among the elites of Kazakhstan. At the same time, the first president added that he had not left the country and was “on a well-deserved vacation in the capital of Kazakhstan”.
Gosdep: if Russia introduces the military into Ukraine, the case with Nord Stream-2 will not move, According to Ned Price, if Russia “somehow” invades Ukraine, the case with the launch of Nord Stream-2 “will not move forward”
If Russia invades the territory of Ukraine, the situation with the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline will not budge, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in an interview with NPR radio.
“I want it to be very clear: if Russia somehow invades Ukraine, the case with the Nord Stream-2 will not move forward,” Price said (quoted by Reuters).
At the same time, he did not specify whether Germany had confirmed such intentions regarding the pipeline.
A week ago, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called “Nord Stream-2” a lever of influence on Russia, as long as there is no gas coming through the pipeline. He added that he had agreed with German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock to counteract Russia’s use of energy resources as a weapon.
She, in turn, stated that in the event of Russian aggression against Ukraine, all measures regarding Nord Stream 2 would be considered.
At the same time, on Sunday, January 23, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said that in the event of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Nord Stream-2 and the gas sector would not fall under Western sanctions. “We in Europe depend to a certain extent on energy carriers from Russia. <..."We won't be able to change this overnight if we suddenly need heat and electricity," he explained.
Later, he noted that measures against the project, which has not yet been put into operation, do not pose a real threat to Moscow.
On the eve of the gas pipeline operator, Nord Stream 2 company established a subsidiary for the German section of the project. This was one of the conditions of the German regulator for the certification of the Nord Stream-2.
The US has stated that it is considering sanctions against Russia in the financial sector, as well as export restrictions. They may affect the supply of goods containing microelectronics created using something related to the United States (tools, software, and so on).
WSJ: Poland agrees to inspections by inspectors from Russia of US air defense systems in Europe, inspections of US air defense systems in Europe are an area. in which the US and the EU can cooperate with Russia, writes the WSJ. However, Poland agreed to the inspections only if similar inspections were carried out in Kaliningrad
The Polish authorities are ready to allow inspectors from Russia to the facilities of the US air defense system, provided that a similar step is taken by the Russian side, The Wall Street Journal newspaper writes.
According to her, before giving Russia its answers to its security proposals, Washington discussed with its European allies areas in which cooperation with Moscow is possible. Sources of the publication reported that mainly ideas were expressed about arms control and ways to make military operations in Europe more transparent.
One of the ideas, according to the newspaper’s interlocutors, involved inspections of American air defense systems located in Poland and Romania.
The WSJ writes that Russia fears that the systems could be used to launch missiles in its direction. The inspections will help convince Moscow that the installations cannot be used for offensive purposes, she reports.
Warsaw announced that it agreed to Russian inspections of installations, provided that Moscow would allow inspections of its systems located in Kaliningrad.
After handing over written answers to Russia’s security proposals on January 26, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken voiced questions that Washington is ready to discuss with Russia. According to him, these are arms control, risk reduction measures, non-deployment of missiles in Ukraine and military exercises in Europe.
“There are important things that you can work with if Russia is serious about working with them. <..."I have no doubt that Russia will approach this seriously, in the spirit of reciprocity, with the intention of strengthening security for all of us. There are big positive points in this document that should be worked on," he also said.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in turn, outlined three areas. in which, in his opinion, the alliance can make progress with Russia: restoration of contacts, including through the military; discussion based on EU principles, including issues of concern to Russia; and conducting exercises.
He also said that the bloc is ready to discuss with Russia issues of disarmament, missile deployment and arms control.
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EThe Central Bank of Russia asked banks to submit a plan in case of the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions, the regulator was separately interested in what European banks would do in case of disconnection of Russian financial organizations from the SWIFT system. FT writes that the ECB wants to make sure that banks are able to comply with possible sanctions
The European Central Bank has warned European financial institutions represented in Russia about the risks that sanctions carry for them in the event of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Financial Times writes, citing sources. The Central Bank asked the banks to inform how they would act in this case.
In particular, the regulator is interested in what actions banks will take if Russian organizations are cut off from the SWIFT system. “Inquiries [to banks] show that the ECB wants to make sure that European banks can comply with any sanctions regime and are able to quickly terminate relations with clients with whom they are prohibited from dealing,” the newspaper writes.
The most significant risks associated with possible sanctions are borne by banks with a large Russian presence, for example, American Citi, French Societe Generale, Austrian Raiffeisen and Italian UniCredit. The regulator also requested information about the risks associated with Russia and Ukraine from Deutsche Bank of Germany and ING of the Netherlands.
RBC has contacted the above-mentioned financial institutions for comment.
According to the Financial Times, citing data from the Bank for International Settlements, Russian legal entities and individuals owe international banks, including their Russian subsidiaries, about $121 billion. In addition, $128 billion is stored on deposits.
The greatest risk is borne by the bank Societe Generale— €2.6 billion, the newspaper cites JPMorgan information. The risk for Raiffeisen is €1.9 billion, UniCredit— €1.4 billion.
A member of the management of one of the banks told the Financial Times that the main “systemic risk” arising from sanctions is related to Russia’s disconnection from SWIFT. According to him, this could have an impact on the entire Russian banking system. In addition, he sees an additional risk for European banks in the fact that the conflict in Ukraine may weaken the ruble exchange rate and thus affect the value of shares of their Russian subsidiaries.
The fact that the US and the EU are preparing a separate sanctions package, which is planned to be activated in the event of an invasion of Ukraine, was first written by the media, and then reported by American and European officials. In particular, the US administration stated that these restrictions would be much more serious than all that had been imposed before, including sanctions after 2014.
They explained that they were considering export and financial restrictions. The Washington Post wrote that the export restriction implies a ban on the supply to Russia of goods containing electronics made using anything related to the United States (tools, software, and so on).
US President Joe Biden has also stated that he may consider imposing sanctions directly against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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The ships of four Russian fleets went to sea for exercises — among them two missile cruisers, frigates and corvettes. The large-scale exercises are taking place against the backdrop of strained relations with the United States, NATO and Ukraine. Where the ships went – in the RBC video
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