Borisov reported on the use of laser weapons by Russia in Ukraine

NSuch laser weapons are already being used in Ukraine, Borisov said. According to him, we are talking about the “Badass” complexes. Unlike past developments, they can burn through the target and allow “not to spend expensive missiles”

Borisov reported on Russia's use of laser weapons in Ukraine

Combat laser complex “Peresvet”

The Russian military is using a new generation of combat laser systems “Badass” during a special operation in Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said on the air of Channel One.

According to him, if the existing laser complexes «Peresvet» « dazzle » the target, then a new generation of laser weapons can already burn through objects, thanks to which it is possible «not to spend expensive missiles like «Shell » and «Torus ». Such new systems can “absolutely freely shoot down drones of various classes at a range of up to 5 km,” the Deputy Prime Minister noted.

He added that new laser systems are “already on the way” and “are already beginning to enter”the Russian army. In this regard, Borisov was asked if samples of these new systems were used during the special operation in Ukraine. “Yes, the first samples are already being used,” he replied. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, we are talking about the complexes “Badass”.

The Ministry of Defense ordered a combat complex based on the new physical principles of the “Badass-16” in August 2017. The contractor of the contract was the Russian Federal Nuclear Center (part of the Rosatom State Corporation), which is located in the closed city of Sarov in the Nizhny Novgorod region and Mordovia. The contract was signed with the participation of Borisov, who at that time held the post of Deputy Minister of Defense.

The predecessor of “Badass”Peresvet is already being supplied to the army in series, the Deputy Prime Minister said. According to him, this complex can “blind” all satellite reconnaissance systems of a likely enemy in orbits of up to 1.5 thousand km, disabling them.

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В России впервые возбудили дело из-за повторной дискредитации армии

Уголовное дело завели против амурского блогера и правозащитника Владислава Никитенко. В марте его оштрафовали на 45 тыс. руб. по статье КоАП о дискредитации армии

В России впервые возбудили дело из-за повторной дискредитации армии

Против жителя Амурской области возбудили уголовное дело из-за повторной дискредитации использования Вооруженных сил России, сообщает МВД по региону. Ранее о делах из-за повторных правонарушений по статьям о фейках об армии не сообщалось.

Фигурантом является ранее судимый мужчина 1969 года рождения. В марте 2022 года суд признал его виновным в правонарушении, предусмотренном ч. 1 ст. 20.3.3. (публичные действия, направленные на дискредитацию использования Вооруженных сил России в целях защиты интересов страны и ее граждан). Тогда его оштрафовали на 45 тыс. руб.

Amur.life пишет, что речь идет о блогере и правозащитнике Владиславе Никитенко.

«Однако в период с 1 апреля по 6 мая 2022 года подозреваемый в своем аккаунте в социальной сети разместил более 10 информационных постов, содержащих информацию, дискредитирующую Вооруженные силы Российской Федерации, что образует состав уголовно наказуемого деяния»,— пояснили в МВД. Теперь против Никитенко завели дело уже по ч. 1 ст. 280.3 Уголовного кодекса.

Ему грозит до трех лет лишения свободы. Пока Никитенко отбывает арест на 15 суток из-за правонарушения по ч. 1 ст. 20.3 КоАП (пропаганда либо публичное демонстрирование нацистской атрибутики или символики либо атрибутики или символики экстремистских организаций).

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В МВД отметили, что в декабре прошлого года подозреваемый вышел из тюрьмы, где отбывал наказание по статьям о клевете и оскорблении в отношении судьи, воспрепятствовании правосудию и применении насилия против представителя власти (ч. 1 ст. 298.1 УК, ч. 2 ст. 297 УК, ч. 1 ст. 294 УК, ч. 2 ст. 318 УК). По данным Amur.life, Никитенко пробыл в колонии около шести лет.

«Диспозиция ч. 1 ст. 280.3 УК основана на административной преюдиции. Это означает, что сначала лицо должно быть привлечено к административной ответственности за теже действия, это решение должно вступить в законную силу, и с момента совершения действий, повлекших привлечение к административной ответственности, должно пройти не более года»,— пояснил РБК Вадим Клювгант, партнер коллегии адвокатов Pen & Paper. Юрист добавил, что это должно проверяться при расследовании уголовного дела, возбужденного за повторное аналогичное действие.

Административную и уголовную ответственность за дискредитацию действий российских Вооруженных сил ввели в российское законодательство в начале марта. По другим частям статьи УК о дискредитации может грозить до 15 лет тюрьмы и штраф до 1,5 млн руб. Позднее ответственность ввели также за фейки о работе Росгвардии и российских госорганов за рубежом.

По данным ГАС «Правосудие» на середину апреля, в суды на тот момент поступило 610 дел по статье КоАП о дискредитации армии. Более чем по половине дел суды вынесли постановления об административном наказании. В число регионов— лидеров по таким делам вошли Калининградская область, Петербург и Крым. Москва в статистике не учитывалась.

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The MHD decided to change the address of the US Embassy to the Defenders of Donbass Square

Ddeputies of the Metropolitan Duma proposed to name the place at the American embassy in Moscow the Defenders of Donbass Square and change the address of the US diplomatic mission

The MHD decided to change the address of the US Embassy to the Defenders of Donbass Square

The deputies of the Moscow City Duma from “United Russia”, “Fair Russia”, the Communist Party and the deputy association “My Moscow” proposed to name the territory near the US Embassy in the capital “the square of Defenders of Donbass”. We are talking about an unnamed place at the intersection of Bolshoy Devyatinsky Lane and Konyushkovskaya Street.

According to the head of the United Russia party faction in the Moscow City Duma, chairman of the MHD Commission on Urban Economy and Housing Policy Stepan Orlov, parliamentarians also propose to change the address of the US diplomatic mission from Bolshoy Devyatinsky Lane, 8, to Defenders of Donbass Square. According to the authors of the initiative, if the proposal is approved, “American diplomats will receive a much more easily remembered topographic landmark.”

According to Orlov, residents of Moscow and city public associations have repeatedly appealed to the deputies of the Moscow City Duma with requests to perpetuate on the map of the capital the memory of the heroism and military valor of the defenders of Donbass.

The head of the Communist Party faction in the Moscow City Duma, Nikolai Zubrilin, said that the authors of the initiative “took a constructive path”: they proposed not to change the Soviet names, but “to give the new square a worthy name”.

The proposal was handed over to the Moscow City Hall.

The issues of naming and renaming territorial units of Moscow are dealt with by the City Interdepartmental Commission on Naming Territorial Units, streets, metro stations, organizations and other objects; its activities are coordinated by the Metropolitan Department of Cultural Heritage.

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In February 2018, a section of Wisconsin Avenue in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington was named after Boris Nemtsov. The politician was killed in 2015 in the center of Moscow by four shots in the back. In 2020, on the fifth anniversary of the murder, Boris Nemtsov’s name was given to the Chestnut Tree Square, where the Russian embassy is located in Prague.

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Klishas recalled the absence of a moratorium on the death penalty in the DPR and LPR

Pthe process of evacuees from Azovstal should be open, according to the laws of the DPR and LPR, Klishas said. These laws allow the death penalty, while in Russia a moratorium on it is prescribed in the Constitution, he noted

Klishas recalled the absence of a moratorium on the death penalty in the DPR and LPR

Andrey Klishas

The fighters of the Ukrainian nationalist battalion “Azov” (recognized as extremist in Russia) should be tried in the DPR and LPR, where there is no moratorium on the death penalty, the head of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and state-building Andrei Klishas wrote in the Telegram channel.

According to the senator, it is necessary to judge the participants of “Azov” in the DPR and LPR, because that is where they “committed their crimes”. As the senator noted, the process should be open, “with the invitation of the public and the media, according to the laws of the people’s republics.”

“I would like to note separately that the ban of the Constitutional Court of Russia on the use of the death penalty in our country is based on the Constitution of Russia and does not apply on the territories of sovereign states of the DPR and LPR,” Klishas noted.

Earlier, the senator repeatedly stated that in Russia there is no legal possibility to return the death penalty and lawmakers will not return to this topic. He spoke about this against the background of Russia’s withdrawal from the Council of Europe and related statements by Deputy Head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, who saw an excuse to “forget about senseless almshouses” and cancel the moratorium.

The fact that ten soldiers with white flags left the territory of “Azovstal” in Mariupol was reported in the DPR on May 16. By the morning of May 18, 959 people who were blocked on the territory of the plant surrendered, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

The question of the status of evacuees from “Azovstal” in the Kremlin was forwarded to the Ministry of Defense. The Investigative Committee reported that they would be interrogated.

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In Ukraine, these military expect to exchange in the future. President Vladimir Zelensky stressed that these people “need Ukraine alive”.

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In Kemerovo, a supporter of Ukrainian radicals was detained “for sabotage on a power line”

Muzhchina staged a “sabotage” on the poles of power lines in Kemerovo, the FSB reported. Molotov cocktails, pneumatic pistols converted to combat were seized from him, and diagrams of the location of military enlistment offices were found on the devices

A supporter of Ukrainian radicals was detained in Kemerovo

FSB and Interior Ministry officers detained a supporter of Ukrainian radicals in Kemerovo, who damaged two power line poles, which led to a temporary power outage, the FSB Public Relations Center told TASS.

The detainee is a citizen of Russia. According to the FSB, he confessed to what he had done.

The man was seized molotov cocktails, gasoline cans, fixing bolts from damaged power transmission poles, two pneumatic pistols converted to fire live ammunition, two combat knives, communication and communication equipment with the location schemes of military enlistment offices and police departments of Kemerovo, as well as a personal diary with notes confirming the commission of sabotage by him».

A criminal case was opened against the man under Part 2 of Article 167 of the Criminal Code (intentional destruction or damage to property, up to five years in prison) and Article 281 of the Criminal Code (sabotage, from ten to 20 years in prison, depending on the severity of the crime).

Last week, the FSB reported on the detention of a resident of the Kursk region, who, according to its data, was preparing explosions in crowded places. According to the agency, the man was connected with the special services of Ukraine, and the purpose of the terrorist attacks he planned was to “destabilize the situation”, as well as pressure on the authorities to stop the military special operation in Ukraine.

Two improvised explosives, traumatic weapons with cartridges and Nazi literature were seized from the detainee. A criminal case has been initiated against him under part 1 of Article 30 and Part 1 of Article 205 of the Criminal Code (preparation for a terrorist attack). The man is threatened with up to seven and a half years in prison.

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The Foreign Ministry confirmed negotiations on the export of grain from Ukraine

REarlier, the Wall Street Journal newspaper reported on the request of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to Moscow not to hinder the export of grain from the Black Sea ports of Ukraine. The Foreign Ministry confirmed the fact of negotiations, but “not at the UN level”

The Foreign Ministry confirmed negotiations on the export of grain from Ukraine

The issues of the supply of Russian potash fertilizers and the export of Ukrainian grain are being discussed, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin told RIA Novosti.

Earlier, the Wall Street Journal newspaper, citing diplomatic sources, reported that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres asked Moscow not to hinder the export of grain from the Black Sea ports of Ukraine, and in return promises to help ease sanctions against fertilizers from Russia and Belarus.

“A difficult question. You know, potash and mineral fertilizers, grain, the possibility of exporting Ukrainian grain are a complex tangle of issues that are currently being considered, Pankin said in response to a request to comment on the WSJ information.

At the same time, he clarified that the issue is not being discussed at the UN level, [but] is being discussed together with us.

According to sources of The Wall Street Journal, the UN Secretary General is negotiating the export of Ukrainian grain with Russia, Turkey and other countries, and Ankara has already agreed to participate in the clearance of the Black Sea.

Earlier, the fact of negotiations was also confirmed by the US representative to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “At the moment there are discussions about how to unblock such corridors. <…> UN Secretary-General [Antonio Guterres] talked about this with Russia. We also discussed these issues with Ukrainians,” she said.

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In early May, Guterres said that fertilizers and products from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine should be returned to world markets to ensure food security, despite the fighting. The UN fears that rising grain prices and food shortages could destabilize the situation in poor countries dependent on Ukrainian grain and lead to conflicts.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter, and Ukraine ranks fifth. Together they provide 19% of the world’s supply of barley, 14% of wheat and 4% of corn.

In early April, the European Union decided to restrict the import of Russian fertilizers. Later, the Russian Defense Ministry suspended the passage of foreign warships and other state vessels in three areas of the Black Sea for six months, from April 24 to October 31.

Against this background, US President Joe Biden announced that he was looking for an opportunity to export 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine. The US president explained the need to export grain with record food prices in the world. According to him, the return of Ukrainian grain to the world market should help reduce prices.

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The Pentagon has not found those responsible for the deaths of residents due to the US Air Force strikes on Syria

RWe are talking about the 2019 airstrikes in the Syrian Baguz, as a result of which dozens of civilians were killed. The investigation was launched in November 2021 after the revelatory publication of The New York Times

The Pentagon has not found those responsible for the deaths of residents due to the US Air Force strikes on Syria

An investigation conducted by the Pentagon established the absence of guilt of US military personnel in the deaths of civilians as a result of an American airstrike in the Syrian Baguz in 2019. The results of the investigation, launched in November 2021, have been published by the US military department.

“There were no violations of the rules of engagement or the laws of war,”lt;…”[The US Air Force] acted within the framework of the defensive strategy approved by the president and did not strike intentionally or unreasonably for large civilian casualties,” says the conclusion of the head of the Army command, General Michael Garrett, who conducted an analysis of the incident on the instructions of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

At the same time, the conclusion says that the US military involved in the strikes did not notify the internal supervisory authority in a timely manner about the possibility of civilian deaths.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kibry, answering journalists’ questions related to the publication of the conclusion, noted that holding the military accountable for the delay in providing information about civilian victims is a “hypothetical question”. He also said that the Pentagon regrets and apologizes in connection with the incident, but sees no reason to bring those involved to justice.

On November 14, 2021, the American newspaper The New York Times, citing military sources, reported that the United States deliberately concealed the deaths of at least 80 people after an airstrike by the American Air Force in March 2019 near the Syrian city of Baguz (located on the border with Iraq).

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According to the publication, on March 18, 2019, an American F-15E attack aircraft dropped one 500-pound bomb and two bombs weighing 2 thousand pounds (227 and 907 kg, respectively) on a crowd of people. The military then said that terrorists were hiding in the crowd among civilians.

The NYT also pointed out that high-ranking military and officials tried to hide the consequences of the “catastrophic strike”, and the number of victims was downplayed. According to the newspaper, the coalition forces bulldozed the bombing site and did not conduct an independent investigation.

Two weeks after the publication of the material, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered a new investigation into the airstrikes.

The United States has been involved in a military operation in Syria since 2014. With the support of the air force of the United States and its allies, it was possible to liberate a significant part of the provinces of Al-Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor from the militants, as well as to occupy the city of Raqqa. In December 2018, former US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the military contingent from Syria. He explained his decision by the defeat of the main part of the militants.

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The President of Estonia called the complete isolation of Russia impossible

Moscow is economically isolated more than ever, but it still has partners, including China and India, Estonian President Alar Karis explained

The President of Estonia called the complete isolation of Russia impossible

The West will not be able to completely isolate Russia, even if it takes decades. This was stated by Estonian President Alar Karis in an interview with Newsweek magazine. According to him, Moscow is more economically isolated than ever, although it still has key trading partners outside the West, including China and India.

At the same time, the head of state noted that it is important to maintain a dialogue with Russia.

“Of course, we will not be able to completely isolate Russia. We need to find a way to communicate with Russia and do business with it. But it takes time, it can take decades,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in April that Russia is not going to close itself off from the world, other states will also not be able to force it to do so. “It is impossible to isolate anyone in the modern world at all, such a huge country as Russia, so it is definitely impossible,” he said.

Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov also stated that Western countries, by imposing anti-Russian sanctions because of the military operation in Ukraine, will not be able to isolate Russia, because the world is too big. With the refusal of the United States, the European Union and allies from relations with Russia, including economic ones, certain channels of dialogue remain for Moscow, he added.

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Why Hungary and Turkey interfere with the plans of the European Union and NATO

And will the two countries be able to achieve the cancellation of the initiatives criticized by Moscow? The special positions of Hungary and Turkey hinder the efforts of the EU and NATO in their confrontation with Russia. What is the reason, whether Budapest and Ankara have a desire to take into account Moscow’s position and how everything can end — RBC understood

Why Hungary and Turkey interfere with the plans of the European Union and NATO

Statue of the Goddess of Europe in Brussels

On Wednesday, May 18, representatives of the EU countries will meet again in Brussels to discuss the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. But the European leaders cannot expect that it will be adopted in the proposed form in the near future: the reason for this is Hungary’s position and the fact that decisions in the union are made on the basis of consensus.

A few days earlier, Turkey stated that it could not agree with the admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO.

Why Hungary continues to insist on its veto

The sixth package contains a proposal to introduce a ban on the import of crude oil from Russia in six months, as well as on the import of Russian petroleum products from 2023. Even at the initial stage of discussing these measures, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were against the oil embargo, since they are heavily dependent on energy supplies from Russia. The European Commission decided to meet them halfway and allowed Hungary and Slovakia to continue importing Russian oil until the end of 2024, and the Czech Republic until June 2024. After that, Bratislava and Prague withdrew their objections. However, Budapest is still not ready to withdraw its veto.

The position of Viktor Orban’s government was sharply criticized at the EU ministerial meeting on May 16. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told reporters that Hungary is holding the European Union hostage. “The whole union is being held hostage by one member state, which cannot help us find consensus,” Landsbergis complained, clarifying that the EU expected that the postponement offered to Hungary would be enough for it to lift the veto.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrel, stood up for Budapest, pointing out that Hungary’s objections lie not in the political, but in the economic plane. He explained that the country is concerned about the problem of creating new infrastructure and purchasing new equipment for receiving and processing oil not from Russia, for which its refineries are designed. In addition, the rejection of Russian oil will mean for Budapest the need to purchase it from other suppliers at higher prices, which will affect the Hungarian economy.

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Viktor Orban previously compared the rejection of Russian oil with a “nuclear strike on the Hungarian economy”. On Kossuth Radio, he recalled that Hungary has no access to the sea, and therefore it is forced to receive oil through a pipeline. “The pipeline leading to Hungary starts in Russia… this is the reality,” he stated.

Hungary’s dependence on Russian energy carriers is really significant – 60% of oil and 85% of gas the country receives from Russia. Orban said that the country needs five years to transfer refineries and other infrastructure to the processing of raw materials from non-Russian sources. This process will require huge investments, and an increase in the cost of oil will lead to an increase in unemployment and will call into question the national program to reduce public utility costs, which is largely based on low prices for Russian energy.

The high level of inflation in the country and the budget deficit associated, among other things, with the blocking by Brussels of the euro 8 billion tranche intended for the recovery of the Hungarian economy after the pandemic (the reason was the divergence of views between Budapest and Brussels about the rule of law), carry significant risks for the country.

Against this background, on May 16, Budapest decided to raise the stakes in the game: Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that “a complete modernization of the Hungarian energy infrastructure is needed on a scale of €15 billion to €18 billion”, later clarifying that Hungary has the right to expect a new proposal from Brussels. At that time, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was in Budapest on a visit, but her negotiations with Orban ended in nothing.

According to the Euractiv portal, the item on the removal of the Hungarian veto from the sixth package of sanctions in exchange for economic preferences may be submitted to an informal EU summit, which is scheduled for the end of May. The Financial Times quotes an unnamed European official who says that the EU should make a favorable offer to the Hungarian prime minister. “Orban is very pragmatic, it’s a business,” he explained.

What is Turkey counting on in the dispute over NATO expansion

As for the expansion of NATO, Turkey’s position has become an unexpected obstacle on the way to the alliance of Sweden and Finland, says Asly Aydintashbash, senior political analyst at the European Council for International Affairs (ECFR). Ankara cannot yet give a positive conclusion about the admission of two new countries, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last Friday. “Scandinavian countries as guest houses for terrorist groups,” he cited one of the reasons.

Indeed, Ankara has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with the fact that many supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK, Turkey classifies it as a terrorist organization) have found refuge in Sweden and Finland, as well as supporters of the preacher Fethullah Gulen living in the United States (Ankara considers him the organizer of the coup attempt in 2016 year).

On May 17, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto expressed hope that the crisis will be overcome. “Turkey’s statements have changed very quickly and have become tougher in the last few days,” he said on Tuesday in an address to the Swedish parliament (quoted by Reuters).”But I am sure that with the help of constructive discussion we will solve the problem.”

As Aydintashbash notes, it is not yet clear what exactly Erdogan wants to change the position of the US Congress regarding the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey (the deal was canceled after Ankara bought and received the Russian S-400 air defense system), to get more money for the maintenance of Syrian refugees or the extradition of Turkey suspected of terrorist activities political activists.

“It is unlikely that Erdogan had one specific political goal in mind, but he will undoubtedly expect to be persuaded, persuaded and rewarded for his cooperation, as it was in the past,” the ECFR analyst concluded.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry describes relations with both northern countries in calm tones. As indicated on the agency’s website, relations with Sweden date back to the XVII century, when the Swedish king Charles XII, after the defeat in the Northern War from Russia in 1709, fled to the Ottoman Empire and ruled the kingdom from Bender and Edirne for five years. Diplomatic relations were established with Finland in 1924. The trade turnover with Sweden in 2020 amounted to about $2.6 billion, with Finland – about $1.3 billion.

The main problem is not in Finland, but in Sweden, says Al-Monitor. The kingdom has received several waves of Turkish migrants, including Kurds, as well as refugees from neighboring countries with Turkey, and the Swedish Foreign Ministry regularly criticizes Turkish military operations in Kurdish territories in Syria.

In 2019, Sweden and Finland imposed an arms embargo on Turkey due to the military operation in Syria. By this time, both countries had become leaders among the countries selling military goods to Ankara: Sweden’s military exports to Turkey in 2018 reached $30 million, Finnish exports in the same year amounted to $17 million. In recent years, both countries have refused Turkey’s extradition of immigrants suspected of terrorist activities (on Monday, the Turkish Ministry of Justice announced that Ankara had requested the extradition of six PKK members from Finland and 11 from Sweden).

“Ankara’s statements cause concern in Sweden, among other things, because they strike precisely at one of the arguments given by those who did not quite agree with joining NATO, the fear that Sweden will lose the right to vote in matters of human rights and democracy.” Paul Levin, director of the Institute of Turkish Studies at Stockholm University, told Al-Monitor.

“Based on the statements of the Turkish authorities, it can be assumed that Turkey will continue to insist on its position, will negotiate concessions from the two Northern countries,” Amur Hajiyev, director of the Center for the Study of Modern Turkey, researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, predicted in a conversation with RBC.— Will the two countries go to concede,— this is a big question. We see that, on the contrary, there have been marches against concessions, which indicates that the process will not be easy and it will not be easy for them to give in on these issues.”

Other NATO countries do not have so many levers to influence Turkey, the expert notes, therefore, based on previous experience of conflict situations involving the republic, one can expect, he believes, that a compromise option will appear, which will eventually be accepted by all parties.

According to Hajiyev, the Turkish position does not reflect Ankara’s intention to take into account Russia’s negative position on the membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO.

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The United States named a condition for Lavrov’s conversation with Blinken

According to the official representative of the US State Department, the condition for negotiations between the heads of the two departments may be “reducing the level of violence” and improving the humanitarian situation in Ukraine

The USA named a condition for a conversation between Lavrov and Blinken

During the meeting of Anthony Blinken (left) and Sergey Lavrov, held in December 2021

The United States believes that the conversation between the heads of the diplomatic departments of the United States and Russia, Anthony Blinken and Sergey Lavrov, was not constructive in the current conditions, but it can take place provided that it helps to reduce the level of violence in Ukraine. This was stated at a press conference by the press secretary of the US State Department, Ned Price.

“If there are suitable conditions and if we consider that a conversation between them [Blinken and Lavrov] will help reduce the level of violence or improve the humanitarian situation for Ukrainians, then this will be done,” he said.

Blinken last spoke with Lavrov on February 15. At that time, the two diplomats also discussed proposals on security guarantees that Moscow handed over to the United States and NATO. Lavrov noted the “inadmissibility of aggressive rhetoric being whipped up by Washington and its closest allies” and called for a pragmatic dialogue on the entire range of issues raised by Russia.

Russia has been conducting a military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine since February 24. Russian President Vladimir Putin, during the announcement of its start, said that the expansion of NATO to the east causes “special concern and alarm”. In his opinion, the alliance has become an instrument of Washington’s foreign policy.

Russia opposes Ukraine’s plans to join NATO. In particular, this requirement became one of the key ones during the negotiations on security guarantees with NATO and the United States, which Moscow initiated in December 2021. Negotiations on this issue were unsuccessful, as the alliance stated that this requirement is not acceptable.

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The United States condemned the special operation in Ukraine and imposed sanctions against Moscow. Foreign exchange reserves, financial and industrial companies, as well as high-ranking officials and the military were also subject to restrictions. Lavrov himself was included in the SDN list: all his assets (if any) in the US jurisdiction will be blocked.

Russia has called Western sanctions illegal and has repeatedly imposed mirror measures, including against Blinken and other top US officials.

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