SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that, “to our great regret,” Russian security services lacked any operative information on the Tsarnaev brothers that they could have shared with their American counterparts.
Russian officials had raised concerns about Tamerlan Tsarnaev with the FBI in 2011 and later that year also with the CIA. But analysts here doubt that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) was warning the Americans; more likely, they say, it was acting out of worry that Tsarnaev might join an underground group in the strife-torn Russian region of Dagestan during a visit there.
The FSB did not respond when the FBI asked for more details about him, U.S. officials said.
Putin, speaking with reporters after a nearly five-hour-long call-in television show, pointed out that the Tsarnaev brothers lived in the United States and had only visited Russia. That left the FSB little to go on.
During Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s six-month stay in Russia, which took place after the Russian contacts with the U.S. agencies, there was little evidence that Russian security agents were monitoring him. Most of the time he was in Dagestan, in the North Caucasus. A member of the Dagestani anti-terrorism committee said in an interview Wednesday that he wasn’t being observed there and that he had done nothing to attract notice.
During the call-in show, Putin said he hoped the Boston bombings would enable American and Russian security agencies to work more closely together. He expressed annoyance that Americans tend to describe militants from the Caucasus as “rebels,” rather than as “terrorists.”
“This is a common threat — terrorism,” he said. “And we need to cooperate more closely with each other. These two criminals, in the clearest way, have confirmed the validity of our thesis.”
But on other topics, cooperation between Moscow and Washington still faces some hurdles. An election-monitoring nonprofit group, Golos, was fined $10,000 Thursday for failing to register as a foreign agent, and its director was fined $3,300. Golos, which uncovered widespread electoral fraud in Russian elections in 2011 and 2012, formerly received grant money from the United States.
“Disappointed with the decision rendered on Golos,” tweeted U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul after the court ruling.
And the controversial embezzlement trial of anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, closely followed by U.S. officials, continued in Kirov on Thursday. Navalny and his supporters say he is being railroaded for leading last year’s protests. Without mentioning Navalny by name, Putin assured his viewers that there can be no place for politics in Russian justice.
People who publicly object to corruption, he said, must be as clean as “crystal,” because they are inviting scrutiny.
Kathy Lally in Makhachkala con tributed to this report.-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –The trial has resumed in the case against a Russian opposition leader who led protests against President Vladimir Putin and exposed alleged corruption in his government.
Alexei Navalny was back in court on Wednesday accused of heading an organised criminal group that embezzled $500,000 worth of timber from a state-owned company.
The charges not only threaten to send Navalny to prison, but strike at the essence of his image as an anti-corruption activist.
Navalny insists the charges are an act of revenge for his exposure of high-level corruption and are intended to silence him.
The trial began last week in the northwestern city of Kirov, but was adjourned until Wednesday at the request of the defence, which said Navalny had not been given enough time to read the case files.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –The number of Muslims in Russia has increased in the past ten years, president of Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS) Society in Moscow said.
Nezami Balaklanev said Islam, which is the last and most perfect Divine religion, attracts everyone by referring to issues like equality, fraternity, peace and friendship.
“This has led to the rising number of Muslims not only in Russia but all over the world,” he stressed.
“Thank God, the Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS) Society in Moscow has managed to attract a considerable number of people in Russia to Islam through efforts made by the servants of the Quran and by using appropriate methods of propagation to present true Islamic teachings.”
He hoped that the trend will continue and the number of Muslims in the Russian Federation will grow further.
The Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS) Society, which is the only Shia organization in Russia, has been established by Azeri-speaking people living in the country. -www.shafaqna.com/English
Source:Islamic invitation turkey
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country and Egypt support a prompt ceasefire in Syria and the launch of talks between the government and the opposition to help settle the crisis in the Arab country.
“Russia and Egypt support a ceasefire in Syria as soon as possible and the launch of negotiations” between the Syrian government and the opposition, Putin said following a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Morsi in the Russian city of Sochi on Friday.
The two leaders called for a peaceful solution of the ongoing unrest in Syria, now in its third year, dismissing any “external intrusion.”
“We were looking for a solution that would help to settle the crisis as soon as possible. The issue was high on our agenda,” said Morsi after the meeting.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
Damascus says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
Several international human rights organizations have accused the foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes.
UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, and High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on April 18 that a quarter of Syria’s 22 million people are displaced within the country and 1.3 million have fled the violence to other states in the Middle East and North Africa.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale has struck the eastern coast of Russia, the US Geological Survey says.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) The United States and Russia have agreed to increase their cooperation in the fight against terrorism following the deadly bombings in the American city of Boston.
In a telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the means to step up cooperation between Washington and Moscow on security issues, the Kremlin said in a statement.
"Both sides underscored their interest in bolstering the close cooperation of Russian and US special services in the fight against international terrorism," the statement further read.
Meanwhile, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in televised remarks that “contacts will be conducted between our intelligence services.”
The White House also expressed in a statement Obama’s gratitude for Putin’s condolences and commended the close cooperation that Washington “has received from Russia on counter-terrorism, including in the wake of the Boston attack.”
According to US authorities, two young men of apparently Chechen origin are the main suspects in the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15, which left three people dead and more than 170 injured.
Twenty six-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in hospital after sustaining critical injuries in a car-chase and shootout with police while his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found in a boat in the backyard of a house in the city of Watertown on Friday evening.
They are also accused of killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer on campus late Thursday.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Russia has sent more than 30 tons of humanitarian aid to the crisis-hit Syria to help the victims of the two-year-long conflict in the Arab country, the Russian Embassy in Damascus says.
A Syrian Airlines plane carrying Russia’s humanitarian supplies landed in Damascus on Sunday as part of Moscow’s aid plan to people affected by the unrest in Syria, the Russian Embassy noted.
Russia’s Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society collected the aid for Syrians in need from March 22 to April 10. The group said Russians have also gathered some USD 64,200 for people in Syria.
Last week, Russian Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief sent 26.7 tons of humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The ministry said it would deploy more planes loaded with humanitarian aid to Lebanon and Jordan.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said last week that Moscow has given USD one million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to fund the organization’s operation in Syria.
Syria has been gripped by a deadly unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of government forces, have been killed in the violence.
Damascus says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
The Syrian government says the West and its regional allies including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting the militants.
Several international human rights organizations have accused militants operating in Syria of committing war crimes.-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator in nuclear issue Sergei Ryabkov said that Iran and 5+1 group in Almaty II meeting concentrated their attention on main issues and the negotiations were constructive.
Russian News Agency 'Ria-Novosti' quoted Ryabkov as saying on Saturday that Iran and 5+1 group in Almaty got in details of what they had talked about in their previous round of talks in the same city on February 26-27, 2013.
He said that talks were very intensive and the two sides got into details and concentrated on the main issues, which is a serious result.
Ryabkov continued but it is still hard to find common points between the two sides.
He said that 5+1 group proposals to solve Iran's nuclear issue included a collection of steps upon the presented proposals in Baghdad meeting.
The Russian senior diplomat added, “We realize the fact that as we get closer to our targets, making decisions could be more difficult, so I'm not willing to exaggerate lack of finding a method in today's meeting.”
Concerning Iran's stances on the issue, Ryabkov said that they are completely clear and constructive.
Meanwhile, China's envoy to the Iran-5+1 group talks in Almaty, Ma Zhaoxu, on Saturday called on the negotiating parties to take definite and practical actions to solve the issue within shortest possible time.
According to IRNA, talking to reporters on the sidelines of the Iran-G5+1 talks, Ma Zhaoxu said the talks have entered a serious stage and prompted the two sides to taken more practical and more flexible moves.
He said "Confidence building moves should be taken by both parties to secure the success of the talks."-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Russia and China have strongly rejected increasing military activities by the US on the Korean peninsula, warning that the escalating tensions could destabilize the entire region.
According to a statement released by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday, “It worries us…. There are unilateral actions taken against North Korea that are demonstrated by increasing military activity. We may simply let the situation slip out of control and this will spiral into a vicious cycle.”
Earlier in the day, China also called for easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said “We call on all relevant parties to make joint efforts to turn around the tense situation. Peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula as well as Northeast Asia serves the common interest.”
This comes after North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered rocket units to be on standby at an overnight emergency meeting with the country’s top army commanders.
The North Korean leader said that the forces should “mercilessly strike the US mainland…, military bases in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea.”
Kim’s order came after the United States on Thursday flew two nuclear-capable B2 stealth bombers over South Korea to conduct “deterrence” mission.
The two bombers flew out of Whiteman Air Force base in Missouri, dropped dummy ordnance on targets in South Korea, and completed the 13000-mile round trip in a “single continuous mission,” according to a press release by the US military.
Kim argued that the stealth bomber flights went beyond a simple demonstration of force and amounted to a US “ultimatum that they will ignite a nuclear war at any cost.”
North Korea had already put its strategic units at combat-ready status on Tuesday for possible strikes against the US.
On Monday, the US and South Korea signed a military pact, allowing the allies to respond even to any purported low-level provocations from North Korea.
On March 21, South Korean and US forces wrapped up an annual war game codenamed ‘Key Resolve’ amid high military tension with North Korea, announcing that they would continue to maintain high alert in the wake of fresh threats of attack from Pyongyang.
North Korea, however, condemned the maneuvers as a launch pad for a “nuclear war.”
The United Nations also approved a fresh round of sanctions against Pyongyang following its nuclear test in February, a move that added to Pyongyang’s escalating rhetoric against Washington and Seoul.-www.shafaqna.com/English
Source:islamic invitation turkey
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Chinese President Xi Jinping started his first foreign tour with a three-day state visit to Russia on March 23, just nine days after he took office.
On Friday, the two countries signed a set of agreements on a further promotion and development of cooperation in the energy and banking sectors.
The documents, signed with the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Xi, are aimed at broadening cooperation in the energy sector and in the construction process of a petroleum treatment facility and a petrochemical plant in China’s Tianjin metropolitan area.
Chinese and Russian companies have also agreed to invest $2 billion in eastern Siberia to develop coal mines.
For the third year in a row in 2012, China remained Russia’s top trade partner. In 2012 alone, the volume of trade exchanges between the two countries reached $88.16 billion, up 11 percent from the year before. Besides oil and gas, China imports sophisticated arms from Russia.
China was the world’s fifth largest arms exporter in 2012, but it has shown willingness to buy Russia’s most modern weapons.
The Russian and Chinese leaders hope they would diversify their trade. They plan to raise their trade exchanges to $100 billion by 2015 and to $200 billion by 2020.
The relations between Russia and China are currently at their best. The new Chinese leader’s visit to Russia in his first foreign trip indicates the strategic significance of Beijing-Moscow relations.
This trip also carries a clear message for the United States and the European Union (EU) that China and Russia are determined to boost their influence on international developments.
Since the US foreign policy’s strategy for the coming decade is focused on further clout with Asia, China is expanding its ties with Russia and other members of the BRICS group of emerging economies -- Brazil, India, and South Africa.
Energy is the most important sector Russia and China would cooperate in. Russia sits atop huge energy reserves which can serve energy-starving China. Through energy cooperation, the two countries can counter US financial and geopolitical influence.
Putin and Xi are not expected to finalize the deal for a pipeline to carry natural gas from Russia to China so soon. However, Putin is set to take advantage of China to keep Russia’s economy running.
Xi has estimated that his country’s economy would overtake that the US during his ten-year term in office.
Over recent years, Russia and China have largely expanded their cooperation particularly within the framework of international organizations. They are now two leading members of the influential Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a counterweight to US expansionist policies in Central Asia and Eurasia.
Russia and China also share similar views on Syria, particularly in opposing Western interference in the affairs of this Arab state. Since the start of crisis in Syria in 2011, Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions drafted by other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
In Putin’s view, strategic relations between Beijing and Moscow are of great significance due to their influence on the world’s stability and security.
In their Friday meeting, Xi told Putin that his first foreign visit to Moscow showed to what extent his country lent credence to its ties with Russia.
China’s ties with US have become complicated. It has practically cut its ties with Japan while its relations with India are fraught with tensions. Amid such tumult, good and strong bonds with Russia would mean too much.
Economy is China’s top priority, but cooperation about Iran, Syria, and North Korea are also of high significance in its foreign policy. Furthermore, China expects Russia to make up for their reduced oil imports from Iran.
The head of Russia’s biggest oil consumer Rosneft, Igor Sechin, said on Friday that the company plans to increase its oil supplies to China to 45-50 million tons a year, from a current 15 million tons a year via the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline.
Following his talks with Xi, Putin said the two countries have agreed to cooperate further in space technology, telecommunications and aircraft manufacturing.
The US, EU and Japan are anxiously following up on Xi’s ongoing visit to Russia.
A possible proximity between China, Russia, and India would present the world powers with new puzzles..-www.shafaqna.com/English