Russia against Ukraine’s joining NATO

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Russian feels extremely negative about Ukraine’s plans to join NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

“Our attitude is extremely negative,” Lavrov told a news conference after meeting Council of Europe General Secretary Thorbjorn Jagland.

“Everybody understands the malignity of NATO’s further expansion, which only moves the demarcation lines on the (European – TASS) continent,” Lavrov said.

“NATO was not the subject of my meeting with the Council of Europe general secretary. We did not discuss it: neither in the context of the Ukraine crisis nor NATO’s attempts to repurchase the Mistral helicopter carriers from France,” Lavrov said.

“We discussed the Council of Europe agenda, including those linked to the Ukraine crisis,” Lavrov stressed.

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Russian humanitarian aid delivered to Donetsk and Luhansk

A convoy of Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry has delivered humanitarian aid to Donetsk and Luhansk.

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The ministry’s representative Oleg Voronov said “over 60 trucks carrying more than 800 tonnes of humanitarian cargo have come to Donetsk.”

“Over 40 trucks have come to Luhansk. They are carrying over 400 tonnes of humanitarian aid, mostly construction materials and food products,” he said.

The cargo is mostly construction materials and food products as well as cargo for work of socially important facilities.

“All the drivers – rescuers, who have delivered the cargo, feel well. The trucks are in good conditions,” the ministry’s representative said.

The convoy moved in bad weather conditions. Due to blizzard, ice on the road and poor visibility in Russia’s Rostov region, the drivers had to move at the lowest possible speed with all necessary precautions. Thus, the delivery of the humanitarian cargo has taken more time than previously.

Putin to pay working visit to Turkey on December 1

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Russian President will pay a working visit to Turkey on December 1 to attend the fifth meeting of the high-level cooperation council, the Kremlin press service said on Monday.

While in Turkey, the Russian president will have a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The high-level cooperation council is planned to discuss a wide range of issues of Russian-Turkish cooperation, primarily in the trade-and-economic and energy spheres, and of the international agenda. The talks are expected to be crowned by the signing of a number of bilateral documents,” the press service said.

United Russia condemns Kiev’s plans to remove Great Patriotic War mentions from textbooks

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Russia’s ruling United Russia party has condemned Ukraine’s plans to remove any mention of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 from history textbooks.

These plans were announced on Tuesday by Volodymyr Vyatovich, director of the Ukrainian National Memory Institute. All after-effects of “the Soviet-era propaganda and primarily a myth about the Great Patriotic War” should be dropped from educational materials and textbooks, he said. “For us, the Second World War started on September 1, 1939, and we have no right to narrow it to the Great Patriotic War, as it was much more horrible and tragic.”

The arguments of the Ukrainian government are becoming more and more reckless, Ivan Kvitka, a deputy chairman of the International Committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, said on Tuesday. “They have already denied their Soviet past. Now they are denying the feat of their fathers and grandfathers. I don’t think attempts to deny their own roots could bring Ukraine closer to Europe,” he said.

Russia, Saudi Arabia against using geopolitical schemes on oil market

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Russia and Saudi Arabia are against using geopolitical schemes on the oil market, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday following a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal Al Saud.

“As for the situation in the oil market, we and Saudi Arabia share the position thatpricing should be market-based,” Lavrov said. “Offer and demand are playing major role here.”

Russia and Saudi Arabia call for prohibition of any actions linked with supplying oil from terrorist-controlled territories, the Russian foreign minister added. “We consider it necessary to take the decisions that would legally prohibit, criminalize any actions related to supplying oil from the territories that are controlled by terrorists, to the purchase of this oil and the use of the proceeds for financing terrorist activity,” the minister said.

Moscow, Riyadh to offer common means to stabilize Middle East regions

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Moscow and Riyadh will be looking for common means to stabilize the situation in regions of the Middle East, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday at the beginning of his talks with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal al Saud.

“We appreciate regular contacts at the political level, where we may reach accord in analyzing the unrest in the Middle East and discuss development of bilateral contacts,” Lavrov said. “During your previous visit to Russia, at a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, we discussed strategically those issues.”

The Russian foreign minister spoke about a common interest for offering “ways to stop destabilization in the region and to provide peaceful development of all the countries there.”

Negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program not stumbling

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Negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program are not stumbling. The sides are searching for solutions, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

“The negotiations are not stumbling; the sides are trying to bring their stances closer and are searching for necessary solutions. The most important thing, in our view, is that the participants in the negotiations have a political will to reach success by the established date of November 24,” the diplomat said.

However, Moscow does not rule out that more time may be needed to reach agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, Lukashevich noted.

Eurasian Economic Union eyes free trade zone with Asia-Pacific countries

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The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan may establish a free trade zone with the Asia-Pacific countries, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.

“We (Eurasian Economic Union) are individually conducting talks on setting up a free trade zone, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has come the closest to agreeing on a deal,” Medvedev told journalists. Medvedev specified that Russia and Vietnam “have agreed on almost all the issues.”

“If this experience proves to be successful, Vietnam will get access to the common market of the Eurasian Economic Union, and we will be able to use this in regard to other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) states,” he said.

Moscow considers elections in eastern Ukraine valid — Russian Foreign Ministry

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Moscow considers elections in eastern Ukraine valid, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

“The elections in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions were held in an organized way in general and with high voter turnout,” the ministry said.

“We respect the will expression of the citizens of the south-east.”

“The elected representatives have received a mandate to solve political tasks to restore normal life in the regions,” the statement says.

“Taking into consideration the elections, it is essential to take active steps to set up a sustainable dialogue between the central Ukrainian authorities and representatives of Donbass in line with agreements reached in Minsk,” the ministry stresses.

Russia upholds decision not to participate in preparations for 4th Nuclear Security Summit

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Russia said it would stick to its decision not to participate in preparations for the fourth Nuclear Security Summit, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary released on Wednesday.

“We regard the recent leaks in U.S. media as an unsuccessful attempt to exert pressure on the Russian side with an aim to force it to change its stance. We consider such efforts to be counterproductive,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Nuclear Security Summits in Washington /2010/, Seoul /2012/ and The Hague /2014/ adopted the final statements which formulated common approaches to the main aspects of international cooperation in this sphere and endorsed a joint Action plan.