Tag Archives: Dmitry Medvedev

Security Council’s powerless against the criminal regime of Al-Assad

4 October 2011 – According the United Nations press release: «China and Russia today vetoed a draft resolution in the Security Council that had strongly condemned Syrian authorities for their violent crackdown against pro-democracy protesters this year and called for an immediate end to human rights abuses. Nine of the Council’s 15 members voted in favour of the draft text, there were two vetoes, and four countries abstained. A veto by any one of the Council’s five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – means a resolution cannot be adopted.»

UN Security Council meeting

The AFP mentioned that the resolution received four abstentions from Lebanon, India, South Africa and Brazil. Russia’s UN Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said ” The Russian delegation has exerted all possible efforts since the beginning to reach a positive respond by the Security Council with regard to the events witnessed in Syria….we along with China forged a draft resolution in which we referred to the national sovereignty and the non-interference in Syria’s affairs including the military interference, in addition to calling for avoiding any confrontations and holding dialogue to achieve the civil peace and the national interest and to enhance the political and social life in Syria.” He added “The best way to get out of the crisis is to reject the provocations and to hold dialogue among all the Syrian parties…Russia continues its contacts with Damascus and it calls upon the Syrian authorities to be fast in making the changes and to release all the detainees who didn’t commit any criminal acts, in addition to holding dialogue with the opposition.”

In his speech at the UN Security Council, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Bashar al-Ja’afari, said “The unprecedented hostile language used in the statements of some ambassadors against my country and its political leadership stressed that Syria is targeted by its enemies due to its principled stance and not due to any humanitarian reasons…This language also reveals the biased policy adopted by some Western countries and their leadership due to Syria’s independent political stances.” He added that the Syrian leadership has immediately responded to the just popular demands as President Bashar al-Assad announced the comprehensive reform program and the Government started to implement it through a package of laws that enhance the democratic process and expand the participation of the citizens in the political and the economic process regardless of the foreign stances.

For his part, China’s UN Ambassador, Li Baodong, said “We call on the Syrian parties to reject all forms of violence, and we hope that the Syrian Government will implement the reforms soonest possible…The international community should provide a constructive help to facilitate the accomplishment of these goals, and we expect the complete respect of Syria’s sovereignty and independence.”

For her part, U.S Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice expressed her disappointment regarding the Security Council’s failure in adopting a resolution against Syria. Behind the Russian and Chinese vetoes of a U.N. resolution on Syria were not only serious differences over President Bashar Assad’s crackdown against civilians but concerns that even threatening sanctions might lead to a repetition of the NATO bombing campaign in Libya. «The result is that nearly seven months after the uprising against Assad began, the U.N.’s most powerful body remains deeply divided and unable to adopt a legally binding resolution to address the violence in Syria that by U.N. estimates has claimed more than 2,700 lives» said the United Nations officials.

The four European nations that sponsored the Syria resolution — Britain, France, Germany and Portugal — tried to gain Russia and China’s support. They also specified that any sanctions could not be enforced by military action. But when the text was sent to Moscow for review, word came back that it was unacceptable, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because consultations were private. No one would speculate on what happened in the Kremlin that led to the rejection of the resolution. But the veto provoked strong rebukes from the U.S. and Western European countries and human rights groups. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice called claims that the resolution would be a pretext for military intervention “a cheap ruse by those who would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people.” Syrian allies Russia and China reportedly remain major arms suppliers to the Assad regime. In reply, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin strongly objected to the allegation, “especially coming from a country (The United States) which is pumping hundreds of billions of dollars of military hardware into the area.”

Remember: May 2001 – the United States imposed sanctions on Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, and six senior Syrian officials for human rights abuses over their brutal crackdown on anti-government protests. The White House announced the sanctions on Wednesday 18 May, a day before Barack Obama, the US president,  was to deliver a major speech on the uprisings throughout the Arab world with prominent mentions of Syria. The sanctions were part of “an effort to increase pressure on the government of Syria to end its violence against its people and begin transitioning to a democratic system,” a US official told the AFP news agency on the condition of anonymity. Also, the European Union put 13 Syrian officials on its sanctions list in what it described as a move to gradually increase pressure.
Meanwhile, Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, said his country would not support any UN resolutions on the use of force against the Syrian government. “As for a resolution on Syria, I will not support such a resolution even if my friends and acquaintances ask me about it” Medvedev told reporters during a rare news conference arguing that Syria must be allowed to settle its domestic affairs.

President Basescu and the epigonism of Putinian cynicism

How can disrupt diplomatic waters some statements made in a talk show with a minimum rating ? Very much. Very much if you’re President of the state and forget that this is not a job with the program for 8 hours and after you can talk open all you think of. Statements of Romania’s President about the King  Michael and Marshal Ion Antonescu scandalized public opinion nationally and internationally. But mostly ransacked Russian sensitivity.

Basescu voiced the scandalous statements back on June 22. They were dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. On June 22, 1941, the Romanian troops along with the Germans crossed the border into the USSR and later occupied a considerable part of Moldova and Ukraine, including Odessa and Nikolaev. Bessarabia (the main part of Moldavia), Chernivtsi and Odessa regions of Ukraine were made a part of Romania, and a special administrative unit of Transnistria (Zadnestrove) was created on the rest of the occupied territory. Speaking on June 22 at B1TV TV channel, he acquitted Antonescu’s actions 70 years ago. “I would also give such an order. We had an ally. Under those circumstances I would have done the same,” said Basescu, justifying the actions of the Romanian marshal. Further, the president urged not to blame Antonescu for the deportation of local Jews and gypsies. Basescu even managed to find a “Russian trace” here. “We forget that the Romania head of state at the time (King Michael – Ed.). Antonescu was the Prime Minister. To one we pay homage and return the property, while we make the other a war criminal. Why? Just because one of them was a Russian servant? ” Basescu said. Perhaps he meant that after the war Mihai renounced the throne and was awarded the Soviet Order of Victory.

After Wednesday night, at a week after the troublesome episode, President Basescu reiterated his statements, claiming that it has nothing to retract, the Russian Foreign Ministry took a short break from preparations for the Russia-NATO Council (to be held in Sochi on July 4 and when the President Basescu’s statements can be used as additional argument on Russian concerns about missile shield to be installed in Romania) and on its website was published a statement that condemning the statements of Romanian President. “Russia is indignant with the remarks of the President of Romania. Such a statement, particularly made on the sad day of the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War, during which our people have lost 27 million lives, cannot be explained either by the current political circumstances, or answers to the provocative questions of the journalists,” said Alexander Lukashevich, the spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry. The exchange of words seems to continue in public in the same unconstructive way specific of recent years in bilateral relations between Romania and Russia.

Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs published in reply a press release where says that ”has noted with surprise the statement expressed on behalf of the Russian Foreign Ministry, referring to some comments by the President of Romania on historical themes. Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers completely inappropriate language used in Russian official statement on this subject (…) and consider unfortunate and unfounded public launch such a violent reaction of unacceptable language, without complete information, and minimal prior diplomatic interaction“. Also, Romanian President said that he not considers inappropriate to discuss historical truths that were accepted even Russia itself. “I do not understand what is so insulting, because the Soviet Union no longer exists. We have a relationship with the Russian Federation, but when it comes to a debate about the Soviet Union, this is a discussion about something that is already in the past,” said the Romanian President, commenting on the scandal.

Romanian president was accused on several occasions that he is inspired by Vladimir Putin’s dictatorial behavior. Moreover, in the bilateral talks at the NATO Summit 2008 in Bucharest, Putin launched the idea of ​​a visit of Romanian leader to Moscow. Visit which has no found place in the full agenda of the new Kremlin leader Dmitry Medvedev. It seems that President Basescu’s frustrations sometimes seem stronger than diplomacy that to be a second nature to the highest state representative function. But I also believe that the Russians should not be so upset that the President (of a small country from uncivilized part of Europe and in close proximity of Russia Federation) with epigonic habits, desperately trying to be as cynical as the hero of the last eleven years of Russia, Vladimir Putin !

Beyond the irony of the comment, I see that such statements in public space maintain  growing international tension and personally I don’t think its bringing the expected votes. Neither Russia nor in Romania. Priority problems of the citizens are quite different (austerity measures, lack of jobs, a poor health and education) and nationalist extremists are declining percentages. I also believe that for Russia to claim an anti-Russian attitude of a NATO member, placed in its neighborhood can bring additional pressure on missile talks strategy, but will not change anything essential in view of the West.

SPIEF 2011, St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russia

Under the special patronage of the President of the Russian Federation, the annual edition of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (June 16 – 18) brings together over 5000 political and business leaders from around the world, joined by leading voices from academia, civil society and the media to discuss and deliberate the key issues facing Russia and the world.

This year’s meeting will convene under the theme “Emerging Leadership for a New Era”. The SPIEF 2011 sessions will be structured around three major subthemes: Securing Global Growth, Building Russia’s Creative Capital, Expanding Technology Horizons.

Originally suggested by the Western press, and then picked up the Russian media, the «Russian Davos» – attribute associated to the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg has become longer than a term of comparison. It became an important issue of the Kremlin steps on the new Russia’s economic position in the world. According the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev’s message: Over the years, it has grown into a leading world discussion forum bringing together prominent politicians, corporate executives and experts to deliberate on key issues of the global economy. This year, SPIEF agenda includes relevant topics, such as securing balanced growth, prospects for technology progress and bringing up a new generation of leaders. Focus is also made on the modernization of Russian economy and improving the investment climate in our country. In this year at SPIEF works are presented, according to organizers, more than five thousand guests, including Staff members of important corporations and banks from Europe, USA and Asia. And if the leaders of key countries of the European Union, faced with the inevitable failure of Greece and with serious problems regard to the Eurozone stability, will not be present at St. Petersburg, however, the SPIEF guests will include also: Hu JinTao, President of the People’s Republic of China, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain, Tarja Halonen, President of Finland, Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Also the young generation of business people have been getting together in St. Petersburg to swap ideas at the International Youth Economic Forum (15 – 17 June 2011). YIEF will preface this year’s edition of the “Russian Davos“ – International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. Overall, this year’s Forum is welcoming 100 participants: 50 young leaders from Russia and 50 international leaders. For more details see the YIEF 2011 Program. As always, St. Petersburg Administration has drawn up an extensive cultural programme. The Palace Square will, as usual, host a free concert given by international stars. This year, Sting will entertain the northern capital’s visitors and residents. St. Petersburg theatres and museums will offer interesting concerts, performances and exhibitions.

Update: 16 June – First day of SPIEF 2011

Although the opening ceremony and plenary session, which will be present Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, were scheduled for the second day of the Forum, the debates on the first day of work weren’t less important.

Thus, the participants could hear an extensive analysis of the gas and oil market presented by Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of International Energy Agency. They were concerned how and why movements in oil and gas markets have a major impact on global economy in crisis, to what extent fuel prices due to dollar weakness. “For both oil and gas markets, 2010 was characterised by the sharp recovery of the global economy after the recession in 2009 but the two markets have gone their separate ways in recent months” said Mr Tanaka. There weren’t missed the forecasts about price fluctuations under rebel movements in the Middle East. “Oil markets have seen a surge in demand growth in emerging markets, outstripping growth in supply, pushing prices higher even before the conflict in Libya tightens supplies further”. Also, he said that: “In both oil and gas we see a notable dichotomy between non-OECD and OECD markets with demand driven by China, India and the Middle-East”.

Also, the first day of SPIEF laid ”under microscope“ Russia’s economic relations with key partners – the European Union, USA, CIS, and the vision of partnering with India’s rapidly growing economy. Even if “From the Russian business has developed a strong belief that we are absolutely ready to increase the intensity of our economic cooperation with US”, according Viktor Vekselberg,  President of “Skolkovo” Foundation, it seems that not the same passion characterizes the U.S. investors. “I would also like to say that the “reset” has allowed us to go forward to a much more durable and stable trade relations, trade and economic relations, which, as we all know, should form the basis of a strong relationship” said John Byerly, U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation in the round table discussion on the topic RUSSIA – US BUSINESS DIALOGUE MAIN ISSUES IN THE US-RUSSIA STRATEGIC ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP. Regarding relations with the European Union and building a common economic space, it is worth noting that any assessment adopted should take into account a certain unpredictability that characterizes the economies of both sides. A Europe concerned to ensure their stability and inability to speak with one voice proves to be a little constructive partner, so that on short and medium term Russia will likely prefer the same way verifiable bilateral partnerships.

Throughout the day many agreements were signed. Of meetings with the press have noted two: “Young Leaders of Global Economy”  Press-Briefing,  dedicated to Young International Economic forum results,  Ideas,  united  young  people  today,  practical  recommendations  for  key  innovative projects development and young  leaders’ views on global economy  situation were discussed by the participants of the Press-Briefing:  Arkady Dvorkovich – Organizing Committee member, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation, Yuri Kotler – YIEF 2011 Organizing Committee Chair, Dmitry Zelenin – Tver Region Governor, David Iakobachvili  – Wimm-Bill-Dann, Founder. And Press Briefing on Rebranding of PRIME Agency of Economic Information, its top personnel changes and development prospects, about which spoke: Svetlana Mironiuk – Managing Editor of RIA NEWS and Oleg Ananyev –  PRIME Director.