State Department announced the role of Russia in the events on the Belarusian-Polish border

According to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, the migration crisis is related to the situation around Ukraine

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that one of the goals of the crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border is to distract from Russia's military activity on the border with Ukraine.

'Secretary of State Blinken confirmed that the United States supports Poland from the Lukashenka regime. “ The actions of the Belarusian regime threaten security, contribute to a split in the EU and are aimed at distracting from Russian activity on the border with Ukraine, '' & mdash; said in a statement from the State Department, quoted by Reuters.

On November 10, Blinken said that repeating the “ mistakes of 2014 '' would be a serious mistake for Russia.

“We are worried that Russia could make a grave mistake by trying to repeat what it did in 2014, when it concentrated forces along the border [with Ukraine], invaded the sovereign territory of Ukraine, while falsely claiming that it was provoked.” & mdash; Blinken said. According to him, Moscow uses such declared 'provocations' to then be able to do what it wants.

The Kremlin responded to reports of a possible invasion of Ukraine that Russia poses no threat to anyone. At the same time, the presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov mentioned the “ situation in the Black Sea '' and 'active reconnaissance activities from the air of NATO aircraft.' Thus, The Washington Post reported that the United States and Europe recorded unusual movements of military equipment. Then Politico published satellite images of military equipment near the border with Belarus, some of which are believed to be attached to the 1st Guards Tank Army of the Russian Armed Forces.

Over the past week, hundreds of refugees have accumulated on the Belarusian-Polish border who have tried break through into the EU. The Polish authorities blamed the incident on the Belarusian authorities. Subscribe to YouTube RBC Live broadcasts, videos and recordings of programs on our YouTube channel

Источник rbc.ru

The Kremlin considers the words of the State Department incorrect about the role of Russia in the crisis with migrants

Earlier, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken suggested that the migration crisis should divert attention from Russia's military build-up near the border with Ukraine. This is an incorrect interpretation, Dmitry Peskov stressed

Dmitry Peskov

The Kremlin evaluates the statement of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken that the migration crisis in Belarus is intended to divert attention from Russian military activity on the border with Ukraine, as wrong. This was announced by the press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov, the correspondent of RBC reports.

“ This is a misinterpretation of the situation with the migration crisis. I would like to remind you of the recent statements of President Putin, his interview was circulated on Saturday. He absolutely ruled out the possibility of Russia's involvement in what is happening with migrants. The President explained why & raquo;, & mdash; said Peskov.

Blinken made the corresponding statement the day before. “ The actions of the Belarusian regime threaten security, contribute to a split in the EU and are aimed at distracting from Russian activity on the border with Ukraine, '' & mdash; he stressed.

Over the past month, Washington has repeatedly spoken about Russia's building up of its military presence at the Ukrainian border. First, The Washington Post reported that the United States and Europe were recording an unusual movement of Russian military equipment, and later Politico published satellite images of, presumably, military equipment near the border with Belarus.

The Pentagon responded to the reports and said that the United States is monitoring the actions of the Russian military, and is also holding consultations with allies and partners.

Last week, commenting on accusations against Russia of involvement in creating the migration crisis in Belarus, President Vladimir Putin has said that his country “ has nothing to do with it. '' “I want everyone to know. We have nothing to do with it here. There, everyone is trying to impose any responsibility on us for any reason and for no reason at all, '', & mdash; he explained.

He also suggested that European countries, blaming Russia, are trying to “ transfer problems from a sore head to a healthy one. '' According to the president, they want to absolve themselves of responsibility for creating the conditions for the movement of migrants themselves. “ We ourselves have created the conditions for thousands and hundreds of thousands of people to go. And now they are looking for the guilty ones in order to absolve themselves of responsibility for the events taking place, '', & mdash; Putin said.

Subscribe to YouTube RBC Live broadcasts, videos and recordings of programs on our YouTube channel

Источник rbc.ru

US targets Assad govt and backers with toughest sanctions yet against Syria

US targets Assad govt and backers with toughest sanctions yet against Syria

The aim is to prompt the Syrian president to negotiate an end to the war that has lasted almost a decade.

By
Shirin Jaafari

Player utilities

download

Listen to the story.

A woman walks past a poster depicting Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, Syria, March 5, 2020.

Credit:

Yamam Al Shaar/Reuters 

Share

The US State Department announced this week some of its toughest sanctions yet against Syria.

The sanctions are named “Caesar,” the code name for a former Syrian military officer who smuggled roughly 50,000 images and documents out of Syria’s prisons. The gruesome photos showed emaciated bodies of those detainees — men, women, even children.

“Today, we begin a sustained campaign of sanctions against the Assad regime under the Caesar Act. The individuals and entities targeted today have played a key role in obstructing a peaceful, political solution to the conflict.”

Morgan Ortagus, US State Department, spokesperson

“Today, we begin a sustained campaign of sanctions against the Assad regime under the Caesar Act,” spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Wednesday. “The individuals and entities targeted today have played a key role in obstructing a peaceful, political solution to the conflict.”

Related: Syria’s first family is caught in a feud 

The images sparked outrage and set off a yearslong effort to introduce additional sanctions on the Syrian leader and his inner circle. President Donald Trump signed the ensuing Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act into law this past December.

“The sanctions confirm the direction that the State Department is taking,” explained Rime Allaf, a Syrian writer and commentator.

She said American officials have targeted 39 people or entities with ties to the Syrian government.

“Any company, any government, any entity around the world is going to be sanctioned if they deal with the Syrian regime elite who the State Department believes are responsible for committing these atrocities.”

Rime Allaf, Syrian writer and commentator

“Any company, any government, any entity around the world is going to be sanctioned if they deal with the Syrian regime elite who the State Department believes are responsible for committing these atrocities,” Allaf said.

Also on the list, for the first time, is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife, Asma al-Assad.

A State Department press statement said she has been designated because “she has become one of Syria’s most notorious war profiteers.”

Related: Remembering Egyptian LGBTQ activist Sarah Hegazi

Born in the United Kingdom, Asma al-Assad Akhras worked as an investment banker in London until 2000, when she married Bashar al-Assad and moved to Syria.

The new sanctions restrict the first lady’s financial dealings, says Ibrahim Olabi, a Syrian lawyer in the UK.

“So, a lot of third parties would now hesitate to engage with Asma because they could face penalty for dealing with sanctioned individuals,” Olabi said.

The new sanctions take effect at an already difficult time for Syrians. The country’s economy has been hit hard by the war and the coronavirus.

One woman in Damascus told The World that she has stopped buying pricier food items like meat. She only buys the essentials now. The woman didn’t want to be identified because she worried she might lose her job for speaking to foreign media.

“Everything is so much more expensive these days. We feel insecure so we are not sure next month or the month later what we’re going to face.”

Woman in Damascus who asked to remain unnamed

“Everything is so much more expensive these days,” she said. “We feel insecure so we are not sure next month or the month later what we’re going to face.”

Related: Afghans in shock after attacks on a maternity hospital and a funeral

Lately, she said, she has noticed longer lines at the market for subsidized goods like rice and sugar.

“We are considering everything else as [a] luxury,” she said.

And with the new US sanctions, she expects the economy to get worse.

“Although we know that the effects won’t be seen suddenly in a few days, we are expecting that the upcoming months would be harder and harder,” she said.

There are already frustrations with the state of the economy. Last weekend, Syrians came out to protest — even in areas usually supportive of the president.

Critics of the Caesar Act say sanctions will only hurt the people.

Related: Syrian officials on trial for war crimes in Germany

“I would be lying if I said there won’t be any impact on regular, average Syrian civilians.”

Jomana Qaddour,  Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, nonresident senior fellow

“I would be lying if I said there won’t be any impact on regular, average Syrian civilians,” said Jomana Qaddour, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC.

“But I think that there are some robust humanitarian exceptions that explicitly discuss food, medicine, and on top of that there’s a lot of civil society organizations that will be monitoring the impact of Caesar,” she said.

Qaddour, who has family in Syria, hopes that the sanctions eventually bring the Syrian government to the negotiating table.

“The hope of these sanctions was that … listen, clearly, [the] military threat hasn’t worked. Upwards of a million people being killed hasn’t worked. Creating half of Syria as a refugee population outside of the country hasn’t worked. Maybe economic pressures might do the trick,” Qaddour said.

For the sanctions to be lifted, the Syrian government will have to fulfill six major demands. Among them, it has to end the bombing of civilians, release tens of thousands of detainees and allow Syrian refugees to return safely to their country.