Week 2

16th October 2016:

  1. China’s President сalled on Russian President Vladimir Putin to strengthen cooperation within the UN framework.
  2. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping discussed Syrian settlement and joint stance on terrorism on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Indian Goa.
  3. Commenting on the recent public row between longtime allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia over Cairo’s vote in favour of two different Syrian resolutions at the UN Security Council, political analysts argue that regardless of the current tensions between the two countries, Egypt is unlikely to break ties with Riyadh for the sake of friendship with Moscow.
  4. An unprecedented growth in Chinese tourism shows no signs of abating in Russia, with destinations ranging from Moscow and St. Petersburg to Sochi, Crimea and even the northern city of Murmansk.
  5. BRICS Business Council Chairman Onkar Kanwar said that there is much room for BRICS future trade development and it needs enhancement in local currencies. The BRICS member states’ leaders are holding a restricted meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Goa.
  6. Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company said that Iran could receive access to the European gas market through Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and has no intention to compete with Russia in the market.
  7. European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, Herbert Salber will arrive in Azerbaijan in the last week of October, local media reported.
  8. The Saudi-led coalition said that the airstrike on a funeral ceremony in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa that killed over 100 and wounded children was conducted by mistake.
  9. Commenting on the recent WikiLeaks revelation that in a private conversation, American Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton said that the United States would “ring China with missile defense,” Russia media suggests that it is provocation aimed at pushing Beijing into a direct confrontation.
  10. Washington’s “Plan B” is excluding Russia from the US’ Syrian plan, leaving no space for US-Russian bilateral cooperation, Salman Rafi Sheikh writes, warning that the plan may result in Syria turning into a “transit route for the spread of chaos.”
  11. The Czech Republic is interested in constructing gas pipeline with Poland and counts on the implementation of the project, aimed at diversifying gas supplies.
  12. The ministerial meeting on Syria in Lausanne has not resulted in a ceasefire agreement, according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
  13. German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to propose the European Union adopt new anti-Russia sanctions over its operation in Syria, local media reported, citing a source in chancellor’s entourage.
  14. A telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, during which the sides will discuss the Normandy format meeting, will be held today or on Monday morning, Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko said. In other news, the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has revoked the Minsk ceasefire agreements and initiated hostilities in the eastern region of Donbass, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko said.
  15. Russia has delivered more than a metric ton of humanitarian aid to the Syria’s province of Latakia, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

15th October 2016:

  1. Government-controlled areas of Syrian Aleppo were once again shelled by militants. The shelling killed seven children and injured ten. Western media ignored the tragedy since its does not correspond with West’s stance towards the Syrian crisis
  2. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said he was not aware if anti-Russia sanctions would be discussed at the forthcoming summit in Brussels slated for the next week
  3. BRICS will not shrink to a three-country format, Brazil’s Chair of the BRICS Business Council told Sputnik.
  4. Poland may join the Eurozone within five or ten years because it is not profitable for the country to enter it now, Deputy Prime Minister and Economic Development Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said
  5. The question has been raised as to whether British MPs supporting the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen could be implicated in warcrimes
  6. Iraqi Air Force planes flew over Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul as part of preparation for an international operation to free the city from Daesh militant group, a source in the local security forces said
  7. Obama has approved a directive which facilitates commerce and travel between the US and Cuba and Washington has lifted restrictions on importing tobacco and alcohol
  8. Former French President Nicholas Sarkozy and ex-Prime Minister Alain Juppe – the favourite forerunners in the centre-right bid for the presidency in the 2017 elections – have launched their campaigns, with one of them expected to take over from Francois Hollande, whose political worth has plummeted
  9. In a private conversation, American Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that the United States would “ring China with missile defence,” WikiLeaks revealed in a hack of the Clinton campaign chairman’s emails
  10. The Scottish National Party overwhelmingly backed on Friday a resolution, which says the country should be ready for a new independence referendum and subsequently strive for EU membership as an independent country.
  11. The relaunch of a ceasefire in Syria is expected to dominate the discussion agenda at an international meeting on Syria in Switzerland on October 15, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov could hold bilateral talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the sidelines of Syria talks in Lausanne, a source in the Russian delegation said
  12. The outlook for Russia’s long-term financial risk rating has been revised from negative to stable and affirmed at ‘BBB-‘, Fitch Ratings said. The Russian Finance Ministry was satisfied with this rating revision.
  13. The first Russia-Egypt anti-terrorism drills are kicking off in Egypt on Saturday, the press service of the Russian Defence Ministry informed in a statement
  14. Lawmakers from Belgium’s French-speaking region of Wallonia voted against the EU-Canada trade deal (CETA) on Friday, threatening to derail the long delayed agreement
  15. Dutch top bank ING said Friday it is moving dozens of trading jobs to London, defying expectations of an exodus of financial sector professionals from Britain because of Brexit


14th October 2016:

  1. A diplomatic source said that Washington promised Baghdad to facilitate withdrawal of the Turkish forces from the Iraqi territory.
  2. Norway and Russia have a good level of cooperation in the Arctic region, especially on the issues related to fish resources in the Barents Sea, Anniken Ramberg Krutnes, the Norwegian ambassador for Arctic Affairs said.
  3. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday congratulated former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres with election as the new UN secretary-general and wished him success in work at this important post, the Kremlin press service said.
  4. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko agreed to convene a trilateral summit together with France’s President Francois Hollande soon, according to a statement released by Poroshenko’s office following a phone call held on Thursday.
  5. Ankara hopes that Russia will soon grant Turkish citizens visa-free entry, Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci said Thursday.
  6. Russia has helped change the balance of power in Syria and to reduce areas controlled by terrorists, while the US-led coalition has not achieved any substantial results, Syrian President Bashar Assad said.
  7. Syrian President Bashar Assad is certain that retaking the city of Aleppo from terrorists would jump start the liberation of other Syrian cities.
  8. The sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia over the Ukrainian conflict will likely be extended for another six months at the end of 2016 despite doubts and opposition by some EU member states, member of European Parliament Ivan Stefanec said.
  9. Two senior US diplomats have flown to Cuba to participate in a scheduled human rights dialogue with Cuban officials, the US Department of State announced in a media note.
  10. Russian President Vladimir Putin ratified an intergovernmental agreement on the deployment of the Russian Armed Forces’ air group in Syria, the Kremlin said on Friday.
  11. Russia and the United States, two of the world’s central countries, should overcome their differences, newly elected UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, underscoring his role as a peacemaker.
  12. Turkey Appoints Former Assistant to NATO’s Chief New Ambassador to Russia
    Turkey has appointed Huseyin Lazip Dirioz the new ambassador to Russia, Turkey’s official Resmi Gazete reported Friday.
  13. The Syrian government forces established control over the Der Khabeyah village in Damascus province 10 miles southwest of the capital, a field commander said on Friday.
  14. According to the Russian foreign minister, Russia will present exact steps to implement UN Security Council resolutions on Syria at the Lausanne talks on Saturday.
  15. The United States is the only country that continues to profit from the anti-Russia sanctions, head of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov told reporters after the meeting with the Italian delegation of lawmakers and businessmen.
  16. Government-controlled areas of Syrian Aleppo were once again shelled by militants. The shelling killed seven children and injured ten. Western media ignored the tragedy since its does not correspond with West’s stance towards the Syrian crisis.


13th October 2016:

  1. China hopes that the upcoming visit of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will contribute to strengthening of political trust between the nations and will boost the bilateral cooperation, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang said Wednesday.
  2. Participants of the EU summit that will take place on October 20–21 in Brussels will discuss the Syrian crisis and the bloc’s relations with Russia, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Wednesday.
  3. The Barents Sea, including areas that lie near the Norwegian-Russian delimitation border, may hold several billion barrels of undiscovered oil, the head of the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) said on Wednesday.
  4. German servicemen will carry out reconnaissance missions aboard NATO’s Airborne Warning and Control System planes in Syria.
  5. Russia knows who is really behind the attack on the UN humanitarian convoy near Aleppo, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. It is one of the terrorist groups, he added.
  6. Moscow never sought worsening of relations with Washington and, on the contrary, would like to have friendly ties with the “great country”, President Vladimir Putin said.
  7. French President Francois Holland slammed the United States for imposing huge fines on EU companies while US firms dodge taxes in Europe, in an interview published Wednesday.
  8. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry will meet in the Swiss city of Lausanne this Saturday to set out steps needed to bring peace to Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday adding that the foreign ministers from the key Middle Eastern states would participate in the meeting.
  9. Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Wednesday called on Russia to prepare a UN Security Council resolution on ending aggression against Yemen.
  10. Russian Deputy Culture Minister Alla Manilova and Director General of the Austrian Ministry of Economy Elisabeth Udolf-Strobl signed on Wednesday a joint declaration and a program to conduct a cross-cultural year in 2017, set to kick off with the opening of a national tourist office in Vienna.
  11. Now that American citizens are allowed to sue Riyadh for its alleged role in the 9/11 terror attacks, the Saudi press has launched an assault against the legislation.
  12. On Wednesday top Japanese and US defense officials agreed that about 50 percent of the land currently being used as an American military training area in Okinawa Prefecture would be returned to Japan.
  13. Venezuela plans to sign an agreement with Russia in the coming days on the supply of wheat over the next two years, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced.
  14. The support of Syrian president Bashar Assad is unacceptable, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said.
  15. European states are considering new sanctions against some Russian, as well as Syrian, officials over the situation in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo, The Financial Times reports.
  16. Russia is interested in the production of lithium in Bolivia, Russian Deputy Energy Minister Yuri Sentyurin told journalists in La Paz.
  17. President Vladimir Putin told Sputnik that the developments in Afghanistan still raise concern and require decisive actions.
  18. BRICS member states reject the policies of coercive pressure and will reflect this stance in their declaration at the Goa summit, as it is especially relevant amid some states promoting unilateral approaches, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Sputnik and the IANS news agency.
  19. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt could be used as a foundation stone for the Big Eurasian Partnership.
  20. Japan and Russia are discussing possible visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Tokyo in December, Japanese Yomiuri newspaper reported on Thursday, citing diplomatic sources.
  21. Indian Gov’t Approves Memorandum of Understanding With Russia on Trade
    New Delhi seeks to expand trade ties with Russia.
  22. The Russian foreign minister and his French counterpart discussed the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

12th October 2016:

  1. Turkish Stream gas pipeline construction will start in 2018, the Gazprom chief said.
  2. Russia and China will hold their second missile defense drill in 2017, Beijing’s military announced.
  3. According to the first deputy chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Department, the US ignores Russia’s proposals to reach agreements allaying concerns over its missile defense system deployment.
  4. Turkey’s undersecretary for defense industries said Tuesday his country aims to develop its own missile defense system, denying the existence of reported agreements with Russia. The issue of creation of a joint missile defense system of Turkey and Russia was not discussed during talks of Moscow and Ankara, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.
  5. Moscow called on the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and the Commonwealth of Independent States to join the humanitarian operation in Aleppo.
  6. Russia may act as a go-between to ease tensions between Ankara and Baghdad caused by the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq, Aziz Barzani, a professor of political science at Salahaddin University in Erbil said.
  7. Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) included the Chinese Yuan in its basket of reserve currencies. The Yuan is getting more and more popular abroad China. In Russia, the Chinese currency is high-in-demand from companies as well as ordinary customers.
  8. A total of 125 police officers from the Istanbul Police Department were detained on Tuesday on suspicion of using the ByLock communication application, which is known to be used by supporters of Fethullah Gulen, suspected of masterminding the coup attempt, local media reported.
  9. Brexit aftereffects have started to weigh on the UK’s investment due to policy and political uncertainties, while domestic manufacturing is gaining steam due to the pound’s devaluation.
  10. French President Francois Hollande expressed his readiness to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin whenever he was ready for it, after the latter cancelled his visit to Paris.
  11. Turkey would take part in the operation to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul occupied by Daesh, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday as cited by local media.
  12. Russian security forces have thwarted a terrorist attack and eliminated 98 militants in North Caucasus this year.
  13. China Radio International (CRI) offered Sputnik China to create a joint brand, Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency’s Director General Dmitry Kiselev said Tuesday.
  14. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has ruled out sharing details of individuals on the intelligence services’ watch list with local municipal police, despite the state of emergency imposed following the Paris attacks, which exposed serious flaws in the country’s intelligence services.
  15. While there have been calls in recent times for greater EU defense cooperation, concerns are growing over a divide in the union in regards to its policy in Libya, with France accused of undermining international efforts and offering support to both rival governments in the country.
  16. Russia and Saudi Arabia work constructively and are ready to discuss various options for stabilisation of the oil market, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Tuesday.
  17. Russia and Sudan have similar outlooks on the fight against terrorism and solving conflicts in the Middle East, including the primary role of the countries in the region, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday in a statement.
  18. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov discussed on Tuesday economic, investment and humanitarian cooperation with Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou and Foreign Minister Ibrahim Yacoubou, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
  19. Moscow is hosting on Wednesday a Russian-Vietnamese trade economic cooperation business forum, part of “Saigon Expo” which began last week following the ratification of a free trade agreement between the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Vietnam.
  20. Indonesia’s intention to have deep ties with Russia is unshaken by current political standoff between Moscow and the West, a senior Indonesian lawmaker said.

11th October 2016:

  1. Turkish Prime Minister said that Turkey’s role in Syria is to unite Russia, the United States and Iran in order to put an end to the “bloodshed” in the country. He also thinks that it is impossible to fight one terrorist group with the use of another, namely Kurds fighting Daesh in Syria.
  2. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a decision to cancel his visit to Paris scheduled for October 19, according to the Kremlin spokesman.
  3. German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said that Draft UN Security Council resolutions on Syria authored by Russia and France should be combined.
  4. Poroshenko said that EU and Ukrainian leaders will gather in Brussels, Belgium on November 24 for a summit on EU-Ukraine association deal and free access to the borderless Schengen area for Ukrainians.
  5. Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Istanbul with official visit, where he is going to attend the World Energy Congress and hold meetings with his Turkish and Venezuelan counterparts.
  6. The Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) said it had successfully busted a center for making explosives in the country’s northeastern Takhar province that belongs to the Taliban group.
  7. Vladimir Putin said that Russia is ready to support the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) agreement to free and possibly cut oil production. Vladimir Putin also said that the assumption that the era of fossil fuel energy is ending is premature.
  8. The president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, presented a plan for the Spanish region’s independence referendum and invited the Spanish government to make its proposals on the matter.
  9. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on all the sides taking part in the war in Yemen to cease hostilities and protect civilians. Washington has consistently tried to distance itself from Riyadh’s actions in Yemen according to a batch of classified documents and emails. Photos taken by ITV News correspondent Neil Connery at the scene of Saturday’s bombed funeral in Yemen indicate the use of a US-produced Mark 82 bomb and Saudi Arabia has unofficially accepted the fact that one of its coalition aircrafts was behind the bombing at the funeral in Yemeni capital of Sanaa.
  10. Eurogroup approved the $1.2 bln of 2nd bailout tranche to Greece, welcoming the implementation by the Greek authorities of the set of 15 milestones in the context of the first review of the ESM programme.
  11. Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz will visit Turkey this week in the first ministerial visit between the two states for six years after severing diplomatic relations in 2010, the Israeli Embassy in Ankara said Monday.
  12. The European Parliament does not favour disinformation promoted by some countries and non-state actors, implicating Russia in these activities.
  13. Terrorists in Syria win because of Washington’s refusal to cooperate with Russia on countering terrorism in Syria, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday during the 7th Xiangshan security Forum in Beijing.
  14. The Chinese authorities on Tuesday offered Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa and Asia to provide them with aid and loans worth 4 billion yuan (some $600 million) in aid and loans in the next three years.
  15. Washington’s deployment of missile defense system in Europe is “in fact a direct threat to Russia’s security”, Beijing’s Central Military Commission Join Staff Department said.

10th October 2016:

  1. Daesh (ISIS) offshoot Jund al-Aqsa paid allegiance to Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front in an effort to halt attacks from US-backed rebel groups aligned with the terrorist organization.
  2. Russian energy company Rosneft may buy 50.08% of Bashneft’s shares for some 325-330 billion rubles ($5.2-5.3 billion) by Saturday, Russian Economy Minister Alexey Ulyukaev said.
  3. Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said that Russia may allow import of some types of Turkish fruits and vegetables before the end of the year, but the process of lifting the restrictions will be gradual.
  4. Athens expects the second tranche of international financial aid to Greece to be approved at the Eurogroup’s meeting on Monday, after the country fulfilled all 15 conditions of the creditors necessary for the transfer of the 2.8 billion euro (about $3.2 billion), a source in the Finance Ministry said.
  5. Former President of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh urged Houthi rebels to mobilize troops along the border with Saudi Arabia in response to a deadly airstrike on a funeral, which he believes was conducted by the Saudi-led coalition.
  6. A counterterrorist operation began late on Sunday in the Suleyman-Stalsky District in the south of Russia’s Dagestan republic.
  7. The leader of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement condemned the recent Saudi airstrike targeting a funeral in the capital city of Sana’a and laid the blame first and foremost at the feet of the United States.
  8. The Libyan army killed more than 70 Daesh militants during an anti-terror operation in the city of Sirte.
  9. On Sunday, tens of thousands of armed demonstrators crowded outside the United Nations office in Yemen to protest the horrific targeted bombing of a funeral in the capital city of Sana’a by the Saudi-led coalition which many Houthis believe has been done with the tacit support of the UN.
  10. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow does not see any signs that the US is fighting the Al-Nusra terrorist group in Syria.
  11. The UN is ringing the alarm over a possible cholera outbreak in Haiti, as the number of disease cases is on the rise in the troubled Caribbean nation after disastrous hurricane Matthew swept through the country killing roughly 900 people.
  12. A source in the regional law enforcement authorities said that a total of three militants were killed in a counterterror operation carried out in the south of Russia’s Dagestan.
  13. Amid an ever-increasing threat posed by terrorist groups and potential threats from nation states, the next US administration will face a worrying capability gap in at least its first weeks. The reason for that is the deployment of aircraft carriers that is running behind schedule.
  14. French President Francois Hollande voiced uncertainty on Sunday about utility and efficiency of his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin which is due to focus on the Syrian settlement. Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia continues preparation for an upcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Paris; there is no official information on him not meeting French President Francois Hollande.
  15. J. Michael Springmann, a former US diplomat to Saudi Arabia, said that despite slamming Saudi-led coalition’s massive airstrike on a funeral procession in Yemen on Saturday, Washington will never take concrete steps to punish its main ally in the Middle East.
  16. The United States and Germany will conduct an observation flight over Russia’s territory.
  17. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said that China hopes for further progress in strengthening cooperation at the upcoming BRICS summit.
  18. Nicolas Maduro, Venezuelan President, expressed hope for further strengthening of relations with Russia.
  19. The Russian nuclear program is more advanced than the US one, while Washington is “tired” and “exhausted” in the nuclear sphere, US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said.
  20. Former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev said that Russia and the United States must get over mutual distrust and restart negotiations beginning with the nuclear issue.
  21. Head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Nuclear Risk Reduction Center said that Russian observers are expected to carry out inspection of military activities in Hungary and Romania.
  22. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Falih said he planned to meet Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in the coming days to discuss last month’s agreement among oil producers to cap production.
  23. According to the country’s General Staff, Turkish army has killed over 400 members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), outlawed in Turkey.
  24. Last week, Finland signed a controversial memorandum on bilateral defense cooperation with the US (also known as a Statement of Intent). Earlier this year, Sweden concluded a similar agreement, which is expected to push the two remaining non-aligned Nordic states in the direction of full NATO membership.
  25. Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus and Russia have resolved their oil and gas dispute.