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Russia says ready for dialogue with U.S. on Open Skies treaty based on equality

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Russia is open to dialogue with the United States on the Treaty on Open Skies, but only if it is based on equal rights and aimed at mutual consideration of interests and concerns, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday.

Earlier on Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the ministry had received an official note about the U.S. decision to begin the procedure of withdrawal from the treaty.

“This is deeply regrettable, as significant damage is being done to the European security,” the ministry’s statement said.

“The security of the United States itself will not be strengthened, and its authority in international affairs will certainly suffer,” it added.

The ministry recalled that U.S. official representatives said that the United States may reconsider its decision to withdraw from the treaty if Russia in the coming months unconditionally fulfills all their requirements.

“This is an ultimatum. On this basis, the dialogue will not work,” said the statement.

The U.S. decision to pull out of the treaty raises questions about Washington’s policy consistency, and caused serious concern even among the U.S. allies, it said.

Washington’s decision did not take Russia by surprise, as it fully fits into its line on the destruction of the whole complex of agreements in the field of arms control and confidence-building in the military field, the statement said.

Russia will build its policy regarding the Open Skies treaty, proceeding solely from the interests of its national security, in close cooperation with its allies and partners, the statement said.

The treaty, which became effective in 2002, allows its states-parties to conduct short-notice, unarmed reconnaissance flights over the others’ entire territories to collect data on military forces and activities.

Currently, 35 nations, including Russia, the United States, and some other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, have signed it. Kyrgyzstan has signed but not ratified it yet.

The treaty is aimed at building confidence and familiarity among states-parties through their participation in the overflights.

(XINHUA)

Sport

Sancho hat-trick keeps Borussia Dortmund in title hunt

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England forward Jadon Sancho capped a blistering individual performance with a second half hat-trick which helped Borussia Dortmund to a 6-1 win at Paderborn on Sunday.

The victory kept alive their slim Bundesliga title hopes and left Borussia Dortmund second on 60 points from 29 games with five rounds of matches remaining.

They are seven behind champions and league leaders Bayern Munich, while Paderborn remained rooted to the foot of the standings on 19 points.

With prolific 19-year-old Norway striker Erling Haaland sidelined by a knee injury, the visitors missed a string of chances in the first half.

But Sancho lit up the second half as Borussia Dortmund ran riot.

Thorgan Hazard, who took Haaland’s place upfront, gave Borussia Dortmund a 54th minute lead from close range.

This was after goalkeeper Leopold Zingerle, who had made a string of good saves, failed to deal with an Emre Can cross from the left.

Sancho made it 2-0 with a simple tap-in from two metres three minutes later, thanks to some good work from Julian Brandt.

An Uwe Hunemeier penalty kick briefly rekindled Paderborn’s challenge in the 72nd minute.

It turned out to be a false dawn as Sancho scored Borussia Dortmund’s third two minutes later with a fine left foot shot from inside the penalty area and Paderborn fell apart in the closing stages.

Achraf Hakimi drilled in the fourth in the 85th minute with a crisp shot into the far corner and Marcel Schmelzer added the fifth in the 89th from close range.

The unstoppable Sancho broke away at the halfway line barely 60 seconds later.

With Paderborn throwing everybody forward for a corner kick, he had all the time and space to put the icing on the cake with a clinical finish.

Borussia Dortmund, the 1997 UEFA Champions League winners who last won the German title in 2012, are at home to ninth-placed Hertha Berlin in the next round on Saturday.

Paderborn visit fifth-placed RB Leipzig.
OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Russia criticizes police violence against journalists covering U.S. protests

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The Russian Foreign Ministry said Sunday that Moscow is concerned about growing police violence against and unjustified detentions of journalists covering protests in the United States over the death of African American George Floyd.

“We consider it unacceptable for U.S. law enforcement officials to use rubber bullets and tear gas against journalists after they presented a press card,” the ministry said in a statement.

Minneapolis police officers used pepper sprays deliberately against Mikhail Turgiyev, a correspondent with Russian news agency RIA Novosti, despite Turgiyev identifying himself as a journalist, the ministry said, calling it “a manifestation of unjustified cruelty.”

“We remind the U.S. authorities of their international obligations to ensure the safety and unhindered activities of journalists, as well as freedom of expression and equal access to information for all,” the statement read.

(XINHUA)

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Russia’s COVID-19 cases exceed 400,000

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Russia has confirmed 9,268 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, raising its total tally to 405,843, its coronavirus response center said in a statement Sunday.

The death toll increased by 138 to 4,693, while 171,883 people have recovered, including 4,414 over the last 24 hours, according to the statement.

Moscow, the country’s worst-hit region, reported 2,595 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking its total to 180,791.

As of Saturday, 305,384 people were under medical observation, and more than 10.6 million lab tests for COVID-19 have been conducted nationwide, Russia’s consumer rights and human well-being watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement Sunday.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed a decree allocating 10.9 billion rubles (some 155 million U.S. dollars) to subsidize Russia’s airports as the COVID-19 pandemic has severely reduced passenger traffic, the Russian government said Saturday.

(XINHUA)

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Syria receives MiG-29 warplanes from Russia

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The Syrian army on Saturday received a batch of MiG-29 warplanes from Russia, state news agency SANA reported.

The delivery took place during a ceremony held in the Russian-run Hmeimim air base in Syria’s northwestern province of Latakia, said the report, adding that the warplanes flew from Hmeimim to the respected Syrian bases.

The Syrian pilots will start using the warplanes in maneuvers as of June, said the report.

Russia has emerged as the key international backer of the Syrian government during the more than nine-year-long war in Syria.

(XINHUA)

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Russian COVID-19 cases exceed 390,000

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Russia confirmed 8,952 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, raising its total infections to 396,575, its coronavirus response centre said in a statement Saturday.

The death toll increased by 181 to 4,555, while 167,469 people have recovered, including 8,212 over the last 24 hours, according to the statement.

Moscow, the country’s worst-hit region, confirmed 2,367 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking its total to 178,196.

As of Friday, about 307,000 people were under medical observation, Russia’s consumer rights and human well-being watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, said in a statement on Saturday.

More than 10.3 million laboratory tests for COVID-19 have been conducted across the country so far, it added.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed a decree allocating 10.9 billion rubles ($155 million) to subsidise the country’s airports as the pandemic has greatly reduced passenger traffic, the government said on Saturday.

Russian gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 12 per cent year-on-year in April due to coronavirus-related restrictions, official data showed earlier this week.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Russian COVID-19 cases exceed 390,000

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Russia confirmed 8,952 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, raising its total number of infections to 396,575, its coronavirus response center said in a statement Saturday.

The death toll increased by 181 to 4,555, while 167,469 people have recovered, including 8,212 over the last 24 hours, according to the statement.

Moscow, the country’s worst-hit region, confirmed 2,367 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking its total to 178,196.

As of Friday, about 307,000 people were under medical observation, Russia’s consumer rights and human well-being watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement Saturday.

More than 10.3 million lab tests for COVID-19 have been conducted across the country so far, it added.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed a decree allocating 10.9 billion rubles (155 million U.S. dollars) to subsidize the country’s airports as the pandemic has greatly reduced passenger traffic, the government said Saturday.

Russian gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 12 percent year-on-year in April due to coronavirus-related restrictions, official data showed earlier this week.

(XINHUA)

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China-Europe freight train delivers first batch of Russia’s frozen poultry meat

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A batch of Russian frozen chicken sent by refrigerated containers on a China-Europe freight train reached southwest China‘s Chongqing Municipality on Friday, marking Russia’s first exports of frozen poultry meat to China by rail.

The 24.9-tonne frozen meat are valued at 336,000 yuan (47,000 U.S. dollars). The shipment is under customs inspection before being distributed to the market in Chongqing.

Previous to this, poultry products imported from Russia had been transported to China by offshore shipping, while the freight train service transported imports such as sugar, dairy products, candy and snacks as well as fruit juice from Russia.

A single trip of the direct train service takes 18 days from Moscow of Russia to Chongqing, which is much shorter than sea and land transportation for the food imports.

(XINHUA)

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Russian fighter jets intercept U.S. bombers over Black and Baltic Seas

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Russian fighter jets intercepted U.S. Air Force B-1B strategic bombers over the neutral waters of the Black and Baltic Seas, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Friday.

On May 29, 2020, the air defense duty forces of the Western and Southern military districts timely revealed the actions of the U.S. Air Force B-1B strategic bombers over the neutral waters of the Black and Baltic Seas and scrambled Russian fighters to escort them,” the statement made available to Xinhua read.

“At a considerable distance from the state border of Russia, U.S. bombers were continuously followed by Russian radar controls,” it said.

“To intercept targets, Su-27P and Su-30SM fighters from the air defense duty forces of the Southern Military District were scrambled,” it added.

According to the statement, the crews of the Russian fighters approached the air targets within a safe distance and identified them as B-1B strategic aircraft, after which the U.S. bombers changed their flight course and flew away from Russian state border.

The ministry emphasized in the statement that the flights of Russian combat aircraft proceeded “in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace.”

After completing the task, the Russian fighter jets safely returned to their airbases, it said.

(XINHUA)

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Russia to supply 1 mln COVID-19 test kits to foreign partners: PM

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Russia will supply 1 million COVID-19 test kits in the near future to its foreign partners, most of whom are from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Friday.

“Our countries do not only have common borders but also a single epidemiological space,” Mishustin said at an online meeting of heads of government of the CIS members.

He said that the CIS countries have cooperated with each other and collectively taken measures to fight the pandemic and monitor the situation.

The CIS countries have exchanged methods of combating the outbreak and provided necessary assistance, including test kits and other supplies, Mishustin said.

He said that Russia has already sent hundreds of thousands of test kits to its CIS partners.

Founded in 1991 as a regional organization for former Soviet republics, the CIS comprises Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Ukraine and Turkmenistan are associate members.

(XINHUA)

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