‘U.S. Wants To Make Ukraine Anti-Russian State,’ Says Duma Member
The head of the Russian State Duma Foreign Relations Committee, Aleksei Pushkov, believes Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko tends to work on instructions from Washington, and these concentrate on making Ukraine an anti-Russian state. “I get the impression that Poroshenko is completely oriented toward the United States, that the European Union is a second-priority project for him. He connects his political ambitions mostly with Washington,” Pushkov told Izvestia in an interview. He added that European leaders mostly want the situation in Ukraine to stabilize, while the United States seeks to turn the country into “an openly anti-Russian nation, in the future dragging it into NATO.”
“Today the country is run by forces that see conflict with Russia as a self-sufficient objective. The conflict helps Kiev to establish the national identity that is not being formed from within, but results from the standoff with Moscow. This is the identity they intend to use to gain ground in the international political arena,” said the member of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s Parliament.
“The Russian delegation will not take part in the June session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. We have suspended our cooperation with the assembly until they lift sanctions from our delegation,” said Pushkov, who heads the Russian delegation to PACE in his capacity as chairman of the State Duma foreign affairs committee.
Russia’s decision follows the fact that at PACE’S last session in April, it voted to suspend Russia’s voting rights and right to participate in the election-observance missions until the end of the year, after Crimea voted to reunite with Russia.
Rasmussen Calls for Increased NATO Buildup Against Russia
Stonewalling against Russian offers to enter a dialogue with NATO, the Secretary General of the Western alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, used a press conference in Brussels two days ago, in the wake of a NATO-Russia Council meeting that yielded no results, to call on NATO members to boost their military budgets. He complained that, whereas Russia has been continuously increased its own military spending, most NATO members in Europe have even reduced theirs, so that the West faces the danger of no longer being able to cope with Russia, Rasmussen claimed. His hysteria was echoed by the Poles and Baltic states, the Polish Defense Ministry most outspoken in calling for a substantial increase of foreign combat troops stationed on its territory.
Let Them Have Cake and Eat It Too
Moscow Sends New High-Speed Train to Berlin, Instead of Kiev
The Ukrainian crisis has reduced passenger volumes on the rail connection from Moscow to Kiev by 50%. Therefore, Russia’s new high-speed train Talgo will not serve this destination from Moscow, but instead will go to Minsk, Warsaw, and Berlin, Russian Railways (RZD) told the media yesterday. On that route, a passenger volume substantial enough can be expected to make the Talgo efficient.
RZD signed the agreement for the purchase of the Talgo with its Spanish producer, Patentes, two years ago. The deal involves the delivery of seven trains with 20 cars each, to be delivered to Russia in 2014 and 2015. The Talgo travels at a maximum speed of 200 kmh and has the technological advantage over other high-speed train systems that it can switch automatically from the wider Russian gauge of 1520 mm to the smaller European one of 1435.