Ukraine Developments, July 11th

Russians Keep Pursuing Diplomatic Approach to Ukraine

Russian president Vladimir Putin held another phone discussion with German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande yesterday, in which they discussed the Ukraine crisis. Due to the ongoing offensive by Kiev, with Western protection, plans for the next contact group meeting which the three have called for, have not materialized.
Ceasefire Still Needed

American University in Moscow Educates Washington

In a wraparound ad in the Washington Times yesterday, the American University in Moscow (U.S.-Russia.org) advertises a September 8-9 conference in Moscow on “Advancing a Constructive Agency for U.S.-Russia Relations,” but that’s not all. On the inside and back pages, the ad provides meaty quotes from Russian experts, along with plentiful, striking pictures, that expose the lies and insanity behind Obama administration policy toward Russia, especially on Ukraine.
The Headlines

Yakunin: Sanctions Will Hurt Europe More than Russia

Speaking at a conference in Athens, Vladimir Yakunin, president of the Russian State Railways, warned that economic sanctions against Russia will hurt Europe more than Russia. Speaking about foreign investment in Greece, Yakunin said that “sanctions imposed on a number of Russian companies and individuals abort an opportunity to attract as many investors as possible.”

“It is widely-known and it is enough to read publications, for instance, in Germany,” Yakunin told the participants of a conference organized by the Economist and entitled “The 18th Roundtable with the Government of Greece.”

“Not long ago a special campaign launched by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was on view and all of you know about the fact. But now more people in the U.S. have come to the realization that the sanctions have no results and do not help. Russia’s isolation does no good to the development of the world, Europe and Russia as well: I would be much more disappointed if this method to communicate with Russia would go ahead.”
It was only the Nazis

South Stream Contract Signed in Serbia: President Nikolic on Ukraine

Against the wishes of the European Union and the United States, a new contract, worth EU2.1 billion to complete construction of the South Stream gas pipeline, was signed in Serbia by South Stream Serbia Director Duan Bajatovic and Gazprom International Projects head Aleksandar Siromyatin, with Centrgaz Director Stanislav Anikeyev. The first gas deliveries via South Stream in Serbia could take place as planned, by late 2016.
‘Tito was Right

Centrgaz won a tender called by South Stream Serbia to build the pipeline in Serbia. Bajatovic expressed special gratitude to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic for “helping solve some open issues, which made the signing of the contract possible.”Vucic spent two days in Moscow, where he met with President Putin on July 8, having met with Prime Minister Dmitri Mevedev the day before. After meeting with Putin at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence near Moscow, Vucic told Serbian journalists that a contract concerning the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline on the territory of Serbia will be signed in Belgrade “today or tomorrow.”

Vucic also expressed that he was “very satisfied” with the results of his visit and the friendly reception he received, adding that he was “very grateful to the Russian side for their understanding for the problems in Serbia.”

President Tomislav Nikolic, during a donors conference yesterday to raise funds for reconstruction, following the extensive flooding earlier this year, said Serbia will not take sides in the Ukrainian conflict. “It would be very unpleasant if we were forced to take sides. That would even divide Serbia. Many people in Serbia are Russophiles,” he was quoted as saying by the Serbian radio station, B92. He continued that Serbia “will seek to become a bridge for investment between east and west,” and noted that the country “needs trade and investment after devastating floods in May caused $2 billion in damage.”

Nikolic said his “east-west orientation follows one pursued by former Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito.” He said, “Nowadays, Tito’s foreign policy concept is the only right choice.” Although unmentioned, Tito was a founding head of state of the Non-Aligned Movement of countries, founded in Belgrade in 1961 that would align with neither NATO nor the Warsaw Pact.

Furthermore, said Nikolic, the conflict between the EU and Russia over Ukraine “won’t affect Serbia’s plans to build its arm of the South Stream pipeline…Serbia has friends both in the West and in the East and they must not tear us apart, pulling us one way or the other. I don’t expect Serbia to be in a position to make a choice between the two, because Serbia would not be able to choose,” Nikolic said.

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