posted by ZUKUNASHI at 21:22| Comment(0) | Covid19


Kiev flags obstacle to Xi-Zelensky talks
China has yet to decide whether it wants to mediate in the Ukraine conflict or “carefully stand aside,” top Kiev official claimed
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky may hold negotiations but the preparatory work has stumbled into certain complications, Mikhail Podoliak, a senior aide to the Ukrainian leader, said on Thursday.

Speaking on Ukrainian national TV, Podoliak confirmed plans for talks between the two leaders, claiming that this initiative had been floated by Kiev. He added that the groundwork is being laid by both the Ukrainian presidential office and by the foreign ministry.

However, “this is quite difficult,” the presidential aide pointed out. “The issue is that China has not yet found its new political place. That is, whether it wants to take upon itself the question of settlement between Russia and Ukraine, or whether it will still carefully stand aside”.

“China hasn’t figured this out for itself yet, as I see it,” Podoliak added.

He also described Zelensky as virtually the only leader capable of “clarifying the consequences of finalization of the war in a wrongful manner,” including to those countries which position themselves as neutral.

Xi’s plans to speak with Zelensky after his three-day state visit to Moscow and talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin were first reported by the Wall Street Journal last week.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk stated that, while the sides “have things to say to each other,” it was still unclear whether the negotiations would take place “for sure.”

The possibility of direct talks between Xi and Zelensky, which could become the first since the Ukraine conflict broke out in February 2022, was also hailed by the US. Last week, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Washington had been encouraging the Chinese leader to reach out to Kiev, explaining that he “himself should hear directly the Ukrainian perspective and not just the Russian perspective” on the ongoing hostilities.

Meanwhile, last month, when asked about potential talks between Xi and Zelensky, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin noted that Beijing “has maintained smooth communication with all relevant parties, including Ukraine,” while reiterating China’s commitment to a peaceful settlement of the crisis.






火曜日、ウクライナのイリーナ・ベレシュチュク副首相は、双方が "お互いに言いたいことはある "が、交渉が "確実に "行われるかはまだ不明であると述べた。


posted by ZUKUNASHI at 20:59| Comment(0) | ウクライナ

海外情報 2023/3/24

Swiss-made armor appears in Ukraine
Switzerland struggles to explain how Mowag vehicles got to the front, after photo evidence emerges
The government in Bern is trying to figure out who violated export control laws after Mowag-made Eagle armored cars were photographed in Ukrainian-held territory, the newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) reported on Wednesday.

Switzerland’s War Materiel Act explicitly prohibits re-exports of Swiss-made equipment to anyone involved in armed conflict. Bern is facing immense pressure from the US and its allies to carve out an exemption for Ukraine, and the legislature is currently debating a proposal to do just that.

Against the backdrop of those discussions, the NZZ noted that at least one and maybe two Swiss-made cars had already been delivered to the government in Kiev. One was documented in Chasov Yar, a short distance from the embattled Artyomovsk (known in Ukraine as Bakhmut). Spanish war photographer Jose Colon snapped a picture of the vehicle in the town square and posted it on Instagram in mid-February. The same model was spotted earlier this week by an AFP photographer in Avdeevka, on a different section of the frontline.

The photos clearly show the Eagle I, an armored car made by Mowag in Kreuzlingen. The company is a subsidiary of the US-based General Dynamics Land Systems. The Eagle I was based on the first-generation American Hummvee, and has several distinguishing features that made identification easy – including the back hatch and the side mirrors.
Ex-Russian president touts defense industry's capacity
Manufacturers will roll out 1,500 tanks this year, Dmitry Medvedev has predicted
Russia is rapidly boosting its military production capacity to meet the demands of the Ukraine campaign, Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chair of the country's national security council, has told journalists.
Ukrainian special forces getting military targets from CIA satellite – Times
The data is used to launch drone attacks against Russian servicemen, a unit commander told the outlet
Soldiers of Ukraine’s ‘Thor’ special operations group are using satellite data provided by the CIA to choose targets when conducting drone strikes against Russian forces, the unit’s commander told The Times.

The 27-man group, which is formally a police special operations unit, functions independently from the Ukrainian army and works in close collaboration with the country's military intelligence, the GUR, which provides them with ammunition and intel. According to The Times, the unit has complete license to select its missions, where it barracks and when it fights.

The unit’s commander, whose name is said to also be Thor, claims he uses a special application on a tablet that is synced to a CIA satellite to select potential targets for their attacks.

“We select targets in the program, and targets can be placed there both by the CIA satellite and by our own satellite, which our volunteers pay for. Information is collected from all kinds of sources there. We choose, then we arrive and conduct our own reconnaissance,” Thor told the outlet.
Another member of the group told the Times that Thor also intentionally uses drones to maim – rather than kill – Russian servicemen. “These ones are to wound the Russians,” Aleksander, 30, told The Times as he armed a 3D-printed drone with mining explosives. “Take an arm or a leg, he will be a burden on the state forever,” he said.

According to the Times, all members of Thor are veterans of Ukraine’s 2014 military operation against anti-Kiev rebels in the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Both territories, along with the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, were incorporated into Russia last year following public referendums.

Moscow has long accused the US and its allies of being directly involved in the Ukraine conflict and essentially waging a “proxy war” against Russia by continuing to provide Kiev’s forces with increasingly advanced weaponry, ammunition and intelligence.
ウクライナの特殊部隊、CIAの衛星から軍事目標を入手 - タイムズ紙 Russia warns of future global oil shortage
Minister echoes comments from OPEC, which also believes that danger lies ahead
The global market will face oil supply shortages within the next few years due to a lack of investment in the industry, Russian Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin warned on Thursday.

Oil production is now “underinvested” due to the “actions of Western countries,” he said, referring to a shift towards renewable energy that has prompted companies around the world to slash investment in hydrocarbons.

“Investments [in oil production] are now 20-25% below the pre-Covid level, which means that in three to five years we will have a fairly significant drop in new, commissioned capacities. This means that the burden will fall on the OPEC+ countries that are trying to continue to invest,” Sorokin stated.

His remarks echo forecasts by OPEC, which believes the global oil industry needs more financing as demand continues to rise due to an emphasis on energy security, even as the world moves towards renewable energy.

The alliance of oil-producing countries has said in its reports that crude is expected to retain the largest share in the global energy mix, and that the industry would require $12.1 trillion in investment by 2045 to meet global demand.

Earlier this week, Russia announced that it would extend its unilateral production cut of 500,000 barrels per day for another three months until the end of June. The move contributed to a stabilization of crude oil prices, which fell sharply last week on concerns that the Western banking crisis could weaken global energy demand.

Russia decided to voluntarily cut oil output in March in retaliation for an oil-price cap introduced by the West, which it said would eventually result in scarce supply and trigger uncertainty on the global market.







Joint Russia-Africa bank proposed
Burkina Faso wants to use a financial institution to facilitate payments and boost trade with Moscow, an official has confirmed
Burkina Faso has suggested creating a joint bank with Russia to facilitate financial transactions between the two countries and promote trade, the speaker of the Transitional Legislative Assembly, Ousmane Bougouma, said on Wednesday.

“I think that when it comes to strengthening cooperation with Russia in key areas of the economy, it is very important that we explore the possibility of creating a joint bank between Russia and Africa with a branch in Burkina Faso,” he said.

The establishment of a joint financial institution will pave the way for broader cooperation between Russia and the West African country, the official said, adding that it would be “useful” for mutual trade and investment.

In January, the prime minister of Burkina Faso, Apollinaire Joachim Kyelem de Tambela, proposed setting up a joint committee to boost trade and economic relations with Moscow.
READ MORE: Putin makes prediction about Africa

Earlier this week, the first State Duma deputy chairman, Aleksandr Zhukov, said that Africa was “a rapidly developing region with great prospects,” adding that Russia is currently “actively working” to expand cooperation with countries in the continent.

“Our mutual economic interests include investments, cooperation within production chains, cooperation in strategic infrastructure projects, energy, medicine, financial technologies, and that, of course, along with the traditional supply of grain and fertilizers,” he said at the International Parliamentary Conference ‘Russia – Africa in a Multipolar World’.

Russia is “determined to continue building a strategic partnership” with African nations, while multiple Russian state-owned and private companies are already actively investing on the continent.

"経済の重要な分野でロシアとの協力を強化する場合、ブルキナファソに支店を持つロシアとアフリカの共同銀行を設立する可能性を探ることが非常に重要だと思います "と彼は述べた。






Wagner boss dismisses Bloomberg claim about his company
The Wagner Group will fight in Ukraine for as long as Russia needs it, company founder Evgeny Prigozhin said
The Wagner private military company has no plans to scale back its operations in Ukraine, its founder, Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, said on Thursday. Earlier the same day, Bloomberg claimed, citing unnamed sources, that Wagner is planning to concentrate on its operations in Africa instead.

"I do not know what Bloomberg is reporting about. Apparently, they know better than myself what we will do further. As long as we are needed by our nation, we will fight on the territory of Ukraine," Prigozhin said in a statement published on Telegram, responding to questions put by Russian media outlet URA.ru.

On Thursday, Bloomberg claimed that ammunition and personnel shortages had prompted Prigozhin to "shift focus back to Africa." The media outlet also repeatedly pointed to the fact that Wagner Group forces had still failed to fully seize the strategic Ukrainian city of Artyomovsk, referred to as Bakhmut in Ukraine.


木曜日、ブルームバーグは、弾薬と人員の不足が、プリゴジンに "アフリカに焦点を戻すよう促した "と主張した。同メディアはまた、ワグネルグループの部隊が、ウクライナでバクムートと呼ばれるウクライナの戦略都市アルチョモフスクをいまだに完全に奪取できていない事実を繰り返し指摘した。

US ‘uneasy’ about China’s Ukraine peace plan – media
Washington fears that other states will believe it doesn't want an end to the conflict, Bloomberg has reported
There is a “sense of unease” in the White House about the consequences of its dismissal of the Chinese peace plan for Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing an unnamed official in the administration of President Joe Biden.

In February, the US publicly brushed off the roadmap for peace presented by China for the conflict between Russia and its neighbor.

However, Bloomberg reported that Washington now fears it could be “backed into a corner” by Beijing’s proposals, with the Biden administration said to be concerned that it has created the impression that the US does not want peace.

America’s stance could be used by Beijing to convince nations that are weary of the conflict that the US has no interest in ending the hostilities, Bloomberg added.

“China will likely ramp up messaging that the US is opposed to a ceasefire, that the US is opposed to the end of the war,” former Pentagon official Bonny Lin, who is now a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the media outlet.

The Bloomberg report follows a three-day visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow this week, during which he held extensive talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Moscow had previously welcomed the Chinese peace initiative for Ukraine, and during this week’s talks Putin expressed his readiness to discuss and build upon it. He also reiterated that Moscow is willing to seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

The peace plan presented by China called for the resumption of talks between Moscow and Kiev. It also condemned unilateral sanctions, and urged the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations to be upheld.

Along with Washington, other Western powers largely brushed off the initiative, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claiming that China does not have “much credibility” on the issue. However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken did later admit that the plan includes “positive elements.”

Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the Biden administration for failing to prevent what he described as a “wedding” between Moscow and Beijing. Downplaying the increasingly close ties between Russia and China “is an enormous strategic mistake,” Pompeo insisted.







NATOのイェンス・ストルテンベルグ事務総長は、この問題に関して中国は「あまり信用できない」と主張した。しかし、米国のアントニー・ブリンケン国務長官は、この計画に "ポジティブな要素 "が含まれていることを後に認めています。

マイク・ポンペオ前米国務長官は、水曜日にFox Newsに出演し、バイデン政権がモスクワと北京の「結婚式」と表現されるものを防げなかったと批判した。ポンペオ氏は、ロシアと中国がますます緊密になっていることを軽視することは、「巨大な戦略的誤りである」と主張した。

US planning ‘special envoy’ for Russia’s main ally – Blinken
The new appointee will have a role in supporting exiled forces opposing the government of Belarus
The US government will “very soon” select a special envoy for Belarus, to coordinate Washington’s efforts to bolster the country’s Lithuania-based opposition, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has told senators.

The pledge was made during a visit to the US by Belarusian opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who urged Western nations to “de-recognize” the government in Minsk.

Blinken was questioned about the lack of a special envoy for Belarus by Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire during a budget hearing held by the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Without such an official, “there is no one who could encourage the Europeans and the US to work together or to serve as a conduit for the opposition movement,” the lawmaker claimed.

The secretary of state said he was considering appointing “a senior official in our European Affairs Bureau to also serve as the envoy, to be able to then go in and out, engaged at senior levels with the opposition”.

The department already has a Belarus Affairs Unit in Lithuania, where many of the opposition forces are based, and the envoy would complement “day-in and day-out engagement” by that office, Blinken suggested.

Belarus, a key ally of Russia, underwent mass protests and riots in 2020, after the opposition accused President Alexander Lukashenko’s government of rigging the ballot to ensure his re-election.

Presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has emerged as the West’s preferred choice of anti-Lukashenko figurehead in the wake of the turmoil. She is currently touring the US to meet senior officials in Washington and rally support.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met her on Wednesday to outline the US “intent to launch a comprehensive Strategic Dialogue” with Belarusian opposition forces and “bring together relevant agencies of the US government engaged on Belarus,” according to a statement released by the State Department.
米国、ロシアの主要同盟国に「特使」計画 - Blinken








Russian wanted by US escapes from Italian house arrest – ANSA
Governor's son Artyom Uss has reportedly disappeared after a court in Milan approved his extradition, according to the news agency
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 13:59| Comment(0) | 国際・政治