Connect with us

International

Estonia backs using frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine

Published

on

Riga, May 13 (IANS/DPA) Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has welcomed EU plans for transferring interest accrued on frozen Russian financial assets to Ukraine.

“This will mean real funds for Ukraine to buy weapons,” Kallas said following a meeting of the prime ministers of the three Baltic republics in Vilnius.

“But we can’t stop there. We must find a way to use Russian frozen assets as well,” Kallas said. Russia had caused damage to Ukraine “and they should pay for it,” Kallas added.

She indicated that Estonia planned to take the lead in transferring to Ukraine the Russian assets frozen in the country as part of sanctions on Russian in response to its February 2022 invasion.

Draft legislation had passed a second reading in the Estonian parliament and should be passed before the summer recess, she said.

Attempts had been made to make it as legally watertight as possible, while also acting within the principles of the law.

ALSO READ:  Hamas official says no agreement with Israel if war continues in Gaza

“We have shared our draft law with our Baltic colleagues and other colleagues outside,” Kallas said. She expressed the expectation that other EU countries would follow the Estonian lead.

Many EU member states have expressed reservations about using the seized assets, both on legal grounds and for fear of Russian retaliation.

–IANS

dan/

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

International

German Chancellor calls on climate activists to end their hunger strike

Published

on

By

Berlin, May 25 (IANS/DPA) German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called on the climate activists taking part in a hunger strike in Berlin to end it.

“It is my greatest wish that the action be stopped,” Scholz said on Friday at the Democracy Festival in Berlin. “I think it is a mistake to use violence against others, but violence against oneself is also a mistake.”

Scholz added: “Violence against oneself is not good for democracy. And that’s why I’m asking for this campaign to be cancelled.”

Two participants in the “Starve until you are honest” campaign have since called off their hunger strike, while others are continuing despite the risks to their health.

They are living in a camp near the Federal Economy Ministry in Berlin. According to their own statements, the climate activists want to persuade Scholz to make a government statement on the excessive concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the urgency of changing course.

ALSO READ:  Death toll in Russia terror attack rises to 133

Scholz made it clear at the citizens’ dialogue at the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Germany’s constitution or Basic Law, that he attends similar events every week.

People could ask him any question and he would answer them. “In a society where it is so easy to talk to the federal chancellor, you don’t have to go on a hunger strike to get that done.”

–IANS/DPA

int/sha

Continue Reading

International

Man suspected of spying for Russia arrested in Romania

Published

on

By

Budapest, May 25 (IANS/DPA) A Romanian man has been arrested on suspicion of spying for Russia for the past two years, prosecutors in Bucharest said on Friday.

His suspected Russian contact, a diplomat, was expelled.

Since 2022, the Romanian man had been “collecting information of a military nature and taking photographs of military combat equipment and the movement of personnel in the border area with Ukraine,” the statement said.

The man is suspected of spying on Romanian or NATO military positions located in the vicinity of the city of Tulcea, it continued.

Tulcea is located on the Danube Delta, about 7 kilometres from the Ukrainian border. There are transport connections to Ukraine from there.

The suspect had transmitted this data to the Russian embassy in the Romanian capital Bucharest, the public prosecutor’s office added.

The Russian diplomat was declared persona non grata in connection with the espionage case at the suggestion of the Romanian domestic intelligence service (SRI), intelligence officials announced.

ALSO READ:  Hamas official says no agreement with Israel if war continues in Gaza

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bucharest also confirmed the Russian’s expulsion, but did not state the exact reason for the move.

As is usual in such cases, it only noted a violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

An investigating judge has ordered that the suspected spy, who is a Romanian citizen, be remanded in custody for an initial period of 30 days.

The investigation was conducted by a special unit of the Romanian public prosecutor’s office, which is responsible for organized crime and terrorism, in collaboration with the country’s domestic intelligence service, NATO’s intelligence service and Romania’s army.

Following searches of the suspect’s home, several pieces of evidence were identified and seized, investigators said.

He had tried to submit his candidature for the local elections planned for June, but without success.

–IANS/DPA

int/sha

Continue Reading

International

Hezbollah leader threatens 'surprise' attacks against Israel

Published

on

By

Beirut, May 25 (IANS) Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has threatened to launch “surprise” attacks against Israel after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he has “surprising” military plans for Lebanon.

“You must expect surprises from our resistance,” the Hezbollah leader said during a televised speech on Friday.

Nasrallah also claimed that “the resistance” is well-prepared for any surprising attacks from Israel, saying they have “studied all hypotheses and scenarios”, Xinhua news agency reported.

In a meeting with several Israeli generals on Thursday, Netanyahu said Israel has “detailed, important, and even surprising plans for the North,” namely the country’s northern neighbour Lebanon.

“We are constantly in action on the northern front,” Netanyahu said, adding Israel has “eliminated hundreds” of Hezbollah members.

Tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border escalated on Oct. 8, 2023, following a barrage of rockets launched by Hezbollah toward Israel in solidarity with Hamas’ attack on Israel the day before. Israel then retaliated by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.

ALSO READ:  Soaring inflation drives up wedding costs for Turkish couples

–IANS

int/sha

Continue Reading

International

Ready to continue talks with Ukraine, but on previous agreements: Putin

Published

on

By

Minsk, May 25 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that his country is ready to continue negotiations with Ukraine, but only based on the agreements reached before.

“Well, let them (negotiations) return, but not from what one side wants, but based on those agreements reached during negotiations in Belarus and Turkey and based on the current situation on the ground,” Putin told a press conference on Friday following talks with his Belarusian counterpart, Aleksandr Lukashenko, in Minsk.

The Istanbul agreements satisfied both the Ukrainian and the Russian sides in 2022, Putin said, adding that Russia supports the resumption of negotiations with Ukraine, Xinhua news agency reported.

–IANS

int/sha

ALSO READ:  Hamas official says no agreement with Israel if war continues in Gaza
Continue Reading

International

Egypt, US agree to deliver aid to Gaza via Kerem Shalom crossing

Published

on

By

Cairo, May 25 (IANS) Egypt and the US have agreed on sending large quantities of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The decision was made on Friday during a phone conversation between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his US counterpart Joe Biden, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to an Egyptian presidential statement, this would be a temporary procedure until “a legal mechanism is reached” to resume the operation of the Rafah crossing from the Palestinian side.

The statement did not detail with whom the mechanism would possibly be reached, but the White House said Friday that Biden, via the phone talk, expressed his commitment to support efforts to reopen the Rafah crossing with arrangements acceptable to both Egypt and Israel and agreed to send a senior team to Cairo next week for further discussions.

The Rafah crossing had served as a major entry point for humanitarian aid into Gaza before the Israeli military, which is a war with Gaza-ruling Hamas, took control of it on May 7, forcing the aid delivery there to a halt. The next day, Israel announced the reopening of the Kerem Shalom crossing between it and Gaza.

ALSO READ:  Soaring inflation drives up wedding costs for Turkish couples

The Kerem Shalom crossing, known in Egypt as the “Karam Abu Salem crossing,” sits south of the Rafah crossing and at the junction of two borders — one between Egypt and Gaza and the other between Israel and the enclave.

In the phone talk, the two leaders also called for intensifying international efforts to end the protracted humanitarian crisis in Gaza, said the Egyptian presidency.

They rejected any attempt to displace the Palestinians from their land, affirming their support for all means aimed at preventing the aggravation and expansion of the conflict, it noted.

–IANS

int/sha

Continue Reading

Trending