• Belarus on verge of economic collapse as foreign currency reserves dry out

    The National Bank of Belarus continues to lose its gold and currency reserves as the value of Belarus ruble continues to fall.  In April the Belarusian ruble broke the "bottom" reached during the summer protests and set a new historical low.

    In the five quarters from January 2020 to April 2021, foreign currency reserves of Belarus decreased by 25% - from $9.2 billion to $6.9 billion.

    Since the beginning of 2021, the reserves of the National Bank have lost $310 million due to the repayment of …

  • Russia closes Kerch Strait to Ukraine

    Russia has announced the that it is closing the Kerch Strait for warships of Ukraine and other countries during its military exercises, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

    According to Kyiv, the decision comes into force from next week and will be in effect until October. It extends to parts of the Black Sea adjacent to the Kerch Strait.

    "Such actions of the Russian Federation are yet another violation of the norms and principles of international law. They are intended to usurp …

  • Russian Foreign Ministry summons U.S. ambassador, warns of serious response to sanctions

    On April 15, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov met with U.S. Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan, reported the press service of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    The ministry said that the Russian side gave an assessment of the "unacceptable actions of the American side", which allegedly inflicted a heavy blow to the Russian Federation instead of the stated intention to build pragmatic relations.

    Ryabkov told Sullivan that "a series of retaliatory measures will follow" in the near …

  • Ankara: Turkey does not side with anyone in Russia-Ukraine conflict

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country does not take sides in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

    "Turkey has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine," Cavusoglu said in an interview with the Turkish news agency NTV.

    Cavusoglu said Turkey wants to see peace in the Black Sea region, but existing tensions between Russia and Ukraine are hampering that. He stressed that Ankara would like a diplomatic solution to this conflict.

    "We don't take sides. Our position is …

  • Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany: Ukraine will consider restoring its nuclear status if not accepted in NATO

    If Ukraine is not accepted into NATO, it may consider restoring its nuclear status to defend against Russia, said Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk on Deutschlandfunk radio.

    According to him, to date, about 90,000 Russian military personnel have been transferred to the borders of Ukraine, the annexed Crimea and territories of the Donbas which are not under Kyiv’s control. The intelligence information indicates that their number will increase to 110,000.

    The Ambassador drew …

  • U.S. slams sanctions on Russia's sovereign debt

    The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Russia's sovereign debt, which will take effect on June 14, the White House said in a statement released Thursday.

    U.S. financial institutions are prohibited “from participation in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation; and lending ruble or non-ruble denominated …

  • Russia to spend another $290 billion on weapons production

    The Russian state program of arms production, which started in 2007 and was extended in 2011 and 2018, is becoming indefinite in the post-Soviet history of Russia.

    Having spent almost 22 trillion ($290 billion) rubles over ten years on the rearmament of the army, the Kremlin plans to keep the financing of the defense procurement at the same levels until 2035, Andrei Yelchaninov, the first deputy chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission of the Russian Federation, said in an interview with …

  • Ukraine begins large-scale military exercises near Crimea

    The command of the Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation reported that Ukrainian Armed Forces have begun large-scale military exercise near the border of the annexed Crimea. According to the scenario of the exercises, Ukrainian military will train to repel an invasion of a hypothetical enemy.

    Tank and artillery units will be taking part in the exercises.

    According to the Commander of the Joint Forces Operations, General Naev, the exercises will be held in real-life conditions.

    He noted that the …

  • Russia sends 15 warships from Caspian to Black Sea

    Fifteen warships of the Russian Caspian flotilla are heading to the Black Sea “for exercises”, reported the Russian agency Interfax with reference to the press service of the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation.

    According to the Russian military, 8 landing ships, 3 artillery boats and support vessels from the Caspian Flotilla will carry out post-winter readiness checks.

    To reach the Black Sea, the Russian ships travelled 100 kilometers along the Volga-Don Canal passing 13 …

  • Kremlin: Russia prepares to part ways with Visa and Mastercard

    Russia is "hedging its risks" in the event of a disconnection from international payment systems, including Visa and Mastercard, said Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

    According to him, such a scenario "cannot be ruled out" given the "unfriendly and sometimes even hostile behavior" of Western countries.

    "Restrictions on Russia are used by a number of countries that as such an illegal from the international law point of view deterrent for Russia," Peskov said.

    He added that the …