The relations between Russia and Israel are constructive and friendly today. They have a great potential for development. The diplomatic relations between the former USSR and Israel were established on May 18th, 1948. The now defunct Soviet Union was one of the first to recognize the Jewish state. However, Israel is the only country with which the former USSR leadership severed diplomatic relations twice. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were restored in 1991.
This week saw the worst foreign intervention in the two-year conflict in Syria. On May 3rd and 5th Israeli planes carried out a series of air strikes against strategic facilities in Syria.
Syrian missiles have been directed against Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories after Israeli warplanes struck several military facilities near the Syrian capital Damascus late last week.
President Putin is to visit Japan. The Russian leader accepted an invitation extended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he was in Moscow on Monday and Tuesday on the first visit to Russia by a Japanese government head in 10 years.
A gala concert in connection with the opening of the Second Stage of the Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theatre in St.Petersburg brought together a powerful array of politicians, actors, musicians, dancers and foreign guests on Thursday.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold talks in Moscow on April 28th through April 30th, in what is seen to be the first visit to Russia by a Japanese top official in the past 10 years. The two sides will focus on measures to address the territorial issue and promote energy cooperation and mutual investment.
New dates are being predicted for possible North Korean ballistic missile launches. Earlier, April 15, the birth anniversary of North Korea’ founder and “eternal” leader Kim Il Sung, was widely believed to be a potential launch date.
The United Nations peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has denied rumors of his resignation spread by his opponents. Speaking at a nearly 3-hour conference in the UN Security Council on Friday, Mr.Brahimi said reports about his resignation from the post of UN envoy to Syria had nothing to do with reality. “Every morning I wake up I think I should resign, but I haven’t so far”, Brahimi said.
On Friday, UN-Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is due to brief the UN Security Council on the situation in Syria. The speech is expected to be followed by his announcement of his resignation that was endorsed by the Arab League earlier this month.
Rumors that Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations and League of Arab States’ special representative for Syria, may resign are strongly exaggerated. According to UN diplomatic sources, he intendsto distance himself from the LAS, while retaining his post as a UN emissary. Brahimi has every reason to be disappointed with the Arab League’s tough stance on Syria.
Moscow and Washington are ramping up joint diplomatic efforts to settle the crisis around the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The issue was raised during a meeting of Russian officials with the US National Security Adviser, Tom Donilon, in the Moscow Kremlin on Monday, a meeting that was briefly joined by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As the crisis involving North Korea is nearing its peak, the US, China, Russia, Japan and other partners express readiness for dialogue in every imaginable format: Washington-Pyongyang, Pyongyang-Seoul, North Korea – US – China – Russia – Japan – South Korea. Will Pyongyang respond with a mid-range ballistic missile test or will it act as a state seeking respect from the international community?
The “war of nerves” in Northeast Asia gathers strength. Earlier this week, Pyongyang again warned Seoul that the war on the Korean Peninsula may start at any moment, while Japanese authorities mistakenly announced the launch of a North Korean missile. Against this backdrop, the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee head Alexei Pushkov said that US President Barack Obama’s possible phone call to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un could significantly add to defusing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The blatant violation by North Korea of UN Security Council resolutions is unacceptable, Russian Foreign MinisterSergei Lavrov said, commenting on reports that Pyongyang may carry out yet another nuclear test and yet another ballistic missile launch.
The Korean Peninsula is on the brink of a war. Last night, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered to put missile units on stand-by. Potential targets are the US mainland and American bases in South Korea and the Pacific. The decree was signed after two American stealth bombers carried out bombing on the South Korean territory during an exercise.
The West is presently in a state of shock. Hundreds of Muslims with the passports of Britain, France and a number of other countries of the European Union (EU), who are currently fighting on the side of radical groups in Syria, may return to Europe, according to a report of Britain’s Ministry of the Interior. Its authors say that the followers of Radical Islam may commit sabotage and terrorist attacks.
The League of Arab States has withdrawn from the process of solving the Syrian crisis peacefully, Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said commenting on the Arab League’s decision to grant a seat to the Syrian opposition at its summit. On Tuesday, the Syrian opposition participated in the Arab League’s ministerial meeting in Doha as Syria’s official representative.
Recently, Syria’s authorities turned to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with a request to initiate an investigation of the explosion of a missile with poisonous chemical substances, which took place near the Syrian city of Aleppo on March 19. Mr. Ban, in his turn, asked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to start such an investigation, and the organization agreed.
The United Nations should provide a quick response to Syria’s request for investigating the use of chemical weapons near Aleppo on March 19th. A statement to this effect was made by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov who wrote in his blog urging the UN chief Ban Ki-moon to create an unbiased panel of experts, including from Russia, which would conduct an impartial inquiry into the incident.
A rocket loaded with chemical agents hit a suburb of Aleppo in northwestern Syria on Tuesday in the first ever such incident since the Syrian conflict broke out two years ago. The government and the anti-Assad opposition are pointing fingers at each other. Experts polled by the Voice of Russia agree that a chemical weapons provocation, which it does seem to be, may change the entire course of the crisis and pave the way for outside intervention.