Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, has said that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden withdrew his request for political asylum in Russia as soon as President Vladimir Putin made clear that he would be welcome only if he stopped “his work aimed at bringing harm” to the US. Peskov said on Tuesday that Snowden is staying in the transit area of Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. Peskov’s statement followed Putin’s announcement that Snowden’s request will be considered only if he stops revealing secrets related to US interests. Putin affirmed that Edward Snowden is not a Russian secret agent and that Russian intelligence agencies have not collaborated with him.
- Obama to meet Turkey's Erdogan in China on September 4
Obama wants to talk with Erdogan about events in Turkey after July's attempted coup, the military campaign against Islamic State, and how to promote stability in Syria, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters. The White House said it opposes Turkey's push into areas in northern Syria controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, an opposition group the Obama administration supports, as it stands to erode the united front against Islamic State. The Obama-Erdogan meeting is scheduled for September 4. It was not certain whether Obama would hold a formal meeting with the Russian president during the G20…... [read more]
- Ukraine rejects Russia's new ambassador
(VOVworld) - A Ukrainian foreign ministry official said Ukraine has rejected Russia's proposed candidate for its next ambassador to Kiev. Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov (Source: REUTERS/VASILY FEDOSENKO) Olena Zerkal, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for European Integration said in an interview on Channel 5 on Wednesday that Kiev has rejected the candidate without giving any reason. The Kremlin proposed Mikhail Babich, who has held a number of senior posts in Russia including with the Federal Security Service (FSB), to replace Mikhail Zurabov as Ambassador to Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia is still offering Babich as…... [read more]
- FBI investigates hacking of Democratic congressional group
Hacking of the party's emails has clouded this week's Democratic convention in Philadelphia. The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion against a major Democratic Party congressional fundraising group, an attack that may be related to an earlier hack against the party apparatus, four people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The previously unreported incident at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, and its potential ties to Russian hackers are likely to sharpen concern, so far unproven, that Moscow is attempting to meddle in U.S. elections. Hacking of the party's emails has clouded this week's Democratic convention in Philadelphia, where…... [read more]
- FBI probes hacking of Democratic congressional group: sources
The FBI is investigating a cyber attack against another Democratic Party group, which may be related to an earlier hack against the Democratic National Committee, four people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The previously unreported incident at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, and its potential ties to Russian hackers are likely to heighten accusations, so far unproven, that Moscow is attempting to meddle in the U.S. election campaign to help Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Hacking of the party's emails caused discord among Democrats at the party's convention in Philadelphia this week where Hillary Clinton was set…... [read more]
- Russia denies interfering in US election
(VOVworld) – The Russian government has denied an accusation by US President Barack Obama that Russia interfered in the current US presidential election. Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in at the Kremlin on Tuesday. (Photo: AP) Russia never interfered and would not interfere in the internal affairs, and especially in the electoral processes, of other countries, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday. He also denied Russia’s involvement in a hack of the email system of the US Democratic National Committee (DNC). President Obama accused Russian hackers of hacking and then leaking thousands of DNC emails and…... [read more]
- U.S. urges support of Turkey government as world watches coup
The United States called on all parties in Turkey to support President Tayyip Erdogan's government against a coup attempt on Friday as world leaders expressed concern about the upheaval in a NATO member country that bridges Europe and the Middle East. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone and gave their support to Erdogan after Turkey's military said it had seized power. "The President and Secretary agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected government of Turkey, show restraint, and avoid any violence or bloodshed," the White House said in a statement. U.S.…... [read more]
- Kerry meets with Putin about cooperating against Islamic State in Syria
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian President Vladimir Putin about boosting military and intelligence cooperation against Islamic State and al Qaeda in Syria and told him that without "concrete, near-term steps," diplomatic efforts to end the war could not go on indefinitely. Kerry met Putin for three hours at the Kremlin and their talks lasted until 1 a.m. local time on Friday. The State Department said Kerry expressed concern about repeated violations of a cessation of hostilities by the Moscow-backed Syrian government. It said the two also discussed the need to need to increase pressure on groups…... [read more]
- Russian editors 'fired over stories that irked officials'
A former editor of a Russian media group described how he and colleagues were pushed out over reporting that angered officials, in the first public account of the taming of Russia's last big news organization willing to take on the Kremlin. In his first public comments since his dismissal along with two other top editors from RBC media group in May, Roman Badanin told Reuters that he and his colleagues were fired in the wake of a campaign of pressure on the group's billionaire owner that came to a head after they published a story on the "Panama Papers" leaks.…... [read more]
- NATO agrees to reinforce eastern Poland, Baltic states against Russia
NATO leaders agreed on Friday to deploy military forces to the Baltic states and eastern Poland for the first time and increase air and sea patrols to reassure allies who were once part of the Soviet bloc following Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine. The 28-nation Western defense alliance decided to move four battalions totaling 3,000 to 4,000 troops into northeastern Europe on a rotating basis to display its readiness to defend eastern members against any Russian aggression. However, they also underlined their willingness to pursue a dialogue with Moscow and revive confidence-building measures that Russia has spurned since its…... [read more]
- Kremlin: mending ties with Turkey 'not a matter of a few days'
The Kremlin said on Tuesday it would take more than a few days to mend Russia's relations with Ankara, after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan expressed regret over the downing of a Russian military plane last year. Russian President Vladimir Putin had said an apology from Erdogan was the condition for repairing relations between the two countries, which were poisoned when the Russian jet was shot down near the Syrian-Turkish border in November. After writing to Putin to voice his regret over the incident, Erdogan said he now believed that Ankara would normalize relations with Moscow "rapidly". The Kremlin was more…... [read more]