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Basic Political Developments
Itar-Tass: Hu Jintao, Medvedev to hold meeting in New York
BEIJING, September 22 (Itar-Tass) -- Prospects for development of bilateral relations will be in the focus of attention of a meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev due to be held in New York on September 23, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Jiang Yu told a briefing on Tuesday.
“The sides will exchange views on the current state of and prospects for development of bilateral relations,” the diplomat said. According to him, the sides will also “discuss important international and regional problems of mutual interest.”
Jiang Yu stressed that “Russia and China have relations of strategic partnership and interaction, therefore the two countries’ leaders maintain close contacts and interaction.”
Itar-Tass: Kiev ready to settle problems in relations with Russia – pres
NEW YORK, September 22 (Itar-Tass) - The neighbours – Ukraine and Russia – should have good relations, which is not the case at this time, said Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, speaking at the New York Council on Foreign Relations on Monday.
According to the president, “there is a number of problems which should be resolved, and we are ready to do this”.
He referred the border question to such problems. “Regrettably, the entire land border with Russia has not been demarcated up to this time,” Yushchenko noted. “We held several rounds of talks on this issue and believe that from the technical viewpoint, the two sides are ready long ago to sign an agreement on its demarcation.”
Yushchenko called as “complicated enough” the situation with delimitation of the sea border between the two states, dwelling at length “on such question as Tuzla Island” in the Kerch Strait. “This territory belonged and should belong to Ukraine,” he stated.
The Ukrainian president called the presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea as another serious problem in bilateral relations. “Our stand is that the Russian fleet should leave the place by May 2017,” he added. Yushchenko emphasised that “the Ukrainian side will implement all its obligations till May 2017, ensuing from the 1997 treaty on conditions of basing the Russian Black Sea Fleet”.
Yushchenko called the question of “Ukraine’s integration into NATO” as another problem “complicating Ukrainian-Russian relations”. According to the Ukrainian head of state, “Ukrainian membership of NATO will not result in appearance of foreign military bases in its territory, since this runs counter to the Ukrainian Constitution”.
In Yushchenko’s opinion, “Ukraine wants to maintain normal political and diplomatic contacts with Russia on the above questions”. “We don’t try to duck them and want these problems to be discussed openly,” he said.
Kyivpost: Yuhschenko hopes Russia's Black Sea Fleet will leave Sevastopol in May 2017
Today, 09:30 | Interfax-Ukraine
New York - Ukraine's President Victor Yuhschenko said Russia would hopefully withdraw its Black Sea Fleet from Ukraine in May 2017, as agreed.
"We hope the Russian side will deliver on its pledge made in 1997, and the Russian Black Sea Fleet will be withdrawn in May 2017," Yuhschenko told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Monday.
Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement in 1997 under which the Black Sea Fleet's 20-year presence in Crimea ends in 2017, he said.
The constitution does not allow Ukraine to host foreign bases, Yuhschenko said. "It is a direct constitutional norm," he added.
The Ukrainian side will honor all the terms, laid down in the agreement, the Ukrainian president said.
The Black Sea Fleet's presence in Ukraine breeds problems, including those of the use of land sites, real estate, radio frequencies and coastal navigation facilities, which must be resolved, said Yuhschenko.
Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:24am BST
ASHGABAT, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Russia and Turkmenistan will hold another round of talks soon aimed at restarting supplies of Turkmen gas to Russia, Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said.
Supplies stopped in April after a pipeline explosion but the link has been repaired, he said at a government meeting shown on state television late on Monday.
Before April, Russia used to be the main buyer of gas from the Central Asian state, importing about 50 billion cubic metres a year. After the explosion, Moscow sought to revise terms seeking a lower price.
"The completion of repair works in the gas pipeline network along with the negotiations held between the representatives of Turkmenistan and Russia have allowed us to resolve some technical issues related to the functioning of Central Asia-Centre pipeline," Berdymukhamedov said.
He said Turkmenistan would continue to develop ties with Russia, its "historical and strategic partner".
"Talks will take place in the near future between state company Turkmengas and Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.MM: Quote, Profile, Research) on the issues of further energy cooperation," Berdymukhamedov said.
Analysts say Turkmenistan needs to agree with Russia soon to avoid pressure from export revenue shortages.
The former Soviet republic is boosting exports to Iran and will start pumping gas to China in December but further diversification, including joining the EU-sponsored Nabucco link bypassing Russia, will take years. (Reporting by Marat Gurt; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov)
Eurasianet: Turkmenistan: Pipeline Rupture Patched, But Energy Still Not Flowing To Russia
In the better-late-than-never department: Turkmenistan’s main export pipeline to Russia is fully operational after more than a five-month repair ordeal that featured acrimonious verbal exchanges between Ashgabat and Moscow.
The pipeline, known as CAC-4, exploded in April bringing Turkmen gas exports to Russia to halt. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Now, only "technical discussions" between Ashgabat and the Kremlin-controlled conglomerate Gazprom preclude the immediate resumption of exports, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov announced.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting on September 18 the Turkmen president described Russia as Turkmenistan’s "historic, strategic partner." He went on to say that the two states would "strengthen and develop our relations."
A date for the talks on the resumption of exports has yet to be fixed. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s aide, Sergei Prikhodko, said on September 14 that talks might happen "over the coming weeks." [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].
Posted September 21, 2009 © Eurasianet
Prime-Tass: Azeri Defense Minister Safar Abiyev continues visit to Russia, until Sep 24
Trend: Defense ministers of Azerbaijan and Russia adopted a cooperation plan for 2010
Defense Minister of Azerbaijan Safar Abiyev and Russian DM Anatoly Serdyukov at the meeting on Monday approved the bilateral military cooperation plan for 2010, RIA Novosti reports according to the spokesman of the press service of Russian Defense Ministry.
According to him, the sides discussed several issues of military and military-technical cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan.
During the meeting was discussed the training of Azerbaijani military personnel at military educational institutions of Defense Ministry of Russia.
"The development of relations between the two countries in the military sphere is based on the mutually beneficial cooperation, which is positive and is carried out in a planned way," - the representative of the Ministry of Defense quoted Serdyukov.
After the meeting, Serdyukov and Abiyev will fly to St. Petersburg, where they will visit the headquarters of the Leningrad Military District.
Trend: Railway traffic from Azerbaijan to Russia completely re-established: Azerbaijan railways
Azerbaijan, Baku, September 22 /Trend Capital E.Ismailov /
Railway traffic from Azerbaijan to Russia, which had been suspended due to erosion of rail as a result of torrential rains, was restored, Azerbaijan Railways JSC Spokesman, Nadir Azmammadov told Trend Capital on Sept. 22. Heavy rainfall in the territory of Russia in the interval between the station Gizilyurd and Dagestan's capital of Makhachkala washed out railways.
According to the North-Caucasian railway, heavy rains overflowed the reservoir and the channel of the October Revolution, which led to the break of dam, RIA Novosti reported. Then the water came to the vicinity of railway tracks.
Azmammadov said that currently the damaged railroads in the North Caucasus were restored. But the movement of trains in the interval between Gizilyurd and Makhachkala is ensured using diesel locomotives. And supply of electricity to the railway station is expected to be restored by the end of the day. Currently trains from Azerbaijan to Russia move in accordance with the schedule, but trains from Russia to Azerbaijan will arrive in Baku with a slight delay. The timetable of movement of trains between the countries is supposed to be completely restored by the end of Tuesday.
Earlier the transportation of passengers traveling from Azerbaijan to Russia and vice versa at the station with a strained infrastructure was provided by buses. Passengers were removed from the trains to buses, thus continued their movement.
Also as a result of heavy rains in the area between stations Pirsaat-Hajigabul in Azerbaijan mud flow washed out 800 meters of railway. In addition, about 200 meters of 37 kilometer Shirvan-Garagyune railway remained under water. As a result, railway routes Hajigabul-Shirvan, Hajigabul-Pirsaat, Shirvan-Garagyune-Khidirli were suspended, the electricity supply was stopped and connection broke at substations Hajigabul Nava-Alat-Sigirli.
Azmammadov said that problems with railway connection inside the country were also eliminated. Restoration work was completed at 01:30 Baku time, and at 01:45 electricity supply was already provided in the Hajigabul district. "All problems were solved, and the movement of trains inside the country was fully restored," Azmammadov.
Prime-Tass: President Dmitry Medvedev to wrap up visit to Switzerland, to visit US, to attend UN General Assembly meeting, G20 summit, to meet with his US counterpart Barack Obama, until Sep 25.
Itar-Tass: Russian president meets with IOC head in Berne
BERNE, September 22 (Itar-Tass) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, on a state visit in Switzerland, met with head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge in Berne on Tuesday.
At the start of the meeting, the Russian president pointed out the importance Russia had always attached to the development of ties with the International Olympic Committee. “The preparation for the Olympic Games due in Sochi in 2014 is the main thing to us now,” Medvedev said, noting that Russia is constantly in touch with the IOC in this connection.
“There are also other themes we can discuss,” said the head of the Russian state. “In view of the fact that a regular session of the International Olympic Committee will shortly be held, I would like, first of all, to wish you success in the re-election to this high post,” Medvedev said.
Noting that officials responsible for the holding of the Games and also Russian business people are present at the meeting, Medvedev suggested “holding a valuable conversation.”
Jacques Rogge, on his part, said he was very glad to meet the Russian president. The head of the IOC praised the contribution Russia made to the Olympic movement, its athletes earning more than a thousand Olympic medals. He expressed gratitude for the support Russia gives to the Olympic movement, adding that he was very glad to exchange opinions with the Russian president.
September 22, 2009 - 10:50 AM