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UK Expels 23 Russian Diplomats over Poisoning of Sergei Skripal

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Russian Politicians condemned the British authorities, which announced the expulsion of 23 Russian Diplomats and the suspension of contacts with Russia at the highest level. 23 Russian Diplomats were expelled from the UK over the poisoning of former GRU employee Sergei Skripal and his daughter, allegedly conducted by Russian agents using a nerve gas.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, a few hours after the report of British Prime Minister Theresa May in the parliament, said: “The response measures will not keep you waiting.” “We regard the statement about the measures of” punishment “of Russia under a false pretext about alleged involvement in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter as an unprecedentedly crude provocation,” the statement said.

Read EurAsian News at EurAsian Times: Russia-India Partnership “Second to None”: Russian Envoy

The Russian Foreign Ministry again reminded that the UK did not use “established international formats and instruments,” including within the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, to investigate the poisoning of Sergei Skripal ad his daughter. “The British authorities once again tried to unleash an indiscriminate anti-Russian campaign,” the statement said.

In the very first minutes after UK PM’s Therese May’s speech in parliament, where she announced the measures to be taken against Russia, the Russian ambassador in London, Alexander Yakovenko, called the expulsion of Russian Diplomats from the UK as unacceptable and provocative.

Read EurAsian News at EurAsian Times: Threatened by Russia, NATO Pushes for Military Schengen Zone

Shortly before PM May’s statement, the Russian ambassador was summoned to the British Foreign Ministry where he warned that Britain should wait for retaliatory measures for expelling Russian Diplomats.

“Our response will be harsh.” The reaction will be that the UK will regret its actions. The reaction of Russian politicians was similar, although there were those who found London’s response to being rather mild and quite humane.

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EurAsian Region

FACT CHECK: Has China Really Claimed The Russian Port City Of Vladivostok?

Historically, Vladivostok once used to be part of China’s Qing dynasty and was known as Haishenwai. It was annexed by the Russian empire in 1860 after China’s defeat by the British and the French in the Second Opium war.

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Has China claimed the Russian port city of Vladivostok? Media outlets in India have lambasted China for its relentless expansionist policies especially after the India-China border clash at Galwan Valley.

International Report On Galwan Valley Clash Emerges As Families, Soldiers Share The Horrific Incident

The latest expansion claims are targetted at the Russian city of Vladivostok. Chinese diplomats, journalists and nationalists took to the internet to assert claims over the Russia city of Vladivostok formerly part of the Qing dynasty, a news extensively covered by Indian media outlets.

The backlash started after the Russian embassy took to Weibo to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the founding of the city, whose name means “ruler of the east” in Russian.

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Reacting to the Russian embassy’s message, Shen Shiwei, a journalist working with the state-owned broadcaster CGTN, took to Twitter to remind the world that Vladivostok was once a part of China.

Zhang Heqing, a Chinese diplomat working in the embassy in Pakistan, also commented “isn’t this what in the past was our Haishenwai?”, referring to the Chinese name for the area before its annexation.

Indian media was quick to react to the Chinese claims and blasted Beijing for having an insatiable appetite for territory.

Wion TV stated that China dismisses treaties that don’t suit it and mentioned its territorial disputes with 20 countries including Russian, India, Taiwan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia Indonesia, South Korea, North Korea etc.

Galwan Valley Clash: Top Indian General Decodes Why India Lost 20 Soldiers In India-China Border Conflict

Times Now, one of the biggest Indian media outlets also published an article talking about Chinese expansionism in Russia, Nepal and Bhutan.

The Russian government offered no response to the comments made online by Chinese nationals and it will be interesting to see how Moscow reacts. While both countries currently enjoy friendly relations, they have clashed over territorial disputes in the past.

CPEC Project A ‘Trillion-Dollar Blunder’, Pakistan Calls It ‘Outstanding Initiative’

In 1969, erstwhile USSR and China almost went to war after Peoples Liberation Army troops ambushed Soviet border guards on Zhenbao Island.

Historically, Vladivostok once used to be part of China’s Qing dynasty and was known as Haishenwai. It was annexed by the Russian empire in 1860 after China’s defeat by the British and the French in the Second Opium war. Since then, it has been administered by Russia and is the capital of Primorsky Krai.

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EurAsian Region

China On Its Side, Pakistan Going All Out To Woo Russia; Counter India-US Alliance

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Pakistan Foreign Minister SM Qureshi in conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov expressed Islamabad’s desire to have a long and multidimensional relationship with Moscow. Can the growing closeness between Pakistan and Russia change the political and diplomatic relationship between New Delhi and Moscow?

Chinese Media Accuses The US Of ‘Hoping To See A War’ Between China And India or Japan

The Russians are seeking the development of ties with Pakistan to limit the US influence in Asia,” wrote Farzad Bonesh, a researcher and analyst of international affairs. “But it should be noted that one of the most important goals of Russia’s foreign policy is to increase its international influence and advance its economic growth,” he added.

In recent years, the United States has had stronger ties with India than with Pakistan. With Washington’s strong stance against Islamabad’s inadequate response to the allegations of sheltering terrorists have led to weakened ties between the two nations.

“Pakistan is trying to use Russia to balance its foreign policies regarding India and the United States,” stated Bonesh. He further wrote that Pakistan is also trying to use its connections with Russia to gain advantages over the US by considering the regional and international confrontations and rivalries.

Russia and Pakistan plan to enhance their economic trade which was mere $800 million in 2018 but is expected to grow in the future. “So far, the two countries have been simplifying procedures and encouraging trade by establishing an intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation,” observed Bonesh.

He further wrote that unlike the trade relations between Russia and India, which amount to $10 billion a year, the volume of trade is inconsistent with its real potential. “In fact, the current volume of trade between the two countries compared with the overall volume of Russia’s foreign trade is very small,” stated the author.

Till 2014, Russia had a policy of not supplying any weapons to Pakistan. According to the author, the continued cooperation between the US and India in a series of important agreements in the field of defence has resulted in Russia and Pakistan going forward with more defence cooperation and weapons trade.

Pakistan has shown support for Russia’s “intention to cooperate” with the Taliban. Bonesh believes that the security interests of Russia and Pakistan are also influenced by the security and political stability of Afghanistan.

“A significant number of ISIS forces moved to Syria from Russia’s Muslim republics and some of them have further moved from Syria into areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan”

The reason between the closeness between Russia and Pakistan can be due to “limiting the US’s influence”. However, the author believes that the cooperation and relations between Russia and Pakistan cannot create the conditions and basis for a strategic, lasting and interdependent alliance in the fields of security, politics and strategy, because, for Russia, India is still an important country in South Asia. Thus, Moscow is taking careful steps with Islamabad to continue having healthy relations with India.

He concluded with explaining Moscow’s concern that the expansion of its relations with Islamabad will force India to move closer to the United States. “India’s market is larger than Pakistan’s. The arms trade between India and Russia still has great potential, while the deals signed between Moscow and Islamabad so far have not been very important,” he concludes.

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EurAsian Region

India-Russia Deal: India Urges Russia To Expedite Delivery Of S-400 Missiles, Other Weaponry

India-Russia ties are being tested again as Indian Defence Minister is expected to urge Russia to fasten the arms deal and the delivery of lethal S-400 missile defence systems.

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India is expected to urge Russia to expedite the delivery of the S-400 missile defence system during defence minister Rajnath Singh’s to Russia. According to experts, India has again turned to Russia instead of the US amid growing tensions with China. 

US-China War: Tensions Rises In China After US Deployed Three Aircraft Carriers In The South China Sea

Russia has deferred delivery of lethal S-400 missiles to India due to the Covid-19 pandemic. China, which is also a strategic partner of Russia already has S-400 systems in its arsenal which can detect, track and destroy any hostile weaponry.

According to reports in ET, the Indian government has commenced the process of filling up gaps in defence readiness, stocking-up supplies and developing inventory profile based on worst-case scenarios, including a two-front conflict with China and Pakistan.

China Is Not Pakistan; Modi Thus Keen To Diffuse India-China Border Tensions – Experts

Reports say that India is keen to explore if a faster delivery of S-400 missiles can be worked out, given the historical bond between India and Russia. Reliability of defence supplies is the other key concern on top of Rahnath Singh’s schedule.

The S-400s are one of Russia’s most sophisticated long-range surface to air missiles and arguably the most versatile in the world with over half a dozen types of surface to air missile each specialised in intercepting different types of targets at different ranges.

The S-400s makes use of an advanced cold launch system and is capable of guiding up to 160 missiles simultaneously and engaging up to 80 targets at a time – including combinations of ballistic and cruise missiles and all types of manned and unmanned aircraft.

The platform is prized for its advanced capabilities against stealth aircraft and will allow Indian air defences to threaten advanced next-generation jets fielded by China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force such as the Chengdu J-20 – as well as upcoming Pakistani stealth fighter being developed with China under Project AZM.

The report says that there are two concerns— one, accelerate the spares for existing Sukhoi and MiG fleets and second, gain a pledge that Indian supplies will not be affected in shifting political environment.

The Bravery Of Bihar Regiment Soldiers At Galwan Valley Against China’s PLA Troops Goes Viral

Earlier, as widely reported, India has reportedly fast-tracked the process to acquire 33 fighter jets from Russia, which include MiG-29s and Su-30MKIs. The Indian Air Force has prepared the proposal which will be submitted for approval.

As per reports, India plans to acquire 21 MiG-29s and 12 Su-30MKIs from Russia. The deal is valued at around INR 5,500-6,000 crores.

India-China War: China Has No ‘Military Advantage’ Over ‘Battle-Hardened’ Indian Army – CNN

India is already securing a batch of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. The first four Rafale jets are likely to arrive in India by the end of July. However, experts state that 36 Rafale jets will not be sufficient for a twin front attack from China and Pakistan.

Tom Cooper, an aviation expert, expressed astonishment that the Indian air force again desired of Su-30s and MiG-29s to meet its emergency requirement. The Su-30, while apparently awesome on paper, lacks performance and combat capability.

“Your air force has got 200 to 250 Su-30s,” Cooper wrote on Facebook. “Still, when you want to bomb a terrorist gang in the neighbouring country (Pakistan), you need almost 40-year-old Mirage 2000s, instead.”

How Many Chinese Soldiers Were Killed In The India-China Clash At Galwan Valley / Ladakh?

Those same Mirage 2000s had been crucial during the Kargil war in 1999. The Russian-made jets had struggled to hit Pakistani bases high in the mountains. But a single coordinated strike by Mirage 2000s hauling Litening camera pods and laser-guided bombs succeeded in hitting vital Pakistani headquarters.

Cooper says –  the Mirage 2000 has been more effective than the Su-30s. The Rafale, the French-made successor to the Mirage, likewise is among India’s better fighters. But the country has ordered just 36 Rafales.

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