Russia, China Block Issuance of Unbalanced UNSC Statement on Syria's Idleb

MOSCOW, (ST)- Russia and China have blocked the issuance of an unbalanced statement by the UN Security Council that sought distorting facts about the situation in the Syrian province of Idleb and that didn't mention the terrorists' activities there.

Itar Tass news agency quoted a Russian diplomatic source as saying that Russia has prevented the adoption of the statement, clarifying that the text of the draft statement, proposed by "Kuwait, Germany and Belgium" was unbalanced and contained no mention of the terrorists who control most of Idleb.

The statement was proposed last Friday and it has been placed under the so-called "silent procedure" until the Russian and Chinese missions broke the procedure and hampered its adoption.

Kremlin Says Military Action in Syria's Idlib is Justified

The Kremlin on Monday rebuffed criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump of Russian and Syrian government military action in Syria's Idlib province, saying it was justified, according to Reuters.

Trump on Sunday urged a stop for military operation against militants in Idlib, following a Friday Kremlin statement that signaled Moscow would continue to back a month long Syrian government operation there.

When asked about Trump's criticism on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that militants were using Idlib as a base to launch attacks against civilian and military targets, which is unacceptable.

Current US Gov't's Policy of Maximum Pressure on Iran futile, Says UK Envoy

British ambassador to Tehran stated London's disagreement with Washington over the JCPOA has already cost the UK a lot, adding that London made it clear to the government of Trump that the UK was sorry the US has left the deal and believes that the US current policy of maximum pressure on Iran does not work.

"When we signed the JCPOA, we just didn't think that it would only help Iran," British Ambassador to Tehran Rob Macaire said in an interview referring to the Iranian nuclear agreement and the Group 5 + 1. “In fact, Iran's sides have established a diplomatic process to resolve the problems of the world.”

Trump Tells Britain to 'Walk Away' if EU Does Not Yield on Brexit

LONDON - U.S. President Donald Trump said Britain should refuse to pay a$50 billion European Union divorce bill and “walk away” from Brexit talks if Brussels does not give ground.

Trump told the Sunday Times newspaper ahead of a state visit to Britain, which starts on Monday, that Britain’s next leader should send arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage to conduct EU talks.

Once Britain leaves the EU, which Trump said must happen this year, then he would go “all out” to agree a trade deal.

Russia Rejects US Claim of Violating Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Russia has categorically dismissed a claim by the United States that Moscow may be conducting nuclear tests in violation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Lieutenant General Robert Ashley, the head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, claimed on Wednesday that Russia was “probably not adhering to” the CTBT by conducting low-level nuclear testing at a site in the Arctic.

“We categorically reject these allegations,” Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said, adding that the allegation resembled a “well-planned, concerted attack not only on Russia but on the arms control regime and the whole strategic stability architecture.”

The Russian diplomat also expressed surprise that the allegation had not been brought up during bilateral consultations but had been leveled through the media.

The CTBT, which bans nuclear weapons testing anywhere in the world, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996. The multilateral treaty sets out nuclear disarmament as a principle.

Beijing, Moscow to Sign around 30 Deals during Xi's Russia Tour, Says Chinese Diplomat

BEIJING - China and Russia plan to sign around 30 agreements during Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Russia at the beginning of June, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui told a briefing on Thursday.

"I think that around 30 agreements will be signed," Hanhui said. He added that he cannot tell yet the concrete number of agreements and their specific context. "I cannot yet provide this information as consultations continue," he noted.

The diplomat said that Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin will sign two joint communiques during the visit, one on bilateral relations, and the second on issues "on the international agenda and strategic stability" of mutual interest.

Other joint documents will focus on cooperation in economy, trade, energy, investment and other spheres.




Patriarch Kirill Meets Children of Syrian And Russian Martyrs, Tells Them: "Your Fathers Are Heroes"

MOSCOW, (ST)- Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on Wednesday met a group of children of Syrian and Russian martyrs who fell while defending Syria against terrorism.

The patriarch stressed the importance of realizing the value of the sacrifices of the Syrian and Russian soldiers who martyred in Syria.

"Your fathers are heroes and heroism is the most noble value in the life of mankind, because it expresses man's strongest feelings as well as man's characteristics which make him unafraid of death," patriarch Kirill said.

Pederson: Terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra Are Dominating most of Syria's Idlib

MOSCOW, (ST)- UN Chief Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen has stressed that the terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra are dominating most of Idlib province, reiterating that fighting terrorism is a legitimate matter.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Pederson said "the terrorist organizations are undoubtedly dominating most of Idleb," adding that there is a common vision at the UN Security Council on the need to fight terrorism and respect humanitarian International Law.

 He affirmed that there is no military solution of the crisis in Syria.