Peskov: Crimea and Current Situation in Ukraine To Be Primary Topic During Putin’s Televised Q&A Session

The current situation in Ukraine and the reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia are expected to be the primary topics during the "hot line" with the Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 17, according to his press secretary Dmitry Peskov. "I have no doubt that the President will also give his assessment of any sanctions developed in European capitals, as well as in the US," he also added, according to RIA Novosti.

Peskov said that the President has already received a lot of questions for his "hot line" regarding sanctions. "These questions contain very negative towards sanctions. Many espouse a sort of patriotic bravado, wondering if we actually need our Western partners, if we’d be better off without them," he noted.

Medvedev: Peacekeepers in Ukraine to Only Mothball Crisis

Peacekeepers will not solve any problem in Ukraine but will only mothball the crisis, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday. "The peacekeeping contingent will not solve anything,” he said. “Unfortunately, it will only mothball the problem."

Medvedev said "the only way to preserve Ukraine and calm the situation is to create normal conditions for the country’s development," TASS reports.

13th and 14th Consignments of Chemicals Delivered to Latakia, Raising Overall Total of Removals to 65%

The OPCW-UN Joint Mission has confirmed that the Syrian government has delivered the 13th and 14th consignments of chemicals to Latakia, both of which were removed from the port. The two consignments were delivered to Latakia on 10 and 13 April, respectively, and immediately boarded onto cargo ships.

The two consignments raised the overall portion of chemicals removed from Syria to 65.1% of the total, including 57.4 of the Priority 1 chemicals. 

If Kiev Uses Force, Russian Cooperation Over Ukraine Will Be Undermined, Says Lavrov

"If the authorities in Kiev will use force, our entire cooperation on the Ukrainian issue will be undermined," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a meeting of the World Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots. "We are now discussing the possibility of holding a meeting of Russia, the United States, the European Union and Ukraine," Lavrov said.

"We shall be prepared to discuss ways of promoting a solution of the Ukrainian issue. But if the authorities in Kiev dare use force, our entire cooperation on the Ukrainian issue, on Ukrainian settlement will be undermined. We have let this known to our Western partners," he said, TASS reports.

OSCE Chairman: Crisis in Eastern Ukraine Should Be Settled Through Diplomacy

 The current Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter says that the differences between the government and opposition in the eastern regions of Ukraine should be settled by diplomatic means. "All parties concerned should realize that all issues under discussion should be resolved by democratic means and in compliance with the existing laws, not by the use of violence, in order to make the would-be solutions long-term and stable," he stressed in a statement that was released today.

Possibility of Russia-PACE Dialogue Made Illusory by Sanctions

Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov doubts the possibility of a dialogue between the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Russia after the Assembly passed anti-Russian sanctions.

"The PACE chairman wants a dialogue with Russia? There should be no illusion. I don’t think that after the PACE's anti-Russian sanctions it is possible to talk about this dialogue," the parliamentarian wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Hillary Clinton dodges a shoe thrown at her while giving Las Vegas speech

First it was George W. Bush — and now it’s deja shoe for Hillary Clinton.

Clinton was forced to duck Thursday when a female protester threw a shoe at her as she spoke at a Las Vegas event.

Clinton had just begun a speech about recycling when the shoe whizzed by her right ear.

NATO to Try to Exploit Ukraine Crisis to Close Alliance Ranks, Says Russian Foreign Ministry

NATO will try to use Ukraine's crisis to "close its ranks" in the face of an alleged external threat to the alliance member-states, and to prop up NATO importance in the 21st century, the Russian Foreign Ministry points out in a commentary it published on its website earlier today.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been recently making continual statements to confront Russia, invariably resorting to Cold War rhetoric.