Putin stresses need to continue efforts for political settlement to crisis in Syria


St. Petersburg - Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed the need to continue efforts to reach a political settlement to the crisis in Syria taking into account the Syrian National Dialogue Congress recommendations.

Putin made his remarks during a joint press conference with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Thursday, SANA reported.

Bogdanov: Moscow hopes for activating political process in Syria


Petersburg - Russian President’s special envoy for the Middle East and African countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said his county hopes the political process in Syria will be activated to reach a solution for the crisis and for an early resumption of Geneva talks, SANA reported.

“Moscow, depending on the results of negotiations with French President Emanuel Macron, hopes for an activation of the political process in Syria and an early resumption of the talks in Geneva,” Bogdanov said in remarks he made on Friday on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Zakharova hints at attempts to torpedo OPCW work


Moscow - Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova hinted at attempts to torpedo the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Speaking at a briefing in Moscow on Wednesday, the Russian diplomat said the Western initiative to convene a special meeting of parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, is a ‘reckless and malign step’ against Damascus and Moscow, SANA reported.

Putin, Macron to discuss Syria during forthcoming int’l economic forum


Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron will discuss prospects of political settlement in Syria, Libya, Ukraine crisis and developments of Iran nuclear deal on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) due to be held on May 24,25, Russian President’s Assistant, Yury Ushakov told reporters on Wednesday, according to SANA.

Ushakov said that Putin and Macron will exchange views on current international and regional issues during a meeting at the sidelines of SPIEF, including the situation in southeastern Ukraine, ways to resolve crisis in Syria and Libya and the Middle East peace process.

Rouhani: World Does not Accept US Deciding for All Countries

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the United States cannot make decisions for Iran and other independent countries after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded broad changes in the course of the Islamic Republic's foreign and domestic policy.

"All world countries want independence in their decisions and perhaps Americans are able to advance their agenda in some places through pressure, but logic does not accept them making decisions for the world," Rouhani said on Monday, Press TV reported.

Russian Air Defenses Intercept Projectile Targeting Hmeimim Base in Syria

Russian air defenses intercepted and destroyed a projectile targeting Hmeimim airbase in Syria Monday, the Russian military reported Monday evening.

The base is operating normally, with no damage or casualties reported, a spokesperson said. The projectile was an "unknown drone," according to the Russian military, Sputnik reported.

On May 21… the airspace monitoring facilities at Russia's Hmeimim airbase detected a small-size unidentified airborne target approaching the base," the spokesman said in a statement. "The target was destroyed by air defenses deployed at the base."

Nicolas Maduro Wins Venezuela Presidential Elections

 President Nicolas Maduro won the Venezuelan presidential elections Sunday, gaining a second presidential term for six years with more than 5.8 million votes, the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced Sunday night, according to Telesur.

With 92.6 percent of the votes counted, Maduro had 5.8 million votes, while his closest rival, former governor Henri Falcón getting 1.8 million votes, said CNE President Tibisay Lucena who added that in total, 8.6 million Venezuelans voted, out of an electoral registry of 20.5 million people.

Russia Unveils World’s First Floating Nuclear Power Station

Russia on Saturday unveiled the world's first floating nuclear power station at a ceremony in the port of the far northern city of Murmansk where it will be loaded with nuclear fuel before heading to eastern Siberia.

Built in Saint Petersburg, the Akademik Lomonosov arrived in Murmansk on Thursday where it was moored in the port and presented to the media on Saturday.

Constructed by the state nuclear power firm Rosatom, the 144 by 30 meter (472 by 98 foot) ship holds two reactors with two 35 megawatt nuclear reactors that are similar to those used to power icebreaker ships.