yYAXssKCQaUWZcXZ79RJTBLvo-c;SfREtjZ9NYeQnnVMC-CsZ9qN6L0 Finance, Economics, Globus, Brokers, Banks, Collateral-Oriano Mattei

video

Loading...

domenica 27 maggio 2018

At least 2 million people are at risk of severe food insecurity because of a devastating drought in Afghanistan, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says. The hardest-hit are northern and western Afghanistan, where wheat planting has been either delayed or downsized in some 20 provinces, mainly because of a lack of rain and snowfall in the winter, the OCHA report said. ...

Afghans receiving ration aid in Kandahar last month.


At least 2 million people are at risk of severe food insecurity because of a devastating drought in Afghanistan, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says. 
The hardest-hit are northern and western Afghanistan, where wheat planting has been either delayed or downsized in some 20 provinces, mainly because of a lack of rain and snowfall in the winter, the OCHA report said. 
"The last [winter] harvest must be considered completely lost," said Abdul Majid from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.
As many as 21,000 people were forced to leave their homes in western Badghes and Ghor provinces because of the drought, the OCHA said. 
"Some 1.5 million goats and sheep in northeastern regions are struggling to find food and more than 600 out of 1,000 villages are suffering from lack of water," the report said.
Almost half of Afghanistan's 30 million inhabitants -- 14.8 million -- are heavily reliant on agriculture either for labor opportunities or livestock, the OCHA reported.
The UN says Afghanistan urgently needs about $115 million to provide food and shelter for those hit by the effects of the drought. 
The OCHA also noted in its report that almost 110,000 Afghans have been displaced by conflicts and natural disasters since the beginning of the year, while in 2017 the total number of those displaced was more than 445,000.
Flash floods killed more than 60 people across nine Afghan provinces in mid-May, the Afghan Natural Disaster Management Authority said.
With reporting by dpa

Pakistan will hold general elections on July 25, officials said on May 26. "President Mamnoon Hussain has approved the date for the elections," a spokesman for the Election Commission of Pakistan, Altaf Khan, told Reuters. ...




Pakistan will hold general elections on July 25, officials said on May 26. 
"President Mamnoon Hussain has approved the date for the elections," a spokesman for the Election Commission of Pakistan, Altaf Khan, told Reuters. 
"We haven't yet received the summary signed by the president, but we hope to get it anytime," he said. 
The Election Commission had proposed July 25 to July 27 as dates to hold polls.
Elections for the national parliament and four provincial assemblies will be held on the same day, according to domestic media. 
Pakistan’s government and parliament is due to be dissolved on May 31, when a new interim prime minister and an interim administration is meant to take over.
Political wrangling between the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party and the opposition in parliament had delayed the announcement of the new interim premier.
Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and Geo TV

U.S. President Donald Trump says he is still looking at a June 12 summit date with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, just days after the U.S. leader said he was canceling the historic meeting. "We're doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea," Trump said at the White House on May 26.....

The two Korean leaders meet during their previous summit in April.


U.S. President Donald Trump says he is still looking at a June 12 summit date with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, just days after the U.S. leader said he was canceling the historic meeting.
"We're doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea," Trump said at the White House on May 26.
"It's moving along very nicely. So, we're looking at June 12th in Singapore. That hasn't changed. So, we'll see what happens," he said.

He added that there is a "lot of good will," and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would be "a great thing."
Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who met with Kim in a surprise summit earlier on May 26, told reporters that Washington and Pyongyang are to planning hold "practical talks" soon on the June 12 summit.

Moon said Kim reaffirmed his commitment to "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to a meeting with Trump.
"[Kim] also expressed his intention to put an end to the history of war and confrontation through the success of the North-U.S. summit and to cooperate for peace and prosperity," Moon added.
Trump had called off the summit in a letter to Kim on May 24, citing North Korea's threat the day before to cancel the summit in a statement condemning Vice President Mike Pence as a "political dummy."

"Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it would be inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting," Trump wrote in his letter to Kim.
But he left the door open to a new meeting, saying in the letter to Kim, "If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write."
After their surprise summit at the Panmunjom border village on May 26, the two Korean leaders said they had agreed to meet "frequently" and suggested another face-to-face encounter was likely on June 1.
"They shared the opinion that they would meet frequently in the future to make dialogue brisk and pool wisdom and efforts, expressing their stand to make joint efforts for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," North Korea’s KCNA news agency reported.
It was their second summit in the past two months. After the meeting, KCNA said that another “high-level” meeting would be held on June 1, but it did not specifically say that the two Korean leaders would participate.
KCNA suggested following the summit that Kim was still interested in meeting with the U.S. president.

"Kim Jong Un thanked Moon Jae-in for much effort made by him for the DPRK-U.S. summit scheduled for June 12, and expressed his fixed will on the historic DPRK-U.S. summit talks," the report said, using the abbreviation for North Korea.
South Korea's presidential spokesman responded that "we are cautiously optimistic that hope is still alive for U.S.-North Korea dialogue."
With reporting by AP, dpa, AFP, and Reuters

Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom says it has signed a protocol with the Turkish government on the land-based part of the transit leg of the TurkStream gas pipeline. Gazprom on May 26 said it had also agreed with Turkish firm Botas to end an arbitration dispute over the terms of gas supplies related to the project, which will bring Russian natural gas to Europe on a southern route that would bypass Ukraine......

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller inspect work on TurkStream in 2017.


Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom says it has signed a protocol with the Turkish government on the land-based part of the transit leg of the TurkStream gas pipeline.
Gazprom on May 26 said it had also agreed with Turkish firm Botas to end an arbitration dispute over the terms of gas supplies related to the project, which will bring Russian natural gas to Europe on a southern route that would bypass Ukraine.
Gazprom said the dispute with Botas would be settled out of court, but it did not provide details. 

Until an agreement was reached, Ankara had had delayed issuing a permit to Gazprom to start building the land-based parts of the pipeline.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier on May 26 that the two countries had reached a retroactive agreement for a 10.25 percent discount on the natural gas Ankara buys from Moscow.
Moscow froze talks on the $12 billion TurkStream project when Turkish-Russian relations plummeted after the downing of a Russian fighter jet on the Syrian border by Turkish forces in 2015.
At the time, Moscow imposed trade and travel sanctions against Turkey, and Russian and Turkish officials made personal attacks against each other.
But a letter of regret from Erdogan on the death of the plane's pilot led to a normalization of ties, and the two countries have attempted to improve relations in recent months.
The 910-kilometer TurkStream project is one of several major undersea pipeline projects the Kremlin has pushed in recent years in an effort to bypass older pipeline networks that transit through bitter rival Ukraine.
NordStream sends gas directly from Russia under the Baltic Sea to Germany, while a proposed South Stream was supposed to send Russian gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria. 
South Stream was shelved in 2014 after EU opposition and the crisis over Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.
Turkey has also purchased S-400 air-defense missile systems from Russia -- a deal that has raised concern among Turkey's NATO partners over questions about its integration with Western defense systems and of Ankara’s tightening of relations with Russia.
With reporting by Reuters and TASS

sabato 26 maggio 2018

The question of whether Russia is a European or Asian country, or both, has perplexed its leaders and citizens for centuries. However, French President Emmanuel Macron believes he knows the answer.....


Macron's St. Petersburg mission: Keep Russia in the European family
The question of whether Russia is a European or Asian country, or both, has perplexed its leaders and citizens for centuries. However, French President Emmanuel Macron believes he knows the answer.
SAINT PETERSBURG - The top table at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) hosted leaders responsible for around 30 percent of global GDP. And quite a line-up it was: Macron and Vladimir Putin, alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and IMF supremo Christine Lagarde.
Indeed, there was so much collective power gathered at Friday event that Bloomberg’s John Micklethwait, who was serving as moderator, quipped how it was the result of Donald Trump’s unique ability to bring people together. However, while humorous, this was an America-centric take that missed the bigger picture.
What was really happening in St. Petersburg was a sort of tug of war, where Russians flirted with East and West as they continue to ponder on which side their bread will be buttered in the future. While Washington and its sidekicks in London don’t seem overly perturbed by Russia’s drift to Asia, France and Germany are alarmed, and representatives from both countries continuously referenced the issue at the SPIEF.
And then Macron made it clear where he stood. “Russia is an inalienable part of Europe... mistakes have been made in the past... we must work to remove our divisions on many issues,” he said.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder had earlier warmed up to the same theme: highlighting how an energy partnership with Russia was in Europe’s vital interest. He also mocked US attempts to kibosh the proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, saying he wouldn’t currently look to Washington for "examples of high governance.”
Russian analysts present this week echoed Schroeder’s assertion that the Americans are wielding sanctions for business advantage. And Putin himself warned how protectionist measures could eventually lead to a devastating global crisis.
“The system of multilateral cooperation, which took years to build, is no longer allowed to evolve. It is being broken in a very crude way. Breaking the rules is becoming the new rule," the Russian president remarked.
Also fascinating was how discourse at the SPIEF differed from the isolationist rhetoric prevalent in London and Washington these days. Putin expressed support for free trade and investment, as well as openness to Chinese companies operating in Russia and their people moving here in tandem. Indeed, one Italian delegate remarked how the world had been turned on its head: “Thatcher and Reagan used to be the ones pushing these agendas, who would have imagined 30 years ago, Moscow and Beijing standing up for capitalist globalization?”
While Wang and Abe spoke of mutually respectful relations honed over many years, Macron was in a thoroughly different position. But the young French leader was keen to play the humble guest: beginning his speech with tributes to those in St. Petersburg who had died in the Second World War, before making a lengthy reference to Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace.
Nevertheless, politics caught up to Macron when he praised French business for staying in Russia despite "tough times.” Because Russians present were quick to note how Paris was one of the primary drivers behind the Western sanctions that have hurt the Russian economy.
On the ground, the atmosphere was friendly. And the French descended in numbers, with leading companies from Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy to oil major Total investing in lavish stands.
“You look at Russian culture and it’s all European: from Pushkin to Tolstoy and Rachmaninoff to Tchaikovsky. Despite the geography, this is not an Asian country, in any way,” an exhibitor from Lyon noted.
Yet the Russians are keeping their options open. Putin pointed out that, beyond the bluster, French engagement in Russia isn’t as substantial as many might believe.
“Finland’s Fortum invested €6 billion in Russia, while the whole of France invested €15 billion,” he pointedly told Macron, who had earlier said that France desired to become the largest direct investor in Russia.
Putin outlined why this target was ambitious: “trade with Europe was worth $450 billion once, now it has fallen by half. With China, trade is going to reach $100 billion soon.” That said, despite these occasional reality checks, “Vladimir” and “Emmanuel” seemed to be hitting it off.
Russian business delegates wanted their officials to play all sides.
“Russia should be friends with everyone. Why should we choose?” Alina Ustinova from Rostov Oblast noted. “We are mostly European, but a bit Asian too and we must trade with all comers. Even the Americans are welcome, when they finally see sense."
"I don't see anything wrong with dancing with the French on Friday night and the Chinese on Saturday; perhaps we could even manage a Wednesday for Trump," she teased.

da "rt.com"

L'Ue ha 'richiamato all'ordine' la maggioranza Lega-Cinque Stelle. Il tema non sono i conti pubblici, ma Montepaschi. La commissaria alla concorrenza, Margrethe Vestager, ha ricordato che lo Stato Italiano deve "uscirne una volta che la situazione ritorna in acque tranquille" con la banca che "torna a camminare di nuovo sulle sue gambe". Il messaggio è: nessuna Mps pubblica, il piano di ristrutturazione che ha permesso di salvarla va rispettato fino in fondo.....

L'Ue ha 'richiamato all'ordine' la maggioranza Lega-Cinque Stelle. Il tema non sono i conti pubblici, ma Montepaschi. La commissaria alla concorrenza, Margrethe Vestager, ha ricordato che lo Stato Italiano deve "uscirne una volta che la situazione ritorna in acque tranquille" con la banca che "torna a camminare di nuovo sulle sue gambe". Il messaggio è: nessuna Mps pubblica, il piano di ristrutturazione che ha permesso di salvarla va rispettato fino in fondo.
Lega e Cinque Stelle non la pensano così. Nel contratto di governo c'è scritto che "lo Stato azionista deve provvedere alla ridefinizione della mission" della banca. Nei giorni scorsi, il responsabile economico del Carroccio, Claudio Borghi, ha detto di auspicare una Mps al 100% pubblica, con un nuovo amministratore delegato, che non sia quotata in Borsa e che non abbia l'assillo del profitto, ma che, anzi, possa essere di servizio. La reazione del mercato è stata pessima. Il titolo fatica ancora a riprendersi (ultima chiusura in calo del 3,13%) dopo il crollo del 17 maggio, quando è sceso del 9%. Tanto che nei giorni successivi pure la Consob è intervenuta invitando a usare "la massima prudenza e misura". Mentre Luigi Di Maio e Matteo Salvini hanno tentato di calmare le acque: "Di Mps ci occuperemo senza shock", ha detto il leader dei Cinque Stelle.
La commissaria Ue ha ribadito che dal piano di Mps non si scappa: lo Stato italiano ha potuto salvarla investendo 5,4 miliardi di euro sulla base "dell'idea" che la partecipazione pubblica sia "una cosa temporanea". Il programma prevede che entro il 2021 il governo ceda la quota pubblica, oggi al 68%, cercando di recuperare l'investimento. Solo un nuovo accordo potrebbe cambiare la tabella di marcia, ma l'Ue può sempre chiedere che vengano rispettati dei paletti.
Mentre la discussione è sulla Mps che sarà, in tribunale a Milano continua il processo sulla Mps che fu, con l'interrogatorio di uno egli imputati, l'ex responsabile dell'area finanza Gianluca Baldassarri. Fu lui a disegnare il piano di ristrutturazione del derivato Alexandria, che l'accusa ritiene sia servito a coprire le perdite per l'acquisto di Antonveneta. "Nessuno dell'area bilancio mi ha mai manifestato perplessità" su quell'operazione, ha detto Baldassarri, "e dubito che lo abbia fatto qualcuno al di sopra, fino al cda".
Secondo Baldassarri, comunque, "i problemi di Mps arrivano dai crediti deteriorati - ha detto - e non da Alexandria".

da "huffingtsonpost.it"

As Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt started their campaign to isolate Qatar on June 5, 2017, accusing it of aiding "terrorism" and being too close to Iran, the messaging used by the Arab quartet struck a familiar tone.....



As Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt started their campaign to isolate Qatar on June 5, 2017, accusing it of aiding "terrorism" and being too close to Iran, the messaging used by the Arab quartet struck a familiar tone.
The blockade against Qatar, now nearing the one-year mark, is often referred to as Saudi-led, but the language used by the "Arab quartet" has been consistent with private statements attributed to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (also known as MBZ), as revealed in diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011.
A review of this trove - which included secret communications from the US embassy in Abu Dhabi between 2004 and 2010, recapping dozens of meetings with top UAE officials - suggests that the UAE has been a driving force behind the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood (the Brotherhood), and shows the UAE issued a series of stark warnings to US officials about Qatar and Al Jazeera well before the blockade began.
The cables include direct quotes from MBZ on topics he has not discussed in public, providing additional context to the changing political dynamics in the Gulf. The language attributed to him in the cables suggests the UAE's motives for the blockade are not exclusively driven by security concerns involving Qatar, but also a desire to quash dissent at home.
To date, MBZ has not delivered a single public statement about the current Gulf crisis, leaving his brother, Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed (or ABZ) and other surrogates, to speak for the government.

'Little Sparta'

After UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, suffered a stroke in 2014, MBZ became the de facto ruler of the UAE. Since then, his government has pursued a more assertive foreign policy, becoming one of the top five weapons importers in the world.
WATCH

What does UAE want with Yemeni island Socotra?

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the small Gulf country is the second-largest customer for US weapons in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia, one reason why US Secretary of Defense James Mattis reportedly dubbed it "Little Sparta".
The UAE has fewer than one million nationals but has become the new regional military power, sending forces to fight in Afghanistan and Yemen, allegedly carrying out bombing raids in Libya, building military bases in Somaliland and Eritrea, and, only recently, occupying Yemen's Socotra Island off the Horn of Africa. 
Under MBZ, the UAE has grown into a key US ally whose support would be pivotal in any military confrontation with Iran.
According to a cable from February 2009, the crown prince promised US officials that "when the Iranians fire their missiles, we will go after them and kill them".
The UAE's crown prince became the de facto ruler of the small Gulf country in 2014 [Liewig Christian/Getty Images]

A 'mortal enemy'

While Iran was a top security concern for MBZ long before the Arab Spring, the crown prince and his brothers were also fixated on another "mortal enemy", the Brotherhood, the leaked cables show.
One of the oldest and most significant social and political movements in the Arab world, the Brotherhood believes Islamic principles should regulate aspects of public and personal life.
Their calls for political activism and electoral legitimacy have often been considered a threat by monarchies and semi-democracies in the region, especially since they have wielded power at the ballot box, according to Courtney Freer, author of Rentier Islamism: The Influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gulf Monarchies.
"[The cables] demonstrate the extent to which MBZ has conflated radical and violent Islamist groups with moderate political movements like the Muslim Brotherhood," Freer told Al Jazeera.
In a leaked cable from February 2009, US diplomats said that MBZ saw "Iranian influence in the Brotherhood very clearly as both a way to agitate the Arab populace and render the traditional leaders of Arab society impotent".
"Thank God for Hosni Mubarak," he was quoted as saying in one of the cables from 2007, in which he also predicted that if an election were held in Egypt, the Brotherhood would win.
MBZ had previously told Frances Townsend, US homeland security adviser under George W Bush, that the same would happen in Dubai if elections were to take place - one of the reasons he rebuffed US calls to hold elections, saying it would happen closer to 2030, to focus on the next generation, according to several leaked cables.
Thank God for Hosni Mubarak
MOHAMED BIN ZAYED
The UAE began targeting Brotherhood sympathisers in the early 1990s after MBZ took charge of the security services following his appointment as armed forces chief of staff in 1993. 
Tensions grew in the years that followed as suspected members were transferred from the education sector to other roles in the public sector, excluded from public office, and had their charities closed.

'Counterterrorism policies'

In the years that followed the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US - in which two Emirati citizens and 15 Saudi nationals were involved - MBZ and his brothers Hamdan and Hazza expressed concerns about the influence "extremists" had on UAE society. They dramatically expanded the roles of security services throughout the country.
The 9/11 Commission also found that most of the money that financed the attacks had gone through UAE banks and wire transfers.
The UAE quickly went after money laundering and illicit fundraising, increased security cooperation with the US, and cracked down on those it identified as "extremists".

Quashing dissent at home

Their dragnet soon expanded to include non-violent social movements the government had targeted in the past, namely Al Islah (Reform)which was seen as a political and existential threat since it was ideologically linked to the Brotherhood.
During the Bush administration, MBZ often spoke about the supposed influence the Brotherhood had on the education system and the armed forces, the leaked cables show.
According to one cable from November 2004, US officials described how the crown prince said he had identified Brotherhood members in the military and put them through a form of reverse-brainwashing.
In another cable from April 2006, MBZ reportedly said that the challenge is finding a way to "take them (the Brotherhood) down in a way that they never come back".  
While discussing the need for Saudi Arabia to confront its "extremist" problem, MBZ laughed with US officials about his own house cleaning of "Muslim Brotherhood" influence, saying "we used a Hoover (vacuum)", according to a leaked cable from July 2005.
US officials comment in at least two cables from 2004 on MBZ's "generic" use of the organisation's name as a catch-all for "extremist" groups in the region.
The differing perspectives on the role of the Brotherhood have become a major fault line in the region and one reason why it is a "mess", according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, big enough, evidently, to be included along classic divisions between Israelis and Palestinians, Russia and the US, and Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Going after Qatar

Qatar has been under blockade since June 2017, after a number of GCC states severed ties [Thomas Morgan-Corbis/Getty]
After supporting the US invasion of Iraq, MBZ blamed Qatar-based Al Jazeera for having a negative influence on the Arab public, according to the leaked cables.
He also reportedly encouraged the US to bomb the network's Doha headquarters, although this may have been an example of his signature dark humour.
In any case, he was quoted as saying that Al Jazeera underscores the problem he sometimes has with free media.
By 2009, MBZ was growing more suspicious of Al Jazeera and Qatar, offering strong words to Richard Olsen, the then-US ambassador to the UAE, and members of his delegation. He asked them to stop taking notes and to keep his remarks off the record.
According to a cable from February 2009, MBZ believed Qatar had betrayed the GCC by making diplomatic overtures to Iran and said Qatar was "part of the Muslim Brotherhood", two key accusations levelled at Doha in the current Gulf dispute.
In the same cable, MBZ is said to have grouped Hamas and Hezbollah with Osama bin Laden as "transnational threats posing as national movements".
According to the cables, MBZ also revealed that his problems with Al Jazeera were personal, saying he believed the network had a negative impact on his family.
While discussing the progress of US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in at least three meetings he told the story of his son.
"He said that his son is intelligent -- a 'straight A student' -- but recently had voiced some anti-Western opinions, which MBZ believe were a result of watching too much Al Jazeera," a cable from April 2004 read.
 
MBZ was quoted as saying: "If [Al Jazeera] can affect the grandson of a moderate leader like Sheikh Zayed this way, imagine what it can do to the uneducated or the lower classes."
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain issued a set of demands on June 22, 2017, including shutting down Al Jazeera, severing alleged ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and limiting ties with Iran as a prerequisite to lifting the blockade.
Qatar rejected all the demands, denouncing them as attempts to infringe its sovereignty. It also has repeatedly rejected the allegation that it supports "terrorism" as "baseless".
Kuwait - which has operated as a mediator in the conflict - warned last month that the crisis threatened to derail the work of numerous initiatives by the GCC.
A planned Gulf summit of countries in the US that was supposed to take place at the beginning of April has been postponed to September.
But as the year anniversary of the blockade approaches, there appears to be no end in sight.
Qatar: Beyond the Blockade
SPECIAL SERIES
Qatar: Beyond the Blockade 

da "aljazeera.com"

venerdì 25 maggio 2018

Moscow has rejected any involvement in the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine after the Netherlands and Australia declared Russia “responsible” for the deployment of a BUK missile system that downed the jet in 2014......


Russia ‘absolutely’ rejects Dutch & Aussie accusations it’s responsible for MH17 downing
Moscow has rejected any involvement in the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine after the Netherlands and Australia declared Russia “responsible” for the deployment of a BUK missile system that downed the jet in 2014.
Moscow neither accepts nor trusts the results of an international investigation into the MH17 crash as it was not allowed to take part in it, according to the Russian president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“Of course, without being able to be a full participant, Russia does not know to what extent the results of this work can be trusted," he said.
Peskov echoed the position of the Russian president Vladimir Putin who earlier said that, although Ukraine was included in the probe, Russia was barred from participating in establishing the truth. 
Asked if he can confirm that Russia vehemently denies any involvement in the MH17 downing, Peskov replied “absolutely.”
Earlier on Friday, Amsterdam and Canberra said Russia is “responsible for its part in the downing of flight MH17” following a Thursday press conference of the Dutch-led International Investigation Team (JIT). The latter concluded that a BUK missile system from a Russian 53rd brigade was transported to eastern Ukraine and used to down the passenger plane with more than 300 people onboard. The system was then said to have returned to Russia.
“The [Dutch] government is now taking the next step by formally holding Russia accountable,” Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok said in a statement. However, the Russian military earlier said that not a single weapons system crossed the border.

MH17 tragedy may be used to achieve political goals – Lavrov

The country's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that Moscow would not reject closer cooperation on the MH17 probe, but only if the data it provides is included as well. He also compared the case with the Skripal scandal, in which London made groundless allegations and pinned the blame on Moscow, but failed to provide any proof.
“If our partners have decided to speculate on this case, when it comes to the most serious human tragedy, the death of hundreds of people, to achieve their political goals, I leave it on their conscience,” Lavrov said.
Despite the JIT claiming that it conducted a separate probe, it did not move any further than the British investigative group Bellingcat – some reports of which came under fire and were refuted by Russian activists. Among other flaws in the earlier Bellingcat claims was the assertion that the Ukrainian Army had no Buk systems in the conflict area. However, in a countering statement, Russian activists presented reports from the Ukrainian media itself showing Buk missiles in the area prior to the downing of the plane. 
Bellingcat’s online investigations have previously raised questions regarding their accuracy. After the group’s founder, Eliot Higgins, published one of his reports on Syria, he was asked to discuss his findings with prominent MIT physicist Theodore Postol. However, the blogger declined the debate and insulted the scientist, triggering an avalanche of criticism on Twitter.
The allegation that the missile belonged to the Russian military had earlier been debunked by the Buk manufacturer, Almaz-Antey. Its real-time experiment showed that the projectile which hit MH17 (Boeing 777) was from an earlier generation and is no longer in service with the Russian military. It was found that the plane was likely shot down using an old 9M38 missile, not the newer type 9M38M1 with distinct butterfly-shaped metal fragments, which were allegedly recovered by the Dutch Safety Board.
Moreover, Almaz-Antey’s findings, which analyzed the angle from which the projectiles entered the cockpit of the ill-fated flight, showed that the most probable location of the launch site could be only on Kiev-controlled territory. Untampered Russian radar data provided by Moscow led to similar conclusions.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Ukrainian forces kept around 20 Buk systems, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The military also stressed that Moscow has not supplied any new missiles to Ukraine since then.

da "rt.com"

The global economy is facing a threat of a spiraling protectionist measures that can lead to a devastating crisis, Vladimir Putin warned. Nations must find a way to prevent this and establish rules on how the economy should work......


Putin warns of financial crisis the world ‘has not yet seen’
The global economy is facing a threat of a spiraling protectionist measures that can lead to a devastating crisis, Vladimir Putin warned. Nations must find a way to prevent this and establish rules on how the economy should work.
The Russian president spoke out against the growing trend of using unilateral restrictions to achieve economic advantage, as he addressed guests of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday.
“The system of multilateral cooperation, which took years to build, is no longer allowed to evolve. It is being broken in a very crude way. Breaking the rules is becoming the new rule,” he said.
In addition to traditional forms of protectionism such as trade tariffs, technical standards and subsidies, nations are increasingly using new ways to undermine their competition, like unilateral economic sanctions. And nations which thought they would never be targeted by such measures for political reasons are now being proved wrong, Putin said.
“The ability to impose sanctions arbitrarily and with no control fosters a temptation to use such restrictive tools again and again, right and left, in every case, regardless of political loyalty, talks about solidarity, past agreements and long cooperation,” he said.
Putin called for a change of course, for free trade to be defended, and for rules-based regulation of the global economy, which would alleviate the chaos resulting from the rapid technological transformations arising from the development of digital technology.
“The disregard for existing norms and a loss of trust may combine with the unpredictability and turbulence of the colossal change. These factors may lead to a systemic crisis, which the world has not seen yet,” he said.
He stressed that there is a need for transparent universal rules as well as an inclusive mechanism, which would allow those rules to be amended in a way that would be accepted by the international community.
“We don’t need trade wars today or even temporary trade ceasefires. We need a comprehensive trade peace,” the president stressed.
“Competition, clash of interests, has always been, is, and will always be, of course. But we must be respectful towards each other. The ability to resolve differences through honest competition rather than by restricting competition is the source of progress,” Putin added.
The speech comes amid turbulent times for the global economy, in which the nationalist policies of US President Donald Trump have pitted America against other nations which his administration believes to be enjoying unfair advantages in trade. Trump has threatened China, European nations, Canada, and Mexico with trade restrictions, demanding the perceived misbalances be fixed.
The US has also intensified its use of economic sanctions, targeting Russia, Iran, North Korea, and other nations with various punitive measures.
da "rt-com"