President Margvelashvili Expresses Concern about Russian Border-Moving in the Village of Bershueti
The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili expresses concern about Russia moving the border in the village of Bershueti, Gori district and hopes that the international community will instantly respond to this action.
The Advisor to the President for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tengiz Pkhaladze has made this statement today.
"It is extremely important any action that violates Georgia’s territorial integrity to be strongly condemned. Georgia will use all diplomatic means to stop the creeping occupation.
On the order of the President, information about this incident of border-moving will be immediately delivered to our partners, friendly states, and international organizations and no act that violates Georgia’s territorial integrity will be left unanswered”, - stated Mr. Pkhaladze.
Ukraine and Moldova: arms trafficking threat in focus in wake of Russian invasion
The EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM), together with Europol, the OSCE, Frontex, UNODC, and law enforcement agencies from Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova last week convened a meeting of the Arms Working Group on fighting the trafficking of weapons, ammunition and explosives from Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.
The online meeting focused on the assessment of threats related to arms trafficking in Europe, with a particular emphasis on the availability of weapons, as a consequence of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
Experts from international institutions and law enforcement agencies from Moldova and Ukraine presented the latest cases and trends in the detection of illegal weapons at border crossing posts and in the border area.
“The main objective of establishing this Group has been a consolidation of the knowledge, experiences, and efforts of Moldovan and Ukrainian law enforcement agencies as well as international actors to strengthen joint countermeasures against the trafficking of weapons, ammunition, explosives and CBRN materials,” saidSlawomir Pichor, Head of EUBAM.
The purpose of the joint cross-border working group is to assist Moldovan and Ukrainian authorities in effectively countering illicit weapons trafficking and related serious and organised crime in the region and to foster international cooperation.
Find out more
Russian Foreign Minister announced the need to meet more often in the Caspian format of CMFA
The level of five-sided cooperation since the previous meeting of foreign ministers of the Caspian states four years ago has grown markedly, which dictates the need for us to meet more often in this format, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, speaking on Tuesday in Ashgabat at a ministerial meeting ahead of the summit of the heads of states of the Caspian "five", noted that the Russian Federation expects that the launch of the mechanism of the Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (CMFA) on a regular basis will bring the level of interaction to a qualitatively new level.
Lavrov noted that the Russian side is satisfied with the agreements on the final communique that were reached within the framework of the High-Level Working Group, whose experts were able to draw up a "very good and useful document" that will be submitted to the presidents on Wednesday.
Also, Sergey Lavrov, following the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Caspian states, said that the relevance and inviolability of the principles of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea were confirmed - only the states located on the Caspian Sea have sovereign rights in relation to the sea and its resources. The parties reaffirmed the principles of the convention in other areas, and also agreed to continue work on strengthening and expanding the legal framework for cooperation in the region.
The countries confirmed that the presence of armed forces of non-Caspian countries is excluded in the Caspian Sea region, and navigation is carried out only by ships flying the flag of one of the coastal states.
GLOBALink | Chinese muralists decorate countryside with creativity, passion
KUNMING, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Liu Zhicheng, a 26-year-old painter, together with his partner Xu Fengkai, has been creating artworks on the walls of farmhouses in Xingyi Village, Lijiang City, southwest China's Yunnan Province.
Liu has studied wall painting for about six years. In 2020, Liu and his partner began painting walls free of charge and full of love and passion.
It usually takes Liu about two to three days to complete a wall painting.
The two record their creative process through short videos and upload them onto Chinese online platforms, which has won the dedicated artists 330,000 fans and more orders.
The profits generated from the increasing commercial orders in turn can better support the two to continue their public welfare painting campaigns in rural areas.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service
Russian aggression against Ukraine: European Commission proposes sixth sanctions package
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today presented the sixth package of sanctions against Russia.
First, the EU is listing high-ranking military officers and other individuals who committed war crimes in Bucha and who are responsible for the inhuman siege of the city of Mariupol. “This sends another important signal to all perpetrators of the Kremlin’s war: we know who you are, and you will be held accountable,” said Ursula von der Leyen.
Second, the EU is to de-SWIFT Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and two other major banks. These banks are systemically critical to the Russian financial system and Putin’s ability to wage destruction, according to the European Commission. “This will solidify the complete isolation of the Russian financial sector from the global system,” the President said.
Third, the EU is banning three big Russian state-owned broadcasters from the EU airwaves. They will not be allowed to distribute their content any more in the EU, in whatever shape or form, be it on cable, via satellite, on the internet or via smartphone apps.
“We have identified these TV channels as mouthpieces that amplify Putin’s lies and propaganda aggressively. We should not give them a stage anymore to spread these lies,” stated von der Leyen. “Moreover, the Kremlin relies on accountants, consultants and spin-doctors from Europe. And this will now stop. We are banning those services from being provided to Russian companies.”
The European Commission is also proposing a ban on Russian oil. This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined. The EU will make sure that it phases out Russian oil in an orderly fashion in a way that allows the EU and its partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimises the impact on global markets.
“This is why we will phase out Russian supply of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year. Thus, we maximise pressure on Russia, while at the same time minimising collateral damage to us and our partners around the globe,” said von der Leyen.
The President said that all these steps aim to deprive the Russian economy from its ability to diversify and modernise. “Putin wanted to wipe Ukraine from the map. He will clearly not succeed. On the contrary: Ukraine has risen up in unity. And it is his own country, Russia, he is sinking,” concluded the President.
She noted that the “EU wants Ukraine to win this war” and will help Ukrainians rebuild their country for the next generation. That is why the European Commission is also proposing to start working on an ambitious recovery package for Ukraine that should bring massive investment to meet the needs and the necessary reforms, address the existing weaknesses of the Ukrainian economy and lay the foundations for sustainable long-term growth.
Twenty Russian airlines added to EU Air Safety List
On 11 April, the European Commission included 21 airlines certified in Russia to the EU Air Safety List.
The EU Air Safety List is the list of airlines that are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, because they do not meet international safety standards.
According to the Commission, this decision reflects the EU’s serious safety concerns due to Russia’s forced re-registration of foreign-owned aircraft, knowingly allowing their operation without valid certificates of airworthiness. “This is in breach of international aviation safety standards,” says a press release by the Commission.
“This is not only a clear breach of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention), but it also poses an immediate safety threat,” Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said.
She added that despite the context of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, this decision is not another sanction against Russia: “It has been taken solely on the basis of technical and safety grounds. We do not mix safety with politics.”
Following the update, a total of 117 airlines are banned from EU skies.
On 27 February, the EU shut down EU airspace for all Russian-owned, Russian registered or Russian-controlled aircraft. These aircraft are no longer able to land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU.
EU cooperation with its Eastern partners