Russia and Iran put on a show of unity - against the US
And now that Russia was plunging deeper into its own confrontation with the United States, Mr Raisi told Mr Putin in televised remarks, it was time to take on"the power of the Americans with an increased synergy between our two countries."For Mr Putin, embroiled in a dispute with the United States over spheres of influence and facing harsh sanctions if he follows through on a threatened invasion of Ukraine, it was a chance to show that Russia has friends it can call on in its battles with the West.Read more: ST Foreign Desk »
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US warns Russia poised to attack Ukraine 'at any point'WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday (Jan 18) upped its threat assessment of a potentially imminent Russian attack against Ukraine, warning ahead of talks between the top US and Russian diplomats that \u0022no option\u0022 would be off the table in the subsequent Western response. \u0022We believe we\u0027re now at a stag
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Biden says he believes Russia will 'move in' to UkraineWASHINGTON/KYIV: US President Joe Biden predicted on Wednesday (Jan 19) that Russian President Vladimir Putin will make a move into Ukraine and said Russia would pay dearly for a full-scale invasion,
Biden believes Putin will 'move in' on Ukraine, warns of 'disaster' for Russia if they invadeWASHINGTON/KYIV: US President Joe Biden predicted on Wednesday (Jan 19) that Russian President Vladimir Putin will make a move into Ukraine and said Russia would pay dearly for a full-scale invasion, They want the ROI on their investment. Nuland in „f*the EU“ and“ we want results after we invested billions here“ , seems forgotten.
Copy to clipboard https://str.LinkedIn WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday (Jan 18) upped its threat assessment of a potentially imminent Russian attack against Ukraine, warning ahead of talks between the top US and Russian diplomats that"no option" would be off the table in the subsequent Western response.Copy to clipboard https://str.War in Ukraine: A question of how and when Russia will strike But the US officials say Putin may also have concluded that with the US and other countries arming Ukraine, his military advantage is at risk of slipping away.
sg/wAkD MOSCOW (NYTIMES) - Sitting across a long table from President Vladimir Putin at a Covid-conscious distance, President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran reminded his Russian counterpart Wednesday (Jan 19) that Teheran had been"resisting America for 40 years." And now that Russia was plunging deeper into its own confrontation with the United States, Mr Raisi told Mr Putin in televised remarks, it was time to take on"the power of the Americans with an increased synergy between our two countries."I would say that's more stark than we have been." It was a bit of geopolitical theatre at the Kremlin at a critical moment for Washington and its adversaries. A week of talks in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna last week failed to ease tensions, with Russia insisting its demands for sweeping security guarantees - including a permanent ban on Ukraine joining Nato - be taken seriously. Mr Raisi, the hardline Iranian leader, started a two-day trip to Moscow on Wednesday designed to showcase tightening bonds between two countries with often-diverging interests and a history of strained relations - but, increasingly, along with China, a single adversary: the United States. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken flew to Ukraine for talks on Wednesday, with subsequent stops in Berlin to meet European allies on Thursday, and Geneva to sit down with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday. For Mr Putin, embroiled in a dispute with the United States over spheres of influence and facing harsh sanctions if he follows through on a threatened invasion of Ukraine, it was a chance to show that Russia has friends it can call on in its battles with the West. But that leaves open the question of what, if anything, the Russians were signalling.
In keeping with that message, the visit will include an address by Mr Raisi to Russia's Lower House of Parliament, a rare honour for a visiting leader. However, Moscow's massive build-up of offensive weaponry and troops leaves little doubt that at least a potential assault is being prepared as a way to back the Kremlin's broader aim of preventing pro-Western Ukraine from leaving the Russian sphere of influence."Let's hope these talks will continue," Lavrov said. Iran, its economy already strangled by US sanctions, is involved in delicate negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear accord. Mr Raisi nevertheless voiced tacit support for Mr Putin in Ukraine, and Iran's foreign minister emphasised that the two presidents had agreed on the"framework" of an agreement governing increased economic and military cooperation. The latest US comments appeared to reflect an increasingly grim view of the standoff. No deals were signed publicly, however, and the extent of the Kremlin's willingness to sell to Iran more of the modern Russian weaponry that Teheran has long sought remained unclear. Blinken will then head Thursday to Berlin for four-way talks with Britain, France and Germany on the Ukraine crisis, State Department spokesman Ned Price said. But along with an upcoming naval exercise combining warships from Russia, Iran and China, the Kremlin appeared intent on sending a message that it was continuing to foster new ties that could serve as a counterweight to the West."We still don't believe that he's made a final decision. Combined with other local forces, the Russians have about 77,000 troops at the border, with more on the way.
Iran, too, is signalling that it also has alternatives if Western sanctions are not lifted. "On the international arena, we are cooperating very closely," Mr Putin told Mr Raisi, noting the crises in Syria and Afghanistan, and pledging to bring Iran closer to the Russia-led trade bloc known as the Eurasian Economic Union. "No option is off the table" when it comes to sanctions, she said, warning of an"extremely dangerous situation. Adding to the tensions, Russia and Ukraine's neighbour Belarus on Tuesday launched snap military exercises. Russia and Iran still have a host of differences. Despite years of sanctions, Russia's economy, unlike Iran's, remains closely integrated with the West. The pipeline, which has been completed but not commissioned, is seen as an important part of Europe's energy supply network, but also a crown jewel in Moscow's export capabilities. Mr Putin has worked to foster close ties with Israel, which Iranian leaders see as an enemy. Neither Moscow nor Minsk has disclosed the number of troops involved, but a video published by the Belarusian defence ministry showed columns of military vehicles including tanks being unloaded from trains blanketed in snow. It could come in the form of a full-on invasion, the Ukrainian security official said.
And in Vienna, Russia has been working with the United States and Europe to try to resuscitate faltering negotiations over restoring the deal restricting Iran's nuclear programme. BLINKEN DIPLOMATIC WHIRLWIND Blinken's diplomatic whirlwind follows inconclusive talks last week in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna, where Russia presented what Western governments say are unacceptable demands. But as Russia's conflict with the West intensifies, Russian officials are increasingly willing to look past those differences. Mr Grigory Lukyanov, an international relations specialist at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, said that Russian officials had grown more aligned in recent years with the more strident anti-Western stance of some Iranian counterparts. A readout from the Russian foreign ministry said Lavrov told Blinken that Moscow needs"concrete article-by-article" responses"as soon as possible. It's hard not to see that as a threat," she said. And Mr Raisi, an ultraconservative cleric who became president in August, has spoken out in favour of closer ties to Russia despite scepticism in the Iranian public. "This visit is oriented not so much toward the domestic audience in both countries but, most of all, toward the West," Mr Lukyanov said of Mr Raisi's trip to Moscow." Earlier, Lavrov said at a joint press conference with visiting German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock there would be no further negotiations until the West responds. Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and instigated a violent separatist uprising that effectively cleaved away two Ukrainian provinces.
"There are now more supporters in the Russian leadership of adopting Iran's radical course, which used to be considered unacceptable in Russia. Ukraine is a powerful country," Erdogan told reporters in Albania." After Wednesday's meeting at the Kremlin, the Iranian foreign minister, Mr Hossein Amir Abdollahian, posted on Twitter that the two presidents had"agreed on the framework of a long-term agreement. The State Department said Blinken would meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Wednesday, to"reinforce the United States' commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity." In his remarks Wednesday, Mr Raisi said the document had been"delivered" to Mr Putin. "Teheran and Russia relations entered a new, fast-paced and dynamic path," Mr Amir Abdollahian said. BELARUS MILITARY DRILLS Adding to the tensions, Russia and Ukraine's neighbour Belarus on Tuesday launched snap military exercises. More On This Topic."Excellent cooperation will begin in this new phase of relations. Indeed, observers have argued that Mr Putin's threats against Ukraine are rooted in a desire to reconstitute a Moscow-led Eastern bloc reminiscent of Soviet times.
" The 20-year agreement discussed by Mr Putin and Mr Raisi, Iranian officials said, focuses on technology transfers from Russia, the purchase of Russian military equipment and Russian investments in Iranian energy infrastructure. Ukraine is located south of Belarus, and east of NATO and EU member Poland. Iran has said the agreement would be modelled after a sweeping economic and security deal signed in September between Iran and China. Under that agreement, China will invest nearly US$400 billion (S$538. WARNING FROM TURKEY NATO member Turkey also warned Moscow against invading Ukraine, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying Tuesday he intends to discuss rising tensions with Putin.62 billion) in a wide range of projects in Iran in exchange for discounted oil for two decades. "We are definitely pursuing a long-term agreement with Russia because it is a necessity," Mr Mahmoud Shoori, deputy director of the Institute for Iran and Eurasian Studies in Teheran, said in a phone interview. Turkey has supplied combat drones to Ukrainian forces, drawing fierce criticism from Moscow. Security officials fear that the exercises could become a pretext for long-term deployment of Russian forces in the former Soviet republic, which shares a lengthy western border with the European Union and Nato.
"More important than economic partnership with Russia is a military and intelligence alliance." In Russia, many analysts believe that the prospect of increased Russian military cooperation with other American adversaries is one of the Kremlin's best points of leverage against Washington. The types of equipment being sent"are not strategic weapons and pose no threat to Russia," he said, describing them as"light, anti-armour, defensive weapon systems. On Tuesday, warships from Russia's Pacific Fleet entered Iran's Chabahar port on the Gulf of Oman ahead of a planned joint naval exercise with Iran and China, the Russian Defecse Ministry said. But perhaps the thorniest issue confronting Moscow and Teheran is the future of Iran's nuclear programme." Source: AFP/ec. In his televised comments Wednesday, Mr Putin told Mr Raisi that it was"very important to hear your position" on the negotiations in Vienna.
Russia, analysts believe, continues to play a constructive role in the Vienna talks, seeing neither a nuclear-armed Iran nor an American or Israeli attack on Iran as a palatable alternative to the nuclear deal. That means Mr Putin was likely to pressure Iran to move faster - though he could be tempted to use Russian cooperation in the talks as bargaining leverage in Russia's standoff with the West over Ukraine. "Russia neither wants Iran with a bomb nor Iran bombed," said Mr Ali Vaez, the Iran director of the International Crisis Group."The Russians are very good at compartmentalising their differences with the West." Join .