Press review: the United States targets the South Caucasus and Kiev fears a possible US-Kremlin agreement – Press review



Izvestia: the United States targets the South Caucasus

The NATO summit will be held in Brussels on June 14. This time, the alliance members decided not to invite certain countries – namely the bloc candidates – Georgia and Ukraine. Despite this, the North Atlantic alliance assured Kiev and Tbilisi that they still have a chance for rapprochement, said Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker during his tour of the countries. of the South Caucasus. In addition to Georgia, so far Reeker has also visited Azerbaijan and Armenia. Experts told Izvestia that the countries of the South Caucasus have a serious place in US foreign policy, although it is not an area of ​​vital interests of the country.

Given the current situation, one of the objectives of the US delegation’s visit could be to try to involve Georgia in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strategic initiative – to create a six-party platform in the South Caucasus to develop cooperation, which would include Russia, Turkey, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. However, political scientists interviewed by Izvestia consider such a scenario unlikely. “There is a fairly hostile atmosphere in the region, so I don’t think such a format is viable,” said orientalist and political science candidate Larisa Aleksanyan.

Senior researcher at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations Vladimir Avatkov told Izvestia that Turkey’s proposed platform has stalled. “In view of NATO’s active expansion to the east and attempts to paint itself as an enemy of Russia, the United States is pursuing an active policy towards Ukraine and the South Caucasus. … The United States is trying to wrest Transcaucasia from Russia with Ankara’s hands. First of all, we are talking about Azerbaijan and Georgia, but it can happen with Armenia, according to the how the elections are going there, ”said the expert.

Thus, the countries of the South Caucasus occupy a serious place in US foreign policy, although it is not an area of ​​vital interests of the country, Aleksanyan added. “Washington sees the region as a springboard to oust Russia from the Caucasus-Caspian region and prevent Iran from strengthening its positions. The importance of the South Caucasus in American foreign policy is also due to the hydrocarbon resources of this region and their transport to Europe. , said the expert.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Kiev fears an agreement between Washington and the Kremlin

Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko demands that Vladimir Zelensky’s team publicly announce a clear position on Crimea and Donbass ahead of the Putin-Biden summit. Kiev fears that the Russian and American presidents will agree on the Ukrainian question without taking into account the Ukrainian position, writes Nezavisimaya Gazeta. Experts believe that such agreements cannot be respected due to the opinions of Ukrainian society.

According to political scientist Alexander Kochetkov, Biden and Zelensky are scheduled to meet in July, after the current NATO summit and the Biden-Putin meeting. He fears that Ukraine will simply be presented with the agreed positions and be forced to adhere to them.

Poroshenko’s team believes that chaos and unprofessionalism reigns in Zelensky’s office, and therefore Ukraine’s Western partners cannot always understand Kiev’s official position. However, Zelensky recently asked the West for clarification on the prospects for rapprochement with NATO. In fact, Zelensky’s approach to the sequence of actions to resolve the conflict in the Donbass also generally coincides with the position of Poroshenko’s team. Implement all points of the Minsk agreements devoted to ensuring security, and after that, political points.

The expert at the Foundation for Democratic Initiatives, Maria Zolkina, noted that Zelensky’s supporters on the Donbass and Crimea issue have the same views as Poroshenko’s supporters. The expert believes that such public opinion is important for diplomatic negotiations on the Donbass. “The united position of those who support political opponents is a guarantee against any agreement on the abandonment of Ukraine’s interests. It is practically impossible to impose on Ukrainian society a possible agreement between the West and the Kremlin, which would call into question Russia’s status as an aggressor. People just won’t accept it, ”she added.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Ankara becomes Bishkek’s alternative to Moscow

Defense, security and investment issues were the focus of Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov’s three-day official visit to Turkey, which ends on June 11. At a press conference in Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country intends to further strengthen its fraternal ties with Kyrgyzstan. According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the most important thing for Bishkek today is to stimulate the economy and solve the problems related to the state border, and Turkey is one of the countries to discuss these matters.

Senior researcher at the Center for Post-Soviet Studies at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations Stanislav Pritchin told the newspaper that Japarov’s visit to Ankara was against Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s visit to Tajikistan. “The high-level visits should be viewed through the prism of the border conflict between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and the search for support on the international stage,” Pritchin said.

The expert believes that Turkish investors should hardly be expected to come to Kyrgyzstan on a massive scale and improve the investment climate situation in the country. In addition, he noted, there are no large industries and facilities for Turkish companies in Kyrgyzstan that would drastically change the trade balance between the two countries.

“Ankara has greatly increased its activity of interaction with the Islamic countries of Central Asia. Bishkek is becoming an even more interesting partner for Ankara, given its military-political conflict with Dushanbe which is gradually spreading,” Nezavisimaya told Nezavisimaya Gazeta the foreign policy expert Grigory Trofimchuk. “Ankara is becoming a natural alternative to Moscow for Sadyr Japarov,” he added.

Kommersant: US experts claim China behind unprecedented hacker attacks on Russia

Experts from US computer company Sentinel Labs have concluded that Chinese hackers were behind the unprecedented series of cyberattacks against the Russian government, recently reported by Rostelecom Solar and the FSB Coordination Center for Computer Incidents, writes Kommersant. Previously, the specialists of these two Russian structures had only noted that the sabotage was carried out by cyber-mercenaries pursuing the interests of a foreign state. Since 2015, an agreement has been in force between Russia and China in the area of ​​cybersecurity, which the parties are not supposed to tackle.

Sentinel Labs maintains that it was not Western intelligence, as many experts initially suggested, behind the attack on Russian federal executive authorities, but a Chinese group called ThunderCats, which is part of the larger group TA428. The Americans base their conclusions on an analysis of the Mail-O malware used in these attacks.

Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity expert Denis Legezo told Kommersant that the public sector as a whole is one of the many areas of interest for Chinese-speaking attackers, but they are not limited to them.

Andrey Arsentyev, head of analysis and special projects at InfoWatch Group, told the newspaper that Chinese hackers have actively attacked pharmaceutical and biotech companies in recent times.

In turn, Anastasia Tikhonova, head of APT research at Group-IB, told Kommersant that “Russian organizations regularly become the target of pro-government groups around the world, including China.” “According to our report, the largest number of active pro-government groups is concentrated in China, 23 in total,” she said, adding, “The main purpose of these groups is espionage. They have access. confidential data of organizations and try to hide their presence as long as possible There are cases where attackers, being in the network, have been kept secret for several years.

Izvestia: The number of new cases of coronavirus in Russia is on the rise

The daily number of new coronavirus cases recorded in Russia has returned to the level of the end of February. As of June 10, 11,699 new cases of COVID-19 were detected in the country. In order to stop the growing incidence, it would be necessary to vaccinate at least 35 million people, experts told Izvestia.

The increased incidence rate may be associated with the start of the holiday season, infectious disease specialist and vaccinologist Evgeny Timakov told Izvestia. “We will have an increase in morbidity until the population is vaccinated or becomes seriously ill,” he warned.

It is wrong to conclude that we are on the verge of a further increase in morbidity, the deputy director of clinical and analytical work of the Rospotrebnadzor Central Research Institute in Epidemiology Natalya Pshenichnaya told Izvestia. “Many people continue to ignore the precautions, do not realize the need for vaccination, which contributes to the circulation of the virus among the population. If these circumstances persist, then the periodic increases in the incidence rate are understandable,” she said, adding that cool, rainy weather can help various respiratory viruses.

The situation will be corrected by accelerating vaccination rates, Pavel Volchkov, head of the genomic engineering laboratory of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Pavel Volchkov, told the newspaper. “According to our data, Sputnik V is one of the most effective vaccines in the world. This conclusion, in particular, came after its mass tests in Hungary. If over the summer we can reach the threshold of 35- 40 million people vaccinated in Russia, this will allow us to calmly survive the fall and, in fact, stop the pandemic, “he said.

TASS is not responsible for the material cited in these press reviews.


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