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Trump wants to remove the restrictions on economy and communications by April 12

Trump wants to remove the restrictions on economy and communications by April 12

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would like to remove restrictions on United States communications with the outside world imposed to combat the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 by April 12.

“I would like the country to be open and” torn into battle by Easter”, he said.

Earlier, Trump announced that the United States and Canada agreed to temporarily close the border between the two states. In addition, the United States closed the border with Mexico. Also, travel from Europe to the country is prohibited from March 13 for a period of 30 days due to the spread of coronavirus. Restrictions apply to other countries.

Americans should get back to work despite coronavirus – Trump

In addition, in an interview, the American president expressed the opinion that citizens should return to work, despite the coronavirus.

“Thousands of people die because of the flu. And we never“ cut off ”the country because of this. We lose even more people in accidents. And we don’t ask automakers to stop making cars,” he said.

Trump emphasized that people are dying of the flu, but even more people can be lost if “the country finds itself in a vast recession or depression.”

According to Trump, the US “was not created to remain without work.” “People don’t want to be locked in a house or apartment,” he said.

“You know, you can destroy a country in this way by stopping work in it. We had the best economic indicators in the history of the country three weeks ago, and then all of a sudden we had to stop,” the president added.

As of March 24, over 49.5 thousand infections were diagnosed in the USA, 622 people died with coronavirus. Meanwhile, 361 patients recovered.

UN Secretary-General calls for an “immediate global ceasefire” due to the threat of coronavirus

UN Secretary-General calls for an “immediate global ceasefire” due to the threat of coronavirus

UN Secretary General António Guterres highlighted the need for an immediate and complete ceasefire in all parts of the planet due to the spread of the coronavirus. He made the corresponding special statement on Monday during a video conference with journalists accredited to the world organization.

“I call for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world,” said Guterres. “It’s time to block the path of armed conflict and jointly focus on the true struggle of our whole life.” “I appeal to the warring parties: stop hostilities, drop mistrust and enmity, silence guns, stop artillery shelling, stop air strikes,” the UN Secretary General said in an appeal.

He expressed confidence that as soon as possible “the ailment of the war should be put to an end and the disease that is raging in the world should be fought.” “It starts with the cessation of hostilities around the world. Now,” he added.

According to Guterres, a ceasefire will “create humanitarian corridors for the delivery of vital assistance and give hope to those who are most vulnerable to coronavirus infection.” “Our human family needs it now more than ever,” he concluded.

The Secretary General emphasized during a video conference with journalists accredited with the world organization that the UN is taking all steps to implement the organization’s call for a global ceasefire. “I am making my global call now, the special representatives will now work with the parties to the conflict to try to make sure that this global call is not only heeded, but it will also lead to concrete actions – a break in hostilities, and will also create conditions for so that the reaction to the spread of the virus is more effective, “he said.

Guterres urged not to forget that “areas in which conflicts occur are areas where the possibilities for taking action are very limited, and if hostilities continue, then the virus will be absolutely destructive.”

The UN will appeal to donors for the allocation of $ 2 billion for a humanitarian response to the threat of the spread of a new coronavirus. “On Wednesday we will release a humanitarian plan, it will include a call for the allocation of $ 2 billion so that our humanitarian response is as effective as possible,” the secretary general emphasized and added that, first of all, the funds should be used to help refugee camps, where people most vulnerable to a pandemic.

In addition, Guterres sent a message to G20 leaders calling for increased coordination in the fight against the spread of coronavirus in the world. “I just sent a letter to all G20 leaders,” the secretary general informed. “I think it’s absolutely clear that we need much greater coordination in suppressing the disease. We need confidence that not only developed countries can fight it, but that we can support developing countries. “

On March 18, the Saudi press agency reported that Riyadh is planning to convene an extraordinary G20 summit in a virtual format for the week to discuss the situation with coronavirus in a virtual format. Saudi Arabia presides over this association in 2020; the traditional annual G20 summit is scheduled for November in the kingdom. According to previously published information, the UN Secretary General will take part in the virtual meeting.

Turkey, which threatened the EU with open borders, closes them due to corona
Middle East & Africa

Turkey, which threatened the EU with open borders, closes them due to corona

Turkey, which has been blackmailing the EU with open borders and threatening to “flood” Europe with refugees, is closing border crossings as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Turkey will close its crossings on the borders with Greece and Bulgaria at midnight. Passengers will not be allowed to cross them either at the entrance or exit.

Also, Turkey has banned entry into the country for third-country nationals located in Greece and Bulgaria over the past 14 days.

In addition, ferry services between the Turkish coast and the Greek islands in the Aegean have already been stopped.
As exceptions, freight can pass through the border with the EU.

Turkey has already stopped flights to many European countries and closed the border with Iran at the end of February due to fears of the coronavirus. The country recorded 98 cases of coronavirus and first death.

The news of the closure of the border by Turkey may help Greece.

Thousands of migrants arrived at the Greek-Turkish land border earlier this month after Ankara said it would no longer stop their attempts to break into the EU.

On Wednesday night, clashes resumed on the Greek-Turkish border after about 500 migrants tried to break the border fence and enter Greece.

Why does Erdogan create a refugee crisis on the border with the EU?
Middle East & Africa

Why does Erdogan create a refugee crisis on the border with the EU?

According to the latest data, said the head of the Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs Suleiman Soilu, more than 130 thousand illegal migrants have already crossed the border with Greece. Greece, which is struggling to stop the flow, says it is not ready for so many people.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan bluntly stated that he did not plan to close the border with Europe or restrain migrants. Hearing about this, refugees from various countries, including from Syria and Iraq, began to draw to the border, hoping to get to Europe.

Fearing an influx of illegal migrants, authorities in neighboring Greece installed barbed wire at checkpoints – the border was closed on the European side. But those wishing to be in Europe continue, in the hope of luck, to line up, pitch tents or sleep right on bare ground. And many are still trying to break into Greece.

Over the past few days, migrants have already stoned Greek border guards and used metal rods. The border guards responded with tear gas.
A video appeared on Tuesday showing how the Greek coast guard shoots water next to an inflatable boat full of migrants, and then a Greek boat pushes the boat back into the sea, forcing her to return to Turkey.

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Some who tried to cross the border by water still managed to get to the Greek island of Lesvos: on frames is a white inflatable boat in which more than 30 people are sitting, including small children. Behind the scenes heard the cries of local residents: “Leave, go back!”

In Turkey, where about 85 million people live, there are already 3.7 million refugees from Syria alone (about 44% of them are children), and authorities say they can no longer cope with the flow of illegal migrants.

According to the data for 2019, the vast majority – 98% – of Syrian refugees live in urban and rural areas, outside temporary accommodation centers or camps. The majority complains about the lack of work and the inability to feed the family. In Europe, refugees expect that a better life awaits them.

A similar problem today was acute several years ago, before the conclusion of an agreement on refugees between the European Union and Turkey in 2016. But then in the country there were 2.73 million Syrian refugees who also tried to get to Europe.
Greece could send back all arriving Syrian refugees to Turkey, and Turkey had to take them back.

In exchange, Turkey received 6 billion euros to help migrants and refugees.

For each illegal migrant returned to Turkey, Europe will provide asylum to one refugee from Turkish camps.

The agreement concerned only Syrians and did not apply to refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or other countries.
After the signing of the agreement, the number of migrants arriving in Greece fell sharply.

Turkey’s current decision actually means refusing to comply with the terms of this 2016 agreement. At the same time, President Erdogan said that the EU did not provide any assistance in resettling Syrian refugees to safe areas in Syria.

Erdogan made the decision to open the border immediately after 30 Turkish soldiers died in the Syrian province of Idlib as a result of air strikes. Turkey responded with strikes from the ground and air, later claiming 60 casualties from its shelling.

Idlib is now perhaps the most important point on the map of Syria. It was here that concentrated the forces of rebels and jihadists trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. That is why the troops of the Syrian president launched an offensive in December, which led to the mass displacement of people: almost a million residents fled from the war to the Turkish border.

At the same time, Erdogan pursues his own interests in Syria and considers Idlib his zone of influence: not only because of problems with refugees, but also because of the need to solve Turkey’s domestic political problems. Many independent experts agree that Erdogan is trying to support the image of the Syrian Sunni defender from the Shiite government of Assad.

“Hey, European Union! If you try to call our operation in Syria an invasion, then we will open the borders and send 3.6 million refugees to you,” Erdogan warned in October.

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Chinese ambassador summoned to state department after statements by Chinese Foreign Ministry on coronavirus
Americas, Asia Pacific Focus

Chinese ambassador summoned to state department after statements by Chinese Foreign Ministry on coronavirus

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai was called to the State Department because of the words of an official spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry that American troops could bring a new coronavirus to Wuhan (the administrative center of Hubei Province).

He was called in due to what the representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said regarding COVID-19 [a disease caused by coronavirus.

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Earlier, Zhao Lijian, the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, published a message on his Twitter page suggesting that “the coronavirus got to Wuhan through the fault of the US military.” However, the diplomat did not specify exactly how they delivered him there.

In this regard, the South China Morning Post on Friday clarified that the presence of American troops in China could be associated with the VII World Summer Military Games in Wuhan. In these competitions, held from October 18 to 27, the military took part from more than 100 countries, including the United States. According to the same publication, the first case of coronavirus infection in the China was recorded on November 17, 2019 in a 55-year-old resident of Hubei.

In turn, another representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang, commenting on the statements of his colleague, said that one should not rush to conclusions regarding the origin of coronavirus, stressing that this issue requires professional scientific study.

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Uruguay new govt announces secession from Union of S.American Nations

Uruguay new govt announces secession from Union of S.American Nations

The Uruguayan government, which began work on March 1, decided to leave the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and stop the process of withdrawing from the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR). This was announced on Tuesday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic.

“The government of Uruguay has decided to withdraw from UNASUR, which has already left most of the countries in the region, with the exception of Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname,” the statement said.

The Foreign Ministry also said that Uruguay will stop the process of exiting TIAR, which the government of ex-President Tabare Vazquez announced in September last year. “The new government believes that the withdrawal from TIAR has weakened the inter-American system and deprived our country of the opportunity to be heard in the field of mutual assistance in the field of collective defense and security in the Western Hemisphere,” the statement said.

The declaration on the creation of UNASUR was signed in 2004 in Peru. The association includes Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Guyana and Suriname, most of which have already left the bloc by now.

The second round of presidential elections in Uruguay was held on November 24 last year. Right-centrist Luis Lacalle Pau beat Daniel Martinez, candidate from the ruling center-left coalition “Wide Front,” with minimal margin. After winning the election, the elected head of state said he would change the policy towards Venezuela to a tougher one.

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IAEA head calls on Iran to provide access to undeclared nuclear facilities
Middle East & Africa

IAEA head calls on Iran to provide access to undeclared nuclear facilities

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) calls on Iran to provide access to facilities for the possible storage of undeclared nuclear material. This was announced on Monday by the IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi at a meeting of the Agency’s Governing Council in Vienna.

“The Agency identified a number of issues related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear activities at three sites that were not declared by Iran. The Agency requested access to two facilities. Iran did not provide access to these facilities and did not participate in substantive negotiations to clarify the agency’s issues.” – said Grossi.

“This negatively affects the ability of the agency to clarify and resolve these issues, to ensure confidence in the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran. I urge Iran to immediately and fully cooperate with the agency, including providing quick access to facilities designated by the agency,” he stressed.

Grossi also said that the IAEA did not record changes in Iran’s fulfillment of its obligations under the nuclear deal after Tehran’s announcement of the fifth step of deviation from the implementation of this agreement.

“To date, the agency has not recorded any changes in Iran’s implementation of its nuclear obligations under the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for the Iranian Nuclear Program) due to its earlier announcement, as well as in the level of cooperation of Iran regarding the agency’s verification and monitoring the implementation of the JCPOA, ”said Grossi.

According to him, the IAEA continues to ensure that nuclear materials declared by Iran in accordance with the Safeguards Agreement are not sent for other purposes. “The ongoing verification of the absence of undeclared nuclear materials in Iran and other activities,” Grossi added.

On March 3, the IAEA sent a report on the status of nuclear inspections in Iran to countries participating in the Board of Governors of the Agency, which indicated that the amount of enriched uranium in Iran was more than five times the limit set by the nuclear agreement. The IAEA criticized Iran for refusing to provide experts with access to two nuclear facilities for conducting inspections, as well as unwillingness to answer questions related to the possible presence of undeclared nuclear materials.

The next day, the Permanent Representative of Iran to international organizations in Vienna, Kazem Garib Abadi, said that the United States and Israel are trying to put pressure on the IAEA. According to him, Tehran is not obliged to consider the IAEA requests for access to its nuclear facilities based on fabricated information.

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In the Netherlands, the trial of suspects in the case of MH17

In the Netherlands, the trial of suspects in the case of MH17

The trial of persons suspected of involvement in the crash of flight MH17 in July 2014 began on Monday in the Netherlands. The dock is empty, however, Russian lawyers Oleg Pulatov are present at the hearings at the Schiphol court complex near Amsterdam. Presiding Judge Hendrick Steinhuis confirmed this by opening the meeting.

“Representatives of the relatives of the victims of the tragedy, as well as the defense representing Pulatov, are present in the meeting room,” he stated. We are talking about two Dutch lawyers from the office of Sjocrona – Van Stigt. In addition, a Russian lawyer Elena Kutina, also representing Pulatov, is present at the hearing. However, she “does not have the right to speak before a Dutch court, although she is a member of the defense team,” Steinhuis said.

The judge added that the Dutch military police are observing the order in the courtroom.

Steinhuis said the trial for the crash of flight MH17 had already been planned at least until the end of 2021.

“Last year, in June 2019, the court decided to hold a meeting on March 9, 2020 at the request of the prosecutor’s office. Then, the courtrooms were reserved for several blocks of hearings that will begin on June 8, 2020, August 21, 2020 and October 1, 2021,” said he, explaining the course of the upcoming process.

Steinhuis added that the Dutch court considers four Russian defendants in the MH17 crash case as defendants.
“There are only four defendants against whom the state prosecutor has charged,” he said, noting that today it will be finally known whether one of them will appear in the courtroom and whether they will be represented by lawyers.

The meeting, he said, is designed to determine the current state of affairs. The presiding judge also noted that the court has yet to decide whether to continue the investigation of MH17. He clarified that the case has 36 thousand pages and a lot of media files. “This is a digital trial,” Steinhuis added.

The hearings scheduled for March 9-13 are devoted to the solution of technical, organizational and administrative issues: have the suspects received subpoenas, are they aware that a criminal case has been opened against them in the Netherlands, what exactly are they accused of, can they be tried in absentia whether the prosecutor’s office is ready to present evidence of what role the relatives of the victims will play. For the same purpose, another week was allotted in March – from 23 to 27, inclusive. In fact, if the case begins, it will not be earlier than June 8th.

It is known that the prosecutor’s case has 102 volumes and 36 thousand pages. The trial of the other three suspects – the Russians Igor Girkin, known under the pseudonym Strelkov, and Sergey Dubinsky, as well as the Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko – will most likely be held in absentia. However, the presiding judge must make a separate decision in this regard.

The trial itself is taking place against the backdrop of serious disagreements between Russia and the West as to whether the results of the investigation can be trusted. The Joint Investigation Team (CCG) is responsible for it, which includes representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. Experts first concluded that Boeing was shot down by Buk air defense systems, and in June 2019 they stated that they had identified four individuals suspected of involvement in the incident. Russian officials have repeatedly expressed distrust of the results of the SSG, pointed out the groundlessness of the arguments of the prosecution and unwillingness to use the conclusions of the Russian side during the investigation.

Doubts were added by a number of documents published recently by the platform for independent journalists Bonanza Media. One of them indicates that, according to the Dutch side, the tragedy occurred in an area where there was not a single Buk anti-aircraft missile system. Other documents suggest that Ukrainian fighters were seen in the sky during a plane crash and that representatives of Malaysia often were not present at the meetings of the SSG. The minutes of the meeting of the operational headquarters of the Joint Investigative Group, published on Saturday, indicate that members of the Dutch prosecutor’s office raised the issue of “violating Russia’s sovereignty by accessing witnesses who most likely live in the Russian Federation without informing the Russian authorities about this.” Following this, it was a matter of luring witnesses, and then “interrogating suspects in the Russian Federation without informing or involving the Russian authorities in this.”

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US blocks UN Security Council declaration on Russia-Turkey agreement
Americas, Europe

US blocks UN Security Council declaration on Russia-Turkey agreement

The United States opposed the adoption of a general statement by the UN Security Council for the press in support of the Russian-Turkish accords on Syria, a source in the UN Security Council.

On Friday, the Russian Federation initiated a meeting of the UN Security Council at which it told partners about the agreements of Moscow and Ankara on Idlib. Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said that Russia wanted to accept elements for the press, but because of the position of one delegation this was not possible.

“This happened because of the United States,” the source said, adding that the draft press statement expressed support for the Russian-Turkish agreement.

Talks between Russian and Turkish presidents Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan over the exacerbation in the Syrian province of Idlib were held on Thursday in Moscow. Following the meeting, a joint document was adopted. The parties reaffirmed their commitment to the “Astana format” and announced the introduction of a ceasefire regime from midnight. In addition, the parties agreed to jointly patrol the important M4 highway, which is now under the control of militants.

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Putin and Erdogan agree on a new ceasefire in Syria

Putin and Erdogan agree on a new ceasefire in Syria

Russia and Turkey agreed to establish a new truce in the Syrian province of Idlib. This is the outcome of the talks between the presidents of the two countries, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which took place in Moscow on Thursday, March 5. After a meeting lasting about six hours, reporters were informed that a new ceasefire in northern Syria would enter into force on March 6th.

“Based on the results of our negotiations, we agreed on a joint document, the provisions of which will be announced by the foreign ministers. It sets out the decisions that we, together with the President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Erdogan, developed during today’s more than six-hour consultations,” Putin said at a press conference after negotiations with Erdogan.

Erdogan, in turn, stressed that Turkey will take “all necessary steps” for a ceasefire. “Our task is to not further aggravate the humanitarian situation in this region,” the Turkish leader said. “We will make every effort to provide the necessary assistance to all those in need and to help refugees return to their homes,” Erdogan added.

At the same time, Turkey reserves the right to respond to attacks from the Syrian army, the Turkish leader emphasized. At the same time, he promised that Ankara would coordinate its actions with Moscow on this issue. “In this process, we will be in contact with my dear friend, and our relevant bodies will continue to contact,” the Turkish president said.

The talks between the leaders of Russia and Turkey lasted a total of about six hours: first, Putin and Erdogan talked face to face for three hours, then members of delegations, in particular the heads of the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Defense of both countries, joined them.

In the Syrian conflict, Russia is the most important ally of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. With the support of Russian military aviation, Assad’s troops are currently conducting an offensive in the province of Idlib, considered the last bastion of terrorists and the Syrian opposition, which, in turn, is supported by Turkey.

Due to several months of fighting in the province of Idlib, about a million of its residents left their homes and headed towards the Turkish border. In this situation, Ankara said it would not be able to accept these refugees in addition to the 3.6 million Syrians already in camps in Turkey.

On the night of February 28, 33 Turkish troops were killed as a result of a strike by the Syrian army in Idlib. In response, the Turkish army launched air and ground attacks on Syrian government forces. Amid the escalation of the military conflict, accusing the EU of non-compliance with the refugee agreement, Erdogan ordered on February 28 to open the border with the EU.

On March 2, Erdogan said, however, that he hoped to agree on a ceasefire in Idlib at a meeting with Putin.

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