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#Russia vs #China – EU Reporter : EU Reporter


Co-operation between Russia and China has deep historical roots, and its earliest manifestations can be found already during the Chinese civil war. It seems that both countries should be most united by their communist ideology, but the ambitions of their leaders and the willingness to be the first and the most powerful was in fact the dominating force. Relations between these nations have seen times of flourishing, as well as times of military conflict, writes Zintis Znotiņš.

The relationship between both countries are currently presented as friendly, but it is difficult to call them truly friendly. Even in the past, relations between the USSR and China were based on each nation’s calculations and attempts to play the leading role, and it doesn’t seem like something has changed at the present, although China has become a “smarter” and resource-wise richer player than Russia.

We will now look at the “similarities” between China and Russia, the ways they are cooperating and future prospects for both of them.

Russia is a semi-presidential federative republic, while China is a socialist nation ruled by the secretary general of its Communist Party.

Already we can see formal differences, but if we dive deeper both countries essentially feel like Siamese twins. There are more than one party in Russia, but only one party decides everything that takes places in the country – United Russia. Russia isn’t even attempting to hide the aim of establishing the said party, which is to support the course taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

China, too, has nine parties1, but only one of them is allowed to rule and it is the Communist Party of China which answers to the secretary general who is also the president of the state.

Therefore, there is a single ruling party both in Russia and China, and this party is responsible for implementing and executing whatever the president wishes, meaning that both countries are ruled by a rather narrow circle of people. Forecasting election results in Russia and China is as difficult as being able to tell that the day after Monday is Tuesday. To write this piece, I spent a lot of time reading about the history of China and Russia and the current events taking place in these countries, and for this reason I figured that we also have to look at the meaning of the word “totalitarianism”.

Totalitarianism is a political system in which a country is governed without the participation of its people and decisions are made without the agreement of the majority of the people; in a totalitarian regime the most important social, economic and political affairs are controlled by the state. It is a type of dictatorship where the regime restricts its people in all of the imaginable aspects of life.

Notable characteristics:

Power is held by a small group of people – a clique;

Opposition is suppressed and general terror is a tool for governing the state;

All aspects of life are subordinate to the interests of the state and the dominating ideology;

The public is mobilized using a personality cult of the leader, mass movements, propaganda and other similar means;

Aggressive and expansionist foreign policy;

Total control over public life.2

Are China and Russia truly totalitarian states? Formally, no, but if we look at the essence of it we see a completely different picture. We will look at all of the signs of totalitarianism in China and Russia, but we will not delve too deep into events and occurrences that most of us are already familiar with.

Can we say that the majority of Russian and Chinese citizens are engaged in decision making? Formally, sort of, because elections do take place in these countries, but can we really call them “elections”? It would be impossible to list all the video footage or articles that reveal how polling stations operate in order to provide the required election results. Therefore, we can say that the general public is involved in making decisions, it’s just that the results are always determined by those in power.

The last paragraph brings us to the first point: power is held by a small group of people – a clique. Both nations are ruled by presidents who appoint whoever they wish and dismiss whoever they wish. This is power held by a small group of people. The next point – suppressing the opposition and using general terror to govern the state. Media outlets have written enough about suppressing the opposition in both countries, and everyone has seen at least a video or two on this topic. To stop their political opponents and any events organized by them Russia and China use not only their police forces, but the army as well. From time to time, information appears that an opposition activist has been murdered in either of the countries, and these murders are never solved.

We will not even begin talking about criminal cases and administrative arrests of opposition activists. We can say that the point in question is completely true. Regarding all of the aspects of life being subordinate to the state and ideology – is there anyone who isn’t convinced by this? If Russia is engaged in restricting and “teaching” its citizens quite inconspicuously, China has no time for ceremony – the Communist Party of China has published new guidelines on improving the “moral quality” of its citizens, and this touches upon all of the imaginable aspects of one’s private life – from organizing wedding ceremonies to dressing appropriately.3 Is the public in Russia and China mobilized using the cult of personality, mass movements, propaganda and other means? We can look at 9 May celebrations in Russia and all of the surrounding rhetoric, and the events dedicated to the anniversary of founding the People’s Republic of China. I’m sorry, but it feels like I’m watching some Stalin and Hitler era montage but in a more modern fashion, and instead of Stalin and Hitler there are some new faces. What is left? Of course, aggressive and expansionist foreign policy. China has been very active in the South China Sea for many years now, which has aggravated tensions among the armed forces of its neighbours – Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

China is continuing to physically seize, artificially build and arm islands far from its shores. And in the recent years China has been particularly aggressive towards Taiwan, which the regime sees as being rightfully theirs.4 China is also willing to impose sanctions against those nations who intend to sell arms to Taiwan.

However, when it comes to armed aggression China pales in comparison to Russia, which isn’t shy to use armed aggression against its close and far neighbors in order to reach its goals. Russia’s aggression goes hand in hand with its nihilism. I am sure I don’t have to remind you about the events in Georgia, Ukraine and previously in Chechnya as well. Russia will use every opportunity to show everyone its great weaponry, and this also includes directly or covertly engaging in different military conflicts.

Maybe some of you will disagree, but as I see it China and Russia currently are totalitarian states in their essence.

History has shown us that up to a certain point even two totalitarian countries are able to cooperate. Let’s remember the “friendship” between Nazi Germany and the USSR, but let’s also not forget what this friendship resulted in.

It is also true that the economic sanctions imposed against Russia have pushed it to be more friendly with China, but it seems that China will come out as the winner of this relationship.

According to data from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, in 2018 the Chinese economy received 56.6 million USD in direct investments from Russia (+ 137.4%), meaning that by the end of 2018 the amount of direct investments from Russia reached 1,066.9 million USD.

In 2018, the Russian economy received 720 million USD in direct investments from China, resulting in a total of 10,960 million USD in direct investments from China by the end of 2018.

The main spheres of Chinese investments in Russia are energy, agriculture and forestry, construction and construction materials, trade, light industry, textiles, household electric goods, services, etc.

The main spheres of Russian investments in China are production, construction and transportation.We can see from the amount of investments that in this “friendship” China has far exceeded Russia. We also cannot ignore the fact that China has launched more large-scale investment projects in other nations than Russia has.

It should be noted that China’s procurement of military equipment has allowed Russian armaments programs to exist. Russia sold modern armaments to China, despite the concerns that China will be able to “copy” the received armaments and then improve them. But the need for money was much greater to worry about such things. As a result, in early 2020 it was concluded that China has surpassed Russia in producing and selling armaments.6

If we look at the ways Russia and China are attempting to shape public opinion in the long term, we can see some differences. Russia tries to do this using publications, demonstrative activities and attempts for its compatriots to become citizens of their country of residence while maintaining their cultural identity in order to establish an intellectual, economic and spiritually-cultural resource in global politics.7 China, in addition to all of this, has established Confucius Institutes that are subordinate to the Chinese Ministry of Education. There are a total of 5,418 Confucius Institutes or classes around the world. These institutes, named after the most known Chinese philosopher, have drawn sharp criticism globally for its foreign policy views – ones that avoid discussing human rights or believe that Taiwan or Tibet are inseparable parts of China. These institutes have been accused of espionage and restricting academic freedom.

“The Confucius Institutes are an attractive brand for our culture to spread abroad,” representative of the Communist Party’s Politburo Li Changchun said in 2011. “They have always been an important investment in expanding our soft power. The brand name “Confucius” is quite attractive. By using language tuition as a cover, everything looks logical and acceptable from the outside.” The leadership of the Communist Party calls these institutes a crucial part of its propaganda toolset abroad, and it is estimated that over the past 12 years China has spent roughly two billion USD on them. The constitution of these institutes9 stipulates that their leadership, personnel, guidelines, tuition materials and most of their funding is ensured by the Hanban institution which is under the Chinese Ministry of Education.10

Both Russian and Chinese citizens either buy or rent property abroad. Russians do this so they have somewhere to go in case the necessity arises.

Chinese citizens and companies slowly rent or purchase large swathes of land in in the Russian Far East. There is no precise estimate of the amount of land handed over to the Chinese, but it is said it could range between 1–1.5 billion hectares.11

What can we conclude from all of this? China and Russia are, in essence, totalitarian states with bloated ambitions. If Russia tries to reach its ambitions in an openly aggressive and shameless manner, then China is doing the same with caution and thought. If Russia often uses military means to reach its goals, China will most likely use financial ones. If Russia attempts to fulfill its ambitions arrogantly, then China achieves the same result with seeming kindness and humility.

Which country has gotten closer to its goal? I believe it is definitely not Russia. In addition, just as the USSR, Russia too believes it is better than China. But for those observing from the sidelines, it is evident that in many areas China has far succeeded Russia and is now even acquiring Russian land.

This brings us back to history – what happens when two totalitarian states share a border? One of them eventually disappears. For now, it seems that China has done everything in its power to stay on the world map.

1 https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D0%BF%D0%B8%D1%81%D0%BE%D0%BA_%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%B8%D1%87%D0%B5%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D1%85_%D0%BF%D0%B0%D1%80%D1%82%D0%B8%D0%B9_%D0%9A%D0%9D%D0%A0

2 https://lv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totalit%C4%81risms

3 https://www.la.lv/komunistiska-kina-publice-vadlinijas-pilsonu-moralas-kvalitates-uzlabosanai

4 https://www.delfi.lv/news/arzemes/devini-konflikti-kas-apdraud-pasauli-2019-gada.d?id=50691613&page=4

5 http://www.russchinatrade.ru/ru/ru-cn-cooperation/investment

6 http://www.ng.ru/economics/2020-01-27/4_7778_weapon.html

7 https://www.tvnet.lv/5684274/krievijas-am-tautiesiem-arzemes-jaklust-par-pilntiesigiem-mitnes-valstu-pilsoniem

8 http://english.hanban.org/node_10971.htm

9 http://english.hanban.org/node_7880.htm

10 https://rebaltica.lv/2019/08/kinas-maigas-varas-rupja-seja/

11 https://www.sibreal.org/a/29278233.html

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and do not reflect EU Reporter‘s political position.

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Russia is battling coronavirus across 11 time zones. But Moscow and the regions are worlds apart


The Russian capital has been hardest hit. Of Russia’s total of 281,752 confirmed cases, over half — 142,824 — are in Moscow, the country’s coronavirus headquarters said Sunday. But the virus is now spreading across Russia’s regions, an enormous landmass that covers 11 time zones and includes some of the country’s most remote and impoverished places.

In a video conference meeting on Monday with Russia’s 85 regional heads, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the burden would fall to local leaders to decide whether to continue lockdown measures or to begin cautiously lifting restrictions to reopen the economy.

“We have a big country,” he said. “The epidemiological situation varies across the regions. We factored this in before, and now at the next stage, we have to act even more specifically and carefully.”

According to official statistics, the pandemic has reached all of Russia’s constituent parts, from the Kaliningrad exclave between Poland and Lithuania to the remote Chukotka autonomous okrug, across the Bering Strait from Alaska. Russia’s regions are also starting to report their own numbers, sometimes showing a disparity between the nationally published statistics on mortality and infections published on the stopcoronavirus.rf portal and on local government websites.

Kaliningrad region, for instance, reported 13 deaths as of Friday, while the nation’s coronavirus headquarters reported 11. The contrast between national and local mortality figures was even more stark in Chelyabinsk region in the Ural mountains: Local authorities there reported 10 Covid-19-related deaths in addition to the six deaths attributed directly to coronavirus on the national portal.

Russian Vice-Premier Tatiana Golikova told Russian news outlets this week that the Russian government has not manipulated statistics, but Russia’s mortality figures have become a political football. Observers have noted the comparatively low overall number of deaths in Russia — a total that currently stands at 2,631, according to the country’s coronavirus headquarters — even as the country takes second place in the world for the number of confirmed cases, behind the United States.

People wearing face masks and gloves on a subway escalator in Moscow on Tuesday.

In Moscow, health officials hit back at media reports that it was underreporting Covid-19 fatalities, saying its data was “absolutely open.” But the city’s health department also acknowledged that it only counts deaths that were found through post-mortem autopsy to have been caused directly by coronavirus complications.

And the capital is proceeding with caution. Earlier this week, Putin announced a gradual easing of restrictions around the country, at the discretion of local leadership. But Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin subsequently made clear he was in no rush to end lockdown.

“Premature removal of restrictions carries a real risk of a second pandemic,” he said in a statement Thursday. “Unjustified delays will also hit people in the strongest way.”

Sobyanin, in many respects, has been the public face of Russia’s fight with coronavirus, as Putin shelters at his residence of Novo-Ogaryovo.
President Putin takes part in a video conference call from his Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, on May 14.

As cases began to pick up pace in April Moscow authorities opened a new coronavirus hospital, built in around a month. And Sobyanin’s government oversaw the introduction of electronic passes to enforce lockdown measures, controversial measures ahead of the rest of the country. The city is also launching a large coronavirus screening program that will be free to the public.

Healthcare system in crisis

Moscow, in many ways, is better equipped to deal with the crisis than Russia’s less well-off regions. It has a concentration of wealth and budgetary resources that is the envy of the rest of the country.

Under Sobyanin, the Russian capital, which in pre-coronavirus days was transforming itself into an Instagram-friendly landscape of refurbished parks, hip restaurants and high-end real estate, has enjoyed a municipal spending spree.

The leading business daily Vedomosti reported last year that the city’s budget on beautification projects over the past decade — more than 1.5 trillion rubles ($20.5 billion), according to Moscow budget data — was nearly equivalent to the total amount spent on similar projects around the country.

People in protective gear disinfecting Red Square in Moscow.
Grave diggers bury a COVID-19 victim as relatives and friends stand at a safe distance, at a cemetary in Kolpino, outside St. Petersburg, on Friday.

One doesn’t have to travel far outside of Moscow to see the disparities in living standards and the decrepitude of the healthcare system.

A viral YouTube video recently posted by the popular Russian journalist Irina Shikhman showed a visit to the town of Ivanteyevka, a town just over 10 miles outside the city limits of Moscow of a local clinic as it receives a delivery of personal protective equipment. As Shikhman begins the formal interview, a masked doctor says she had “no complaints” about the supplies and had enough personnel to handle patients.

But the images in the video, which has had more than 3,327,000 views, shows the peeling paint and poorly lit interior of the facility, and underscores the shocking condition of Russia’s provincial healthcare system. It seems that in this sprawling country, time is not the only thing that differs between the capital and the regions.

This story has been updated.



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John Brennan Suppressed Intel Saying Russia Wanted Hillary Clinton to Win



Fox News’ Ed Henry reported Tuesday evening that Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell has declassified information calling into question the conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump.

Henry told Tucker Carlson on Tucker Carlson Tonight that the new information would suggested John Brennan, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama, “also had intel saying, actually, Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win because she was a known quantity, she had been secretary of state, and Vladimir Putin’s team thought she was more malleable, while candidate Donald Trump was unpredictable.”

Former National Security Council chief of staff Fred Fleitz made a similar claim in an article on FoxNews.com April 22:

House Intelligence Committee staff told me that after an exhaustive investigation reviewing intelligence and interviewing intelligence officers, they found that Brennan suppressed high-quality intelligence suggesting that Putin actually wanted the more predictable and malleable Clinton to win the 2016 election.

Instead, the Brennan team included low-quality intelligence that failed to meet intelligence community standards to support the political claim that Russian officials wanted Trump to win, House Intelligence Committee staff revealed. They said that CIA analysts also objected to including that flawed, substandard information in the assessment.

On Tuesday, Henry said that he had obtained independent confirmation of the claims made by Fleitz in that report.

For three years, the received wisdom in Washington has been that 17 intelligence agencies concluded that Russia had interfered in the election to help Trump win. It then transpired that only four agencies had actually been involved.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by embattled Republican Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), issued a report last month that appeared to confirm the work of the intelligence agencies.

However, that conclusion may soon be contradicted.

President Trump has accepted the claim that Russia interfered in the election — though he does not believe Russia actually helped him win, and he has publicly cast doubt on the idea that Russia preferred him over Clinton, his Democratic rival.

Breitbart News noted in 2017: “[T]he Russians may just as well have preferred Hillary Clinton, who had given Russia everything it wanted while serving as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State — from the ill-fated “reset,” to a surrender of U.S. missile defenses in Eastern Europe, to the sale of 20% of America’s uranium reserves to a Russian company closely tied to the Russian state.”

“This could be a bombshell,” Henry told Carlson on Tuesday.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.





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Russia suspends grain export until July 1


Russia will halt the export of grain until July 1, 2020, the Agriculture Ministry said on Sunday, Trend reports citing TASS.

“After exporting all grain declared under the quota, the export of wheat, meslin, rye, barley and corn to the non-member states of the Eurasian Economic Union will be suspended until July 1, 2020. The Federal Customs Service has stopped issuing new declarations for export purposes,” the statement said.

According to the ministry, on April 26 the non-tariff quota for grain export from Russia to the tune of 7 mln tonnes, introduced on April 1, was selected in full. The ministry’s representatives say these restrictions would help stabilize grain prices and ensure the demand in grain and its products in the country. However, these measures would not prevent Russia from achieving its goals under the state programs and the total volume of agricultural exports in 2020.



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7.5 magnitude earthquake triggers tsunami warning for Russia



A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck near Russia’s far eastern Kuril Islands on Wednesday, prompting a tsunami warning for the closest shores.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck 136 miles south-southeast of Severo on the Kuril chain north of Japan. It was 37 miles deep.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said hazardous tsunami waves were possible within 620 miles of the quake’s epicenter.

It said earthquakes of this strength in the past have caused tsunamis far from the epicentre, and the US National Tsunami Warning Centre was analysing the event to determine the level of danger.

The US National Tsunami Warning Centre also still was analyzing the event to determine the level of danger for Alaska and the US West Coast.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake was a stronger 7.8 magnitude and may cause a slight change of sea levels around Japanese coasts.





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Russia deploys chemical defense troops to Italy – Defence Blog


Russia reportedly is deploying its Troops of Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defence or RChB Defense to Italy.

Russia has loaded nine Il-76 cargo planes that flew to Italy, with eight mobile medical teams, medical equipment and aerosol disinfection trucks. Moscow also sent about 100 military specialists in virology and epidemics, one special military laboratory and 20 mobile disinfection vehicles.

Mobile complexes with equipment for diagnosis and disinfection were delivered to the Italian Air Force Practitioner de Mare airbase, located 30 kilometers south-west of Rome, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

In photos released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, the doors of military trucks bore signs with heart-shaped Russian and Italian flags that read: “From Russia with love” in Russian, Italian and English.

Putin spoke to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday, the Kremlin said, saying the Russian leader had offered his support and help in the form of mobile disinfection vehicles and specialists to help the worst hit Italian regions.

Italy recorded a jump in deaths from coronavirus of almost 800 on Saturday, taking the toll in the world’s hardest-hit country to almost 5,000.

 

* If you wish to report grammatical or factual errors within our news articles, you can let us know by using the online feedback form.



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Sanders blasts Russia for reportedly trying to boost his presidential campaign


Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Friday warned Russia to stay out of U.S. elections after American officials had told him Moscow was trying to aid his campaign, Trend reports citing Reuters.

“The intelligence community is telling us they are interfering in this campaign, right now, in 2020. And what I say to Mr. Putin, if elected president, trust me you are not going to be interfering in American elections,” Sanders told reporters in Bakersfield, California.

Sanders, 78, a democratic socialist from Vermont, is considered the front-runner for the Democratic nomination and is favored to win the Nevada caucuses on Saturday.

The Washington Post on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter, said U.S. officials had told Sanders about the Russian effort and had also informed Republican President Donald Trump and U.S. lawmakers.

It was not clear what form the Russian assistance took, the paper said.

A congressional source confirmed intelligence officials have told lawmakers Russia appears to be engaging in disinformation and propaganda campaigns to boost the 2020 campaigns of both Sanders and Trump.

The source, however, cautioned that the findings are very tentative.

Sanders, a U.S. senator, said he was briefed about a month ago.

“We were told that Russia, maybe other countries, are going to get involved in this campaign,” he told reporters. “Look, here is the message: To Russia, stay out of American elections.”

“What they are doing, by the way, the ugly thing that they are doing – and I’ve seen some of their tweets and stuff – is they try to divide us up,” he said. “They are trying to cause chaos. They’re trying to cause hatred in America.”

MOSCOW DENIES

The Kremlin on Friday denied Russia was interfering in the U.S. presidential campaign to boost Trump’s re-election chances, following reports that American intelligence officials warned Congress about the election threat last week.

U.S. intelligence officials told members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in a classified briefing that Russia was again interfering in American politics ahead of November’s election, as it did in 2016, a person familiar with the discussion told Reuters on Thursday.

Since that briefing, Trump has ousted the acting intelligence chief, replacing him with a political loyalist in an abrupt move as Democrats and former U.S. officials raised the alarm over national security concerns.

A senior administration official, however, said the nation was better positioned than in 2016 to defend against foreign attempts to influence elections.

“President Trump has made clear that any efforts or attempts by Russia, or any other nation, to influence or interfere with our elections, or undermine U.S. democracy will not be tolerated,” the official said.

On Twitter, the president accused Democrats in Congress of launching a misinformation campaign that says Russia prefers him to any of what he called the “Do Nothing Democrat candidates.” Trump called it a “hoax.”



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Brussels extends Russia sanctions | New Europe



The European Union extended on 12 December the economic sanctions against Russia over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, for six more months.

The measures were first implemented in 2014 after Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, and were set to expire in January. According to the United Nations, about 13,000 people have died since the beginning of the conflict.

The announcement follows the Paris meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky. During the meeting, they agreed a ceasefire and a prisoner exchange, but failed to agree on other key issues.

The talks were mediated by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who, after the meeting, recommended an extension of the restrictive measures against Moscow, till the end of July 2020.

The EU’s economic sanctions against Russia include: limited access to EU capital markets for certain Russian banks and companies; export and import ban on trade in arms; export ban for dual-use goods for military use or military end users in Russia; as well as reducing Russian access to technologies that can be used for oil production.



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Trump scolds his FBI director after release of DOJ’s Russia probe report


Michael Horowitz, the DOJ inspector general, found that although there were “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the FBI’s requests for court-ordered surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser, the bureau’s decision to launch the probe was adequately predicated and not influenced by political bias.

While Wray acknowledged and pledged to remedy errors in the FBI’s handling of applications for surveillance warrants, he told ABC News in an interview that he did not think law enforcement unfairly targeted the Trump campaign and said it was “important” that Horowitz found the FBI was justified in opening its investigation.

That assessment diverged markedly with Barr’s reading of the IG report. The attorney general asserted in a statement that Horowitz’s review “now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”

John Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut tasked by Barr with overseeing a separate probe into the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign, also cast doubt on Horowitz’s central judgment.

“Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.,” Durham said in a statement. “Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”

The president sought to promote the IG report as a win for the White House, claiming that the 400-page document was “far worse than I would’ve ever thought possible” and detailed an attempted “overthrow” of his administration.

“They got caught red-handed, and I look forward to the Durham report, which is coming out in the not-too-distant future. It’s got its own information, which is this information, plus plus plus,” Trump said.

“And it’s an incredible thing that happened, and we’re lucky we caught them,” he continued. “I think I’m going to put this down as one of our great achievements because what we found and what we saw never, ever should … happen again in our country.”

Trump’s attack on Wray was hardly the first time the president has cast aspersions on senior law enforcement officials. The president has often condemned members of the “deep state” he alleges are embedded within intelligence community, and he repeatedly berated former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from oversight of the Russia probe.

The president appointed Wray to the FBI’s top job in June 2017 after the dramatic ouster of former director James Comey, which Trump later acknowledged in an interview with NBC News was influenced by the bureau’s ongoing Russia investigation.

After the release of Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s handing of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails in June 2018, Trump tweeted: “Comey will now officially go down as the worst leader, by far, in the history of the FBI. I did a great service to the people in firing him. Good Instincts. Christopher Wray will bring it proudly back!”

The president on Tuesday also railed online against Democratic lawmakers’ fast-moving impeachment inquiry, tweeting ahead of a news conference later in the morning by House committee leaders who are expected to reveal articles of impeachment charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

“To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country’s history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness! #2020Election,” Trump wrote.





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Uzbekistan has potential to become second economy after Russia



BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 3

By Fakhri Vakilov – Trend:

Uzbekistan’s economy may become the second in the post-Soviet space, said Russian Minister of Economic Development Maksim Oreshkin, Trend reports citing the Uzbek media.

At a meeting at the Higher School of Economics National Research University in Moscow Oreshkin noted that reforms were underway in Uzbekistan’s economy, and when Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power, there were many problems.

“Now they are being solved step by step, however, many problems remain,” said Oreshkin.

“However, in fact, I believe that Uzbekistan’s economy will be able to become the second economy in the post-Soviet space after Russia in about 20 years,” Oreshkin said.

The head of the Ministry of Economic Development also suggested students to visit Uzbekistan.

“I recommend everyone to visit Tashkent. Uzbekistan is a very beautiful country, so visit it in spring during student vacations.”

The fact that Uzbekistan is considering the issue of joining the EAEU became known during the October visit to Tashkent of the Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russia Valentina Matviyenko.




Later, the first deputy chairman of the Senate of the Parliament, Sadyk Safayev, said that Tashkent has been studying the possibility of joining the EAEU. He emphasized that no one exerts pressure on Uzbekistan in this matter.

In March 2019, Oreshkin at a meeting with President Mirziyoyev praised the ongoing large-scale reforms in the country.

The parties noted that the new multi-level format of the dialogue – the creation of a Joint Commission on bilateral cooperation at the level of prime ministers of the two states – will contribute to the development of mutually beneficial cooperation.

Follow author on Twitter:@vakilovfaxri

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