The top diplomats of Ukraine and the United States on Tuesday jointly cautioned against giving any weight to alternate peace plans that seek a cease-fire without the full withdrawal of invading Russian forces, in a subtle rebuff of a recent proposal by China. "Ill-advised concessions to the aggressor would only encourage Russia to intensify its attacks on democracy, giving it time to rebuild its military capabilities and resume the armed offensive against Ukraine," Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's foreign minister, said at a virtual forum hosted by the U.S. State Department. Publicly, Kyiv and Moscow have been cautiously receptive to China's 12-point position paper, which reaffirms the "territorial integrity of all countries" without directly mentioning Ukraine, references "legitimate security interests" in deference to Russia, and calls for a quick end to hostilities on the ground. Outside of Kyiv's government, where elected officials tend to speak more freely, senior Ukrainian … [Read more...] about Blinken hints China peace plan for Ukraine is “cynical trap”
Zelensky Invites Xi Jinping to Ukraine Again: ‘I Want to Speak to Him’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky used the opportunity of an interview with the Associated Press (AP) on Wednesday to once again invite communist Chinese dictator Xi Jinping to speak to him directly. Zelensky told the AP that, while he had maintained friendly ties to Xi prior to 2022, he had not had the opportunity to speak to the tyrant after Russia launched its “special operation” to oust Zelensky from his democratically elected post a little over a year ago. China formally proclaims itself a “neutral” country in the conflict, but is one of Russia’s closest allies on the international stage and conspicuously maintains high-level conversations with the Russian government. Xi Jinping personally visited Moscow for extended talks with leader Vladimir Putin last week. While boasting of “ best ever ” diplomatic ties with Russia, China has also historically maintained friendly ties with Ukraine. Ukraine is a member of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), its global … [Read more...] about Zelensky Invites Xi Jinping to Ukraine Again: ‘I Want to Speak to Him’
Pompeo dismisses Trump’s Ukraine pledge: No idea “what he’s talking about”
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo can't make any sense of former President Donald Trump 's claim that he would personally end the Russia-Ukraine war within 24 hours of negotiation. Pompeo, who served during the Trump administration as secretary of state and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency ( CIA ), has been at odds with his former boss since they both left office in January 2021. There has been some speculation that Pompeo may challenge Trump for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, although he has not officially announced a run. Pompeo dismissed Trump's claim of being able to easily end the war in Ukraine during an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Tuesday. He was asked whether the war could be "solved within one day" after being shown a clip of Trump telling Fox personality Sean Hannity about a "very easy" but secret negotiation technique that he would use to abruptly end the conflict. "I don't know what he's talking about," Pompeo … [Read more...] about Pompeo dismisses Trump’s Ukraine pledge: No idea “what he’s talking about”
Russia stops sharing information on nuclear forces with the U.S.
A senior Russian diplomat said Moscow had suspended sharing information about its nuclear forces with the United States, including notices about missile tests. Sergei Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister said in remarks carried by news agencies that Moscow had halted all information exchanges with Washington after previously suspending its participation in the last remaining nuclear arms pact with the U.S . Last month, Russian president Vladimir Putin suspended the New START treaty, saying Russia could not accept U.S. inspections of its nuclear sites under the agreement at a time when Washington and its Nato allies had openly declared Russia’s defeat in Ukraine as their goal. Moscow emphasised that it was not withdrawing from the pact altogether and would continue to respect the caps on nuclear weapons. The Russian foreign ministry initially said Moscow would keep notifying the U.S. about planned test launches of its ballistic missiles, but Ryabkov’s statement … [Read more...] about Russia stops sharing information on nuclear forces with the U.S.
Russia launches drills of its nuclear missile forces
By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV (Associated Press) MOSCOW — The Russian military conducted drills of its strategic missile forces Wednesday, deploying mobile launchers in Siberia in a show of the country’s massive nuclear capability amid the fighting in Ukraine. As part of the drills, the Yars mobile missile launchers will maneuver across three regions of Siberia, Russia’s Defense Ministry said. The movements will involve measures to conceal the deployment from foreign satellites and other intelligence assets, the ministry said. The Defense Ministry didn’t say how long the drills would last or mention plans for any practice launches. The Yars is a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of about 11,000 kilometers (over 6,800 miles). It forms the backbone of Russia’s strategic missile forces. The Defense Ministry released a video showing massive trucks carrying the missiles driving out from a base to go on patrol. The maneuvers involve about 300 vehicles and … [Read more...] about Russia launches drills of its nuclear missile forces
China on ‘disturbing’ path to eclipse US military by mid-century, Milley warns
close Video Pentagon officials testify before Congress on the China threat Fox News chief national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports on Pentagon leaders detailing the growing threat from China. China is on a "disturbing" path to become militarily "superior" to the United States by mid-century, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley testified Wednesday, while warning that the United States probably would not be able to "stop, slow down, disrupt, interdict or destroy" China’s nuclear development program. Milley testified Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a hearing dedicated to the fiscal year 2024 budget request for the Department of Defense. US INTEL COMMUNITY WARNS OF 'COMPLEX' THREATS FROM CHINA, RUSSIA, NORTH KOREA During the hearing, Milley stressed that the United States needs to "outpace" China’s development, specifically their military … [Read more...] about China on ‘disturbing’ path to eclipse US military by mid-century, Milley warns
Boris Johnson leaves behind a fraught economy and an uneasy Brexit legacy.
Boris Johnson has been pushed into giving up leadership of the country during a perilous economic moment, leaving behind a grim outlook and an uncertain Brexit legacy. On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Johnson described his resistance to stepping down “when the economic scene is so difficult.” It has become a period that is frequently compared to the 1970s in Britain, an era of stagflation when the economy shrank and inflation soared and vital services were halted by widespread strikes. Britain isn’t repeating this stagflationary era yet, but the threat is there . Inflation in the country has reached an annual rate of 9.1 percent, the highest in four decades , driven by supply chain disruptions from pandemic lockdowns and the war in Ukraine. And price pressures keep building as companies begin to pass on the increase in costs to their customers and workers demand higher wages to cope with the rising cost of living. Households are facing the worst squeeze on their living … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson leaves behind a fraught economy and an uneasy Brexit legacy.
Senate Passes Bill Limiting President’s Powers to Conduct Iraq Military Strikes
Legislation that would limit the executive branch’s powers to conduct military operations in Iraq without congressional approval passed the Senate Wednesday and now awaits a House vote under Republican leadership. A bipartisan group of senators voted 66-30 to repeal 1991 and 2002 authorizations (AUMF) for combat operations against Iraq to reduce American presidents’ broad powers to conduct military operations without congressional approval. Notably, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) whipped against clawing back congressional war powers from the executive branch. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) The bill will head to the House, where the Republican chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), appears to be the biggest obstacle to its passage. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX). (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) On March 21, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) signaled he would not have a “problem” … [Read more...] about Senate Passes Bill Limiting President’s Powers to Conduct Iraq Military Strikes