Patriarch Kirill and the Pope issued a joint statement on the situation in Syria

Summary

Patriarch Kirill and the Pope presented a joint statement on the escalation of the situation in Syria.

“The ongoing hostilities in the Middle East, which have caused great suffering in recent years, which have claimed the lives of many thousands of people and forced millions to flee, now threaten to escalate into a global conflict,” he read the text of the statement.

In their opinion, “the world approached a dangerous line – to a real failure in international relations and cooperation, which was carried out for the benefit of the entire human family.”

“In the face of this terrible threat, we appeal to all world leaders to realize their responsibility to their people, to humanity in general and to God,” the statement stresses.

The Patriarch and the pontiff also appealed to the member states of the United Nations to recall their duty to the family of nations, to overcome differences and work together for the sake of world peace.

“Together we urge political leaders not to allow further escalation of tension, to avoid confrontation and to take the path of dialogue,” spiritual leaders concluded.

In addition, the statement was supported by the heads of the Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem Orthodox churches, as well as several other patriarchs of the Eastern churches.

On April 14, the United States, Great Britain and France fired more than 100 missiles in Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, called the West’s attacks on Syria an act of aggression.

Disproof

Actually, Pope Francis did not sign the declaration. A source close to the Vatican confirmed to The Daily Beast the broad strokes of this story, saying, “This was a unilateral statement released by Russia, not a joint statement with the Vatican and you can be 100 percent sure of that by the fact that the Vatican did not release it. Normally if the Vatican releases a joint statement, they publish it on the press office website, the official bulletin and Osservatore Romano and this was never released that way, and that says a lot.” Further reporting by the Daily Beast.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 108
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/04/2018
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: The Vatican, Russia, Syria
  • Keywords: Catholic church, Syrian War
  • Outlet: RT
see more

Serbian farmers get no funding from EU

EU funding programme in Serbia, with reference to the 18m euros charged for medical equipment for a Belgrade hospital, is cynical. By contrast, Serbian farmers are shown who derive no benefit from EU funding and ply their trade with no more than a “tractor, spade, and bucket”.

Disproof

With almost three billion Euro in grants provided over the past 15 years in all fields, ranging from rule of law, public administration reform, social development, environment and agriculture, the European Union is the biggest donor in Serbia. Since 2000, the EU has implemented projects regarding Serbia’s transport infrastructure, health care, air and water quality, solid waste treatment, justice and public administration reform to deliver better services to citizens. In recent years, support is increasingly oriented towards preparations for EU membership.

To support Serbian farmers, businesses and rural communities, EUR 175 million for IPARD (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development) has been allocated for 2014-2020. It is estimated that these grants may lead to a total investment in agriculture of approximately EUR 400 million. The first public call for IPARD funds was launched in December 2017, and supports investments in the physical assets and procurement of new machinery and equipment, the incentive rate being between 60% and 80%. The amount of incentives the Serbian farmer can generate in the production of fruits, vegetables and other crops can range from EUR 5,000 to EUR 700,000, while milk and meat producers can get between EUR 5,000 and EUR 1,000,000.

Balkan states desperate for EU funds, will receive nothing

Balkan states are desperate for the money guaranteed by joining the EU. The EU has promised to give membership to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro by 2025, but there will be no extra EU funds available for the countries in the meantime. 

Disproof

The European Union is and will remain the most reliable partner of the entire Western Balkans. “The integration with the Western Balkans is a top priority for the EU and I don’t see any other future for the Western Balkans than the EU”, President of the European Council Donald Tusk said most recently, following the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia. “There is no alternative, there is no plan B. The Western Balkans are an integral part of Europe and they belong to our community”.

The Summit reconfirmed the EU's determination to strengthen its engagement at all levels to support the region’s political, economic and social transformation, including through increased assistance based on tangible progress in the rule of law as well as in socio-economic reforms.

Sensational investigation of German journalists radically changes the Skripal case

A new sensational turn in the case of the Skripals. German journalists managed to find out: the formula of the poisonous substance Novichok could be found around the world almost 20 years ago.

London from the very beginning insisted that in the poisoning of the former colonel of the GRU and his daughter, Moscow was to blame, and the poison could only have been manufactured in Russia. If the data of the reporters from Germany are correct, then London’s position is dealt a crushing blow.

“The German Federal Intelligence Service cooperated in the 1990s with a Russian scientist who was used as an informant. The scientist offered to transport to the West a sample of the chemical combat weapon of the new class “Novichok”, which he subsequently did, “noted journalist Georg Mascolo.

Further, as German journalists found out, the German authorities did not want to create the feeling that they were interested in chemical weapons, so the sample was sent for analysis to a laboratory in Sweden. From there they later received the formula of the poisonous substance. A whole working group was created, which included representatives of the United Kingdom, the United States, France, the Netherlands and Canada.

Thus, information about the substance became known to at least seven countries. In some, the poison was synthesized to create protective equipment. And the list of states, apparently, is not final. It is exactly known that they worked with a similar poisonous substance in the Czech Republic, President of the country Milos Zeman announced this in early May.

Disproof

No evidence given. The German investigation does not suggest that the poison used in Salisbury was made in any other country than Russia.

The Russian MFA Spokesperson Zacharova previously stated that Novichok could have come from Great Britain, Slovakia, Czech Republic or Sweden. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden forcefully rejected her statements, and so did the competent authority on the topic in Sweden (the Swedish Defence Research Agency). https://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ryssland-giftet-som-anvandes-mot-skripal-kan-ha-kommit-fran-sverige Later on, the Russian ambassador to Sweden stated that it was "a guess" without any facts supporting it https://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ambassadoren-backar-efter-giftutspel