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Ізраїль заявляє про пожежі через «вогняні кулі», запущені зі Смуги Гази

Ізраїльські військові вранці 16 червня заявили, що їхні літаки атакували об’єкти «Хамас» у відповідь на запуск «вогняних куль»

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Єврокомісія погодила перші плани відновлення після пандемії – кошти отримають Португалія та Іспанія

Португалія отримає 16 мільярдів євро фінансування, Іспанія – 140 мільйонів

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What Does Success Look Like in Biden-Putin Summit?

As U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in their highly anticipated summit Wednesday in Geneva, what does success look like for a meeting that both sides have downplayed from the start?  Both sides have highlighted opportunities for cooperation but neither expected much improvement in tense relations between Moscow and Washington. The meeting was set up to be more of an airing of grievances than a platform to reach significant agreements.”We’re not expecting a big set of deliverables out of this meeting,” said a senior administration official, briefing VOA and other reporters on board Air Force One during Biden’s flight to Switzerland.  The official said Biden’s goals include seeking areas where the United States and Russia can work together while clearly stating U.S. vital national interests and making it clear that “Russian activities that run counter to those interests will be met with a response.” He also aims to lay out his “vision for American values and our national priorities.”Russia’s President Vladimir Putin stands on a podium as he addresses the media during a press conference after the U.S.-Russia summit with U.S. President Joe Biden at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021.”The meeting has a low bar,” said Leslie Vinjamuri, director of the U.S. and Americas Program at Chatham House. It isn’t aiming for a “reset” of the relationship, Vinjamuri added, something that many American presidents prior to Biden have attempted.Vinjamuri added that if, following the summit, Biden can tell the American people that he has drawn red lines on interference in U.S. democracy, has called out Putin on cyberattacks, and underscored NATO’s commitment to deterring Russia’s aggression, the Biden administration will call that success.   On the other hand, Putin will likely brand the summit as a success just by playing the role of the statesman on the world’s largest stage, said Cyrus Newlin, associate fellow with the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Russian state media have highlighted the fact that Biden is meeting Putin before Chinese President Xi Jinping or any other U.S. adversary.  Whether or not the summit comes out as a net positive for Biden can only be determined in the ensuing months — will Biden communicate his red lines and will Putin respect them, Newlin said.  “Does Russia tone down its cyberattacks? Does Russia cease its provocations in the Black Sea and along Ukraine’s border?” Newlin asked. “The failure of the U.S. to secure these basic changes in Russian behavior would illustrate that summits do have costs.”  Republicans have slammed Biden for rewarding Putin with a meeting without pre-conditions, a criticism rejected by the White House. Ukraine  Earlier this month Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia has maintained a massive military presence near his country’s borders, having withdrawn only a fraction of the 100,000 troops deployed in April. The buildup is a concern for the West and would be brought up by Biden in his discussion with Putin, the senior administration official said. Ukraine’s ascension into NATO will be another key red line — a difficult problem to manage according to Timothy Frye, Columbia University Professor of Post-Soviet Politics and Author of “Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin’s Russia.” “Putin will insist on no NATO membership for Ukraine, while the U.S. will insist on Ukraine’s right to choose its foreign policy,” Frye said. Following Biden’s summit with NATO leaders Monday, Zelenskiy tweeted that NATO agreed that his country could join the alliance, causing some analysts to speculate that Putin might cancel his Wednesday summit with Biden. Commend U.S. President Joe Biden, left, and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin meet for the U.S.-Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021.U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan and Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov returned to their respective home countries earlier this year amid worsening U.S.-Russia relations. Both are in Geneva and participated in the expanded part of the summit.    In April, Biden expelled 10 Russian diplomats and imposed new sanctions on companies linked to the hacking of the SolarWinds information technology company. The hack spread to SolarWinds’ clients — U.S. companies and government agencies. In May, two U.S. businesses involved in key goods — fuel and meat — were targeted in cyberattacks believed to have originated in Russia. Both companies paid millions of dollars in ransom to restore their business operations, although U.S. law enforcement officials have recovered most of the money Colonial Pipeline paid.  
Putin has denied U.S. accusations of election meddling, cyberattacks, human rights abuses and elimination of political opposition including through nerve agent poisoning. Moscow claims to be a victim of Western anti-Russian sentiment.  China  Prior to his meeting with Putin, Biden attended the G-7, NATO and EU summits, seeking to boost relations with allies and consult with them about the U.S.-Russia talks.       As in the prior meetings, China is a key driver in the U.S.-Russia talks. “The Biden administration wants to hold firm on Russia but engage just enough to dampen any unity between Russia and China,” Chatham House’s Vinjamuri said.  Moscow and Beijing have forged closer ties in recent years, including deeper military ties. Both have broadly similar foreign policy and expansionist ambitions, with aligning interests to reject what they see as U.S. and European efforts to impose a “liberal” character on the rules-based international order. 
 

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Путін підійшов до перемов із Байденом у слабшій позиції – Клімкін

16 червня у швейцарській Женеві відбувся саміт президента США Джо Байдена з президентом Росії Володимиром Путіним

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EU Recommends Member States Lift US Tourism Restrictions 

The European Union (EU) Wednesday announced it is recommending that member nations lift COVID-19 restrictions on tourists from the United States, potentially making it easier for U.S. tourists to travel to Europe.Nonessential travel from the U.S. and other nations had been banned in the EU as a precaution to avoid the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. But EU member representatives, meeting in Brussels, agreed Wednesday to add the U.S. to the list of nations from which the ban may be lifted.The recommendation is non-binding, and national governments have authority to require test results or vaccination records and to set other entry conditions.EU officials said the decision to add the U.S. to the list was based on the pace of the U.S. vaccination process, among other factors.In addition to the U.S., EU representatives also added North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Lebanon and Taiwan to the tourist travel list. The recommendations are expected to be formalized on Friday and come into effect immediately.The move is part of an attempt to restore tourism within and from outside the bloc. Travel into the EU was all but suspended throughout most of the pandemic, causing tourism-dependent national economies to suffer. Last week, the EU approved digital COVID-19 certificates for fully vaccinated citizens to use during travel among the 27 EU member nations. 

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Суд визнав законним конкурс на голову «Приватбанку», попри позов профспілки – пресслужба банку

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Iran’s Interest in Russian Satellite ‘Not Particularly Concerning’ to US Security, CENTCOM Chief Tells VOA

Iran’s reported desire to purchase a Russian advanced satellite system is not “particularly concerning” to U.S. security in the region, according to the commander who oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East.   In an interview with VOA, Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, said Russia’s Kanopus-V satellite is not effective at targeting. “You really can’t do much with it,” he said. “It would probably allow them to see something the size of a school bus, which is not going to be particularly concerning to us.” Earlier this month, U.S. and Middle East officials told The Washington Post that Iranian military officials have been deeply involved in the satellite acquisition and have made multiple trips to Russia since 2018 to work on an agreement to buy the system. While the Kanopus-V is marketed for civilian use, Iranian military officials have been heavily involved in the acquisition, and leaders of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have made multiple trips to Russia since 2018 to help negotiate the terms of the agreement, the officials said. The Koanupus-V is marketed for civilian use, and McKenzie said some commercial imagery options provide better visuals than what the satellite’s high-resolution camera could capture.   “While it might seem attractive to put it (the satellite) into space on a Russian rocket, if that’s the way they want to spend their money and do it, they should go ahead,” he said.    Drone Attacks   Meanwhile, Iranian-backed militia have continued to attack U.S. and NATO forces in Iraq with small, armed drones.    “We’ve been attacked three times over the last little over a month,” McKenzie said. He and other military officials have told VOA that Iran has shifted to using compact, kinetic attacks because their armed drones can cause damage to U.S. resources without amassing casualties, keeping the threat just below a level that might spark retaliation from the United States. “It’s a very dangerous path that they’re on,” warned McKenzie, “and they’re doing it because, as we should remember, they failed and their principal aim, which was a political objective of having us leave Iraq.”   
 
The military is still conducting forensic analysis right now to determine exactly where the drones used in the latest attacks on U.S. forces originated.