Putin claims new Russia-North Korea defence pact is ‘peaceful’ – Ukraine war live

Putin claims new Russia-North Korea defence pact is ‘peaceful’ – Ukraine war live
Zelensky says China trying to undermine Ukraine peace summit

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has insisted a new partnership struck with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un – including a mutual defence clause – is “peaceful”, according to state news.

Mr Kim hailed the new agreement struck during Mr Putin’s first visit to Pyongyang in 24 years as heralding a “new, high level of alliance” between their countries, and claimed it would “become a driving force accelerating the creation of a new multipolar world”.

The details of the partnership were not immediately clear, but Western nations have expressed growing concern over an arms arrangement in which Moscow receives ammuntion for its war in Ukraine in exchange for economic and technology assistance which could enhance the threat of North Korea’s nuclear programme.

Mr Putin was received with much pomp in North Korea, where Mr Kim promised his full support for Russia’s war in Ukraine ahead of their one-on-one meeting.

The visit looks to cast a shadow over the mammoth peace talks held by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in Switzerland over the weekend. Nearly 80 nations agreed that peace talks will begin only after Russia restores Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

EU Commission to impose tariffs on Ukrainian egg imports

The European Commission will introduce tariffs on Ukrainian egg imports within the next two weeks after a previously agreed annual threshold level for those imports has been reached, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The Commission took the same decision on Tuesday regarding oat imports from Ukraine.

Following Russia‘s invasion in 2022, the country has benefited from a special mechanism put in place to boost trade flows with the EU, it’s most important export market. The EU, however, set maximum import volumes after farmer protest across the bloc smashed cheap Ukrainian imports as unfair competition. (

Maryam Zakir-Hussain20 June 2024 05:00

Putin now reaches Vietnam for talks, to meet top leaders

Russian president Vladimir Putin arrived in Vietnam early today for talks with the country’s Communist leaders on the final stop of his two-nation tour of Asia after concluding a defence pact with North Korea.

This is the third foreign visit by Mr Putin, after China and North Korea, since he took the presidential office in March.

Putin’s aircraft touched down at Hanoi’s airport, where he was met on a red carpet by Vietnamese deputy prime minister Tran Hong Ha and top party diplomat Le Hoai Trung.

Putin is due to meet Communist Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong, state president To Lam and prime minster Pham Minh Chinh. Although both North Korea and Russia face international isolation, Vietnam has built careful alliances with the United States and the European Union.

“President Putin’s visit to North Korea and Vietnam is to demonstrate that Western attempts to isolate Russia are not working and that Russia has partners in Asia,” said Carl Thayer, an expert on Vietnam security at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra.

However, ahead of his visit, Putin thanked the Southeast Asian Communist-ruled country for supporting “a pragmatic way to solve the crisis” in Ukraine.

Arpan Rai20 June 2024 04:53

Nato chief warns on Putin, Kim Jong-un’s ‘authoritarian’ deal

Russia’s new defensive pact with North Korea shows increasing alignment among authoritarian powers and underscores the importance of democracies presenting a united front, the head of Nato said.

Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a deal with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un that included a mutual defence pledge, a move that overhauls Moscow’s policy towards Pyongyang.

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said North Korea had provided “an enormous amount of ammunition” to Russia while both China and Iran were supporting Moscow militarily in its war against Ukraine.

“We need to be aware that authoritarian powers are aligning more and more. They are supporting each other in a way we haven’t seen before,” he told a panel discussion during an official visit to Ottawa.

“When they are more and more aligned – authoritarian regimes like North Korea and China, Iran, Russia – then it’s even more important that we are aligned as countries believing in freedom and democracy,” he said.

The growing closeness between Russia and other Asian nations means it is all the more important that Nato works with allies in the Asia-Pacific, he said, adding this was why leaders from Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea had been invited to a Nato summit in Washington next month.

Arpan Rai20 June 2024 04:36

North Korea and Russia sign a deal on immediate military assistance in event of war

Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin upgraded their bilateral ties to a new high as they signed a fresh agreement of “immediate military assistance” in the event of war during the Russian president’s visit to North Korea.

The new agreement between Russia and North Korea reached by their leaders at a Pyongyang summit requires both countries to use all available means to provide immediate military assistance in the event of war, North Korean state media today.

In the new agreement, Russia and North Korea have inked assistance on security, trade, investment, cultural and humanitarian ties. Outside observers said it could mark the strongest connection between Moscow and Pyongyang since the end of the Cold War.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency today reported the language of the comprehensive strategic partnership agreement. The agency said Article 4 of the agreement states that if one of the countries gets invaded and is pushed into a state of war, the other must deploy “all means at its disposal without delay” to provide “military and other assistance.”

Arpan Rai20 June 2024 04:11

Fire at drone-hit Russian oil depot rages for second day

A blaze caused by a Ukrainian drone strike on an oil terminal in southern Russia has been raging for more than a day and a half despite the efforts of firefighters, the regional governor said on Wednesday.

Several oil storage tanks in the town of Azov caught fire after a drone attack early on Tuesday that a Ukrainian intelligence source told Reuters was conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

Vasily Golubev, governor of the Rostov region, wrote on Telegram that emergency services had been unable to extinguish the flames as of Tuesday afternoon as the second storage tank had been depressurised.

Azov has two oil product terminals, DonTerminal and Azovproduct, which handled a total of about 220,000 tons of fuel for export during the period from January to May 2024.

Ukraine has often said that targeting Russia‘s energy, military and transport infrastructure undermines Moscow’s war effort.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain20 June 2024 04:00

Russian court sentences US soldier to nearly 4 years on theft charges

A court in Russia’s far eastern city of Vladivostok on Wednesday sentenced an American soldier arrested earlier this year to three years and nine months in prison on charges of stealing and threats of murder, Russian news reports said.

Staff Sgt. Gordon Black, 34, flew to Vladivostok, a Pacific port city, to see his girlfriend and was arrested after she accused him of stealing from her, according to U.S. officials and Russian authorities.

Russian state news agencies Tass and RIA Novosti reported from the courtroom in the Pervomaisky District Court in Vladivostok that the judge also ordered Black to pay 10,000 rubles ($115) in damages. Prosecutors had asked for Black to be sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain20 June 2024 03:00

Ukraine launches a national sexual assault registry for victims of Russian forces

Authorities in Ukraine have created a national registry to document cases of sexual violence allegedly committed by Russian forces, a senior prosecutor told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Viktoriia Litvinova, the country’s deputy prosecutor general, said that the registry was created out of a pilot project that had already resulted in the convictions of five people in absentia. She declined to comment on details of the cases.

“We used to have to visit territories where hostilities are taking place ourselves,” she said. “But now people – individuals who have experienced sexual abuse – are seeking us out for information.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain20 June 2024 02:00

White House ‘comfortable’ with its nuclear position after Nato chief suggests increase in deployed weapons

Addressing reports at a White House Briefing, spokesperson John Kirby declared that the US are “comfortable” with their “strategic deterrent posture”.

Asked about Mr Stoltenberg’s comments, Mr Kirby said: “We don’t talk about nuclear posture with any specificity – and I’m certainly not going to start doing that here from the podium.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain20 June 2024 01:00

Estonia convicts a university professor from Russia of spying for Moscow

A university professor was jailed Tuesday in Estonia after being found guilty of spying for Russian military intelligence, part of a campaign of sabotage, electronic warfare and information gathering that Estonian officials blame on Moscow.

Viacheslav Morozov, a Russian citizen who taught at Estonia’s country’s most prestigious university, was sentenced to six years and three months in prison for undermining the security of the Baltic state during the 14 years he operated in the country until his arrest in January.

Estonian officials are extremely hawkish about the threat from Russia and have convicted a number of people of spying for Russia in recent years. Harju County Court in the Estonian capital said Morozov collected information about Estonia’s defense and security policy and the people and infrastructure related to it.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain20 June 2024 00:00

Treasury sanctions network connected to separatist Bosnian leader

A network of people and firms that support the sanctioned president of Bosnia’s Serb-run portion, Milorad Dodik, has been hit with a new round of sanctions.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Tuesday designated two people and seven companies that provide revenue for Dodik and his family, including his son Igor Dodik.

Treasury says Dodik used his presidency to direct government contracts to a network of private companies that he and his son oversee.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain19 June 2024 23:00

Source: independent.co.uk