yYAXssKCQaUWZcXZ79RJTBLvo-c;SfREtjZ9NYeQnnVMC-CsZ9qN6L0 Finance, Economics, Globus, Brokers, Banks, Collateral-Oriano Mattei: maggio 2017

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venerdì 26 maggio 2017

SIRIA..... Un raid americano ha provocato almeno 35 morti tra i civili in una città dell’est della Siria controllata dall’Isis. L’attacco è avvenuto a Mayadin, un centro di circa 50 mila abitanti lungo l’Eufrate, a Est di Raqqa e Deir ez-Zour. Nella zona si stanno concentrando le forze islamiste, compresi molti combattenti stranieri, in ritirata dall’Iraq e dal Nord della Siria. ...

AFP
Una nube di fumo si solleva sulla città di Daraa dopo un bombardamento


Un raid americano ha provocato almeno 35 morti tra i civili in una città dell’est della Siria controllata dall’Isis. L’attacco è avvenuto a Mayadin, un centro di circa 50 mila abitanti lungo l’Eufrate, a Est di Raqqa e Deir ez-Zour. Nella zona si stanno concentrando le forze islamiste, compresi molti combattenti stranieri, in ritirata dall’Iraq e dal Nord della Siria. 

Foreign fighters  
I raid però, secondo l’Osservatorio siriano dei diritti umani, vicino all’opposizione, sono costate la vita ad almeno 35 civili. Tra le persone uccise figurano almeno 26 parenti di jihadisti dell’Isis, siriani ma anche marocchini, ha spiegato il capo dell’osservatorio Rami Abdel Rahman: “I nove altri sono civili siriani, tra i quali cinque sono bambini”, ha precisato.  

Area critica  
Fra Deir ez-Zour, Mayadin, Abu Kamal e Al-Qim, tutte cittadine lungo l’Eufrate, dove il fiume passa dalla Siria all’Iraq, si sta formando un nuovo nucleo forte del Califfato, con migliaia di combattenti stranieri, le loro famiglie, ma anche civili, tecnici degli armamenti e specializzati nelle produzione di armi chimiche. I raid americani, siriani e iracheni si sono intensificati in questa zona negli ultimi mesi. 

La strage di Mosul  
Tra il 23 aprile e il 23 maggio, secondo l’osservatori, sono stati uccisi da attacchi della coalizione a guida Usa 225 civili. Ieri il Pentagono ha ammesso che almeno105 civili sono morti nell’attacchi di un deposito d’armi dell’Isis a Mosul, in Iraq, a marzo. Nel raid era andato completamente distrutto un palazzo residenziale. 


di Giordano Stabile per "lastampa.it"

1. Il siparietto di benvenuto con le battute per sciogliere il ghiaccio era, appunto, solo un siparietto. Perché quando la discussione con Donald Trump si è fatta più seria, Jean-Claude Juncker e Donald Tusk hanno capito che la distanza transatlantica è davvero molto, molto ampia. Commercio, clima, rapporti con la Russia: il faccia a faccia di ieri è servito a Bruxelles per fare un bagno di realtà e constatare che Ue e Usa restano su due piani diversi. - 2. Resta il fatto che le aspettative della vigilia - conferma una fonte Ue - erano decisamente più alte. «Dall’insediamento di Trump a oggi - spiega - ci sembrava che il clima fosse migliorato. Abbiamo capito che non è così». Per quanto riguarda i toni, chi ha avuto accesso alla discussione assicura che il «mood» nella sala era molto «cordiale e amichevole». Il problema sono i contenuti. Il presidente Usa ha confermato di non voler proseguire sulla linea dell’amministrazione Obama per quanto riguarda il commercio....

AFP
Donald Trump con Tusk


Il siparietto di benvenuto con le battute per sciogliere il ghiaccio era, appunto, solo un siparietto. Perché quando la discussione con Donald Trump si è fatta più seria, Jean-Claude Juncker e Donald Tusk hanno capito che la distanza transatlantica è davvero molto, molto ampia. Commercio, clima, rapporti con la Russia: il faccia a faccia di ieri è servito a Bruxelles per fare un bagno di realtà e constatare che Ue e Usa restano su due piani diversi. La riunione a tre è durata circa 45 minuti, mentre per i restanti 25 è stata allargata anche al presidente dell’Europarlamento Antonio Tajani e all’Alto Rappresentante Federica Mogherini («Il nostro ministro degli Esteri» nella presentazione di Tusk). Al termine, Juncker ha scambiato poche battute con i suoi più stretti collaboratori e sul suo volto era visibile tutta la delusione. Poi si è attaccato al telefono e si è allontanato da tutti. Secondo i rumors avrebbe chiamato Angela Merkel per riferirle dell’incontro, ma non ci sono conferme ufficiali. 

Resta il fatto che le aspettative della vigilia - conferma una fonte Ue - erano decisamente più alte. «Dall’insediamento di Trump a oggi - spiega - ci sembrava che il clima fosse migliorato. Abbiamo capito che non è così». Per quanto riguarda i toni, chi ha avuto accesso alla discussione assicura che il «mood» nella sala era molto «cordiale e amichevole». Il problema sono i contenuti. Il presidente Usa ha confermato di non voler proseguire sulla linea dell’amministrazione Obama per quanto riguarda il commercio. Questo potrebbe voler dire che il Ttip - il Trattato transatlantico di libero scambio - è da considerare morto defunto. Juncker «ha insistito sulla necessità di intensificare nella cooperazione - ha spiegato il portavoce della Commissione -, perché è una situazione vantaggiosa per entrambi». Bruxelles è riuscita a strappare soltanto un accordo per «iniziare un lavoro per un piano d’azione congiunto sul commercio». Tradotto: bisogna ripartire da capo. 

Un altro problema che resta «aperto» è quello relativo al clima e all’attuazione degli accordi di Parigi. Se n’è parlato anche durante il pranzo all’ambasciata Usa tra Donald Trump ed Emmanuel Macron. «Non abbiamo la stessa lettura» ha detto il presidente francese, che però ha cercato di congelare le divergenze: «Ho detto a Trump di non prendere nessuna decisione precipitosa». Chissà se l’invito sarà accolto. 

C’è poi il capitolo più spinoso: i rapporti con la Russia di Putin. È stato lo stesso Tusk ad ammettere la differenza di vedute. «Oggi non sono sicuro al cento per cento che abbiamo una posizione e una opinione comune sulla Russia». Per usare un eufemismo. Dal punto di vista politico, Tusk individua in Putin un nemico dell’Ue. E in questa partita Washington non è al fianco di Bruxelles. Lo è invece, ed è già qualcosa, quando si parla di Ucraina: «Siamo sulla stessa linea» secondo l’ex premier polacco. È dunque probabile che a fine giugno le sanzioni a Mosca per la violazione degli accordi di Minsk vengano prorogate. Oltre alla Corea del Nord, resta un solo punto su cui pare esserci intesa: la lotta al terrorismo. In un passaggio, Trump avrebbe poi detto di temere ripercussioni sull’occupazione negli Usa in seguito alla Brexit. Soltanto quattro mesi fa sosteneva che l’uscita del Regno Unito dalla Ue è «una gran cosa», ma forse ha cambiato idea. 


di Marco Breslin per "lastampa.it"

La rete europea di Salman Abedi si estende oltre i confini britannici. Ne sono convinti i servizi di intelligence che tengono sott’occhio i link tra le cellule jihadiste nel Vecchio Continente, in particolare sull’asse anglo-tedesco. La ragnatela del terrore si sta infoltendo proprio tra Germania e Regno Unito, non più solo nell’area franco-belga (che comunque resta una delle più dense). Chi indaga è convinto che l’attentatore di Manchester non possa aver agito da solo, per questo l’inchiesta si sta allargando oltre la Manica. .......

REUTERS
Due agenti britannici ispezionano una borsa della Nike a Hulme, quartiere non lontano dall’Old Trafford
(lo stadio del Manchester United)


La rete europea di Salman Abedi si estende oltre i confini britannici. Ne sono convinti i servizi di intelligence che tengono sott’occhio i link tra le cellule jihadiste nel Vecchio Continente, in particolare sull’asse anglo-tedesco. La ragnatela del terrore si sta infoltendo proprio tra Germania e Regno Unito, non più solo nell’area franco-belga (che comunque resta una delle più dense). Chi indaga è convinto che l’attentatore di Manchester non possa aver agito da solo, per questo l’inchiesta si sta allargando oltre la Manica.  

Un campanello d’allarme lo ha fatto suonare la presenza di Abedi a Dusseldorf, quattro giorni prima della strage al concerto di Ariana Grande. Non è ancora chiaro per quanto tempo ci sia rimasto, ma l’intelligence tedesca si è subito messa in moto per scovare eventuali complici. Si vuole fare chiarezza anche su un suo viaggio a Francoforte, nel 2015, ma i fari sono puntati più che altro nel Nordreno Vestfalia. Una zona ad alto tasso di radicalizzazione. 

Qui, nel novembre scorso, una maxi-retata aveva permesso di arrestare cinque pezzi grossi legati all’Isis, tra cui quello che è considerato il «reclutatore numero uno in Germania», Ahmad Abdelaziz, detto Abu Walaa. Sempre a Dusseldorf aveva portato un’altra inchiesta di terrorismo, quella per gli attentati di Bruxelles del 22 marzo 2016: Samir E., un cittadino tedesco in contatto con il kamikaze Ibrahim El Bakraoui, aveva ricevuto sul suo cellulare un Sms con la scritta «Fine» tre minuti prima delle esplosioni. E non va dimenticato che, un mese prima degli attentati di Parigi, Salah Abdeslam era partito in auto per Ulm, dove aveva recuperato tre persone. Il fronte tedesco è da tempo sotto la lente. Uno dei suoi complici più famosi, Mohammed Abrini, l’uomo col cappello dell’aeroporto di Zaventem, si era invece mosso verso nord: le indagini hanno svelato che l’11 luglio del 2015 si trovava a Birmingham per incontrare Mohammed Ali Ahmed e Zakaria Bonfassil, che gli hanno fornito 3.800 euro utilizzati poi nella preparazione degli attentati. 

Germania, Belgio, Francia, Regno Unito. La rete dei terroristi attivi nei quattro Paesi europei che hanno fornito il maggior numero di foreign fighter non ha una struttura ben definita, ma i punti di contatto sono numerosi. E questo perché le cellule che sembravano smantellate hanno saputo rigenerarsi in due modi: grazie ai «sopravvissuti», sfuggiti agli arresti, e grazie ai combattenti di ritorno. I viaggi dal Califfato verso l’Europa non si sono interrotti: un nucleo selezionato di foreign fighter sta tornando nei Paesi di origine per «risvegliare» le cellule dormienti. 

A tirare le fila delle operazioni sono tre personaggi che sono sfuggiti ai raid mirati di americani e francesi in questi anni. Il numero uno è Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir, cioè «lo straniero», che lo scorso autunno ha preso il posto del portavoce del califfo Mohammed Al-Adnani, e coordina sia propaganda che organizzazione di attacchi all’estero. Sotto di lui ci sarebbe ancora Abu Suleyman al-Firansi, nome vero Abdelilah Himich, capo dell’Amn al-Kharji, i servizi segreti esterni. Infine c’è Boubaker al-Hakim, franco-marocchino, anche lui dato per morto in un raid nel novembre 2016 ma pare ancora vivo: si occupa dell’addestramento dei foreign fighter europei. 

Nel progetto del Califfato 2.0 sono stati divisi, secondo l’analisi dell’Atlantic Council, in tre categorie. Alcuni, più integrati, da disperdere in Siria e Iraq perché si uniscano ad altri gruppi jihadisti, compresa Al-Qaeda, e pongano le premesse per una controffensiva in Mesopotamia, come era già avvenuto fra il 2008 e il 2013. Altri, sempre di origine araba o asiatica, da inviare in Paesi «a rischio», come Libia, Tunisia, Egitto, Pakistan, per costruire futuri nuclei territoriali. Infine ci sono gli «operativi», i meglio addestrati agli attacchi terroristici e all’uso di esplosivo, da far tornare in Europa per ricostruire le cellule. 

C’è però il problema dei controlli alle frontiere, che si sono intensificati. Per questo l’Isis cerca di aggirare l’ostacolo degli spostamenti fisici con la figura che gli analisti definiscono «pianificatore virtuale». È una colonna sempre più importante dell’Amn al-Kharji, che attraverso la Rete si occupa della ricerca di sostenitori in Occidente per trasformarli in «soldati del Califfato». E tiene veri e propri «corsi a distanza» sulla preparazione degli attacchi: modalità d’azione, scelta degli obiettivi, delle armi e sofisticati tutorial per la fabbricazione degli ordigni. 


di Marco Bresolin e Giordano Stabile per "lastampa.it"

MONTENEGRO.... To je bila bezazlena situacija i nikako se drugačije ne može protumačiti, poručio je premijer Duško Marković, komentarišući trenutak u kojem ga je američki predsjednik Donald Tramp "skrajnuo" kako bi stao u prvi red, Premijer je ocijenio i da Tramp zaslužuje da bude u prvom redu, kao lider najveće svjetske sile.....

Marković o situaciji sa Trampom: On i treba da bude u prvom redu
FOTO: REUTERS



To je bila bezazlena situacija i nikako se drugačije ne može protumačiti, poručio je premijer Duško Marković, komentarišući trenutak u kojem ga je američki predsjednik Donald Tramp "skrajnuo" kako bi stao u prvi red,
Premijer je ocijenio i da Tramp zaslužuje da bude u prvom redu, kao lider najveće svjetske sile.
"Želim da kažem da je prirodno da predsjednik SAD bude u prvom redu. Crna Gora ostaje privrežena prijateljstvu sa Sjedinjenim Američkim Državama“, rekao je Marković na konferenciji za novinare poslije sastanka lidera zemalja članica NATO.

On je danas, kako je kazao, imao dvije prilike da porazgovara sa Trampom. Prvo je sa njim razgovarao 20 minuta a kasnije su, na svečanosti otvarnja novog sjedišta NATO, razmijenili nekoliko rečenica.
Marković je kazao da se tom prilikom Trampu zahvalio na njegovoj podršci i ratifikaciji Protokola o pristupanju u Senatu SAD.
"Mali, malešni..."
Čuvena spisateljica, autorka knjiga o malom čarobnjaku Hariju Poteru, Dž.K. Rouling je na Twitteru prokomentarisala potez Trampa.
"Ti mali, mali, malešni čovječe", napisala je Rouling uz snimak neobične situacije.


fonte "vijesti.me"



MONTENEGRO..... U.S. President Donald Trump shoved Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic aside as he pushed to get into a group photo at the NATO summit on May 25, but the Balkan leader says he took no offense.....

Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic at the NATO summit


U.S. President Donald Trump shoved Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic aside as he pushed to get into a group photo at the NATO summit on May 25, but the Balkan leader says he took no offense.
Trump put his right hand on Markovic's right arm and pushed himself ahead as NATO leaders walked into the alliance's new headquarters in Brussels for a photo session.
Trump then stood near Markovic and spoke to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite during the shoot.
Video of the incident spread quickly on social networks in multiple languages.
While Balkan media reacted with indignation -- running headlines like "America First" -- Markovic shrugged off the slight.
"It didn't really register. I just saw reactions about it on social networks. It is simply a harmless situation," he said afterward.
Instead of being insulted, he said he took the opportunity to thank Trump for supporting Montenegro's membership in NATO. The small former Yugoslav republic is slated to become NATO's 29th member next month.
And in any case, Markovic said, "it is natural that the president of the United States is in the front row."
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters

Human Rights Watch says it has confirmed that police in Russia's Chechnya region rounded up, tortured, and humiliated dozens of gay or bisexual men during the spring of 2017 in "an apparent effort to purge them from Chechen society." In a 29-page report released on May 26, the U.S.-based nongovernmental rights group said the "antigay purge" lasted from late February until at least early April -- and that "it was ordered and conducted by officials in Chechnya.".........

Activists display placards in front of the Chancellery in Berlin in April during a demonstration calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to put an end to the persecution of gay men in Chechnya. The protesters called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who met with Putin in Sochi on May 2, to raise the issue. She said afterward that she had urged Putin to "use his influence" to end the abuse.


Human Rights Watch says it has confirmed that police in Russia's Chechnya region rounded up, tortured, and humiliated dozens of gay or bisexual men during the spring of 2017 in "an apparent effort to purge them from Chechen society."
In a 29-page report released on May 26, the U.S.-based nongovernmental rights group said the "antigay purge" lasted from late February until at least early April -- and that "it was ordered and conducted by officials in Chechnya."
The report says the speaker of Chechnya’s parliament, Magomed Daudov, "seems to have played a key role in both securing and giving approval from the Chechen leadership to set in motion the purge."
It says most of the purge victims interviewed by Human Rights Watch "reported hearing the police who held and abused them refer to Daudov and to orders he allegedly issued about violence against gay men."
It also said three of the interviewed victims witnessed Daudov’s presence at unofficial detention facilities in Grozny and Argun, where the abuses were carried out.
Human Rights Watch said the purge began in Argun, about 18 kilometers east of Grozny, during the last week of February.
It says police who detained a young gay man found "intimate photographs and messages" on his mobile phone indicating he was homosexual.
"Using the information from the man's phone together with information the man provided under torture, the officials established the identity of several of his gay contacts," Human Rights Watch reported.
"The police officials reported their findings to their superior, who apparently raised it with Magomed Daudov," it said.
A Chechen man who fled the republic due to his sexual orientation sits on his bed in Moscow on April 17.
A Chechen man who fled the republic due to his sexual orientation sits on his bed in Moscow on April 17.
It said the first victim's contacts also were "abducted and tortured" by police, who forced them to provide information about other people presumed to be gay.
"It was like a chain," one of the former detainees told Human Rights Watch. "They get one person, go through his phone, torture him, make him name some others, get those others, and so it goes."
"In the place where I was held, we were four [gay men] at first, but several days later we were already 20," he said.
Graeme Reid, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch, said most of the victims were held and tortured for several days or even weeks.
Several allegedly died and some are still thought to be in detention.
Reid also said that when police returned most of the men to their families, they exposed their sexual orientation and indirectly encouraged their relatives to carry out "honor killings."
WATCH: Activists Detained For Seeking Inquiry Into Abuse Of Gay Men In Chechnya
Reid also said victims who have fled Chechnya after their ordeal remain in danger elsewhere in Russia, with threats continuing against them.
"All of the victims suffered repeated beatings," the report said. "Security officials kicked them with booted feet, beat them with polypropylene pipes and sticks, and made other inmates beat them" -- mostly on the men’s buttocks and legs.
"They put you face down on the floor and beat you with pipes," one victim told Human Rights Watch. "Then they force other prisoners [held for allegedly supporting insurgents or for alleged drug offenses] to carry on with the beating. Each man gets some 70 to 80 blows. And so it goes.... And you literally turn black and blue from waist to toes."
The rights group says local Chechen authorities also used electrocution devices to torture the victims.
Former detainees described those devices as machines with a knob on one side and wires sticking out of it with metal clips at the ends -- clips which were attached to the victims' fingers, toes, and earlobes.
"They turn the knob, electric current hits you, and you start shaking," a former detainee told Human Rights Watch. "And they keep turning the hellish machine, and the pain is just insane. You scream and scream and you no longer know who you are."
"Finally, you faint," the former detainee continued. "It all goes dark. But when you come to your senses, they start all over again. And once they’re done with you and you get your bearings, you hear other inmates screaming. The sounds of torture are just there all day, and at some point you start losing your mind."
WATCH: LGBT Activists Protest Outside Russian Embassy In Belgrade
Since Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper first reported the abuses in early April, gay men from Chechnya have given personal accounts to RFE/RL and other media about their ordeal in the North Caucasus region, which Chechnya's leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has ruled for the past decade through brutal repression and strong Kremlin support, critics say.
"Law enforcement and security agencies under Kadyrov's de facto control have abducted people from homes, work places, and the streets, held them in secret locations, and carried out enforced disappearances, torture, extrajudicial executions, and collective punishment practices," Human Rights Watch said.
Yulia Gorbunova, a Moscow-based researcher for Human Rights Watch, noted that Russia's federal authorities initially dismissed the abuse allegations in Novaya Gazeta, which included reports of Daudov’s repeated visits to the unofficial detention facility in Argun.
But under growing international pressure, several federal agencies have begun inquiries and President Vladimir Putin has pledged to speak with the prosecutor-general and interior minister about the reports.
"Chechnya’s leadership said it was ready to cooperate with federal inquiries, but also vehemently denied the very existence of gay people in Chechnya and they repeatedly berated and threatened journalists and human rights defenders for raising the issue," Gorbunova told RFE/RL.
Meanwhile, Russian federal officials "have repeatedly pointed to the lack of victim complaints to suggest the allegations are merely rumors," Gorbunova said.
"The men who survived Chechnya's gay-purge ordeal are caught between two fires: their well-grounded fears of official retaliation, and fear of violence from their own families," Reid said. "Russian officials need to address the victims' extreme vulnerability and their legitimate fears about coming forward to complain."
Human Rights Watch concludes that the federal investigations should be "thorough and capable of bringing the perpetrators to account."
It says authorities should take extra steps to protect victims, witnesses, and their immediate families.
The rights group also called on foreign government to maintain pressure on Moscow, including regular inquiries about the progress of the investigation.
It said the European Union, the United States, and other democratic countries also should "provide prompt, safe sanctuary to victims of the purge seeking refuge in safe countries."


da "Radio Free Liberty"

giovedì 25 maggio 2017

The leader of NATO’s newest member state had a first-hand lesson in power dynamics at the alliance summit in Brussels, when he found himself pushed out of the way by US President Donald Trump......

Montenegro manhandled? Video shows Trump shoving PM aside at NATO summit


The leader of NATO’s newest member state had a first-hand lesson in power dynamics at the alliance summit in Brussels, when he found himself pushed out of the way by US President Donald Trump.
Video of the interaction shows Trump grabbing the shoulder of Prime Minister Duško Marković of Montenegro and pushing him aside so he could get through to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Trump then adjusts his jacket and answers a question from Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, as the flustered Marković smiles and nods behind them.
Montenegro is a Balkans country of 600,000 with a military of only 2,000 members. The former Yugoslav republic will formally join NATO next month.
The government in Podgorica rushed to join the alliance after last year’s election, claiming that Russia was targeting it for a coup. Moscow has denied the allegations and condemned the move as “a demonstrative act of violation of all democratic norms and principles,” because the government refused to hold a national referendum on the issue.
The US Senate ratified Montenegro’s membership in March in a vote of 98-2. When Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) objected, policy hawk and Trump foe John McCain (R-Arizona) accused him of “working for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”
Montenegro is the first member to join after being bombed by the alliance – for 78 days in 1999 – when NATO attacked former Yugoslavia on behalf of ethnic Albanian separatists in Serbia’s Kosovo province.
Once a staunch ally of Russia – going so far as to declare war on Japan in 1904 – Montenegro turned to Washington after former Communist official Milo Đukanović was elected president in 1997. Đukanović held the post of prime minister until 2016, when he was succeeded by party colleague Marković, and remains influential behind the scenes.
The president’s critics in the media had a field day with Trump’s “manhandling” of Marković, and sparked the social media hashtag #trumpshove.

da "rt.com"



KYIV -- Nadia Savchenko, a former military helicopter navigator who entered politics after returning home following two years in a Russian jail, says the Justice Ministry is ignoring her request to register her new political movement. Savchenko spoke at a news conference on May 25, exactly a year after she was released in a prisoner exchange and days after telling Polish news outlet Krytyka Polityczna that she is "ready to take responsibility for the country and run for president" in 2019. .....

Ukrainian parliamentary deputy Nadia Savchenko


KYIV -- Nadia Savchenko, a former military helicopter navigator who entered politics after returning home following two years in a Russian jail, says the Justice Ministry is ignoring her request to register her new political movement.

Savchenko spoke at a news conference on May 25, exactly a year after she was released in a prisoner exchange and days after telling Polish news outlet Krytyka Polityczna that she is "ready to take responsibility for the country and run for president" in 2019. 
Savchenko had planned to present her new political force, the Sociopolitical Platform of Hope Savchenko. But she said that "the Justice Ministry...without providing any comments or explanations, without answering any appeals, requests, phone calls, has not registered the party."

The Justice Ministry did not immediately respond to Savchenko’s claim.

Lack of registration would prevent Savchenko's political movement from participating in future elections and hurt her chances in a presidential campaign.
Ukraine is slated to hold its next presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019. A recent poll by the Kyiv-based Razumkov Center indicated she would receive just 1 to 2 percent of the vote if the election were held this month.

Savchenko says she was abducted by Russia-backed separatists in June 2014 and taken illegally into Russia, where she was jailed and tried on a murder charge over the deaths of two Russian journalists who were killed in the conflict between the separatists and Kyiv’s forces.

Savchenko was convicted last year and sentenced to 22 years in prison but was released in a swap for two Russians held by Kyiv. She was widely hailed as a hero upon her return to Ukraine but has faced criticism from nationalists and others in Ukraine.

Savchenko was elected to parliament on the ticket of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s party in 2014 but quit the faction in December 2016 after its leadership criticized her for making a secret visit to separatist-controlled territory in the east. She now holds her seat as an independent.


da "Radio Free Liberty"

MONTENEGRO..... Nestled in the Adriatic coastline between Croatia and Albania, tiny Montenegro may appear to have little military value. Just don't tell that to NATO or its sworn rival, Russia. Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006, will be welcomed into the security alliance this week in Brussels -- and formally join on June 5 -- despite a bitter campaign by the Kremlin to derail NATO's first expansion in almost a decade.......

Protesters burn a NATO flag while Montenegro's parliament discusses the ratification of a NATO membership agreement in Cetinje in April.


Nestled in the Adriatic coastline between Croatia and Albania, tiny Montenegro may appear to have little military value. Just don't tell that to NATO or its sworn rival, Russia.
Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006, will be welcomed into the security alliance this week in Brussels -- and formally join on June 5 -- despite a bitter campaign by the Kremlin to derail NATO's first expansion in almost a decade.
So why has a country that spent a paltry $69 million on its military last year become the front line in a diplomatic battle that some fear could edge Europe closer to a military conflict?
The government in Podgorica has faced a steady stream of rhetoric against NATO expansion from opponents both domestic and foreign, and an alleged coup attempt in October 2016 was seen by some as yet another attempt to change the political landscape and keep Montenegro away from integrating into the Euro-Atlantic alliance.
"With Montenegro's accession, NATO is telling aspiring members to hang tough, for their time may yet come. By stamping its feet in frustration, Moscow is telling the same NATO aspirants and NATO itself that that's a pipe dream," Leonid Bershidsky, founder of the opinion website Slon.ru and a Bloomberg View contributor, argues.
Why Montenegro?
With a population of just 620,000, Montenegro may seem like an afterthought for an alliance that has about six times that number in active military personnel alone.
Indeed, Montenegro's armed forces, with about 2,000 soldiers, is about one-third of what is needed to run a single aircraft carrier, while its eight armed personnel carriers, half a dozen ships, and dozen or so helicopters hardly add anything to the alliance in terms of hardware.
Meanwhile, it borders NATO members Croatia and Albania, neither of which poses a threat to Montenegro or the alliance, so it won't fundamentally change the country's security situation or markedly fortify NATO operations.
Still, its 293-kilometer coastline does give Montenegro some importance as a strategic parcel of real estate, since it's the penultimate piece in the Adriatic puzzle.
With Montenegro as a member, NATO will control the entire coast of the Adriatic, from the heel of Italy's boot to the rugged shores of Greece, save for a 20-kilometer stretch of land held by Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Moreover, Montenegro hosts the Bar and Kotor naval bases, once key facilities for the defunct Yugoslav armed forces that analysts say may be part of the alliance's future plans.
"It is difficult to say now whether any NATO combat facilities will be deployed in Montenegro. But militarily, I can say that the base in Kotor was one the chief ones among the former Yugoslav armed forces. It was well-equipped and there were ships which controlled major part of the Adriatic," Colonel Boris Podoprigora, president of the St. Petersburg Conflict Resolution Club says.
"As far as I know, there are no serious bases on the opposite side, in Italy. They are all on the opposite side of Italy, mainly near Naples. However, I can confirm that Montenegro is an important strategic point of the region. It is quite an important geographical unit in the NATO conglomerate."
Russian Opposition
The rewards of joining NATO may be tempered by the price Montenegro could pay at the hands of Russia.
A longtime ally that shares historic, linguistic, and cultural ties, Russia has not sat idly by as NATO wooed Montenegro.
Moscow is said to have asked Montenegro several years ago to use Bar as a naval logistics base for ships heading toward Syria. Amid reported pressure from NATO, the government declined, ruffling Kremlin feathers.
Since then, Russia has used the stick more than the carrot to try and edge its way into the Balkan conversation.
The Kremlin imposed sanctions against Montenegro's largest winery and one of the country's best-known exports. Officials claimed products from the Plantaze winery near the coastline do not meet proper standards, even though the company says it has had several independent tests performed on its wine to refute that accusation.
Mindful that Russian investors have poured millions of dollars into the country, mainly through real-estate deals to accommodate the thousands of Russians who flock annually to Montenegro's sun-splashed coastline, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned in April of a "surge of anti-Russian hysteria" in Montenegro.
And then there's the matter of last year's purported coup plot.
Officials in Podgorica have accused Russia of involvement, allegedly aimed at impeding Montenegro's further Western integration.
Moscow rejects the allegation, but a Montenegrin court began indictment proceedings on May 24 against 14 people, including two Russians and two pro-Russia opposition leaders, who are charged with plotting to overthrow the government last year.
"If the Kremlin has influence in the American political process, you can imagine how much greater ambitions it has to exert influence on the countries of the Balkans, which is seen as a 'soft belly of Europe,'" Janusz Bugajski, a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, says.
Step Toward EU
Ultimately, accepting Montenegro as a NATO member may be as much, or more, about the European Union than the alliance itself.
Montenegro applied to join the 28-nation EU in 2009 and has been in membership talks since 2012.
It has already opened 26 chapters in its EU accession negotiations out of a total 35, and in its last progress report, in late 2016, the European Commission said Montenegro continued to make progress on political and economic criteria and had improved its ability to take on the obligations of EU membership.
Former Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic once even hailed NATO accession as "one more important step toward Montenegro's full membership in the European Union."
"The Balkans for centuries has been the scene of a struggle between the West and the East," current Prime Minister Dusko Markovic said recently.
"NATO and the EU have always been and remain a guarantee of stability and security and cooperation and the main basis for peace in Europe. It is about what kind of future we choose for us and generations to come."


di Alan Crosby per "Radio Free Liberty"