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Vladimir Putin; Donald Trump

Putin hopes to pay Trump a visit

The President of the United States, Donald Trump has invited Russian leader Vladimir Putin to Washington DC, reported by Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov.

Published: April 3, 2018, 10:01 am

    The invitation came via a telephone conversation, The Washington Post reported.

    No exact date was discussed, but Russians hope that the Americans will not renege on their proposal. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday that “a number of potential venues, including the White House,” were being considered.

    During a previous telephone conversation, the presidents of the Russian Federation and the US had discussed a number of urgent matters to resolve currently facing Moscow and Washington in the sphere of security.

    According to the Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, the conversation on 20 March was “warm and constructive”. The Washington meeting could address some of these pressing security issues it is hoped, including the diplomatic war with the UK.

    Not only Russia’s relations with the United States, but with Britain and a number of other countries too are currently worse than during the Cold War, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted. “Even then there were some rules,” while Western countries now “resort to outright lies and misinformation”.

    “Today, our Western partners, and I first of all refer to the Great Britain, the United States and some other countries, which are blindly guided by them, put all of their decency aside and resort to bold lies and fake news,” according to Lavrov.

    He said during a briefing that is was “too obvious that our British colleagues have already begun to play a game, we will insist on clarifying all the facts and establishing the truth”.

    He said that the British intelligence services “were known for their ability to act with a license to kill,” and the British government “found itself in an uncomfortable situation, failing to fulfill promises to their constituents about the conditions of Brexit”.

    Russia’s envoy to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Alexander Shulgin warned that if Russian experts are barred from taking part in an investigation into the Skripal affair, the results of the probe will be rejected.

    “Our position is clear. We advocate a comprehensive, open and unbiased investigation. Russia is ready for it, and our experts are ready to participate in such work,” Russia’s permanent representative to the OPCW the told VGTRK’s ’60 minutes’ programme on Monday.

    The Technical Secretary of the OPCW told the media that the results will only be handed to the Russians with the prior consent of the British. Russian lawyers have dismissed the British attitude as invalid, and an objection has been filed to the OPCW.

    Meanwhile, British High Court Justice David Williams ruled that in the case of the Skripals “it did not appear practicable or appropriate to seek the views of others who might be interested in the welfare of Mr Skripal or Ms Skripal’s”.

    It appears that the judge has ignored the attempts of the Skripal relatives and close friends to get in touch with them and has instead ruled that “they [the Skripals] would want to support the UK Government in taking steps on the international plane to hold those responsible to account”.

    Moskovsky Komsomolets reported how the court and the hospital could get in contact with both Skripal’s mother, Yulia’s grandmother, and Yulia’s fiancé. Yulia’s Moscow cousin Victoria Skripal had reportedly made telephone contact with Salisbury Hospital and with the Russian Ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko.

    Justice Williams also ruled there was no legal obligation for the Russian Embassy in London to be informed by the hospital or the government “pursuant to Articles 36 and 37 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 24 April 1963”. According to the judge, Article 37 had not been incorporated in domestic British law.

    John Helmer, a blogger, pointed out that a bilateral consular convention between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union was ratified by the British parliament and became legally binding domestic law in 1968. “It is much more explicit than the Vienna Convention,” Helmer noted.

    “Russian Embassy access to Yulia Skripal is required by Articles 30, 31(f), 35 and 36. The last of these is the most explicit. In British statutes the word ‘shall’ means must — obligatory, mandatory, required, no discretion allowed.”

    The head of the Salisbury Hospital, Cara Charles-Barks, has refused to clarify the the hospital’s illegal interference of preventing contact between the Skripals and their Russian relatives.

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