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Russia’ll Be Hit With Harshest Sanctions Ever – EU



Russia'll Be Hit With Harshest Sanctions Ever - EU

Russia faces unprecedented isolation and its economy will be hit with harshest sanctions ever over its attack on Ukraine, the European Union (EU) has warned.

EU’s foreign policy Chief, Josep Borrell said this on Thursday as Russia launches military attack on Ukraine borders.

“This is not a question of blocs. This is not a question of diplomatic power games. It is a matter of life and death.

“It is about the future of our global community,” Borell said in a broadcast statement.

According to him, these are among the darkest hours for Europe since the end of World War 2.

He said Russia’s attack on its neighbour ‘Ukraine’ is the greatest violation of international law and a violation of the basic principles of human coexistence.

He said that Thursday’s EU emergency summit “will agree and set up political guidance to adopt the strongest package, the harshest package of sanctions we have ever implemented on Russia.”

READ ALSO: Syria Backs Russia’s Support For Two Ukrainian Breakaway Republics

European Commission Chief, Ursula von der Leyen, also said that new sanctions against Russia would weaken Russia’s economic base and its capacity to modernise.

“The massive sanctions on Russia will target strategic sectors of the Russian economy by blocking their access to key technologies and markets and freeze Russian assets in the EU.

“We will also stop the access of Russian banks to the European financial market,” he said.
According to her, Russia’s target is not only Ukraine but the stability in Europe and the whole of the international peace order.

“We will hold President Putin accountable for that,” Ursula von der Leyen said.

Borrell added that the EU was preparing urgent assistance for Ukraine and supporting evacuation operations from the country.


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UAE President Dies



UAE President Dies

The President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan died on Friday, according to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.

The ministry also confirmed there would be 40 days of official mourning with flags across the UAE drawn at half-mast, and the work of all UAE ministries at the federal and local levels, as well as those of the private sector, will also be suspended for three days, beginning on Friday.

READ ALSO: CAN Condemns Killing Of Student For Blasphemy, Warns Against Religious War

No official word is given yet on the cause of death. However, in a statement published in Arabic by the state news agency WAM, the ministry expressed its condolences to the people of the UAE and the Arab nations “on the death of the leader of the nation and the guardian of its journey, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the country.”


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Sri Lankan Prime Minister Resigns As Protests Persist



Sri Lankan Prime Minister Resigns As Protests Persist

Amid raging protests, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday.

For many weeks now, there have been protests for he and his brother, the president, to step down over the country’s worst economic crisis in decades, an official said.

An aide to the prime minister, Wijayananda Herath, confirmed that Rajapaksa submitted a letter of resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. There was no immediate official confirmation from the president’s office.

The resignation comes after authorities deployed armed troops in the capital, Colombo, on Monday following an attack earlier in the day by government supporters on protesters who have been camped outside the offices of the president and prime minster.

The Indian Ocean island nation is on the brink of bankruptcy and has suspended payments on its foreign loans. Its economic woes have brought on a political crisis, with the government facing widespread protests and a no-confidence motion in Parliament. Trade unions also called Monday for a general strike until the president and the rest of his ruling family leave.

The resignation of the prime minister means that the entire Cabinet is dissolved.

Supporters of the prime minister rallied inside his office earlier Monday, urging him to ignore the protesters’ demand to step down. They then went to the front of the office where protesters have been demonstrating for several days.

READ ALSO: NATO Is A Threat To Russia – Putin

Television channel Sirasa showed government supporters attacking protesters with clubs and iron bars, demolishing and then burning their tents.

After the attack, hundreds of armed soldiers were deployed in capital, as the protesters accused police of not preventing the attack despite using tear gas and water cannons on protesters as recently as Friday.

Sirasa TV showed government lawmaker Sanath Nishantha among the government supporters who attacked the protesters.

At the main hospital in Colombo, 23 people were admitted with non-critical injuries, an official said on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the media.

The attack came as protesters marked their 31st day outside the president’s and prime minister’s offices demanding that they and other powerful Rajapaksa family members quit. Similar protests have spread to other locations, with people setting up camps in other towns across the country.

Three other Rajapaksas out of the five who were lawmakers stepped down from their Cabinet posts in April.

For several months, Sri Lankans have endured long lines to buy fuel, cooking gas, food and medicine, most of which come from abroad. Shortages of hard currency have also hindered imports of raw materials for manufacturing and worsened inflation, which surged to 18.7% in March.

People blocked main roads to demand gas and fuel. On Sunday, television channel Hiru showed people in some areas fighting over fuel.
Sri Lanka was due to pay $7 billion of its foreign debt this year out of nearly $25 billion it must pay by 2026. Its total foreign debt is $51 billion.

Sri Lanka’s finance minister announced earlier this week that the country’s usable foreign reserves have plummeted below $50 million.

As oil prices soar during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Sri Lanka’s fuel stocks are running out. Authorities have announced countrywide power cuts will increase to about four a day because they can’t supply enough fuel to power generating stations.

READ ALSO: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Resigns

Protesters have crowded the streets since March, maintaining that President Rajapaksa and his family — who have dominated nearly every aspect of life in Sri Lanka for most of the last 20 years — are responsible for the crisis.

On Friday, President Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency, which empowers him to authorize detentions, property seizure and search of any premises. He can also change or suspend any law in the interests of public security and for the maintenance of essential supplies. Diplomats and rights groups have expressed concern over the move.

Sri Lanka has been holding talks with the International Monetary Fund to get an immediate funding facility as well as a long-term rescue plan but was told its progress would depend on negotiations on debt restructuring with creditors. Any long-term plan would take at least six months to get underway.


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NATO Is A Threat To Russia – Putin



NATO Is A Threat To Russia - Putin

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an obvious threat to Russia and its borders, Vladimir Putin has declared, amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

Putin stated this during his speech at the Victory Day parade in Moscow, with thousands of troops cheering in Red Square, according to BBC.

According to him, in Kyiv, they were saying they might get nuclear weapons and NATO started exploring the lands close to Russia.

READ ALSO: Putin’s Adviser Resigns

“In Kyiv, they were saying they might get nuclear weapons and NATO started exploring the lands close to us and that became an obvious threat to our country and to our borders. Everything was telling us that there is a need to fight,” Putin said.

Russia and Ukraine have been fighting for over two months.Several casualties have already been recorded as a result of the war.

Putin had ordered the invasion of Ukraine due to some political differences between both nations.


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