Vitaly Churkin: ‘Still looking for Iraqi Weapons Mass Destructions?’ & other most memorable quotes

‘Still looking for Iraqi WMDs?’ & other most memorable quotes from Vitaly Churkin

‘Still looking for Iraqi WMDs?’ & other most memorable quotes from Vitaly Churkin
On many occasions over the decade that he served as Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin has countered attacks by Western diplomats with a pointed turn of phrase. RT looks at six such moments from Churkin’s distinguished career.

The US envoy to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, received this response from Churkin on August 29, 2008, after he condemned Russia’s “invasion” of Georgia.

The five-day conflict started when US-backed Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili launched an attack on Russian peacekeepers in the breakaway region on South Ossetia. Russian forces responded by dismantling Georgia’s NATO-trained military, retreating from the country, and recognizing Ossetia’s independence.

This was Churkin’s reply to UK envoy Matthew Rycroft on February 3, 2017, after Rycroft called Russia’s position on Ukraine an “inversion of reality” and seconded new US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s demand for Russia to “return Crimea” to Ukraine.

“The people of Crimea quite clearly expressed their will in a referendum,” Churkin told Haley, pointing out that the US Constitution begins with the phrase, “We, the people.”

Churkin had this tongue-in-cheek retort for then US ambassador Samantha Power, after she spoke of meeting with the members of “Pussy Riot” on February 6, 2014. The self-described punk-rock activists gained notoriety in Russia and fame in the West after three of their members were arrested for a “performance” at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral in 2012.

That is how Churkin commented on Power’s emotional speech about the humanitarian situation in Aleppo, where the US-backed rebels were losing a battle to the Russian-backed Syrian Army, on December 13, 2016.

“Please, remember which country you represent. Please, remember the track record of your country,” Churkin told her.

That is how Churkin reacted to a report about the situation in Aleppo by Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien, on October 27, 2016.

“Give us one fact, please, or leave this kind of storytelling for the novel you may well write later,” the Russian envoy told O’Brien.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly on May 11, 2016, Churkin called on world leaders to remember the organization’s founding principles.

“One should not seek to expand their sphere of control, as it is happening as result of the unrestrained NATO expansion. One should not strive for military dominance, the way US aims to do by creating the global missile defense system,” he added.

“Instead, we should go back to the origins of sensible political thinking, to the slogan ‘the world is undivided,’ to the understanding that the wish to ensure your own security at the expense of others only undermines security globally.”

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General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years


Moscow’s recognition of Donetsk, Lugansk passports doesn’t contradict international law – Kremlin

Moscow’s recognition of Donetsk, Lugansk passports doesn’t contradict international law – Kremlin
Moscow’s recognition of the passports of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of eastern Ukraine isn’t at odds with international law or the Minsk agreements, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in response to a statement by Ukraine’s president.

This order doesn’t contradict international law or the Minsk agreement in any way. It’s the de jure alignment of the situation that existed de facto,” Peskov said.

Peskov stressed that the Donetsk and Lugansk passports are not documents of officially recognized states, but they merely serve as identification papers.

It had to be done, due to humanitarian concerns,” he said.

“The whole region is under the conditions of an atrocious blockade, a severe embargo from its capital, from Kiev,” he said, adding that under such circumstances the people have no opportunity to renew their documents.

There is no reason to aggravate the situation,” Peskov concluded.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that Moscow’s move contradicted international law and called it “another proof of Russian occupation.”

On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian authorities to temporarily recognize the registration documents in certain parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine. Speaking at the Munich Security conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the order will be in place until the Minsk Agreements aimed at settling the conflict are implemented in Ukraine.

Kiev and the authorities of the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics signed the Minsk accords aimed at securing a full ceasefire in the region and providing for constitutional reforms that would give the region greater autonomy and special status almost two years ago,
However, Kiev has so far failed to deal with the political and economic changes in the country.

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Assange must reduce ‘meddling’ in US policies while in Ecuadorian embassy – Moreno to RT (EXCLUSIVE)

Assange must reduce ‘meddling’ in US policies while in Ecuadorian embassy – Moreno to RT (EXCLUSIVE)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is sheltered in Ecuador’s embassy in London, should reduce meddling in the policies of countries Ecuador has friendly relations with, the frontrunner for Ecuador’s presidential elections, Lenin Moreno, told RT.

“We granted Assange political asylum because his life was in danger. We don’t have the death penalty in Ecuador. We saw that a citizen of the world – it doesn’t matter who he is – was in danger. That’s why we granted him asylum and it was by and large preserved. I say ‘by and large,’ because it all could have been done more competently by the country on which territory he is now. One thing that is clear is that Assange will have to reduce meddling in the policies of the nations we have friendly relations with,” Moreno said in an exclusive interview with RT Spanish.

Expanding on his comment, Moreno said that he specifically meant “the way he [Assange] meddled with the election campaign in the United States.”

“I think one shouldn’t do that while at the embassy,” Moreno said.

“If you invite me to your place, I shouldn’t say bad things about your friends. If you give me shelter and I enjoy your hospitality, I should also show you respect,” said Moreno, who was a nominee for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

He pointed out that when Assange was offered political refuge in the embassy, no conditions were set.

“But [now] we will set them,” he said. “And one of the conditions will be to not meddle into the policies of the countries we are friends with. The same as we do not meddle in their policies. Every country has the right to self-determination and sovereignty,” he said.

If WikiLeaks’ founder fails to comply with those conditions, Moreno said there will be a discussion on Assange’s future asylum.

“We would have to think about that, but as I’ve said, I’m a proponent of dialogue, and we will discuss everything.”

Moreno, who is so far leading in the count in the presidential elections in Ecuador which took place Sunday, may still have to face a second round of voting against his rival, former banker Guillermo Lasso, of the Conservative party.

Moreno, a disabled former vice president, received 39.12 percent of valid votes out of 40 percent needed to win outright, the official preliminary election count, issued on Monday morning, showed, Reuters reported. Lasso, in turn, had 28.30 percent of the votes. At that point, 88.5 percent of votes were counted.

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