Russia Bans Lithuanian Dairy Amid Eu Tensions

Mob attacks Russian Embassy in Tripoli; revenge suspected

The armed attackers succeeded in breaking through into the embassy grounds, but the personnel and their family members hid in the protected premises. In a telephone conversation with his Libyan counterpart, Mohammed Abdel-Aziz, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded that Libya take action as soon as possible to ensure the safe operation of the embassy, Lukashevich said. It was not the first violent incident involving diplomatic missions in post-Kaddafi Libya. The Russian Embassy was attacked in February 2012 by an armed mob protesting Russia’s U.N. Security Council veto of sanctions against the government of neighboring Syria. And U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in an attack by radical Islamists on the U.S. mission in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012. Given that history, it made sense to promptly evacuate Russian Embassy staff and its families, said Leonid Kalashnikov, first deputy chairman of the foreign relations committee in the lower house of Russia’s parliament. “But as things calm down there, we need to return to Libya and keep our presence there to just have some understanding of where the situation is going, Kalashnikov said in an interview. We should all draw key lessons from the deteriorating situation in Libya.” Only a few Russian citizens remain in Libya, he said mostly Russian women who married Libyan men. A senior Middle East expert, Yevgeny Satanovsky, couldn’t resist contrasting the Russian response favorably to that of the United States when it faced “Islamist anarchy” in Libya. The United States tried to impose Western democracy in Libya, resulting in never-ending tribal strife and the murder of its ambassador, Satanovsky, president of the Moscow-based Institute for Middle East Studies, said in an interview. Russians didn’t wait for such a tragic outcome and moved out before anyone was hurt. The fewer targets remain for radical Islamists in Libya, the better. [For the Record, 11:48 a.m.

The veiled warning outraged Russian officials, who on Saturday vowed to ban some Lithuanian dairy imports effective Monday. “There is every likelihood that Russia will begin limiting the admission of individual groups of dairy products on October 7,” news agencies quoted Russia’s public health inspector Gennady Onishchenko as saying. “At the start of next week, we will launch a series of measures aimed at halting the admission… of Lithuanian products that do not meet Russian legal requirements aimed at protecting consumer rights.” ITAR-TASS said Russia has already imposed some import restrictions on Lithuania’s top cheese producer Pieno Zvaigzdes. Russia first warned it may ban Lithuanian dairy imports on Wednesday due to “sanitary and epidemiological risks”. Tests on Lithuanian food products had “yielded unsatisfactory results”, Onishchenko said at the time. The dairy industry, which is responsible for about one-fifth of Lithuania’s agricultural production, is a vital source of export revenue. Moscow’s restrictions would be especially painful because the Russian market accounts for about 85 percent of Lithuania’s total dairy exports. The nation of three million, which hopes to swap its currency for the euro by 2015, is keen to avoid any economic shocks that may derail those plans. It has also sought the defence of larger European countries by promoting a united EU stance against Russia’s trade bans. Moscow has frequently been accused of using import restrictions as a weapon against ex-Soviet countries seeking greater independence or warmer relations with the West. Russia has slapped trade sanctions on Moldova and Georgia during those countries’ attempts to set up a process for their eventual membership in the European Union.

‘From Russia With Love’ Series Profiles Gay Couples Living Under Putin’s Rule

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Right now, we just want simple human happiness.” Victoria and Dasha are just two of the fourteen LGBT subjects profiled in photographer Anastasia Ivanova’s touching series, ” From Russia with Love .” The project, covered in the queer arts and culture journal, Muff Magazine , features images of gay women living under Putin’s presidency, a regime that’s become infamous for its harsh anti-gay legislation . Victoria, 24 and Dasha, 27 “Sometimes our gay friends in Germany, America or England talk about their lives, and we feel as though its another world,” Olgerta and Lisa, two other subjects, told Ivanova. “No doubt they think the same about us, when we tell them of the situation in Russia. Our future is simple. We must leave.” Ivanova, and artistic director EA Bukanova, present the images of LGBT couples of all ages accompanied by personal stories about their relationships and personal lives. The women freely discuss how they met their significant others, the hardships they face as LGBT individuals, and the various hopes and dreams they have for their country. The stories range from beautiful accounts of romance in cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg to disheartening experiences that shed further light on the dismal human rights situation occurring overseas. Scroll through the photos of couples profiled in the story and head over to Muff Magazine for the full accounts. “In the future, all we want is to keep our little family together. Maybe if were lucky one day well have a child.” -Irina, 27 and Antonina, 31 “In public, we try not to hide our feelings, and are determined to hold hands and kiss each other freely, but the gay rights situation in Russia will end badly. The way we live makes us outlaws.” -Kate, 29 and Nina, 32 “We like to believe that one day the country will be free and happy, but in reality the policies our government is trying to implement do not seem to be ones that lead to a bright future.” -Katerina, 20 and Zhanna, 25 “There are no gay rights in Russia.

Russia receives 2014 Sochi Games flame

After a six-day trek across 33 towns in Greece’s mainly mountainous northern regions, the flame that was lit last Sunday by the sun’s rays at the birthplace of the ancient Games in Olympia was presented to Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak. From its overnight perch on the ancient Acropolis, the flame travelled through Athens’ streets before being carried into the stadium, built in 330 BC, by Greek figure skating champion Panagiotis Markouzios. As he lit the golden cauldron encircled by priestesses in long, cream-coloured, pleated robes, the crowd erupted in cheers of “Russia! Russia!” “We are especially emotional,” Hellenic Olympic Committee head Spyros Capralos said. “The flame, for us Greeks, is a piece of our country, a part of our history and a tight bond to our ancestors”. Image: Greek actress Ino Menegaki (right), playing the role of high priestess, stands next to an altar during a handover ceremony of the Olympic flame for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games at the Panathenean stadium in Athens on Saturday Photographs: Yorgos Karahalis/Reuters Prev Next The flame will be flown in special safety lanterns from Athens to Moscow on Sunday and it will then begin the longest torch relay in the history of the Winter Games from the Red Square. It will travel more than 65,000 km, looping around Russia’s 83 regions on foot, in sleighs, hot air balloons and even on a trip to space, as Russia prepares to showcase its modern post-Soviet face. More than 90 percent of the Russian population will be within one hour of the flame before the lighting of the Olympic cauldron takes place at the stadium at the Black Sea resort of Sochi on February 7. “For me it is a great honour, responsibility and pleasure to be here tonight, on the land that gave birth to the European civilization and presented the world with the Olympic Games,” Kozak said. “On this momentous day I am telling you with certainty that our country … will succeed in fulfilling its commitment to the Olympic movement.” Image: Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak (centre) raises an Olympic torch for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games next to President of the Greek Olympic Committee Spyros Kapralos during a handover ceremony at the Panathenean stadium in Athens on Saturday Photographs: Yorgos Karahalis/Reuters – ‘Don’t boycott Sochi Olympics, wave gay flags instead’ “Russia receives the Olympic flame, a globally recognised symbol of humanitarian ideals,” the Athens-based gay rights group Colour Youth said in a statement. “Yet the laws in Russia are far from the ideals of human rights when it comes to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender, queer) people, who are tortured, abused and discriminated against. We choose not to be silent this day,” it said. Image: Greek figure skater Panagiotis Markouzios lights an altar with an Olympic torch of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games during a handover ceremony at the Panathenean stadium in Athens on Saturday Photographs: Yorgos Karahalis/Reuters