Russia And The Caribbean

The flame, for us Greeks, is a piece of our country, a part of our history and a tight bond to our ancestors. 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 have been 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. Great honor For me it is a great honor, 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, Kozak added. Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to deliver a brilliant Games to show how far Russia has come since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. But Russia has come under mounting international criticism over a new anti-gay propaganda law, which critics believe is repressive, and preparations for the Games will not be plain sailing for the Russian hosts. Earlier in the day, a group of Greek gay activists raised the rainbow flag outside Greece’s Acropolis museum in Athens. Russia receives the Olympic flame, a globally recognized symbol of humanitarian ideals, the Athens-based gay rights group Color 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. Diabetes and obesity increasing at alarming rate More Featured Videos Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe’s Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player .

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to embark on visit to Russia, China from October 20

Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd, which offers mobile services under the MTS brand, has protested against TRAI recommendations that the spectrum used by CDMA operators should not be auctioned and a part of it be explored for use by GSM services. The other points expected to figure prominently would be Russian investments in Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and joint ventures in phrama and fertiliser sector with India hopeful of inking some MoUs in these areas. The two sides would also hold talks on security situation in the region, especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan, sources said. During his China visit, Singh will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang on key bilateral and regional issues, including trans-border rivers, ways to enhance Chinese investments through industrial parks to address trade deficit and boundary incidents. The two sides are also expected to ink the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement which is aimed to enhance coordination between the armies of the two countries. The sources also said the talks were on for a possibility of a pact to simplify visa regime. The two sides are holding negotiations on a draft pact and if there were not many “differences”, it could be inked during Singh’s visit, they said. India is also hoping to ink with China a framework MoU for supply of power equipment, apart from a cultural pact, they said. As it has a huge trade deficit with China, India is pushing China to import more products and greater market access there. In 2012-13, as per the official figures, India recorded a record trade deficit of $40.78 billion with China, compared with $39.4 billion in 2011-12 and $27.95 billion in 2010-11. There is a proposal for setting up Chinese business parks in five states –Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka– which will work like Special Economic Zones. Singh and Xi would also discuss trans-border river issues. The PM had raised this matter with the Chinese president when they had met on the sidelines of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in Durban in March. The PM had expressed concern over China’s proposal to construct three dams across the Brahmaputra. Coming after series of incursions by Chinese troops, Singh’s visit will also be an opportunity to raise India’s concerns with the top Chinese leadership.

Greenpeace Stages Vigils For Activists Held In Russia On Piracy Charges

The placard at left reads: “Save Arctic.” (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) An Ultra Orthodox Jewish youth looks at Greenpeace activists as they place a large banner on a rail bridge at the entrance to Jerusalem, Thursday, March 21, 2013. Greenpeace activists protested Thursday against arctic drilling during US President Barack Obama’s visit to the region. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner) Greenpeace activists demonstrate at a Shell petrol station in Wolfgang, near Davos Switzerland, where the 43rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, takes place Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone/Laurent Gillieron) Greenpeace members and small-scale fishermen during a small demonstration against quota, outside the EU Council building in Brussels, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. The European Union’s executive Commission is calling for a new approach to protect dwindling fishery stocks and eliminate a system of setting catch quotas in which scientific advice is widely disregarded. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert) French activists from the international environmental organization “Greenpeace” demonstrate in front of a fashion store “Zara” in Nice, southeastern France, to protest against hazardous chemicals in clothing, Saturday, Nov.24, 2012. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau) Members of Greenpeace wear mock hazardous material suits and spray water while demonstrating in front of EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2102. Greenpeace demonstrated on Wednesday regarding the cultivation of new genetically modified crops which they say could increase herbicide use by up to 15 times. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo) Greenpeace activists hold a large banner on Romania’s economy ministry facade in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, Sept.

However, Barbados, The Bahamas and some Eastern Caribbean nations have also begun to consider the possibilities, although in some cases runway extensions may be required to facilitate the high take-off weight of long east-bound flights. Better Cuba-Russia relations The second significant change in the Russian presence in the region has been the dramatic improvement in Russia’s relationship with Cuba. Earlier this year, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed 10 wide-ranging agreements significantly strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, effectively reversing its withdrawal following the fall of the Soviet Union. The agreements include a formula to resolve finally in 2014 the US$25 billion of Soviet-era Cuban debt that Russia holds; a preferential tariff arrangement on trade with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan; and collaboration in a wide range of other areas of joint scientific, environmental, aviation and informatics interest. Re-engagement has also resulted in a rapid increase in trade, discussions on joint ventures in industry, technology and tourism, and in military cooperation, publicly demonstrated by the recent call in Havana by a naval task force led by the cruiser Moskva. At the same time, there has been a growth in interest in improved relations with the Anglophone Caribbean. Russia has cancelled the remaining debt owed by Guyana, is offering police training and scholarships, and through UC Rusal’s majority shareholding in the Bauxite Company of Guyana is looking to increase its local involvement. Russian companies are also increasing their bauxite-related investment in Jamaica with Rusal, which controls 65 per cent of Jamaica’s alumina capacity and operates three of the island’s four refineries, investing US$100m in a coal-fired electricity-generating plant, with the objective of reducing its energy costs and reopening idle plants in 2016. There is also interest in investing in the tourism sector. Citizenship schemes In the Eastern Caribbean, there has been a rapid growth in interest in investment in tourism to take advantage of citizenship schemes being introduced there. In St Kitts for instance, where government has removed visa requirements for Russians, a recently announced US$50m investment is partly backed by a Canadian agency that promotes to wealthy Russians and others, locations where investment for citizenship is possible. According to its ambassador to Guyana, Nikolay Smirnov, Russia is also willing to help the Caribbean understand what lies offshore by providing state support with specific projects involving the study of the Caribbean Sea which, as he puts it, “can be used for oil and gas research, seismic study, fisheries and especially climate change”. He has also made it clear that it has much sympathy with the Caribbean’s position on smallness and vulnerability and will use its influence internationally to support the region.