Police officers detaining Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova on Manezh Square on Tuesday evening.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili on Tuesday urged Ukraine to consider following his country's path of integration with the West through increased trade and investment, as it grapples with its future.
His visit to Washington and another next week by Moldova's Prime Minister are aimed at showing U.S. support for two former Soviet republics that are undergoing a transformation and have balked at pressure from Russia.
"Of course the recent developments may have implications on the wider region and that's why we are concerned," said Garibashvili. "I very much hope that Ukraine will go back to its path to its European choice," he added while emphasizing it was up to Ukrainians to decide which path to follow.
Still, he added: "I think the Georgian way is something that they should look at and should consider."
Like Ukraine, Georgia has also been caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between integrating with Europe and the West or staying under the influence of Moscow.
While Georgia initialed an accord in November to deepen trade and cooperation with the European Union, Ukraine bowed to pressure from Moscow and suspended plans to sign trade and other deals with the EU.
Garibashvili said he was particularly concerned with reports on Tuesday of protests in Russian-speaking Crimea on Ukraine's southern peninsula where there have been calls to secede from Ukraine.
Garibashvili said Tbilisi was seeking a balanced relationship between East and West by deepening ties with the West and carving out a more constructive relationship with Moscow.
"We made a firm decision to sign the association agreement with the European Union. At the same time we are trying to normalize relations with Russia and having this constructive policy with them," he said.
"Therefore we need to find a balance, how to balance this. And we have to persuade the Russian authorities that Georgia's European integration does not conflict with the Russian interest. That's our mission," Garibashvili added.
He said surveys in Georgia showed that 85 percent of Georgians supported more integration with the West and away from Russia's fold.
Garibashvili also said he was seeking closer economic ties and other relations with the United States in efforts to develop the Georgian economy, which the government has forecast will expand by at least 5 percent this year.
"Developing the economy is a priority for my government and we made structural reforms and the result is just getting to be felt," the prime minister said.
Russia does not doubt Crimea is a part of Ukraine, even though it understands the emotions of the residents of the region, the chair of the Russian Upper House Valentina Matvienko has said.
“Russia is not taking any provocative actions, especially on the state level. Today we consider it a fact that Crimea is a part of Ukraine,” the speaker of the Federation Council said in a television interview.
“But it is also a fact that currently we are witnessing certain moods that have emerged after no one asked the Crimeans’opinion about the decisions that are being taken in Kiev,” Matvienko added.
She met the chairman of the legislature of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov, and he assured her that the people of the region would defend their autonomy.Konstantinov said that about 60 percent of Crimean residents are ethnic Russians who care a lot about issues of national language, education and culture.
Officials and the people of the Eastern regions of Ukraine have voiced concern over the statements and moves of opposition leaders who came to power in the country on the wave of violent protests that raged in Kiev over the past two months. One of the crucial issues for them is the status of the Russian language.
Almost immediately after President Viktor Yanukovich abandoned his post and fled last week, the Ukrainian parliament voted to repeal the existing language law. It had allowed regions where the non-Ukrainian population was 10 percent or more to introduce additional official languages. After the law was canceled the only official language in the country is Ukrainian. According to some sources, the head of the Freedom Party, Oleg Tyagnibok recently told supporters in Kiev that the use of the Russian language should be criminalized and all ethnic Russians should be stripped of citizenship and live under non-citizen status.
These moves and reports caused an upset throughout the East of Ukraine but the protests were especially vocal in Crimea. The peninsula’s historical and ethnic ties with Russia are stronger than those with Ukraine, and it is the only region that has a status of an autonomous republic. In addition, Russia leases the Crimean port of Sevastopol and the Russian Black Sea Fleet is stationed there.
Russia has sent a delegation of MPs to the region led by the head of the State Duma committee for CIS and compatriots, Leonid Slutsky. “The cancellation of the regional status of the Russian language is a very worrying signal, as it can cause the narrowing of the Russian language space in Ukraine, including in education,” he told reporters during his visit. “They are trying to tear Ukraine away from Russia, including with the use of the language factor, through the opportunity of the younger generation to speak and receive education in Russian,” Slutsky added.
“In this situation Russia must expand its cooperation with Ukrainian residents, up to every separate family that does not want to get disconnected from the Russian language and the Russian world,” the Russian MP emphasized.
Earlier this week the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia initiated a bill that allows Russian citizenship within six month if the applicant successfully proves his or hers Russian ethnicity. This can be done by presenting documents proving that any of one’s direct ancestors had Russian citizenship by birth. The sponsors of the bill stressed that it was prepared especially to save Russian speaking Ukrainians from possible infringement of their rights.
Agriculture is now going to be a terribly exciting place to work. The City of London will be in decline. Wall Street will be in decline for a long time. I tell brokers they will soon be driving taxis. And, if they were smart they will be driving tractors, because the farmers will be driving Lamborghinis in the future."
The reason I am long the U.S. dollar is because there is going to be a lot of turmoil in the world in the next one, two, or three years. Often, when there is a lot of turmoil people flee to the U.S. dollar because they think it is a safe haven. It is not a safe haven as you know, but many people think it is and so that is where they will go.
The head of al Qaeda's wing in Syria has given rival Islamist militants five days to accept mediation to end their infighting or face a war which "will terminate them", according to an audio recording posted on Tuesday.
Egypt's new prime minister said on Tuesday he would seek to eradicate militant violence that has increased since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, hoping improved security will lead to economic recovery.
Germany views Iran as a potential threat not just to Israel, but also to European countries, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday at a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But she stopped short of endorsing her host's demand that Tehran give up all sensitive nuclear projects under any negotiated deal with world powers, and reiterated Berlin's opposition to Israeli settlements on occupied land where the Palestinians seek statehood.
"We see the threat not just as a threat for the state of Israel but as a general threat for Europe as well," she said of a potential Iranian bomb, adding that Germany would pursue international talks with Tehran on its nuclear activities.
"I think it's a mistake," he said. "Every single leader that I've talked to in the Middle East agrees with that position, whether they say so publicly or not. Why? Because if Iran really wants just civilian nuclear energy, then they don't need any enrichment. They don't need centrifuges."
Asked if she agreed, Merkel was circumspect.
"It is clear that there is a difference of opinion here with regard to these negotiations and whether they ought to take place. We have set out on the path of low enrichment, but enrichment does take place and I believe that we can succeed," she said.
"The question is whether we will be able to achieve a result that is better than the present state of affairs. We have decided it is better to participate in the negotiations because we believe that to be better than the status quo."
The United Nations and European Union deems the settlements illegal, a stand on which Merkel gave no ground in Jerusalem.
"For a two-state solution we need territorial integrity for the individual entities. In view of this, we regard the settlements question with concern and are not always of the same opinion" as Israel, she said.
Authorities in China's restive far western region of Xinjiang have charged a prominent ethnic Uighur professor with separatism, his wife and lawyer said on Tuesday, in a case which has attracted concern in the United States and Europe.
'Ukrainian radicals sound like the European Taliban' - Senator Mikhail Margelov http://rt.com/shows/sophieco/ukraine-revolutionary-radicals-taliban-750/
Thousands of pro- and anti-Russian demonstrators are rallying in front of the parliament building in Simferpol, the capital of Ukraine's autonomous Crimea region. Scuffles are occasionally breaking out between the two sides in the face-to-face protests.
The rival groups are protesting for and against the new national authorities in Kiev. Part of the residents proclaimed that Crimea are not going to obey Kiev, while the local Muslim community of Crimean Tatars expressed support for the new Ukrainian authorities.
Two separate rallies, consisting of several thousands of protesters, are facing each other. Russians are shouting “Russia-Russia!” and “Berkut!”, the name of the special police task force disbanded yesterday by the new Ukrainian authorities, who blame them for heavy-handed policing of opposition activists in recent months in central Kiev. The Muslim community protesters are shouting “Ukraine-Ukraine!” and “Crimea is not Russia!” Pro-Russian demonstrators are holding Russian flags, while Tatars are holding Ukrainian flags and flags of their own nationalist organizations.
Video footage from the scene appears to show that both sides are preparing for a clash. The police officers who temporarily left the scene have now returned to the square and are attempting to separate the two sides.
The police are unarmed except for rubber batons.
Bottles, stones and flags flew in the air as thousands of pro- and anti-Russian demonstrators clashed in front of the parliament building in Simferopol, the capital of Ukraine's autonomous Crimea region.