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Referencing Gogol, Russia Slams EU for 'Playing Into Hands of Terrorists'

Published: July 28, 2014 (Issue # 1821)



  • Federal Security Service director Alexander Bortnikov, left, and Mikhail Fradkov, the head of the foreign intelligence service, were among those added to the EU's sanctions list released Friday.
    Photo: Presidential Press Service / Kremlin.ru

In a strongly worded statement with at least one obscure literary reference, Russia's Foreign Ministry has lashed out at the European Union for its decision to impose sanctions against top security officials, saying the "irresponsible" move would "be greeted with enthusiasm by international terrorists."

Federal Security Service director Alexander Bortnikov and Mikhail Fradkov, the head of the foreign intelligence service, were among those added to the EU's sanctions list, which was released Friday and includes several other high-ranking officials and members of Russia's Security Council as well.

State Duma Deputy Mikhail Degtyaryov, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachyov and Pavel Gubarev, "people's governor" of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, were also included on the list.

The latest round of sanctions comes in the wake of the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, in which more than 200 of the 298 people killed were European citizens.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said "the death of 300 innocent people in the MH17 crash and the disrespectful roaming around the crash site of marauding soldiers, the behavior of Russia leaves us no other choice" but to impose further sanctions, in comments carried by newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday.

With 15 people having been added to the list Friday alongside 18 new entities, the grand total of those sanctioned by the EU over the conflict in Ukraine now stands at 87 people and 20 organizations, all accused of contributing to the destabilization of eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists continue to battle Ukrainian troops.

Russia's Foreign Ministry denounced the move, saying it was based on "Washington and Kiev's fairy tales regarding the events taking place in Ukraine," and adding that the EU had "deprived itself of an alternative, objective, source of information" in its latest decision.

Moreover, the ministry questioned the wisdom of the EU decision from a security standpoint.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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