Tag Archives: Izvestia

Military dolphins from US to take part in NATO summer exercises in the Black Sea

MOSCOW, April 21, ITAR-TASS

American military dolphins will take part in NATO’s forthcoming summer exercises in the Black Sea, Tom LaPuzza, spokesman for the US Navy’s marine mammals program, told the newspaper Izvestia. He said those would be NATO’s first exercises involving military dolphins.

“It may so happen that American and Russian military dolphins will meet in the open sea for the first time: it is known that such dolphins are trained only in Russia and the USA,” the newspaper writes.

LaPuzza says the exercises involving 20 dolphins and 10 sea lions will continue for about one to two weeks (the maximum permissible period for the stay of (naval craft of) countries which have no outlet to the Black Sea is 21 days).

LaPuzza said that when in the Blacks Sea the American dolphins would test a new anti-radar which is designed to “disorientate enemy sonars while sea lions would look for mines and naval divers”.

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Russian ruble becomes Crimea’s second official currency

The Crimean parliament has announced the Russian ruble will become the second official currency of Crimea and will be circulating alongside the hryvnia until it is withdrawn in 2016.

The decision marks the first step in the peninsula’s economic integration with Russia, after Crimea’s citizens overwhelmingly voted for joining Russia in Sunday’s referendum.

“The official currency unit of the Republic of Crimea is the Russian ruble, and until January 1, 2016, the Ukrainian hryvnia would be also the official currency,” the parliament’s official website says.

The parliament has also approved the temporary statute on the Bank of Crimea. “The organization of money circulation and withdrawing them (hryvnia) from circulation on the territory of the Republic of Crimea would be made exclusively by the Bank of Crimea,” the resolution reads. “The Bank of Crimea without any fees performs transactions with budget funds of the Republic of Crimea, as well as transactions regarding public debt management of the Republic of Crimea.”

The key goal of the Bank of Crimea is to provide stable currency circulation, “development and strengthening of the banking system, providing effective and faultless operation of the payment system,” the resolution adds.

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) will be largely assisting the introduction of the ruble in Crimea, the Izvestia newspaper quotes sources in the CBR. It’ll fix all the technical issues to have the ruble circulating in Crimea within a week. Mobile cash processing centers are ready to be delivered to Crimea, the paper added. The centers would allay threats from for Kiev that grants to the newly independent republic would be cut. The cash centers will provide humanitarian aid in rubles, pensions, grants, as well as effect non-cash payments, which will effectively turn them into local treasuries.

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Ukrainian Navy flagship takes Russia’s side – report

The Ukrainian Krivak class frigate Hetman Sahaydachny

Ukraine’s Navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, has reportedly refused to follow orders from Kiev, and come over to Russia’s side and is returning home after taking part in NATO operation in the Gulf of Aden flying the Russian naval flag.

There has been conflicting information on where exactly the vessel is, but a Russian senator has confirmed to Izvestia daily that the frigate defected to the Russian side.

“Ukraine’s Navy flagship the Hetman Sahaidachny has come over to our side today. It has hung out the St Andrew’s flag,” Senator Igor Morozov, a member of the committee on the international affairs, told Izvestia daily.

He said the flagship is on its way back to the Black Sea after drills in the Mediterranean. “The crew has fulfilled the order by the chief commander of Ukraine’s armed forces Viktor Yanukovich,” he added.

The move comes after the Navy command resigned Friday. Self-appointed President Aleksandr Turchinov made Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky the new Navy Chief, a statement published on the President’s website Saturday said.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister of Ukraine had earlier asked his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to let the frigate through the Bosporus strait, according to the Kiev Times. The ship captain and the head of Ukraine’s contingent in the operation, Rear Admiral Andrey Tarasov disobeyed orders from Kiev.

The Hetman Sahaidachny returns to Sevastopol, Crimea after taking part in a joint counter-piracy operation with NATO and the EU off the Horn of Africa, reported UNN on Friday, citing Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. On February 26, after crossing the Suez Canal, the ship entered the Mediterranean Sea and was expected to be in Sevastopol in early March.

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