The USA introduced new sanctions against Venezuela
‘The United States intend to suspend their participation in the INF Treaty during this weekend’ — Interfax reports while citing Bloomberg. According to the source of Bloomberg in the White House — if Russia won’t destroy the ground-based 9M729 cruise missiles, including the equipment and the launchers, by 2nd of February — the United States will suspend their obligations to the INF Treaty. On 20th of October, 2018, the US President Donald Trump announced his intention to quit the INF Treaty due to the fact that Russia, allegedly, violates the agreement. Following this statement, on 4th of December, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced an ultimatum to Russia, demanding to destroy or change the 9M729 missiles that, according to Washington, violate the treaty, within the next 60 days. The ultimatum expires on February.
» The Minsk agreements on the Donbass aren’t clear enough. They should be replaced by a new peace plan, which was presented to the OSCE Ministerial Council back in December of 2018” — said Martin Saydik , the Special Representative of the OSCE’s Chairman during an interview to the Austrian newspaper »Kleine Zeitung». He noted that the key point of the Minsk agreements were the elections. An outside help is needed for their organization. According to the new plan — the UN will organize those elections. The OSCE will take the function of the observers, RIA NEWS reports. The plan provides the creation of an interim UN administration in the DPR and the LPR. The administration will monitor the implementation of the plan itself. According to Martin Saidik — the new peace plan should be signed by the “Norman Four” countries. Then the plan should be ratified by the parliaments of Ukraine and Russia. The director of the Russian Center of the Political Studies, Aleksey Chesnakov, said that Moscow considers Martin Saydik’s idea to be ‘pointless’. He underlined that Moscow’s position on the Minsk agreements hasn’t changed — the agreements must be fully implemented.
John Bolton, the Assistant to the President of the United States for the National Security announced the decision of the United States Treasury Department to impose sanctions against the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA. John Bolton clarified that the sanctions will block the assets of the company worth of $ 7 billions of dollars, TASS report. According to the head of the American Treasury Department, Stephen Mnuchin, “the lifting of the sanctions on the PDVSA is possible only in the case of transferring of the control over the company to the interim head of state — the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaydo, or to a legitimately elected government in the future”. Earlier, the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela, Juan Guaydo, announced his intention to change the leadership of the PDVSA, and its American division of ‘Citgo’.
The first vice-speaker of the Crimean parliament, Yefim Fix, demanded Kiev to provide the information on the whereabouts and the state of the health of Vladimir Gorbenko, the captain of the Russian ship ‘Nord’, currently detained in Ukraine. Efim Fix stated that “If everything is fine with him, and some procedural actions are taking place — then it’s one story. If something did happen — the necessary measures must be taken instead.” — RIA NEWS report. Earlier, the lawyer Maxim Mogilnitsky announced that Vladimir Gorbenko, held in Ukraine, was missing. The lawyer suggested that the Security Service of Ukraine was involved in the disappearance of the captain. According to him — currently the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs is dealing with this issue.
Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of the Supreme Security Council of Iran announced that Iran won’t increase the range of its missiles in accordance with the national defense doctrine — RIA NEWS reports while citing the news agency Mehr. «In scientific and technical terms, Iran could increase the range of its military missiles. But Iran won’t do it, according to its defense doctrine» — the agency quotes Ali Shamkhani’s statement during a national conference on the space technology on Tuesday. At the same time, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Khatami said that the Iranian missile potential and defense capabilities aren’t negotiable, the Tasnim news agency reports