Russia

Lieberman: Palestinian statehood far away

By Jennifer Lipman, June 29, 2010

Israel’s Foreign Minister has delivered a blow to hopes of an independent Palestinian state in the near future.

Avigdor Lieberman said: “There is absolutely no chance of it before the year 2012”.

He said: "One can dream and imagine, but we are far from reaching an agreement."

Mr Lieberman said it is time for the Palestinians to make moves towards peace, as Israel had already made many steps.

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Elie Wiesel campaigns for Russian prisoner

By Jennifer Lipman, June 29, 2010

Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has launched a campaign in support of a Russian Jewish businessman facing embezzlement charges.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former head of the Yukos oil company and once known as Russia's richest man, is already serving an eight year prison sentence and could face another 22 years behind bars if he is convicted in a related theft case.

But Mr Wiesel, a prominent human rights campaigner, said he considers Mr Khodorkovsky a political prisoner and believed that the case was political.

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Explosion at Russian synagogue

By Jennifer Lipman, June 21, 2010

A bomb has caused damage to a synagogue outside Moscow.

There were no injuries after the explosion of a home-made device in Tyer, a town northwest of the Russian capital.

But the incident left a hole in the door to the building and damaged the fence around it, as well as smashing the windows of a neighbouring property.

Repairs to the synagogue are expected to cost more than £3000.

Officials said the explosion was “malicious hooliganism” but anti-terrorism experts are investigating and a city administrator said it could be linked to vandalism of Tyer’s Jewish cemetery.

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Russian President to Hamas: Free Shalit

By Jessica Elgot, May 12, 2010

Russia’s President Dmitri Medvedev has called for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit at a meeting with Hamas leaders in Damascus.

President Medvedev also called for the Middle East to rid itself of nuclear weapons and signed a bilateral agreement with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia is the only country which has direct relations with Hamas.

President Medvedev’s spokeswoman, Natalya Timkova, said: “The Russian president urged solving the problem of releasing Israeli citizen Gilad Shalit as soon as possible."

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Germany's Russian revolution

By Toby Axelrod, November 5, 2009

In Germany this autumn, there has been a tremendous build-up to Monday’s 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A generation has passed since the sound of chisels rang out across that divide, when colourfully dressed youths clambered onto the concrete barrier and set about removing it.

In one generation, the entire landscape of Jewish life in Germany has changed. After the wall collapsed, and then the Soviet Union, thousands of Jews poured into Germany, welcomed by the government and by Jewish institutions. The Jewish community here today is overwhelmingly Russian.

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Iran nuclear plan tentatively agreed

By Jessica Elgot, October 21, 2009

Iran has agreed a draft proposal from US, Russian and French negotiators in Vienna to export three-quarters of the country’s enriched uranium.

Under the new deal, 75 per cent of Iran’s low enriched urainium will be shipped out of the country and enriched elsewhere. The uranium would be treated enough to be used by Iran for medical research but not enough to make weapons.

The talks in Vienna, which were meant to conclude on Monday have dragged out for almost three days. Now the representatives in Vienna have until Friday to get the deal approved by their respective governments.

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Ed Miliband's radio reunion with lost aunt

By Robyn Rosen, October 8, 2009

Ed Miliband, energy minister and brother of foreign secretary, David, was reunited with a long-lost relative during a live phone-in while appearing on a Russian radio station.

Mr Miliband appeared on the Ekho Moskvy programme on Monday to answer questions on climate negotiations and global warming, when an elderly woman phoned in.

Live on air, she said: “My name is Sophia Davidovna Miliband. I am the only remaining relative. I would like to tell him about all his relatives.”

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Neo-Nazi gang to go free

May 30, 2008

Charges have been dropped against  four members of a neo-Nazi gang who attacked a Jewish school and abused pupils in the Russian town of Bryansk last year.

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