Russia 111117 Basic Political Developments

Russian Army has no one left to draft - General Staff

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Russian Army has no one left to draft - General Staff
13:01 17/11/2011

MOSCOW, November 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has no conscripts left to recruit, Russia's chief of the General Staff complained on Thursday.

The current conscript service crisis in the Russian Army is mainly due to demographic decline, bullying and brutal treatment of conscripts.

General Nikolai Makarov said only 11.7% of young men aged 18-27 were eligible to the army service but 60% of them had health problems and could not be drafted under law.

"We now have a situation when there is virtually nobody left to draft," Makarov said. "It is a serious problem and I make no bones about it."

Many young people have been known to fake medical documents or even start a family in order to avoid the 12-month compulsory service in the army.

The crisis in the consript service has led the Defense Ministry to halve the number of conscripts in the autumn 2011 draft period. It will now recruit 135,850 young men instead of 250-300,000, as was planned in spring.

The effect of the 1990s demographic crisis is expected to reach its peak in 2014, experts said.

13:12 17/11/2011ALL NEWS

India to become member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization soon – Lavrov

MOSCOW, November 17 (Itar-Tass) —— India is to become a full-fledged member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the immediate future, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday after talks with Indian Minister of External Affairs Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna.

“India will become a full-fledged member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the immediate future,” he said. “It has long been talked about. The only thing to do is to commit to paper the change of its status from an observer to a full-fledged member. It will be done very soon.”

Home: Krishna arrives in Moscow to co-chair IRIGC meeting

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has arrived in Moscow for his three-day visit from November 17-19 to co-chair the 17th session of the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental  Commission (IRIGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, to  be held here tomorrow.


Mr Krishna is scheduled to hold today bilateral talks at the Foreign Affairs Ministry with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with the purpose of finalising the international agenda for the India-Russia annual summit at the highest level in mid-December, during which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

November 17, 2011 13:29

Russia understands motives behind Kosovo Serbs' request - Lavrov (Part 2)
MOSCOW. Nov 17 (Interfax) - The Russian Foreign Ministry has familiarized itself with the request of several thousand Kosovo Serbs for Russian citizenship and it understands the reasons behind it, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"We have read this request attentively, of course, and we will have to act guided by a number of factors," Lavrov said at a joint news conference with his Indian counterpart Somanahalli Krishna on Thursday.

Concerning the legal aspect of this problem, we have a law in Russia which regulates instances when Russian citizenship is granted to foreign nationals, he said.

"From the political point of view, we very well understand the motives behind the Kosovo Serbs' request of this kind," Lavrov said.

It was reported earlier that more than 20,000 Kosovo Serbs had applied for Russian citizenship.

"They have found themselves in a desperate situation and they have the feeling of hopelessness in conditions when they are being forced to obey the Pristina dictate in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and when they can even lose the right to local self-government. Too bad that all this is happening with connivance and direct support from the Kosovo Force, led by NATO, and the European Union's so-called Rule of Law Mission," Lavrov said.

These "international presences" are operating in violation of the "neutral-status mandate they have," he said.

"We will be firmly opposing this in the future and we think that no one should usurp the role of ruler of the destinies of nations, especially Kosovo Serbs, wherever they live, using opportunities provided by international or Russian law," he said.

Russia has been actively assisting the Kosovo Serbs for the past few years in humanitarian programs and in saving their culture, ethnic identity and traditions. This work will be continued," the Russian foreign minister said.

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Lavrov: in Russia questions remain about the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan
17/11/2011 12:50
MOSCOW, November 17 - RIA Novosti. Questions yet remain in Russia about plans for U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, said on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a press conference in Moscow.
According to the plans of Kabul and Washington, finally the process of transferring security responsibility to the Afghan side to end in late 2014.
"It is important that there was transparency, because it's unclear how the planned interfaces in the 2014 withdrawal of troops in connection with the completion of the antiterrorist operation on the one hand, and plans for Afghanistan rather large U.S. military bases, on the other hand," - said he said.
According to Lavrov, the Russian party raises these issues with our American partners, as well as discussing them with the leadership of Afghanistan.
"Until we have more questions than answers. Moreover, periodically receives information about what our American colleagues want to expand its military presence in Central Asia", - said Lavrov.
As the minister, the Russian side is always since the beginning of NATO's operations against "al Qaeda" and "Taliban" say that the foreign presence in Afghanistan and the use of transit facilities in Central Asia is only required to address a specific terrorist threat, which emerged September 11, 2001 year.
"It was said that this will not be any long-term geopolitical calculation. We firmly believe that these principles must be respected fully, the principles mentioned, when the operation began," - he concluded.

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