Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Putin, Hollande in surprise Ukraine talks amid warship controversy
by Staff Writers
Almaty, Kazakhstan (AFP) Dec 06, 2014

Rights activists push Belarus KGB to reveal missing journalist's location
Minsk (AFP) Dec 05, 2014 - Rights activists on Friday urged Belarus's KGB security services to reveal the location of a well-known defence journalist who went missing more than a week ago and is suspected to have been detained.

Alexander Alesin, a journalist at the independent newspaper Belarussians and the Market who specialises in defence and the arms trade, has not come to work since November 26 and his cell phone is switched off, his colleagues said.

Journalists and activists have sounded the alarm over Alesin's disappearance, saying they fear he has been detained by security forces in the secretive ex-Soviet state which is ruled by strongman Alexander Lukashenko.

The Vyasna human rights organisation and the Belarussian journalists' association issued a joint statement saying "We call on the KGB to inform the public about the reason and place of the detention of Alexander Alesin... and also the nature of the charges against him."

The deputy head of Vyasna, Valentin Stefanovich, told AFP: "We think it's unacceptable when information about the location of a detained person, his judicial status and the article of the criminal code under which he is charged are a secret and the public has no access to them."

"The KGB is a state organ, so let them say: 'Yes, he is in the KGB prison on suspicion of such-and-such a crime.' We are waiting for this information."

The opposition news site Charter 97 suggested Thursday that Alesin could been arrested on suspicion of espionage, citing colleagues who wished to remain anonymous.

French President Francois Hollande will make an unscheduled stop in Moscow on Saturday to discuss the Ukraine crisis with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin amid a bitter dispute over France's refusal to deliver a warship.

Controversy over France's decision to delay delivery of the warship to Russia under pressure from its Western allies due to Moscow's backing of rebels in eastern Ukraine was likely to hang over the surprise meeting.

Hollande will stop in the Russian capital on his way back home from a visit to Kazakhstan, a day after vowing to work towards a "de-escalation" in the Ukraine crisis, his office said in a statement.

The meeting comes amid reports of fresh clashes in eastern Ukraine that have threatened to undermine a truce set to take effect next week.

Meanwhile, Putin has showed no signs of backing down, accusing the West this week of seeking to undermine Russia with sanctions.

Moscow is fuming over Hollande's decision to delay delivery of a massive Mistral-class helicopter carrier to the Russian navy.

Delivery of the warship has been on ice due to Western concerns of Moscow's involvement in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists have fought with Kiev's forces since April, leaving some 4,300 people dead.

The eight-month conflict has plunged relations between the West and Russia to levels not seen since the Cold War.

Hollande warned on Friday that the crisis posed "serious threats to the economy of the entire region" and vowed "to work together to find all the points that will allow... to initiate a de-escalation".

Putin and Hollande are expected to meet at the Vnukovo airport outside Moscow after 4:00 pm local time (1300 GMT), the Kremlin said.

It was unclear who initiated the meeting, but the Kremlin said that Putin received a call Friday evening from Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev following his meeting with Hollande.

In a flurry of diplomacy, Hollande also spoke with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko before meeting Putin, Kiev said.

Ukraine and rebels have agreed to a new ceasefire to take effect on December 9, calling it a "Day of silence". A source in the office of Poroshenko said Kiev will begin to withdraw heavy weapons from the eastern frontline the following day if the truce is observed by the rebels.

The truce will be the latest of several agreements to halt fire along the frontline. Previous deals have been largely ineffective as both sides continue to accuse each other of indiscriminate rocket damage to residential areas.

The pro-Kiev governor of the eastern Lugansk region Gennadiy Moskal on Saturday said two civilians had been killed in a village 15 kilometres north-west of Lugansk, while a security spokesman alleged a convoy of over 100 trucks and armoured vehicles had moved across the border from Russia Friday.

- Mistral 'obligations' -

Hollande last week delayed the delivery of the first of two warships -- part of the contract worth 1.2 billion euros ($1.5 billion) - "until further notice" while Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Friday said the ships may never be delivered.

Paris faces hefty fines if it breaches the contract with Russia, but is under pressure from its allies around the world if it hands over the hot-button technology at a time of Moscow's growing militancy and the Ukraine crisis still raging.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that France is damaging its reputation by not abiding to the agreement.

"They have to fulfil all the obligations under the contract," Lavrov said.

Hollande, facing a prospect of having two hugely expensive ships on his hands that he cannot sell to another client, has insisted that the contract has not yet been broken.

Russian officials have also stayed clear of ultimatums, with the 400-strong Russian crew of the mammoth assault ships for the time being still in France's Saint-Nazaire, the city where the shipyard is located and where they are currently training.

However, Putin this week showed no sign of backing down from his policy on Ukraine.

"Every time someone believes Russia has become too strong, independent, these instruments get applied immediately," he added, referring to the economic sanctions that have weighed on the country's economy at a time of falling oil prices.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Obama nominates Ashton Carter as Pentagon chief
Washington (AFP) Dec 05, 2014
President Barack Obama on Friday named Ashton Carter, a highly regarded technocrat, to lead the Pentagon as the US military embarks on the latest phase in its 13-year war against Islamic extremists. Obama praised the 60-year-old Carter, saying that as US defense secretary he would bring to the job "a unique blend of strategic perspective and technical know-how." "All of which means on da ... read more

Russian space-based ABM system on-track for 2020 launch

Raytheon building air and missile defense center for Qatar

India test fires nuclear capable strategic missile

Ballistic Missile Launches Detected by Russia's Aerospace Defense

40,000th Javelin ant-armor missile produced

Taiwan develops new missiles to counter China's threat

RAF launches Paveway guided bombs from Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35

Brazil, Russia in talks on air defense system

Amazon warns it could take drones testing elsewhere

Army taps AeroVironment for continued Switchblade support services

NGC delivers first operational MQ-8C Fire Scout to the US Navy

France studies how to intercept mystery drones over nuclear plants

SES Demonstrates O3b Satellite Technology for US Govt Customers

LockMart completes environmental testing on 4th MUOS bird

Harris Corporation supplying Falcon III radios to Canadian military

GenDyn Canada contracted to connect military to WGS system

Dutch sell combat vehicles to Estonia for 100 mln euros

BAE Systems modernizess 100th M113 for Brazil

Precision guided projectile hits the mark in recent testing

Air Force orders additional programmable bomb fuzes

Northrop Grumman expands operations in Australia

US House passes $584 bn defense bill, Senate vote due

New Pentagon chief inherits friction with White House

Raytheon to provide Qatar with IAMD Command and Control System

War-torn Ukraine to test sweeping new ceasefire

Putin, Hollande in surprise Ukraine talks amid warship controversy

US denies funding opposition to oust Sri Lanka leader

Rights activists push Belarus KGB to reveal missing journalist's location

'Giant' charge density disturbances discovered in nanomaterials

LLNL team develops efficient method to produce nanoporous metals

Thin film produces new chemistry in 'nanoreactor'

Ultra-short X-ray pulses explore the nano world

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.