Russia and China are eyeing a number of joint high-tech projects, ranging from creation of a new long-range passenger plane to joining forces on a satellite navigation system to compete with American GPS and European Galileo.The range of prospects was outlined on Friday by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who met Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang in Siberian Novosibirsk. Rogozin said Russia would develop cooperation with BRICS members in defiance of any possible Western sanctions.“Our technological partnership should be directed at the countries that are close to us in mentality and which in general constitute an emerging geopolitical force that we could rely on in opposing the monopolar world. Those are BRICS countries first and foremost,” he said.BRICS are an informal group of developing economies comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, with a combined economic and political power allowing them to defend their interests in a world dominated by US-led Western countries.
China is increasing military spending, particularly through “unprecedented” modernization of air force, the Pentagon said in a report. Beijing rebuked the document as “preposterous criticisms of China’s normal defense and military building.”Beijing’s military spending last year exceeded $145 billion, assessed the US Department of Defense on Thursday in its annual report to the Congress. The estimate is more than 20 percent higher than the official Chinese figure.“China has the fiscal strength and political will to support defense spending growth at comparable levels for the foreseeable future,”the report said. “Continued increases will support People’s Liberation Army (PLA) modernization efforts and facilitate China’s move toward a more professional force.”
Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s president-elect Petro Poroshenko have briefly spoken on the sidelines of the D-Day anniversary celebrations in Normandy. They called for both sides to “stop violence and military actions” in eastern Ukraine.Both leaders “have spoken for a prompt end to bloodshed in southeast Ukraine as well as for an end to military actions from both sides – from the side of the Ukrainian armed forces and the supporters of federalization of Ukraine,” said Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov.Putin and Poroshenko also agreed that there is “no alternative” to “peaceful political means” to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.Apart from his conversation with Poroshenko, Russia’s president also held meetings with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
About one week after the National Rifle Association called the “open carry” gun movement in Texas “downright scary,” the powerful gun organization has backtracked and issued an apology.Speaking on one of the group’s radio programs, Chris Cox of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action said his organization “unequivocally” supports open carry – the right of an individual to openly carry a firearm into public spaces – dismissing a statement to the contrary as the opinion of a particular staff member.“It’s a distraction,” Cox said, according to Talking Points Memo. “There was some confusion, we apologize, again, for any confusion that that post caused.”“It shouldn’t have happened,” he added. “I’ve had a discussion with the staffer who wrote that piece, and expressed his personal opinion. Our job is not to criticize the lawful behavior of fellow gun owners.”The controversial and surprising NRA statement appeared after pro-gun activists in Texas began protesting the policies of establishments – restaurants and other shops – that asked customers to stop bringing their firearms inside. Demonstrators appeared at coffee shops and fast food restaurants brandishing not only handguns, but also long guns and assault rifles.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly criticized the Obama administration for pledging to work with the new Palestinian unity government on Tuesday, saying he is “deeply troubled” by the decision.Additionally, Netanyahu’s office threatened to levy further sanctions on the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority over its decision to reconcile with Gaza-based Hamas, which has been labeled a terrorist organization by the US, European Union, and Israel.The remarks came just one day after the US and EU stated they would recognize and continue to fund the Fatah-Hamas governing alliance, despite objections by the Jewish state. As RT reported previously, Netanyahu had urged the world to reject the unity government due to the involvement of Hamas, a group committed to the destruction of Israel.
Kiev has admitted showering the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk with dozens of missiles from the air, saying that its Air Force helicopters and jets “fired more than 150 missiles” in Monday’s military action.DEATH TOLL: 181 people killed, 293 injured in Kiev military opThe Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also confirmed on Tuesday that the deadly explosion at the city’s administrative building was indeed an airstrike. Kiev has so far denied the responsibility for the incident, saying its forces “do not target” civilian areas.The OSCE Ukrainian mission’s daily report stated that “on 2 June, shortly after 15:00 hrs, rockets hit the occupied regional administration building. Based on the SMM’s limited observation these strikes were the result of non-guided rockets shot from an aircraft.”
Kiev’s military operation in eastern Ukraine has left 181 people killed, including 59 of ruling regime troops, and 293 injured, according to the country’s Prosecutor General.Ongoing operation: 8 die in admin HQ blast as fighter jets deployed to Ukraine’s LuganskOleg Makhnitsky announced the recent figures at a press conference. However, it was not clear whether the death toll included casualties among self-defense forces.The Prosecutor General has also added that over 220 people have been abducted, including 12 foreign citizens, since the uprising started in Lugansk and Donetsk Regions.“Six hundred and seventy-five criminal enterprises connected with subversive activities, terrorist acts, and violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine are currently being investigated,” Makhnitsky told the media.