Putin Wishes 'Wise' Nazarbayev Happy Birthday
President Vladimir Putin on Sunday wished Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev a happy birthday, hailing his contribution to the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union as having "earthshaking significance."
Putin praised Nazarbayev as a wise and experienced politician, "a true leader of his own country" who enjoys great respect from his people and great international authority, according to a statement on the Kremlin's website.
"Your name is inextricably linked to an epoch in the history of Kazakhstan, marked by spectacular success in the social, economic and foreign policy spheres," Putin said in a letter to Nazarbayev published on the website on Sunday.
Putin also hailed Nazarbayev for his "insightful ideas" on the Eurasian Economic Union and contribution to the strategic partnership between Russia and Kazakhstan. The mutual decision to create the Eurasian Economic Union as of Jan. 1, 2015 would pay off greatly for all countries that are members, Putin said. Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on establishing the union on May 29.
Armenia is also expected to join in the near future.
The Eurasian Economic Union is widely seen as Russia's way of offsetting the losses expected from Ukraine and Moldova joining the European Union and bolstering Russia's geopolitical influence in Central Asia. (MT)
Russian Tourist Shot in Kenya
A Russian tourist has died in Kenya after being shot by unknown assailants, RIA Novosti reported Sunday.
"Unfortunately, the female tourist died in Mombasa on Sunday from her wounds," a local police officer was quoted as saying in comments to Agence France Presse.
According to that report, the woman was shot while visiting one of the city's tourist attractions. She was transported to a local hospital but doctors were unable to save her.
ITAR-Tass reported that two other tourists were with the victim at the time of the shooting, and three unknown assailants opened fire before snatching her purse and camera.
The Russian Embassy in Kenya has yet to confirm the incident. (MT)
Terror Probe Launched in Ukraine Against Rossia Segodnya Head Kiselyov
Ukraine's Security Service has accused the head of Russia's Rossiya Segodnya news agency of financing terrorism.
"An investigation on charges of financing terrorism and assisting in terrorist activities is being conducted," Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, leader of Ukraine's Security Service, said Friday, as quoted by RIA Novosti. The probe reportedly extends to Kiselyov and a number of other Russian nationals.
Describing Rossia Segodnya as "a source of separatist financing," an official statement on the Security Service's website said the head of the news agency, Dmitry Kiselyov, "insidiously and imprudently comments, but in fact, perverts information coming from Ukraine."
Kiselyov seemed to shrug off the accusations.
"This is a continuation of the fantasy in which the Kiev authorities live," Kiselyov said in comments carried by RIA Novosti.
Kiselyov was earlier placed on a sanctions list by the European Union along with many Russian officials over the annexation of Crimea.
He has a reputation for making polarizing and controversial comments, once saying that the hearts of homosexuals should be "burned or buried" rather than used for organ transplants.
More recently, the pro-Kremlin television anchor said on his talk show "Vesti Nedeli" that Russia was the only country left capable of "turning the U.S. into radioactive dust." (MT)
American Stabbed in Downtown Moscow
A U.S. citizen of Russian heritage was stabbed in the shoulder and arm on Saturday night during an altercation outside of an apartment building in Moscow city center, local media reported, citing police.
The victim, a U.S. citizen who was born in Russia, was hospitalized after the incident, which occurred at about 11 p.m. Authorities have not revealed the circumstances surrounding the altercation.(MT)
German 'Spy' Caught Redhanded Trying to Sell Russia Intel
A German intelligence “double agent” accused of selling hundreds of secrets to the U.S. was caught redhanded while trying to make a deal with Russia's secret services.
The suspected double agent was identified as a 31-year-old who had been arrested by Germany's Bundesnachrichtendienst intelligence service for handing over more than 300 secret documents to U.S. intelligence officers over the course of several years, according to the Independent.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday summoned the U.S. ambassador to Berlin to get to the bottom of the matter. German-U.S. relations are already strained following revelations late last year that the U.S. National Security Agency had bugged Merkel's cell phone.
It was an e-mailed proposal sent to the Russian Embassy three weeks ago that alerted German intelligence to to the suspect's activities, the Independent reported. The e-mail was reportedly very simple and to the point, offering cooperation in exchange for cash.
The suspect approached the Americans in the same way several years ago.
According to Newsru.com, the American intelligence services had been paying about 10,000 euros for each tranche of information received. They were seeking confidential documents on Germany's parliamentary committee in charge of investigating the NSA.(MT)