RUSSIA TO LIFT RESTRICTIONS ON LAND BORDER CROSSING
Russia will lift restrictions on crossing the land border from July 15, which was imposed in 2020 after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the country's emergency task force said on Monday.
The decision was taken due to the country's improved COVID-19 position.
"Following the results of the crisis center’s discussion, a decision was made to lift the epidemic-related temporary restrictions on crossing the state border of the Russian Federation starting on July 15, 2022," the statement said.
Earlier on June 14, Russia lifted restrictions on the entry of foreign citizens arriving by air and sea.
LUGANSK REGION HAS FULLY PASSED UNDER RUSSIAN CONTROL
Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin on the liberation of the Lugansk People's Republic, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Sunday, TASS reports.
"On July 3, 2022, the Russian Minister of Defense, General of the Army Sergey Shoigu reported to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Putin on the liberation of the Lugansk People's Republic," the ministry said.
The ministry added the Russian Armed Forces and the People's Militia of the LPR have established full control over Lisichansk and a number of nearby settlements, the largest of which are Belogorovka, Novodruzhesk, Maloryazantsevo, and Belaya Gora. "The total area of the territories liberated over the past 24 hours reached 182 square km," the Russian Defense Ministry stressed.
NATO WILL NOT AGREE TO KYIV'S MEMBERSHIP IN NEAR FUTURE: KULEBA
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said on Monday that he does not think that his country will join NATO "in the near future."
"I don't see any prerequisites now for the alliance to change its practical policy regarding Ukraine's membership in the alliance," Kuleba said in an interview for Kiev media Levy Bereg, adding, however, that there "is no alternative to Ukraine's full integration into the West anymore."
Kuleba also noted that Kiev does not consider security guarantees from the West as an alternative to joining NATO, even though those guarantees are of great value for Ukraine. Collective defense guarantees are not something NATO countries want to provide for Ukraine at this point, as they do not want to enter into a military conflict with Russia, the minister explained.
THERE IS PROGRESS IN RELATIONS WITH USA: ÇAVUŞOĞLU
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said they see no negative picture in the process of acquiring F-16 fighter jets from the United States.
“There is a relatively positive atmosphere in our relations with the U.S. Problems will likely be resolved, relations will be improved,” he said speaking to the NTV broadcaster on June 4.
“Our talks on the F-16 were very positive. U.S. President Joe Biden also said that he favors giving the F-16s to Turkey, but the approval must be passed by Congress. Several senators in the Democratic Party oppose this. However, we do not see a negative picture at the moment,” Çavuşoğlu added.
President Joe Biden on June 30 said that the United States should go ahead with the delayed sale of F-16 warplanes to Turkey but said Congress needs to approve.
“We should sell them the F-16 jets and modernize those jets as well,” Biden said, adding there was “no quid pro quo” of linking the sale to Turkey’s approval for Finland and Sweden entering NATO.
A plan to equip Turkey with state-of-the-art U.S. F-35 stealth fighters fell through after Turkey bought Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, something Washington saw as potentially threatening the security of the F-35 program.
UZBEKISTAN SAYS 18 KILLED, HUNDREDS WOUNDED IN UNREST
Eighteen people were killed and 243 wounded during unrest in Uzbekistan's autonomous province of Karakalpakstan last week, Uzbek authorities said on Monday - the worst bout of violence in the Central Asian nation in 17 years, Reuters reports.
Security forces detained 516 people during the protests, which broke out over plans to curtail Karakalpakstan's autonomy, but have now released many of them, the National Guard press office told a briefing.
On Saturday, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev dropped plans to amend articles of the constitution concerning Karakalpakstan's sovereignty and its right to secede. He also declared a month-long state of emergency in the northwestern province.
Official reports said protesters had marched through the provincial capital Nukus last Friday and tried to seize local government buildings.
According to the prosecutor general's office, 18 people died "from grave wounds" sustained during the clashes. Russia's RIA news agency quoted the head of the National Guard as saying the toll comprised 14 civilians and four law enforcement officers.