Russia Considering Total Gmo Ban

Twenty Years After: Key Players In Russia’s October 1993 Crisis

Former Supreme Soviet Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov (second from left) and former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi (third from left) are arrested in Moscow on October 4, 1993.

Lithuania, which joined the EU in 2004, has had its transport trucks held up at Russian customs for up to 20 days at a time in recent weeks, causing heavy losses for its sizeable trucking industry. Asked whether Vilnius might retaliate, Foreign Minister Linas LinkeviAius said: “We could also apply the same measures.” “As you know, the Kaliningrad region is isolated, geographically isolated, so we could apply some measures also to cut something,” he told Reuters late on Tuesday, adding that no discussions along those lines had taken place. “Transport, we could cut off trains, but not only trains, also the supply of goods, whatever. It is theoretically possible. It was not discussed, it’s not our way of thinking, it’s not our methods,” he said. The Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, with around 430,000 people, is enclosed by Poland to the south and Lithuania to the north and east but it has a large port on the Baltic. Aside from sea shipments, it relies on road and rail links with Russia that cross Lithuania and Belarus. GEORGIA WAR The EU is locked in an increasingly tense stand-off with Russia over its Eastern Partnership policy, which is designed to draw six countries – Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia – more closely into the European fold. At the Vilnius summit on November 28-29, the EU is expected to sign a free trade deal with Ukraine and take further steps towards free trade agreements with Moldova and Georgia. No substantial progress is expected with the other partnership states, which remain more closely aligned with Moscow. Russia, meanwhile, wants several of the countries to sign up to its own customs union, launched with Belarus and Kazakhstan in 2010. Armenia, which relies on Russia for support in a long-standing dispute with Azerbaijan, agreed in September to join the Russian-led trade bloc. The biggest bone of contention between the EU and Russia is Ukraine, a country of 46 million people that is bordered by four EU member states and is determined to move closer to Europe. If that happens, Russia has said it will have no choice but to defend its interests.

Russia charges all 30 Greenpeace activists with piracy

According to reports, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered the action, directing the agencies to make their recommendation by October 15. Per the website GM Watch: The order is addressed to Rospotrebnadzor, the Health Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry, and the Trade and Economic Development Ministry. They are ordered to “submit proposals on amendments to the Russian legislation aimed at tightening control over the turnover of products containing components obtained from GMOs together with the relevant federal executive bodies.” ‘Russia is currently taking a hard line on GMOs’ The Russian agencies have also been instructed to submit proposals “on the possibility of banning the import of such products into the Russian Federation.” Medvedev’s order came after a similar directive was issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin following a meeting on the socio-economic development of the Rostov region Sept. 18. Medvedev’s orders were posted on the government’s website and reported by the Russia-based Interfax News Agency. “Russia is currently taking a hard line on GMOs – in August the first independent project for identifying whether Russian farmers are growing illegal GM crops started in the Belgorod region,” GM Watch reported. Russian authorities have been on the lookout for illegal GM crops. Recently, the country’s National Association for Genetic Safety (NAGS) conducted its first checks of crops for the presence of GMOs, but none were found in any Belgorod fields. “We remind you that currently, according to the law in Russia , 19 GM lines are allowed in foodstuffs, but the cultivation of GMOs is not allowed,” said GM Watch. After its admission into the World Trade Organization, Russia became obligated to simplify the procedure for registering GM crops, products and feed, seek to stop their safety checks and end controls over their distribution, the GM Watch site reported. A year ago, as Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, reported, Russia banned all imports of GM corn, following an earlier study by French researchers which showed that rats grew massive cancer tumors when fed a lifetime of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. “The Russian ban is the latest blow to Monsanto, a company desperately clinging to the myth that its genetically modified crops are ‘no different’ than traditional crops and therefore long-term safety testing is completely unnecessary,” Adams wrote, adding that Monsanto criticized the French study but did not duplicate the duration of it in its own testing.

“All 30 participants in the criminal case have been charged over the attack on the Prirazlomnaya platform,” the Investigative Committee said in a statement. “They are all charged with… piracy committed by an organised group.” Piracy by an organised group carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years in Russia. Investigators accused the activists of trying to seize property with threats of violence. The first 14 activists were charged on Wednesday and the rest indicted Thursday. Greenpeace denies the crew members — who come from 18 different countries including Britain, Russia, New Zealand, Canada and France — committed any crime. “Our activists have been charged with a crime that did not happen,” Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said in a statement. “A profound injustice is right now being perpetrated against our friends, our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters who sit in Russian jails.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague has met with Greenpeace executive director John Sauven to discuss “the arrest of six British nationals,” his office said later Thursday. Hague last week raised the issue with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, it said. “We would remain in close contact with all other nations whose citizens were involved,” Hague was quoted as saying. Greenpeace spokesman Ben Ayliffe said one of the British activists had been taken ill prior to Thursday’s hearing. The September 18 protest saw several activists scale the oil platform in the Barents Sea to denounce Russia’s plans to drill in the Arctic.

He also began to fall out with Yeltsin over policy differences, most notably Yeltsin’s pursuit of so-called shock therapy to establish a market economy. This quickly escalated into a bitter power struggle between the two men and their supporters. In September 1993, Khasbulatov publicly denounced the president as an alcoholic and called for his resignation. After Yeltsin’s decree dissolving the legislature, Khasbulatov gathered rebel lawmakers in the White House, where they voted to impeach Yeltsin. Addressing supporters from the balcony of the White House, Khasbulatov urged them to storm the Kremlin and imprison “the criminal usurper Yeltsin.” Former Supreme Soviet Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov (second from left) and former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi (third from left) are arrested in Moscow on October 4, 1993. After the storming and shelling of the White House on October 4, Khasbulatov was arrested. In 1994, the newly elected parliament, the State Duma, amnestied him as well as other leaders of the anti-Yeltsin resistance. He has left politics and teaches economics at the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics in Moscow. Speaking to RFE/RL’s Russian Service , Khasbulatov indicated that he believed his position in the fall of 1993 has been vindicated by subsequent events: “The Supreme Council introduced the concept of separation of powers. There was a Constitutional Court, we had jury trials. All the democratic institutions were represented in this system.” “An unconstitutional, criminal decree was issued on September 21.

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