News from Russia: what you missed over the weekend


Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law capping the number of Russians allowed to work in embassies in “hostile” countries, or to ban their employment altogether.

Coming amid wave of diplomatic expulsions over accusations of electoral interference and involvement in deadly explosions, Putin’s decree signed on Friday orders government to draw up list of “hostile” states subject to restrictions .

Summer summit

A senior Putin aide said on Sunday that a possible summit between the Russian leader and his American counterpart Joe Biden could take place in June.

The White House announced on Friday that in June Biden would attend the G7 summit in the UK and the NATO and EU summits in Brussels, but did not say whether Biden would also seek to include a potential peak with Putin during the trip.

Armenian genocide

US President Joe Biden on Saturday acknowledged the murders of Armenians by Ottoman forces in 1915 as genocide, a watershed moment for the descendants of the hundreds of thousands of dead as he defied decades of pressure from Turkey.

Since Uruguay in 1965, countries like France, Germany, Canada and Russia have recognized the genocide, but an American declaration has been a primary goal that has proved elusive under previous presidents.

Czech tensions

Czech President Milos Zeman took a rare hit in Moscow on Sunday, comparing two deadly explosions on Czech soil to terrorist attacks and likening the alleged Russian culprits to goofy cartoon characters.

But in another television address that day, Zeman said Russia may not have been behind the 2014 explosion and called for patience until an ongoing police investigation is concluded. Russian lawmakers immediately responded by asking Czech leaders to apologize to Moscow.

‘Call from the Kremlin’

Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich was among the first to withdraw from a breakaway European Super League after receiving an ‘undeniable clue’ from the Kremlin, German publication Suddeutsche Zeitung reported Friday night.

The Russian billionaire’s decision was politically motivated, the outlet said, as state-controlled energy company Gazprom sponsors the UEFA Champions League and St. Petersburg is set to host several Euro 2020 matches.

AFP contributed to the writing of this article.


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