The United States embassy in Kiev voiced concern on Sunday over Russia’s decision to recognize civil registration documents issued in separatist-held areas of eastern Ukraine, saying that it threatens the Minsk peace process.
The order by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday will enable people from the conflict-hit region to travel, work or study in Russia and drew strong criticism from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
The move is “alarming and contradicts the agreed goals of the Minsk agreements”, the U.S. embassy in Ukraine said on Sunday via its official twitter account.
Since the February 2015 Minsk peace agreement Ukraine and Russia have been locked in a stalemate periodically broken by fighting that each side has accused the other of instigating.
(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by David Goodman)
Kim Jong Un rejects invitation to South Korea summit: KCNA
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has rejected an invitation by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to a regional summit next week, Pyongyang's state media said Thursday, in a stark illustration of the dire relations between the neighbours.
South Korea is due to host a summit with Southeast Asian leaders in its port city of Busan from next Monday, and Moon had previously expressed hope that Kim would attend.
Kim received a personal letter from Moon on November 5, North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, but dismissed the prospect of the leader attending the summit.
China ‘medicine’ demand threatens world donkey population: report
China's demand for donkey skins to make a traditional medicine could wipe out more than half the world's donkey population in the next five years, researchers said Thursday.
Nearly five million skins are used every year to make ejiao, a gel believed in China to be a remedy for troubles ranging from colds to ageing, putting enormous strain on donkey populations around the world, Britain-based animal welfare group Donkey Sanctuary said in a report.
Ejiao was once the preserve of emperors but is now highly sought after by a burgeoning middle class, with production growing 20 percent each year between 2013 and 2016, Donkey Sanctuary said.
Australian PM denies climate link as smoke chokes Sydney
Australia's Prime Minister on Thursday denied his climate policies had caused unprecedented bushfires ravaging the country and insisted his government was doing enough to tackle global warming.
As dozens of new blazes scorched the countryside and the country's largest city was cloaked in hazardous smoke, conservative leader Scott Morrison defended his climate record, saying Australia was "doing our bit".
His comments came after weeks spent refusing to speak about the link between climate change and deadly fires described by the emergency services as unprecedented in number and scale for the early bushfire season.