Chechnya Imprisons Saakashvili’s Recruiter for Islamic State Terrorist

[SEE: The body of Georgian fighter killed in Ukraine returns to Georgia]

saakashvili

Chechnya Sentences Georgian ‘IS Recruiter’ To Six Years

RFE

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chechnya sentences georgian is recruiter to six years

A court in the Chechen capital, Grozny, has sentenced a Georgian man to six years in prison for attempting to recruit two Chechen men to join the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Syria.

The defendant, 25-year-old Beslan Cincalashvili, allegedly resided legally in Chechnya from July through August 2014. During this time, prosecutors alleged that he met with two Chechen nationals in Grozny and attempted to persuade them to travel to Syria to join militant groups.

that Cincalashvili promised the men assistance with passports and in traveling to Syria via Georgia.

Cincalashvili’s lawyer, Luiza Killayeva, told the Caucasian Knot on December 27 that the court had handed down its guilty verdict and sentence on December 25.

Killayeva, who prior to the ruling had slammed the case against Cincalashvili as “flimsy,” said that her client was considering an appeal against the ruling, but that she thought such a move would be “practically useless.”

There are very few details about the case against Cincalashvili, including about his background and motivations. According to his lawyer, he moved to Grozny from Georgia about eight years ago and worked in the construction industry. It is not known which region in Georgia Cincalashvili comes from, but his surname and connections with Chechnya indicate he is likely to be an ethnic Chechen from the Pankisi Gorge.

Cincalashvili’s lawyer said on December 27 that she and her client believed that the two witnesses in the case, based on whose testimony Cincalashvili had been convicted, had been “planted” — presumably by the security services. The two witnesses approached Cincalashvili in a Grozny park and started to talk to him, telling him they wanted to fight in Syria and asking how they could get there.

It is not known how many ethnic Chechens from the Chechen Republic are fighting in Syria, but the issue is a highly sensitive topic for the Chechen Republic and in particular for its leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov — whose original position was to deny that Chechens were fighting in Syria at all — that “the overwhelming majority” of Chechen militants in Syria are “residents of Western countries who were born there or who left 20 years ago.” A great deal of Russian and Western media attention has also been given to ethnic Chechens from Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge who are fighting in Syria, mostly because of the high profile of Pankisi resident Umar Shishani, Islamic State’s military commander in Syria.

In recent months, Chechnya has prosecuted at least three Chechen residents who returned from Syria, the most recent being a man named as Aslan Albekov, who according to news reports is accused of fighting in Syria between August and December 2013. Albekov’s case was on December 24, and he has yet to be sentenced.

— Joanna Paraszczuk

EU Leadership Still Self-Blind To US Evil Intentions for Europe and Russia

[SEE:  West wants to end confrontation with Russia over Ukraine – EU foreign policy chief ]
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini…rejected the idea that the EU’s position on the crisis differs from that of the US.
“It is not true that there is a soft Europe stance, which opposes the US hardline position.”
Mogherini said that Washington’s views on Russia match those of Europe…“everyone wants to get out of the logic of confrontation.”

‘F**k the EU’

Victoria Nuland: US-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Geoffrey R. Pyatt: United States Ambassador to Ukraine

Biden says US ’embarrassed’ EU into sanctioning Russia over Ukraine

Russia-Today
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

America’s leadership had to embarrass Europe to impose economic hits on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine – even though the EU was opposed to such a motion, US Vice President Joe Biden revealed during a speech at Harvard.

“We’ve given Putin a simple choice: Respect Ukraine’s sovereignty or face increasing consequences,” Biden told a gathering at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics on Thursday.

The consequences were the sanctions which the EU imposed on Russia, first targeting individual politicians and businessmen deemed responsible for the crisis in Ukraine, then switching to the energy, defense, and economic sectors.

“It is true they did not want to do that,” Biden admitted.

“It was America’s leadership and the president of the United States insisting, oft times almost having to embarrass Europe to stand up and take economic hits to impose costs,” the US vice president declared.

AFP Photo / Patrick Hertzog

AFP Photo / Patrick Hertzog

Those costs deemed behind the ruble’s historic plunge not only forced America’s ExxonMobil to retreat from Russia’s Arctic shelf, but also provoked counter-measures from Moscow, which suspended certain food imports from the EU.

Russia’s counter-sanctions have hit many of the EU’s agricultural states. EU members, particularly those close to Russia, were the most affected by the loss of the Russian market.

For instance, the Netherlands – the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products – is set to lose 300 million euro annually from canceled business with Russia, as it accounts for roughly 10 percent of Dutch exports of vegetables, fruit, and meat.

At the same time, Poland was hit hard by the Kremlin’s sanctions, as its food exports to Russia totaled $1.5 billion in 2013.

Spain, a large exporter of oranges to Russia, is estimated to miss out on 337 million euro ($421 million) in food and agriculture sales, while Italy has estimated its losses at nearly 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion).

Following pressure from local farmers, a 125 million euro EU Commission Common Agricultural Policy fund was established, from which the growers are expected to get some cash, while Amsterdam is willing to cover the cost of transporting excess produce to eight food banks across Holland.

Overall, Moscow’s one-year food embargo against the EU, the US, Norway, Australia, and Canada will block an estimated $9 billion worth of agricultural exports to Russia.

With European countries now at a loss with apple and dairy surplus, it is not exactly clear whether EU producers will be able to return to the Russian markets after the one-year ban expires.

However, this is no secret to the US, as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland remarked on Thursday.

“Implementing sanctions isn’t easy and many countries are paying a steep price. We know that. But history shows that the cost of inaction and disunity in the face of a determined aggressor will be higher,” Nuland said.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (R) and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (2nd R) distribute bread to riot police near Independence square in Kiev December 11, 2013. (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (R) and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (2nd R) distribute bread to riot police near Independence square in Kiev December 11, 2013. (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

Nuland’s reference to necessary action against the “aggressor” might be taken with a grain of salt by the Europeans, as the “F**k the EU” leak is still fresh in their memory.

The four-minute video – titled ‘Maidan puppets,’ referring to Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital – was uploaded by an anonymous user to YouTube.

Nuland was recorded as saying the notoriously known phrase during a phone call with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, as the two were seemingly discussing a US-preferred line-up of the Ukrainian government. It apparently referred to Washington’s policy differences with those of the EU on ways of handling the Ukrainian political crisis, with Nuland suggesting to “glue this thing” with the help of the UN and ignore Brussels.

The US State Department did not deny the authenticity of the video and stressed that Nuland had apologized for the “reported comments.”