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Posts Tagged ‘insists’

Russia insists radiation normal in Chernobyl-hit forests

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

MOSCOW, Aug 12, 2010 (AFP) – Russia on Thursday insisted that radiation was normal in regions contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster amid concerns forest fires could send a cloud of radioactive particles as far as Moscow.

“We have a full network of monitoring and we carry out frequent observations,” the deputy head of Russian state weather forecaster Rosgidromet Valery Dyadyuchenko told the Interfax news agency.

“A worsening of the radiation situation and a growth in the background radiation as a result of a transfer of materials from the fires have not been recorded anywhere in Russia,” he said.

Russia’s state forest watchdog Wednesday admitted wildfires hit hundreds of hectares of land in the western Bryansk region contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, raising fears that buried radioactive particles could be released into the air.

The forest watchdog quoted data from August 6 but emergency ministry officials denied there were any fires currently burning in the area.

This August 11, 2010 NASA satellite image shows smoke from wildfires burning in Russia. AFP

Russian authorities said there was no reason to panic and played down fears that the fires could create a cloud of radioactive particles by raising contaminated matter out from the soil.

But Alexei Yablokov, a former official on ecological questions at the Russian security council and a founder of Greenpeace in the Soviet Union, told Interfax the particles risked being blown onto Moscow or Eastern Europe.

“The particles could be transferred hundreds of kilometres depending on the weather conditions.

“If the Bryansk region is on fire, they (the particles) could turn up in the Novgorod region (to the north), in Moscow and in certain circumstances in Eastern Europe,” he said.

Source: SGGP

Russia insists on tech transfer in French warship deal

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 11:18 am

Russia’s top naval commander Saturday insisted its purchase of French warships would only go ahead if there were a transfer of technology, warning that otherwise there was “no point” in the deal.

French Mistral-class helicopter carrier

The comments by Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky come a day after French President Nicolas Sarkozy assured workers at a French shipyard that the decision to go ahead with the deal was “certain”.

“What is important here is to obtain the possibility of a transfer of key, fundamental technologies… not just in ship building but in several other areas,” Vysotsky told the Echo of Moscow radio.

“This is without doubt the main condition for this transaction. If this does not happen then there is no point in undertaking this,” he added.

“We do not need the ship but we do need its possibilities.”

Russia has been negotiating with France for months to buy the Mistral-class helicopter carriers but the deal has yet to be finalised, with the issue of technology transfer apparently the main sticking point.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told AFP last month that Moscow would only go ahead with the deal if it included a transfer of the technology that makes the Mistral one of the most powerful in the French fleet.

The deal would be the first sale of advanced military hardware to Russia by a NATO country.

Source: SGGP

We will pull off great escape, insists defiant Benitez

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 6:51 am

LYON, France, Nov 5, 2009 (AFP) – Liverpool will overcome seemingly impossible odds and qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League insisted their increasingly embattled manager Rafael Benitez.

The Spaniard – who has overseen Liverpool’s worst run in over 50 years of just one win in their last eight matches – was speaking after seeing seven-time French champions Lyon steal a 1-1 draw in the last minute of their match.

Liverpool’s Spanish coach Rafael Benitez gestures during the UEFA Champion’s League football match Lyon vs. Liverpool, on November 4, 2009 at the Gerland stadium in Lyon, eastern France. AFP PHOTO

The draw sent Lyon through to the last 16 – deservedly so given their three wins from the three previous matches – but left Liverpool in a decidedly parlous position on four points, five behind Italian side Fiorentina with two matches remaining.

However, Benitez, who was not helped by a lengthy injury list including talismanic captain Steven Gerrard and who played a clearly not 100percent fit Fernando Torres, was adamant that it would be Liverpool and not Fiorentina who reached the knockout round.

“”Will we perform a great escape? Yeah we will,” said the former Valencia coach, who may well come to rue the selling of Xabi Alonso in the summer.

“I certainly don’t think that it is over as far as we are concerned. Of course it depends on Fiorentina (they next host Lyon and then travel to Liverpool in the final match).

“We have to win and score goals,” added the 49-year-old, who has brought the 2005 Champions League trophy and the 2006 FA Cup to Anfield during his tenure.

Benitez, who guided Valencia to two league titles and the UEFA Cup, said he had been proud of his team and the manner in which they had played.

“We deserved to win and to concede a goal in the last minute is really really unlucky.

“However, the players showed character and there were a lot of positives to take out of this performance.

“The players realise we have problems but they were great. We were much better this evening (Wednesday). These things (the injuries and the run) can happen in football.”

Benitez was also happy to see young Dutch striker Ryan Babel get on the score sheet – with a stunning long range strike after coming on as a substitute – after rarely performing to his potential while at Anfield and which has seen him look for a move to Ajax.

“Ryan has the ability to change a game,” said Benitez.

“He is a good player for us. But I want to see the best of him more often.”

His Lyon counterpart Claude Puel was delighted and relieved to have reached the knockout stages with two games to spare.

“We have mastered the art of writing particular screenplays throughout the season,” said the former Monaco and Lille handler.

“We were very courageous till the end in order to equalise and to qualify this evening.”

Puel, who himself had injury worries and had to replace two of his starting XI in the first-half, said that Benitez and Liverpool should not worry that Lyon will take the trip to Fiorentina lightly now that they had qualified.

“No-one should be concerned that we will take our feet off the pedal,” said Puel, who won the league title with Monaco before making Lille into unlikely title contenders.

“We will play as we should play, to finish top of the group and that is by getting the best possible result.

“We remember what happened last season (Lyon ended up drawing Barcelona in the knockout stages) and that means that Liverpool can still play for a realistic place in the last 16.”

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share