USA: POLICE ACADEMY - 4
THE GREATEST ECOLOGIST OF USA
Sen. John McCain returned from a trip to Ukraine on Sunday, calling for "a fundamental re-assessment" of the United States' relationship with Russian Vladimir Putin.
"No more reset buttons," McCain told Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union." "No more reset buttons, no more 'Tell Vladimir I'll be more flexible.' Treat him for what he is. That does not mean re-ignition of the Cold War. But it does mean treating him in the way that we understand an individual who believes in restoring the old Russian empire."
McCain, who has been critical of the Obama administration's response to the crisis in Crimea, said the White House should target Russia's oil exports.
"Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country," McCain said. "It's kleptocracy, it's corruption. It's a nation that's really only dependent upon oil and gas for their economy. And so economic sanctions are important. Get some military assistance to Ukrainians, at least so they can defend themselves. Resume the missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. Look at Moldova and Georgia, both of whom are occupied by Russian troops as we speak, a path toward membership in NATO."
Speaking in Kiev with a delegation of fellow U.S. senators on Saturday, McCain called for the United States to provide long-term military support — both "lethal and non-lethal" equipment — to Ukraine. "[It is] the right and decent thing to do," McCain said.
In a New York Times op-ed published Saturday, the Republican senator sharpened his criticism of the president.
"Crimea has exposed the disturbing lack of realism that has characterized our foreign policy under President Obama," McCain wrote. "It is this worldview, or lack of one, that must change."
McCain added: "Crimea must be the place where President Obama recognizes this reality and begins to restore the credibility of the United States as a world leader."
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.