|Thursday, 20 February 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-09-01
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Without Sanctions against RussiaVerbal Condemnation
01 Σεπ 2008 20:58:00 (Last updated: 01 Σεπ 2008 21:40:02)
Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA
The EU leaders have decided to suspend temporarily the signing of an agreement on strategic cooperation with Russia at todays Summit Meeting in Brussels. The EU requests first the implementation of the truce achieved with Europes mediation and the withdrawal of Russias military forces to their original positions prior to the conflict. The EU also condemned Russias decision to unilaterally recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia, calling Europe not to recognize them. Moreover, the EU will see to the dispatch of OSCE observers to South Ossetia. In a speech prior to the Summit Meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that from now on Russia will defend its interests within the framework of international law, demanding in parallel from the international community to implement an embargo on arms against Georgia. Meanwhile, his country admitted to the Human Rights Observatory the use of cluster bombs in South Ossetia. Finally, US Vice President Dick Cheney will visit Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Ukraine and Italy on Tuesday.
The Greek Side
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis made statements after the end of the EU Summit Meeting in which he denounced violence, describing it non-acceptable and not a solution to the problem. He said that the EU tried from the first moment to settle the problem peacefully, thanking EU President Nicolas Sarkozy for his substancial efforts.
Furthermore, he stated that the EU member-states expressed their satisfaction over the six-point agreement and in parallel denounced Russias decision to recognize unilaterally South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The EU expressed its respect to the territorial integrity of states, a position shared by the Greek side.
Also the EU stressed that it is willing to help in Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazias reconstruction and agreed that Russia is an important partner for Europe. As a result all agreed that the relations between the EU and Russia should be assessed in view of the next Summit Meeting due to be held on 8 September.
Greece is monitoring the crisis in Caucasus carefully in cooperation with it EU partners and as it will assume the OSCE Presidency on 1.1.2009 its responsibilities will be many.
Finally, Greece has asked for self-restraint and prudence from all sides and promised to continue offering humanitarian aid to the victims of the crisis. Moreover, it will intensify its cooperation with Georgia so that the latter will materialize the Action Plan with the EU and approach the European structures. Finally, Mr Karamanlis said that Greece has special interest in the region as tens of thousands of expatriate Hellenes live there.
Translated by John Crystallidis
Summit Meeting on Caucasus
 China to Build Bullet Train01 Σεπ 2008 13:09:00
Sources: ANA-MPA, The Telegraph
A senior official for China's Ministry of Railway has announced plans to build the world's fastest bullet train for the Beijing-Shanghai line. Zhang Shuguang, deputy chief engineer, said that new technology will make it possible for new bullet trains to travel at 380 kph, 30 kph more than the current generation of high-speed trains. China had planned to run trains at 350 kph on the 1,318 km Beijing-Shanghai line, China Daily said. If the new plan is implemented, it will cut the travel time between the two cities to just four hours, making it competitive against the two-hour flight airlines offer. Zhang said that the country has established a comprehensive system for bullet train manufacturing. In the past few years, China has imported technology to manufacture 200-250 kph trains from France, Japan and Canada. German engineering giant Siemens has agreed to transfer a full set of technology for manufacturing 350-kph trains, China Daily reported.