- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 12, 2008


China, Russia veto U.N. sanctions

UNITED NATIONS: A U.N. resolution to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe for holding a violent June 27 presidential poll boycotted by the opposition candidate was vetoed in the Security Council Friday by Russia and China.

The resolution would have imposed an arms embargo on the southern African country and financial and travel restrictions on President Robert Mugabe and 13 other officials. It would also have called for a U.N. special envoy for Zimbabwe to be appointed.

Nine countries voted for the resolution. Five - including Russia and China - opposed it, and one abstained.


Russian planes put on notice

TBILISI | A Georgian official warned Russia on Friday that it will have to “collect the shattered fragments” of its planes if they intrude on Georgian airspace again.

Russia has confirmed that four of its planes circled over the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia late Wednesday for about 40 minutes, and that the mission was ordered to head off a possible “invasion” of the region by Georgian troops.

Georgia, which has accused Russia of aiming to annex the province, said the mission was an illegal invasion of Georgian airspace.

Both South Ossetia and Abkhazia have been outside the Georgian government’s control since the end of separatist wars in the mid-1990s.


British diplomat accused of spying

MOSCOW | Russia has accused the British Embassy’s top trade official in Moscow of espionage, the British Foreign Office confirmed Friday.

The accusation appears likely to worsen Russian-British relations, already strained in part by the continuing fight for control at the TNK-BP oil producer, which is jointly owned by the British company and a group of Russian billionaires.

The British Foreign Office said the accused diplomat was acting head of United Kingdom Trade and Investment at the embassy and confirmed his name was Chris Bowers.

The espionage accusation was first made Thursday in a report carried by the Interfax news agency, which cited a source in Russia’s secret services as saying Mr. Bowers was believed to be a senior British intelligence officer.


U.S., other donors pledge $1.9 billion

BRUSSELS | Kosovo received a total of $1.9 billion in pledges from international donors, including the United States and the European Union on Friday to help build much-needed infrastructure and democratic institutions and to foster economic growth.

Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said his country “scored an extraordinary success” at the conference of 37 countries and 16 international organizations, including the U.N. and the World Bank.

The conference was the first time international donors had the opportunity to back their recognition of Kosovo’s independence from Serbia with financial aid since it declared itself sovereign in February. The EU said it would give $785 million, and the United States about $400 million for 2009 to 2011.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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