US envoy in Russia skips key event

Jon Huntsman Jr. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 May 2018
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US envoy in Russia skips key event

  • Vekselberg predicted Washington and Moscow would get past their crisis in relations eventually
  • Russian denies any interference and the Trump White House denies collusion with Moscow

MOSCOW: US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. stayed away from an event on Friday that would have required him to be in the same room as Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian metals tycoon subject to US sanctions.
Huntsman had initially been scheduled to be part of a panel discussion on US-Russian business ties as part of the St. Petersburg investment forum, a Kremlin-backed annual showcase for the Russian economy.
Vekselberg was on the panel of speakers at the session on Friday along with US and Russian business executives, but the ambassador was not there.
Asked why he was absent, the US Embassy in Moscow referred questions to the State Department in Washington. It did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment. Reuters
One of the panelists, Russian foods tycoon David Yakobashvili, said of Huntsman: “Unfortunately he is not here, but I am sure he is here in spirit.” Reuters


Key allies quit Duterte Cabinet to run in midterm elections

Updated 55 min 49 sec ago
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Key allies quit Duterte Cabinet to run in midterm elections

  • More than 18,000 government posts are up for grabs, including 12 seats in the 24-member Senate

MANILA, Philippines: Close allies of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte have resigned from his Cabinet to run in elections next year that will test his popularity and could determine his future political influence.
Among those running in the May 13 midterm elections are Duterte’s former foreign secretary, who staunchly defended him from international criticism of his deadly anti-drug crackdown, his spokesman, his political adviser and a longtime aide. Aspirants have up to Wednesday to register as candidates.
More than 18,000 government posts are up for grabs, including 12 seats in the 24-member Senate, which stymied efforts by Duterte allies this year to rapidly open the country’s constitution to amendments and allow a shift to a federal system of government.