Aletho News


US State Dept. fails to recognize ‘individuals’ detained by Kiev as Russian journalists

RT | May 20, 2014

Washington has failed to condemn the detention of Russian journalists working in Ukraine, instead doubting they were journalists at all and accusing them of smuggling weapons based on a “reports and conversations” on the ground.

The US State Department claims that Russian journalists were in possession of press accreditation that was given to them by the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic, which Ukraine and the US do not recognize.

“The Ukrainian Security Services, according to reports, have detained a number of people who were in possession of fake journalist credentials issued by the non-existent Donetsk People’s Republic,” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a daily press briefing.

Psaki did not specify precisely which journalists she was referring to, but Associated Press reporter Matt Lee at the briefing was asking about the Russian TV crew working for LifeNews who were detained by the Ukrainian Security Forces (SBU) on Sunday.

“Reportedly they were carrying portable aircraft missiles in the trunks of their cars at the time of their detention. So I haven’t looked in your trunk lately but it is unlikely you have those in there. That raises some questions about these individuals and whether they were actually journalists,” Psaki said.

After persistent attempts by Lee to find out whether Psaki had any proof or credible source to back such claims, she acknowledged that these reports were “credible” as considered by a US “team on the ground” which is “in touch with Ukrainian authorities.”

Reports “about these individuals and what they were carrying with them, certainly raises the question as to who they are,” Psaki answered

When again pushed to answer whether the accusations were based on rumors, Psaki hinted that the information comes from Kiev.

“This is from our team on the ground who are certainly in touch with our Ukrainian authorities,” Psaki replied.

When asked about the detention of an RT stringer working on the ground in eastern Ukraine, Graham Phillips, Psaki replied that she was not aware of “specific details” of his arrest yet, but promised to look into that.

Psaki said that the State Department will condemn the move of illegal detention of journalists, however emphasizing that Washington will first of all focus on “continuing to press for the release of the Ukrainian and international journalists who have been detained by Russian separatists.”

On Sunday, two Russian LifeNews journalists, Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko, were captured by Ukrainian troops near Kramatorsk in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

Ukrainian authorities claimed on Tuesday that the detained journalists confessed during interrogation to entering the territory of the country without press cards. The crew are now in Kiev but so far have not been charged.

Previously the OSCE urged the Kiev authorities to release the Russian journalists saying that intimidation and obstruction of media is “unacceptable.”

In the meantime, RT has lost contact with the channel’s contributing journalist Graham Phillips who had earlier reported that he had been detained by the National Guard at a check point in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine. The British journalist Phillips may be turned over to the Ukrainian Security Service and sent to Kiev as well, a source told RT

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights labeled the harassment of journalists as the obstruction of media that doesn’t support the coup-appointed authorities’ policy.

“This is another step de facto made by Ukrainian authorities to curb the activities of unwanted journalists,” said Konstantin Dolgov. “The journalists who work professionally and show an objective picture, the ugly side of the outrages made by ultra-nationalists, the results of [Kiev’s] punitive operation in the southeast.”

Journalists Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko. Image from

In both cases involving the RT stringer and LifeNews crew, it appears the SBU was responsible in detaining and neutralizing reporting. Dolgov added that Phillips’ arrest followed the “unlawful seizure, detention of Russian journalists,” adding that Moscow is continuing to work for their speedy release.

On Monday, pro-Kiev activists again called to “immediately detain and deport” Phillips, who they believe is “cooperating with terrorists,” according to a message posted on EuroMaidan Kharkov’s Facebook page.

The same day, LifeNews said that journalists held captive by Ukraine’s coup-installed government were reportedly arrested after they released footage showing a UN-marked helicopter used by Kiev’s armed forces engaged in an operation against civilians in the east. A few days prior to the journalists’ arrest on Sunday, the authorities in Kiev issued an order to “find and neutralize” the authors of the video, a LifeNews source in SBU told the channel.

Meanwhile, RT Arabic’s news crew who arrived in Kiev to cover the upcoming May 25 Ukrainian presidential election has not been allowed into the country and was sent back to Moscow under the pretext that they were unable to properly explain the purpose of their visit, despite being accredited by the Ukrainian Central Election Commission.

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Comments Off on US State Dept. fails to recognize ‘individuals’ detained by Kiev as Russian journalists

Britain’s MI5 accused of complicity in torture

Press TV – May 20, 2014

Britain’s domestic spying apparatus MI5 has been accused of complicity in torture.

A Dutch man of Somali origin, Ahmed Diini, accused the British spy agency of questioning him while he was being tortured in an Egyptian prison earlier this year.

Diini said during his eight-month imprisonment in Cairo that he was shackled, hooded, repeatedly beaten, and threatened that his wife would be raped.

The former British resident, who is also a grandson of the deposed Somali dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, claimed that the alleged MI5 agents worked closely with Egyptian security forces, promising him his freedom if he agreed to work for the British intelligence service.

The Dutch man was imprisoned for unknown reasons following the ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.

The claim comes as the head of MI5 told lawmakers in November that his officers would never participate in or condone torture, or take part in operations where a suspect is being illegally detained by a foreign state.

This is while the Constitution Project report last year slammed Britain for violating human rights through colluding with the US in the torture and rendition of terror suspects.

The dossier also claims MI5 agents under the last Labour government knew that prisoners were ill-treated at the hands of their captors

For years, Labour ministers denied involvement in rendition. But the report pointed out that the UK had paid out around £10 million to more than a dozen detainees after they were illegally rendered and tortured.

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Russian Manipulation of Reactor Fuel Belies U.S. Iran Argument

By Gareth Porter | IPS | May 19 2014

WASHINGTON – In the stalemated talks between the six powers and Iran over the future of the latter’s nuclear programme, the central issue is not so much the technical aspects of the problem but the history of the Middle Eastern country’s relations with foreign suppliers – and especially with the Russians.

The Barack Obama administration has dismissed Iran’s claim that it can’t rely on the Russians or other past suppliers of enriched uranium for its future needs. But the U.S. position ignores a great deal of historical evidence that bolsters the Iranian case that it would be naïve to rely on promises by Russia and others on which it has depended in the past for nuclear fuel.

Both Iran and the P5+1 are citing the phrase “practical needs”, which was used in the Joint Plan of Action agreed to last November, in support of their conflicting positions on the issue of how much enrichment capability Iran should have. Limits on the Iranian programme are supposed to be consistent with such “practical needs”, according to the agreement.

Iran has argued that its “practical needs” include the capability to enrich uranium to make reactor fuel for the Bushehr nuclear power plant as well as future nuclear reactors. Iranian officials have indicated that Iran must be self-sufficient in the future with regard to nuclear fuel for Bushehr, which Russia now provides. It announced in 2008 that another reactor at Darkhovin, which is to be indigenously constructed, had entered the design stage.

Former senior State Department official on proliferation issues Robert Einhorn has transmitted the thinking of the Obama administration about the negotiations in recent months. In a long paper published in late March, he wrote that Iran had “sometimes made the argument that they need to produce enriched uranium indigenously because foreign suppliers could cut off supplies for political or other reasons.”

The Iranians had “even suggested,” Einhorn wrote, “that they could not depend on Russia to be a reliable supplier of enriched fuel.” This Iranian assertion ignores Russia’s defiance of the U.S. and is allies in having built Bushehr and insisting on exempting its completion and fuelling from U.N. Security Council sanctions, according to Einhorn.

Einhorn omits, however, the well-documented history of blatant Russian violations of its contract with Iran on Bushehr – including the provision of nuclear fuel – and its effort to use Iranian dependence on Russian reactor fuel to squeeze Iran on its nuclear policy as well as to obtain political-military concessions from the United States.

Rose Gottemoeller, now Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, described the dynamics of that Russian policy when she was director of the Carnegie Moscow Center from early 2006 through late 2008. She recounted in a 2008 paper how the Russians began working intensively in 2002 to get Iran to end its uranium enrichment programme.

That brought Russia’s policy aim in regard to Iran’s nuclear programme into line with that of the George W. Bush administration (2001-2009).

Russia negotiated an agreement with Iran in February 2005 to supply enriched uranium fuel for the reactor and to take back all spent fuel. Later in 2005, Moscow offered Iran a joint uranium enrichment venture in Russia under which Iran would send uranium to Russia for enrichment and conversion into fuel elements for future reactors.

But Iran would not gain access to the fuel fabrication technology, which made it unacceptable to Tehran but was strongly supported by the Bush administration.

Bush administration officials then began to dangle the prospect of a bilateral agreement on nuclear cooperation – a “123 Agreement” – before Russia as a means of leveraging a shift in Russian policy toward cutting off nuclear fuel for Bushehr. The Russians agreed to negotiate such a deal, which was understood to be conditional on Russia’s cooperation on the Iran nuclear issue, with particular emphasis on fuel supplies for Bushehr.

The Russians were already using their leverage over Iran’s nuclear programme by slowing down the work as the project approached completion.

A U.S. diplomatic cable dated Jul. 6, 2006 and released by WikiLeaks reported that Russ Clark, an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear safety official who had spent time studying the Bushehr project, said in a conversation with a U.S. diplomat, “[H]e almost feels sorry for the Iranians because of the way the Russians are ‘jerking them around’.”

Clark said the Russians were “dragging their feet” about completing work on Bushehr and suggested it was for political reasons.

The IAEA official said it was obvious that the Russians were delaying the fuel shipments to Bushehr because of “political considerations,” calculating that, once they delivered the fuel, Russia would lose much of its leverage over Iran.

In late September 2006, the Russians changed the date on which they pledged to provide the reactor fuel to March 2007, in anticipation of completion of the reactor in September, in an agreement between the head of Russia’s state-run company Atomstroyexport, and the vice-president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation.

But in March 2007, the Russians announced that the fuel delivery would be delayed again, claiming Iran had fallen behind on its payments. Iran, however, heatedly denied that claim and accused Moscow of “politicising” the issue.

In fact, Russia, with U.S. encouragement, was “slow rolling out the supply of enriched uranium fuel,” according to Gottemoeller. Moscow was making clear privately, she wrote, that it was holding back on the fuel to pressure Iran on its enrichment policy.

Moscow finally began delivering reactor fuel to Bushehr in December 2007, apparently in response to the Bush administration’s plan to put anti-missile systems into the Czech Republic and Poland. That decision crossed what Moscow had established as a “red line”.

Obama’s election in November 2008, however, opened a new dynamic in U.S.-Russia cooperation on squeezing Iran’s nuclear programme. Within days of Obama’s cancellation of the Bush administration decision to establish anti-missile sites in Central Europe in September 2009, Russian officials leaked to the Moscow newspaper Kommersant that it was withholding its delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems for which it had already contracted with Iran.

Iran needed the missiles to deter U.S. and Israeli air attacks, so the threat to renege on the deal was again aimed at enhancing Russian leverage on Iran to freeze its uranium enrichment programme, while giving Moscow additional influence on U.S. Russian policy as well.

The Russian attempt to exploit Iran’s dependence on Moscow for its reactor fuel for political purposes was not the first time that Iran had learned the lesson that it could not rely on foreign sources of enriched uranium – even when they had legal commitments to provide the fuel for Iran’s nuclear reactor.

After the Islamic revolution against the Shah in 1979, all of the foreign suppliers on which Iran had expected to rely for nuclear fuel for Bushehr and its Tehran Research Reactor reneged on their commitments.

Iran’s permanent representative to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, sent an official communication to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano on Mar. 1, 2010, stating that specific contracts with U.S., German, French and multinational companies for supply of nuclear fuel had been abruptly terminated under pressure from the U.S. government and its allies.

Soltanieh said they were “examples [of] the root cause of confidence deficit vis-à-vis some Western countries regarding the assurance of nuclear supply.”
The earlier experiences led Iran to decide around 1985 to seek its own indigenous enrichment capability, according to Iranian officials.

The experience with Russia, especially after 2002, hardened Iran’s determination to be self-reliant in nuclear fuel fabrication. The IAEA’s Clark told the U.S. diplomat in mid-2006 that, if the Russians did cut off their supply of fuel for Bushehr, the Iranians were prepared to make the fuel themselves.

It is not clear whether the Obama administration actually believes the official line that Iran should and must rely on Russia for nuclear fuel. But the history surrounding the issue suggests that Iran will not accept the solution on which the U.S. and its allies are now insisting.


Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book “Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare”, was published Feb. 14.

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Comments Off on Russian Manipulation of Reactor Fuel Belies U.S. Iran Argument

How the Iran Nuclear Deal May Impact Iran’s Approach in OPEC

Going to Tehran | May 19th, 2014

How the Iran Nuclear Deal May Impact Iran’s Approach in OPEC

by Erfan Ghassempour

Iran is thinking seriously about how to put its crude oil back on the market, and—following the November 2013 Geneva interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program—is planning for a future when sanctions no longer hamper its oil industry.  The country is changing its contracts for the exploration, development, and production of its oil and gas resources to tempt major international oil companies to return to its petroleum sector.  Iran’s Petroleum Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, has expressly invited seven oil giants to invest in Iran after sanctions are lifted.

Iranian ambitions are also reflected in Tehran’s approach to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).  At the most recent OPEC meeting, held in December 2013—in the wake of the Geneva nuclear deal—Zanganeh made a powerful impression, warning other members to make room for Iranian crude.  One way or another, he declared, Iran plans to increase its oil output to four million barrels per day (bpd), even if prices decrease to twenty dollars per barrel.  (Some analysts think that the highest output Iran could achieve in the near-to-medium term after the lifting of sanctions would be 3-3.5 million bpd—but even that would mean a significant increase in Iranian oil exports, which, according to Zanganeh, are now at 1.5 million bpd.)

Iran’s reemergence on the international oil scene comes at a time when developments in other OPEC member states are increasing the likelihood of an appreciable rise in Middle Eastern oil production—e.g., Iraq’s security is improving, and strikes and rebel attacks seem to be ebbing in Libya.  Zanganeh argues that, even in this context, Iran’s return to the oil market should have no negative impact on prices.  As he told the OPEC Bulletin, over the years other OPEC members had “gone out of the market” for some time, “but when they returned to the market, OPEC knew how to deal with the situation—to create room to maintain the extra capacity, so that these countries can have a good return and for it not to have a bad impact on prices.”

At least on the surface, other OPEC players responded positively to Zanganeh’s message.  OPEC’s secretary general, Abdalla el-Badri, welcomed Iran’s return to the market, denying any concern at this prospect.  Even Iran’s biggest political and oil rival, in the region, Saudi Arabia (the biggest oil producer in OPEC), welcomed an increase in Iranian production.  Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister, Ali Naimi, told reporters that he did not see a price war on the horizon:  “They are welcome, everyone is welcome to put in the market what they can; the market is big and has many variables—when one comes in, another comes out.”  Mr. Naimi also stated, “I hope Iran comes back [and] produces all it can.”

Iran is also stepping up its cooperation with Iraq on oil issues.  At the December 2013 OPEC meeting, Iraq vigorously defended Iran’s plans to raise oil production, while also making clear that Iraq would remain outside OPEC’s quota system and that other members should decrease their production, if necessary, to make room for both Iran and Iraq.  (Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, Hussein al-Shahristani, has announced that his country intends to increase its oil output to nine million bpd by 2020, partly through cooperation with Iran.)  Recently, Iraq has been helping Iran to develop new contracts to attract more foreign investment to its oil sector.  Baghdad and Tehran have also established a committee to oversee the joint exploitation of fields lying astride the Iranian-Iraqi border.  Some analysts think that the two countries are drawing closer to maximize their relative power and influence—on oil-related issues as well as on strategic and political matters—vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia.

As the six-month deadline for the Geneva interim deal approaches, Iran’s determination to produce more crude becomes stronger.  If a permanent nuclear deal is reached at the end of six months (that is, on or around July 20), it would mean that sanctions will be lifted and Iran will renew its upstream and downstream activities.

So far, the interim deal has been well implemented.  The International Atomic Energy Agency affirms that Iran is fulfilling its commitments; the West has returned some of the Iranian funds that have been frozen in Western banks and has eased some sanctions.  None of the parties has been motivated to breach the interim agreement.  On the Iranian side, the political and economic atmosphere in Iran suggests that Iranian officials are willing to continue this approach; Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has publicly expressed his support for the ongoing nuclear negotiations.  On the American side, while some political factions in the United States want President Obama to increase pressure on Iran, this seems more a matter of political posturing than serious action.  At this point, there is little appetite in the United States for torpedoing nuclear diplomacy with Iran.

Iran knows that any improvement in its oil industry is dependent on the nuclear talks.  As the negotiations progress, Iranian officials are playing a bolder role in the region and in international organizations to which Iran belongs.  At the next OPEC meeting in June, Zanganeh is likely to take an even tougher approach than at the previous meeting in December.  It seems that other OPEC states are progressively accepting the inevitability of Iran’s return to the international oil scene.

There are two ways in which OPEC can handle prospective increases in Iranian, Iraqi, and Libyan output:  other members—especially Saudi Arabia—can decrease production to make room for increased production by others, or the organization can raise its current 30 million bpd production ceiling.  Politically as well as economically, much will hinge on what OPEC decides.

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , | 1 Comment

Ukrainian MPs call for immediate troop withdrawal from country’s east

RT | May 20, 2014

Ukrainian troops deployed in the country’s east should immediately return to their bases, the country’s parliament said in a memorandum. The freshly-adopted document also urges constitutional reforms based on the decentralization of Kiev’s power.

With 226 votes required to pass the law, the Ukrainian parliament finally adopted the so-called ‘Memorandum of Peace and Consent’, 252 MPs voting in favor. In particular, the document calls “to restore law, order and public safety in the state by stopping bloodshed and bringing to justice those responsible for the killings of civilians during mass protests; to stop the anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine’s southeast and return the soldiers involved in anti-terrorist operations to their places of permanent deployment.”

The document also urges for immediate constitutional reform that will grant more autonomy to regions.

The Verkhovna Rada voted after a debate concerning the wording of the article on the status of the Russian language. An agreement was reached after “constitutional status of the Ukrainian language as the language of state” was confirmed.

The document said that the state “must ensure the rights of minority languages.” The document made a point “to grant the status of the Russian language,” but stopped short from giving it the constitutional status. This resulted in the Communist Party abstaining from the vote.

Communist leader Pyotr Simonenko also blasted the decision to drop the provision granting amnesty to self-defense forces in the east.

MPs from the nationalist Svoboda Party abstained from voting as well, saying they believe the reform will be ineffective.

Further, the reform will provide for the country to drop its non-aligned status, allowing it to join any interstate union through a referendum.

Following the announcement, Russia said that if Ukraine’s authorities plan to implement all the reforms declared in the memorandum then they will finally be responding to Moscow’s calls.

“First, we have to see how it looks on paper. If this is true then it’s the development we have been talking about over the past months,” said Deputy Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Grigory Karasin, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | Comments Off on Ukrainian MPs call for immediate troop withdrawal from country’s east

Unlawful killing of two Palestinian teens outside Ofer

Al-Akhbar | May 20, 2014

Video footage obtained by a human rights group Monday showed the chilling shooting deaths of two Palestinian children by Israeli occupation forces last Thursday.

Israeli soldiers shot dead teenagers Mohammed Odeh Abu al-Thaher and Nadim Siyam Nawara during a protest coinciding with the 66th anniversary of the Nakba outside Israel’s Ofer prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israel had claimed it fired rubber bullets during the May 15 protest to disperse the protesters.

But footage released by the Defence for Children International (DCI) captured from a security camera at a nearby house shows the youths, believed to be aged 16 and 17, being shot dead as they calmly walked.

The video shows the first victim walking in the opposite direction of the occupation forces before he is struck by a bullet in the back. Onlookers immediately rushed to his aid.

The second victim is shot in the chest in the same location as he walked slowly. He falls to the ground and struggles to get back up as others assist him and signal for the occupation forces to cease fire.

Both children were unarmed.

“Israeli forces continue to use excessive force and recklessly fire live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets on unarmed protesters, including children, killing them with impunity,” Rifat Kassis, executive director of DCI-Palestine, said in a statement.

The report said a third, 15-year-old victim was shot in the back and left lung during the protest and is recovering at a Ramallah hospital.

International human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Israel’s use of deadly force against Palestinian protesters and civilians in the West Bank and Gaza.

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , , , | Comments Off on Unlawful killing of two Palestinian teens outside Ofer

Kiev liable for crisis in eastern Ukraine: Analyst

Press TV – May 20, 2014

The Kiev government is actually responsible for the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine, a political analyst tells Press TV.

“We can blame the military operation launched by Kiev and this is not just a military operation. It’s not just used military forces of the Ukrainian army; it has also used militias, irregular troops, terrorist units, simple violent hooligans,” Manuel Ochsenreiter, chief editor of news magazine, Zuerst, said in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday.

He held the Kiev government and not Donetsk and Lugansk or even Moscow accountable for the ongoing crisis.

The acting Kiev government has been staging military operations in the eastern and southern regions since mid-April in a bid to root out pro-Moscow demonstrations.

Nearly 130 people have so far been killed during clashes and operations by Ukrainian troops in the east and the south, according to figures from the United Nations.

The commentator further emphasized that the recent referendum in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk is not responsible for the humanitarian situation as it did not take the social services from the country.

He added that an election or referendum has never changed the direct humanitarian situation of the people on the ground in any time of history, noting that Kiev and the West are likely to use it as an excuse.

“It’s a very cynical interpretation of the situation to say, well, you wanted to be independent, now take starve, don’t find a doctor, now don’t get medicine,” the analyst pointed out.

On May 12, Ukraine’s two eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk declared independence following local referendums in which the regions’ residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Kiev.


May 20, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Subjugation - Torture, Video, War Crimes | | Comments Off on Kiev liable for crisis in eastern Ukraine: Analyst

Sanctions ‘sharp knife’ to business in Europe and America – Medvedev

RT | May 20, 2014

Economic sanctions against Russia will only bring the world closer to another Cold War, which is counterproductive and most of all hurts business in Europe and America, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

“Let’s be honest, the sanctions are a sharp knife; European business and American business don’t need them either. The only ones who want sanctions are politicians,” the Prime Minister said in the interview aired May 20.

“Basically we are slowly but surely approaching a second Cold War that nobody needs,” Medvedev said, as he says Russia prefers not to politicize trade and economic sanctions.

The Prime Minister said the degeneration of US-Russia relations were reminiscent of Soviet times during the Cuban missile crisis of Afghanistan war. The US launched sanctions against Russian politicians, which only further exacerbated diplomatic relations.

“You know to put it simply no one is happy about sanctions since they are always a sign of tense relations. We do not support sanctions. Moreover, you may have noticed that we have not commented on them a great deal or responded to them harshly, although we probably could cause some unpleasantness with the countries that are imposing those sanctions, but it’s bad for international economic relations, relations with Europe and the United States. It’s just bad,” Medvedev said.

The US and the EU have tightened sanctions against Russia, but Moscow maintains they are an outdated practice that will only backfire and hurt business and industry on all sides.

“The sanctions have not had a significant effect on us. That doesn’t mean that we are happy about them. Again, sanctions are a dead-end, and, in fact, everyone understands this – everyone, including businesses in Europe and America,” said Medvedev.

The US expanded its sanctions on April 28, which were shortly followed by a copy-paste EU version. All together, the sanctions target dozens of Russian politicians deemed critical in reuniting Crimea with Russia, 6 businessmen believed to be close to Putin’s inner circle, 3 banks and 17 companies.

Retaliatory sanctions

Moscow doesn’t rule out a set of counter sanctions to protect the Russian economy.

“Of course, there is a plan of action depending on how the situation will develop,” Medvedev said.

Retaliatory measures would be reciprocal and similar to those of the West.

“If we talk of a worst case scenario, despite the fact that we object to any sanctions, our package of retaliatory measures not only includes the measures towards a gradual improvement of the situation in our economy, but also measures that might target certain states,” the Prime Minister said.

Medvedev, who himself was responsible for the so-called reset between the US and Russia, said that he was disappointed in President Obama’s politics and that he could have acted with more political finesse.

“Once a new administration comes to power in the United States and a new president takes office after Obama, these sanctions will be forgotten. In the end, nobody stands to win,” Medvedev said.

In the same interview Prime Minister Medvedev discussed the landmark gas deal due to be signed on Tuesday by Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller and his CNPC counterpart Zhou Jiping in Shanghai.

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Comments Off on Sanctions ‘sharp knife’ to business in Europe and America – Medvedev

Ukrainian Police Find Traces of Chloroform at Site of Odessa Fire

RIA Novosti – 19/05/2014

KIEV – Ukrainian investigators have discovered traces of chloroform in garbage and ashes removed from the House of Trade Unions in Odessa, the site of a fire where dozens of activists died on May 2, acting Ukrainian Deputy Interior Minister Vitaliy Sakal said Monday.

“There is an expert conclusion that in the garbage and ashes, where there were already around 30 investigations held on the premises; a like substance of chloroform was discovered. It is used during surgeries, but how it ended up in the Professional Union Building is currently being investigated,” Sakal said during a press conference.

He said that inhaling large amounts of the substance leads to respiratory arrest, which is what happened during the fire, in which 32 people died from an unknown substance, not extreme temperatures.

Clashes in Odessa broke out on May 2, between pro-federalization activists on one side and fans of the Odessa and Kharkiv football teams on the other, joined by Euromaidan activists.

Pro-Kiev radicals joined by Right Sector militia blocked the anti-government protesters in the House of Trade Unions and set the building on fire by hurling Molotov cocktails inside. Those trapped inside had little chance of extinguishing the blaze, as fire hoses in the building were out of order.

Six died of bullet wounds, 32 suffocated, and 10 fell to their death by jumping through the windows of the burning building. Another 214 were injured. According to some information, another 48 are reported to be missing.

No plausible explanation has been offered for the fact that many of those who died did not try to take refuge on upper floors or the roof, prompting rumors that they were poisoned by an unknown chemical.

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , | Comments Off on Ukrainian Police Find Traces of Chloroform at Site of Odessa Fire