Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Ukraine Says Austria “Indulging Putin” For Rejecting EU Membership Bid

BY TYLER DURDEN | ZERO HEDGE | APRIL 25, 2022

Austria has just broken from what was looking like an emerging EU consensus on Ukraine’s membership bid, with Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg announcing Vienna’s opposition on Sunday at the 14th European media summit.

Underscoring Austria’s commitment to neutrality as a central element to Ukraine’s “self-definition”, he asserted that Ukraine’s application for candidate status should be rejected by the 27-country economic and political union.

“We don’t belong to any military alliance and we don’t want to,” he stressed in the speech, instead urging a “different way” for Ukraine to deepen its ties with Europe, strongly suggesting that EU membership for Ukraine would unnecessarily deepen Europe’s involvement in the conflict amid the Russian invasion.

He called Austria “militarily neutral, but not politically” on the issue of the Russian war in Ukraine. Additionally, Schallenberg went so far as to spell out that Ukraine shouldn’t be granted membership even in the future.

As part of current rules and procedures dictating the process, to even start Ukraine’s candidate status, all EU governments would have to unanimously agree.

Schallenberg suggested an alternative that would look something like the EU relationship with Balkan countries:

Austrian publication Heute reported that Mr Schallenberg called for models other than full membership and for more flexibility.

Mr Schallenberg justified his position by saying there are countries in the Western Balkans, who the EU calls “enlargement countries,” who have come a long way without full membership.

As expected, Ukraine’s foreign ministry was quick to slam the statements, calling FM Schallenberg’s position “short-sighted” and ultimately “not in the interests of the united Europe.”

“Such statements also ignore the fact that the vast majority of the population of the EU founding member states support Ukraine’s membership,” Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said.

Kiev also suggested that somehow the government under Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer – who came under some degree of criticism in EU corners for his April 11th meeting with President Putin for “direct, open and tough” talks – is being ‘influenced’ by Russia. Nikolenko suggested Schallenberg’s stance represents Austria “indulging Putin’s aggressive plans.”

Current polling in reporting, however, points to the Austrian public generally wanting to avoid confrontation with Russia:

But around 40% of Austrians consider the government’s position on Ukraine as “on the whole correct,” while 23% believe the government is “too pro-Ukraine” and 17% “too pro-Russia,” according to Heute.

At the same time, once-neutral EU governments like Germany have flipped – going from expressing a strictly neutral status on Ukraine to shipping heavier and heavier arms to Kiev.

April 27, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Forced Vaccination Policy in Austria Has No Impact on Jab Uptake

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | February 15, 2022

Austria’s best-selling newspaper says the government’s introduction of a mandatory vaccination policy has had no discernible impact on jab uptake in the nation’s capital and could have even caused a drop-off.

Since the compulsory jab mandate came into force on February 5, Kronen Zeitung reports that the law actually caused a reduction in the number of people being vaccinated.

“There is no mandatory vaccination effect – and if there is, then rather in the other direction,” the newspaper reported.

There was a significant reduction in the number of people getting vaccinated on February 6, one day after the mandate was imposed, a trend that was also noted on February 12.

“All in all, the Austrian instruments relating to measures and vaccination do not result in a well-rounded strategy and have no recognizable goal,” the the office of City Councilor for Health Peter Hacker told Kronen Zeitung. “That is why no run on vaccinations is to be expected in the coming days and weeks.”

While the mandate failed to boost vaccination rates, it did succeed as prompting Canadian trucker-style protests in Austria.

As we highlighted last week, enforcement of the jab mandate is nothing less than draconian.

Citizens are being stopped randomly in the street and pulled over in their vehicles and forced to comply with vaccine status checks by police.

As we previously reported, the Austrian government authorities announced they would hire people to “hunt down vaccine refusers.”

Austrians who don’t get vaccinated face fines of up to €7,200 ($8,000) for non-compliance, and those who refuse to pay would also face a 12 month jail sentence.

February 15, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, War Crimes | , , | 4 Comments

600 Austrian Police Demand Government To Cancel Vaccine Mandate

We Want To Be There For People As Friend And Helper

GreatGameIndia | January 20, 2022

600 Austrian law enforcement officers have written to the Austrian Interior Minister, requesting that proposals for forced vaccination be withdrawn and that prejudice against the unvaccinated be ended.

The letter, written on January 10, was signed by three law enforcement personnel who purport to representing nearly 600 of their coworkers and was written to Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner.

“We do not want to face the population in a threatening manner during what are predominantly peaceful demonstrations which were organized due to the increasing dissatisfaction of the people with politicians,” wrote the authors of the letter.

Numerous protests were held around Austria last weekend, which would include Vienna, wherein approximately 20,000 protesters came to the streets on Saturday to denounce proposals to declare vaccination mandatory for all citizens over the age of 18.

In response to the letter, the Austrian Ministry of the Interior stated that “the people who signed [it] can be assigned a clear political orientation.”

“85% of the 32,000 Austrian police officers have already been vaccinated, that is a clear statement,” the ministry added.

The letter’s authors, on the other hand, refuted this, claiming that they are not affiliated with any political party.

“We are not far-right or far-left extremists, we are not anti-vaxxers … we are a group of several hundred police officers from the whole of Austria … united by our concern for the rule of law, freedom of thought, our fundamental rights, as well as our health,” they wrote.

The authors then issued a series of demands on Interior Minister Karner, the first of which was for him to “ensure that no vaccine mandate, either professional or general, or any other form of indirect forced vaccination be introduced in Austria.”

They subsequently requested that the so-called 3G policy at work be suspended, which restricts accessibility to only those who have gotten immunized against COVID-19, have tested negative for it, or having healed from the disease. Alternatively, the authors advocated for the rule’s abolition or modification into a 1G rule requiring simply a negative test for everybody to assure that “discrimination against unvaccinated colleagues comes to an end.”

Ultimately, the writers requested that they be regarded as allies rather than adversaries of the public.

“We want to be there for the people, as friend and helper,” they wrote.

Since proposals for obligatory vaccination were disclosed, anti-vaccine rallies have been occurring every Saturday in Austria, and they have been mostly peaceful, with only a few incidents of clashes involving policemen and protesters.

January 22, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment

Turning point

eugyppius | January 8, 2022

Where’s the vaccine mandate they promised us?” whines Daniel Brössler, reporter for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, disappointed because yesterday’s Corona summit of German minister presidents returned nothing but some adjustments to quarantine and sharpened testing rules. The double vaccinated will now have to submit negative tests if they want to eat at restaurants. Markus Söder, lockdown- and vaccine mandate-loving minister president of Bavaria, criticised even these milquetoast restrictions, with some bluster about how he’d already taken a hard line against bars and discos. This is after leading German Corona astrologer, Christian Drosten, used his state media podcast to suggest that Germany should start tolerating some of degree of SARS-2 transmission, and that breakthrough infections among the vaccinated should be considered normal. Such statements, which almost surely reflect sentiments within the coalition government, destroy most of the rationale for ongoing restrictions and vaccine mandates.

Meanwhile, in Austria, the thrice-vaccinated chancellor Karl Nehammer has tested positive for Corona. The news comes as Austria announces they will delay implementing their vaccine mandate by two months. It will now take effect in April, if at all. Gerald Gartlehner, an epidemiologist and sometime governmental adviser, suggested that mandates (or at least their enforcement) might have to be re-evaluated in light of Omicron and the widespread immunity the new variant will elicit across the Austrian population. There is every reason to think that Austria will be past the peak of the Omicron wave in April, and that a majority of Austrians will have SARS-2 antibodies by then.

In the United States, former Biden advisers have published a series of editorials in the Journal of the American Medical Association, arguing that it is time to normalise containment and begin managing SARS-2 as one of various seasonal respiratory infections.

It is obvious that we are at a turning point, even if everyone has yet to realise it – even if France is sharpening vaccine requirements, even if Italy has imposed vaccine mandates for everyone over 50, and even if Canada is for the moment determined to remain a prison state. This is the first time since the Floyd riots in America, that major political leaders and public health authorities have said that preventing Corona can no longer be the highest goal of western society.

It is a commonplace observation, but a true one: Since the vaccines began to fail in August, the vaccinators have been progressing through the proverbial five stages of grief. They spent a lot of time in denial, before becoming very angry and punitive. Then they began bargaining, hoping that SARS-2 would go away after four doses, or after five, with just the right dosing intervals, with a return to double masking, with child vaccinations. Now they appear to be drifting finally into depression and acceptance. They have realised, not a second too soon, that there is nothing to be done [outside of improving personal health and early treatment protocols].

Omicron is a highly contagious variant with immune escape features. The vaccinators can vaccinate all they want, but their vaccines will not stop the waves of infection to come. A lot of the hyperbolic rhetoric about Corona was put about in the hopes that most everyone wouldn’t be infected. They thought they could terrify people for a few years, vaccinate them, and harvest their gratitude for saving them from the worst respiratory virus since SARS. Now, though, it’s clear that everyone will have personal experience with Corona infection, whether or not they are vaccinated. This will destroy popular faith measures, it will erode their confidence in the vaccines, and it will do away with their fear of the virus. Maybe a few people somewhere will still support containment, after two years of heavy restrictions, mandated vaccinations, and infection, but I doubt there will be very many of them. It’s the beginning of the end.

January 8, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Austria is only a few months or even weeks ahead of France and the rest of Europe

TCW Defending Freedom | December 12, 2021

December 14, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Video, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Unvaxxed in Austria Could be Imprisoned For a Year

New amendment increases sentence for non-payment of fines

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | December 10, 2021

People in Austria who remain unvaccinated could find themselves imprisoned for a year, according to critics of an amendment to an administrative law.

Susanne Fürst of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), which voted against the amendment, warned that it could be used to punish the unjabbed with much harsher sentences.

The amendment raises fines from €726 (£617/$818) to €2,000 (£1,701/$2,255) and increases prison time for those who refuse to pay from four weeks to up to a year.

Given that Austrians who don’t get vaccinated by February face fines of up to €7,200 ($8,000) for non-compliance, those who refuse to pay would also face a 12 month jail sentence.

The amendment also orders people who are jailed to pay for their own imprisonment.

“If detention is carried out by the courts, the associated costs shall be recovered by the courts from the obligated party in accordance with the provisions existing for the recovery of the costs of enforcing judicial penalties,” it states.

Despite Fürst protesting that the amendment could be used to further punish the unvaccinated, the measure was approved anyway.

At the time it was announced, then Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg vowed to hit the unvaccinated with “penalties” if they still refused to get the jab, while asserting that they should “suffer.”

Given that some technocrats are asserting that the vaccination program will never end, the initial one year prison sentence for vaccine refusniks could be just the beginning.

December 10, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

The unvaccinated – lock ’em up!

By Laura Perrins | TCW Defending Freedom |  November 18, 2021

WHAT do you do with people who refuse to do what they’re told by our great overlords in government?

Why, you lock them up, of course.

If the latest opinion polls are to be believed, 58 per cent of Brits would support an Austria-style lockdown of the unvaccinated, rising to 63 per cent among Conservatives and 72 per cent for pensioners. Note, please, that only children of 12 and under are exempt from the lockdown in Austria. One Austrian official expressed doubts that such a lockdown could be enforced since it applies to only part of the population. Don’t worry about that, the interior minister said, the police will be able to carry out thorough checks. So it’s a return to ‘papers please’ in Austria for a minority. This is a disgraceful turn of events in Europe.

Forcing this kind of medical apartheid on a section of your population who will not play ball would have been unthinkable in Britain just a few years ago. Today various media outlets and of course the polling companies are falling over themselves trying to commission polls that say yes, it’s perfectly normal to demand that your neighbour be put under house arrest. Well, I’ve got news for you control freaks: it’s not!

It was bad enough when the government and members of the public wanted to deprive us of breathing fresh air by forcing us all to wear useless face masks, but the idea that it is morally right to demand your neighbours stay at home because they will not sacrifice their bodily integrity and consent to a vaccine that they have refused in good conscience is outrageous.

The selfishness of these people, people who would like to deprive their neighbours of their liberty, should not at this stage surprise us. The hallmark of the entire lockdown hysteria and fear porn has been selfishness dressed up as moral superiority.

It is also notable that 72 per cent of pensioners would either strongly support or somewhat support locking down their unvaccinated kids and grandchildren. Given how much teenagers have already sacrificed in this Covid mania, it once again is a very sad reflection on the older generation that they seek to jail their own grandchildren who have not consented to a vaccine that’s been around for about two minutes.

We have discussed whether or not the lockdown was a lockdown to save the baby boomers before and I received some pushback from those of the generation who pointed out that they did not support the lockdown. However it is also true that many got in touch with me privately to say that sadly they were indeed a minority and that there was overwhelming support amongst their boomer friends for a national lockdown.

The question is, what is the aim of this sort of medical apartheid? It surely cannot be to save the vaccinated as it would be ludicrous to lockdown the unvaccinated to protect those who have already been vaccinated against the illness they sought a vaccine for. We are on very shaky ground if the aim is to protect the unvaccinated from themselves. We don’t ban the obese from McDonald’s or alcoholics from pubs. It would seem ridiculous to ban those who refuse the vaccine from going about their daily lives. It is also morally indefensible to ban people from going about their daily lives in case they get ill. I didn’t think ‘Our NHS’ discriminated like that.

The only other argument is that it will somehow protect the health system as it’s more likely that the unvaccinated will end up in hospital. In fact frequently the vaccinated do end up in hospital, as for once the ‘the science’ is pretty clear  (and acknowledged even by the PM) that two doses of the vaccine do not stop one contracting the virus, nor do they stop person-to-person transmission, nor do they stop hospitalisation, while the jury is out on whether they mitigate the severity of the disease.

All in all, this is a very dark turn in our current Covid regime although it is unsurprising that yet again it is Austria and, it seems likely, Germany who are the first to introduce a medical apartheid.

Although I think it is unlikely that the Conservatives would introduce this kind of discriminatory lockdown and abuse of people’s bodily integrity and medical privacy, we must yet again not give in when it comes to these totalitarian measures being thought about or implemented by our government.

Even if such a draconian move is not made by Boris Johnson, it is unfortunate that the whole idea of medical apartheid can even be thought about in Britain. It causes serious damage to the social fabric in terms of separating those who have been compliant with the government and the medical establishment from those who wish to take a more prudent approach.

What I will not do is engage in a sort of apartheid system of my own or hold any ill will for those who have in their good conscience decided to be vaccinated.

I respect your decision and all we ask for is an equal amount of respect when it comes to our decision as to what we should or should not subject our bodies to.

The basic principles of civil liberties and medical ethics are well established. We will have to fight to conserve these principles that make up a civilised society and liberal democracy.

November 18, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

I was set up by ‘MAFIA’ & media served up misleading tapes: Austria’s Russiagate victim, ex-vice-chancellor Strache

RT | August 28, 2020

It took one “leaked” tape of a right-wing politician’s meeting with a fake Russian oligarch’s niece to topple the Austrian government in 2019. Ex-vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache now says it was a “criminal network” plot.

Austria’s right-wing government imploded in spectacular fashion last summer, after two German newspapers, Der Spiegel and the Suddeutsche Zeitung, published excerpts from a videotape of Vice-Chancellor Strache negotiating a ‘quid pro quo’ deal with the supposed “niece of a Russian oligarch” in Ibiza.

The woman was later revealed to be a Bosnian student, posing as a Russian femme fatale, and the tapes turned out to be from 2017, but that didn’t save Austria’s ruling coalition.

Strache resigned and snap elections were called. His ex-coalition partner, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, eventually regained power, but this time partnered with the environmentalist Green Party, and not the right-wing Freedom Party (FPO).

Strache has been fighting a court battle against the media to clear his name, and his lawyers have apparently obtained the full contents of the tape. He now says the unabridged transcripts – partly published in the media this week – prove that he’s been framed and misrepresented in the “leaks.”

“It was a manipulative extermination campaign that was launched on several levels,” Strache told RT Deutsch in an interview.

Indeed, much of the so-called “Ibiza affair” is still shrouded in mystery. Strache initially accused unnamed “intelligence agencies” of orchestrating the recording, while Kurz pointed the finger at an Israeli spin doctor, Tal Silberstein. A newspaper report last May blamed an Iranian-born lawyer, Ramin Mirfakhrai, who admitted his involvement but described the sting as a “civil society” project.

“This group of perpetrators is likely to be a very large one; one could perhaps also speak of a criminal network,” Strache told RT. He then claimed that a member of his own security team was apparently working with this “mafia” for nearly a decade and that the male escort of the ‘oligarch’s niece’ was allegedly working with Strache’s companion on the night – FPO deputy leader Johann Gudenus – to entrap him.

Strache also alleges that he was drunk – or maybe even “drugged” – during the “illegal” recording.

It is not clear if Strache’s assessment matches that of the committee of inquiry, which has been investigating the affair since June. Strache has little confidence in the inquiry, though, and told RT that he expects it to be derailed by “political tactics.” However, prosecutors in Austria are currently investigating the woman’s male companion – identified as “private investigator” Julian H. – for entrapment, while the newly-surfaced tapes appear to paint a different picture of the night in Ibiza.

In these, Strache can be heard rejecting some of the corrupt offers from the “Russian oligarch’s niece.” When she lays out the deal – favorable press coverage in a newspaper owned by her family in exchange for lucrative construction contracts – Strache responds: “No way, I won’t do it.”

“I don’t want to be vulnerable,” he says. “I want to sleep peacefully. I want to get up in the morning and say: I’m clean.”

While some of these lines were mentioned during the 2019 coverage, they did not appear in the “leaked” video – and Strache suspects this is no coincidence. He claims the additional footage now proves he is “neither corrupt nor for sale,” even despite the fact that he was plied with alcohol. He said he’s unsure whether to blame the two German newspapers for airing the original, selectively-edited footage, or the masterminds of the sting operation who sold them this footage.

Some of the German-language media that previously reported on the “Ibiza affair” have been left unimpressed by the new transcripts, and it remains to be seen whether the investigation sides with the so-called “civil society” project or condemns what Strache likes to call the “Stasi methods,” in reference to the infamous East German secret police. But given the alleged scope of the operation, Strache says he’s happy that at least he got out of it alive.

“I’m glad I’m alive,” he told RT. “I have the opportunity every day to experience the sun rising again, and also to defend myself and to fight such mechanisms. Because I say that such methods have no place in political debate.”

August 28, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Austrians protest government cooperation with Israel in cyber drills

By Homa Lezgee | Press TV | August 4, 2020

Vienna – Protesters in Vienna are demanding an immediate end to Austria’s military cooperation with the Israeli regime.

The slogan of protesters gathered outside the American embassy in Vienna is “No to Austrian subordination to US/Israeli interests.”

They say the Austrian government’s decision to involve its intelligence forces in cyber maneuvers with Israel is meant to serve the interests of the US and Israel despite concerns it could lead to mass surveillance of the Austrian population.

Not much is known about the maneuvers, reportedly involving the Israeli military, the German Armed Forces, and units from Austria and Switzerland, during which cyber attacks would be simulated and countered.

Protesters also condemned the Austrian government for refusing to vote against Israel’s recent illegal annexation plans.

Pro-Palestinian groups in Austria, such as the Palestine Solidarity Platform, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) have been facing increasing government restrictions amid allegations of promoting anti-Semitism, an accusation they say is being used to misrepresent their goal of opposing Israeli occupation and aggression.

August 4, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Militarism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Shameless Racism’: 13 Countries Change Long-Standing Position on Palestine at UN

Palestine Chronicle – December 5, 2019

For the first time, 13 countries changed their longstanding positions and voted against a pro-Palestine measure at the United Nations on Tuesday.

Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Brazil, and Colombia voted against the annual resolution regarding the “Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat”, according to the Times of Israel.

They had previously abstained on the vote.

The resolution, which includes a call to halt to illegal Israeli settlements being constructed in the occupied West Bank, still passed with a large majority voting in favor.

The Palestinian representative told the council: “If you protect Israel, it will destroy you all.” He also said Israel’s character as a Jewish state is “shameless racism”.

The New York-based Division for Palestinian Rights oversees the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

The resolution was co-sponsored by Comoros, Cuba, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

The UK, France, and Spain abstained, as they do every year, allowing the resolution to pass with a vote of 87-54, with 21 other abstentions.

The General Assembly adopted five resolutions on the question of Palestine and the Middle East, including one calling on the Member States not to recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regards to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Washington’s Nord Stream 2 Sanctions May Have Boomerang Effect on US Interests – German Media Reports

By Svetlana Ekimenko – Sputnik – 27.08.2019

The US Congress has moved forward with legislation to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project in defiance of criticism from Washington’s allies in Europe, as the joint venture brings together Russia’s Gazprom, Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie, and Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell.

Possible US sanctions against companies involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline could potentially harm US oil and gas projects in the Gulf of Mexico, writes the German business newspaper Handelsblatt.

“From the point of view of Germany, the name of the US proposed sanctions bill, ‘Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act’, is in itself an insolence”, writes the author.

The US is pushing to impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2 despite likely consequences that such restrictions may have.

Thus, European companies involved in laying the pipeline and targeted by Washington’s sanctions play a key role in the global energy market.

For a long time, these companies worked in the Gulf of Mexico as subcontractors of the American corporations Chevron and Exxon Mobil, recalls Handelsblatt.

Therefore, if they are included in the sanctions lists, projects in the Gulf of Mexico will be disrupted, since it is impossible to quickly replace such highly specialised firms.

Overall, the US economy views the proposed sanctions against Nord Stream 2 critically, the author points out. Such restrictions would also be likely to harm US gas exporters, prompting European buyers to reduce LNG imports from the United States and increase supplies from other countries.

Proposed US Sanctions on Nord Stream 2

The Nord Stream 2 project has long drawn opposition from a number of countries, with the United States, which is trying to sell more of its own liquefied natural gas to overseas allies, insisting that the project will make Europe dependent on Moscow – claims that Russia has repeatedly rebuffed.

Moscow has insisted that the pipeline project is strictly commercial, ultimately seeking to boost Europe’s energy security.

Nevertheless, in early August, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill on sanctions against companies providing vessels for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

The document prohibits entry into the US for anyone involved in the “sale, lease, provision or assistance in providing” ships for laying Russian offshore pipelines at a depth of 30 metres or more, as well as the freezing of their assets in US jurisdiction.

Companies from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Finland, and Sweden may fall under the sanctions.

The project is being implemented by Nord Stream 2 AG, with Gazprom investing half of the funds, and the remainder being contributed by European partners: Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie, and Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell.

Germany has been strongly behind Nord Stream 2, emphasizing the commercial focus of the project.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she supported the BDI’s (Federation of German Industries) stance that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for delivering Russian natural gas to Europe is necessary given the German initiative to stop using nuclear and coal energy.

Austria, which is interested in reliable supplies of fuel, and Norway, whose government owns 30 percent of the shares of Kvaerner, one of the gas pipeline construction contractors, also spoke in favor of the project.

Nord Stream 2 Project

The 745-mile-long (1,200 km) Nord Stream 2 twin pipeline is set to run from Russia to Germany through the territorial waters or exclusive economic zones of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia, and Sweden to deliver Russian gas to European consumers.

The completed project will double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline network, allowing a total of up to 110 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas to be transported to Western Europe via pipelines at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

According to a statement made by project operator Nord Stream 2 AG on 26 August, the pipeline is 75 percent complete.

August 27, 2019 Posted by | Economics, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Austrian Ex-Colonel Accused of Espionage ‘Doesn’t Feel Like a Spy’ – Lawyer

Sputnik – November 14, 2018

The lawyer of the retired Austrian colonel, who is suspected of having passed secret information to Russia for 25 years, insists that his client could have never betrayed state secrets as he had no access to the classified data. According to the local outlet Kronen Zeitung, defender Michael Hofer welcomed the decision of the Salzburg State Court not to arrest the retired colonel.

“My client has assured me that he has not revealed any state secrets. He is very pleased with the decision of the court. He does not feel like a spy,” the lawyer told the media.

The judge dismissed the application for pre-trial detention, citing there’s no danger that the suspect flees. He is said to be optimally socially integrated and has an irreproachable profile. Court spokesman Peter Egger also stated that the accused man has no access to sensitive information anyway since he is retired. Besides, his communications are restricted.

According to the Salzburg prosecutor’s office, the suspect may be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. The case against the retired officer, who is said to have spied for Moscow between the 1990s and the end of his careers, was made public last week following Kronen Zeitung’s report.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz confirmed that a 70-year-old retired Austrian colonel was suspected of spying for Moscow and demanded that Russia provide “transparent” information on the issue. The incident prompted the cancellation of an official visit of Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Karin Kneissl to Russia.

Addressing the espionage case, Moscow protested to the Austrian Ambassador to Russia, calling the accusations baseless. In response, General-Secretary of the Austrian Interior Ministry Peter Goldgruber expressed hope that the incident would not undermine Austrian-Russian relations.

READ MORE:

UK Gave Austria Info on Ex-Colonel Suspected of Spying for Russia – Reports

November 14, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment