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Amount of frozen Russian investments revealed

RT | January 31, 2023

Nearly $81 billion in funds belonging to Russian investors have been blocked by Western financial institutions, according to estimates by the Bank of Russia revealed on Tuesday.

As of November 30, the volume of frozen assets held at Western financial institutions totaled 5.7 trillion rubles ($80.8 billion). More than 20% of these funds are owned by retail investors, the regulator pointed out.

Last year, in an effort to minimize risks and protect investors, the Russian central bank banned brokers from executing trades for unqualified investors to purchase securities from so-called ‘unfriendly’ countries. The regulator has also imposed retaliatory restrictions on assets under Russia’s jurisdiction owned by nonresidents.

Speaking at a conference on the global challenges facing Russian financial markets, the head of the central bank’s investment department, Olga Shishlyannikova, stated her view that the frozen asset “story” is “very complicated” and that it will continue to have a negative impact on investors.

However, some solutions have been implemented, she noted. For example, direct payments of income from Russian securities trading in foreign markets to Russian investors were allowed.

Also, under a scheme introduced last year, Russian companies are able to issue local ‘replacement’ bonds with settlement in rubles to replace outstanding Eurobonds, a type of bond denominated in foreign currency. Russian issuers have experienced major difficulties servicing these bonds in light of Western sanctions.

“If all Russian Eurobonds are replaced, then retail investors will be able to withdraw more than 50% of their assets and start making use of those funds,” Shishlyannikova explained.

The rest of the assets are foreign securities from foreign issuers that have no direct connection with the Russian economy, she added.

Last September, Russia’s National Settlement Depository applied to the finance ministries of Belgium and Luxembourg for general licenses in order to unlock the frozen assets. In December, a general license was issued to release certain frozen funds and economic resources belonging to non-sanctioned Russian investors. However, the Bank of Russia assessed the chances of Western countries returning Russian assets as “extremely low” despite the fact that they haven’t been legally confiscated.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Expert: Seizure of Russian Funds Could Make EU No-Go Investment Area for Rest of World

Sputnik – 27.01.2023

The European Commission’s plans to seize frozen Russian assets and use them to pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine will make the European Union a “no-go investment area” for other non-Western countries that will be scared away by these measures, geopolitical expert Charles Gave told Sputnik.

“I believe that Europe would become a no-go investment area for the non-Western world the day Europe seizes the assets of the Russian sovereign state… there is no legal base for seizing the assets of a foreign state,” the expert said.

In November, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed the creation of a special structure to manage the frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank and private assets to support Ukraine. On Thursday, a senior EU official said that the possible use of Russia’s frozen assets in the EU was accompanied by complex legal issues, with various EU institutions continuing discussions on the matter.

Gave, who is also a fund manager and investor, criticized another idea of the commission — to use Russia’s frozen funds to generate interests that could be confiscated and then allocated to provide infrastructure help to Ukraine — as he called this step “ridiculous” and “illegal.”

The expert gave the example of a situation where EU or G7 states could seize the interest generated by German bonds that belong to the Russian Central Bank and are deposited at the Bundesbank, the central bank of Germany. In this case, out of 3.4 billion euros ($3.7 billion) invested, the bloc would get only 340 million euros in interest over a year at a rate of 1%, Gave estimated, adding that this would not be enough for Ukraine’s reconstruction.

“It would take years to generate a substantial revenue from European investments of confiscated Russian assets. The G7 has no authority to decide anything. It would be a colossal abuse of power,” the expert added.

Gave also stated that the revenue from the interest of Russia’s assets would be low and it would divert the focus of the EU from the real issues, including the current excessive debt of member states, which could be difficult to repay once inflation falls.

The geopolitical expert said that the issue of Ukraine’s reconstruction should be discussed once the conflict was over. There has to be a negotiated settlement between the two sides, and only then the EU and other Western nations could start rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, Gave concluded.

The European Commission estimates the damage caused by the military operation that Russia launched in Ukraine a year ago at 600 billion euros. The West has blocked 300 billion euros worth of Russian Central Bank reserves and 19 billion euros in Russian businessmen’ assets, according to von der Leyen. Once sanctions are lifted, these funds “should be used so that Russia pays full compensation for the damages caused to Ukraine,” she said last year.

For its part, Moscow has warned that any attempts to confiscate frozen Russian assets fall under the definition of expropriation of property in violation of the European Constitution and international law, pledging to take measures in response if the West goes through with the move.

January 27, 2023 Posted by | Economics | , | 4 Comments

Crushed Bug ‘Additive’ is Now Included in Pizza, Pasta & Cereals Across the EU

Most people won’t even know they’re eating it

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | January 25, 2023

As of yesterday, a food additive made out of powdered crickets began appearing in foods from pizza, to pasta to cereals across the European Union.

Yes, really.

Defatted house crickets are on the menu for Europeans across the continent, without the vast majority of them knowing it is now in their food.

“This comes thanks to a European Commission ruling passed earlier this month,” reports RT.

“As per the decision, which cited the scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority, the additive is safe to use in a whole range of products, including but not limited to cereal bars, biscuits, pizza, pasta-based products, and whey powder.”

But don’t worry, because the crickets first have to be checked to make sure they “discard their bowel content” before being frozen.

Lovely stuff.

Critics suggested that once bugs become widely accepted as a food additive, their consumption will become normalized across the board.

“The Liberal World Order has decided that the little people must eat bugs to prevent the climate from fluctuating, in accordance with ruling class ideology,” writes Dave Blount.

“Yet rather than mindlessly obey The Experts as most did with Covid policy, people have resisted. So our moonbat overlords are furtively sneaking insects into food.”

“This will allow them to reveal in the near future that we have already been eating bugs, so there is no reason to object to them shutting down farms and imposing a new diet.”

The European Union also recently approved the use of Alphitobius diaperinus, otherwise known as the lesser mealworm, for human consumption.

As we have exhaustively documented, globalist technocrats and climate change activists have consistently lobbied for people to start eating bugs to fight global warming, despite the practice being linked to parasitic infections.

I somewhat doubt that elitist technocrats who recently visited Davos will be switching to the bug diet, no matter how much they browbeat us about man-made climate change.

Back in November, the Washington Post advised Americans that instead of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, which now is unaffordable for a quarter of families, they should instead look to eating bugs.

While livestock farmers in the Netherlands are being climate change regulated out of existence, school children are being indoctrinated to eat bugs, while another German school has banned meat entirely.

January 26, 2023 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 2 Comments

Stop Whining & Turn Tap On: Why German Politicians Fear to Tell Truth About EU Energy Crunch

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 25.01.2023

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck pinned the blame for the nation’s energy crunch and shift to dirty fuels on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, according to the minister, “turned off the gas tap.” International observers dismissed Habeck’s remarks as utter nonsense while speaking to Sputnik.

“What else is left for Mr. Habeck to do? He cannot say that it were his actions that led to such unfortunate consequences for the German economy and for German consumers,” Alexey Grivach, deputy head of Russia’s National Energy Security Fund, told Sputnik.

“After all, it is precisely because of his rash actions that all German citizens are now suffering – and not only Germany, but the entire European Union. Therefore, Habeck has engaged in such a political, verbal balancing act, trying to convince someone that if there is no gas in the pipe, then Russia is to blame. But, fortunately, everyone knows perfectly well what really happened.”

Speaking to journalists last Friday, Habeck claimed that half of Germany’s entire gas supply had been stopped by Russia. He added that given that Nord Stream pipelines had been destroyed, Germany would not be able to get Russian fuel through them in the foreseeable future.

Done by Habeck’s Own Hands

Sputnik’s interlocutors have been perplexed by Habeck’s whining: it was Berlin that succumbed to Washington’s pressure last year and froze Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project that would have doubled the total capacity of the Nord Stream system from 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 110 bcm.

It was Robert Habeck, in propria persona, who on February 22, 2022, instructed the withdrawal of a security-of-supply assessment granted under former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s tenure, which was required to authorize Nord Stream 2.

It was Habeck, again, who pledged in early May 2022 to replace all Russian energy imports, most notably natural gas, by as soon as mid-2024, following the beginning of Moscow’s special operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

The minister gleefully announced at that time that Germany’s share of Russian gas had already dropped from 55% in 2021 to around 35% by mid-April 2022, adding that even faster progress was achieved for oil and coal where shares had dropped to 12% and 8%, respectively. To that end, Berlin leased four floating LNG terminals online to supply some 33 bcm/year, seeking to start operating the first of the Floating Storage Regasification Units (FSRU) in late 2022 and 2023.

Apparently, Germany did not resist the actions of Canada which slapped sanctions on Russia and had long refused to return a Gazprom turbine for Nord Stream’s gas equipment. Russia initially sent the turbine to Siemens Canada in Montreal for a scheduled overhaul.

However, in June 2022, Canada imposed restrictions on Russia’s energy companies, including Gazprom, and the turbine remained stuck in the North American country. That disrupted the Nord Stream system’s work and raised concerns about pre-planned maintenance service for the other five turbines. After back-and-forths, Ottawa agreed to issue a “time-limited and revocable permit” to exempt the return of the equipment.

“For some reason, this turbine was returned to Germany without the appropriate documents and guarantees that further maintenance of such turbines will be carried out in accordance with the obligations and not in some kind of sanctions mood,” Grivach noted.

Only in late August 2022, the Canadian authorities said that they would allow for the maintenance of the remaining five turbines used by the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, but the damage was done in terms of reducing the flow of natural gas from Russia to Germany.

A month later, a sabotage attack destroyed three out of Gazprom’s four Nord Stream pipelines. So far, neither Germany nor its European peers have lifted a finger to initiate repair works. This apparently indicates that they don’t need Russian gas, remarked Alexey Fenenko, associate professor of the Department of International Security, Faculty of World Politics of Moscow State University.

Furthermore, following the September 2022 sabotage, European leaders immediately pointed the finger of blame at Russia and did not allow Moscow’s specialists to participate in EU investigations into the blast.

However, in December 2022, the US mainstream press quoted European officials and investigators as saying that they had not found any evidence confirming Russia’s guilt. They admitted that Moscow would have nothing to gain from blasting its own pipelines and agreed that there had been plenty of international players interested in Nord Stream’s destruction. Nonetheless, western journalists and European officials have not made any step to name potential suspects.

“It is clear that if it were Russia, as some had the audacity to assert, then they would have proved it very quickly. But, apparently, the facts indicate some very unpleasant, and maybe even some taboo topics,” Grivach remarked.

Habeck’s gloomy sentiment with regard to Germany’s prospects of receiving Russia’s gas is sly, according to Sputnik’s interlocutors.

First, in October 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled his readiness to deliver gas to Germany through a Nord Stream pipeline not damaged by the blast. “It has a capacity of 27.5 billion cubic meters per year, which is about eight percent of all gas imports to Europe,” Putin stated on October 12, 2022, stressing that the ball is in Europe’s court. “Russia is ready for the start of these deliveries (…) If [European leaders] want it – they have to turn on the tap, and that’s it.”

Second, the same month, Moscow suggested creating a new gas hub in Turkey capable of delivering the fuel to the Old Continent.

Third, Russia is ready to restore gas supplies through other gas pipelines, as Vladislav Belov, deputy director of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences and head of the Center for German Studies told Sputnik.

“Germany still has every opportunity to receive [Russian gas],” said Belov. “There is the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, blocked by Poland, there is a gas pipeline through Ukraine, but it has reduced pumping through it by 40%. Germany has ample opportunity to put pressure on its allies. In addition, there is also the Turkish Stream, through which Russia fully fulfills all its obligations. In general, Russia is ready to supply gas to Germany, but the Germans themselves turned the tap off. It is up to them to be able to get as much gas as they need to keep their homes warm, to fill storage facilities and get gas at the prices that are currently on the spot market.”

It Was Europe’s Decision to Axe Russia’s Gas Supplies

The dramatic reduction of Russia’s gas supplies to Europe is the result of a political decision by EU member states, according to observers.

“The reasons are political. The European Union decided to stop the supply of all raw materials coming from Russia for political reasons.”

For his part, former Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis noted in an interview with Sputnik that he fully supports the position of former Austrian Vice-Chancellor Strache, who said that the German authorities are afraid to tell their own population the truth about the real reasons for rising gas and electricity prices and about a possible shortage of energy resources.

“Europe is paying a high price for the expensive natural gas it now has to buy,” said Lafazanis, adding that Europe itself is entirely responsible for the consequences of its energy policy and shift to LNG.

What’s more interesting, some European countries are continuing to buy Russia’s energy commodities nonetheless, Stepan noted.

“For example, Russian LNG is bought by France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and, of course, the United States are continuing to buy Russian LNG,” Stepan said. “The same applies to Russian oil. The UK claims it does not import anything from Russia, and suddenly there is news in the newspapers that several tankers with Russian oil will arrive in Britain (…) It turns out that there’s a double standard approach: on the one hand, politicians issue statements, and on the other hand, in practice, governments pretend that they know nothing about their companies continuing to import Russian raw materials, or they themselves violate their regulations.”

The allegations that Russia “weaponized” its energy supplies repeatedly voiced by western politicians look ridiculous to say the least, according to Sputnik’s interlocutors.

Moreover, Europe’s energy crisis started long before the Russian special operation in Ukraine, which is routinely cited as one of the causes behind spiking gas prices, according to Mehmet Dogan, a Turkish energy expert and CEO of energy consulting agency GazDay.

“Even before the aggravation of the situation in Ukraine, everyone was talking about the threat of an energy crisis,” Dogan told Sputnik. “Gas prices skyrocketed even before the outbreak of hostilities.”

“The gas crisis in Europe began even before the escalation in Ukraine. It was based on a sharp rise in prices for blue fuel. But European countries have tried to make Russia and Putin responsible for this crisis,” echoed Turkish energy expert Volkan Aslanoglu, stressing that Habeck’s recent statement appears to be completely detached from reality.

Russia Supplying EU Despite Sanctions & Military Aid to Kiev

There is yet another aspect to the ongoing debate that is rarely touched upon, according to Alexey Fenenko. The Russian academic considers Habeck’s remark about the blocking of the “gas valve” by Russia strange, given the intention of the EU to defeat the Russian Federation in an economic war.

Moreover, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made it clear at the latest World Economic Forum in Davos that to end the conflict in Ukraine Russia’s special military operation “must fail.” To that end, Germany and other western countries provide the Kiev regime with heavy weapons as long as needed, according to Scholz.

Indeed, the German media has reported that Berlin is now planning to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev, something that the German leadership had been previously reluctant to do. Earlier this month, Berlin vowed to supply Ukraine with armored personnel carriers and a Patriot missile battery. In addition, on January 15, expanded combat training of Ukrainian forces kicked off in Germany, according to the US press.

European leaders have stepped up supplies of weapons to Kiev since the beginning of Russia’s special military operation with prominent leaders rubbishing the idea of a diplomatic solution to the conflict, rather claiming that it should be sorted out on the battlefield.

All this time, despite the EU’s bellicose rhetoric and their de facto participation in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, Russia’s energy producers continued to observe their obligations and supply Europe with natural gas, oil and petroleum products.

Russia is still warming up the Old Continent, be it direct oil and gas exports or ensuring the flow of energy carriers through its territory, energy expert Milos Zdravkovic told Sputnik. Moscow is signaling openness and readiness to provide Europe with energy, even though Russia has enough lucrative opportunities in Asia.

European Gamble Doesn’t Bode Well

Meanwhile, EU economic prospects don’t look good, according to Zdravkovic. He noted that the EU does not know what energy prices will be in the foreseeable future both for heating and the needs of industry. European goods are set to become much more expensive than those produced by Asians and Americans due to turbulent gas costs. This will adversely affect the economy of Europe, Zdravkovic warned.

“Europe consumed at least 500 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year,” Zdravkovic explained. “Its consumption grew by about 10 bcm per year.”

In 2021, the EU imported 83% of its natural gas with Russia delivering over 40% of this volume. Given that, it’s impossible to swiftly replace Russia’s gas with LNG supplies, according to Zdravkovic.

“The capacity of the total fleet of LNG tankers and all terminals on our planet, on all continents, is 400 bcm,” the Serbian energy expert noted, adding that European leaders shouldn’t expect that these volumes will all go to the Old Continent.

Moreover, a complete shift to American LNG would require building the appropriate infrastructure, according to Alexey Fenenko. One should also add fuel costs for tankers which will carry LNG from the US to Europe when supplies become regular. All these costs will make energy pretty expensive for Europeans, the Russian scholar remarked.

Of course, European countries could also switch to coal and nuclear energy, but it will take at least ten years for them to reorient to these sources of energy, Fenenko added.

“Every cloud has its silver lining,” said Zdravkovic. “I am convinced that at the end of this crisis (…), no one will ever be able to force large European economies, EU civilians and inhabitants of [the Old Continent] to join such a gamble again. I think this will definitely never happen again and that in the future there will be much more cooperation.”

January 25, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

EU’s financial support for Ukraine now just shy of €50bn

By Jerome Hughes | Press TV | January 24, 2023

Brussels – Ukrainian officials took part in a meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers on Monday via video link. An additional €500m military aid package for Kiev was confirmed, but the EU is at pains to point out that’s just a drop in the ocean compared to what the bloc has already provided since last March.

Just a few days ago in the European Parliament, the strategy was condemned.

Workers have taken to the streets of Brussels to demand peace negotiations.

EU foreign ministers adopted a fresh round of sanctions against Iran on Monday over alleged human rights abuses. The grounds for such sanctions are vehemently rejected by Tehran. Critics say the West’s policy towards Russia and Iran is being driven by Washington.

Analysts say the EU’s access to markets in these countries is being hampered due to influence from the United States, and ultimately it is ordinary citizens who are paying the price.

Also on Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh updated EU foreign ministers on the appalling situation in the occupied territories. There was absolutely no discussion on the EU side regarding possible sanctions against Israel.

January 24, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Western ‘theft’ will backfire, Russian tycoon warns

Vladimir Potanin. © Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin
RT | January 23, 2023

Western countries are sawing off the branch they are sitting on by confiscating Russian assets, billionaire businessman Vladimir Potanin believes.

Following the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February last year, multiple countries have frozen assets belonging both to the Russian state, and private companies and individuals to the tune of more than $300 billion.

In an interview with Russian media outlet RBK published on Monday, Potanin, the largest shareholder of mining giant Nornickel, said: “The confiscation [of assets] is a covert or overt form of theft,” and destroys “the investment climate of the jurisdiction where this is happening.”

Potanin noted that the countries comprising the ‘collective West’ had based their societies upon respect for private property.

The recent freezing of Russian assets “will backfire on them,” he said, adding that Russia should refrain from mirroring these measures.

He went on to suggest that by exercising respect for property rights, Moscow will be in a stronger moral position when it fights for its frozen assets in the West, and will send the right signals to entrepreneurs at home.

Potanin also warned against nationalizing property left behind in Russia by Western businesses – instead, the authorities need to “give the investment community the opportunity to solve this problem on its own.” He noted that the exodus of Western companies from Russia has allowed local investors to buy up assets at relatively low prices.

Potanin described the Western sanctions as “absolutely destructive and even, apparently, absolutely illegal,” and in his view, what we are seeing right now is the destruction of basic global rules.

The billionaire acknowledged that Western sanctions have put his plans for overseas business expansion on hold and have adversely affected his ability to travel the world, though he has now switched to exploring Russia instead, he added. Potanin nevertheless expressed confidence that the West “will come to their senses” sooner or later.

January 23, 2023 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 1 Comment

FM: Iran to Possibly Quit NPT if Europe Not Stop Hostile Stances

Al-Manar | January 22, 2023

If the Europeans do not change their anti-Iran positions, Iran will possibly withdraw from the NPT as a countermeasure, the Iranian Foreign Minister said on Sunday.

Reacting to a recent move by the European Union to designate the IRGC as a “terrorist” entity, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told reporters on Sunday, “Parliament’s Sunday measure that binds the government to designate the armies of the European countries as terrorist is a countermeasure.”

Referring to his conversations with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, Amir-Abdollahian said that the resolution is not binding and it’s just an expression of the feelings of a part of the European Parliament representatives.

Answering a question about whether withdrawal from the NPT would be one of Iran’s countermeasures, Amir-Abdollahian said, “A small number of European political leaders, including the German Foreign Minister, have no experience in the field of diplomacy.”

Therefore, if they do not move in the direction of rationality and do not correct their positions, any measure is possible, he noted.

January 22, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

RT France Head Announces Broadcaster’s Closure After Paris Blocks Its Accounts

Sputnik – 21.01.2023

On the air in France, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, and Mediterranean countries since 2017, RT France quickly became one of the largest alternative Francophone news broadcasters in Europe and North America. RT France was banned from broadcasting throughout the EU and Canada in early 2022 for providing a Russian perspective on the Ukraine crisis.

RT France has announced its closure after the blocking of its bank accounts in France.

“After five years of harassment, the authorities in power have achieved their goal, the closure of RT France,” the broadcaster said in a press statement tweeted out by Editor-in-Chief Xenia Fedorova on Saturday.

“Under the cover of the 9th package of sanctions against Russia, which does not target our channel, but its shareholder and parent company, the Directorate General of the Treasury decided to freeze the bank accounts of RT France, making it impossible to continue our activity,” the statement explained.

The broadcaster cited a series of recent articles and columns in French media which it said was designed to smear RT France and take it off the air.

“Clearly working with the authorities, some of our colleagues confused their role as journalists with that of policemen or judges, calling… for censorship of our media, and not hesitating to resort to false information, claiming, for example, that the activity of RT France was prohibited or illegal,” the statement said.

After an EU blanket block against Sputnik and RT in early 2022, RT France continued broadcasting online and via a Russian satellite, and its content accessed via VPN or social media.

In Saturday’s statement, the broadcaster recalled that it has been the target of forces seeking to shut it up since its launch for offering a “breath of fresh air” in an “ever-less representative and increasingly narrow media world, where critical thinking is no longer allowed.” The channel expressed pride in the “seriousness and rigor” of its coverage, and stressed its keenness to “present all opinions, give everyone a voice,” and “dare to question” – to quote its slogan.

The broadcaster emphasized that its coverage of the conflict in Ukraine – which got it banned from television broadcast in 2022, was consistently treated in a “vigilant” and “balanced way,” “whatever our detractors, who very often only rarely glanced at our channel, and obviously with a biased way, say.”

“In this particular geopolitical context, the opportunity presented itself to take advantage of this situation to (finally) gag RT France by banishing it from the European Union and from France,” despite the absence of any legal justification, the broadcaster noted.

RT France also lamented that 123 of its French employees, including 77 journalists with press cards, now risk remaining unpaid for the month of January, and losing their jobs by government decree. “Beyond the terrible economic impact for many families, there is the question of the future of media pluralism in France, its representativeness, and its independence,” as well as “the freedom of thought and expression in our society,” its statement noted.

The broadcaster emphasized that its closure, accompanied by the “deafening silence” of other French media and journalists, is an “extremely dangerous first step, because after our channel other media will be targeted.”

RT France’s bank accounts were frozen this week on the basis of European sanctions adopted last December.

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned Paris that it would retaliate unless French authorities stop “terrorizing” its journalists.

Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan blasted the move to freeze the accounts on Friday, sarcastically calling it a true demonstration of “liberte, egalite et fraternite” (liberty, equality and fraternity).

RT France appealed its 2022 ban to the European Court of Justice last spring, but lost, hearing that the broadcaster needed to be silenced “at a time when opinions were forming on the war in Ukraine.”

January 21, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , , | 3 Comments

Serbian President Calls European Parliament’s Demands on Kosovo ‘Shameless’

Samizdat – 19.01.2023

BELGRADE – The resolution of the European Parliament, demanding Serbia recognize Kosovo as an independent state, is an example of the West’s “shameless” behavior, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Vucic met in Davos with EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Miroslav Lajcak to discuss current developments around Kosovo after the EU parliament adopted a resolution based on the report on the common EU foreign and security policy for 2022.

The report demands Belgrade start talks with Pristina on mutual recognition and condemns Serbia’s “continued low level of alignment” with the EU on such issues as the Ukrainian conflict and sanctions against Russia, making the country’s further integration in the bloc contingent on the progress in these areas.

“They organized violent secession of our territory [Kosovo and Metohija in 1999]. How far could this shameless behavior go? I do not have the words,” Vucic told journalists on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

“They [West] say it is necessary to condemn those who allegedly encourage secession of parts of Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are the ones who decided to bomb our country and take away a part of our territory in defiance of the laws of the mankind, the UN Charter and norms of the UN Security Council.”

According to Vucic, the West is only interested in the topics of sanctions against Russia and Kosovo’s independence when talking to Serbia, and is not willing to tolerate any other views on these issues.

The Serbian leader also stated that some representatives of Western countries only understand the language of force, which makes it harder for Serbia to conduct its foreign policy.

In 2008, the Kosovo-Albanian structures in Pristina unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia. Since then, Kosovo has been recognized by 100 UN member states. In mid-December, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti handed over the application to join the European Union, though out of the 27 EU countries, Kosovo’s independence still is not recognized by Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Slovakia, and Romania.

January 19, 2023 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

EU parliament backs tribunal to probe Russia

RT | January 19, 2023

The European Parliament on Thursday voted in favor of an international court to probe Russia over its conflict with Ukraine. Moscow has rejected allegations of war crimes in the past and has also said such a court would have no legal power over it.

In a non-binding resolution, MEPs asked the bloc and its individual member states to create a “special tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine,” accusing Moscow of violating international law. The legislators added that the tribunal would “focus on alleged genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine.”

“The EU’s preparatory work on the special tribunal should begin without delay,” the resolution said.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky thanked the parliament for the move. “Russia must be held accountable,” he tweeted.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said late last month that an international tribunal tasked with prosecuting Russia would be rejected by Moscow as “illegitimate” and that the West has no legal right to establish it.

He said this in response to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposing a special UN-backed court to probe what she described as Russia’s “horrific crimes” in Ukraine.

Similar suggestions have been made by other Western and Ukrainian officials. Bloomberg reported a few months ago that The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) could start reviewing cases of alleged Russian crimes in Ukraine in late 2022 or early 2023.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that “the current attempt by Western countries to whip up a quasi-judicial mechanism is unprecedented in its legal nihilism and is yet another example of the West’s practice of double standards.”

Moscow launched a military operation in Ukraine last February, citing the need to protect the people of Donbass, as well as Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-15 Minsk accords.

Kiev and its Western supporters have since accused Russian troops of killing civilians in Bucha, near Kiev, and other areas. Moscow maintains that its forces only strike military targets and has insisted that allegations of atrocities were fabricated.

Ukraine said in the past that peace can only be achieved if Russia faces an international court. Moscow has rejected this demand as unacceptable.

The Kremlin has said Russian investigators were, however, carefully documenting crimes committed by the Kiev regime since 2014, when a violent coup ousted a democratically elected government and Kiev sent its military to Donbass. Peskov said Moscow had not seen “any critical reaction from the so-called ‘collective West’” on those wrongdoings.

January 19, 2023 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment