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Russia has better things to do than start WW3

By Bryan MacDonald | RT | June 8, 2015

Vladimir Putin said this weekend that “Russia would attack NATO only in a mad person’s dream.” Unfortunately, there are a lot of mad people working in western politics and media.

If the G7 were based on GDP, adjusted for purchasing power, it would be comprised of the USA, China, India, Japan, Russia, Germany and Brazil. Such a lineup would have remarkable clout. Members would boast 53% of the globe’s entire GDP and the planet’s 3 genuine military superpowers would be represented.

The problem for Washington is that this putative G7 might actually be a forum for a real debate about the world order.

Instead of a real G7, we have a farce. An American dominated talking shop where the US President allows ‘friendly’ foreign leaders to tickle his belly for a couple of days. There is no dissent. Washington’s dominance goes unquestioned and everyone has a jolly time. Especially since they kicked out Russia last year – Vladimir Putin was the only guest who challenged the consensus.

However, the problem is that this ‘convenient’ G7 is way past its sell-by-date. The days when its members could claim to rule the world economically are as distant as the era of Grunge and Britpop. Today, the G7 can claim a mere 32% of the global GDP pie. Instead of heavyweights like China and India, we have middling nations such as Canada and Italy, the latter an economic basket case. Canada’s GDP is barely more than that of crisis-ridden Spain and below that of Mexico and Indonesia.

Yet, the Prime Minister of this relative non-entity, Stephen Harper, was strutting around Bavaria all weekend with the confidence of a man who believed his opinion mattered a great deal. Of course, Harper won’t pressure Obama. Rather, he prefers to – metaphorically – kiss the ring and croon from the same hymn sheet as his southern master.

NATO and the G7 – 2 sides of 1 coin?

There was lots of talk of “Russian aggression” at the G7. This was hardly a surprise given that 6 of the 7 are also members of NATO, another body at which they can tug Washington’s forelock with gay abandon. Obama was at it, David Cameron parroted his guru’s feelings and Harper was effectively calling for regime change in Russia. It apparently never occurred to the trio that resolving their issues with Russia might be easier if Putin had been in Bavaria? The knee-jerk reaction to remove Russia from the club was hardly conducive to dialogue.

Meanwhile, Matteo Renzi stayed fairly quiet. It has been widely reported that the Italian Prime Minister privately opposes the EU’s anti-Russia sanctions due to the effects on Italy’s struggling economy. Also, Renzi’s next task after the G7 summit is to welcome Putin to Rome.

With that visit in mind, Putin gave an interview to Italy’s Il Corriere della Sera where he essentially answered the questions that Obama, Cameron and Harper could have asked him if they hadn’t thrown their toys out of the pram and excluded Russia from the old G8. Putin stressed that one should not take the ongoing “Russian aggression” scaremongering in the West seriously, as a global military conflict is unimaginable in the modern world. The Russian President also, fairly bluntly, stated that “we have better things to be doing” (than starting World War 3).

Putin also touched on a point many rational commentators have continuously made. “Certain countries could be deliberately nurturing such fears,” he added, saying that hypothetically the US could need an external threat to maintain its leadership in the Atlantic community. “Iran is clearly not very scary or big enough” for this, Putin noted with irony.

A world of ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’

For Washington to maintain its huge military spending, it has to keep its citizens in a state of high alarm. Otherwise, they might insist that some of the armed forces’ cash is diverted to more productive things like hospitals and schools. These services, of course, are not very profitable for weapons manufacturers or useful for newspaper and TV editors looking for an intimidating narrative.

Following the collapse of the USSR, Russia was too weak and troubled to be a plausible enemy. Aside from its nuclear arsenal – the deployment of which would only mean mutual destruction – the bear’s humbled military was not a credible threat. Instead, the focus of warmonger’s venom shifted to the Middle East and the Balkans, where Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Slobodan Milosevic and Osama Bin Laden kept the general public’s attention occupied for roughly a decade and a half. However, they are now all dead and pro-war propaganda needs a new bad guy to play the Joker to America’s Batman.

Kim Jong-un looked promising for a while. Nevertheless, the problem here is that North Korea is too unpredictable and could very feasibly retaliate to provocations. Such a reaction could lead to a nuclear attack on Seoul, for instance, or draw Washington into a conflict with China. Even for neocons, this is too risky. Another candidate was Syria’s Basher Al-Assad. Unfortunately, for the sabre rattlers, just as they imagined they had Damascus in their sights, Putin kyboshed their plan. This made Putin the devil as far as neocons are concerned and they duly trained their guns in his direction.

Russia – a Middle East/North Africa battleground?

In the media, it is noticeable how many neocon hacks have suddenly metamorphosed from Syria ‘experts’ into Russia analysts in the past 2 years. Panda’s Mark Ames (formerly of Moscow’s eXILE ) highlighted this strange phenomenon in an excellent recent piece. Ames focused on the strange case of Michael Weiss, a New York activist who edits the anti-Russia Interpreter magazine (which is actually a blog). The Interpreter is allegedly controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky and a shadowy foundation called Herzen (not the original Amsterdam-based Herzen) of which no information is publicly available.

Weiss was a long-time Middle East analyst, who promoted US intervention to oust Assad. Suddenly, shortly before the initial Maidan disturbances in Kiev, he re-invented himself as a Russia and Ukraine ‘expert,’ appearing all over the US media (from CNN to Politico and The Daily Beast ) to deliver his ‘wisdom.’ This is despite the fact that he appears to know very little about Russia and has never lived there. The managing editor of The Interpreter is a gentleman named James Miller, who uses the Twitter handle @millerMENA (MENA means Middle East, North Africa). Having been to both, I can assure you that Russia and North Africa have very little in common.

Weiss and Miller are by no means unusual. Pro-War, neocon activists have made Russia their bete noir since their Syria dreams were strangled in infancy. While most are harmless enough, this pair wields considerable influence in the US media. Naturally, this is dressed up as concern for Ukraine. In reality, they care about Ukraine to about the same extent that a carnivore worries about hurting the feelings of his dinner.

Russia’s military policy is “not global, offensive, or aggressive,” Putin stressed, adding that Russia has “virtually no bases abroad,” and the few that do exist are remnants of its Soviet past. Meanwhile, it would take only 17 minutes for missiles launched from US submarines on permanent alert off Norway’s coast to reach Moscow, Putin said, noting that this fact is somehow not labeled as “aggression” in the media.

Decline of the Balts

Another ongoing problem is the Baltic States. These 3 countries have been unmitigated disasters since independence, shedding people at alarming rates. Estonia’s population has fallen by 16% in the past 25 years, Latvia’s by 25% and Lithuania’s by an astonishing 32%. Political leaders in these nations use the imaginary ‘Russian threat’ as a means to distract from their own economic failings and corruption. They constantly badger America for military support which further antagonizes the Kremlin, which in turn perceives that NATO is increasing its presence on Russia’s western border. This is the same frontier from which both Napoleon and Hitler invaded and Russians are, understandably, paranoid about it.

The simple fact is that Russia has no need for the Baltic States. Also, even if Moscow did harbor dreams of invading them, the cost of subduing them would be too great. As Russia and the US learned in Afghanistan and America in Iraq also, in the 21st century it is more-or-less impossible to occupy a population who don’t want to be occupied. The notion that Russia would sacrifice its hard-won economic and social progress to invade Kaunas is, frankly, absurd.

The reunification of Crimea with Russia is often used as a ‘sign’ that the Kremlin wishes to restore the Soviet/Tsarist Empire. This is nonsense. The vast majority of Crimean people wished to return to Russia and revoke Nikita Khrushchev’s harebrained transfer of the territory to Ukraine. Not even the craziest Russian nationalist believes that most denizens of Riga or Tallinn wish to become Russian citizens.

Putin recalled that it was French President Charles de Gaulle who first voiced the need to establish a “common economic space stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok.” As NATO doubles down on its campaign against Moscow, that dream has never looked as far off.

Bryan MacDonald is an Irish writer and commentator focusing on Russia and its hinterlands and international geo-politics. Follow him on Facebook

June 8, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Economist has a funny sense of European values

RT | March 24, 2015

In the same week that The Economist lauded Ukraine’s “commitment to European values,” Kiev’s current regime kicked out Euronews. Who do they think they are kidding?

Ah, The Economist. Without question, it’s is the best informed news magazine in the world… except on subjects I know something about. Take Ukraine for instance, throughout the country’s current crisis, The Economist has been weaving a web of fantasy to its readers. The narrative has continuously blamed Russia for all Ukraine’s misfortunes while painting its post-Maidan oligarchic rulers as being somewhere near God’s right hand.

After wholeheartedly backing last year’s coup, the windy weekly has been unwilling to admit the severity of Kiev’s economic malaise. Instead, it has maintained the pretence that throwing money at its pro-NATO regime will solve all its problems. Anybody who knows the first thing about Ukraine acknowledges that the lion’s share of the dough would be pilfered.

The problem is that a great number of the Western world’s most powerful people take The Economist seriously. The magazine appears both authoritative and credible, and never misses a chance to emphasize its own importance. However, this is “lipstick on a pig” territory. On subjects I’m reasonably informed about (Ireland, Europe, Britain, the ex-USSR for example), The Economist is more often wrong than right. Viewed through that prism, I’m extremely skeptical of the rag’s accuracy on topics I know little of.

In 2005, The Economist announced that Ireland had the highest quality of life in the world. I clearly remember reading the edition in downtown Dublin and that my first thought concerned the quality of the drugs the magazine’s editors were taking. Oddly, I’d penned a column a week earlier for the Ireland On Sunday newspaper predicting a deep recession for my homeland, which was rapidly losing its industrial base as credit-fuelled property madness raged.

Two years later, Ireland’s economy collapsed and a half decade of misery began. Incidentally, the periodical currently lists Melbourne as the best place to reside on earth. If you are in Melbourne right now, given The Economist’s track record, it’s probably best to emigrate before the inevitable happens.

Russia’s strong, determined President

Guided by its pro-interventionist and pro-neo liberal principles, the weekly doesn’t restrict itself to making a dog’s dinner of fiscal forecasts. Indeed, it frequently enters the realm of geopolitics to tackle countries and governments that don’t conform to its worldview. Russia is a case in point. In the 90’s, when Russia was on its knees, The Economist couldn’t get enough of the place. In fact, it broadly welcomed Vladimir Putin’s election in 2000, calling him a “strong, determined man.” By 2002 it trumpeted that “relations between Russia and the West have (sic) rarely been better.”

Now, the same Vladimir Putin is The Economist’s public enemy Number 1 and Russia the re-incarnation of Hitler’s Germany. Moscow’s crime? Standing up for itself and rejecting the Western liberal consensus. Essentially, refusing to pauperize the country to suit a bunch of ideologues in London.

In order to wage its anti-Russia campaign, The Economist pretends to care about Ukraine. The London-based magazine is far from alone in this. Last weekend, it hailed Kiev’s commitment to European values.

“European values like free speech and a commitment to truth remain potent,” it boldly declared. The reason I keep writing ‘it’ is because the article was unsigned, written under the pseudonym ‘Charlemagne.’ The Economist’s journalists don’t sign their work, which is probably for the best considering the kind of rubbish they pen.

The Menace of cliques

The diatribe quotes a scaremongering report written by Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss, two activists connected to the shadowy UAE-backed Legatum Institute. Legatum’s Director of Communications is the former Catholic Herald editor, Cristina Odone, who just happens to be married to Edward Lucas, a senior Editor at The Economist. Mr. Lucas has previously advocated the use of Brezhnev-era KGB methods against RT.

Repeating the canard of “lavishly financed Russian media,” The Economist claims that “cash-strapped, fractious Europe will always struggle.” This is pure hokum. Only last month, Germany increased the budget of its Deutsche Welle news agency to $332 million. Meanwhile, BBC’s World Service has $406 million to splurge in 2015, and that’s just for radio/web. Additionally, France 24 spends around $130 million annually. By what stretch of the imagination is European media financially struggling here?

Snooze and you lose Euronews

Nevertheless, in the same week that The Economist was promoting Ukraine’s adherence to “European values,” Kiev revoked the license for the Ukrainian version of Euronews, suddenly claiming the current arrangement was “disadvantageous”. Now, I can’t think of a less offensive outlet. Euronews is so bland, so insipid that you could leave it on at an Israeli-Palestinian arm wrestling extravaganza and nobody would object.

While a private company, Euronews has received significant funding from Brussels over the years and is widely perceived, rightly or wrongly, as EU TV. The Ukraine edition was previously owned by an Egyptian, Naguib Sawiris, but reports suggest that it’s now controlled by Dymtro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch and rival of fellow-billionaire, Petro Poroshenko. Some use the label ‘pro-Russian’ to describe Firtash, but I find that Ukraine’s ultra-rich are usually just pro-themselves.

The Ukrainian President has his own TV network, Channel 5, and apparently objected to competition from Firtash, who he evidently sees as a threat. So, it looks like he used his political power to muffle the voice of Euronews. “European values,” how are you?

Bryan MacDonald is an Irish writer and commentator focusing on Russia and its hinterlands and international geo-politics. Follow him on Facebook

March 25, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Economic isolation breach of international law: Putin

Top 5 takeaways from Putin ahead of G20

RT |  November 14, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Klementiev)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Klementiev)

Vladimir Putin says the G20 must address global imbalances together, and economic isolation, especially in the case of sanctions, which not only leads nowhere but is a crude violation of international economic law.

Here are the Russian president’s top takeaways ahead of the G20 summit being held in Brisbane, Australia from November 14-15.

G20 great for ground work, but decisions often just hot air

Putin believes the G20 is still a good and relevant platform for world leaders, however, decisions at the summit are often nothing but words. Decisions made there are only carried out when they are in line with the interests of certain global players, like the US.

Decisions are neglected if they don’t fit the agenda of an individual power, Putin told TASS ahead of the summit.

An example is when US Congress blocked the IMF quota, which was intended to enhance the role of developing economies and redistribute quotes. That move was counterproductive, Putin said.

“The very fact that US Congress has refused to pass this law indicates that it is the United States that drops out of the general context of resolving the problems facing the international community,” the president said.

“Everyone must understand that the global economy and finance these days are exceptionally dependent on each other,” Putin said.

US sanctions violate the very system they created

Sanctions levied against Russia are against the norms of international trade and the core principles of the G20, as they can only be introduced via the United Nations, Putin said.

Sanctions are “against WTO principles and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the GATT. The United States itself created that organization at a certain point. Now it is crudely violating its principles,” Putin explained

Interconnected economy: What hurts us hurts you

Sanctions against Russia have targeted the finance, energy and weaponry sectors of the economy. Russia’s retaliatory sanctions to ban agricultural imports are having a colossal ripple effect on jobs, social sectors, and growth.

This is especially pertinent to Europe, which is feeling the squeeze of the agricultural export ban to Russia, one its biggest markets.

“Everyone must understand that the global economy and finance these days are exceptionally dependent on each other,” Putin said.

Germany’s economic growth is an example of financial blowback from sanctions with Russia.

US-led trade pacts will create global imbalance

Putin believes that the creation of the 2 US-led trade pacts – one Transatlantic and the other Transpacific – will only create more global imbalance. The US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) doesn’t include China or Russia.

“Of course, we want to get rid of such imbalances, we want to work together, but this can be achieved only through joint efforts,” Putin said.

New economic associations should complement existing institutions

All new emerging economic blocks like BRICS and the so-called ‘new G7’, which in addition to Brazil, Russia, India and China also includes Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico, should come as something complementary to the existing groups, Putin said.

According to purchasing power parity (PPP) BRICS nations have a combined GDP $37.4 trillion, more than the G7’s at $34.7 trillion, Putin said. However, its economic girth doesn’t give it the right to start running its own policy.

“And if we go and say, ‘No, thank you, we are going to do this and that here on our own, and you can do it the way you want it,’ this will only add to the imbalances,” Putin warned.

The Russian president also said that all regional integrations like the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan shouldn’t isolate, but complement, global institutions.

Full speech: Putin on G20: Russia sanctions contradict club principles

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Polish ex-foreign minister backtracks on scandalous claim that Putin offered to divide Ukraine

RT | October 21, 2014

Radoslaw Sikorski — the speaker of the Polish Parliament and that nation’s former foreign minister — was forced to apologize after claiming that he overheard Vladimir Putin in 2008 suggest that Ukraine should be divided between Russia and Poland.

A bombshell report published by Politico Magazine over the weekend called “Putin’s Coup” alleged that Sikorski heard that the Russian president told Donald Tusk, then the Polish prime minister, that Poland should “become participants in the divide of Ukraine” during a Polish delegation’s 2008 visit to Moscow.

“He wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine… This was one of the first things that Putin said to my prime minister, Donald Tusk, when he visited Moscow,” Politico’s Ben Judah quoted Sikorski as saying following an interview that formed the basis of the Sunday article.

“He (Putin) went on to say Ukraine is an artificial country and that Lwow is a Polish city and why don’t we just sort it out together.”

“We made it very, very clear to them – we wanted nothing to do with this,” Sikorski went on.

On Monday, Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said that, if Putin did suggest as much, then that would be “scandalous.”

On Tuesday, however, Sikorski found himself in a scandalous situation himself and had to respond to multiple accusations that he made up the conversation between Putin and Tusk. The Russian president’s spokesman labeled the alleged remark as “utter nonsense,” and Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told Russia’s Gazeta.ru the report “looks like total tripe.”

Responding to a mounting backlash, Sikorski said over Twitter that the interview with Judah was “not authorized” and that “Some of the words have been over-interpreted.” However the Politico journalist was fast to remind Mr. Sikorski that in the US members of the press do not “authorize” interviews. Judah also said to the Polish broadcaster TVN24 that he was “not sure what Sikorski had in mind” when he said some of his comments had been “over-interpreted.”

On Tuesday, Sikorski was confronted at a press conference by Polish journalists, demanding clarifications regarding his remarks. However, the ex-foreign minister was vague about whether or not he made the remarks published by Politico. Before long Sikorski admitted that he never personally heard of Putin offering to divide Ukraine, then refused to go into more details or answer additional questions from the media.

This awkward press conference infuriated even Sikorski’s fellow party members, and Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz publicly lashed at him.

“I will not tolerate this kind of behavior. I will not tolerate this kind of standards that Speaker Sikorski tried to present at today’s (news) conference,” Kopacz said, according to the Associated Press.

After that, Sikorski called in a second press conference, where he changed his position once again. He said Tusk and Putin never met during a bilateral meeting in Moscow in 2008 as he originally had suggested and the scandalous remarks were made later that year at a NATO summit in Bucharest. Additionally Sikorski apologized for putting both the former and current Polish PM in an “awkward position.”

“I apologize for the awkwardness, which took place this morning,” Poland’s TVN 24 quoted Sikorski as saying. “Especially as a former journalist, I never avoided contact with the media.”

However, Sikorski might be forced to change his version of history once again. According to the official NATO schedule of Putin’s meetings from the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, the Russian leader and his Polish counterpart didn’t hold any bilateral meetings in Romania either.

October 21, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putin: Ukraine’s new Donbass law ‘not perfect, but a step in right direction’

RT | October 17, 2014

The new law giving special status to troubled regions in eastern Ukraine is ‘not perfect,’ but might be used to finally stabilize the situation in the area, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart in Milan.

“Perhaps it’s not a perfect document, but it’s a step in the right direction, and we hope it will be used in complete resolution of security problems,” Putin said after closed-door talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Friday.

The two presidents met in Milan privately on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), a summit of Asian and European leaders.

The document on special status for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions was signed by Poroshenko on Thursday.

The legislation “defines temporary order of local government in certain districts,” according to the Ukrainian president’s official website.

The special order enacts governance “in the cities, towns and villages” to be “carried out by territorial communities through local government bodies under the Constitution and the Laws of Ukraine,” with local elections scheduled in the districts for December 7.

It also aims to restore the regions’ infrastructure and “create conditions” to stabilize the situation in the area.

The new law, which will be valid for three years from the date of its publication, is part of the agreement reached between Kiev authorities and eastern Ukrainian militias in Minsk on September 5.

The Minsk protocol, which also includes decisions on a ceasefire and the exchange of war prisoners, should be the guideline in Ukraine’s conflict management, Putin said.

“I’d like to point out that these agreements, unfortunately, are not fully implemented by either side,” added the Russian leader, speaking to journalists after the Milan talks.

Italy, France, Germany, and Russia have expressed willingness to use drones to monitor the situation in the region, Putin said. He added that the technical side of the plan will be discussed in the near future, when specialists gather at the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe) headquarters in Vienna.

October 17, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

EU admits Putin’s comment on ‘storming Kiev’ taken out of context

RT | September 5, 2014

The EU has admitted that Vladimir Putin’s words about “taking Kiev in two weeks” had been “made public out of context,” said a spokeswoman for the European Commission President in a written response to The Wall Street Journal.

José Manuel Barroso’s spokesperson Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen said on Thursday the EU is going to address the issue “through diplomatic channels, not in the press.”

“I can only add that the president of the Commission informed his colleagues in the European Council in a restricted session of the conversations he had with President Putin. Unfortunately part of his intervention was made public out of context,” Ahrenkilde-Hansen wrote to the WSJ.

Last week Barroso gave a briefing on his phone conversation with President Vladimir Putin, describing the conversation as “very frank.” During the talk, the EU functionary alleged the Russian president had said that if necessary military occupation of the Ukrainian capital would take just a matter of weeks.

Italia’s La Repubblica was among the very first to overblow the scandal, saying that José Manuel Barroso had told European leaders who attended Saturday’s EU summit in Brussels that replying to Barroso’s accusations about regular Russian troop operating in Ukraine, President Putin had said that “If I wanted to, I could take Kiev in two weeks.”

An EU official has confirmed to the WSJ that Putin’s note about Russian forces being able to take Kiev within two weeks did take place during last week’s telephone call, but the context of the comment was not clear.

The unexpected divulgement by the top EU official immediately sparked a political scandal involving Russia’s high ranking officials and diplomats, who accused Barroso of both intentionally wrenching Russian leader’s remarks out of context as well as breaching diplomatic protocol.

According to Russia’s permanent representative to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, Putin’s words were “clearly taken out of context.”

On Tuesday, September 2, Moscow threatened to reveal the full recording of the controversial phone call “to remove all misunderstandings” if European Commission President Jose Manual Barroso doesn’t object in the next two days, Chizhov said.

Russia’s presidential aide Yury Ushakov lashed at the EU Commission president’s behavior, stressing it is “incorrect and goes beyond the bounds of diplomatic practices.”

“If that was really done, it is not worthy of a serious political figure,” Ushakov added.

As the EU official acknowledged on Thursday, September 4, President Putin possibly made the comment to strengthen Russia’s position of not and never being involved militarily in Ukrainian crisis.

READ MORE:

Moscow ready to expose ‘Kiev in two weeks’ spin with Barroso call transcript

‘Did he mean Alaska?’ Obama wrongly blames Russia for ‘trying to reclaim lands lost in 19th century’

September 5, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Putin calls for end to Kiev’s military operation, postponing referendum in E. Ukraine

RT | May 7, 2014

Ukrainian right-wing groups are behind the recent events in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, adding that Kiev has not disarmed them. He also called on anti-Kiev protesters to postpone a May 11 federalization referendum.

“Russia believes that the crisis, which originated in Ukraine and is now actively developing in accordance with the worst-case scenario, is to be blamed on those who organized the coup in Kiev on 22-23 February and still do not care to disarm the right-wing and nationalist elements,” the president said.

Direct dialogue between Kiev and anti-government protesters in southeast Ukraine is key to ending the crisis, Putin said.

It is now essential “to create the necessary conditions for this dialogue,” he added.

This, however, would require rescheduling the referendum, which anti-government activists scheduled on May 11 to determine the fate of southeast Ukraine.

“We are calling for southeast Ukraine representatives, supporters of federalization of the country, to postpone the May 11 referendum to create the necessary conditions for dialogue,” Putin said at a press conference with Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter in Moscow.

In response to Putin’s offer, one of the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, said the possibility would be discussed Thursday.

“We respect Putin’s position. He is a balanced politician. So we will submit this proposal tomorrow to the people’s council,” he said.

‘Russia withdraws troops from Ukrainian border’

President Vladimir Putin also said that Russia has withdrawn its troops from the Ukrainian border.

“We have been told that our troops on the Ukrainian border are a concern – we have withdrawn them. They are now not on Ukrainian territory, but at locations where they conduct regular drills at ranges,” he said.

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested holding “roundtable discussions,” a proposal that Moscow fully supports, Putin added.

Moscow and the OSCE agree substantially on the approach to resolving the situation in Ukraine, Putin said, adding that negotiations had made it clear.

“Moscow is interested in a swift resolution of the crisis in Ukraine, taking into consideration the interests of all people of the country,” he said.

OSCE drafting Ukraine road-map

In the coming hours, OSCE will offer a “roadmap” on Ukraine, Burkhalter said.

“Our offer now is the following: literally in the next few hours we would like to offer a road-map for the four signatories of the Geneva agreements,” Burkhalter said, adding that the roadmap lays out “concrete steps” to resolve the Ukrainian crisis.

There are four major points, he said: “These are the ceasefire, the de-escalation of tensions, the dialogue and elections.” Burkhalter added that the roadmap had been discussed earlier in Vienna.

It comes as a “more pragmatic” alternative to the so-called Geneva-2 peace talks on Ukraine, which Burkhalter said for now are not being planned to be held.

Burkhalter also believes that dialogue between Kiev and southeast Ukraine is a “realistic prospect.”

“As for the probability of a national dialogue in Ukraine, I think it’s quite a realistic prospect, because only Ukrainian people need to be involved in determining their own destiny,” he said.

On behalf of OSCE, Burkhalter said that the organization is ready to take responsibility for coordination the “roadmap” and negotiations with the US and the EU will be taking place soon.

May 7, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Putin: Kiev authorities are junta if they use force against civilians

RT | April 24, 2014

If Kiev authorities have started to use force against the civilian population, this is a serious crime, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. Taking this action makes them a “junta” and may affect their relations with other countries, he added.

“If the Kiev regime started military actions against the country’s population, this is without doubt a very serious crime,” Putin said at an All-Russia People’s Front media forum.

According to Putin, the current situation in East Ukraine is another proof that Russia was right when it supported Crimeans, when they decided to have a referendum.

“[Otherwise] it would have seen there the same things which are now happening in the east of Ukraine, or even worse,” he said. “That’s one more proof to the fact we did it all right and in time.”

Putin believes that the use of force by the coup-imposed government in Kiev means that it’s actually a junta.

“If current authorities in Kiev have done this [used force], then they are junta,” the president said. “For one thing, they don’t have nation-wide mandate. They might have some elements of legitimacy, but only within the framework of the parliament. The rest of the government bodies are for various reasons illegitimate.”

Vladimir Putin described the use of force in eastern Ukraine as a “reprisal raid” and said that it would have an impact on Russian-Ukrainian relations.

Earlier in the day, fighting erupted just outside Slavyansk, a town in eastern Ukraine where the population voiced their protest against the Kiev authorities. Ukrainian troops in tanks and armored vehicles have been trying to break into the town.

According to the Ukrainian Interior ministry, at least five self-defense guards have been killed and one policeman injured after the “anti-terrorist operation” launched by Kiev in the town. Three checkpoints erected by the anti-government protesters have also been destroyed.

Self-defense forces managed to repel an attack at one checkpoint 3 kilometers north of Slavyansk, forcing at least three infantry vehicles to retreat, Russia-24 TV reports.

On Wednesday, authorities in Kiev announced they were resuming a military operation against protesters in eastern Ukraine, which they described as an “anti-terrorist” one.

Protesters believe the move was contrary to the agreement on de-escalation reached in Geneva.

April 24, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 3 Comments

Syrian chemical weapons counter Israel’s nuclear threat, says Putin

MEMO | September 20, 2013

Syria has chemical weapons, claims Vladimir Putin, in order to counter Israel’s nuclear threat. The Russian president raised this point in a discussion with Western leaders on Thursday.

After admitting that he could not be 100 per cent certain that the Syrian regime would disclose all information about its chemical weapons, Putin suggested that Israel does not need nuclear weapons because of its “technical supremacy” in other areas.

The Russian president said that he does not oppose a military strike on Syria because of perceived Russian interests there; in fact, he does not want to see an international organisation like the United Nations misused for such an action.

“We do not have some exclusive interests in Syria which we would seek to protect by defending the current government,” he insisted. “We are striving to preserve the principles of international law.”

Putin asked his counterparts in the West about the opposition rebels affiliated to Al-Qaeda. In the absence of any reply, he asked, “What sense does it make to launch a strike if you do not know how it will end?”

Blaming rebels for the use of chemical weapons, Putin claimed that there is “every reason” to believe that it was done as a provocation

September 21, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putin: No plans to close NGOs, public has right to know

RT | April 5, 2013

Recent checks in Russian NGOs are completely in line with the law and have the sole objective of informing the Russian public on these groups’ activities, according to President Vladimir Putin.

In an interview with the German broadcaster ARD, Putin said that the recently-approved law on foreign agents that caused the major NGO audit had parallels in international practice. He also noted the extremely disproportionate representation of non-governmental presence from foreign countries in Russia.

In the very beginning of the interview, the Russian President noted that it was not the objective of the NGO inspections to scare the public or the activists, adding that the mass media was performing that function.

Putin added that the real situation differed greatly from what was presented by the Western mass media. In particular, the fresh Russian law demanding that non-government organizations engaged in Russia’s internal political processes and sponsored from abroad must be registered as foreign agents was noting new. The United States has had a very similar law since 1938.

Putin noted that the US law is enforced by the Department of Justice. All groups operating in the US must regularly submit information about their activities and this information is then reviewed by the counterespionage section.

The German reporter admitted he was not aware of such practices in the United States.

Putin went on to point out that there were 654 foreign-funded groups operating in Russia, while Russia sponsored only two foreign NGOs – one in France and one in the United States.

He also disclosed that foreign diplomatic missions transferred $1 billion. Eight hundred and fifty-five million was to the accounts of Russian-based NGOs in just the four months that passed since the approval of the Foreign Agents Law.

Putin told the interviewer that in his view, Russian society had the full right to know about the extensive network of foreign-sponsored organizations operating in the country, as well as about the amount of funding these groups were getting from their foreign sponsors.

The Russian leader then again stressed that the Russian authorities did not intend to pressure or shut down any organizations.

We only ask them to admit: ‘Yes, we are engaged in political activities, and we are funded from abroad,’” Putin said. “The public has the right to know this.”

Putin also emphasized in his interview that the Russian authorities fully supported political competition, as without it the development of the country and the people is impossible. He said that the opposition had every right to protest, but even during these protests the rally-goers must abide by the law.

There must be order. It is a well-known rule. It is universal and applicable in any country,” he stated, noting that the recent events in North Africa were a vivid example of what might happen if this principle is neglected.

The president recalled the recent changes in the law on political parties that drastically simplified both the registration and the work of these organizations. He also spoke of as other moves to liberalize the political system, such as the return of the gubernatorial elections, saying that this was proof that he and his supporters encouraged political competition.

‘Feeling the Cyprus pinch’

When asked about the scope of Russian investment in Cyprus, Putin said it was “absurd” to view private Russian business interests operating in an EU country as having any connection with the activities of the Russian government itself.

He did, however, state that following the $13 billion bailout agreement with Cyprus, which included a one-time tax on deposits held in Cypriot banks, foreign investors feeling the pinch in the EU were more likely to “come to our financial institutions and keep their money in our banks.”

Reacting to claims that Cyprus was a safe haven for dirty money, Putin stressed that Russia neither created the offshore zone, nor had anyone provided evidence of financial misconduct on the Mediterranean island. But while no criminal wrongdoing has been proven, people who had merely deposited their money without breaking any laws now risk forfeiting 60 percent of their deposits as a result of the Cyprus bailout deal.

The Russian president continued that apart from Cyprus, other zones had been created by the European Union, and it was a red herring to place the blame for illicit activities on investors who benefited from them.

“If you consider such zones a bad thing, then close them. Why do you shift responsibility for all problems that have arisen in Cyprus to investors irrespective of their nationality (British, Russian, French or whatever else).”

When asked if he had felt snubbed by the EU when it opted not to turn to Russia for help despite the number of Russian nationals affected, Putin resolutely answered no.

“On the contrary I am even glad, to some extent, because the events have shown how risky and insecure investments in Western financial institutions can be.”

‘We trust the Euro’

Despite previous criticism of certain aspects of the European financial system, Putin stated emphatically that “we trust the euro.”  

Putin was unwilling to comment in depth on the internal workings of the EU that had no direct bearing on Russia, as it would be disrespectful to EU leaders.

He did say, however, that despite several points of contention between the EU and Russia, they “are fundamentally moving in the right direction” and Russia had made the right decision in keeping such a large share of its gold and currency reserves “in the European currency.”

Reiterating Russia’s trust in the economic policy of major European countries, Putin remains confident that Europe will overcome the difficulties it is currently facing.

Click here to read the full transcript of the interview

April 5, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , , | Comments Off on Putin: No plans to close NGOs, public has right to know

Riot Grrrls and Followers Ride the Bernays Highway

Kenny’s Side Show | August 19, 2012

Haven’t we had about enough of this? In the words of some  TV writers, this whole Pussy Riot episode is fake, fake, fake, fake and useful idiots all over the world fall for the script. When so called ‘celebrities’  like Madonna and Paul McCartney show their support, well, you know you’ve been had.

Overall, even the alternative media has failed to expose this blatant psyops. Check out Noor’s posts on this, here and here. Not everyone is fooled.

A fairly good summary comes from someone on the girl’s facebook page:

Freedom of speech is going into a Russian Orthodox Christian Church wearing KKK masks and denouncing Putin and Christianity? Really? What if some women went into a Synagogue in this country and sang some anti-semitic epithets? You better bet your Zionist owned ass that they would be tried as terrorists and disappeared into a Luciferian dungeon for the rest of their lives. This Pussy Riot stunt and the naked Ukrainian girl that chainsawed a Cross to the ground, is just Western backed agitation and BS propaganda. I’m all for free speech and women’s rights but this ain’t it. Ever since Putin kicked out the Jewish Oligarchs from Russia, the CIA/Mossad have been backing stunts like this. Don’t believe the hype. And Kasparov’s real name is Garik Weinstein, Zionist agent. And no culture that bases itself in a cesspit of Luciferianism, Propaganda, Pedophilia, Immorality and Insanity – all designed by Zionists who enjoy dumb goyim fighting amongst each other, will ever lead to a revolution that means anything. Only thing thing Pussy Riot will be good for is the headlining act at a FEMA Camp near you.

And from a comment here:

So obvious. The endless media coverage is of course the first tip off. Russia is standing in the way of certain designated “enemies”(Syria and Iran) and Israel and the US don’t appreciate it. Pussy Riot=obvious psy op.

And here:

The heavy sentence they received is probably the Russian’s way of sending a message to the people that they are not going to tolerate them siding with the US state department in an effort to destabilize the country. This is Putin after all. He’s making a point. And it’s probably not going to the missed by the others in Russia who are trying to help neo-liberalize the country and take them back to the Yeltsin years of corruption and pillaging the nation.

What really topped it off for me was the topless chain saw wielding Ukrainian girl cutting down a cross that was a memorial for those murdered and starved by Stalin’s bolshevik killers. One doesn’t have to be traditionally religious in the least to see it for what it is…an attack on true history that some would want us to forget.

We can understand the paid provocateurs.  They do it for the money and the little fame it brings them. It’s the blind followers that are worrisome.

From Propaganda by Edward Bernays

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

Small groups of persons can, and do, make the rest of us think what they please about a given subject.

There are invisible rulers  who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.

Nor, what is still more important, the extent to which our thoughts and habits are modified by authorities.

Women are just as subject to the commands of invisible government as are men.

August 19, 2012 Posted by | Deception | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel Disses US While Seeking ‘Bi-Lateral Alliance’ with Russia

By FRANKLIN LAMB | CounterPunch | July 6, 2012

Beirut – Two interpretations by the participants themselves, of what significant international meetings achieved, the first on 6/25/12 and the second five days later, remind us about subjectivity in the eyes of the beholders.

Post-event statements, whether following last weekend’s Geneva meeting on Syria which produced markedly different interpretations of the final communiqué language by the Russian and American Foreign Ministers, Sergei Lavrov (that Syria’s President Bashar Assad need not necessarily depart-depending on what the Syrian people decide) and Hillary Clinton, (Assad’s departure is absolutely required) may have sent French, Russian and English language interpreters looking for their thesaurus.

Similarly, vastly divergent Russian-Israeli interpretations about what was agreed to during the 24 hour “ just passing through” visit by  Vladimir Putin to Palestine and  the Zionist lobby’s touting of “ a new Israel-Russia bi-lateral alliance”  suggests serious wishful thinking by one side according to an official at the Russian Embassy in Beirut with whom this observer discussed last week’s Putin visit.

At a joint news conference after their meeting, Mr. Netanyahu said he and Mr. Putin had agreed that the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran “presents a grave danger first of all to Israel, and to the region and the world as a whole.” Israel, Netanyahu announced on 6/25/12, to raised eyebrows from some among the 400 member visiting Russian delegation, expects the once and likely future superpower to support expanded sanctions against Tehran, demand a halt to all uranium enrichment by Iran, insist on the removal of all enriched uranium from Iran and the dismantling of an underground nuclear facility near the city of Qum.

For Putin’s part, he only proffered that he and Netanyahu had discussed Syria and the Iranian nuclear program and that the talks had been “useful”.  During his short visit Putin inaugurated a memorial in Netanya for Soviet troops killed in World War II and presumably had others motives given Russia’s interest in Israel’s defense industry.  In the last two years Russia has purchased 12 drones from different Israeli companies.

The newly inaugurated Russian president, who has said he regarded the breakup of the Soviet Union as a geopolitical catastrophe, defended the Iranian people’s right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes but pointed out at the same time that Iran should guarantee non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, but in any case, the problem should be solved peacefully, by way of talks.

Israel’s Prime Minister repeatedly expressed reservations about Russia’s role in the long-stagnant Israeli-Palestinian “peace process”. He complained to Putin that Russia, a member of the so-called quartet of Middle East peacemakers has consistently sided with the Palestinians during disputes. Netanyahu called on Putin to urge the Palestinians to return to negotiations but received a puzzled look from his guest as if Putin might have been wondering why Israel has not suspended illegal settlements expansion and land confiscations, as the Palestinians and the international community have  demanded for over four decades.  Undaunted, Netanyahu appeared not to notice Putin’s quizzical expression while insisting that he was sure that the Russian visit would improve ties in agriculture, science, technology and space, “among other fields’.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s staff explained that the Soviet Union had been hostile to Israel and now relations should improve while Defense Minister Ehud Barak said at an Independence Party meeting that “Russia is a very important world power, a country that played a very important role in Syria’s history in the past few years and that is why it will play a key role in the shaping of post-Assad Syria.” Barak also stressed Russia’s importance in “the international effort vis-à-vis Iran in terms of sanctions and diplomacy and his belief that Putin understood that in dealing with Iran, Israel faces a decision between “bombing or the bomb” and if Israel doesn’t attack, Iran will eventually obtain nuclear weapons.

Yet, according to Russian Embassy discussions in Beirut, Putin repeatedly warned Israeli officials that the very existence of Israel was at risk if it attacked Iran and that Israel should not delude itself that Russia will ever sanction an attack on Iran or that Russia will get involved with Israel’s attack in anyway.  Putin emphasized that Israel should think twice before taking any action on Iran and should learn lessons from the United States’ experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Look what happened to America in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Putin said. “I told Obama also. You don’t need to jump to things too early; you don’t need to act before thinking. In Iraq there is a pro-Iranian government after everything that happened there. You need to think well before doing something you’ll be sorry about.” Putin also told Netanyahu that Russia will recognize a Palestinian state.

Several high ranking Bush administration officials, drawing salaries from US taxpayers while serving Israel, and who pushed the US to invade Afghanistan and Iraq are currently attempting the same fate for Iran. Backed by the Zionist lobby, they and the Russians are in agreement that only US incompetence gave both countries to Iran with more quite likely in the pipeline from the Persian Gulf area.

Arab and Islamophobe, Ruthie Blum, former senior editor at the Jerusalem Post, and author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring’, claims that President Obama and the American taxpayers have betrayed Israel.

Blum, writing in the current issue of Israel Hayom explains that “Since the minute that Barack Obama became president of the United States nearly four years ago, it was clear that the Jewish state was being tossed aside like an unappreciated, loyal, long-time wife for a far more alluring, utterly inappropriate, and dangerous lover. Indeed, Obama has not hidden the hots he has always had for the Islamic world; nor has he been the least bit discreet about his attraction to its more anti-Western elements. It is the height of tragic irony that, in the absence of its previous protection by its adulterous spouse, America, the Israeli government has nowhere to turn but to Russia.

Netanyahu’s staff, which sent her piece to US Zionist lobby outfits, reportedly sees, as their boss does, Israel’s very existence at stake, and he’s prepared for Israel to go it alone or link with Russia because he’s “unwilling to entrust the survival of the Jewish state to America.”

Meanwhile, during a talk-show when Ruthie finally gave him a chance to get a word in edgewise, Israeli journalist and TV show host, Dan Margalit, announced that: “In a time when the Arab-Left-anti-Semitic axis is doing its utmost to delegitimize and marginalize Israel, Putin’s visit has the power to counter dozens of evil-hearted artists and musicians who boycott Israel. If such visits were the norm, Israel would have laid the red carpet at Ben-Gurion International Airport and welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama by now, but he is understandably not trusted here while Romney is plus if Mitt is elected President he promised his first trip will be to Israel. Obama has never come once since he became President.”

The Obama administration, but not apparently the Congress, was taken aback and issued a statement from Ben LaBolt, an Obama campaign spokesman: “Governor Romney has said he would do the opposite of what President Obama has done in our relations with Israel. Now he must specify how — does that mean he would reverse President Obama’s policies of sending Israel the largest security assistance packages in history? Does it mean he would let Israel stand alone at the United Nations, or that he would stop funding the Iron Dome system? Does it mean he would abandon the coalition working together to confront Iran’s nuclear ambitions?”

Netanyahu advisor Benny Goldberg explained Israel’s seemingly awkward overtures to Russia as realpolitik. “Look, it’s like the coming Mitt Romney visit.  We will welcome him as well as Obama if he decides to visit.  After all, in the US Congress we seek support from both sides of the aisle so it’s logical that we want the same relationship with Moscow as we have with Washington.”

So much for the Obama administration’s fantasy of the US-Israel special, one of a kind devoted, legendary, eternal, rock solid, unbreakable, forever and ever iron-clad bond and indivisible alliance which gives America a reliable, democratic strategic Gemini-twins like partnership with America and her very generous, if uninformed, taxpayers.

Some cynical Congressional staffers have commented that Israel already has the US government in its back pocket and that Congress will guarantee that it remains so; therefore Israel has nothing to lose by intimating to the Russians that will discard the US at least to the extent of promoting Russian interests in the region.  After all, as is well known in the White House, Israel sold to the USSR, through a third party, stolen top secret specialized code-word compartmented (TS/SCI) intelligence via Jonathan Pollard, which from his KGB tenure Putin presumably  has direct knowledge of.”

Goldberg also explained recently that in the past it was only logic that dictated switching Israeli acceptance of the “keeping the Golan Heights quiet Alawi Shia regime in Syria” which at the time made sense given the concomitant danger from Sunni Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. But now Israel has switched its support for a Sunni regime in Syria that it hopes will confront Iran and Hezbollah.  Realpolitik also dictates that if the Sunnis fail to topple Assad Israel can live with that also because it believes that Israel’s annexation of the Golan will not be challenged with more than words.

There is little conflict between Russia’s and Israel’s interests because neither country is as powerful as it would like to be in the region. Russia has few of the options it had during the Cold War and Israel has little influence in the outcome in Syria or in Egypt.

On the other hand, Russia and Israel do have some complementary interests. One example is Azerbaijan where Russian is a major weapons provider for the regime and the Israelis are also selling it large amounts of weapons.  The CIA suspects it has set up a base from which to spy on, and, according to rumors, prepare to attack Iran. Apparently Russia does not feel threatened by Israeli involvement in Azerbaijan or that both are there, and each operate in ways that would appear to be in conflict but don’t, according to Stratford’s George Freeman.

There are also some bilateral interests on an economic and a strategic level, because Russia is looking for new partners in the area.

In addition, both Russia and Israel have benefited enormously from U.S. “terrorism wars” in the Islamic world. It is not just that these wars alienate Muslims, which is beneficial to Israel, but they also help the Russians due to the debilitating human and economic cost for America.

As the US staggers, and with Russia and China practicing shrewd Middle East politics, one imagines that Israeli leaders might be recalling the days and reasons that the Zionist colonial enterprise dumped England for America following World War II.

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Beirut and is reachable c/o fplamb@gmail.com

July 6, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment