Posts Tagged ‘russia’

After US Media’s Campaign To Link Trump To Russia, Obama’s Secret Deals With Russia Are Revealed

March 29, 2017

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, March 23, 2017

translation provided by Russian Ministry of InformationTable of contents

  1. The assassination of former Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov
  2. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s talks with Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano
  3. Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund to be chaired by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
  4.  Russian-Turkish interdepartmental consultations on combating terrorism and organised crime
  5. The situation in Syria
  6. Western media silence regarding Mosul
  7. Situation on the Korean Peninsula
  8. UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs approves Russian anti-drug personnel training initiative
  9. Publishing recommendations on standards of conduct in various countries on the Foreign Ministry’s websites
  10. Cases of prosecution of Montenegrins favouring stronger ties with Russia
  11. Yet another anti-Russia Western media campaign in connection with the FIFA World Cup 2018 
  12. Answers to media questions:
  13. Russia-US collusion to deliver “strikes” against Hillary Clinton’s campaign
  14. Evaluating the US-led coalition’s successes in the fight against ISIS
  15. The Turkish Foreign Ministry summons Russian charge d’affairs ad interim
  16. Returning to Poland the wreckage of the plane that crashed near Smolensk in 2010
  17. Russian-US relations
  18. Settlement of the Syrian conflict
  19. The assassination of former State Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov
  20. Statements by the US Secretary of State on the situation in the Korean Peninsula
  21. Russian-Turkish relations
  22. Vandalism
  23. The Moscow conference on the settlement of the Afghan conflict
  24. The assassination of former State Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov

The assassination of former Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov

Moscow has been stunned by the reports of the cold-blooded murder of former State Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov today, March 23, in central Kiev.

Evidence suggests it was a contract killing that, by all indications, was meant to send a message. As soon as the media reported this assassination Moscow hoped that Ukrainian law enforcement agencies would be able promptly to solve this crime and identify the masterminds behind it and of course its perpetrators, without any politicisation and based on objective data. However, after Ukrainian President Poroshenko announced that this assassination was “an act of terror perpetrated by Moscow,” naturally, there was no more hope left that the investigation would be impartial or objective. We have no doubt about that. By all indications, this time as well the “killer regime” (as it is already being referred to) will do its best to make sure that no one will ever know the truth about what happened in Kiev.

We would like to express our condolences to Mr Voronenkov’s family and friends.

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s talks with Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano

On March 27, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano will make a working visit to Russia at the invitation of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. It will be his first visit to Moscow in this capacity since the new Italian government was formed in December 2016.

The talks are expected to address the status of and prospects for Russian-Italian political, economic, scientific and technological ties. Special attention will be given to advancing successful cooperation in culture and education, as well as contacts between civil societies.

The ministers will address key international issues, including the situation in Syria, Libya and Ukraine, the fight against international terrorism, cooperation with Italy at the UN Security Council and Russia-EU relations.

During his visit to Moscow, Mr Alfano, as co-chair of the Russian-Italian Council for Economic, Industrial, Currency and Financial Cooperation, will hold talks with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. The officials are expected to discuss the implementation of the decisions made at the council’s 14th meeting in Rome on October 5, 2016, including measures to overcome negative trends in bilateral trade.

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Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund to be chaired by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

On March 29, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will chair a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund devoted to the results of its activities in 2016 and plans for the near future.

I would like to remind you that the Alexander Gorchakov Fund was established at the initiative of the Foreign Ministry (co-founder) in 2010, under the President’s directive to support public diplomacy, promote Russian non-profit organisations’ participation in international cooperation and involve civil society institutions in the foreign policy process.

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Russian-Turkish interdepartmental consultations on combating terrorism and organised crime

As Russian-Turkish relations are gradually normalising, the resumption of dialogue on combating terrorism, which is relevant for the whole world and our two countries, has become an integral part of the bilateral agenda. Particularly in view of the important role that Russia and Turkey play in the context of the very complex processes that are taking place in the Middle East and North Africa, primarily in relation to the conflict in Syria and the fight against ISIS.

On March 29, another round of Russian-Turkish interdepartmental consultations on fighting terrorism and organised crime will take place in Moscow under the auspices of the foreign ministries of both countries. The previous consultations were held in Ankara in October 2016.

The Russian delegation, with a wide circle of representatives from relevant ministries and departments, will be headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov.

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The situation in Syria

On March 23, the next round of intra-Syrian talks based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254 will begin in Geneva under the auspices of the UN. The delegations of the Syrian government and Syrian opposition groups invited by the UN will continue consultations in keeping with the agreed-upon agenda, including forming trustworthy, inclusive and non-confessional governance, drafting a new constitution, using it as the basis for holding elections, fighting terrorism and other topical issues. In our view, combating terrorism is a priority topic, because, as evidenced by the recent terrorist attacks in the Damascus suburbs and Hama Province, terrorism remains the main impediment to peace in Syria.

The decisions that will be made in the context of a peace settlement in Syria should be worked out by the Syrians themselves and approved by all of the country’s political, ethnic and religious forces. Otherwise there is a high risk of the disintegration, breakup of the state.

We welcome Damascus’s constructive approach toward achieving practical results at the Geneva talks. We hope that representatives of the Syrian opposition will also demonstrate their willingness to come to agreement and most importantly, their commitment to restore peace and order in Syria.

We unfortunately must note – and this is obvious – that not all parties are pleased with the fact that the political process has restarted. We regularly record attempts to stymie its progress through certain representatives of the opposition who are continuing to make all sorts of preconditions verging on ultimatums. The militants are continuing to receive arms and ammunition, new members of criminal groups and, above all, funding from abroad.

Moscow is disappointed with the position of its Western partners in the UN Security Council. Their refusal to condemn the bloody terrorist attacks in Damascus in March and the suppression of these events, as well as of the use of chemical agents by ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq, point to their reluctance to take effective steps to confront the terrorist threat, which remains extremely high.

On March 19-21, Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists carried out a series of attacks in Damascus suburbs. Clearly, all those attacks were militarily futile. It seems that they pursued quite different goals: to complicate the situation as much as possible, derail the efforts to consolidate the ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta, assisted by the Russian centre for reconciliation in Syria, and prevent the cessation of hostilities at the local level in Berze and Kabun, the suburbs of the Syrian capital.

These terrorist attacks were thoroughly planned. We took note of the remarks by Abu Jaber, a Nusra field commander, who, in a statement on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the “revolution” that the opposition marked on March 15, vowed to step up the fight against government forces “on all fronts” and threatened new large-scale terrorist attacks.

The Syrian army gave a fitting rebuff to the terrorists.

Clearly, not all parties want peace in Syria, unfortunately. Nevertheless, for our part, we are continuing our focused work in Astana, Geneva and other venues to bring closer the long-awaited peace through a political settlement and the elimination of the terrorist hotbed in Syria, which is our friend.

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Western media silence regarding Mosul

I would like to draw your attention to a fact that we have repeatedly mentioned earlier when discussing the situation in Mosul and its coverage by Western media, government agencies and officials.

We have said that reading Western mainstream media makes you think that civilians and children have been killed only in certain cities, particularly in Aleppo. Not one of the Western media outlets has dug deeply into what is happening in Mosul. In fact, it is even worse. There is no need for digging; all journalists need to do is to stop hushing up or ignoring stories like that of five-year-old Havra from Mosul, who was gravely wounded in an air raid by the US-led coalition. Leading Western political commentators, journalists, and analysts are not there holding images or pictures of that girl. For some reason, neither her name, nor her photos have made it into briefings or news conferences in Western capitals. Havra is virtually non-existent even though questions are being asked about her. However, even when answering questions, Western representatives are doing their best trying to minimise the media impact, as they call it.

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Situation on the Korean Peninsula

We are watching closely the developments on the Korean Peninsula, where tensions are rising, much to our chagrin, following the North Korean missile tests and large-scale military drills to practise offensive operations against North Korea that were held as part of US-centred military and political alliances in Northeast Asia. The continued US military build-up in the region, including the deployment of the THAAD system in South Korea, is a serious destabilising factor.

Decreasing military activities is becoming a more pressing task. We consider it unacceptable to take advantage of the current situation in order to gain a unilateral military advantage or to massively “push” new types of weapons into the region. We are certain that progress towards peace and stability in Northeast Asia is impossible without a comprehensive resolution of current issues solely through political and diplomatic dialogue that takes into account the concerns of all parties involved. We see no alternative to a joint search for a new and constructive strategy out of the current deadlock in the context of general military and political deescalation and dismantling of the architecture of confrontation in the region. Does it sound too complicated? I don’t think so, because even though “wrapped” in a diplomatic parlance, this formula reflects our consistent stance on the issue that we have repeatedly explained and communicated to our partners.

To this end, Russia is ready to work as closely as possible with all interested parties.

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UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs approves Russian anti-drug personnel training initiative

The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs held its 60th session in Vienna on March 13-17. It was a landmark event for the Russian inter-agency delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov. It was the first-ever joint session of SCO member states and leaders of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, which gathered under the aegis of the CND to discuss the key aspects of the global anti-drug strategy and its implementation. The CSTO member states made a special statement in Vienna to voice their readiness to work together against trans-border drug threats, including the Afghan threat.

The session unanimously approved the Russian delegation’s draft resolution “Enhancing capacity of law enforcement, border control and other related agencies to counter illicit drug trafficking through training.” Building on Russia’s experience with Central Asian, Afghan and Pakistani drug police training, the resolution makes an important contribution to the practical implementation of decisions adopted at the special session of the UN General Assembly on the global drug problem, held in New York in 2016.

During its current four-year Commission membership, Russia has advanced a number of widely approved initiatives to promote Olympic and other athletic ideals as  a means of combatting drug addiction, establish a network of scientific consultations to find the most effective anti-drug tools, and shut down illegal drug-related finance.

We expect the Russian contribution to international anti-drug cooperation to promote Russia’s full-fledged participation in the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs following the elections to that interstate agency, due at the April ECOSOC session.

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Publishing recommendations on standards of conduct in various countries on the Foreign Ministry’s websites

I would like to draw your attention to information that will be of interest to our citizens travelling abroad, tourism operators and tourists. Our Ministry constantly places priority on assistance to Russian citizens who travel abroad or stay there with short-term or long-term goals. In this context, the Foreign Ministry’s experts asked themselves how to prevent misunderstandings and undesirable incidents with citizens of a particular country. With the help of the Russian embassies in various countries, a great deal of work was done to collect and analyse information on unwanted gestures and behaviours abroad, that is, simply, what we should not do in those or other places, where seemingly inoffensive words, expressions, gestures and movements can be perceived negatively, and even hostilely, taking into account the traditions of this locality, region or country.

As a result, the Ministry published a set of recommendations on its Internet resources, including general advice in various fields (religious life, everyday communication, informal contacts, etc.) and the specifics of conduct of certain peoples or social groups.

The full list of these recommendations can be found on the Crisis Management Centre Department’s website, sos.mid.ru, in the For Tourists section. You will be able to find any information about any country there. Also, this information will be posted on the consular website. We strongly advise everyone going abroad to read this information, as the holiday season is coming. You will certainly learn many new things. I would also ask everyone who does not find the necessary information or finds disputable information to write to us – you know how to do this: via email, in the social media and to the addresses on our websites. We will be happy to make the necessary additions. We will also make changes if you find an inaccuracy. We are open to dialogue on this issue. Of course, I would also like to draw bloggers’ attention to this section. We are waiting for a flashing response.

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Cases of prosecution of Montenegrins favouring stronger ties with Russia

We have taken note of reports of a sentence handed down by the High Court of Podgorica to Mayor of the Plav Municipality Orhan Sahmanovic, a member of the Bosniak Party.

Sahmanovic’s case, in our opinion, once again demonstrates that justice “a la Montenegrin” is fairly selective; rather it is more of a tool for a politicised struggle against dissent than for combating corruption and crime. This is an obvious sign of a vicious practice of instituting legal proceedings and organising political trials against Montegrins favouring, among other things, stronger ties with Russia.

I would like to remind you that, two months ago, Orhan Sahmanovic, in his capacity as the head of the Plav Municipality, together with leaders of the Democratic Front Adrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic, against whom the Special Prosecutor’s Office of Montenegro has brought charges of suspected involvement in an alleged coup attempt, were visiting the Chechen Republic to establish fraternal ties between the two regions and strengthen friendly contacts between the peoples of our countries. A question arises whether it was this that has given an additional impetus to the routine case that has been in the hands of the Montenegrin Themis since 2014.

The obvious disproportion between several thousand euros worth of damage caused by the official and a one-year prison sentence for him arouses big questions. It is no secret that, in the past, the Montenegrin justice system sentenced a high-ranking ruling party functionary accused of multi-million embezzlement to just two years of house arrest. Against this background, Sahmanovic’s case is a graphic example of the absolute puppetry of Montenegrin justice.

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Yet another anti-Russia Western media campaign in connection with the FIFA World Cup 2018

Yet another spiral in the anti-Russia Western media campaign concerns the FIFA World Cup 2018. We still remember the Western press innuendos about the “shoddy organisation” of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and the “absolute failure” that had been predicted for a long time until the athletes and guests came to Sochi and saw everything with their own eyes. We remember the “black PR campaign” in the run-up to the Sochi Olympics and a similar campaign based on allegations that Russian athletes used doping, etc. Currently the media are fulfilling a new order related to the FIFA World Cup 2018. In a short while, we all will witness the Western world’s vigorous actions in this area. They will be taking serious steps with regard to the event to be held by Russia. It goes without saying that their aim is to disrupt it. The full information capability will be used to influence public opinion; there will be various surprises. Regrettably, the #мидзнал hashtag (the Foreign Ministry knew) will not lose its relevance.

So far, the mercenary media are attempting to do all they can to smear the World Cup organisers’ image. You may recall that not long ago the BBC released a film, Russia’s Hooligan Army, dedicated to football fans. We evaluated this “blockbuster.” Later the British media began whipping up passion in the run-up to the Rostov-Manchester United game in the final sixteen of the Europa League. A few days ago, a British tabloid, the Mirror, published a story alleging that Russia was training fighting fan groups meant to provoke fist fights with foreigners. I just can’t understand what they are hoping for. Do they hope that we will not see all this or that all the elements of a single campaign will not come to light? It can’t be ruled out that we will not see a certain comprehensive Western-developed document on starting this propaganda campaign. But that’s now; later all these things will certainly come to the surface. A clear mainstream line is emerging even without the publication of materials providing unequivocal evidence of launching the propaganda campaign. It has been ordered and paid for, because it costs a lot to make films of this sort. The same allegations migrate from film to film, from material to material, from story to story…

We again hasten to disappoint the PR teams that make this information trash. The media have exposed these stories. You may have seen that the author passed off the Maslenitsa (Shrovetide) fist fights near the walls of the Izmailovo Kremlin as the drills of “fighters” and that the “frightened residents” were several old woman vendors from the nearby Vernisazh market. In principle, every cloud has a silver lining, as the saying goes. We invite everyone who comes to this sports event to visit the Izmailovo Kremlin, and the Vernisazh exhibition folk fair of decorative and applied arts. Anyone who visits these places will see how they drill fighters and football hooligans and buy souvenirs too. Quite likely, you will recognise one or two characters from British media stories.

I would like to advise foreign football club fans, primarily British clubs, considering that their country has taken up this PR campaign with so much zeal, calling into question traditional Russian hospitality, I would like to advise them to be more attentive, to refrain from inventing these farfetched stories, and just listen to the opinion of their fellow countrymen, who were not afraid, despite your – I am addressing the British media – scaremongering, to come to Russia in March 2017.  Manchester United is reported as thanking FC Rostov and its fans for a warm reception. Sky News had to admit that the fears of the English fans did not come true. Even the BBC reported that the hosts had given MU fans a warm reception, and literally a “warm reception.” You may have heard that Russian volunteers were distributing blankets, because our climate, unlike our hospitality, can be harsh.

Instead of misleading stories in the run-up to FIFA World Cup 2018, check your information and use specific life situations and logic rather than mainstream sources alone. All of this is exposed and revealed and one feels ashamed to read it.

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Answers to media questions:

Question: According to CNN, officials working for Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump had colluded to coordinate actions damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. How could you comment on these reports?

Maria Zakharova: We keep talking about CNN. Unfortunately, this is becoming commonplace for this television channel. They are approaching the moment of truth. All of us know about the political leanings of the CNN TV channel and the civic position of its employees. It is necessary to distinguish between the civic position, electoral activity and propaganda and involvement in the domestic political competition, which, in principle, undermines the democratic foundations of a state that has openly told the whole world that it will spread democracy to the most remote corners of the globe. Current developments obviously highlight the subjective bias of media outlets and their involvement in political games and blackmail. In fact, this has gone beyond games: it is blackmail plain and simple. All of this certainly deals a huge blow to the pillars of democracy.

For many years, the United States remained an exemplary democratic system. Current developments in the United States are a tremendous blow to democratic values. Why are CNN and other media outlets becoming involved in the political tug-of-war? This question should be addressed to them, rather than to us. It defies all reason. People, organisations and, of course, the media work a lot to earn a certain reputation and status. Gaining confidence is the most important thing; but confidence can be undermined in no time at all. Confidence in CNN was undermined long ago, but the problem is that confidence in all media outlets is also being undermined. This trend is very dangerous.

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Question: The US Department of State estimates that the United States and the US-led coalition has liberated 60 percent of Iraqi territory and 30 percent of Syrian territory that was previously controlled by ISIS militants. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that the coalition’s operations have reduced the influx of foreign militants by 90 percent. What can you say about the US-led coalition’s success? And what do you think about their future plans to create security zones?

Maria Zakharova: It’s up to military experts to evaluate progress on the ground. Regarding political assessments, we should say (and we are saying this all the time) that it is important to think about the price of these successes, the fight against terrorism and civilian casualties. The United States has been urging us to think about this. What we can see in Mosul amounts to unprecedented brutality and a tragedy affecting civilians, women and children. We have absolutely no doubts concerning the need to combat terrorism, but the civilian population should not be forgotten either. It is people and their destinies that should top the agenda. As I see it, US representatives should reread their own theses and statements dating to September-October 2016 and be guided by the advice they have offered to the world.

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Question:The Russian charge d’affaires ad interim in Ankara has been summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry in connection with the murder of a Turkish soldier, presumably by a Kurdish sniper. How would you comment on this?

Maria Zakharova: Our Turkish colleagues have invited Sergey Panov, the Russian charge d’afaires ad interim, to discuss the current situation, which remains complicated in the context of the Syrian peace settlement. As you know, Turkey is one of our main partners in resolving the Syrian crisis. I would like to note that you should directly contact the Defence Ministry on all issues linked with military aspects, in any context.

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Question: What is your comment on Poland concluding a contract with a former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo, under which he is to help the country retrieve the wreckage of the plane that crashed in Smolensk in 2010? Do you consider this move by Poland reasonable?

Maria Zakharova: I have not seen this information, and I will ask our experts to prepare a comment.

Poland is a free and sovereign nation, and it can make such steps if it likes. I believe the question may be more about what Poland wants from Russia as far as the wreckage is concerned. As you may know, we have repeatedly made it clear during our briefings and bilateral contacts with our Polish partners, not to mention  other statements and interviews, that our Polish colleagues are free to analyse without limits everything associated with this tragic event. We have repeatedly called on them to come to Russia by agreement with relevant ministries and agencies and at any time convenient to them to work on this. If they need to go through some details that have not yet been made clear to them regarding this tragedy, nothing is preventing them. It is another matter if this is politically rather than forensically motivated. In this case, we have nothing to do with it. It is a domestic Polish issue, which it is sad to comment on, to tell you the truth. This is the stance of not only the Foreign Ministry but of all the Russian ministries an agencies that are directly or indirectly associated with this matter. If our Polish colleagues need to clarify any issues or to continue to analyse the wreckage and documentation, they are always welcome to Russia. All they need to do is to file a request, telling us about their intentions, and we will provide them with what they need as we always have.

I would like to repeat that regarding your question I will make inquiries as to the official position of the Foreign Ministry.

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Question: How do you see the future of Russian-US diplomatic relations in the context of the current atmosphere in Washington? Can you confirm that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will come to Moscow in April?

Maria Zakharova: Apparently, many volumes have been written about the development of Russian-US relations. I announced the release of the Foreign Ministry’s yearend Diplomatic Bulletin and even showed it at the previous briefing. I believe that about 20 per cent of that bulletin was devoted to Russian-US relations, the way we see them, how we want them to develop, what we expect from Washington, what we are willing to do with the United States, the priority areas of cooperation, areas where our cooperation should be revived without delay and the areas where this can wait, at least for a limited time. This issue has been covered in interviews by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, comments by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and in numerous statements made at all levels by representatives from various Russian agencies, political analysts and politicians, as well as officials from the legislative and executive authorities. We can talk about bilateral relations with a different degree of mastery, but we would like to start implementing our relationship at long last.

We provided our views on bilateral relations and the reasons for blocking them under President Obama. We said that we were willing to work with the new US administration, under President Trump. I don’t think we need to invent anything in this respect, because so much has been said before. Simply, we should start concrete practical work. We are ready for this.

You know that we always invite our American colleagues and diplomats to join bilateral or multilateral dialogues on issues in which the United States has traditionally played a big and active role, such as Syria, the consultations in Astana and many others. We expect Washington to formulate its foreign policy approaches in the form of a concept. We are ready for pragmatic and specific work on the principles that we have described many times.

As for the visit by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the information about it, this is what I can say. It’s not a secret that preparations for any visit include the coordination of the time when it can be announced. Visits by foreign ministers are public events that are never kept secret. At least, I don’t know about any secret visits by foreign ministers in Russia or the United States. Preparations for such a visit also include the coordination of the format, agenda and the date it can be announced to the public. It is a matter of propriety and respect for each other’s interests. One side proposes a date, and the other side is expected to accept it. This date should be acceptable to both sides, because the foreign ministers have packed schedules. The issue also concerns the coordination of the agenda by experts. One side informs the other side of the issues it plans to discuss, and the other side needs to respond that the agenda is acceptable. In other words, the sides need to reach agreements on many issues, after which they can announce an upcoming visit. This is how we work with our colleagues.

To tell the truth, over the past few years we’ve seen many strange things happen in Washington in connection with preparations for visits or talks by our foreign ministers. The US Department of State has more than once asked us not to announce planned visits until the last minute. This is not our tradition. We have been operating openly for years, but we have respected the requests we have received from our colleagues in Washington in the past few years. But what happened after that? First, the US Department of State asked us to keep the planned visit quiet and not to announce it until the last possible minute, until we coordinated the date. We did as they asked. But a day or two later the information was leaked by the US State Department and sometimes by the US administration. Frankly, this put Russia and the media in a strange situation, because they didn’t know who to believe – the official agencies or the many leaks.

It is difficult to say if this diplomatic communication is a US tradition or the latest technique. But it definitely doesn’t correspond to our traditions. We believe that everything we coordinate should be made available to the media in accordance with diplomatic procedure. When we coordinate a visit and the date for announcing it, the information should be made public calmly and as agreed. This is what we do in relations with our colleagues from other countries.

As I said, such cases in our relations with the US Department of State have become a bad tradition over the past few years. So, I can say in response to your question that we will make the date and format of contacts between the Russian and US foreign ministers public after we coordinate them. We won’t keep them quiet. At this point, I don’t have any information I can share with you. I can say that this visit and such contacts are possible in principle, but it would be premature to talk about timeframes.

Also, I would like to say that if the practice of leaking information that concerns not just the United States but also Russia, which has become a tradition in Washington in the past few years, continues, there will come a day when the media will publish leaks about the things that Washington asked us to keep secret, for example, things that happened during President Obama’s terms in office. Believe me, this could be very interesting information.

Our American colleagues must decide if they respect the diplomatic procedure, if they keep their word on the arrangements made between us, primarily arrangements made at their own request, or we create a few very nice surprises for each other.

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Question: You said that four issues are on the agenda of the Geneva talks: governance, constitution, elections and fighting terrorism. Will the Russian-proposed draft constitution for Syria be discussed there? In Astana, the Russian partners proposed creating a working group to draft a constitution. Will this proposal be included in the Geneva talks’ agenda? Sergey Lavrov said yesterday that Russia and Turkey would try to find a way to include Kurdish representatives in the Geneva talks. Will Kurds participate in these talks? An anti-ISIS coalition meeting of 68 nations has been held in the United States. It reaffirmed the US plan to establish “interim zones of stability” in Syria and Iraq. What is Russia’s opinion of this initiative?

Maria Zakharova: I can say in answer to your first question that the agenda and organisation of the Geneva talks is the UN’s responsibility. So you had better ask UN representatives about this. I know that debates on drafting a new constitution will include the discussion of the Russian proposals that have been presented to the concerned parties. It is not a draft but separate proposals and ideas that are designed to encourage an analysis and preparations for drafting a new constitution. We will be happy if they are discussed in Geneva. As I have said, it is not a final document. It is not a document we would force on others either in its form or essence. This is not what we wanted. It is a set of proposals that should encourage the intellectual process. I believe that these proposals can be discussed as separate elements. Maybe the parties concerned have used Russia’s proposals to formulate their own proposals. The Russian proposals will probably be discussed [in Geneva], but they are not on the agenda as a separate issue.

As for the [anti-ISIS] conference in the United States, Russia did not attend it because it is not part of this format. We don’t take part in such meetings, but we do analyse their results and put forth our position on the Syrian settlement without any connection to the agreements that have been reached without Russia’s involvement. There are formats in which Russia is involved alongside many of the countries that attended the conference in the United States. Therefore, if new agreements have been reached at this meeting and if they are of concern for the attending countries, these agreements can also be discussed in the formats in which Russia is involved. They can present these decisions or use them to formulate their proposals; we are ready to discuss and work on them. As I said, there are formats that have been created for this purpose, such as the UN and the International Syria Support Group (ISSG). We are ready to discuss anything that can be useful for the Syrian settlement and for bringing it closer.

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Question: Speaking about Syria, are there any visible indicators showing that Russia’s diplomatic and other efforts towards a settlement in Syria are attaining their goal?

Maria Zakharova: You question merits a doctoral thesis titled The Indicators of Success in the Efforts to Settle an International Conflict. I think your question has both theoretical and practical components. One of them is ceasefire and its effectiveness and stability. I am sure you know that it is a very important indicator.

A political settlement, including its launching and progress, is extremely important. We are very optimistic about the political settlement, because the Syrian opposition and the Syrian government have agreed to negotiate. The possibility of holding these talks looked unrealistic six months ago. Today, these talks have moved from theory to practice. Unfortunately, not everyone likes this, as we have said today. Active attempts have been taken to prevent a political settlement. If all parties concerned contributed to a settlement in Syria, we would have achieved very good results and forgotten about this problem long ago. It is regrettable that huge efforts are being made to impede progress towards a political settlement that has taken so long to start.

I believe that another indicator is the activity of the concerned international players at different platforms. Their influence on the warring parties is a major factor and an indicator of progress. Just one example: you probably remember that a year or two ago, the large global players who supported Syrian opposition groups and those who supported the Syrian government’s counterterrorism efforts did not talk with each other. Today, those who did not hear and seemed unable to hear each other even half a year ago because their positions were so widely different, are not only discussing things but are also working together on the ground. The Defence Ministry regularly informs you about this. I believe that this is also a very important indicator. Stability, or at least the desire and attempts to stabilise the situation in the country and ease the suffering of civilians, as well as the involvement of humanitarian agencies and organisations in helping people in Syria and other countries torn apart by conflicts are vital indicators of movement towards a settlement.

This is a short answer. I believe that you can also find theoretical writings on this issue and learn more about it.

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Question: Following the assassination of former State Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov, the Ukrainian authorities, followed by Western media outlets, began to accuse Russia, saying that a certain mythical “Kremlin’s hand” was behind the attack. Could you comment on these allegations?

Should other “defectors,” not only in Ukraine but also in other countries, who were put on an international wanted list by Russia (but for some reason, nobody is trying to catch them), fear for their lives and health?

Maria Zakharova: The second part of your question should be addressed not to me but to the relevant agencies.

As for the reaction from Kiev and global media outlets, which unequivocally held Russia responsible within an hour of the attackq, I have already commented on this, and I can say it again. The most terrible thing is that this shows that there can be no unbiased and objective investigation into the killing. We have not seen any objective investigation into many high-profile cases in Ukraine: the killings of journalists, public figures or politicians or the mass killings and executions in Odessa and other cities. The most terrible thing is not the accusations against Russia or the loss of image. The most terrible thing is that this “bloody flywheel” is gaining momentum in Ukraine. Whether anybody will be able to stop it is an open question. There is only one thing that can put an end to this series of bloody crimes: following the law and conducting an objective, unpoliticised and fair investigation. Then there would be a chance for Ukraine to return to the realm of law in some way or other. I’m referring to the ruling regime, the nationalists and militants, who are illegal armed groups. However, this will only be possible if the state – even under the existing regime – declares, in no uncertain terms, that there is a need for a full-scale, fair and objective investigation. Statements of this kind within minutes and hours of such tragedies are an indication of a state’s real intentions. Either a state is interested in conducting an investigation and does its utmost to that end, or there is every reason to say that a corresponding trend and tone is set for yet another bloody crime. How can the head of state, within minutes [of the attack], say things that are not based on any expert findings? Experts have not even examined the nearby area. They have written no reports, have not studied what happened. However, the head of state does not say that everything will be done to ensure an impartial and objective investigation, but makes accusations and issues statements addressed to a specific country. This is what I started with. Frankly, at first we were shocked by what happened, but we were shocked even more by Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s remarks.

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Question: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has already visited Japan and South Korea, where he commented on North Korea’s missile tests. He said there will be no talks because of North Korea’s aggressive nuclear missile test policy. He also said he could not rule out US military intervention in the event of a threat to its allies, Japan and South Korea. Could you comment on this?

Maria Zakharova: I’ve already commented on the situation in the region and offered our clear-cut vision of how the situation should develop. We have given our assessment of North Korea’s actions and the way the situation in the region should evolve, including in terms of security and stability. We have also described the negotiating format that we believe should receive priority as the most effective format. We have offered our assessment and recipes that, from our perspective, should lead to the appropriate result.

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Question: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said relations between Russia and Turkey have been restored, their divisions overcome and that the two countries are cooperating in dealing with the Middle East problems. How does the Foreign Ministry assess the current level of relations with Ankara?

MariaZakharova: We regard our relations with Ankara as a process of restoring full-scale relations to the level they were at before the incident with the downing of a Russian aircraft and the death of Russian servicemen.

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Question:  There are two Bulgarian patriots, two cultural figures in Russia, both of whom are People’s Artists of Russia: Filipp and Bedros Kirkorov. During the past 30 years, these Bulgarian patriots have not received a single commendation from Bulgaria. Perhaps this question would be better addressed to the Bulgarian authorities. Bedros Kirkorov was the first to perform the song Alyosha in Russia. I hope the Bulgarian authorities will mend their ways.

Maria Zakharova: I can assure you that the Kirkorovs are not considered foreigners in Russia.

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Question: Our news agency in Bulgaria has been attacked by many other media outlets, which accused us of engaging in “Putin’s propaganda,” although Media Most Bulgaria is a small news agency. We work with all open news agencies. We sought to provide information on what was going on in Syria. I risked my life as I spent a month in Iraq near Mosul. I have a lot of material and reports, but, regrettably, no one was interested. Attacks are made on my Bulgarian partners who represent Media Most in Bulgaria, but that’s nothing. Vandals have destroyed the grave of my partner’s father in the cemetery, and all this happens in the European Union! If we have foreign correspondents here, I’d like to ask them how they would feel if someone destroyed their fathers’ graves.

Maria Zakharova: I think it would be unfair to put questions to journalists who come here to ask questions. So please put your questions to me, and I will answer them. And if you have a discussion, let it be held after the briefing.

There are no countries without problems. Regrettably, outrages committed against graves and monuments and the desecration of graves are a common misfortune. This happens all over the world, and the question is how we respond to this. I don’t think that this issue should be politicised in any way until we see that there is no reaction from the official authorities, who should make appropriately tough statements about the inadmissibility of such things. Until that moment, I have the hope that this horrible incident (that’s how we should refer to this event) will evoke an appropriate response in your country. If this does not happen, and if you, moreover, think that this is a case of political pressure and a threat to you as a journalist, there are the related organisations, including the OSCE, which have relevant institutions. You can appeal to them and submit this as evidence, if, as you say, all of this is linked to your professional pursuits.

There are people who engage in such things. As human beings, we must condemn them. To reiterate: if you feel that your professional activity is under threat, an investigation should be held and a judgment issued.

Question: I would like to add that I saw such things only in Syria, where Christian cemeteries were vandalised in this way.

Maria Zakharova: Oh no, Syria is not the only country where such things occur. There are many others, and Christian burial sites, relics and places of worship are not the only targets. Places of worship, graves and monuments are desecrated all over the world. This is related to religion and historical memory. I can assure you that, regrettably, this is a common evil and misfortune. The question is how we, and the countries in question, respond to this.

Question: In April, Moscow will host a conference on conflict settlement in Afghanistan. Will Russia welcome the Taliban’s attendance?  

Maria Zakharova: I would need to check regarding the participation of a particular country. I know that Washington has not confirmed its participation in the April 14 conference. I must ascertain the information about the delegation of Afghanistan and other delegations, and then I will inform you.

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Question: Is Russia planning some measures for the protection of Denis Voronenkov’s widow?

Maria Zakharova: I do not think this issue is within the Foreign Ministry’s purview. This question should be addressed to law enforcement agencies and be decided with the participation of the Russian citizen you mentioned.

RELATED POSTS:

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Russia Today the only obstacle to God King Obama’s Global Empirea

August 22, 2015

Ian will not be posting for a few days (family business) and with the end of blog.co.uk in sight he has finally got round to changing his password so us Daily Stirrer contributors can’t post on his name – Xavier Connolly

Extracted from an article by Andre Vltchek published at Information Clearing House
(you’ll have to scroll down a way to reach this section)

Perhaps the greatest living European filmmaker, Emir Kusturica, recently wrote, sarcastically, that: “World War III will start with Pentagon bombing of RT”, referring to the powerful television network “Russia Today”. RT commented:

“RT is a real threat to US state propaganda as it reaches Americans “in their own homes, in perfect English, better than they use on CNN.” And that is why, according to the director, Washington could get fed up and seek to silence RT by force – much like NATO did to Serbian state TV in April 1999.

In turn, Kusturica predicts, Moscow would destroy CNN, which he considers the flag-bearer of pro-American propaganda: “CNN in direct transmissions assures that since the 1990s America has been leading humanitarian actions, and not wars, and that its military planes rain angels, not bombs!””

Although some of the greatest thinkers confronting the Empire – Saramago, Galeano and Pinter – have recently passed away, there are still many of those who are managing to escape indoctrination. Some are regrouping around new non-Western television networks like TeleSUR, RT and PressTV.

It is like Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”, all over again. Some people, stubbornly, refuse to burn their books.

Even in the West, some powerful media outlets – CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, ICH, VNN, Global Research, and others – are holding the line. They are not yet winning, far from it, but they are not dying, either!

As long as the independent thought is alive, not everything is lost.

“I rebel; therefore we exist”, wrote French philosopher Albert Camus. He also added: “The feeling of rebellion is born in oppression”.

The Empire denies that it oppresses the world. It indoctrinates both oppressors and the oppressed, re-defining, in fact “re-branding” oppression as freedom.

Those of us, who are managing to escape its indoctrination, are now rebelling. Therefore – humanity still exists.

Will USA Bomb Russia Today?

May 17, 2015

Today was a day I though might slip out of the future and into the past without really registering on the present. Browsing around however, I noticed an article from maverick US writer Lew Rockwell that amused me.

US Anger With RT Will Start World War Three – Emir Kusturica
posted on Lew.Rockwell.com

The award-winning film director believes that the next world conflict could start when the Pentagon decides to bomb the RT TV channel.

World War Three will break out when the US finally tires of the RT TV channel, and decides to bomb it; in retaliation, Russia will destroy CNN, writes film director Emir Kusturica, in an article published on Thursday.

“Everything is different to how it was during the Cold War! Because of that it is useless to talk about a return to how things used to be, and listen to Henry Kissinger scare us. In the meantime, China has become the strongest world economy, Russia has recovered from Perestroika, India is growing into a genie! Military experts don’t argue that Americans have the most organized army, but there remains the unsolvable puzzle for NATO generals, who have called one of the Russian rockets ‘SATAN.’”

“The devil never comes alone! At the same time with this rocket and numerous innovations, the TV Channel RT has also appeared among the Russian arsenal.”

“The program is broadcast in English, and watched by around 700 million people in 200 countries. The secret success of this television is the smashing of the Hollywood-CNN stereotype of the good and bad guys, where blacks, Hispanics, Russians, Serbs are the villains, and white Americans, wherever you look, are OK!”

“Congressman, and those in the State Department are continually upset by RT,” writes Kusturica, adding that the US Secretary of State, who Kusturica calls “Jim Kerry,” is “the loudest.”

“Kerry and the congressmen are bothered by the fact that RT sends signals that the world is not determined by the fatalism of liberal capitalism, that the US is leading the world into chaos, that Monsanto is not producing healthy food, that Coca-Cola is ideal for cleaning automobile alloys and not for the human stomach, that in Serbia the percent of people who die from cancer has risen sharply due to the 1999 NATO bombings, that the social map of America is falling from day to day, that the fingerprints of the CIA are on the Ukrainian crisis, and that BlackWater fired at the Ukrainian police, and not Maidan activists.”

In contrast, writes the film director, “CNN in direct transmissions assures that since the 1990s America has been leading humanitarian actions, and not wars, that from military planes fall angels and not bombs!”

“As time goes on RT will ever more demystify the American Dream and in primetime will reveal the truth hidden for decades from the eyes and heart of average Americans, in their own homes, in perfect English, better than they use on CNN.”

Well I would not have put it quite like that myself but all the same I have become very aware of the anger generated in Washington, and particularly in The Oval Office by the kind of paleolithic Americans who think their good guys / bad guys narrative is swallowed whole by the world at large.

Not only Russia Today, but Voice of Russia, Press TV (an English language Iranian channel) and Uruknet, an Arabic / English news site are in the business of challenging American propaganda. Now people will say we are foolish to believe anything we learn from the media in these places.

It’s quite true, we would. But not as naive as the fools to believe everything they are told by western media. To take the position that “they” are the bad guys therefore what they tell us is propaganda; “we” are the god guys therefore what our governments tell us must be truth is ignorant and stupid beyond belief.

But of course it is highly amusing to watch Russia Today undermining the carefully contructed and spun US / EU narrative on global affairs.

Time To Invest In Pork Bellies And Beans

July 29, 2014

pork belly and beans
Preparing for war: Pork bellies and beans (source)

When I was in my teens (yes I can remember that far back) everybody was interested in the events leading up to World War One (Our Grandads had been involved you see)and being an avid reader I devoured various novels and memoirs on the social conditions, political chicanery, elitist snobbery and stupidity and commercial opportunism that guided our blundering path to a senseless conflict.

And one think that fascinated me, because I knew nothing of the soldiers’ diet was the economic advice to invest in pork bellies and beans.

Many commentators in traditional and new media have commented on how similar current political conditions are to what happened in 1914, with powerful alliances refusing to back down. And then today I read something that is really worrying.

Having $50 billion of assets under potential seizure is enough to make anyone wince. However, despite a carefuly worded statement on the Yukos award, (a dispute over some Russian oil company) Vladimir Putin seems totally unfazed by the threat of further sanctions being imposed over the flight MH17 controversy. Now I think I understand why, and it’s very concerning.

As The FT reports:

The award is a landmark not just for its size – 20 times the previous record for an arbitration ruling. The tribunal also found definitively that Russia’s pursuit of Yukos and its independently-minded main shareholder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a decade ago was politically motivated.

Though Russia cannot appeal against the award, Moscow said it would pursue all legal avenues for trying to get it “set aside”.

Even if the ruling stands, shareholders face a tortuous battle trying to enforce it. If Moscow refuses to pay, they must pursue Russian sovereign commercial assets in the 150 countries that are party to the so-called 1958 New York Convention on enforcing arbitration awards.

But perhaps this explains why Putin is not coming out swinging, as The FT concludes,

One person close to Mr Putin said the Yukos issue was noit significant in light of the bigger geopolitical stand-off over Ukraine.

“There is a war coming in Europe,” he said. “Do you really think this matters?”

Source: The Financial Times

Well, got to go, I have to instruct my broker to buy pork bellies and beans futures.

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Who shot down MH17? Black Box Data Reveals Nothing We Did Not Know

July 28, 2014

rescue workers discover the flight recorder
Rescue workers discover Boeing 777 flight recorder (source)

As the political and media war over responsibility for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 continues, here’s a chance to view a report put together by the BBC Russia news channel (In Russian with English subtitles).

Strangely the Beeb have taken this report offline now. Make what you will of that. The video shows the handling of the Black Box flight recorders, which mainstream media and supporters of the global – government fascist movement (or the ‘progressive left’, as these lying, war loving, authoritarians like to label themselves) insisted would provide incontrovertable evidence that pro Russian rebels or military personnel from Russia were responsible for firing the BUK missile that brought down the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777.

As sensible commentators said, the flight recorders could do no such thing, their purpose is to provide technical data from the aircraft and conversations between crew members. Thus the black box data would prove that the aircraft was shot down by a missile or anti aircraft shell, but could not possibly identify who fired it.

Similarly a conversation between pilot and co pilot might go something like this.

“WTF? what’s that down on the ground, a puff of smoke. There.”

“Probably noth … oh shit, there’s a missile coming our way and this airliner is too big for evasive action.”

“No point anyway, those things are radar guided. The send out a blip and lock onto the echo that comes off our planes body. We’re fucked.”

“There must be something we can do? How fucked are we.”

“We’re fucking fucked, that’s how fucked we are. Kiss you arse goodbye.”

It may seem I am making fun of the tragedy here but that is not the case, the families of the dead have my deepest sympathy.

The game here is about ridiculing those evil New World Order shits like Cameron and Obama who have tried to use this event as a political opportunity to stir up public feeling in favour of war with Russia and the useful idiots and gullible dupes in mainstream media and the cybersphere who are prepared to believe all this propaganda and despite their claims of ‘liberal’ principles are mad for war. That such hypocritical morons have the audacity to attack those with enough nous to question government actions justifies my flirting with bad taste to make a point.

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Now Things Are Starting To Make Sense

July 26, 2014

It is now known that the uprising in Ukraine early this year that saw the elected government, which was cooperating far too well with Russia for the liking of the western powers overthrown and replaced by a US and EU sponsored gaggle of gangsters, thugs and neo – fascists whose task was to serve western interests rather than those of Ukraine’s population.

Many commentators have suggested that if we join up the dots the picture that emerges reveals a push by powerful interests to establish a USA led global hegemony. And when we look at regime change wars and civil unrest in other countries the screams of “conspiracy theory” from those who yearn to live under a global totalitarian government take on a hollow tone.

Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine have all been destabilised by international action led by the United States. Libya, Iraq and Syria all have oil So how do Afghanistan and Ukraine fit in.

Afghanistan is the key to opening a pipeline route from the Caspian and former Soviet Republics in central Asia to the Indian Ocean. And there are rumours of possible untapped oil and gas reserves in Afghan teritory.

Ukraines strategic location on the pipeline routes from oil and gas fields in the Caucasus and around The Caspian Sea into Europe. And then there’s this:

from zero hedge
Company In Which US Vice President Joe Biden’s Son Is Director Prepares To Drill Shale Gas In East Ukraine

Recall what we said earlier today: the proxy war Ukraine conflict, just like that in Syria preceding it, “is all about energy.” Recall also the following chart showing Ukraine’s shale gas deposits, keeping in mind that the Dnieper-Donets basin accounts for approximately 90 per cent of Ukrainian production. Finally, recall our story from May that Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, just joined the board of the largest Ukraine gas producer Burisma Holdings. Now put it all together and you will like figure out what will happen next.

Well maybe not what will happen next but certainly why the USA is so desperate to drive a wedge between Russia and Europe and to demonise Vladimir Putin while in the same move gaining control of Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves. And that offers some insight into why Obama was on TV blaming pro Russian separatists for downing Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 almost before it was hit.

It also demonstrates that the pro EU Ukrainian government and western interests had a lot to gain from politicising such an outrage. So ignoring any outbursts from certain Professorial pricks who can’t understand that when I said there was no evidence last Thursday that the separatists were responsible that is not the same as saying the separatists were not responsible or that somebody else was.

I know it is incomprehensible to childbrains who try and give their words authority by announcing “I’m a scientist”, or “I work in a university”, but in the real world there are often more than two possible answers to a question. (Actually I can truthfully say I have worked in three universities, Manchester, Liverpool and Corpus Christi, Cambridge; IT consultants get around.)

And so sensible people take a step back and wait for the details to emerge before jumping to conclusions. We’re still waiting.

Ukraine’s gas / oil deposits (source)

ukraine gas oil deposits

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America’s Dumbest Move Yet: Hijacking A Foreign Bank

July 25, 2014

Has Quentin Tarentino been given a role in the US Government. Ten dark suited men strolled into the headquarters of FBME bank in Cyprus last Friday (18 July) afternoon and took it hostage. It must have looked like a scene from a Tarentino movie. And given the surrealism of how the east / west or to be precise USA / Russia conflict is escalating, maybe it was.

The Reservoir Dogs lookalikes were from the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC). And they took control of FBME because an obscure agency within the US government recently issued a report accusing the bank of laundering money. On what grounds? You might well ask. It just so happens that FBME, and Cyprus in general, is where a lot of wealthy Russians hold their vast fortunes.

Bear in mind, there has been no proof that any crime was committed by FBME nor have reasonable grounds for suspicion been demonstrated. There was no court hearing. It wasn’t even the government of Cyprus who accused them of anything. No charges were read, no evidence produced ( although the men in suits might have said, “The American government says you’re guilty and we have to believe them because they’re not Russian,” as they did in connection with another of last week’s big news stories.

There was just a generic report penned by some bureaucrat 10,000 miles away.

Funny thing—when HSBC got caught red-handed laundering funds for a Mexican drug cartel last year, the US government gave them a slap on the wrist. HSBC got off with a fine.

Yet when the US government merely hints that FBME could be laundering money, the bank gets taken over at gunpoint.

Welcome to warfare in the 21st century. It’s not about battleships and ground troops anymore but bank accounts and bond yields.

How big an error is this compared with all Obama’s other recent fuckups such as Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and the rest. Massive. By terrorizing Russian interests, the Obama administration is begging the rest of the world to reconsider their misplaced trust in the United States.

All these foreign countries really have to do if they want to retaliate is start dumping their US Treasuries (which they are doing). Or simply stop letting the debt roll over when the notes mature. That will cause catastrophic consequences in the United States. Interest rates will soar, inflation will kick in, and the government will be even closer to default than it already is.

Inexplicably, Emperor Obama is practically begging the world to do this by reiterating his attitude filled pledge, “I was elected, I can do what I like.” It’s gobsmackingly arrogant. The US Republican’s response is tremendously stupid, they seem to think letting Obama screw up will make them popular. They will learn they world has not forgotten the Bush administration.

What Obama is doing is like the economic warfare equivalent of Napoleon and Hitler pompously throwing their already overstretched forces into a third front in Russia.

And neither Napoleon nor Obama gave the slightest consideration to the big picture consequences.

Here’s a funny thing about this story. My link to Yahoo News (above) is reliable enough but the original news report published in Cyprus News of Nicosia has been taken off line.

MH17 – Nothing is ever what it seems to be

July 22, 2014

MH17 – Nothing is ever what it seems to be

Having crossed swords this morning with someone who is quite sure that every word of propaganda is absolute gospel truth and he works in a university so knuckle dragging oiks such as me, who do not spend their lives insulated from reality in universities have no right to disagree with him (Boggart Blog tip: If you want to play the intellectual bully the first requirement is to actually possess an intellect,) therefore there can be no doubt whatsoever that Vladimir Putin personally fired the missile that brought down the Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine (I love hyperbole).

I love the naive belief of these “evidence based thinkers” that the inability of us sceptics to prove the Russian separatists did not do it serves as proof that they did. But I would remind readers that Boggart Blog has never said the pro Russian rebels in Ukraine did not bring down the plane, only that the evidence they did that has so far been offered is flimsy and full of holes. There is also much stronger evidence emerging which implicates the Kiev government. This may turn out to prove nothing more that the Kermlin propaganda dept. is more competent than the British and American propaganda departments.

Saying “Our guys are wearing white hats so the other guys are guilty,” is not how scepticism works however. And the problem our “evidence based” chums often encounter is that evidence does not necessarily confirm their wild assumptions.

Take a look at this for example:

The Los Angeles Times:

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was cruising just 1,000 feet above restricted airspace when it was struck by a missile in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, according to aviation and intelligence officials.

Despite ongoing violence in eastern Ukraine, including the recent downing of two military aircraft, Ukrainian aviation officials had closed the region’s airspace only below 32,000 feet in altitude.

The Boeing 777, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, with 298 people aboard, was at 33,000 feet when it vanished from radar screens, according to European aviation authorities.

Read all

That report does not prove responsibility but it does show the failure of western governments to make commercial airlines aware of the risks of overflying Ukraine’s conflict zone. It does however note that western intelligence was aware the only SAM equipment the rebels have is the MANPAD shoulder held launcher which fires missiles effective up to altitudes of 17,000 feet.

Reuters comments:

Malaysia Airlines filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000 feet throughout Ukraine airspace but was instructed by Ukraine air traffic control to fly at 33,000 feet upon entry ….

While CBS, in an article entitled “‘Big Question’ Is Why Plane Was Flying Over War Zone” asks the question many bloggers have been asking:

The Atlantic raises the competence issue:

Did aviation authorities know that this was a dangerous area?

Yes, they most certainly did. Nearly three months ago, on the “Special Rules” section of its site, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration put out an order prohibiting American pilots, airlines, charter carriers, and everyone else over whom the FAA has direct jurisdiction, from flying over parts of Ukraine.

So we see that it is not quite so clear cut as White Hats and Black Hats. I must admit to not having a clue who was responsible for bringing down Flight MH17 or whether it was a deliberate act of terrorism or a terrible accident.

What I find obscene however is the eagerness of politicians and media commentators in the west to blame Russia (and possibly provoke a global war – yesterday I wrote about what the mainstream media are not telling you, forgetting to mention that the Chinese have condemned the FUKUS axis rush to blame Russia). Has everyone forgotten already the false flag gas attack in Syria, the ‘humanitarian mission in Libya which turned into a regime change war and turned Libya into a failed state and the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan initiated by the western powers.

Western leaders don’t just want war, they’re mad for it. Perhaps they think that as in the 1930s, a global conflict will pull the west out of a prolonged economic depression.

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Giant Russian Hole Overshadows News From Ukraine, Gaza

July 18, 2014

malteser honeycomb centre
Maltesers: Does the Earth have a honeycomb centre like these sweets? (Source)

Russia Today reports that a major project is to be launched to investigate a mysterious huge hole that suddenly appeared in one of the most remote and inaccessible regions of northern Russia’s . It was unclear what had caused the gaping crater, about 100 meters in diameter, filmed from the air (see YouTube video below) in Yamal, which means “the end of the Earth” in the local Nenets language, where arctic temperatures winter temperatures regulrly plunge to -55 degrees Fahrenheit. Yamal, inhabited by indigenous reindeer herders, is one of Russia’s richest regions in natural gas.

The hole was found near the Bovanentsky gas field, leading to speculation that it could have been caused by an underground explosion. No Thor’s Hammer found as yet, not a secret passage to a ‘Stately Pleasuredome’ (where Aelph the sacred river ran, through caverns measureless to man, into a sunless sea – h/t Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Kublai Khan) in sight.

And, to the great disappointment of certain American conspiracy sites I like to look at, there was no evidence of an underground city built by The Nephilim millions of years ago, nor the secret headquarters of a megalomaniac, paraplegic, billionaire psychopath who rolls around in a nuclear wheelchair with a white Persian Cat on his knee as the plots to seize control of the world.
Other theories we are dismissing at this stage include Godzilla breaking loose from his thousand food deep tomb to terrorize Tokyo again, and the Norse Demon Angrbodr bursting out of Niflheim to summon the forces of darkness to Ragnarok , the final battle between good and evil.
So what caused the hole. Well I’m going to suggest that all the science and mythology up to now has been wrong and the planet is really a giant Malteser offered by the God Cronos to his consort Rhea. Or maybe not.

What I really want to know however is how can you be a helicopter pilot who shot that video and not want to go down that hole and hover to get a better look. Health and Safety issues I suppose. People are such wusses these days.

Story source Russia Today

The Obama Administration Just Accelerated The Demise Of The USA As Dominant Econimic Power

July 5, 2014

mistral helicopter landing ship
A mistral helicopter landing ship – at the centre of the bust up between France and the USA (source)

When we reported late last year that The Obama Administration in the USA was playing with fire by imposing fines on British (and German) banks because they handled transactions with Iran and other nations against which the USA has imposed sanctions, we did not expect an arrogant egomaniac like Barack Hussein Obama to take our warning on board. It might have been wise if Obama had listened to some of the international financiers and diplomats who were trying to remind the ego – in Chief he is president of the USA, not the entire world, but hey Obama knows that the colour of a man’s skin is the only measure of intelligence so I guess his critics just weren’t black enough for him to believe they knew what they were talking about.

The backlash began slowly enough, France, Britain, Germany and other European nations, along with governments in Africa, Asia and South America began making trade deals with Russia and China to conduct business in the currency of the vendor nation and undermine the status of the US$ as the global reserve currency.

It would be totally out of character for Obama to react to what is actually happening, the man is a solipsist and seems to believe he can bring about a situation by wishing it so. Thus the US compunded its error of believing the world must do its president’s bidding by imposing a multi-billion US dollar fine on France’s biggest bank, BNP, because the french government proceeded with delivery of a warship to Russia after the USA had declared military equipment trades with The Kremlin illegal after Putin made the Americans look like idiots over Ukraine. The French government took exception to this (well the ship was already built and warships don’t come cheap). In an interview given to French magazine ‘Investir’, the governor of the French National Bank Christian Noyer and member of the ECB’s governing board, made this rather gobsmacking response to a question:

Q. Doesn’t the role of the dollar as an international currency create systemic risk?
Noyer: Beyond [the BNP] case, increased legal risks from the application of U.S. rules to all dollar transactions around the world will encourage a diversification from the dollar. The fining ofBNP Paribas was the occasion for many observers to remember that there have been a number of sanctions (against non US banks) and that there would certainly be others in the future.

A movement to diversify the currencies used in international trade is inevitable. Trade between Europe and China does not need to use the dollar and may be read and fully paid in euros or renminbi. Moves towards towards a multi – currency trading system is the natural monetary policy, since there are several major economic and monetary powerful ensembles. China has decided to develop the renminbi as a settlement currency. The Bank of France was behind the popular ECB-PBOC swap and we have just concluded a memorandum on the creation of a system of offshore renminbi clearing in Paris.

We have very strong cooperation with the PBOC in this field. But these changes take time. We must not forget that it took decades after the United States became the world’s largest economy for the dollar to replace the British pound as the first international currency. But the phenomenon of U.S. commercial law expanding to all USD-denominated transactions around the world can have an accelerating effect.

In other words, the head of the French central bank, and ECB member, Christian Noyer, just issued a direct threat to the world’s reserve currency, the US Dollar, and the Obama administration.

In a nutshell, by attempting bring France to heel after the French honoured contractual obligations taken on long before there was any threat of sanctions against Russia by completing the delivery of a Mistral amphibious warship, the US decided it had the right to punish France by imposing a large fine on BNP, its leading bank. Really the fine represented blackmail by the Americans ( Putin revealed the BNP penalty was a used as a carrot to pressurize France into scrapping the Mistral transaction at a very late stage: had Hollande scrapped the deal, the French were promised BNP would face a far lower fine, if any). The blackmail attempt backfired catastrophically for America when as a result, the head of the French central bank spells it out that not only is the Dollar’s reserve currency status not immutable, but the international community will be even more eager to avoid USD-transactions in order to escape the tentacles of America’s global trade police.

The biggest irony is that in “punishing” France for dealing with Russia, the key player in the Eurasian alliance of Russia, China and Iran, the US merely gave France (and all of Europe) an enormous push towards Eurasia, toward a multi lateral global trading environment, (sorry fanatic believers in a one world, totalitarian collectivist government, but it’s looking less likely to happen every day).

Like I keep saying, it’s impossible to do political satire these days. Nobody could ever make up anything as crazy as the truth.

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