Posts Tagged ‘ukraine’

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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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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Ukraine regime change US led
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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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The stink of rotting fish is permeating the mainstream news

July 20, 2014

Can you smell it, that distinctive miasma of rotting marine life, the kind of thing you only expect to get a whiff of in fish markets around The Mediterranean on hot summer days. Strangely it seems to be everywhere.

fish market
Fish market (source)

Do you smell it yet?

Today the news is full of the Israeli assault on Gaza. Israel’s armed forces have invaded Palestinian territory with tanks under cover of aerial bombardment of Gaza’s shanty towns by missiles and airborne assaults. It has been going on for a few days, well over a week if we are being honest.

Do we hear screams of protest from the Obama, stern condemnation from Cameron, does Hollande remove his lips from the nipple of his latest mistress long enough to express outrage? No, the mealy mouthed equivocal comments we hear seem to suggest that the Palestinians should surrender and agree to all Israeli demands including granting the Israelis the right to kick the crap out of Palestine any time they feel like it.

In fact it is only outrage in the blogosphere that has woken up mainstream media, where most of the luvvieocracy have been happy to suck up to The White House and Whitehall by calling for the head of Vladimir Putin by way of retribution for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

In spite of all the inconsistencies surrounding that story and the question everybody is asking but nobody wants to answer, WTF was a civilian passenger flight doing on a route that took it over a conflict zone, all the luvvieocracy want to talk about is the “compelling evidence” that pro Russian separatists acting on direct order from Putin. This compelling evidence seems to be that a bloke on combat fatigues who carries an AK47 everywhere told a reporter that a Russian bloke in a self propelled SAM launcher drove up and said, “My name is Putin, I want you to use this fully armed bit of kit to shoot down the next passenger aircraft that flies over.” Well OK, I’m paraphrasing a bit.

Final moments of Flight MH17 – The Russian Version Of The Story

So while the luvvieocracy have been running round like headless chickens trying to find a way to blame Putin for the Flight MH17 outrage, the Israelis have as usual been getting a free pass to slaughter Palestinians. (Read more at BBC News)

So if we join up the dots the picture that emerges is somewhat confused, if fact all that emerges with any clarity is that for those who had an interest in diverting attention from what was happening in Gaza (i.e. Israel and its only international ally, the USA) a major disaster such as the shooting down of Flight 17 could not have happened at a more convenient time. If you know what I mean.

Now do you smell the rotting fish.

RELATED POSTS:
Latest Developments in Flight MH17 Story

Flight MH17 – a little common sense amid the politics

July 19, 2014

sam missile launcherSurface to air missile launcher – Ukranian military have them and men trained to use them. The East Ukraine separatists are nutters who are still trying to work out how to throw a Molotov Cocktail.

Looking for common sense on the Ukraine Malaysia Airlines downing I found in a Times Of India article the views views of experienced airline pilot Jaideep Banerjee. Veteran passenger flight commander Banerjee has come up with a pretty simple rule of thumb. He has told The Times of India’s reporter that civilian aircraft should avoid flying over any area that has a strong presence of UN Peace Keeping Forces.

“We are not dealing with Naxalites here. The rebels and militia in these areas are equivalent to state actors who have brute weaponry. Billions of dollars that Somali pirates get through ransom from hijacking ships is ploughed into the arms industry. What happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is unbelievable but true. We are now vulnerable and need to do everything possible to stay out of harm’s way,” Mr. Banerjee said.

Which is exactly what Boggart Blog (and anyone else with a smidgin of intelligence) was saying yesterday.

Trouble is the world is led by people who love and are addicted power and see war as a path to power. So while the decisions they make may seem insane to us, they are quite rational to the power elite’s warped world view.

The latest we have from the elite insane asylum is this via Reuters:

REUTERS – UKRAINE’S COUNTER INTELLIGENCE CHIEF SAYS HAS “COMPELLING EVIDENCE” THAT CREW OF “THIS SYSTEM” (BUK-1 MISSILE SYSTEM) WERE RUSSIAN CITIZENS.

Really? how could they know that? Presumably Ukrainian intelligence staff were not at the launch site taking note or filming events on their smart phones.

My guess is they got the information from the US Government or the CIA. Which means of course the evidence is as compelling as that which ‘proved’ the poison gas attract in Syria was launched by Assad’s troops. Funny how that story went quiet when real evidence emerged that the atrocity had been a US/Israeli false flag event.

Or maybe even as compelling as the evidence that Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq had Weapons of Mass destruction that threatened the west and gave another US President and another set of European arse lickers an excuse to start a war.

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Flight MH17 – this is very interesting


Whatever War Crimes Obama Accuses Russia Of You Can Bet America Has done It First.

World policitical leaders and media sycophants are lining up to condemn Russia for the dowing on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine. Here are a few snippets from our coverage:

What Is Democracy? Alf and Vlad know.

March 28, 2014

Alf Garnett
Alf Garnett – picture source

I’ve been accused of being opposed to democracy (bloggers get accused of all sorts, we’re immune to criticism) for presenting the Russian point of view in my comments on the Ukraine crisis.

These people then tell me as if they are imparting some great news I was unaware of, that “Russia is not a democracy.”

I’m aware of that, I’m also aware that Britian, the EU nations and the USA are no more democratic in the classical sense than Russia. News is manipulated, access to information controlled (and what a great tool the internet has turned into for those whose interests are served by restricting access to information. No matter, who needs the truth as long as you have Boggart Blog.

But what is democracy in this modern technological world. We have come so far from the Athens of Artistotle or the Rome of Quintus Fabius or or Cornelius Scipio. Democratic rule does not really work very well after a community’s population passes about 250,000.

So when people tell me Russia is not a democracy it is, is it not, a case of pot calling kettle back.

What I object to is the way the media call anyone undemocratic the moment they fail to fall ino line and do as bidden by Barack Hussein Obama acting on behalf of his wall Street / BIS bosses. Who elected him to tell Russians what to do, or Europeans of Brits for that matter.

Well with a bit of luch we will be “having a democratic word” with Dave and Co. about their willingness to abdicate their responsibilities and surrender British sovereignty to unelected control freaks.

And if they ignore us, we should perhaps remind them of the words of that great political thinker Alf Garnett: “You can’t ‘ave proper democracy wivout killing people.”

As this Russian example demonstrates.

from The Daily Telegraph
Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch and critic of Vladimir Putin, may have been murdered, a coroner ruled.

Mr Berezovsky’s daughter, Elizaveta, had told how she feared that he had been assassinated by Kremlin “enemies” for warning that the Russian president was a “danger to the world”.

A forensic pathologist hired by Mr Berezovsky’s family also told the inquest that he believed the former billionaire had been strangled to death by a “third party”.

Mr Berezovsky, 67, was found dead in a bathroom at his former wife’s £20 million home in Ascot, Berks, in March last year. He had a ligature around his neck.

The inquest previously heard that a mystery fingerprint was found near the body and a paramedic’s radiation alarm had sounded upon entering the house, leading to speculation that the oligarch was killed by Russian enemies.

Continue reading

Unmarked Boeing 777 Intercepted By Dutch Air Force

March 25, 2014

boeing 777 intercepted

Now things are really getting interesting.

A Boeing 777 of the type that recently went missing over the Indian Ocean earlier this month (Malaysia Airlines flight 370) and as recently as yesterday was reported to have crashed into one of the deepest parts of the ocean, off Western Austrialia, was earlier today reported to have strayed into Dutch airspace.

The mystery Boeing was flying with transponders and communications equipment switched off and reportedly did not respond to air traffic control. Netherlands Air Force F16 fighter planes were scrambled to intercept the Boeing 777 because it was on course for The Hague where world leaders are gathered to eat, drink and be merry at our expense discuss the Ukraine crisis.

Boggart Blog saw the story in English at Zero Hedge, but it originated from RTL News – a great site if you read Dutch

Yeah, That’ll Put The Wind Up Putin

March 25, 2014

Yesterday mainstream media reported Russia is engaged in a military build up along the Ukrainian border while Moldova’s breakaway province of Transnistria, makes noises about wishing to join The Russian Federation. We think David Cameron should be talking to Transnistria about the advantages of their joining the British Empire, check our our post on Transnistria from yesterday’s Noggart Blog and you will understand why.

Into the fray steps Barack Hussein Obama who is drawing red lines on the map again. The last one he drew went from Kuala Lumpur to Diego Garcia.

To counter that Russia’s show of military muscle, Obama and the US – of sector-wide sanctions on the Russian economy. According to administration officials, financial services, energy, metals and mining, defence and engineering are all in the crosshairs.

Once again Obama is all huff and puff and no substance, promising yesterday that “if Russia escalates the situation”, by which we assume he means they invade and annex the Russian – speaking east of Ukraine, then the US and the EU will impose “a greater cost”.

Based on Obama’s track record for wimping out when people challenged his authority as President Of The Entire Universe And Everything Else besides, we should be under no illusions as to what the US President might mean by full-on sanctioning of the Russia economy.

So as Russia lines up the tanks, planes, helicopter gunships, EMP weapons possibly and thousands of well equipped troops, in response Obama has threatened to cancel the bus passes of retired Russian oligarchs living in Florida.

Yeah, that’ll put the wind up Putin.

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Petrodollar Alert: Putin Prepares To Announce ‘Holy Grail’ Gas Deal With China

March 22, 2014

If the West has been trying to force Russia and China to recreate a twenty first century version of the old communist bloc, the alliance of a natural resource superpower and the other a fixed capital, low labour cost high output economic powerhouse and to give these two every possible incentive to create a new global reserve currency to marginalize the dollar and encourage Rouble and Renminbi bilateral trade, then this weeks events show the plan is going beautifully

While there have been no major developments or stock / currency trading crises as a result of the shift in the geopolitical axis that has shifted power away from the USA and the G7 (most insolvent nations) as a result of the bungled regime change attempts in Syria and Ukraine the chess board is looking very different. The west is focused on day to day developments in Ukraine, and how to halt Russian expansion through appeasement and limp wristedness (hardly a winning tactic as events in the 1930s demonstrated), Russia is once again thinking 3 moves ahead.

While Europe is furiously scrambling to find alternative sources of energy should Gazprom turn off the tap until Ukraine gives back the pipelines and the territory through which they run, to a government owned by The Kremlin,(the surge in Ukraine gas prices by 40% is probably the best predictor of that), Russia is preparing the announcement of the “Holy Grail” energy deal with none other than China, a move which would send geopolitical shockwaves around the world and bind the two nations in a commodity-backed axis.

Read more at The wall Street Journal

Meanwhile The EU, with head somewhat in the sand (as the democratic Euopean nations were in the summers of 1914 and 1939, is preparing for a trade war with Russia over Crimea (they are going to impose a fifteen point penalty on Roman Abramovitch’s Chelsea in the Premier League).

Europe began preparations for a trade war with Russia on Friday 21st March, with the EU executive in Brussels ordered to draft plans for cancelling all marks and Spencers gift voucher bought with Roubles. Much more substantive sanctions will be imposed against Moscow if Vladimir Putin presses ahead with Russian territorial expansion.

Unfortunately the bigger and more economically stable EU countries; Germany, Netherlands, France (stable? have to query our source about that,) and Britain, have major but very different interests at stake in Russia. This has led to disagreements over the tactics for a campaign of economic measures. Fears that a trade war would be highly risky and potentially ruinous are leading many political figures to advise caution.

A two-day summit of EU leaders from countrie that could afford Ryanair tickets to send delegates to Brussels was dominated by the Crimea crisis and ended with a further 12 Russian politicians and military figures being added to a list of 21 so far subjected crossed off the EU Christmas Card list.

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Ukraine Crisis: Putin Signs Treaty Making Crimea Part Of Russia – EU / US alliance Says Boo!

March 18, 2014

Putin makes Crimea part of Russia as US vice president heads to Poland to send a signal to Russia

puting-eu-threats
I know I’ve used it before but it seemed so apt. Source: zerohedge

The Main story today was the speedy acceptance by Russia of newly independent Crimea’s request to join the Russian Federation. Interesting to see western journalists and political pundits getting their knickers in a twist over this one.

Another headline yesterday screamed “Crimean independence cannot be justified, Crimea is not like Kosovo and the independence vote is illegal.

Now how does Crimea’s demand for independence from Ukraine differ from Kosovo’s split from Serbia in the 1990s in any way other than that the Crimeans, guaranteed protection from Ukrainian reprisals by Russia went down the civilized (well civilisedish) route of holding a democratic vote while the Kosovars, guaranteed protection from Serbian reprisals by western bombers went down the uncivilized route of slaughtering ethnic Serbs living within the area they claimed. There’s no consistency in saying that the secession of Kosovo was fair and the secession of Crimea is unfair.

Apart from that fine example of Orwellian doublethink (cognitive dissonance on a national scale), the west seems more pissed off with Russia for failing to be intimidated by the empty threats of the limp dicked Rent Boy President. In fact the Russian leader Vladimir Putin has repeatedly responded with the political equivalent of rude gestures to the bluster of the USA and EU leaders.

The main thrust of responses from The Chatterati seems to go, “Ho ho, that Putin had better watch himself, if he doesn’t fall into line behind The Obamessiah soon her could find himself isolated in the international community. The art of international diplomacy is to understand what effect a given action, by the first party, will have on the actions of a third party. If you build something threatening on another nation’s border then you have to understand that nation will take steps to do something about it.

It is not difficult to find and read historical accounts of Russia’s centuries old obsession with its own security before criticising the present, transitory, regime or suggesting that threats of isolation will bring them into line with the “international community” (which seems to be breaking apart rapidly). And in the end, whatever anyone thinks of Russia’s actions it must be acknowledged the root cause of the trouble in Ukraine was the EU / USA sponsoring extremist groups with the intent of toppling a democratically elected government and putting in it’s place a west – friendly puppet government.

I’m always gobsmacked by the historical ignorance of lefties. Russia has always been isolated, that’s the way they like it. So what can the west do? Here’s the most ludicrous response so far:

Times of Malta:

Leaders of the Group of Eight world powers have suspended Russia’s participation in the club amid tensions over Ukraine and Russia’s incursion into Crimea, France’s foreign minister said today.

The other seven members of the group had already suspended preparations for a G8 summit that Russia is scheduled to host in Sochi in June.

France’s Laurent Fabius went further today, saying on Europe-1 radio that “concerning the G8… we decided to suspend Russia’s participation, and it is envisaged that all the other countries, the seven leading countries, will unite without Russia”.

He did not give further details.

The US and European Union today announced new sanctions against Russia over its actions in the Crimean Peninsula.

What planet are these people living in? There was a referendum held in which the people of Crimea voted to leave Ukraine.  And to those who say that the referendum was illegal, may I remind them that so is a mob toppling the elected government of Ukraine and forcing its president into exile. So is a bombing campaign by the FUKUS axis to topple the nasty but internationally recognized regime in Libya. So is the supply of arms to enable a bunch of human organ noshing religious fanatics to wage civil war in Syria against a regime that while thoroughly distasteful to the west had the support of more that half of Syrians As for the G8, kicking Russia out will just cause Moscow to cooperate more closely with the other BRICs, thus causing further polarization of developed and developing countries on key global issues.

Once the west sets a precedent for flouting the United Nations charter by meddling in the domestic politics of sovereign nations in the service of its own interests is not hypocritical to claim the moral high ground when condemning others for doing the same. And don’t let the pathetic wailing and gnashing of teeth from those lefties who whine “but we intervened on humanitarian grounds, we supported doing what is right,” fool you. How is it “right” to overthrow a tyrant who has people shot in private and replace his government with theocrats who hack opponents heads off with blunt knives in public and then disembowel the corpse and eat the still warm vital organs, afterwards posing with smiles all round for the people videoing the atrocity to be posted on You Tube.

We should also have no time for the people accusing Putin of not playing fair in threatening to respond to sanctions by cutting off Europe’s gas supply. It ought always to have been obvious (and was to everyone except the political leaders of the EU) that Western Europe should never have become reliant on Russia for gas supplies; even Germany is now publicly regretting the day the decided to rely on imported Russian gas. The CDU party in the German ruling coalition are advocating buying UK gas which is something of a forlorn hope as we hardly have enough for ourselves.

The attempt to impose a government in Kiev that would have taken Ukraine into the EU and NATO was blatant incitement a show of aggressive nationalism by Putin. That EU / US cowardice ensured the response was directed at an economically weak and politically divided sovereign state in Europe is so regressive that comparisons with European politics in the approaches to Word Wars one and two. Except that the Russian armed forces are massively more powerful now than the Germany military was in ’39 or the German / Austro – Hungarian alliance in 1914.

At the very least this signals a return to cold war hostility and an East-West divide. Those smug twats who talk of Russian isolation overlook China’s abstaining on the UN security council vote to condemn Russia’s support for Crimean independence was not a sign of Russia’s isolation; the Chinese supported Russia. And why should Russia fear the G8 (now G7) Britain, USA and France are in dire economic straits and cannot afford an economic crisis, Italy and Japan are effectively bankrupt and Putin has a pistol to the head of Germany as long as Russia’s hands are on the gas tap.

Suggestions that Russia is trying to acquire territory are equally stupid. Even with many former Soviet nations having severed political ties and now being independent nations, The Russian Federation covers 6M square miles and has barely 140M inhabitants. It does not need more territory. Quite the converse; if some deluded people want to live under the rule of this DINO (democracy-in-name-only), Russia needs them to populate its vast spaces and exploit its vast resources.

Western foreign policy maneuvering works best in the dark, we don’t really get to know what all these NGOs and government agencies have been up to until at least 50 years after the fact, if ever. Putin’s strategy works by calling it out into the open, and its rewarding to see our establishment squirm and try to scuttle like cockroaches away from the light. The media class is so fawning now they are just not used to being called on their BS. So when the leader of a major nation does it things start to unravel pretty quickly.

If you want to fully understand the political thinking behind everything I have said above, just look at a map showing the route Russia’s gas pipelines follow to get into the EU:

russia-gas-pipelines
Russian pipelie routes through Ukraine – Source: tombreyfogle.com

You can see at a glance why Russia could never stand back and allow the installation by foreign sponsored coup d’etat of an anti – Russian government in Kiev.