US accuses Russia of violating 1987 missile treaty

The Obama administration has accused Russia of violating a 1987 nuclear missile treaty by testing a ground-launched cruise missile and says the U.S. is prepared for immediate high-level dialogue with Moscow over the matter.

An administration official told Fox News in a statement that the violation “is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now.” The New York Times first reported the accusation.

President Obama informed Russian President Vladimir Putin in a letter Monday of the U.S.’  determination that Russia broke the agreement. The official said the U.S. is prepared to engage in “senior-level bilateral dialogue immediately” with Russia with the goal of assuring Washington that Moscow will return to compliance with the treaty. Continue reading

The Alliance of the Threatened

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Own report) – The EU and USA have expanded their sanctions against Russia and – in addition to individuals – have now also placed important Russian companies on their lists. Washington has restricted dealings, for example, with Rosneft and the Gazprombank. Brussels has announced the possibility of preventing EU companies from doing business with Russian companies and is planning to list them by the end of July. German business circles are protesting. They have already suffered billions in losses. Experts are warning that, with its sanctions against Russia, the West may experience, in the economic arena, an overreach similar to that experienced by the US in the military arena with its war on Iraq. With the power of the West obviously waning, it has already become noticeable that even close allies are defecting. Observers explain this with the Crimea conflict: NATO countries had been unable to retain the Crimea within the reign of its allied Ukrainian government; therefore it seems that an alliance with NATO countries would no longer be a reliable assurance against ones enemies. Defections can be noticed in Asia and Latin America, not least of all because of the recent founding of the BRICS development bank, rivaling the US-dominated World Bank. Russia and China are among the founders of this bank. Continue reading

Russia ‘to reopen Cold War Cuban listening post used to spy on America’

Lest we also forget the quote in Pravda where Putin reportedly said Russian nuclear missiles were already reinstalled in Cuba.

  • Facility at Lourdes was the largest Russian listening post abroad
  • It was mothballed in 2001 after relations with the U.S. warmed
  • But relations with the West have deteriorated amid the Ukraine crisis
  • Moscow has also shown a new interest in Latin America and Cuba
  • Last week, Russia agreed to write off 90 per cent of Cuba’s debt

Russia has agreed to reopen a major Cold War listening post on Cuba that was used to spy on America, it was reported today.

Moscow-based daily Kommersant claimed Russia and Cuba have struck a deal ‘in principle’ after President Vladimir Putin visited the island last week.

Citing several sources within Russian authorities, the respected daily wrote: ‘The agreements were finalised while President Vladimir Putin visited Havana last Friday. Continue reading

BRICS bank: 5 emerging powers to announce alternatives to IMF, World Bank

WASHINGTON — Fed up with U.S. dominance of the global financial system, five emerging market powers this week will launch their own versions of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa –the so-called BRICS countries — are seeking “alternatives to the existing world order,” said Harold Trinkunas, director of the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution.

At a summit Tuesday through Thursday in Brazil, the five countries will unveil a $100 billion fund to fight financial crises, their version of the IMF. They will also launch a World Bank alternative, a new bank that will make loans for infrastructure projects across the developing world.

The five countries will invest equally in the lender, tentatively called the New Development Bank. Other countries may join later. Continue reading

Pentagon Urged to Focus on ‘Great Power Conflict’ to Save Budget

Forget terrorism. The Pentagon’s best chance to field the best military with the smaller budget imposed by sequestration may just lie in preparing for nuclear war with Russia and China.

According to a new study, United States defense leaders should focus more on a “great power conflict” reflective of a newly aggressive Russia and rapidly modernizing China. Doing so would force the Defense Department to modernize its existing force and invest significantly in maintaining technological advantages at the expense of unlikely-to-be used ships, aircraft and soldiers. Among the arsenal the U.S. should keep: the full triad of bombers, submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles meant to deter or carry out nuclear warfare.

While the space between Syria and Iraq commands headlines this month, it’s Moscow and Beijing that leads researchers to offer an unexpectedly “go big or go home” proposition for the U.S. military. The route offered on Wednesday by budget experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, or CSIS, calls for moving $10 billion from the procurement budget and “force structure,” (military jargon for the number of people in the military and all that is required to support them, roughly) and giving those funds to investments. The CSIS plan would increase the number of attack submarines at sea, significantly ramp-up surveillance in both air and space, and emphasize select ground troops like special operations forces and heavy infantry. The costs would be absorbed by a reduction in aircraft carriers, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and the Air Force’s shorter-range aircraft. Continue reading

Poroshenko ends Ukraine ceasefire, says government will attack rebels

(Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Tuesday government forces would renew offensive operations against rebels and “free our lands”, hours after a ceasefire to allow for peace talks with the pro-Russian separatists had expired.

Poroshenko, who accuses Russia of fanning violence in eastern Ukraine, dismissed Moscow’s offers to defuse the crisis, and blamed the rebels for failing to keep to the truce or follow a peace plan he had outlined. “We will attack and free our lands. The decision not to continue the ceasefire is our answer to terrorists, militants and marauders,” he said in a televised statement delivered in front of the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag. Continue reading

Russia Test Fires Six New Air-Launched Cruise Missiles

Russian strategic air forces fired six new, precision-strike cruise missiles in test launches Friday amid new tensions between Moscow and the West over the crisis in Ukraine.

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced Friday that the missile firings took place during exercises involving eight Tu-95 Bear bombers—the same type of strategic bomber recently intercepted 50 miles off the California coast by U.S. jets.

Russian bombers, meanwhile, continued saber-rattling air defense zone incursions against Canada’s arctic and in Europe over the Baltic Sea.

On Monday, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu announced that Russian military forces had launched a large-scale “surprise” readiness exercise that was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Continue reading

Energy as a Weapon (II)

BERLIN (Own report) – In view of the EU’s summit meeting, later this week, the “fracking” lobby and NATO are intensifying their pressure for the EU to initiate the highly controversial “hydraulic fracturing.” There are indications that the German Bundestag could speed up legislation allowing this dangerous gas production technique. The outgoing NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen is implying that fracking opponents are in fact working as agents for the Russian government. This incredible slander coincides with global transatlantic strategies aimed at using the current fracking boom in the USA and other western countries, to significantly weaken or even eliminate Russia’s influence as a producer of natural gas. If Moscow can no longer sell its gas to the EU, it could hardly avoid painful budget cuts. This would have serious consequences for Putin’s position of power at home and his influence in global politics. Regardless of such campaigns, German and US energy companies are pressing ahead with fracking in Europe – while continuing to do business with Russia. Continue reading

Ukraine unrest fits pattern of Russian invasion drills

The pattern is quite simple: Send in the Russian operatives that create orchestrated chaos that manufactures an artificial need for a predetermined solution: Invasion with the aim of reestablishing the Soviet empire. Throw in a few operatives wearing ‘Academi’ patches for a good dose of further deception and good measure.

The recent pattern of pro-Russian unrest and fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine resembles a Russian military playbook used in exercises simulating invasion drills, according to a new analysis.

The analysis by Clark and Karber, which is based on 35 meetings they held in Ukraine with members of the military and political leadership there, shows that clashes between ethnic Russians and Ukrainian government forces fit a model long practiced by the Russian military — and the Soviet Union before that. Under this model, taken from Russia’s Exercise Zapad and employed notably in the nation’s 2008 invasion of Georgia, Russia uses a “presumed condition of ethnic conflict” in order to place special forces behind enemy lines, according to the analysis. Continue reading

Russia in secret plot against fracking, Nato chief says

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia was mounting a sophisticated “disinformation campaign” aimed at undermining attempts to exploit alternative energy sources such as shale gas

Russia is secretly working with environmental groups campaigning against fracking in an attempt to maintain Europe’s dependence on energy imports from Moscow, the secretary-general of Nato has said.

Speaking at the Chatham House foreign affairs think-tank in London, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia was mounting a sophisticated disinformation campaign aimed at undermining attempts to exploit alternative energy sources such as shale gas.

He said: “I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations – environmental organisations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas. That is my interpretation.”

Continue reading

NATO reports new Russian troop build-up near Ukraine

Kiev (AFP) – NATO on Thursday reported another build-up of Russian forces near Ukraine as its new president put in place key pieces of his pro-Western government and embraced an EU trade pact that has been bitterly fought by the Kremlin.

But the Kremlin’s good will was immediately put in question by new charges from NATO that Putin had seen “at least a few thousand more” troops to the border in a reversal of a withdrawal he had begun at the start of the month. Continue reading

The Galloping Militarization of Eurasia

Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the deployment of up to 40,000 troops on Ukraine’s border to support the actions of pro-Russian separatist forces have been widely identified as a turning point in the “post-Cold War” European security system. But Russia’s militarized policy toward Ukraine should not be seen as a spontaneous response to the crisis. It has only been possible thanks to a long-term program by Moscow to build up its military capabilities.

A 21ST CENTURY RUSSIAN MILITARY

To be a “great power” – which is the status that Moscow’s political elite claim for Russia – is to have both an international reach and regional spheres of influence. To achieve this, Moscow understands that it must be able to project military force, so the modernization of Russia’s armed forces has become a key element of its “great power” ambitions. For this reason, seven years ago, a politically painful and expensive military modernization program was launched to provide Russia with new capabilities. One of the key aims of this modernization has been to move the Russian military away from a mass mobilization army designed to fight a large-scale war (presumably against NATO) to the creation of smaller and more mobile combat-ready forces designed for local and regional conflicts. Continue reading

US should be worried about China’s artificial island: expert

Vassily Kashin, a Russian defense expert from the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, says the amount of money spent by China to build an artificial island in a disputed part of the South China Sea is enough to build a brand-new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, according to the Voice of Russia. Continue reading

Russia cuts off gas to Ukraine as Kiev orders border secured

(Reuters) – Russia cut off gas to Ukraine on Monday in a dispute over unpaid bills that could disrupt supplies to the rest of Europe and set back hopes for peace between the former Soviet neighbours.

After the weekend loss of 49 troops when pro-Russian rebels shot down a military transport plane, Ukraine’s new president ordered his forces to retake full control of their border with Russia – saying this could then pave the way for negotiations. Continue reading

A New Grand Strategy

Berlin choosing Moscow over Washington emphasizes the fact that in the real world there is no such thing ‘allies’, but ‘interests’. This article precisely underscores this fact. Although its true regarding the persuit of ‘two global policies’, Germany has historically chosen Russia over America which has ironically lead to two of the bloodiest wars in world history as both have used economic/political/military cooperation to out-maneuver the other for strategic military advantage before an actual war is declared. History is repeating itself and the only difference this time around is the Fourth Reich (German-dominated EU) versus Putin’s neo-Soviet Union.

BERLIN (Own report) – An influential German weekly opened a debate on the call for redefining EU – US relations. The West’s current policy toward Ukraine is diametrically opposed to “European” interests, according to an article published in the online-edition of the German weekly “Die Zeit”. “Europe should not deprive itself of cooperation with Moscow; it should rather be enhanced. At the same time, the EU should intensify its relations with Washington, while pursuing “its own concepts” with more determination. The objective should be a “new and more promising transatlantic grand strategy.” The article was authored by an associate of the Global Policy Institute, a think tank in London, but his standpoint also reflects opinions being expressed within the German foreign policy establishment. Back-stage disputes over Germany’s policy toward Ukraine are slowly surfacing into public view. Continue reading

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