Collapse of talks a blow to European balance of power as Kremlin sanctions trump historic trade deal
Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine is slipping back under Kremlin control. Ukraine’s shock decision to opt for Vladimir Putin’s Russia and pull out of EU talks on the eve of an historic deal is a dramatic upset to the European balance of power. It is the first major defeat for the EU in its eastward march since the fall of Communism. While the region’s geopolitics remain fluid, the upset may prove as fateful as the move by the Kossack chief Bohdan Khmelnytsky to turn his back on the West and accept Tsarist suzerainty in the 1640s.
“Ukraine’s government suddenly bowed deeply to the Kremlin. The politics of brutal pressure evidently work,” said Karl Bildt, Sweden’s Foreign Minister. Continue reading
The six powers’ negotiating teams sat down in Geneva for resumed nuclear talks with Iran Wednesday, Nov. 20 in a haze of cautious optimism radiating from from Washington, Moscow and London about the prospects of the first accord to be signed with Tehran on a path toward resolving the controversy over its nuclear program.
Still, no one was laying bets on the deal, a preliminary accord providing six months for a comprehensive agreement to be discussed. Continue reading
The fact that this is even ‘negotiable’ with the American government should be more worrisome than the blatant attempt itself by Russia to make the USA more susceptible to a Soviet attack of some sort. It only goes to show you how deeply infiltrated America must be in order to allow this to even be recognized for debate.
WASHINGTON — In the view of America’s spy services, the next potential threat from Russia may not come from a nefarious cyberweapon or secrets gleaned from the files of Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor now in Moscow.
Instead, this menace may come in the form of a seemingly innocuous dome-topped antenna perched atop an electronics-packed building surrounded by a security fence somewhere in the United States. Continue reading
Moscow, Nov 14 (Prensa Latina) The Navy of Russia will place a maintenance base in the Vietnamese port of Camran, in accordance with the stipulated agreements during President Vladimir Putin”s recent visit to that Asian country, reported the local press today. In addition to the approved contracts on military collaboration with Vietnamese leaders, the head of the Kremlin reached a tentative agreement to install those facilities in Camran in 2014, informed Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper. Continue reading
Russia’s president pursues dream of new ‘Silk Road’ passing through North Korea into the South en route to Europe during Seoul visit
Russian President Vladimir Putin was in South Korea on Wednesday to push a pet project for a new major trading route linking Asia and Europe by rail that requires prying open North Korea.
Putin hopes his brief visit will include the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the ambitious project, which envisages an ‘Iron Silk Road’ uniting the rail networks of South and North Korea and connecting them to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway. Continue reading
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu start a two-day visit to Cairo Wednesday, Nov. 13, to wind up a major sale of advanced Russian weaponry for the Egyptian army and the Russian Navy’s access to port facilities on the Mediterranean.
debkafile’s military sources, which first revealed the coming transactions in the last week of October, now amplify that report by disclosing that Moscow has agreed to equip Egypt with a sophisticated combined double-layered system which covers both its defensive and offensive requirements. Continue reading
Israel announced early Thursday, Nov. 7, that it is utterly opposed to the new proposal for Iran’s nuclear programwhich the United States plans to put before the two-day Geneva conference beginning later today .
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, when he met US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem Wednesday night, bitterly accused the Obama administration of yielding to the Russian-backed Iranian position. Should Tehran renege on the deal, the US proposal leaves it with the capacity for enriching enough weapons-grade uranium in 10 days to build several nuclear weapons. Continue reading
Consider American influence in the Middle East 90% gone. The Saudi’s no longer trust America to follow through on its commitments to the region and have instead turned to Russia and Israel. Both Egypt and Libyia were overturned by the Obama administration and likely won’t see normalcy for quite some time. Syria and Iran can now go largely unchecked in the region as America retreats and leaves Israel out in the cold.
Moscow’s request for a naval base in Egypt submitted last week by a visiting Russian general prompted US Secretary of State John Kerry’s decision to hurry up and visit Cairo and Riyadh for an attempt to smooth their prickly relations over Washington’s policies for Syria and Iran. However, Sunday, Nov. 3, the day he stopped over in Cairo en route for Riyadh, saw a mighty buildup of Russian naval stgrength in the Mediterranean.
Russia’s Pacific Fleet flagship, the Varyag,and the powerful nuclear-fueled battleship Pyotr Veliky arrived to carry out “a number of tasks” with other Russian Navy ships in the region, according to the official statement form Moscow. Continue reading
Lt. Gen. Vyacheslav Kondrashov, Russian Deputy chief of staff and head of GRU military intelligence, spent the first day of his visit to Cairo, Tuesday, Oct. 29, with Egyptian military chiefs, going through the list of Russian military hardware items they want to buy in their first major arms transaction with Moscow in more than three decades, debkafile’s military sources report. The Egyptians asked Moscow to supply the sort of advanced weapons withheld by the United States, and topped their shopping list with medium-range intercontinental ballistic missiles that cover Iran and most of the Middle East.
They told the Russian general that Moscow’s good faith in seeking to build a new military relationship between the two governments would be tested by its willingness to meet this Egyptian requirement. Continue reading
In his four-day trip to Tehran, Russian Air Force Chief Gen. Viktor Bondarev and his hosts, Brig. Gen. Hassan Shasafi and other senior Iranian military chiefs, laid the groundwork for a series of agreements to upgrade their military ties to a level unprecedented in their past relations. debkafile’s military and Iranian sources report that Iran is deliberately accentuating those ties as a message to the Western powers that if they give the Islamic Republic a hard time over its nuclear program, it will go all the way to a full-dress defense pact with Russia. Continue reading
Russia will test launch a controversial missile over the next several weeks that U.S. officials say is raising new concerns about Moscow’s growing strategic nuclear arsenal and Russia’s potential violations of arms treaties.
The RS-26 missile is expected to be deployed with multiple supersonic, maneuvering warheads designed to defeat U.S. missile defenses in Europe, U.S. officials told Inside the Ring.
“The Russians are advertising this as a system capable of defeating U.S. missile defenses in Europe,” the aide said. “At the same time, the State Department is accepting Russia’s claim that this is an ICBM and doesn’t violate INF. It can’t be both.” Continue reading
Russia last month completed the first land link that North Korea’s Stalinist regime has allowed to the outside world since 2003. Running between Khasan in Russia’s southeastern corner and North Korea’s rebuilt port of Rajin, the 54-kilometer rail link is part of a project President Putin is pushing that would reunite the railway systems of the two Koreas and tie them to the Trans-Siberian Railway.
That would give Putin partial control over links to European train networks 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) away. The route is as much as three times faster than shipping via Egypt’s Suez Canal, which handles 17,000 ships a year, accounts for about 8 percent of maritime trade — and is increasingly beset by pirates and political instability in Egypt and Syria. Continue reading