Putin Urges Government to Prepare Response to Western Sanctions

VORONEZH, August 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he has told the government to retaliate against Western sanctions.

“I have already prepared such instructions today,” the president said during a working trip to the Central Russian Voronezh Region. Continue reading

Moscow may force European airlines to fly around Russia

(Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev threatened on Tuesday to retaliate for the grounding of a subsidiary of national airline Aeroflot because of EU sanctions, with one newspaper reporting that European flights to Asia over Siberia could be banned.

Low-cost carrier Dobrolyot, operated by Aeroflot, suspended all flights last week after its airline leasing agreement was cancelled under European Union sanctions because it flies to Crimea, a region Russia annexed from Ukraine in March.

“We should discuss possible retaliation,” Medvedev said at a meeting with the Russian transport minister and a deputy chief executive of Aeroflot. Continue reading

U.S. sales to Russia have only risen since sanctions imposed

U.S. Census Bureau foreign trade data show that exports rose 17 percent from March through May _ the most recent months for which the data is available _ compared with the previous three months, before sanctions were imposed. The value of exports has risen in each consecutive month this year, an unusual trend in a trade relationship that historically fluctuates on a monthly basis.

Russian markets account for less than 1 percent of U.S. exports, but what the U.S. sells to Russia is largely high-tech and expensive goods, including technology and equipment for the energy sector, which faces the threat of targeted sanctions.

Robert Kahn, a senior fellow in international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the rise in exports was evidence that Russian companies were stockpiling goods with the expectation that future sanctions would prevent U.S. companies from selling to their country. 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

Obama Says Putin Must Pull Back on Crimea Annexation

Another day, another ‘line’ drawn in the sand.

President Barack Obama today imposed sanctions on seven top Russian government officials and four others from Ukraine and warned Russia will face more penalties if it doesn’t pull back from Crimea.

“Continued Russian military intervention in Ukraine will only deepen Russia’s diplomatic isolation and exact a greater toll on the Russian economy,” Obama said at the White House. The U.S. can “calibrate our response” based on whether Russia chooses “to escalate or to de-escalate the situation.” Continue reading

Hit us with sanctions? We’ll seize West’s assets, Russia warns

A proposed law would allow Moscow to seize Western companies’ and individuals’ property and accounts in the event sanctions were imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Continue reading

Obama: US won’t be able to defend Israel if peace talks fail

From a Biblical perspective, one should keep in mind what happens to any nation that divides (Joel 3:2) Israel, His land. God lets it be known the consequences are high. Abandonment also leads to destruction.

Ahead of meeting with Netanyahu, president says unprecedented ‘aggressive settlement construction’ detrimental to peace process

Israel can expect to face international isolation and possible sanctions from countries and companies across the world if Benjamin Netanyahu fails to endorse a framework agreement with the Palestinians, US President Barack Obama cautioned on Sunday ahead of a meeting with the Israeli prime minister.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Obama stressed that time was running out for Israel to achieve a peace deal, and added that he believed Netanyahu had the capacity to rally Israel’s citizens behind an agreement.

But if Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach,” Obama said. Continue reading

Erdogan in Iran to hatch joint plans for striking US interests

Previous news of corruption scandals and a plagued administration the last few months tell a tale that’s similar to what has transpired in Egypt, Libya, Iraq and so on… The US has internally overthrown all of them. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a shock for Erdogan to believe the same will happen to him. This could also explain why Turkey has switched from American military systems to Chinese in their last purchase. This is likely a huge turning point in history and will have a measurable impact on NATO relations, future support for wars both politically and physically. This will also mean closer relations with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and even possible membership.

Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan has snapped his links with Washington and rushed into Iran’s arms for direct action against US interests. He is spiting the Obama administration in the belief of a US plot to replace him with President Abdullah Gul and discredit him by corruption scandals implicating members of his family in sanctions-busting business with Iran through the state-owned Turkish Halkbank. Continue reading

Obama shook Raúl Castro’s hand after SIX MONTHS of secret U.S.-Cuba talks, report claims

  • U.S. and Cuban officials have held mid-level discussions in Washington and Havana
  • ‘We’re in talks’ with Cuba on a wide range of issues, agreed Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes on Tuesday
  • Middle-men including Latin American diplomats have also been carrying messages back and forth between Washington and Havana
  • U.S.-Cuba relations have seen an unprecedented thaw since President Obama took office, and a host of lawmakers with Cuban ties are upset
  • America’s 50-year-long trade embargo with the communist nation has been slammed by the UN but embraced by survivors of the Castro regime

The handshake seen ’round the water cooler was no fluke, it turns out. Continue reading

Netanyahu Is Said to View Iran Deal as a Possible Trap

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, stepping up his effort to blunt a diplomatic offensive by Iran, plans to warn the United Nations next week that a nuclear deal with the Iranian government could be a trap similar to one set by North Korea eight years ago, according to an Israeli official involved in drafting the speech.

But the Israeli government, clearly rattled by the sudden talk of a diplomatic opening, offered a preview Sunday of Mr. Netanyahu’s hard-edged message, in which he will set the terms for what would be acceptable to Israel in any agreement concerning Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Continue reading

Panama: North Korean ship had more hidden arms containers

A Panamanian official announced Wednesday that more containers of suspected weapons have been found aboard a ship seized last week that was bound for North Korea from Cuba.

Panamanian Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino told the Reuters news agency that authorities found two new containers in addition to the two that were previously discovered under thousands of tons of sugar.

Acting on intelligence it hasn’t publicly described, Panama seized the rusting, 34-year-old North Korean freighter Chong Chon Gang on July 11 as it headed toward the Caribbean entrance of the Panama Canal on its way to the Pacific and its final destination of North Korea. Continue reading

Iran’s Dual Path to Nuclear Arms

Plutonium versus uranium: A very keen observation that many have failed to distinguish. Many forget that these are two variants that can help Iran achieve the same goal: Nuclear weapons. The Iranians know how to exploit the naïveté and continue to laugh off sanctions and diplomacy. As the article points out, the world might shortly find itself more concerned about how to contain the King of the South in the medium-term rather than halting it. Either way, whether it’s now, soon or later… war is eventually on the horizon.

Iran has two options: uranium or plutonium bombs.

The talks were fruitless. The Iranians are too far along to stop now. Look at the Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons in the past. No amount of sanctions can stop them. When Iran has stopped its work in the past it has only been temporary, or a flat-out lie. Europe was pushing Iran to stop centrifuge-based uranium enrichment back in 2003. The Iranians seemed compliant, yet they continued developing the technology, if not the enrichment. We are 10 years on and Iran has the technology. If it stops uranium enrichment, it will have another option, as it did back in 2003.

The heavy-water plant can be used to create plutonium. If Iran stops producing uranium, it can turn its attention to plutonium. Continue reading

Iran: How long can debt-laden US remain world power?

“How long can a government with a $16,000 trillion foreign debt remain a world power?” he asked at a press conference with Kuwaiti media personnel. “The Americans have injected their paper wealth into the world economy and today the aftermaths and negative effects of their pseudo-wealth have plagued them.” Continue reading