Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Netanyahu ended their three-hour meeting in Sochi Tuesday, May 14, at loggerheads on Syria. In fact, Putin warned his guest that Israel and its army, the IDF, were heading for war with Syria in which Russia might well be involved – and not just through the advanced S-300 anti-air missiles supplied to the Assad government. The case Netanyahu and Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi put before Putin and Russian foreign intelligence chief, SVR Director Mikhail Fradkov, fell on deaf ears. Continue reading
A large-scale military drill was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week to intimidate a defiant Georgia for rejecting a Kremlin-proposed draft of a non-aggression pact that would recognize the runaway region of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Yet while the drill was going on in earnest, the Israelis attacked Iranian missiles inside Syria. Continue reading
From a historical perspective, the last two times Germany and Russia went down this road of ‘partnership’, and eventually non-aggression pacts, it led to two world wars.
HANNOVER (Own report) – The German Chancellor and the Russian President attended yesterday’s opening of the annual Hannover Industry Trade Fair. This year, Russia was the fair’s chosen “partner nation,” a move to help promote German-Russian economic relations. The German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations announced a German-Russian economic summit to be held today. Since the SPD/Green coalition government encouraged the economic cooperation ten years ago, the trade volume has grown from 15.1 billion Euros in 1998 to more than 80 billion in 2012 – to Germany’s advantage. Germany is ensuring its access to energy resources from Russia’s huge deposits, while also tapping into the lucrative market for the German export-oriented industry. The German industry needs this market, since its sales to the southern Euro zone are tapering off, due to the economic crisis. Berlin is also seeking to boost this cooperation because of China’s growing influence in Russia. Moscow and Beijing are not only planning to expand their bilateral economic relations, they are also increasing their political and military cooperation – at the expense of Western hegemony, as seen from the German perspective. Continue reading
President Vladimir Putin ordered the launch of large-scale Russian military exercises in the Black Sea region on Thursday, his spokesman said, in a move that may create tensions with Russia’s post-Soviet neighbors Ukraine and Georgia.
Putin issued the order to start the previously unannounced maneuvers at 4 a.m. Moscow time (12.00 a.m. EDT) as he flew back from an international summit in South Africa, his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters by telephone. Continue reading
Creating a foundation to project power through the Mediterranean and into the Middle East by wrestling Cyprus out of Russian hands is the goal.
Sometimes a non-mainstream observer of the world scene comes up with real food for thought. Such was the case this week when British blogger Alexander Boot reflected on the actions of Russia and Germany in regard to the Cyprus situation.
Boot asks an obvious question, “The question is why the ECB and IMF, which is to say Germany, made this raid a precondition for the bailout of Cyprus? After all, they were more lenient when bailing out Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. Why single out Cyprus for rough treatment?” (March 19).
Attending to his own question, Boot retorts, “The answer is obvious: Cyprus is a floating refuge and laundromat for dirty Russian money.” Continue reading
The veterans of Russia’s KGB/FSB were chuckling to themselves, no doubt, as Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) announced his pleasure at Russia’s assumption of the presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20)* nations for 2013. Putin’s “strategic agenda proposed by Russia for the G20 in 2013” is loaded with favorable references to the FSB. The FSB acronym in Putin’s “strategic agenda” is not a reference to the dreaded Russian secret police (successor to the Soviet KGB and its earlier incarnations as the NKVD and the Cheka), however; it is a reference to the Financial Stability Board, a new institution created by the G20 leaders in 2009, ostensibly to deal with the economic crisis.
Nevertheless, the “coincidence” of choosing a name for this new, secretive global financial police with the same acronym as the Putin’s feared agency is oddly apropos. The G20’s FSB is a shadowy financial power that is headquartered inside another even more secretive, shadowy global financial powerbase, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland.Despite repeated appeals to accountability and transparency in the FSB Charter, the FSB — like the BIS and the Central Banks whose heads compose the Plenary that governs the FSB — operates in murky opaqueness, outside the controls of the U.S. Congress, national parliaments, or any constitutional constraints. Continue reading
India agreed Monday of last week to buy $2.9 billion worth of Russian military equipment, as Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to the longtime Kremlin ally. The quantities at play here mean these transactions are, literally, a big deal. It’s the equivalent of one fifth of Russia’s total defense sales in 2012. Germany, the world’s third-largest arms exporter, approved a total of $7.1 billion worth of exports in 2011.
The agreement says India will buy kits to assemble 42 Sukhoi-30 fighter jets for $1.6 billion, and 71 Mi-17 military helicopters for $1.3 billion. Russia has custom designed the jets specifically for India, and they are engineered to become the very backbone of the nation’s air force. Russia and India have also recently collaborated on a supersonic missile for the Sukhoi-30s, and India is rumored to be equipping this jet to deliver its nuclear weapons. “We agreed to strengthen the partnership of Russia and India in the area of military equipment cooperation further and advance new projects, including creating joint ventures and transferring technology,” Putin said after his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Continue reading
Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend the EU-Russia summit in Brussels later this month. But he will make sure his hosts welcome him as the representative of the Eurasian Union – Putin’s pet geopolitical project, which bears similarities to the EU.
The summit is the second to take place this year, after a first summit in St. Petersburg in June where Putin listed conditions for signing a new basic treaty between Russia and the EU.
Putin said he would not advance negotiations unless the EU formalised relations with the so-called Common Economic Space involving Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan (see background). The three countries have also forged a customs union. Continue reading
As NATO in Brussels gave the go-ahead Tuesday night, Dec. 4, for the deployment of Patriot surface-to-air missiles to protect Turkey against Syrian missiles, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reported that convoys of the Syrian army’s chemical weapons units headed out of Damascus under cover of dark and turned north up the road to Aleppo. Their destination is not yet known.
The convoys were ferrying self-propelled cannons for firing shells loaded with poisonous sarin gas.
Our sources report that the Syrian ruler is aparently gambling dangerously on the Americans holding back from attacking the convoys as long as they deploy unconventional weapons, and would only react when they are used.
He is also taking advantage of the heavy winds, rain and cloud over this part of the eastern Mediterranean and counting on the weather to obstruct military operations against his chemical weapons units.
By the time the weather clears some time Thursday, the units will be in place in battle formation. Meanwhile, bombing the convoys in windy weather could cause the deadly gas to spread out of control in unpredictable directions. Continue reading
US forces in the region, Israel, Turkey and Jordan were all braced Monday night, Dec. 3 for action against Syria in case Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered his army’s chemical warfare units to go into action against rebel and civilian targets his own country. None of the Middle East capitals are talking openly about this eventuality to avoiding causing panic.
However, oblique references to the peril and preparations for action came from US officials during Monday. White House spokesman Jay Carney said: “We have an increased concern about the possibility of the regime taking the desperate act of using its chemical weapons.” Such a move “would cross a red line for the United States.” Continue reading
Meet Rosneft—Russia’s third-largest oil conglomerate that is about to buy out tnk-bp. This strategic move will not only propel Rosneft to the top of Russia’s oil industry, but it will also make both of the nation’s largest oil and gas companies state owned.
tnk-bp is currently co-owned by British oil firm BP and a Russian group of billionaire investors called aar. According to Marin Katusa of Casey Research, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s oil company Rosneft is about to purchase BP’s 50 percent stake in tnk-bp. The move will cost Rosneft approximately $27 billion in cash and stock. At the same time, Rosneft is trying to purchase the other 50 percent stake from aar, although this deal is yet to be finalized. In the end, according to Reuters, the deal as a whole will be worth $55 billion.
If the deal succeeds, it will be the largest purchase since Exxon bought out Mobil over a decade ago. Continue reading
As pointed out in a previous entry, the Middle East has been, and will continue to be a giant proxy playing field for Moscow against the West. Because the West is so naive as to place almost all attention upon the Middle East distraction, Moscow now enjoys the benefit of reclaiming its former empire as well as extending its influence throughout the Islamic world.
WASHINGTON – The Iranian-backed regime of the Shia Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, recently has been taking steps to orient his government more toward Moscow and rely less on Washington or any other Western influence, according to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The move helps to improve Moscow’s relations with Iraq as well as Iran as it continues to defend Iranian ally Syria. The goal is to preserve the relationship as well as recast its own influence in the Middle East. Continue reading
Sasha Cekerevac writes: Having been relegated to the history books, the Cold War between the West and the East appears to be heating up again. On one side, we have increasing tensions with China; U.S. politicians claim that China is a currency-manipulator and China has massively increased its spending in defense, which is threatening the security in that part of the world. If we look to the Middle East, tensions are now rising with Russia. Continue reading
China sounded the alarm about the state of the global economy on Saturday and urged countries gathering at an Asia-Pacific summit to protect themselves by forging deeper regional economic ties.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had also expressed concern about the world economy on Friday, and particularly about Europe’s debt crisis, as he prepared to host the annual APEC summit in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok.
“The world economy today is recovering slowly, and there are still some destabilising factors and uncertainties. The underlying impact of the international financial crisis is far from over,” Hu told businessmen in a speech before the summit.
Russia sees the weekend summit as a chance to make a pivotal shift away from Europe, increasing political and economic links with countries in Asia that are showing relatively strong economic growth as Europe struggles with its debt crisis.
Full article: China Sounds Alarm on Global Economy at APEC Summit (CNBC)
For those that have thoroughly followed developments on Russia in great detail like a hawk, they realize that underlying factors making the Soviet Union communist have never changed, as evidenced by its engineered collapse. Since then, we have been given New Lies for Old in thinking they were a backwards nation striving for democracy. Through a Perestroika Deception during the last few decades they have appeared legitimate and now have been legitimized via duped and/or cooperative nations.The best example of what’s to come from Russia is to look towards China. They formally joined the WTO on Dec. 11, 2001 and look how far 11 years has brought them on the world stage politically and militarily due to their sharp rise in economic gains.
When they start tightening the screws on us as China has done via economic warfare (buying our debt and yet capable of pulling the plug at any moment) or worse, we can’t say we weren’t warned. The United States has been compromised.
Meet the superpower that never was truly gone. The bear is back.
Russia becomes last large economy to agree to global trade rules.
The European Commission has welcomed Russia’s admission today to the World Trade Organization as a “major step” that offers “plenty of business opportunities for both Russian and European companies”.
Karel De Gucht, the European commissioner for trade, said that Russia’s accession – which comes 19 years after it began talks with the global trade body – was “a major step for Russia’s further integration into the world economy”.
Russia, which has a population of 140 million and is a leading exporter of oil and gas, is the 156th country to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the last large economy to join the body, which sets trade rules and helps to resolve trade disputes. According to the WTO, Russia’s accession means that 97% of all world trade will now take place between its members.
De Gucht said that he hoped that membership would “help to accelerate the modernisation of the Russian economy”. Modernisation has become the key word in the EU’s relationship with Russia since 2010, when Russia’s accession process entered its final phase and when the EU and Russia launched a ‘partnership for modernisation’.
The WTO agreed to admit Russia on 16 December, weeks after Georgia became the last country to agree to Russia’s admission. Georgia withdraw its support for Russian membership in 2006 in response to a series of disputes, and reinforced its opposition in 2008, after Russian forces entered Georgia following Georgia’s attack on the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Tbilisi then insisted that it should monitor trade along the borders between Russia and South Ossetia and another breakaway region, Abkhazia, both of which Moscow recognised as independent states after the war in 2008. Under November’s agreement between Moscow and Tbilisi, a Swiss company will monitor trade between the two countries.
The Russian parliament ratified the WTO agreement on 11 July and it was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 21 July, setting in motion a 30-day preparation for accession.
The Russian government and economists believe that membership of the WTO will be good for Russian consumers and for a range of sectors of the economy, including agriculture, tourism, engineering, metallurgy and petrochemicals. However, Russian sceptics about the deal fear that WTO rules could hurt Russian businesses operating in industries such as finance, car manufacturing and forestry.
The WTO’s rules will not fully apply in the US, where a Cold War-era restriction that links Russian trade access to rules on emigration – the Jackson-Vanik amendment of 1974 – remains in law. The restriction is, however, routinely waived in practice.
Full article: EU welcomes Russia’s accession to WTO (European Voice)