The Sanctions Debate

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) – In the prelude to Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Russia, German business associations and foreign policy experts are urging that the policy of sanctions be ended. They argue that sanctions practically have become ineffective, since Russia’s economy has withstood these trade restrictions and is now even recovering. The boycott has also damaged the EU’s image and that of the USA in Russia and, even though intended to weaken, it has helped to stabilize the Russian government. Moreover, Russian orders, that German businesses had once expected, were increasingly going to competitors, for example in China – and are ultimately lost. However, German economists still see Russia as a lucrative market. According to an analysis by the Bertelsmann Foundation and Munich’s ifo Institute, a free-trade agreement between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), congregated around Russia, would generate a growth of 45 billion euros. Government advisors recommend that the sanctions policy be gradually ended. This would not eliminate the prospect that Moscow, at any time, could be forced to its knees with an arms race. Continue reading

US spy agencies are significantly expanding operations against Russia

American intelligence agencies are diverting counterterrorist resources to Russian accounts, prompting some commentators to describe the move as the greatest expansion of spy operations against Russia since the Cold War. In a leading article published on Wednesday, The Washington Post’s Greg Miller cites unnamed United States officials in describing “a shift in resources across spy services”. The shift allegedly reflects an increasing emphasis on Russia, with many of the resources coming from accounts focusing on terrorism threats and war zones in the Middle East and Central Asia, which were created in the aftermath of 9/11. Continue reading

Russia Bolsters Its Submarine Fleet, and Tensions With U.S. Rise

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NAPLES, Italy — Russian attack submarines, the most in two decades, are prowling the coastlines of Scandinavia and Scotland, the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic in what Western military officials say is a significantly increased presence aimed at contesting American and NATO undersea dominance.

Adm. Mark Ferguson, the United States Navy’s top commander in Europe, said last fall that the intensity of Russian submarine patrols had risen by almost 50 percent over the past year, citing public remarks by the Russian Navy chief, Adm. Viktor Chirkov. Analysts say that tempo has not changed since then. Continue reading

Russian Navy to Receive 50 New Vessels by End of 2014

…and just to think the Russian Navy has already finished its 131st nuclear submarine. All while America commits national suicide and disarms itself, believing it is taking the ‘moral high ground’ while its chopping block is being prepared.

While America’s inaction shows its unwillingness to confront Russia’s resurgence, another global power gears up to counter it.

Russia’s navy is slated to receive more than 50 new vessels before the end of the year, navy commander in chief Adm. Viktor Chirkov said in a June 21 statement.

Among the new vessels is a Project 636 diesel-electric ultra quiet submarine that joined the Black Sea Fleet on June 26, 2013, and a new-generation Project 12700 mine countermeasures ship that will launch on June 27. The admiral said that by the end of the year, the navy will receive five more Project 636 submarines, four Raptor patrol boats and over 40 other combat and logistic vessels.

By 2020, Chirkov said, the Black Sea Fleet will also have 30 new warships. Continue reading