German-Russian Friendship Blossoms

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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (left) and Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov shake hands during a joint press conference following their meeting at the Reception House of Russia’s Foreign Ministry. (Sergei Savostyanov\TASS/Getty Images)

 

Germany bows to Russia in negotiations over the Kerch Strait and Azov Sea as dangerous cooperation between the two increases.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visited his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow on January 18 to discuss, among other things, a new proposal to ensure unimpeded shipping through the Kerch Strait and Azov Sea. After the meeting, Maas flew to Ukraine to inform its leaders of the negotiations. The exclusive discussions between Germany and Russia, excluding Ukraine, reveal the close ties developing between these two powers. Continue reading

Russia ramps up anti-Israel measures in Syria for possible war of attrition

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At some point in the last 48 hours, the fallout from the Russian Il-20 plane disaster has evolved into hostile steps by Moscow against Israel, as reported by DEBKAfile.

  1. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on Friday, Sept. 28 that Russia had already handed over advanced S-300 missile defense systems to Syria. This was a day after Russian National Security Adviser Nikolai Patrushev met in Tehran with his counterpart Ali Shamkhani. A tradeoff was to have been offered at that meeting, whereby Israeli would call off its air strikes in Syria if Iran stopped sending arms to Hizballah via Syria. Israel was given to understand by Russian officials that this deal would be sealed at an early face-to-face between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Until then. the S-300s would be held in abeyance. However, as Lavrov indicated, either Israel was misled, or Moscow sharply changed course in the last 48 hours. Netanyahu responded to the Russian disclosure by calling the S-300 handover to Syria “irresponsible.”

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Russia Gaining Influence in Mediterranean

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Russians have a history of cooperation with many African countries, however, since the fall of the Soviet Union involvement in Africa has effectively ended. Recent years have seen the Russians engaging more with Africa, especially in northern countries around the Mediterranean Sea, where the Russians are using military operations against various rebel or terror groups as leverage against the United States. Continue reading

Who is Russia’s New U.S. Ambassador?

Who is Russia’s New U.S. Ambassador?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Antonov to be his nation’s next ambassador to the U.S. Antonov is a former Soviet general and led the Russian military as it became increasingly aggressive toward the U.S. and its allies in the past decade.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has selected Anatoly Antonov, a career diplomat specializing in defense and security issues, to replace former spymaster Sergey Kislyak as his chief representative to the U.S.

Antonov still technically is a general in the Russian Army, holding the equivalent of the U.S. military’s five-star rank, but has worked in Putin’s government for the past six years. From 2011 until late last year, the former Soviet military leader was deputy defense minister.

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Russian special forces troops seen in Egypt and Libya, say reports

 

Russia may have become the latest country to deploy special forces soldiers in Libya, according to news reports citing anonymous United States officials. Late on Tuesday, the Reuters news agency reported that Russian special forces troops had been seen on the border between Libya and Egypt. The news agency said that the information came from “two US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity”. The same article cited unnamed “Egyptian security forces”, who said that a 22-member Russian paramilitary team had set up an operations base in the Egyptian town of Sidi Barrani, which is located 60 miles from Libyan territory. Continue reading

Germany warns of dangers of new arms race with Russia as conflict in Ukraine intensifies

Sigmar Gabriel meeting Vladimir Putin

Sigmar Gabriel made his first visit to Moscow as Foreign Minister [Getty]

 

GERMANY’S foreign minister has warned of the dangers of engaging in a new arms race with Russia, calling on all sides to work together to end the violence in eastern Ukraine.

Sigmar Gabriel has used his first visit to Moscow as foreign minister to underscore his concerns about Russia’s military buildup in the Baltic region and its western borders.

He also expressed concerns about the conflict’s resulting “exorbitant military spending increases”. Continue reading

Russia wants to form new Collective Security Bloc that replaces NATO

President Trump appears to understand that NATO is not the best solution to the emerging challenges. Tom Sauer suggested that although Washington will remain committed to the bloc, the current US administration will pay less attention to it. If true, this will create a unique opportunity for Europe to invest into its own security.

 

United States President Donald Trump was correct in his assessment that the North Atlantic Alliance is outdated, Associate Professor in International Politics at the Universiteit Antwerpen Tom Sauer asserted, saying that the bloc should be replaced by a new security organization that will encompass countries in Europe and Asia.

“NATO should be transformed or even be replaced by a new Eurasian-Atlantic collective security organization that includes Russia. That will also be in the interest of Ukraine and the Baltic states,” the analyst wrote for the National Interest. Continue reading

Russia seeks ‘post-West’ order as US vows loyalty to allies

Russia Saturday called for an end to what it said was an outdated world order dominated by the West after US Vice President Mike Pence pledged Washington’s “unwavering” commitment to transatlantic allies in NATO.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered a diametrically opposed global vision, just hours after Pence vowed to stand with Europe to rein in a resurgent Moscow.

“I hope that (the world) will choose a democratic world order — a post-West one — in which each country is defined by its sovereignty,” said Lavrov. Continue reading

Iranian UAV attacked Turkish troops in Syria, senior source in Ankara says

An Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicle participated in an attack on Turkish troops operating in Syria that left four dead and 10 wounded in late November, a senior Turkish government source told the Turkish press on Wednesday. The attack took place just two days before Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Hakan Fidan, head of the country’s MIT intelligence agency, made a surprise visit to Tehran on November 26. Continue reading

Week in Review: The Iranian Empire Is Back, Europe’s Military, Censoring ‘Fake News,’ and Much More

 

Highlights:

Return of the Iranian Empire

  • “For the first time since 625 c.e.,” wrote Hussain Abdul-Hussain for now media, “Iran has restored its control over a contiguous territory that extends from the east of Afghanistan to the Mediterranean coast.”
  • The Syrian regime recently announced that Hezbollah will play a lead role in the nation’s military.
  • On the other hand, the Iraqi government voted to fully legalize Iranian-sponsored Shiite militias, officially making them a part of the Iraqi government forces.
  • Abdul-Hussain continued: “[T]hese militias will control—on Tehran’s behalf—their respective armies and, by extension, the governments behind these armies.”

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Russia is ‘paving the way’ for a major re-escalation in Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters Monday that Russia would provide “the most active” support to the Syrian army to keep the strategic city of Aleppo and the surrounding area from falling into the hands of “terrorists.” Continue reading

US, Russia aim to ‘decapitate’ Syrian military

The US, Russia and the Syrian rebels started discussions this weekend over the composition of a list of Syrian generals who will be dishonorably discharged over war crimes they committed during the country’s civil war, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources say in an exclusive report.

The generals will not face trial at an international tribunal over their war crimes. They will be able to leave Syria along with their families and their possessions, just like President Bashar Assad and his clan. Continue reading

Suddenly Russia consents to consider Assad’s ouster

Washington and Moscow have made dramatic progress over the last few days in marathon telephone talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on ending the war in Syria. Russia agreed for the first time to discuss the possibility that Syrian President Bashar Assad will step down, and the conditions under which such a process will take place, according to debkafile’s intelligence sources.

The sources add that the Russians also agreed to begin to negotiate the future of senior Syrian military commanders who are carrying out the war against the rebels. The contacts that include the Saudis and the Jordanians have reached such an advanced stage that participants have started to prepare lists of Syrian commanders who will be removed or remain in their posts. Continue reading

Russia and China Warn U.S. Over New Installation in Korea

Russia and China teamed up to issue a stern warning to the United States today.

At a joint conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, both called on Washington to halt installation of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system in South Korea. Continue reading

Russia’s Permanent Representative To NATO Amb. Grushko: The NATO-Russia Council Meeting Attests To NATO’s Failure To Isolate Russia

On April 20, 2016, the NATO-Russia Council’s first meeting in almost two years took place in Brussels, Belgium. The last time the NRC met was in June 2014.[1] Following the Ukrainian crisis and the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia was suspended; however, some channels of communication remained open, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov several times during the past two years. Following the NRC meeting, Stoltenberg said that NATO and Russia continue to have “profound and persistent disagreements.”[2]

All the heads of missions of the 28 NATO member states participated in the meeting, which went nearly two hours longer than planned. Russia was represented by its Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Alexander Grushko. Continue reading

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