Trump: ‘Germany Is Totally Controlled by Russia’

 

President Donald Trump shared on Twitter Wednesday a video of sharp words he directed toward NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about Germany being “totally controlled by Russia” regarding their energy relationship.

“Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia because it’s getting so much of its energy from Russia,” Trump told Stoltenberg at a bilateral breakfast ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium. Continue reading

More Dots

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Interesting Twitter thread from “Lycaon” today. It lays out a series of dots (no better use of Twitter than laying out dots) that connects Clintons, various Trump-Russia actors, and money-laundering. I think Lycaon would do well to re-examine Bill Browder’s  hole-pocked alibi as “anti-Putin avenger” but his inclusion of HSBC, presented by a US Senate committee on July 17, 2012 as a money-laundering entity, and James Comey’s arrival at HSBC as director on March 4, 2013, and then, seven months later, Comey’s appointment as FBI director by President Obama is sequencing worth recalling.

In between, of course, HSBC paid a giant fine in exchange for a clean bill of health. Continue reading

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

Struggle for Influence in the Western Pacific (I)

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The US-led RIMPAC 2018, the world’s largest naval maneuver, began yesterday with German soldiers participating. According to the US Navy, the naval exercise will also include operations in the Western Pacific. The region of the Southwest Pacific islands will thus come into focus, which – even though largely ignored by the European public – has been gaining significant global influence. On the one hand, the influence of Western countries has shrunk recently, while that of their strategic rivals, such as Russia and China, has significantly grown. Some Pacific island nations have since then been seeking to pursue a foreign policy independent from the West. On the other hand, the Southwest Pacific has become even more important also for Australia and the Unites States: as the political economic backyard for Australia and “gateway to the Indo-Pacific” for the U.S.A. Germany is also attempting to increase its activities in the region.

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More Countries Start Exploring Alternatives to the US World Order

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There are two countries that more than others show how the Western world order is undergoing a profound change. Japan and Turkey occupy two distinct and diverse geographical areas, yet they share many of the same strategic choices about their future. Their geopolitical trajectory is increasingly drifting away from Washington and moving closer to China, Russia, India and Iran.

Both Japan and Turkey are two important states in the US’s strategy for controlling the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Both countries have economies that are competitive in comparison to their neighbors, and both often conveniently find themselves allied to countries within Washington’s orbit. Japan has a good relationship with South Korea, and Turkey (until a few years ago) had a privileged relationship with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Keeping in mind that the US aims to prolong and consolidate its regional dominance, Washington has always tried to have excellent relations with these two countries as a way of ensuring its constant presence in regional affairs. Continue reading

The World Transformed and No One in America Noticed

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The world transformed and nobody in the West noticed. India and Pakistan have joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The 17 year-old body since its founding on June 15, 2001 has quietly established itself as the main alliance and grouping of nations across Eurasia. Now it has expanded from six nations to eight, and the two new members are the giant nuclear-armed regional powers of South Asia, India, with a population of 1.324 billion and Pakistan, with 193.2 million people (both in 2016).

In other words, the combined population of the SCO powers or already well over 1.5 billion has virtually doubled at a single stroke. Continue reading

US struggles to counter Chinese maritime hegemony

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has spoken out against China’s strategy of “intimidation and coercion” in the South China Sea, including the deployment of anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers, and, more recently, the landing of nuclear-capable bomber aircraft at Woody Island. There are, Mattis warned, “consequences to China ignoring the international community.”

But what consequences? Two successive US administrations – Barack Obama’s and now Donald Trump’s – have failed to push back credibly against China’s expansionism in the South China Sea, which has accelerated despite a 2016 international arbitral tribunal ruling invalidating its territorial claims there. Instead, the US has relied on rhetoric or symbolic actions. Continue reading

Russia Just Won Big In The European Gas War

LNG carrier

 

There’s been a lot of talk on both sides of the Atlantic about the U.S. pivot and efforts at locking in natural as market share in Europe. Much of this comes amid President Donald Trump’s so-called American energy independence push as well as both U.S. and several EU members thrust to wean Europe off of geopolitically charged Russian gas.

In fact, Trump has pushed for U.S.-sourced LNG to become so much of the EU’s energy security that several European states, particularly Germany, have accused the president of playing energy geopolitics, cloaking American concern for European energy security under the guise and to the benefit of U.S. LNG producers.

Now, however, Trump and U.S. LNG exporters will have an even harder time convincing key EU members to offset overreliance on Russian piped gas with U.S. LNG. Continue reading

Some Provocative Thoughts from Bukovsky

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(Screenshot 112 Ukraine TV)

 

Vladimir Bukovsky has been giving some pretty interesting Russian-language interviews lately.

Earlier this month, he spoke with Kiev-based112 Ukraine TV. Below is an excerpt from the English translation by Alissa Ordabai that should get some attention.

Dmitry Gordon: You recently said, “If two ballistic missiles were launched at Lubyanka, the level of terrorism worldwide would drop by 80 percent.”  What did you mean by that?

Vladimir Bukovsky: The thing is that a huge part of the world’s so-called terrorism is being organized by Lubyanka (the popular name for the headquarters of the FSB on Lubyanka Square in Moscow – translator). They control Islamic terrorism, ever since the war in Afghanistan when they were supporting the most extremist parts of the Afghan resistance, people like Gulbuddin.  You wouldn’t remember these names.   Continue reading

Germany starts to build Nord Stream 2

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Danish and Swedish permits still pending (Photo: nord-stream2.com)

 

Germany has started to pour concrete on a Russian gas pipeline that risks dividing the EU and harming its energy security.

The construction began in Lubmin, on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast, on Thursday (3 May), with the laying of foundations for a terminal that will receive 55bn cubic metres (bcm) a year of Russian gas via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline when it goes online in 2020. Continue reading

Trump: A New Vision of the Middle East

Trump and Macron at the White House. Emulating his French counterpart, the US president kept repeating: “I do what I say.” Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

 

  • The US president, branded as “unpredictable,” has received the fiercest criticism; but a foreign policy is measured by its results.

The last Trump-Macron Summit was a masterpiece of communication. The two men multiplied their signs of complicity and intimacy in front of the cameras. To indicate the strength of their relationship, The French president even declared, “We are two Mavericks.” In addition, both criticized the difficulties imposed by the political system, while emphasizing that they have never been politicians to be used, nor were they part of a partisan machine. Continue reading

Ukraine: Is Russia Planning A New Invasion?

Pictured: A Russian-backed rebel observing Ukrainian army positions near Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, May 17, 2015. (Image source: Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons)

 

  • Russia’s aggression into Ukraine came in direct violation of its obligations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.
  • “After four years of war, Russia has at least 260,000 troops deployed along the Ukrainian border,” ready to advance. — Oleksandr Turchynov, Chairman of Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council, April 13, 2018.
  • The First Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Security Service, Viktor Kononenko, recently reported that Russia might be planning another attempt to destabilize Ukraine in the fall “under the pretext of protecting the Russian-speaking population”.

This April marks the fourth year of the ongoing war in Ukraine between the Ukrainian military and Russian backed separatists in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine, also known as the Donbas region. Prior to the beginning of the war in eastern Ukraine in April 2014, Russia annexed Crimea.

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The Deep State Closes In On The Donald: Mueller’s War, Part 2

Part 1 can be found here:

The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 1

 

 

What is going on in the eastern Mediterranean and over the skies and on the ground in Syria is absolutely nuts; it’s also scary dangerous and utterly unnecessary, too.

After all, the imminent Russian/American military clash is over the skeleton of an artificial backwater nation confected in 1916 by two swells in the British and French foreign offices. At length, what was never a nation anyway has finally been reduced to rubble, misery and sectarian fragments.

So there is nothing to contest now, and, in fact, there never was. The sovereign government of Syria long ago invited the Russians in and Washington out. Period. Continue reading

The U.S. Should Be Reaching out to Russia — Not Risking War

 

There’s no greater villain in the world today than Vladimir Putin. He stands accused in the media and global public opinion of rigging his recent reelection, imprisoning his political enemies, murdering Russian spies turned double-agent, meddling in Western elections, seizing Crimea, destabilizing Ukraine, supporting a murderous dictator in Syria and exporting arms to terrorist nations like Iran.

The list of bad acts laid at Putin’s feet is much longer than the one just recited, but you get the idea. He’s no Mr. Nice Guy. Continue reading

Escalation Dominance

 

On March 1, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin delivered a speech that effectively declared Russia has overwhelming nuclear superiority and war-winning capability against the United States, NATO, and the entire world.

While President Obama neglected modernizing the U.S. nuclear deterrent, questing for a “world without nuclear weapons” – Russia achieved what the USSR never could against any U.S. president during the Cold War, the holy grail of nuclear superiority, what strategists call “escalation dominance.” Continue reading