Russia: US arming ex-terrorists

Moscow – Russia’s firebrand envoy to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said Thursday that US military aid to Kosovo amounted to arming “former terrorists”.

Responding to news of US President George W Bush approval of military aid to Kosovo, Russia’s ambassador to Nato Dmitry Rogozin warned that such a move could lead to “new terrorist clashes in the Balkans”.

“To give former terrorists weapons for the war against terrorism appears at least amusing if not worse,” the Interfax news agency quoted Rogozin as saying from Brussels.

Read more

Narco Aggression: Russia accuses the U.S. military of involvement in drug trafficking out of Afghanistan

The global proceeds of the Afghan drug trade is in excess of 150 billion dollars a year. There is mounting evidence that this illicit trade is protected by the US military.Historically, starting in the early 1980s, the Afghan drug trade was used to finance CIA covert support of the Islamic brigades. The 2003 war on Afghanistan was launched following the Taliban government’s 2000-2001 drug eradication program which led to a collapse in opium production in excess of 90 percent.

The following report, which accuses the United States of using military transport planes to ship narcotics out of Afghanistan confirms what is already known and documented regarding the Golden Crescent Drug Trade and its insiduous relationship to US intelligence.

Russia, facing a catastrophic rise in drug addiction, accuses the U.S. military of involvement in drug trafficking from Afghanistan.

Afghanistan produced 8,200 tonnes of opium last year, enough to make 93 per cent of the world’s heroin supply.

Could it be that the American military in Afghanistan is involved in drug trafficking? Yes, it is quite possible, according to Russia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov.

Commenting on reports that the United States military transport aviation is used for shipping narcotics out of Afghanistan, the Russian envoy said there was no smoke without fire.

“If such actions do take place they cannot be undertaken without contact with Afghans, and if one Afghan man knows this, at least a half of Afghanistan will know about this sooner or later,” Kabulov told Vesti, Russia’s 24-hour news channel. “That is why I think this is possible, but cannot prove it.”

Afghan narcotics are an extremely painful issue for Russia. They first hit the Russian market during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s when Russian soldiers developed a taste for Afghan heroin and smuggled it back to Russia.

Read more

Russian energy ties with Iran send US a message

With European and US companies out of the competition, Russia’s Gazprom has an edge as it bids for a bigger role in developing the world’s second-largest gas reserves

AS the United States warns the world away from business with Tehran, Moscow’s tightening ties to Iran’s energy sector underline Russia’s differences with Washington over Iranian nuclear plans and Kosovo’s independence.

While the timing of Moscow’s announcement on Tuesday may have been political, the deal for Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom to take on big new Iranian oil and gas projects was a long time in the making and dovetails with Gazprom’s strategic ambitions, analysts said. Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas producer, will play a larger role in developing Iran’s giant South Pars gas field and will also drill for oil.

“The Russian government and the United States are at loggerheads over how to engage with Iran, with Russia actively favouring a more open relationship,” said Ronald Smith, chief strategist at Alfa Bank. “This makes Gazprom rather indifferent to American policy wishes.” The US accuses Iran of using uranium enrichment to develop weapons, while Tehran says it needs nuclear power. Russia has been reluctant to impose more UN sanctions on Iran.

Read more

Russia warns EU, NATO of “illegal” Kosovo moves

BRUSSELS, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Russia warned the European Union and NATO on Wednesday that their presence in Kosovo would be illegal if they acted in support of a self-proclaimed independent state.Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said the EU had no basis in international law to deploy a police and justice mission in the breakaway Serbian province, since that required a United Nations mandate.

Moscow has backed Belgrade’s refusal to allow Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority their own state, blocking a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have granted the territory supervised independence.

“Any attempt to circumvent the U.N. Security Council would put the EU mission on a very shaky legal basis,” Chizhov told a news conference.

He said the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo known as KFOR would be in breach of its U.N. mandate if for example it intervened to put down protests by Kosovo’s Serb minority against a declaration of independence.

Read more

Russia to rearrange troops due to U.S. missile shield

MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Defense Ministry plans to change the configuration of troops in Kaliningrad in response to U.S. missile shield plans in Central Europe, a high-ranking army official said on Wednesday.

“The General Staff and the main combat training department of the Russian Armed Forces are deciding how we will configure the troops,” said Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, who heads the Armed Forces combat training directorate.

Read more

Russia Air, Ground Forces to conduct joint drills in April

MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) – Units of Russia’s Air Force and Ground Forces will conduct a joint exercise in the country’s Caspian region in April 2008, a senior military official said on Tuesday.

Read more

War pimp alert: Over 40 Russian planes to take part in naval drills in Atlantic

MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti) – Over 40 aircraft of Russia’s Air Force will take part in the final stage of a naval exercise in the Atlantic later this month, an aide to the Air Force commander said on Thursday.

“The Air Force will play an active role in the final stage of the naval task force exercises. Over 40 planes will be employed from January 28 to February 1,” Alexander Drobyshevsky said.

He said Tu-160 Blackjacks, Tu-95MS Bears, Tu-22M3 Backfire C strategic bombers, A-50 Mainstay airborne early warning aircraft, Il-78 Midas aerial tankers, MiG-31 Foxhound long-range interceptors and Su-27 Flanker frontline fighter aircraft will participate in the drills.

Read more

War pimp alert: 4th Russian fuel shipment reaches Iran

A fourth Russian shipment of nuclear fuel arrived in Iran on Sunday, destined for a power plant being constructed in the southern Iranian port of Bushehr, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The nuclear power station in Bushehr.
Photo: AP

The report said 11 tons of fuel arrived at the Bushehr power plant, just two days after Iran received its third Russian shipment on Friday.

Russia has reportedly pledged to give Iran a total of 85 tons of fuel for the plant.

The remainder of the fuel, about 40 tons, was scheduled to arrive in four separate shipments in the coming months, the report said.

Read more

Russian Warships To Dock In Syria

In an effort to expand its military presence in the international arena and reestablish a naval presence in the Middle East, Russia has dispatched a naval fleet to the region, including a guided missile cruiser, two anti submarine ships and 47 fighter planes. The fleet will dock at the Syrian port of Tartus where Russia maintains a technical base. At the same port, Iranian ships are also docked.

Read more

Vladamir Putin: “The world’s most popular leader”?

By Mike Whitney

12/01/07 “ICH ” — – – On Sunday, Russians will vote in their country’s parliamentary elections. The results are a foregone conclusion. Putin’s party, United Russia, is expected to win in a landslide. The only question is whether the margin of victory will exceed 70%. If it does, then Putin will continue to be the most powerful player in Russian politics even after he steps down from office next year.

Vladamir Putin is arguably the most popular leader in Russian history, although you’d never know it by reading the western media. According to a recent survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal, Putin’s personal approval rating in November 2007 was 85% making him the most popular head of state in the world today. Putin’s popularity derives from many factors. He is personally clever and charismatic. He is fiercely nationalistic and has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of ordinary Russians and restore the country to its former greatness. He has raised over 20 million Russians out of grinding poverty, improved education, health care and the pension system, (partially) nationalized critical industries, lowered unemployment, increased manufacturing and exports, invigorated Russian markets, strengthened the ruble, raised the overall standard of living, reduced government corruption, jailed or exiled the venal oligarchs, and amassed capital reserves of $450 billion.

If there’s a downside to Putin’s legacy, it’s hard to see.

Read more

Putin slams foreign nations for backing opposition

By Guy Faulconbridge

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin, using Cold War rhetoric, accused foreign governments on Wednesday of sponsoring his opponents in next month’s election to weaken Russia and carry out “dirty tricks” against it.

Putin warned that victory for his United Russia party in the December 2 parliamentary election was the only guarantee that the chaos that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s would not return.

Read more

Russia begins large-scale military exercises in Far East

KHABAROVSK, October 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russia began on Sunday large-scale military exercises in the Far East to practice interoperability between troops, the press office of the Far Eastern military district said.

Read more

Attack Iran and you attack Russia

The barely reported highlight of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Tehran for the Caspian Sea summit last week was a key face-to-face meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.A high-level diplomatic source in Tehran tells Asia Times Online that essentially Putin and the Supreme Leader have agreed on a plan to nullify the George W Bush administration’s relentless drive towards launching a preemptive attack, perhaps a tactical nuclear strike, against Iran. An American attack on Iran will be viewed by Moscow as an attack on Russia.

Read more

The Sino-Russian Alliance; Challenging America’s Ambitions in Eurasia

“But if the middle space [Russia and the former Soviet Union] rebuffs the West [the European Union and America], becomes an assertive single entity, and either gains control over the South [Middle East] or forms an alliance with the major Eastern actor [China], then America’s primacy in Eurasia shrinks dramatically. The same would be the case if the two major Eastern players were somehow to unite. Finally, any ejection of America by its Western partners [the Franco-German entente] from its perch on the western periphery [Europe] would automatically spell the end of America’s participation in the game on the Eurasian chessboard, even though that would probably also mean the eventual subordination of the western extremity to a revived player occupying the middle space [e.g. Russia].”

-Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, 1997)

Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” These precepts of physics can also be used in the social sciences, specifically with reference to social relations and geo-politics.

America and Britain, the Anglo-American alliance, have engaged in an ambitious project to control global energy resources. Their actions have resulted in a series of complicated reactions, which have established a Eurasian-based coalition which is preparing to challenge the Anglo-American axis.

Encircling Russia and China: Anglo-American Global Ambitions Backfire

“Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force – military force – in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. As a result we do not have sufficient strength to find a comprehensive solution to any one of these conflicts. Finding a political settlement also becomes impossible. We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way.”

-Vladimir Putin at the Munich Conference on Security Policy in Germany (February 11, 2007)

What American leaders and officials called the “New World Order” is what the Chinese and Russians consider a “Unipolar World.” This is the vision or hallucination, depending on perspective, that has bridged the Sino-Russian divide between Beijing and Moscow.

Read more

Russia: Stop threatening Iran

I was wondering about Condi’s remarks about supporting humanrights activists in Russia.

The Russian Foreign Minister urges the West to encourage Iran to cooperate with the IAEA, instead of constantly threatening Tehran.
In a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sergey Lavrov slammed the West for threatening to take military action against Iran.

Read more

Rice pledges support to Russian activists

MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Russian human rights activists on Saturday she wanted to help them build institutions to protect people from the ‘arbitrary power of the state’.

The meeting could irk the Kremlin, which is sensitive to Western accusations it is rolling back democratic freedoms and suspects foreign governments of trying to influence the outcome of next year’s presidential election.

Rice told eight human rights leaders she wanted to hear about their efforts to protect freedoms in Russia.

“I am quite confident that your goal is to build institutions that are indigenous to Russia — that are Russian institutions — but that are also respectful of what we all know to be universal values,” said Rice.

She said these were: “The rights of individuals to liberty and freedom, the right to worship as you please, and the right to assembly, the right to not have to deal with the arbitrary power of the state.”

“How is it going and what can we do to help Russia to build strong institutions that have these universal values?”

Read more

China says it opposes threatening Iran with war

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is opposed to threatening Iran with war over its nuclear program and stands for a diplomatic solution, a government spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The United States, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China have backed two rounds of U.N. sanctions against Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment and other sensitive work that could be used to make nuclear weapons.

“We believe the best option is to peacefully resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations, which is in the common interests of the international community,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular briefing.

“We do not approve of easily resorting to threatening use of force in international affairs,” Jiang said when asked to comment on remarks by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner raising the prospect of war with Iran.

Read more

Russia Says U.S. Attack on Iran Would Be Catastrophic

By Sebastian Alison and Henry Meyer

Enlarge Image/Details

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) — A U.S. military strike on Iran would have “catastrophic consequences,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov said.

“Bomb attacks on Iran would be a wrong move leading to catastrophic consequences,” Losyukov said in an interview with newspaper Vremya Novostei, published on the ministry’s Web site.

Losyukov’s remarks come two days after French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the world should “prepare for the worst” in the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program, and that “the worst is war.” In Moscow today, Kouchner said everything must be done to avoid war and called for all sides to “negotiate, negotiate, negotiate without a break.”

Iran says it’s pursuing a nuclear research program to generate energy. The U.S. accuses it of enriching uranium to make a nuclear bomb. The State Department is trying to rally support for a third round of United Nations sanctions against Iran at the Security Council in New York.

Read more

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.