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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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