China’s Belt And Road Continues To Win Over Europe While Technocrats Scream & Howl

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21-04-19 02:38:00,

Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

On April 10th, China’s Premier Li Keqiang celebrated the completion of the 1st phase of the 2.5 kilometer Chinese-built Pelgesac Bridge in Croatia across the Bay of Mali Ston alongside Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. This ceremony marked a striking victory as the following day ushered in an important 16+1 Heads of State summit that saw Greece inducted as the newest member of a new alliance of Central and Eastern European nations who wish to cooperate with China. At this summit held on April 12, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated that this was “a very crucial moment for global and regional developments” and “we have to leave behind the crisis and find new models of regional and global cooperation.”

Of course, Greece’s involvement in this alliance (now renamed the 17+1 CEEC) has broadened its geographical boundaries to the west and is especially important as Greece’s Port of Piraeus is a strategic east-west trade gate way for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) into Europe centered on the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Route. Greece is painfully aware that its survival depends upon China’s BRI, as the EU programs for austerity, privatization and bailouts have brought only death and despair with a collapse of youth employment, crime rate spikes and suicide. It is also not lost on anyone that this breakthrough follows hot on the heels of Italy’s joining of the Belt and Road Initiative on March 26 and also serves as a precursor to the second Belt and Road Summit which will take place in Beijing at the end of April, involving over 126 nations who have already signed MOUs with the BRI and thousands of international businesses.

Ten additional BRI-connected agreements were signed between Croatia and China before the 17+1 Summit including the modernizing of rail lines (especially from Zagreb to the Adriatic port of Rijeka), telecommunications cooperation between Huawei and Croatian Telecom and major port, roads, harbors, education and cultural cooperation.

The Belt and Road Initiative, as Tsipras aptly pointed out, is not just another set of infrastructure programs designed to counterbalance western hegemony,

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US continues imports of Russian gas which it insists Europe should stop buying

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16-11-18 08:38:00,

Several cargo ships carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia’s Yamal LNG plant have arrived in the US, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova announced, highlighting the obvious weirdness of the situation.

“Oddly enough, with all this visible public flow of negative rhetoric from Washington, Russian liquefied natural gas is successfully being supplied to the US,” Zakharova said during the weekly press briefing.

“Recently, at least three tankers with liquefied natural gas from the Russian Yamal LNG field on board have reached the US coast,” she added.

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Ice-breaking tanker Christophe de Margerie is docked in Arctic port of Russia © Reuters / Olesya Astakhova

This is not the first batch of Yamal-originated LNG. In January, a month after the facility started operating, French tanker Gaselys delivered the first LNG cargo to the US city of Boston. The fuel was reportedly purchased by Malaysian oil and gas firm Petronas, transported to the UK, and then resold. In March, Boston reportedly welcomed another LNG carrier – Provalys owned by French multinational Engie. The tanker reportedly delivered the second LNG cargo from the Russian Yamal plant.

Zakharova’s comment came shortly after US Department of Energy Secretary Mark Menezes said that Washington is ready to back projects aimed at diversifying energy supplies to countries of the European Union even if Russian corporations take part in them.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly urged the EU to look for alternatives to cheaper Russian gas, mostly delivered to Europe by pipelines. Last month, PGNiG, Poland’s gas company, signed a 20-year deal to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US.

While promoting American LNG, Trump has repeatedly slammed Europe over its energy dependence on Russia, which he characterized as an unreliable partner. Earlier, Germany agreed to fund the building of a terminal for receiving American LNG. At the same time, Germany is participating in the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with Russia.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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NATO Think Tank Continues Pre-Election Interference

NATO Think Tank Continues Pre-Election Interference

30-08-18 12:19:00,

Authored by Rick Rozoff via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

On August 24 what is in effect the social media warfare division of the Atlantic Council published an article  accusing the Russian television and print news outlet RT of running a one-sided attack against the Democratic Party and several leaders thereof ahead of this November’s politically pivotal Senate and House of Representatives elections. (Thirty-five Senate seats and all 435 House seats are being contested.)

The Atlantic Council, until recently kept comparatively in the shadows for obvious reasons, is a think tank that has more than any other organization effected the transition of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from a seeming Cold War relic with the break-up of the Warsaw Pact and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 to the world’s only and history’s first international military network with 70 members and partners on six continents currently. All thirteen new full member states are in Eastern and Central Europe; four of them border Russia.

Three months ago it began collaborating with Facebook to police and censor that and (presumably) soon after other social media companies which in recent decades have become the major sources of information and communication for the seven billion citizens of the planet. No modest undertaking.

This is by way of follow up to a Directive on Social Media issued four years ago by NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), the bloc’s military command in Europe (which also oversees activities in Israel and until the activation of U.S. Africa Command ten years ago almost all of Africa).

Excerpts from that directive  include:

One key challenge is the need to keep informed regarding social media ‘discussions’ on NATO and global security matters in order to maintain situational awareness. Key vulnerabilities include security concerns and the ease by which information can be transmitted globally using social media tools.

It also addresses  use of social media for what it calls “operations,” which frequently is a euphemism for bombings, missile attacks and all-out war. Witness Operation Allied Force (Yugoslavia 1999), Operation Unified Protector (Libya 2011), NATO Training Mission-Iraq (starting in 2004), International Security Assistance Force/Operation Resolute Force (Afghanistan from 2001 to the present) and Operation Atlantic Resolve (aimed at Russia since 2015).

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Ecuador Continues Playing Hardball With Assange

Ecuador Continues Playing Hardball With Assange

07-06-18 09:18:00,


A day after she was elected president of the UN General Assembly, the Ecuadorian foreign minister said Julian Assange would remain incommunicado in Ecuador’s London embassy, as James Cogan explains.

By James Cogan

On Monday Ecuadorian Foreign Minister María Fernanda Espinosa was elected to a one-year term as president of the United Nations General Assembly. On Tuesday she declared that her government would continue blocking WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange from all communications and deny him any personal visitors. On Wednesday it became 10 weeks since Ecuador’s government deprived Assange of his rights, which it is obliged to honor after granting him political asylum in its London embassy in 2012.

The General Assembly vote in support of Espinosa was a substantial: 128 votes for 62 votes for the other nominee, Honduras’s UN ambassador, Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake. There were two abstentions. Washington was believed to favor Honduras because its right-wing government supported the provocative relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. After the vote, Espinosa again hinted that Ecuador is working to force Assange out of the embassy into the clutches of waiting police and the prospect of extradition to the United States on charges of espionage. She stated she was in discussion with both British authorities and Assange’s lawyers. “I think all parties are interested in finding an outlet, a solution, to this complex situation,” she declared.

Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno last year slandered Assange as a “hacker” and described the granting of political asylum to him by the previous president as an “inherited problem.”

Washington is demanding Assange’s head. Then CIA director Mike Pompeo, now U.S. secretary of state, asserted last year that WikiLeaks was a “non-state hostile intelligence agency,” due to its publication of documents exposing the operations of U.S. intelligence.

It appears Assange is being used as a bargaining chip in sordid negotiations between the U.S. and Ecuador. On June 4, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met Moreno. Amid the stepped-up persecution of Assange, Pence issued a statement lauding their discussion on “opportunities to reinvigorate the bilateral relationship” between the two countries.

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