Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Director General of Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency Dmitry Kiselev Moscow, April 28, 2021 | The Vineyard of the Saker

30-04-21 03:29:00,

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

We have available video in Russian and transcript in English.


Dmitry Kiselev: Our relations with the United States are really “hell”. Personally, I don’t recall them being at such a low ebb ever before. This is even worse than the Cold War times, in my opinion. Ambassadors have returned back to their home countries. What’s going to happen next? What is the possible scenario?

Sergey Lavrov: If it depended on us alone, we would gladly resume normal relations. The first possible step towards this, which I regard as obvious, is to zero out the measures restricting the work of Russian diplomats in the United States. It was as a response measure that we restricted the operations of American diplomats in Russia.

We proposed this to the Biden administration as soon as it had taken the oath and assumed office. I have mentioned the idea to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. I did not try to press it; I just said that an obvious way to normalise our relations would be to zero out the measures initiated by Barack Obama. Several weeks before leaving office, he was so annoyed he virtually slammed the door by seizing Russian property in violation of all the Vienna conventions and throwing Russian diplomats out. This has caused a chain reaction.

We patiently sat back for a long time, until the summer of 2017, before taking any response measures. The Trump administration asked us to disregard the excessive measures taken by the outgoing Obama administration. However, Donald Trump’s team failed to normalise the situation, and so we had to take reciprocal measures. But the Americans have not stopped there.

We can see that the Biden administration continues to go downhill, although US President Biden said during his conversation with President of Russia Vladimir Putin soon after his inauguration, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told me that they are thoroughly reviewing their relations with Russia, hoping that this would clarify many things. However, instead they adopted new sanctions, which triggered not simply a mirror response on our part. Our response was asymmetrical, just as we had warned them on numerous occasions. It has to do, in part,

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What will be the foreign policy of the next US President?, by Thierry Meyssan

08-09-20 04:35:00,

The two programs for the Trump and Biden candidacies are not similar to those of previous candidates. It is no longer a question of adjusting the United States to the changing world, but of defining what they will be. The question is existential, so it is quite possible that things will degenerate and end in violence. For some, the country must be a nation at the service of its citizens, for others it must restore its imperial status.

JPEG - 35.3 kb The Oval Office of the White House is looking for a tenant.

The U.S. 2020 presidential campaign pits two radically different visions of the United States: empire or nation?

On the one hand, Washington’s claim to dominate the world by “containment” – a strategy articulated by George Kennan in 1946 and followed by all presidents until 2016 – and on the other hand, the rejection of imperialism and the desire to facilitate the fortunes of Americans in general – a strategy articulated by President Andrew Jackson (1829-37) and taken up only by President Donald Trump (2017-20).

Each of these two camps wields rhetoric that masks its true practice. Democrats and Republicans pose as heralds of the “free world” in the face of “dictatorships”, as defenders of racial, gender and sexual orientation discrimination, and as champions of the fight against “global warming”. The Jacksonians, for their part, take turns denouncing the corruption, perversity and ultimately hypocrisy of their predecessors while calling to fight for their nation and not for the empire.

The two camps have in common only the same cult of force; whether it is at the service of the empire (Democrats and Republicans) or the nation (Jacksonians).

The fact that the Jacksonians unexpectedly became a majority in the country and took control of the Republican Party adds to the confusion, but should not confuse trumpism with what the Republican ideology has been since World War II.

In reality, Democrats and Republicans tend to be well-to-do people or professionals in new technologies, while Jacksonians – like the “yellow vests” in France – are rather poor and professionally tied to the land from which they cannot escape.

For the 2020 campaign, Democrats and Republicans are united behind former Vice President Jo Biden. He and his supporters are extremely voluble about their intentions:
- “The Power of America’s Example”,

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Foreign students face mass DEPORTATIONS from US if their universities switch to online-only classes

07-07-20 07:07:00,

US immigration authorities have warned foreign students at colleges offering online-only courses that they must transfer to schools with in-person classes or face deportation. The rule has students and many professors up in arms.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ended the temporary exceptions it granted foreign students during the spring semester, leaving some students whose schools have gone online-only for fall facing removal from the country – or stranded back home. The loophole had permitted non-immigrant student visa holders to stay in the US while taking online courses due to the coronavirus epidemic, which forced universities to shut down on short notice, but while the pandemic lingers, ICE’s largesse does not.

Under the new rules, non-immigrant foreign students attending colleges that are offering only online courses for the fall semester must change schools or leave the country. “If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings,” the notice, posted on the ICE website on Monday, warned.

Those students seeking to reenter the US for the fall semester will be denied visas if their school is offering solely online courses, ICE, which administers the US’ student visa program, added. However, they can come back if the school switches to in-person classes – and indeed they must come back if that happens, or risk losing their student visa for good.

While foreign students attending colleges that offer part-online “hybrid” classes may take more than one online course, they have to jump through a number of certification hoops with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which will presumably be keeping a close eye on them. Students have just 10 days to notify the program if they switch to online-only courses (and presumably start the process of leaving the US before ICE catches up with them).

What if students are going back to countries without good internet connection? Or where the time difference makes it difficult to join classes online? This makes it so difficult for these students to continue to get the education they paid for.

— Miriam Abaya (@AbayaMiriam) July 6, 2020

The notice didn’t go over well on social media, where many pointed out that these students had paid to study in the US and many came from countries where internet connections were spotty,

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British foreign secretary accused of hypocrisy for praising UN ‘values’ despite UK treatment of Assange

26-06-20 06:00:00,

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has provoked anger after lauding the UK’s role in the United Nations and its commitment to the “values” of the organization, with many disagreeing and pointing to the treatment of Julian Assange.

Raab posted on social media on Friday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the birth of the UN, when 50 nations, including the UK, came together to sign the Charter.

The foreign minister said: “Since then, we have played a crucial role in the @UN and remain committed to upholding its values.”

75 years ago, the 🇬🇧 alongside 49 other nations signed the @UN Charter 🇺🇳. Since then, we have played a crucial role in the @UN and remain committed to upholding its values. From #coronavirus to #climatechange, international collaboration is key to addressing global issues. #UN75

— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) June 26, 2020

The minister’s virtuous tone riled many on Twitter, with critics accusing Raab of double standards – and even of being “deluded.”

The case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose treatment at Belmarsh Prison has amounted to “torture” according to UN Rapporteur Nils Melzer, was highlighted as an example of the UK’s double standards.

One commenter sarcastically remarked: “Fantastic news. When are you going to stop the persecution and torture of Julian Assange?” Another accused Raab and the UK government of “repeatedly ignoring” UN recommendations when it comes to the detained Australian publisher.

I don’t think so Mr Raab your government has ignored its international obligations repeatedly ignoring UN opinions and recommendations in the Julian #Assange case! Your government is torturing him!

— Emmy Butlin (@greekemmy) June 26, 2020

Mark Curtis, editor of Declassified UK, hit out at Raab for “mind-numbing” “doublethink,” in professing his support for the UN and its “principles.”

When it comes to criticism from UN officials, Britain has a track record of refusing to apologize. In 2019, responding to UN poverty envoy Dr Philip Alston’s assessment that levels of child poverty in the UK were “not just a disgrace,

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