Russia & China complete their first cross-border mega highway bridge (VIDEO)

russia-&-china-complete-their-first-cross-border-mega-highway-bridge-(video)

29-11-19 10:32:00,

The construction of a bridge over the Amur River to link Russia and neighboring China has been completed in the Far East. The historic road is first of its kind between the two states and is set to boost economic ties.

The bridge links the cities Heihe in northern China and Russia’s far eastern city of Blagoveshchensk located on the opposite banks of the Amur River, also known as Heilongjiang by the Chinese. The bridge is more than 1km long (0.6 miles) and is a part of key 19.9km (12.4 miles) two-lane highway project.

The ambitious $300-million construction project was started in December 2016 and the two parts of the massive cable-braced bridge were joined together at the end of May. The new milestone was reached on Friday, when local authorities announced the end of the construction works paving the way for the opening, scheduled for April 2020.

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Russia's massive bridge construction project aims to end isolation of remote Siberian region

“The bridge has a strategic importance for us. It is a very serious perspective for our region,” the governor of the Amur Region, Vasily Orlov, said during a special ceremony marking completion of the project.

The harsh weather conditions of the frigid region have been hampering cross-border trade for years, but the ambitious project is set to solve this problem. After the route becomes operational, cargo volume could see an 8-fold increase to 4 million tons, according to Alexander Kozlov, the Russian Minister for the Development of the Far East.

The new bridge should also boost tourism, increasing the tourist flow from China to 2 million. However, initially tourists won’t be able to use the road as it will only be available to cargo trucks. It will take another year and a half to build a crossing point allowing passenger transport, including tourist buses, to cross the bridge.

However, tourists could be offered a more convenient and an even cheaper way to get to the other side, according to Kozlov, as Russia is also building a cableway across the Amur River.

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

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Russia is now far less dependent on US dollar or any other foreign currency – central bank

russia-is-now-far-less-dependent-on-us-dollar-or-any-other-foreign-currency-–-central-bank

28-11-19 10:05:00,

Russia is ready to significantly reduce its dependence on foreign financing, Alexander Morozov, chief of the Research and Forecasting department at the Central Bank of Russia, has told RT.

Moscow has been dumping the US dollar from its international reserves, halving its share to around 24 percent in one year. The diversification could help to mitigate risks, including those linked to sanctions, Morozov said on the sidelines of the 5th Russian-British Business Forum (RBBF) in London.

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“We have already made significant progress in this,” Morozov told RT. “If we compare the current situation with what we had 10 years ago, now, whatever happens, the Russian financial system is certainly much more stable.”

He pointed out, however, that getting rid of the US dollar has never been the goal. Moscow just wants to control the risks that any currency could pose, such as liquidity or changes in the exchange rate, according to the financial regulator.

“As Russia trades with many countries in different currencies, we are naturally interested in keeping some share of foreign currency in the structure of our assets. So, we haven’t had the goal to get rid of the dollar, the euro or any other currency,” Morozov stressed.

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Golden shield: Russian bullion reserves will protect country against slump in oil prices

Russia’s foreign currency and gold reserves have been steadily growing over recent years and have already exceeded half a trillion dollars, thanks to the budget rule. The rule, designed to shield and stabilize the nation’s economy, implies that if oil prices are higher than $42 per barrel, then extra money from the Russian crude and gas exports is transferred to the Russian National Wealth Fund. Thus if crude prices remain above the threshold stipulated by the budget law, Russia is set to further boost its bullion and forex reserves, according to the central bank official.

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

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Russia’s national payment system MIR looks to expand to Europe

russia’s-national-payment-system-mir-looks-to-expand-to-europe

27-11-19 12:07:00,

MIR payment system, developed by Russia in response to Western sanctions, is set to hit the European market. It will launch a pilot project at the Russian-British business forum in London on Wednesday.

PayXpert will become the unique acquirer of MIR cards in Europe, and the UK will be the first country where the system will operate, according to one of the organizers of the business event, the Roscongress Foundation.

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Russia, China & India to set up alternative to SWIFT payment system to connect 3 billion people

“The launch of our joint project with PayXpert is the first and foremost step in the development of MIR acquiring in Europe, which will lay the foundation for new promising trends in the foreign expansion of Russian payment cards,” said CEO of the MIR payment system Vladimir Komlev.

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The Russian payment system is expected to open up access to the Russian consumer market and boost the turnover between Russia and the UK, as it will simplify payment transactions for customers of different companies. The tourist sector is also set to benefit from the project, since more than 40 million Russian tourists visit Europe annually.

“Demonstrating the potential of Russia’s financial services abroad is extremely important,” Russian Trade Representative in the UK Boris Abramov said, vowing to assist in connecting new organizations in the UK to the payment scheme.

PayXpert says that MIR is “a solid cross border payment system” that can make a company attractive to more than 147 million Russian potential customers and give access to new Eastern European and Asian markets.

Russia started developing its own national payment system when the US targeted it with sanctions in 2014. Back then clients of several Russian banks were temporarily unable to use Visa and Mastercard due to the restrictions. Since the introduction of the new system, Russian banks have already issued more than 69.7 million MIR cards.

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

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Could Russia Floating Nuclear Plants Change World Economy? | New Eastern Outlook

could-russia-floating-nuclear-plants-change-world-economy?-|-new-eastern-outlook

25-11-19 08:34:00,

While the EU and United States have all but abandoned nuclear energy as a future power source, with almost no new reactors being built and existing ones being decommissioned, Russia has quietly emerged as the world’s leading builder of peaceful civilian nuclear power plants. Now the Russian state nuclear company, Rosatom, has completed the first commercial floating nuclear plant and has successfully towed it to its ultimate location in the Russian Far East where access to power is difficult. It could transform the energy demands of much of the developing world, in addition to Russia. An added plus is that nuclear plants emit zero carbon emissions so that political opposition based on CO2 does not apply.

The floating power plant, named Akademik Lomonosov, houses two 35-megawatt reactors, based on the design of the nuclear plants aboard the successful fleet of Russian nuclear-powered icebreakers and capable of providing 70MW electric power to city of 100,000.By comparison a typical on-land nuclear station in the USA or Europe is 1,000 MW in size making them suitable only for densely populated industrialized areas.

The smaller reactors are far cheaper to build once they go into multiple-unit production and are far more flexible for locations in developing regions of Asia or Africa where lack of reliable electricity is a major constraint to economic development. The construction and installation cost for the Lomonosov is reportedly $480 million, or about $6.90 per watt, slightly more than an average conventional plant.[i]

It is designed to last 40 years before being towed away to a special location in Russia for decommissioning, similar to the process for nuclear-powered ships. The special vessel is some 140 meters long and 30 meters wide. The design features well-proven Russian-built nuclear reactors used reliably for some five decades to power its nuclear icebreaker fleet, the world’s largest. The vessel itself has been designed to be capable of withstanding a tsunami or even a collision with land or a ship. It is designed to be stationed at a specially fixed site on sea and connected to land via underwater cables.The floating units can act as cogeneration facilities capable of feeding the grid and for desalinating large quantities of seawater making them attractive to the Middle East and other countries with water problems.

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In Russia, Individuals Can Now Be Branded “Foreign Agents” – Activist Post

in-russia,-individuals-can-now-be-branded-“foreign-agents”-–-activist-post

22-11-19 10:22:00,

By RuNet Echo

Today, Russia’s State Duma passed the third and final reading of a new bill expanding the scope of the country’s controversial “foreign agent” law.

The first iteration of the law appeared in 2012, and introduced the term “foreign agent” to refer to NGOs which receive foreign funding. It’s a loaded term in Russian, with strong associations with espionage. In November 2017, mass media organisations could be labelled “foreign agents” if they received funding from overseas; the move came soon after the state-funded news outlet RT was made to register as a “foreign agent” by the United States authorities. Since then, several organisations have been declared “foreign agents” by the Russian authorities, such as the Anti-Corruption Foundation of opposition politician Alexey Navalny in October 2019.

The latest amendments expand the definition of “foreign agent” to individuals, at the discretion of the Ministry of Justice, which already maintains online lists of “foreign agent” media outlets and NGOs. They also oblige any media organisation recognised as a “foreign agent” to first establish a Russian legal entity in order to operate in the country, and require individuals to publicly state this status and submit to intense financial reporting requirements. The punishments for non-compliance are harsh, including prison sentences of up to two years and fines of up to five million rubles (around 80,000 USD). On November 18, 10 international NGOs signed an open letter denouncing the new bill as a serious threat to freedom of expression in Russia.

How do the Russian authorities know a “foreign agent” when they see one?

The text of the new amendments, added to the federal laws on information and telecommunications, do not suggest any consistent criteria. Foreign agents, it reads, are “individuals disseminating printed, audiovisual, or other messages and material (including by use of the internet) intended for a potentially unlimited circle of people, receiving money and (or) other property from foreign states, their institutions, international and foreign organisations, foreign citizens, stateless individuals and their agents, and (or) Russian legal entities who receive money and (or) other property from indicated sources.”

State officials have stressed that the new law is nothing to worry about.

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Russia Slams US Backing For Israeli Settlements As “New Dangerous Escalation”

russia-slams-us-backing-for-israeli-settlements-as-“new-dangerous-escalation”

19-11-19 03:39:00,

Reuters reports that Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday condemned the US move to reverse decades-long official policy which viewed Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as illegal. 

“The Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach towards Israeli settlements. U.S. public statements on settlement activities in the West Bank have been inconsistent over decades,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday, effectively overturning the State Department’s 41-year-old legal opinion that Israel’s West Bank settlements are illegal.

Russia condemned the drastic policy reversal as a severe blow to the peace process, saying “We consider this Washington’s decision as another step aimed at ruining an international legal basis of the Middle East settlement that will exacerbate tensions in Palestinian-Israeli relations,” according to the foreign ministry statement.

The West Bank Jewish settlement of Ofra, via Reuters.

“We are urging all concerned parties to refrain from any steps that could provoke a new dangerous escalation in the region and impede the creation of conditions for resuming direct Palestinian-Israeli talks,” the statement emphasized.

Russia underscored it still sees as valid and binding the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 which states that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State [Palestine-Israel] solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.” 

Armed settlers from the hardline Jewish settlement of Yitzhar, via the AFP

Thus Moscow still views such settlements on Palestinian territory as illegal under international law, a Reuters summary of the Russian statement noted.

The historic policy shift of the Trump administration came after the State Department’s legal office was ordered to conduct a year-long review of the official US policy on the expanding settlements in the West Bank, according to The Jerusalem Post

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Russia & China to launch joint venture for constructing metros worldwide

russia-&-china-to-launch-joint-venture-for-constructing-metros-worldwide

13-11-19 02:11:00,

Russian engineering company Mosinzhproekt and the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) plan to set up a joint venture for the construction of subways around the world, said Moscow Deputy Mayor Marat Khusnullin.

He said that several agreements have already been sealed with Chinese partners, particularly on the implementation of a joint project on transfer hubs and the exchange of information technology.

“We have gained expertise and potentially after 2021–2022, when the main number of metros are completed, we can start building in other countries too,” Khusnullin said, adding that a preliminary agreement with the Chinese side has already been signed.

Since August 2017, CRCC has been building a 4.6km section and three stations on the Large Circle Line in Moscow, which will be completed by the end of 2020. In February, CRCC won another metro construction contract and is expected to start tunneling next month.

The Chinese firm may also invest around $1 billion in the construction of the first stage of Russia’s administrative and business center, Kommunarka.

The Moscow metro is one of the busiest in the world and is famous for its efficiency and elegance. It features some of the most beautiful stations, many of which are decorated with frescoes, marble columns and ornate chandeliers. It is one of the cleanest metros, with more than nine million passengers every day.

Opened in 1935 with 13 stations, it was the first underground railway system in the Soviet Union. As of 2019, the Moscow Metro, excluding the Moscow Central Circle and Moscow Monorail, has 232 stations (263 with Moscow Central Circle) and its route length is 397.3km (246.9 miles), making it the fifth longest in the world. The system is mostly underground, with the deepest section at a depth of 84 meters (276ft), one of the world’s deepest.

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

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Russia, China, & The European Peninsula

russia,-china,-&-the-european-peninsula

07-11-19 12:00:00,

Authored by Godfree Roberts via The Saker blog,

Eurasia has most of the world’s wealth, resources, and population — yet there is very low economic connectivity. A Sino-Russian partnership can collectively create a gravitational pull that allows them to capture the geoeconomic levers of power by creating an alternative to the Western-centric model. This entails developing new global value chains that captures the high-value activities in strategic industries and energy markets, developing new transportation corridors through Eurasia and the Arctic, and constructing new financial instruments such as development banks, trade/reserve currencies, technical standards, and trade regimes. Russia’s comparative advantage derives from its geographical expanse by developing an East-West corridor connecting Northeast Asia with Europe, and a North-South Corridor that links India, Iran and Russia. Moscow sees itself as a stabilising factor in Eurasia by bringing together the entire continent with economic connectivity to ensure that it becomes multipolar and no one state or region can dominate.

The EU stands to lose much from Russia’s Greater Eurasia ambitions. Russia’s original Greater Europe project, which they EU rejected, would have endowed the EU with a powerful ally to collectively project influence deep into the Eurasian continent. In contrast, Russia’s new Greater Eurasia initiative will marginalise the EU’s role across Eurasia as socio-economic and political decisions will be made by BRICS, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the Belt and Road Initiative. The EU is faced with a dilemma as it has strong economic incentives to cooperate with the development taking place in Greater Eurasia, yet this would contribute to the shift away from the Western-centric geoeconomic infrastructure. Glenn Diesen. The Global Resurgence of Economic Nationalism.

Halford Mackinder said we don’t think of Asia and Europe as a single continent because sailors couldn’t voyage around it. Today the Northeast Passage, NEP, along Russia’s northern coast, links the Pacific and Atlantic coasts while a network of pipelines and air, rail, road and fiber routes are knitting Mackinder’s World Island into ‘Eurasia’ despite Kissinger’s warning, “Domination by a single power of either of Eurasia’s two principal spheres–Europe or Asia–remains a good definition of strategic danger for America. For such a grouping would have the capacity to outstrip America economically and,

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Is Russia Right About US Shale Energy? | New Eastern Outlook

is-russia-right-about-us-shale-energy?-|-new-eastern-outlook

06-11-19 05:38:00,

SHAL3423

In recent remarks to a Pennsylvania shale oil producers’ convention, US President Donald Trump, noting the spectacular growth in shale gas as well as shale oil over the past decade, remarked that unconventional shale energy had made “America the greatest energy superpower in the history of the world.” On first look the achievement has indeed been impressive. Since 2011 the USA surpassed Russia to become the world’s largest producer of natural gas. By 2018 USA had passed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world leading oil producer. It is all because of US unconventional shale oil and gas. But the success may be short-lived.

The rise of shale energy and the favorable geological conditions in West Texas, North Dakota and elsewhere have given the US a clear geopolitical lever in world politics, not only in the Middle East or Venezuela policies. Also in the EU, where Russian gas remains the major supplier. Can the US continue to base policy on its leading role in gas and oil, or is this merely a blip due to end as suddenly as it appeared?

Just as a triumphant Trump was speaking in Pittsburg to the shale industry, Russian Energy Minister Novak pointed to recent slowing of shale oil output growth in key areas of the USA: “In the near future, if forecasts turn out correct, we will see a plateau in production.” He pointed to the significant reduction in shale oil drilling in recent months and predictions by Wall Street of a significant slowing of oil increases from shale in 2020. Prospects for US shale gas are far from positive as well, despite a current supply glut domestically. The LNG gas export terminal infrastructure, while it is increasing, is far from adequate to make the US a major supplier to the EU in competition to Russian gas. And money from Wall Street is drying up as well.

EU Defeat for Trump

The Trump Administration has staked much political effort on trying to convince the EU and other parts of the world to buy US shale gas instead of Russian conventional natural gas, arguing diversity of supply. That now looks unlikely to happen. Despite strong US pressure to cancel Europe’s NordStream2 gas pipeline from Russia across the Baltic Sea to Germany,

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Russia and Turkey Struck a Game-Changing Deal on Syria and Beyond | New Eastern Outlook

russia-and-turkey-struck-a-game-changing-deal-on-syria-and-beyond-|-new-eastern-outlook

24-10-19 12:14:00,

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On Tuesday in Sochi, Russia, a game-changing meeting between the Russian and Turkish presidents ended after six hours of negotiations. This was the eighth face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since the beginning of the year, and it’s been reported that Syria wasn’t the only topic discussed, as a number of regional issues also required the attention of Presidents Putin and Erdogan, together with the discussion of the future of strengthening bilateral ties between Turkey and Russia. This meeting was a logical continuation of  attempts to promote a political settlement in Syria, which were presented at a recent meeting in Ankara by the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran.

The overall complexity of the ongoing Syrian settlement became even more challenging after Turkish began new military operations in northern Syria. Some political figures would even claim that the events in Syria “took an undesirable turn”, which left little to no room for optimism. On top of Syria, Russia, Turkey and the United States being concerned about the overall deterioration of security in the region, both Iran and Iraq would also express their concerns. However, the parties had conflicting opinions about how this issue should be addressed.

One must not forget that the settlement of the Syrian conflict complicated by the launch of Turkey’s most recent military operation, was closely linked with the need to find a solution to the “Kurdish problem.” According to Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Moscow’s goal is to achieve a situation where all armed Kurdish units within Syrian territory are integrated into the legal framework of the Syrian Arab Republic, per the Syrian constitution. This would ensure there would be no illegal armed groups operating across Syria that could represent a threat to the security of the Turkish Republic.

Earlier, American officials would claim it was impossible to push Kurdish units away from the so-called “security zone” in northern Syria. Thus, US Special Representative for Syria James Franklin Jeffrey at a hearing before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee argued that it was unlikely that Moscow could drive the Kurds out of this area. However, Moscow’s step-by-step approach toward negotiations with the Kurds resulted in the Kurdish “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) informing the Pentagon that they fulfilled all their obligations to the US and,

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FULL INTERVIEW: Russia will never be friends ‘with one country against another’ in the Middle East – Putin

full-interview:-russia-will-never-be-friends-‘with-one-country-against-another’-in-the-middle-east-–-putin

13-10-19 05:53:00,

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin sat down with three Arab-language media, including RT Arabic, to discuss Russia’s policies and ties in the Middle East and beyond, as well as a looming arms race with the US and NATO’s expansion.

In advance of his visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates Vladimir Putin answered questions from Al Arabiya senior presenter Mohammed Tomaihi, Sky News Arabia senior presenter Mohannad Khatib and RT Arabic Public and Political Programmes Department Head Salam Musafir.

This is the full video and transcript of the interview. Key excerpts are available here, here and here.

Mohammed Tomaihi, Al Arabiya: (retranslated): Dear viewers, welcome to this unique interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which we are recording in Sochi.

With me here today are Mr. Mohannad Khatib, a reporter at Sky News Arabia and Salam Musafir, a reporter at RT Arabic.

Thank you very much for this unique opportunity, considering your upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia.

‘There’s a lot to be done, but we’ve set a good pace’

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: It is my pleasure. I think it is a good tradition to meet with a country’s media before visiting it.

As for the visit to Saudi Arabia, we attach great importance to it. It is, in a sense, a return visit after the visit by King of Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to Russia. It was the first, historic visit. We consider it historic, and it really is.

There is one more thing that I believe is important to note. In Soviet times, relations between Saudi Arabia and the Soviet Union were at a rather low level. In recent years, the quality of our relations has changed dramatically. We consider Saudi Arabia a friendly nation.

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I have very good relations with both the King and the Crown Prince. We have been making good headway practically in all fields.

I will start with the economy. There is still a lot to be done, but we have set a good pace.

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Russia creating rival to Wikipedia to protect knowledge from ‘erosion’ & fake news

russia-creating-rival-to-wikipedia-to-protect-knowledge-from-‘erosion’-&-fake-news

10-10-19 07:23:00,

The Russian equivalent of Wikipedia will become a reliable source for “safe,” verified, data without any ideological or political agenda, and could be accessed by 15 million people a day, its creators said.

The ambitious undertaking, which is powered by the Great Russian Encyclopedia (GRE) publishing house, is going to receive 2 billion rubles ($31 million) in state funding between 2020 and 2022.

The nationwide interactive encyclopedic portal is aimed at protecting contemporary knowledge from “erosion” and sheltering online users from misleading information, GRE communications chief, Anna Sinitsyna, said.

With the avalanche-like growth of all kinds of falsifications (including those in scientific, historical, statistical and demographic data) and fake news, generated by some media and private users online, we see it as a particularly urgent task to create a database of safe information (verified by the scientific community).

All the entries on the portal will be of purely scientific and educational nature, “free of any political or ideological agenda.”

The authors of the project plant to attract an audience of at least 10 million people, which would include students, researchers, civil servants, media people and all those interested in reliable data.

But the site should be capable of handling 15 million unique users on a daily basis. For reference, the stats by Mediascope reveal that the Russian version of Wikipedia was accessed by some 2.9 million people per day this July.

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At launch, the 80,000 articles from the Great Russian Encyclopedia, which was published by GRE between 2004 and 2017, will make the bulk of the portal’s content. But it will then be regularly expanded with information from other sources.

Registered users would have a chance to submit articles, but they would only be included on the website after approval by the “expert community” of GRE staff and scientists from other organizations.

With it being a national portal, the articles will be presented in the Russian language, but “the translation of the whole database into some other languages is possible on the initiative of foreign partners.”

BRICS nations (Brazil,

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Russia offers to set up ‘grain OPEC’ to ensure stability & solve problem of world hunger

russia-offers-to-set-up-‘grain-opec’-to-ensure-stability-&-solve-problem-of-world-hunger

07-10-19 12:00:00,

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksey Gordeyev has suggested creating an organization of grain exporters similar to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The offer to create an OPEC-type organization for grain exporters aims to ensure “the stability of the grain market, coordinate grain prices, and solve the problem of world hunger,” according to a statement from Gordeyev’s press service.

The idea was raised during Gordeyev’s meeting with German Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klockner and Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet. They met on the sidelines of ANUGA-2019, the international trade fair for food and beverages, in Cologne.

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Russia seeks to ‘feed the whole planet’ – PM

According to Gordeyev, the future organization could “include Russia, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Argentina, [and] other nations.” He suggested discussing coordination among the world’s biggest grain exporters during the Green Week exhibition in Berlin.

Russian agricultural production has surged by 20 percent over the past five years. Grain harvests are projected to grow by five percent this year to 118 million tons, including around 78 million tons of wheat.

Russia has managed to capture more than half of the global wheat market in recent years, becoming the world’s biggest exporter of grain, thanks to bumper harvests and attractive pricing. Since the early 2000s, Moscow’s share of the global wheat market has quadrupled.

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Give non-GMO a go: Putin urges Russia’s agricultural expansion on international markets

President Vladimir Putin said recently that the country has ensured its independence on the global wheat market. Russia’s enormous natural resources should serve as a guarantee for high-quality food production and should be used specifically to increase the production of organic, non-GMO food products, Putin said.

The president predicted Russia’s agriculture exports will double by 2024 to reach $45 billion.

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

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Nuclear War With Russia “Winnable” Said Trump’s Incoming National Security Advisor

nuclear-war-with-russia-“winnable”-said-trump’s-incoming-national-security-advisor

15-09-19 07:48:00,

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

Questioning “mutual assured destruction,” Charles Kupperman called nuclear conflict “in large part a physics problem.”

Incoming National Security Advisor, Charles Kupperman, made the claim Nuclear War With USSR Was Winnable.

He made those statements in the 1980s. I do not know his views today, but let’s review what he said then.

President Donald Trump’s acting national security adviser, former Reagan administration official Charles Kupperman, made an extraordinary and controversial claim in the early 1980s: nuclear conflict with the USSR was winnable and that “nuclear war is a destructive thing but still in large part a physics problem.”

Kupperman, appointed to his new post on Tuesday after Trump fired his John Bolton from the job, argued it was possible to win a nuclear war “in the classical sense,” and that the notion of total destruction stemming from such a superpower conflict was inaccurate. He said that in a scenario in which 20 million people died in the U.S. as opposed to 150 million, the nation could then emerge as the stronger side and prevail in its objectives.

His argument was that with enough planning and civil defense measures, such as “a certain layer of dirt and some reinforced construction materials,” the effects of a nuclear war could be limited and that U.S. would be able to fairly quickly rebuild itself after an all-out conflict with the then-Soviet Union.

At the time, Kupperman was executive director of President Ronald Reagan’s General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament. He made the comments during an interview with Robert Scheer for the journalist’s 1982 book, “With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush, and Nuclear War.”

The National Security Council did not immediately respond to questions on whether Kupperman, 68, still holds the same views of nuclear conflict as he did in the early 1980s. Kupperman’s seemingly cavalier attitude toward the potential death of millions of people was criticized at the time both by Democratic politicians and arms control experts.

The article posts excerpts so let’s look at a couple of precise statements.

Kupperman Statements

  • If the objective in a war is to try to destroy as many Soviet civilians and as many American civilians as is feasible,

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Are Russia and India Global Partners? The Brahmos Supersonic Missiles, The Russia-China Relationship – Global Research

are-russia-and-india-global-partners?-the-brahmos-supersonic-missiles,-the-russia-china-relationship-–-global-research

30-08-19 07:32:00,

The announcement that the Brahmos supersonic missiles jointly produced by Russia and India will soon be exported to third countries that are on friendly relations with both increases the odds that their historic Vietnamese partners might receive these game-changing weapons.

New Delhi’s Man In Moscow Is Right, Russia & India Are Global Partners“, and no sooner had the Indian Ambassador to Russia said that in a recent interview earlier this week than the announcement was made that the Brahmos supersonic missiles that they jointly produced will be exported to third countries that are on friendly relations with both of them. Although Sputnik reported at the beginning of the month that Thailand would probably be the first country apart from those two to take possession of these weapons, the outlet also reported a few months back that Southeast Asian nations such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore were interested in them too, as well as the Gulf countries (in clear reference to the GCC). There wouldn’t be anything controversial about any of those aforementioned nations receiving these game-changing arms, except perhaps the GCC ones that would obviously intend to use them against Iran in the event of a conflict (per Russia’s strategy of “balancing” the Islamic Republic all throughout the region), but it would be extremely significant if Moscow and New Delhi’s historic Vietnamese partners were to one day receive them as well.

That’s not too far-fetched of a prediction to make either after rumors have been floating around for the past couple of years that Hanoi is in the market for these missiles in order to defend its claims in the disputed waters of the South China Sea from Beijing. There’s a solid reasoning behind this possibility too, and it’s that a subsidiary of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft is drilling in the Lan Do oilfield that narrowly sits within the southwestern border of China’s nine-dash line but is apparently regarded by the company as being under Vietnam’s de-facto sovereignty, which thus gives Russia a natural interest in arming Vietnam in order to secure this “national champion’s” energy deposits by proxy. The precedent established by Russian Ambassador to India Nikolai Kudashev’s claim earlier this week that India’s unilateral moves in disputed Kashmir are an “internal matter” suggests that it would also regard Vietnam’s sale of oil blocks in the disputed waters of the South China Sea as similarly being an “internal matter” in the interests of consistency.

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Big Tech, Russia and U.S. Under Fire for A.I. Weapons Programs; Campaign to Stop Killer Robots Coalition Doubles in Size

big-tech,-russia-and-us-under-fire-for-ai.-weapons-programs;-campaign-to-stop-killer-robots-coalition-doubles-in-size

26-08-19 08:23:00,

By Nicholas West

Renewed attention over artificial intelligence for use in warfare (“killer robots”) is being brought to the forefront with the recent Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) held this past week in Geneva, Switzerland.

The meeting coincidentally comes just one day after a Dutch NGO, Pax for Peace, released a report about Big Tech’s involvement with supplying A.I. systems to the military.  Their report, “Don’t be evil?” (PDF), examined 50 companies across the world that are involved. They ranked 21 of these companies as “high concern” with Microsoft and Amazon leading the way. Given the title of the document, they concluded that Google had done enough to warrant a lower ranking of “Best Practice” after they responded to public and employee outcry over the Project Maven A.I. drone program and subsequent refusal to be involved with the JEDI military cloud program.

Microsoft, however, has made it quite clear in the past that they unapologetically support the U.S. military. In December last year I reported that “Microsoft Declares Intent To Provide Military All Of Its Technology Because of the Military’s ‘Ethical and Honorable Tradition.’”

Microsoft is “going to provide the U.S. military with access to the best technology … all the technology we create. Full stop,” Brad Smith said Saturday during a panel at the Reagan National Defense Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. – LA Times

Ethics and honor are exactly at the heart of the warnings that I and others have been raising since the public became aware of the existence of lethal autonomous weapons systems. The Convention has been gathering since 2014 to specifically discuss this type of warfare. Over the ensuing years, many more countries are seeing the dangers that the world faces and 29 have now joined an effort to ban these systems outright.  The U.S. and Russia, however, have been staunchly resistant to making any firm declarations, preferring a “wait and see” attitude.

Russia and United States repeatedly rejected any references in the meeting’s final report on the need for “human control” over the use of force.

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Lost forests: Russia considers banning lumber exports to China over concerns about illegal logging

lost-forests:-russia-considers-banning-lumber-exports-to-china-over-concerns-about-illegal-logging

15-08-19 10:10:00,

Moscow may impose a full embargo on lumber exports to its largest trade partner, China, if Beijing fails to deal with illegal logging, Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has warned.

“China should have a clear understanding that if it fails to engage in solving this problem, we will have no other choice but to ban the export of  lumber completely,” minister Dmitry Kobylkin told Russia’s Vedomosti newspaper.

“They come, buy up the [illegal] timber and leave us to clear up the debris,” Kobylkin said of Chinese loggers.

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The minister has already asked Chinese law enforcement to take on the illegal loggers, and says the problem can be solved only if the Chinese take concrete steps. As an example, he suggested the building of special seed-growing facilities and replant trees to restore the lost forests “for our children and grandchildren.”

In July, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said that illegal logging increases the risk of floods, after rising water devastated the Russian Siberian region of Irkutsk, leaving more than 10 people dead and driving thousands from their homes.

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‘Rains will fall’: Shamans to hold massive ritual to save Siberia from raging wildfires

Shortly after the severe flooding, wildfires started to rage in Irkutsk, Yakutia, Krasnoyarsk and some other regions, burning more than 2,5 million hectares of forest. Russian prosecutors suspect the fires were deliberately set to cover up illegal logging.

Russia is the leading supplier of lumber to China and accounts for around 30 percent of the country’s imports of the material, according to Forbes. In 2017, year-on-year exports rose 23 percent and reached $4.8 billion.

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

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Russia enters super-fast communication era with launch of first 5G zone in Moscow

russia-enters-super-fast-communication-era-with-launch-of-first-5g-zone-in-moscow

08-08-19 05:29:00,

A pilot 5G zone, the first of its kind, has been launched in the heart of the Russian capital on Thursday. Swedish telecom company Ericsson provided the equipment for the network, which is run by Russian mobile operator Tele2.

“Today’s event means that the 5G era in Russia has already begun, after tests we are moving to use the technology via a commercial network,” Tele2 CEO Sergei Edmin said, announcing the launch.

The pilot zone for the super-fast network fully covers Moscow’s landmark Tverskaya street, from the Kremlin to the busy Garden Ring highway, the company said in a statement.

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“We are happy to launch the first 5G zone in Moscow,” the head of Ericsson’s division in Russia, Sebastian Tolstoy, stated.

Tele2 added that the special zone was created under Russia’s government-funded national program for the development of the digital economy. The project will be expanded to other Russian cities. 5G networks are set to be launched commercially in five cities with populations over a million by 2022, and will be deployed in 10 more cities by 2024.

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

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Russia urges BRICS states to take part in rebuilding Syria – Lavrov

russia-urges-brics-states-to-take-part-in-rebuilding-syria-–-lavrov

26-07-19 05:46:00,

Moscow is urging its partners in the BRICS group of nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to take part in work towards the post-war restoration of Syria, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

“It is crucially important to support the processes of Syria’s post-conflict restoration,” he told a BRICS foreign ministerial session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“We urge participation in this activity and note in this connection efforts taken by our Chinese and Indian friends,” TASS quoted Lavrov as saying.

The main tasks ahead are the restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity, extermination of remaining terrorists, [and] assistance in the return of refugees with an advance of the political process led by the Syrians themselves, Lavrov said. “The launch of a constitutional committee that is expected shortly will be a crucial stage on this path.”

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Russia Won’t Leave Iran to the Wolves! New Bilateral Cooperation Measures Approved By Kremlin! | The Vineyard of the Saker

russia-won’t-leave-iran-to-the-wolves!-new-bilateral-cooperation-measures-approved-by-kremlin!-|-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

20-06-19 04:44:00,

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‘It was to blame Russia from the beginning’: Malaysia PM fires back at MH17 probe

‘it-was-to-blame-russia-from-the-beginning’:-malaysia-pm-fires-back-at-mh17-probe

20-06-19 08:36:00,

Malaysia is “unhappy” about the findings of the Dutch-led inquiry into the MH17 crash, which pointed the finger at Russia even before the probe began, the country’s PM said, noting that there was more politics than fact-finding.

Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s prime minister, voiced his unease after the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) revealed the latest results of the investigation. The group was quick to implicate Moscow – and this is why, according to the PM, Malaysia isn’t convinced of the probe’s integrity.

We are very unhappy. From the very beginning, it became a political issue on how to accuse Russia of the wrongdoing.

“Even before they examined the case, they have already claimed it [the shooting down of MH17] was done by Russia,” the prime minister said as cited by the local media.

On Wednesday, the JIT flagged four individuals – three Russians and one Ukrainian – as key suspects in the tragedy.

The investigators accuse them of playing a significant role in shooting down the MH17, by receiving a surface-to-air Buk missile, allegedly from Russia. Both Moscow and the international investigators agree that the Malaysian Boeing, with 298 people on board, was taken down by a Buk missile.

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Moscow, however, insists the Buk belonged to the Ukrainian military, and was a type of missile not in service in the armed forces of Russia anymore.

Malaysia, which has kept an eye on the investigation since its inception, wants “proof of guilt [that Russia did it].”

So far, “there is no proof, only hearsay,” Mahathir insisted.

The crash was also investigated by the Dutch Safety Board, which focused on the technical part of the tragedy. Notably, it criticized Ukraine for not closing the airspace during the 2014 armed conflict in the east which also contributed to the fatal incident. However, their final report contained many “inconsistencies” and “unsubstantiated claims,” Moscow has said.

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Russia Expert’s 2017 Prophecy About The Nuclear Threat Of Russiagate Is Coming True

russia-expert’s-2017-prophecy-about-the-nuclear-threat-of-russiagate-is-coming-true

16-06-19 07:51:00,

The New York Times has published an anonymously sourced report titled “U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid” about the “placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before” which could potentially “plunge Russia into darkness or cripple its military,” with one anonymous official reporting that “We are doing things at a scale that we never contemplated a few years ago.”

Obviously this is yet another serious escalation in the continually mounting series of steps that have been taken into a new cold war between the planet’s two nuclear superpowers. Had a report been leaked to Russian media from anonymous Kremlin officials that Moscow was escalating its cyber-aggressions against America’s energy grid, this would doubtless be labeled an act of war by the political/media class of the US and its allies with demands for immediate retaliation.

To put this in perspective, The New York Times reported last year that the Pentagon was pushing for the US Nuclear Posture Review to include the strategy of retaliating against serious Russian cyberattacks on American power grids with nuclear weapons.

So that’s scary enough. What’s even scarier is the information that the Times buried way down in the 21st to 23rd paragraphs of its report:

“Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place ‘implants’ — software code that can be used for surveillance or attack — inside the Russian grid.

“Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister.

“Because the new law defines the actions in cyberspace as akin to traditional military activity on the ground, in the air or at sea, no such briefing would be necessary, they added.”

In an article titled “Pentagon Keeps Trump in the Dark About its Cyber Attacks on Russia“,

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Russia plans to invest billions in AI, remove all barriers for ‘tech pioneers’

russia-plans-to-invest-billions-in-ai,-remove-all-barriers-for-‘tech-pioneers’

30-05-19 04:17:00,

Russian laws must be amended to facilitate the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI), Vladimir Putin said. The Russian President had earlier asserted that AI will become the key to world dominance in the future.

The solutions based on AI may be more expensive than traditional ones at the start, but “afterwards, they’ll provide for such a huge leap forward that all of the initial investments will be repaid,” Putin said, during a high-profile meeting on artificial intelligence in Moscow.

Read more

Russia opposes blanket ban on AI weapons, supports international political declaration

If Russia wants to achieve this “it’s important to remove legal and administrative barriers for ‘technological pioneering’, but without forgetting about the security of the state, society and maintaining the rights of citizens.”

Intellectual property in the AI sector must be thoroughly protected and conditions for patenting those technologies in Russia created, he told the ministers in attendance.

Another important task will be the creation and legal regulation of a state-of-the-art infrastructure for storing and processing the data required for the development of artificial intelligence algorithms.

“Special conditions” for private investments in AI programs must be provided in the country, Putin said. But he also agreed that development in the field should also be promoted through government contracts.

The state must make sure that the introduction of artificial intelligence by Russian companies allows them to organically get hold of the market both in the domestically and internationally, he added.

The federal project on artificial intelligence will be presented by the government until October at the latest. If approved, it’ll see 90 million rubles (around $1.4 billion) invested in AI during a six-year period.

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Before the meeting, the President was shown Russia’s latest developments in artificial intelligence. Cognitive Technologies group has already made a name for itself by producing software and sensors for driverless cars and locomotives. The company said that it had managed to reduce the price of its 4d imaging radars to just $100-a-piece and earned more than $220,000 after exhibiting in Detroit – that’s the sanctions war unleashed by Washington against Moscow.

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Rand Corp.: ‘How To Destroy Russia’

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23-05-19 06:46:00,

Authored by Manlio Dinucci via VoltaireNet.org,

The conclusions of the latest confidential report by the Rand Corporation were recently made public in a « Brief ». They explain how to wage a new Cold War against Russia. Certain recommendations have already been implemented, but this systemic exposure enables us to understand their true objective.

Force the adversary to expand recklessly in order to unbalance him, and then destroy him. This is not the description of a judo hold, but a plan against Russia elaborated by the Rand Corporation, the most influential think tank in the USA. With a staff of thousands of experts, Rand presents itself as the world’s most reliable source for Intelligence and political analysis for the leaders of the United States and their allies.

The Rand Corp prides itself on having contributed to the elaboration of the long-term strategy which enabled the United States to win the Cold War, by forcing the Soviet Union to consume its own economic resources in the strategic confrontation. It is this model which was the inspiration for the new plan, Overextending and Unbalancing Russia, published by Rand. According to their analysts, Russia remains a powerful adversary for the United States in certain fundamental sectors. To handle this opposition, the USA and their allies will have to pursue a joint long-term strategy which exploits Russia’s vulnerabilities. So Rand analyses the various means with which to unbalance Russia, indicating for each the probabilities of success, the benefits, the cost, and the risks for the USA.

Rand analysts estimate that Russia’s greatest vulnerability is that of its economy, due to its heavy dependency on oil and gas exports. The income from these exports can be reduced by strengthening sanctions and increasing the energy exports of the United States. The goal is to oblige Europe to diminish its importation of Russian natural gas, and replace it by liquefied natural gas transported by sea from other countries.

Another way of destabilising the Russian economy in the long run is to encourage the emigration of qualified personnel, particularly young Russians with a high level of education. In the ideological and information sectors, it would be necessary to encourage internal contestation and at the same time,

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Russia may offer fast-track citizenship scheme to all Ukrainians – Putin

russia-may-offer-fast-track-citizenship-scheme-to-all-ukrainians-putin

27-04-19 09:34:00,

Moscow may soon extend its fast-track naturalization procedure to all citizens of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin announced days after residents of the country’s east were allowed to get Russian passports within three months.

“We’re thinking on granting Russian citizenship to Ukrainians under a simplified procedure,” Vladimir Putin told reporters on the sidelines of the Belt and Road summit in Beijing.

Read more

‘Not as good as Poles or Romanians?’ Putin defends offer of Russian passports to E. Ukrainians

Russia has recently made it easier for residents of the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine to become Russian citizens. Expanding on that, Putin said the decision “wasn’t spontaneous.”

The government has calculated everything, including the number of potential applicants, the number of future retirees and, most importantly, the funding needed to implement the measure. Putin said the offer of passports would cost an estimated $1.5bn, but it will not affect benefits or other social responsibilities.

Unsurprisingly, the move drew criticism from Kiev and the West, but Moscow defended the proposal arguing it was not intended to provoke anyone. “The issue of passports is a humanitarian one,” Putin said this week.

Ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians who feel connected to Russia find themselves in a precarious situation. They have been stripped “of many things [including] fundamental human rights,” the president asserted.

Those coming from eastern Ukraine often have trouble in everyday life in Russia, be it enrolling at a university or simply booking a flight, Putin explained. Back at home, they have no adequate access to healthcare and social services as Kiev has essentially cut off the region from the rest of the country.

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Mask off? US ambassador to Russia says US practices diplomacy with aircraft carriers

mask-off-us-ambassador-to-russia-says-us-practices-diplomacy-with-aircraft-carriers

24-04-19 07:07:00,

The US ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, says there is little need for his craft as “200,000 tons of diplomacy” are prowling the waters of the Mediterranean, unabashedly endorsing military show-offs as a political tool.

“Each of the carriers operating in the Mediterranean at this time represent 100,000 tons of international diplomacy,” Huntsman said in a statement to the US Navy’s 6th Fleet.

Huntsman was speaking aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, part of the dual carrier strike group that also consists of the USS John C. Stennis, the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier. The warships kicked off their joint training operations on Wednesday. It is the first time since summer 2016 that two carrier strike groups have operated in the Mediterranean at the same time.

Speaking to CNN, Huntsman sang the praises of the US’ maritime muscle, calling US saber-rattling virtually at Russia’s doorstep “forward operating diplomacy.”

When you have 200,000 tons of diplomacy that is cruising in the Mediterranean – this is what I call diplomacy, this is forward operating diplomacy – nothing else needs to be said.

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While Moscow has long criticized the US military build-up near its borders as a hostile move further straining the rocky relationship between the two countries, Huntsman argued that such military maneuvers are somehow a necessary prerequisite for easing tensions with Moscow.

“You have all the confidence you need to sit down and try to find solutions to the problems that have divided us now for many, many years,” he said.

Each US carrier strike group comprises several vessels led by the carriers and dozens of aircraft. A total of 10 ships, 130 aircraft, and 9,000 sailors and marines are taking part in the drills.

READ MORE: Russian cruise missiles hit ISIS from Mediterranean & Caspian; 600 killed in one strike

Since the beginning of its involvement in Syria, Russia has bolstered its presence in the Mediterranean, having repeatedly struck Islamic State positions with cruise missiles launched from its military ships.

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Video: War on Russia? Growing Military Deployment of US-NATO in the Black Sea – Global Research

video-war-on-russia-growing-military-deployment-of-us-nato-in-the-black-sea-8211-global-research

11-04-19 07:32:00,

NATO is preparing a package of measures to counter Russia in the Black Sea region. This package includes the deployment of NATO warships to the Black Sea to guarantee ‘passage’ of Ukrainian ships via the Kerch Strait, U.S. ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison stressed during a press briefing on April 2.

Hutchison said that the prepared package “beefs up the surveillance, both air surveillance as well as more of the NATO country ships going into the Black Sea to assure that there is safe passage from Ukrainian vessels through the Kerch Straits, the Sea of Azov”.

Earlier the US State Department announced that the Black Sea package is a response to the challenges the US and NATO face in the region, “not merely because of the Kerch Strait incident,” but because “Russia is threatening the alliance all along the eastern flank, not just in the north.

The public announcement of a possible NATO operation in the Kerch Strait is itself a move undermining the shaky stability created after the incident of November 25, 2018, when Russian coastal guards detained 3 ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which were attempting to enter the Kerch Strait in a way which violated the established norms and rules. Then, Moscow’s actions gave rise to large-scale hysteria in mainstream and Ukrainian media outlets. However, the situation developed no further. Ukraine’s “partners” limited their response to formal declarations. It was clear that the Kiev government was the side that had provoked the conflict. Before and after the Kerch Strait incident Ukrainian ships were passing the strait after going through the formal procedures established in this area.

If NATO naval forces together with or in some form assisting Ukrainian forces were to make an attempt to break through the Kerch Strait by force violating the established rules of passage, this would be seen by Moscow as an aggressive military action, which would provoke an equivalent response. In other words, a military clash could be expected. In such an event, the situation might escalate further. The media and political importance of such developments could be compared with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which became the formal pretext for the start of the First World War or the annexation of the Sudetenland by Nazi Germany before the start of the Second World War.

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Why Does Russia Waste Time on Diplomatic Outreach to the US? – Stephen Lendman

why-does-russia-waste-time-on-diplomatic-outreach-to-the-us-8211-stephen-lendman

02-04-19 12:46:00,

Why Does Russia Waste Time on Diplomatic Outreach to the US?

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Days of when the US negotiated fairly with Russia (and other countries) ended during the Clinton co-presidency, never revived, reaching a perilous low under Trump.

Washington demands other nations bend to its will – pressuring, bullying, and threatening them to get its way, waging political, economic, financial, and sanctions war to assert its authority – attacking them belligerently if other tactics fail.

US promises when made are hollow, breached time and again, most recently against Iran, North Korea, and Russia, pressuring China to subordinate its rights to US interests on trade and other issues – unsuccessfully after months of trying.

US policymakers consistently say one thing, then do something entirely different – demanding everything, giving nothing in return, why they can never be trusted. 

Diplomacy with Washington’s political class is an exercise in futility, especially for Russia, US enemy No. 1, wanting Kremlin governance replaced by puppet rule it controls, wanting the country’s vast resources looted, its people exploited.

Most importantly, US dark forces want the world’s leading super-power eliminated – together with China the only nations able to challenge Washington’s aim for global dominance effectively.

The only language US policymakers understand is toughness. A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down. It accomplishes nothing in dealing with Washington.

When will Moscow stop calling the US its partner? When will its  ruling authorities no longer tolerate hostile US actions?

When will they stop pretending diplomatic outreach to Washington can work? When will they give its hardliners a strong dose of their own medicine – short of nuclear war?

It’s where things are heading if Moscow doesn’t challenge their imperial agenda with toughness. Why did Russia’s Foreign Ministry waste time informing the Trump regime why its military personnel are in Venezuela?

Unlike US contempt for rule of law principles, Russia observes them to the letter in geopolitical dealings with other countries – no explanations needed to anyone about its legal relations with Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s legitimate president, not imposter Guaido.

Calling on Washington to respect Russia’s right to cooperate with Venezuela falls on deaf ears at the White House,

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How Germany Gave Russia Bolshevism

how-germany-gave-russia-bolshevism

09-03-19 10:29:00,

Not a revolution. It was a coup cooked up by the Kaiser, may he forever burn in hell

    Zurich, April 9, 1917: 32 Russian emigrants are at the train station, waiting to depart. But they’re not the only ones there. Shouts of “traitors, scoundrels, pigs” ring out at the travelers. Supporters of the group are also there, singing “The Internationale.” The tracks are blocked for a short while, then train moves off.

    The German chartered train was provided by Kaiser Wilhelm II with the aim of furthering the Russian Revolution. In one of the wagons sat none other than Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin. With German help, Lenin left his exile in Switzerland and, a week later, reached his destination: Petrograd, which would later be renamed to Leningrad then changed back to today’s Saint Petersburg.

    In Russia, the February Revolution was just over, Czar Nicholas II had been swept from the throne, a provisional government was in office, and the October Revolution was not yet in sight.

    Prussian bayonets and Russian proletarian fists

    Lenin’s return to his home country was followed with great attention in Berlin.

    “Lenin’s entry into Russia was a success. He is working according to your wishes,” was the message Germany’s top army command sent to its Foreign Office.

    A political paradox, or so it would seem: Kaiser Wilhelm II joining forces with the communist Lenin. The German emperor’s aim was to finally undermine the czarist empire with which the so-called Central Powers – Germany and Austria-Hungary – had been at war since 1914.

    Berlin’s strategy was clear: Lenin and his Bolsheviks were meant to destabilize Russia thereby — in the middle of the First World War — easing the burden of fighting on the Eastern Front. The German Empire was relying on an old rule of diplomacy: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. And the plan worked.

    The idea originated with a man who took the communist nom de guerre”Parvus,” or the little one: Israel Lazarevich Gelfand. He was a Russian Jew who at the end of 1914 had already been using his influence to offer the German ambassador in Constantinople an alliance of “Prussian bayonets and Russian proletarian fists.”

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    It Is Israel, Not Russia, That Interferes in US Political Life – PaulCraigRoberts.org

    it-is-israel-not-russia-that-interferes-in-us-political-life-8211-paulcraigroberts.org

    08-03-19 01:49:00,

    It Is Israel, Not Russia, That Interferes in US Political Life

    Who Does Congress Represent?  

    Ilhan Omar is a brave woman.  She has embarrassed the corrupt Democratic Party that, together with the Republicans and many evangelical Christians, have sold out America to Israel. 

    More and more people have come out in her defense, refusing to be silenced by the criminal state of Israel.  Dr. Paul Kindlon explains what is at stake.

    He accuses Congress of Treason if Congress legislates at the Israel Lobby’s insistence the death of the First Amendment.  Enough members of the House and Senate have been purchased by the Israel Lobby that the traitors will sell out the US Constitution for Israel’s interests if they can get away with it. 

    I Accuse Congress of Treason

    Dr. Paul Kindlon

    Let us be clear…the U.S. Congressional vote condemning criticism of Israel as a form of anti-Semitism – if it passes – will be an act of treachery of historical proportions. Do not be fooled – this is a move by politicians in the pocket of a foreign power to make censorship legal, ending two-hundred plus years of freedom of speech in our country.

    I accuse the Congressional representatives who will vote for this resolution of being un-American and of spitting in the face of the founding fathers. It will truly be a dark day in our nation’s history and those responsible will be condemned and held in utter contempt by posterity.

    I accuse the Congressional members who vote for this resolution to be traitors to their country and heritage. Men and women who knowingly, willingly and perversely trample upon our sacred first amendment – that uniquely democratic principle that has inspired so many countries to emulate us in order to enjoy the freedom to speak openly and freely.

    I accuse the mainstream, corporate, media of aiding and abetting this crime against American democracy. Of turning its back on professional standards and practice. Presenting straight-forward news and balanced reporting have been abandoned because it makes far less money than providing PR and low-level entertainment. It’s all about the Benjamins and humiliating subservience to a foreign government.

    I accuse the mainstream media of going tabloid,

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    Russia’s Jewish Problem – PaulCraigRoberts.org

    russias-jewish-problem-8211-paulcraigroberts.org

    07-03-19 12:50:00,

    Copyright .© Paul Craig Roberts 2018.- Please contact us for information on syndication rights.


    This site offers factual information and viewpoints that might be useful in arriving at an understanding of the events of our time. We believe that the information comes from reliable sources, but cannot guarantee the information to be free of mistakes and incorrect interpretations. IPE has no official position on any issue and does not necessarily endorse the statements of any contributor.

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    Video: Russia Slides Towards Internal Political Crisis – Global Research

    video-russia-slides-towards-internal-political-crisis-8211-global-research

    27-02-19 03:22:00,

    This is a critical look at the situation in Russia. The video is based on an article of one of our readers and additional data.

    ***

    The Russia of 2019 is in a complicated economic and even political situation. Smoldering conflicts near its borders amid continued pressure from the US and NATO affect the situation in the country negatively. This is manifested in society and in national politics. The approval rating of the Russian government and personally of President Vladimir Putin has been decreasing.

    According to VCIOM, a state pollster, in January 2019, Putin’s confidence rating was only 32.8%. This is 24% less than in January 2018 when it was 57.2%. At the same time, the confidence rating of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was 7.8%. The approval rating of his cabinet is 37.7% while the disapproval rating is 38.7%. Opposition sources show data, which is far worse for the current Russian leadership.

    This tendency is not linked to the foreign policy course of the Kremlin. Rather, it’s the result of the recent series of liberal-minded economic reforms, which look similar to the approaches exercised by the Russian government in the mid-1990s. The decision to increase Value Added Tax amid the slowing Russian economy, especially in the industrial sector, and a very unpopular pension reform increasing the retirement age were both factors contributing to the further growth of discontent in the population.

    Russia’s GDP increased by 2.3% in 2018 compared to 1.6% in 2017. However, the Ministry of Economic Development, in its document entitled “Economic Picture” stated that this is linked to “one-time factors” and is not “stable”. The ministry maintained its earlier forecast stating that GDP growth in 2019 will be 1.3%. It confirmed increasing capital outflow. In this case, the repayment of funds to Western creditors by the Russian private sector is one of the causes.

    The Ministry of Economic Development also pointed out that the expendable income of the population decreased by 0.2%. Statutory charges, including the increased taxes, are named as one of the reasons. The document says that statutory charges grew by 14.8% in 2018.

    Additionally, the population is facing an increasingly restrictive administrative pressure: new fines and other penalties for minor violations in various fields and additional administrative restrictions limiting the freedom of actions of citizens.

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    Russia Regards the “Indo-Pacific Region” as an “Artificially Imposed” Pro-US Concept – Global Research

    russia-regards-the-indo-pacific-region-as-an-artificially-imposed-pro-us-concept-8211-global-research

    27-02-19 09:11:00,

    Russia’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov strongly spoke out against the US’ so-called “Indo-Pacific” concept that’s recently become very popular among Indian strategists, remarking that it’s ”artificially imposed” and conditioned on containing China. 

    From “Conspiracy Theory” To Strategic Fact

    Routinely dismissed as a “conspiracy theory” by hyper-jingoist Indian commentators, none other than Russia’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov just confirmed that it’s actually a strategic fact that the US’ so-called “Indo-Pacific Region” (IOR) concept that’s recently become very popular in New Delhi is “artificially imposed” and conditioned on “containing China”. His remarks were reported on by Russia’s publicly funded international media outlet TASS and made in connection with his words about another externally supported structure, the so-called “Middle East Strategic Alliance” (MESA), better known by many as the “Arab NATO” initiative. So as not to be accused of misportraying the Foreign Minister’s comments, here’s the entirety of TASS’ short article on his comments:

    TASS’ Report

    “The United States is trying to impose the creation of the so-called Arab NATO, the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), despite serious doubts of its possible members, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

     The steps have been made to reshape geopolitical landscape in a way to obstruct the natural development of events and try to contain the formation of new growth centers, Lavrov told a conference dubbed International Cooperation in a Troubled World, organized by the Valdai International Discussion Club in partnership with the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

     “One of the examples is the Middle East Strategic Alliance, which now [US President Donald] Trump’s administration is trying to impose on the Persian Gulf states plus Jordan and Egypt while overcoming very serious doubts of potential members, and here Israel is also pursuing its interests around this initiative,” Lavrov said.

     Another artificially imposed concept is the Indo-Pacific Region, which Washington has started advancing together with Japan and Australia with an apparent goal of containing China and involving India in military and political and maritime processes, Lavrov said, noting that this concept undermines the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the region.

    “I want to compare natural processes integrating countries based on their coinciding interests and artificial processes,

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