NATO crossed ‘red line’ with military build-up around Russian borders – envoy to NATO

NATO has crossed a line with its “unjustified” military build-up on Russia’s doorstep, Russian envoy to NATO Aleksandr Grushko has warned. He added that global security cannot be ensured without Russia.

 
A US soldier walks to the welcoming ceremony for US-led NATO troops at polygon near Orzysz, Poland on 13 Apr. 2017 © Kacper Pempel / Reuters

Relations with states neighboring Russia never developed “military dimensions” despite strained relations with some of them, including with the Baltic states, Grushko said. But the situation has now changed, thanks to the military bloc, he told a discussion panel at the Valdai Club on Tuesday.

“Now, thanks to NATO, we have a military dimension, it was their choice, they crossed the red line,” Grushko said.

While the West has been trying hard to isolate Russia and fuel anti-Russian hysteria, international security is the only thing that suffers from this approach, according to Grushko. Any NATO and EU attempts to create “isolated safe havens” are doomed to failure, the diplomat said, as the creation of solid security systems cannot succeed without Russia.

The situation on Russia’s doorstep is also reminiscent of “Cold War schemes,” which should already have been buried as they were proven to be inefficient. However, if the alliance turns its back on Russia, it will only harm its own security, the Russian official added.

“If they do not want dialogue, then there won’t be any. It takes two to tango, as you know, it will be a conscious choice of the alliance,” Grushko said.

In the wake of international hysteria over the Skripal case and following the mass expulsions of Russian diplomats from a range of countries, NATO cut the permanent size of the Russian mission from a maximum of 30 to 20. Grushko stressed that the alliance is damaging itself with such moves, as it merely decreased the already reduced level of bilateral cooperation.

  • Published in World

USA-huge student march: Another one?

A true flood of people gathered last Saturday in several cities of the United States and the world to demand greater control over firearms.

On this march, highly awaited, several media outlets sounded out people’s reaction and thus reported what happened.

For example, Los Angeles Times published that the demonstrators demanded a legislation to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, like those used in Parkland and Las Vegas shootings in recent months.

Among the participants was 18-year-old student Enma Gonzalez, one of the representatives of the preparatory schools in Florida, who said from the podium: “Fight for your lives, before it’s someone else’s job”.

According to the publication, minutes earlier, she stood in silence during six minutes and twenty seconds, the time it took the gunman to carry out the massacre in Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida. In Los Angeles City, the demonstrators, carrying posters, denounced the National Rifle Association (NRA) and demanded changes.

There, student Giselle Jimenez, 17, held a sign reading: "Silly me, I didn’t know that not wanting children to be slaughtered by assault rifles was being political”.

Famous singer Paul McCartney was at the march in New York to honor his former bandmate and friend, John Lennon.

He attended the rally wearing a t-shirt with the slogan “We Can End Gun Violence", and told the CNN: “One of my best friends was murdered by gun violence right here, so this protest is important to me".

As it’s known, Lennon was shot to death on December 8, 1980, in front of his apartment in that city.

In New Orleans, the students too carrying posters criticized House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, seriously wounded in a shooting.

Olivia Keefe, 17, said “the gun-control legislation should not be a partisan issue; it is not about Democrats or Republicans at all… This is about common sense".

Media outlets estimated that the figures of the participants are inexact, because hundreds of thousands of people rallied in Washington.

The students from the Majory Stoneman Douglas High became survivors and political activists of this march that had a world response.

"Welcome to the revolution", said Cameron Kasky, one of the Parkland student organizers, in his speech aimed at members of Congress. And added: “We’re the change… Represent us or get out”.

Delaney Tarr, another Majory Stoneman Douglas High school student said: “We are a movement and we won’t stop!”.

On the other hand, Trump neither listened to the echo of the march nor the speeches by the students, because last Saturday, he was at his elegant West Palm Beach, Florida golf course, alongside his wife Melania.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

The OAS as US Puppet Platform for Attacking Progressive Latin America

After a series of aggressions carried out by the counter revolutionary groups deployed throughout Cuba and financed by the CIA, Cuba was expelled from the OAS.

That situation took place in Punta del Este city in Uruguay on January, 1962 when the Economic and Inter American Economic and Social Council of Latin American States was holding sessions.

Commander Ernesto Che Guevara, who was the then representative of the Cuban government, denounced the U.S. hostile policy against the then new Revolution and the stealing nature of the US government for the Latin American region.

All the Latin American governments, except Mexico, broke off the diplomatic relations with the Cuban revolutionary government and Cuba was expelled on January 31st, 1962 from the ´Minister of Yankee Colonies´ as it was described by Foreign Minister Raúl Roa García.

The point is that the sad history carried out by the OAS in the region is really painful and wide. It appears as part of the International American Conference of Bogota city in 1948 and its front pretended to show that it was a unifying mechanism for the nations of the Latin American hemisphere by hiding its real purpose as a puppet organization of the United States.

 The OAS as US Puppet Platform for Attacking Progressive Latin America

How come forgetting its support for the U.S. military intervention in Guatemala in 1954 against its then president, Jacobo Arbenz, and its silence about the military invasion in April, 1961 and its silence before the terrorist actions carried out against Cuba?

How come forgetting its stupor for the U.S. marine disembarkment in the Dominican Republic in 1965?

It cannot be forgotten its stupor about the assassination of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in Grenada through a coup while an U.S. intervention was being carried out in that tiny island and there was no condemnation said from that OAS.

The OAS kept silence about the Condor operation and also did not say anything against the military conflicts in Central America, let alone the invasion to Panama in 1989.

As it was denounced on many occasions by the Commander in Chief, Hugo Chávez, the OAS did not condemn the coup carried out in April 2002 in Venezuela. However, Cuba resisted and won over these decades. Cuba united others regional blocs with its example and moral notwithstanding its government made clear that nation would never return to any puppet and domineering mechanism against other nations.

In June 2009, the General Assembly of the OAS that was held in San Pedro Sula city in Honduras, repealed the embarrassing resolution that expelled Cuba from that event in 1962.

 The OAS as US Puppet Platform for Attacking Progressive Latin America

At that moment, the scenery in Latin America and the Caribbean had governments more committed with their peoples and history, but Cuba reiterated that it would never return to that institution which had carried out an active role in favor of the U.S. hostility policy against the Cuban Revolution.

In addition, Cuban President and Army General Raúl Castro Ruz has stated by remembering the National Hero, José Martí: “The sea from the north would unite to the sea from the south and a snake would be born from an eagle's egg before Cuba joined the OAS again.”

Raúl Castro has said:

“In our opinion, the OAS would be and is an imperialist domineering instrument and absolutely any reform could change its nature or history and that is why Cuba will never return to the OAS.”

At present time, we can wonder as Fidel Castro himself did it through its written reflection on April 14th, 2009 entitled 'Does OAS have the right to exist?'

Fidel Castro, as usual, was clear through his answer: “The OAS has a history that keeps all the related garbage over the 60 years of its treachery against the Latin American nations.”

 The OAS as US Puppet Platform for Attacking Progressive Latin America

 The OAS as US Puppet Platform for Attacking Progressive Latin America

By Angélica Paredes López

 

  • Published in World

Vladimir Putin Re-elected by Landslide 76.65 Pct

Moscow, Mar 19 (Prensa Latina) Russian leader Vladimir Putin overwhelmingly won reelection by landslide with 76.65 percent with 99 percent of the ballots counted according to the latest official reports at 05:21 local time.

The Russian Election Commission said Monday almost 55.5 million of voters supported his candidacy.

The above 76 percent vote collected is Putin's all time high electoral support, far higher than the 52.9 percent he got in 2000, his 71.31 percent in 2004 and 63.6 in 2012, the Russian Central Electoral Commission outlined.

Addressing a rally at his campaign headquarters, Putin thanked his supporters, shared views on key issues and lay out his plans for the future, on which he said: 'We need a leap forward.'

He said his international agenda will be to develop relations with nations on all continents, adding Russia is ready to overcome all difficulties with Europe, while underscoring that China is Moscow's strategic partner and he's planning to expand links with Beijing.

The President stressed 'it is important for Russians to understand that there are huge challenges before us, and we must overcome these challenges, we must complete the nation's tasks. And I count on us all to continue this work together.'

First-time Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin came in second with 11.83 percent, while veteran nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democratic party), who first ran against Boris Yeltsin in 1991, finished third with 5.6 percent.

The rest of the other five candidates running for president did not reached 2 percent.

They were Civil Initiative party leader Ksenia Sobchak, Sergei Baburin (All-People's Union party), Maxim Suraykin (Communists of Russia party), Boris Titov (Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs' Rights) and Grigory Yavlinsky (Yabloko party).

Results of the presidential election in Russia show the Russian people are happy with the domestic and foreign policies implemented by the current leadership and voted for the continuation of the political course, observer from Italy Claudio D'Amico told Sputnik News.

  • Published in World

Militant groups split & clash in E. Ghouta, civilians seek shelter – Russian MoD

Militants groups holding Eastern Ghouta have begun fighting each other after one faction attempted to separate from the terrorists, the Russian military said. Civilians are seeking shelter and trying to escape street fighting.

The confrontations broke out a day after the Russian Defense Ministry demanded that the Failak Ar-Rahman group separated from Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists, currently known as Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham. In exchange, the militants were offered safe passage out of the embattled suburb of Damascus.

“Open fighting between the members of illegal armed units is underway in the streets, civilians are forced to seek shelter not to accidentally become victims of hostilities," Major General Vladimir Zolotukhin told reporters on Monday.

 
© Ruptly

A Russia-backed ceasefire came into effect in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta around two weeks ago, in order to allow humanitarian aid deliveries and the evacuation of civilians. Two humanitarian corridors were established in the areas of Muhayam al-Wafideen and Mlekha to provide for the safe passage of local civilians. Both passages have been constantly shelled by the militants, injuring and killing those who were trying to escape, according to Russian MoD and eyewitnesses.

The first group of 52 civilians, half of whom were children, managed to flee the militant-held Eastern Ghouta on Sunday. Their safe passage was secured by the Russian and the Syrian forces after they had held talks with the armed groups controlling the area.

The situation in the militant-held enclave remains “tense,” according to Zolotukhin. They also continued the bombardment of Damascus and its suburbs, firing seven mortar shells on Sunday, the official added. No one was injured in the attacks.

Despite the provocations, the humanitarian operations went on, the Russian military said. The spokesman reiterated that the safe routes in Eastern Ghouta remain open to both civilians and militants who are willing to flee.

  • Published in World

‘Urgently engage with Russia’: US senators call for dialogue after new nuclear arsenal unveiled

A group of US lawmakers have called for strategic dialogue with Moscow. They feel that the matter is “more urgent” following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unveiling of a number of cutting-edge weapons systems.

“A US-Russia Strategic Dialogue is more urgent following President Putin’s public address on March 1st when he referred to several new nuclear weapons Russia is reportedly developing, including a cruise missile and a nuclear underwater drone,” a letter signed by US Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reads.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall © Grigoriy Sisoev

The letter, addressed to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was published on Thursday. The senators stressed that while the countries have many “significant” disagreements, including alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections and the “annexation” of Crimea, Moscow and Washington need to come to the negotiation table.

“Due to these policy rifts, not in spite of them… the United States should urgently engage with Russia to avoid miscalculation and reduce the likelihood of conflict.”

The lawmakers are concerned that some of the brand-new Russian nuclear weapons are not covered by the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, commonly known as the New START, and thus call for the agreement to be extended. The weapons in question include a cruise missile with virtually no range limit and a nuclear-powered underwater drone.

However, the letter did not miss a chance to accuse Russia of non-compliance with the 1982 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and called on the State Department to address the alleged violation. Moscow and Washington have traded accusations of INF-Treaty violations for several years. The US constantly accuses Russia of developing missile systems with ranges prohibited by the agreement, without providing any specific information to support such allegations.

Moscow has its own list of complaints regarding US shortcomings in relation to the INF Treaty. These include the US drone program, and the ground placement of a naval vertical-launch system in Europe as part of the Aegis Ashore program. Russia contends that these constitute violations of the treaty. In December 2017, Putin said that Washington was apparently creating conditions to leave the accord, and said that the process of its withdrawal has actually already begun.

 

Two US soldiers standing outside the base for the Nato protective shield in Deveselu, Romania, 12 May 2016. The Aegis system, developed by the US Navy, is stationed in Deveselu © KAY NIETFELD

There had been rumors that the Russian and American top diplomats, Sergey Lavrov and Rex Tillerson respectively, may meet while they are both in Africa. However, the US State Department denied that there had been any discussion of possible bilateral talks. When asked about it, the Russian Foreign Minister said the claims that such discussions never happened are “untrue.”

On March 1, the Russian leader presented a set of advanced Russian nuclear weapons, some of which are not yet named. During his state of the nation address, Putin stressed that Russia would not need all these new weapons had its legitimate concerns been heeded by the US and its allies. “Nobody wanted to talk to us about the root of the problem. Nobody listened to us; so listen to us now!” he said.

The speech drew a hysterical reaction from the Western media and accusations of saber-rattling and starting “a new arms race,” Putin told NBC Washington was in fact to blame for it. The Russian president referred to the US decision to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) back in 2002.

  • Published in World

USA: Concrete Jungle

Should there was any doubt, it has already vanished. United States has become an elegant jungle swarmed with millionaires, the bruised middle class and homeless people, among others.

In this regard. El Nuevo Herald columnist Guillermo Descalzi wrote on Monday that his government is characterized by its lavish indifference and fears an unbridled extreme right.

The latter includes, firstly, President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The journalist added that politicians bow their heads before the National Rifle Association (NRA) “that has planted USD $23 billion for them since 1990 to provide its interests with shade”.

Institution has flatly refused to eliminate the Second Amendment to the 1791 Constitution that blesses guns purchase and possession.

Since 2013, there have been 291 school shootings and 18 so far this year.

Journalist and writer Guillermo Descalzi stresses that it is time to acknowledge that there are mental health patients who curiously go unnoticed, as well as that it is Hemingway’s time and to say farewell to arms.

He also pointed out that “action must be channeled in this Hemingwayesque country”.

It’s good to remember that during the 2016 elections Trump proclaimed himself a friend of the National Rifle Association, and assured he would protect its interests, as he has done so far.

That organization is one of the lobbies that manage real power in U.S., as it happens with the Jewish one and others.

One may ask: Who is to blame for the recent brutal killing of 17 teenagers in Florida?

The same individual who has defended to the death free sale of rifles and other weapons in US stores.

As well as those who, led by Donald Trump, have become champions of the sale and use of guns and powerful rifles in that country.

So, Nikolas Cruz is not the one who should be taken to the dock, but Donald Trump, firstly, and NRA’s executives, secondly.

 

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials

‘Syrian ceasefire problematic because of sponsors fueling violence’

Terrorist groups have instructions to escalate violence in Syria, and are so desperate that they could resort to using chemical weapons, political science professor Maged Botros told RT.

Syria's ceasefire agreed upon by the UN Security Council on Saturday appears already to be unraveling with reports of violations in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.

The Western media was quick to point the finger at the Assad government. Damascus has been bombing Eastern Ghouta for a week, targeting Al-Nusra Front terrorists – something which is allowed under the UN resolution.

However, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, it was militants in Eastern Ghouta who violated the truce. Moscow says Damascus was shelled several times after the ceasefire came into force.

Political science professor Maged Botros says the violence is unlikely to end soon.

 

FILE PHOTO © Bassam Khabieh

In his view, while the ceasefire could break the “vicious circle of seven years of human atrocities,” no government would “allow its capital to be shelled all the time.” Besides that, he told RT, the Syrian government is alleging that the terrorists are using human shields in Ghouta.

He is also skeptical that the truce will work “simply because there are sponsors of violence, they are fueling violence: you have Qatar, you have Turkey, you have other states, they have interests in Syria.”

Following the vote, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said that “it would be naive to think that internal Syrian questions can be solved by a resolution.” He added that Moscow had “supported the intentions” behind the document, but that no ceasefire was possible “without agreement from warring parties.”

According to Botros, “all the parties involved have interest to continue on with this violence.”

In a joint telephone call with the Kremlin on Sunday, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to ensure the ceasefire was fully implemented as soon as possible.

Botros argues though that it is not in Russia's hands as Moscow cannot put pressure on terrorist groups.

“Terrorist groups have instructions to escalate violence. Terrorist groups are in the state of desperation. They are so desperate that I can believe that they use chemical weapons as the last card on the table,” he told RT.     

‘It is imperative for the Syrian govt to take over Eastern Ghouta’

Dr. Jamal Wakeem, professor of history and international relations at Lebanese University in Beirut, told RT that “the US thinks that the ceasefire was meant not for the Syrian government to take control of Eastern Ghouta, which should remain a region to direct a threat to the capital, to Damascus.”

RT: Do you think this ceasefire will be possible to implement?

 

Eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria. February 22, 2018. © Bassam Khabieh

Jamal Wakeem: I believe that the ceasefire is conditional and this is noted in the UN resolution because the Syrian government and its Russian ally will continue its operation against Al-Nusra and ISIS (Islamic State/IS) which are on the terrorist lists. This is on the one hand. And on the other hand, I believe that we need to see what would be the reaction of the US because the US was the one to call for the UN resolution, for the ceasefire at the beginning. However, the Russian intervention amended this ceasefire to fit the needs for fighting terrorism in Syria. While the US thinks that the ceasefire was meant not for the Syrian government to take control of Eastern Ghouta, which should remain a region to direct a threat to the capital, to Damascus. And there were plans to link Eastern Ghouta to Al-Tanf region controlled by the US, to open a corridor that would allow US troops and US-backed terrorists to reach the outskirts of Damascus. I don’t trust the American intentions.      

RT: Turkey claims the resolution doesn’t affect its operation against Kurdish groups in Afrin. Is this a fair interpretation of the ceasefire agreement?

JW: The Turks are manipulating the resolution the way they want because so far after one month of military operation they didn’t achieve tangible results in the outskirts of Afrin. They couldn’t take hold of the city. The Kurdish parties mended fences with the Syrian government. And the city went back to government control in Syria. Erdogan wanted that a certain situation would be imposed in northern Syria that could fit his own interests and that he could present it as a gain to the Turkish public. And that is why the Turkish government declared that… it will continue its military operation.  

RT: With parts of Eastern Ghouta occupied by terrorist groups that are not party to the ceasefire, how can any safe humanitarian access be guaranteed?

JW: I believe that the humanitarian aid that the US called for is a mere pretext for it to open the corridor to the terrorists and to supply them with ammunition and with other logistics. I believe that this was the true intention of the US. That is why I believe that Russians has to intervene and to amend the resolution as to fit the strategy of fighting terrorism, mainly ISIS and Al-Nusra. We need to admit the fact that the US is using terrorist groups as tools for its war by proxy on the Syrian government and on Syria and also on the Iraqi government to control these two countries that are highly strategic for American geopolitical strategy in the region.  

Eastern Ghouta is the last stronghold for the terrorists to direct attacks on the Syrian capital. The insurgents or the terrorists are launching continuous attacks on civilians in the eastern part of the city. And many civilians have died so far. That is why for the Syrian government it is imperative to take over Eastern Ghouta.

  • Published in World
Subscribe to this RSS feed