Russia slams US Navy for ‘unacceptable’ behavior after warships’ near-miss in East China Sea

Russia has accused the US Navy of “unacceptable” and dangerous maneuvering, after a US warship almost caused a catastrophic collision with a Russian destroyer in the East China Sea.

The Russian Navy said that the USS Chancellorsville, a guided-missile cruiser, unexplainedly changed direction and came within just 50 meters of the Admiral Vinogradov on Friday at 6:35 Moscow time. It added that a collision was only prevented after the Russian crew implemented emergency maneuvers and changed course.

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A statement from Russia’s Pacific Fleet added that a complaint had been lodged with the command of the American cruiser.

We made our protest to the command of the American ship on an international wavelength and pointed out that such actions are unacceptable.

The US Navy denied responsibility for the near-collision. Instead, it blamed the Admiral Vinogradov for accelerating at Chancellorsville while it was waiting for its helicopter to land onboard.

This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision.

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The incident follows a period of growing tensions in the waters around China, with Washington frequently sending its warships on so-called ‘freedom of navigation’ exercises to challenge China’s territorial claims. In recent months, American incursions in the South China Sea have seen US vessels come within 12 nautical miles (22km) of Chinese islets, the closest they may stray without violating international law.

Following another tense near-collision between Chinese and US warships last October, China’s defense ministry said it “resolutely opposes” any actions by foreign vessels that challenge its territory under the guise of freedom of navigation.

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The Only Thing that Works with Iran is Respect,' Iranian FM Said

Tehran, June 3 (Prensa Latina) Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Yavad Zarif has demanded respect for his nation, which, according to him, it is the only possibility of listening to the other side.

In an interview with ABC TV, broadcast in Tehran on Monday, Zarif passed remarks on the book 'The Art of Agreement', written by Donald Trump, in which the US president describes some trading methods.

It may progress in the market, but not with Iran, Yavad Zarif said, and added that it can be effective with other nations in a short period and not in the long term, 'but not with Iran in a short period, or in the medium and long term. The only thing that really works with Iran is respect', he said.

Zarif warned threats never work with Iran; try with some respect, that can really work, he added.

According to Zarif, Iranians will not lost courage by the art of the agreement pressure, the strategy followed by the US government with sanctions to renegotiate another nuclear agreement.

In any case, he said, there will be serious consequences if the United States holds its economic pressure campaign, which he termed as an economic terrorism that affects the Iranian people.

'If President Trump's objective is to impose pressure on ordinary Iranians, he is certainly getting done', but he will not make up with his political goals by using pressure', he said.

The Iranian FM rejected claims about an alleged Iranian threat to the region and replied that the US Navy is really the one that destabilizes.

'We call this region Persian Gulf for just one reason, it is by our side. We have the right to defend ourselves. What if Iran went to California or Florida coasts', he asked.

The United States, he denounced, is the one sending nuclear warships to our jurisdictional waters, to our region.

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London's Mayor Sadiq Khan Compares Trump to 'The Fascists of the 20th Century'

U.S. President Donald Trump is stirring controversy ahead of his state visit to the United Kingdom this week by throwing his political weight behind Brexit and hand picking a successor for Prime Minister Theresa May who announced she will resign in the coming weeks.

In an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper ahead of his state visit to Britain starting Monday, Trump said the next British leader should send arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage to conduct talks with the EU.

Trump said Britain must leave the EU this year.

“They've got to get it done,” he said. “They have got to get the deal closed.”

“If they don’t get what they want, I would walk away. If you don’t get a fair deal, you walk away.”

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, compared the language used by Trump to that of “the fascists of the 20th century.” Khan published an editorial in the Sunday Observer entitled, "It’s un-British to roll out the red carpet for Donald Trump," in which he chastised Trump for what he sees as the president's embrace of white nationalism and urged outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May to publicly condemn the U.S. president.

Trump repeated his backing for those candidates to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May who have said Britain must leave on the due date of Oct. 31 with or without a deal.

Those candidates include former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, whom Trump praised in an interview with the Sun newspaper on Friday, along with former Brexit minister Dominic Raab and interior minister Sajid Javid.

Trump also said it was a mistake for the Conservatives not to involve Farage, the Brexit Party leader, in negotiations with Brussels after his success in European Parliament elections last month.

“I like Nigel a lot. He has a lot to offer - he is a very smart person,” Trump said. “They won’t bring him in but think how well they would do if they did. They just haven't figured that out yet.”

On the Brexit divorce bill, Trump said: “If I were them, I wouldn’t pay 50 billion dollars. That is a tremendous number.”

Trump also said he would have “to know” veteran Socialist Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn before authorising U.S. intelligence to share its most sensitive secrets with a hard-left government.

He warned British ministers they must be careful not to jeopardize intelligence-sharing by letting Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co Ltd into Britain’s new 5G mobile phone network.

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Values Are Weapons as Cuba Defends Doctors against US intervention

The George W. Bush administration initiated the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program (CMPP) in 2006. The idea was to persuade overseas Cuban doctors to abandon their posts and relocate to the United States. Cuba’s medical solidarity programs, in place for half a century, would suffer. President Obama ended the CMPP in January, 2017. Now the U.S. government wants to reinstate it.

Cubans defending medical outreach associate what the doctors do with ideals of human dignity and solidarity. U.S. rationales for their own interventions are either unconvincing as to humane purposes or not for public knowledge.

The U.S. government thus speaks of bringing democracy to Cuba and Venezuela. That those nations are under U.S. siege brings to mind the Vietnamese town Ben Tre. U.S. forces destroyed it in 1968 in order “to save it.” Otherwise, what many regard as the actual purpose of U.S. interventions, the commandeering of power and wealth, is unmentionable in mainstream circles.

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Cuba demonstrates coherence between intervention in the health care of other peoples and values. Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, speaking in Buenos Aires in 2003, stated that, “Our country is able to send the doctors that are needed to the darkest corners of the world. Doctors, not bombs!” He had just proclaimed Cuba’s unwillingness (and inability) to launch “preventative surprise attacks in any dark corner of the world.”

Marisnely Echemendía Concepción recently sounded a strong note of human solidarity. “[F]ormed by the revolution and following the teachings of Marti, Che, and Fidel,” the Cuban doctor carries out “health promotion and disease prevention” in Caracas.

“I believe in altruism, in humanitarianism, and in internationalism,” she states. “These make up the essence of medical education in my country and validate this teaching of the Apostle (Marti): ‘Helping someone in need is part duty and part happiness.’”

And, “I would have it known and widely so – by the peoples of Our America and throughout the world – that my humanist and solidarity-based vocation can be relied upon, always. My sole interest is to improve the health of those we care for. Political affiliation, race, and religious creed don’t matter.”

Besides, “We Cuban medical graduates take on an international commitment that remains and goes with us wherever we are needed. After all, a doctor is only a slave to his or her calling as a humanist.”

Revolutionary Cuba puts values into practice. Some 600,000 Cubans have provided medical services “in more than 160 countries.” Cuba has educated 35,613 health professionals from 138 countries at no personal cost to the students.

In assailing the Cuban doctors, U.S. officialdom has machinations, lies, and force at its disposal, but little else.

On May 7 Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey asked Secretary of State Pompeo to reinstitute the CMPP. Rubio and Menendez had previously introduced a Senate resolution to that effect.

That resolution cited “human trafficking,” “forced labor,” and “salaries directly garnished by their government” as characterizing Cuban doctors’ experience in Brazil. Some 8000 of them had joined former President Dilma Rousseff’s “More Doctors” program to care for destitute and underserved Brazilians. In late 2018 the Cuban government withdrew them due to President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s animosity.

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U.S. ally Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States, backs restoring the CMPP. He views Cuba’s pay arrangements with other states as “modern slavery.” Cuba uses its doctors for “cementing alliances with other countries.”

Serving abroad, the doctors receive their regular salaries to which are added bonuses for overseas work and coverage for living expenses abroad. Salaries are deposited in a Cuban bank or paid to a family member. Most countries hosting the doctors reimburse Cuba’s government at rates high enough for the funds to serve other purposes.

Funds received from Brazil paid for medical equipment and modernization of Cuban medical facilities. In return for the services of Cuban doctors, Venezuela guarantees Cuba delivery of low priced oil.

Thus U.S. meddling in Venezuela impinges upon Cuba. A recent New York Times report charged Cuban doctors in Venezuela with pressuring patients to support the government and political party of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The implication was that all the Cuban doctors did likewise.

National Security Advisor John Bolton and others in the Trump administration claim that 20,000 Cuban military personnel operate in Venezuela. The unspoken hint is that 20,000 Cuban health workers serving now in Venezuela are military people. Cuba’s Granma newspaper offers perspective: “140,000 Cuban health workers have provided … services in Venezuela” – which would have been lots of soldiers.

The Times article and the Bolton allegations are slanderous. Bolton is an old hand. As under secretary of state for arms control in 2002, he falsely charged Cuba with having ”provided dual-use biotechnology to … rogue states.”

Cuban journalist Randy Alonso Falcon explains why the U.S. government would revive the CMPP. He cites “barefaced brain drain” and disruptive effects leading to reduced income for Cuba’s government. He could have mentioned U.S. enthusiasm for sullying the image of Cuba as paragon of medical solidarity.

Weeks before he died in combat in 1895, emblematic Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti advised a young person in the United States: “Whoever has a lot inside doesn’t need much outside. Whoever is all display on the outside, doesn’t have much inside.”

Dr. Fernando González Isla, head of Cuba’s medical mission in Venezuela, tweeted the quotation. Dr. Marisnely Echemendía Concepción re-tweeted it. Identification with values and ethics must be Cuba’s special weapon in this conflict.

Putin submits bill on suspension of INF Treaty

President Vladimir Putin has submitted to Russia’s parliament a draft resolution on Moscow’s suspension of the INF Treaty with the United States. If the Duma approves the bill, the suspension will become law.

The State Duma will consider the draft later on Thursday. Russian president will be able to renew the suspension at his discretion.

In February, the US announced its unilateral withdrawal from the INF Treaty. It claimed that Russia’s testing of the 9M729 missile breached the terms of the deal.

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The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty came into force in 1987 and banned both the Soviet Union and the US from developing and deploying land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 km. The agreement was signed to de-escalate tensions in Europe, where both countries had dozens of such missiles deployed, posing a risk of an accidental nuclear exchange.

The missiles only needed minutes to reach their targets, leaving a very small window for the other side to decide whether a detected attack was a real one, requiring immediate retaliation, or a false positive.

The United States is set to formally leave the treaty in August. 

Also on rt.com INF Treaty is about European security, not American; US left it to get new missiles – Russian envoy

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China ‘seriously considering’ restricting rare earth exports to US – Global Times chief

Beijing is considering a ban on exports of rare earth metals to the US, editor-in-chief of Chinese state-linked outlet Global Times has tweeted, warning it may not be the last retaliatory move by China as the trade war escalates.

Reports that China may resort to the embargo have been circulating for weeks. If implemented, the move could be really harmful to Washington as there are almost no alternative sources for the elements that are used in a wide range of industries from high-tech to the military.

“Based on what I know, China is seriously considering restricting rare earth exports to the US. China may also take other countermeasures in the future,” Hu Xijin tweeted on Tuesday.

Based on what I know, China is seriously considering restricting rare earth exports to the US. China may also take other countermeasures in the future.

The US has recently increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, triggering retaliation from China. Beijing raised levies on $60 billion of American products. However, the vital rare earth minerals have not been subjected to restrictions so far.

A routine visit by President Xi Jinping to a Chinese rare earths facility last week came amid rising tensions between the two countries and shortly after the US turned up the heat on Chinese tech giant Huawei. Despite the lack of any official announcement from Beijing, the visit has triggered fears that China is ready to use the materials, specifically a ban on their export, as an advantage against the US.

Also on rt.com China's other nuclear option in trade war with US – Rare earth materials

Xi’s visit to one of the major rare earth processing plants sent an “unequivocal statement” to the US, according to independent political analyst Alessandro Bruno. The analyst believes that rare earth metals, essential for the military, aerospace and electronics industries, are “certainly weapons that China can use in its trade negotiation arsenal against Trump.”

“China controls anywhere from 85-95% of all production and supply,” Bruno told RT. He stressed that US companies are highly dependent on rare earth materials and the ban “could cripple global industry, especially emerging technologies.”

“China has many more options than the US when it comes to rare earths and rare earth chess games,” the analyst concluded.

The US used to be leading rare earth producer in 1990, but the situation has changed long ago. In 2018, Beijing increased rare earths mining by 15,000 tons to 120,000 tons, while the US produced just 15,000 tons in total. China holds 44 million tons of the elements if its reserves, while the US just 1.4 million tons.

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Russia Trains Turkish Military on Air Missile System

Ankara, May 22 (Prensa Latina) Turkey has sent military personnel to Russia for their training on how to use the S-400 missile system, the most advanced Russian ballistic technology, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday.

Purchasing this weaponry from Russia led Turkey to a strong diplomatic confrontation with the United States, which is trying by all means to prevent its NATO ally from acquiring this type of armament, even threatening to suspend the participation of Turkish companies in the manufacture of the Lockheed Martin F-35 combat aircraft.

On this issue, Akar said that Turkey was fulfilling its responsibilities in the F-35 project and that Ankara expected the program to continue as scheduled, while talks between the two countries are ongoing.

The Minister also said Ankara and Washington are assessing the possibility of Turkey acquiring US-made Patriot missiles based on a price-fixing, technology transfer and joint production agreement.

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‘Laser weapons’ to define Russia’s military potential in 21st century – Putin

Russian leader Vladimir Putin says that laser technology will play a crucial role in the nation’s military might as he spoke about the “first practical results” of the country’s Peresvet combat laser system.

Putin highlighted the importance of developing laser technology, including the “tactical-level combat laser complexes,” at a defense-themed cabinet meeting on Friday.

Such types of weaponry will at large be defining the combat potential of the Russian Army and Navy… throughout the whole of the 21st century.

Putin said that the government will study “the first practical results” of the laser system Peresvet’s performance when used by the military. The cutting-edge weapon formally entered test service in December.

Combat laser system enters test duty in Russia...

Named after a famous 14th century Russian patriotic warrior monk, Peresvet was announced by Putin last year.

Nearly everything about the weapon is classified, even its exact purpose. Experts suggest that the laser, among other things, may be used as a jamming device or to neutralize airborne targets, including cruise missiles. Some said that military-grade lasers like that can be used against enemy satellites.

In his speech in March 2018, Putin revealed a number of brand new state-of-the-art weapons. Among them was the air-launched hypersonic missile Kinzhal (‘Dagger’), which later successfully passed trials and was mounted on MiG-31 fighter jets.

Also on rt.com From hypersonic glider to nuke subs: Meet Russian arms on brink of deployment (PHOTO, VIDEO)...

 

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