Russian Sappers Discover US-Made Weapons in Aleppo in Militant Arms Cache

usa-made-weaponry-for-terrorists-3

Russian sappers deployed to Aleppo made a sensational discovery this week, uncovering a weapons cache left behind by anti-government militants filled to the brim with ammo for heavy weapons manufactured in countries including the US, Germany and Bulgaria.

Major Ivan Gromov, the commander of the mine-clearing group, told the Rossiya 24 television news channel that his group has been discovering Western-made ammunition, from large-caliber rounds for small arms to rocket artillery shells, littered across the city. Heavy rounds and shells include ammunition manufactured in the United States, Germany and Bulgaria, he added.

In a sensational discovery, Gromov’s team and local pro-government militia also found brand new, pristine 122 mm mortar shells, hand grenades and grenade launchers, missiles for multiple rocket launch systems and howitzer shells in a rebel hideout. The source of many of these weapons is clearly marked, with some of the ammo boxes featuring stickers marked ‘From USA for Mutual Defense’.

usa-made-weaponry-for-terrorists-4

Russian sappers arrived in eastern Aleppo at the beginning of December. Since then, they have cleared over 966 hectares (2,387 acres), including 350 km (about 217 miles) worth of roads and 2,149 buildings from explosive devices. A total of nearly 14,700 explosive devices had been found and defused, including over 6,700 IEDs. Just in the last day, the engineers cleared four schools, a kindergarten and nine mosques of explosive devices.


SOURCES:
SputnikNews
Submitted by Lone Bear 
War Press Info Network at :
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/sappers-us-weapons/
~

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Americans Better Take a Look at This…

Those presently running America have wrecked the country for their own ends, and in the process they have turned us into a nation widely feared and despised in the view of a large portion of the world’s population. The videos I’m posting here offer a sobering view of the extent to which this now seems to be the case.

The video above shows a huge march which took place in Belgrade, Serbia on February 20, 2016. The march was a massive show of solidarity with Russia. You can kind of tell that by the Russian flags and St. George banners proliferating everywhere, but another giveaway is the music. The song is called “The Sacred War.” It is a Russian patriotic song that has been around for a number of years and is mostly associated with World War II.

You need to know the lyrics of this song. Below  is a performance done in St. Petersburg in 2009 and which includes English subtitles:

A little more from the Belgrade march:

 

And now take a deep breath and prepare yourself. Here you will see “The Patriotic War” being performed in China:

And another performance in China:

And another:

And now let’s move on to Bulgaria. Here is a march in support of Russia that took place in front of the Turkish embassy in Sofia on November 28, 2015. Keep in mind, Turkey is our “ally” and a NATO member:

And here is another protest in Bulgaria, this one from February 15, 2015, or roughly a year ago. A machine-translation from the video might be informative: “The Bulgarian people started intense struggle for the withdrawal from NATO andfor the expulsion of NATOus military bases from the territory of Bulgaria.Meetings will take place every Sunday, until the Government listens to the voice of the people and did not fulfill his requirements! Peaceful Bulgarian peopleAnnounces Bulgaria as a zone of peace, and advocates the sovereignty of Bulgaria and countries all over the world! At the beginning of the columns carried hugeBulgarians Bulgarian banner, church bannershorugvii, Great George’s Ribbon,as a symbol of the struggle for sovereignty.”:

And finally one more from Bulgaria:

It would seem that a sizable number of people are beginning to view a “sacred war” against the US and NATO as a coming inevitability and one carrying with it a patriotic duty for all of humanity to fight.

Contact your imbecile, moronic senators and representatives and tell them to stop trying to foment a war with Russia and stop trying to overthrow the government of Syria before the blowback from all this hits us squarely in the face.

Russia Has Iran, Greece Approval for Syria Flights

Local Editor

Iran and Greece granted Russia the right to use its airspace for humanitarian flights to Syria, news agencies reported on Wednesday as Moscow confirmed it military presence in the crisis-hit country.

The press attache of the Russian Embassy in Iran, Maxim Suslov said that has granted permission to Russian aircraft with humanitarian aid on board to fly above the territory of Iran to Syria, Pravda.Ru reported with reference to ITAR-TASS.

Russian aircraftMeanwhile, Greece has also authorized the flyover of Russian airplanes to Syria via Greek airspace, officials at the Russian Embassy in Greece said Wednesday.

“The press service of the embassy of the Russian Federation confirms the receipt of the permission from the Greek authorities for the flyover of Russian airplanes via the airspace of Greece,” a representative of the Russian diplomatic mission in Athens told Interfax.

TASS said that the request covered the period from Sept. 1 to Sept. 24.

Reuters news agency also reportetd that Tehran and Athens granted Moscow such permission.

Earlier, he authorities of Bulgaria officially announced their decision not to grant such a permission to two Russian aircraft to fly in the Bulgarian airspace to Syria.

Representatives of the State Duma of the Russian Federation said that Russia would find an adequate response to such a move from Bulgaria, Pravda.Ru reported.

Russia Confirms Military Presence in Syria


Meanwhile, Russia’s foreign ministry confirmed that Russian military experts are in Syria.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the experts are coordinating arms deliveries to Syrian forces aimed at combating “terrorism”.

“We have never made a secret of military-technical cooperation with Syria,” she said, according to TASS.

“We’ve long been supplying weapons and military equipment to Syria. We do this under the existing contracts and in full conformity with international law,” Zakharova said.

“I can confirm and reiterate that there are Russian military specialists in Syria who help to use arriving equipment.”

Zakharova said that Russia would consider providing further anti-terrorism support to Syria if necessary.

“I can reiterate that if additional measures in the interests of boosting anti-terrorism efforts are required, then, undoubtedly, these issues will be additionally considered, but exclusively on the basis of international law of Russian legislature,” she said.

Source: Agencies

09-09-2015 – 14:54 Last updated 09-09-2015 – 14:54

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Hungary: Next Stop on the Putsch Express

Via The Saker

Submitted by Andrew Kahn for Voice of América
(Twitter @akahnnyc)

Once is a conspiracy theory. Twice is a coincidence. Thrice gets people wondering. Four times and the polished denials begin as conspiracy theory has become neoliberal reality.

So it is in the Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe and former Soviet regions. Yugoslavia, Croatia, Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine. And where next? The number has gone way beyond four – the time of polished denials. To deny the conspiracy is meaningless at this point for it is not merely a conspiracy shrouded in the minds of tin-hat quacks but it is in the open for all to see; that is, whoever wishes to open their eyes to what is happening.

Were the choice words of Victoria Nuland not enough? Was the feting of John McCain by Ukrainian fascists not enough? Or the continuous duplicity in the words of any official tasked with parroting the lines of democracy devised by the most undemocratic geopolitical Machiavellis? When duplicity and hypocrisy mix in the cauldron of Washington’s witches’ brew being stirred in Brussels’ kitchen and served at tables in Tbilisi, Kiev, Grozny, and now Budapest.

And why Budapest? Why now? Why Hungary? Perhaps George Soros sees his days being numbered and he has saved his country for last. A collusion with the elites to rule his own country. Rather ironic that the NATO operations for liberty are now knocking on the door of Mr. Soros’ country. Or, perhaps, less conspiratorial – for who wants to peddle in conspiracies? – it is simply the latest salvo in the war to prolong the life of a dying United States-NATO hegemon.

One wonders whether the denizens of think tanks in Europe and the United States lay their heads down at night and count Russians and Chinese and any member of the Global South jumping over rapidly shrinking stacks of US dollars and Euros. One Russian Nationalist, Two Chinese Communists, Three Iranian Scientists. Like a drumbeat they see the alliance of Russia and China, Russia and its former allies, China and Africa, Iran and South America – the world with itself, devoid of a cowering pandering to the dictates of the post-WW2 leaders of freedom. Perhaps they see this as their eyes close on feather down pillows. They see this and they know the nightmare is nigh. A pill they need. A pill called Putsch that is branded and copyrighted with its own bold imprint on the pill – “Civil Society Democracy”. 

But I digress…why Hungary? Just a few years ago, Prime Minister Viktor Orban was going to become the darling of Washington. He was a right-leaning centrist of sorts whose views on immigrants would make Republican xenophobes proud but was sufficiently in agreement with the European Union and global capitalism when it came to economics and foreign policy. He was our buddy who could be counted on to serve as a bulwark against a possibly rising Russia under Vladimir Putin. But time passed and we find ourselves in the mid-20teens with the European Union in free-fall, wracked by a collapsed economy and Western European nations caught between liberal nebbishes and xenophobic rightists. And as time passed, Prime Minister Orban cleverly decided to see which way the winds were blowing and they were blowing towards the Kremlin. Center-right governments in Europe are being outflanked on their Right yet still slavishly remain within the EU paradigm – a suicide wish when farther-right populism is rightfully (if from the wrong ideological rationale) calling them out as puppets of Brussels. Public support for austerity is not that fashionable among blue-collar workers in Europe it should be noted and Orban was attuned to this.

So whether from a desire to stay in power or an actual interest in helping his right-leaning Christian-minded constituency that had been left to rot by Europe in the new post-Soviet world of liberalism, Orban decided to shift from ally of the West alone to hedging his bets between the West and Russia. Yet 2012 may have been the turning point when he left puppet status and he spurned IMF demands (more on this later) and began growing closer to President Putin who by this time had become the ultimate thorn in the side of NATO. A resurgent Russia was always being countered by the West – whether in Chechnya or Georgia – but the game had suddenly intensified with President Putin deciding that Syria would not be lost, Crimea would be re-unified with Russia and Russia would stand up once again to the West. 

This move by Orban to become part of the Russian orbit – defined as any country that does not swallow any fact-free attacks on Russia – marked him for targeting. Not only was Orban talking to Russia and attempting to navigate a non-aligned course but he was supportive of the boogeyman South Stream pipeline that Russia was planning – a pipeline that would navigate territory not controlled outright by the West. For a former Communist country to put this red flag in front of the West was, of course, verboten. Nevermind that Hungary had every economic reason to be non-aligned and find economic benefit from wherever it could in the face of EU collapse. In realpolitik, non-aligned means sleeping with the enemy – the Russian Bear.

Some may see Hungary’s moves – both its warming relations with Russia and support for the South Stream pipeline – as meaningless but for the United States every little country, every little leader, every little rebel group that opposes hegemony is a threat to be dealt with whether they are true rebels or are former allies like Orban who are now merely asking for some economic wiggle-room outside of IMF and Brussels dictates. And if there is really an honest questioning as to whether one country looking to have Russia as an economic partner is considered a threat one needs only to see the fate of the other Viktor – Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine. 

Indeed, even before Orban’s moves towards Russia, it was his steps in regards to the banking industry that first set the international world – or at least the “world” as defined by the borders of Europe and the United States – on its head.

At the end of 2011, the Hungarian Parliament voted in favor of banking changes which would place the national bank under closer control of the elected government with the vice presidents of the bank to be selected by the prime minister as opposed to appointment by the Bank’s president. It should be noted clearly that this was a 293-4 vote and not merely a party-line vote dominated by Orban’s Fidesz Party. When complaints are made by Hungarian opposition that Orban was taking dictatorial control remember this 293-4 number. Additionally approved at that time was a merger between the national bank and its financial regulator – essentially, Hungary had decided that the Bank would be under civilian control as opposed to an “impartial” leader which, as we recognize, is often determined not by impartiality but rather by subservience to international Capital’s wishes.

It was at this time the European Central Bank (ECB) began voicing concerns about the “independence” of the Hungarian National Bank and in the previous year of 2010, Orban did not renew a previous standby loan from the IMF, “opting instead for market financing and to keep the IMF out of government economic policies”i.

For Western Capital, this was clearly a slap in the face and a troubling sign that Hungary under Viktor Orban would use the IMF as it suited them as opposed to other way around. Orban had decided that taxes on the banking sector as well the nationalization of private pension funds was more important than renewing IMF standby loans.

The usual key words are being bandied about by the guardians of democracy. Orban is destroying civil society, cracking down on NGOs, opposing liberal democracy and he is becoming a dictator. Of course, no small reason for this Western claptrap is Orban’s decision to spurn IMF suggestions to cut pensions and remove a tax on banks. Again, one must recall that Orban is not anti-IMF by nature – having been negotiating with the IMF – but realizes that at a certain point, manure is simply manure. As he noted in 2012 in regards to IMF loan conditions he spurned: the deal “contains everything that is not in Hungary’s interests.”ii This was followed in 2013 by the head of Hungary’s Central Bank, Gyorgy Matolcsy, writing a letter to IMF head Christine Lagarde and telling her to shutter the IMF’s Budapest office as its services were no longer needed.iii Hungary would fully repay its IMF loan with a bold “Adios” on the final check.

In a 2013 article in the New York Times, it notes, regarding the then-newly appointed National Bank Director Gyorgy Matolcsy:

There is also concern among economists that Mr. Matolcsy will seek to emulate the economic stimulus

known as quantitative easing used by the U.S. Federal Reserve or Bank of England – essentially, a way

of pumping money in the economy. That, economists warn, could prove perilous in a small country

like Hungary that cannot finance itself without foreign capital.iv

In essence, in the name of banking freedom and independence, the European Union, IMF and ECB were looking to keep their own monopolistic control over Hungary and perpetuate a master-servant dynamic that they promulgate and enforce with an iron fist in most of the developing and post-Soviet world. Hungary’s decision to break from this was seen by the West (a grouping that should not be seen as including its stepchildren in Eastern and Central Europe) as tantamount to revolt. As the New York Times article hinted at, Hungary was looking for self-reliance and had begun to chart a course that would not lead to IMF loans or independent loans from Western European countries that it was in the process of politely spurning.

Not only was Hungary moving to economic independence – despite protestations that it was losing independence – but Hungary had made a conscious decision, as noted before, to be non-aligned in the rapidly deteriorating relations between the West and Russia. Strategically placed near Russia and within the region of an expanding NATO, this too was not to be accepted. The NATO encirclement of Russia could not be allowed to hit a roadblock with a pesky right-populist government in Hungary.

So it is that Viktor Orban has gone from reportedly praising U.S. Senator John McCain in 2008 as a “national hero in the most original sense of this expression” to John McCain now speaking of Hungary under Orban as “a nation that’s on the verge of ceding its sovereignty to a neo-Fascist dictator”.v

Warming relations with Russia, taxes on banks, nationalizing pension funds, spurning the IMF, traditionalist morality…all left for Orban to do to antagonize his former allies would be to send troops to support Hezbollah or some such effrontery.

Now there is never a country or leader who tries to break free of neoliberal policies and align with the enemies of Western freedom that is not marked for regime change for lack of a more diplomatic term. So it is that the question arises as to who in Hungary would take up the mantle as the reformer who will save Hungary from running headfirst – and intentionally – down the path to an illiberal democracy. In the words of Orban himself:

“…the new state that we are building is an illiberal state, a non-liberal state. It does not deny foundational values of liberalism, as freedom, etc.. But it does not make this ideology a central element of state organization, but applies a specific, national, particular approach in its stead.”vi

This is the point where it gets difficult for the United States and Brussels. Finding a neoliberal apparatchik in Hungary will be a wee bit harder than it was in Ukraine. While Ukraine had neoliberals who had no qualms about using fascist muscle and US State Department funds to gain power, Hungary is not so simple. Hungary has fascists in the form of the surging Jobbik Party that is pushing Orban from the right, a Fidesz Party of which Orban is a member that is charting a self-proclaimed illiberal path, a Socialist Party that barely registers 10% support and several minor parties with minimal support.

The likely attempt at this point will be a cobbled-together coalition of Fidesz officials who will bought back to support right-leaning liberal policies that Orban once supported, “reformed for the camera” Jobbik blue collar voters, apolitical but corruption-opposing college students, random members of the nebulously-defined civil society and most valuably capitalist technocrats to round out the bit. Blue collar workers as the goon squads fighting for a dystopic utopia where civil society’s technocrats will rule with a punch to the buttocks of the workers in the name of fiscal responsibility. Welcome back IMF.

Enter the Two Vs – Zsolt Varady and Gabor Vago – one the entrepreneur and the other the technocrat-politician.

To begin with, we have Mr. Varady, the capitalist tech entrepreneur and founder of the now-defunct Hungarian social media website iwiw.hu. If his name means nothing to you, etch it in your mind as his name was quietly making the rounds in reports on Hungarian protests in early 2015.

Politically, Mr. Varady came to (im)maturity this past October in his novel lawsuit against every Hungarian political party for the crime of “creating and maintaining a tax system that compels enterprises to commit tax fraud and tax evasion”. No real complaints with the dismantling of social welfare programs following the collapse of the socialist bloc. No. Simply a lawsuit blaming political parties for forcing corporations into tax fraud and evasion. Of all the complaints that could be laid before the feet of successive Hungarian governments, Mr. Varady decided on this.

Mr. Varady noted that his purpose in filing the legal proceedings – which he notes are merely “of secondary importance {to}…the related PR” was to improve “tax-paying morale”vii “To achieve an optimum tax system the state should be radically reformed. I cannot do that alone,” he says. “We need the support of considerable sections of society. The activities of civil society can serve the much needed umbrella for these messages.viii To paraphrase: Business doesn’t like Orban’s taxes so the working class which we will call “civil society” will serve our interests by being the democratic face for our plans to change the tax code in support of a minority.

Strike one in favor of Mr. Varady in the eyes of the West and IMF. Reform the tax code. Yet what of his political plans? Is he an idealist who wants to push a political agenda that may eventually conflict with foreign support for an Orban putsch? Well not at all. Indeed, he promotes as his next step in politicking the creation of “a website that helps people in civil society organization” which will be funded by “crowd-funding” and, here’s the kicker: “Perhaps we can also receive assistance from foreign foundations and probably émigré Hungarians will also chip in.”ix

One can see the wheels turning in Mr. Varady’s eyes. He of the recent “civil society” protests in Hungary. He of the white knight status who can step into the void as the bridge between all the necessary groups to bring democracy to Hungary and freedom from fascism to civil society. The strategy of street protest led by “civil society” is classic for who can oppose the desires of civil people? But keep his above comment in mind. “We” – meaning his class of neoliberal entrepreneurs seeking help from “foreign foundations” – “need the support of considerable sections of society” who will be the “umbrella for these messages”. Yes my friends, the pictures of civil society will be broadcast while the true agenda will be hidden. The goal, as Mr. Varady notes will be “new foundations” led by “teams of experts that are competent in their respective fields and are committed”x otherwise known as malleable technocrats.

Mr. Varady will be the counterpoint to Orban. An unelected Western-friendly gentleman simply looking to aid civil society against an elected modern-day “Mussolini” as Newsweek so appellated him.xi Mr. Varady will reverse the so-called “Putinisation of Hungary” and return ill-defined liberal democracy to the nation.

Lest anyone question Mr. Varady’s bona fides in being ready for the struggle, he has set the stage for force to be used by noting, despite lack of concrete examples, that “the Establishment” (read: the Orban government) “only understands the language of force”.

Not to be outdone by Mr. Varady is Gabor Vago, the fresh-faced but apparently politics-weary technocrat who bolted from the Politics Can Be Different (LMP) Party in early 2014 after alleged intra-party power struggles. Similar to Mr. Varady, his is a belief that politics is apparently déclassé and that a non-partisan movement is required. Anti-politics is the modus operandi of such civil society figures and one that plays perfectly into the hands of outside influences which will use the feint of anti-politics to push what ultimately becomes a purely economic-political putsch.

Many of the same talking points used by Mr. Varady were echoed by Gabor Vago in an interview with the business weekly Figyelo. Speaking of a December protest that he organized, Mr. Vago noted that the protest which included a punk concert – which he referred to as a “meta message” – was held for the purpose of promoting “a shift in the attitude of the tax authority”xii while using the protestors free-floating discontent as the muscle/street voice of the protest.

Mr. Vago, when asked about the next step replied: “Emphasis should gradually shift onto building communities…With time those micro communities can form a network.”xiii Perhaps based on his former political background, Mr. Vago was less circumspect than Mr. Varady in terms of speaking of the need for “power”. When queried regarding this issue he answered: “True, a change would require power. But that will only become a relevant question later.” When asked “When” he replied: “Perhaps within a year, perhaps in three or seven years’ time. One has to wait until the opportune moment.”xiv

As noted before, the amalgam protest movement requires technocrats and as Mr. Vago noted, without using the word “technocrat”:

Any change of elites would require the participation of experts. We need the support of people who took part in the transition [from Communism to the multi-party system] but not necessarily as politicians. People who have proved their talent in whatever field and think that the present regime is not viable. People who think their integrity puts them at a disadvantage and wish to turn Hungary into a country where you can be honest and competitive at the same time. Building from grass roots does not mean that we only organize ourselves in student clubs and romkocsma (alternative art pubs). We wish to approach people in all walks of life, ranging from top managers to unskilled rural workers.xv

In the same interview he was questioned as to how these groups will be coordinated:

Q: During the demonstrations against the Internet tax you were pleased to have involved young people who had been unaffected by politics until then. But only a few weeks on, only a fraction of those young people took to the streets. How can you involve people in long-term processes that hardly have any affinity to politics?

A: We need to identify the opinion leaders in existing groups and train them how to run such communities. Once we have won those opinion leaders, they will bring along their friends and the friends of friends. Demonstrations as such are not our ultimate goal, instead, to shape a democratic political community throughout Hungary.xvi

In essence, there will be a politico-technocrat elite overseeing the organization and release into society of nebulously-defined “opinion leaders” who will train people to run civil society “communities”. In theory it sounds wonderful – civil society having its rights. Yet rhetoric aside, the track record of Western-backed democratic upheavals needs to be viewed. The picture, as we know, is not too pretty of a sight whether in Georgia, Ukraine or elsewhere in the region.

Hungary is next in line for “democratic change” brought by the winds of the United States’ National Endowment for Democracy mixed with a touch of destabilization tactics from the CANVAS playbook of Srda Popovic.xvii

The question as to whether Hungary will meet the wrath of Washington and Brussels is not so much “if”, but “when”.

Once is conspiracy theory. Twice is coincidence. And now it has become reality.


i http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2011/12/201112316843684157.html
ii http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-19514325
iii http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/hungary-calls-on-imf-to-close-its-budapest-office-a-911250.html
iv http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/business/global/selection-of-hungarian-bank-chief-raises-fears.html
v http://budapestbeacon.com/politics/senator-john-mccain-calls-viktor-orban-neo-fascist-dictator/
vi http://budapestbeacon.com/public-policy/full-text-of-viktor-orbans-speech-at-baile-tusnad-tusnadfurdo-of-26-july-2014/
vii http://www.budapesttelegraph.com/news/814/zsolt_varady_on_demonstrations_and_plans_for_a_civil_website
viii Ibid.
ix Ibid.
x Ibid.
xi http://www.newsweek.com/hungarys-mussolini-vows-make-eu-member-illiberal-state-262127
xii http://www.budapesttelegraph.com/news/830/“our_goal_is_a_democratic_political_community_”_an_organizer_of_demos_says
xiii Ibid.
xiv Ibid.
xv Ibid.
xvi Ibid.
xvii http://www.occupy.com/article/exposed-globally-renowned-activist-collaborated-intelligence-firm-stratfor

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Why Syria, The Saudis,The Middle East, Russia And The West…..

Author’s Note… I created the maps below early last year (April) with the help of a friend who works as an energy analyst. After hours of research and creation, it became clear to me why the majority of  events and countries involved in the region were playing out as they were. Oil and natural gas, and the access or distribution of the resource dictates the actions of a number of regional countries and beyond. Going forward, I hope these maps can shed some light as to why there seems to be so much (coordinated) chaos in the recent past and present. Thanks -Trpintel

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TRPINTEL | TRPINTEL

HD View Of Image Above: HERE

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TRPINTEL | TRPINTEL

HD View Of Image Above: HERE

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TRPINTEL | TRPINTEL

HD View Of Image Above: HERE

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TRPINTEL | TRPINTEL

  HD View Of Image Above: HERE

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TRPINTEL | TRPINTEL

HD View Of Image Above: HERE

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My Points Of Note (To Consider)…. Or Not

– Its now apparent to see why Turkey and The Saudis have been so persistent in toppling Syria… To get a direct pipeline through Syria to tap into ( no pun intended) the TANAP/TAP pipeline… Signifying an undercut to Russia and a monopoly to Western Europe’s supply of hydrocarbons. Interesting to note that the Saudi’s decision to flood the market with cheap oil becomes clear as their original plans have not come to fruition and their adversaries are poised to reshuffle the world order in regards to energy supply.

– Turkey’s meddling is clear as their geographical location makes them an integral part of any plan to bring hydrocarbons to the EU and beyond. Erdogan has a desire to re-instate the Ottoman empire by being the major hub of distribution East and West. Like the Saudi’s they thought their plan would go accordingly fast, but the resistance in Syria has made them a pariah on the world stage. Interesting to note that a recent massive pipeline deal with Russia is a significant shift in this geo-political war and I believe signified a shift in their future plans in Syria and the region. They understand where their bread is buttered and want to switch sides as they see the writing on the wall. The Saudi’s are the opposite and will continue their disastrous foreign policy, but they do have alot of money to throw at a sinking ship.

– If one remembers Senator MCcains forays into Syria and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria) to strongarm nations to aquiesce to “Democracy”. The inter-connectors map shows the real reason he was so adamant to push for action here and nearer to Russia (Ukraine). Quite simply, out-right economic war against Russia and the anger at their position to control the supply of fuels west.

– Iran has lots and lots of LNG reserves and the EU knows that and desires some way to receive those supplies. They are in a predicament because of past demonization of Iran into a false monster. The fact is that Iran is poised to explode economically(good way). If they are allowed into the legitimate economic world, sans sanctions, that would also facilitate a reshuffling of the regional order. That frankly scares certain powers, because they would be left out in the cold.  Therefore the toppling of Syria is also an attack on Iran and its potential to dictate the future happenings in the region.

– The above fact is the reason we have seen the softening up to Iran and idea of lifting sanctions, but on the other hand the failure of recent talks to come to concrete agreements, because both sides to Iran are battling to have their results.  The truth is that physical realities will dictate the future and religious/philosophical ideals will fall to the wayside as countries have to feed and fuel their people.

– The Qataris are another interesting facet to this chess game as they were at first adamant regime changers in N Africa and Syria, but as they saw the writing on the wall and had a lot to lose if they went down with the sinking ship, have changed their tune and backed away from the fray (per say) to reinstate relations with whom they see as the eventual victors in this conflict.

– ISIS is nothing but blow-back and an alternative plan to carve up Syria for the benefit of Turkey and The House Of Saud. I will refer to my article I wrote early last year (HERE) and the idea of blow-back. Israel and Jordan (their leaders) better be careful with their foreign policy desicions because the more and more they play in the mud, the dirtier they become and eventually something they will not be able to clean up. I am under no illusion the power behind these forces and their ability to continue the facilitation of pure evil ( I always refer to this conflict as the most evil in history and ever put upon a people and nation).

In closing, things will happen as they are supposed to and the powers that be will eventually conclude this war when their interest are no longer viable in the long term. The important thing to note, who sees the writing on the wall and accepts the inevitable outcome and those that are too far gone to change their actions. These things have already happend and we who are looking on from the outside must watch. These events and actions are playing out in terms of decades and not months or weeks. Therefore, it is important for one to watch these events and think  in that context to better understand why things happen the way they do and not to get caught up in the everyday hysteria tha seems perpetual in all information outlets. Thanks for reading and stay tuned… Trpintel

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Ukrainian crisis news. Latest news of Ukraine, Russia, Serbia ,Bulgaria

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The Real Reason Russia Cancelled South Stream

20140818_southstream-2

The Russians called the EU’s bluff by pulling out of the project instead of accepting the EU’s conditions and are cutting deals with China and Turkey instead.

By Alexander Mercouris ~ Russia Insider

The reaction to the cancellation of the Sound Stream project has been a wonder to behold and needs to be explained very carefully.

In order to understand what has happened it is first necessary to go back to the way Russian-European relations were developing in the 1990s.

Briefly, at that period, the assumption was that Russia would become the great supplier of energy and raw materials to Europe.   This was the period of Europe’s great “rush for gas” as the Europeans looked forward to unlimited and unending Russian supplies of gas.  It was the increase in the role of Russian gas in the European energy mix which made it possible for Europe to run down its coal industry and cut its carbon emissions and bully and lecture everyone else to do the same.

However the Europeans did not envisage that Russia would just supply them with energy.  Rather they always supposed this energy would be extracted for them in Russia by Western energy companies.  This after all is the pattern in most of the developing world.  The EU calls this “energy security” – a euphemism for the extraction of energy in other countries by its own companies under its own control.

It never happened that way.  Though the Russian oil industry was privatised it mostly remained in Russian hands.

After Putin came to power in 2000 the trend towards privatization in the oil industry was reversed.

One of the major reasons for western anger at the arrest of Khodorkovsky and the closure of Yukos and the transfer of its assets to the state oil company Rosneft was precisely because it reversed this trend of privatization in the oil industry.

In the gas industry the process of privatisation never really got started.  Gas export continued to be controlled by Gazprom, maintaining its position as a state owned monopoly gas exporter.  Since Putin came to power Gazprom’s position as a state owned Russian monopoly has been made fully secure.

Much of the anger that exists in the west towards Putin can be explained by European and western resentment at his refusal and that of the Russian government to the break up of Russia’s energy monopolies and to the “opening up” (as it is euphemistically called) of the Russian energy industry to the advantage of western companies.  Many of the allegations of corruption that are routinely made against Putin personally are intended to insinuate that he opposes the “opening up” of the Russian energy industry and the break up and privatisation of Gazprom and Rosneft because he has a personal stake in them (in the case of Gazprom, that he is actually its owner).  If one examines in detail the specific allegations of corruption made against Putin (as I have done) this quickly becomes obvious.

This agenda of forcing Russia to privatise and break up its energy monopolies has never gone away.  This is why Gazprom, despite the vital and reliable service it provides to its European customers, comes in for so much criticism.  When Europeans complain about Europe’s energy dependence upon Russia, they express their resentment at having to buy gas from a single Russian state owned company (Gazprom) as opposed to their own western companies operating in Russia.

This resentment exists simultaneously with a belief, very entrenched in Europe, that Russia is somehow dependent upon Europe as a customer for its gas and as a supplier of finance and technology.

This combination of resentment and overconfidence is what lies behind the repeated European attempts to legislate in Europe on energy questions in a way that is intended to force Russia to “open up” its the energy industry there.

The first attempt was the so-called Energy Charter, which Russia signed but ultimately refused to ratify.  The latest attempt is the EU’s so-called Third Energy Package.

This is presented as a development of EU anti-competition and anti-monopoly laws.  In reality, as everyone knows, it is targeted at Gazprom, which is a monopoly, though obviously not a European one.

This is the background to the conflict over South Stream.  The EU authorities have insisted that South Stream must comply with the Third Energy Package even though the Third Energy Package came into existence only after the outline agreements for South Stream had been already reached.

Compliance with the Third Energy Package would have meant that though Gazprom supplied the gas it could not own or control the pipeline through which gas was  supplied.

Were Gazprom to agree to this, it would acknowledge the EU’s authority over its operations.  It would in that case undoubtedly face down the line more demands for more changes to its operating methods. Ultimately this would lead to demands for changes in the structure of the energy industry in Russia itself.

What has just happened is that the Russians have said no.  Rather than proceed with the project by submitting to European demands, which is what the Europeans expected, the Russians have to everyone’s astonishment instead pulled out of the whole project.

This decision was completely unexpected.  As I write this, the air is of full of angry complaints from south-eastern Europe that they were not consulted or informed of this decision in advance.  Several politicians in south-eastern Europe (Bulgaria especially) are desperately clinging to the idea that the Russian announcement is a bluff (it isn’t) and that the project can still be saved.  Since the Europeans cling to the belief that the Russians have no alternative to them as a customer, they were unable to anticipate and cannot now explain this decision.

Here it is important to explain why South Stream is important to the countries of south-eastern Europe and to the European economy as a whole.

All the south eastern European economies are in bad shape.  For these countries South Stream was a vital investment and infrastructure project, securing their energy future.  Moreover the transit fees that it promised would have been a major foreign currency earner.

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For the EU, the essential point is that it depends on Russian gas.  There has been a vast amount of talk in Europe about seeking alternative supplies.  Progress in that direction had been to put it mildly small.  Quite simply alternative supplies do not exist in anything like the quantity needed to replace the gas Europe gets from Russia.

There has been some brave talk of supplies of US liquefied natural gas replacing gas supplied by pipeline from Russia.  Not only is such US gas inherently more expensive than Russian pipeline gas, hitting European consumers hard and hurting European competitiveness.  It is unlikely to be available in anything like the necessary quantity.  Quite apart from the probable dampening effects of the recent oil price fall on the US shale industry, on past record the US as a voracious consumer of energy will consume most or all of the energy from shales it produces.  It is unlikely to be in a position to export much to Europe.  The facilities to do this anyway do not exist, and are unlikely to exist for some time if ever.

Other possible sources of gas are problematic to say the least.  Production of North Sea gas is falling.  Imports of gas from north Africa and the Persian Gulf are unlikely to be available in anything like the necessary quantity.  Gas from Iran is not available for political reasons.  Whilst that might eventually change, the probability is when it does that the Iranians (like the Russians) will decide to direct their energy flow eastwards, towards India and China, rather than to Europe.

For obvious reasons of geography Russia is the logical and most economic source of Europe’s gas.  All alternatives come with economic and political costs that make them in the end unattractive.

The EU’s difficulties in finding alternative sources of gas were cruelly exposed by the debacle of the so-called Nabucco pipeline project to bring Europe gas from the Caucasus and Central Asia.  Though talked about for years in the end it never got off the ground because it never made economic sense.

Meanwhile, whilst Europe talks about diversifying its supplies, it is Russia which is actually cutting the deals.

Russia has sealed a key deal with Iran to swap Iranian oil for Russian industrial goods.  Russia has also agreed to invest heavily in the Iranian nuclear industry.  If and when sanctions on Iran are lifted the Europeans will find the Russians already there.  Russia has just agreed a massive deal to supply gas to Turkey (about which more below).  Overshadowing these deals are the two huge deals Russia has made this year to supply gas to China.

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Russia’s energy resources are enormous but they are not infinite.  The second deal done with China and the deal just done with Turkey redirect to these two countries gas that had previously been earmarked for Europe.  The gas volumes involved in the Turkish deal almost exactly match those previously intended for South Stream.  The Turkish deal replaces South Stream.

These deals show that Russia had made a strategic decision this year to redirect its energy flow away from Europe.  Though it will take time for the full effect to become clear, the consequences of for Europe are grim.  Europe is looking at a serious energy shortfall, which it will only be able to make up by buying energy at a much higher price.

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These Russian deals with China and Turkey have been criticised and even ridiculed for providing Russia with a lower price for its gas than that paid by Europe.

The actual difference in price is not as great as some allege.  Such criticism anyway overlooks the fact that price is only one part in a business relationship.

By redirecting gas to China, Russia cements economic links with the country that it now considers its key strategic ally and which has (or which soon will have) the world’s biggest and fastest growing economy.  By redirecting gas to Turkey, Russia consolidates a burgeoning relationship with Turkey of which it is now the biggest trading partner.

Turkey is a key potential ally for Russia, consolidating Russia’s position in the Caucasus and the Black Sea.  It is also a country of 76 million people with a $1.5 trillion rapidly growing economy, which over the last two decades has become increasingly alienated and distanced from the EU and the West.

By contrast, by redirecting gas away from Europe, Russia leaves behind a market for its gas which is economically stagnant and which (as the events of this year have shown) is irremediably hostile.  No one should be surprised that Russia has given up on a relationship from which it gets from its erstwhile partner an endless stream of threats and abuse, combined with moralising lectures, political meddling and now sanctions.  No relationship, business or otherwise, can work that way and the one between Russia and Europe is no exception.

I have said nothing about Ukraine since in my opinion this has little bearing on this issue.

South Stream was first conceived because of Ukraine’s continuous abuse of its position as a transit state – something which is likely to continue.  It is important to say that this fact was acknowledged in Europe as much as in Russia.  It was because Ukraine perennially abuses its position as a transit state that the South Stream project had the grudging formal endorsement of the EU.  Basically, the EU needs to circumvent the Ukraine to secure its energy supplies every bit as much as Russia wanted a route around Ukraine to avoid it.

Ukraine’s friends in Washington and Brussels have never been happy about this, and have constantly lobbied against South Stream.  The point is however that it was Russia which pulled the plug on South Stream when it had the option of going ahead with it by accepting the Europeans’ conditions.  In other words the Russians consider the problems posed by the Ukraine as a transit state to be a lesser evil than the conditions the EU was attaching to South Stream .

South Stream would anyway take years to build and its cancellation therefore has no bearing on the current Ukrainian crisis.

The reason the Russians decided they could cancel it is because they have decided Russia’s future is in selling its energy to China and Turkey and other states in Asia (more gas deals are pending with Korea and Japan and possibly also with Pakistan and India) than to Europe.  Given that this is so, for Russia South Stream has lost its point.  That is why in their characteristically direct way, rather than accept the Europeans’ conditions, the Russians pulled the plug on it.

In doing so the Russians have called the Europeans’ bluff.  So far from Russia being dependent on Europe as its energy customer, it is Europe which has antagonised, probably irreparably, its key economic partner and energy supplier.

Before finishing I would however first say something about those who have come out worst of all from this affair.  These are the corrupt and incompetent gaggle of politicians who pretend to be the government of Bulgaria.  Had these people had a modicum of dignity and self respect they would have told the EU Commission when it brought up the Third Energy Package to take a running jump.  If Bulgaria had made clear its intention to press ahead with the South Stream project, there is no doubt it would have been built.  There would of course have been an almighty row within the EU as Bulgaria openly flouted the Third Energy Package, but Bulgaria would have been acting in its national interests and would have had within the EU no shortage of friends.   In the end it would have won through.

Instead, under pressure from individuals like Senator John McCain, the Bulgarian leadership behaved like the provincial politicians they are, and tried to run at the same time with both the EU hare and the Russian hounds.  The result of this imbecile policy is to offend Russia, Bulgaria’s historic ally, whilst ensuring that the Russian gas which might have flown to Bulgaria and transformed the country, will instead flow to Turkey, Bulgaria’s historic enemy.

The Bulgarians are not the only ones to have acted in this craven fashion.  All the EU countries, even those with historic ties to Russia, have supported the EU’s various sanctions packages against Russia notwithstanding the doubts they have expressed about the policy.  Last year Greece, another country with strong ties to Russia, pulled out of a deal to sell its natural gas company to Gazprom because the EU disapproved of it, even though it was Gazprom that offered the best price.

This points to a larger moral.  Whenever the Russians act in the way they have just done, the Europeans respond with bafflement and anger, of which there is plenty around at the moment.  The EU politicians who make the decisions that provoke these Russian actions seem to have this strange assumption that whilst it is fine for the EU to sanction Russia as much as it wishes, Russia will never do the same to the EU.  When Russia does, there is astonishment, accompanied always by a flood of mendacious commentary about how Russia is behaving “aggressively” or “contrary to its interests” or has “suffered a defeat”.  None of this is true as the rage and recriminations currently sweeping through the EU’s corridors (of which I am well informed) bear witness.

In July the EU sought to cripple Russia’s oil industry by sanctioning the export of oil drilling technology to Russia.  That attempt will certainly fail as Russia and the countries it trades with (including China and South Korea) are certainly capable of producing this technology themselves.

By contrast through the deals it has made this year with China, Turkey and Iran, Russia has dealt a devastating blow to the energy future of the EU.  A few years down the line Europeans will start to discover that moralising and bluff comes with a price.  Regardless, by cancelling South Stream, Russia has imposed upon Europe the most effective of the sanctions we have seen this year..

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