So Who Wants a Hot War?

So Who Wants a Hot War?

April 17, 2021 

by Pepe Escobar and cross-posted with Strategic Culture Foundation

It’s not by accident that the Hegemon is going no holds barred to harass and try to smash Eurasian integration by all means available.

It’s a scorpion battle inside a vortex of distorted mirrors inside a circus. So let’s start with the mirrors in the circus.

The non-entity that passes for Ukrainian Foreign Minister traveled to Brussels to be courted by US Secretary of State Blinken and NATO secretary-general Stoltenberg.

At best, that’s circus shadowplay. Much more than NATO advisers in a frantic revolving door in Kiev, the real shadowplay is MI6 actually working very close with President Zelensky.

Zelensky’s warmongering script comes directly from MI6’s Richard Moore. Russian intel is very much aware of all the fine print. Glimpses were even carefully leaked to a TV special on the Rossiya 1 channel.

I confirmed it with diplomatic sources in Brussels. British media also got wind of it – but obviously was told to further distort the mirrors, blaming everything on, what else, “Russian aggression”.

German intel is practically non-existent in Kiev. Those NATO advisers remain legion. Yet no one talks about the explosive MI6 connection.

Careless whispers in Brussels corridors swear that MI6 actually believes that in the case of a volcanic but as it stands still preventable hot war with Russia, continental Europe would burn and Brexitland would be spared.

Dream on. Now back to the circus.

Oh, you’re so provocative

Both Little Blinken and NATO straw man Stoltenberg parroted the same script in Brussels after talking to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister.

That was part of a NATO “special meeting” on Ukraine – where some Eurocrat must have told a bunch of extra clueless Eurocrats how they would be carbonized on the spot by Russian TOS-1 Buratino’s terrifying explosive warheads if NATO tried anything funny.

Listen to the sound of Blinken yappin’: Russian actions are “provocative”.

Well, his staff certainly did not hand him a copy of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu examining step by step the deployment of the annual US Army DEFENDER-Europe 21: “The main forces are concentrated in the Black Sea and Baltic region.”

Now listen to the sound of Stoltenberg yappin’: We pledge “unwavering support” to Ukraine.

Woof woof. Now go back to play in your sandboxes.

No, not yet. Little Blinken threatened Moscow with “consequences” whatever happens in Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov’s infinite patience is nearly Daoist. Sun Tzu’s Art of War, by the way, is a Daoist masterpiece. Peskov’s answer to Blinken: “It is simply not necessary for us to go around forever proclaiming: ‘I am the greatest!’ The more one does this sort of thing, in fact, the more people doubt it…”

When in doubt, call the irreplaceable Andrei Martyanov – who always tells it like it is. The Crash Test Dummy gang in D.C. still does not get it – although some Deep State pros do.

Here’s Martyanov:

As I am on record constantly – the United States never fought a war with its Command and Control system under the relentless sustained fire impact and its rear attacked and disorganized. Conventionally, the United States cannot win against Russia in Europe, at least Eastern part of it and Biden Admin better wake up to the reality that it may, indeed, not survive any kind of escalation and, in fact, modern Kalibrs, 3M14Ms, as a matter of fact, have a range of a 4,500 kilometers, as well as 5,000+ kilometer range of X-101 cruise missiles, which will have no issues with penetrating North American airspace when launched by Russia’s strategic bombers without even leaving the safety of Russia’s airspace.

The Patrushev effect

The circus went on with the phone call from “Biden” – that is, Crash Test Dummy with an earpiece and a teleprompter in front of the phone – to President Putin.

Call it the Patrushev effect.

In his stunning interview to Kommersant, Triple Yoda Patrushev mentioned a very civilized late March phone call he had with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. Of course there’s no smokin’ gun, but if anyone would come up with the face-saving idea of a Biden-Putin phone call that would have been Sullivan.

The spin from Washington and Moscow is only slightly divergent. The Americans highlight that “Biden” – actually the deciding combo behind him – wants to build “a stable and predictable relationship with Russia, consistent with US interests.”

The Kremlin said that Biden “expressed interest in normalizing bilateral relations.”

Away from all this fog, what really matters is Patrushev-Sullivan. That has to do with Washington telling Turkey that US warships would be transiting the Bosphorus towards the Black Sea. Sullivan must have told Patrushev that no, they won’t be “active” in Donbass. And Patrushev told Sullivan, OK, we won’t incinerate them.

There are absolutely no illusions in Moscow that this putative Biden-Putin summit in a distant future will ever take place. Especially after Daoist Peskov had made it very clear that “no one will allow America to speak with Russia from a position of strength.” If that sounds like a line straight out of Yang Jiechi – who made shark fin’s soup out of Blinken-Sullivan in Alaska – that’s because it does.

Kiev, predictably, remains stuck in circus mode. After getting sharp messages from Mr. Iskander, Mr. Khinzal and Mr. Buratino, they changed their mind, or at least pretend to, and are now saying they don’t want war.

And here comes the intersection between circus and the serious stuff. The “Biden” combo never said, explicitly, on the record, that they don’t want war. On the contrary: they are sending those warships to the Black Sea and – circus again! – designating an envoy, Ministry of Silly Walks-style, whose only job is to derail the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

So the cliffhanger – like a teaser for Snowpiercer – is what happens when Nord Stream 2 is completed.

But before that, there’s something even more momentous: next Wednesday, on his speech to the Russian Security Council, President Putin will lay down the law.

It’s Minsk 2, stupid

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, has struck a much less Daoist note than Peskov: “The United States is our enemy, doing everything to undermine Russia’s position in the international arena, we do not see other elements in their approach to us. These are our conclusions”.

That’s stone to the bone realpolitik. Ryabkov knows the Hegemon’s “non agreement-capable” mindset inside out. So an added dimension to his observation is its direct connection to the only solution for Ukraine: the Minsk 2 agreements.

Putin reiterated Minsk 2 on his live teleconference with Merkel and Macron – and certainly to “Biden” in their phone call. The Beltway, the EU and NATO are all aware of it. Minsk 2 was signed by Ukraine, France and Germany and certified by the UN Security Council. If Kiev violates it, Russia – as a member of the UNSC – must enforce it.

Kiev has been violating Minsk 2 for months now; it refuses to implement it. As a faithful Hegemon satrapy, they are also not “agreement-capable”. Yet now they are seeing the – firepower – writing on the wall if they as much as think of starting a blitzkrieg against Donbass.

The open secret in the whole Ukraine/Donbass wilderness of mirrors under the circus tent is of course China. Yet Ukraine, in a sane world, would not only be part of a Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) corridor, but also part of the Russian Greater Eurasia project. China specialist Nikolai Vavilov recognizes the importance of BRI, but is also certain Russia is above all defending its own interests.

Ideally, Ukraine/Donbass would be inserted in the overall revival of the Silk Roads – as in internal Central Eurasian trade based and developed taking into consideration Eurasia-wide demand. Eurasia integration – in both the Chinese and Russian vision – are all about interconnected economies via inter-regional trade.

So it’s not by accident that the Hegemon – on the verge of becoming an irrelevant player across Eurasia – is going no holds barred to harass and try to smash the continental integration by all means available.

In this context, manipulating a failed state to meet its own doom is just (circus) business.

America’s Neoliberal Financialization Policy vs. China’s Industrial Socialism

America’s Neoliberal Financialization Policy vs. China’s Industrial Socialism

April 15, 2021

By Michael Hudson and posted with special permission

Nearly half a millennium ago Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince described three options for how a conquering power might treat states that it defeated in war but that “have been accustomed to live under their own laws and in freedom: … the first is to ruin them, the next is to reside there in person, the third is to permit them to live under their own laws, drawing a tribute, and establishing within it an oligarchy which will keep it friendly to you.”[1]

Machiavelli preferred the first option, citing Rome’s destruction of Carthage. That is what the United States did to Iraq and Libya after 2001. But in today’s New Cold War the mode of destruction is largely economic, via trade and financial sanctions such as the United States has imposed on China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and other designated adversaries. The idea is to deny them key inputs, above all in essential technology and information processing, raw materials, and access to bank and financial connections, such as U.S. threats to expel Russia from the SWIFT bank-clearing system.

The second option is to occupy rivals. This is done only partially by the troops in America’s 800 military bases abroad. But the usual, more efficient occupation is by U.S. corporate takeovers of their basic infrastructure, owning their most lucrative assets and remitting their revenue back to the imperial core.

President Trump said that he wanted to seize Iraq’s and Syria’s oil as reparations for the cost of destroying their society. His successor, Joe Biden, sought in 2021 to appoint Hillary Clinton’s loyalist Neera Tanden to head the government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). She had urged that America should make Libya turn over its vast oil reserves as reparations for the cost of destroying its society. “We have a giant deficit. They have a lot of oil. Most Americans would choose not to engage in the world because of that deficit. If we want to continue to engage in the world, gestures like having oil rich countries partially pay us back doesn’t seem crazy to me.”[2]

U.S. strategists have preferred Machiavelli’s third option: To leave the defeated adversary nominally independent but to rule via client oligarchies. President Jimmy Carter’s national-security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski referred to them as “vassals,” in the classical medieval meaning of demanding loyalty to their American patrons, with a common interest in seeing the subject economy privatized, financialized, taxed and passed on to the United States for its patronage and support, based on a mutuality of interest against local democratic assertion of nationalistic self-reliance and keeping the economic surplus at home to promote domestic prosperity instead of being sent abroad.

That policy of privatization by a client oligarchy with its own source of wealth based on the U.S. orbit is what American neoliberal diplomacy accomplished in the former Soviet economies after 1991 to secure its Cold War victory over Soviet Communism. The way in which client oligarchies were created was a grabitization that utterly disrupted the economic interconnections integrating the economies. “To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires,” Brzezinski explained, “the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected and to keep the barbarians from coming together.”[3]

After reducing Germany and Japan to vassalage after defeating them in World War II, U.S. diplomacy quickly reduced the Britain and its imperial sterling area to vassalage by 1946, followed in due course by the rest of Western Europe and its former colonies. The next step was to isolate Russia and China, while keeping “the barbarians from coming together.” If they were to join up, warned Mr. Brzezinski, “the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America’s status as a global power.”[4]

By 2016, Brzezinski saw Pax Americana unravelling from its failure to achieve these aims. He acknowledged that the United States “is no longer the globally imperial power.”[5] That is what has motivated its increasing antagonism toward China and Russia, along with Iran and Venezuela.

TRANSITION: the problem was not Russia, whose Communist nomenklatura let their country be ruled by a Western-oriented kleptocracy, but China. The U.S.-China confrontation is not simply a national rivalry, but a conflict of economic and social systems. The reason why today’s world is being plunged into an economic and near-military Cold War 2.0 is to be found in the prospect of socialist control of what Western economies since classical antiquity have treated as privately owned rent-yielding assets: money and banking (along with the rules governing debt and foreclosure), land and natural resources, and infrastructure monopolies.

This contrast in whether money and credit, land and natural monopolies will be privatized and duly concentrated in the hands of a rentier oligarchy or used to promote general prosperity and growth has basically become one of finance capitalism and socialism. Yet in its broadest terms this conflict existed already 2500 years ago. in the contrast between Near Eastern kingship and the Greek and Roman oligarchies. These oligarchies, ostensibly democratic in superficial political form and sanctimonious ideology, fought against the concept of kingship. The source of that opposition was that royal power – or that of domestic “tyrants” – might sponsor what Greek and Roman democratic reformers were advocating: cancellation of debts to save populations from being reduced to debt bondage and dependency (and ultimately to serfdom), and redistribution of lands to prevent its ownership from becoming polarized and concentrated in the hands of creditors and-landlords.

From today’s U.S. vantage point, that polarization is the basic dynamic of today’s U.S.-sponsored neoliberalism. China and Russia are existential threats to the global expansion of financialized rentier wealth. Today’s Cold War 2.0 aims to deter China and potentially other counties from socializing their financial systems, land and natural resources, and keeping infrastructure utilities public to prevent their being monopolized in private hands to siphon off economic rents at the expense of productive investment in economic growth.

The United States hoped that China might be as gullible as the Soviet Union and adopt neoliberal policy permitting its wealth to be privatized and turned into rent-extracting privileges, to be sold off to Americans. “What the free world expected when it welcomed China into the free trade body [the World Trade Organization] in 2001,” explained Clyde V. Prestowitz Jr, trade advisor in the Reagan administration, was that, “from the time of Deng Xiaoping’s adoption of some market methods in 1979 and especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992 … increased trade with and investment in China would inevitably lead to the marketization of its economy, the demise of its state-owned enterprises.”[6]

But instead of adopting market-based neoliberalism, Mr. Prestowitz complained, China’s government supported industrial investment and kept money and debt control in its own hands. This government control was “at odds with the liberal, rules-based global system” along the neoliberal lines that had been imposed on the former Soviet economies after 1991. “More fundamentally,” Prestowitz summed up:

China’s economy is incompatible with the main premises of the global economic system embodied today in the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and a long list of other free trade agreements. These pacts assume economies that are primarily market based with the role of the state circumscribed and micro-economic decisions largely left to private interests operating under a rule of law. This system never anticipated an economy like China’s in which state-owned enterprises account for one-third of production; the fusion of the civilian economy with the strategic-military economy is a government necessity; five year economic plans guide investment to targeted sectors; an eternally dominant political party names the CEOs of a third or more of major corporations and has established party cells in every significant company; the value of the currency is managed, corporate and personal data are minutely collected by the government to be used for economic and political control; and international trade is subject to being weaponized at any moment for strategic ends.

This is jaw-dropping hypocrisy – as if the U.S. civilian economy is not fused with its own military-industrial complex, and does not manage its currency or weaponize its international trade as a means of achieving strategic ends. It is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, a fantasy depicting American industry as being independent of government. In fact, Prestowitz urged that “Biden should invoke the Defense Production Act to direct increased U.S.-based production of critical goods such as medicines, semiconductors, and solar panels.”

While U.S. trade strategists juxtapose American “democracy” and the Free World to Chinese autocracy, the major conflict between the United States and China has been the role of government support for industry. American industry grew strong in the 19th century by government support, just as China is now providing. That was the doctrine of industrial capitalism, after all. But as the U.S. economy has become financialized, it has de-industrialized. China has shown itself to be aware of the risks in financialization, and has taken measures to attempt to contain it. That has helped it achieve what used to be the U.S. ideal of providing low-priced basic infrastructure services.

Here is the U.S. policy dilemma: Its government is supporting industrial rivalry with China, but also supports financialization and privatization of the domestic economy – the very policy that it has used to control “vassal” countries and extract their economic surplus by rent-seeking.

Why U.S. finance capitalism treats China’s socialist economy as an existential treat

Financialized industrial capital wants a strong state to serve itself, but not to serve labor, consumers, the environment or long-term social progress at the cost of eroding profits and rents.

U.S. attempts to globalize this neoliberal policy are driving China to resist Western financialization. Its success provides other countries with an object lesson of why to avoid financialization and rent-seeking that adds to the economy’s overhead and hence its cost of living and doing business.

China also is providing an object lesson in how to protect its economy and that of its allies from foreign sanctions and related destabilization. Its most basic response has been to prevent an independent domestic or foreign-backed oligarchy from emerging. That has been one first and foremost by maintaining government control of finance and credit, property and land tenure policy in government hands with a long-term plan in mind.

Looking back over the course of history, this retention is how Bronze Age Near Eastern rulers prevented an oligarchy from emerging to threaten Near Eastern palatial economies. It is a tradition that persisted down through Byzantine times, taxing large aggregations of wealth to prevent a rivalry with the palace and its protection of a broad prosperity and distribution of self-support land.

China also is protecting its economy from U.S.-backed trade and financial sanctions and economic disruption by aiming at self-sufficiency in essentials. That involves technological independence and ability to provide enough food and energy resources to support an economy that can function in isolation from the unipolar U.S. bloc. It also involves decoupling from the U.S. dollar and from banking systems linked to it, and hence from U.S. ability to impose financial sanctions. Associated with this aim is creation of a domestic computerized alternative to the SWIFT bank-clearing system.

The dollar still accounts for 80 percent of all global transactions, but less than half of today’s Sino-Russian trade, and the proportion is declining, especially as Russian firms avoid dollarized payments or accounts from being seized by U.S. sanctions.

These protective moves limit the U.S. threat to Machiavelli’s first option: destroy the world if it does not submit to U.S.-sponsored financialized rent extraction. But as Vladimir Putin has framed matters: “Who would want to live in a world without Russia?”

Kin Chi: My quick comment: The USA surely would want to destroy its rival, taking the first option. But it knows it is impossible to succeed, even in the case of Russia, and not to mention China. Thus it hopes for the rival to disintegrate from within, or for substantial interest blocs from within to be complicit with US interests. Hence we need to assess how Russia and China are reacting to this challenge, given that there are multiple contesting forces within each country. And that is also why we have been very concerned with pro-US neo-liberal political economists and policy-makers in these two countries.

I agree with you that China has put much investment into infrastructure and industry. However, we have been concerned with China’s financialization moves. Hence your statement that “China has avoided financialization” may not be the actual case, as various moves have been taken in financialization, but we can say that China seems to be aware of the risks in financialization, and has taken measures to attempt to contain it, causing discontent from US financial interests which would want to see China going further down the road.

It is interesting that yesterday, the White House expressed concern over the China-Iraq use of digital RMB to settle oil accounts as this would be beyond US monitoring of transactions.

  1. Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince (1532), Chapter 5: “Concerning the way to govern cities or principalities which lived under their own laws before they were annexed.” 
  2. Neera Tanden, “Should Libya pay us back?” memo to Faiz Shakir, Peter Juul, Benjamin Armbruster and NSIP Core, October 21, 2011. Mr. Shakir, to his credit, wrote back: “If we think we can make money off an incursion, we’ll do it? That’s a serious policy/messaging/moral problem for our foreign policy I think.” As president of the Center for American Progress, Tanden backed a 2010 proposal to cut Social Security benefits, reflecting the long-term Obama-Clinton objective of fiscal austerity at home as well as abroad. 
  3. Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives (New York: 1997), p. 40. See the discussion by Pepe Escobar, “For Leviathan, It’s So Cold in Alaska,” Unz.com, March 18, 2021. 
  4. Brzezinski, ibid., p. 55. 
  5. Brzezinski, “Towards a Global Realignment,” The American Interest (April 17, 2016) For a discussion see Mike Whitney, “The Broken Checkboard: Brzezinski Gives Up on Empire,” Counterpunch, August 25, 2016. 
  6. Clyde Prestowitz, “Blow Up the Global Trading System, Washington Monthly, March 24, 2021.. 

Does Biden Want to Provoke Russia into A Rash Military Action, “Leading” the World to the Brink of Nuclear War?

The Crisis in Ukraine and the Nord Stream II Gas Pipeline

By Mark H. Gaffney

Global Research, April 15, 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

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Scarcely three months into his presidency, Joe Biden is “leading” the world to the brink of nuclear war over Ukraine. In February, Biden insisted that the US would never accept the Russian annexation of Crimea. Even though 95% of Crimeans voted in 2014 to return to Russia, Biden continues to describe the annexation as “aggression” and an “invasion.” Democratic referendums apparently are irrelevant if Washington disapproves of the outcome. 

Nor did the Russians invade. At the time, Russian troops were already present in Crimea by an earlier agreement with the previous elected Ukrainian government. This kind of distorted history has become standard in what passes for journalism in the West on any issue involving Russia. 

Recently, president Biden had the impertinence to describe Vladimir Putin as a “killer.” I say impertinence because in 2002 Senator Biden himself was the most vocal promoter in the US Senate of the 2003 Iraq War that killed at least a million Iraqis. As Putin put it, “it takes one to know one.”

And when Putin responded to Biden’s “killer” comment by wishing the US president good health and offering to meet with him to discuss world events, Biden brusquely dismissed the offer, saying he was “quite busy.” Well informed people probably gagged at the remark, given Biden’s scaled back work schedule and his visibly worsening mental impairment.

Ukrainian president Zelensky withdrew from the Minsk peace process. And then days later, Zelensky essentially declared war on Russia by issuing a decree stating that, if necessary, Crimea will be liberated from Russian control through military action.

Zelensky also called on the West to expedite Ukraine’s entry into NATO. Should this occur, it would obligate a NATO military response in the event of war. Following his plea, there were a series of emergency meetings at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Since 2014, at least 14,000 Russians, most of them civilians, have been killed in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. Over seven years, the Ukrainian army has been shelling and terrorizing the Russian towns and communities that lie east of the line of control. The western press has hardly covered any of this violence. When it does, Russia is typically blamed.

As I write, a military buildup is underway in the region. Russian and Ukrainian forces are massing on both sides of the border. The other day, Kremlin officials described the situation along the front line as “unstable” and “terrifying.” Yet, Biden and his advisers appear determined to throw gas on the fire. Days ago, Biden ordered two US destroyers into the Black Sea where a Russian naval buildup is also underway. The US ships were to pass through the Bosporus on April 14-15. 

It is certainly true that the Black Sea is an international waterway. The US Navy has the right to sail there. But given all that has transpired, is it really wise to risk a nuclear showdown with Russia over a regional dispute that surely cannot be vital to US national interests. US officials have never explained why liberating Crimea and eastern Ukraine should be important to Americans.

So, why is Biden engaging in brinksmanship? 

The reason is simple, though it is never mentioned in the western press. Biden and his advisers hope to provoke Russia into a rash military action. They intend to score a propaganda coup by branding Putin as the aggressor. This will enable them to ratchet up enormous political pressure on Germany to cancel the Nordstream II gas pipeline, which is 95% complete. The pipeline starts in northern Russia near St. Petersburg and runs beneath the Baltic Sea to Germany. When finished, the capacious pipeline will provide Germany (and Europe) with abundant cheap natural gas. But Biden’s team views the pipeline as an existential threat to US hegemony in Europe. And it seems they are prepared to take the world to the nuclear brink to prevail on the issue.Biden’s Ukrainian “Putin Push” Could Lead to World War III

Over the years, the US has already expended enormous political capital to force a halt to the Nordstream project. Western intelligence agencies have gone to elaborate lengths, cooking up one scam after another, to increase pressure on the German government.

Some examples are the alleged 2018 poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, allegedly by Russia, and the more recent case of dissident Alexei Navalny who was also allegedly targeted with the same Russian-made nerve agent used on the Skripals, known as Novichok.

Despite the sensational charges, media storm, and hyped expulsion of Russian diplomats, both stories have since unraveled. Western intelligence agencies failed to explain how the Skripals and Navalny managed to survive Novichok’s extreme toxicity. The substance is so lethal that even the first responders and doctors who came in contact with the alleged victims should also have died. Does anyone believe that the Russians are so incompetent they failed repeatedly to assassinate their alleged victims using their own nerve agent? 

The smear campaigns may have worked on Americans, but they failed where it matters most, in Germany. 

The US wants to supply Germany with liquified natural gas from North America delivered by tankers at a much higher price. This would make Germany permanently dependent on more expensive US natural gas, while Nordstream II would liberate Germany from US political controls and influence. 

The problem for Washington is that the German government has not budged. A recent poll shows why. Despite all of the attempts to discredit Putin, 67% of Germans still support completion of the Nordstream II project. Typically well informed, the German people understand that the pipeline is vital to their country and to Europe. It’s a safe bet they also see through the CIA’s transparent propaganda.

It is noteworthy that the US-backed 2014 coup that toppled the previous government in Kiev occurred immediately after then-Ukrainian president Yanukovitch had rejected an economic package offered by the European Union (also backed by the US), and instead signed onto a deal with Russia that was much more favorable to Ukraine.

The timing was significant. It was at this point that Washington gave the green light for the coup. After which, the US moved into Ukraine with its own economic “reforms.” Monsanto, for example, ever eager to increase its market share, began buying up large tracts of fertile Ukrainian farmland for the purpose of exporting its GMO poisons into the region.

After failing to block the pipeline using every covert scheme in the CIA and State Department playbook, the Biden team has now upped the stakes. Evidently they are prepared to risk World War III to maintain Germany’s current status as a US vassal. Controlling Germany is one of the keys to controlling Europe.

With regard to Ukraine becoming a member of NATO, entry into the NATO alliance is a lengthy process. A number of conditions must first be met and, given that Ukraine is an economic basket case, it is unlikely any of this has occurred. For this reason, Zelensky’s plea for expedited membership may not be feasible. Furthermore, Ukraine’s gloomy economic situation is about to worsen because one of its main sources of revenue is about to disappear.

Because the Nordstream II pipeline passes far to the north and bypasses Ukraine, the country stands to lose $billions in royalty fees it presently collects for Russian gas delivered to Europe across its territory. This is surely why Ukrainian officials have joined with Americans in calling for cancellation of the project.

At the time of his election in 2019, Ukraine president Zelensky promised to end the civil war and make peace with Russia. But the issues have turned out to be so intractable that positions on both sides have since hardened. Russia has no intention of ever surrendering its only warm water port in Crimea, nor will the eastern provinces ever submit to control by Kiev. Putin has begun passing out Russian passports to residents in Luhansk and Donets, and this suggests Moscow could be contemplating the next step, namely, political absorption of both provinces back into Russia.

Given that Biden’s team is doing everything in their power to make a bad situation worse, Putin faces the biggest challenge of his political career. For many years, Putin has been such a model of restraint vis a vis the West, that many Russians feel he has been too accommodating, especially in the face of continued US hostility and warmongering. Not that Russians are spoiling for a fight. My research indicates otherwise. The Russian people have no appetite for war. They understand the horrors of war far more acutely than do Americans. After all, thirty million of their countrymen perished in the debacle with Nazi Germany. Although I believe Putin long since ceased caring what Americans think of him, he knows if he oversteps he risks antagonizing the Germans who could still decide to cancel Nordstream II. So, Putin must tread carefully. But if Ukraine forces the issue, the Russian military is prepared to act.

Assuming the pipeline is completed, I predict it will permanently change Germany’s relationship with the US and with Russia. In that case, the European balance of power will shift eastward. Russia and Germany are natural trading partners. Increased commerce between the two countries will insure the peace in Europe well into the future. Continuing US attempts to block the emergence of this important trade relationship is a testament to failed US leadership dating back many years.

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Mark’s latest book is Deep History and the Ages of Man (2020) which is available at Amazon.com. Mark can be reached for comment at markhgaffney@earthlink.net

Featured image is from Asia Times

Incentives: Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin possible moves – Donbass crisis.

Incentives: Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin possible moves – Donbass crisis.

April 11, 2021

By David Sant for the Saker Blog

Several analysts have written articles about how Russia is likely to respond in the theater to an offensive by Ukraine to restart the Donbass War. My purpose in this article is to look at the psychology and incentives of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin and the possible moves that each of them may make in response to the Donbass crisis.

The Nature of the Dispute

It is fairly well established that two primary motives seem to be driving the Atlanticist pressure on Russia and continuing eastward expansion of NATO. The larger issue is that Russia, Iran, and China seem to be increasingly resistant to the rule of the Atlanticist monopolar hegemony enforced by the US Military and NATO. As someone recently said, the American empire is a currency empire sustained by forcing all energy transactions to be priced in US Dollars, and controlling energy transit points. By moving away from using USD for oil and gas transactions, Russia, China, and Iran pose a mortal threat to the empire.

The secondary issue, the one driving the timing, is control of oil and gas pipelines. In short the USA wants Europe to use American-controlled gas and oil, which means Saudi and Qatari oil, and American LNG. They want to create pipelines and delivery routes for American-controlled energy, and close or prevent delivery routes for Russian energy. The three current flashpoints are Syria, Ukraine, and the route of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, all three of which are current or potential pipeline routes.

Several years ago the US successfully pressured Bulgaria into cancelling the South Stream Pipeline through the Black Sea. However, US sanctions have been unable to deter Germany from allowing the Russians to complete the Nord Stream 2.

With the completion of the project only a few months away, the US seems determined to stop it at any cost. This appears to be the motive behind instigating the Ukrainian government to invade Donbass. If Russia defends Donbass, she will be demonized in the Western press, and this will be used to pressure Germany to cancel Nord Stream 2. From the American perspective, getting the Ukrainians to fight the Russians weakens both at no political cost to the US.

It is my opinion that the Biden Administration is making a major miscalculation by continuing this approach. For the past seven years, Russia has absorbed round after round of sanctions and provocations by the US government in Ukraine and Syria. The Biden regime seems to assume that if they instigate a war in Donbass now, that Russia will continue as they have before, to absorb the blow without striking back. I suggest that this time it will be different.

The History and Psychology of Biden and Putin

Vladimir Putin was handpicked by the Western handlers to replace Boris Yeltsin in 1999, largely because he was known to be reliable. However, Putin surprised those who appointed him by turning against the oligarchs and reigning in the chaos that was dismembering Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Putin enforced the law and cracked down on corruption, including corruption by the Western interests that put him in power.

Displeased by this turn of events, the West, led by Bill Browder, has spent the past fifteen years demonizing Putin. For example, when Russia granted asylum to Edward Snowden in 2013, multiple US politicians used scripted talking points calling Mr. Putin “a schoolyard bully.” That analogy was rather inept, as Russia did not invite Snowden, but rather got stuck with him, as his passport was cancelled while in transit, making it impossible for him to board his flight out of Russia. Putin actually said that as a former intelligence officer himself, he did not view Snowden’s leak of classified information in a positive light.

The problem with demonizing one’s opponent is that it can lead to strategic errors if you make the mistake of believing your own propaganda. If we look at Mr. Putin’s past behavior we see four consistent characteristics.

First, he follows the rules. Whether it is the START treaty, the chemical weapons accord, or the Minsk Agreements, the Putin regime has consistently tried to keep the old treaties alive and to follow agreed upon UN procedures for conflict resolution.

Second, when Mr. Putin has taken steps to oppose the Atlanticist agenda, he has done so in a way that allowed his opponents to save face. When the US was preparing to invade Syria in 2013, Putin persuaded Assad to agree to eliminate his chemical weapon stockpile. This pulled the rug out from under the US invasion, but it did not make the US look bad.

When Russia entered Syria to fight ISIS, they did not publicly expose the fact that the US and Israel were the primary backers of ISIS. Putin went along with the ruse and said, if America is fighting ISIS we will fight ISIS too, and did so legally at the invitation of Syria. Russia’s work allowed Trump to take credit for defeating ISIS, even though it completely ruined eight years of CIA efforts to train and arm those terrorists.

Third, Mr. Putin keeps his word. When he draws a red line, he enforces it. He speaks quietly but it is wise to listen carefully to what he says. We have seen this in the way that Russia dealt with terrorist groups that agreed to deconfliction versus those that did not, as well as the ones that agreed and then went against it.

And, lastly, when all else has failed and the other party crosses the red line anyway, Putin punches fast, hard, and unexpectedly, and often in a different theater than where the provocation has occurred. We saw this when Russia destroyed the oil smuggling network that the US and Turkey had set up in Northeastern Syria. We saw it again when Russia saved Mr. Erdogan from a US-backed coup only thirty minutes before he probably would have been captured.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden loved to tell the story on the campaign trail about his interaction with a black gangster named “Corn Pop” when he was a lifeguard in college. They almost had a fight but Biden brought a chain with him, and they later became friends. The fact that he even tells this tale signals that Biden has no real experience against a serious enemy. Men with street credibility don’t need to tell stories. They are known and respected.

The reality of Biden’s career is that he has played second fiddle to stronger leaders and only appears to have gotten the presidential nomination because it was his turn and he was deemed to be controllable by his handlers. Biden obtained the presidency through a fraud seen so openly that he has one of the lowest presidential approval ratings in history.

Biden and Putin met for the first time alone in 2011 for talks in Russia. According to Mike McCormick, who was Biden’s stenographer, Biden was halfway through his talk when suddenly the microphone, cameras, and lights were turned off and Putin and all of the media walked out leaving Biden humiliated. Something similar happened to Biden in China a few months later.

This is probably what Biden was referring to when he recently said that Putin was “a killer” with “no soul.” That interaction tells us exactly what Putin thinks of Biden. He considers him to be a weakling with no substance.

Biden’s team is stacked with Russophobes who are motivated by the desire to finish what they began in Ukraine under Obama. They believe they can successfully use information war and dirty tricks to isolate Russia from Europe and control all the energy conduits. Whether due to hubris or ignorance, they do not believe Russia would dare to strike back at the real instigator of the war in Ukraine.

Biden’s response to a Russian strike would probably be a plaintive high pitched, “c’mon man!” However, if Kamala Harris is making the decisions the risk of escalating to a nuclear response is much higher. The problem is that both Biden and Harris were picked and installed by a “power behind the throne,” so it is unclear exactly who would be making the decision of how to respond.

The Imminent Danger of the Current Imbroglio

There is no doubt that the US intends to create a war in Ukraine before the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline can be finished. This will happen within months if not weeks. It is also clear that Zelensky is being placed under tremendous pressure to force Russia into defending Donbass.

Russia has drawn a red line around Donbass. Ukraine had agreed to a peaceful resolution through the Minsk Accords. But with US encouragement, Kiev violated everything they agreed to, making it now politically impossible to re-integrate Donbass into Ukraine.

If Zelensky invades Donbass, then not just Ukraine, but the USA and NATO will be viewed by Russia as having crossed an inviolable red line. Yes, Russia will be forced to defend Donbass, because Putin will not allow Russians to be subjected to genocide. Russia does not want to fight Ukrainians, whom despite the jokes, they view as their Russian brothers. They are frustrated and angry that the USA has forced them into this position.

For this reason, I believe that Mr. Putin will do something that the Biden regime is not expecting with similar psychological impact to the sudden turning off of the lights and cameras. He will find a way to inflict debilitating pain on the decision makers who have forced Russia into intervening in Ukraine.

In addition to defending Donbass, Russia may strike the USA in a different theater. But they will do so in a way that cannot be confused with a nuclear attack. Unlike the previous chess moves that allowed the US leadership to save face, this one will neutralize and publicly humiliate the USA and the Biden regime as a paper tiger.

The Narrow Window of Technological Supremacy

While the US was busy invading third world countries as part of the War on Terror, Russia was quietly developing their defense technologies. They have now achieved technological supremacy over the USA in three areas: air and missile defenses, hypersonic missiles, and electronic countermeasures (ECM).

In the area of air defenses the Russian S-400 is an extremely capable platform which the West has very little experience fighting against. Russia has the capability to impose a no fly zone within about 500 kilometers of its S-400 batteries, of which there are several from Crimea to Kaliningrad. Israel’s use of the F-35 to bomb Syria has given the Russians live data on NATO’s most advanced stealth fighter.

The S-500 space defense system is scheduled to enter service in 2021. Since the S-500 can defend against ICBMs it may affect the balance of power of mutual assured destruction (MAD).

The Zircon and Khinzal hypersonic missiles are currently in service and are the most effective anti-ship weapons in the Russian arsenal that we know of. Their standoff range enables strikes on enemy ships from 500 to 2,000 kilometers. This means that Russia has the ability to strike ships in the Mediteranean and North Sea using assets based on Russian soil, not even counting the assets based in Latakia, Syria. NATO forces currently have no defense against hypersonic missiles.

Russian ECM capabilities have been somewhat exaggerated by news stories about the 2014 encounter with the USS Donald Cook. The Donald Cook was allegedly shut down by ECM attack while an SU-24 overflew the vessel. However, more accurate sources noted that any ECM attack, if there even was one, would have been executed using ground-based equipment, not the Su-24 fighter. If this attack really happened, the US Navy has presumably hardened its vessels against ECM in the seven years since.

We do know that Russian ECM systems in Syria were able to disable the vast majority of Tomahawk Missiles fired at Syria in April 2017. Other than aircraft carriers, the primary American method of projecting power is Arleigh-Burke class destroyers such as the USS Donald Cook which carry about 50 Tomahawk missiles each. The 2017 exercise in Syria probably indicates that Russia is able to jam volleys of Tomahawk missiles with better than 90% success. The remaining 10% of the subsonic Tomahawks can be easily shot down by anti-aircraft batteries.

The question is whether the US Navy has found a way to harden the Tomahawk missiles against Russian ECM since 2017. If not, then given the much smaller size and number of missiles that can be carried by Navy attack aircraft, the US Navy’s primary weapon for ground attack has no teeth against Russian targets. Of course in any conflict, the first target of NATO’s “wild weasel” aircraft will be SAM radars and ECM equipment.

Conclusion – Biden has Created Strong Incentives for Russia to Strike First

The US is spending billions to catch up technologically, and the window of Russian supremacy may only last for two or three years at most. Russia can be expected to reach the peak technological advantage over NATO in late 2021 after the S-500 system has been fully deployed. However, the Donbass crisis may force Russia to act sooner than they are comfortable.

If Russia were to use the window of supremacy to attempt a debilitating strike on the US military the US Navy is the most likely target. Ships are the most exposed, are not located inside another country’s borders, and are also the primary means of projecting US power. However, I would not rule out a non-missile attack on DC. For example, there are many ways that the US power grid could be turned off without using missiles. The ensuing domestic chaos might prevent the US from responding.

This is a very dangerous situation for the world because it could easily escalate to World War III or nuclear war, depending on the Biden Administration’s reaction. Part of the problem is that it is not clear who is really in charge of the Whitehouse. A nuclear response to a devastating conventional weapons defeat would be a disaster for both sides.

Russia will only strike the USA if they believe they have no other choice. What they have learned from seven years of sanctions, attempted coups, fake poisonings, and other provocations is that the US will continue this behavior for as long as Russia continues to accept it, or until Russia is broken and conquered. In short, Biden’s team may have finally convinced Russia that they have no other choice.

President Biden has handed Putin the justification for a first strike by openly stating his intention to conduct a cyber attack on Russia “soon.” That is a public declaration of war. The fact that the Russian ambassador was recalled from Washington and has not been sent back should be a wakeup call to America that DC itself is on the potential target list.

For these reasons I believe that there is a high probability that Russia will strike first before NATO can fully put in place the forces for planned exercises for this Summer. The strike will probably be non-nuclear, focused against US forces only, and its purpose will be to delegitimize the US power in the eyes of the junior members of NATO, and to weaken or cripple the US ability to project power.

If China and Iran see Russia strike the US military, it would not be surprising if they also pile on using their own hypersonic missiles to destroy US Navy assets in the Persian Gulf and South China Sea.

The Biden regime’s underestimation of Russia and failure to heed Putin’s warnings have created conditions which make possible a sudden and humiliating defeat of the US Navy, which could effectively end the US ability to project power overseas.

However, wars are rarely short, and victories rarely decisive. For this reason it would be better for all parties to de-escalate the conflict immediately. Unfortunately, the Biden regime is the only one in a position to do that, and they have shown no intention of doing so.

Should Russia repeat the 08.08.08 war in the Donbass? (OPEN THREAD #8)

Should Russia repeat the 08.08.08 war in the Donbass? (OPEN THREAD #8)

Source

April 09, 2021

You know the expression, “better a bad peace than a good war“.  This surely sounds true and common sense seems to support this.  But, as with many slogans, it all depends on the meaning of words.

For one thing, Russia has been at war with the Empire for at least since 2017.  You can call that “peace” as opposed to a full-scale convention or nuclear war, but considering the human and material costs of this very real war, I am not so sure that the word “peace” fits.

Next, if we accept that we are already in a costly and ugly war (even if this war is not a full-scale military one), one could reasonably say that “bad” is still preferable to “worse”.  But here the assumption is that a transition to an open war would be necessarily worse for Russia.  But is that really true?

In economic and political terms, Russia remains weaker than the consolidated West.  In military terms, however, it is the opposite (see here for a very good primer on this issue).  Would that then not make sense for Russia to move the confrontation into the mode which favors her?

Furthermore, the notion that now is “bad” and that it will get “worse” if Russia is forced to intervene makes another logically flawed assumption: that if Russia does absolutely nothing things will not become “worse” anyway!

Then, we need to define the concept of “good war”.  Thousands of volumes have been written about what a “just” war is and even thousands more about what a “good war” might be.  This is a complex and even philosophical issue which I don’t want to discuss now, but I do want to point out the ambiguity of the concept.

There is also a practical reason: seems to me that the time has come again for the West to receive the painful smackdown the West gets from Russia about once every century. Clearly the folks in Germany have forgotten WWII.  As for the US Americans, 99.99999999% of them don’t know shit about WWII!.  Maybe all these loudmouths need a, what shall we call it, maybe a not-so-gentle “reminder”?  I would not suggest that if I had ANY hope AT ALL that the Europeans at least remember WWII.  Alas, I have no such hopes left.

So what are we left in the case of Russia vs Banderastan?

I submit that what Russia did in 08.08.08 five day war (in reality only three!) was correct.  She did the following:

  1. Comprehensively disarmed Saakashvili’s gangs of thugs in uniform
  2. Guaranteed the safety of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia
  3. Did not engage in a long occupation, take Tbilissi (absolutely correct decision!) or impose another ruler

Russia got the job done, and simply left (with a small contingent left in both South Ossetia and Abkhazia)

Now let’s transpose that the the Ukronazi controlled Ukraine:

  1. Comprehensively disarm “Ze’s” gangs of thugs in uniform
  2. Guarantee the safety of the LDNR
  3. Not “solve” the Ukrainian crisis for the Ukrainians (that is their job, not Russia’s)

Seems to me rather reasonable.  And, besides, just like Georgia, the Ukronazi Ukraine will not recover from that “minimal response” for many years.  In fact, I believe that only by defanging the Ukronazis would guarantee the collapse of Banderastan into several successor states.

There are, of course, major differences between Georgia on 08.07.08 and today’s Ukraine, both quantitative and qualitative.  Just one example: the Ukies could attack Russia proper (I said “attack” – I did NOT say “prevail”!) something which Saakashvili could not do.  Still, the fundamental sequence disarm->protect->withdraw is, in my opinion, one worth considering as “good” a war as can be, especially since the “peaceful alternative” might turn out much worse.

So what do you think?  Should Russia repeat the 08.08.08 scenario if the Ukronazis attack?

The Saker

PS: bonus question: check out these two news items:

Question: can you find a logical military rationale for either move and, if yes, which one?

The US war on Europe: a continental 911? (OPEN THREAD #7)

The US war on Europe: a continental 911? (OPEN THREAD #7)

April 08, 2021

For anybody wanting peace, it is important to understand the logic of those who want war.  What I propose to do today is to list all the reasons why the US is waging war not only on Russia, but also on Europe.  This time again I will use a bulletpoint list (in no special order)

  • The Empire and Russia have been at war for years now, at least since 2013; until now, this war was 80% informational, about 15% economic and only about 5% kinetic.  Yet from its initiation, it was an existential war for both sides and it still is.  At the end of it all, only one party will remain standing, the other one will have collapsed and profoundly changed.  The above ratios are now about to change.
  • The “Biden” administration is a who’s who of the worst Russia haters on the US political scene, check out this excellent article by Andrei Martyanov which explains that.  You might also enjoy an article I wrote in distant 2008 entitled “How a medieval concept of ethnicity makes NATO commit yet another a dangerous blunder“.
  • Needless to say, the Woke and LGTBQ+ freaks (which are all over the “Biden” admin) all hate Russia for being (in their very mistaken opinion) both “White”,  “Christian” and “Conservative” (only the latter is mostly true).
  • So far, all the efforts of Obama, Trump and Biden have yielded exactly *zero* results.  Or, better, it did produce results, but not the ones it was supposed to achieve: Russia increased her sovereignty and economic independence, the Russia people rallied around Putin, and the Russian political scene became even more anti-western than before.  The US plan against Russia failed, true, but the Russian people (and politicians) all understood that the attempt was to destroy Russia as a country, a nation and a civilization.
  • After decades of incompetent and corrupt “leadership” by all administrations, the US is in terrible shape by pretty much any relevant metric.  You could say that the “imperial pie” which the US and the EU share has shrunk that, in turn, means that the US has to seize a bigger chunk of it.  Hence the US opposition to NS2 which does not threaten the 3B+PU nations, but threatens to make the EU more competitive (cheaper energy) than the US (more expensive energy).  Hence, NS2 must be stopped at all costs (“Biden” just appointed a “special envoy” to kill NS2: Amos Hochstein).
  • Up until now, the EU (mostly Germany) were able to resist the US pressure, but with a large scale shooting war in the Ukraine, NS2 will be instantly cancelled, this will be a political triumph for the US Neocons.
  • The Nazi Banderastan created by the US Dems (shame on you if you ever voted for Obama or “Biden”!) has become a black hole by any relevant metric and should a war break out, this will affect the EU far more than the USA, hence this is yet another chance for Uncle Shmuel to grab a bigger piece of the “western imperial pie”.
  • Next, even if the Russian forces stay behind the current line of contact, any overt Russian intervention in the Ukraine will result in an immediate war hysteria in the West, securing the total domination of the US (via NATO) of the entire European continent.
  • Also, if the Ukronazi Banderastan is ever allowed to join NATO (in whatever form), then NATO will have to deal with the largely anti-NATO population of the eastern Ukraine.  It is therefore objectively in the interests of the USA and NATO to simply get rid of the Donbass and incorporate in NATO only the pro-Nazi parts of the Ukraine while blaming “break-up” and “invasion” on Russia.  The only part of the Ukraine which the US/NATO really wanted was, of course, Crimea (an ancient Anglo fantasy!).  Putin made sure this will never happen and now this pipe dream will never become reality.
  • The political scene in Europe is undergoing a deep crisis: some countries risk falling apart (UK, Spain), all of them are hit hard by the pandemic, riots are taking place everywhere (even in “peaceful” Switzerland! in St Gallen cops shot rubber bullets at protesters) which, frankly, threatens the long term future of the EU (which itself is an instrument of US domination of Europe).  Triggering a war will completely change this landscape just like the 9/11 false flag changed the political landscape in the USA.
  • And then there is NATO itself, a fantastically ineffective organization in military terms, but an extremely effective one politically.  Since 1991, this organization had lost any purpose, a new war in the Ukraine will give it a (entirely fake) purpose for decades to come, thereby keeping Europe a US colony (which, of course, the “new Europeans” want, but of the “old Europeans” – no so much).
  • The fact that NS2 is something like 95% completed is a slap in the face of Uncle Shmuel and the “Biden” administration will want to show these pesky Europeans “who is boss”.  Since triggering a war will immediately stop NS2, it will punish the Europeans not only by denying them cheap energy, but also by the billions of dollars they already wasted on this project, and the more billions they will have to pay Russia in the future.
  • The Ukraine cannot enter NATO, at least officially, until all its border issues are resolved.  That is the official propaganda line.  But what if Russia intervenes in the Donbass, then I would not put it past the Poles to move a number of battalions to the Lvov and Ivano-Frankovsk regions and that will de facto place the western Ukraine under Polish control and, thereby under NATO control and thereby US control.  And no need for any votes of referendums – it will all happen while the world will watch in horror the war in the Donbass.

I could go on, but I think the point is clear: for the “Biden” administration, the upcoming war will be a dream come true, a way of killing many birds with one stone and, most importantly, a way to really hurt Russia (that will be true in spite of the fact that Russia will easily prevail militarily against any imaginable combination of forces in the eastern Ukraine.

Of course, all of the above is predicated on the deeply mistaken belief by US politicians that Russia is weak and the US invulnerable.  Remember, while US politicians are long on chutzpah and narcissistic and messianic self-worship, they ain’t too knowledgeable about history (or anything pertaining to Zone B).

The bottom line is this: Uncle Shmuel is preparing a continental 9/11 PSYOP operation.  Even worse is that I don’t see what/who/how anybody could stop it.

Do you?

Kind regards

The Saker

Nuclear Deal Committee Concludes Meeting, Iran Reiterates Call for Lifting US Ban

April 9, 2021

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Nuclear Agreement Joint Committee ended the second round of its 18th regular meeting Friday in the Austrian capital Vienna. After the meeting, the delegations of Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany, the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency agreed to hold the next meeting next Wednesday at the level of assistants to foreign ministers of member states.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for political affairs Abbas Araqchi says Tehran will not stop any of its nuclear-related activities until Washington lifts the whole sanctions and returns to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Emphasizing on Iran’s principle stance on lifting of sanctions, Araqchi said that Tehran will not halt or even reduce the pace of its nuclear activities in particular in uranium enrichment sector.

The 20 percent enrichment of uranium is going forward even with the faster pace than the speed that the Iranian parliament envisaged in its law, he said, adding that 20 percent enriched uranium are being produced now.

The trend will go on until an accord will be reached, which will oblige the US to lift all of its sanctions, he stated, stressing that the whole sanctions should be lifted in one stage.

He further pointed to the negotiations with Europeans, Russia and China, noting that the claim that Iran is discussing with Europeans and they are holding talks with the Americans is not true, because the Iranian delegation in Vienna are negotiating with a set of current member states of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), including the UK, France, Germany as well as Russia and China; then, they put forward the issue with the US in a way they know themselves.

Araqchi went on to say that there are signs that the Americans are reviewing their own stance and move forward to lift all sanctions, but the Iranian side is not still in a position to make a judgement, because the negotiations have not been finalized.

According to the Iranian diplomat, a long way is still ahead; although, the pace of negotiation is moving forward and the atmosphere of the talks are constructive.

Source: Al-Manar English Website and IRNA

Related News

Bombshell book in Germany revives 9/11 as a business model

Bombshell book in Germany revives 9/11 as a business model

April 06, 2021

By Pepe Escobar – Book Review for The Saker Blog

Nearly 20 years after 9/11, Germany and the German-speaking world are being hit by a formidable one-two.

A ground-breaking study by gifted independent financial journalist Lars Schall, Denken wie der Feind – 20 Jahre Ausnahmezustand 9/11 und die Geopolitik des Terrors 

(“Thinking Like the Enemy – 20 Years State of Emergency, 9/11 and the Geopolitics of Terror”) is being published in Germany in two books.

The first one – Das Erdöl, der Dollar und die Drogen (“The Oil, The Dollar and The Drugs”) – is out this week. Volume II will be out next week.

Nomi Prins, formerly from Goldman Sachs, has described Schall’s “investigation of 9/11 insider trading” as “stunning”. Marshall Auerback, researcher at the Levy Institute in the U.S., noted how “most of the MSM still refuse to tackle the broader, more controversial aspects of the 9/11 tragedy”. Schall, he adds, “provides a healthy corrective”.

A sample of Schall’s work, already published by The Saker blog, is this interview on 9/11 terror trading.

I’ve had the pleasure to write the introduction for the German one-two. Here it is – hoping that such an extraordinary achievement may find its way in many other languages, especially across the Global South

9/11, or “The Owls Are Not What They Seem”

Until COVID-19 showed up on the scene in the Spring of 2020, nearly two decades after the fact, the world remained hostage to 9/11. This was the ultimate geopolitical game-changer that set the tone for the young 21st century. The book you have in your hands asks the ultimate question: why 9/11 matters.

Follow the money. It’s quite fitting that this meticulous investigation is conducted by a gifted, extremely serious financial journalist – and, in an unprecedented way, presents a mass of information previously unavailable in German.

I’ve known Lars Schall, virtually, for years – exchanging correspondence on politics and economics. When we met in person in Berlin in 2015, we finally had time, live, to also indulge in our number one pop culture mutual passion: David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Lars may be a German incarnation of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Or, better yet, the compassionate version of Albert Rosenfield, the sarcastic pathologist in Twin Peaks.

Take for instance this dialogue from Twin Peaks:

Albert Rosenfield: We sent a portrait of your long-haired man to every agency from NASA to DEA and came up empty. This cat is in nobody’s database. 

 Special Agent Dale Cooper: A man that four of us have seen here in Twin Peaks. 

 Albert Rosenfield: [smiling] Sure. Oh, by the way, you were shot with a Walther PPK. It’s James Bond’s gun, did you know that?

So what you have in your hands is 9/11 dissected by a thoroughly working pathologist, who had “a lot of cutting and pasting to do”. He was aware of myriad red lines from the start, as well as myriad vanishing acts and false non sequiturs. 9/11 may be the ultimate illustration of one of Twin Peaks’ legendary one-liners: “The owls are not what they seem”.

Our pathologist had in fact to disassemble a humongous matryoshka to break it down into smaller dolls. This process had some surprises in store: by following-the-money approach regarding 9/11, for instance, our pathologist was in the end confronted with the case of an anal prolapse at Guantanamo Bay. You don’t believe it? Just wait and read the research.

This journey will take you through hundreds of pages of text and myriads of endnotes, over 2,400 of them, quite a few dealing with many different sources, as well as selected sensitive documents treated by professional translators.

The double volume details the interconnected implications of extremely complex dossiers: the US national energy policy group chaired by former Vice-President Dick Cheney, in secrecy, only four days after the start of the Bush administration; the ramifications of Peak Oil; the interest by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on Middle East oil, especially Iraq; the CIA’s major role in the drug trade business; the Saudi-U.S. alliance related to the protection of al-Qaeda; what happened with the U.S. air defense on 9/11; and last but not least, insider trading on 9/11, especially anomalies in the option and bond markets.

The nearly mythical computer software program PROMIS, created in the 1970s by former NSA analyst Bill Hamilton, plays a sort of Rosebud role in this narrative – complete with a trail of unexplained deaths and disappearing files that renders some of its avatars, especially those containing backdoor eavesdropping capabilities enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI) almost impervious to investigation.

As a matter of fact, Lars had been contacted by Bill Hamilton, who asked him if he could help in relation to the PROMIS affair. It was this request – which took place in the Spring of 2012 after Lars had just published a 9/11-Insider Trading article at Asia Times – that has been the spark which started the investigation you are about to read.

For the German reader, one of the firsts of this sprawling analysis is to take what is considered in the U.S. as a “conspiracy theory” – Mike Ruppert’s seminal 2004 book “Crossing the Rubicon” – and, in Lars’s words, “figure out how far it can be proven correct, more than 15 years after it was published.”

Lars shows in detail how 9/11 enabled a state of emergency, a permanent Continuity of Government (COG) in the U.S. and mass surveillance of U.S. citizens – connecting the dots all the way from missing trillions of dollars in the Pentagon to NSA data mining and leading U.S. neocons. The latter had been praying for a “Pearl Harbor” to reorient US foreign policy since 1997. Their prayers were answered beyond their wildest dreams.

The investigation eventually displays a startling road map: the war on terror as a business model. However, as Lars also shows, in the end, much to the despair of U.S. neocons, all the combined sound and fury of 9/11 and the Global War on Terror, in nearly two decades, ended up bringing about a Russia-China strategic partnership in Eurasia.

It’s fair to ask the author what did he learn as he juggled for years with this immense mass of information. Lars points to the familiarity he acquired with the work of Peter Dale Scott – author, among others of “The Road to 9/11”, and a specialist in the origins of the U.S. Deep State – which is diametrically opposed to the sanitized narrative privileged by the Beltway and U.S. corporate media. Lars presents information by Peter Dale Scott that had never been translated into German before.

Special Agent Lars Cooper / Lars Rosenfield had in effect to kiss goodbye to a career as a journalist, because “I’ll be forever scorned as a ‘conspiracy theorist’,” as he told me. So a stark choice was in play; fearlessness, or a comfortable career as a corporate hack. In the end, Lars chose fearlessness.

In Twin Peaks, Special Agent Dale Cooper has ultimately to confront himself. He knows he’s lost if he tries to run away from his dark self – who is “the dweller on the threshold.” Our Special Agent Lars Cooper definitely did not run away from the dweller on the threshold this time around. He dared to cross to the other side to stare at the abyss. And now he’s back to tell us in a book what it looks like.

Denken wie der Feind – 20 Jahre Ausnahmezustand 9/11 und die Geopolitik des Terrors 

(“Thinking Like the Enemy – 20 Years State of Emergency, 9/11 and the Geopolitics of Terror”), by Lars Schall

Book 1: Das Erdöl, der Dollar und die Drogen

(The Oil, The Dollar and The Drugs)

Via Books on Demand (BOD):

ISBN for the book: 9783753442938. For the e-Book: 9783753414737

Book 2:  Das “Pearl Harbor” des 21. Jahrhunderts (The “Pearl Harbor “ of the 21st Century)

Via Books on Demand (BOD):

ISBN for the book: 9783753460796. For the e-book:  9783753433882

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Lebanon: No Justice 6 Months After Blast | Human Rights Watch

التنافس على مرفأ بيروت

لم يكن خافياً حجم الأهميّة التي يعلّقها الرئيس الفرنسي أمانويل ماكرون على المساهمة التي توفرها المبادرة الفرنسيّة في تشكيل الحكومة اللبنانية لحساب حصول الشركات الفرنسيّة على دور محوريّ في مشاريع ذات جدوى اقتصادية عالية يصنَّف مرفأ بيروت بالنسبة لفرنسا في طليعتها.

جاء الاهتمام الألماني بمرفأ بيروت علنياً ومنافساً للدور الفرنسي رغم الشراكة الفرنسية الألمانية في إطار المقاربة الأوروبية الموحدة للوضع اللبناني، وهذا يكشف الأهمية النوعية التي يمثلها المرفأ في الأدوار الاقتصادية للدول الكبرى وموقعها في اقتصادات المنطقة.

ربما تكون هناك اهتمامات لا تقل عن الاهتمام الفرنسي والألماني فكثيراً ما كان لافتاً ان الصين التي تتولى معداتها تشغيل مرافئ عالمية كبرى كمرفأ بوسطن الذي يُعتبر الأول أميركياً ومرفأ أمستردام الذي يعتبر الأول في العالم، وتقول المعلومات أن الشركات الصينية تنظر لمرفأ بيروت كجزء من شبكة خطوط تجارية مع العمق الآسيويّ، تشكل السكك الحديديّة بين بيروت ودمشق من جهة وبيروت والساحل السوري من جهة موازية مكوّنات أساسية لمشروع إعادة الإعمار والاستثمار، بالإضافة إلى اهتمام كوريا الجنوبية، التي قيل إن شركاتها أعدّت دراسات لتحويل مرفأ بيروت الى نقطة وصل رئيسيّة بين الشرق والغرب.

هذا الاهتمام يؤكد بالإضافة لكونه تعبيراً عن أن لبنان ليس قضية خاسرة اقتصادياً ولا هو تفليسة تنتظر مَن يديرها، فشلَ المشاريع المنافسة لمرفأ بيروت والتي تمّ إعدادها كبدائل له، ويعتقد البعض أن تفجير المرفأ كان في خدمتها، وفي طليعتها مشروع تقدّم مرفأ حيفا المحتلة كمدخل للتجارة الدوليّة نحو العمق العربيّ والآسيويّ بالاستناد الى معاهدات التطبيع الإسرائيلية الخليجية، ويتخذ العديد من الباحثين الاقتصاديين من حادثة قناة السويس التي يعتقدون بكونها مفتعلة، دليلاً على التخبّط الإسرائيلي في السعي لضرب الخيارات المنافسة لخط حيفا نحو العمق العربي والآسيوي، ومن التمسك الدولي بقناة السويس دليلاً على تعثر المساعي الإسرائيلية.

الخلاصة التي يشترك فيها الأوروبيون هي ان التطبيع لم يخلق ولن يخلق بغياب حل للقضية الفلسطينية شروط الأمان اللازمة لعمليات تجارية ستمتد على مسافة ألف كلم تعبر في جزء منها داخل الأردن الذي كشفت الأحداث الأخيرة فيه درجة القلق من وضعه تحت تأثير ضغوط وأحداث كبرى، ما يعني أن الدور التقليدي لمرفأ بيروت والرهان على توسيعه لا يزال يشكل المحور الرئيسيّ لتجارة الترانزيت بين أوروبا والعمقين العربي والآسيوي بإجماع الشركات العالمية الكبرى شرقاً وغرباً، ما يترجم اهتماماً سياسياً من حكومات الدول المعنية بالانفتاح على لبنان ومشاريع تمويل اقتصاده، والسعي لامتلاك تأثير على المسارات السياسية فيه.

Competition for the port of Beirut

It was no secret that the French initiative, and the contribution of President, Emanuel Macron, in forming the Lebanese government to order give the French companies a pivotal role in projects of high economic feasibility that places the port of Beirut the forefront.

The German interest in the port of Beirut came publicly and competing despite the Franco-German partnership within the unified European approach towards Lebanon, and this reveals the qualitative importance that the port represents in the economic roles of the major countries and their position in the economies of the region.

It has often been remarkable that China, operating major international ports such as Boston Harbor, the first American and the port of Amsterdam, which is considered the first in the world, consider the port of Beirut as part of a network of commercial lines with Asian depth, the railway between Beirut and Damascus on the one hand and Beirut and the Syrian coast on the parallel are key components of the reconstruction and investment project, in addition to the interest of South Korea, whose companies are said to have prepared studies to turn Beirut port into a major link between the East and the West.

This interest confirms in addition to being an expression that Lebanon is not an economically lost cause nor is it bankruptcy awaiting someone to manage it, the failure of the competing projects for the port of Beirut, which have been prepared as alternatives to it, and some believe that the bombing of the port was in its service, and at the forefront of which is the project of advancing the occupied Haifa port as an entry point for international trade, with the Arab and Asian depth, based on the Israeli-Gulf normalization treaties. Many researchers believe that the Suez Canal incident is fabricated, and evidence of Israeli confusion in seeking to strike the rival options of the Haifa line towards the Arab and Asian depths, and that the international adherence to the Suez Canal is evidence of the faltering Israeli efforts.

The conclusion that the Europeans share is that normalization has not created and will not create, in the absence of a solution to the Palestinian issue, the safety conditions necessary for commercial operations that will extend over a distance of a thousand kilometers that cross in part inside Jordan, in which recent events have revealed the degree of concern about its situation under the influence of major pressures and events, which means that the traditional role of the port of Beirut and the bet on its expansion continues to be the main focus of transit trade between Europe and the Arab and Asian giants by the consensus of major international companies east and west, which translates political attention from governments Countries concerned with opening up to Lebanon and projects to finance its economy, and seeking to have an impact on its political tracks.

GERMANY’S POLITICAL CRISIS AND THE FUTURE OF NORD STREAM 2

South Front

April 03, 2021

Germany’s Political Crisis and the Future of Nord Stream 2

To make matters worse, at the EU summit Blinken pointed out that his threats aimed at Nord Stream 2 are a reflection of US Congress laws demanding any and all firms participating in its construction to be sanctioned, though omitting that the Executive Branch has considerable freedom of action in implementing legislation impinging on the presidential foreign policy prerogatives.

It does not appear as if Blinken’s “shock and awe” show on three continents has had the desired results. Germany’s Foreign Ministry pointedly refused to endorse Biden’s characterization of Vladimir Putin as a “killer”, in contrast to several other European countries traditionally adhering to an anti-Russia stance. Moreover, there is no evidence that German companies are about to drop their work on Nord Stream 2. Doing so would be a fatal blow to Germany’s position as the leading EU member state and would introduce a greater degree of chaos into EU power struggles. Factors putting a certain degree of steel into Germany’s spine is the apparent realization that, emboldened by the effectiveness of a mere threat of sanctions against Germany, the US State Department will grow accustomed to using that instrument on a routine basis with Germany and other members of the EU. United States’ apparent desire to denigrate Germany’s international status seems to have led to a few other snubs, such as the failure to invite it to a high-level meeting on Afghanistan that Russia, China, and even Turkey will attend.

Germany’s Green Hell

If the United States has an ace in a hole that might yet reverse the decline of its fortunes, it is the gradual ascendancy of Germany’s Green Party. German and indeed international public opinion have come a long way from the heady days of Spring 2020, when Angela Merkel was roundly hailed as the “scientist” whose combination of empirical astuteness and political savvy would bring COVID-19 to heel, in stark contrast to the ignorant fools that Boris Johnson and Donald Trump were supposed to be. Back in May or June 2020, it certainly did not appear as if anything could threaten Merkel’s political fortunes. Yet it is Merkel who is now facing calls for a Bundestag vote of confidence. The botched pandemic response, the puzzling back-and-forth of lockdowns, relaxations, then new lockdowns, and a number of corruption scandals associated with pandemic response contracts that implicated a number of CDU/CSU deputies, have undermined the public’s confidence in the ruling party and its leadership. It certainly did not help matters that the EU official most closely associated with the botched vaccine procurement at the Union level is the President of the European Commission Ursula van der Leyen who previously occupied several ministerial posts, including that of Defense, in the various Merkel governments.

It is therefore unsurprising that Germany is potentially facing a major electoral upheaval that threatens to significantly rearrange the country’s political landscape. As of March 27, 2021, a Kantar opinion poll attempting to ascertain the level of support each of Germany’s parties might enjoy during this year’s Bundestag elections showed CDU/CSU still in the lead with potentially 25% of the vote, with the Greens in close second at 23%. The other political parties posted notably weaker figures. The once-dominant SPD scored only 17%, Alternative for Germany (AfD) and FDP 10% apiece, Die Linke 9%, with 6% distributed among the remaining parties. Other German opinion polls delivered roughly similar results, varying only by a couple percentage points.

Its rise is driven by several factors, including the exhaustion with the ruling CDU/CSU coalition, the SPD suffering from the abandonment of its leftist principles in favor of Blair/Clinton-like “third way” neoliberal policies, Die Linke still lingering under a cloud of suspicion due to its German Democratic Republic ancestry, and of course the Alternative for Germany attracting unwanted attention from Germany’s own “Deep State” which, like its US and British counterparts, is playing an increasingly active role in the country’s politics.

Gruen Nach Osten

That the Greens’ coming to power is bound to result in Germany becoming more militaristic and interventionist on the world stage is also suggested by the curious case of Tareq Alaows, a Syrian man born in Damascus who came to Germany in 2015 and, only six years later, was declared a Bundestag candidate from the Green Party already as a German citizen. Given that the rest of the 1.5 million refugees who arrived in Germany at roughly the same time are still not German citizens and are likely never to become them, Alaows’ rapid elevation suggest that the Greens have friends within Germany’s “deep state”, and are interested in following US and British lead in “weaponizing” social issues such as gender rights, environmentalism, and other issues in order to justify aggression against countries deemed insufficiently dedicated to what the West claims to be “universal values”. They would not be Europe’s first “Green” party to go neo-conservative. Sweden’s Greens have likewise inducted many Islamists into their ranks in order to press for greater foreign interventionism. Moreover, since Germany’s Green Party is a relatively recent invention and is therefore not associated with Germany’s earlier military aggressions (and here one should note that even the SPD was staunchly supportive of Germany’s aggression in World War I, and likely would have been in World War II had it not been banned by the Nazis),  they are the most logical front for Germany’s neo-cons. One can readily imagine empowered Greens declaring Germany has a sacred mission to rid the world of coal, oil, and natural gas as sources of energy which naturally means a confrontation with China and Russia in order to install governments in those countries that naturally share the Greens’ priorities and incidentally also enact policies highly favorable to German business interests. While the Green Party began its existence as a radical party of the Left, by the end of the Cold War it began to reinvent itself along neo-conservative lines. Its support for NATO’s wars against Yugoslavia and other military adventures, its peculiar interest in Aleksey Navalny who is not exactly known as an environmentalist, combined with strident opposition to Nord Stream 2, collectively make it very attractive to the Bidens and Blinkens of the world interested in making Germany a US client state. What remains to be seen is whether German and US “deep states” are capable of smoothing the Greens’ path into power, and whether the German people will accept the Green regime that is being prepared for them.

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Drums of war in the Ukraine: OPEN THREAD

Drums of war in the Ukraine: OPEN THREAD

April 02, 2021

Dear friends,

The situation around the Ukraine is very rapidly escalating and there are a lot of signs that everybody is preparing for some kind of crisis.  I would draw your attention to Andrei Martyanov’s blog and, specifically, this article of his: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/04/they-neocons-may-have-anger-issues.html. I would also point you to this recent article on ZH: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/frightening-escalation-looms-russia-warns-nato-against-sending-any-troops-ukraine.

So far these are the key elements of what is taking place:

  1. First, the Ukronazis have moved a large force (infantry, armor, artillery, MLRS, etc.) close to the line of contact.
  2. Ukrainian forces have also penetrated into the “grey zone” which was supposed to remain neutral and separate both sides.
  3. Kiev has officially approved a doctrine which calls Russia the enemy.
  4. The Ukrainian Chief of Staff has admitted that the Ukrainian forces are forward deployed and in the highest state of readiness.
  5. The diversity-freaks who now run the US “diplomacy” have made numerous statements in full support of the Ukraine.
  6. NATO has failed to reach any consensus (Germany seems to be the main reason for this).
  7. The Poles are now openly provoking Russia by sending military ships (surface and one sub) and aircraft in the direct proximity to the Russian pipe-laying ships in the Baltic.  In one case, a Polish fishing vessel has even rammed a ship claiming “engine problems”.
  8. The French AFP reports that General Mark Milley spoke with General Valery Gerasimov, the Russian Armed Forces chief of staff, and General Ruslan Khomchak, chief of the general staff of the Armed Forces.
  9. Russia has been steadily reinforcing her western border and, especially, Crimea.
  10. The Donetsk People’s Republic has declared a mobilization of all her reserves.
  11. The internal situation of the Urkonazi occupied Banderastan is quickly degrading due to the pandemic, the infighting of various factions and the economic freefall.  What does the government do to counteract these problems?  Repeat “Russia!  Russia!  Russia!” like a mantra.
  12. There are consistent reports that NATO is either already on high alert or will soon be.

Things are going to move really fast now, so I am opening this open thread primarily to REPORT FACTS.  You are welcome to include a commentary, but please let’s not make this is the kind of “stream of consciousness” thread which trolls and low IQ folks seem to revel in.

Please note that I have updated the moderation rules (see here: http://thesaker.is/moderation-policy/) with the following rule: “Okay, I am fed up with all this idiotic “there is no pandemic” nonsense. So, from now on, any post denying that there is a pandemic will be removed and its author banned.”.  There are a gazillion of websites out there which will welcome such nonsense with open arms and a standing ovation – please make them happy and post that there, not on this blog.

I have asked the moderators to strictly enforce this rule.

Finally, this open thread is NOT to be used to discuss my evil censorship, the horrible rules I impose or how much you despise me.  There are other websites which will also welcome that with open arms.

Here, I get to set the topic and the topic today is the Ukraine, NOT my horrible COVID-gullibility.

Having clarified the above, I turn this thread over to you.

Kind regards

The Saker

Do these countries really want to be respected?

February 28, 2021

Do these countries really want to be respected?

Did they expect us to treat them with any respect?
Roger Waters (The Final Cut)

Long ago, I learned the hard way that what I call “professional ideologues” count every damn penny and I sure do NOT want you to post a full article of theirs, lest they threaten me with lawsuits (already happened twice): to them, money is far, far, more important than propagating any truths, believe me.  So I won’t post the full thing here, just a link to it.  You can read it there:

https://www.politico.eu/article/nord-stream-2-pipeline-has-damaged-the-west-enough-time-to-put-an-end-to-it/

What I do want to ask you, dear readers, do you think that these two clowns want their country to be treated with respect, or do they simply don’t care at all about things like dignity, respect, or honor?  How about the people who voted for these kind of governments?  Can’t they see how utterly pathetic it makes them look?

I met a lot of Poles and Ukrainians in my life and, if anything, I tend to find them mostly completely irrational about things pertaining to their national pride.  The Ukies, apparently, even rather die than accept a Russian-made vaccine (ask yourself, in the Soviet era, how many bad vaccines did the USSR export to eastern European countries?  The answer? Zero).  As for the Poles, they fancy themselves as the future “Intermarium superpower”!  And then they ask Trump to build them a US base for which they are even willing to pay for the military presence from a country which tries hard to blackmail Poland into paying for “Holocaust reparations”!

Dignity anybody?

And now this: their foreign ministers get together to beg Uncle Shmuel to protect them from North Stream 2.  Just look at this great quote from the said article:

We call on U.S. President Joe Biden to use all means at his disposal to prevent the project from completion“. (but do read the full thing, it is quite amazing).

Also, notice a typical “Polish wisdom”: seek out the protection of a (already agonizing) “ally” located thousands of miles away overseas, but do go directly against your two most powerful neighbors.  Genius!  Pure Polish genius!

To be fair, this could be seen as “progress”.  After all, the biggest Polish hero, Jozef Pilsudski, was hoping to occupy Moscow with Nazi Germany.  Asking Joe Biden for help against the accursed Russians is probably a tad smarter than asking Adolf Hitler.  But not by much, not by much…  (the outcome will be the same though).

The Polish and Ukrainian government have tried to turn total prostitution into a form of “resistance” against a “resurgent Russia”.  Don’t they know how that makes them look in the eyes of the Russian people (most of whom don’t even want to use the Russian military to liberate Novorussia, nevermind “invading” 3B+PU!)?

To be honest, this further convinces me that Russia should simply forget about both these countries and deal with the many mentally sane countries on this planet (I explained that in some details here).  On a personal level, I find most Poles very nice people, and I still do wish them (and the non-Nazi Ukrainians) well, but I also want my country to stop wasting *any* time, effort, energy, resources or patience with these countries.  They want to be left alone?  Great!  I agree.

The Ukraine is a different problem: most Ukrainians are, basically southern Russians, and it is pretty clear that those in the East and the South will have to, sooner or later, liberate themselves from the (truly) Nazi Banderastan which came to power in 2014.  I do believe, firmly, that Russia owes the Russian people of the Ukraine protection.  But once the East and the South are free again, Russia should simply reduce her diplomatic presence in the Ukraine and Poland and bring to the absolute minimum, or even terminate, all deals, agreements, treaties, etc.

Oh sure, Russia will loose some markets and some money.  Not that much though, not compared with the riches Russia has found in the South, the East and the North.  Furthermore, if you look at the benefit/liability ratio from a Russian point of view, it is the entire “West” which is not worth the effort, especially the spineless and clueless EU.  The USA, being a nuclear superpower, will remain an important interlocutor for Russia, agreed.  But the rest of them?  The UK?  Canada?

I say, let Russia begin with the 3B+PU, sever ties with them first.  Then, if Germany caves in and blocks the completion of NS2, I would server ties between Russia and Germany too.  I would keep ties with southern European countries like Italy, Spain, Serbia, but even those really ought to be conditional on some kind two-way mutually beneficial outcome for both parties.

Bottom line: Russia owes nothing to her neighbors or, for that matter, to any country on the planet.  She needs to always remember that.

I realize that the above might seem excessive to some, but judging by this interview of Lavrov (see below), I am inclined to think that even the most moderates of moderates are getting mighty fed up with the Europe, old and new.

The Saker

 ***

source

Vladimir Solovyov: Good afternoon, Mr Lavrov. Why was the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell “buried?”

Sergey Lavrov: Nobody “buried” Mr Borrell. He carried out the will of the EU member states. They determine EU policy. This is a lengthy and controversial process. On several occasions, some EU member states have told us in private that they are against sanctions and that they do not believe that Russia should be “punished” with sanctions. They know this is futile, but they act out of “solidarity,” or the consensus principle. I have said several times that as far as I understand it, the principle of consensus means that if someone disagrees, that means there’s no consensus. So far, I haven’t received an answer to this question.

Back to Mr Borrell, he was visiting us mindful of the complex environment surrounding his plans. Many were against his visit and publicly stated that he should not be going to Russia unless we “put right the wrongs.” In the end, they agreed upon the approaches that Mr Borrell was supposed to make known to us.

This is not the first time – and this applies not only to Mr Borrell, but to his predecessors as well (before him there was Federica Mogherini, and before her there was Catherine Ashton), they were unable to discuss things. When Mr Borrell read out the position regarding Mr Navalny, I put forward our counterarguments. The EU’s position is that we have made him a political prisoner, and this is unrelated to accusations against him. And that all of that constitutes a violation of human rights and Russia, as a party to numerous conventions on human rights, including the European Convention on Human Rights, must release him and respect his rights. But Russia has laws that must be respected. By the way, I notified the High Representative that if he presents this matter from this angle during a news conference, I will respond by mentioning the Catalans sentenced to 12 years or more in prison for organising the referendum on Catalonia’s independence. We were accused of organising this referendum, but no one presented a single piece of evidence, nothing even remotely close to the facts. So it happened.

With regard to human rights, I reminded Mr Borrell that we expressed our willingness to conduct a substantive dialogue on this matter a long time ago. However, first, it must be based on facts and, second, it needs to be a two-way street. If human rights are a recognised topic without borders, and states cannot hide behind their borders when discussing human rights, let’s agree on what human rights are. There’s a list of these rights, which are primarily socioeconomic rights. The right to life is the most important one. But the West strongly opposes the idea of discussing socioeconomic rights.

Vladimir Solovyov: Why do you deny Navalny and his brother the right to rip off the French company Yves Rocher?

Sergey Lavrov: This is what I told High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. I said that we did not pledge to protect those who did commercial damage to an EU company, Yves Rocher. There is factual information about this, about how the French company was lured to accept transportation and logistics services at 30 percent above the prices it had paid before, and how this was done by a one-man firm, which hired a subcontractor and transferred the money to the accounts of another company whose stakeholders are well known.

Vladimir Solovyov: And he did not give any response to that? Was he pretending not to understand you?

Sergey Lavrov: Mr Josep Borrell definitely has a clear understanding of the matter. But I would like to repeat that the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, however serious his title may sound, has no room for manoeuvre. He is acting within very tight limits.

Vladimir Solovyov: Did he make any positive suggestion, or was it just a call for surrender?

Sergey Lavrov: We ultimately found a constructive agenda. The High Representative himself proposed focusing on the subjects where we can help each other and find a balance of interests. These subjects are climate change, protecting the interests, economies and population of our countries to the best of our ability in the context of this natural hazard, as well as the issues of healthcare, science and technology. I believe that this is enough to make headway. I reminded him that we have been marking time for over two years on the extension of the Russian-EU intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in science and technology. The problem is that the EU wants the agreement to mention that Crimea is not part of the Russian Federation. The choice is between addressing the current aspects of our economic relations and promoting cutting-edge technology, and being stuck on this problem.

Vladimir Solovyov: Why has Europe decided that it can pose as a moral leader with a right to lecture us? Have they forgotten about the tragedy of Yugoslavia? And, speaking about Navalny, we can remind them about Julian Assange whom nobody is discussing any longer. You mentioned the three political prisoners in Spain, to which they have replied arrogantly that there are no political prisoners, only imprisoned politicians in Spain. Immediately after that, Carles Puigdemont remarked that there are not three but nine of them in Spain.

Sergey Lavrov: Incidentally, when all this happened, Carles Puigdemont and his associates were in Belgium, and several others were in Germany. The Belgian and German law authorities said the charges brought against them were politically motivated, but the Spanish authorities replied that they have their own laws, which must be respected. When I cited this argument during the meeting with High Representative Borrell, adding that we have our own laws as well, he started saying again that Navalny had been sentenced illegally, for political reasons, and that his rights had been infringed upon. We also talked about the rallies which Navalny and his team members, who are currently living abroad, organised actively and with provocative goals. Mr Borrell complained that a thousand people have been detained and many of them have been prosecuted, and that the right to peaceful protest is being rudely trampled on in Russia. He was especially concerned about the three expelled diplomats. His team told him about them while we were having lunch.

Vladimir Solovyov: He didn’t express his concern immediately, did he?

Sergey Lavrov: He told me when we were leaving the room that he was seriously concerned.

Vladimir Solovyov: Did you know that the diplomats were being expelled?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, we knew this.

Vladimir Solovyov: It was not timed for Mr Borrell’s visit?

Sergey Lavrov: No, of course not. The decision was made when the identities of the diplomats who took part in protest rallies were established. And then they started wailing that the diplomats, who were just doing their job and carrying out their professional duty, had been detailed illegally and accused of what they did not do, that is, that they did not take part in the illegal rallies. We reminded them that the rally was not just unapproved and uncoordinated, but that its organisers did not even plan to request permission for it. Moreover, Leonid Volkov said publicly many times that they would not request permission but would simply take to the streets. In itself, this is more than just a breach of the law; it is an action designed to humiliate the state. If you believe that taking to the streets in this situation is your professional duty, you are not diplomats but provocateurs.

Vladimir Solovyov: Plus, no one has canceled the pandemic restrictions yet.

Sergey Lavrov: International conventions, including Vienna conventions of 1961 and 1963 on diplomatic and consular relations, bilateral conventions and, by all means, our conventions with Estonia and Sweden, firmly stipulate the fundamental truth that diplomats enjoy immunity and privileges, but must respect the host country’s laws and rules. The law was violated in the first place when the permit to hold a rally was not requested. The rules were violated as well since there is a presidential executive order and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin’s order on epidemiological restrictions that remain in effect. The same restrictions apply in St Petersburg and other cities. That is, both laws and rules have been violated.

Vladimir Solovyov: You also gave them a USB flash drive to keep them in the loop of what’s happening in Europe, didn’t you?

Sergey Lavrov: This flash drive can be updated literally daily. There’s a wave of protests in Poland now that are being brutally suppressed with batons and water cannons. The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said that he did not have the chance to watch the contents of the flash drive before his talks in Moscow, but promised to do so afterwards.

Vladimir Solovyov: Did you send it to him before the talks?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, a couple of days in advance. I’m sure they watched it. The fact that he declined to discuss it saying he didn’t watch it goes to show that they realised they didn’t stand a chance in a candid dialogue with us. This awkward narrative from an arrogant standpoint, which was imposed on Mr Borrell in order for him to let it be known here, is being put into a certain philosophical and political context of the same geopolitical dimension. This is what happened when Josep Borrell was reporting back to the European Parliament and came up with the statements that Russia failed to live up to the expectations, a modern democratic society failed, economic ties with the EU collapsed, and we do not respect human rights and the like.

Vladimir Solovyov: Well, they are demanding that sanctions be imposed on us, aren’t they?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, they are.

Vladimir Solovyov: I’m one of those who they want to see included on the sanctions list.

Sergey Lavrov: You are in good company.

Vladimir Solovyov: A good company, indeed. I will be the first journalist in history to be sanctioned against.

Sergey Lavrov: Not necessarily. That depends on what you call sanctions. RT and Sputnik correspondents cannot get an accreditation in Paris. I found out recently that one of our media outlets filed a lawsuit against the state for not being allowed to attend a news conference by President Vladimir Putin. Their argument was that, according to the law, if all the requirements are met, the accreditation must be provided. I’m not aware of these subtleties, but I know that this year’s news conference is being held in compliance with the pandemic requirements. It’s a fact that, without any coronavirus, RT and Sputnik, despite direct requests to the French government, were denied access to the Elysee Palace. Of course, we should also bear in mind the situation with Sputnik in Estonia, where criminal cases were opened against the journalists.

Vladimir Solovyov: Yes, our guys find it hard to work in the United States as well. Recently, White House press secretary Jennifer Psaki came up with a boatload of god-knows-what…

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, but getting back to the allegation that we disappointed the EU, failed to live up to their expectations and are moving away from Europe, having adopted a deliberate course on self-isolation… Well, this is some kind of a kingdom of crooked mirrors.

The problems between us and the EU began a long time ago. They were testing our patience and good will. When the Baltic states and other East European countries were admitted to the EU in 2004, we asked them if they were sure those countries were mature enough to be admitted as responsible members of this progressive association. We were told that, of course, they still have some holdover phobias from their past in the Soviet Union, but rest assured that as soon as they become EU and NATO members, they will calm down and no longer have reasons for these phobias. Nothing of the kind. The exact opposite happened and they became the most zealous Russophobes and are pushing the EU to adopt Russophobic positions. On many issues, the EU position dictated by solidarity is determined by an aggressive Russophobic minority.

Vladimir Solovyov: Why did they choose Germany and why Navalny?

Sergey Lavrov: I think he just came their way. It if was not Navalny, it would be something else. Clearly, he was being prepared for that quite seriously, if you think about preparations for the notorious film, which wouldn’t have been possible without the German authorities’ consent.

Vladimir Solovyov: Are you talking about personal data from the Stasi archives and Vladimir Putin’s photograph?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, that too.

Vladimir Solovyov: But Maria Pevchikh, who had come from London to Moscow to accompany Navalny on his trip, during which she gave him his shirts, as Navalny said, and who allegedly brought back a certain water bottle, later disappeared.

Sergey Lavrov: She brought back more than one water bottle.

Vladimir Solovyov: In the process, they have either forgotten about the bottle or it has grown to the size of a whole water tank. She has openly accused you, saying that even the foreign minister doesn’t know that these documents are available in open access, that it is enough to write a letter.

Sergey Lavrov: She has even said, if I remember correctly, that she has filed such a request.

Vladimir Solovyov: Not so simple. She said that only a German citizen can do this. This makes one wonder who Maria Pevchikh is.

Sergey Lavrov: I have heard debates on this issue on the Rossiya channel.

Vladimir Solovyov: Thanks for watching us.

Sergey Lavrov: I can’t go to sleep otherwise.

Vladimir Solovyov: So much for the secret of ratings: dropping off with your TV set on.

Sergey Lavrov: To begin with, Maria Pevchikh has surrounded herself with mystery. Our German colleagues are helping her to keep up that mystery. First of all, nobody has seen her after she left on board that plane. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has bombarded its German colleagues with requests to honour their commitments under the agreements on assistance in legal matters. In particular, we also requested a meeting with Maria Pevchikh, to which our German colleagues replied that they don’t know her whereabouts. However, she wrote herself in social media that she had met with Navalny in Germany.

Vladimir Solovyov: She gave interviews.

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, she did. Navalny had several German security agents with him round the clock. We told the Germans about this, that she had been among the people at Berlin airport who came to see Navalny off before his flight to Moscow on January 17, 2021. But they don’t even allow us to talk with the doctors who provided medical treatment to Navalny and found traces of toxic agents in his samples.

Vladimir Solovyov: But the doctors didn’t find anything.

Sergey Lavrov: No, I mean the Bundeswehr doctors. They are doctors as well. We have pointed out on numerous occasions that if the Omsk doctors did not find anything, and the Charité doctors didn’t either, then the Charité doctors can also be accused of concealing evidence of Navalny’s poisoning.

A great deal has been said about the Bundeswehr. This does no credit to Germany as a country with a responsible attitude to its international commitments. First, they said there was one water bottle, and the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office mentioned it. Suddenly, they forgot about the bottle and started talking about clothing. Then they brought up the bottles again, this time three of them, claiming that traces of a toxic agent had been found on two of them. But the Germans, just as the French and Swedish experts who were allegedly asked to double check the results of German tests, and the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have not provided any information to us. They have refused to do this.

Vladimir Solovyov: I have read the OPCW’s report. It said plainly that they did not find any traces of a toxic agent but only “biomarkers of the cholinesterase inhibitor” in Navalny’s samples, which are not identical but “have similar structural characteristics” with certain toxic chemicals. And the report further says that this cholinesterase inhibitor is not on the list of toxic agents. Why do they keep saying “Novichok” and “toxic agent” then? The OPCW report doesn’t say so.

Sergey Lavrov: We have been told since the Skripal case that only the Soviet Union, and hence Russia, has the Novichok production technology. They completely disregard the facts which we provide and which are available in open access to the effect that over a hundred inventions related to the so-called Novichok formula have been registered in the United States.

Vladimir Solovyov: If I remember correctly, Hillary Clinton has confirmed this.

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, of course.

Vladimir Solovyov: This has also been confirmed by the Czech President.

Sergey Lavrov: True. Moreover, during the story with the Skripals’ poisoning, Germany was one of those who pointed the finger at us, saying that no other country could have the Novichok production technology. When the Bundeswehr found the traces of a substance similar to Novichok in Navalny’s samples, we asked them how they had been able to determine this if they told us themselves that they had never conducted such research. No reply.

Just note that the point at issue is not Navalny. This is not just a coordinated Western campaign of deterring Russia, but a campaign of aggressive deterrence.

Vladimir Solovyov: Why?

Sergey Lavrov: Because they don’t like it that we have our own views on global developments and that we openly express them and take practical actions to uphold them, unlike a huge number of other countries who have their own views as well but keep mum. I have talked with many ministers and other officials, as well as with members of civil society, who say that they don’t like what the West is doing.

Vladimir Solovyov: Are they afraid to say so?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, they are. They are tied to the dollar, investments, and the children whose studies abroad are paid for with the money they keep there. It is a major damper on the elite’s ability to speak their minds. But we have no right to remain silent. Our history, our ancestors and our genetic blueprint do not allow us to stomach insults or unilateral attempts to dominate all and everything.

Vladimir Solovyov: I’m aware of what you personally think about this, so I can imagine your indignation caused by Navalny’s behaviour in court with regard to the veteran and this act of bullying … But the West turned a blind eye to this, too. After all, their emissaries were sitting in the courtroom and watching their underling do his thing.

Sergey Lavrov: Representatives of the embassies of Great Britain and France attended this particular court session. They were our allies during World War II. I will not even comment on this. Any decent person can clearly see what is going on. Returning to why it’s Navalny and not anything else, this “case,” in today’s parlance, is a deliberate act. The date of his return and the date of releasing the film make it all too obvious. But, look, now that there’s a wave of attacks on Russia, no one is talking about the “poisoning.” What they are saying is that Navalny has been illegally convicted and must be set free.

Vladimir Solovyov: This has already become imprinted in the public consciousness. This is a lie that has already taken root, same as with the Skripals.

Sergey Lavrov: That is why we will keep asking them questions. Recently, I received an open letter from Mr Kozak, a researcher, a biologist who lives in Switzerland. I answered him.

Literally today, we will be sending an official inquiry to the OPCW, Germany, France and Sweden with a request for them to comment on his findings made on the basis of the publications substantiating and analysing what happened to Navalny, the biomaterials that were obtained from him and tested in the West. From a purely scientific standpoint, he raises a number of questions related to biological and chemical science.

Vladimir Solovyov: I have read Mr Kozak’s papers and your answer. Interestingly, the Lancet documents show a blood test with lithium in it. I started looking closely at various papers on lithium and talked with the professionals. Interestingly, there have been several studies reporting the effect of excess lithium intake on cholinesterase inhibitors. It’s complicated. I’m not even talking about the diseases that are treated with lithium. Clearly, we need to consult psychiatrists about this. However, the complete silence from the other side is surprising. I don’t think Germany is a random choice. At one time, George Friedman from Stratfor wrote that the alliance between Russia and Germany represented an existential threat to the United States. The goal is to prevent an improvement in relations between our two countries. No one expected Germany to be part of this direct attack on Russia. After all, Navalny wasn’t taken to Porton Down in the UK. Germany was their first choice.

Surprisingly, this film, if we are talking about Gelendzhik, managed not to tell a single word of truth. Everything is 3D imagery. But the West got infected with this lie. They are doing their best not to see this debunked.

Sergey Lavrov: I’m sure that the United States does not need us to have good relations with Germany. The same goes for European countries. Britain doesn’t need this either. Just like the West didn’t need a united Germany at one time. The Soviet Union was the main proponent of a unified Germany.

Vladimir Solovyov: First, the preservation of Germany.

Sergey Lavrov: Yes. I’m already talking about modern times. The West was very worried back then and reluctantly agreed on reunifying Germany. We operated on the belief that the German people have the right to be one nation which is its historical destiny as a nation. Here’s something (which is funny) about double standards. When I mentioned this at the Munich Security Conference in 2015 and said that we were doing it then deliberately, understanding the German people’s aspirations, and stressed that it would be important for other countries to treat Crimea’s reunification with Russia in about the same vein – as a manifestation of the people’s will. There was a referendum in Crimea, but there was no referendum in Germany. The audience had a fit of hysterics. The German deputies yelled things like “How dare you compare these things!?” I can see this arrogance on the part of the Germans in recent years. You know, there is such a subtext. They are not saying it out loud, but the message is clear: “Dear friends, we have paid our bills, and we owe nothing to anyone anymore.”

Vladimir Solovyov: Hence, the revision of WWII outcomes and the attempt to equate the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany.

Sergey Lavrov: That’s true. A fairly large portion of their elite is pursuing this policy. There are people who want Germany to lose its every chance to enjoy normal cooperation with us. At the same time, there are still voices of sanity there. Recently, President of the Federal Republic of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier said it was always better to discuss things, to be mindful of the future and to operate based on national interests when tackling the most challenging issues. So far, he has been the only foreign politician to mention our past. He said that 2021 marked 80 years since Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union. This is nothing short of political courage in modern Germany.

There are a number of public organisations, such as Potsdam Meetings, or the St Petersburg Dialogue forum. This date cannot go unnoticed. When Vladimir Putin was elected President for the first time, we declared the historic reconciliation of our nations. Now, when they are trying to pit us against each other (there are people who want to do so within Germany and outside it), this date could serve as an important psychological message to the effect that confrontational logic must be abandoned and everything should not be seen as an opportunity to impose more sanctions on Russia.

Speaking in the Bundestag, my German colleague Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that Nord Stream 2 must be preserved, but only in order to have a lever to control Russia. Here again comes the logic of “who has an influence on whom.” It seems to me that the Soviet and Russian energy projects in Europe have always been a material foundation for positive interdependence. It’s always good when the countries depend on each other in terms of the economy. It makes overcoming many other issues easier. Mr Maas then said that Germany should consider sanctions against Russia over the case of Navalny, and “it’s okay” that they failed to achieve their goal earlier. Most importantly, a signal would be given that Moscow’s actions would not go unnoticed. Sanctions are imposed in order to feel satisfaction from the act of meting out “punishment.” But sanctions lead nowhere and cannot result in a change in our course on upholding our national interests.

Vladimir Solovyov: They lead to consolidation of our society.

Sergey Lavrov: What I’m saying is that they are not conducive to achieving the goals that the West has set for us.

Vladimir Solovyov: They do not understand our logic, our society. For example, Yulia Navalnaya suddenly flies to Germany, despite the coronavirus restrictions.

Sergey Lavrov: I’ve read about it. We could ask the Germans if they know anything about the special rules created for her. But they won’t answer. I think there is no need to ask until this story acquires a dimension that affects our legitimate requirement of the Germans to explain what exactly they found in Alexey Navalny’s tests.

Vladimir Solovyov: They do not even bother to enter into a dialogue with us.

Sergey Lavrov: They have no arguments, but we will not leave it at this.

Vladimir Solovyov: In this whole situation, I am most concerned about Donbass. Russia, as one of the guarantors of the Minsk Agreements, has no other choice but to maintain dialogue with our German and French colleagues. Apparently, they have lost sight of their role in this dialogue, and no longer know why they are even there. The war in Donbass has been going on for seven years. This is not a direct function of the Russian Foreign Ministry, but it’s a tragedy for those people. And you have to look your colleagues in the eye all this time. They don’t seem to want anything there, just waiting for a change of government in Russia. They think we are oblivious to it, and will play their game.

Sergey Lavrov: This is a sad story, and every day it is taking on a more and more perverse nature. Paris and Berlin now almost unquestioningly demand that issues be resolved in the Normandy format only, which means without Donbass. We argue that the Minsk agreements say that the Contact Group formed under those agreements should resolve issues directly between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. They tell us no, the Contact Group plays a supporting role, while everything will be decided in the Normandy format, and Donetsk and Lugansk will be given ready-made solutions. It is a lousy position with regard to the people who were declared terrorists, although they never attacked anyone. They are still considered terrorists only because they have expressed dissatisfaction with what was happening in Kiev, and declared its moves unconstitutional, and asked to be left alone. They were actually attacked by the illegal regime that came to power as a result of a coup d’etat.

The West stomached it all: the coup itself, and its instigators’ new Russophobic approach to the Russian language in Ukraine, or their banish-everything-Russian-from-Crimea rhetoric. In response to this, the people revolted, on a political plane. Donbass said it wanted to be independent, and later agreed to negotiations, and Crimea voted for reunification with Russia. The Russophobic wave that brought with it the geopolitical changes in Ukraine and Crimea had been approved by the West, or at least the West did not object to it and even encouraged it to a certain extent. But Russia has been punished for it.

Vladimir Solovyov: But we put up with this for some reason. For some reason, we cannot just tell them that if they are not going to fulfil the Minsk agreements, then we will decide the fate of the Russian people there. It is our legitimate right to protect the interests of our compatriots.

Sergey Lavrov: We are protecting them. Not only in Ukraine, but also in the Baltics, and in other countries. This is not even helplessness on the part of the EU. I think it is a conscious policy of turning a blind eye to Russians being persecuted, be it the media or the Russian-speaking population. In the Baltics, they are denied access to information in their native language, contrary to what is guaranteed under the local laws and international conventions. This attitude to the Russian language problems in the European Union, as well as their stories that they have their own mechanisms and will use them to influence the situation, it is all lies. They will not do anything, will not lift a finger to bring the Baltics to their senses and make them stop their Russophobic hysteria. I could not even imagine this.

But let’s go back to Ukraine. We are interested in keeping the Minsk agreements on the table. They were approved by the UN Security Council and contain arrangements that are very difficult to abandon.

Vladimir Solovyov: They are not complying.

Sergey Lavrov: They are not. This means that Donbass is living the way it does now. As you may recall, with regard to the Minsk agreements and the compliance mechanism in the Contact Group and the Normandy format, we have repeatedly accepted a compromise, such as the Steinmeier formula. Originally, the Minsk agreements required that Donbass be given a special status and then the election be held. The Steinmeier formula stipulates gradual provision of this status.

Vladimir Solovyov: Why go meet them halfway if they take it for granted and never reciprocate? I know you are a diplomat, and I’m a proponent of forceful solutions.

Sergey Lavrov: I’ll give you an example. Take, for instance, the repeated and gross violation of the UN Charter by the United States and its allies. However, no one is suggesting that we leave the UN and tear up our signature under the UN Charter. If there’s a completely “unkillable” document and someone is trying to justify their non-compliance with ludicrous assurances, we benefit from it diplomatically.

Vladimir Solovyov: We can stay. But maybe we need to act in a completely different way.

Sergey Lavrov: How? Life takes its own course. Donbass has learned to live in a situation of illegitimate blockade, which the French and the Germans “refuse to see.” Instead, they pester us with a demand to open two more checkpoints. But this is not about lifting the blockade. The Minsk agreements are not talking about the checkpoints, but complete unblocking of economic ties.

Vladimir Solovyov: Why talk to them at all? They themselves do not decide anything. We need to talk directly with the Americans.

Sergey Lavrov: I think it would be the wrong thing to do. We exchanged views with the Americans on Ukraine when they had a special representative for this conflict. I don’t think we should call on the United States to influence their “underlings” and say that we have no use for the Minsk agreements.

Vladimir Solovyov: They themselves do not decide anything. There’s even no point in memorising the name of yet another of their foreign ministers.

Sergey Lavrov: The process that we are now observing with it being mandatory that the Minsk agreements are kept on the table means that the discrediting of the Ukrainian leadership is in full swing.

Vladimir Solovyov: You are playing chess with them, and they are playing checkers with you.

Sergey Lavrov: We are not playing chess with them. We are not talking to them altogether. Here are the Minsk agreements. Go ahead and comply with them. Period.

Vladimir Solovyov: I like that. No extra motions. What if they don’t comply?

Sergey Lavrov: Let them explain to their own public why they are not doing so.

Vladimir Solovyov: In their own country, they explain that it is normal to close three channels, with sanctions imposed on one of their own citizens, a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada.

Sergey Lavrov: The Americans said that this was the right thing to do. Europe mumbled something (sorry for this non-diplomatic term) to the effect that they will look into it. What is there to look into? Freedom of speech is either there or it is not.

Vladimir Solovyov: There is no freedom of speech.

Sergey Lavrov: Ukraine wants the Minsk agreements to cease to exist. Let them say so themselves. President Zelensky says that the Minsk agreements are bad, but they help keep sanctions on Russia in place. We are telling the Germans and the French: you wrote down that you would resume normal communication with Russia once it fulfilled the Minsk agreements, even though there’s no mention of us there. They talk only about Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. So, if they keep intact their five principles requiring Moscow to fulfil the Minsk agreements, President Zelensky will respond that way. He is not doing anything. They say Russia must comply, but the sanctions remain in place which makes him happy.

Frankly, I’m even happy with that sanctions situation. Not fully yet, but we have realised that we must rely only on ourselves. No, we do not want to self-isolate. We want to take advantage of the international division of labour, but if someone is saying that there will be competition, but we will be “cut off” here, here and also there… As Minister Maas put it, they will impose sanctions just to make sure our actions don’t go unnoticed. What kind of a reliable partner are you then?

Vladimir Solovyov: This phrase hurt their feelings.

Sergey Lavrov: First, we said this not one year ago, but a couple of years ago, when the sanctions were being imposed and import substitution was discussed. Then, they began to wail about why we were responding to the sanctions, meaning that they had good reasons to impose them, while we didn’t. It was stunning to see them act like schoolchildren rather than politicians.

I read excerpts from the foreign press. The German Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote a couple of days ago that it is necessary to think twice before acting emotionally and imposing “sanctions for the sake of sanctions,” because the punishing side must understand that they also pose a threat to it, as it ceases to be a reliable partner. So, we are not alone in drawing such conclusions, which I put my name down for.

Vladimir Solovyov: Are we heading for a breach with the EU?

Sergey Lavrov: We believe we would be ready for this. We are neighbours. Speaking collectively, they are our largest trade and investment partner. Many EU companies operate here; there are hundreds or even thousands of joint ventures. When a business benefits both sides, we will continue. I am sure that we have become fully self-sufficient in the defence sphere. We must also attain the same position in the economy to be able to act accordingly if we see again (we have seen this more than once) that sanctions are imposed in a sphere where they can create risks for our economy, including in the most sensitive areas such as the supply of component parts. We don’t want to be isolated from the world, but we must be prepared for this. If you want peace, prepare for war.

Vladimir Solovyov: It should be said that our coronavirus vaccine has come as a blow to them. They never expected this to happen. It turns out that they don’t know anything about Russia and don’t understand it. They are shocked to see that our economy is not in tatters, and that we have [advanced] research and scientists.

Sergey Lavrov: It was Barack Obama who said that Russia’s economy was in tatters. They haven’t learned from others’ mistakes. And it appears that they are unable to learn from their own mistakes either.

Vladimir Solovyov: Will you miss President Donald Trump?

Sergey Lavrov: He is an outstanding person. I remember my two meetings with him, once when I was on a visit to Washington, and also the talks he had with President Vladimir Putin, which I attended.

Donald Trump is a remarkable politician acting from his own experience. Where there is benefit, everything must be done to maximise it; where there is no benefit, let things take their course.

As for respect for our, Spanish or American laws, I am shocked by the impeachment proceedings. The charges brought against him… You can watch and listen to Trump’s video addresses again and again…

Vladimir Solovyov: And find nothing criminal in them?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes. Just compare them to what Leonid Volkov or Vladimir Ashurkov are saying. As many people say, have they ever urged young people and children to take to the streets? No, they have not. But I have heard them say, “What’s wrong with this?”

Vladimir Solovyov: Right. This is exactly what Volkov said.

Sergey Lavrov: They believe that if children want to join a protest rally, there is nothing wrong with it. This means that they are becoming part of civil society.

Vladimir Solovyov: During his meetings with foreign secret agents, Vladimir Ashurkov asked for $10-$20 million and offered to share information about a Russian bank [allegedly involved in corruption].

Sergey Lavrov: We have exposed this. But it’s like talking to a brick wall. The West doesn’t see this, just as it pays no attention to our arguments on the alleged poisoning at this point. They just want our repentance.

Vladimir Solovyov: But we have changed as well, haven’t we? We no longer react as nervously as we did before. I am concerned about you. The newly appointed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is the ninth US Secretary of State you will be working with. You said that you have to recite the history of Russian-US relations to every new appointee.

Sergey Lavrov: This reminds me of an old phrase, “You are my first.” I have had a conversation with Antony Blinken. I believe it was a normal conversation. We agreed that there are many problems between us.

Vladimir Solovyov: Have you agreed not to agree?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, we can hardly agree on the majority of these problems. But it is clearly inevitable that we must continue our dialogue on strategic stability and try to mend the damage done by the “disarmament experts” of the previous US administration. An agreement has been reached on extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).

Vladimir Solovyov: But our position remained unchanged, didn’t it? It was the Americans who hesitated, not us?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, it is unchanged.

As to how our foreign policy activities are being covered by some media, a few neoliberal journalists wrote that as soon as US President Joe Biden snapped his fingers, Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately signed a deal to extend the New START Treaty. The problem was resolved that same day, although before that, the Russian Foreign Ministry had said that it required a lengthy procedure under our laws (several weeks). So it was all a lie, they concluded.

I will not reveal any big secrets. I will just say we hoped common sense would prevail with the President of the United States Joe Biden. A few weeks before his inauguration, we made all the preparations required under our legislation to conclude an agreement to extend the New START Treaty.

Vladimir Solovyov: Joe Biden said last summer that this was one of his top priorities.

Sergey Lavrov: It was not 100 percent guaranteed.

Vladimir Solovyov: But he talked about it.

Sergey Lavrov: In other words, we simply prepared beforehand for an optimistic scenario to avoid time trouble. It is just that sometimes our commitment to extension of the Treaty is shown in a perverse way – like they say, Joe Biden proposed it, and Vladimir Putin agreed.

Vladimir Solovyov: Care for a conspiracy theory?

Sergey Lavrov: Go on.

Vladimir Solovyov: How about Vladimir Putin helped replace Donald Trump with Joe Biden because Trump did not agree to extend the New START?

Sergey Lavrov: Possibly. I am sure this is what happened. I can say just one thing to all those who are looking for an intrigue in who is more important, or whether Russia is doing America’s or someone else’s bidding. In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin does not really care who will take all the credit later. If we reach an agreement that will be good, useful, and important for us and for the whole world – be it on disarmament or on something else – it’s our pleasure.

Vladimir Solovyov: Mr Lavrov, where does your freedom end? And where does it begin? The Constitution says that the President determines the country’s foreign policy.

Sergey Lavrov: My freedom ends where another’s begins. This is not from the Constitution, though.

Vladimir Solovyov: How free are you in foreign policy matters?

Sergey Lavrov: There’s the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation which was updated several years ago. It was approved by the President. We have doctrinal documents covering regional geographic areas. They are classified, just like in any other country, but are based on the publicly available Foreign Policy Concept.

In addition to geographical areas, whose doctrinal documents are also approved by the President, there are areas such as strategic stability, arms control, etc. This is also reported to the President collectively by all departments involved, such as security services, the Defence Ministry and the Security Council. Once a common policy is coordinated, that’s what guides action.

Vladimir Solovyov: Your every step isn’t supervised?

Sergey Lavrov: No. The President trusts me. If we have a directive that he approved, be it in foreign policy or elsewhere, you must act independently to achieve the goals it sets. Whether you succeed or not is a separate matter.

In case of unconventional situations that are not covered by the established approaches, we have weekly, or more frequent, meetings of the Security Council permanent members where we openly discuss these matters. It is always a collegial decision.

Vladimir Solovyov: Is there enough time for FC Spartak?

Sergey Lavrov: The winter pause is about to come to an end… I miss it.

Vladimir Solovyov: Do you still play football?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, on Sundays. Last Sunday, we played outdoors despite the fact that it was 15 degrees below zero.

Vladimir Solovyov: Did you score?

Sergey Lavrov: I’m embarrassed to say … yes! But I like assists better.

Vladimir Solovyov: Like Lionel Messi?

Sergey Lavrov: Messi is a great scorer too.

Vladimir Solovyov: Yes, but he also likes to pass the ball.

Sergey Lavrov: True.

Vladimir Solovyov: Rafts? Rafting?

Sergey Lavrov: Well, not in winter… In summer, yes.

Vladimir Solovyov: Poetry?

Sergey Lavrov: Honestly, no real poetry for a very long time now. For now, I make do with epigrams for my friends’ birthdays. The elevated stuff isn’t coming as easily.

Vladimir Solovyov: The current Russian Government has a quite a few talented writers.

Sergey Lavrov: Do they write poetry? Or…

Vladimir Solovyov: Poetry. Not writing each other up.

Sergey Lavrov: I didn’t know that. I know that Arkady Dvorkovich wrote poetry when he worked in the Government, and he continues to write, probably. Prime Minister Mishustin wrote lyrics for many popular pieces of music. It’s a romantic way to escape. However, it shouldn’t create the impression that we are romantics in practical matters. We are realists.

Vladimir Solovyov: Hard-nosed?

Sergey Lavrov: You could say that. A healthy dose of cynicism has never been a bad thing in politics.

Vladimir Solovyov: Do you prepare your memorable quips in advance? Or do they just come out on their own and “kill” on the spot? Some have become legendary, although you deny authorship.

Sergey Lavrov: The words were accurate but a different order. If you are thinking what I’m thinking.

Vladimir Solovyov: You said to former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband: “Who are you to lecture me?”

Sergey Lavrov: Well, how do you prepare jokes in advance? I’m not saying that I take after Viktor Chernomyrdin, who never prepared his jokes in advance. With him it was like a force of nature. No, I do not prepare my jokes in advance.

Vladimir Solovyov: Do you ever make friends with your international colleagues when you feel like you get each other?

Sergey Lavrov: There are quite a few of them. I am afraid to list them.

Vladimir Solovyov: So they won’t be hounded?

Sergey Lavrov: Many of them hold very high posts in the European Union. They are good guys. I don’t want to give them up.

Vladimir Solovyov: Has it really become that bad?

Sergey Lavrov: I think so. We are “toxic” after all. I mean for them.

Vladimir Solovyov: Us? I think it’s the other way round: we are the only ones who follow their principles.

Sergey Lavrov: They think we are “toxic” but we don’t care. If they want cordial working relationships (President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the Foreign Ministry have said this many times), the foundation has to be mutual respect, not interfering in each other’s internal affairs, and cooperating on issues of mutual interest. Striking a balance between our interests is the only possible outcome of such talks, not merely our consent to their proposals.

Vladimir Solovyov: Do the personal attacks, insults and attempts to smear your family members get to you?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t read about it myself. Sometimes, a well-meaning person will draw my attention to it. For example, six or seven months ago I was shown a report (anonymously sourced as always) about an illegitimate son of mine who works in the Foreign Ministry’s facilities department.

Vladimir Solovyov: What a pleasant surprise!

Sergey Lavrov: But he doesn’t come to see his dad. Apparently, he makes good money.

Vladimir Solovyov: You are really fortunate to be able to take such a light and ironic attitude to it all. So, they don’t succeed because you don’t let it get to you?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think any member of the Government, not to mention the Foreign Minister, should let themselves get rattled. To be honest, I find it easy to deal with. But those who take it harder must keep their perfectly justified feelings to themselves.

As the old Hollywood saying goes, “Never let them see you sweat.”

Vladimir Solovyov: Thank you, Mr Lavrov.

Sergey Lavrov: Thank you for a very interesting conversation.

FM Sergey Lavrov gave an extensive interview to the RBK Media Holding – Communication between Brussels and Moscow has completely fallen apart

Source

FM Sergey Lavrov gave an extensive interview to the RBK Media Holding – Communication between Brussels and Moscow has completely fallen apart

February 20, 2021

A good sub-title for this interview could be “Lavrov Unplugged”.

A quote from the transcript (which incidentally was available faster than any other transcript from the The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation ):

“… when it became clear that Russia did not want to live in the house of “a self-appointed boss,” all these complications began to emerge.

….

All this started when this signal was not perceived (to be more precise, Russia was seen again as a “hoodlum” in the world arena and they were again going to teach it “good manners”). In any event, the West began its ideological preparations, for its current actions, at that time.”

Video in Russian without subtitles or English voiceover as yet.

Question: There is a feeling that the West is very annoyed by the appearance of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. At first, they were very aggressive and wouldn’t let it go. When I talked with Minister of Trade and Industry Dmitry Manturov, he called it “the vaccine war.” Now the opinion has changed. Is this about the quality of the vaccine or is politics involved in this?

Sergey Lavrov: I think it is possible to use the logic of the Russian proverb that can be translated into English as “love it so but mother says no.” Western experts know that the Sputnik V vaccine is definitely one of the best, if not the very best. Otherwise, there would not be such a stream of requests for it, which is growing geometrically.

On the other hand, they realise that the spread of Sputnik V and other Russian vaccines that will soon enter the international market, will enhance our authority and status in the world. They do not want this to happen. But they have come to realise that their first response was simply outrageous in the context of the facts and medical science. When President Vladimir Putin announced the development of the vaccine in August 2020, the offensive was completely undiplomatic. Their response just betrayed their irritation, you are perfectly right.

And now many countries (the Czech Republic and others) are saying they can’t wait for the certification of the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency. In Hungary, they believe they are ready to start vaccination and supplies are now underway. The number of requests from Europe is steadily on the rise. Just the other day, Prince Albert II of Monaco sent a request for the vaccine for the entire population of his principality.

After independent agencies published their scientific evaluations, the West had to admit that the vaccine was good. Yet, attempts to discredit it continue.

Just yesterday I read a somewhat ambiguous statement by President of France Emmanuel Macron. He put us and the Chinese into the category of those who are trying to gain advantages in the world arena at the expense of their medical achievements. The day before yesterday, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen spoke with an emphatically negative connotation about the supplies of the Russian vaccines to foreign countries.

We must follow the correct position of principle, first voiced by President of Russia Vladimir Putin, notably, that we were the first to develop the vaccine, and we will continue to increase its production. This is not easy, we do not have enough capacities, and this is why we are negotiating with India, South Korea and other countries. At the same time, he said we are open to the broadest possible cooperation.

There is one more important point. When this issue was discussed at the UN the other day, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the countries that have this vaccine or have the money to buy it, not to forget about the poor. In the meantime, attempts are being made to accuse us of trying to gain geopolitical favour by supplying it abroad. This is an obvious discrepancy. It is clear that the West is poorly prepared for this discussion.

Question: So, it’s about the same as when President Putin said at the Davos Forum that the world cannot continue creating an economy that will only benefit the “golden billion,” and we are actually accused of supplying the vaccine for the benefit of the “golden billion.” Still, are they talking about the vaccine like this just because it was made in Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t see any other reason, because no one even tried to conduct a medical or a scientific test. They just said right away that it was impossible just because it’s impossible, meaning that “no one can do this that quickly.” It was only in October 2020, when the West said they would be able to report on their achievements. President Putin announced in August that the Russian-made vaccine was ready for rollout.

Unfortunately, I often see that the response to everything we do, say or offer is, at best, questioned right off the bat. Usually, they say that “the Russians are playing their geopolitical games again.”

Question: EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, who was here recently and met with you, said that Russia is distancing itself from the West. At the same time, Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said we are open to cooperation with Europe. You said we are ready to break up, but we are not breaking off our relations. What really stands in the way of normal relations between the EU and Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: A biased attitude, by and large. I worked with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, a good colleague of mine, when he was Spanish Foreign Minister. Now many, in an attempt to give a controversial dimension to the High Representative’s visit to Russia, forget how it all began. In May 2019, Mr Borrell said: “Our old enemy, Russia, says again ‘here I am,’ and it is again a threat.” We then asked his protocol service to confirm what he said. We were told that it was a figure of speech and that he was misunderstood. However, this attitude shows.

We are seen as a stranger. In my interview with Vladimir Solovyov, replying to his question as to whether we are ready to break off with the EU, I gave an affirmative answer because there are no relations to talk about. As former US President Barack Obama once said (although he said it about the Russian economy), relations have been “torn to shreds.”

Indeed, the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement [between the EU and Russia] entered into force in 1997. It contained a number of declarative goals for moving towards common economic, humanitarian and cultural spaces. For many years, we used a mechanism of summits, which were held every six months in Russia and in the EU alternately. In fact, our entire Government held annual meetings with the European Commission to discuss the participants’ responsibilities in the context of over 20 sector-specific dialogues. We were building four common spaces and roadmaps for each of them. These were 100 percent substantive and specific projects. It was all destroyed, just like the Partnership and Cooperation Council, within which the Russian Foreign Minister and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy reviewed the entire range of relations. This disappeared long before the Ukraine crisis.

Many in our country are just waiting for a chance to pounce on the Russian Government’s foreign policy. We are being asked how we can say that we are ready to break off with the EU when it is our largest trade and economic partner. If we take the EU as a collective partner, it is our largest partner in terms of gross trade. For example, in 2013 (before the Ukraine events) Russia became a WTO member. From that moment, our trade relations were built on the principles advocated by that organisation rather than the EU’s principles. As a single trade bloc, the EU also participated in the WTO. We traded with member countries based on WTO guidelines. If you think the EU is a valuable trade and economic partner, here are some statistics for you: in 2013, the United States was the EU’s biggest trading partner with about $480 billion, followed by China with $428 billion and Russia with $417 billion. That is, these numbers are of the same order of magnitude. Where do we stand now? In 2019, EU’s trade with the United States stood at $750 billion, with China $650 billion, and with Russia at about $280 billion. In 2020, it was $218 billion, if counting with Great Britain, and $191 billion without it.

The reason? It’s the sanctions imposed by our “valued” and largest economic partner for reasons that have never relied on any facts whatsoever. At least, no facts have ever been presented to us. We understand Crimea. We understand Donbass as well. It’s just that the EU admitted its inability, or perhaps, unwillingness, to prevent the anti-constitutional coup with an open Russophobic slant and chose to turn things upside down. Brussels shifted the blame to us and imposed sanctions on Russia rather than the putschists, who, by and large, spat on the guarantees of the European Union, which signed the corresponding agreements, totally ignoring, as I said, the fact that the actions of the government, which they supported, were openly and violently anti-Russian.

Question: Without the events in Ukraine, would our relations with the West have sunk to where they are now?

Sergey Lavrov: It is difficult for me to talk about this. After all, later there were other events linked with the accusations of “the poisoning in Salisbury.” No facts were presented. We were not allowed to meet with our citizens. No evidence was offered. Everything was similar to what is happening now with the alleged poisoning of Alexey Navalny.

Question: It seems the West is looking for a pretext to spoil our relations.

Sergey Lavrov: They are looking but there are many pretexts: it’s always possible to use something as an excuse to put the relationship on the required track. But it’s not that they want to spoil relations. I don’t think this is their main goal. They want to bolster their self-esteem. Now they are starting to act like the US, revealing the mentality of an exclusive group of states. I quoted German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. When asked why they continue discussing sanctions against Russia and what goals they had achieved by imposing sanctions, he replied that he didn’t believe sanctions should be used for any purpose. What matters is that they don’t leave any action by the Russian Federation unpunished.

The concealment of facts that could somehow confirm accusations against us started long before the crisis in Ukraine. We can recall 2007 – the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in the hospital. There was a coroner’s inquest. Later this trial was declared “public.” In George Orwell’s logic, in Britain this means a “secret trial” during which no inquisitorial procedures of the secret services may be presented. You know, these are system-wide problems.

I listed what we used to have in our relations with the European Union. Nothing is left now, not even sporadic contacts on some international issues. As regards the Iran nuclear programme, we are taking part in the work of the collective group of countries, which are trying to somehow put this programme back on track. This is not part of our relations with the EU proper. In the Middle East, we have a Quartet of mediators consisting of Russia, the US, the EU and the UN. In other words, this is multilateral cooperation rather than our relations with just the EU.

With regard to who is taking steps to prevent our relations from further decline, at least a little, we were thinking about that when Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, was getting ready to visit Moscow. He suggested cooperating in healthcare and vaccines. We have already discussed this here. As a Brussels institution, the EU will hardly be allowed to contact Russian agencies or companies independently regarding the vaccines. We would sooner cooperate directly with the producers of AstraZeneca, as this is already taking place.

On the eve of Mr Borrell’s visit, we invited his experts to make a joint statement on the Middle East by the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Our positions are nearly identical on the matter and we thought it would be appropriate to urge the Quartet to resume its activities and call for direct Palestinian-Israeli talks, respect for the relevant UN resolutions, and so on.

We gave them a page and a half text that was easy to approve after the first reading. Several days prior to his arrival, we were told that “it did not work out.” I will reveal a secret because this is a blatant example. I asked Mr Borrell at the negotiating table: “What about this statement? Why didn’t it work out?” He started turning his head all around. It was clear from his reaction, and he confirmed this later, that nobody had even told him about it. These are the people that deal with what some of our liberals call “relations with the EU.”

Question: Concluding this theme, I’d like to say that as a man born in the USSR, I understand that during the Soviet-Western confrontation we had different ideologies, economies and so on. Later, I thought that everything was the same on both sides. They were for democracy and we were for democracy; they had a market economy and we had a market economy. So what are the differences? Why do we fail to find a common language to this day? I thought we found it in the 1990s? Why did we find it then?

Sergey Lavrov: We found it at that time because nobody in the Russian Federation disputed the answer to the question of who was ruling the show. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has talked about this many times. We decided that was it – the end of history. Francis Fukuyama announced that from now on liberal thought would rule the world. Now there are attempts to push this liberal thought to the fore again in a bid to gain international influence. But when it became clear that Russia did not want to live in the house of “a self-appointed boss,” all these complications began to emerge.

Initially, having become President, Vladimir Putin and his team tried to convey this message through diplomatic signals that educated and smart people would be bound to understand. But nobody listened. Then the explanations had to be made politely but openly in the Munich speech. All this started when this signal was not perceived (to be more precise, Russia was seen again as a “hoodlum” in the world arena and they were again going to teach it “good manners”). In any event, the West began its ideological preparations, for its current actions, at that time.

Question: Regarding the sanctions. Bloomberg posted a news item today that new sanctions against Russia are planned concerning the Nord Stream 2, however, they are not going to be tough but rather “soft.” On the other hand, they report that the Americans want to thwart the Nord Stream project but without irritating Germany. Where are we in this situation?

Sergey Lavrov: We are a country that completely complies with the contractual obligations undertaken by our companies that are part of the project, along with the EU companies that joined it. The current situation is largely due to a decision taken by what we call the European Union, a decision that proves beyond doubt what sort of alliance it is. A few years ago, when the Poles, and others sharing their attitude, attempted to impede the Nord Stream project, the Legal Service of the European Commission was asked for legal advice, official opinion. The service presented a document which stated in no uncertain terms that the investment project had been launched long before amendments were made to the EU’s gas directive, the Third Energy Package. That’s it. Period. This issue should be closed for any person who has respect for the law. But no, the European Commission took this opinion and launched its own quasi-legal procedure which resulted in the conclusion that the project had indeed been launched much earlier, yet it fell under this third energy package and the gas directive. That’s what kind of a partner we have in this “relationship.”

This is about how we can “pounce” on them and express readiness to break relations with them when they are our main economic partner – that’s what kind of a partner they are. Meanwhile, now Germany alone is fighting for the project.

And in fact, Joe Biden’s administration will not cancel anything which was done by Donald Trump except for leaving the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Democrats are returning there now.

The NATO defence ministers meeting has just ended. But there was no let-up in US demands to pay 2 percent of a country’s GDP for defence needs, i.e. for purchasing US weaponry. There was no backing off the demands on Europe regarding Nord Stream 2 – to stop participating in some matters that undermine European security. They see it better from across the ocean, right? This is about who is the boss. Europe also wants to run the house but it was taken down a peg. The situation around Nord Stream 2 is straightforward.

For now they are saying publicly that bargaining is underway and possible agreements between Washington and Berlin are being discussed, including that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline may be allowed to be completed and even start operating. However, if at the same time gas transiting via Ukraine is going to be falling, then Nord Stream 2 must be shut off. I cannot decide for Germany, however, it is obvious to me that this proposal is humiliating. As Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his meeting with parliamentary party leaders, this is yet further evidence that they want Russia to pay for their Ukraine geopolitical venture.

Question: Do we have to pay for this geopolitical project?  Why do they think we have to pay for it?

Sergey Lavrov: Because they don’t feel like lashing out on it. They need the Ukrainian regime for the sole purpose of constantly irritating Russia and finding new reasons to support their Russophobic policy. They want to weaken anything around us – Belarus, Central Asia, and now also the South Caucasus, as they got nervous after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s successful mediation mission between Armenia and Azerbaijan: why was this done without them? They are now trying to infiltrate this region and step up their activities there. All of that has nothing to do with the Cold War-era ideology of a showdown between the two systems you talked about a few minutes ago. It has to do with the fact that our Western partners are unwilling, unprepared and unable to speak on an equal footing, whether with Russia, China, or whoever. They need to create a system where they will be the boss regardless. This is why they are taking an increasing dislike to the United Nations since they cannot have total control of it.

Question: Do you see the EU as a monolith, or as something more loose, with certain processes unfolding inside and some countries, no matter what, starting to talk about their willingness to be friends with Russia? In the case of the sanctions, the key figures behind them are, strange as it may seem, the Baltic States, which do not play a prominent role in the EU but, for some reason, everyone is listening to them.

Sergy Lavrov: It sounds inappropriate to refer to the EU as a monolith a mere couple of months after Brexit. This “monolith” is not the same as before. If you mean a monolith in a figurative sense, my answer is no. Quite a few countries are maintaining relations with Russia. The visit of Josep Borrell was the first trip by an EU official of this level to Russia in three years. In the same three years, about two dozen ministers from European Union member countries have visited Russia. We are having a great dialogue, without wasting too much time on confrontation and moralising. Indeed, all of them do have their assignments – a couple of sheets of paper from which they read a script approved by the “party committee” in Brussels.

Question: Do you mean they bring a notebook with instructions with them?

Sergey Lavrov: Certainly. They do not dare to veer off course. This, for example, goes for Alexey Navalny, or the Skripals as in the previous case, or human rights. Now scientist Yury Dmitriyev from Karelia is in the spotlight. They flatly refuse to accept evidence of his involvement in crimes, like pedophilia. They read from their notebook and I would adduce my arguments to the contrary and describe our vision of this or that situation and wonder why we cannot obtain evidence on the Navalny case or the Skripal case. In response they simply read again from their notebook. Apart from this discipline induced by the bloc member states’ solidarity, we discuss things normally. Yes, the EU sets the terms on which [its member countries] participate in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), while we are trading with these countries in the WTO on the terms that were agreed on for Russia to join this organisation. But the EU has nothing to do with this cooperation in trade and investment activity, except for its attempts to restrict trade and economic ties with the sanctions.

You mentioned the Baltic States. Indeed, they run the show in this respect to a great extent. I have talked to your colleagues about this on more than one occasion. When in 2004 there were hectic activities to drag them into the EU, Russia and Brussels maintained a very frank dialogue. The President of the European Commission at the time was Romano Prodi. In 2005, the objective was set to move to visa-free travel.

Question: Nobody has any memories of this today.

Sergey Lavrov: We remember this when we reply to those who ask how we dare say that we are ready to break relations with the EU. You mentioned the Baltic States. We had long been negotiating an updated version of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Russia and the EU, which the EU terminated in 2014. It was expected to go a bit beyond the boundaries of the WTO rules and allow us to negotiate additional trade preferences. At one time there was an objective to establish a free trade zone, but this has long since fallen into oblivion. However, there were plans to update the agreement in order to liberalise trade even more, in addition to the WTO rules. In 2014, they ceased to exist – another example of breaking down our relations.

A visa-free travel agreement was also finalised back in 2013. We had met all of the EU requirements: we agreed that only people with biometric passports would be eligible for visa-free travel and that those who violated EU entry rules or any other EU rules while in an EU country during a visa-free period would be subject to readmission. We signed the relevant agreement. Everything they asked for, and that suited us, was done. Later, when it was time to sign the agreement and then ratify it, the EU said: “Let’s wait.” It did not take us long to learn why they had said this, all the more so as they did not try to conceal their motives. This Brussels team decided that it was politically incorrect to approve a visa-free travel agreement with Russia prior to offering it to Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.

Question: In other words, Russia was made dependent on other countries?

Sergey Lavrov: It sure was, at the Baltic States’ initiative. This is also important for understanding the nature of our relations. This is an attitude from people who decided that they were European, which is not at all the case. Russia sees Europe in all its diversity. If the “party committee” in Brussels does not like it, we cannot force them to.

Question: Europe stretches at least to the Urals.

Sergey Lavrov: Correct. In 2009, when Jose Manuel Barroso was President of the European Commission, we held a Russia-EU summit in Khabarovsk. Our European colleagues arrived later in the day. We went out for a walk along the embankment. We were showing them around the city and Mr Barroso said: “It’s amazing. It took us 13 hours to get here from Brussels, and it’s still Europe.” This is the key message behind the slogan “Europe from the Atlantic to the Pacific.”

Question: I’m going to ask you about one other country, Belarus. There will be a presidential summit on February 22. President Lukashenko will come to Russia. Recently, Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei gave an interview to the RBC media holding and mentioned Belarus’ multi-directional foreign policy. Do you think we have managed to work well with Minsk on integration? What should we expect from these talks?

Sergey Lavrov: The term “multi-directional” should not be used as a profanity. Most normal states want it. Russia, too, has used a multi-directional approach as the basis of its foreign policy since 2002. In our understanding, a multi-directional approach is possible only if based of equality, respect and a balance of interests, as well as mutual benefit. This is the only way it can work.

First, they threaten us with sanctions, and then the same people are saying that we “had it coming” and impose unilateral restrictions on us, and then say that we are “bad” because “we are looking to the East.” Everything has been turned upside down.

Russia is a Eurasian country. We have close contacts with Europe, which have been cultivated for centuries, before anyone even thought of a European Union, and the Europeans fought and competed against each other. By the way, we often helped them achieve peace and fair outcomes in wars.

Question: We even saved the monarchies?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, and they are aware of it. The republic in the United States, too, to a certain extent.

However, our European neighbours have severed almost all of our ties and left only sporadic contacts on international crises that are of interest to the EU in order to keep a profile on the international arena. In many ways, the EU is driven by a desire to be seen as an important operator in Syrian and other matters. If we are not welcome here, we will simply continue to work with our other neighbours who are not prone to whims like that.

Objectively, our trade with the EU is almost half of what it was in 2013. Our trade with China has doubled over the same period.

Question: Back to Minsk. What can we expect from talks between President Putin and President Lukashenko on February 22?

Sergey Lavrov: There are some who want to interpret Minsk’s words about the multi-directional nature of its foreign policy as proof of its “unreliability” as a partner and ally. I do not think so.

In the Council of Europe, of which Belarus is not a member yet, we advocate the CoE establishing relations with Minsk. We supported the accession of Minsk to a number of Council of Europe conventions. We have always been in favour of Belarus enjoying normal relations with its western neighbours. I’m not sure what the CoE will do next. Russophobia has swept over most of the EU countries, and the most “violent” ones are in charge of the agenda.

I read the remarks by President Lukashenko (not all his interviews, but they were cited) to the effect that he sees no obstacles to deepening integration. Progress will depend on how President Vladimir Putin and President Lukashenko agree on things.

There are two more days to go before the talks. I don’t think we should be speculating on the outcome of the summit. We will know everything soon.

Question: Recently, US President Joseph Biden said the United States will no longer be “rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions” (ostensibly, Donald Trump did this). How can we build our relations now? Are there subjects we can discuss with Washington? Are they ready to talk with us?

Sergey Lavrov: These comments on who is rolling over or will be rolling over in the face of someone’s actions illustrate a very deep split in US society. It reached a level of personal enmity that is aggressive and contrary to American political culture. The politicians did not particularly mince their words during previous presidential campaigns or prior to elections to Congress, but I don’t remember anything comparable to what is being said now.

Our liberal media promote a tough pro-Western line. In looking for objects of criticism in Russia, they are infringing on the threshold of decency and getting personal. They are very crude, and behave not like journalists but like inveterate propagandists, accusing others of propaganda.

The fact that the New Start Treaty was extended in time is a very positive step. This shouldn’t be overrated, but it shouldn’t be underrated, either. In his election speeches Joseph Biden mentioned his willingness to extend it, but these were election speeches after all. His promise could be interpreted differently later, but he extended this important document for five years without any conditions, like we suggested. If this had not happened, there would not have been a single instrument of international law, not only in Russian-US relations but in the entire range of multilateral ties, that contained any restrictions in the sphere of disarmament, arms control and nuclear weapons non-proliferation.

It is very important that just a few days prior to February 5, 2021, the date the treaty was extended for five years, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and US President Joseph Biden reaffirmed their intention to promote talks on strategic stability in these new conditions, in their first telephone conversation after the US presidential election. The situation has changed substantially since 2010: We and the Americans have acquired new weapons some of which are covered by the treaty. We announced this last year. We said that they must be taken into account. Some other weapons are not covered by the treaty – they are basically very different because of their physical characteristics.

Question: Are you talking about hypersonic weapons?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, the United States also has such weapons. Hypersonic weapons are partly covered by the New START Treaty, if these are ballistic missiles.

The New START Treaty already covers some weapons systems, so we now have to include these weapons systems in the Treaty for the next five years and see how all this will be verified. But it does not cover some weapons.

The United States has developed a new system called the Prompt Global Strike (PGS). By the way, this system implies a non-nuclear strike. We have suggested negotiating all issues without exception that have an impact on strategic stability and the legitimate interests of the contracting parties.

Question: Did they agree to this? Are they ready?

Sergey Lavrov: In October 2020, we submitted draft joint understandings to the Trump administration. This rough outline shows how we can sit down and start negotiating the agenda. We have received no reply from them. Instead of addressing this matter, Marshall Billingslea, the Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control, mostly made vocal statements that the United States was all for it but that the Russians did not want to do this.

When I spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, I reminded him that Russia had submitted its proposals to the Trump administration, which dealt with this matter and many other issues, including cybersecurity and concerns over interference in each other’s domestic affairs. We would like to get back to them, and to hear the Biden administration’s opinions in this regard. We realise that they now need some time to settle down in the White House and the Department of State. I hope that this will not take too long.

There are still some questions on disarmament, for example, the lineup of participants in the disarmament process. The US position on China, approved by Donald Trump, remains unchanged; the same concerns a number of other matters.

Regarding multilateral talks, first of all, this should not annul Russian-US agreements because we have several times more nuclear weapons than other nuclear countries. Second, if we make this a multilateral process, then all prospective participants, primarily the five nuclear powers, should reach a voluntary agreement. We will never try to persuade China. We respect the position of Beijing, which either wants to catch up with us or proposes that we first reduce our arsenals to China’s levels and then start on the talks. All circumstances considered, if this is a multilateral process, then we will get nowhere without the United Kingdom and France. The Trump administration insisted that China should take part and at the same time said about its allies that they were the good guys, literally. This sounds funny. Apart from the complicated and lengthy disarmament process, we do not have so many promising spheres where we can cooperate constructively.

Question: Does this mean that their vision of the issue is entirely different or that they are reluctant to negotiate?

Sergey Lavrov: They think that they are the boss, and this mentality is still here and it determines the perception of their enemies. So far, they have not designated China as an enemy, but they have called us an enemy a couple of times. Democrats have an additional motivation for expanding this policy. Their position is that, supposedly unlike with Donald Trump, they will be “no Russian tail wagging the dog.”

Question: Don’t you think that Democrats have come to power with the intention of taking revenge against Russia, and that they will implement Donald Trump’s anti-Russia plans that he failed to accomplish in four years.

Sergey Lavrov: They made such statements during the election campaign. Joe Biden and his supporters said openly that the Trump administration had gone soft, that it was constantly making advances and working for the Russian intelligence. Donald Trump said that he was conducting the toughest policy with regard to Russia. He said that he liked Vladimir Putin, but he introduced more sanctions than all of his predecessors taken together.

We are also witnessing a cowboy-style showdown there. But this is normal for US politics, especially today. Disagreements between liberals who considered liberalism an irreversible trend have become aggravated to the greatest possible extent. Donald Trump, who did not like liberal principles and approaches, suddenly took over. He tried to think more about the basic interests of the American founders, the people who moved there (and it has always been a nation of immigrants), and who accepted its laws. So, the big question is whether people should remain loyal to the country that has accepted them, or do they want to erode its principles?

Question: Should they try to fit in?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, and they want to be the boss. Everything boils down to this once again.

Question: Karabakh, the subject of that. Fortunately, the war is over and a peace agreement has been inked. We covered extensively the role Russia and Azerbaijan played. I have a question to do with Turkey. I was in Azerbaijan during the war and heard many people say that the Azerbaijanis are supportive of the Great Turan idea (a state that covered the territory from Turkey to Central Asia). Is Moscow concerned by Turkey becoming a stronger state?

Sergey Lavrov: This opinion is entertained by a portion of the society. I’m not going to give a percentage of how many people support this idea. I’m not sure many of those who informed you about this really know what “Great Turan” is all about.

The relations between Turkic-speaking peoples have become an integral part of cooperation between Turkey and the corresponding countries, including Azerbaijan and a number of Central Asian states.

There is the Cooperation Council of the Turkic-Speaking States, in which we participate as observers. A number of our republics are interested in contacts with it and are promoting their specific projects.

There is TURKSOY  ̵  the International Organisation of Turkic Culture. There’s also the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-Speaking Countries. All of them have been functioning for a long time now. They draft their own plans and hold functions. Their cooperation is mainly based on cultural, linguistic and educational traditions.

Speaking about the Great Turan as a supranational entity in a historical sense, I don’t think that this is what Turkey is after. I don’t see how former Soviet and now independent countries can be supportive of this idea in any form. On the contrary, their foreign policies and practices focus on strengthening their national states.

Turkey has its interests which include its fellow tribesmen who speak the same language. We also want the Russian World to communicate. We have created an extensive network of organisations of our compatriots living abroad; we are opening Russian World centres at universities in different countries with purely linguistic, educational and scientific goals.

The Centre for the Russian Language and Culture created by the Russkiy Mir Foundation was recently closed in Krakow. This is an obvious step for Poland, as well as for the Baltic States, which are fighting everything that is Russian. Ukraine followed in their footsteps and shut down several media outlets and imposed a language ban. We are well aware of all this. We will keep raising this matter at the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the corresponding UN agencies. One cannot pretend that this comes with the “growth” and the “coming of age” of the Ukrainian nation, which, as they say, is an “ill-fated” one. The Ukrainians claim that they are the descendants of Alexander the Great. In that case, they should be responsible for the orders they introduce. The EU, and Germany and France as the Normandy format participants, avoid performing their duties when it comes to “educating” Ukraine in terms of making it comply with the Minsk agreements, and this has become a chronic behaviour pattern which does not reflect well on Germany or France.

Question: It was announced that Ukraine was recognised an unfriendly state. How will this affect relations between us?

Sergey Lavrov: This is just a descriptive attribute. What’s friendly about it? Russian schools are being closed, customers and shop assistants are not allowed to speak their native language, and the Nazis are burning Russian flags.

Question: This is reminiscent of the Baltic States 20 to 30 years ago.

Sergey Lavrov: Back when the Baltic States were about to be admitted to the EU, we asked the Brussels bureaucrats, the Eurogrands, whether they were sure they were doing the right thing. The problems that are at odds with the membership criteria persist, including non-observance of the rights of the Russian-speaking minorities in Latvia and Estonia. We were told that the Baltic States are phobic of Russia (war, the so-called occupation, etc.), the EU will bring it into its fold, it will calm down and ethnic minorities will be happy and contented. Things turned out the other way round. The Russians were not granted any rights, and statelessness is still there.

Question: Let’s go back to Turkey: Ankara’s stronger position, its active role in the Nagorno-Karabakh war, President Erdogan’s visit to Northern Cyprus (which a Turkish leader has not done for quite a while). What does Moscow think about it?

Sergey Lavrov: As far as Turkey and Northern Cyprus are concerned, we see it as Ankara’s relations with its “fellow countrymen.” I have not heard about Turkey refusing to honour the UN obligations accepted by the conflicting parties. These obligations include seeking a mutually acceptable solution and creating a bicommunal bizonal federation. There is a discussion of whether the federation will be strong or weak. But there is no disagreement about the fact that it must be one state. Although not so very long ago, it was the common opinion that the entire project would fail and they would have to create two states. We understand that Ankara is interested in Cypriot Turks living in equality and their rights being observed. We support the idea that the same motives with which Turkey explains its actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, including with respect to hydrocarbons, should determine its dialogue with Greece and Turkey.

On February 17, 2021, I spoke with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias who told me that on January 25, 2021, he had had a probing conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. They did not iron out all issues. But it is good news that a dialogue was established. They agreed to continue it. On February 18, 2021, I spoke with Mevlut Cavusoglu. We continued sharing opinions following the telephone conversations between President Putin and President Erdogan on Syria, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh and our bilateral relations. New power units of a nuclear power station are under construction; the TurkStream project is ongoing. There is much common ground between our countries when it comes to energy.

In October 2019, the first Russia-Africa Summit in history was held in Sochi. A record number of heads of state and heads of government attended. In the course of the preparations for the summit, we reviewed the development of our relations with African countries and the current state of affairs, including from the perspective of expanding our presence on the continent which political scientists consider to be the most promising in the long term. We reviewed other countries’ presence in Africa. Since 2002, the number of Turkish embassies in Africa has increased from 12 to 42. Turkey’s trade with the region is estimated at around 20 billion dollars a year and Russia’s trade is around 15 billion dollars. This is to say that Turkey has an eye for potential.

Question: Perhaps Turkey is disappointed with the EU because nobody accepted it?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe it could partially be the case. In its contacts with the EU, Ankara continues to insist that the EU promised it accession. Turkey is spreading its wings and gaining weight despite the existing economic problems at home. Turkey mainly goes on by accumulating its national debt but this model is widely common around the world.

Question: 2020 is the year of the pandemic. During such times, countries should join forces and help each other. Do you think that this was the case? Or did the world fail to put aside disagreements and rally together even when it came to the COVID-19 infection?

Sergey Lavrov: Now this conversation is back to square one. There are no ideologies anymore. But this ideology-based, politicised perception of the Russian vaccine was not a very good signal. The Sputnik V vaccine was announced in August 2020, many months after the G20 summit (March 2020) where Vladimir Putin strongly advocated cooperation in vaccine production. Even then, we were ready to create joint scientific teams. But Western countries and their companies, unwilling to help competitors, did not respond to that proposal. So much for unification in this purely medical field.

There is also the humanitarian sphere. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet made calls during the pandemic to suspend all unilateral sanctions in fields directly affecting food, the supply of medicine and medical equipment, in order to alleviate the suffering of the population in countries that were under unilateral sanctions (regardless of their reasons). There was no reaction from the initiators of those sanctions (primarily the US and the EU). Also, there was no response to President Vladimir Putin’s proposal, at the G20 summit, to create ‘green corridors’ for the period of the pandemic, to move goods under the most relaxed rules – without tax, duties, tariffs, delays, or special customs inspections.

We are all in the same boat, and it’s not so big. Some forecasts say this situation will continue for a long time, and the coronavirus will be a seasonal infection, and it is not at all the same as the flu or other diseases, so we will have to use precautions permanently, use PPE. This realisation should somehow prod countries to more open cooperation, especially those that up until recently had some doubts.

True, there have been some good shifts. One of them is the United States’ return to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Some hotheads in Washington believe that, now that they have returned, they will make others do their bidding. There are fewer than 50 Chinese people in the WHO Secretariat, 25 Russians, over 200 Americans, and more than 2,000 NATO representatives. The past US administration said China was manipulating the WHO. That is not true. Otherwise, we are admitting the complete helplessness of 2,000 NATO members who should be the majority in the WHO Secretariat.

Nevertheless, there are some positive results though. This problem has been recently considered at the UN General Assembly and the Security Council. It is important now to focus on equitable collaboration within the WHO. Besides the attempts at carrying out “soft coups” and establishing their own rules in the organisation, hardly based on consensus, an idea has been suggested to move the main decision-making on global health policies outside the universal organisation. We have been pointing out this tendency for some time now – the one to replace international law with a rules-based world order. As it turns out in reality, those rules boil down to working out all decisions in a circle of those who agree with you rather than in a group with universal representation where you have to argue your case and search for balances and compromises. And then you just present the decision as ‘the ultimate truth’ and demand that everyone respect it.

This underlies the Franco-German initiative for a new multilateralism and some limited partnerships in the West. For example, Paris has launched an International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons. Under this non-universal, non-UN partnership, the EU creates the so-called ‘horizontal’ regime of sanctions to be imposed on anyone that France-initiated partnership points at. A similar sanctions regime is being created for cybersecurity. Instead of any open-ended discussion, the French are promoting some partnership to defend freedom in cyberspace. This is another example of rules on which ‘order’ will be based.

There are attempts to start similar groups outside the WHO. But people’s health is not a field where one can play geopolitics. Unless there is a conspiracy behind this to reduce the population of the Earth. Many are now starting to develop such theories and concepts.

Russia holds the key to German sovereignty

Russia holds the key to German sovereignty

February 17, 2021

A more sovereign Germany closer to Russia and China may be the straw that breaks the US hegemon’s back

By Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

Last week we traced the necessary historical and geopolitical steps to understand Why Russia is driving the West crazy.

And then, last Friday, right before the start of the Year of the Metal Ox, came the bombshell, delivered with customary aplomb by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

In an interview with popular talk show host Vladimir Solovyov – with the full transcript published by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Lavrov said Moscow “must be ready” for a possible “break with the European Union.”

The ominous break would be a direct result of new EU sanctions, particularly those “that create risks for our economy, including in the most sensitive areas.” And then, the Sun Tzu-style clincher: “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov, afterwards, made sure to explain that Lavrov was taken out of context: the media, predictably, had seized on a “sensational” headline.

So Lavrov’s full, nuanced answer to a question about rocky EU-Russia relations must be carefully examined:

“We believe we would be ready for this. We are neighbors. Speaking collectively, they are our largest trade and investment partner. Many EU companies operate here; there are hundreds or even thousands of joint ventures. When a business benefits both sides, we will continue. I am sure that we have become fully self-sufficient in the defense sphere. We must also attain the same position in the economy to be able to act accordingly if we see again (we have seen this more than once) that sanctions are imposed in a sphere where they can create risks for our economy, including in the most sensitive areas such as the supply of component parts. We don’t want to be isolated from the world, but we must be prepared for this. If you want peace, prepare for war.”

It’s quite clear that Lavrov is not stating that Russia will unilaterally cut off relations with the EU. The ball is actually in the EU’s court: Moscow is stating that it will not exercise a first-strike option to break relations with the Brussels eurocracy. And that in itself would also be quite different from breaking relations with any of the 27 EU member-states.

The context Peskov referred to is also clear: EU envoy Josep Borrell, after his disastrous trip to Moscow, had raised the issue that Brussels was weighing the imposition of further sanctions. Lavrov’s response was clearly designed to drum some sense into the thick heads of the European Commission (EC), run by notoriously incompetent former German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen and her foreign policy “chief” Borrell.

Earlier this week, Peskov was forced to come back incisively to the volcanic saga: “Regrettably, Brussels keeps talking about sanctions, so does the United States with maniacal persistency. This is something we will never welcome. It is something that we do not like at all.”

Talk about diplomatic euphemism.

So the stage is set for a raucous – to say the least – meeting of EU foreign ministers next Monday, where they will discuss – what else? – possible new sanctions. Those most probably would include travel bans and asset freezes on selected Russians, including people very close to the Kremlin, blamed by the EU to be responsible for the jailing earlier this month of right-wing blogger and convicted fraudster (a scam against Yves Rocher) Alexei Navalny.

The overwhelming majority of Russians see Navalny – with a popularity rate of 2% at best – as a lowly, expendable NATO asset. The meeting next week will pave the way for the summit of member state leaders at the end of March, where the EU could – and that’s the operative word – formally approve new sanctions. That would require a unanimous decision by the EU’s 27 member states.

As it stands, apart from the stridently Russophobic usual suspects – Poland and the Baltics – it doesn’t appear Brussels is aiming to shoot itself in the back.

Remember Leibniz

EU observers obviously have not been observing how Moscow’s pragmatic view of Brussels has evolved in the past few years.

Russia-EU trade will continue, no matter what. The EU badly needs Russian energy; and Russia is willing to sell it, oil and gas, pipelines and all. That’s strictly business. If the EU doesn’t want it – for a basket of reasons – no problem: Russia is developing a steady stream of businesses, energy included, all across East Asia.

The always relevant Valdai Discussion Club, a Moscow-based think tank, for instance, is carefully tracking the trade aspect of the Russia-China strategic partnership:

“US policy will continue to seek a split between China and Russia. Europe remains an important partner for Moscow and Beijing. The situation in Central Asia is stable, but it requires the building up of Russian-Chinese cooperation.”

Putin, laterally, also weighed in on the EU-Russia saga, which is a subtext of that perennial battle between Russia and the West: “As soon as we began to stabilize, to get back to our feet – the policy of deterrence followed immediately… And as we grew stronger, this policy of deterrence was being conducted more and more intensely.”

I hinted last week at the intergalactic-distant possibility of a Berlin-Moscow-Beijing axis
Media and telecoms analyst Peter G. Spengler in a lengthy email to me elegantly qualified it as belonging to Robert Musil’s sense of possibility, as described in his masterpiece The Man Without Qualities.

Peter Spengler also called attention to Leibniz’s Novissima Sinica, and particularly to an essay by Manfred von Boetticher on Leibniz and Russia, represented by Tsar Peter the Great, in which the role of Russia as a bridge between Europe and China is emphasized.

Even though Leibniz, in the end, never met Peter the Great, we learn that “it was always Leibniz’s goal to get practical application for his theoretical findings. Throughout his life, he was looking for a ‘great potentate’ who was open to modern ideas and with whose help he could realize his ideas of a better world. In the age of absolutism, this seemed to be the most promising perspective for a scholar for whom the progress of science and technology as well as the improvement of education and economic conditions were urgent goals.”

“Tsar Peter, who was as powerful as he was open to all new plans and whose personality fascinated him anyway, must therefore have been an extraordinarily interesting contact for Leibniz. Since Western Europe had come into closer contact with China through the Jesuit mission and Leibniz had recognized the importance of the millennia-old Chinese culture, he also saw in Russia the natural link between the European and Chinese cultural spheres, the center of a future synthesis between the Orient and the Occident. With the emerging upheavals in the Russian Empire, his hopes seemed to be fulfilled: Full of expectation, he followed the changes in Russia, as they were emerging under Peter I.”

Yet to evoke Leibniz at this stage is to dream of heavenly spheres. The pedestrian geopolitical reality is that the EU is an Atlanticist institution – de facto subordinated to NATO. Lavrov might want to behave like a Daoist monk, or even pull a Leibniz, but it’s hard when you’re forced to deal with a bunch of dummies.

It’s all about sovereignty

Rabid Atlanticists argue that non-entity Navalny is directly related to Nord Stream 2. Nonsense: Navalny was built (italics mine) by the usual suspects as a battering ram to undermine Nord Stream 2.

The reason is that the pipeline will consolidate Berlin at the core of the EU’s energy policy. And that will be a major factor in the EU’s overall foreign policy – with Germany, at least in theory, exercising more autonomy in relation to the US.

So here’s the “dirty” secret: it’s all a matter of sovereignty. Every geopolitical and geoeconomic player knows who does not want a closer Germany-Russia entente.

Now imagine a hegemonic Germany in Europe forging closer trade and investment ties with not only Russia but also China (and that’s the other “secret” inbuilt in the EU-China trade-investment deal).

So whoever is lodged in the White House, there’s nothing else to expect from the US Deep State apart from the “maniacal” push towards perennial, accumulated sanctions.

The ball is actually in Berlin’s court, much more than in the court of eurocratic nightmare Brussels, where everyone’s future priority amounts to receiving their full, fat retirement pensions tax-free.

Berlin’s strategic priority is more exports – within the EU and most of all to Asia. German industrialists and the business classes know exactly what Nord Stream 2 represents: increasingly assertive German sovereignty guiding the heart of the EU, which translates as increased EU sovereignty.

An immensely significant sign has been recently delivered by Berlin with the approval granted for imports of the Sputnik vaccine.

Is Musil’s sense of possibility already in play? It’s too early to tell. The hegemon has unleashed a no-holds-barred hybrid war against Russia since 2014. This war may not be kinetic; roughly, it’s 70% financial and 30% infowar.

A more sovereign Germany closer to Russia and China may be the straw that breaks the hegemon’s back.

Is a Revolutionary Movement Developing in Europe? Rejecting the Lockdown and the Mask

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts and Klaus Madersba

Global Research, February 16, 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

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US media provides little news of Europe.  What is provided is strictly “narrated.”  Consequently, Americans are unaware of what seems to be a spontaneous, leaderless, popular uprising against mandated lockdowns and masks.

There are large demonstrations in Germany, and they have spread to Vienna and to Copenhagen.  The people have more sense than the public authorities and reject the Covid mandates. 

In The Netherlands, the Hague Court has ruled that the Covid curfew has no legal basis and “is a far-reaching violation of the right to freedom of movement and privacy and limits, among other things, the right to freedom of assembly and demonstration.” See this.  

Klaus Madersbacher, proprietor of the antikrieg.com website, thinks that Germans are associating the fear-based campaign that is asserting new government controls over people’s lives and activities with an American hegemonic agenda. He believes that it is a revolutionary mass movement that should now become organized under leadership in order to achieve the independence of countries and their peoples.  

One wonders if insouciant Americans are capable of a revolutionary temperament or whether the only protests Americans will witness are the Establishment-funded Antifa and BLM riots that loot and burn private businesses.

Here is Madersbacher’s analysis of what he is witnessing.

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A New Revolutionary mass movement 

by Klaus Madersbacher

QUERDENKEN is a revolutionary mass movement directed against the US-controlled German regime, similar in essence to the revolution of the Iranian people in 1978 against the US-run dictatorship of the Shah in Iran. It should be emphasized that the Iranian revolution was a peaceful revolution in the course of which the Iranian security forces refused to fight against their own people. The same type of revolutionary movement seems to be emerging in countries under the dominance of the United States of America.

Instead of serving their own people, European regimes serve the interests of Washington, which seems driven to obtain supremacy over the world for material reasons and also as a way out of the economic crisis in which it finds itself.

The theater with and around the coronavirus is staged with the explicit intention of distraction and of creating fear and a climate of general insecurity that leads to control measures that enable hegemonic power, perhaps resulting in a “global reset” that serves the interest of the few at the expense of the many. 

It is against these measures that the Germans and neighboring nations are rising up in an unprecedented and unforeseen readiness to defend themselves as a people and a society.

I read the protests of the last several months as clear expressions that the German people are no longer willing to submit to puppet governments that fail to represent the interests of the people.

Germans and Europeans are used as support for Washington/NATO’s push against Russia and Asia, which is clearly against European interests. If spontaneous cooperation is achieved among European peoples, Washington’s aspirations are defeated, and representative governments will form in place of Washington’s puppet states.  

Since the ruling European governments are neither willing nor able to represent the interests of their peoples, they have lost the confidence of the people and forfeited the right to remain in power. Constitutionally prescribed steps can be followed as far as possible to remove them from office.

First steps /measures

As a first step, a revolutionary council should be elected consisting of two or three members per federal state. 

The revolutionary council will accept no guidance from the EU, Washington, or any agreements that limit the exercise of national sovereignty. 

Existing governmental and financial institutions will continue in operation, but the revolutionary council will reestablish all civil liberties, such as freedom of movement, freedom of income, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of travel. The institutional structure of government will then be thoughtfully reconstructed to be consistent with human rights and national wellbeing. 

The Covid control measures will be revoked.

The campaign of fear will be halted, and open public discussion by independent medical and scientific experts will be used to determine reasonable measures to protect the population from Covid.

Layoffs, terminations & repossessions resulting from Covid ordinances will be reversed.

Fines and penalties collected under Covid ordinances will be repaid, and court judgments against citizens under Covid ordinances will be reversed.

The Iranian Revolution against the Shah shows that revolutionary mass movements can be peaceful. To reconstruct the state to serve the people, a constitutional requirement is required that permits the passage of no law that cannot be proved in open discussion to serve the people over organized interests.  To protect the people’s interest, schooling will be used to support the ethos that honor, not material interests or service to ambition, is the basis for government service.

These idealistic aims will never be fully achieved, but their conscious cultivation can preserve the freedom of European peoples.

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Dr. Paul Craig Roberts writes on his blog site, PCR Institute for Political Economy, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Bernays and Propaganda – The Marketing of War

February 15, 2021

Bernays and Propaganda – The Marketing of War

By Larry Romanoff for the Saker Blog

Image result for images of the book Propaganda

In the revelation of propaganda as a tool of public mind control and its use for war marketing, it is worthwhile to examine the historical background of Bernays’ war effort. At the time, the European Zionist Jews had made an agreement with England to bring the US into the war against Germany, on the side of England, a favor for which England would grant the Jews the occupation of Palestine for a new homeland. Palestine did not ‘belong’ to England, it was not England’s to give, and England had no legal or moral right to make such an agreement, but it was made nonetheless. The Jews had created in US President Wilson an intense desire to enter the war, but the American population had no interest in the European war and public sentiment was entirely against participating.

To facilitate the desired result, Wilson created a body named the Committee on Public Information (CPI), to propagandise the war by the mass brainwashing of America. The group was led by a muckraking publicist/advertising man named George Creel, and the CPI was known as “The Creel Commission”, but it appears Creel was only a ‘front’, with little contribution to the events that actually occurred. The CPI was staffed with a heavy slate of psychologists and carefully-selected men from the media, academia, advertising, and the movie and music industries. Two of the most important members were Walter Lippmann, whom Wilson described as “the most brilliant man of his age”, and Edward Bernays, who was the group’s top mind-control expert, both Jews and both aware of the stakes in this game. Bernays planned to combine his uncle Freud’s psychiatric insights with mass psychology, blended with modern advertising techniques, and apply them to the task of mass mind control. Movies were already powerful new tools for misinformation and opinion control, as was radio, and TV would soon be added to this list.

“Wilson’s agreement to create the CPI was actually a turning point in world history, the first truly scientific attempt to form, manipulate and control the perceptions and beliefs of an entire population.” (1) (2) (3)ho

With Wilson’s authority, these men were given almost unlimited scope to work their magic, and in order to ensure the success of their program and guarantee the eventual possession of Palestine, these men and their committee carried out “a program of psychological warfare against the American people on a scale unprecedented in human history and with a degree of success that most propagandists could only dream about”.

In his 1922 book Public Opinion, Lippmann wrote, “The only feeling that anyone can have about an event he does not experience is the feeling aroused by his mental image of that event … For it is clear enough that under certain conditions men respond as powerfully to fictions as they do to realities.” And it was this psychological manipulation that these men employed to turn an entire nation of peaceful Americans into rabid war-mongers. (4) (5)

Note to readers: Some part of the immediately-following paragraphs is not mine. They are partially verbatim and partially paraphrasing, of some content I discovered many years ago and, even with diligent effort, I am today unable to locate the original source.

Having received permission and broad authority from the US President to “lead the public mind into war” and, with success threatened by widespread anti-war sentiment, these men determined to engineer what Lippmann called “the manufacture of consent”. The committee first identified all the different ways that information flowed to the population, examined the characteristics of each, and filled every channel with specially-crafted pro-war material. Their effort was unparalleled in its scale and sophistication, since the CPI had the power not only to manufacture false news and distribute it nationally through all channels, but to officially censor news and withhold information from the public. “They produced and distributed many thousands of ‘official’ press releases, virtually functioning as the information arm of the US government and were in fact the major provider of war news to the nation.”

These men wasted no time in organising a vast propaganda network and began flooding the US with anti-German propaganda consisting of hate literature, hate movies, songs, media articles and much more.

Lippmann and Bernays divided their Committee into nineteen ‘divisions’, each responsible for a different type of propaganda, and each utilising the expertise of vast numbers of psychologists, advertising experts, media personnel and movie moguls. (6) (7) The intention was to flood every means of communication with the goal of inciting hatred of everything German and to promote American entry into the war as the only option for patriotic Americans. They filled every part of US print media with anti-German hate propaganda. In the News Division alone, in an average week, more than 20,000 newspaper columns carried entirely false propaganda articles produced by the CPI, promoting hatred of Germany and Germans, describing atrocities that had never occurred and painting the Germans as vicious and inhuman monsters. Lippmann and Bernays not only instituted (compulsory) “voluntary guidelines” for the inclusion of their monstrous tales in all media, but they rigidly enforced a censorship in the American mass media to suppress any contradictory content.

http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/image-asset.jpeg

Bernays cleverly realised that much of the public is disinclined to read long articles, and so formed a special division to produce brief rants and sound bytes meant to arouse the loathsome emotions of those with short attention spans. They created a Syndicated Features Division employing popular novelists to produce essays containing the official propaganda, which reached 10 to 15 million people each month. Another division was responsible for the cartoon sections of newspapers and other media, with the stated intention to “mobilize and direct the scattered cartoon power of the country for constructive war work”. They employed thousands of cartoonists who “achieved new heights in hate-mongering”, picturing the Germans as primitive and evil animals who stole, killed or raped everything they encountered.

They created a similar Division for Cinema that resulted in the Hollywood production of dozens of outrageous and virulently anti-German movies, hate films containing completely fictional tales of atrocities and bestialities committed by the Germans. Bernays was the source of movie scenes where “dirty” Germans (and later the dirtier Japanese) machine-gunned brave American pilots while parachuting to the ground. (8) None of these tales were ever true; these and all others were total fabrications. Then, as now, the motion picture industry in the US was entirely controlled by Jews who were eager to assist. One Jewish editorial stated that “every individual at work in this industry wants to do his share . . . through slides, film leaders and trailers, posters and newspaper publicity they will spread that propaganda so necessary to the immediate mobilization of the country’s great resources”.

In addition to movies produced by the film studios, the CPI created its own Film Division which produced 60 or 70 “official” films that were viewed by many tens of millions of people each week. They created an Advertising Division to influence commercial advertisers to insert anti-German war propaganda into newspaper and magazine advertising, with almost every major US publication carrying a large quota of these ads. Then, as today, much of the media was Jewish-owned or controlled, and these men received much free space.

They created a ‘Division of Work with the Foreign Born’ (9) to reach all immigrants in the country in their own languages, and used members of these communities to propagandise their own people, especially targeting all military-age foreigners who might become war conscripts. The CPI hired bi-lingual speakers to target every specific immigrant group in the US, and even had a Sioux ‘Four-Minute Man’ delivering speeches in seven native languages. They specially targeted all Jews in America, providing Yiddish speakers in thousands of theaters and workplaces. There also was a Foreign Section with sixteen divisions, which established offices in over thirty countries, to propagandise the populations of other nations.

Lippmann and Bernays wrote: “It is a matter of pride to the Committee on Public Information, as it should be to America, that the directors of English, French, and Italian propaganda were a unit in agreeing that our literature was remarkable above all others for its brilliant and concentrated effectiveness”.

Bernays’ Speaking Division organised a group known as the “Four-Minute Men’, 75,000 volunteers who gave speeches provoking hatred and fear of Germany and Germans, and urging war. They used farmers to appeal to farmers and businessmen to businessmen, with short, rousing speeches filled with imagery. These were so emotionally-loaded they often had dreadful consequences, in thousands of instances mobs gathering afterward and vandalising German homes and businesses in their city. (10) In total, their speakers gave nearly 8 million speeches to more than 300 million Americans, all provoking hatred of Germany and Germans, and urging war. (11) (12) (13) (14) (15)

A continuing atrocity is that even today misinformation sources like Britannica and the Smithsonian, and many American history websites, carry articles claiming “the CPI’s representatives, known as four-minute men, traveled throughout the U.S. urging Americans to buy war bonds and conserve food.” (16)

The Committee particularly targeted women, establishing a major Women’s Division, from fear that women “might constitute a subversive element in the nation, detrimental to wartime unity and the smooth functioning of [mandatory military conscription]”. They created a womens’ Four-Minute Man division to speak at womens groups and matinees to counteract the resistance to sending their sons and husbands to war. They inserted themselves into many women’s magazines where they controlled the cover and much of the internal content, encouraging women to send their sons to war, claiming he would return as “a man” instead of a corpse. The Ladies Home Journal, once the most inoffensive of publications, had many covers with dirty anti-German posters and most every issue with patriotic articles written by Bernays’ staff extolling the sacrifices of war.

One of Bernays’ mind-control divisions was responsible for popular music, the CPI hiring thousands of songwriters to create songs with anti-German lyrics, these playing constantly on the nation’s radio stations. Another division was responsible for public library content, tasked with the removal of any books favoring Germany, including the works of famous German authors and philosophers. Everything favorably German was censored, removed from public accessibility, or destroyed.

Perhaps the division most indicative of the moral bankruptcy of these men was their work with public school children. They heavily utilised psychologists in programs to spread hatred of Germany throughout America’s public school system where small children were taught the full gamut of Bernays’ hateful propaganda, then used as travelling salesmen to visit other schools and spread the hatred to their classmates, delivering totally fabricated tales of German atrocities to other small children. Uncounted thousands of children were organized as Four Minute Men speakers, with more than 200,000 schools participating. Bernays’ psychologists did their work well: American children became not only hate-filled but terrified of Germans. After these inflamed propaganda sessions, many American children demonstrated their “patriotism” by groups attacking German-Americans and stoning them, sometimes being congratulated by local newspapers for “doing their duty”. The ‘patriotic’ Boy Scouts of America contributed to the effort by regularly burning bundles of German newspapers that were on sale, and Germans were regularly insulted and spat upon by other citizens.

Bernays’ group published many thousands of children’s books and comics containing the most vile and hateful propaganda lies. Libraries sponsored anti-German childrens’ ‘story hours’ that used hate propaganda supplied by Bernays. Sunday school children were given coloring books depicting and encouraging violence against Germans.

Bernays’ Public literature attacked everything German in America, including schools and churches. In many schools the German language was forbidden to be taught to “pure Americans”, and administrators were urged to fire “all disloyal teachers”, meaning any Germans. The names of countless towns and cities were changed to eliminate their German origin: Berlin, Iowa became Lincoln, Iowa. German foods and food names were purged from restaurants; sauerkraut became ‘liberty cabbage’ and German Shepherds became ‘Alsatians’.

All American orchestras were ordered to eliminate from their performances any music by classic German composers like Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. In some states, the use of the German language was prohibited in public and on the telephone. German professors were fired from their universities, German-language or German-owned local newspapers were denied advertising revenue, constantly harassed, and often forced out of business.

Bernays instituted a program of questioning the patriotism and loyalty of all Germans in America, including those who had lived there for generations. He created a plan that enlisted volunteers to gather information on Germans, forming a semi-official organisation named the American Protective League that eventually had more than 200,000 members deputised as FBI agents to “police” community loyalty. This group and others “investigated” every German, and soon every person with anti-war views, as prima facie evidence of treason.

http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/tarred-and-feathered.jpg

Germans were forced to gather in public meetings and denounce Germany and its leaders. They were forced to purchase war bonds and publicly declare their allegiance to the US flag. As Bernays’ rhetoric reached dangerous levels, the anti-German hysteria and violence increased proportionately. Many Germans were forcibly removed from their homes, often torn from their beds during the night, taken out into the street and stripped naked, beaten and whipped, then forced to kneel and kiss the American flag. Many were tarred and feathered, then forced to leave their cities or towns. Some were lynched from trees. Priests and pastors were dragged out of their churches and beaten for giving sermons in German. (17) (18) (19) (20)

The anti-German hysteria had people seeing spies everywhere, with House and Bernays greatly inflaming this trend by preparing Wilson’s infamous “Flag Day” speech (21) (22) where he claimed “The military masters of Germany have filled our unsuspecting communities with vicious spies and conspirators and have sought to corrupt the opinion of our people”. Newspaper editors were screaming that all Germans were spies who were poisoning American water supplies or infecting medical shipments to hospitals, and that most “ought to be taken out at sunrise and shot for treason”. The Saturday Evening Post, one of America’s most popular and influential magazines, announced that it was time to rid America of Germans, “the scum of the melting pot”. Congressmen recommended hanging or otherwise executing all Germans in America, State Governors urging the use of firing squads to eliminate “the disloyal element” from the entire state. The US Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels stated that Americans would “put the fear of God into the hearts” of these people.

According to Bernays, the key was to dehumanise and demonise the German people by filling American minds with fabricated tales of horror. The compliant media, largely Jewish-owned, obediently carried fake stories of poisoned candy being dropped from airplanes, German soldiers skewering babies like shish kebabs, the raping of nuns, and so much more. Eventually, the stories were accepted as true and the public’s natural resistance to war was overcome. From his uncle Freud, Bernays learned that a particularly effective strategy for demonising Germans was the use of atrocity stories. According to Harold Lasswell:

“So great are the psychological resistances to war in modern nations that every war must appear to be a war of defense against a menacing, murderous aggressor. There must be no ambiguity about who the public is to hate. A handy rule for arousing hate is, if at first they do not enrage, use an atrocity. It has been employed with unvarying success in every conflict known to man.” (23)

The CPI used every weapon available to spread their message to, as Creel would later say, “turn the American people into one white-hot mass (of hatred) . . .” Their psychological travesty so indoctrinated the public that daily life in America became infused with hatred and with Americans automatically conditioned to disgust and hatred for all things German.

They succeeded, and not only in the US. Teams of the same Jewish ‘specialists’ were following the same script in most other nations, all instilling massive hatred for Germans who, in every nation were vehemently portrayed as evil incarnate, simply from the fact of their German origin. In countries all around the world, the media spread the same message of hatred against Germany and the Germans.

In Brazil, anti-German demonstrations and riots consumed the country, with German businesses being destroyed and Germans being assaulted and killed. The Brazilian press carried Bernays’ intensely anti-German atrocity propaganda, stimulating demonstrations that were very ugly anti-German affairs. In some cities, hundreds of businesses, schools and homes were burned. In Porto Alegre, almost the entire German district was burned to the ground. In others, almost all German assets were seized. (24)

In almost every nation, the German-language press and use of the German language completely disappeared during the war from fear of reprisal, as did all German schools and most businesses. None re-opened. In Canada and Australia, many names of towns or streets were changed to eliminate their German origin. In Britain, France, and Canada also, thousands of people were falsely interned and their apartments and shops most often looted. They didn’t miss any opportunity; in one case, they found a photo of a German soldier with a child on his knee and published it with the caption, “One wouldn’t believe I have just killed the mother.” The Jews’ atrocity war propaganda in Canada was almost as bad as in the US, with even the military vandalising German businesses, and all Germans not imprisoned having to register with the government. (25)

The UK was as bad as the US. Persons bearing a German name were driven to despair, driven out of their positions and their businesses ruined.  The Guardian archives document that anti-German riots in England were remarkable for their destruction and violence. “Some Germans were pursued into their homes by the mob and pitched through the windows into the street, others were ducked in troughs, and others had their clothing stripped off their backs.” (26) The anti-German hysteria became so severe that King George V had to change his German name of ‘Saxe-Coburg’ to ‘Windsor’, and relinquish all his German titles. (27)

Most Americans are aware that during the (again Bernays-induced) national hysteria during the Second World War the US government forced more than 100,000 US-born Japanese into concentration camps, but history has deleted the fact that many more Germans were interned in concentration camps in the US prior to and during the First War. German Mennonites who refused the draft as conscientious objectors were given prison sentences for as long as 30 years, and many died from abuse and torture in US prisons. Not only were Germans imprisoned, but all their assets were confiscated, this during both world wars, and not only personal assets but entire corporations owned by Germans were simply seized and sold. The government amassed more than half a billion dollars in seizures, nearly equivalent to the entire national budget at the time. Bayer in America was auctioned off on its own doorstep, to a friend of the Administration. (28) In fact, the US military entered every country with a German corporate presence and claimed ownership of all German assets. This portion is of such consequence I have dealt with it in detail in a separate article. (29)

While Bernays was “making the world safe for democracy”, that safety was not meant for Americans. Under the coaching of Col. E. M. House who was Wilson’s Jewish handler, Wilson passed oppressive legislation including the Espionage Act and Sedition Act that were prepared by Bernays, were entirely fascist in content and which made illegal anything that might hinder American entry into the war. Freedom of speech and assembly, and press freedom virtually disappeared from America during this time, it eventually becoming illegal to say or write anything critical of the US government, its officials and even its “symbols”.

Any expression of objection to American entrance into the war would result in a fine of $10,000 (ten xyears’ average wages at the time) or 20 years in prison, with much of the policing power given to what were in effect private vigilante groups like the infamous American Protective League that operated virtually without oversight. The suppression of public opinion and of dissent, and the control exercised on anti-war communication was universal. The Espionage Act stated “Every letter, writing, circular, postal card, picture, print, engraving, photograph, newspaper, pamphlet, book, or other publication, matter or thing of any kind containing any matter which is intended to obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States is hereby declared to be non-mailable.” Nothing was permitted that might prevent the successful recruitment of American soldiers for a war that only the Jews wanted.

Because of Bernays, atrocity propaganda, the deliberate spreading of fabricated evils and inhuman war crimes became the foundation of the Committee’s efforts. With all of this and much more, Bernays and Lippmann turned America into a hotbed of hatred for the entire German population, accomplishing the goal of the Zionist Jews to use the US military as a tool, their own private army in the European war to fulfill their ambition for Palestine, and thus these two men changed the course of history.

Of course, the causes and aims of the propaganda were far more evil than anything the supposed ‘enemy’ had contemplated, but the goal was to not only invent an enemy but to make that enemy “appear savage, barbaric, and inhumane”, and thus worthy of destruction. This process has been followed many dozens of times in recent history, the latest being the US-Israeli destruction of Iraq, Libya and Syria. Usually, the compliant media repeat and embellish the stories without attempt at confirmation and, in virtually every instance, later attempts to confirm the atrocity tales prove fruitless with researchers able to uncover no evidence whatever of the events. Think of Iraq’s gassing of hundreds of thousands and burial in mass graves and the tales of Libyan Viagra; these and many others proved groundless fabrications – typical atrocity propaganda. Prior to the Iraq invasion, stories appeared of Saddam using wood shredders to eliminate political opponents and dissidents but, as always, researchers later determined there was no evidence whatever to support those horrendous allegations. Thanks to Bernays, there were World War One tales of Germans cutting off the breasts of every woman they encountered, of eating babies, of rendering the bodies of massacred Jews for fat and glycerine to make weapons, tales of a tub-full of eyeballs collected by the Nazis. After the war, Bernays openly admitted that he used fabricated atrocities to provoke hatred against Germany. It appears the media will cooperate in propagating the most fantastic lies, and the people will believe almost everything they read.

Bernays and his group produced thousands of posters containing lurid descriptions of these fake atrocities (30), to say nothing of the newspaper articles, cartoons and so much more, but the historical record of this years-long tapestry of lies and hate has been quite well buried. It is possible to find copies on the internet of many wartime posters, but this collection has been well sanitised with virtually all of the genuinely evil and dirty productions apparently lost to history. The narrative today in the history books casually dismisses all this as “an innovative use of graphic arts to stir patriotism”, but it was hatred rather than patriotism that was being stirred, and both America and the Jews will one day need to openly face this entire reprehensible chapter of history.

The official story is that after World War One, propaganda developed such a poor reputation that the US Congress terminated the Committee in disgust, “ending these activities amidst great controversy”, and refused to bother with funding to preserve and archive its vast collection of hate literature and propaganda, but the truth is that the White House, Congress and the Committee conspired to eliminate or destroy much of the evidence of their crimes. There exists a section of Records of the Committee on Public Information in US Government archives (31), but little of use remains, the more dangerous elements all sanitised. And in fact, far from developing a bad reputation, Bernays and his propaganda methods became widely popular with governments and large corporations for both consumerism and the control of public perception during peacetime.

This wouldn’t be the last time Lippmann and Bernays would use these techniques against Germany. This massive attack was repeated little more than ten years later to destroy Germany and push it into yet another war the Germans didn’t want. In the 1930s, the same Jewish European bankers with largely the same agenda wanted the US to join another war they planned to initiate against Germany. In 1933 they embarked on an extensive worldwide commercial war intended to destroy Germany financially, with newspaper headlines screaming “Judea Declares War on Germany”. They had already induced in Roosevelt “an intense desire for war”, but were having the same problem again with the unwilling American public. And they employed precisely the same solutions, this time demonising Hitler.

In all of this, Lippmann and Bernays were not working independently or without guidance. Prior to their massive ‘war effort’ in the US, they had operated a successful pilot test case in the UK, using British newspapers owned by their controllers, primarily Rothschild, to determine the efficacy of their methods. You may want to think about this next sentence and apply it to recent world events. “They (Bernays and his group) practiced revealing fabricated stories of atrocities, false accusations of terror and brutality against any nation or people they wanted the public mind to view as “the enemy”, then tested and evaluated public reactions to their manipulations of this false propaganda.”

Compare those words with George W. Bush’s demonisation of Iraq, the sordid tales of mass slaughters, the nuclear weapons ready to launch within 15 minutes, the responsibility for 9-11, the babies tossed out of incubators, all the fake propaganda against Saddam and Iraq to get the public mind onside for an unjustified war launched only for political and commercial objectives. Compare them to the demonisation of Khaddafi in Libya, his supplying of Viagra to his troops so they could rape more women, the long list of fabrications and lies to get the public onside for yet another war launched for more political and commercial objectives. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and dozens of other demonisations followed this same template, usually culminating in wars and invasions. It was Bernays who created “war marketing”, the theory and the template for the manipulation of public opinion, the plan and pattern for the propaganda and lies that the US government would use repeatedly for the next century to successfully deceive the American public about its motivations and actions in more than 100 military adventures, and to blind everyone to the tragic results of America’s brutal foreign policy. This is the man Americans celebrate today as “the father of Public Relations”.

The plan to mass-engineer public opinion began in a propaganda factory at Wellington House in London in the early 1900s, with Lords Northcliffe and Rothmere, Arnold Toynbee, and of course our two war-marketing geniuses Lippmann and Bernays. It was from this source that the scheme was hatched to force the Rothschild’s privately-owned Federal Reserve banks onto the US Congress, and that trained and coached Lippmann and Bernays on the methods of molding American public opinion to push the US into the First World War for the promotion of Zionism. Bernays’ book ‘Propaganda’ offers a clear vision of his training, not only for war marketing but for the pathology of American consumption, automobiles, the hysteria of patriotism and much more.

Funding reportedly came from the UK Royal Family, the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, and eventually included the formation of trans-Atlantic relationships. At various periods, memberships in the Tavistock Institute, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Rothschild’s Round Table, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Club of Rome, the Stanford Research Institute, the Trilateral Commission and NATO, were interchangeable. They also created the ideology for the large American Foundations like Rockefeller and Carnegie that today play a silent but major role in population management.

Wellington House eventually morphed into the Tavistock Institute, which was created at Oxford University in London by the founders of the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Round Table (Rothschild again), and was essentially a kind of mass brainwashing facility beginning as a psychological warfare bureau. It was the Tavistock Institute’s studies in psychological programming that were used to create and then exploit a grand mass hysteria during the cold war, evoking fearful delusions of a nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union that even led to millions of Americans building bomb shelters in their back yards. In Tye’s biography of Bernays (32), he wrote that

“It is impossible to fundamentally grasp the social, political, economic and cultural developments of the past 100 years without some understanding of Bernays and his professional heirs.”

Many dirty things emerged from this rat’s nest of Satan-worshippers, one being Britain’s Psychological Warfare Bureau which hatched a plan to destroy Germany not by attacking the military but by virtual genocide of the population. It seems that international bankers owned munitions plants and other valuable military targets on both sides of the war fence, and wanted their property maintained in working order in spite of the war. The solution was saturation bombing of the civilian population to collapse the morale of the German people. These ‘scientific sociologists’ determined that the destruction of 65% of German housing, usually including its occupants, would be sufficient to achieve such a collapse. This was the origin of the fame of the British aviation hero “Bomber” Harris, who carried out these night raids – always at night – that culminated in the fire-bombing of Dresden. The explanation of night raids is usually given as safety for the bomber crews, but its purpose was mostly to engender more terror among the civilian population. Working class housing areas were targeted because they had a higher density and firestorms were more likely.” This would disrupt the German workforce and Germany’s ability to produce war materials in its defense. Harris’ widespread deliberate massacres of German civilians – and those by the Americans as well – were desperately kept secret from the public and still appear nowhere in history books in useful detail or with any sincere attempt to accurately estimate civilian casualties. As I pointed out elsewhere, this was the plan that US General Curtis Lemay was following, the same low-level night raids attempting to exterminate the populations of Japan and Korea.

Everything we have seen, read, or heard in the past 70 years that demonised other nations, usually leading to military intervention or “color revolutions”, stems from this template by Lippmann and Bernays originally to support the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine and to promote the agenda of Zionism. This template has been in constant use by the US government since the World War I, ‘engineering consent and ignorance’ in the American and Western populations to mask nearly a century of atrocities, demonising innocent countries and peoples in preparation for 60 or 70 politically-inspired ‘wars of liberation’ fought exclusively for the financial and political benefit of a handful of European bankers, using the US military as a private army for this purpose, resulting in the deaths and miseries of hundreds of millions of innocent civilians.

It does not appear widely-known, but the intense anti-German propaganda surrounding World War I (and also World War II) had an aim additional to the seizure of Palestine, and this was the destruction of the culture and the very soul of Germany. Churchill was clear on this matter, stating “This war is for the soul of the German people.” It was largely successful. There is no question that Bernays’ propaganda had a devastating effect on Germans and their cultural heritage. (33) Germany today is a cowed nation, still humiliated and still paying billions in reparations for crimes it never committed, in large part because the propaganda has never ceased. Even today, movies and TV programs depict Germans as cold robots lacking humanity, and we were recently treated to a widely-publicised revelation that Hitler had been cursed with a “twisted micro-penis”. Few peoples today are ashamed to admit their national heritage, but no Germans boast of being German. Where in America do we find German beer halls and restaurants, German churches or newspapers? In 2004, The Guardian published a review of a book titled “The loneliness of being German”. (34) This is not an accident.

In one CPI publication, Professor Vernon Kellogg asked “Will it be any wonder if, after the war, the people of the world, when they recognize any human being as a German, will shrink aside so that they may not touch him as he passes, or stoop for stones to drive him from their path?” (35) No wonder at all.

In this context, you may care to read my recent article titled “The Anger Campaign against China”, (36) and think of the physical and other attacks ethnic Chinese are experiencing today in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and other Western nations. Consider the accusations of ‘genocide’ in China’s Xinjiang, China’s ‘cover-up’ and full blame for COVID-19, all the (undocumented) tales of spying, of IP theft, of prison camps, of forced abortions, of being ‘Communists’, and much more. Only the atrocity details have changed; all else is the same. Bernays’ template is being followed to the letter, in preparation for World War III.

Introduction – If America Dissolves – http://thesaker.is/if-america-dissolves/

Part 1 of 5 – Bernays and Propaganda – http://thesaker.is/bernays-and-propaganda/

Part 2 of 5 – This current essay


Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 30 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English-language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/ and http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/

He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com

Notes

(1) https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-woodrow-wilsons-propaganda-machine-changed-american-journalism-180963082/

(2) https://theconversation.com/how-woodrow-wilsons-propaganda-machine-changed-american-journalism-76270

(3) https://www.history.com/news/world-war-1-propaganda-woodrow-wilson-fake-news

(4) https://www.amazon.com/Public-Opinion-Original-Walter-Lippmannn/dp/1947844563

(5) https://archive.org/details/publicopinion00lippgoog

(6) https://propagandacritic.com/previous-version-propaganda-critic/articles/ww1.cpi.html

(7) https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-woodrow-wilsons-propaganda-machine-changed-american-journalism-180963082/

(8) Cinema as an imperialist weapon: Hollywood and World War I; https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/08/holl-a05.html

(9) https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1917-72PubDip/comp1

(10) https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-woodrow-wilsons-propaganda-machine-changed-american-journalism-180963082/

(11) https://www.cincinnatimagazine.com/citywiseblog/one-hundred-years-ago-anti-german-hysteria-consumed-cincinnati/

(12) https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2017/03/11/anti-german-hysteria-city-during-wwi/98895422/

(13) https://spartacus-educational.com/FWWantigerman.htm

(14) http://www.revisionist.net/hysteria/index.html

(15) http://www.revisionist.net/hysteria/german-triangle.html

(16) https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/wilson-asks-for-declaration-of-war

(17) https://www.npr.org/2017/04/06/522903398/lynching-of-robert-prager-underlined-anti-german-sentiment-during-world-war-i

(18) https://journal.historyitm.org/2013/10/17/feathered-and-tarred/

(19) https://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2014/05/wwi-and-german-americans.html

(20) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4992032/Germans-AMERICA-World-War.html

(21) https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-president-woodrow-wilson-gives-flag-day-address

(22) https://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/president-wilson-proclaims-flag-day-224127

(23) http://www.revisionist.net/hysteria/cpi-propaganda.html

(24) https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1168&context=historyfacpub

(25) https://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/life-at-home-during-the-war/enemy-aliens/anti-german-sentiment/

(26) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/13/anti-german-riots-lusitania-1915-first-world-war

(27) https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-25450726

(28) https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/us-confiscated-half-billion-dollars-private-property-during-wwi-180952144/

(29) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/04/the-greatest-intellectual-property.html

(30) https://www.historyhit.com/anti-german-propaganda-posters-from-world-war-one/

(31) https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/063.html

(32) https://www.amazon.com/Father-Spin-Edward-Bernays-Relations-ebook/dp/B0091I177W

(33) https://www.immigrantentrepreneurship.org/entries/german-americans-during-world-war-i/

(34) https://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/sep/07/germany.society

(35) https://propagandacritic.com/previous-version-propaganda-critic/articles/ww1.demons.html

(36) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/08/blog-post_49.html

This article appeared first at the Saker Blog

EU/Germany parting of the ways?

EU/Germany parting of the ways?

February 12, 2021

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

From its inception the European Union was an ambitious strategy to build an economic bloc which would serve as a counter-weight to the US’s global economic dominance. (1) One of the primary conditions of this overall construction involved the creation of a single strong currency, the euro, that could become the rival to the US$. This was not just a political question, it also involved financial, economic and possibly even geopolitical dimensions. The Germans in particular were involved in the EU blueprint ever since the initial Treaty of Rome or EEC Treaty, as it was called, brought about the creation of the European Economic Community (the EEC). The treaty was signed on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and (West) Germany, and it came into force on 1 January 1958. At the outset Germany was on board the launch and prepared to give up her much beloved Deutschmark (DM) in order to eventually adopt the euro. A European super-state was envisioned complete with its own currency and act as a counterweight to the US Leviathan.

EXORBITANT PRIVILEGE

Since the end of the Bretton Woods system in 1971 the US dollar had become the global currency – a pure fiat currency without any gold backing – and had been used widely and routinely by other states as international reserves; as monies circulating in the dollarized countries; and as a means of payment in international trade. Ever since the US had allowed its currency to float freely the US trade balance has been negative. Surplus European countries, but which also included Japan, had earned US dollars which at one time had only been redeemable in gold payments by the US. But this arrangement ended when Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard in August 1971. From this time on the surplus countries could only swap their dollars for US Treasury Bills, that is to say, American debt.

In this way the US has appropriated real goods and services from the surplus countries and exported debt back to those same countries.

In the trade this is called seigniorage.

‘’This term was used to describe the right of the medieval lord, or seigneur, to coin money and keep for himself some of the precious metals from which it was made. About $500 billion of US currency circulated outside of the United States, for which foreigners have had to provide the United States with $500 billion for real goods and services.’’ (2) This was an exchange of real value as embodied in goods and services, for fictitious value contained in little green paper substitutes. Nice little racket. Who says you can’t get something for nothing! This didn’t go down at all well in the European mainland and was described by the French politician Valery Giscard D’Estaing as being an ‘exorbitant privilege’. Monsieur D’Estaing certainly had a point.

The evolution of the euro has emerged as the only real challenger to the US$’s seigniorage. The preconditions to any such challenge rested on a dual criteria: The euro had to represent a real currency on the same scale as that of the United States, and, in addition, it had to be a strong currency, it needed to be strong even at its design stage. The birth-pangs of the euro underwent a long pregnancy, and it was not until 1999 that the EU monetary authorities announced the birth of the new currency. It should be pointed out that not every country in the European Union was/is a member of this currency union; some countries kept their own national currencies – e.g. the UK, Sweden, Denmark, and most of Eastern Europe, and that remains the case even today.

Germany was of course the key player in this process. The euro was to be a hard Teutonic currency which mirrored Germany’s powerful position as a globally competitive manufacturing base. It was envisioned that the euro currency would be extended to other parts of the eurozone. (3) However, the euro was unwisely broadened to include peripheral countries which were far from the levels of productivity – and thus of international competitiveness – needed to contribute to making the euro a strong currency. This was particularly the case in Europe’s southern periphery. These nations simply could not compete with Germany since their unit costs were too high and productivity levels were lower than Germany’s (and for the rest of the northern European bloc). Moreover, the get-out-of-jail ‘solution’ by Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, and the Baltics, of a currency devaluation was closed since these states were all members of the Eurozone who had abandoned their old currencies and now used the euro.

In passing it could be argued that devaluation is not necessarily an optimal economic policy. Certainly, devaluation makes exports cheaper, and provides a breathing space for indebted states; but the obverse side of this practise is that it also makes imports more expensive. Imports which include strategic commodities such as oil, foodstuffs, drinks and tobacco, motor vehicles, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment, mineral fuels, and lubricants. The rise in prices in these imported goods and services may well lead to imported cost-push inflation.

Thus Europe’s southern periphery attempted to skirt around the devaluation problem with what became known as a policy of internal devaluation. This involved engineered austerity, whereby a country seeks to regain competitiveness through lowering wage costs and increasing productivity and not reducing the external value of the exchange rate. This enforced policy has resulted in what can only be described as a disaster as country after country in the southern bloc clocked up larger and larger trade deficits whilst the North European bloc including both members and non-members of the euro, e.g., Sweden and Denmark, clocked up big trade surpluses with the Eurozone in the southern periphery. In any case Germany had pre-empted this internal depreciation by its own earlier competitive devaluation as contained in the Hartz reforms.(4)

TRANSITION STATES

Things were not much better on the Eastern periphery. Present current growth figures for Czech Republic 0% Poland -0.1% Croatia N/A Hungary 0-1% Bulgaria -1.6% and Romania -4.4% all struggle with trade deficits.

At some stage during the 1990s, it became common to refer to these Eastern European countries as “transition states” or the ‘New Europe’ an interesting description by Donald Rumsfeld (See below).This implied an optimistic future, a linear progression, a transformation from a failed communist past to a stable western European future. Surely one of the most obvious lessons from the financial crisis and recession of recent years, however, is that the idea of such a transition is misplaced. If the societies of central-eastern Europe are indeed in transition, the mode of transit is that of the covered trailer, haphazardly attached to a juggernaut, driven by remote political and economic forces. And it is very unclear what the destination will be, given the continued economic upheavals and displacement across the whole of Europe.

The result of the transition so far seems to have been the creation of a low-wage hinterland, a border economy on the fringes of the highly developed European core, and this has had wider political and social ramifications for the entire European project – in effect shifting the goalposts of what it means to be European.

It is worth pointing out that, as is always the case, not everyone lost out. Shock therapy had its domestic supporters, people entranced by the ideas of neoclassical and Hayekian economics. Sometimes this was based on genuine intellectual engagement, as neoliberal western economists gained fervent followers in the universities and colleges of Warsaw, Prague, Bucharest, and Budapest. More often, however, the new disciples of neoliberalism were cynical converts from communism, the prospectors of a new capitalist order. Through incorporation into western institutions, such as NATO/EU, some of the new capitalists hoped to entrench their situations as the primary political arbitrators, a new elite of western-influenced reformers. All very reminiscent of the Yeltsin years. (5)

THE US INTERVENTION

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s ‘New Europe’ involved a geopolitical incorporation whereby the ex-soviet republics, and Warsaw Bloc allies were enrolled into the EU and more importantly were brought into NATO. Membership of the NATO was mandatory for all new EU entrants. Rumsfeld opined that “You’re thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don’t. I think that’s ‘old Europe … If you look at the entire NATO Europe today, the centre of gravity is shifting to the East. And there are a lot of new members. And if you just take the list of all the members of NATO and all of those who have been invited in recently — what is it, 26, something like that? [But] you’re right. Germany has been a problem, and France has been a problem.”

If this was not a blatant intrusion into European affairs I stand to be corrected. This was the creation of a geopolitical beach-head militarily primed and ready to go; its purpose was to prevent any modus vivendi crystallising between Europe as a whole, and, in particular Russia. Central to this strategy …

‘’There was an overarching strategic concept of sorts in the double enlargement – strategic and economic – it was a strategy for Americanising the social structures of Europe within the NATO security perimeter whilst Americanising the hinterland beyond the perimeter. Firstly the Central European and Eastern Countries (CEECs) have become and will continue to be a significant middle-class market for western multinationals grabbing market share there at will, using the Single Market Rules embodied in the European Agreements to legitimise their market domination. Secondly, the CEECs will offer a limitless supply of cheap labour for western multinationals to use for the labour-intensive parts of the production circuits. Thirdly these attractions will be used by big capital in Western Europe to threaten to exit eastwards unless Western Europe Americanises its labour markets and turns the welfare state into minimal safety nets and allows British and American levels of social inequality, poverty, urban decay, and prison populations. Western Europe will then be distinguishable from the USA only by the virulence of its internal racist, neo-fascist, and xenophobic movements. (6)

WITHER GERMANY?

At the present time and at the beginning of a new and even bigger crisis in the global economy the future of the EU depends on the interests of the different factions of the German ruling elite. This is nowhere better instanced than in the Nordstream-2 episode. One faction, German big business, which has extensive investment in Russia together with other financially strong countries wants to reorientate its long-term strategies seeking an expansion of Germany toward China and Russia. There are several reasons for this;

‘’Firstly Both Russia and China have immense resources and reserves of raw materials. Secondly, the level of China’s economic growth and the size of its market are way above those of the EU. Thirdly, Germany’s technological superiority is the ideal condition for intra-trade appropriation of Chinese surplus value. Fourthly, if bi-lateral trade relations were to continue at the current pace Beijing will become Germany’s main trading partner by 2021. Fifthly, for China, Germany is the European state with the most optimal investment opportunities; China is the second largest non-European investor in Germany after the United States. Finally, China’s ultimately likely goal is to lessen US influence in Europe by forging its own close ties to the EU – and Germany is China’s strategic foothold in Europe. These are ideal conditions for German expansionism to scale down its interests in Europe and redirecting its attention to the East.’’(7)

The other faction in Germany are the geriatric Atlanticists, political, security (BND) and military elites, with the Greens in tow of course, who are apparently still fixedly stuck in an Americo-centric NATO bloc not knowing which way the wind is blowing and on which side their bread is buttered. The Nordstream-2 issue is crystallising these fault-lines among the German ruling elites with Frau Merkel being pulled hither and yon between Germany’s reactionaries and its more forward-looking business class which is enamoured of the pro-China-Russia siren songs. Moreover, given the centrifugal drift within the Eurozone there seems sufficient reason to believe that a new bloc of northern European states, grouped around Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, and possibly including the Tax Havens of Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein, could coalesce around the establishment of a new Northern Euro. This delinking from the ‘weak’ euro by the Northern bloc could well be the strategy that Germany, that is to say, its business elite, pushes – or at least does not oppose – the default of the weaker countries in the south and the east so that they leave the Eurozone.

At the present time this is conjecture, but the slow but inexorable economic and geopolitical underground shifts make change inevitable.

NOTES

(1) It should be noted in passing that this was never intended to take on the contours of a European geopolitical alternative to the American continental hegemon. That came later. At the time there was a school of thought that held the creation of a European alliance to act as a third force based upon social-democratic and unaligned neutrality which would act as a buffer between US imperialism and Russian communism, and as an alternative to the two heavily armed super-states. Alas that was not to be. The collapse of the Soviet Union was regarded in Anglo-American right-wing circles and their euro proxies – the UK, Poland, and the Baltics – as a wonderful opportunity to punish and over-run the prostrate and weakened Russian state. It almost succeeded as an enlarged NATO gobbled up ex-soviet republics pushing right up to Russia’s western borders.

(2) Barry Eichengreen – Exorbitant Privilege 2018 – pps3/4

(3) The Eurozone is composed of 19 out of 27 European States. The following use the euro as their currency: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

(4) The Hartz Reforms. These reforms involved the restructuring of Germany’s internal labour markets involving a lowering of labour costs and introducing ‘mini’ jobs wage and welfare cuts. So the reduced share of unemployed in the German work-force was achieved at the expense of the real incomes as those in work. Fear of low benefits if you became unemployed, along with the threat of moving businesses abroad into the rest of the Eurozone or Eastern Europe, combined to force German workers to accept exceptionally low wage increases whilst capitalists reaped an excessively big profit expansion. Real wages in Germany have fallen during the Eurozone era and are now below the level of 1999. This whilst real GDP per capita has risen nearly 30%.

(5) The accession states of Eastern Europe are simply an entrenched euro version of a US/Mexico periphery grouping on the border of the US southern states. These maquiladoras have certain tax advantages which make them attractive to US businesses. These US businesses can capitalize on a cheaper labor force in Mexico and also receive the benefits of doing business in the U.S. The presence of maquiladoras contributed significantly to the industrialization of the Mexican-American border.

(6) Peter Gowan – The Global Gamble – p.317.

(7) Guglielmo Carchadi – From Crisis of Surplus Value to Crisis of the Euro – A Global Analysis of Marx’s Law of Profitability. – p.419

The Headless Chicken and the Bear

THE SAKER • FEBRUARY 9, 2021 

Introducing the headless chicken

The EU has a major problem: it is run by a comprador class which is entirely dependent on the United States. Okay, that by itself is not the problem I am referring to. The problem I am referring to is one we could call the problem of the decapitated chicken: a decapitated chicken can run without a head, but it sure does not know where it is running or why. This happens to all comprador classes when their beloved masters suddenly vanish. This is exactly what happened to the European ruling classes when Trump came to the White House: they “lost their head” and they began running all over the place, obviously achieving nothing. Now that the Neocons gave Trump the boot, the EU rulers are desperate to show the new US leaders that they only hated Trump, not the US, and what better way to show your complete submission than by barking at the Asiatic Mordor of the East known as “Russia”?

This latest PSYOP was apparently organized in the US last fall, while Trump was still in power, at least nominally. This makes sense, just like the huge “Patriot Act” was carefully prepared months, if not years before 9/11 happened. This time around, some US intelligence agency (probably the CIA) then passed the baby to the German BND which was supposed to act as an intermediary to give the US “plausible deniability”. The big problem is that the Germans apparently screwed things up, and the plan was a flop: the latest sacral victim failed to die (again!). As for Putin, he used his executive power to allow Navalnyi (who was on parole) to immediately fly to Germany for treatment as soon as the Russian medics stabilized him. From there on, everything went south and Navalnyi’s curators scrambled to save whatever could be saved.

They produced a movie about Putin’s palace in Crimea, only to have Russian reporters film the location and prove that this movie was a total fake. Then they sent Navalnyi back to Russia figuring that if the Russian authorities arrested him huge protests would follow or, alternatively, if the Russians did nothing, Navalnyi would be able to create chaos during an important election year in Russia. This resulted in another flop, not only were the crowds in Russia small, their behavior was deeply offensive and even frightening to most Russians who have seen enough Maidans and color revolutions to know how this stuff ends. As for Navalnyi, he was arrested immediately upon landing, and his parole was revoked.

Of course, all this was reported very differently in what I call Zone A, but while this made it possible for the authors of this PSYOP to conceal the magnitude of their failure, in the rest of the world and, especially, in Russia, it was pretty clear that this ridiculous buffoonery had failed. That outcome presented the EU headless chicken with a major problem: on one hand, we protest about “Putin murdering his own people with combat gasses” while on the other we are about to complete North Stream 2 (NS2), which we need to remain competitive; if we continue, we will lose NS2 and we will alienate Russia even further, but if we stop acting like an idiot on suicide watch, our overseas masters will make us pay. EU leaders obviously failed agree on a plan so, just like a headless chicken, they ran in all directions at the same time: they publicly protested, but also sent as top official, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Josep Borrell, to try to appease the Russians. Borrell actually did a decent job trying to placate the Russians, but this time something went very wrong. Not only was Foreign Minister Lavrov very blunt in his public comments, the Russians also expelled 3 EU diplomats for participating in the demonstrations even while Borrell and Lavrov were talking. This is when the proverbial bovine excreta hit the fan, at least in EU whose “watchdog media” (here I use the term “watchdog” as meaning “immediately barking at anybody daring to stray from the official propaganda line”) went crazy and accused Borrell of caving in to the Russians. Some even demanded Borrell’s resignation. As for Borrell himself, he did what all western officials do after a visit to Moscow: he changed his tune as soon as he came back home. Finally, Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, added that “The task [of Borrell] was to carry out a public flogging, which, I think, they planned very carefully, it was a cascade of topics: talks about rallies, talks about journalists, and making [Alexey] Navalny the main theme of the discussion”. According to Zakharova, this plan failed because Russia insisted on discussing the “real issues“.

Interestingly, the Russians did not expel any US diplomats (at least not yet) in spite of the fact that these officials all agreed that the origin of the PSYOP was from overseas and in spite of the quasi-certainty that US officials must have been present, at least in the Moscow and Saint Petersburg protests. To its credit, the US embassy in Moscow did recommend to all US citizens that they stay away from illegal demonstrations. This is an ongoing crisis and by the time this analysis is posted, things might have changed dramatically. My purpose today is not to look at the US or the EU, but at what I believe is a major shift in Russian policy.

At this point, we should not see the expulsions of the 3 EU diplomats as anything more than just a “shot across the bow”, a way to indicate that the winds have changed. But these expulsions are not big enough to qualify as a real, painful, retaliation. Why?

Because the real slap in the collective face of the EU was the press conference of Lavrov and Borrell in which Lavrov was truly uniquely direct and candid. For example, Lavrov bluntly said ” We are proceeding from the assumption that the EU is not a reliable partner, at least at the current stage. I hope that in future strategic attention will be given to the EU’s fundamental interest in its closest neighbours and that the talks we have held today will promote movement to a more constructive trajectory. We are ready for this“.

Translated from diplospeak into plain English, this means 1) we are fed up with you and 2) we don’t need you.

This blunt statement is what triggered all the subsequent hysterics in Brussels about Borrell being ill treated by the Russians and Borrell’s subsequent declaration that “Russia does not want a constructive dialog” and that the EU must now decide if it still wants to get closer to Russia or if it wants to distance itself from a country slipping into authoritarianism.

In western parlance the degree of “democratism” or “authoritarianism” is solely defined by the willingness of a country to be a satrapy of the Empire. Under this definition, all sovereign countries are “dictatorships” and all AngloZionist satrapies are paragons of democracy.

Has the Russian bear had enough?

Just two weeks ago I wrote that With “Biden” in the White House, the Kremlin Now Needs to Change Gear and I believe that this is exactly what we are seeing today. Here is my evidence:

  • The tone of the Russian has changed and is much more direct and blunt
  • The fact that the three EU diplomats were expelled while Borrell was in Moscow was a very deliberate slap in the EU’s collective face
  • The tone of the Russian media has also changed, journalists and experts are all expressing their utter disgust with the EU and are calling for less words and more actions
  • The NS2 lobby in Russia (who advocated a policy of total non-confrontation at least until NS2 was completed) is rather absent from the public discourse. This might mean that this lobby has thrown in the towel or, alternatively, that the block I call “Eurasian sovereignists” does not consider NS2 as vital for Russia (they are correct, by the way) and that putting the squeeze on the EU is much more important (again, I agree with them here too).
  • The EU’s other anti-Russian vendetta, I am referring to the recent attempt at overthrowing Lukashenko, has also failed. However, this PSYOP was so rude and crude, and the EU acted with such arrogance that it really gave Russia no other option than to take action, not only by flying Tu-160s along the Belarussian border or by selling S-400s, but also by using highly symbolic diplomatic countermeasures.
  • The Russian Aerospace Forces (2 Su-24M, 2 Su-27s and 2 Su-30SM) have conducted mock missile strikes against USN ships as soon as they entered the southern waters of the Black Sea. Note: the same day Chinese aircraft conducted a mock attack on a US carrier in the Pacific.
  • Russia has now deployed both the Bal and even the formidable Bastion coastal missile defense systems. This, combined with the formidable capabilities of the Southern Military District and the Black Sea Fleet which turns the entire Black Sea into a shooting range and any hostile ship into an easy target for the Russians. Clearly, the Russians are fed up with the arrogance of the USN.
  • Defense Minister Shoigu has just announced a major increase in the production of high-precision and hypersonic weapons.

These are just a few examples of a much longer list of changes which are taking place before our eyes.

So far, the EU did not get the message at all. At least officially. But witnessing the infighting taking place not only over Borrell’s trip, but also about what to do about vaccines (The Lancet has just posted a major article entitled “Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine candidate appears safe and effective” which basically said that all the western nonsense about Sputnik-V being BOTH 1) unsafe AND 2) ineffective were lies) I can clearly see that the EU rulers are seriously worried. Right now it sure looks like the EU is losing the “COVID propaganda war” and that all these russophobic states (except the hardcore nutcases of 3B+PU) will have to now ask Russia for her vaccines. So far the only official EU reaction was to expel 3 Russian diplomats and somewhat protest. But these are clearly the opening shots of a much longer confrontation between Russia and the EU.

The crucial factor to consider here is this: while the aggregate power of the US+NATO+EU+5EYES is bigger than Russia’s, the mental paralysis of the EU leaders makes the EU alone already much weaker than Russia. Of course, since Biden’s administration is a who’s who of the most hysterical russophobes imaginable, chances are that the US will interfere and attempt to back the anti-Russian factions in the EU. Considering the tone used by Russian officials over the latest USN provocations in the Black Sea and the Sea of Japan, I don’t doubt the Kremlin’s determination to act both in words and with actions.

And then there are the subtle threats which the general public is rarely exposed to. The latest example is a highly specialized article entitled “Rationale for the combat use of aviation to disrupt an integrated massive air strike during a multi-domain operation of the enemy” which explains how Russia could disrupt and defeat a NATO attack. I won’t go into all the (very interesting) details here, but I will just say that the authors declare that Russia can go from a policy of deterrence by nuclear forces to a policy of (conventional) deterrence by having the means to “inflict comprehensive defeat (upon NATO countries) using all types of weapons within the deterrence of inflicting an unacceptable complex defeat on it with all types of weapons within the framework of preventive actions under the conditions of the danger of local war threatening the Russian Federation“. In truth, this is not the only Russian specialized article discussing the future of warfare, and what makes this one truly unique is that RT, of all places, decided to post an article about it entitled “Russian Air Force experts publish plan to neutralize NATO forces in all-out war with bombing strikes“. This really looks like the Kremlin wanted to make absolutely sure that western politicians (as opposed to western military analysts who read that stuff on a daily basis anyway) would think long and hard about what US military plans for NATO really would mean for the EU.

Then there is the outcome of the Polish military command staff exercise Winter-20 which resulted in, I kid you not, Russia completely defeating the Polish military in 5 days only! (For details, see herehere or here). Again, there is nothing really new here, the US and/or NATO have conducted plenty of exercises which had the “Russian hordes” defeating the “forces of democracy and progress”. And, again, the real difference was in the Russian coverage of this news: for the first time the Russians openly made fun of NATO and of the (always paranoid and insanely russophobic) Poles. In truth, the Russians always knew that the Polish military is as good on pompous ceremonies and parades as it is inept on the battlefield, but that kind of open contempt is something new, at least from the state supported media.

So far, the EU clearly is not coming to terms with this new reality. The latest (breathtakingly stupid) EU plan to try to scare “Putin” (here “Putin” is the collective Kremlin boogeyman, not necessarily VVP): Svetlana Tikhanovskaia has appealed to the wife of Navalnyi, Iulia, to become the “she president of Russia”. Yes, seriously. Iulia Navalnaia as President of Russia!

As for Navalnyi’s supporters in the EU, they have decided to create a Russian government in exile. Again, this is not a joke. By the way, the “Minister of Foreign Affairs” of this “Russian Government in Exile”, Leonid Volkov, initially declared that the illegal riots should be halted, only to be told otherwise by his handlers. He immediately made a required 180 and declared that protests will resume. This is how Maria Zakharova bluntly, and very officially, reacted on Facebook to his “change of mind”: (minimally fixed machine translation)

NATO doubles down

On February 4, 2021, Volkov declared that the protests in Russia were canceled and will resume in the spring and summer. “We will not hold a rally next weekend…The wave of protest must end at a high point. Because if we continue to decline, it will be terribly demotivating and frustrating for everyone… We will prepare well and hold something big both in the spring and in the summer. We will never give up our demands.” Then, on February 9, 2021, Volkov changed his mind and announced that the campaign will continue in February. “We’ll make it much trickier” he added. What happened between February 4 and 9 and forced the “opposition” to radically change tactics? Everything is quite simple – on February 8, 2021, an online meeting with Volkov and Ashurkov took place at the Permanent Mission of Poland to the EU in Brussels, in which EU countries, the United States, and Britain took part. And in fact-this was a meeting of the NATO countries. The NATO members instructed the “opposition”, and in fact their agents of influence, how to continue “more cunning” to conduct subversive work. Too much money and resources have already been invested by the West in this story to wait until spring. They clearly understand: in the spring, the information campaign pumped up by Westerners will be blown away. They can no longer juggle the topic of “chemical weapons” without presenting the facts – they are pinned to the wall. So they double down.

As for Navalnyi and his supporters, Zakarova was even more direct, saying “stop calling them opposition, they are NATO agents!”.

As I have explained many times, western politicians double down not when they feel strong, they double down when they feel weak and when they place their hopes in the willingness of the other side not to seriously further escalate.

And, just to make sure that the Empire can win the battle for the “hearts and minds” of the Russian people, the Brits are now counting (again) on Pussy Riot to release a song in support of protests. Again, while this does sound like a joke, it is not.

Now comes the best part: there are a lot of signs that the EU will, again under the pious pretext of “solidarity” follow the 3B+PU politicians and, if not recognize such a government in exile, at least treat its members as real officials. That is also supposed to also terrify the Kremlin, I guess. But if that is the best the EU can come up with, VVP and the people of Russia, can sleep in peace.

So where do we go from here?

Making predictions is a tricky thing when dealing with both 1) countries with limited agency/sovereignty and 2) countries led by incompetent/delusional politicians. The many theories of deterrence out there all assume what is called a “rational actor” and a truly sovereign state. What is certain is that the Empire and its EU protectorates will only increase what I call “petty harassment measures” to try to offend and humiliate Russia (stuff like this crap). In response to such “ankle biting” Russia will do two things: drop any pretense of diplomacy and denounce these “ankle bites” for what they are (provocations) and further turn to Zone B (aka “reliable partners”) for partnerships. Russia will also bluntly spell out to the Europeans the risks they are taking with their ill-conceived sabre rattling along the Russian border. Sadly, this probably means that, just as the Chinese Navy recently, the Russian Aerospace Forces and Navies will have order to engage any aircraft or vessel threatening Russia (so far these are only rumors, but they are persistent and seem to have strong backing in the Duma). This is a very dangerous development as western politicians, being primarily ideological (and, therefore, delusional) creatures will always prefer to play a game of (headless) chicken hoping that the other guy will back down. The fact that the “other guy” (both Russian and Chinese) in the past did, indeed, back down and show restraint only further encourages western politicians to double down forever no matter what. For these reasons I would call the probability of an actual military clash between US/NATO and/or Russia/China as “likely in 2021”. As for the future of NS2, I always assumed that EU politicians can count their Euros and realize that the EU needs that project way more than Russia. Frankly, I am not so sure now: counting on the mental abilities of a headless chicken is probably not a good idea! Neither is counting on the courage of the type of politicians whom Boris Johnson once called “supine invertebrate protoplasmic jellies“.

It appears that Russia and the EU are on a direct collision course. Frankly, I welcome it, in spite of the obvious dangers. Why? Because nothing except a real confrontation can bring EU politicians down to the real world back from the La-La land they currently live in. The Russian bear needs to smack down the headless chicken. Hard.

Report Finds “Israel” Unprepared to Fight Hezbollah

Report Finds “Israel” Unprepared to Fight Hezbollah

By Staff, The National Interest

Ironically, the “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF] – which prides itself on flexibility to rapidly adapt to the chaos of battle – bases its approach on the mission-oriented tactics of the World War II German army. Yet despite being a virtuoso on the battlefield, the Wehrmacht’s logistics skills were often lacking: German troops constantly ran out of fuel, ammunition and food during Operation Barbarossa, the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union.

If the “Israeli” entity has to go to war tomorrow against Iran or the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, there’s a problem.

The “Israeli” mechanized division that would defend the entity’s northern border, or enter Syria or Lebanon to eject Iranian and Iranian allied forces, are in bad shape.

The 319th Division, stationed in northern “Israeli” entity, is short of equipment such as tanks, and the equipment it does have is in poor condition, according to IOF audit cited by “Israeli” news site Ynet.

“According to the audit’s findings, 52 percent of combat vehicles are unfit for use and there is a 20 percent shortage of weapons and night-vision equipment for soldiers,” Ynet said.

“The auditors found that many armored vehicles were lacking during proper maintenance checks, with 68 of them sitting uncovered and unprotected against the elements. Dozens of other vehicles were found unusable due to faulty tires and broken engines, and only 34 percent of oil tankers and more than 33 percent of cranes were also found to be unusable.

The Ynet article was accompanied by photographs that showed vehicles in a dilapidated condition or unprotected by tarps against the elements.

Auditors found that the problem extended to the 319th Division’s support units, as well. “The Northern Command’s logistics unit, upon which the 319th Division relies in times of war, has a shortage in communications equipment and vehicles for medical evacuation, and the division’s medical unit hasn’t had a commanding officer or lieutenant for almost a year.”

One reason for the 319th Division’s woes is that there isn’t enough equipment to meet both operational and training needs. “The audit found that about half of the 319th Division’s Mark 4 Merkava tanks and almost 100 communication devices have been lent to the Armored Corps training unit, located more than 350 kilometers [217 miles] from their main storage and maintenance areas in the north,” Ynet said.

That peacetime military units are short of equipment and personnel isn’t exactly unique to the “Israeli” entity. A recent audit found that US Army brigade combat teams lack sufficient vehicles and equipment,  while the US Navy doesn’t have enough spare parts to keep all its F/A-18E/F Super Hornets flying.

Yet the 319th Division’s woes reflect a larger pattern in the IOF. In the 2006 “Israel”-Hezbollah War, “Israeli” troops suffered from shortages of basic items, from food and water to ammunition, as well as poorly trained logistics personnel.

But as this writer learned while observing an “Israeli” armored brigade on maneuvers along the occupied Golan Heights in February 2019, the IOF may have only hours to prepare for battle along the entity’s northern border.

Time to fix mistakes is a luxury the “Israeli” entity does not have.

The Digital Police State Is Being Institutionalized Throughout the Western World

The Digital Police State Is Being Institutionalized Throughout the Western World

February 04, 2021

By Paul Craig Roberts and cross posted with permission

This report sounds like science fiction, but it comes from a credentialed source and is posted on a respected website.  If correct, the only possible conclusion is that a police state is being institutionalized throughout the Western world and perhaps all of the world.  If correct, the report certainly validates my conclusion that the digital revolution is the worst disaster ever to befall humanity, and it validates my conclusion that no Western government represents the people. PCR

Implanted “Vaccine Package” ID: Germany’s Parliament Has Ratified GAVI’s Digital “Agenda ID2020”

By Peter Koenig, Global Research

Implanted “Vaccine Package” ID: Germany’s Parliament Has Ratified GAVI’s Digital “Agenda ID2020”

Introduction and background by Global Research:

Alarming News. In Germany the Parliament (Bundestag) ratified on 29 January 2021, the implementation of Agenda ID2020.

This is a centralized general electronic data collection of every citizen to which every government agency, police – and possibly also the private sector would have access.

It covers all that is known about an individual citizen, now up to 200 points of in formation and possibly more as time goes on, from your bank account to your shopping habits, health records (vaccination records, of course), your political inclinations, and probably even your dating habits and other entries into your private sphere.

Agenda ID2020 was designed by Bill Gates as part of the “vaccination package”. It is backed by the Rockefeller Foundation, Accenture, the WEF and GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, now simply called the Vaccine Alliance), also a Gates creation (2001), with HQ in Geneva, Switzerland.

GAVI is located next door to the WHO. GAVI is called a public private partnership.

The public part being WHO, plus a number of developing countries.

The private partners are, of course a series of pharmaceutical companies, i. e. Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co. … and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The German extra-governmental Corona Commission, consisting of hundreds of medical doctors, virologists, immunologists, university professors – and lawyers, including Dr. Reiner Füllmich, co-founder of the Commission, has special concerns that the current Corona-Vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna), may include nano-particles that could be accessible to electro-magnetic radiation, i. e. 5G and the subsequent 6G.

This is precisely what was foreseen in the design of Agenda ID2020, in which Bill Gates and GAVI had a major role, and in which case the ID2020 might be vaccine-implanted and be remote-accessible by EM-geared computers, robots or algorithms (see, in German “Wirkungsweise und Gefahren der aktuellen Corona-Impfungen in Deutschland mittels mit Nanopartikeln umhüllter mRNA-Impfstoffe – Corona Ausschuss Germany 37th Conference” (31 January 2021).

The adoption of Agenda ID2020 still has to be approved by the German Federal Council, but there is little chance the Council will reject it.

Agenda 2020 in Switzerland

Similarly, in Switzerland, Agenda ID2020 – an all-electronic ID – linking everything to everything of each individual citizen will come to a popular vote on 7 March 2021.

And that’s not all, the Swiss government wants to outsource management of Agenda ID 2020 to the private sector — unbelievable!!! – You imagine a bank or insurance company dealing (and selling) your data!!!! — Just imagine what will happen with your personal information – unthinkable.

In the longer-run – who knows how long – as foreseen by Bill Gates, the properties for an electronic ID – i. e. an electromagnetic field (EMF) – will be implanted in your body, either along with a vaccine – maybe it’s already happening with the covid jabs, or separately in the form of injectable nano-chips.

Early trials were carried out mid-last year in school classes of remote villages in Bangladesh.

With the complacent Swiss being what they are, it is very possible if not likely that the government’s proposal will be accepted on 7 March. Then what?

Is this the beginning of adopting the all-digitized Agenda ID2020 throughout Europe, the world?

Or – maybe other EU countries have already quietly and secretly – no questions asked – envisaged inserting the Agenda ID2020 in their Constitution.

For more details of Agenda ID 2020 – see below.

The Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic: The Real Danger is “Agenda ID2020”

By Peter Koenig, April 26, 2020

The Coronavirus Vaccine: The Real Danger is “Agenda ID2020”

Once every citizen on the planet – according to Bill Gates – about 7 billion-plus will be ID-chipped, the control of a small globalist elite will be close to total.

With an electromagnetic field and with 5G / 6G EM-waves allowing inputs and access of data in your body – the control of each individual is almost complete. The “almost” refers to the planned access to your brainwaves.

This is supposed to be happening through a Brain Computer Interface (BCI), called Neurolink(https://neuralink.com/) – developed by Elon Musk. (see video)

It presents an interface of electronic waves with the human brain which, by then, will have been converted into an electromagnetic field (EMF), so that it can receive digital commands that will influence our behavior, or can be turned off – RIP – as may be is most convenient for the Global Cabal.

Let’s not let this happen.

Read article: https://www.globalresearch.ca/coronavirus-causes-effects-real-danger-agenda-id2020/5706153 

Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked for over 30 years on water and environment around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals and is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and  co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes:From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020).

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

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