Trump: Meeting Putin better than that with the NATO

Local Editor

US President Donald Trump defended his summit with Vladimir Putin, saying the meeting was “even better” than his talks with NATO allies.

A day after Trump received a barrage of bipartisan criticism for what many said was a failure to properly challenge Putin over Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election and to undermine the credibility of his own intelligence officials, the president began pushing back, saying he was putting the “pursuit of peace” before politics.

Before leaving Finland, he said that while he had great confidence in the US intelligence community, he was seeing not to exclusively focus on the past.

On Tuesday morning, hours before he was due to meet Republican senators at the White House where he was likely to pressed on his meeting with Putin, the president tweeted once again.

“While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia,” he said.

“Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy.”

Trump’s meeting in Helsinki, or at least the press conference he delivered afterwards, received almost unanimous condemnation from politicians from both parties and swathes of the American media, even including broadcasters from Fox News.

Republican House Speaker said there was “no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia”, while Senator John McCain said Trump’s comments represented “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

Trump’s former communications director Anthony Scaramucci, a man who was fired after ten days but who remains close to the president, told CNN: “He’s got to speak out about it, and he’s got to reverse course immediately.

“The optics of this situation are a disaster….If he doesn’t reverse course on this, he will eventually lose people who want to support him.”

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was among the handful of Republicans, along with Vice President Mike Pence, to defend the president.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

 

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Putin and Trump’s Unagreed Agreement – a Catastrophe for Europe

July 17, 2018

By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-putin-and-trumps-unagreed-agreement-a-catastrophe-for-europe/
source: https://ukraina.ru/exclusive/20180717/1020630485.html


Contradictions between Russia and the US are so substantial and common ground is so small that the vast majority of experts, recognising the importance of the fact of the meeting in Helsinki itself, nevertheless stressed that one shouldn’t expect some breakthrough in bilateral relations or at least reaching an agreement on one minor question…

Washington and Moscow have no minor questions and, taking into account the global level of the standoff, even such unnecessary and burdensome things for the US as Ukraine (which there is a need to first of all relinquish), can’t be handed over by Trump without any conditions (or at least not yet). This is an asset, even if it is garbage, and it is necessary to sell it, even cheaply. At least, Washington isn’t yet ready to throw Kiev into the political garbage heap, having recognised that in 2014 they mistakenly acquired rotten goods.

So, we have a situation where both parties even prior to negotiations knew that they wouldn’t be able to come to some arrangement, and they didn’t even prepare for such a thing (it wasn’t planned to sign anything following the results of negotiations). At the same time both parties needed the event to be successful. Trump obviously blackmails the European Union with a possible agreement with Russia. But Putin also needs to show Europe that there are other fish in the sea besides them. The Europeans, who were already abandoned by the US, have been turning towards Russia for too long and with uncertainty. Moreover, they constantly send signals to Washington about their readiness to more or less preserve their rigid anti-Russian position (in things that don’t concern the gas supply) if Trump stops“undermining transatlantic solidarity”.

The position of Europe is clear. It isn’t a coincidence that Trump, while enumerating the enemies of the US (the EU, China, and Russia) made it clear that he considers Russia to be the smaller problem, because there are practically no economic contradictions (“Nord Stream-2” doesn’t count) with it. It’s not China, with which the US has the biggest negative trade balance, but the EU, which Trump fairly defined as the main trade competitor receiving unjustified economic benefits from political agreements with the US, that is the main enemy of the US.

In these conditions, America hypothetically resolving its military-political contradictions with Russia reduced the value of the EU as an ally for Washington to zero. In this case Trump, who already threatened European leaders, could indeed end all military-political and economic agreements with Europe, which, in turn, would be fraught with a political and economic catastrophe for the European Union.

Neither the Russian nor the Chinese market can simultaneously consume in one fell swoop the entire volume of the EU’s export to the US. On the contrary, both Beijing and Moscow carry out profitable trade with the European Union. In this direction the EU covered its deficit thanks to making profit from trade with the US. Europe used (and hoped to continue to use it) its role of a springboard for the fight against Russia as an argument that was supposed to keep Trump away from making the last step (complete separation with the EU). In recent days, Merkel, after the NATO summit, started talking literally with Poroshenko’s words, declaring that Trump’s pretensions to Europe concerning the insufficient financial contribution to NATO aren’t justified, because Europe battles with Russia for the interests of the US.

For the EU it was crucial that this argument continued to work. Otherwise, Washington indeed would have more common ground with Moscow than with Brussels. And Europe isn’t ready for a sharp confrontation with the US. Having rested on its laurels, it wasn’t engaged (in difference, for example, from China) in the diversification of economic ties and appeared to be strongly dependent on access to the American market.

Without having risked to be ahead Trump in the question of normalising relations with Russia, EU leaders were fatally afraid that Trump and Putin, despite all difficulties, will do the impossible and reach an agreement, especially as both proved to be people who are ready to instantly make decisions that change the destiny of the world.

The position taken by the EU raised the value of the summit for Russia too. Concerning relations with the US, Moscow can wait until Washington is ready for reconciliation on its conditions. But, taking into account the obvious intention of Europe to manoeuvre between Russia and the US, trying to preserve the geopolitical configuration that is profitable for itself, but doesn’t suit either Trump nor Putin, Russia was also interested in showing to the whole world the success of the summit and good prospects for achieving definitive and comprehensive agreements.

And it is indeed this task that was the most difficult problem for both parties. Think about it. You know that you can’t reach an agreement. You also know that the whole world is afraid of your agreement, because playing on your contradictions helped many countries to rise, become stronger, and start laying down claims for the first roles. A Russian-American agreement would’ve immediately cancelled out half (if not more) these achievements. You know that everybody knows that you can’t reach an agreement, and everyone closely watches the results of your meeting.

It is possible to try to dupe observers and to present some communiqué that means nothing as an agreement. Hundreds, if not thousands of journalists and “experts” from hot-air shows would be deceived. They, in turn, would deceive millions of readers and viewers. But this will give nothing. Professional politicians and diplomats can’t be caught on chaff. They will immediately understand that you achieve anything and that you are simply trying to hide this failure, and will start to act in the corresponding manner. The opinion of ochlos in this case doesn’t play a role — international politics isn’t elections, decisions aren’t made by universal suffrage and are never transparent.

Trump and Putin were faced with the task of holding the meeting in such a way that nobody would be deceived concerning its results, but nevertheless selling to the world the absence of any decisions as a serious success. And this is what they did.

Just the phrase of Putin that he at first was sceptical about the meeting giving any result, but conversation was very promising and there is sense in having further regular meetings, is worth a lot by itself. Approximately the same assessment, only in other expressions, sounded from Trump’s lips.

For Europe this is a catastrophe. It means that in the near future Washington has to avoid strengthening the confrontation with Russia, because dialogue with it started to be outlined with the possibility of arriving at some agreements. What was so constructive about what Trump offered to Putin that made the Russian president sharply raise his assessment of the productivity of the meeting, nobody knows. But Europeans know the American tradition – brought to perfection by Trump – of solving their problems at the expense of former allies when their services become unneeded. And they are afraid and try to guess who (or what) Washington decided to sacrifice this time.

The absolute predictability of the results of the meeting played a mean trick on European politicians. They very much got used to a two-dimensional world where everything that isn’t a victory is a defeat; they very much expected clashes between the personal ambitions of Putin and Trump so much so that the elementary move – documenting the contradictions, discussing the versions of decisions proposed by the parties, and, without anticipating the result, agreeing to hold further negotiations – turned out for them to be an unpleasant surprise that is worse than if Trump had directly recognised Crimea as Russian and withdrew the US from NATO in Helsinki.

It would be at least some certainty. It would be clear for them what to do and how to react. And what to do in the circumstances? Where to run: to Washington or to Moscow? To remain loyal to an old suzerain or to try to adhere to a new one before the others do? How to solve the contradictions inside the EU? And there are still a lot of important questions that remain unanswered.

Moreover, unlike Russia, Europe can’t wait. By meeting Putin, Trump brought the US out of zugzwang, having handed over to the European Union the right to make this same move, which only its worsens position.

After all, according to the logic of how events developed that politicians and diplomats have to obligatorily take into account, consultations between Moscow and Washington must start for the purpose of arriving at concrete agreements. They can fruitlessly last months and even years, but can almost suddenly yield fruits.

If the EU wants to remain in the game, then it must formulate its position and its proposals before Moscow and Washington reach an agreement. Otherwise an agreement will be reached at the expense of the EU. In this case Europe won’t even be invited to the table, similar to how Ukraine hasn’t been invited for more than a year, and in passing, among really important problems, attempts were made to parr it off onto each other to supplement real bonuses received in other directions.

A rare moment of lucidity from Trump “NATO Collective Defense Could Start World War 3”

Trump: NATO Collective Defense Could Start WW3

NATO officials insist collective defense is ‘unconditional and iron-clad’

In a Tuesday night interview, President Trump once again stirred up fury among NATO nations, this time by questioning the wisdom of the alliance’s collective defense terms. He warned this was potentially risky because any small NATO member could quickly escalate the entire alliance into a world war.

Trump provided NATO’s newest member, tiny Montenegro, as an example. A nation of just 630,000 people, Trump warned “they may get aggressive and congratulations, you are in World War III.” Trump added that this was “very unfair.”

This is of course true, and not just of Montenegro, but literally any of NATO’s member nations. While Trump’s terming of Montenegrins as “very aggressive people”didn’t sit well with many, the potential for one smaller NATO member nation to provoke a war is not some new concern, but a frequent criticism of the NATO model for decades.

NATO officials were quick to criticize Trump, saying that NATO’s Article 5 provision for collective defense is “unconditional and iron-clad.” This only adds to concerns among NATO nations that Trump’s commitment to the alliance is by their standards imperfect.

NATO officials were already unhappy with Trump going into last week’s summit, and more so coming out of it. The latest comments are a reminder that the threat of World War 3 remains a serious concern for the US president, and one not easily dispelled.

Montenegrin officials were quick to fire back that they don’t intend to start any wars. Again, this misses the serious concerns of the alliance’s obligations, as NATO has no shortage of members liable to pick fights and then come running to the alliance for “defense.”

It’s not even just the current members of NATO. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has voted to express its support for “all” nations to join NATO if they want to. This means effectively any nation in the world with an axe to grind might join NATO with an eye toward using the alliance as its backup.

Trump is right in recognizing the dangers of NATO collective defense, something previous presidents have been loathe to publicly discuss. Yet in doing so he’s once again riled up angered foreign officials who didn’t like him in the first place

Good Luck with that: Western Governments Seek to Evacuate White Helmets from Syria, Resettle Them in Canada

The White Helmets have been shown to effectively be the same organization as terror group al-Nusra Front and have been caught on film aiding al-Nusra terrorists execute Syrian civilians. It is hard to imagine any Westerner who would want the White Helmets as neighbors.

NATO Members Seek to Evacuate White Helmets, Resettle Them in Canada

Source: Mint Press

ARAA, SYRIA – Throughout much of the Syrian conflict, the exploits of the rescue organization that calls itself the Syrian Civil Defense, better known to Western media as the White Helmets, have been a source of constant controversy. Much of this controversy stems from their multi-million dollar funding from Western governments and their documented collaboration with terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, all while purporting to be a local “first responder” organization with a neutral stance regarding the country’s conflict.

Yet now, following the recent success of the Syrian government’s campaign to rid southern Syria of both radical jihadist and foreign influence, the same Western governments that have long funded the White Helmets are seeking to evacuate their assets and resettle them abroad.

According to a report recently published in CBS News, several Western countries that have provided funding for the group – such as the Netherlands, the U.K., Germany and France – are now “scrambling” to evacuate the estimated 1,000 White Helmets and their families, claiming that they are “in danger of assassination” and “now in need of rescuing themselves.”

Several of these countries had brought up the issue with U.S. President Donald Trump at last week’s NATO summit, per CBS’ sources. However, the Trump administration – which recently restored$6.6 million in funding for the White Helmets — declined to comment on rescue efforts for the group, but did voice its concern that the White Helmets and related groups could face “reprisals” from the Syrian government.

The report asserted that, of all the leaders who had discussed the White Helmets at the recent NATO summit, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May was the most adamant, as she also brought up the issue during her personal meeting with Trump over the weekend in London. May’s concern is unsurprising, given that the U.K. has spent more than any other government in funding the White Helmets, spending more than $80 million from the time the group was founded in 2013 through 2016. Furthermore, the group itself was founded by a former U.K. military intelligence officer turned mercenary, James Le Mesurier, which suggests that the U.K.’s connection to the group may go deeper than mere funding.

Western diplomats who spoke to CBS stated that, while no formal plan has yet been adopted, “dozens of ground escape routes” that would lead White Helmets out of Syria are currently being explored. However, if that method fails, those diplomats asserted that Russia would have to approve an aerial escape, though they openly doubted whether Russia could be trusted to aid such an effort.

 

Terrorists as neighbors?

Another area of confusion for those governments seeking to extract White Helmet members from Syria is where they should be resettled. While the Trump administration’s travel ban excludes the U.S., given that the ban prohibits the entry of Syrian nationals, Canada was named by CBS as a top possibility for a White Helmet “safe haven.” The report also asserted that Jordan and Israel would also likely assist such efforts.

However, resettlement may be a problem, not so much for the White Helmets as for Canadians, or the citizens of whatever nation would host the evacuees. This is because the White Helmets have been shown on several occasions to effectively be the same organization as terror group al-Nusra Front and have been caught on film aiding al-Nusra terrorists execute Syrian civilians. It is hard to imagine any Westerner who would want the White Helmets as neighbors.

 

Evacuation phase

Ultimately, the fact that the group’s foreign funders are acting to evacuate White Helmet operatives from Syria makes it clear that the Syrian government, thanks to its own efforts and those of its allies, clearly has the upper hand in now seven-year-long conflict. A U.S. official speaking to CBS all but confirmed this, stating:

This effort says we are in the evacuation phase. It is an admission that the regime is going to regain control of the country and the White Helmets can’t remain.”

Though this could well be the final chapter for the Syrian White Helmets, such reports should be taken with a grain of salt, as they have been used in the past to generate sympathy among the Western public in order to justify increased support for the group. For instance, a prior CBS report had spoken of the Trump administration’s “funding freeze” for the White Helmets and how this endangered the group’s activities. However, as noted above, just two months later the U.S. restored funding for the group to the tune of $6.6 million.

Thus, while the group may be finished in Syria’s south, its presence along with its activities in service to its Western paymasters is likely to continue in other areas of Syria that are controlled by terrorists and foreign occupiers, despite assertions of the group’s imminent evacuation.

 

Top Photo | White Helmets in Syria.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

MintPress News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu’s interview with Italy’s Il Giornale full version

The Saker

July 11, 2018

Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu’s interview with Italy’s Il Giornale full version

Translation by Scott Humor from Russian version found here

https://tvzvezda.ru/news/forces/content/201807111100-cg1g.htm

Original interview

http://www.ilgiornale.it/news/mondo/gelo-washington-colpa-delle-lites-americane-1551319.html

 

Q.: Mr. Minister, tensions between Russia and the United States are growing and raising concerns: are we on the threshold of a new Cold War?

Shoigu: We often hear from the US that the crisis in bilateral relations has been provoked by Russia’s alleged aggressive actions on the international arena. However, we are firmly convinced that tensions in our relations have been artificially fueled all this time by those American elites, who believe that the world is divided into the “American” part and the “wrong” part.

it was the United States that in recent years had unilaterally broke key agreements, which formed the backbone of the global security. Despite the promises that were given to the Soviet leadership during Germany’s reunification, Washington initiated eastward NATO expansion towards our borders.

For over 25 years they tried to fool us claiming that there have been no promises, until recently the National Security Agency declassified archives with the documents of that period, in which it has been set out literally and in personalities.

Because of NATO expansion to the East and accession to NATO countries of Eastern Europe: Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania, an agreement signed in 1990 between the Warsaw Treaty Organization and NATO called the Treaty on conventional armed forces in Europe, providing for the limitation of armaments in areas of contact between two blocks, de facto lost its meaning for Russia.

In 2002, under a pretext of a fictitious “danger” of a missile attack by Iran or North Korea, Washington unilaterally withdrew from the ABM Treaty and began deployment its radars and anti-missiles in the vicinity of our borders.

I, as president of the Russian Geographical Society, have for a long time wanted to present the US colleagues with a globe so that they would look at it and explain to us, why the ‘US adversaries’ designated by them are located in the Middle East and East Asia, while all their military bases and troops are scooched along Russia’s borders? Do they expect us to defend them?

The US party is currently preparing its withdrawal from the INF treaty. The reason for such step is alleged violations of the treaty by Russia.

 

Q: What kind of violations?

Shoigu: All we hear are some mumbles and baseless accusations directed at us. But there are no facts, only statements.

We have repeatedly and publicly made it clear in all major international fora that it is the United States that is directly violating the INF Treaty, having installed, during the deployment of a missile shield in Europe, its MK-41 vertical launching systems, which might be used to launch of Tomahawk cruise missiles. The destructive radius of these missiles covers almost all the European part of Russia’s territory.

In 2007 at the Munich Security Conference Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the leadership of the United States and other Western countries to respect Russia’s national interests and to build open and equal relationships. Unfortunately, very few in the West wanted to hear this call.

 

Q: In your opinion why is this happening?

Shoigu: Today recovering Russia is being viewed not as an ally but as a threat to the US dominance. We are being accused of some aggressive plans towards the West, which, in turn, continues to deploy new forces on our borders.

Among multiple examples of such unfriendly steps there is a decision made in June by NATO to establish two new commands, responsible for the protection of maritime communication and the operative deployment of the US troops to Europe. It’s also an increase of the alliance’s contingent troops in the Baltic states, Romania, Bulgaria and Poland from 2,000 to 15,000 troops with the possibility of rapid build-up of the group to 60,000 soldiers with armored vehicles. Starting with 2020, NATO intends to maintain 30 battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 warships to be in constant readiness for use at the borders of Russia in 30 days.

All of these takes place directly at Russia’s Western borders. At the same time, the Americans are constantly violating international law, using military force in various regions of the world under the pretext of protecting their own interests.

This happened in April of this year in Syria, when on the territory of the sovereign and independent state, (the US) with the support of Britain and France carried out a massive missile attack. What took place was a gross violation of international law by three permanent members of the UN Security Council under fictitious pretext. And this is not an only example, but a trend.

 

Q: A trend?

Shoigu: Yes, we are talking about the neocolonial strategy, which has already been tested by the United States in Iraq and Libya and which consists in supporting any, even the most barbaric ideologies, in order to weaken legitimate governments. After that the United States stages attacks with the use of weapons of mass destruction or organizing humanitarian disasters and, at the final stages, uses military force to create “manageable chaos,” which enables the transnational corporations freely extract the existing assets and to funnel them into the US economy.

Russia, which advocates the equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with all the countries within the concept of the multipolar world, will always be an obstacle for such “strategies to be implemented.

 

Q.: Are there any red lines that cannot be crossed?

Shoigu: In this sense, our military doctrine is very clear, and its essence in prevention of any conflicts. Our official approaches to the use of military force are quite clear and fully disclosed.

Despite of my post, I am convinced that any issues can and should be settled without the use of military force.

I have repeatedly extended invitations to the Pentagon’s head to discuss the existing problems of the global and regional security, including the fight against terrorism. But the Americans are not ready for such dialogue, although, I am certain, that it’s in the best interest not only people in Russia and in the USA, but also in the rest of the world.

Right now, there is only one communication channel between our general staffs now, which is used in negotiations, including at the level of the chiefs of general staff, aimed, first of all, at preventing the military activities of Russia and the United States from turning into a military conflict between our nuclear powers.

 

Q.: But your country is being accused in carrying out the “hybrid wars” against the West.

Shoigu: In Russia we say that it’s a thief himself who screams the loudest “Hold the thief!” The term “hybrid actions” refers to various forms of pressure used by one state against another, but without an open use of military force. Such “wars” are known since ancient times, and they allowed the UK to prevail over the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the last century. Who doesn’t know about the adventures of Lawrence of Arabia?

Today “hybrid wars” include control of media, economic sanctions, hacking activities in cyberspace, backing of internal unrests, finally, deployment of special units and specialists to carry out terror attacks, sabotage and diversion.

This list, perhaps, can be continued further, but there is one important detail. For its successful implementation this century, it is necessary to have global and all-pervasive media, possession of superiority in information and telecommunication technologies, a hold on global financial systems, as well as experience in the deployment and use of special forces in other countries.

 

Q.: What countries, other than the United States and the United Kingdom, have this kind of potential?

Shoigu: These methods were successfully tested by London and Washington during the invasion of Iraq in 1991 immediately after the end of the “cold war.”

This is an important detail, because these technologies existed when the Soviet Union and a bipolar world existed, but there were no opportune conditions. And, by the way, the US president at the time [of the Gulf War] was none other than George H. W. Bush, former director of the CIA.

Since the 1990s, these methods have been actively used by the United States in former Yugoslavia, Libya, [Russia’s] Chechen Republic and, most recently, in Syria. All the signs of the “hybrid war” were apparent in Ukraine ahead of the armed rebellion in February 2014, with the European countries’ passive participation in these “hybrid actions.”

Today, everyone pretends to forget how on the eve of the coup (in Kiev) three foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland personally guaranteed to the legitimate President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych a peaceful settlement of the political crisis, if he does not impose a state of emergency and withdraws all units of the security forces from Kiev. But immediately after the implementation of these obligations, nationalist militants, armed and trained with American and European money, staged a coup, and Europe immediately recognized them as legitimate power.

Accusations of Russia (in hybrid actions) began to appear in the American and British media after an unsuccessful attempt to stage this scenario in Crimea.

 

Q.: Really?

Shoigu: We simply did not give to our overseas colleagues an opportunity to put these measures into practice in Crimea, where, on the contrary, a referendum was held, during which residents freely and, by the way, in the presence of hundreds of representatives of the same American media, voted to withdraw from Ukraine and reunite with Russia. In comparison, after the dismemberment of the former Yugoslavia because of the NATO intervention, Kosovo did not hold any general referendums, but achieved immediate recognition of independence by Washington and Europe after the routine parliamentary vote. It was done absolutely ignoring opinion of the Serbs living in Kosovo and the Yugoslavia’s Constitution.

 

Q.: The issue of Syria will be central during the meeting of presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. What’s your idea of the US strategy in the Syrian conflict?

Shoigu: Since US lawmakers and experts have been calling on the US government to clarify its strategy for Syria, our country is not the only one who does not get it.

In recent years during the continuation of this war, illegal from the point of international law, and even according to the US constitution, the official explanations for the presence of the US military contingent in Syria have been constantly changing.

I would like to recall that initially it was about defeating the ISIL, then about preventing re-emergence of the ISIL and now statements are being made about need to preserve military presence in Syria in order to deter alleged influence of Iran.

Therefore, it is hard to shake off the impression that the United States’ chief objective in Syria is to prevent the situation from stabilizing, to prolong the conflict and undermine the country’s territorial integrity by creating enclaves not controlled by the government on Syria’s borders.

In the areas controlled by the United States for years they have been training militants, who are actively fighting with the Syrian government army and receiving supplies of weapons and ammunition.

In addition, it’s not superfluous to recall that during the struggle of the US-led international coalition against ISIS, the territory controlled by terrorists only increased. Civilization and secular governance persisted only in a few pockets: in Damascus, the province of Latakia and partly in Deir ez-Zor.

At the same time, while declaring its ‘noble’ objectives and ‘good’ will in recent years, the United States has not allocated one cent of aid to provide real assistance to Syrian civilians devastated by long years of war. This applies even to the liberated by the United States and the coalition former capital of ISIS Raqqa, where munition and mortars left after massive bombardments by the “international coalition” still kill local residents. Every week, dozens of people are being killed, including children.

On the other hand, not a single incident involving civilians has been recorded after the Syrian troops’ operations to liberate various regions and localities. Demining activities took place there, people received food and construction materials they needed to resume a peaceful life as soon as possible.

If there is some basis for our American counterparts’ actions in Syria, it is too contradictory to be called a “strategy.”

Q.: Another obstacle to the stabilization of Syria is the rivalry between Iran and Israel…

Shoigu: Iran, like Turkey, historically has been one of the main actors in the region and plays a key role in stabilization of the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic.

As you know, Iran, together with Russia and Turkey, is one of the guarantors of the Astana process aimed at finding an agreement for the final settlement of Syrian conflict.

Regarding the tensions between Iran and Israel or other countries, our position is that we are committed to resolving possible differences and contradictions through dialogue, not through military force and violation of international law.

Use of military force by any of these parties in Syria would inevitably lead to an escalation of tension throughout the Middle East. In that regard, we are committed to the peaceful and diplomatic settlement of any differences and we hope that both sides will be able to show restraint.

 

Q.: Don’t you think that a possibility of supplying S-300 systems to Damascus represents an additional risk factor?

Shoigu: I would like to note that the S-300 system is a complex of purely defensive weapons. Therefore, it cannot pose a direct threat to anyone’s national security.

This anti-aircraft missile system can only be a threat to air attack vehicles. Besides, the decision to supply this model of arms to the army of any foreign state is made based on the appropriate request, which has not been made, yet.

Thus, it is premature to talk about this specifically. At the request of some of our Western partners, as well as Israel, a few years ago, we refrained from delivering these complexes to Syria. Today, after the aggression of the United States, Britain and France against Syria, which has demonstrated the need for the Syrians to have modern air defense, we are ready to revisit this issue.

Q.: From the war in Syria to the trade war. If the level of relations with Washington has reached a historical minimum, the relations with China are increasingly strengthening…

Shoigu: Of course, the tension in international relations has contributed to the strengthening of Russian-Chinese relations, which are based on mutual respect and trust. Russia and China have long-term friendly and strategic relations, and cooperation is developing in many areas, including through military agencies, which is in the interests of both states.

Examples of our cooperation include conducted on a bilateral basis joint operational training of the armed forces of our states, including the annual naval drill Sea Cooperation, and a large-scale joint Russian-Chinese naval and an annual series of joint anti-ballistic missile air defense exercises called Aerospace Security.

We conduct multinational military exercises of armies and fleets of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) the military exercise the Peace Mission. In addition, the Chinese representatives participate in annual competition of the Russia’s Defense Ministry called the International Army Games. Today, about 12% of Russian weapons are exported to China.

At the same time, our joint activities in this area, in contrast to the exercises conducted by NATO and the EU in Europe, are exclusively defensive in nature. Our military partnerships are not directed against any other countries or blocs and serve exclusively to strengthen global and regional security.

Q.: What do you think about the development of the situation in North Korea?

Shoigu: Russia and North Korea have signed a number of agreements in the field of military-technical cooperation, the implementation of which is currently suspended in the framework of the Russian Federation’s implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874.

We are now witnessing a significant reduction in tensions between the North and the South of the Korean Peninsula. We believe that this positive trend is stable and irreversible.

Q.: If we return to Ukraine: do you think it will be possible to find a solution to the current conflict in the South-East of the country?

Shoigu: Only unconditional implementation by Kiev of the Minsk Agreements will allow to exclude emergence of the situation capable to lead to genocide of the Russian population. Unfortunately, Kiev is stubbornly refuses to comply with the agreement, finding various flimsy excuses and making unfounded accusatory statements against Russia.

At the same time, Kiev has been rejecting the very possibility of dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, without which the settlement of this crisis is simply impossible. Of course, our country responds to these developments, constantly calling on Kiev to implement the package of measures that was agreed in Minsk

We hope that the European countries, first and foremost, members of the “Normandy” format, [which includes Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine] will be able to use all their influence on the Ukrainian authorities to reach a peaceful settlement of this internal conflict in southeastern Ukraine.

I believe that a direct confrontation between Ukraine and Russia is impossible. We have common roots, for centuries we have been enduring hardships together and we fought side by side for our freedom and independence during the Second World War. My mother’s family members used to live in Ukraine, I was baptized in a small church in Stakhanov, a town located in Ukraine’s Lugansk region. I am confident that there will never be a place for confrontation or hostility between us, given our common history.

 

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Scott Humor,

the Director of Research and Development

My research of the war on Donbass is available at the saker.community book store

The War on Donbass, which is called by the Western politicians and media the “Russian aggression in Ukraine” was a staged psyop.

My illustrated investigation titled Pokémon in Ukraine reveals how this psyop was staged, by whom and why.

As Trump Threatens End of NATO Alliance, UK Defence and Security at Risk Given israeli Involvement?

As Trump Threatens End of NATO Alliance, UK Defence and Security at Risk Given Israeli Involvement?

By Hans Stehling

The British government, having ignored warnings about the wisdom of allowing the non-EU, non-NATO member, Israel, to be a contractor to the UK Ministry of Defence, now faces the possibility of a seriously compromised national security.

Israeli Likud leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, is Trump’s nuclear lapdog in the Middle East and the Israeli position as a Defence Contractor to the British Armed Forces is now a serious embarrassment and a potential danger to the UK

For our national defence to be in the hands of the only secret nuclear weapon state in the world with an estimated 400 undeclared warheads, and one that treats the UN with open contempt, was always a dangerous miscalculation. Now, with a rift having been opened between US-Israel and Europe, all military co-operation is suspect and Britain could become dangerously exposed.

The current trade war with the United States has shown, beyond doubt, how international relations can change overnight and when they do it is imperative that Britain’s security is not dependent on an American vassal state in the Middle East.

The government needs to take action now by putting an immediate embargo on all bilateral military trade and co-operation with the state of Israel and to deal only with EU/ NATO member suppliers and contractors.

We would not allow Russian President Putin to attend a COBRA meeting, in Parliament, and neither must we allow Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who represents over a million ethnic Russian Israeli citizens and who is so closely allied with his armaments supplier and logistics director, Donald John Trump, TV game show host, property developer and current President of the United States.

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Hans Stehling (pen name) is an analyst based in the UK. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research. 

Gun Runner Trump Offers to Help NATO Members Buy US Weapons

Trump Offers to Help NATO Members Buy US Weapons

Says US makes the ‘best everything’

Following the NATO summit, President Trump says that he offered to help certain unnamed NATO member nations with “weaker finances” to be able to buy US weapons. He said the US would not finance such purchases but help get them on a payment plan.

Trump’s push for major commitments for all NATO nations to increase military spending precipitously, and to commit a substantial percentage of that spending to equipment, was seen by many as a rather cynical attempt to get all of those nations buying arms from well-connected US companies.

Trump’s comments underscore that, as he says most of the NATO countries are wealthy enough to buy S arms on their own, and that it’s only a handful of “not so wealthy” countries that may need help. He said they should all buy US arms, because “The US makes by far the best military equipment in the world: the best jets, the best missiles, the best guns, the best everything.”

Most nations are reluctant to commit major portions of their GDP annually to buying these pricey US arms, however. Some NATO nations, like Turkey, have even chosen to buy Russian over US arms in recent years, a fact that doesn’t sit well with the administration.

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