The brutal invasion of Iraq: Media – he made an unfortunate mistake

May 19, 2022

This speaks for itself and needs no comment.

UN rapporteur: Human Rights in Iran Severely Affected by US Sanctions

May 19, 2022

A top UN human rights official has slammed the United States for its brutal sanctions regime against the Islamic Republic of Iran, asserting that harsh economic sanctions have had a damaging impact on human rights in the country.

Alena Douhan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights, who is on an official visit to Iran these days, convened a press conference in Tehran on Wednesday afternoon.

Speaking to reporters, Douhan noted that decades of sanctions have wholly affected Iranian people’s lives and have particularly hit the low-income section of the society.

While presenting her assessment of the unilateral coercive measures (UCM) against Iran, the UN official who works under a mandate from the United Nations Human Rights Council, called on Washington to abandon its hard-nosed policy of maximum pressure against Iran and other countries.

Douhan, who arrived in Tehran earlier this month, said she had met with many civil society members, representatives of financial centers, diplomatic community during her visit.

She said she will address her concerns about the legality of US sanctions in her final report, which will be released at a later date.

Douhan’s mission from May 7 to 18 is the first to Iran by a UN special rapporteur.

Before embarking on the trip, the UN official said she hoped to “gather first-hand information on the impact of unilateral coercive measures on the full realization of all human rights” in Iran.

“My visit will aim at covering all walks of life and sectors affected by such measures,” she noted, dismissing speculation in the Western media that she was heading to Iran with a specific agenda.

She told reporters on Wednesday that the US has since the 1970s imposed crippling economic and trade sanctions on Iran and significantly expanded them since the early 2000s.

In May 2018, the former US President Donald Trump, after unilaterally withdrawing his country from the 2015 nuclear deal, reinstated harsh economic sanctions on Iran and slapped new ones in an unprecedented move that was widely decried.

Under the 2015 agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), international sanctions on the Islamic Republic were eased in exchange for Tehran putting limitations on certain aspects of its nuclear activities.

Trump’s sanctions deprived the Islamic Republic of economic dividends under the accord as it barred countries and international firms from working with Iran.

The mercurial real estate tycoon-turned-president’s successor, Joe Biden, who was vice president when the JCPOA was inked in 2015, promised to return his country to the deal. But his administration has failed to honor the commitment, following Trump’s legacy.

According to the UN special rapporteur, the US continues to illegally ban trade and investment in Iran, forcing foreign companies to leave the country for the fear of sanctions.

Douhan’s landmark visit to Iran came amid the stalemate over the nuclear deal, with the US showing reluctance to respond to Iran’s proposals.

Decrying the US decision to abandon the nuclear deal and continue with its sanctions regime, she said the deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

“Applying extraterritorial sanctions on Iranian companies or companies working with Iran … is illegal under international law,” she asserted.

Commenting on Iran’s frozen assets abroad, the UN official said the assets estimated to be around $120 billion need to be unblocked.

“I urge the states that have frozen the assets of Iranian Central Bank to immediately unfreeze Iran’s funds based on international law.”

Douhan began her 11-day visit to Iran on May 7, a day before the fourth anniversary of the US illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA.

Last week, Iran’s top human rights official Kazem Gharibabadi said Douhan’s visit was only aimed at gathering information on the impact of sanctions to hold countries (US) to account.

“Nations hit by sanctions should use all available resources to hold the countries calling for and enforcing unilateral sanctions liable,” Gharibabadi said.

His comments came in response to reports in Western media accusing Iran of exploiting the visit to avoid accountability and “deflect attention” from its alleged human rights violations.

In her Wednesday press conference, Douhan also welcomed Iran’s efforts to support Afghan refugees, displaced by the 20-year US war, despite reeling under sanctions.

“I call on the sanctioning states, particularly the US, to abandon the unilateral sanctions,” she stated.

She also referred to stalled negotiations in Vienna to bring the US back to the JCPOA, urging the JCPOA signatories and the US to resume the negotiations.”

Iran and the P4+1 group of countries – Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia – have held several rounds of sanctions in the Austrian capital since April 2021 to revive the JCPOA.

Iran says its primary goal at the talks is to have the illegal US sanctions removed.

Source: Iranian media (edited by Al-Manar English Website)

BIDEN’S BOYCOTT OF CUBA IS “A FAILURE AT REGIONAL DIPLOMACY”

MAY 17TH, 2022

MEDEA BENJAMIN

On May 16, the Biden administration announced new measures to “increase support for the Cuban people.” They included easing travel restrictions and helping Cuban-Americans support and connect with their families. They mark a step forward but a baby step, given that most U.S. sanctions on Cuba remain in place. Also in place is a ridiculous Biden administration policy of trying to isolate Cuba, as well as Nicaragua and Venezuela, from the rest of the hemisphere by excluding them from the upcoming Summit of the Americas that will take place in June in Los Angeles.

This is the first time since its inaugural gathering in 1994 that the event, which is held every three years, will take place on U.S. soil. But rather than bringing the Western Hemisphere together, the Biden administration seems intent on pulling it apart by threatening to exclude three nations that are certainly part of the Americas.

For months, the Biden administration has been hinting that these governments would be excluded. So far, they have not been invited to any of the preparatory meetings and the Summit itself is now less than a month away. While former White House press secretary Jen Psaki and State Department spokesman Ned Price have repeated that “no decisions” have been made, Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols said in an interview on Colombian TV that countries that “do not respect democracy are not going to receive invitations.”

Biden’s plan to pick and choose which countries can attend the Summit has set off regional fireworks. Unlike in the past, when the U.S. had an easier time imposing its will on Latin America, nowadays there is a fierce sense of independence, especially with a resurgence of progressive governments. Another factor is China. While the U.S. still has a major economic presence, China has surpassed the U.S. as the number one trading partner, giving Latin American countries more freedom to defy the United States or at least stake out a middle ground between the two superpowers.

The hemispheric reaction to the exclusion of three regional states is a reflection of that independence, even among small Caribbean nations. In fact, the first words of defiance came from members of the 15-nation Caribbean Community, or Caricom, which threatened to boycott the Summit. Then came regional heavyweight, Mexican President Manuel López Obrador, who stunned and delighted people around the continent when he announced that, if all countries were not invited, he would not attend. The presidents of Bolivia and Honduras soon followed with similar statements.

The Biden administration has put itself in a bind. Either it backs down and issues the invitations, tossing red meat to right-wing U.S. politicians like Senator Marco Rubio for being “soft on communism,” or it stands firm and risks sinking the Summit and U.S. influence in the region.

Biden’s failure at regional diplomacy is all the more inexplicable given the lesson he should have learned as vice president when Barack Obama faced a similar dilemma.

That was 2015, when, after two decades of excluding Cuba from these Summits, the countries of the region put down their collective feet and demanded that Cuba be invited. Obama had to decide whether to skip the meeting and lose influence in Latin America, or go and contend with the domestic fallout. He decided to go.

Oabam a visit to CUba

Cristobal Marquez, owner of “Cristobal’s,” the restaurant where Michelle and Barak Obama had lunch during their visit to Cuba in 2016, shows the book made by White House photographer Pete Souza, in Havana, Cuba. Ramon Espinosa | AP

I remember that Summit vividly because I was among the bevy of journalists jostling to get a front seat when President Barack Obama would be forced to greet Cuba’s President Raúl Castro, who came into power after his brother Fidel Castro stepped down. The momentous handshake, the first contact between leaders of the two countries in decades, was the high point of the summit.

Obama was not only obligated to shake Castro’s hand, he also had to listen to a long history lesson. Raúl Castro’s speech was a no-holds-barred recounting of past U.S. attacks on Cuba—including the 1901 Platt Amendment that made Cuba a virtual U.S. protectorate, U.S. support for Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in the 1950s, the disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion and the scandalous U.S. prison in Guantanamo. But Castro was also gracious to President Obama, saying he was not to blame for this legacy and calling him an “honest man” of humble origins.

The meeting marked a new era between the U.S. and Cuba, as the two nations began to normalize relations. It was a win-win, with more trade, more cultural exchanges, more resources for the Cuban people, and fewer Cubans migrating to the United States. The handshake led to an actual visit by Obama to Havana, a trip so memorable that it still brings big smiles to the faces of Cubans on the island.

Then came Donald Trump, who skipped the next Summit of the Americas and imposed draconian new sanctions that left the Cuban economy in tatters, especially once COVID hit and dried up the tourist industry.

Until recently, Biden has been following Trump’s slash-and-burn policies that have led to tremendous shortages and a new migration crisis, instead of reverting to Obama’s win-win policy of engagement. The May 16 measures to expand flights to Cuba and resume family reunifications are helpful, but not enough to mark a real change in policy—especially if Biden insists on making the Summit a “limited-invite only.”

Biden needs to move quickly. He should invite all the nations of the Americas to the Summit. He should shake the hands of every head of state and, more importantly, engage in serious discussions on burning hemispheric issues such as the brutal economic recession caused by the pandemic, climate change that is affecting food supplies, and the terrifying gun violence–all of which are fueling the migration crisis. Otherwise, Biden’s #RoadtotheSummit, which is the Summit’s Twitter handle, will only lead to a dead end.

Feature photo | President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden wave to reporters before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., May 17, 2022. Gemunu Amarasinghe | AP

Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK. She is the author of ten books, including three books on Cuba—No Free Lunch: Food and Revolution in Cuba, The Greening of the Revolution, and Talking About Revolution. She is a member of the Steering Committee of ACERE (Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect).

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Biden Forces Continue Stealing Syrian Oil; Kurdish SDF Terrorists Killed

ARABI SOURI

Biden forces and their Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists continue ‘business as usual’ by stealing more of the Syrian oil and breaching Syria’s sovereignty as both of them work for the ‘Greater Israel’ project which has the Turkish madman Erdogan play a leading role in it, the Syrian national resistance in northern Syria also continue ‘business as usual’ by targeting the oil thieves and their proxy terrorists.

More than 50 vehicles most of which are tankers loaded with stolen Syrian oil were seen heading toward the Kharab Al Jir (Karab Al Jeer) military airport in the northeastern Hasaskah province before heading to Iraq through an illegal border crossing, the vehicles were operated by the Biden forces illegally present in Syria and were guarded by the Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists.

Near the village of Al Sajir in the northeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, a group of Syrian national resistance attacked an illegal military point manned by the US-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists, local sources confirming the attack also confirmed casualties among the targeted terrorists.

More in this report by the Syrian Ekbariya news channel:

The video is also available on BitChuteOdysee, and Rumble.

Transcript

A number of the US-sponsored SDF militants were killed and wounded in separate attacks targeting militia vehicles and points in the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

Al-Ekhbariya reporter quoted local sources as saying that an armed attack was carried out by unidentified persons with machine guns and RPGs, targeting a military point of the SDF militia in the village of Al-Sajir, north of Deir Ezzor, amid almost confirmed news of the death and injury of a number of militants of that militia.

The American occupation transferred a convoy of tanks filled with stolen Syrian oil and military equipment to its base at Kharab Al-Jeer Airport in the Yarubiyah countryside, in preparation for its expulsion to Iraq through the illegal Al-Waleed crossing.

Local sources indicated that a convoy of 50 vehicles, mostly tankers loaded with stolen oil, and a number of tankers loaded with artillery and military equipment, were accompanied by eight military armored vehicles of the American occupation forces headed from the Tel Hamis area in the eastern countryside of Hasaka to Kharab Al-Jeer airport in the town of Al-Yaroubiyeh, which the occupation forces use as its base.

The sources pointed out that the exiting vehicles stopped at Kharab Al-Jeer Airport to head to the illegal Al-Waleed crossing.

End of the transcript.

All of the Biden’s regime talks, and the talks of the regimes of his predecessors in the USA and in all NATO member countries, about the need to respect the freedoms of people, protect the borders of countries, respect the sovereignty of nations, as their current hysteria over Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity, are all talks to justify their policies, talks targeted for the consumption of their gullible citizens who only foot the bills of the criminal interventions of the ‘Collective West’ in the targeted countries, the only goal is the hegemony of the haves in order to have more on the account of the rest of the world.

The sanctions (legally termed: unilateral coercive measures) the collective west imposed on Russia allegedly for the Russian military operation in Ukraine are nothing but a continuation of punishing countries who reject the absolute US hegemony, for decades, the US consecutive regimes have imposed inhumane sanctions and blockades on Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, and many other countries, their sanctions on Syria dubbed ‘Caesar Act‘ are the most draconian sanctions as they target companies and entire countries who deal with any Syrian business.

In addition to their illegal occupation of areas in northern Syria, where Syria’s main oil fields and wheat fields are, the Biden forces also occupy a military post in the furthest southeastern desert at Al Tanf area where they provide a protected zone for ISIS remnants.

Tucker Carlson: Violence is already beginning

May 07, 2022

German Chancellor Scholz Attended Girls’ Day in Berlin, Accidentally Flew For NATO To Japan Next

May 06, 2022

[Transcript] Hello, Dr. Pattberg here at the German Embassy in Tokyo. In this presentation, I would like to pertain to the brutal truth about German-Japanese relations and the painful roles these nations are forced to play in America‘s end game.

Introduction.

Did you hear that chancellor Olaf Scholz was in Tokyo on Wednesday for a full 20 hours? He wasn’t even on an Asia trip or something. He really just went on a plane in Berlin, met Kishida in the evening, and flew back to Berlin the next morning.

In the global press you will read about “a 2-days summit,” April 28 and 29. But that is not correct, I assure you. The German chancellor was last seen in Berlin on Girls’ Day on Wednesday 27 with little girls who are forced to study engineering because they perform even better than German boys.

Next thing you know, on Thursday morning, April 28, Scholz landed on an undisclosed US military base near Tokyo. He gave a meaningless pop to his own people at the German Chamber of Commerce, for which he could easily have used a Zoom call or sent a fax.

At last, in the afternoon, Scholz met prime minister Kishida Fumio. The two men held a press conference on the economic war against Russia and China. They didn‘t wear plague masks in the deadliest pandemic the world has ever seen, but all their underlings did.

After dinner, Scholz went to bed, and the next morning, April 29, he was off and about on his Airbus-350 back to Berlin. That was a 2 x 9,815 km 1-day excursion, wrapped up in under 20 hours, so Jesus Christ what is happening in the world?

Part I. Future Roles For The Past‘s Two Villains.

The relations between landlocked Germany and pirate nation Japan are hostile. You won’t know about this from the press swindlers. In the lying press, it’s all about “shared values” and war against those who don’t share values, so I am here to tell: These two countries have had it.

First, there is their unholy past record –the past of Imperial Japan and the German Reich. The two nations were bombed to bitzes in World War 2 and lost everything, including their sovereignty and… unagi.

The last word I just made up. It is Japanese fish slang for mojo.

Naturally, the losers avoided each other’s presence. It‘s what normal healthy people do. They avoid hanging around with convicted rapists and Nazis, or creeps who carry contagious diseases.

Second, penance. Both nations have undergone thorough Americanization. So in the loops of their tortured minds, they wonder if they can ever have back their unagis from Captain M’elikka, if only they found and delivered the legendary One Piece pirate treasure or whatever tasks they were asked to perform naked.

Yes, for their loyal services to the US Empire of Sanctions [and Lies], their nationals might get a blue check-marker on their Twitter account, but they longer get their own military, food supply, energy self-reliance, rules and standards and so on.

Germany’s role on Planet War is to ruin the European Union from within. For her services, Germany gets cheap labor and access to markets in Eastern Europe, for now.

The closed-off island of Japan, meanwhile, fell into the role as US custodian over Korea, Taiwan and thousands of jungle islands.

It really is a back-and-forth between Tokyo and Berlin for US ass massaging. Kishida just two months ago commissioned new warships to defend America‘s Taiwan—sugoi!

The German president Walter Steinmeier, meanwhile, announced that Germany would pay the rents of all Holocaust survivors in Israel, how‘s that!

Japan’s Kishida Fumio went hand in fist with an extra $100 million aid package for NATO’s war against Russia—shinjirarenai!

Scholz seemed wallet-blocked for a while. But then he had the brilliant idea to send ‘a menu’ to Ukraine: Just pick the weapons you want, and let the real man pay with credit card.

Urusai!

Baffled Japan which, as a US concubine, doesn‘t bear arms and has no army, was outmaneuvered. So Tokyo can‘t send arms to Ukraine, but maybe it could send some cosmetics?

Japan’s former prime minister, Abe Shinzo, last week penned an op-ed in the LA Times, calling for Washington to start a war with China, prompto. Japan was more than ready, he insinuated. Just sell us arms, we do it.

Couple of days later, on April 26, Germany rushed to deliver free Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine to kill some Russians.

Urusai! cried Kishida again. Japan is strongest ally of USA ever! Maybe we are 100 years from delivering a big U-boot to Taiwan to kill some Chinese. What to offer M‘elikka Capita now?

Not to be out-classed, Prime Minister Kishida at once ordered free housing and an all-you-can eat cafeteria for life for all US military personnel in Japan, from fiscal year 2022 onwards.

And so on.

Part II. Where $4 Trillion and $5 Trillion Economies Become Expandable.

There isn‘t enough brown butter to which these two asswipes wouldn‘t fall over and degrade themselves before America.

It is what psychologists call preemptive obedience. The leaders of Germany and Japan compete for the eyeballs of far-away Immortan Joe Biden and his US pan-galactic universe.

But this is where their commonalities end. Germany and Japan harbor impossible differences that cannot be overcome without mass blood shed.

For example, the Germans hate Japan’s guts for having cheap nuclear energy. When the 2011 earthquake hit Japan, the Germans were the first allies who abandoned their short-legged friends. The Merkel regime declared Tokyo was radioactive contaminated, and the Japanese should be left there to die of cancer.

Next, the German regime also hates Japan for having too many Japanese. Angela Merkel in 2015 opened the German borders to another 2 million foreign men, and Japan did nothing like that, so Tokyo must be racist.

Both nations claim they are “democracies“, which is code for having been had good. It means you have been conquered, stupid.

Democracy is such a rag. Olaf Scholz was selected as successor of Angela Merkel. As if the Germans had anything to say who leads them. During this author‘s lifetime (45 years), there have only been 5 German chancellors, all US-vetted hand gloves. Meanwhile, Japan has had 24 Prime Ministers.

Why, because the BRD regime prefers national socialism with a Führer, while the Japanese noble families prefer to evenly distribute the high posts and take turns in exploiting the island.

It once took me two hours to convince a group of German professors that Japan was a constitutional monarchy, not a democracy. They laughed.

But exploitation it is. Germany and Japan have 50% income tax, 9-19% VAT on all goods and services, and thousands of hidden taxation, fees and penalties. Unless you are part of the state, you cannot avoid the rape, theft and bankruptcy of your business.

It is said in the Imperial press that Germany and Japan are “export nations,” therefore they must be rich. That makes no sense. Does that mean that Russia and China and India, Italy, France, Mongolia and the Philippines and Africa and South Africa must remain poor, and import your stuff? Is this the export nations’ business model?

Besides, if they really earned that much profits, would they not use those profits to buy stuff, therefore become the biggest import nations also? Yes, they would. But they don‘t, because they don‘t have real economies. Here, I said it! Japan and Germany are not only fake democracies, but also fake economies. In fact, they are not even real nations.

I would even go as far as saying that because Germany and Japan must follow US dictates, not just international laws and regulations, global standards, policies and ideologies, but also the dictates of the US-led World Bank, the United Nations, the WHO, the IMF, Hollywood and Wall Street, and so on.

So, the colonies pay feudal tax in form of US debt certificates, and pay for US military operations abroad, and always use the US dollar, which is fictional, to convert their goods and services and own worthless currencies.

If I was completely cynical, I would accuse the two US colonies of M‘elikka money laundering.

Part III. Leftism, or: The Age Of Idiots Is Neigh.

Anyways, the Germans have no self-awareness. Imagine Kishida and his tuna brigade crashing into Berlin for 20 hours and praising Germany for standing behind Japan’s values.

The Germans are mocking the Japanese, and all the time. It’s definitely something biological, because it wouldn’t work if the Japanese did it.

Take politics. I mean, Berlin is so debased and corrupt, with all her decisions made in Washington and Brussels, London or from outer space, the regime literally puts retards and morons or women in posts they naturally disgrace. But it works, because all these freaks have to do is appear in prime time talks shows from Anne Will to Markus Lanz and cause drama and incite hate.

Please have a look at the above images of German top officials; they look like any NHK Japanese comedy show. There is the land whale-sized parliamentarian Ricarda Lang who makes TikTok videos, the watermelon head Friedrich Merz who wanted to become Chancellor (God help us!), the ugly long-haired psychopath Anton Hofreiter at his pult, or this sicko here, Tessa Ganserer, who claims he is a woman.

These are clearly the results of dysgenics and mental illnesses. To keep these disability quotas, the state must expand. The German Bundestag has 736 parliamentarians, while the Japanese House of preventatives has only 465, but with an impressive 50% more population to govern.

Berlin is the most bloated, useless government in the entire world, and probably of the human species. And these horrors and mental basket cases eat up lots of resources. Team Scholz has five (!) Air Force Ones; team Kishida—just two.

It gets better. These dysfunctional freaks humiliate Japan for being right-wing and backward.

It just so happened that only 3 of Kishida’s 20-persons-strong cabinet are female, while 8 or half of Scholz’s cabinet are. So pushing unqualified quota females into top governmental leadership positions is a must in the Age of idiot.

It certainly didn’t escape Kishida Fumio and his straw-hat pirates when the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Madame Annalene Baerbock, threatened world governments with “a more feminist foreign policy.” Can you imagine those white feminazis liberating strong women in the world from… Asian men!

Leftism, which othersincluding Donald Trump and the Unabombercalled socialism, is destroying all life forms of success, ability and achievement. Able men are replaced with man-failures, non-talents and white knight midwits. Add to this emotionally unstable, entitled and revengeful women folks, and they will ruin humanity.

For example, here are horror images of the last three German Ministers of Defense: The grotesque little she-ogre is Christine Lambrecht, her predecessors were Annegrete Kramp-Karrenbauer and Ursula von der Leyen, sitting in this image together with the Queen bee and destroyer of Germany, chancellor Angela Merkel.

None of the defence ministers ever served, none of them served in the military, none had combat training or any other qualifications as chief commanders of the German Defense forces.

Here are the images of the last four Japanese Ministers of Defense for comparison. All those manly generals of course are just as well a farce, because Japan, just like Germany, is a completely emasculated and defeated society.

The USA military occupier has the over-commando and the nukes, so it doesn’t really matter what men, women, or animals those regimes channel into our high posts of government, as long as those (candidates) are good for clickbait and total clusterfuck.

On the contrary, it is in the interest of the foreign, occupying power to sabotage the target civilization. So if a capable, assertive and popular politician arises, he will immediately be blocked, canceled or smeared as extremist.

Olaf Scholz is childless, like Angela Merkel before him. And like Adolf Hitler. These politicians should not be allowed anywhere near the deutsches Volk. They have nothing in the game.

The chancellor flew to Japan on behalf of NATO and G7 to get some photo ops with Kishida for the historiographical proceedings. He had nothing else to say, and no reason to be in Japan for full 20 hours.

The regime press had their flower pieces written well in advance, as is common practice. Berlin and Tokyo issued joint press releases that are disseminated throughout the world, with propaganda terminology from NATO and G7.

The first of such propaganda terminologies was ‘shared values’. Never mind that Japanese people are Asian, not Caucasian, and that they are Buddhist or Shinto, not Christians.

The next term was ‘common interests’. Never mind that the Germans have no common interests with the Japanese, except for the natural interests of all tribes: to survive, to follow the Imperial mandate, to share in the spoils of war and to shut up.

Apart from that, the Japanese have actually more in common with the Chinese than with the Germans, so why go to war against China, again? As for Russia, well, Russia is Japan‘s neighbor. It would go against the interest of the Japanese to act white and kill more Slavs, no?

Part IV. Globalism Threatens All Human Life.

The Japanese hosts are frequently irritated by German visitors who speak for all of Europe. This pathology goes back to the Eulenburg Expedition in 1860, when the Prussians acted on behalf of the European Zoll-Union.

Believe it or not, this behavior is incomprehensible to most Asians. They would or could never act like this. O, the criminal hubris, the brutal exaggeration, the superior vigor of the white race.

First, think: there are “only” 60 million Germans left in this world, the other 23 million people in Germany are foreigners. Compare that to 126 million natives in Japan.

Therefore, if all was really fair in the animal kingdom, the German brute must roar twice as loud, or, if it wasn’t nature but cunning that makes us superior, the impostor must pretend to speak for 450 million Europeans. The choice is obvious.

Scholz spoke for the seven Western industrial nations, of which Japan is the only non-white member. In case you wonder, this G7 dictates the earth’s food supply , issues climate change mandates, massive sanctions, coordinates mass migration, the war on terror and forcibly lays down the “rules-based international order.”

Second, think again: German companies are at a huge power-disadvantage against American conglomerates. If they want to act up globally, they better register in America or as pan-European entities, not as German.

The Germans shamelessly exploit this trick. Scholz speaks of “us Europeans” or “us, the West.” You are either with us, or you are with the authoritarians of the East. Japan could be collapsed again, any time, if it chose to go against the interest of the West.

The fact that Japan and Germany are still US-occupied, after 73 years of humiliation and servitude, is horrible.

M’elikka leaves the two no time to plan a revolt or mutiny. Look at the world today. The regime change in 2014 Ukraine. The NATO coup in the Ukraine 2014, the migrant crisis in 2015, the censorship laws in 2018, the Great Reset in 2019, the Pfizer gene therapy, the US empire of sanctions [and lies]. Now, Immortan Joe and his evil skeksis plan to take over Eurasia once and for all. And Germany and Japan are expected to stare down Russian and China to extinction.

Just weeks before last Christmas, Merkel sent a gunboat, the Bayer, to the South China Sea. The Chinese fumed with spite–almost 40 years of good Sino-German relations shattered. And for what, Berlin–what for? Well, for power obviously. If Germany doesn‘t do it, Britain will. Or France. Or India.

The Bayer docked in Tokyo last November, in a joint fete with American, Australian and Canadian battleships. When German Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schoenbach dared to criticize the unnecessary provocations thousands of miles away from home, he was fired. That was three months ago.

What could Olaf Scholz possibly disperse to the German expats in Tokyo? We didn‘t vote for him. He has no leadership qualities. Politics are too corrupt these days. When Helmut Kohl visited China in 2003, Germans could just join the open celebrations.

Angela Merkel ruled like a despot, had all public appearances staged, had the audiences selected and the questions arranged.

But this Scholz is really just a sell-out, a new type of leftist leader that needs no election, just a global media ticketLike Macron in France, or Zelensky in the Ukraine, or Trudeau in Canada.

Part V. New Fascism, On Land And At The Sea.

Olaf Scholz praised “the good working relationship” between the two powers.

But the relationship is not good at all.

The number of Japanese who study German has halved in just a decade. Part of this is the EU’s appalling woke propaganda. If you walk into the Goethe-Institute in Tokyo, or the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) or any other German regime font that poses as a non-governmental organization, you can see that Germany turned into a fascist death cult. Japan should stay away from that.

For example, if you study Italian or Hindi, you will literally study Italian or Hindu culture, history, arts and so on. But not so in German. In German studies, you will be lectured on Nazi guilt, analsex, feminists and the importance of staying childless, and you will be lectured on everything you need to know about democracy, the rule of law, diversity and gang bangs.

It is a disgusting moral lecturing and brainwash that no totalitarian cult in the world matches, not even the old Soviet regime or North Korea, let alone Muslim nations, who may teach you about Islam and their particular branch of terror, but certainly do not even pretend to speak for all of humanity. Well, the Germans do that. And it is caustic, belittling and abusive.

The would-be-students in Tokyo are greeted with alarming brainwash and misinformation, images of brown and black “New Germans”, ridiculous lies about the biology of men and women, and utter pseudoscience such as political correctness and antisemitism.

Abortions, prostitution, childlessness are all good-to-go. Gay sex and genital mutilations and drugs and idiocy are now Western mainstream. Merit and genius are absent, competence and success–canceled because “oppressive.” And uh oh—all Germans are Nazis.

If you step into a German kids library, this is basically Sodom and Gomorrah and child abuse via the hoofed one. Why would you want to associate with the Coven of Satan?

If you study English, you talk about the weather and family; and Spanish, about weather and food. In German, you talk about racism, guilt and holocaust. It is the most insane, unnecessary and mostly self-inflicted collapse of a society in all of human history, comparable only to farewell of the Ostrogoths and Aztecs.

The final blow to the former land of poets and thinkers was undoubtedly the politicization of German grammar. This should turn any new German learner off, at once. Since English is a Germanic language, I do not have to switch to German to explain the following mechanics: In the Germanic languages, we may take most verbs and turn them into persons by adding -er.

Grammatically speaking, that noun is then masculine. Semantically, however, we know it refers to both genders, thus is neutral. But not so the leftists who feel that a “doer” or a ‘swimmer’ are offensively male privileges. Therefore they insist on a grammatically unambiguous female ending -(er)ess, preceded by an asterisk *.

All major regime media, newspapers and journals, textbooks and magazines and even the radio in Germany must now use BOTH –masculine AND feminine– endings. Thus, a simple address “Pirates, distinguished swimmers!” becomes “Pirates and Pirat*esses, distinguished swimmers and swimmer*esses!” All German texts are thus deliberately made stupid and eyesore.

Japan needs to investigate this crap and close it all down, also to save Goethe and for Germany’s sake.

Our elites know about this evil transformation of our society. They wouldn’t send their own children to Germany, except if they are broke. In that case, German education is not so bad, because it is free. You couldn’t sell it, because it offers little value. All you learn in Germany, you could have learned better in America or Britain.

That said, German regime money is not to be turned down. Everybody exploits EU money now, because we know the totalitarian block may not last another 50 years.

For example, the EU and Japan heavily subsidize projects on communication and information technology. But we know that all communication and information in the EU and Japan are US-American, run by US BigTech, US Education, US SocialMedia and so on. So we know that the last 30 years of EU and Japanese “free money” was laundered. In a previous presentation, I explained how Japanese research universities are basically 90% bullshit jobs.

Part VI. How The Expats Community Is Coping.

The sycophants of the Empire behave accordingly. The former boss of the once venerable German Japan Society mainly enriched himself and his few cronies. Millions of Euros disappeared.

The German School in Tokyo/Yokohama lost most of its students after the 2011 earthquake, naturally, but it has also absolutely lost its Western halo and prestige, just like all German schools and universities in the world have lost their pull. Most universities and journals from Berlin over Heidelberg to Munich have switched to the American curriculum anyway, so why even pretend in Japan that German was somehow useful.

Said boss of German culture has done nothing for Germany, and us expats know his over-the-top EU salary, shameless grants and endless moral creativity. He later led the globalist Economist Intelligence Unit in London, thus spy work. After that, he was hired by US Coca-Cola to make Japanese kids healthier. Here is he in cosplay dancing in gay rainbow trans colors.

We can’t blame corrupt officials. Everybody does it in Berlin, in Brussels, in Washington, in Tokyo. When Olaf Scholz left, one disgruntled businessman who only knew about this summit through American social media remarked: The best innovation ever happened in 150 years of German-Japanese relations is this American Linkedin.

Most jobs for Germans in Japan are superfluous, and I am not sure if we even need a German ambassador. For example, the former ambassador to Japan, Hans Carl von Werthern, didn’t speak Japanese at all. He had studied politics in Washington D.C., USA. He once gave a mirthful talk at the German East Asia Society (OAG) in 2019, about how Abe Shinzo‘s Cool Japan campaign inspired him to travel to 42 Japanese prefectures.

There was an awkward silence in the room. Three quarters of the 40 audiences were impoverished German elders who may have travelled 3 or 5 prefectures, if that. And here comes this clown arse with his big taxpayers’ purse. And to really show us places, His excellency doubled down and explained how he previously did the same as envoy to China. Politicians have lost all touch with the realities of ordinary people.

There is no future in capitalism. These two nations have no future. Second and third nations have no future. What are Volkswagen and Toyota gonna do, sell each other their cars? Japan either keeps its own Takeda or Daiichi Sankyo pharmaceuticals or lets Boehringer Ingelheim and Bayer take over. Trade makes everyone lose. And what is the point of those silly take-overs, if global US Pfizer wins in the end anyway. Or do you honestly think the USA won’t sanction your laboratories, Japan, like they did with all your industries before?

When his trip became official 4 weeks earlier, the business community in Japan got very nervous. The Chamber of Commerce was asked to report back to Berlin what actually was the situation and what could be improved. They came up with… nothing.

There are no bilateral future projects at all. Only pseudo-money to collect from governments. So they came up with… hydrogen! A hydrogen plant! We could build a hydrogen plant, with the help of US technology. So that was announced the next day in Germany on the 6pm news: “Scholz plans to build a hydrogen plant in Tokyo!”

Part VII. Your Country‘s Leaders Are Not In Charge.

“Japan is growing in importance,” Scholz said–which means that Japan didn’t amount to much importance in the last 40 years. Everybody agreed. This presentation was absurd. The man knows nothing about Japan, so he knows everything.

His German minister of economics, Robert Habeck, is a philosophy major. I am not making this up. His doctorate from Hamburg University is doctored in the most political sense of the word, as he was already a salaried politician at that time.

It does not matter that the economics minister is not into economics though, because the German economy, as mentioned before, is outsourced. Scholz and Habeck do not know anything about the German economy, because that economy is completely undemocratic, technological and automatized, and largely controlled by foreign interest groups of omnipotent billionaires and stateless societies, usually referred to as deep state or new world order or just the globalists.

To give an allegory: Neither Olaf Scholz nor Robert Habeck, pleasant men they are, have the faintest idea about how to construct an airplane Airbus 350. They do not comprehend the 10,000 degrees of engineering that go into constructing one. They haven’t got the faintest idea about costs and forging high-alloyed steel, aluminium, copper and hundreds of synthetics, let alone building the state-of-the-art airframe, fuselage, flexible wings and infrastructure. No single human does. Over a hundred departments, firms and even mathematicians are involved in manufacturing airplanes, and a thousand things must come right to deliver one.

In the spirit of that allegory, neither Scholz nor Habeck have got the faintest idea how the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement or “EPA” works or came about.

The text is in American and was not even written in Germany, because it can’t be. Germany has no personnel for this, its contents are too technical, inter-legal and inhumanely complicated, so the European Union did it together with US advisors.

Not our leftist politicians, but big corporations and their lobbyists, armies of lawyers and legal experts, international watchdogs, auditors and even the United Nations, global financiers and trade courts know the economy. Therefore, whatever our leaders tell us, their economies are already in the hands of the globalists and beyond our local politicians’ reach.

So what the EU is partnering up with in Japan is really just an extension of Western global hegemony.

This EPA trade agreement does the exact opposite of what it pertains to do. It pertains to create a free market and fair conditions, but what it actually does is subjugate the world under a totally planned global economy with brutal unequal conditions that give ownership of all resources, innovations, techniques and processes to its signing members, while the rest of the world is shut out, punished and criminalized.

Last Part. The Way Forward To Restore Unagi.

So, after showing up for 20 hours, can Tokyo trust this Scholz? It surely can‘t, because Berlin is ruled by mental ideological totalitarians.

If you are Japanese, ask yourself this: Would the Germans inject their population with a Japanese experimental gene vaccination? No.

Would the Germans accept any Japanese motion, standard or policy, ever? No.

Why do you collaborate with the BRD regime? It wants to dominate you, Japan. Neither the USA nor the EU want you to succeed. 40 lost years, and counting.

If it was all about innovation and fair markets, why did nobody in Germany in 40 years buy your heated toilet seats and automated taxi doors?

Honestly, you need to kick Germany in the iron nut sack; better, kick each other in your fishing ticklers, because both loser democracies will be disposed of once M’elikka cancels the remaining sovereign nations on this planet.

In order to start your journey to independence (or martyrdom), do these revolutionary things:

Set up courts, institutes and agencies to study the Human Hierarchy, media, science, leftism and—just to be sure> satanism.

Mobilize your entire population and kick the US military occupiers out of your territory, followed by US foreign media.

Join Asia, not Europe, because Europe is fascist. The European Union is a totalitarian block, and it will ultimately go to war with Asia, if not sooner than later.

Burn all unfair Western trade treaties. All is yours, and the world‘s.

And last, reveal to the world that Japan is not a democracy, and never was or will be, and that that’s okay. Because Germany is not a democracy either, nor are the United Babies of M’elikka and the Ui-Eww. Bury their filthy propaganda lies. The people want the truth.

That’s just in: “USA trains Ukraine military on German soil.”

Kishida: “I want to train Taiwan military—urusai!”

END

Thanks for listening, and see you later!


The author is a German writer and cultural critic.

Further Reading: Japan made the terrible mistake of aligning itself with the woke West and is now self-destroying. Read previous presentations about this nation‘s horrible decline:

Brutal. The Truth About Japan. From Tokyo University.

https://thesaker.is/brutal-the-truth-about-japan-from-tokyo-university/

WOKE in Tokyo. The US Nukes Cool Japan Out Of Its Existence.

https://thesaker.is/woke-in-tokyo-the-us-nukes-cool-japan-out-of-its-existence/

Worried about WW3 and transmitting coronavirus, Japanese bought 20 million house pets.

https://thesaker.is/worried-about-ww3-and-transmitting-coronavirus-japanese-bought-20-million-house-pets/

Saudis ’Let Down’ By US’ Declining Support for Yemen War

 May 3, 2022 

By Staff, Agencies

A Saudi royal complained about the United States’ lack of commitment to defending the kingdom from retaliatory attacks by Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, even as Riyadh continues to violate a recent ceasefire deal.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, who is also a former Saudi intelligence chief, expressed disappointment about Washington’s declining support for Saudi Arabia, and said Riyadh feels “let down” by the United States in tackling security threats to the kingdom by the Yemeni resistance movement.

“Saudis consider the relationship as being strategic, but feel as being let down at a time when we thought that America and Saudi Arabia should be together in facing what we would consider to be a joint, not just irritant, but danger to the stability and security of the area,” the prince said in a video interview with Saudi newspaper Arab News published on Monday.

“We’ve had our ups and downs over the years, and perhaps at this time it’s one of the downs, particularly since the president of the United States in his election campaign said that he will make Saudi Arabia a pariah and of course he went on to practice what he preached,” Faisal added.

Ties between Washington and Riyadh have been shaky after US President Joe Biden took office and since the 2018 murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi agents.

Shortly after taking office last year, the US president declared that he would end “American support for offensive operations in the war.” A year into his presidency, however, the White House keeps approving weapons sales to the Riyadh regime.

Hundreds of Americans have on several occasions held demonstrations in major cities to denounce the bloody Saudi-led war on Yemen, urging Congress to support a proposal that would end the “unconstitutional” US involvement in the aggression.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and several Western states. The objective was to bring back to power a Riyadh-friendly regime and crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.

Shortly after the onset of the war, the regime in Riyadh also triggered a tight blockade on Yemen, where the population is in dire need of basic supplies such as food and medicine.

The Saudi-led war has stopped well short of all of its goals, despite killing hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and turning the entire country into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

A ceasefire agreement between the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that has been invading and occupying the war-ravaged country since 2015 and Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement was mediated by the United Nations on April 2, but Riyadh has on multiple occasions violated the truce by bombing civilian areas across the impoverished country.

Michael Hudson, Katie Halper and Aaron Maté

April 30, 2022

Michael starts at 23:40 and the transcript will be added to this thread when available.

Massive demonstrations in support of Imran Khan

April 11, 2022 

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen Net 

Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf supporters protest in solidarity with former prime minister Imran Khan, who was ousted by the Opposition that he accuses of conspiring with Washington because of his opposition to US foreign policy.

Former prime minister Imran Khan’s supporters demonstrate against his ousting.

Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf (PTI) supporters took to the streets at Lahore’s Liberty Chowk against the ouster of former prime minister and party chairman Imran Khan.

Khan was ousted by the Opposition through a no-confidence motion on Saturday. 

Other demonstrations took place in different parts of the Punjab province, including Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Vehari, Jehlum, and Gujrat districts. 

With his majority gone, Khan accused the opposition of buying support in the assembly with “open horse-trading… selling of lawmakers like goats and sheep”, further accusing them of conspiring with Washington due to his opposition to US foreign policy.

However, he accepted the motion but was “disappointed with the Supreme Court decision,” adding that he wants to “make it clear that I respect the Supreme Court and Pakistan’s judiciary.”

In a message on Twitter later in the day, the PTI chairman thanked the protestors and claimed that the agitation signaled Pakistanis’ “rejection of the foreign conspiracy”.

“Thank you to all Pakistanis for their amazing outpouring of support & emotions to protest against US-backed regime change abetted by local Mir Jafars to bring into power a coterie of pliable crooks all out on bail,” Imran wrote.

Khan also acknowledged the spontaneous protests standing with him against the Opposition’s decision. He believes that this “shows Pakistanis at home & abroad have emphatically rejected this.”

The Supreme Court ordered on Thursday that the court session be convened after it found that Khan acted illegally by dissolving parliament and calling for fresh elections following the prevention of an earlier no-confidence vote by the deputy speaker of the national assembly. 

A new prime minister will be appointed today, with centrist Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif already picked to lead the nuclear-armed country of 220 million people.

Related Videoa

Mass demonstrations in Pakistan in support of Imran Khan
Pakistan: Khan’s signing of major agreements with China was not allowed by the US
Evening Bulletin | Imran Khan… Washington’s revenge and Beijing’s absence?
Pakistan .. Khan’s supporters organize protests in various regions of the country

Related News

Biden orders unprecedented use of US oil stockpiles

March 31 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen Net 

Biden is being bashed by US citizens for rising prices everywhere from the supermarket to car dealerships.

Biden is being bashed by US citizens for rising prices everywhere from the supermarket to car dealerships.

Stickers featuring President Joe Biden pointing at the gas total and saying, “I did that!” (The Washington Times)

President Joe Biden will announce, on Thursday, the release of a record million barrels of oil per day from US strategic stockpiles for about 180 days in an effort to cool soaring fuel prices. 

“After consultation with allies and partners, the president will announce the largest release of oil reserves in history, putting one million additional barrels on the market per day on average — every day — for the next six months,” a statement said.

“The scale of this release is unprecedented: the world has never had a release of oil reserves at this one million per day rate for this length of time. This record release will provide a historic amount of supply to serve as a bridge until the end of the year when domestic production ramps up,” it added.

The measure will add significant supply to the already overheated global oil market, sending inflationary shockwaves through the US economy.

Biden is already struggling with low poll numbers ahead of looming midterm elections in November where Republicans are expected to take over Congress from Democrats.

The US President is facing a number of issues that contribute to his low approval ratings, including his handling of the Ukraine crisis, the pandemic response, a border crisis, and low ratings for personal qualities such as leadership, crisis management, and mental sharpness.

US thirst for oil

A million barrels per day released over a six-month period will be by far the largest and most sustained tapping of stockpiles in US history. The release would amount to about a 1% increase in global supplies.

It is worth mentioning that Biden was scheduled to lay out the details in a speech later Thursday.

Oil prices fell sharply after initial reports of the plan, which came as the OPEC+ group of petroleum exporters decided to raise output only modestly, despite the rise in crude prices caused by the West’s hysteric sanctions on Russia.

The release dwarfs previous uses of the strategic stockpile announced by the Biden administration in collaboration with other countries on March 1 in the light of the war in Ukraine, as well as last year in response to rising inflation.

Today, Biden is getting little credit from voters, who blame him for rising prices everywhere from the supermarket to car dealerships.

And for US drivers, the price shock as they fill up their cars at gas stations is a constant annoyance. “I did this,” read a sticker with a picture of Biden that has been placed next to pump handles in a number of gas stations.

Gasoline prices are currently at an average of $4.23 per gallon, up 47% from a year ago.

Oil prices rose near $140 per barrel in March on concerns about lost Russian crude supply, as some “self-sanctioning” oil buyers avoided Russian crude in the aftermath of hysteric sanctions against Moscow.

Prices have fallen slightly since the United States banned Russian energy imports on March 8, but have remained above $100 per barrel for the majority of the time since.

President Joe’s remarks about President Putin are inappropriate.

March 29, 2022

Source

By Zamir Awan

Although official denial of President Joe Biden’s remarks about President Putin, yet, it has a severe impact on geopolitics. Even his close allies like UK and France have not appreciated such remarks. China has also objected to such furious remarks. Public opinion around the globe is also criticizing his remarks. It is not the first time, he used harsh words for President Putin in the past like “Killer”, “Butcher” etc.

It is unusual in politics to use sarcastic remakes in international politics. Especially, for his counterparts, he needs to follow diplomatic antiquates. Even, during the cold-war era, no one has used abusive language toward each other at this high level. How so ever he may explain, it has harmed the international political atmosphere and heated up the political environment already.

It is true, the US has been playing a dirty role in changing regimes and manipulating elections in adversary countries. Sometimes, a direct military action, or indirect covered operations, has been changing regimes in many countries. The more polite way used was manipulating during the elections and helping the candidates of their own choice in elections. During the cold war era, the US has changed more than seventy regimes. However, in the post-cold war era, the reports are not publicized yet. American interference in developing countries or underdeveloped countries is a matter of routine, but, this time his remarks about a superpower, with nuclear weapons are a rather serious matter and concern of every sensible person around the globe.

For more than a decade, the US has been following a policy to contain China and counter Russia. The creation of “Quad” and “AUKUS” is designed to counter China, but, the expansion of NATO was to counter Russia. After the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, there was no justification for keeping NATO. Yet, the US not only kept NATO intact but also expanded involving many members of former Warsaw Pact nations. Although Russia was objecting to an expansion of NATO and opposed its immediate neighboring countries to join NATO. But, the US ignored all genuine security concerns raised by Russia. Even though, Russia has been warning Ukraine of a red line, which was also ignored by the US. What so ever is happening in Ukraine, the US, NATO, UK, EU are responsible. Unfortunately, the victim is Ukraine alone. Despite security guarantees, Ukraine has to face this situation alone.

It is a lesson for many countries and nations in the rest of the world, who is looking at the US as a true and sincere friend and depend on them for protection in case of any aggression from any other country. All nations and countries having security pacts or promises with the US, need to think twice. It is not only Ukraine who has been betrayed, but, India being the major defense partner with the US has not got any support when was at war with China in Ladakh. Pakistan being a non-NATO close ally, was not helped in 1971 during its war with India and lost half of the country. The US has a history of embarrassing friends. It is also a warning for Taiwan, which depends on the US in case of war with China.

President Joe Biden almost 80 years old is a very mature politician, and since 1972 is part of various administrations in various capacities. He is a law graduate and understands international politics very well. He was part of many wars and conspiracies in the different roles during the cold war era as well as the post-cold war era. He has met President Putin as vice president too. He has sufficient interaction with President Putin and then, his remarks with this background are really unacceptable.

It is hoped that President Putin shows greatness and ignores his remarks and should not react or overreact. In fact, he is a wise person and responsible politician. His calmness and ignoring President Joe’s remarks will elevate his stature. He might become more popular in Russia as well as globally. He may emerge as a hero and popular global leader.

The US should do something practical to defuse tension and mere statements of denial will not fulfill the requirements. American behavior will decide how sincere they are and how responsible they are. The world has been focusing on US performance and on-ground actions closely. It is time to demonstrate “Peace” and measures to attain peace for all.

If President Joe Biden’s administration focuses on a domestic issue, millions of America will uplift their standard of life. And the rest of the world will feel great relief. Live your own life and let others live in peace. Domestic issues are rather complicated and deserve more attention.

It is desired that both sides dilute the tension and ensure global peace, stability, and security. Otherwise, the consequences of World War III may be a total disaster for humankind. We must learn lessons from WWI and WWII. Wars are not a solution to any issue. No one is the beneficiary of wars. Even the winner is also a net loser. The only option is to resolve all differences and disputes through diplomatic and political dialogue under the UN Charter. In today’s world, with the advancement of hi-tech and Science and technology, both have developed lethal weapons and possess enough pile of weapons to destroy the whole world. Wars are scaring scenario!

The most precious thing in this universe is the human being, the rest of everything is to serve humankind. It is our prime duty to protect human lives. The loss of human lives is a net loss of humanity. It is worth mentioning that all human beings are born through an identical biological process, all mothers face the same pains. Irrespective of race, religion, color, ethnicity, or nationality, all human beings are the same and equal. All human beings deserve respect and equal rights. All lives Matter!

It is appealed to all scholars, intellectuals, thinkers, and sensible nations as well as individuals to stand up for the protection of human being around the globe.


Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Serbian media, Moscow, March 28, 2022

March 29, 2022

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1806841/

Question: As you know, Serbia has not joined the sanctions [against Russia]. Did it come as a surprise to you that some of the Balkan nations who have recently had a good relationship with Russia have joined the sanctions against it? What is your perspective on the efforts to bring relations with these Balkan countries back to normal later?

Sergey Lavrov: We are seeing unprecedented pressure as part of a general campaign, which some Western politicians call an all-out war against Russia where all means are justified. This did not just start now – far from it.

Over the previous ten years, the European Union, in its relations with the countries seeking to join it, has been demanding – the Serbs know this well – that they join all their foreign policy initiatives that of late have been increasingly anti-Russia in character. This has nothing to do with a single economic space or with introducing the rule of law or anything else like that. There is only an ideologically-charged approach that allows them to continue to put pressure on Russia to emasculate its independence in the international arena and have it accept European values, which Europe has long since been inculcating [in others], despite its Christian roots.

Allow me to remind you that when they were working on the European Union Constitution, which, in the end, was not approved and was replaced by the Treaty of Lisbon, the first version began with a reference to Europe’s Christian roots. The European “grandees” refused to support this wording, having repudiated their race and religious traditions. They can hardly be expected to have respect for the traditions of other faiths.

We are seeing this pressure being exerted on the Balkan countries, including Serbia, to have them join the anti-Russia sanctions, which cover almost all economic, cultural, humanitarian, political and other activities. President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic has spoken about this in detail in public several times, emphasising that Serbia will be guided by its own interests. There are also countries like this in the European Union. I just want to mention the recent statement by Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, who said that Hungary would stand up for its own interests.

This multi-ethnic self-reproducing bureaucracy with a seat in Brussels is trying to subjugate all countries without exception and concentrate all efforts to establishing rules and standards at the headquarters of the European Union, reducing to a minimum what its member countries can do on their own. This is a flawed policy. It shows yet again that, essentially, a certain trend is emerging in the European Union to strengthen autocracy as represented by Brussels in its relations with the member countries.

Montenegro and North Macedonia have been drawn into the sanctions war. They were tempted by the promise of fast rapprochement with the European Union, but this did not happen. They were drawn into NATO and anti-Russia actions and campaigns. Then they were patted on the shoulder, as it were, and told: “Good job, fellas, keep it up.” This is a serious problem. The EU’s reputation and the real goals of its policy in the Balkans are at stake. I believe the United States has given the EU complete control over the Balkans. The US is fully satisfied with the EU’s aggressive anti-Russia line.

Do you remember this statement by Josep Borrell’s predecessor Federica Mogherini? She accused Russia of being too active in the Balkans and said that if the EU started getting involved there, there was no room for others. Her successor Josep Borrell promotes the same idea. He has always urged the EU not to allow Russia to build stronger relations with those countries where it feels like “the boss of the show.”

We are seeing attempts by the US, the EU and NATO to impose their hegemony on others, not only in the Balkans but also in the rest of the world –virtually everywhere else. I am convinced that most of the countries around the world realise that this is the path to a deadlock. It will eventually be necessary to find a way out. There are not too many countries in Europe that can consider themselves sovereign and independent. Those that refuse to join the sanctions in favour of other states to protect their own national interest are fully entitled to be called independent regardless of their size.

Question: Did Russia envision such isolation and military losses, things we rarely hear precise information about?

Sergey Lavrov: The sanctions against Russia have never stopped. In Soviet times, we lived under the sanctions of the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom). Under this, the West did all it could to prevent the purchase and supply of high-tech equipment. The Jackson-Vanik amendment existed for many years. It was repealed to allow us to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because the United States and other countries were interested in this. It was instantly replaced by the Magnitsky Act that continued the tradition of pressuring the Russian Federation through sanctions. These sanctions were valid until 2014.

A coup took place in Kiev in 2014 contrary to the guarantees of the EU and with Washington’s direct support. Now there is no longer any doubt about it. The coup evoked indignation in both Crimea and in the east of Ukraine. The Crimeans held a referendum to return to Russia, protecting themselves against the armed militants that were bound for Crimea. The people in eastern Ukraine also proclaimed the creation of republics that refused to accept the anti-constitutional government coup. At that time, the Russian Federation was again blamed for everything. The West was disappointed that its plan to finally use Ukraine for its anti-Russia needs fell through.

The introduced sanctions simply reflected the West’s irritation. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has said more than once that since then the EU and the US have imposed sanctions on us almost every month, at least two or three times a year. I think it is always easy to find an excuse. The goal of the sanctions is not to resolve some specific problem but to curb Russia’s strategic and geopolitical development. We know that the West is good at finding excuses.

The surge in unprecedented Neanderthal-like Russophobia that has come to life in almost all Western countries whose leaders are vigorously encouraging and cultivating it was something that struck me particularly in the circumstances at hand. I’m aware that there are reasonable people in the EU who understand the danger of inciting this kind of Russophobia. They are issuing reminders to the effect that Europe saw a similar attitude towards a certain ethnicity over 80 years ago and they know how it ended. This obsession with regard to how they see everything Russian, be it culture, art, education, or Russian citizens (as soon as they start speaking their language in many European countries), has taken over almost all European countries. This struck me, because it revealed the Neanderthal entrails of Russophobia. It appears to have been brewing for a long time now. It’s impossible to bring to life a sentiment like that in just one day. So it was carefully hidden. We will make corresponding conclusions.

Isolation doesn’t exist and is brought up exclusively by those who, mentally and ideologically, have resigned themselves to the inevitability of a Western dictatorship on the global stage. This dictatorship is supported primarily by the West itself which is loath to lose its positions. The West has been the world’s dominant player for over 500 years now. A different era – the forming of a multipolar international order – is now here. The global economic development hubs pursuing a nationally oriented policy have risen, and they do not want to accept the impersonal neoliberal values ​​imposed by the West on the world. They want to be grounded in their history, traditions and values, including religious values. By and large, they are common to all world religions.

Russia has many partners in the Asia-Pacific region, Asia, Africa and Latin America. We have good relations with the vast majority of organisations created by the developing countries, including the African Union, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and many others. As you are aware, organisations with the participation of the Russian Federation have been created and are successfully functioning in Eurasia which is a critically important, strategically developing region: the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. In cooperation with ASEAN, these organisations are vigorously promoting interaction among them and developing a network of cooperation projects in conjunction with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, among others. We are building the Greater Eurasian Partnership. Our relations with China are at their all-time best. Russia has a particularly privileged strategic partnership with India. We have ties with the majority of the Middle Eastern, Latin American and African countries.

The West is trying to showcase the so-called “isolation” in which the Russian Federation allegedly found itself by presenting the mathematical results of the UN vote. We are aware of how they get these results and the kind of shameless blackmail the developing countries are subjected to, and personal threats against the representatives of these countries at the UN or other organisations. For us, this means only one thing: the United States and the Western countries that are playing along with this crude and undisguised blackmail are themselves afraid of being isolated. If they are that confident in their ideals and values that can win their way to the hearts and minds of all people around the world, then let them state their position and allow the countries to make a choice. These countries are aware of the position adopted by the West, Russia, China and other major global players. Let them choose freely without any pressure.

During his recent visit to Europe, US President Joseph Biden said that we were entering an era of long confrontation between democracy and autocracy. Look at how the modern West is functioning, look at the countries that have declared themselves a model of democracy. The United States has subdued the entire Europe. It is leading not only NATO but actually also the EU, using its infrastructure and potential for strengthening US military and political positions in the Old World. As for democracies and autocracies, this “community of democracies” represented by the US, NATO and the EU has become an integral whole (under US command). It is an overt autocracy if not a dictatorship as regards other members of the international community.

Our Western colleagues have urged us and other countries for many years to ensure the supremacy of law and democracy in the US interpretation. But whenever we suggested discussing democracy in the world arena, they were against it – there can be no democracy in the world arena. The Westerners have even cancelled the very term “international law” that implied respect for the principles of the UN Charter, primarily, the principle of the sovereign equality of states. Our Western colleagues did not give a damn (excuse me for this expression) about the sovereign equality of states or international law, generally speaking. They no longer use the latter term. They are saying now that all countries must follow the laws of a rules-based order. The rules mean only one thing – they are established by the West. Everyone else must obey. This is a typical example of autocracy and dictatorship that uses an ultimatum.

We don’t feel isolated. Isolation is the lot of those who couldn’t imagine their life without so-called “Western values” and without the welcoming embrace or at least a more or less warm reception in the West. Meanwhile, there are much more important things in life. They are a loadstar for the overwhelming majority of states and civilisations on this planet.

It is necessary to respect each other rather than impose one’s pseudo values in an aggressive manner. These have only existed for a short time. They appeared with the development of neo-liberalism and are used to discontinue millennia-old cultures and civilisations. This path is a dead-end. These attempts will continue for a while, but they are doomed in the historical perspective. Strategically, this policy will find itself in complete isolation.

Question: I know Russia now has more important things to worry about, but “everyone is out for himself.” Now Serbia has to harmonise its foreign policy. It has not introduced sanctions against Russia. For us Russia is the most important foreign policy partner when it comes to upholding our sovereignty in international organisations. How do you visualise Serbia’s possible political prevarication between the two geopolitical poles, and does this phenomenon have time limits?

Sergey Lavrov: It’s not up to us to be responsible for decisions made by Serbia, the Serbian leadership or the Serbian people. We are fraternal nations. We are united by common history and victories against common enemies. We feel how deeply these feelings are rooted in the soul of the Serbian people, in their historical memory. And now we are seeing this. We never impose anything by force. The West is trying to impose on Serbia its own policy and interests by force of economic pressure, threats, blackmail and ultimatums. It is telling Serbia that it must oppose Russia if it wants to join the EU. This is unseemly. This is not how one should behave in society, at home, with friends or in the world arena. This is an example of their policy of arm-twisting. President Aleksandar Vucic has mentioned this more than once. He said honestly that Serbia is a small country but it has its own pride and its own interests. Attempts are being made now to simply forget these interests and turn you into an instrument of Western policy. This is what happened with North Macedonia and Montenegro. This is what the West is now trying to do with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We have deep respect for the Serbian people, its commitment to its traditions, history and its historical friends. I am convinced that the Serbian people will continue making wise decisions in any situation, based on their fundamental interests.

Question: Is President Vladimir Putin ready to sit down at the negotiating table with President Vladimir Zelensky?

Sergey Lavrov: President of Russia Vladimir Putin has commented on this topic many times. He raised this subject yet again not that long ago when answering questions by his foreign colleagues with whom he maintains regular dialogue, including on the situation in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin said that he has never refused to meet with President Vladimir Zelensky. It is just that he believes in the importance of making sure that these meetings are well prepared. Considering the current crisis situation in Ukraine, its internal conflict which has been building up over all these years and the multiple challenges, simply arranging a meeting to discuss what one thinks and what the other thinks does not cut it. In fact, it would be counterproductive. When Ukraine suggested talks after we launched our special military operation, we agreed. These talks carried on and are ongoing. They will resume today or tomorrow in person in Istanbul after a series of videoconferences. The outcome we seek must deliver on our principled objective of stopping the killing of civilians in Donbass which has been going on for eight long years. The Western community has remained silent despite all its progressivism and has not issued even a single comment to condemn what was going on, even though everyone saw the shelling of civilian infrastructure in Donbass: hospitals, kindergartens, clinics and residential housing. Civilians were dying by the thousands. Still, the “enlightened” West remained silent. All it did was call for fulfilling the Minsk agreements. When Kiev refused, the West started saying that it was up to Russia to fulfil them. This is sheer mockery in terms of common sense, international law, human rights, you name it.

When negotiating with Ukraine, it is our duty to ensure that the people of Donbass never suffer from the Kiev regime again, while the West and NATO stop their military build-up in Ukraine, which creates physical, military threats to the Russian Federation. Ukraine must cease being subject to a constant militarisation effort and attempts to deploy strike capabilities there to threaten the Russian Federation. Ukraine must also stop encouraging neo-Nazi ideology and practices.

This has happened before, and we know these examples. In fact, they are rooted in Ukrainian law. Let me mention the discriminatory laws which run counter to the Ukrainian Constitution and all international commitments. These laws prohibit the Russian language in education and the media. Ukraine has recently adopted laws banning the Russian language from everyday life. Demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine constitute an indispensable component of the agreements we are seeking to conclude. I hope that Ukraine understands that the developments which have been running rampant there since the country’s independence are extremely toxic. This includes honouring the memory of Shukhevich and Bandera, who were Nazi criminals. The “decommunisation” drive includes demolishing monuments to the great people who liberated Ukraine from the Nazis. Western instructors helped train “nationalist” battalions whose members not only wore Nazi symbols but practiced Nazi methods of war. Seeing how Ukrainian Nazis from the Azov and Aidar battalions treat Russian prisoners of war should have dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s for you. We will need to arrange this meeting once a solution regarding all these key matters comes into reach.

For many years, we sought to raise awareness on these issues. The West remained impervious to our efforts, but they have heard us now. This is already something. What matters the most right now is to stop indulging the Ukrainians who want to use talks and solutions as a smokescreen. They have succeeded in this posture when they derailed the Minsk agreements immediately after signing them in February 2015. In the end, they said that they refused to fulfil them. We know how good they are at pretending to be involved. This time, they will not get away with it. We need to make sure that the talks yield results, and once they do, the Presidents will formalise them.

Question: I have a question about mercenaries in Ukraine. It is a hot subject in Russia, and it is being discussed around the world as well. Hundreds of people from Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina fought on the side of the Islamists in Syria. However, the West did not criticise Pristina or Sarajevo. These people are now willing to fight in Ukraine, and there are also Croatian volunteers there. The Kosovo Albanian authorities and Pristina have supported Kiev. We would like you to comment on this.

Sergey Lavrov: We were among those who for years warned our Western partners about the recruiters of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups working in several Balkan countries. We warned them about the consequences of such connivance for Europe. Statistics show that Pristina is holding the per capita anti-record by the number of militants fighting in Syria and Iraq. But nobody wanted to hear about that. Later our Western colleagues wondered where the cutthroats who staged terrorist attacks and massacres in European cities had come from. Mercenaries will not remain in Ukraine after their inglorious mission ends there. It is perfectly clear that they will move on to European cities, where they will continue their so-called work. You may know that participation in hostilities in foreign states is a punishable offence in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Kosovo Province. Some of those who fought in Syria and Iraq have even been punished upon their return home. But today Europe is acting differently. The policy of double standards has taken priority when it comes to Ukraine. The West has banked on it to contain Russia. It would use any means to achieve this end.

We don’t see any reaction to this. We have been trying to draw the attention of our Western partners and colleagues from other countries and parts of the world to the Ukrainian embassies’ activities to recruit mercenaries for Ukraine on their websites, which is a blatant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and is discrediting the status of a diplomatic office. Some of these mercenaries have made statements on the social media and have appeared on several television networks. It is obvious that they are not volunteers. They are fighting for money. Therefore, they do not have the right to the status of combatant or prisoner of war under international humanitarian law. They are not entitled to protection.

As for Pristina’s support for Kiev, the matter is clear. Kosovo, which is a criminal self-proclaimed quasi-state, does not care for international law. It only wants to take advantage of the situation to win recognition for its pseudo-independence and is posing as just about the main ally of the United States and NATO in the Balkans.

Our attitude to this is well known. We warned about the inadmissibility of pandering to Pristina’s unacceptable actions, and we have always called for settling the Kosovo issue in strict compliance with UN Security Resolution 1244. When the UN General Assembly gave the European Union the mandate to facilitate dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade in 2010, this raised our hopes. In 2013, the EU convinced Pristina and Belgrade to sign an agreement on the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo. It guaranteed the Serbs’ language and cultural rights, as well as their rights in local governments and their special relations with Serbia. However, the Community has not been established. When we remind our Western colleagues about this, they are embarrassed and say that “the matter is still on the table” and that efforts should continue to be taken to implement the decision. I believe that the EU has discredited itself as the guarantor of any agreements.

In February 2014, the EU guaranteed the agreement on a settlement in Ukraine between President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition. When the opposition overturned the agreements the following morning, the EU said nothing and only cited certain democratic processes.

In 2015, France and Germany signed, together with us, a document that is known now as the Minsk agreements. During the subsequent years, Kiev did nothing to implement that document. It said openly that it would not do it.

[Prime Minister of Kosovo] Albin Kurti has said that he would not implement the agreements on the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo.

The EU, which guaranteed the implementation of all of the above documents, has failed completely. I am sure that it will not do anything to force Pristina to implement the documents co-signed by Europe. The EU and the United States will not place any pressure on Pristina on the issue of mercenaries. The United States is feeling just fine. It used the situation to establish Camp Bondsteel, the largest military base in the Balkans. Pristina has not questioned the need to keep that base and has instead indicated its interest in keeping it. I believe that Pristina will be forgiven for anything it does and will be allowed to do anything it wants.

Question: The ultimate goal of your special operation is not quite clear. Originally it was stated as denazification and protection of the people of Donbass. Today, it seems, at least from abroad, that this is not the only goal being pursued by Russia. Many Russians cannot say what these goals are. Some of them are unable to agree with the rationale for this conflict.

Sergey Lavrov: Each person has the right to choose and define his or her position with regard to some or other events that take place in their own country or in other states.

As for our aims, they are certainly about removing the threats that over these long eight years have caused thousands of deaths and the destruction of civilian facilities in Ukraine – schools, hospitals, plants, factories, etc. This is what the Ukrainian regime has been doing against the population of Donbass with the West’s tacit approval. If today the West is suddenly concerned about the need to respect international humanitarian law and save people’s lives, I will only welcome it, but they should act in such a way as to see the causes and roots of the situation we are facing now.

The root cause of the matter is that an effort was launched to transform Ukraine into an anti-Russia immediately after its independence, its withdrawal from the USSR. You can see it for yourself if you look at the Kiev regime’s lawmaking: its laws in effect ban the use of the Russian language and encourage the development of openly Nazi organisations.

The Nazi ideology and practices have deep roots in Ukrainian society. Officers from the “national volunteer battalions” have permeated Ukraine’s army and armed forces; they publicly preach Nazi ideas, calling on others to follow the behests of Adolf Eichmann, a person notorious for his role in Europe during the Nazi rule.   Even their symbols and tattoos reproduce the swastikas and emblems of the Nazi SS battalions.  If we want to abide by the European values, I do not think they can include this sort of ideology and practices. Europe must put an end to this, if it does not want to find itself once again in a situation where it will be inundated by this “wave,” be it brown or of any other colour that the neo-Nazis favour.

The whole thing is much more serious than just solving a single problem.  Russia cannot accept NATO’s plan to turn Ukraine into its outpost chock-full of offensive arms aimed at our territory. We cannot accept the West’s effort to encourage the eradication of all things Russian in Ukraine (language, culture, etc.). Where were our Western colleagues when Kiev banned the Russian media, TV channels, and not only printed matter but also books published in Russia? They shut down three Russian-language TV channels owned by Ukrainian citizens.

You have mentioned the fact that some Russian citizens cannot accept what is happening today and express their concern. But others – journalists, cultural figures, artists, and athletes – do not voice anything and just do their job. Ukraine puts hundreds of them on sanctions lists.  Yesterday, the Ukrainian regime blacklisted another 46 Russian cultural figures, artists, athletes and journalists. And everyone believes that this is normal. Being Russian in Europe today means running a tremendous risk of violence. There have already been such cases.

Our task is to ensure long-term security in Europe. This cannot be done without cutting off attempts to draw Ukraine into NATO, or without agreeing on security guarantees that will take into account the interests of Russia, Ukraine and European countries. We were confident of this when we tried (unfortunately, to no avail) to start a serious conversation with the United States and NATO in 2021 about providing security guarantees, including for Ukraine, without expanding the North Atlantic Alliance. Nobody would listen.

We have heard repeated promises that NATO would not continue to expand. For example, when it came to the unification of Germany, then the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist. They just lied to our face. When we reminded them about those promises, they said they had never made any. Later on, when we presented proof, they said, well, there might have been some verbal agreement – meaning they just said things to “calm us down,” because they had more important concerns – to ensure that the Soviet Union would “shut down” without any “consequences” for Europe.

When they decided everything had “calmed down,” it was time to get moving. Now they are saying we “should not be afraid” because “NATO is a defensive alliance.” So it was when it was created. But they continued to explain, “NATO is protecting its territory.” We knew where their territory was when there was the Berlin Wall – both concrete and imaginary – between the North Atlantic Alliance and the Warsaw Pact. But when the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union ceased to exist, NATO suddenly thought it wanted to “protect the territory” further east. Then it moved a little more to the east, and so on. What kind of defensive alliance is it that draws its own line of defence? Moreover, it keeps adding countries that no one was ever going to attack – actually, no one had ever even thought of threatening these countries.

Jens Stoltenberg (the Norwegian Central Bank is unlikely to have him back any time soon, as the Alliance has extended his term) declares that NATO should take responsibility for global security. This is where the line of defence is, and where democracy turns into autocracy and dictatorship. He says the alliance needs to increase its role in the vast Indo-Pacific region – that’s what they call the Asia-Pacific region, a direct allusion to the South China Sea. This is where their line of defence will be now.

We want NATO to return to sanity. We have reason to believe that Russia’s most serious concerns, having to do with our fundamental, legitimate interests, have finally been heard. They begin to understand now. If this is so, they will try to influence the Kiev regime, which listens to them, and in fact does everything the West tells them to. I hope that the Ukrainian negotiators will show a constructive approach, and at some stage, we will be able to achieve the desired result.

My colleague, UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss has actually confirmed with fantastic, amazing, naive frankness that those negotiators, like the Kiev regime itself, are not acting independently. She actually said they were assisting the Ukrainians in working out their negotiating position. Indeed, who knows the situation in our common region better than London? She went on to say they needed to continue to use the “hard lever” on Russia and “to double down on sanctions.” And when negotiations begin, the UK should be the country that will provide the necessary solutions. An amazing “revelation.” No need to comment.

I can see there are chances to reach an agreement. There is an understanding of the grossest mistakes our Western partners have been making for years. Although, for obvious reasons, they would hardly say this out loud.

Question: What do you think, wouldn’t Belgrade be a perfect place for the negotiations?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe Belgrade is a great city in terms of its position and status. It is quite suitable for talks at any level.

The venue for the negotiations must be acceptable to both teams. Three rounds of in-person talks were held in Belarus, followed by a break due to technical reasons. It was difficult to meet directly; therefore, we held several videoconferences. Now we have agreed to meet in Istanbul. It is a point on the map where both parties were able to arrive. We are ready to consider other locations, including Belgrade.

Question: These days Serbian people remember NATO bombings and many say that the reasoning President Vladimir Putin used to “attack” Ukraine is identical to the reasoning the alliance used in its aggression against Yugoslavia. What is your response to these claims?

Sergey Lavrov: Our Western colleagues are known for twisting facts without batting an eye or as much as a blush. They always want to justify their stance and demands by distorting the real picture.

We have already spoken about the February 2014 coup in Ukraine, when the settlement guarantees provided by the EU were trampled to pieces. The neo-Nazis who came to power immediately afterwards demanded revoking the status of the Russian language in Ukraine, getting out of Crimea, and sent combat units to Crimea to storm the Supreme Council. Only then did the Crimean people revolt against such attacks and held a referendum. Now, reviewing that period, the West starts its story not with the failure of the European Union, whose signature, apparently, meant nothing to the opposition that staged the coup, and not with the attacks on the Russian language and Russians committed by the putschists that came to power. The West begins the timeline of those events with what it calls an “annexation” of Crimea. The truth is it was not an annexation but a free expression of will that took place as a result of the coup staged with the support from the West. However, the West has crossed out those several weeks leading up to the referendum in Crimea, from history. They say Crimea was “annexed,” hence the sanctions, when in fact, they wanted to punish Russia for their own failures and inability to keep their promises.

For them, the timeline of everything that is happening in Ukraine right now begins on February 24, 2022, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of a special military operation. The years of abuse targeting Russians, the Russian language and culture in Ukraine, ignoring Russia’s appeals to NATO and the United States about the fact that further “exploration” of the territories bordering the Russian Federation is unacceptable, direct calls to prevent Ukraine’s accession to NATO and to stop pumping Ukraine with weapons, building naval bases and, as it now turns out, biological warfare laboratories – nobody is talking about that. They claim that Russia started the operation against the Ukrainian state for no reason at all. What about the fact that the Ukrainian state could not care less about the Minsk agreements for eight years, bombing cities, towns and killing civilians? All this is now behind the line from which the West now marks off its angry and principled positioning.

I heard that President Vladimir Zelensky gave an interview to several Russian media outlets and, when asked about the biological warfare labs, he said it was all a lie and they did not exist. If the West is ready to buy into this kind of commentaries it means that our own experience with the modern Western politics will only be reaffirmed. There are multiple pages of documents that we submitted to the UN Security Council and President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky claims they are a lie.

To be continued…

More Sanctions On Russia Will Destroy Europe

March 23, 2022

On February 21 Russia announced that it would recognize the Donbas republics. A day later it did so. The ‘west’ immediately announced sanctions which in fact had been prepared in advance. On February 24 Russian troops crossed the border into Ukraine.

The Russian ruble immediately took a big hit. It has since recovered a bit.


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Today’s news will bring the ruble to a new heights.

Kommersant reports (machine translation):

Putin instructed to convert gas contracts with unfriendly countries into rubles

President Vladimir Putin instructed to issue a directive to Gazprom to convert contracts into rubles for unfriendly countries. In his opinion, supplying Russian goods to the EU, the USA and receiving payment in dollars and euros “does not make any sense for us.” Against this background, the ruble moved to growth on the Moscow Exchange.

“Both the US and the EU have basically defaulted on their obligations to Russia. And now everyone in the world knows that obligations in dollars and euros may not be fulfilled. <…> It is quite obvious that in this regard, it makes no sense for us to supply our goods to both the EU and the USA and receive payment in dollars, euros and a number of other currencies. Therefore, I have decided to implement in the shortest possible time a set of measures to transfer payments for our natural gas supplied to unfriendly countries to Russian rubles,” Mr. Putin said at a meeting with the government.

The President instructed the Central Bank and the government to determine within a week the order of operations for the purchase of rubles on the domestic market by buyers of Russian gas. He claims that Russia will continue to supply gas “in accordance with the volumes and according to the pricing principles concluded in the contracts.”

The dollar exchange rate on the Moscow Exchange fell below 100 rubles. for the first time since March 3rd. As of 15:37, the US currency is trading at 101.55 rubles. (-2 rubles). The euro exchange rate fell by 2.85 rubles to 111.65 rubles. The maximum dollar fell to 94.99 rubles, the euro – to 109.7 rubles.

The European Union, the United States, Great Britain and a number of other countries have imposed sanctions against Russia in response to the military operation in Ukraine, which has been carried out since February 24 on the orders of Mr. Putin. One of the measures was the freezing of about half of the Central Bank’s gold and foreign exchange reserves ($300 billion).

To pay in ruble one first has to buy rubles. With higher demand for rubles and no change in supplies the price for the Russian currency will go up. As Russia is selling hydrocarbons and other resources for billions of dollars per day the ruble is likely to soon reach record heights.

On February 28 another round of sanctions hit Russia. The part of the Russian central bank reserves that were stored in the ‘west’ were frozen. The central bank immediately pushed its interest rate from 9% to 20% to prevent a flight from the ruble. This helped to lessen the damage but made credit expensive and has hit the future growth potential in Russia.

But with a high new rubles demand from the outside of Russia the central bank will soon be able to lower its interest rate to more normal levels. Credit conditions will ease and investment in Russia, to replace products that had so far been imported, will rise again.

Today’s move to demand rubles for hydrocarbons is only on of the many steps Russia can, and likely will take, to retaliate for sanctions from the ‘west’.

As I wrote previously:

All energy consumption in the U.S. and EU will now come at a premium price. This will push the EU and the U.S. into a recession. As Russia will increase the prices for exports of goods in which it has market power – gas, oil, wheat, potassium, titanium, aluminum, palladium, neon etc – the rise in inflation all around the world will become significant.

Meanwhile the New York Times writes:

As he heads to Europe, President Biden will press U.S. allies to help impose even more aggressive sanctions on Russia.

Biden demands that Europe suicides itself while he is protecting the U.S. industry. I hope that some people in the European capitals are still able to think clear enough to recognize the racket the U.S. is trying to run here:

Together with the economic devastation that U.S. and European sanctions on Russia are causing in their own economies this will end in regime-changes in several European countries. The U.S. is of course again protecting itself from as much as it can at the cost of others.

Source: Bloomberg – bigger

Tony Wood asks:

The question remains, why did all those who for so long foretold this war do so little to stop it, and so much to hasten the disaster Russia has now set in motion?

Indeed. Why didn’t the government of Germany guarantee in writing that it would veto any additional NATO membership? It would have solved at least half of the problem. Why didn’t any other NATO government do so?

And what are they doing now? Where are their initiatives for peace?

Wake up. Otherwise this will end in disaster. Not for Russia but for the rest of Europe.

Posted by b on March 23, 2022 at 14:23 UTC | Permalink

Rostislav Ishchenko on “will Poland invade the western Ukraine?”

March 23, 2022

Note: another very interesting translation from our new team of Russian translators (thank you!)

Question: do you believe that Poland will send forces into the Ukraine?

No, I don’t think the US is giving conflicting instructions to Kiev. The fact is that when we are negotiating with Ukraine, we are, in fact, indirectly negotiating with the United States. Because, it is clear that we are fighting not with Zelensky, but with the United States, now, on the territory of Ukraine. The United States is at war with us to the last Ukrainian, but the United States is at war nonetheless. Therefore, when we offer surrender to Zelensky, we offer it to Zelensky, and in response, through the mouth of Zelensky, the United States offers us to surrender. They say: “Well, you withdraw troops from Ukraine, clear the Crimea and Donbass, return them to Ukraine, and then we’ll talk.” So, it is clear that Zelensky himself cannot put forward such demands, they are simply absurd.

Therefore, in this case, since two global forces are fighting each other, the demands are practically global. These are political demands to each other for unconditional surrender. It is clear that such requirements can only be met if one of the parties has won on the battlefield. Completely won. Not in Melitopol, Mariupol, there, or even in Kharkov, but completely won on the battlefield. That’s when something can grow out of this, out of these requirements. Therefore, now it does not matter whether you conduct these negotiations or you can not conduct them – this is already a field of Russian diplomacy.

The fact is that a long time ago, a decade, or even two decades ago, the United States entered into a systemic crisis. That is, the system built – political, military, economic, financial – has ceased to correspond to the realities of the modern world. At first, it was not entirely noticeable … many people generally denied that the United States could ever enter into a crisis, and so on .. But gradually these crisis phenomena grew, and Obama was already going to the polls with a statement that the United States was in crisis and reforms must be carried out. Then Trump went to the polls with the same thing. Then Biden came and practically announced that he would implement Trump’s program because the United States needed to carry out reforms in a crisis.

The fact is that the United States is not in a position to reform the economy now. In order to reform the economy it is necessary, as they advised us and everyone else in the early nineties, to go through shock therapy. That is, without shock, it is impossible to rebuild. This means that a huge number of Americans will sharply lose their standard of living for some period of time, and if, for example, in the 2000s, it was about the fact that changes can be made there, say, in 2, 3, 5 years, then now we are not talking about this, now we are talking about the fact that this will continue for decades, that you can go into a New Great Depression and it is not known when you will be able to get out of it. Naturally, the United States is afraid of this and does not want to, because a sharp drop in living standards leads to social instability and actually calls into question the existence of the American state, at least in the form in which we know it. That is, it can be preserved in some other form, but with other people at the head, with other families as a leading and guiding force, there with other parties, and so on. Naturally, the ruling circles of the United States do not want this at all. In order to maintain the status quo, the United States must maintain hegemony in any way, which means that even if this world is half destroyed, the United States must be the hegemon. I mean, it will be bad in the United States, but everyone else in the world should be even worse.

Therefore, the United States choses the way of confrontations. They cannot make an agreement, because they cannot yield.So if you have to yield, you are no longer the hegemon. If you are not a hegemon, you cannot divert other people’s resources to maintain the welfare of your citizens. If you can’t do this, then you start to crumble. So they follow the path of confrontation on the following principle: “Hey, guys, of course we understand that we are already not a hegemon. However, if you dare not to recognize us as such, we will start a war and it will be worse for you. So let’s think about it.”

Therefore, by the way, in recent years, several times Putin has told the Americans that we are ready to fight. We are even ready for a nuclear war, if anything. So that they do not build illusions about the fact that blackmail can be turned on. Yes, what conditions did Hillary Clinton offer when she went to the polls? Turn on the nuclear blackmail of Russia so that she concedes. So that they don’t have illusions that they don’t go too far along this path, because when you go the path of confrontation, each next step cuts off your path back. Sooner or later you come to a situation where war becomes inevitable, even a nuclear one. That is not something desirable, but necessary, because you have no other options left.

Well, you see, they are trying to lead the remnants of the West, the so-called free world there. Because it’s not always the West, there is Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, it’s still East. They are trying to keep their allies, their vassals under their control, to lead all this, to create such a closed system that will be in hostile relations with the rest of the world, while retaining the opportunity to spoil everyone. And again, try to keep the most of it, as they consider, – a high-tech world. And, relying on these capabilities, to re-conquer the planet. But I think that they are very much mistaken in this regard, because the manufacturing has long been located outside of both the United States and Europe. Now you can produce anything you want without their consent to the right to a patent. If we are talking about a global confrontation. In most areas of life and activity, we have sufficient technology and sufficient technological literacy. We just couldn’t launch many things on the market because the market was too narrow for us, – the western companies were already working on it. Take for example smartphones: the Russian market simply wasn’t big enough to outperform Apple. They’re just like a global company, like other companies, they were just in the perfect position from the start. And no company can enter other markets without winning its own, in principle.

That’s why now the United States are seriously mistaken when they think that they will just leave technology under them, which means that they will make everyone else bow down. It was before, being a hegemon, that they could arrange price scissors according to which these high-tech goods sold for more than raw materials, food, and so on. Now, we see a frenzied rise in prices for raw materials and foodstuffs that completely devalue the European industrial and technological power or the American one. Because if China can buy raw materials in Russia two or three times cheaper than Europe, or even four or five times cheaper, then it immediately becomes more competitive accordingly. While the enterprises of the same European brands in China will continue to operate exactly as they will keep working with us. The factories that we have built will not go anywhere, they will work even if European companies leave us. The factories will still work with our companies, will change brands, and still produce. Overall, by and large, it’s the same.

That is, if we succeed, we will sell a little less, but it will cost much more. If we fail, we will sell more and it will cost a little less, but still big money.

Therefore, until now, while the West is in confrontation with us, the price tags for energy carriers will not fall. In both cases, the situation is beneficial for us.

If Biden lobbies for the rejection of Russian energy, then the European economy will die, and the world will become one less competitor not only for the United States, but for us too. Because, in this case, we will be able to deliver our goods to the vacant place in Europe sooner or later.

So let him go. The most dangerous thing there is not that he is going to talk about a ban on the import of Russian oil to Europe. He is going to Poland to talk about the possibility of introducing peacekeeping forces from the west to the territory of Ukraine.

Moreover, the United States formed its position quite cunningly. They said no, it would not be NATO forces, but it could be the forces of some NATO countries. That is, it seems that the United States has nothing to do with this, it’s just that individual countries decided themselves, but these are NATO countries, and if it comes into confrontation with Russia, it’s clear that the question will immediately arise, what will be the reaction of NATO? How will NATO support its allies? Will it support it? And if not, then does NATO need such a thing? And if so, in what way? Money, goods, weapons? Or some armed forces will be sent to help them… And then who else will enter into a confrontation with Russia and how far this confrontation can lead.

Let me remind you that Macron called for preparations for a pan-European war. And he did not rely on French desires but on concrete actions of the United States. When he assessed the very situation. And his assessment, in general, is close to the truth. That is, it is clear that the All-European War may not happen, because at least we do not want this, and we are fighting hard against it, and the Europeans themselves are not particularly fond of it. But, nevertheless, there are forces in Europe, like the Poles, who are making these proposals, and outside of Europe, it is the United States, which would like to start a major war in Europe with the participation of Russia. And they are fighting for their interests, and who will win there, time will tell.

I do not think that Poles really want a part of the territory of Ukraine, because it is to get somewhere between 10-15 million Bandera for 35 million Poles. This is a lot. This is not the 2 million that Poland digested after the Great Patriotic War.

This can destabilize Poland very much, because such a minority makes up a third of the entire population, which is absolutely hostile to this population. Bandera massacred the Poles, and the Poles hate Bandera. And when these two cultures collide on the same territory in a non-abstract way, such as, everyone lives in their own country and both hate Russia; – and when they collide on the same territory it turns out that they also hate each other, – for Poland it will not be like a gift.

It is important for the Poles to maintain a Ukrainian buffer between themselves and Russia. Therefore, theoretically, by entering western Ukraine, they can try to preserve Ukrainian statehood at least in three, four, at least five regions, and this Ukrainian statehood will be due to the demarcation line, not making peace with Russia, but concluding a truce on the principle of the Minsk agreements. They will, because of the line of demarcation, all the time claim the entire territory of Ukraine, the Crimea, the Donbass and even the Kuban and Voronezh.

And Russia will always have this problem, a splinter sticking out in the boot, which will not allow much concentration against Poland.

Therefore, the Poles are making serious enough efforts to preserve Ukrainian statehood, in one form or another. Another thing is that they are also afraid, because you don’t understand that if they go out alone on their own initiative without any support, they will simply be kicked in the neck and thrown back, and this will end the liberation campaign.

But they understand that they cannot rely on the verbal, political support of the United States. That the United States will put pressure on their European allies to provide more help, and so on. And if all this works out, if the Poles know that they are not alone, but at least two or three of them, and that, for example, Germany, France, everyone else was forced to somehow help, for example, to send military equipment, transfer aviation , then they may well afford to venture into western Ukraine.

Ukraine somehow feels insecure in such a position, but the fact is that Russian forces are also unable to stretch indefinitely. You see, we are even dealing with Ukraine step by step. That is, not everything at once, although the configuration of the Ukrainian borders made it possible, given sufficient military resources, to complete the problem, to close the issue in three weeks, and after that to deal only with cleansing.

But our military resources are not unlimited. In order to create an appropriate army, it is necessary to mobilize. which no one wants to do, because we still have a special operation not a war. If Polish resources are connected to these Ukrainian resources, which are now opposing Russia, then the problem of promotion will be even stronger. If other NATO countries are looming behind Poland, then the question arises whether we can grind all these armies that are potentially opposing us with the help of available forces, or we need to either mobilize or resort to nuclear weapons. Especially since any NATO country entering into a conflict is a country of a bloc that has nuclear weapons. In accordance with the Russian military doctrine, we can strike such a bloc with a nuclear strike even first.

As you understand, the issue is very difficult to resolve, and both of these decisions will be extremely disadvantageous, including for Russia. It doesn’t matter who wins later, but this also means big losses, and not only human, but economic, and so on and so forth.

Therefore, naturally, we are trying to avoid this option, and are trying to close the issue with Ukraine without the participation of our Western friends and partners. We try not to let them interfere in this matter. In this regard, of course, we use the position of the United States, because they do not want to give guarantees to anyone, and we demonstrate that we will fight. Consequently, if the United States does not give you guarantees of military support, you understand that yes, they will fight with you longer, not 3 months, but 6 months, not 6 months, but a year. But all the same, they will grind you down, and then the question arises, why do we Poles need such pleasure? Well, we’ll fight for a year, we’ll distribute orders, and then what? Then collect Poland brick by brick?

Therefore, now the pro-American European lobby is in a state of unstable equilibrium; it wants to intervene in this conflict, but is afraid. The Americans do not yet give sufficient guarantees.

Biden is now going to Poland to talk about exactly this, and we’ll see what he tells them.

Well, I think not now, not now, but in general, given what trends have prevailed in the Baltics. Sooner or later the denazification operation will have to be carried out, because, as the history of Ukraine shows, living next to the Nazi state, even if it is small, means everything equally uncomfortable.

Just because we are two different systems, we are on different sides of good and evil, and we will always be in confrontation with each other, and confrontation with the state that is on our borders will always be used by our enemies, regardless of who is this enemy at the moment.

Therefore, naturally, if the Balts do not take it reasonably, then sooner or later they, just like Ukraine, will ask for the denazification operation. Ukraine asked for a long time, in fact, persuaded for 30 years.

Therefore, Ukraine began to prepare for a war with Russia from the first day of its Independence. It was, by the way, her idea-fix. Well, it was getting ready, getting ready, now 30 years have passed – she got ready. Finally, she asked for the war. By and large, the Balts behave in the same way. They now think that they are covered by NATO and the EU, but as the practice of recent years has shown, this is a very unreliable umbrella.

It is unlikely that anyone will be especially tense and risk a major war for the Baltic states. Moreover, there is always a casus bellum. It’s just that now, of course, Russia is too busy to go to the Baltic states. If only they won’t interfere with Russia on their own along with the Poles. They once tried to attack Belarus. They can repeat. If they themselves do not get involved in this matter, then the problem, the Baltics, is a problem of the distant future. During this time, they can change their minds, correct themselves, establish normal contacts, and choose other politicians.

But if the Baltic statehood develops in the same direction in which it has been developing for the last thirty years, then sooner or later the denazification operation is inevitable.

Bennett, Sisi and MBZ Discuss Iran, ‘Mutual Security Interests’

23 Mar 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Zionist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed [MBZ] held a joint meeting in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt on Tuesday to discuss a joint defense strategy in dealing with what they referred to as the ‘Iranian threat,’ as well as ‘common security interests.’

What are the ‘common security interests’ that would pool the ‘Israeli’ entity with Egypt and the UAE?

Although the so-called ‘Iranian threat’ would come to mind first, there would be several other concerns. A hint to that is the Emirati comments to ‘Israeli’ The Jerusalem Post newspaper, which mentioned that “Abu Dhabi is shocked by the US behavior,” and that “it is hard for the UAE to deal with the US administration of Joe Biden in security affairs,” also noting that ties in general have been deteriorating.

The JPost cited a source in Abu Dhabi as saying: “The United Arab Emirates is very unhappy with the US move toward removing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard from its Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.”

Some in Abu Dhabi “are in great shock,” and they view the possibility of the IRG’s designation being removed in the same way as ‘Israel’ does, the source added.

The meeting took place as the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran was nearing completion.

The US and Iran have been indirectly negotiating in Vienna to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal for the past 11 months. The deal placed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for the gradual lifting of sanctions.

Most of those restrictions expire at the end of 2025. In addition, in recent years, Iran has far surpassed the deal’s 3.67% uranium enrichment limit, enriching to 60% – weapons-grade uranium is enriched to 90% – and has converted some of it to a format that is hard to dilute or transport.

The Tel Aviv regime and the United Arab Emirates expressed dissatisfaction with American concessions to the Islamic Republic.

“The leaders discussed the ties between the three countries on the background of recent developments in the world and the region, and the ways to strengthen [the ties] at all levels,” Bennett’s office stated.

Bennett’s visit to Egypt was supposed to be secret, but once the press caught wind of it, Sisi’s office did not oppose placing a Zionist regime’s flag at the meeting for the photo-op.

Sisi also accompanied Bennett to his plane when he departed Sharm El-Sheikh on Tuesday, after spending the night in the Sinai resort town.

Concern in Tel Aviv about Washington’s intention to respond to the demand to remove the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from the list of terrorism

Russian military is no joke either: Shock waves across US?

21 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Ruqiya Anwar 

When it comes to the Ukraine crisis, US citizens are stressing: “We don’t have a dog in the fight.”

The crisis in Ukraine is raising considerable anxiety and rising global uncertainty. It appears that neither war nor heavy economic penalties would bring a sustainable solution to the current situation, which extends beyond Russia and Ukraine. The only way out is through diplomacy. That possibility was squandered when the US and NATO, in response to Russia’s concerns, limited NATO’s eastward expansion.

However, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The special military operation will strive to “denazify” Russia’s sovereign neighbor, its mission is to protect citizens who have been bullied and subjected to genocide for the past eight years. And to do this, Russia will work to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine.

Even as President Joe Biden imposes more sanctions and promises a greater response that could draw retaliation from Moscow, there is little interest among Americans for a US involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. President Joe Biden has been criticized by a faction of the Republican Party for opposing Putin’s plans for Ukraine, with some even suggesting that Russia has the right to invade. 

As history has shown, economic sanctions would only harm innocent civilians, particularly women and children. The rising oil costs owing to the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the economic sanctions the West has imposed on Russia are affecting the entire world, particularly the poor nation-states.

With the general public’s memories of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and subsequent Taliban takeover still fresh, much of the worry on both the right and left is centered on the US avoiding military involvement in Europe. Members of the House Freedom Caucus have indeed been particularly loud in their opposition to US intervention in Ukraine, and stressed that “In the Ukraine conflict, we don’t have a dog in the fight”. There should not be a single American soldier killed there. There should not be a single American bullet fired there.

Significantly, Ukraine has no legitimate reason to be a member of NATO, and NATO, as a Cold War relic, may have no present purpose or goal. Getting involved in a military crisis is not in the best interests of the United States.

Similarly, many Americans prefer that the US stay out of the crisis, the escalating violence, and political ramifications are already hitting their budgets. As traders reacted to geopolitical tensions, the price of oil, which has been climbing for the past year, hit an eight-year high this week. According to experts, if US lawmakers pass another round of sanctions, gas prices will certainly rise considerably more.

Moreover, the restriction on wheat or metals, on the other hand, might push the worst spell of inflation in decades even higher. Consumers in the United States will pay more for gasoline and other necessities as commodity prices rise, leaving less money for discretionary expenditure. As costly as another European conflict would be inhuman and economic terms, the financial strain would fall disproportionately on the lower and middle classes in the United States.

Furthermore, the US economic growth could be cut by 1% as a result of tougher sanctions on Russia. Stock market turbulence can also have a psychological impact, undermining consumer confidence and reducing expenditure, thus, slowing down US economic growth. Sanctions implemented by the United States and other countries may worsen inflation in the United States, and stock prices in the United States have collapsed already.

Consumer pricing and consumer confidence in the United States are likely to be affected by the sanctions. Gas prices in the United States have reached new highs, and Biden warned that they will go up even more.

Notably, the issue of “who are they?” lies at the heart of much of the doubt about America’s intervention in Ukraine. Who are they to lecture about national sovereignty and international law when they have a significant history of invasions and interventions? Who are they to set themselves up as paragons of freedom and human rights, given the record of slavery and discrimination, their foreign record of supporting sympathetic tyrants, and the continued injustices of American life? People on the left frequently pose such concerns. Only about one out of every three Americans can locate Ukraine on a map of Europe.

Biden’s presidency is already on the verge of collapsing. His approval rating has dropped to 41%. His grip on the White House is already tightening. Therefore, Presidents in such dire trouble have a history of suffering crushing defeats in midterm elections during their first term.

The US and Europe have already become major victims of the crisis, both economically and geopolitically, and the worsening of the conflict could spell disaster for the continent and the world. Europe, as the continent that saw two previous World Wars erupt, must demonstrate greater foresight and courage in stepping up its efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Russian military is no joke either: Shock waves across US?

21 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Ruqiya Anwar 

When it comes to the Ukraine crisis, US citizens are stressing: “We don’t have a dog in the fight.”

The crisis in Ukraine is raising considerable anxiety and rising global uncertainty. It appears that neither war nor heavy economic penalties would bring a sustainable solution to the current situation, which extends beyond Russia and Ukraine. The only way out is through diplomacy. That possibility was squandered when the US and NATO, in response to Russia’s concerns, limited NATO’s eastward expansion.

However, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The special military operation will strive to “denazify” Russia’s sovereign neighbor, its mission is to protect citizens who have been bullied and subjected to genocide for the past eight years. And to do this, Russia will work to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine.

Even as President Joe Biden imposes more sanctions and promises a greater response that could draw retaliation from Moscow, there is little interest among Americans for a US involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. President Joe Biden has been criticized by a faction of the Republican Party for opposing Putin’s plans for Ukraine, with some even suggesting that Russia has the right to invade. 

As history has shown, economic sanctions would only harm innocent civilians, particularly women and children. The rising oil costs owing to the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the economic sanctions the West has imposed on Russia are affecting the entire world, particularly the poor nation-states.

With the general public’s memories of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and subsequent Taliban takeover still fresh, much of the worry on both the right and left is centered on the US avoiding military involvement in Europe. Members of the House Freedom Caucus have indeed been particularly loud in their opposition to US intervention in Ukraine, and stressed that “In the Ukraine conflict, we don’t have a dog in the fight”. There should not be a single American soldier killed there. There should not be a single American bullet fired there.

Significantly, Ukraine has no legitimate reason to be a member of NATO, and NATO, as a Cold War relic, may have no present purpose or goal. Getting involved in a military crisis is not in the best interests of the United States.

Similarly, many Americans prefer that the US stay out of the crisis, the escalating violence, and political ramifications are already hitting their budgets. As traders reacted to geopolitical tensions, the price of oil, which has been climbing for the past year, hit an eight-year high this week. According to experts, if US lawmakers pass another round of sanctions, gas prices will certainly rise considerably more.

Moreover, the restriction on wheat or metals, on the other hand, might push the worst spell of inflation in decades even higher. Consumers in the United States will pay more for gasoline and other necessities as commodity prices rise, leaving less money for discretionary expenditure. As costly as another European conflict would be inhuman and economic terms, the financial strain would fall disproportionately on the lower and middle classes in the United States.

Furthermore, the US economic growth could be cut by 1% as a result of tougher sanctions on Russia. Stock market turbulence can also have a psychological impact, undermining consumer confidence and reducing expenditure, thus, slowing down US economic growth. Sanctions implemented by the United States and other countries may worsen inflation in the United States, and stock prices in the United States have collapsed already.

Consumer pricing and consumer confidence in the United States are likely to be affected by the sanctions. Gas prices in the United States have reached new highs, and Biden warned that they will go up even more.

Notably, the issue of “who are they?” lies at the heart of much of the doubt about America’s intervention in Ukraine. Who are they to lecture about national sovereignty and international law when they have a significant history of invasions and interventions? Who are they to set themselves up as paragons of freedom and human rights, given the record of slavery and discrimination, their foreign record of supporting sympathetic tyrants, and the continued injustices of American life? People on the left frequently pose such concerns. Only about one out of every three Americans can locate Ukraine on a map of Europe.

Biden’s presidency is already on the verge of collapsing. His approval rating has dropped to 41%. His grip on the White House is already tightening. Therefore, Presidents in such dire trouble have a history of suffering crushing defeats in midterm elections during their first term.

The US and Europe have already become major victims of the crisis, both economically and geopolitically, and the worsening of the conflict could spell disaster for the continent and the world. Europe, as the continent that saw two previous World Wars erupt, must demonstrate greater foresight and courage in stepping up its efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RT, Moscow, March 18, 2022

March 19, 2022

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1805134/

Question: The sanctions that are currently imposed on Russia are of course unprecedented. And they are really negatively affecting the lives of ordinary Russians, even though Washington is saying that it’s not targeting Russians. What can you say about what the goals of these sanctions are and who the target really is?

Sergey Lavrov:

 I believe the goal of the sanctions is much more strategic than just Ukraine. I think what we witness in Ukraine is the quintessence of the western course, strategic course to marginalise Russia, to contain Russia, to stop Russia’s development and to reduce Russia to a zero role in world politics and world economy, world trade, world sports, art, science, education

And we observe unprecedented steps our Western colleagues are taking. One of the underlying trends is the United States’ desire – which has been much more manifested by the Biden administration – to come back to a unipolar world. And, if you wish, they are trying to take the melting pot concept from the United States soil and make a melting pot from the entire world, and they would be the smelters. The European Union already, I think 99 percent, stopped trying to be independent. President Macron, of course, keeps repeating that strategic autonomy for the European Union is his goal and he would be fighting for it, but my guess is that he would not succeed. Germany is already absolutely ready to obey instructions from the United State. The situation with North Stream 2 clearly indicated what exact place in world politics Germany occupies now, when the Americans in fact have “persuaded” the Germans and others that they, the Americans, know much better what Europe needs for its energy security than Europeans themselves. And there are many examples like this. So the sanctions drive is going to continue, they are threatening the fifth wave, maybe there would be another wave, but we’re used to it. I will recall that, long before the Ukrainian crisis erupted because of the illegal anti-constitutional coup d’etat, the sanctions were already imposed on us. It was, you know, when the Jackson–Vanik amendment was repealed, the Magnitsky Act was immediately introduced and the sanctions, in one way or another, stayed. And then there was a series of sanctions, as you mentioned, to punish us, basically, for supporting the legitimate cause of Russians in Ukraine, Russians in Crimea, you know this story, I wouldn’t rehearse the events and the sequence of events.

The latest sanctions wave was really unprecedented and, as President Putin recalled, we are now champions in the number of sanctions introduced against the Russian Federation – more than 5,000 individual acts, almost twice as many as was introduced against Iran and North Korea. But sanctions, or all of this, made us stronger. After the sanctions were announced in 2014, when the West could not accept the free vote of Crimeans to rejoin the Russian Federation, when the West basically supported the illegitimate and unconstitutional coup d’etat. You know what was very interesting to me when I talked about those events to my Western colleagues? They very often use the tactic of cutting off an unwanted historical period. The situation in Ukraine they start discussing only with what they call annexation of Crimea. If you remind them that it all started with the European Union being unable to insist on the implementation of the deal, which they guaranteed, by the opposition, and then the opposition just threw away the deal signed and guaranteed by the European Union, and then the leaders of the opposition and of the so-called Maidan, the radicals, like Dmitry Yarosh were saying “We stand for a Ukraine without Russkis and katsaps” (which means Muscovites), and he publicly stated that if the Russians – well, he said the Russians in Crimea would never think Ukrainian, would never speak Ukrainian, would never glorify the heroes, meaning Bandera and Shukhevich and other collaborators of Hitler – and that’s why Russians must be swiped out of Crimea. Actually, this was said a couple of weeks before the Crimeans eventually decided to go to referendum. And these words were accompanied by deeds. They sent armed groups to take control of the Crimean parliament, and that’s how it all started. Not to mention the initiative – immediately, on the first day of this coup d’etat, the putschists introduced an initiative to do away with the status of the Russian language in Ukraine, which was in the Ukrainian Constitution. So all these instincts were immediately translated into very Russophobic policies.

The idea that Russians should get out of Ukraine is still very much on the minds of politicians in this country. Oleg Tyagnibok, the leader of the ultra-radical party, Svoboda (“Freedom”), has repeatedly said that “we must have de-Russification”, as he calls it. And de-Russification means that ethnic Russians must not have their own language, history and identity in Ukraine and so many similar things. But what is more important for us to understand in the current state of play are these statements by Zelensky himself. So I said that the ultra-radicals called for Russians to be wiped out of Crimea, and President Zelensky, in September last year, said, if you believe you’re a Russian, if you believe you want to be a Russian and if you want to be friendly with Russia, go to Russia. He said this just a few months ago.

So, coming back to sanctions: sanctions we will survive. The measures which the president and the government are developing, elaborating, are being announced. This is only the beginning of our economy getting adjusted to the new situation. After 2014, as I started to say, we did gain experience to rely upon ourselves. And the biggest lesson from this particular historical period is, unlike what we saw after 2014, that now, 

… if there was any illusion that we can one day rely on our Western partners, this illusion is no longer there.

We will have to rely only on ourselves and on our allies who would stay with us. This is the main conclusion for Russia in the context of geopolitics.

Question: I think it’s safe to say that Russian culture specifically has become accustomed to being part of, you might say, a global village of countries that share deep economic ties and enjoy travelling between each other. How do you think these sanctions are going to influence the everyday life of Russians in the long term in relation to that?

Sergey Lavrov: Well, as I said, the assessment of what is going on, in my view, clearly indicates that what America wants is a unipolar world, which would be not like a global village, which would be like an American village and maybe American saloon where who is strongest is calling the shots. And they said they are succeeding to mobilize behind themselves and, on the basis of their own interests, the entire Western world, which is indicative of how independent NATO members and European Union members are and which is indicative of what place the European Union, as I said, would have in the future configuration of the world situation and the world system.

There are players who would never accept the global village under the American sheriff …

and

China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico – I am sure these countries do not want to be just in the position where Uncle Sam orders them something and they say “Yes, sir.” And of course, Russia is not in the category of countries who would be ready to do so. Actually, when people say – when the Americans and Western Europeans and others say that Russia was defeated in the General Assembly because the vast majority of countries voted against the Russian action in Ukraine, it’s misleading because, if you take the population represented by the countries who were not voting against Russia, and especially if you take the number of countries who introduce sanctions against Russia, a majority of those who voted against us did so under huge pressure, under blackmail, including – I know this for sure – including threats to individual delegates regarding their assets in the United States, bank accounts, children studying in universities and so on and so forth. It’s absolutely unprecedented blackmail and pressure without any scruples. So a majority of those countries who voted with the West, they did not and they would not introduce sanctions against Russia. They believe that it’s, you know, not a very big price to pay for their own practical cooperation with Russia, just to vote on something which is needed for the West for entirely propagandistic purposes. So we will be, as always, open to cooperation with anyone who is ready to do so on the equal basis, on the basis of mutual respect and searching for balance of interests, and the countries to the east of Russia are much more disposed to act on this basis, and we will certainly reciprocate for the benefit of both us and our partners. We are not closing the door on the West. They are doing so. But when they come back to their senses and when this door is reopened, we will be looking at proposed projects of cooperation with a very important thing in mind to which I alluded to already – that we will be going into cooperation with them knowing very well that we cannot be sure that they are reliable and that they are credible as long-term partners.

Question: Well, I’d like to take the discussion now to a sort of different topic: these US-sponsored biolabs in Ukraine. I mean, for years already, Russia has been trying to bring the world’s attention to them. And the latest piece of evidence connected to them the Russian military just put forward not too long ago, with documents signed by US officials in connection to them. Why do you think is the world not paying so much attention to these biolabs? And will Washington and its allies be held accountable for what they’re doing there?

Sergey Lavrov: Actually, it’s interesting that the special military operation launched by the president of the Russian Federation helped discover many things which are very important for understanding what is going on. Recently, the military of Russia, together with Donetsk and Lugansk forces, discovered documents of the Ukrainian general staff indicating clearly that they were preparing a massive attack against the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. So the operation, which was launched by Russia, in fact, preempted this threat and did not allow them to implement what they wanted to do, and they wanted to do exactly what they failed to do implementing the Minsk agreements. They were trying to use what they called Plan B and to take these territories by force with bloodshed on an unbelievable scale, in addition to what they have been doing to civilians for the last eight years.

But another set of documents which was discovered – as you said, documents related to military biological activity of the United States in Ukraine – documents with signatures of Ukrainian officials, US military. 

Those laboratories have been created by the United States all over the world. More than 300 laboratories in various countries, many of them on the perimeter of the Russian Federation – in the former Soviet republics, including Ukraine. Ukraine is probably the biggest project for the Pentagon, who is running this show.

The special Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Pentagon is in charge of this biological activity, and they are developing very dangerous pathogens, including plague, brucellosis, anthrax and many others, which are really very dangerous. And we know that they were experimenting on potential infections, which could be related to the ethnic groups living in the east of Ukraine and in neighboring regions of Russia.

We have been raising this issue in international organizations for a while, I would say almost more than 20 years. In 2001, we suggested that the countries participating in the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons should develop a verification mechanism which would be transparent, which would be understood by everybody and applied to everybody because the convention itself provides for consultations if any participating state has some suspicions or some information which the state would like to clarify. And if these consultations indicate that there is a good reason for some kind of investigation, then an investigation is supposed to be launched. But there is no mechanism to investigate, and there is no mechanism which would require each and every country, in response to an address, to provide information and to guarantee transparency of its biological activity anywhere, be it on your own territory or abroad.

By the way, 

… the Americans some years ago decided that it is too dangerous to do these things on their own soil. So they moved all these threatening and dangerous activities to other countries,

and more and more they concentrate their research and experiments around the borders of the Russian Federation and China. So we will be insisting on this issue to be picked up by the Biological Weapons Convention, but also by the Security Council, because it’s a clear threat to international peace and security. We will be again emphasising the importance of negotiating a legally binding protocol to the Convention on Biological Weapons, which would require obligatory transparency measures by any participating state. The Americans, I have no slightest doubt, would be against it, but this position of theirs is not defendable. I am convinced that more and more countries understand how dangerous these plans are, and we will continue to fight them.

Question: What can you say on the topic of Washington’s role in all of this? President Zelensky called for weapons to come to his country from the West. He’s talked about a demand for establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, and this is something that Joe Biden just recently again said is not going to happen because that would lead, no doubt, to outright war between Russia and NATO and the United States. Why do you think is Ukraine so desperately trying to make some sort of scenario like that happen?

Sergey Lavrov: Whatever you think of some of Joe Biden’s statements, he is a very experienced politician and he understands that it is absolutely inadmissible to establish something like a no-fly zone, to provide planes to Ukraine and to do other things which will bring the risk of direct confrontation between NATO and Russia just, you know, immediately. But Zelensky also understands that there are much less responsible politicians in the United States who are being agitated by the Ukrainian lobby and just driven by Russophobic feelings, and many of them are in Congress. They adopt every now and then resolutions condemning Russia, threatening Russia. I believe Zelensky is counting on them pushing the president in the direction of a more confrontational approach.

We clearly said that any cargo moving into Ukrainian territory which we would believe is carrying weapons would be fair game. This is clear because we are implementing the operation the goal of which is to remove any threat to the Russian Federation coming from Ukrainian soil. This was part of our proposal in December last year when we suggested that we negotiate with NATO security guarantees – the way which would be codifying the old agreement reached at the highest level that no one, no country should increase its security at the expense of the security of others. So they know what it is all about.

They also speak about missile defense. Kiev authorities think of asking NATO members who possess Soviet air defense systems to share this with them.

I would like to remind the countries who might be playing with this idea that 

the Soviet and Russian-made systems of missile defense or of any other purpose are there on the basis of intergovernmental agreements and contracts, which includes an end user certificate. The end user certificate does not allow them to send these weapons to any third country without our consent. This is a legal obligation.

I understand that legality and legal obligations is not something which our Western colleagues respect these days. They’ve already thrown away the presumption of innocence, private property being sacred and many other “pillars” on which the “liberal values” have been resting for so many centuries and decades.

But this is a serious matter, and I can assure you that we would not allow these risks to be materialised. The purpose of our operation is to protect civilians, who have been bombed and shelled and murdered for eight years, and to demilitarise Ukraine so that it does not pose a serious threat to the Russian territory, and to find security guarantees, which would be based on this equal, indivisible security principle for Ukraine, for Russia, for all European countries. We have been proposing this for many years. Denazification is an absolute must. And that includes not only canceling laws encouraging Nazist ideology and practices, but it also includes withdrawing any legislation which discriminates the Russian language and other national minority languages and, in general, national minority rights in Ukraine which have been hugely discriminated and offended.

Question: Well, we’ve talked a lot about the kinetic war, but I wanted to ask another question about the information war actually. A few days ago, the White House had a briefing with several popular TikTokers in the United States, and they were basically briefed on a new anti-Russian narrative that Washington wants to put forward. What do you think about such sort of underhanded propaganda technique when it’s usually Russia that they’re accusing of misinformation and underhanded tactics?

Sergay Lavrov: Well, we are a very, very small player in the international information war. It’s the information… World information is dominated by media belonging to the Americans, the Brits, and also the Germans, the French and others. It’s another matter, what the quality of those information outlets is. If you take CNN, they prefer to avoid analytical materials and they more and more concentrate on some reports which would be made of slogans “Russia is an aggressor,” “Russia is murdering civilians,” “Russia is abusing sports” and so on and so forth.

When they concentrate on TikTok and other resources like this and other platforms and when they target kids because TikTok is about young boys and girls, I believe this is an attempt to brainwash them for the rest of their lives. And this is indecent and not fair.

If you want information and competition, if you want competition among media outlets, then there at must be some rules.

I would remind you and your viewers that in 1990, when the Soviet Union was living under this “new thinking” concept and the human values, common values for humankind, the Western colleagues in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe were pushing very actively, and finding support on the Soviet side, a series of documents of the OSCE on freedom of speech and on access to information. Such documents were endorsed by consensus in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. These days, when your channel and Sputnik many years ago were banned from attending, for example, press conferences and briefings in Élysée in Paris, and when we were drawing the attention of the French colleagues that this was against the commitment in the OSCE, they were saying, “No, no, no, no, no. Access to information is applicable only to mass media and RT and Sputnik are not mass media, they are propaganda tools.”

Another example of abusing the commitments and obligations – when a couple of years ago in London there was a conference on freedom of media in the modern world, no Russian media were invited.

So we know the manners and the tricks which are being used by the Western countries to manipulate media. We understood long ago that there was no such thing as an independent Western media. If you take the United States, only Fox News is trying to present some alternative points of view. But when you watch other channels and when you read social networks and internet platforms, when the acting president was blocked, as you know, and this censorship continues in a very big way and the substitution of notions. Whenever something is happening by the way of mass protest, mass demonstrations, which they don’t like, they immediately call it domestic terrorism. So it’s a war, and it’s a war which involves the methods of information terrorism. There is no doubt about this.

A very interesting example was yesterday, when the Bild newspaper in Germany published a piece saying that myself on the evening of March 16 left Moscow by plane to go to China, but in the area of Novosibirsk, the plane turned back because either Putin told me to come back or the Chinese said, “We don’t want to talk to you.” It was published by, yes, a tabloid, but with millions of copies. And it’s a shame that we have these habits being introduced into the information world by our “friends.

It is not by incident that President Putin said about the existence of the Empire of Lies.

Question: Well, just one more question for you, Mr. Lavrov. Of course, this conflict in Ukraine is not going to go on forever. When it does come to an end, what do you foresee as the main challenges in future Russia–Ukraine relations?

Sergay Lavrov: Well, we never had any issues with the Ukrainian people. I have many Ukrainian friends, the two peoples are very close culturally. Practically all of them speak, and those who don’t, they understand the Russian language. Culture, common history, way of life, attitude to life, traditions of families and communities. So I hope that when this anomaly is over, this will gradually come back. It will have to be gradual.

It cannot come back fast because the efforts of our Western colleagues to make Ukraine a Russophobic and anti-Russian instrument – anti-Russia, as President Putin called it – they started long ago, and they are already rather deeply rooted in Ukrainian mentality, especially the young generation which was born after the demise of the Soviet Union. They have been indoctrinated in a very, very heavy way.

The efforts were taken systemically to train military officers on the basis of radical Bandera and Shukhevich-style methodology. The purpose being – to make sure that they would not become friendly to Russia again and that they would build their nationalism, nationalistic feelings as the means to strengthen the statehood of their country.

The purpose was always to make sure that Russia does not have Ukraine as a friend. It’s like Zbigniew Brzezinski in the late 1990s said, “Russia with Ukraine, a friendly Ukraine next to it, is a superpower. Russia with Ukraine which is not friendly to Russia, is just a regional player.” This concept is very deeply rooted in the minds of American policymakers, and it will take time to get rid of these negative legacies.

Even now, when the armed forces of Ukraine are fighting, trying to procrastinate the crisis. The leaders of Ukraine with the help of American and other Western advisors have reformed the army in the way which puts these radicals, Bandera-like trained officers, to lead all more or less meaningful units in the Ukrainian army. And these people radicalise and terrorise others, especially those who don’t believe that this should be the fate of their country.

Their actions in Mariupol is an example of that. The refugees coming from Mariupol to Russia in dozens of thousands tell such stories. It’s really threatening how this kind of people command armed men and women.

But I am sure, at the end of the day, the historic closeness of two fraternal nations will certainly prevail.

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In snub to Washington, UAE reaches out to Russia

Washington’s geopolitical cards are dwindling rapidly. The high-level UAE visit to Moscow this week has consolidated OPEC+ support for Russia in the energy war now raging between east and west.

March 18 2022

The UAE is the fourth West Asian state to have travelled to Moscow in the past week to strike agreements unfavorable to Washington.Photo Credit: The Cradle

By MK Bhadrakumar

Four top foreign minster level diplomats from Qatar, Iran, Turkey and the UAE travelled to Moscow this week, in as many days, in an impressive display of strategic realignment by regional states against the backdrop of the US-Russia conflict unfolding over Ukraine.

The arrival in Moscow of the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan on Thursday is the most striking. This is happening within a fortnight of the country’s inclusion on 4 March in the Grey List of the global financial crime watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), due to alleged financial crimes. The FATF recommendations for the UAE include:

  • Implementing a more robust system to collect case studies and statistics used in money laundering (ML) investigations;
  • Demonstrating a sustained increase in effective investigations and prosecutions of different types of ML cases;
  • Probing increase in the number and quality of suspicious transaction reports filed by financial institutions and other entities; and,
  • Monitoring high-risk ML threats, such as proceeds of foreign predicate offences, trade-based ML, and third-party laundering.

The FATF is one of those tools of torture that the west has finessed in the international system to humiliate and punish developing countries whom it wants to teach a lesson or two. A cursory look at the countries figuring in the 22-member Grey List would reveal that the UAE shouldn’t really belong there — Albania, Burkina Faso, Haiti, South Sudan, Uganda, Yemen and so on.

But the west’s calculation is that the economy of a country gets affected in a negative manner when it figures on the Grey List — with international financial institutions starting to look at it as a risky nation for investment, which in UAE’s case also renders a lethal blow to its flourishing tourism industry.

Indeed, this happened under the watch of an American, Vincent Schmoll, who is holding interim charge as the acting FATF executive secretary since January. Schmoll used to be a functionary at the US Treasury. Conceivably, Washington’s writ runs large in this episode.

US-UAE relations have been experiencing some tumult during the past year. The trouble began soon after President Donald Trump’s departure from the White House. In January 2021, on Trump’s last full day in office, Abu Dhabi had signed a $23 billion agreement to buy 50 F-35 fighter jets, 18 Reaper drones, and other advanced munitions, but incoming President Joe Biden froze the deal as soon as he entered the Oval Office.

A number of factors might have influenced the Biden administration’s calculations, apart from the fact that the lucrative F-35 deal was a Trump legacy. As it transpired, in a delaying tactic, Washington began voicing serious concerns about the UAE-China relationship and the particularly strong economic ties developing between Abu Dhabi and Beijing. Notably, Washington wanted the UAE to put an end to a 5G contract with Chinese tech giant Huawei, which is the undisputed global leader in next-generation 5G technology.

Meanwhile, in addition to the Huawei issue, US intelligence agencies claimed to have discovered that Beijing was building what they thought to be a secret military facility at the Khalifa port in the UAE.

Emirati officials denied the allegation, but under pressure from Washington, were forced to halt the project, although the Persian Gulf states in general, and the UAE in particular, do not like being pushed to take sides between Washington and Beijing. They consider that their best interest lies in maintaining neutrality and balancing relations.

The end result, as everyone knows, was that much to the annoyance of Washington, Abu Dhabi finally hit back by opting for 80 Rafale combat aircraft from France in a deal worth over $20 billion last December.

Then came the bombshell in February with the sensational disclosure that the UAE has plans to order 12 L-15 light attack planes from China, with the option of purchasing 36 more. A UAE defence ministry statement said the purchase is part of the country’s efforts to diversify weapon suppliers. As an aside, the UAE air force operates mainly American-made F-16 and French-made Mirage fighters.

Only a week later, all hell broke loose when the UAE resisted American pressure and abstained (twice) on US-led Ukraine-related UN Security Council resolutions condemning Russia. Subsequent reports said that the Biden administration conveyed its displeasure to Abu Dhabi.

Soon after that, according to a Wall Street Journal report last week, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan failed to take a call from Biden who apparently wanted to discuss the US expectation that the UAE would pump more oil into the market to bring down skyrocketing prices.

Yet another complicating factor is that the Biden administration blundered into the intra-Gulf rivalries by designating Qatar as a ‘Major Non-NATO Ally’ (MNNA). On 31 January, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani became the first Persian Gulf leader to meet with Biden in the White House and media accounts of the visit highlighted a $20 billion deal for Boeing 777X freighter aircraft. Additionally, the emir met with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and discussed weapons sales.

Given this backdrop, Foreign Minister Abdullah Al-Nahyan’s arrival in Moscow couldn’t have been any less dramatic. The Russian side has divulged few details about the visit. The big question is whether any arms deal was been discussed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made a statement that the talks covered “a wide range of issues related to our bilateral relations and international agenda. For obvious reasons, we paid a great deal of attention to the Ukrainian developments. We spoke in detail about the goals and objectives of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine to protect people from the Kiev regime, and to demilitarize and de-Nazify this country.”

The UAE foreign minister reportedly told Lavrov that his country aimed at further systematic development of relations with Russia and diversification of the areas of bilateral cooperation. In what was possibly an indirect swipe at the US sanctions aimed at isolating Russia from the world economy, Al-Nahyan said:

“It is always important for us to keep our finger on the pulse and make sure that relations between Russia and the UAE move forward. There is no doubt that we are aimed at the systematic development of these relations and the diversification of the areas of bilateral cooperation so that it meets the interests of both our citizens and state institutions and other structures.”

He stressed that the parties should strengthen cooperation on energy and food security. Clearly, the US cannot count on the support of the Persian Gulf region in its campaign to isolate Russia or to dismantle OPEC+ – an increasingly influential body consisting of the 13 OPEC members plus ten non-OPEC oil exporters, which is chaired by the largest producers Russia and Saudi Arabia. The Gulf countries are, one by one, seeking out Russia to signal their solidarity and register their own desire to shake off US hegemony.

Interestingly, last Tuesday, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa had called Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss “topical issues of Russia‒Bahrain cooperation in politics, trade and the economy… (and) expressed the shared intention to further develop the friendly ties between Russia and Bahrain.” This, despite the fact that the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and the US Naval Forces Central Command are based in Bahrain.

Such display of solidarity by the ‘non-western international community’ brings some vital nuance to the global geopolitical chessboard: for one, it makes a mockery of the western sanctions against Russia. The Gulf countries are avid ‘globalizers’ and trading nations — Dubai, in particular. As time passes, western companies are sure to find ingenious ways to trade with Russia via resourceful intermediaries in the Gulf region.

Abdullah Al-Nahyan’s trip to Moscow is a demonstrative act of defiance, both symbolically and strategically. It is a mark of the Persian Gulf region’s growing alienation from Washington. Reports suggest that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who travelled to both the UAE and Saudi Arabia this week to press for increased oil production to lower oil prices, also came back empty-handed.

Contrary to Washington’s hopes, there is every likelihood that the OPEC+ will continue to strengthen its strategic autonomy vis-a-vis the US. Previously, Russia used to be a voice of moderation within the group. This will have profound implications for the world oil market.

The high attention Russian diplomacy paid to the West Asian region in the recent decade is returning dividends, for sure. Russia offered its Persian Gulf interlocutors something they never experienced before with a great power – an equal partnership based on mutual respect.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RBC TV channel, Moscow, March 16, 2022

March 17, 2022

https://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/minister_speeches/1804655/

Question: Initially, the in-person talks were held in Belarus followed by online talks. You met with Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba in Antalya, Turkey, on March 10. What’s your take on the negotiating process?

Sergey Lavrov: I did not fly to Turkey in order to forestall the Belarusian negotiating track agreed upon by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky which is now being implemented via video conference. President Zelensky asked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to speak with President Putin in order to set up a meeting between Dmitry Kuleba and me in Antalya, since we both planned to take part in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

Based on this request, President Vladimir Putin instructed me to hold a meeting and find out what Dmitry Kuleba has to offer (which is what I asked him to do). He stated that he did not arrive there to reiterate public statements. This statement got my attention. Dmitry Kuleba failed to vocalise any new ideas during the 90-minute conversation in the presence of Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu, despite multiple reminders to the effect that I wanted to hear things that had not been said publicly. I did my part and made myself available to listen to what he had to say. Anyway, we had a conversation, which is not a bad thing. We are ready for such contacts going forward. It would be good to know the added value derived from such contacts and how the proposals to create new channels of interaction correlate with the functioning of an existing and steady negotiating process (the Belarusian channel).

I’m not going to comment on the details, which are a delicate matter. According to head of the Russian delegation Vladimir Medinsky, the talks focus on humanitarian issues, the situation on the ground in terms of hostilities, and on matters of political settlement. Overall, the agenda is known (it was repeatedly and publicly announced by President Vladimir Putin in his elaborate remarks) and includes matters of security and saving lives of the people in Donbass; preventing Ukraine from becoming a permanent threat to the security of the Russian Federation; and preventing the revival in Ukraine of neo-Nazi ideology, which is illegal around the world, including civilised Europe.

I base my opinion on the assessments provided by our negotiators. They state that the talks are not going smoothly (for obvious reasons). However, there is hope for a compromise. The same assessment is given by a number of Ukrainian officials, including members of President Zelensky’s staff and President Zelensky himself.

Question: President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky said that the positions of Russia and Ukraine during the talks have become more “realistic.”

Sergey Lavrov: This is about a more realistic assessment of the ongoing events coming from Vladimir Zelensky. His previous statements were confrontational. We can see that this role and function has been reassigned to Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, who started saying that Russia’s demands are “unacceptable.” If they wish to create additional tension (as if the current tension were not enough) in the media space, what can we do?

We saw a similar tendency with respect to the Minsk agreements. Dmitry Kuleba was riding ahead on a dashing horse, along with those who were hacking the Minsk agreements into pieces. He publicly stated that the agreements would not be fulfilled. I would give negotiators an opportunity to work in a calmer environment, without stirring up more hysteria.

Question: President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky said that they are “reasonable people” and they realise that they are no longer welcome in NATO. What made him change his rhetoric? NATO aspirations are stated in one of the articles of the Ukrainian Constitution. They have been saying it all along that Kiev actually wants to be part of the alliance.

Sergey Lavrov: The rhetoric has changed because more reasonable thinking is paving its way to the minds of the Ukrainian leaders. The issue of dissolving the Soviet Union was resolved in a very odd manner: very few parties were asked; the decision was split “between three,” so to speak, and it was done. Later, certain common ground was achieved in the form of the Commonwealth of Independent States. It is good that the other former Soviet republics were shown some respect, at least post factum.

In the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, adopted before the Belovezh Accords, it was stated in black and white that Ukraine would be a non-aligned and militarily neutral state. In all the subsequent documents characterising the formation of Ukrainian statehood, the declaration was always listed among fundamental documents. After the anti-constitutional coup in February 2014, the Ukrainian Constitution was amended to include statements on continuous movement towards NATO (in addition to the European Union). That undermined the integrity of the previous process and the fundamental documents that the Ukrainian state is based on – because the Declaration of Sovereignty and the Act of Ukraine’s Independence are still listed among the founding documents of the Ukrainian state.

This is not the only inconsistency. The provision of the Ukrainian Constitution on ensuring the rights of the Russian and other ethnic minorities remains intact. However, a huge number of laws have been adopted that run counter to this constitutional provision and flagrantly discriminate against the Russian language, in particular, against all European norms.

We remember that President Zelensky recently said that NATO must close the sky over Ukraine and start fighting for Ukraine, recruiting mercenaries and sending them to the frontline. That statement was made very aggressively. The reaction of the North Atlantic Alliance, where some clear-headed people still remain, had a cooling effect. This reasonable approach in the current situation deserves to be welcomed.

Before the final decision was made to begin the special military operation, President Vladimir Putin spoke about our initiatives concerning the security guarantees in Europe at a news conference in the Kremlin, explaining that it is unacceptable that Ukraine’s security be ensured through its NATO membership. He clearly said that we are ready to look for any ways to ensure the security of Ukraine, the European countries and Russia except for NATO’s expansion to the east. The alliance has been assuring us that we should not be worried as it serves a defensive purpose and nothing threatens us and our security. The alliance was declared as defensive in its early days. During the Cold War, it was clear who was defending whom, where and against which party. There was the Berlin Wall, both concrete and geopolitical. Everybody accepted that contact line under the Warsaw Pact and NATO. It was clear which line NATO would protect.

When the Warsaw Pact and later the Soviet Union were dissolved, NATO started, at its own discretion and without any consultations with those who used to be part of the balance of power on the European continent, working its way to the east, moving the contact line further to the right each time. When the contact line came too close to us (and nobody took our reasoning seriously in the past 20 years), we proposed the European security initiatives which, to my great regret, were also ignored by our arrogant partners.

Question: Many people in Russia and Ukraine are asking themselves whether the situation could not have been resolved peacefully. Why didn’t this work out? Why did it become necessary to conduct a special operation?

Sergey Lavrov: Because the West did not want to resolve this situation peacefully. Although I have already discussed this aspect, I would like to highlight it once again. This has absolutely nothing to do with Ukraine. This concerns the international order, rather than Ukraine alone.

The United States has pinned down the whole of Europe. Today, some Europeans are telling us that Russia started behaving differently, that Europe had its own special interests differing from those of the United States, and that we have compelled Europe to share the United States’ fervour for the cause. I believe that what has happened is entirely different. Under President Joe Biden, the United States set the goal of subordinating Europe, and it has succeeded in forcing Europe to implicitly follow US policies. This is a crucial moment, a landmark in contemporary history because, in the broad sense of the word, it reflects the battle for a future international order.

The West stopped using the term “international law,” embodied in the UN Charter, many years ago, and it invented the term “rules-based order.” These rules were written by members of an inner circle. The West incentivised those who accepted these rules. At the same time, narrow non-universal organisations dealing with the same matters as the universal organisations were established. Apart from UNESCO, there is a certain international partnership in support of information and democracy. We have international humanitarian law and the UN Refugee Agency dealing with related issues. The European Union is setting up a special partnership for dealing with the same matter. However, decisions will be based on EU interests, and they will disregard universal processes.

France and Germany are establishing an alliance for multilateralism. When asked about the reason for setting it up at a time when the UN – the most legitimate and universal organisation – embodies multilateralism, they gave an interesting reply that the UN employed many retrogrades, and that the new alliance prioritised avantgardism. They also stated their intention to promote multilateralism in such a way that no one would hamper their efforts. When asked what the ideals of this multilateralism were, they said that they were EU values. This arrogance and misinterpreted feeling of one’s own superiority also rule supreme in a situation that we are now reviewing, namely, the creation of a world where the West would a priori manage everything with impunity. Many people now claim that Russia has come under attack because it remains virtually the only obstacle that needs to be removed before the West can start dealing with China. This straightforward statement is quite truthful.

You asked why it was impossible to peacefully resolve the situation. For many years, we suggested resolving the matter peacefully. Many reasonable politicians from the US and Europe responded in earnest to Vladimir Putin’s proposal at the 2007 Munich Security Conference. Unfortunately, decision-makers in Western countries ignored it. Numerous assessments by world-famous political analysts, published in many leading US magazines, such as Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs, and European magazines, were also ignored. A coup took place in 2014. The West unconditionally backed Ukraine and the coup’s perpetrators who had gained power in Kiev. The West emphatically refuses to set any framework in relations between NATO and the territory of Russian interests. These warnings were also voiced but were disregarded, to put it mildly.

You should read the works of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who said back in the 1990s that Ukraine would become a key issue. He said openly that a friendly Ukraine would make Russia a great power, and that a hostile Ukraine would turn it into a regional player. These statements concealed geopolitical implications. Ukraine merely acted as a tool for preventing Russia from upholding its legitimate and equal rights on the international scene.

Question: Not long ago, I heard the current adviser to the President of Ukraine, Alexey Arestovich, speak. A couple of years ago, he said that neutral status was too expensive for Ukraine. “We can’t afford it,” he said. What do you think about this statement? Is that true? Following up on what worries ordinary Ukrainians – security guarantees – what is Russia ready to do? What kind of guarantees can it provide?

Sergey Lavrov: Neutral status is being seriously discussed in a package with security guarantees. This is exactly what President Vladimir Putin said at one of his news conferences: there are multiple options out there, including any generally acceptable security guarantees for Ukraine and all other countries, including Russia, with the exception of NATO expansion. This is what is being discussed at the talks. There is specific language which is, I believe, close to being agreed upon.

Question: Can you share it with us yet or not?

Sergey Lavrov: I’d rather not, because it is a negotiating process. Unlike some of our partners, we try to adhere to the culture of diplomatic negotiations, even though we were forced to make documents public that are normally off-limits. We did so in the situations where our communication with the German and French participants of the Normandy format was misrepresented to the point where it was the opposite of what really happened. Then, in order to expose the culprits before the international community, we were forced to make things public. No attempts at provocation are being made now as we discuss the guarantees of Ukraine’s neutrality. Hopefully, the first attempts at a businesslike approach that we are seeing now will prevail and we will be able to reach specific agreements on this matter even though simply declaring neutrality and announcing guarantees will be a significant step forward. The problem is much broader. We talked about it, including from the point of view of values such as the Russian language, culture and freedom of speech, since Russian media are outright banned, and the ones that broadcast in Ukraine in Russian were shut down.

Question: But they can always tell us that they are an independent country and it’s up to them to decide which language to speak. Why are you – Russia and Moscow – forcing us to speak Russian?

Sergey Lavrov: Because Ukraine has European obligations. There is the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. There are multiple other commitments, including in the Council of Europe, which we are leaving (this has been announced officially). However, we will never renounce our obligations regarding the rights of ethnic minorities, be they linguistic, cultural, or any other. We will never “withdraw from the documents” that guarantee freedom of access to information.

In the 1990s, everyone was rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the Soviet Union becoming an absolutely obedient and obsequious partner of the West. Back then, we did our best to show that perestroika and new thinking were opening up a groundbreaking chapter in the history of our state. We signed everything that the West wanted us to sign at the OSCE, including the declaration proposed by the West and supported by us which contained obligations to ensure freedom of access to information in each country and to transboundary information sources. Now, we are unable to get through to the West so that it itself starts fulfilling this obligation, which they themselves initiated.

This Russian language-related requirement is enshrined in the obligations. Ukraine did not turn them down. Can you imagine the consequences of Finland banning the Swedish language? There are 6 percent of Swedes in Finland, and Swedish is the second official language. Or, Ireland banning English, or Belgium banning French? The list goes on and on. All these minority languages ​​are respected, regardless of the fact that they have a parent state, whereas our case represents an exception. This is a case of outright discrimination, and what is known as enlightened Europe is just keeping quiet about it.

Question: We have decided to withdraw from the Council of Europe before being expelled. Why?

Sergey Lavrov: By and large, this decision was formulated long ago. Not because of a series of suspension and reinstatement of our rights, but because that organisation has fully degenerated. It was established as a pan-European organisation of all countries, with the exception of Belarus which was given observer status. We did our best to help Belarus participate in several conventions, which is possible in the Council of Europe. In general, Belarus was considering the possibility of joining it.

However, over the years the Council of Europe has turned into a kind of OSCE, (excuse my language), where the initial idea of interaction and consensus as the main instruments of attaining the goal of common European cooperation and security was superceded by polemics and rhetoric, which was becoming increasingly Russophobic and was determined by the unilateral interests of the West, in particular, NATO countries and the EU. They used their technical majority in the OSCE and the Council of Europe to undermine the culture of consensus and compromise and to force their views on everyone, showing that they have no regard whatsoever, do not care one iota for our interests and only want to lecture and moralise, which is what they have actually been doing.

Our intention to withdraw matured long ago, but our decision to withdraw has been accelerated by the recent events and the decision enforced through voting. The Parliamentary Assembly issued recommendations for the Committee of Ministers, which has voted to suspend our rights. They told us not to worry, that we would only be unable to attend the sessions but can still make our payments to the budget.  This is what they have openly said.

The Foreign Ministry pointed out in a statement that our withdrawal from this organisation will not affect the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens under the European Convention on Human Rights, from which we are withdrawing as part of our withdrawal from the Council of Europe. First of all, there are constitutional guarantees and guarantees under the international conventions to which Russia is a party. These universal conventions are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (which the United States has not signed); the Convention on the Rights of the Child (the US is not among its signatories) and many other conventions and covenants most of which have been incorporated into the national legislation. Our lawyers are working with the Constitutional Court and the Justice Ministry on additional amendments to Russian laws to prevent any infringement on the rights of our citizens as the result of our withdrawal from the Council of Europe.

Question: Several counties have been trying to develop dialogue between Moscow and Kiev. France was the first to do this, followed by Israel, and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will come to Moscow today. Turkey has stepped up its activity. Why are these three countries so active on this issue?

Sergey Lavrov: They are not the only ones to offer their services. The President of Russia had a telephone conversation with President of the European Council Charles Michel yesterday. He has had contacts with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, President of France Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister of Israel Naftali Bennett. My foreign colleagues have contacted me as well. For example, Switzerland, which has traditionally posed as a country where compromises are reached, is ready to mediate.

In this context, it is strange that mediation services are being offered by the countries which have joined the unprecedented sanctions against Russia and have proclaimed the goal (they make no bones about stating this openly) of setting the Russian people against the Russian authorities. We take a positive view on the mediation offers coming from the countries which have refused to play this Russophobic game, which are aware of the root causes of the current crisis, that is, the fundamental and legitimate national interests of Russia, and which have not joined this war of sanctions. We are ready to analyse their proposals. Israel and Turkey are among these states.

Question: Do they come with proposals, asking if they could help establish dialogue?  Or how is this taking place in reality?

Sergey Lavrov: This happens in different ways. Right now, I cannot go into detail, but both want to help achieve accord at the talks conducted via the “Belarusian channel.”  They know the state of the talks, what proposals are on the table, and where there is a bilateral rapprochement.   They are sincerely trying to speed up the rapprochement. We welcome this, but I would like to stress once again that the matter of key importance is having a direct dialogue between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations and  solving what we consider fundamental issues related to the effort not only to ensure the physical security of people in eastern Ukraine and for that matter in other parts of Ukraine, but also to enable them to live normal, civilised lives in the country that has a duty to ensure the rights of  those who are known as ethnic minorities, rights that have been trampled underfoot in every sense.

Let us not forget about the tasks of demilitarisation. Ukraine cannot have weapons that create a threat to the Russian Federation. We are ready to negotiate on the types of armaments that do not present a threat to us. This problem will have to be solved even regardless of the situation’s NATO aspect. Even without NATO membership, the United States or anyone else can supply offensive weapons to Ukraine on a bilateral basis, just as they did with the anti-missile bases in Poland and Romania. No one asked NATO. Let us not forget that [Ukraine] is perhaps the only OSCE and European country that has legislatively legalised the neo-Nazis’ right to promote their views and practices.

These are matters of principle. I hope that the realisation of their legitimacy, justifiability and key importance for our interests and therefore the interests of European security will enable those, who are graciously offering their good offices, to promote relevant compromises in contacts with Ukraine, among others.

Question: We have named certain countries that are helping to settle this crisis. Has the United States offered any services in this connection, like “let us help to establish contacts?” After all, it is no secret to anyone that Russia-US relations were at a very low level. Now they have hit rock bottom, haven’t they?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, there is such a figurative expression. Of course, the situation is unprecedented. I can’t recall anything like the frenzied policy that Washington is conducting right now. To a considerable extent, this policy is generated by Congress whose members have lost all sense of reality and are throwing all conventions to the winds. I am not even mentioning the diplomatic proprieties that have long since been abandoned.

The United States certainly has played the decisive role in shaping the position of the Kiev authorities. The Americans have maintained a huge “presence” in Kiev’s “corridors of power” for many years, including the uniformed agencies, the security service, and the top brass. Everyone knows this. The CIA and other US secret services have their missions there.

Like other NATO members (the Canadians, the British), they have sent hundreds of their instructors to train combat units not only within the Armed Forces of Ukraine but also in the so-called volunteer battalions, including Azov and Aydar. However, some seven or eight years ago, in 2014, immediately after the coup d’etat, the Azov battalion was officially struck off the list of recipients of US aid.  This was done precisely because it was regarded as an extremist, if not terrorist, organisation. Today, all pretences have been removed.

Now any person or group in Ukraine that declares Russia its enemy is immediately taken under the wing of overseas and Western patrons.

They are talking about the supremacy of law and about democracy. What supremacy of law, if the EU, in violation of its own law on the inadmissibility of arms supplies to conflict zones, takes the decision to do the opposite and send offensive arms to Ukraine?

We do not see any sign that the United States is interested in settling the conflict as soon as possible. If they were interested, they would have every opportunity, first, to explain to the Ukrainian negotiators and President Zelensky that they should seek compromises. Second, they need to make it clear that they are aware of the legitimacy of our demands and positions, but do not want to accept them, not because they are illegitimate but because they would like to dominate the world and are unwilling to restrain themselves with any commitments to take into consideration the interests of others. They have already brought Europe to heel, as I have said.

The US has been telling Europe for years that Nord Stream 2 could undermine their energy security. Europe responded that they should find out that on their own. They took the decision and their companies invested billions of euros. The Americans were claiming that this was contrary to the EU’s interests. They offered to sell them their liquefied gas. If there are no gas terminals, they should be built.  The Germans told me this a few years ago. It was during President Trump’s administration. Europe was complaining that this would considerably increase gas prices for their consumers. Donald Trump replied that they were rich guys and will compensate the difference from the German budget. That’s their approach.

Today, Europe was shown its place. Germany eventually said that its regulator was taking a break, and this precisely defines the FRG’s place in the arrangements that the Americans are making on the world scene.

Question: Has Germany become a less independent state under the new chancellor? Would it have acted the same under Angela Merkel?

Sergey Lavrov: The Nord Stream 2 was commissioned, albeit temporarily suspended afterwards, under the new chancellor. I hope that experience will bring an understanding of the need to uphold national interests, rather than to fully rely on the overseas partner who will make all the decisions for you and then do everything for you as well. Clearly, the enormous number of US troops on German soil is also a factor that interferes with independent decision-making.

Articles are being published to the effect that the “politics of memory” is vanishing. It has always been considered a sacred thing in Germany and meant that the German people would never forget the suffering they brought during World War II, primarily to the peoples of the Soviet Union. After I read this, I realised that many people are aware of it. These are open publications. German political scientists are talking about this and, of course, ours do so as well. Several years ago, I spotted something that was probably the early phase of this emerging trend. We were holding ministerial and other consultations with the Germans (I’m talking about foreign policy talks) at the level of department directors and deputy ministers. I never saw this at the ministerial level. The thought that was conveyed to us during the talks was that “we, the Germans, have paid our dues to everyone and owe nothing to anyone, so stop bringing this up.”

Speaking of the Germans, there is a thing that is worth mentioning. We are now talking a lot about attributes of genocide or racial discrimination. Take, for instance, the siege of Leningrad. For many years and with all my colleagues, starting with Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Guido Westerwelle, Heiko Maas, and most recently Annalena Baerbock, I very persistently, with each of them, raised the topic of paying compensations to the Leningrad siege survivors. The German government has made two one-time payments but only to Jewish survivors. We asked why only Jews, because many ethnic groups, including Russians and Tatars, lived in Leningrad and continue to live there. Many of them are still alive. How are they supposed to understand the fact that only the Jews have received some kind of help from the German government when at the time they were boiling shoes, burying children and transporting corpses on sleds together? The payments in question are not big. But, first, for many of them they matter, and second, they serve as the recognition of the fact that everyone has been impacted by the siege. Their answer was interesting. The Jews, they said, are victims of the Holocaust. These payments cannot be made to other survivors, because they are not Holocaust victims. Our attempts to reach out to the German legislators and politicians and tell them that the siege of Leningrad was an unparalleled event in the history of WWII, where there was no distinction between Jews, Russians or other ethnic groups, failed. We reached out to Jewish organisations. It is a matter of honour for them as well. We will continue this work going forward. January marked yet another anniversary of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad. The President of Russia signed an executive order on one-time payments to all siege survivors, including the Jews. We have not seen any sign of conscience awakening in Germany so far.

To be continued…

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