China: UN’s ‘full attention’ needed for US bioweapons in Ukraine

Nov 3 2022

Source: Agencies

Shueng stated that the UNSC’s authority can be upheld if they address compliance concerns through a fair and transparent investigation.

Geng Shuang (China Daily)

By Al Mayadeen English 

China’s Deputy Representative to the United Nations Geng Shuang relayed China’s concerns regarding allegations made by Russia of US bio-military activities throughout Ukraine, followed by calls for the international community to give its “full attention” to this matter. 

Speaking to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Geng said: “Russia has repeatedly launched allegations to the UN Security Council that the United States is suspected of conducting bio-military activities in Ukraine. China is gravely concerned. We believe that any evidence of clues related to compliance with the convention [Biological Weapons Convention] should receive full attention from the international community and deserve thorough and to-the-point responses and clarifications by the party concerned,”

Read more: Lavrov accuses US of having something to hide on bio-weapons program

According to China, compliance concerns can effectively be addressed through a fair and transparent investigation by the UNSC, which would in turn back the UNSC’s authority and effectiveness. 

A draft resolution was submitted by Russia to the UNSC in an attempt to form the commission to investigate the claims against the US and Ukraine on compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention for activities in biological laboratories in Ukraine. It, however, was not adopted due to an insufficient vote count in its favor.

The Russian Ministry of Defense presented evidence in Geneva proving that the US has military-biological activity in Ukraine, the radiation, chemical, and biological defense branch of the Russian armed forces chief Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov said in September.

The US admitted to having carried out biological activities in Ukraine, however, it claimed that it was in support of the BWC, and according to US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, technical experts from the United States worked with Ukrainian delegations and “unambiguously” explained their cooperation. Allegedly, the cooperative effort was conducted as part of the broader US Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and also included US assistance to Ukraine related to public health facilities, biosafety, biosecurity, and disease surveillance.

From the United Nations’ end, the UN is “not aware” of any bio-weapon program in Ukraine, according to a disarmament official. “We are aware that the Russian Federation has filed an official complaint… regarding allegations of biological weapons programs in Ukraine,” Adedeji Ebo, the UN’s Deputy High Representative for Disarmament Affairs told the Security Council on October 27.

“As high representative Izumi Nakamitsu informed the council in March, and May of this year the United Nations is not aware of any such biological weapons programs,” he said, noting that the UN had no mandate or technical capacity to investigate.

Read next: ‘Acute threats’ from Russia, but China is main challenge: US military

US defends Biolabs in Ukraine

13 Sep 2022 22:09 

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The United States admits once again to “biological research” in Ukraine, but still claims that there were no biological weapons in development there.

State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, DC

The United States defended on Tuesday once again its biosecurity cooperation with Ukraine, claiming that their activities were in support of the Biological Weapons Convention.

According to US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, technical experts from the United States worked with Ukrainian delegations and “unambiguously” explained their cooperation.

Allegedly, the cooperative effort was conducted as part of the broader US Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and also included US assistance to Ukraine related to public health facilities, biosafety, biosecurity, and disease surveillance.

Russia sent in late July a formal request for a consultation meeting of the party states to the Biological Weapons Convention after it provided the states with documents proving how the US was funding a network of biological laboratories in Ukraine.

Price went on to dismiss Russia’s assertions about Washington developing biological weapons in Ukraine, claiming that Russia’s accusations were part of Moscow’s “ongoing disinformation campaign” and an attempt to “malign peaceful US cooperation with Ukraine.” 

Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said during a UN Security Council meeting that Moscow would activate Articles 5 and 6 of the Biological Weapons Convention BWC to investigate the Biolabs in Ukraine.

Article 5 of the BWC stipulates that “The states, parties to this Convention, undertake to consult one another and to co-operate in solving any problems which may arise in relation to the objective of, or in the application of the provisions of, the Convention. Consultation and co-operation pursuant to this Article may also be undertaken through appropriate international procedures within the framework of the United Nations and in accordance with its Charter.”    

Article 6 states that “any state party to this Convention, which finds that any other state party is acting in breach of obligations deriving from the provisions of the Convention, may lodge a complaint with the Security Council of the United Nations. Such a complaint should include all possible evidence confirming its validity, as well as a request for its consideration by the Security Council.”

The head of the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing said there are more than 300 US-funded civilian and military biological laboratories in the world, hinting that they are particularly concentrated in Ukraine.

The funders, according to documents provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense, are Hunter Biden and his investment fund, Rosemont Seneca, and George Soros and his notorious Open Society Foundation. 

The chief of the Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Defense Forces of the Russian Armed Forces Igor Kirillov said recently that the United States was planning on transferring its programs of biological research from Ukraine to post-Soviet republics, as well as Eastern European and Baltic states.

The US had been denying the existence of the biolabs for months before confirming Russia’s accusations, with Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland saying Washington had what she referred to as “biological research facilities” in Ukraine.

Nuland refused to cooperate with the Russian parliamentary commission on the operations of US biological laboratories in Ukraine, Deputy Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev said late last month.

Data on biological laboratories found in Ukraine does not help the case of the US against claims regarding its compliance with the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova had said.

Moscow also exhibited documents confirming the organization of military-biological work by the Pentagon represented by the US Department of Defense Threat Reduction Department.

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Welcoming speech of the Russian Minister of Defence at the opening of 10th Moscow Conference on International Security

August 17, 2022

The opening of the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security took place at Avangard Centre for Military and Patriotic Education of Youth within the framework of ARMY 2022 IMTF. The Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, addressed the participants of the event:

Ladies and gentlemen!

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security.

This conference comes at a time of radical change in global and regional security. The unconditional dominance of the US and its allies is a thing of the past. On February 24, 2022, the start of the special military operation in Ukraine marked the end of the unipolar world.

Multipolarity has become a reality. The poles of this world are clearly defined. The main difference between them is that some respect the interests of sovereign states and take into account the cultural and historical particularities of countries and peoples, while others disregard them. There have been numerous discussions on this topic during previous sessions of the Moscow conference.

In Europe, the security situation is worse than at the peak of the Cold War. The alliance’s military activities have become as aggressive and anti-Russian as possible. Significant US forces have been redeployed to the continent, and the number of coalition troops in Eastern and Central Europe has increased manifold.

It is important to note that the deployment of additional NATO Joint Force formations on the bloc’s “eastern flank” had already started before the start of the special military operation in Ukraine.

NATO has dropped its masks. The aggressive nature of the bloc was no longer concealed by the wording of the coalition’s purely defensive orientation. Today, the alliance’s strategic planning documents enshrine claims to global dominance. Alliance’s interests include Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.

In the West’s view, the established system of international relations should be replaced by a so-called rules-based world order. The logic here is simple and ultimatumatic. Either the alliance’s “democratic partner” candidate loses sovereignty and becomes supposedly on the “right side of history”. Or it is relegated to the category of so-called authoritarian regimes, against which all kinds of measures, up to and including coercive pressure, can be used.

Given that the Conference is attended by heads of defence agencies and security experts from different regions of the world, I would like to highlight some aspects of the special military operation in Ukraine.

In Ukraine, the Russian military is being confronted by combined Western forces that run the leadership of that country in a hybrid war against Russia.

The supply of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine is being stepped up, and training of the Ukrainian army is being carried out. Huge financial resources are transferred to maintain the viability of the nationalist regime.

The actions of Ukraine’s armed forces are planned and coordinated by foreign military advisers. Reconnaissance data is supplied from all available NATO sources. The use of armaments is supervised by Western specialists.

NATO’s efforts are aimed at prolonging the agony of the Kiev regime. However, we know for a fact that no one in NATO has any doubt that the goals of the Russian leadership’s special military operation will be achieved, and that plans to strategically and economically weaken Russia are failing. The dollar has not reached the ceiling of 200 roubles, as predicted by the US president, the Russian economy has stood firm.

The special military operation has dispelled the myth of “super-weapons” supplied to Ukraine by the West, which are capable of fundamentally changing the situation on the front. Initially, they were talking about deliveries of Javelin anti-tank systems, some kind of “unique” drones. Lately, the Westerners have been promoting the role of super-weapons with HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems and long-range howitzers. However, these weapons also grind to a halt in battle. They did not make a significant impact. The Russian weapons, for their part, have proved their best qualities in combat.

We are taking a close look at trophy weapons from the West. The features and their specific qualities are taken into account in order to improve the way combat operations are conducted and the effectiveness of Russian armaments.

The supply of NATO weapons to Kiev means that Western countries are responsible for their inhumane use and for the deaths of civilians in Donbass and in the liberated territories. Ukrainian armed forces operations are planned in Washington and London. Not only are the coordinates of the targets to be attacked provided by Western intelligence, but the input of this data into weapons systems is conducted under the full control of Western specialists.

Kiev’s role in the West’s combat approach has been reduced to supplying manpower, which is seen as expendable. This explains the huge loss of personnel in Ukraine’s armed forces and territorial defence formations.

So far, the real figures of dead soldiers and mobilised so-called territorial defence forces have been concealed by the Kiev leadership.

In time, however, this information will become public. The testimonies of POWs of AFU allow us to form a realistic picture of what is happening on the other side of the front. The dismissive attitude towards the loss of foreign soldiers reinforces the thesis that NATO has purely selfish interests in Ukraine. Clearly, Britain’s colonial experience as the main sponsor of the Kiev regime has come in very handy for London in dealing with the current leadership in Kiev.

Against this background, speculation is spreading in the media about the alleged use of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in the special military operation or the readiness to use chemical weapons. All of these information gibberish are lies.

From a military point of view, there is no need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine to achieve its goals. The main purpose of Russian nuclear weapons is to deter a nuclear attack. Its use is limited to extraordinary circumstances as defined in the Russian guideline documents, which are open to public inspection.

The allegations about the possible use of chemical weapons in Ukraine are also absurd. Let me remind you that, unlike the US, such weapons were completely destroyed in our country back in 2017 as part of our international obligations. Meanwhile, poisoning provocations have become the hallmark of Western-sponsored so-called civil society organisations such as the White Helmets in Syria.

The information provocations are aimed at distracting attention from the facts discovered in Ukraine that US experts have conducted banned military and biological research.

Currently, a significant amount of data has been accumulated and is regularly made available to the general public. Work will continue in this direction.

US military-biological activities in Ukraine are not exceptional. Pentagon-controlled laboratories have been established and operate in many post-Soviet, Asian, African and Latin American countries. Local authorities generally have no control over research carried out on their premises that poses a lethal threat to the local population. The consequences of epidemics, I believe, were felt by all during the period of the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

I would like to focus separately on the humanitarian aspects of the special military operation. Compliance with the Geneva Conventions on the rules of war has always been and remains the focus of commanders at all levels. Since the beginning of the operation, orders have been issued stipulating the procedures to be followed by soldiers in dealing with civilians and enemy prisoners of war.

In the territories liberated from nationalists, the troops are actively involved in the delivery of humanitarian aid, the restoration of infrastructure and the maintenance of law and order. This was the case in Syria, in Nagorno-Karabakh, and it is also the case in Donbass.

On humanitarian issues, there has been fruitful cooperation with the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. We are grateful for the constructive, depoliticised cooperation of the leaders and staff of these organisations who interact with us. In particular, under the auspices of the UN and with Turkey’s active role, the difficult problem of grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports was resolved. The Red Cross specialists carry out an important mediation mission in relation to captured soldiers.

NATO has recently initiated a new phase of alliance enlargement, with Sweden and Finland joining the military bloc. The claim that the reason for this was the Russian special operation is untrue.

The practical rapprochement between these countries and the alliance has been ongoing for many years. In fact, the regional association NORDEFCO (Committee for Nordic Defence Cooperation) is a northern affiliate of NATO and serves as a cover for these countries’ participation in joint military training activities.

Of course, the official involvement of Helsinki and Stockholm in NATO’s strategic planning and the possible allocation of territory to these states for deployment of strike weapons will change the security environment in the Baltic region and the Arctic and will require a reconsideration of approaches to defence of Russian territory.

Certain conclusions have already been reached and are enshrined in the updated Maritime Doctrine approved by the President of the Russian Federation on July 31. Work will continue in this area.

The reinforcement of the NATO military grouping on the “eastern flank” completes the degradation of the trust and arms control mechanisms that emerged in Europe during the Cold War. A few years ago, experts proposed that the European experience should be used to build confidence-building measures, in particular in the Pacific Rim. Now, of all the “baggage” of the Euro-dialogue, only the idea of bloc confrontation is exported to Asia, which has not brought anything positive to security in Europe.

Today, no one remembers the US destruction of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Limitation Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty. Although previously these agreements were crucial for disarmament and confidence-building.

Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which was conceived as a platform for dialogue and consideration of different views, has become a generator of anti-Russian narratives.

Vienna Document 2011 remains formally in force, but there are no prospects for practical implementation. In the absence of trust between the parties, the verification mechanism effectively becomes a source of intelligence, which is not in the spirit of this agreement.

The situation with regard to the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty is also complicated. The agreement remains in force until 2026. On the Russian side the commitments are fulfilled, the declared levels of carriers and warheads are maintained within the established limits.

U.S. claims that Russia must earn the right to continue dialogue with the U.S. do not resist criticism. Arms control is a two-way street.

The result is only achievable if the interests and commitment of all participants are balanced. I believe that the Russian experience of interaction with the West in the field of disarmament shows that the so-called rules-based peace it promotes does not involve the implementation of treaty obligations in the traditional sense. This fact needs to be taken into account when entering into agreements, especially in the field of security and arms control.

Western opposition to the consolidation of a multipolar world, along with Europe, is most active in the Asia-Pacific region, where the US has begun to dismantle the existing ASEAN-based system of regional cooperation. This started with the announcement of the AUKUS initiative by the US, Australia and the UK. Plans to expand this partnership to include new regional partners have not been concealed. AUKUS is merging with NATO, which in turn claimed a dominant role in the Asia-Pacific region at the June summit. This is despite the fact that all NATO countries are thousands of miles away from the region.

On 2 August, the Russian Federation marked the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s entry into the war with Japan, the occasion for which was Tokyo’s militarist policy. The defeat of Japanese forces in the Far East effectively sealed the end of World War II and provided the start for the liberation of the peoples of Asia from colonial oppression. The assistance of the USSR was of key importance. We remember and are proud of the legacy of our ancestors, including those who laid the foundation for military cooperation between Russia and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

Another dangerous regional trend is the AUKUS focus on developing a nuclear submarine fleet in Australia. The implementation of this plan would have a complex negative impact on global and regional security, creating the conditions for undermining the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The US claims that nuclear-powered submarines are needed in Australia ostensibly to offset China’s growing naval capabilities. This logic in fact replicates the actions of the US in justifying its exit from the Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missile Treaty. The collapse of this agreement was also motivated by the need to offset Russian and Chinese efforts to develop missiles with a range allegedly prohibited by the treaty.

In the global context, the appearance of a nuclear-powered fleet in Australia will provide an excuse for other states to begin developing similar armaments. Pandora’s box will be opened, the global nuclear arms race will resume.

AUKUS has the potential to develop into a politico-military alliance. It cannot be excluded that NATO’s experience with joint nuclear planning and joint “allied” nuclear exercises will also be transferred to the region. The technical basis for this is already being laid by the active promotion of US-made aircraft. The participation of nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states in joint exercises on the use of nuclear weapons is contrary to obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Transferring nuclear training from Europe will blow up the region.

Although it can be assumed that this is precisely the purpose of the US. The provocative landing in Taiwan of a third person of the US bureaucratic hierarchy is another move to destabilise the situation.

Block-less, equal interaction in the region is an achievement that should not be lost due to externally imposed phobias and attempts to counter a multipolar world.

Mechanisms for interaction and dialogue with extra-regional partners are created and are proving their relevance and effectiveness. First and foremost is the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ and Partners’ Meeting, the so-called “ADMM-Plus” format. Its diverse activities focus on security issues of relevance to the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition, there is positive experience of cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, of implementing mutually beneficial projects on a bilateral basis.

As before, we are ready to share our experience of combat training, in particular during the Vostok-2022 strategic exercise to be held in the near future.

Despite significant successes in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East, the threat of international terrorist groups taking over the initiative remains. The Syrian military, in cooperation with allies and partners and with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces, continues to suppress spikes in terrorist activity. We see a particular danger in using the Kurdish factor to unsettle the situation in Syria.

The engagement of the guarantor countries in the Astana format remains virtually the only legal and effective mechanism to address security concerns in Syria. We welcome the increased engagement between the Syrian leadership and the Arab world. Overcoming contradictions created by outside forces is possible and necessary.

The role of the military in building trust between countries is an important element in the search for political solutions. We expect that the Moscow conference will be one of the rallying points for the stabilisation of the situation in the Near East.

After the rapid withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan, the situation in the Central Asian region remains extremely tense. Afghanistan’s new leadership faces serious military and economic challenges. The legacy of two decades of alliance troop presence is a disappointing one. As a result, there remains a high level of terrorist danger in the region.

The security problems of Central Asia can only be solved by coordinated action by all the countries and international organisations concerned. For our part, we will continue to support our Collective Security Treaty Organisation allies in enhancing the capabilities of national armed forces.

It is important to keep the topic of Afghanistan on the agenda of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation discussions. Russia, China, India, Iran and Pakistan together could make a significant contribution not only to stabilising the region, but also to preventing the threat from spreading beyond its borders.

The security of each region, despite the general trends of a multipolar world, has its own peculiarities.

For Africa, the specificity lies in the desire of the countries of the collective West to return to the order and rules of engagement typical of the colonial period. Neo-colonialism is imposed through military pressure on governments of sovereign countries and support for separatist and terrorist movements. A case in point is Libya, where statehood has still not been restored after the NATO invasion. Another example is the situation in West Africa, where European troops have been deployed on the pretext of combating terrorism. For decades, these EU missions had been fighting terrorists, training national security forces, until they recognised the utter failure of their own efforts.

I would like to point out that African governments and leaders are holding their own, as they call it, in the context of a multipolar world, to pursue their own agenda of independence, sovereignty, economic development and defence capabilities.

The Russian Ministry of Defence is seeking to expand cooperation with African countries in the field of military and military-technical cooperation. Interest in the participation of national teams and delegations from Africa in the Army International Games and the “ARMY 2022” IMTF has increased significantly. It is very encouraging that prominent military commanders from our friendly states – Burundi, Cameroon, Guinea, Mali, Sudan, Uganda, Chad, Ethiopia and the Republic of South Africa – are present in this hall today. We appreciate your support and intend to increase cooperation on mutually beneficial projects.

Latin America today faces serious security challenges because of the American desire to maintain influence in the region under the provisions of the so-called Monroe Doctrine. Liberal values, whose adherence is seen by the US as agreeing to live in a world based on their rules, in fact mask the true objective – to build up a military presence by blocking the possibility of sovereign development of states.

U.S. policy focuses on deterring engagement by countries in the region with any other pole of power outside Washington’s control. The purpose of this policy is to involve the region in a confrontation with Russia and the PRC, to destroy traditional ties and to block new forms of cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres.

Anti-Russian information campaigns are launched in Latin America, hiding the truth about the causes and course of the special military operation in Ukraine. Analogies can be drawn to the British actions during the conflict in the Falkland Islands. What is happening in the Western media today with the coverage of the Russian special military operation was also happening when the media was chorally broadcasting only one point of view – that of London.

The question arises: are such policies in the fundamental interest of the countries of the region? The answer is clear – no. We hope that during the discussions at the conference we will hear assessments of the situation in Latin America from our partners from Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The Tenth Moscow Conference on International Security has a special importance for the Russian Ministry of Defence as organiser of the forum for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the conference is taking place during the ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. Despite attempts of the US and NATO to isolate Russia once again, your participation in the forum is a visible confirmation that these plans have collapsed. We appreciate your support.

Secondly, a multipolar world is the reality of today. The transition from dominance by a single global leader to several centres of gravity is not an easy one. However, this creates real conditions for the development of sovereign states.

Thirdly, the role of military agencies is changing in the new realities. The military not only guarantees a secure environment for economic development, but through military cooperation it builds predictability and trust between countries.

Finally, this is the tenth anniversary conference, which allows for a kind of review of what has been achieved over the years. It is important to observe how the priorities of the discussions have changed, and which conclusions and recommendations from the forum have been put into practice over the years. A short historical overview, prepared by Russian experts, can be viewed on the monitors between plenary sessions.

I wish you all good health and interesting contacts and discussions during your stay in Moscow.

Thank you for your attention.

source: https://eng.mil.ru/en/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12433677@egNews (which is blocked by western freedom loving democracies, so you need a VPN to access it!)

Sergey Lavrov: Presser following talks with Vladimir Makei, Belarus

July 02, 2022

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei following talks, Minsk, June 30, 2022

Esteemed Mr Makei,
Ladies and gentlemen,
As my colleague and friend has just said, our talks took place in a truly friendly atmosphere of trust and were very substantial, as they should be between allies and strategic partners. First, I would like to thank our Belarusian friends once again for their traditional hospitality in the wonderful city of Minsk and for the brilliant, streamlined organisation of our work.

The visit is timed to an important historical date – 30 years of diplomatic relations (June 25). Of course, this is just one more, albeit important, landmark in the centuries-old history of our truly fraternal nations. To mark this occasion, we have just cancelled postal envelopes specially issued for this date and signed an anniversary joint statement that I hope you will read. It is worth it.

We emphasised that in the past few years we have traversed a long road in developing our integration. The foreign ministries of Russia and Belarus provide diplomatic support for implementing 28 union economic integration programmes endorsed by the Supreme State Council of the Union State in November 2021.
Today, we reviewed topical bilateral issues. We also discussed the schedule of forthcoming contacts, including preparations for a joint meeting of the foreign ministry collegiums of Russia and Belarus, scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year. We reviewed implementation of the plan for foreign ministry consultations in 2022-2023.

We believe we have managed to achieve remarkable success in trade, and economic and investment cooperation. Last year, bilateral trade reached about $40 billion. Major joint projects, such as, for example, the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, are underway. Industrial cooperation is on the up and up, paving the way for new industrial and logistics chains.

We have a high opinion of the vigorous and broad development of interregional ties. Today, the 9th Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions is to kick off in Grodno, where contracts worth an estimated $1 billion, a record-high amount, are expected to be signed.

We spoke at length about regional and international matters and agreed to continue enhancing foreign policy coordination and stand up together for the interests of our two countries in the world arena, in keeping with the two-year programmes on coordinating our actions in foreign policy.

We supported further steps towards more active cooperation in multilateral associations, primarily, in the EAEU, CSTO and the CIS. We have almost identical views on how Eurasian cooperation should develop in the future.

We agreed that we would also continue to coordinate our approaches in other multilateral formats, first and foremost, at the UN and the OSCE. We discussed the progress on the projects that are being carried out in Belarus under the auspices of the United Nations, many of which are being funded by the Russian side. We will vigorously continue to oppose any attempts to politicise human rights issues. We see hopeless attempts like this being made at the UN and the OSCE. The West keeps making them with enviable persistence.

We are seriously concerned about NATO’s activities in close vicinity to our borders, primarily in the Baltic states and Poland. We share the opinion that these activities are openly confrontational and tend to lead to more tensions, as well as the division of the European security and cooperation space, that is, they are producing the results which the establishment of the OSCE was supposed to help prevent. Now they are dismantling all this with their own hands, waiving, among other things, the principle of indivisible security, which was publicly declared at the highest level in the OSCE in the late 1990s and in 2010, when it was said that no country should enhance its security at the expense of others. The West’s actions have buried this principle.

In the light of the manifestly unfriendly steps taken by the United States and its satellites towards our countries, we reaffirmed that we are firmly determined to further preclude any attempts by the West to interfere in our domestic affairs. We agreed to continue to join efforts to oppose illegitimate unilateral actions by Washington, Brussels and their allies in the international arena.

We advised our colleagues of our assessments of the special military operation in Ukraine. We maintain regular dialogue on these issues. Our presidents discussed this topic at a top-level meeting in St Petersburg on June 25.

We are grateful to our Belarusian allies for completely understanding the causes, goals and tasks of the special military operation. President Vladimir Putin discussed these issues in his remarks yesterday concerning the results of the Caspian Five Summit in Ashgabat.

We focused on biological security, while exchanging opinions on strategic stability and arms control. We agree that US activities on post-Soviet space are quite dangerous and non-transparent. The activities of Pentagon’s biolabs in Ukraine highlight the risks they bear. We exposed these facts but failed to obtain a US response. 

[Biological Security] … we initiated a process, stipulated by the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention …

We sent inquiries to countries, parties to this important international treaty. We perceive threats to the national security of Russia and Belarus, the reluctance of the United States to ensure the transparency of its military-biological activities in many countries on post-Soviet space, primarily those around Russia and Belarus. We have an agreement, within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, to establish close and transparent interaction on these issues, in order to counter attempts to advance such projects (that cause concern in our countries) behind the scenes and without due transparency.

We are also cooperating in order to counter the dirty information war unleashed by the collective West against our countries. We agreed to expand and upgrade Russian-Belarusian media cooperation, and you should be particularly interested in this issue.

We are satisfied with the results of the talks. They help advance our foreign policy coordination still further on the basis of allied and strategic partnership for the benefit of our countries and fraternal nations.

Question:  A risky redivision of the world’s energy sector is taking place. What are the United States and the EU counting on, while renouncing Russian imports?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe that everyone understands what they are counting on. They have no misgivings about openly discussing this issue. They noted this once again yesterday, at the NATO summit in Madrid. They are expecting all other states to unfailingly obey their will, reflecting their selfish interests, primarily those of the United States. We have repeatedly been convinced that modern Europe, in the form of the EU, is losing its independence or even the signs of independence that it once had. Europe completely obeys positions that the United States imposes on it, including those in the sphere of economic sanctions. It is renouncing Russian imports and demolishing logistic and financial chains that had taken decades to create.

Look at the current list of sanctions. I suggest that you conduct this interesting analysis. Compare restrictions that European countries are imposing on Russia and Belarus with the relevant US restrictions. The United States is sparing itself and is trying not to encroach on various spheres that could seriously damage its own economy. Yes, the United States is also experiencing negative effects from this activity, but Europe is suffering much more. I believe that, apart from “punishing” our countries, the United States wants to weaken the European Union as its rival.

Question: At the Madrid summit, NATO stated that Russia was the main threat to the Alliance according to its new strategic concept. Following this statement and their decision to fortify the eastern flank, does Moscow consider itself bound by its commitments under the Russia-NATO Founding Act, or has this document lost its validity?

Sergey Lavrov: In the legal sense, the Founding Act continues to exist. We did not initiate the procedure for terminating this agreement. In the run-up to the summit, NATO had lengthy and vocal discussions about whether they still needed the Act or whether they would be better off abandoning it. As a result, they decided to let this matter be, but 

[NATO] … their decisions grossly violate the Founding Act …,

primarily with regard to NATO’s commitment not to permanently deploy significant combat forces on the territory of new (Eastern European) Alliance members.

We will analyse the situation and decide on our further moves depending on how and in what form NATO will move forward with the decisions it adopted and announced.

Question: Will it be possible to restore more or less acceptable political and diplomatic relations with EU countries in the future? Will there be another Iron Curtain? Do we have a bloc like NATO or the EU?

Sergey Lavrov (adding after Vladimir Makei): I agree with almost all of that. As for our relations with the EU, Russia has not had them since 2014. Brussels swallowed the humiliating move by the opposition forces which perpetrated a coup in Ukraine in defiance of EU guarantees. In response, the Crimea residents refused to live in a neo-Nazi state. Ukraine’s eastern regions did the same, and the European Union failed to muster enough courage to talk sense into the putschists who carried out an illegal power grab, and in fact began to support them in their attack, including physical, on the people of Crimea and eastern Ukraine. When the referendum took place in Crimea and the DPR and the LPR were proclaimed, the European Union, instead of pushing for compliance with the agreements between President Yanukovych and the opposition it had co-sponsored, sided with the ultranationalist and deep down neo-Nazi regime which proclaimed fighting the Russian language and culture as its goal. In the years that followed, the regimes led by Poroshenko and Zelensky proved Kiev’s loyalty to this particular course.

In 2014, when it all happened, the EU, feeling powerless and aware of its own inability to enforce implementation of its own proposals, said the Russian Federation was to blame. It imposed sanctions on our country and cancelled the Russia-EU summit planned for June 2014, destroyed every other mechanism that it took us decades to create, such as biannual summits, annual meetings between the Russian Government and the European Commission, four common spaces that underlay four road maps, 20 sector-specific dialogues, including a dialogue on visa-free travel and much more. All of that was ruined overnight. Relations have been non-existent since then. There were occasional technical contacts, but nothing major. No wonder there are no relations now, but we never close ourselves off. From now on, we will never trust the Americans or the EU. We are doing our best not to depend on them in the sectors that are critically important for survival of the state, the people and our security. When and if they get over their obsession and come back with some kind of a proposal, we will see what exactly it is about. We will not play along with their self-serving plans. If it comes to resuming the dialogue, we will push for a level playing field for everyone and a focus on balancing the interests of all participants on an equal footing.

With regard to the Iron Curtain, it is already on its way down. They should make sure they don’t get anything caught in it as it goes down.

In all other matters, we have a straightforward position: we are for things being fair.

In 2014, our “partners” refused to hold a summit amid serious events, including a coup, a referendum in Crimea, and a radical change in the situation in the Black Sea region. If you were serious about searching for solutions, this meeting was the way forward. It could have been used to have a candid discussion about the complaints and the counter questions the partners in the Russian Federation had for the EU. The withdrawal from all contacts that took place after March 2014 only goes to show that the EU is not interested in a dialogue, and does not want to understand our interests or listen to what we have to say. What it wants is for everyone to agree with the Brussels’ decisions which are a carbon copy of the decisions made in Washington. We have been able to see that in recent years.

Question: Norway has refused to allow Russian cargo, including food, medicines, and necessary equipment, to Spitsbergen. What steps will be taken to resolve this issue? What might our response be, if any?

Sergey Lavrov: First, we want to see Norway respond to our reaction that immediately followed the incident. We sent an official request demanding clarification as to how this move aligns with Norway’s commitments under the Spitsbergen Treaty of 1920. I hope they will respond promptly. Then, we will analyse the situation. And we will act quickly.

Economic Rent and Exploitation: Michael Hudson, Shepheard Walwyn

June 18, 2022

Michael Hudson, Shepheard Walwyn recording May 23, 2022
Part one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDo7HykYN9k

Part two here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-xWgLertkg

Jonathan Brown
Michael, welcome to the podcast.

Michael Hudson
It’s good to be here. I’m looking forward to it.

Jonathan Brown
Michael, I think you have one the most extraordinary upbringings and journeys into economics. And I just wanted to give our listeners just some sense of how you got from being the godson of Leon Trotsky all the way to what I consider to be probably the most important economist in the world today.

Michael Hudson 00:23
There’s no direct causality there that could have been anticipated. I never studied economics in college, because I went to school at the University of Chicago. We know that there were some students at the university who were at that business school. They were such strange people that we never even thought of going near them, because there was something otherworldly about them, something abstract.

My degree was in German language and history of culture, because the head of the History of Culture Department was Matthijs Jolles, a German professor and translator of von Clausewitz, On War. And in at the time, my intention was to become a musician. And I had to learn German in order to read the works of Heinrich Schenker. In music theory, my teachers were German. And for the History of Culture, most of the books that I was reading were, were all in German. And the German professors were also heads of the Comparative Literature Department and other departments. That meant that I could take all the courses cafeteria style at the university that I wanted.

I had to go to work when I graduated. I went to work for a while for direct mail advertising for the American Technical Society, a publisher a block away from the university, and then went to work for Free Press that was headed by Jerry Kaplan, a Trotskyist follower of Max Shachtman. And he wanted to send me to New York to help set up Free Press there.

Soon after I came to New York, Trotsky’s widow died. And Max Shachtman was the executor of her estate. He thought I should go into publishing by myself. And I had already had the copyrights for George Lukacs, the Hungarian Marxist and I thought tried to get funding for a publishing company with Trotsky’s works and other works. I’ve been writing a history of music and art theory. And needless to say, I didn’t get any funding because nobody was at all interested in publishing the works of Trotsky. I even tried to get Dwight Eisenhower the write the introduction to his military papers, wouldn’t work.

I was urged to meet Terence McCarthy, the father of a girlfriend of one of my schoolmates, Gavin MacFadyen. He was the first English-language translator of the first history of economic thought that was written: Karl Marx’s Theories of Surplus Value (Mehrwert), reviewing the value theory of classical economics. Terence said that he would help guide me in economic thinking if I’d get a PhD in economics and go to work on Wall Street to see how the world works. But I had to read all of the bibliography in Marx’s Theories of Surplus Value. So I had to begin buying the books, and ended up working as a sideline with one of the reprinters, Augustus Kelly, who was reprinting many of the classical economists. He was a socialist. There were other dealers in New York: Samuel Ambaras, Sydney Millman. I began buying all of the 19th-century classical economic books that I could, sinse that was the only way that I could get copies.

I took graduate classes in the evening while working at a bank for three years, the Savings Banks Trust Company. It was a commercial bank, but was acting as a central bank for the savings banks that in America finance mortgages. All their savings are reinvested in mortgages. So for three years my job was to track the real estate market, the mortgage market, interest rates, the funding of mortgages, the growth of assets by the savings banks, all growing at compound interest. All the growth in savings in the New York savings banks in the early 1960s was simply the accrual of dividends. So you’d have a step function at dividend time every quarter, going up exponentially. There was hardly any new savings inflow. It’s as if you’ve just left a given amount of savings in 1945, and let the amount rise exponentially. All this increase in savings was recycled into the real estate market.

The New York banks wanted to extend their market so they couldn’t just keep bidding up New York housing prices. They won the right to lend out of state, especially the Florida. So my job was basically seeing that real estate prices were whatever a bank would lend. At that time, banks would not lend you a mortgage if the debt service exceeded 25% of your income. And you had to put up usually 30% of the purchase price as a down payment, but possibly 10%. So housing was affordable. You could buy a really nice house for you know, $20 or $30,000. Now, it costs $400,000 to buy just a one room apartment in a condominium.

I bought a house for $1 down – it was $45,000 total. I took out a mortgage from Chase for half the price, and the other half was a purchase-money mortgage. So it was easy. Anybody coul get a house in New York at that time. Housing was readily affordable.

After I finished my PhD courses, I changed jobs. My real interest at the time was international finance and the balance of payments. So I went to work at Chase Manhattan as their balance of payments economist. This was at a time when the balance of payments and even balance-sheet analysis was not taught in schools. It was very specialised. I realised that what I was taught, especially in monetary theory, had nothing at all to do with what I was learning in practice.

In monetary theory, for instance, that was the era of Milton Friedman in the 60s and 70s. He thought that when you create more money, it increases consumer prices. Well, I thought that obviously was not how things worked. When banks create money, they don’t lend for people for spending. About 80% of bank loans in America, as in England, are mortgage loans. They lend against property already in place. They also lend for corporate mergers and acquisitions, and by the 1980s for corporate takeovers.

The effect of this lending is to increase asset prices, not consumer prices. You could say that money creation actually lowers consumer prices, because 80% is to increase housing prices. Banks seek to increase their loan market by lending more and more against every kind of real estate, whether it’s residential or commercial property. They keep increasing the proportion of debt to overall real estate price. So by 2008 you could buy property with no money down at all, and take 100% mortgage, sometimes even 102 or 103% so that you would have enough money to pay the closing fees. The government did not limit the amount of money that a bank could lend against income. The proportion of income devoted to mortgage service that was federally guaranteed increased to 43%. Well, that’s a lot more than 25%. That’s 18% of personal income more in 2008 than in the 1960s – simply to pay mortgage interest in order to get a house. So I realised that this was deflationary. The more money you have to spend on mortgage interest to buy a house as land and real estate is financialized, the less you have left to spend on goods and services. This was one of the big problems that was slowing the economy down.

Well, it was obvious to me that rent was being paid out as interest. Rent is for paying interest. If I talked with various developers about buying buildings, they said, “Well, we try to buy our buildings without any money at all. The banks will lend us the money to buy a building, and they calculate how much is your rental income going to be? That rental income will carry how much of a bank loan at a given interest charge, and lend the money to buy it.” That is how real estate rent was financialized.

Democratization of real estate on credit means turns rental income into interest, not taxes
This meant that the role that had been played in the 19th century by landlords is now played by banks. In the 19th century, the problem was absentee landlords, the heirs of the warlords who conquered England or other European countries in the Middle Ages. You had hereditary rent. Well, now our rent has been democratised. But it’s been democratised on credit, because obviously, the only way that a wage earner can afford to buy is is on credit. For an investor you can buy whole buildings on credit.

Finance has transformed real estate into a financial vehicle. So that that’s what rent is for paying interest means. There’s a symbiotic sector, Finance, Insurance and Real Estate – the FIRE sector. It’s the key to today’s financialised economy. Most real estate tax in America is at the local level, because after the income tax was introduced, commercial real estate was made tax exempt by the pretence that buildings depreciate in value, as if they don’t in fact rise in price. The pretence is that they wear out, even though landlords normally pay about 10% of the rental income for repairs and upgrades to keep the building from wearing out.

Today in New York, and I’m sure in London too, the older a building is, the better it’s built. Real-estate developers have crapified building codes so that the newer the building, the more shoddily it’s built. They call shoddy buildings “luxury” real estate, meaning is built with really not very thick walls. I think the junkiest building in New York is Trump Tower, which is sort of the model of shadiness which they call luxury. It’s very high-priced.

The academic economics curriculum finds unproductive credit to embarrassing to acknowledge
While I saw the importance of finance and real estate, none of that was discussed in the university’s economics courses at all. The pretense is that money is created by banks lending to investors who build factories and employ labour to produce more. All credit is assumed to be productive, and taken on to finance productive investment in the form of tangible capital formation. Well, that that was the hope in the 19th century, and actually was the reality in Germany and in Central Europe, where you had banking becoming industrialised. But after World War I, you had a snap back to the Anglo-Dutch-American kind of banking, which was really just the Merchant banking. It was bank lending against assets already in place.

Classical economics as a reform program to free economies from economic rent and rentier income

I realised that the statistics that I worked on showed the opposite of what I was taught. I had to go through the motions of the PhD orals. and avoided conflict by writing my dissertation on the history of economic thought, because anything that I would have written about the modern economy would have driven the professors nutty. Needless to say, none of the academic professors I had ever actually worked in the real world. It was all very theoretical. So that basically how I came to realise that the 19th century fight for 100 years – we can call it the long 19th century, from the French Revolution, up to World War I, and from the French Physiocrats, to Adam Smith, Ricardo and Malthus, John Stuart Mill, Marx, Simon Patton and Thorstein Veblen – was the value and price theory of classical economics to quantify economic rent as unearned income.

The purpose of value and price theory was to define the excess of market price over actual cost value. The difference was economic rent. The essence of classical economics was a reform campaign – that of industrial capitalism. It was a radical campaign, because the basic cost-cutting dynamic of industrial capitalism was radical. It realised that in order to make Britain, France or Germany, or any country competitive with others, you had to get rid of the landlord class and its demands for economic rent. You also had to get rid of monopolies and their economic rent. You had to get rid of all payments of income that were not necessary for production to take place. The aim was to bring prices in line with the actual cost value of production, to free economies from this rake-off to unproductive investment, unproductive labour and economic rent – land rent, monopoly rent and financial interest charges. Those were the three basic categories of rent on which classical political economy focused.

To translate classical rent theory into practice, you needed a political reform, You had to get rid of the landlord class’s political power to block reform. It wasn’t enough simply to say that economic rent was not a necessary cost of production, not part of real value. The landlord class would simply say, “Well, what are you going to do about it?”

The proponents of industrial capitalism saw that the constitution of England, France and America required giving governments the power to pass laws to free economies from economic rent. in order to do that, they needed democratic reform of the political system. In England they needed to empower the House of Commons over the House of Lords. That effort led to a constitutional crisis in 1909 and 1910, when the House of Commons, Parliament, passed a land tax. That was rejected, as I’m sure you know, by the House of Lords. The crisis was resolved by saying the Lords could never again reject a Revenue Act passed by the House of Commons. That political reform was part and parcel with classi9cal economic theory defining rent as an unnecessary cost of production.

But where did this leave the interests of labor – the majority of the population? As a broad social reform, classical economics began to falter by 1848. You had revolutions in almost every European country. These revolutions were not fully democratic in the sense of they weren’t really for wage labour, which was the bulk of society. They were bourgeois revolutions, including land reform. They were all for getting rid of the landed aristocracy and the special privileges that the aristocracy held. But they were not very interested in helping consumers, and labour’s working conditions, shortening the workweek, shortening the workday and promoting safety. There was nothing really about public health, or public social infrastructure spending. So things began to falter by 1848.

But they still made progress through the balance of the 19th century. By the time World War I broke out in 1914, it looked like the world was moving towards socialism. Almost everybody in the 19th century, across the political spectrum, whatever you were advocating was called socialism.

Socialism and strong government as the program of post-rentier industrial capitalism
At the broadest level, socialism meant collecting economic rent and getting rid of the landlords and the aristocracy, either by taxing away rent or nationalizing land and natural monopolies, in hope that that by itself would create a viable industrial economy. you had libertarian socialism, Marxist socialism, anarchist socialism, industrial socialism and Christian socialism. Almost every reformer wanted that as a label. The question is, what kind of socialism were are you going to have?

That was what the aftermath of World War I was fought about. The fight was largely shaped by the Russian Revolution, which unfortunately went tragically wrong under Stalin and gave socialism and communism a bad name. But it still had a good name in England after World War II. And also in America in the 1930s, as a result of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal that saved capitalism by investing in public infrastructure.

I can give you an example of where pro-capitalist theory was in the 1890s. In the United States. The industrial interests in America faced a problem once the Civil War ended in 1865. They wanted to create an industrial society – ideally, a fair society with rising living standards. How do you do that without training people to administer such an economy? You need to train people in a university. You have to teach them how economies worked. But the main universities in America were religious colleges, founded to train the clergy. Yale, Harvard, Princeton and most taught British free-trade theory, which trivialized economic theory.

So the business interests and the government saw the need to teach reality-based economics. They saw that there was little hope in trying to reform the existing universities. Their economics departments – called moral philosophy – were unreformable. So it was necessary to create new universities. All through America, each state was given a land grant to enable it to create a new university and teach reality economics. They also would teach economic history and how the world actually works. Most of all, they would teach protectionist trade theory and how to create a society and economy that is more efficient than other economies?

Well, the first business school in America was the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Its first economics professor was Simon Patton, a protectionist. And he explained that if you’re going to make industrial products at prices that outcompete those of England, you need public infrastructure spending. You need as much of the cost of living as possible to not to be paid by the employers to factor into the price of their products, but to be paid by the government.

Patten cited public roads and canals to lower the cost of doing business. He also noted that every time you build a road or railroad, you’re going to raise the land value along these routes – and lower land prices for areas replaced by the now-more-accessible producers. You can simply self-finance the cost of these by taxing the rent.

You also need public education, and that should be free so that you don’t have like today, to earn enough money to pay an enormous student debt – and receive a high salary to afford to pay that. If the government would provide free education, you wouldn’t have to pay workers enough to pay this student debt, so they wouldn’t need such high wages simply to break even.
Today 18% of America’s national income is from medical insurance. If you have a public health system and socialized medicine, as England had after World War II and as Bernie Sanders advocates today, then you wouldn’t have to pay workers a high enough salary to afford this enormous medical expense. England realised this already in the 1870s and ‘80s, when Benjamin Disraeli campaigned as a conservative for health.

So the movement towards public infrastructure towards government spending was led by the industrialists. It was they themselves who wanted strong government. The common denominator of politics from Adam Smith through all of the 19th century was to free economies from the unnecessary economic rent, to free them from unearned income, from the free lunch. To do that, you have to have a government strong enough to take on the vested interests – first the landlord class in the House of Lords, and then the financial class behind it.

Jonathan Brown 26:00
Well, just to clarify that, Michael, I think what you’re, what you’re saying is, I know in some of your writing you talk about the view of government or the public sector was it was a fourth means of production. So you got land, labour, capital and the public sector.

Michael Hudson 26:16
That was the term that Simon Patten used. Government infrastructure is a fourth means of production. But what makes it different from profits and wages is that if you’re a wage earner, you want to make as high a wage as possible. If you’re a capitalist, you want to make as high a profit as possible. But the job of public investment is not to make an income, not to do what was done under Thatcher and Tony Blair, not to treat public utilities, education and health as profit making opportunities. Instead, Patten said, you should measure their productivity by how much they lower the cost of doing business and the cost of living for the economy at large.

Jonathan Brown 27:03
And what that allows a country to do, so if you’re good at it, is to get together and ask how to educate our people, lower the cost of transportation so we’ve got we’ve got a mobile workforce, all those things. We can then start to compete against other nations who are ahead of us, who may have more expensive means of production, and we can maintain that advantage. We’re not stuck in a lower level of the economy where we’re basically working for someone else. We’re able to develop ourselves as a nation. And I guess the benefit of us doing it collectively is that we can minimise the cost, then use a natural monopoly power in government hands to provide efficient services across the board. Is that right?

Michael Hudson 27:46
Yes, but they went further. Protectionists in America said the way to minimise costs – and it may seem an oxymoron to you – the way you minimise costs is to have high-wage labour. You raise the wages of labour, or more specifically, you want to raise the living standards, because highly paid labour, highly educated labour, well fed labour, well rested labour is more productive than pauper labour. So they said explicitly, America’s going to be a high wage economy. We’re not like Europe. Our higher wages are going to provide high enough living standards to provide high labour productivity. And our higher labour productivity, shorter working day, better working conditions, healthy working conditions, public health, well educated labor will undersell that of countries that don’t have an active public sector.

Jonathan Brown 28:45
and Henry Ford being the poster boy for that approach, of doubling his employees’ salaries and so on.

Michael Hudson 28:53
Yes.

Jonathan Brown 28:54
Amazing.

<h4>The fight against classical economics and its concept of rent as unearned income</h4>
Michael Hudson 28:55
Needless to say, the fight for the kind of democracy that will free economies from economic rent was not easy. By the late 1880s, and especially the 1890s, you had the rentiers fighting back. In America the fight was led by John Bates Clark. There was a movement, which today is called neoliberalism, to deny the entire thrust of classical economics. Clarke said that there is no such thing is unearned income. That meant that economic rent does not exist. Whatever a businessman makes, he is said to earn. Whatever a landlord makes, he earns – so there was no unearned income.

This came to a head around 1890 the Journal of Ethics. Clark wrote the first essay, and it was refuted by Simon Patton. There was a fight against the concept of economic rent by academic economics, especially in New York City at Columbia University, where Clark ended up, This is really the dividing line: You recognise that much of the economy is unearned income and you want to get rid of it. To do that, you have to pass laws that will tax away the unearned income, or better yet, you put land and other natural resources and natural monopolies in the public domain where the public sector directly sets prices. That was what Teddy Roosevelt did with his trust busting.

Jonathan Brown 31:13
Michael, I just want to say reading your work is something of a revelation. I’ve got a degree in economics for what it’s worth. And I would say the only valuable thing that I found from a getting a degree in economics is that I know, resolutely when an economist is talking bullshit. How do you know that? It’s when his lips move.

Michael Hudson 31:32
If it’s an economist, they’re talking bullshit – let me make it easy, right!

Jonathan Brown 31:36
And then the thing is, that reading your work, for example, going back to Thorstein Veblen, his work, which only made it into the mainstream when I was getting a degree in the 90s, was conspicuous consumption. It had nothing to do with absentee landlords or, and the profound importance of that, and then I’m looking in J is for Junk Economics, and you talk about the free lunch, and how Milton Friedman said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

When you look at your work, you prove that actually there is, and that he’s having it! And you say, “Most business ventures seek such free lunches not entailing actual work or real production costs, and to deter public regulation or higher taxation of rent-seeking recipients of free lunches. They have embraced Milton Friedman’s claim that there’s no such thing as a free lunch”.

And you talk about: “Even more aggressively rent extractors accused governments of taxing their income to subsidise freeloaders, pinning the label of free lunches on public welfare recipients, job programs, beneficiaries of higher minimum wage, when the actual antidote to free lunches is to make governments strong enough to tax economic rent, and keep the potential rent extracting opportunities and natural monopolies in the public domain.”

Michael Hudson 32:51
Veblen was indeed was the last great classical economist. He coined the term neoclassical economics. I think that’s an unfortunate term. When I went to school in my 20s, I thought neoclassical meant ‘Oh, it’s a new version of classical economics’. It’s not that at all. What Veblen meant was there used to be the old classical economics of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Marx, all about economic rent and exploitation. “Neo” means there’s a new body of completely different, post-classical economics aiming to make classical economics obsolete. That is the new mainstream economics of today, trying to make itself “classical.” So Veblen he should have used the terms post-classical or anti-classical economics.

Jonathan Brown 33:44
Or even pseudo classical?

Michael Hudson 33:49
It’s antithetical, because the root of classical value and price theory was to isolate and define economic rents statistically. To deny economic rent is to deny the whole point of classical value and price theory. That is where economics became untracked.

Unfortunately, it became untracked largely by Henry George, who rejected classical economics and very quickly followed J.B. Clark and accepted his mushy value and price theory. Removing all elements the cost of production from value theory, analysing prices simply in terms of consumer demand and what people want, and not analysing what determines land and other asset prices, loses focus.

George became very popular as a journalist. He wrote wonderful journalism to expose the railroads in California as landlords, and he wrote a wonderful book on the Irish land question. But when he tried to talk about the whole economy, he didn’t want any competition. He said, in effect, “Economics begins and ends with me. Forget everything, Adam Smith and classical economics.” He’s sort of an early Margaret Thatcher. There’s no such thing as society or the economy. Only “tax the landlords.”

Jonathan Brown 35:35
What are you doing? You’re destroying my view of Henry George! He’s an early Margaret Thatcher? How, how could that possibly be?

Michael Hudson 35:47
Well, in two ways. The first way is that in the 19th century, in order to tax the land rent, you had to take on the most powerful vested interests of all: the real estate interests and the financial interests. But Henry George was a libertarian. He was for small government. He broke with the socialists, because he warned that socialism had a potential for authoritarianism. Well, we know that he was right in that warning, because we saw what happened in Stalinist Russia. But obviously, what you want is a government that is strong and democratic, and with enough authority to tax and regulate the vested interests. (That term is Veblen’s, by the way.) That was the ideal in America, but it needed a strong enough government so that Teddy Roosevelt could come in and be able to bust the trusts.

The government was strong enough in 1913-14 to impose an American income tax that fell just on 1% of the population, almost entirely on economic rent, on land rent, mineral rent on monopoly rent of the big corporations. If you’re a libertarian, your government is too small to take on these vested interests. And you’ll never win. You’ll end up like the Social Democrats or like today’s Labour Party under Mr. Starmer, not able to be very efficient. So that was George’s first problem.

The second problem was when he said that all you have to do is tax the land and everything else will take care of itself. Well, as you know, he was nominated as a celebrity candidate by the socialist and labour groups in New York City in 1876 to run for mayor. They gave him their programme – safe housing, workers housing, safe working conditions, food laws that protect people from poison, like you don’t want to use chromium for cake frosting to make it yellow.
Well, George threw out the whole labour programme and said that there’s only one thing that mattered: If you tax the land rent, the cakes will take care of themselves, worker safety conditions will take care of themselves. You don’t need socialism; just tax land rent.

Well, the word “panacea” came into popular use in the English language at that time, because George didn’t see the economy as a whole. That was a tragedy. He was great as a journalist describing rent and the machinations of the railroads. But once he tried to talk about the economy, without really describing how it worked as a system, saying there really isn’t any economic system, it’s just about land rent. That separated him from the other reformers.

By the 1890s you had many of reformers in America, who had been inspired by George’s journalism in the 70s and early 80s, including attacks on the oil monopoly and the Rockefellers. They asked what happened to George? Well, he became a sectarian. He formed his own party and said, we’re only going to talk about land rent. This diverted attention away from how the overall economy works. And if you don’t understand how the economy is all about providing a free lunch in one way or another, not only to landlords but to the financial sector primarily, then you’re really not going to address the interests of most of the population.

So his sectarian party shrank. Still, in the first decade of the 20th century you had followers of Henry George and socialists going around the country debating each other. They had great debates, they spelled out the whole problem. I wanted to reprint all these debates somewhere, what both the socialists and the Georgists said: “One thing we can agree on is that society is going to get go either your way or our way. We’re talking about how is the future of the political system and the economic relations and taxes that follow from this system. How are they going to evolve?”

The socialists focused on labour’s working conditions, because these were getting worse and worse. In America the fight for labour unionisation got quite violent, and corrupt. The abuse of consumers, the growth of monopolies, all these were growing problems. The socialists focused on these problems – and decided to leave the discussion of rent to followers of George. I think that was very unfortunate, because George had pried the discussion of economic rent away from the classical value theory and its political dimension, which was socialist.

I find little interest in today’s socialist movement or the socialist movement 50 years ago about land rent. They are more concerned about international issues, about war, about almost everything except land rent. And today I find the greatest interest in rent theory as a guide to a tax system in the context of an overall economic system to be in China. So that’s really where the debate over how to keep the price of housing down by keeping the financial sector from trying to capitalise the land rent into a bank loan.

That’s a big fight in China today. It should have been also in Russia. Fred Harrison, in the early 1990s, brought a group of people including me over to Russia. We made two trips to the Duma and did everything we could to explain that Russia could have a great advantage to rebuild its industry into a productive economy. The first thing that it should have done was to keep housing prices down. It could have given everybody their houses, free and clear, without any debt. Of course, some places would be more valuable than others, but Russia would have had the lowest-priced economy in the world. In America, the rent can take up to 43% of a home buyer’s income.

Well, there was pushback from the Russians. They had no rent in a socialist economy. Ted Gwartney, an American real estate appraiser, walked down the streets of St. Petersburg with the local mayor, I think on a fall or winter days. He pointed out that one side of the street was very sunny. The other street was in the shade. That’s how the sun is in the northern latitudes in the winter. Most people were walking on the sunny side of the street. That means that if you’re going to have a store, whether it’s a bakery, a food store or a restaurant, the store on the sunny side of the street is going to be able to attract more customers. Their site has more economic rent than the dark side of the street. Same thing with buildings near a subway. They will be worth more than sites far away from transportation.

The mayor said understood the point, and asked how to actually make a land value tax so to collect this rent? Ted explained that St. Petersburg’s layout was much like that of Boston, where a land map was easy to make. It showed that there was a peak centre of values near the subway, with rents tapering off further away. He suggested to apply Boston as a scale model to St. Petersburg. Just plug in a few prices, and you have a land-valuation map.

Russia could have been a low-cost economy. It could have kept the oil and gas, Yukos, GazProm, nickel and platinum resources all in the public domain to finance investment in re-industrialization, to become independent of the West. But as we all know, Ted and the people that Fred Harrison bought were completely overwhelmed by the billions of dollars that U.S. diplomats spent on promoting kleptocracy and shock therapy in Russia. Its officials and insiders worked for themselves, not Russia.

And it wasn’t only Russia that missed opportunities. I brought Ted Gwartney and his mathematical model-maker to Latvia, where I was Economic Research Director of the Riga Graduate School of Law. I was asked by the leading political party of Latvia, the Centre Party – basically the party of Russian speakers, with 1/3 of the population and votes – to draw up a model for how Latvia could restructure its post-Soviet economy and industry. Ted met with the tax authorities and housing authorities and explained how to use land rent as the tax base. They were amazed and said, “This is great. We can hire a separate appraiser for every single building. This will create a lot of employment”. No he said. He had been the appraiser for Greenwich, Connecticut, the state’s wealthiest city. He said, “We can do a whole city in about one week.” They couldn’t believe this in Latvia.

Around the time of his visit there was a meeting in Boston of the Eastern Economics Association. It was largely created by John Kenneth Galbraith to go off the economic mainstream. I think the Schalkenbach Foundation had a session on political critics of Henry George, so there were a lot of Georgists. Other people who came to the Eastern Economic Association meeting were socialists, including Alan Freeman who was the assistant to Ken Livingston, the Mayor of London.

When everybody was having lunch after the economic meetings, I brought Alan over to sit down with Ted Gwartney. Ted explained what he did, and Alan said, “Oh, I’ve never heard of this! I’ve got to come and meet you some more.’ So he came to New York and we went up to visit Ted in Connecticut. He explained how to make a land value map. Alan said, “You should win the Nobel Prize for this! This is amazing! There’s nothing like this in England.”

Ted explained that there are about 20,000 appraisers in America that do what he did. There are abundant statistics. Every city has a map of land and building appraisals: here’s the value of the building, here’s the value of the land. So smoothing out a land value map is pretty easy to do. Alan could hardly believe it.

Well, I went back to London shortly and met with Alan. It turned out that political pressures in England, especially from the Labour Party, led London to hire Weatheralls, a real estate company, do appraisals. So we never got to do our version of a real estate appraisal of London to calculate land rent.

But this is what all of the theories of the Physiocrats, Adam Smith, Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Marx, Veblen, Alfred Marshall, all of them were focusing on. Yet this idea is so alien that from London to St. Petersburg, they don’t have any idea of how the simple concept can be done. The economics profession is in denial. It’s followed the idea that there’s no such thing as unearned income, everybody gets what they make.

The National Income and Product Accounts treat rent as a product, not a subtrahend
A byproduct of this value-free doctrine is how countries calculate their national income and product accounts. And if you look at the GDP accounts for the United States (and I’ve published a number of articles on my website and in major economic journals), rent is counted as part of GDP.

This is easiest to see in real estate and finance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics sends its employees around to ask homeowners what the rental income of their home would be if they had to rent it. If you were a landlord and rented yourself how much rent would that be? This appears in the NIPA statistics as “homeowners imputed rent.” That’s 8% of GDP. But it is not really income, because it is not actually paid. Nobody gets it. But value-free designers of GDP want to describe all of the income that landlords make as contributing to GDP. They say that landlords provide a productive service, they provide housing to people who need it, and they provide commercial properties to businesses that need it. Well, that’s not exactly how John Stuart Mill put it. He said that rent is what landlords make ‘in their sleep’. So how can you rationalize how productive landlords are?

Another element of American GDP is financial services. I called up the Commerce Department where they make the NIPA statistics and asked what happens when credit card companies increase their interest charges. And where do penalty charges for late payments appear? Credit card companies in America make billions of dollars in interest a year and even more billions in fees, late fees and penalties. Most of the income that credit card companies make are actually on these fees and penalties. So where does that appear in that GDP? I was told, in “financial services.’ So the “service” of calculating how far the debtors must pay for falling behind in their payments. They typical charge 29%. That’s all counted as a contribution to GDP. But in reality it is a subtrahend, leaving less to spend on real “product.”

This raises the question of just what income and product actually mean. Well, this brings us back to what classical economics is all about. The “product” should be measured by what its actual necessary cost of production is. But there’s a lot of income over and above this necessary cost of production. Namely, economic rent, that’s unearned income. But the income and product accounts don’t say how much is “earned” and how much is “unearned” land rent, monopoly rent, natural resource rent, interest and financial charges.

A classical economic accounting format would show how much of the prices for what our society produces is actually necessary, and how much is a subtrahend. Classical economists treat the land rent that you pay, interest charges and monopoly prices as a rake-off. So not all of your income is income equals “product,” because only a portion of that income represents a real product.

In America, the head of Goldman Sachs a few years ago said Goldman Sachs partners – a financial management firm – make more money than almost anyone else in America, because they’re the most productive. If you make a lot of money, by definition, you make it by being productive. That’s the false identity.

Jonathan Brown 55:25
That’s really the John Bates Clark idea that if you make the money, you’ve earned it. And it’s not just because you control the gate. You’re the gatekeeper, to stop people and make them pay the toll. You’re the troll under the bridge, taking people’s money as they cross, which is essentially what financial economics is about.

Michael Hudson 55:48
Right. I have spoken with a number of political advisors, many of whom were followers of Henry George. They’ve described to me how political all of this definition of the economy is. A number of friends of mine have been trying to show how much of what the United Nations calculates as income and product is actually economic rent. Steve Keen, Dirk Bezemer and Jacob Assa are in this group. There are a number of others who do it. We publish in places like the Review of Keynesian Economics, Journal of Economic Issues and other not-mainstream journals. A lot of this was taught where I was a professor for decades, at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

Our graduates had problems getting jobs, because in order to get an appointment at a university, you have to publish articles in prestige journals. The University of Chicago, the Milton Friedman boys, the Chicago Boys control the editorial boards of all these prestige magazines, just like they control the Nobel Economics Prize Committee. The prize basically is given to Chicago Boys every year for not explaining how the economy works.

A precondition for what you call an economist, especially a Nobel Prize winning economist, is not to understand how the economy works. Because if you understand that, you’re going to threaten the vested interests that are getting the free lunch. You have to say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, everybody earns whatever they can get. Robbers and criminals like that idea. “Yeah, we stole it fair and square!”

Crime pays, and rent seeking also pays.

You can get much more money quicker by extractive means – by rent extraction – than you can by investing in plant and equipment and developing products and marketing them and making a profit over time, and spending on research and development. That’s why in today’s United States, 92% of corporate revenue, called earnings, (although not all of it is earned – that’s a euphemism) is spent on stock buybacks and dividend payouts, not on new capital investment.

So the way that the economy works today is no longer industrial capitalism; it is finance capitalism. Instead of Industrial Engineering, making society produce more with all of the environmental protection cost included, you have financial engineering, making wealth by increasing stock-market prices. Wealth is not achieved by earning it. You don’t save up your earnings and get wealthy. I think half of Americans are unable to raise $400 In an emergency. They have no savings at all.

For most people it’s very hard to save up money, especially if they have student debt, credit-card debt, medical debt and mortgage debt. After paying this, there’s really no income left to be saved. So you have the 1% of society, the rentier portion that had to pay income tax back in 1914, getting huge amounts of income and the rest of the society getting less and less. The result is economic polarisation. The dynamics of society are financial and basically rely on rent seeking that has been financialized.

I’ll give you another example of the GDP. One of the problems that makes GDP statistics meaningless is depreciation, the idea that buildings depreciate. When Ronald Reagan came in, the real estate interests and their banks basically took over the government. Henry George and the Libertarians oppose central planning by elected democratic governments, and that leaves central planning to Wall Street’s financial interests. Every economy is planned, and if you don’t have a government strong enough to do the planning, then the planning is done by the financial sector and the real estate sector, and they were given free rein under Ronald Reagan.

Under Reagan’s 1981 tax “reform” you could pretend that if you buy a big commercial building, you can write off 1/7 of the entire costs every single year as tax deductible income. At the end of seven years, you change your ownership from one name to another name, and you start all over again. The same building can be re depreciated again and again and again.

Donald Trump wrote in his autobiography, he loves depreciation, because he said thanks to the pretence of depreciation, his buildings are all going up in value, but he gets to pretend they’re falling, and deduct all of that fictitious over-depreciation from his taxable income. It’s actually economic rent. But if you look at the national income statistics, you can’t find economic rent in them at all. I was able to piece it together by adding up what goes into economic rent: Real estate taxes are part of economic rent, and also interest payments, because interest is paid out of economic rent. But fictitious depreciation tax loopholes also should be there.

But nowhere in the national income statistics is a report of how much income real estate owners actually claim as depreciation. They haven’t done that because if they showed this, people would think, ‘Wait a minute, this is a giveaway. This is utterly unrealistic.” So they only put in a figure for how much they [think] buildings are actually depreciating over a period of decades. So you have a fictitious national income accounting format that makes it impossible to calculate what land rent is – and that was the major focus of classical economics.

How are you going to get a statistical system that actually reflects this? Well, one associate of mine, Jacob Assa, has written a few books on this criticising economic rent. He worked in the United Nations here in New York until quite recently. But as I said, our graduates can’t publish in the University of Chicago economic journals whose party line is that ‘there’s no such thing as economic rent’, just like there’s no such thing as society is beyond “the market.”

I wanted to publish statistics on this and in 1994 the Henry George School in New York asked me to calculate what rent was and the land value. I found out that the value of land, the market price of land in the United States was twice what the government reported.

The government pretends that real estate prices rise mainly because buildings keep growing in value, even though they’re supposed to depreciate. They pretend that buildings grow in value by taking the original cost of the building, and multiplying it by the Construction Price Index. Whatever is left is reported as land value. Well, in 1994 the Federal Reserve reported that the land value of all of the commercially owned real estate in the United States was negative $4 billion. This is crazy.

The statistics are drawn up by a methodology that the real estate interests lobbied for. When I calculated this, the Georgists in America got furious. They said that I was showing that land value and rents were much higher than they thought. They worried that this might lead people to want to tax real estate. Lowell Harriss of Schalkenbach explained that Georgists today represent mainly real estate developers, and that their major audience was local mayors, whose biggest campaign funders are the real estate interest.

These Georgists called themselves “two raters,” wanting to keep overall real estate taxes unchanged (“revenue-neutral”) but shift the tax from commercial landlords onto homeowners by taxing land, not buildings – e.g., electric utilities, office buildings and other capital-intensive structures.

By representing the developers, Georgists proposed to save society by having the developers build up those slums, build up those vacant lots. Like George, they said that there was no need to worry about ecology or any problem except cutting property taxes for large real estate owners. You don’t need to worry about workers conditions or anything else. Let’s just give an economic incentive (i.e., a tax cut) to help contractors build up those vacant lots.

I was told if I published a new explanation of my statistics showing that most rent was paid out as interest, I could never have any relations with Schalkenbach and the Henry George school again. So I published them in a Harper’s Magazine cover story and have lived happily ever after.

Jonathan Brown 1:06:13
And was that “The New Road to Serfdom”?

Michael Hudson 1:06:22
Yes. I chose that title because the purpose of industrial capitalism was to free economies from the legacy of feudalism. And the legacy of feudalism was the landlord-warrior class collecting hereditary rent and the predatory banks that were not making loans for industry. None of the industrialists got their money to invest in banks. The inventors of the steam engine couldn’t get loans except by mortgaging their houses. Banks don’t lend money to create capital, only for the right to foreclose on it.

Jonathan Brown 1:07:02
This is all included in your in your latest book that just came out, The Destiny of Civilization: Finance Capitalism, Industrial capitalism, or Socialism, which I gather was a series of lectures to a Chinese University. Is that correct?

Michael Hudson 1:07:16
Yes. There were 160,000 viewers for the first lecture, and there’s a huge interest in this in China, because they realise that higher housing prices make them poorer and more highly indebted, not richer. What is pushing up housing prices in China is the amount of credit that banks will lend against the property.

A land tax would keep housing prices down, because the rent could not be available, to be capitalized into a bank loan. As China gets more productive and more prosperous, people obviously are going to be able to afford housing, which is how most people define their status. If a site gets more valuable because of public investment in transportation, or schools or parks nearby, that’s going to make it more valuable. But if you tax this rental income, then you’re going to keep the housing price down.

I think Fred Harrison and Don Riley wrote a book Taken for a Ride where they show that the money that London spent on extending the Jubilee Line increased real estate prices by twice as much as the line cost. London could have simply collected the land’s increase in rental value that this public investment created and made it self-financing.

Instead it was a giveaway.

They ended up taxing labour and business, and the effect was to increase Britain’s cost of living and hence the cost of production, which is why Britain is de-industrialising. It’s been de-industrialising because despite the attempts through 1909 and 1911, to free itself from landlordism, the bankers have taken the place of the landlords. They are the class today that the landlords were in the 19th century. So we’re back on the revival of what really was feudalism – a rake-off by a hereditary privileged class.

America’s monetary imperialism coming to an end with de-dollarization
Jonathan Brown 1:09:47

I’m wondering where we go next. I want to get into the conversations that you started with the 1972 first edition of Super Imperialism. I know we had a third edition fairly recently, with your prescience of the predictions in analyzing the situation for America, and how the balance of payments deficit was a result of U.S. expenditure by the military. Getting into the current manifestation of the de-dollarization challenge that seems to be accelerating through the Ukraine and Russia crisis, I wonder what background we need to give the listeners just to tell them about how that system works.

Michael Hudson 1:10:39
One of the things that most people don’t understand is money, largely because of the academic discussion confusing matters. Until 1971, countries running a balance of payments deficit would have to settle it either in gold or by selling off their industry to investors in the payments-surplus countries. Well, beginning with the war in Korea in 1950-1951, the U.S. balance of payments moved into deficit. The entire U.S. balance of payments deficit from the Korean War to the 1970s was a result of its foreign military spending.

By the time the Vietnam war was ending, the Americans had to sell its gold every month. Vietnam had been a French colony, so the banks there were French. As America spent more dollars in Southeast Asia, these dollars were sent from local French bank branches to their head offices in Paris. The Paris bank would turn over these dollars to the central bank for francs, and the central bank, under General de Gaulle, would cash in these dollars for gold.

Germany was doing the same thing, using its export proceeds that were paid in dollars to buy gold. So America’s gold stock was steadily going down, until finally it had to withdraw from the London Gold pool and stop making the dollar gold convertible. Back in 1950 when the Korean War began, the American Treasury had 75% of the world’s monetary gold. It had used this monetary power to control diplomacy in other countries. The basis of America’s political power was its gold stock.

Once they left the gold-exchange standard there was hand wringing. How was the United States going to dominate the world if it didn’t have gold anymore, if the military spending abroad had made it run out of gold? My Super Imperialism pointed out that henceforth when foreign central banks got more dollars, what were they going to use them for? Well, there’s only one thing that central banks at that time did: That was to buy government securities. So the central banks of France, Germany and other payment-surplus countries had little option except to buy U.S. Treasury bills and bonds. Some of these were special non-marketable bonds that they couldn’t sell, but they were stores of value.

So the money that America was spending abroad was simply recycled to the United States. It didn’t mean that America had to devalue the dollar through running a balance-of-payments deficit, like today’s Global South countries do, or do as England had to do with its’ stop-go policies, always raising interest rates to borrow when its deficits threatened to force the pound sterling to depreciate.

Jonathan Brown 1:13:57
Michael, this insight was that was that when you were working at Chase Manhattan, and you were advising the State Department on what to do with the fact that they were having these balance of payments problem, because of military spending?

Michael Hudson 1:14:07
My job at Chase was to analyse basically the balance of payments of Third World countries and then of the oil industry. I had to develop an accounting format to find how much does the oil industry actually makes in the rest of the world. I had to calculate natural-resource rent, and how large it was. I did that from 1964 till October 1967. Then I had to quit to finish my dissertation to get the PhD. And then I developed the system of balance-of-payments analysis that actually was the way it had been calculated before GDP analysis.

I went to work for Arthur Andersen and spent a year calculating the whole U.S. balance of payments. That’s where I found that it was all military in character, and I began to write in popular magazines like Ramparts, warning that America’s foreign wars were forcing it to run out of gold. That was the price that America was paying for its military spending abroad.

I realised as soon as it went off gold in 1971 that America now had a cost-free means of military spending. Suppose you were to go to the grocery store and just pay in IOUs. You could just keep spending If you could convince the owner, the grocer to use the IOU to pay the farmers and the dairy people for their products. What if everybody else used these IOUs as money? You would continue to get your groceries for free.

That’s how the United States economy works under the dollar standard, at least until the present. This is what led China, Russia, Iran and other countries to say that they don’t want to keep giving America a free ride. These dollarized IOUs are being used to surround them of military bases, to overthrow them and to threaten to bomb them if we don’t do what American diplomats tell them to do.

That led already a few years ago to pressure to de-dollarize the world economy and make it multipolar, not simply an extension of the U.S. military, U.S. investors, mining and oil companies. The post-dollar aim was for other countries to keep their economic surplus among themselves to promote their own economic growth, instead of imposing IMF dictated austerity programmes to impose austerity so that they can pay foreign dollarized bondholders.

Just about everybody thought that it would take many years for China, Russia, Iran, India, Indonesia and other countries to get their act together and create an alternative. But this year the Biden administration itself destroyed America’s free ride for the dollar. First the United States grabbed Venezuela’s foreign exchange, then Biden grabbed all of the foreign exchange of Afghanistan, just confiscated it. And then a month ago he confiscated $300 billion of Russia’s foreign exchange reserves. He said, in effect, that we are the leading democracy in the world, and global democracy means that America’s military gets to appoint foreign presidents.

And so we don’t like the person you’ve voted in as president for Venezuela. We’re going to hire this little nitwit that we bought out, Juan Guaido, and appoint him president. To force you to accept this, we’re going to take away all of your gold reserves held in the Bank of England, and we’re going to give it to Mr. Guaido as our nominee for the bastion of democracy, to do what a democratic regime is supposed to do: hiring terrorist groups to kill all land reformers and labour leaders, to finance a neo-Nazi takeover like we did in Chile under Pinochet, and just like we’ve done in democratic Ukraine with our funding of neo-Nazis to fight against the Russians there.

This confiscation of foreign reserves and foreign money held in U.S. banks shocked the rest of the world. Nobody had believed that countries would actually grab other countries’ financial savings. If you go back to the wars in the 19th century, the Crimean War and others, countries would continue to pay their foreign debts.

All this was ended by President Biden rejecting the international rule of law. He said that “We have a ‘rules-based’ order, in which we can make up the rules. Number one, we are exempt from the rules. Only you have to follow them. Number two, the rules or whatever we say.” China, Russia and India would have taken years by themselves to denominate their trade in their own currencies. Biden’s money grab has impelled them to create a new economic order independently of the United States and Europe, whose euro and sterling are satellite currencies of the United States.

Jonathan Brown 1:19:54
So Michael, this is a crazy situation that we’ve got. Even If you have deposits in a bank, the deposits don’t really belong to you, but they used to be respected.

Michael Hudson 1:20:07
Well they belong to you, but they can be stolen.

Jonathan Brown 1:20:09
Yeah, but then they don’t belong to me, do they? They’re kind of mine, but not. Likewise, if I annoy the wrong person, I could have my car impounded, because I’ve just annoyed the local politician, which is essentially what’s happened to a Russian oligarch. Now, whether or not the oligarch deserved that $500 million yacht, obviously, they didn’t, but it was technically theirs. So what Americans are doing is showing that if you piss them off, they will take all your resources, which has happened in other countries, right? We’ve stolen it.

The British did that, right? We appropriated resources and stole resources from other nations. If you want the best example of that, you can just go into the very beautiful British Museum and see all the artefacts that we’ve appropriated, one of which was a Rosetta Stone, which I know you write about.

So we’ve got this situation now that the Americans have declared the most profound economic war on Russia, threatening China that we can do the same. China’s got trillions of U.S. dollars. And one of the things that I don’t quite understand, looking at your philosophy and Super Imperialism, was in demonstrating that the Americans can have a free lunch by getting people to buy U.S. Treasury bonds. How is it that the U.S. dollar has gone up against all currencies pretty much other than the rouble since declaring war in Ukraine?

Michael Hudson 1:21:43
Europe has committed economic suicide, United States offered its leaders a lot of money in their offshore accounts, and made sure that their kids got free education in the United States. But in return, they would have to represent the United States, not Germany, France or other countries. The Americans have been meddling in European politics for years. European politicians do not represent their own countries. They represent the American State Department and American diplomacy. And they were told to lock their countries into the U.S. economy.
For instance, European businesses had a hope that Americans really hated. The Europeans hoped that after 1991, now that communism was over, they could invest in Russia to make money. They could sell exports to Russia and make mutual gains from each other. But the Americans wanted to make all the money off Russia for themselves, mainly by using the kleptocrats they backed to sell the natural resources that they grabbed to U.S. investors. The Harvard Boys wanted to make sure that rent-yielding natural resources were given the kleptocrats – who could only make their money in hard currency by selling shares abroad in the assets they grabbed, keeping their payments in England or the United States.

So they’ve asked Europe not to buy Russian gas, but to spend seven times as much buying American liquefied natural gas, and spend $5 billion to build the ports to accept this gas – while going without gas for about three or four years…let their pipes freeze… stop making fertiliser… Don’t feed your land, we’ll take it on the chin for America. Your standard of living is going to have to drop by 20%, but it’s all for American democracy. And the European heads said that’s fine.

America said that you Europeans are bothering them by trying to stop global warming. That’s a direct attack on a major arm of U.S. diplomacy, the oil industry. American companies control almost all the world’s oil trade. It’s the highest rent-yielding sector in the world. And it’s income-tax free. It’s politically powerful, and as long as America can control the oil trade, it can talk to Latin American countries or African countries and say if they elect a leader that U.S. officials don’t like, it can impose sanctions and stop exporting oil to them to freeze them out. They won’t get fertilizer, so the U.S. can starve you out. It can put a sanction on their food trade. 

Agriculture is Americans biggest trade surplus.

Jonathan Brown 1:25:14
That’s what they’re doing with the conflict in Ukraine to Russia, and also China as well. Are there other major sources of grain, wheat and rice?

Michael Hudson 1:25:26
Yes. But President Biden has blamed Putin for creating a world food shortage and threatening to cause a famine, because Ukraine can’t export its grain. Ukraine, at American direction, has put mines all over the Black Sea. So the Black Sea’s ports have mines around them. If a ship hits them, it’ll blow a hole in the hull and will sink.
As a result, if you’re a shipping company and want to transport grain, you have to get insurance, because if you don’t have insurance, then you’re in danger of going bust if your ship goes under. But no insurance company will insure it until the Ukrainians remove the mines that they put. You need minesweepers for that. Needless to say, Russia doesn’t want American minesweepers in, because they may very well attack as there’s a war on.

So you have the United States blocking Ukrainian grain exports, which was a huge export. You’ve had the American dollar area, the NATO countries, refusing to import food from Russia, which is the world’s largest agricultural exporter. This is creating a crisis for Global South countries, for Latin America and Africa.

Meanwhile, global warming is causing droughts that are reducing the harvest. The Green Party in Germany has a pro-war policy that is making global warming rise faster. By supporting military warfare against Russia, and U.S. military adventurism in general, they are becoming major lobbyists for the air polluters. The largest air polluter is the American military. The Green Party in Germany advocates fighting Russia more, providing it with more arms, and thus supporting the military that is now the largest new contributor to global warming. In effect, this means that Europe is willing to say, ‘Okay, we are willing to have the sea levels rise another 10 feet, as long as we can help America dominate Russia’.

Europe even is letting America keep the Trump tariffs on its exports, in place, so it can’t export more for America. It looks like Europe will have to de-industrialize, maybe we’ll go back to the 19th century and become a country of farmers. That basically is the situation that its subservience is imposing.

Jonathan Brown 1:28:49
I’d like to come back to the just what China and Russia can do, given their reserves. They understand they’ve got… they’ve got lots of reserves of gold, and also large grain stores, China having the most as I understand it, but can you help me understand why all these nations around the world have U.S. dollar reserves in some form or other, most of it in bonds? Why is the dollar still increasing at this moment in time?

Michael Hudson 1:29:28
Because the Euro was going down. The Japanese Yen is going down. The Yen is the worst performing currency, because they’ve held their interest rates very low. Their aim is for banks to make money by borrowing low at low rates and lending to foreign countries at a higher rate. Europe is also keeping its interest rates low. The American Federal Reserve is raising the interest rate, and that is money from low interest rate countries. Capital from Europe and Japan is flowing to America.

Currency values are primarily set by relative interest rates and capital flows. They’re not set by the cost of production for imports and exports. They are not caused by trade, unless there’s a radical breakdown of trade. All these zigzags that you see are short-term capital movements. America tells other countries to keep their interest rates low, so that money will flow from their banks and financial to the United States to buy American securities that yield higher returns. As long as the Euro is a satellite currency to the dollar, it’s going to continue to go down. So the both the euro and the British Sterling are now moving towards $1 per pound and $1 per euro.

Jonathan Brown 1:28:49
That’s a short-term measure. The long-term measure is that countries have to start selling the bonds that they’ve got in U.S. currency. So long term, it has to come down. Is that right?

Michael Hudson 1:29:28
Yes. They’re going to hold each other’s currencies. Especially now that Russia is denominating its exports, in roubles instead of dollars. The American banks have lost the trade financing of the world oil trade, certainly Russian oil and agricultural trade. Instead of holding dollars, countries will hold rouble reserves to stabilise their currencies via the rouble, China is holding rouble reserves, and Russia is holding Chinese yuan reserves.

The balance will be held more in gold and some kind of assets without a liability attached to them. I think the logical direction in which this is moving is that the non-dollar countries will create their own version of the International Monetary Fund, their own World Bank, their own trade organization. So there will be one set of trade and financial and development organisations and military organisations in the U.S. and Europe, in NATO, that is, in the white countries, and another set of relations and the non-white countries that are actually developing while America and Europe shrink.

Jonathan Brown 1:33:06
So what’s your idea of how much gold China actually holds, because there’s the published numbers [which] are really extraordinarily small aren’t they for an economy that’s so big.

Michael Hudson 1:33:18
I don’t know. Governments can hold gold not only through their own treasury, but through some subordinate agency. I no longer go into the financial statistics like I used to, because it takes a whole year to do a balance sheet that is comprehensive. All I know is that they saw how America simply grabbed Russia’s dollar holdings, and they don’t want the same thing done to them. President Biden has said China is America’s number one long-term enemy, and he wants to destroy the Russian economy first and then attack China after prying them apart.

Obviously, China is reading the newspapers and wants to avoid that fate.

Jonathan Brown 1:34:16
The other thing that I find utterly remarkable, for example, is that Biden in his speech said that he wants to get rid of Putin. I think if it was a U.S. Defence Secretary or Secretary of State saying that he wants to arm Taiwan……. If I ran China and I said I want to arm Mexico, or if anyone in South America wants any weapons then my doors open to you, I would expect the Americans to be very upset with that because I’m breaching the Monroe Doctrine. Can you help me understand, having been in the corridors of power, whether Chase Manhattan or the contacts you’ve got, how can …. how can politicians be so delusional to think they can say stuff like that without having a negative consequence?

Michael Hudson 1:35:18
Well you know who’s really upset by that? The Taiwanese! They say, Oh, they want to make Taiwan into another Ukraine, to fight to the last Taiwanese, just like the Ukrainians have been used. They see two choices before them. If they do arm and get weapons that can hit China, then China is likely to bomb them. On the other hand, I’ve met Taiwanese officials for 40 years, and many have said that their long-term hope is to be reintegrated. They want to be investors in China, but they want to merger under terms where they can be sort of like Hong Kong, able to have a merger that will make them prosperous too.

So Taiwan’s choice is between following the Americans and becoming the Ukraine of the Pacific, or joining with China. Given the fact that China is growing and America is shrinking, what are they going to choose? Well, I would imagine that you will see a strong, peaceful integrationist movement with China. But China remembers that Chiang Kai Shek massacred the communists in 1927.

Jonathan Brown 1:36:47
So what are we looking at then, who is in charge, President Biden or other people?

Michael Hudson 1:36:56
President Biden is a front man. They’re all the front men for the faceless people in the State Department, the neocons who are controlling things. Biden has always been right-wing, just a corrupt party politician. He does what he’s paid to do. He’s unimaginative. He’s brought in some real Russia haters – people who have a visceral hatred of Russia because of their family background under the tsars or under Stalin. Blinken said that his family was Jewish and lost under the tsars, and maybe under Stalin. He wants to kill Russians because he’s so angry at what they did to his ancestors. That is the neocon mentality in a nutshell. It’s a crazy mentality.

The Federal Reserve and the Treasury officials say they were not consulted in the political moves that Biden and Blinken and the neocons are making. There is the kind of single-minded tunnel vision at work. They really are Russia haters and China haters. There is a lot of racism you’re seeing in New York, where it’s very dangerous for Asian women to take a subway. Almost every week, the lead news item is yet another Asian woman attacked or pushed in front of a subway. There’s a there’s a new race hatred in America. And they are treating Russians as the Ukrainians do, as if Slavic speaking people are a separate race.

Jonathan Brown 1:38:49
Extraordinary. So Super Imperialism came out, as I understand it, and was used by the State Department to figure out how to continue running their economics …

Michael Hudson 1:39:04
At first U.S. officials thought that going off gold was going to be a disaster. Herman Khan told me, “You’ve shown that we’ve run rings around the British Empire.” He hired me for the Hudson Institute, which is a national security institute, and brought me to the State Department for meetings and to Army War colleges and Air Force war colleges to talk about it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the main people who wanted to learn how imperialism works were the imperialists themselves. I had thought that the anti-imperialists were going to be my main audience, but the imperialists really needed to know what was new.

Jonathan Brown 1:39:50
They took your book, Super Imperialism and they read it as a love letter, right.

Michael Hudson 1:39:56
Not a love letter. They saw it as a “how to do it” book. I was a technician.

Jonathan Brown 1:40:04
Right. And working for Herman Kahn, he’s a powerful guy that people don’t talk about so much anymore, but he was, he was extraordinarily influential at the time, right?

Michael Hudson 1:40:14
Yes, he had a great sense of humour. He was a great speaker. He was absolutely brilliant. He wrote a book on thermonuclear war, saying that even if there were to be a war, somebody would be left to survive. That made him one of the models for Dr. Strangelove in the movies. I would sit and hear Herman talk about military strategy, and was awed by how he thought it all through. He was a brilliant military tactician. He would bring me and sit down with generals, and they would explain things. I don’t have a good military sense, or any military training at all. He wrote that, personally, he wanted to be right under the first hydrogen bomb. He didn’t want to live in the post-nuclear world. But there would be some survivors somewhere. That made him notorious. He was so reviled for even having brought up discussion of the topic that needed to be discussed, that he wanted to have ideas that people liked. And that was the corporate environment study. That was what I was pretty much in charge of. I was the economist, he was the military. We had the same salary there.

We would go around the world disagreeing with each other. It would be like a show. He’d talk about the world being a cup half full. I talked about the cup being half-empty, as he put it. I talked about the debt overhead, and how debt was growing and would ultimately stifle the economy. He talked about how productivity would be sufficient to pay debt, although productivity doesn’t necessarily give you the money to pay the debt. Productivity does not grows exponentially, but tapers off. As debt grows, any rate of interest is a doubling time. And it doubles quicker than the economy can double.

Jonathan Brown 1:42:24
And this is really coming back to one of your initial questions from Terrence McCarthy, which was to focus on productivity, wasn’t it?

Michael Hudson 1:42:33
Yes. And the idea was focusing on productivity, you realise that it all comes down to labour ultimately. How do you make labour more productive? How do you make industry more productive? You get rid of what is unproductive – and the unproductive overhead is rent. So how much corporate spending is just plain overhead? How much is unnecessary for corporate industry to take place? That line of questioning brings you back into the classical economics.
Marx is really the last great classical economist who pushed it all to its logical end. His contribution was to explain that just as the landlord exploits by taking rent, the industrial capitalist exploits labour by charging more for the products of labour than it costs to hire labour to produce.

However, unlike the rentier, unlike the landlord, the capitalist uses this economic surplus value to expand production, to build yet more factories, to employ yet more labour. This is an expanding society, whereas the rent paid to landlords is a kind of exploitation that is pure overhead and shrinks industrial capitalism. That’s why Marx said that the political aim of industrial capitalism was to free society from the landlords, predatory bankers and monopolists. That’s why the Communist Manifesto‘s program begins with collecting rent for the public sector. You can tax the land as a transition to socialising it. That was the Communist Manifesto’s classical economics.

Jonathan Brown 1:44:26
You have these views, and yet you were still a valued member of the team at the Hudson Institute.

Michael Hudson 1:44:33
Yes, because I was explaining how the world worked. Herman and I disagreed so much, we were genuine friends. I liked him, and we couldn’t believe that the other would actually believe something so different. But we said okay, if the arguments that we’re having is the “big argument,” it’s going to determine where the economy is going. Either he’s right or I’m right.
This is like the debates between Henry George’s followers and the socialists in the early 1900s. It was going to be one world or another.

What is the key to analysing the economy? Is it to focus on rent and finance, or on technological potential? My point is that technological potential can be smothered by so much overhead paid to the rentier class via the FIRE sector – finance, insurance and real estate – that there’s no money left to invest, no income left for wage earners to spend on buying the goods and services that they produce.

Jonathan Brown 1:45:48
And yet the technology sector in my opinion is actually the new monopolist. Instead of having a competition, in that sense they’re the new landowners. So Google is a spectrum landowner. If I want to host these videos, then I’ve got to negotiate or accept the terms of the landowner YouTube. I’m posting them there, but I won’t be making any money on it. Because I’m one of the serfs on YouTube.

Michael Hudson 1:46:16
This is the problem that China is dealing with in its own way. What do you do when Jack Ma and other IT specialists end up as billionaires? Well, China did not have an anti-monopoly group. It let 100 flowers bloom and let billionaires develop, but would then have them transfer their money to the government in one way or another. They haven’t done this in the way that Western economies do, by an anti-monopoly tax, but by a political consensus way.

In countries like Russia, I’m trying to get them to formalise this into formally calculating the magnitude of economic trends. You want innovation to take place, you want people to make the fortune, but at a certain point they can’t somehow make so big a fortune that it ends up crashing the economy.

Jonathan Brown 1:47:37
But looking at your writing from the Byzantine times and the ancient Near East, is the importance of the leader of that particular economy or society to make sure that no one got so rich that they could overthrow the leader? Which is really what you’ve got with someone like Zuckerberg, the power that he was able to wield in the election, whether you agree with him or not, was extraordinary. And likewise, if you look at the fight that’s currently going on with Elon Musk and Twitter, is to recognise that actually we want, we want our people to own these resources that we pretend are private, but actually have tremendous social power.

Michael Hudson 1:48:24
Yes, they financialized politics in America, by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. Anyone can contribute as much as they want, if you’re a corporation. The rentier interests give to pro-rentier politicians to act as their puppets. The money goes for advertising airtime on television and the media to overwhelm all the people who normally would want to minimise the rentier class. So essentially, you’ve financialized politics in America much more than has occurred in Europe. But in Europe, it’s the right wingers who basically control the press, commercial television and media. So if the media are controlled by the right wing with their own agenda, they frame the economic issues from the vantage point of the rentier class instead of from the vantage point of how an economy actually develops and grows wealthier in a fair manner.

Jonathan Brown 1:49:48
I know we need to need to wrap up. Just thinking about the scenarios for Russia and China currently. Everybody who is part of the original white economies of Europe, realises that if they don’t side with America, they get overthrown. But also right now they have a short-term challenge that the Americans are going to let them starve because they’re stopping wheat exports coming through the European ports. But then you’ve also got Russia with resources, you’ve got China with grain resources.

So there is a potential that when people start to starve, and you look at the challenges in Sri Lanka, with politicians being murdered and people running out of food, there’s a chance for China to step in and say, we can send you grain exports. And by lucky coincidence, because of the all the lock downs that China’s got right now, a lot of the world’s boats and ships are currently waiting outside ports in China.

Michael Hudson 1:50:54
[Missing part here] Computer chips are part of the problem. And that’s probably going to make them friendlier with Taiwan. Taiwan has the computer chips.

Jonathan Brown 1:51:03
And by your assessment, because Taiwan do not want to be another Ukraine, American actions are likely to accelerate the reintegration.

Michael Hudson 1:51:12
There’s a bell shaped curve, I haven’t met with the Taiwanese in quite a few years so I don’t know, up to date what the dynamic is. But just by logic, you can see the international environment in which they’re operating. You wonder how they are going to calculate the plusses and minuses of the U.S. versus China? What economy do they want to attach themselves to so that they can get richer fastest?

Jonathan Brown 1:51:46
And also stay safe and not get involved in unnecessary wars. When you look at the tragedy in Ukraine, all these people dying when you’ve got such a strong opponent in Russia, how can you go to war with them for any period of time?

Michael Hudson 1:52:07
Well, that’s what the world is divided into. The U.S. and European society is built on war. It’s the only foreign policy they have, because they don’t have an economic power anymore. They’ve de-industrialised and the rest of the world that is trying to industrialise and trying to feed itself. China, Russia, India, the Global South are the anti-war part of the world. So the world is dividing into two parts: a rentier part supporting finance capitalism [that] is trying to impose it on other countries, to financialize China and Russia to make them put a Margaret Thatcher or Boris Yeltsin in charge of China. While they try to put their own candidates in charge, a la General Pinochet, the rest of the world is trying to defend itself against this terrorism.

So the Western world that calls itself democracy is the terrorist military world. The nations that it calls authoritarian are any authority strong enough to control and tax the financial interests – that is, any government strong enough to regulate finance and real estate. Such an economy is by definition authoritarian as opposed to a democracy, where Wall Street and the financial centres are the democratically elected central planners. So what’s at issue is who’s going to plan society: the financial sector, or the people as in China and other countries.

Jonathan Brown 1:53:41
I think that says it. From a Western lens it’s a different type of democracy.

Michael Hudson 1:53:48
Yes. But democracy really means an economy run to benefit the great bulk of the population, who happen to be wage earners? Or is it going to be for the 1%? Is the economy run for on behalf of the 99% and the 1%? Well, the 99% need a strong government to run it in their own interests and cope with the counter-revolutionary policies, the neo-feudal rentier policies of the 1%.

Jonathan Brown 1:54:22
Okay, so knowing China, then your take on its zero-COVID policy that the authorities are implementing in some parts of the country?

Michael Hudson 1:54:32
The more I read about long COVID here, the worse it seems. I’m 83 years old, so my wife and I have not gone to a restaurant since 2020. We haven’t even gone to our friends’ houses for dinner. We’re isolating ourselves. China has isolated itself at great cost, but it saved the population not only from having COVID itself, but from having long COVID. There are now a million Americans with long COVID. They also say that long COVID lowers your, your IQ by 10%.

It’s almost as dangerous is inheriting a trust fund when it comes to impairing your IQ. It’s debilitating.

My webmaster in Australia and his family have COVID. So I’m very sympathetic with what China’s doing, even though it means that I can’t go there, because I’d have to be isolated in a hotel room for two weeks just to give a few days’ meeting – and then be isolated again when I come back. So China is making a huge effort not to sicken its population with COVID. And now of course, since the Russians have began to publish all their findings of the US bio-warfare labs in Ukraine that were designed to spread a COVID like diseases by migrating birds and bats and manmade aircraft over Russia.

Now, they’ve reopened the question ‘was COVID a US bio-warfare from the very beginning’? And the Chinese are looking at it and saying ‘was it engineered’? If the Americans are trying to engineer COVID to affect mainly Slavic population and their DNA signatures, could they have been doing the same thing against Asians? So all of this is suddenly opened up. The World Health Organisation has refused to divulge any of the USA biowarfare efforts, and the U.S. has stonewalled all efforts to find out about the bio-warfare. This is isolating America and Europe.

If American Europe is left with its current foreign policy, biowarfare and atomic bombs, NATO will be shunned by the civilised world. As Rosa Luxemburg said a century ago, the choice is between socialism or barbarism. NATO, Europe and America represent the new barbarism. The alternative is socialism. That is how the world seemed to be developing in Europe and America until World War I untracked everything. The rest of the world now has a chance to get back on track. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the West.

Jonathan Brown 1:57:47
Michael, as always, you always get more into your stuff than I expected. Are there any things that you’d like to say to our listeners, before we finish up,

Michael Hudson 1:57:56
I’ve probably said too much. And I hope you can edit out anything that’s embarrassing.

Jonathan Brown 1:58:01
I may get thrown off YouTube for publishing some of your comments. So you may have to go back and review a few of them. But as always, Michael, thanks so much your time what we’ll do is we’ll send a link to everybody for the website and also for the new book, as well which I think and those series of lectures when I was researching for this conversation were the single best economic lectures I’ve ever listened to – truly extraordinary levels of insight and real economics rather than theoretical or textbook stuff. So as always from ShepherdWalwyn, thanks so much for your time and for your contribution.

Michael Hudson 1:58:41
Well, if you transcribe it all in will be worth it. \

Jonathan Brown 1:58:45
That’s, that’s our promise 100%. So thanks very much.

Michael Hudson 2:00:05
Thanks a lot.

US tested neuromodulators on socially vulnerable Ukrainians: Russia

16 Jun 2021

The Russian armed forces expose the atrocities of the US military biological programs in Ukraine and Cuba.

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The US administration acknowledged the financing of 46 Ukrainian biolabs

Igor Kirillov, the head of the radiation, chemical and biological defense of the Russian Armed Forces, revealed Thursday that employees of the laboratory in the village of Sorokovka in the Kharkov region tested highly active neuromodulators that caused irreversible damage to the central nervous system as part of the US military biological program in the region.

Sorokovka hosted a branch of the Merefa laboratory, built at the expense of the Pentagon, Kirillov said. In Merefa, laboratory staff performed experiments on patients from psychiatric clinics in Kharkov, he added.

“In accordance with the available information, highly active substances of neuromodulators were tested on socially vulnerable citizens of Ukraine, which caused, among other things, irreversible damage to the central nervous system. This is a clear violation of the norms of international treaties in the field of human rights,” Kirillov warned.

Experiments have been ongoing since 2011

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the laboratory in Sorokovka was listed as a company for the production of food additives, and with the start of the war in Ukraine, the equipment under the control of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) was taken to the western regions of Ukraine.

Kirillov mentioned that experiments on mentally ill people in Ukraine have been ongoing since at least 2011, adding that one of the curators, US citizen Linda Oporto Alharoun, has repeatedly visited the laboratory near Kharkov.

He recalled that earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry had reported that employees of the biological laboratory in Merefa, built with US funding, had conducted experiments on patients of psychiatric clinics in Kharkov in the period from 2019 to 2021. One of the organizers of this illegal activity was US citizen Alharoun.

US confirmed link between Pentagon & biolabs in Ukraine

The Russian official pointed out that the US had confirmed the connection between Pentagon and biolabs in Ukraine.

Kirillov told a briefing that “on June 9, the Pentagon website published an official statement on US biological activities in the post-Soviet space. In it, the US administration acknowledged the fact of financing 46 Ukrainian biological laboratories and the connection of the US Department of Defense with the Ukrainian Science and Technology Center.”

He also noted that Russia has documents proving the connection between the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the US on biological laboratories.

Infectious diseases on the rise in Donbass due to biolabs

Kirillov underlined that infectious diseases have become more frequent in the Donbass region after Pentagon started funding Ukrainian biological programs in 2015.

“Infectious diseases have become more frequent among residents and military personnel of the LPR [Lugansk People’s Republic] and DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] after the start of funding of Ukrainian biological programs by the Pentagon in 2015,” he said.

He also noted during the briefing that the incidence of tularemia in the DPR increased by 9.5 times in 2016 when compared to 2007.

Biolabs in Ukraine caused dengue outbreaks in Cuba

In the same context, the Russian official revealed that biological laboratories in Ukraine cultivated dengue mosquitoes that caused artificial outbreaks in Cuba during the 1970s and 1980s.

Kirillov considered that the history of the outbreaks induced in Cuba in the 70s and 80s of the last century is completely silenced, especially the use of Aedes mosquitoes as biological weapons – the same ones that the US military cultivated in Ukraine.

Russia Rewrites the Art of Hybrid War

May 20, 2022

Hybrid War is being fought predominantly in the economic/financial battleground – and the pain dial for the collective West will only go up.

By Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross posted. 

The ironclad fictional “narrative” imposed all across NATOstan is that Ukraine is “winning”.

So why would weapons peddler retrofitted as Pentagon head Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin literally beg since late February to have his phone calls answered by Russian Defense Minister Shoigu, only to have his wish finally granted?

It’s now confirmed by one of my top intel sources. The call was a direct consequence of panic. The United States Government (USG) by all means wants to scotch the detailed Russian investigation – and accumulation of evidence – on the US bioweapon labs in Ukraine, as I outlined in a previous column.

This phone call happened exactly after an official Russian statement to the UN Security Council on May 13: we will use articles 5 and 6 of the Convention on the Prohibition of Bioweapons to investigate the Pentagon’s biological “experiments” in Ukraine.

That was reiterated by Under Secretary-General of the UN in charge of disarmament, Thomas Markram, even as all ambassadors of NATO member countries predictably denied the collected evidence as “Russian disinformation”.

Shoigu cold see the call coming eons away. Reuters, merely quoting the proverbial “Pentagon official”, spun that the allegedly one-hour-long call led to nothing. Nonsense. Austin, according to the Americans, demanded a “ceasefire” – which must have originated a Siberian cat smirk on Shoigu’s face.

Shoigu knows exactly which way the wind is blowing on the ground – for Ukrainian Armed Forces and UkroNazis alike. It’s not only the Azovstal debacle – and Kiev’s all-around army breakdown.

After the fall of Popasnaya – the crucial, most fortified Ukrainian stronghold in Donbass – the Russians and Donetsk/Luhansk forces have breached defenses along four different vectors to north, northwest, west and south. What’s left of the Ukrainian front is crumbling – fast, with a massive cauldron subdivided in a maze of mini-cauldrons: a military disaster the USG cannot possibly spin.

Now, in parallel, we can also expect full exposure – on overdrive – of the Pentagon bioweapons racket. The only “offer you can’t refuse” left to the USG would be to present something tangible to the Russians to avoid a full investigation.

That’s not gonna happen. Moscow is fully aware that going public with illegal work on banned biological weapons is an existential threat to the US Deep State. Especially when documents seized by the Russians show that Big Pharma – via Pfizer, Moderna, Merck and Gilead – was involved in several “experiments”. Fully exposing the whole maze, from the start, was one of Putin’s stated objectives.

More “military-technical measures”?

Three days after the UN presentation, the board of the Russian Foreign Ministry held a special session to discuss “the radically changed geopolitical realities that have developed as a result of the hybrid war against our country unleashed by the West – under the pretext of the situation in Ukraine – unprecedented in scale and ferocity, including the revival in Europe of a racist worldview in the form of cave Russophobia, an open course for the ‘abolition’ of Russia and everything Russian.”

So it’s no wonder “the aggressive revisionist course of the West requires a radical revision of Russia’s relations with unfriendly states.”

We should expect “a new edition of the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation” coming out soon.

This new Foreign Policy Concept will elaborate on what Foreign Minister Lavrov once again stressed at a meeting honoring the 30th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy: the US has declared an all-round Hybrid War on Russia. The only thing lacking, as it stands, is a formal declaration of war.

Beyond the disinformation fog veiling the application of Finland and Sweden – call them the Dumb and Dumber Nordics – to join NATO, what really matters is another instance of declaration of war: the prospect of missiles with nuclear warheads stationed really close to Russian borders. Moscow already warned the Finns and Swedes, politely, that this would be dealt with it via “military-technical measures”. That’s exactly what Washington – and NATO minions – were told would happen before the start of Operation Z.

And of course this goes much deeper, involving Romania and Poland as well. Bucharest already has Aegis Ashore missile launchers capable of sending Tomahawks with nuclear warheads at Russia, while Warsaw is receiving the same systems. To cut to the chase, if there’s no de-escalation, they will all eventually end up receiving Mr. Khinzal’s hypersonic business card.

NATO member Turkey, meanwhile, plays a deft game, issuing its own list of demands before even considering the Nordics’ gamble. Ankara wants no more sanctions on its purchase of S-400s and on top if be re-included in the F-35 program. It will be fascinating to watch what His Master’s Voice will come up with to seduce the Sultan. The Nordics engaged in a self-correcting “clear unequivocal stance” against the PKK and the PYD is clearly not enough for the Sultan, who relished muddying the waters even more as he stressed that buying Russian energy is a “strategic” issue for Turkey.

Counteracting financial Shock’n Awe

By now it’s evidently clear that open-ended Operation Z targets unipolar Hegemon power, the infinite expansion of vassalized NATO, and the world’s financial architecture – an intertwined combo that largely transcends the Ukraine battleground.

Serial Western sanctions package hysteria ended up triggering Russia’s so far quite successful counter-financial moves. Hybrid War is being fought predominantly in the economic/financial battleground – and the pain dial for the collective West will only go up: inflation, higher commodity prices, breakdown of supply chains, exploding cost of living, impoverishment of the middle classes, and unfortunately for great swathes of the Global South, outright poverty and starvation.

In the near future, as insider evidence surfaces, a convincing case will be made that the Russian leadership even gamed the Western financial gamble/ blatant robbery of over $300 billion in Russian reserves.

This implies that already years ago – let’s say, at least from 2016, based on analyses by Sergey Glazyev – the Kremlin knew this would inevitably happen. As trust remains a rigid foundation of a monetary system, the Russian leadership may have calculated that the Americans and their vassals, driven by blind Russophobia, would play all their cards at once when push came to shove – utterly demolishing global trust on “their” system.

Because of Russia’s infinite natural resources, the Kremlin may have factored that the nation would eventually survive the financial Shock’n Awe – and even profit from it (ruble appreciation included). The reward is just too sweet: opening the way to The Doomed Dollar – without having to ask Mr. Sarmat to present his nuclear business card.

Russia could even entertain the hypothesis of getting a mighty return on those stolen funds. A great deal of Western assets – totaling as much as $500 billion – may be nationalized if the Kremlin so chooses.

So Russia is winning not only militarily but also to a large extent geopolitically – 88% of the planet does not align with NATOstan hysteria – and of course in the economic/financial sphere.

This in fact is the key Hybrid War battleground where the collective West is being checkmated. One of the next key steps will be an expanded BRICS coordinating their dollar-bypassing strategy.

None of the above should overshadow the still to be measured interconnected repercussions of the mass surrender of Azov neo-Nazis at UkroNazistan Central in Azovstal.

The mythical Western “narrative” about freedom-fighting heroes imposed since February by NATOstan media collapsed with a single blow. Cue to the thunderous silence all over the Western infowar front, where no mutts even attempted to sing that crappy, “winning” Eurovision song.

What happened, in essence, is that the creme de la creme of NATO-trained neo-Nazis, “advised” by top Western experts, weaponized to death, entrenched in deep concrete anti-nuclear bunkers in the bowels of Azovstal, was either pulverized or forced to surrender like cornered rats.

Novorossiya as a game-changer

The Russian General Staff will be adjusting their tactics for the major follow-up in Donbass – as the best Russian analysts and war correspondents incessantly debate. They will have to face an inescapable problem: as much as the Russian methodically grind down the – disaggregated – Ukrainian Army in Donbass, a new NATO army is being trained and weaponized in western Ukraine.

So there is a real danger that depending on the ultimate long-term aims of Operation Z – which are only shared by the Russian military leadership – Moscow runs the risk of encountering, in a few months, a mobile and better weaponized incarnation of the demoralized army it is now destroying. And this is exactly what the Americans mean by “weakening” Russia.

As it stands, there are several reasons why a new Novorossiya reality may turn out to be a positive game-changer for Russia. Among them:

  1. The economic/logistics complex from Kharkov to Odessa – along Donetsk, Luhansk, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Kherson, Nikolaev – is intimately linked with Russian industry.
  2. By controlling the Sea of Azov – already a de facto “Russian lake” – and subsequently the Black Sea, Russia will have total control of export routes for the region’s world-class grain production. Extra bonus: total exclusion of NATO.
  3. All of the above suggests a concerted drive for the development of an integrated agro-heavy industry complex – with the extra bonus of serious tourism potential.

Under this scenario, a remaining Kiev-Lviv rump Ukraine, not incorporated to Russia, and of course not rebuilt, would be at best subjected to a no-fly zone plus selected artillery/missile/drone strikes in case NATO continues to entertain funny ideas.

This would be a logical conclusion for a Special Military Operation focused on precision strikes and a deliberate emphasis on sparing civilian lives and infrastructure while methodically disabling the Ukrainian military/logistics spectrum. All of that takes time. Yet Russia may have all the time in the world, as we all keep listening to the sound of the collective West spiraling down.

The danger of American bio laboratories

March 24, 2022

Source

By Batko Milacic

We are living in a world where stories are published without actual facts. Such stories are published in order to refute the real-world challenges. The most recent example is related to US biolab activities in 30 countries. In light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine, US-run biolabs in Ukraine have allegedly been used to develop bio-agents capable of selectively targeting certain ethnic groups.

The US officials’ statements have made the international community even more concerned. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called out Russian claims that the US is secretly researching chemical and biological weapons in Ukraine as a disinformation campaign. In the meantime, Undersecretary of State on Political Affairs Victoria Nuland during testimony in the US Congress confirmed that “Ukraine has biological research facilities.”

The formal explanations by US authorities on dozens of biolabs operations in Ukraine and more than 300 biolab activities around the world are not matching the real situation on the ground. There are many facts, and the most important ones are as follows.

A few days ago high-profile Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, who has been conducting an inquiry into the work of American bio laboratories across the world, has publicised the results of her recent investigation in connection with Ukraine.(1) After Russian troops entered Ukraine a number of high-ranking Russian military commanders reported the existence of biological weapons laboratories on the territory of Ukraine. Shortly after, the White House acknowledged the presence of biological weapons research facilities on the Ukrainian territory and, most importantly, expressed concern over the possibility of Russia getting hold of research samples and results. A question arises why the United States is playing along with Russia. This kind of concern means that these centers store data which can damage the US national security or even compromise Washington in the eyes of its allies.

The answers to these questions are easily available in open sources. However, in the light of what the Kremlin and the White House said, they need appropriate interpretation. In recent years, American specialists supported by a number of Ukrainian research centers, have been looking into the possibility of disseminating life-threatening viruses with birds. Some of the researchers became ornithologists studying bird routes. This is confirmed by reports on the funds allocated for this research by American government sites, and by some posts which have been published by scientists and which have been analyzed by the journalist, Dilyana. What is yet more important is that American researchers were granted free access to all Ukrainian centers, whereas Ukrainian inspectors were denied access to American laboratories. The Kyiv authorities issued official resolutions to this effect.

Meanwhile, considering the current state of medicine in general and epidemiology in particular, migrating birds can hardly pose a serious threat to humans in terms of transmitting infection. Of all bird and swine flus only one – Covid-19 – has hit the target, though its origin is still a matter of dispute. Officially, Covid-19 outbreak started in a market in Wuhan, where they traded in exotic edible animals. The outbreak paralyzed the global economy for two years and shut freedom of movement for millions across the globe.

Thus, Ms Gaytandzhieva suggests a fairly significant conclusion – viruses, harmless for birds and bats but dangerous for humans, can be a serious weapon. The more so since the main enemy in the conditions of a pandemic is not the disease as such but the panic and poor coordination of action on the part of the authorities. A dangerous virus can easily be used as a weapon – a few outbreaks along bird migration routes may cause panic and undermine the economy of a country. Particularly if the territory of the country in question is so vast that the birds follow their entire migration route over it. There is only one such country, Russia. No wonder then that the Russians felt strongly worried over reports about experiments with infection carrying birds.

History knows no proved cases of epidemics brought by birds. Traditionally, the carriers of infectious diseases are rodents. It was a gopher eaten for gastronomical pleasure by a tourist that triggered the last outbreak of plague, one of the deadliest diseases ever. But there is the first time for everything, so experiments with birds are fully understandable, just as Russia’s wariness – Moscow does not want military operations aggravated with a new pandemic, particularly as the world is still recovering from the previous one!

Despite all this, the US is keeping its mass destruction bioweapons in violation of the international treaties. Bioweapons research and attacks are the US modus operandi for the last 50 years at least.

There is the Biological Weapons Convention which prohibits effectively “the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons.” This is the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. As stated by the UN, “Biological weapons disseminate disease-causing organisms or toxins to harm or kill humans, animals or plants.” So, US biolabs are not just about the diseases. They’re about the weapons of mass destruction – human, animal and plant.

If the US is a peaceful and peacemaking country and follows democratic principles, it has to be more transparent and open up its biolab operations around the world. Greater transparency will give mankind the opportunity to see beyond the formal explanations of the US and the US might be recognized as a more trusted partner internationally.

  1. https://dilyana.bg/pentagon-contractors-worked-in-ukrainian-biolabs-under-80-million-program/

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: Leaders of Russia management competition, Moscow, March 19, 2022

March 22, 2022

Ed Note:  This is an important document and answers most of the confused questions that I see come up in the comments still.  A careful read and even study is recommended – Amarynth


Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions during his meeting with finalists of the International Track as part of the Leaders of Russia management competition, Moscow, March 19, 2022

Dear friends,

I would like to greet you and express my gratitude for your continuing to invite me even though I chair the Supervisory Board. It is important for me to see you, listen to your questions and understand what worries you in this uneasy period.

This meeting takes place against the backdrop of events now occurring in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly spoken at length about the origins of this crisis. I would like to briefly reiterate: this is not about Ukraine. This is the end-result of a policy that the West has carried out since the early 1990s. It was clear back then that Russia was not going to be docile and that it was going to have a say in international matters. This is not because Russia wants to be a bully. Russia has its history, its tradition, its own understanding of the history of its peoples and a vision on how it can ensure its security and interests in this world.

This became clear in the late 1990s-early 2000s. The West has repeatedly attempted to stall the independent and autonomous development of Russia. This is rather unfortunate. From the start of President Vladimir Putin’s “rule” in the early 2000s, we were open to the idea of working with the West in various ways, even in a form similar to that of an alliance, as the President has said.  Sadly, we were unable to do this. We repeatedly suggested that we should conclude treaties and base our security on equal rights, rejecting the idea of strengthening one’s security at the expense of another.

Neither were we able to promote economic cooperation. The European Union, which back then showed some signs of independent decision-making, has now devolved toward being completely dependent on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the US. The story of Nord Stream 2 was the highlight of this change. Even Germany, which defended its interests in the project to the very end, was persuaded that the “project was not in its interests.” Germany and its people were told what their interests were by people on the other side of the Atlantic. Many other international areas were blocked despite our commitment to close cooperation on an equal basis.

The West did not want equal cooperation and, as we can now see, has kept true to the “will and testament” of Zbigniew Brzezinski who said that Ukraine should not be allowed to side with Russia. With Ukraine, Russia is a great power, while without Ukraine, it is a regional player. We understand that this is a mere exaggeration. But it fits nevertheless the philosophy and the mentality of western leaders. No effort was spared to turn Ukraine into an instrument to contain Russia. Into an “anti-Russia,” as President Putin said. This is neither a metaphor nor an exaggeration.

What has been happening all these years is the significant accumulation of physical, military, ideological, and philosophical threats to the security of the Russian Federation. The militarisation of Ukraine, which was injected with weapons (including assault weapons) worth many billions of dollars over these years, was accompanied by the Nazification of all spheres of society and the eradication of the Russian language. You know the laws that were passed there concerning education, the state language, and the indigenous peoples of Ukraine that made no mention of Russians. It was not only the language that was being edited out, but simply everything Russian. They banned the mass media, which broadcast from Russia and transmitted in Ukraine. Three Ukrainian television channels that were considered disloyal to the current government were shut down. Neo-Nazi battalions with insignia of Hitler’s SS divisions held marches; torchlight processions took place with a presidential regiment assigned as an official escort; fighters were trained in camps by instructor programmes from the US and other Western countries. All this was done with the connivance of civilised Europe and with the support of the Ukrainian government.

To my great regret and shame, President Zelensky has been asking how he could be a Nazi if he has Jewish roots. He said this on the exact day when Ukraine demonstratively withdrew from the Agreement on Perpetuating the Memory of the Courage and Heroism of the Peoples of the CIS Countries During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. When he personally patronises the tendencies I have mentioned, it is difficult to take the policy of the Ukrainian leadership seriously. Just as in the early stages of his presidency, and even earlier, when he was a stage and soap opera star, he assured me in every possible way that it was unthinkable for him that the Russian language could be infringed upon. So here we are: life demonstrates what a person’s word is worth.

These accumulated tendencies took on a new form following the coup d’etat in February 2014. Despite the guarantees of the EU countries — France, Germany and Poland — that were part of the agreement between the opposition and the then-President of Ukraine, they tore up that agreement the morning after, disregarded the guarantees, humiliated the nations above, and the EU as a whole, before announcing their new regime. In our conversations with our western partners, including the Germans and the French, we have been asking them how they could allow this to happen.  We kept reiterating, you provided guarantees to this agreement. They say this happened because Yanukovich left Kiev. Yes he did, but he left for Kharkov to take part in his party’s congress. Yes, he faced a number of issues and did not enjoy broad support, but he never fled. Still, this is not about Yanukovich.

The first point of the Agreement read that the Government of National Accord was to be established as an interim stage for early presidential elections. Most likely, the then president would not have won, and everyone knew this. All the opposition had to do was to wait and fulfil what it agreed to.  Instead, they immediately ran back to “Maidan.” They seized the government building and said, “congratulate us, we have created a government of winners.” And this is how their instincts were immediately manifested. Winners. First of all, they demanded that the Verkhovna Rada abolish any privileges granted to the Russian language. This, despite the fact that the Russian language was and is still enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine, which declares that the state must guarantee the rights of Russians and other ethnic minorities. They demanded that Russians get out of Crimea because they would never think like Ukrainians, speak Ukrainian or honour Ukraine’s heroes Bandera and Shukhevich. They sent combat battalions and “friendship trains” to that peninsula to storm the Supreme Council building. At this point, Crimea rebelled, and Donbass refused to accept the coup d’état and instead asked to be left alone. But they were not left alone. Donbass didn’t attack anyone. But they were declared terrorists and an anti-terrorist operation was launched, with troops being sent in, with nearly all of the West applauding the move. That’s when it became evident exactly what plans were in store for the future role of Ukraine.

The massacre was stopped with enormous effort and through Russia’s active participation. The Minsk agreements were signed. You know what happened to them next. For seven long years, we tried to appeal to the conscience of those who signed the agreements, above all, to France and Germany. The end was tragic.

We held several summits and meetings at other levels, and Ukraine, either under Poroshenko or under Zelensky, just did not want to comply with the agreements. First of all, they refused to open a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk. We asked the Germans and the French why they would not make their proteges at least sit down at the negotiation table. The answer was that they did not think that the republics were independent, and that it was all Russia’s fault. End of conversation. Contrary to its commitments under the Minsk agreements, late last year and early this year, Kiev began to build up its forces along the line of contact up to 120,000 troops. Contrary to the ceasefire agreements that had been signed and violated many times prior, they dramatically increased their heavy shelling, always targeting residential areas. The same has been happening for all these eight years, with varying degrees of intensity, amid complete silence from all the international “human rights” organisatons and Western “civilised democracies.”

Shelling intensified at the start of this year. We received information that Ukraine wanted to implement their Plan B, which they had long threatened, to take the regions by force. This was made worse by the West’s stonewalling of Russia’s initiative to reach an agreement on an equal and indivisible security architecture in Europe. President Vladimir Putin put forward this initiative in November 2021, we drafted the necessary documents and relayed them to the US and NATO in December 2021. They responded that they were willing to negotiate certain issues, including where missiles could not be deployed, but that Ukraine and NATO was none of our business. Ukraine was said to have reserved its right to appeal to join NATO, which would then deliberate whether to admit it, and all this without asking anyone else (likely ending up granting Ukraine’s membership). This was the essence of what they told us.

This is why when Ukraine commenced its shelling, signifying a clear sign of preparations to launch a military offensive in Donbass, we had no other choice but to protect Russian people in Ukraine. We recognised the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. President Vladimir Putin responded to their request by ordering the launch of a special military operation. I am certain that you are following the events and know that the operation has brought to light our worst fears about Ukraine’s military plans and has helped us derail them.

You know that facts have been uncovered of a dangerous bioweapons programme that the Pentagon has been carrying out in many cities of Ukraine. Now that Russia’s armed forces have acquired access to these documents, the US has been trying to cover its tracks. We will be fighting for the truth to come out. This bioweapons research is not limited to Ukraine and is being conducted in over 300 laboratories in various countries, most of them located in former Soviet Union nations along the borders of Russia and the People’s Republic of China.

This was not our choice. We saw how the West’s attitude was communicating one simple truth – if you were a Russophobe; if you were set on eradicating Katsaps and Moskals (a quote from statements made by Ukrainian politicians); if you were to say that anyone who considers themselves Russian and is a citizen of Ukraine should get out for the sake of their future and their children, (as President Vladimir Zelensky said in September 2021); if you obediently fulfill Western bidding so as to constantly irritate, unnerve and unbalance Russia, then you have the universal green light to do anything.

The unprecedentedly hysterical reaction in the West to our military operation, the way they are encouraging and indulging everything anti-Russia and anti-Russian is sad news indeed. I regularly read about the ill treatment that Russian people face in other countries, including citizens of those countries who are of Russian origin. It appears anyone can demand that these people be persecuted in the West now, even on social media. I cannot wrap my mind around this.

But this all proves one thing: the anti-Russia project has failed. President Vladimir Putin has listed the goals of the operation, and the first on the list is to ensure the safety of people in Donbass, and the second one, to eliminate the growing threats to the Russian Federation from the militarisation and Nazification of Ukraine. When they realised that our policy line had helped to thwart their plans, they literally went ballistic.

And yet, we have always supported diplomatic solutions to any problems. Over the course of hostilities, President Vladimir Zelensky proposed negotiations. President Vladimir Putin agreed. The talks are underway, although the Ukrainian delegation did start by, as we say, simply going through the motions. Then dialogue actually began. Even so, there is always the feeling that the Ukrainian delegation is manipulated by the West (most likely, the Americans), and is not allowed to agree to our demands, which are bare minimum, in my opinion. The process is underway.

We continue to be open to cooperation with any countries, including Western ones. However, given how the West has behaved, we are not going to propose any initiatives. Let’s see how they will get themselves out of this self-imposed impasse. They have got themselves into this impasse along with their “values,” “free market principles,” rights to private property and the presumption of innocence. They have trampled on all of this.

Many countries are already beginning to rack their brains in search of ways to slowly “creep away” from the dollar in international settlements. Look what has happened. What if they do not like something else tomorrow? The United States is sending its diplomats around the world, its ambassadors in every country have orders to demand that these countries end cooperation with Russia under the threat of sanctions. We would understand if they did this with small countries. But when such ultimatums and demands are given to China, India, Egypt, or Turkey, it looks like our American colleagues have totally lost touch with reality, or their superhuman complex has overwhelmed their sense of normalcy. We have seen such complexes in human history, and we do know about this.

I do not want to be the only speaker, though. I would like to hear from you. What questions do you have, what are you interested in?

Question: For those who do not know, Riga was part of the Russian Empire longer than Sevastopol was. How long will Russian people need a visa to travel to Russia? Is it possible to issue maybe a card or something for compatriots from the Baltics and European countries, so that they could travel or work in Russia? There is a residence permit, but if you leave for more than six months you lose your residency. In the current situation, when Russophobia is on the rise, this would be especially relevant.

The mistakes made by the public, the “soft power,” then have to be corrected by the army (as we see in Ukraine). Perhaps in countries where Russia faces direct opposition it would make sense to work not through Russian Community Councils (which quickly find themselves under the control of local authorities), but rather to decentralise work. For example, Americans have 20 different funds. You can be anything – green, blue, light blue, whatever, but if you are anti-Russia, this opens all the necessary doors.

Sergey Lavrov: I agree with you about visas. This is an old problem. We have a complicated bureaucracy. This discussion between liberals and conservatives has been going on since the late 1990s and early 2000s. The liberals believed we needed to remove as many barriers as possible so that people with Russian roots, who speak Russian and are involved in cultural and humanitarian events, enjoyed a preferential entry regime. The debate was quite lively when the law on compatriots was adopted, and they discussed the “compatriot card” option. This was one of the most important matters discussed. However, no agreement was reached, including for legal reasons – because it is not a passport or a half-passport. For example, Poland issues Pole’s Cards. These can essentially be used as passports. There are other instruments to liaise with their diasporas in Western countries (with ethnic Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians), and in the Middle East, too. Even in Syria, there is an entire ministry (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates). We are currently working on additional steps that we can take in this direction.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin has appointed me to head the Commission for International Cooperation and Support for Compatriots Abroad. The commission will meet at the end of March. This question will be one of the main ones on the agenda. We will discuss it in the context of a broader approach called repatriation. I believe that repatriation must be legally formalised with all the necessary formalities and the with all legal norms observed. This must be done in order to dramatically facilitate the procedure for those who identify as Russians to relocate or come to stay in Russia. We will try to consider your question as well as part of this approach.

As for the soft power, the Russian Community Councils and the American method – there must be some school of thought that prompts such action. As we promoted the movement of compatriots, we sought to make their actions transparent, so that they did not arouse any suspicion of being involved in underground activities. Unfortunately, that was all in vain. All this transparency backfired. What they are doing with the management of the Russian Community Council in the United States is pure McCarthyism. Its leaders had to return to Russia, otherwise the FBI threatened to imprison them for a long time because they promoted projects between compatriots who maintained cultural and humanitarian ties with Russia. Recall how the Americans treated Maria Butina. She worked openly and completely freely in the United States, promoting joint projects. In the US, all NGOs for the most part explicitly declare they are supported and funded by the Agency for International Development. Other Western countries have many projects that prefer to keep this information to themselves. I wouldn’t want us to act like this. First, it would be dangerous for the people concerned. Secondly, these are the methods of the intelligence services, not soft power methods. On the other hand, American soft power relies heavily on the CIA and other special services.

We will think of ways to support our compatriots in situations where a true witch hunt has been unleashed against them. I think more flexible forms of support could be implemented, including the Foundation for Supporting and Protecting the Rights of Compatriots Living Abroad. The essence of this is the provision of legal assistance to those who find themselves in a difficult situation. There is also the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund. We will think about some additional formats, naturally, fully legitimate ones.

Russia needs to toughen its policy with regard to shadow agencies engaged in things that do not coincide with their charter and other documents. Thank you for showing such an interest. We will certainly try to take this into account.

Question: What contribution do you think representatives of other states can make to the development of international relations with the Russian Federation?

Sergey Lavrov: We will support any public initiatives aimed at developing cooperation in the post-Soviet space. There are many forms for interaction in the CIS, in the CSTO, and in the EAEU, which are of interest to public movements and organisations and that can be used to organise events.

I sincerely would not want to give you any specific ideas here. You know better. You have a feel for what life is like in your country, and how it is affected by relations with Russia on the official, investment, and trade tracks.

As for the Russian Community Councils, in some countries our compatriots are beginning to create alternative councils. It is possible that people are just being competitive, which is only natural, but if you have an interest in doing something on the ground, we will only welcome this. If you need some advice, I am available to listen to your ideas and see how we can support them together with our Kazakhstani colleagues.

Question: I have a proposal, not a question. We have set up a pressure group on this track, and we have already drafted our own proposals. We are ready to help promote Russian culture and the Russian language in Germany, the Baltics and other countries. We would like to become independent analysts and experts and to develop culture, the Russian language and to support compatriots and foreigners who love the Russian language, and who aspire to culture. We would be happy to take part in this process.

Sergey Lavrov: That’s wonderful. Could you please leave your proposals and contacts with the organisers? The Foreign Ministry exercises various functions within the framework of the Government Commission for Compatriots Abroad, and I head this Commission. Our Ministry is also the main body responsible for the implementation of a new federal targeted programme to promote international cooperation. This is what soft power is all about. We also have a programme for supporting the Russian language abroad. In effect, opportunities still exist for the kind of projects you mentioned. I look forward to reading your letter.

Question: As of late, many Western activists, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, have addressed the people of Russia. If you were able to address all the peoples of the world in the West, the East and in Latin America, what would you tell them to make sure they hear you?

Sergey Lavrov: I would tell them that all peoples should be true to themselves, and that they should not abandon their traditions, history, aspirations and world outlook.

Getting back to Ukraine, the Americans are gloating over this situation and rubbing their hands with glee. In all, 140 countries voted against Russia at the UN General Assembly. We know how these countries reached this decision: US ambassadors have been shuttling from capital to capital and demanding that even the great powers comply with their demands, and they don’t shy away from speaking about it in public. They either want to offend others, or they have completely lost all sense of proportion, while comprehending their own superiority. However, out these 140 countries voting on US orders, not one imposed any sanctions except the West. An overwhelming majority of countries did not impose any sanctions on Russia. It appears that, by voting, some of them wanted to minimise damage, but they don’t want to shoot themselves in the foot, and they will continue to develop their economy. Many independent leaders are saying openly that they don’t want to fulfil US instructions to their own detriment.

So, people of the world, be true to yourselves.

Question: What should the West do now that events have dramatically escalated to move things back towards a realm of peace, tranquility, kindness and cooperation?

Sergey Lavrov: The West should start minding its own business and stop lecturing others. Because right now, all we hear is “Russia must..” Why must we do anything, and how have we so upset the West? I really do not understand. They’ve dragged out our security guarantees initiatives. They told us not to worry about NATO expansion because it does not threaten our security. Why do they get to decide what we need for our security? This is our business. They do not allow us anywhere near discussions of their own security. We are constantly reminded that NATO is a defensive organisation. First, this defensive alliance bombed Yugoslavia. We only recently recalled how in 1998 Joe Biden was so proud that he personally contributed to the decision to bomb Belgrade, and bridges over the Drina River. It was fascinating to hear this from someone who claims Russia is led by war criminals.

NATO also acted in Iraq without a UN Security Council resolution. In Libya, it did have a resolution, but it only covered establishing a no-fly zone, so that Muammar Gadaffi’s aircraft could not take off from their airfields. They didn’t. On the other hand, NATO bombed all the army positions from the air, which the UN Security Council did not warrant, and brutally killed Muammar Gadaffi without trial or investigation. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went live on air to celebrate the event.

Strategically speaking, there was indeed a collective defence alliance when the Berlin Wall and the Warsaw Pact existed.  It was clear where the line of defence was then. When the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist, NATO foreswore not to expand to the East, but began to do just that. We have seen five waves of expansion by now, contrary to its assurances. And each time, the imaginary Berlin Wall was moved further east. The alliance assumed the right to determine the boundary of its line of defence. Now Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has declared that NATO must bear global responsibility and is obliged to ensure security in the Indo-Pacific region. It is their name for the Asia-Pacific region. So, NATO is ready to “defend itself” in the South China Sea now. They are building defence lines against China now, so China, too, needs to be on the alert for that. A really unusual type of defence.

As for the Indo-Pacific region, which we have always called the Asia-Pacific region, there is the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) there, as well as mechanisms created around the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ASEAN has a dozen partners. We participate in holding the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Security Forum, and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, a platform for ASEAN and its twelve partners which include China, Russia, the West (including Australia) and India – all the key players. Those formats work on the basis of consensus. This does not suit the Americans though, because to pursue their policy to contain China, they need an anti-China mechanism. But no platform where China is a member can produce such a result. They proclaimed the Indo-Pacific strategies and created Quad – a group of four nations including the United States, Australia, Japan, and they also lured India into this group. Our Indian friends are well aware of what we are talking about. They said they would participate in this only in the context of economic and infrastructure projects, but not military ones. So, because they needed to build up the military component, they created a parallel format, AUKUS, which included Australia, the UK and the United States. Now they want to expand it by adding Japan and South Korea, and even some ASEAN countries. This will lead to the collapse of the ASEAN ten.

When the Indo-Pacific concept was announced, we asked what was wrong with the Asia-Pacific label. We were told it mixed two different things because Asia did not refer to an ocean, but the Pacific did. Hence the Indian Ocean and Asia. We asked, if this includes the Indian Ocean, does this mean the whole of East Africa will be involved in this cooperation? They said no. That region had too many problems they did not want to deal with as they had enough on their plate. Is the Persian Gulf also part of the Indian Ocean? They said no to that too, disowning it. This makes it clear that the Indo part has been included with the sole purpose of cozying up to India and trying even harder to turn it into an anti-China player.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India in early February 2022. I spoke frankly with them. Our Indian friends understand everything perfectly and will never be open to such “cooperation” or play someone else’s games. India is a great country. Making such provocations against great powers is simply disrespectful.

Back to our discussion – we tried to negotiate with the West up to the last minute. But relations with the EU were destroyed back in 2014. All mechanisms, and there were plenty of them: biannual summits, annual meetings of the Russian Government and the European Commission, four common spaces being developed under four roadmaps, 20 industry-based dialogues – all that was derailed simply because the people in Crimea, faced with a radical neo-Nazi threat, voted for reunification with Russia.

Our Western colleagues do have this curious approach towards politics – when considering any problem in international politics, they cut off periods of time that are not favourable to them. When we discussed Ukraine with them, they said that we “annexed” Crimea. Wait, but what happened before that? They failed to make the opposition do what they themselves had signed on to. The opposition violated all guarantees and, contrary to the agreements, carried out a coup d’état and proclaimed an openly anti-Russia policy line. They began trying to suppress everything Russian. But Westerners called it “the price one has to pay for democratic processes.” They could not even say the word coup.

Last autumn, I asked the Germans and the French, how is this so? It is the Minsk Agreements we are talking about. Why are you so stubborn about this annexation part? It all started then. “This is the price one has to pay for democratic processes.” You see, this is their approach – they ignore what is unfavourable to them. They just single out one of the symptoms and begin to build their entire policy on it.

Question: Politics is about forestalling. I would like to take a look into the future. How do you, as an absolute professional in this area, see the future of the Slavic peoples’ coexistence in this space? I am sure that everything will be well. However, the forms of such coexistence may differ. What is your opinion of its stability and preferred forms?

Sergey Lavrov: We should follow the lines dictated by life itself. We have reached an extremely important milestone. I am referring to the 28 union programmes. They are described as roadmaps. These programmes are being actively and efficiently transformed into normative acts. We need to have many of them. The majority have already been drafted, and the rest are at the advanced stage of preparation. They will ensure not just our rapprochement but the creation of a common economic foundation, which is necessary to level out rights in absolutely all spheres, including trade, investment, the implementation of economic projects, access to state orders and more.

As for the political superstructure, we have the union parliament, the union cabinet of ministers, and the Supreme State Council chaired by our presidents. These bodies will deal with economic business development to see if our political bodies should be additionally adjusted to our superstructure. I am sure that we will rely on the opinion of our peoples, who regard each other as fraternal and truly close peoples.

Question: I have a question about soft power. School education concerns not only the external but also the internal contours. For the past seven years, I have been closely monitoring developments in children’s culture, which can be described as extremely pro-liberal. Today we need to overhaul the cultural space here and to quickly launch the introduction of our cultural codes abroad. Here is a simple example: the animated television series Masha and the Bear has done more in the external contour to improve Russia’s image abroad than many official programmes. Are there any programmes, or plans to launch programmes to change the cultural code both in the internal and the external contours? I have a proposal, which I would like to formulate and to submit through this event’s organisers tomorrow, if I may.

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, of course. I would like to urge everyone, including those who don’t have formulated proposals, to share their ideas with us. We will discuss all of them.

You have touched upon a very important issue. I am not directly involved in these efforts, but we have always been speaking about the need to start promoting our culture from the cradle, primarily in Russia. There is too much external influence now, and internal influence is not always effective in shaping the right worldview in our children. I am not talking about brainwashing people. But we need to prevent the brainwashing of our children by other forces. This is the issue. Children’s access to information must not be limited to one source. Do please submit your ideas. We will look at them together with the Culture Ministry.

Question: A colleague has mentioned the issue of visas. The lady from Kazakhstan has said what we should do abroad and how we should do it. Can you say what Russia’s priority is: to collect as many compatriots as possible in Russia, or to form a cordon or a barrier of compatriots outside the country?

Sergey Lavrov: I know that some political analysts are pondering this idea. I believe that people have a free choice. We must create the right conditions for those who want to return. I have already mentioned repatriation today. We will certainly deal with this matter at the United Russia’s Commission [on International Cooperation and Support for Compatriots Living Abroad]. I will do my best to help draft a law on this matter.

As for the interests of those who want to live where they are living, we must work with the authorities of their countries of residence to prevent discrimination against Russians, Russian education, [Russian] media outlets, etc. It will be more difficult to do this now, because our Western colleagues are encouraging Russophobia in all areas. Regrettably, they are trying to set the Georgian people on this track. When they recklessly adopted these horrible, inhuman sanctions, leaving 200,000 people outside the national territory, preventing them from using national airlinesand prohibiting Western air carriers from bringing these people home, the Prime Minister of Georgia announced that they were ready, in view of that humanitarian situation, to allow Georgian airlines to bring Russians from Europe and the EU closer to their home country. You remember how fiercely he was attacked for this. It was an elementary human desire to help people in difficult circumstances. If you have any complaints about your authorities, please write to us.

Question: There are no complaints. We will submit the proposals regarding possible support for our compatriots in foreign countries.

Sergey Lavrov: We have a channel for communication. We are interested in normal relations with our Georgian colleagues.

Question: All states are playing the same game: the author has trump cards and a support team in case there are dissenters. I am referring to the UK and the United States. This will go on until one of the parties ceases to exist. Is it not high time Russia started its own game within the framework of the Eurasian continent and friendly countries to promote peace, justice and security? Given its nuclear arsenal, Russia could guarantee the security of states (where it has been confirmed – Syria, Ukraine) for countries that currently depend to some or other extent on big, major players so that they can feel they are also involved.

Sergey Lavrov: I wouldn’t call it a game in the sense implied by Zbigniew Brzezinski’s terms “great Game” and “grand chessboard”. We proceed from the premise that our friends are people, states, and political parties which are our equals. Unlike the Western organisations, where there is little democracy. They invented consensus, but in NATO and the EU this consensus is a sham.

They adopted sanctions in instalments even before the current stage in the development of our geopolitical space (there has been a series of sanctions for no reason at all since 2014).   Everything seems to have happened – Crimea, Donbass, the Minsk agreements… But every six months, they imposed new sanctions. Many of my European counterparts tell me confidentially: we understand that this is stupidity and a dead end, but we have consensus. I told one of them: a consensus means that a decision is not taken if there is even one “nay” vote.     If you object, say so! This is a case of collective responsibility. Everyone says: I am against it, but all of them want a consensus.  This consensus is shaped by an aggressive, Russophobic minority, primarily by the Baltic states (to my great regret), Poland, and recently Denmark.

Today, it is a sign of good manners for them to demonstrate that you are more of a Russophobe than your neighbours. In NATO, it is the United States that rules the roost. The EU is being dominated by the alliance. The neutral countries, which are not NATO members – Sweden, Finland, and Austria – are being drawn into cooperation under the cloak of “collective mobility.” This means that the neutral countries will allow NATO to use their roads and territories when it needs to move its military infrastructure east. This is being palmed off as NATO-EU partnership. I have mentioned Nord Stream 2 as an example. There is no longer any independence in Europe. They were just told: Stop taking care of your energy security on the terms that are beneficial to you; we will guarantee your security at a much higher price, but we will be in chips. President of France Emmanuel Macron is the only politician who continues to focus on strategic autonomy. Germany has resigned itself to the fact that they will have no such autonomy. There is no diktat of this sort in our country.

The difficulties arising in the work of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are contingent on and explained by the democratic nature of these organisations rather than their weakness. They decide all matters by consensus and nothing can be imposed on them from outside. We have allied relations with Syria and good relations with Iran. I don’t think it will be a good idea to “knock together” a bloc. This will tie everyone’s hands, if we look at the situation pragmatically. It is better to have allied relations or an unprecedentedly close relationship of the kind we have with China. Our leaders said in one of the [bilateral] documents: relations have reached an unprecedentedly high level that in some respects even exceeds the traditional allied relations. That is absolutely true and hence we have multivariance.

The Russian Empire was created as follows. There was no melting-pot like in the United States. They have melted everyone into Americans. Generally, all Americans favour human rights. Practically all the states have an equal balance of rights. In the Russian Empire, as ethnic groups joined, Moscow and St Petersburg always sought to have regard for their unique identities and made efforts to preserve their cultures and religions. Multivariance in relations with foreign partners seems more effective and enables greater freedom of action in cases where such actions will be necessary.

Question: I am a citizen of the People’s Republic of China. I was born and grew up there. For many years, I have been involved in humanitarian cooperation (education) between China and Russia. I believe that Russia and China are two great powers that enjoy historical and cultural affinity. What areas of cooperation between China and Russia have best prospects?

Sergey Lavrov: It would be impossible to list the promising areas of cooperation between Russia and China. It would need an entire session of its own. Through Moscow and Beijing, we disseminate detailed information on what our two countries are working on together. Currently, this cooperation will be growing stronger. At a time when the West is most flagrantly eroding the entire bedrock that the international system stands on, we as two great powers have to think about our future in this world.

For the first time in many years, China has been declared the main target, previously it was Russia. Now we are targets on rotation. At this stage, their proclaimed goal is to deal with Russia and then go after China. When we communicated with the Western countries during less turbulent times, we asked them why they were allowing the American course against China to be built up and why was everyone being dragged into it? What did China do? “China is a threat.” What makes China a threat? “They are starting to defeat everybody economically.”

If you look at the beginning of China’s economic elevation, China started by simply accepting the rules of the game, which had been essentially created by the West, led by Americans. These rules included the international monetary system, the international trade system, the Bretton Woods System and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). China started playing by their rules and is now outplaying them on their home field by their rules. Is it a reason for changing the rules? It appears so. Who is proposing to reform the WTO? The West. Because the World Trade Organisation in its current form is providing rules that are fair. Therefore, if we just forget about the situation in Ukraine and the sanctions for a minute, the actions of the West confirm it is not reliable, either as a part of the world that generated the major reserve currencies, or as economic partners or as countries to store gold and currency reserves. We have things to work on. Our leaders and other members of the Government, foreign affairs agencies are working on this extensively as part of our traditionally regular dialogue.

Question: Russia is conducting an operation in Ukraine. It is not a secret that Russia is building a Greater Eurasia. Can you clue us in a little: is Sergey Shoigu going to stop at the border with Poland? Or are we going into Transnistria and Moldova? What is the plan? Are we going to unite further?

Sergey Lavrov: We declared our goals. They are fully legitimate and clear: to protect the people of Donbass (with which we are now allies) that are subject to blatant aggression. For these purposes and based on our treaties, we applied Article 51 of the UN Charter on collective self-defence. Another goal is to eliminate any threats to Russian security posed by the militarisation of Ukraine that is carried out by the West. There must be no strike weapons in the country or threats in the form of Ukraine’s nazification, for obvious reasons. The aggressive spirit of the Ukrainian elite has been consciously created to be like this by Western instructors throughout these decades. They trained neo-Nazi battalions, showing them how to conduct aggressive combat operations, etc. We have no other goals beyond these.

Alternatively, the other side may come up with some curious goals. For example, Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki has proposed an idea that will be discussed soon, which is to send NATO peacekeeping forces to Ukraine. It is possible that, should this decision be made all of a sudden, it will entail that Polish personnel will make up the core of these peacekeeping forces and they will take control over Western Ukraine, including the major city of Lvov, to remain there for a prolonged period of time. It appears to me that this is the plan.

I believe this initiative is doublespeak. NATO will realise they should be reasonable and realistic.

Question: It is now clear to everyone that the world will never be the same again. There is much talk these days about the new global architecture and the fact that its foundations are now being laid. I do agree with the notion that we have no need of a world without Russia. But what kind of a world do we want to build? What place will Russia and the Union State have in the new international order?

Sergey Lavrov: What we want is an equitable world, free from war, aggressive projects or attempts to pitch one country against another. Equitable is also the way we see Russia’s place in the world. Similarly, the Union State must enjoy all the benefits of this ideal world as you have described it.

What we want is to discuss how to live on this planet in the future. Too many problems have been piling up, and the existing institutions have been unable to resolve them. This is the gist of the initiative President of Russia Vladimir Putin put forward two years ago to convene a summit of UN Security Council permanent members. Almost everyone supported it but the West will now drag its feet. There is a preliminary agenda. We have coordinated it with our Chinese friends, while the others are reviewing it. But now everything will be put on hold. This is not about the P5 reimagining a “new Yalta,” as some claim. Under the UN Charter, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have primary responsibility for maintaining international peace.

When we express the need for more democracy in international relations, this does not mean cancelling the UN Charter. It means stopping violations of the UN Charter. The sovereign equality of states and the requirement to respect territorial integrity and the right of nations to self-determination – it is all in the Charter. Had all its provisions been respected, this would have ensured peace and cooperation in good faith among all countries. However, the West manipulates them for its own benefit.

For example, we stand accused of violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity, starting with Crimea and Donbass. Crimea held a referendum. Everyone knew that this was an open, honest process when people expressed their will. The Americans know this too. Let me share a secret with you (I hope that no one will get cross at me). In April 2014, after the Crimea referendum then US Secretary of State John Kerry told me that they understood that this was an honest vote. However, he noted that we fast-tracked it by announcing the referendum and holding the vote in a matter of just one week. I explained to him that the Ukrainian radicals posed a direct threat at the time. All the formalities had to be completed in order to protect this territory. He suggested that we hold another referendum in the summer or autumn, announce it about two months in advance and invite foreign observers. The result would be all the same but they would be there to “bless” and verify it. This was not a matter of substance, since everyone understood where it was all heading, but about creating a favourable image for the outside world in order to be able to report that the people of Crimea cast their ballots in a referendum, while the Western “comrades” verified the results.

As for sovereignty and territorial integrity, ever since the founding of the UN in 1945, it has been debating whether sovereignty takes priority over the right to self-determination or vice-versa. A negotiating process was put into motion, paving the way for the adoption by consensus in 1970 of a Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States under the UN Charter. This is a lengthy document with an entire section on the relationship between sovereignty, territorial integrity and the right to self-determination. It says that everyone must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states whose governments ensure the right to self-determination and represent the people living in their territory. Has the Ukrainian leadership ensured Crimea’s right to self-determination? All they did was curtail Crimea’s rights within Ukraine. Did the Petr Poroshenko regime or the current leadership represent all the people of Ukraine, including Crimea, as they pretend? No. They did not represent Donbass either. They have been ignoring all these principles.

According to the principle of indivisible security, everyone is free to choose alliances but no one can reinforce their security at the expense of others. They say that only alliances matter and nothing else. However, when it suits their interests, the principle of self-determination comes to the fore, relegating Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity into the background, as happened with Kosovo. Its self-determination took place without a referendum. They engineered the creation of a parliamentary structure of sorts, and it voted on the matter. Serbia took the case to the International Court, which issued a curious ruling, saying that consent from the central government was not required for a declaration of independence. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has quoted this landmark ruling by the International Court on multiple occasions.

Question: The West is planning to replace Russian oil and gas in the coming years. What is Russia’s interest in participating in the Iran-US nuclear deal? Iran will have an opportunity to increase oil production and replace the Russian market in Europe. How ready are our Venezuelan partners for a deal with the Americans to replace Russian oil?

Sergey Lavrov: We never betray our friends in politics. Venezuela is our friend. Iran is a close state. Unlike the Americans, we do not act only out of selfish interests. If they need to “teach the Russians a lesson,” then it’s okay to agree with the regime in Caracas (as they called it). The United States would rather restore the programme with Iran, just to punish Russia. This reflects problems not so much with international institutions as with “liberal democracy.” As it turns out, it is not “liberal” at all, and it is not “democracy” at all.

When the leading country of the world (which the United States is) solves the problem of global, planetary importance, primarily on the basis of its own domestic interests, which are determined by two-year electoral cycles, then the biggest problems are sacrificed to these electoral cycles. What we can see now in US actions is a desire to prove that a Democratic president and administration are doing well and feel strong enough ahead of the November congressional elections. China does not understand this. What is two years? Nothing. Although the Chinese say that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” they see the horizon of that great journey. Here, in addition to the US desire to command everything, there are no more horizons. They will act the way they need to today.

It has been noted that the Americans are running around with the issue of oil and gas, turning to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar. All these countries, like Venezuela and Iran, have made it clear that when they consider new entrants to the oil market, they are committed to the OPEC+ format, where quotas for each participant are discussed and agreed upon by consensus. So far, I see no reason to believe that this mechanism will be broken in any way. No one is interested in that.

Question: What formats do you see for post-crisis settlement and intra-Ukrainian dialogue? What role might the DPR and LPR play? Ukraine’s governance and education system are permeated with Ukrainian nationalism. Several generations have grown up with this discourse. War criminals will be held accountable under criminal law. What about cultural aspects?

Sergey Lavrov: We have announced the goals we are working to achieve. As for the intra-Ukrainian dialogue, this will be up to the Ukrainians after the special operation ends – I hope, with the signing of comprehensive documents on security issues, Ukraine’s neutral status with guarantees of its security.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, commenting on our initiatives on the non-expansion of NATO, said: we understand that every country needs security guarantees. We are ready to negotiate and work them out for ourselves, for Ukrainians and Europeans outside the framework of NATO expansion. Therefore, a neutral status, security guarantees and bringing the legal framework to a civilised level with regard to the Russian language, education, the media, and laws that encourage the country’s nazification, as well as the adoption of a law prohibiting this. Most European countries have such laws, including Germany.

As for the DPR and LPR’s involvement in the all-Ukrainian dialogue, it should be a sovereign decision of the people’s republics.

Question: Why was the military operation launched now and not eight years ago? At that time, a pro-Russian “anti-Maidan” movement emerged in Odessa and Kharkov, which installed the Russian flag on top of the Kharkov regional administration without firing a shot. The city supported Russia. Now these people are hiding from shelling.

Sergey Lavrov: A lot of factors influence developments at each specific historical moment. Back then, it was a shock, primarily because the West turned out to be an absolutely unreliable guarantor of the things that we supported. US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the French leaders called Russian President Vladimir Putin and asked him not to interfere with the agreement between Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition. Vladimir Putin said that if the incumbent president was signing something, it was his right, and he had the authority to negotiate with the opposition. But the West dumped us and immediately began to support the new government because they announced an anti-Russian policy line.

People got burned alive in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa; combat aircraft fired at the centre of Lugansk. You must remember the Novorossiya movement better than anyone else. We also had a public movement for support.

We certainly relied too much on what remained of our Western colleagues’ conscience. France initiated the Normandy format; we were asked not to state categorically that we refused to recognise Petr Poroshenko’s election at the end of May 2014. The West assured us they would do everything to normalise the situation, so that Russians could live normally.

We must have trusted them because of some naivety and kindness of heart, which is something Russians are known for.

I have no doubt that lessons will be learned.

هل تنزلق قمة النات إلى مواجهة روسيا عسكريّاً ومباشرة؟


الجمعة 18 آذار 2022

 العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط _

حرصت روسيا في عمليتها العسكرية الخاصة التي أطلقتها في أوكرانيا بهدف الدفاع عن الأمن القومي الروسي وأمن الأشخاص الروس في إقليم الدونباس غربي الحدود مع أوكرانيا، على إظهار تحركها منجزاً في إطار أحكام القانون الدولي العام، حيث إنها لم تبدأ عمليتها إلا بعد أن اعترفت باستقلال الجمهوريتين المنفصلتين عن أوكرانيا ثم توقيع معاهدة تعاون ودفاع مشترك معهما ثم قيام الجمهوريتين بطلب تقديم الدعم العسكري للدفاع عنهما. ثم انها ودعماً لحقها في تنفيذ العملية أظهرت الكثير من الوثائق والحجج التي تثبت أنّ أوكرانيا كانت تعدّ لعدوان على روسيا بأسلحة تقليدية وغير تقليدية، وبالتالي فإنّ العملية برمتها يمكن تصنيفها تحت عنوان «الحرب الاستباقية»، وانها عمل من أعمال الدفاع المشروع عن النفس ضدّ خطر تخطى الاحتمال ووصل الى درجة التحقق الفعلي.

وفي هذا التحليل تقدّم روسيا عمليتها او تبرّر أعمالها العسكرية بأمرين الأول استجابة قانونية لطلب دولة حليف متعاقد منعها عسكرياً والثاني دفاع مشروع عن النفس ضدّ خطر تأكد قرب وقوعه، وبالتالي تسقط روسيا من التداول فرضية العدوان التي تتمسك بها مجموعة الغرب الأطلسي وتؤمّن لنفسها الغطاء القانوني الذي يوفره لها التفسير المتقدّم لأحكام القانون الدولي العام وبشكل أدقّ لأحكام الحقّ بالدفاع المشروع عن النفس وإغاثة الحليف المهدّد المعتدى عليه العاجز عن دفع العدوان عنه، ولا تكترث لقرار الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة الذي يرى غير ذلك وبأكثرية ١٤١ صوتاً، بل تقدّم تفسيراً جديداً لمدى حقّ الدفاع عن النفس تفسيراً سيكون محلّ نقاش من قبل خبراء القانون.

 واستنادا لما تقدّم خططت روسيا لعمليتها العسكرية الخاصة وحدّدت أهدافها بأنها دفاعية محضة وانها لا ترمي فيها لاحتلال او اقتطاع أرض بل ترمي الى منع أوكرانيا من تشكيل تهديد جدي مستقبلي للأمن القومي الروسي ولأمن السكان من أصل روسي في الدونباس، أمن يتحقق بشكل عملي وميداني وواقعي لا يكتفي بالمعاهدات والالتزامات القانونية بل يتخطاها الى الحالة والسلوك العملي والسبب في ذلك عائد الى انّ أوكرانيا التي كانت قد التزمت في اتفاقيتي مينسك ١ و٢ بما يؤمّن طلبات روسيا حول الأمن نكثت بالتعهّدات تلك واندفعت في تقديم نفسها مسرحاً لأميركا وللحلف الأطلسي يقيم فيها المختبرات البيولوجية ويتحضر للعبث بالأمن القومي الروسي، ورأت انّ هذه الأهداف لا تتحقق بشكل أساسي إلا بإعلان حياد أوكرانيا ونزع سلاحها وتأكيد استقلال جمهوريتي الدونباس فضلاً عن الاعتراف بنهائية عودة شبه جزيرة القرم الى الدولة الأم روسيا كما سبق وأعلن في العام ٢٠١٤.

بيد انّ اميركا التي امتهنت الاستخفاف بالقانون الدولي العام ومارست الحروب العدوانية ضدّ الشعوب بذرائع مختلفة منها بدعة حقّ التدخل الإنساني المتقدّم على السيادة الوطنية، او إنقاذ العالم من خطر سلاح الدمار الشامل إلخ… وكلها بدع وذرائع تثبت كذبها والخطأ في إطلاقها، انّ أميركا هذه أنكرت على روسيا حقها بالدفاع المشروع عن النفس واعتبرت فعلها عدواناً وأعلنت عليها الحرب الشاملة ووصل الأمر بها الى الحدّ الذي اطلق فيه الرئيس الأميركي بايدن على الرئيس الروسي بوتين صفة «مجرم حرب» وتوعّده بأنه سيدمّر الاقتصاد الروسي ويعزل روسيا عن كامل العالم.

وفي المقابل كان الردّ الروسي وعلى لسان بوتين نفسه مؤكداً الحقّ الروسي بالدفاع المشروع عن النفس ومظهراً إصراره على المضيّ في العملية العسكرية التي أطلقها حتى تحقيق أهدافها المحددة والمعلنة وموجها بشكل صريح او ضمني رسائل واضحة لكلّ معني بالأمر بانّ روسيا لن توقف عمليتها قبل تحقيق أهدافها، وانّ هذه الأهداف يمكن ان تتحقق بالتفاوض إذا استخلصت حكومة كييف العبر من مجريات العملية حتى الآن وانّ تقديم الدعم العسكري لكييف لن يمكنها من الصمود أمام الآلة العسكرية الروسية الماضية قدماً في أعمالها العسكرية حتى النهاية. وأخيراً انّ من حقّ روسيا ان تتصرف وفقاً لمصالحها الدفاعية مع مقدّمي تلك المساعدات وقوافل الإمداد التي تحملها، والمتطوّعين الذين يجندهم الغرب من المرتزقة للقتال في أوكرانيا وبالتالي بات الصراع في أوكرانيا محكوماً باستراتيجيتين:

ـ أولى روسية وتتمثل بالضغط العسكري للوصول الى التفاوض، دون التوسع باحتلال الأرض والاكتفاء بتدمير القدرات العسكرية لحكومة كييف بما يدخلها في الانهيار الميداني ويحملها على الدخول في تفاوض جدي والاستجابة لطلبات روسيا ذات الطبيعة الدفاعية عسكرياً واستراتيجياً وسياسياً، وبما يحول دون تحوّل أوكرانيا مستقبلاً الى منصة تهديد للأمن القومي الروسي.

ـ الثانية أميركية غربية أطلسية وترمي الي إطالة أمد الصراع وجرّ روسيا الى حرب استنزاف لسنوات طويلة لإنهاكها واستنزاف قدراتها وإشغالها عن علاقتها الدولية والمشاركة في حلّ الازمات والمسائل الدولية ومنعها من التكامل الاستراتيجي مع الصين وإيران في إطار المجموعة الاستراتيجية العاملة لمنع أميركا من التسيّد على العالم في ظلّ نظامي دولي أحادي القطبية.

هما استراتيجيتان إذن تحكمان المواجهة في أوكرانيا التي باتت مسرحاً لصراع دولي ينظر إليه من الوجهة الروسية بأنه صراع وجودي ترى انّ الهزيمة فيه تعني نهايتها كدولة بصيغتها القائمة، لأن الهجوم الغربي سيتمدّد ليصل الى تفكيك روسيا ذاتها وشطبها كدولة اتحادية ذات موقع متقدّم في النظام الدولي، وترى فيه أميركا جسراً تعبر عليه ليخرجها من دائرة هزائمها ويمكنها من استعادة القبض على قرار العالم ومتابعة إحكام السيطرة على أوروبا وعلى مصادر الطاقة لتتفرّغ بعد ذلك لمواجهة الصين لاحتوائها.

اما في الميدان، فإنّ روسيا تسعى الآن لممارسة الضغط العسكري بأقصى ما يمكن، مع الاستعداد لتوسيع الاشتباك إذا اقتضى الأمر وزجّ قدرات جديدة ولا تبعد من حساباتها إمكانية الاشتباك مع الناتو إذا وصلت الى وضع لا يكون فيه مفرّ من هذا الاشتباك. أما أميركا فإنها خططت في الأصل لحرب بالوكالة تستعمل فيها كلّ ما هو بمتناول يدها شاملاً الإعلام والسياسة والاقتصاد والفن والرياضة إلخ… من دون ان تقحم قواتها العسكرية أولاً ودون استبعاد اللجوء اليها عند الاضطرار، مع التركيز على مسألتين الأولى منع كييف من الاستسلام والتوجه الى مفاوضات لتوقع فيها اتفاق إذعان مع روسيا، والثاني منع التراخي الأوروبي في مواجهة روسيا مهما كانت الظروف، وهنا يُطرح السؤال عن احتمالات المستقبل وعن نهاية الحرب، حيث يمكن تصوّر حصول واحد من ثلاثة احتمالات:

الأول: تمكن روسيا من تصعيد ضغوطها العسكرية في الميدان وإطلاق مفاوضات جادة مع أوكرانيا تفضي الى التسليم بالمصالح الروسية وتحقق أهداف العملية العسكرية بشكل مؤكد، وهو احتمال لا يبدو قريباً في الظرف الراهن انما ستستمر روسيا بالسعي وفقاً له.

الثاني: خشية روسيا من الثمن الباهظ في حال الانزلاق الى حرب استنزاف وفقاً للخطة الأميركية ما يحملها على التراجع التكتي عسكرياً والتوقف عن محاصرة المدن الكبرى مع الاحتفاظ بكامل السيطرة على كامل الدونباس وفرض الحصار البحري على أوكرانيا الى ان تتهيأ فرص الاتفاق على حلّ وسط يلبّي الأهداف الروسية الأساسية.

الثالث: تغيّر في استراتيجية روسيا او الناتو ما يؤدّي الى توسيع ميدان الحرب خارج حدود أوكرانيا وسقوط فرضيتي حرب الاستنزاف والحرب البديلة او الحرب بالوكالة. وهنا سيكون العالم كلّ العالم على اعتاب مرحلة صراع عالمي غير مسبوق ولم تعرفه حتى الحربين الأولى والثانية، وان انعقاد قمة الناتو في الأسبوع المقبل وبحضور بايدن شخصياً يؤشر الى أمر لا يمكن إهمال خطورته وهو الاحتمال الذي يبقى الأبعد تحققاً الآن.

أما فرضيات الدخول في حرب استنزاف كما تشتهي اميركا، او تراجع روسيا دون تحقيق أهدافها، فإننا نرى انهما فرضيتان لا يُعتدّ بهما الآن، لأنّ في ذلك انتحاراً روسياً من المستحيل ان تقدم روسيا عليه خاصة أنها تملك من القدرات والطاقات التي تمكنها من العمل في أيّ من الخيارات الثلاثة أعلاه وكلها تحقق لها مصالحها وإنْ تفاوتت سقوفها وحجم التضحيات والأثمان فيها.

*أستاذ جامعيّ ـ باحث استراتيجيّ

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Russia: Diseases Spread to Humans Through Bats Studied in Kharkov under US Control 

March 18, 2022

By Staff, Agencies 

The Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov revealed on Thursday that “A secret project to study the ways bats can transmit diseases to humans has been carried out under US control at a laboratory in Kharkov, Ukraine for many years.”

“I want to emphasize that according to the documents, these studies [on the ways bats transmit diseases to humans] have been carried out in Kharkov on a systematic basis and under the direct supervision of specialists from the United States for many years,” Konashenkov told reporters.

He further added: “The Russian defense ministry continues to study documents received from employees of Ukrainian laboratories on the implementation of biological warfare programs by the United States and its NATO allies on the territory of Ukraine.”

As part of the project, the Kharkiv State Veterinary Academy studied wild birds as vectors for the transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza, he said, adding that the conditions were assessed under which the transfer processes can become unmanageable, cause economic damage, and create food security risks.

The spokesman noted that the ministry will present new documents on the export of a large amount of human biomaterials from Ukraine to the UK and other European countries in the near future.

Russia Mod: Briefing on analysis of documents related to US military and biological activities in Ukraine

March 17, 2022

https://t.me/mod_russia_en/238

The Russian Defence Ministry continues to study materials received from employees of Ukrainian laboratories on the implementation of military biological programs of the United States and its NATO allies on the territory of Ukraine.

Western mass media and some biologists, who most often have a second American citizenship, express doubts about the reliability of the materials published by us. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the documents have the signatures of real officials and are certified by the seals of organizations.

We believe that components of biological weapons were created on the territory of Ukraine.

Here is a document dated March 6, 2015, confirming the Pentagon’s direct participation in the financing of military biological projects in Ukraine.

According to established practice, American projects in the field of sanitation in third countries, including in Africa and Asia, are funded through national health authorities.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the agreement on joint biological activities was concluded between the US Military Department and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. However, the real recipient of funds are the laboratories of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence located in Kiev, Odessa, Lvov and Kharkov. The total funding amounted to $32 million.

It is no coincidence that these biolabs were chosen by the US Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the contractor company Black & Veatch as the executors of the U-P-8 project aimed at studying the pathogens of the Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever, leptospirosis and hantaviruses. The corresponding request of the Pentagon to involve Ukrainian laboratories for the implementation of the project is presented on the slide. From our point of view, the interest of US military biologists is due to the fact that these pathogens have natural foci both on the territory of Ukraine and in Russia, and their use can be disguised as natural outbreaks of diseases. That is why this project has received additional funding, and the terms of its implementation have been extended.

A study of the documents in the part of the P-781 project on the study of ways of transmitting diseases to humans through bats showed that the work was carried out on the basis of a laboratory in Kharkov together with the infamous R. Lugar Center in Tbilisi. The total costs of the Pentagon for its implementation in Ukraine and Georgia amounted to $ 1.6 million, most of which was received by Ukraine as the main contractor.

The documents received by the Russian Ministry of Defence indicate that research in this area is systematic and has been conducted since at least 2009 under the direct supervision of specialists from the United States within the framework of projects P-382, P-444 and P-568. One of the curators of this activity was the head of the DTRA office at the US Embassy in Kiev, Joanna Wintrall. Maybe journalists should talk to her?

During the implementation of these projects, six families of viruses (including coronaviruses) and three types of pathogenic bacteria (pathogens of plague, brucellosis and leptospirosis) were identified. This is due to the main characteristics of these pathogens that make them favourable for the purposes of infection: resistance to drugs, rapid speed of spread from animals to humans, etc.

It is necessary to note a number of documents confirming the transfer of bioassays selected in Ukraine to the territory of third countries, including Germany, Great Britain, Georgia.

Here are official documents confirming the transfer of five thousand samples of blood serum of Ukrainian citizens to the R. Lugar Center affiliated with the Pentagon in Tbilisi, 773 bioassays were transferred to the reference laboratory of Great Britain. An agreement has been signed for the export of unlimited quantities of infectious materials to the Leffler Institute in Germany.

An analysis of the information received indicates that Ukrainian specialists are not aware of the potential risks of transferring biomaterials, are being used essentially blindly, and have no real idea of the true purpose of the research being conducted.

I would like to draw attention to outbreaks of economically significant diseases on the territory of the Russian Federation. In 2021 alone, the damage from highly pathogenic avian influenza exceeded 1.7 billion rubles, and 6 million heads of poultry were destroyed. At the same time, in European countries, the losses of the agricultural industry from it amounted to about 2.0 billion. euro.

Within the framework of the FLU-FLYWAY project, the Kharkov Institute of Veterinary Medicine studied wild birds as vectors for the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza. At the same time, the conditions under which spread processes can become unmanageable, cause economic damage and pose risks to food security have been assessed.

These documents confirm the involvement of the Kharkov Institute in the collection of avian influenza virus strains with high epidemic potential and capable of overcoming the interspecific barrier. The activities of this institute should be the subject of an international investigation.
Information continues to be received about attempts to destroy biomaterials and documentation in laboratories in Ukraine.

We know that during the liquidation measures in the laboratory of veterinary medicine in Khlebodarskoye, working employees (citizens of Ukraine) were not even allowed into the building! This laboratory cooperates with Anti-Plague Research Institute named after Mechnikov in Odessa, which conducts research with pathogens of plague, anthrax, cholera, tularemia, arboviruses.

In an attempt to cover their tracks, biological waste from the laboratory in Khlebodarskoye was taken 120 km away towards the western border to the area of Tarutino and Berezino settlements. All these facts are recorded by the Ministry of Defence for subsequent legal assessment.

It is necessary to mention the emergency destruction of documents in Kherson biological laboratory.

One of the reasons for such a rush may be the concealment of information about the outbreak of dirofilariasis, a disease transmitted by mosquitoes, that occurred in Kherson in 2018. The question arises why four cases of infection were detected in February, which is unusual for the life cycle of these insects. In April 2018, representatives of the Pentagon visited local healthcare institutions, where they got acquainted with the results of the epidemiological investigation and copied medical documentation.

However, no documentary evidence has been found concerning this outbreak in Kherson laboratory. Proceeding from this, we believe that the urgency of destroying such documentary evidence is explained by the desire to prevent them from getting to Russian specialists.

In addition, attention is drawn to the fact of a sharp increase in cases of tuberculosis caused by new multi-resistant strains among citizens living in Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics in 2018. These data are confirmed by specialists of Rospotrebnadzor. During the mass outbreak recorded in the area of Peski settlement, more than 70 cases of the disease were detected, which ended in a rapid fatal outcome. This may indicate a deliberate infection, or an accidental leakage of the pathogen from one of the biolabs located on the territory of Ukraine.

In accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons, the participating States submit to the UN information about objects and ongoing biological activities.

These are Confidence-building measures that are published in order to monitor the implementation of the Convention. Since 2016 – the moment of the beginning of the implementation of the projects mentioned by us (including UP-4, UP-8 and P-781), the USA and Ukraine have been deliberately silent about them in international reporting, despite their obvious military-biological orientation.

Such secrecy is another reason to think about the true goals of the Pentagon in Ukraine.

I would like to remind you of the historical facts when such irresponsible activities of the United States outside of national jurisdiction ended only with formal apologies from the American administration. So, in October 2010, US President Obama acknowledged the fact of conducting illegal research on Guatemalan citizens who were intentionally infected with syphilis and gonorrhea pathogens with the approval of the White House.

The Russian Federation has repeatedly called for the publication of data on the military biological activities of the Pentagon on the territory of third countries, but the collective West, led by the United States, consistently blocks this initiative, preferring to conduct research bypassing international obligations with “someone else’s hands”.

We will continue to study the evidence and inform the world community about the illegal activities of the Pentagon and other US government agencies in Ukraine.

Documents:  https://disk.yandex.ru/d/ndINmQKPfDRM0w

Briefing Slides: https://disk.yandex.ru/d/Y8zIZLLNV6M9Fg

“Ukraine, Bio-weapons, & the Pentagon”

March 12, 2022

Source

by Keith Hartzler

Are there American-run bio-weapon labs in Ukraine? After reading Dilyana Gaytandzhieva’s 29 April 2018 article “The Pentagon Bio-Weapons,” my answer is “Yes, but with caveats & qualifiers.” Gaytandzhieva claims there are eleven—three in Lviv; two in Dnipro; one each in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Vinnytsia, Ternopil, & Uzhgorod. The fact sheets she provides appear to be from a United States government website, though she does not specify.[1] According to the fact sheets, each lab was built between 2010 & 2013, & each cost American taxpayers $2–$3 million. They are each called either a Diagnostic Lab or a Research Institute, except for the Institute of Veterinary Medicine in Kyiv.

In her opening paragraph, after more or less accusing the United States of crimes against humanity, Gaytandzhieva references the Defense Threat-Reduction Agency & its Cooperative Biological-Engagement Program. The document she links to from Congressional Research Service describes “cooperative threat-reduction programs” as an “emergency response to impending chaos in the Soviet Union” that has since broadened to address chemical, biological, radiological, & nuclear threats from rogue nations & terrorist groups. The document “Summary” also says the Department of Defense biological threat-reduction program, which once focused on “dismantling the vast biological-weapons complex in Russia,” is now used “to promote ‘best practices’ at biological laboratories with dangerous pathogens & to develop disease surveillance systems on several continents.” Nearly 75% of its fiscal-year 2016 budget request was devoted to this program, called “Cooperative Biological Engagement.” So the agency & its program, at its inception at least, seems to have filled a real need. Keeping chemical, biological, radiological, & nuclear weapons away from rogue nations & terrorist groups also seems like a worthwhile endeavor. There is no indication anywhere in Gaytandzhieva’s article that “cooperative biological engagement” might be necessary or have merit. In this way, the article is misleading & apt to give the false impression that the sole purpose of these labs is bio-weapon testing & experimentation by the Pentagon. Her blinders & lack of context were also evident when she confronted (7 March 2018) Robert Kadlec at a conference in Brussels, where he answered her insinuating questions with some of the aforementioned, aboveboard context. However, he also said “the U.S. does not have a military biological-weapons program. Period. End of statement.” He described his statement as “unequivocal & undeniable.” That, to me, is reminiscent of Anthony Fauci’s slippery parsing with regard to gain-of-function research. The use of subcontractors does not absolve funding agencies of responsibility for actions taken in their name, be that the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases or the Defense Threat-Reduction Agency. Nor does parsing the definition of terms to circumvent common-sense, good-faith understanding of a subject.

The outsourcing of work to private companies—in this case, Southern Research Institute; Black & Veatch; Metabiota; Parsons Government Services International; CH2M Hill; & Battelle Memorial Institute—raises issues that call into question the plain truth of Kadlec’s statement. Are these companies accountable to Congress, both in theory & in practice? If employees of these companies are given diplomatic immunity—as Gaytandzhieva alleges vis-à-vis The Lugar Center in Tbilisi, Georgia—what say do host countries have in what these U.S. government proxies are doing? According to Gaytandzhieva, citing a 2005 agreement, “Ukraine has no control over the military bio-laboratories on its own territory.” In which case, we are left uncomfortably close to taking Mr. Kadlec at his word. That requires a level of trust in American government—on a dangerous & far-reaching subject—I do not have. Not even close. And surely a policy of “trust us” is laughable to Russia.

I am certainly not an epidemiologist, nor do I know much about the development & use of biological weapons, including my country’s once-active, now supposedly defunct bio-warfare program. But I am sensitive to the air of deceit, of pretense that pervades institutional pronouncements such as Mr. Kadlec’s. The absence of an official “military biological-weapons program” does not preclude all manner of activities that give every indication of belonging to some sort of unofficial program. Gaytandzhieva presents alarming evidence that a wide range of biological agents are produced &/or tested at Fort Detrick in Maryland, Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, & Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.

It is probably the most persuasive aspect of her article. Less persuasive, to me at least, but still striking is the litany of atypical disease outbreaks in regions of Ukraine where these labs have so recently proliferated. She mentions swine flu in Kharkiv (2016); Hepatitis A in Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia, Odessa, & Kharkiv (all 2017—apparently, the virus was “isolated in contaminated drinking water”); & cholera in Mariupol (2011), Mykolaiv (2014–’15), & Odessa (2015). She suggests The Lugar Center is to blame for both the appearance of certain species of tropical mosquito in Georgia; Krasnodar, Russia; & Turkey & for the changing attributes of Phlebotomine sand flies in Tbilisi & nearby Dagestan, Russia. She suspects the recent appearance of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in Georgia & Afghanistan is tied to Pentagon contractors & she calls attention to the recent studies of Tularemia—also known as Rabbit Fever & a known bio-agent—in Georgia under the rubric of Cooperative Biological Engagement. The problem with her argument is that proximity to these outbreaks & appearances & changing attributes does not constitute damning evidence against the labs, & the U.S. Army reports she cites from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, & ’80s don’t either. I’m not saying such information is irrelevant. If I lived in Russia or China, the Department of Defense map showing American labs in twenty-five countries would definitely be cause for concern (assuming it is accurate), & the prospect of bio-weapon encirclement would strike me as antagonistic & threatening. I am saying her evidence is far from incontrovertible proof of the wrongdoing she alleges.

As I was finishing my response to Gaytandzhieva’s article, I learned of Victoria Nuland’s testimony at Tuesday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. Asked by Marco Rubio if Ukraine has chemical or biological weapons, Nuland answered

Ukraine has biological research facilities, which in fact we are now quite concerned Russian troops, Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of. So we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach.

Then, smoothly & yet somehow jarringly, Rubio & Nuland joined together like synchronized swimmers to agree that if there is an incident or attack stemming from one of these facilities, “the Russians will be behind it” & they will engage in blame-shifting. Wow. Watching that video is a jolt. Rather than deny the presence of such weapons, Nuland basically acknowledged it. She called them “research materials.” Both her words & her manner of speaking suggest that Russia & China & Dilyana Gaytandzhieva are correct when they accuse the United States of harboring dangerous pathogens in Ukrainian labs. If Russia gains control of the labs, & the pathogens have not been either removed or destroyed, Putin will have proof that the United States has been disingenuous if not criminal regarding its bio-weapons program. No wonder Nuland is “concerned!” The effort to pre-emptively blame Russia for prospective issues with pathogens we are still lying about induces intellectual whiplash & suggests, more ominously, a false flag is forthcoming.

They are from the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine’s website

Western Silence on NATO-Backed Provocations Leading to War in Ukraine

March 11, 2022

Source

The silence of Western media on the causes of confrontation and the criminal involvement of their own governments is complicity in creating conditions for war.

Russia provided more evidence this week that NATO and the Kiev regime were planning a deadly offensive on Donbass, which Russia pre-empted with its military intervention beginning on February 24. Russia has called its intervention a special military operation, while Western states have condemned it as “an unprovoked invasion” of Ukraine.

One senses that it is absolutely imperative for Western media to deny all Russian claims for why it took military action. To do so might lead to some acknowledgement that Russia has just cause, as well as attribute onerous responsibility to Western governments.

It should also be noted, although this is denied too in Western media, that Moscow assiduously tried to address its security concerns through dialogue with the United States and its NATO partners. But those efforts were continually rebuffed. Moscow was treated like it was a non-entity whose long-held security concerns were non-existent or a figment of its imagination.

Russia’s latest information this week substantiating its claims involves a grave multidimensional national security threat. The gravity of the threats makes them impossible to ignore, which makes Western media silence all the more damnable. Moscow says its security analysts are still processing the full extent of information and it will provide more details at a future date. Suffice to say that so far, Russia has identified three major areas where its national security was being threatened by the U.S. and NATO-backed regime in Ukraine. Those threats were greater and more pressing than previously understood, which then presaged the military conflict that is underway in Ukraine.

First, there has emerged more information that the Kiev regime was planning to launch a major offensive on the self-declared people’s republic of Donetsk and Lugansk. The military formations assigned for the attack were the National Guard whose ranks are packed with Neo-Nazi brigades such as the notorious Azov Battalion. Those brigades have been trained and weaponized by the United States, Britain, Canada, Poland, and other NATO members. The Kiev regime has been waging a low-intensity war on the Russian-speaking populations of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics for the past eight years since the CIA-backed coup in 2014. Some 14,000 people have been killed and up to one million displaced from their homes. The new intensified offensive was to be launched this month. Thus when Moscow recognized the independence of the Donbass Republics on February 21 and went to their defense three days later on February 24, it effectively preempted a military attack that in all probability would have been coordinated by NATO powers. Russia has said that its objectives in Ukraine are to denazify and demilitarize the Kiev regime. That necessarily means taking the military operation to the Ukrainian capital and terminating it as a hostile power center.

Second, the threat to turn Ukraine into a nuclear weapon state was a real covert project, not some idle threat, according to Russian foreign intelligence. It claims to have evidence that the U.S. and other NATO powers were well aware of plans for Ukraine to acquire nuclear weapons. When Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky mentioned at the Munich Security Conference on February 19 that his country might abrogate the 1994 Budapest Memorandum banning such weapons in the former Soviet Republic it was not merely an idle whim or braggadocio.

Third, it has now transpired that the United States was funding biowarfare laboratories at dozens of sites across Ukraine. This has long been a Russian concern over many years since Ukraine’s independence in 1991. But this week, the Russian authorities were able to cite documents recovered from laboratories that showed that these facilities were indeed engaged in producing deadly pathogens or bacterial warfare agents. The facilities were apparently ordered to hastily destroy samples on February 24. Such activity is a violation of international bacterial warfare treaties and posed an unacceptable national security threat to Russia. The Pentagon is on record for publicly funding the laboratories. The State Department official with responsibility for Ukraine, Victoria Nuland, this week confirmed in congressional hearings that the laboratories were involved in producing hazardous materials because she expressed fears that Russian forces might obtain them. If they weren’t hazardous or illicit then why was Nuland so alarmed?

All in all, these three subject areas provide prima facia evidence for why Russia needed to launch its military operation into Ukraine nearly three weeks ago. Ever since the CIA-orchestrated coup d’état in 2014 against an elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, the country has been riven by civil war and used as a cat’s paw to destabilize eastern neighbor Russia. This of course conforms neatly with the deep imperial planning by the United States as articulated by people like Zbigniew Brzezinski for pursuing its hostility towards Russia and for continued Cold War division of geopolitical relations.

What is instructive, however, is the near-total silence among Western media outlets on all of the above. To his credit, Tucker Carlson at Fox News has been almost alone among the corporate media outlets in highlighting the warmongering duplicity of the Biden administration and its NATO acolytes.

By and large, though, the vital circumstances explaining the present conflict in Ukraine have been ignored or omitted by Western media. Any brief mention of Russia’s concerns that may be aired is quickly dismissed and ridiculed as “Kremlin propaganda”. It certainly does not help the public interest that Western states have recently taken draconian steps to ban Russian news media from broadcasting. The hypocrisy of Western claims about free speech is astounding.

But what is even more deplorable is the attempt by Western governments and their dutiful media to demonize and criminalize Russia. The climate of Russophobia is giving license to violent attacks on Russian citizens abroad. One reprehensible incident was a truck-ramming attack at the Russian embassy in Ireland.

The ignorance and bigotry being fostered by supposedly free media is lending policies of hostility and aggression by NATO powers. Weapons and war finance are being funneled to Ukraine from U.S. and European taxpayers under the guise of “defending democracy from Russian aggression”. There are real reasons for why the conflict in Ukraine has erupted and there is grievous responsibility by NATO governments. The silence of Western media on the causes of confrontation and the criminal involvement of their own governments is complicity in creating conditions for war.

This week the Russian government expressed again a readiness for diplomatic engagement to end the war in Ukraine. It wants a commitment to end the systemic threat of NATO, the end of aggression by the NATO-backed Kiev regime, and recognition of its historic territorial claim to Crimea. Rational dialogue can solve conflict and ensure peace. But how is dialogue feasible when Western governments and media do not even begin to accept an alternative perspective, let alone one that might even be valid?

Ukraine Is Not A Victim–It is Part of NWO Agenda

Come on, people. What would America do if Russia or China was attempting to build military bases on our Canadian and Mexican borders? What do you think would happen?

 March 12, 2022

By  Jonas E. Alexis, Assistant Editor

By Chuck Baldwin

As a political analyst and more importantly as a spiritually-minded student of the Scriptures, I am absolutely convinced of this: When the major establishments all pounce on one subject, collectively decide who is a victim and who is a villain and beat the same drum every day over and over in total unison, the narrative that is being presented is one hundred percent upside down.

And right now the power establishments have decided to bewitch us with an anti-Russia, pro-Ukraine agenda. But as with all establishment propaganda, the narrative is a big, fat lie.

I begin with Ron Paul’s excellent commentary:

When the Bush Administration announced in 2008 that Ukraine and Georgia would be eligible for NATO membership, I knew it was a terrible idea. Nearly two decades after the end of both the Warsaw Pact and the Cold War, expanding NATO made no sense. NATO itself made no sense.

Explaining my “no” vote on a bill to endorse the expansion, I said at the time:

NATO is an organization whose purpose ended with the end of its Warsaw Pact adversary… This current round of NATO expansion is a political reward to governments in Georgia and Ukraine that came to power as a result of US-supported revolutions, the so-called Orange Revolution and Rose Revolution.

Providing US military guarantees to Ukraine and Georgia can only further strain our military. This NATO expansion may well involve the US military in conflicts unrelated to our national interest…

Unfortunately, as we have seen this past week, my fears have come true. One does not need to approve of Russia’s military actions to analyze its stated motivation: NATO membership for Ukraine was a red line it was not willing to see crossed. As we find ourselves at risk of a terrible escalation, we should remind ourselves that it didn’t have to happen this way. There was no advantage to the United States to expand and threaten to expand NATO to Russia’s doorstep. There is no way to argue that we are any safer for it.

NATO went off the rails long before 2008, however. The North Atlantic Treaty was signed on April 4, 1949 and by the start of the Korean War just over a year later, NATO was very much involved in the military operation of the war in Asia, not Europe!

NATO’s purpose was stated to “guarantee the safety and freedom of its members by political and military means.” It is a job not well done!

I believe as strongly today as I did back in my 2008 House Floor speech that, “NATO should be disbanded, not expanded.” In the meantime, expansion should be off the table.

Hear, hear, Dr. Paul.

I also encourage you to read this terrific column by Attorney John Whitehead entitled Perpetual Tyranny: Endless Wars Are The Enemy Of Freedom.

In this column Whitehead wrote,

As long as America’s politicians continue to involve us in wars that bankrupt the nation, jeopardize our servicemen and women, increase the chances of terrorism and blowback domestically, and push the nation that much closer to eventual collapse, “we the people” will find ourselves in a perpetual state of tyranny.

It’s time for the U.S. government to stop policing the globe.

This latest crisis—America’s part in the showdown between Russia and the Ukraine—has conveniently followed on the heels of a long line of other crises, manufactured or otherwise, which have occurred like clockwork in order to keep Americans distracted, deluded, amused, and insulated from the government’s steady encroachments on our freedoms.

And so it continues in its Orwellian fashion.

Two years after COVID-19 shifted the world into a state of global authoritarianism, just as the people’s tolerance for heavy-handed mandates seems to have finally worn thin, we are being prepped for the next distraction and the next drain on our economy.

Yet policing the globe and waging endless wars abroad isn’t making America—or the rest of the world—any safer, it’s certainly not making America great again, and it’s undeniably digging the U.S. deeper into debt.

War has become a huge money-making venture, and the U.S. government, with its vast military empire, is one of its best buyers and sellers.

What most Americans—brainwashed into believing that patriotism means supporting the war machine—fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with propping up a military industrial complex that continues to dominate, dictate and shape almost every aspect of our lives.

Consider: We are a military culture engaged in continuous warfare. We have been a nation at war for most of our existence. We are a nation that makes a living from killing through defense contracts, weapons manufacturing and endless wars.

The United States is the number one consumer, exporter and perpetrator of violence and violent weapons in the world. Seriously, America spends more money on war than the combined military budgets of China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Italy and Brazil. America polices the globe, with 800 military bases and troops stationed in 160 countries. Moreover, the war hawks have turned the American homeland into a quasi-battlefield with military gear, weapons and tactics. In turn, domestic police forces have become roving extensions of the military—a standing army.

The American Empire—with its endless wars waged by U.S. military servicepeople who have been reduced to little more than guns for hire: outsourced, stretched too thin, and deployed to far-flung places to police the globe—is approaching a breaking point.

Come on, people. What would America do if Russia or China was attempting to build military bases on our Canadian and Mexican borders? What do you think would happen?

Plus, the leader of Ukraine is anything but a hero. He gladly participated in allowing the banks of Ukraine to be used as money launderers for rich businessmen and politicians and for influence peddling in U.S. politics.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (a Zionist Jew) is also accused of barbaric—even genocidal—treatment of the people living in the two breakaway provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk—which have a Natural right under God to separate from Ukraine and who appealed to Russia for protection. (Tell me, did Iraq and Afghanistan invite America to send our military to their countries before we invaded them?) Is it any wonder that Ukraine is looking to Israel for military assistance? After all, Israel is extremely proficient at ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Let’s also not forget that Ukraine is home to over a dozen U.S. biolabs that are sponsored and financed by the Pentagon. In other words, those labs are there for potential military operations. Again, what do you think America would do if Russia had built a dozen military biolabs just across our borders in Canada and Mexico?

Ukraine is NOT a victim. It has been up to its proverbial neck in global (especially anti-Russian) subterfuge, theft, acts of inhumanity and war crimes for years. Ukraine is no friend of freedom or the United States. But it is a friend to corrupt politicians and businessmen.

Whatever is really going on in Ukraine has nothing to do with the narrative being propounded by the major establishments.

1) Let me ask you something: If the United States felt justified in launching preemptive invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan—including long-term occupations—a half a world away from our borders against small backwards nations that posed zero threat to America, how is Russia not justified in launching a preemptive campaign to protect itself from a serious formidable military expansion at its border—especially when its protection is sought from legitimate independent states? (Remember, America was once a breakaway country.) Please read Dr. Paul’s commentary referenced above about why the real villain in this situation is NATO, not Russia. Again, what would we do if we were in Russia’s shoes?

If Russia really wanted to conquer Ukraine, it could easily do so. Ukraine is totally incapable of successfully resisting the Russian military, if Russia truly desired military conquest (which it doesn’t). Russian leader Vladimir Putin told the world exactly why his actions were being taken, what his actions in Ukraine were designed and not designed to do—including NOT occupying Ukraine—and how they would be conducted. I think you should read what he said.

2) Were the U.S. biolabs an important objective? I understand that the labs may have been destroyed early in the operation. If so, that is a VERY GOOD thing.

3) Now that the American people have made it known that they have had it with the phony Covid narrative and the fear factor is totally gone, are the totalitarian elite now using the threat of global war to again consume people’s hearts with fear? As Whitehead said, “Endless wars are the enemy of freedom.” (I’ve been saying that for years.) Fear is also a tool to enslave us. Early in the Covid charade, I brought a message to this regard.

4) Is this a diversion to take our attention away from the National Vaccine Pass (and other attempts by our own central government to trample our liberties) that is being rolled out, supported by both Democrats and Republicans?

5) Is this another manipulation of world affairs from within the backrooms of the CFR and Bilderbergs for the purpose of achieving their overall objective of global governance?

Of course, Scofield futurists are all over the place screaming about “end times prophecy.” What Balderdash! One would think that Christians would start using their brains a little bit and stop listening to these phony prophecy sensationalists who make bank (and fools out of themselves) with false prophecies about the end of the world.

Whatever the real story in Ukraine is, I can tell you this: It is NOT what the major establishments are telling us. And Ukraine is NOT a victim.

Dr. Chuck Baldwin is an American politician and has been involved in at least 12 full-length documentary films. He was the presidential nominee of the Constitution Party for the 2008 U.S. presidential election and had previously been its nominee for U.S. vice president in 2004. He is also a pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana.

Related Articles

Ukraine Hosted Illegal US Biowarfare Laboratories

MARCH 10, 2022

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS


The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed last Tuesday that Ukrainian authorities destroyed inventories of plague, anthrax, tularemia, cholera and other deadly pathogens in illegal US biowarfare laboratories in Ukraine operated and funded by the US Department of Defense to prevent them from falling into Russian hands. US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland confirmed the reports. These laboratories are in violation of Article I of the UN Biological Weapons Convention. This violation makes the US government a clear cut War Criminal subject to the death sentence under the Nuremberg Laws established by the United States Government itself.

What was Washington going to do with these pathogens? Which populations were going to be recipients of these gifts from Washington? Russia? Europeans and blamed on Russia? Was there to be a new outbreak to be used to destroy whatever remains of civil liberty in the Western world? Now that the US government has united with the Ukrainian neo-nazis, how long before the swastika flies over the Western world?

The Chinese government is demanding to know from Washington why Washington was hiding its illegal war criminal behavior in Ukraine. The Chinese Foreign Ministry demands that Washington “release relevant specific information, including what viruses are stored and the research that has been carried out.”

Dumbshit Americans do not understand that “their government,” actually the government of the greed and power driven elite governing group, is a criminal enterprise. Americans wrapped in the flag will go to their deaths in total ignorance.

Chinese government spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the US Department of Defense controls 336 biological laboratories hidden in 30 countries and that the US biowarfare activities in Ukraine are only “the tip of the iceberg.”

So, what the Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought forth is hard evidence that Washington is in violation of the biowarfare convention which Washington signed and hides its illegal engagement in biological warfare research not only within the US but also in 30 other countries.

The evil that resides in Washington is unprecedented in human history.

(Republished from PaulCraigRoberts.org by permission of author or representative)

Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation Statements and those biological labs

March 10, 2022

This will contain a few statements and this first one is from about 12 hours ago.  Source is MoD Russia Telegram Channel:  https://t.me/mod_russia_en

Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry

 The grouping of troops of Lugansk People’s Republic, continuing offensive operations, took control of Blizhnee and Tavla. The advance was 4 kilometers.

The operation to liberate Mariupol from nationalists continues.
The units of People’s Militia of Donetsk Republic took control of Azovskiy, Naidenovka, Lyapino, Vinogradar disticts in the east of the city and went to Azovstal plant. “Western” neighbourhood has been liberated in the west part of the city.

 The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue to strike at the military infrastructure of Ukraine.

 In total, 2,911 military infrastructure facilities of Ukraine were destroyed during the operation.

 Among them: 97 aircraft, 107 unmanned aerial vehicles, 141 anti-aircraft missile defence systems, 86 radar posts, 986 tanks and other armored vehicles, 107 multiple launch rocket systems, 368 field artillery and mortars, 749 special military vehicles.

  The Russian Ministry of Defence continues analysis of documents provided by employees of Ukrainian biological laboratories on the secret military biological activities of the United States on the territory of Ukraine.

Russian specialists of the NBC protection troops have studied documents on the transfer of human biomaterials taken in Ukraine to foreign countries on the instructions of US representatives.

Detailed information about the implementation of a project by the United States on the territory of Ukraine to study the transfer of pathogens by wild birds migrating between Ukraine and Russia and other neighboring countries was of particular interest.

According to the documents, the American side planned to organize work on pathogens of birds, bats and reptiles in Ukraine in 2022. And further study of the possibility to transfer of African swine fever and anthrax by them.

According to the documents, experiments with samples of bat coronavirus were carried out in biological laboratories created and funded in Ukraine.

The purpose of these and other Pentagon-funded biological researches in Ukraine was the creation of mechanism for the covert spread of deadliest pathogens.

In the near future, we will show another set of documents received from Ukrainian employees of biological laboratories and present the results of their assessment.


  Russian Defence Ministry continues to study materials of military biological programs of the United States and its NATO allies on the territory of Ukraine.


   Briefing on the results of the analysis of documents (https://disk.yandex.ru/d/62hsNB8kC7MXPQ)related to the military biological activities of the United States on the territory of Ukraine

The Russian Defence Ministry continues to study materials on the implementation of military biological programs of the United States and its NATO allies on the territory of Ukraine.

The information received from various sources confirms the leading role of the US Defence Threat Reduction Agency in financing and conducting military biological research on the territory of Ukraine.

Details of the UP-4 project became known, which was implemented with the participation of laboratories in Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa and was designed for the period up to 2020.

Its purpose was to study the possibility of the spread of particularly dangerous infections through migrating birds, including highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza, the mortality rate of which reaches 50 percent for humans, as well as Newcastle disease.

Due to the fact that Ukraine has a unique geographical location where transcontinental migration routes intersect, 145 biological species were studied within the framework of this project. At the same time, at least two species of migratory birds were identified, whose routes pass mainly through the territory of Russia. At the same time, information about migration routes passing through the countries of Eastern Europe was summarized.

Of all the methods developed in the United States to destabilize the epidemiological situation, this is one of the most reckless and irresponsible, since it does not allow to control the further development of the situation. This is confirmed by the course of the pandemic of a new coronavirus infection, the occurrence and features of which raise many questions.

In addition, the R-781 project is interesting, where bats are considered as carriers of potential biological weapons agents.

Among the priorities identified are the study of bacterial and viral pathogens that can be transmitted from bats to humans: pathogens of plague, leptospirosis, brucellosis, as well as coronaviruses and filoviruses.
It is noteworthy that the research is carried out in close proximity to the borders of Russia – in the areas of the Black Sea coast and the Caucasus.

The project is being implemented with the involvement of not only Ukrainian, but also Georgian biological laboratories controlled by the Pentagon in cooperation with the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the US Geological Survey.

The analyzed materials on the UP-8 project, aimed at studying the Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever virus and hantaviruses in Ukraine, clearly refute the US public statement that only Ukrainian scientists work in the Pentagon biolabs in Ukraine without the intervention of American biologists. One of the documents confirms that all serious high-risk studies are conducted under the direct supervision of specialists from the United States.

The payroll of Ukrainian contractors clearly demonstrates how they are financed. It has been confirmed that the US Department of Defence paid the money for research participation directly, without the involvement of intermediaries. The extremely modest pay, by US standards, is noteworthy. This indicates a low estimation of the professionalism of Ukrainian specialists and the neglect of their American colleagues.

In addition, the studied materials contain proposals for the expansion of the US military-biological program in Ukraine. Thus, there was evidence of the continuation of completed biological projects UP-2, UP-9, UP-10, aimed at studying the pathogens of anthrax and African swine fever.

The Pentagon is also interested in insect vectors capable of spreading dangerous infectious diseases. The analysis of the obtained materials confirms the transfer of more than 140 containers with ectoparasites of bats – fleas and ticks from the biolab in Kharkov abroad.

Significantly, similar research was carried out in the 1940s on the development of biological weapons components by the Japanese unit 731, whose members later fled to the US to escape prosecution for war crimes.

I would like to remind you that representatives of Western countries are extremely cautious about handing over their biomaterials.

At the same time, available documents confirm numerous cases of transferring biological samples of Ukrainian citizens abroad. For example, 350 cryocontainers with blood serum samples were transferred from the Public Health Centre of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to the reference laboratory for infectious diseases of the Australian Doherty Institute under the pretext of determining antibody titers.

Another example is the German-funded project No. 68727 EN on the study of Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever pathogens and hantaviruses. As part of this project, one thousand blood serum samples of citizens from different regions of Ukraine belonging exclusively to the Slavic ethnic group were donated to the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (Hamburg).

It is highly likely that one of the objectives of the US and its allies is to create bioagents capable of selectively targeting different ethnic populations.

During a hearing of the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on 8 March, Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland reported on the presence of bioweapons in Ukraine where biosecurity research had been conducted. She expressed concern about the possibility of these bio-laboratories and the materials there being taken over by the Russian Armed Forces.

According to available information, the Americans have already managed to evacuate most of the documentation, including databases, biomaterials and equipment from laboratories in Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa to the Lvov Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene and the US Consulate in Lvov. The possibility of transferring part of the collection to Poland has not been excluded.

In fact, with her statement, Nuland indirectly confirmed the Pentagon’s military-biological program in Ukraine in circumvention of existing international agreements.

 Documents (https://disk.yandex.ru/d/62hsNB8kC7MXPQ)


Tucker Carlson comments:

US Admits to Funding Biological Laboratories in Ukraine, with Dilyana Gaytandzhieva

March 10th, 2022

By Dan Cohen

Source

State Department official Victoria Nuland admitted that the US government is funding biological laboratories in Ukraine, confirming what Washington has long dismissed as “Russian propaganda.” Correspondent Dan Cohen interviews journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, who has investigated these facilities in Eastern Europe.

On March 8, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland commented on a recent Russian Ministry of Defense announcement it had obtained documents proving the existence of biological weapons programs in laboratories financed by the United States in Ukraine.

Sen. Marco Rubio: Does Ukraine have chemical or biological weapons?

Victoria Nuland: Ukraine has biological research facilities which, in fact, we’re now quite concerned Russian troops, Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of, so we are working with the Ukrainians on how we can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach.

Sen. Marco Rubio: I’m sure you’re aware that the Russian propaganda groups are already putting out there all kinds of information about how they have uncovered a plot by the Ukrainians to unleash biological weapons in the country, and with NATO’s coordination. If there is a biological or chemical weapon incident or attack inside Ukraine, is there any doubt in your mind that 100% it would be the Russians behind it?

Victoria Nuland: There is no doubt in my mind, senator. And in fact, it is a classic Russian technique to blame the other guy for what they are planning to do themselves.

Until then, the US government and media outlets had dismissed evidence of biological research laboratories as Russian disinformation and QAnon conspiracy theory.

Despite Nuland’s confirmation, Biden Administration officials continue to insist the claims are false.

White House spokesperson posted a lengthy Twitter thread calling the claims “preposterous” and “disinformation,” however declining to address the comments made by Nuland. 

Journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva has spent years investigating US-funded biological laboratories in Eastern Europe.

She spoke with MintPress News’ Dan Cohen about her investigations into similar Pentagon-funded laboratories.

Gaytandzhieva’s reports have proven that Pentagon-funded laboratories have conducted potentially lethal experiments on thousands of soldiers in Ukraine and Georgia.

“If this is not of concern, if these are just simple viruses and pathogens, why are US officials so worried,” she wondered.

Gaytandzhieva reported in 2018 that the US embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, was complicit in secretive military programs and that Pentagon scientists had transported “frozen human blood and pathogens as diplomatic cargo for a secret US military program.”

These scientists were “given diplomatic immunity to research deadly diseases and biting insects at the Lugar Center – the Pentagon biolaboratory in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi,” she wrote.

Cohen and Gaytandzhieva also discussed censorship policies implemented in the European Union, and the recent pledge of Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov’s comments that Russia “looks like a Petrol station with rockets.”

Despite Petkov’s remarks, he has asked that the European Union exempt Bulgaria from sanctions on purchasing Russian gas and oil, which his country is totally reliant on.

Petkov also offered to send Bulgarian military equipment to Ukraine.

“After Bulgaria joined NATO, we were told to destroy everything so we would be totally reliant on NATO,” Gaytandzhieva explained. 

Statement by the Chief of the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection troops of the Russian Federation Armed Forces Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov (March 7, 2022): biological programs

March 07, 2022

https://t.me/mod_russia_en/60

 The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation has repeatedly drawn attention to the biological programmes implemented by the Pentagon in the post-Soviet area.

Including the territory of Ukraine that has united a chain of more than 30 biological laboratories divided into those for scientific research and for sanitary-epidemiological investigations.

Those works have been ordered by the Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). A firm affiliated to the defence department (Black and Veatch above all others) are involved in the implementation of the projects.
The works refer to three main branches. In the first place, it refers to the biological situation observation in the areas of possible deployment of the NATO military contingents, according to the Pentagon. In the second place, it is dedicated to collecting and transporting the strains of dangerous microorganisms. The third branch of activity refers to scientific investigations on potential biological weapons agents that are specific for that region, possessing natural focuses and able to be transmitted to humans.

For example, since 2021, the Pentagon has been carrying out the project called ‘Diagnosis, observation and prevention of zoonotic diseases in the Armed Forces of Ukraine’ funded with 11.8 million dollars.

In 2020-2021, the German Ministry of Defence examined the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, leptospirosis, meningitis, hantaviruses causative agents within the Ukrainian-German initiative for biological security on the external borders of the European Union.

Under the pretext of testing agents for the treatment and prevention of the coronavirus infection, a few thousand of serum samples taken from the infected individuals that refer to the Slavic ethnicity have been transported from Ukraine to Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

At the same time, the activity of the biological laboratories that, according to our data, has been intensified since 2014 and the so-called Ukrainian healthcare system ‘reforming’ programme implemented by the United States have led to an unmanageable increase of hazardous and economically important infections morbidity.

Thus there has been noted an increase of rubella, diphtheria and tuberculosis cases in Ukraine. The incidence of measles has increased more than 100 times. The World Health Organization has declared Ukraine a country with a high risk of the poliomyelitis outbreak.

We are considered that in the year of 2007 a strain of African swine fever with high contagiousness was constructed in the Georgian biological laboratory which is subordinate to Pentagon. It`s spread caused significant economic damage to a number of states including Ukraine and Poland and excluded them from a number of pork exporters.

The Department of the Chief of the Russian troops NBC protection constantly analyzes the biological situation on the territory of Ukraine.

According to our data an emergency phasing out of the biological programmes takes place. The analysed documents confirm that Ukrainian Health Ministry has set a task to completely destroy the bio-agents in the laboratories since 24th of February.

At the same time the analysis of the instructions given to the laboratory officials indicates that liquidation procedure is aimed at the irrevocable destruction of the collections. Apparently, everything necessary for continuation of the implementation of the military biological program has already been taken out of Ukraine.

The analysis of the acts of destruction shows that work was carried out with pathogenes of plague, anthrax and brucellosis in the Lvov biological laboratory, pathogens of diphtheria, salmonellosis and dysentery in laboratories in Kharkov and Poltava. Here are some of them: only in Lvov 232 containers with the casuative agent of leptospirosis, 30 containers with tularemia, 10 with containers brucellosis, 5
containers with plague were destroyed. In total more than 320 containers. The nomenclature and excessive number of bio-pathogens indicate that the work was carried out within the framework of military biological programs.

The curators from the Pentagon understand that if these collections get to Russian experts a fact of violation of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons by Ukraine and the USA will most likely be confirmed. Namely: carrying out work to enhance the pathogenic properties of microorganisms with usage of synthetic biology methods.
Only this can explain a haste with which the liquidation was carried out.

This is only a small part of documents. We continue the work and will inform you.

Related

Iran, the COVID pandemic and the USA

August 05, 2021

Recently, Ron Unz published a truly superb interview where Mike Whitney (a COVID-dissident) asks Ron Unz to clarify his views on both the pandemic and those who deny its origin/severity/danger. This interview is, by far, the best text on this topic I have ever come across.  When I read it my conclusion was “Unz, game, set and match”.  I STRONGLY urge those who still believe in the “plandemic” cum Big Replacement nonsense to carefully parse Ron’s answers.

Frankly, I was already aware of most of the data quoted by Unz (or its Russian equivalents), but I never had the energy to collect and systematically analyze it.  To be totally honest, I was so disgusted and angry with the “anti-COVID crusaders” and their mind blowing combination of ignorance and arrogance that I simply did not have Ron’s patience.  That being said, I fully agree with everything Ron wrote and I personally have nothing to add to his words.

Furthermore, as many of you know, Ron believes that there is good evidence showing that sars-cov-2 was developed in the USA and unleashed against both China and Iran.  Personally, I remain an agnostic on this issue, but I do most definitely not discount or dismiss it.  I just don’t see enough evidence corroborating this thesis.  I also agree with Carl Sagan’s view that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”.  We are not there yet,  but we might get there in time.

What I did, however, was to ask some of my Iranian contacts was what Iran’s officials did, or did not, say about the US being behind this pandemic.

What I am presenting to you below is the reply I got from this (good and trusted) Iranian friend.

Reach your own conclusions (I am not preaching any one thesis about any of this)

Also, I am still expecting two more answers from two Iranian friends.  If/when I get them I will also share them here.

Kind regards

The Saker

PS: let me also remind everybody that since July 17th I am officially sick and tired, frustrated and even disgusted with all the inanity of the “anti-COVID Crusaders”.  Frankly, I see them as a dangerous religious cult, and probably the most bigoted and intolerant group of people I met in my entire life.  Please consult the moderation rules here and please note rules #19 and #20.  From that date on all COVID-denying, COVID-minimizing or “plandemic”, “chipping” or anti-vaxxing propaganda is banned from this site.  Frankly, I have shown tremendous patience with these people, I even gave them three totally unmoderated threads to use and abuse, and abuse they sure did.  From now on, any more of that crap will result in an immediate ban.  Yes, I *am* angry and disgusted with this “plandemic cult” and I want none of that on my blog.  None.  Two of my good friends almost died from this disease.  Not only that, but I have been facing a tsunami of insults, scorn and frankly totally insane theories (one guy emailed me to warn me that since he got the Moderna virus his cellphone now offers him to “connect to Moderna” by Bluetooth.  Seriously, I am not joking.  Others warned me that the vaccines contains microchips which, if I reject the vaccine, will be delivered by means of “chemtrails”. Even my fellow Orthodox Christians have gone mad, one of them calls masks “iconoclastic”!

And these are just a few examples.  I get that crap almost on a daily basis.  This anti-COVID cult makes Scientologists and Morons look quite demure in their conversion efforts.  So,

This is my last warning to all.  Stop posting that crap on the blog or be banned.

PPS: arguments/discussions on the origin of the virus (and ONLY that!!!) are allowed and welcome, at least in the comments thread under this post.  But that discussion is only limited to those who 1) have at least a basic understanding of medical issues and 2) those who do not want to preach their crazy cult to others.

UPDATE: okay, most of the initial replies did go right back to what I clearly banned.
So now I banned all comments under this article.  My apologies to those who did not violate the rules and whose comments were removed.

——-

Was the Coronavirus epidemic in Iran a biowarfare attack on the Islamic Republic and/or the People’s Republic of China?

High ranking politicians and military commanders alike made claims about the suspiciously nature of the covid-19 pandemic when it first reached Iran in February-March 2020.


Summary of claims and accusations in Iran:

On March 13 2020, in an order to General Mohammad Bagheri, Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces, Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, brought up the theory that COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in Iran might be the result of biological warfare. Imam Khamenei, the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces, issued a decree to the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Major General Bagheri, praising the Armed Forces’ services to the people in the fight against the Coronavirus.

The text of the decree of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution is as follows:

In the Name of Allahthe Beneficentthe Merciful
Major General Bagheri,
With appreciation for the services that the Armed Forces have provided to the dear people so far in the fight against Coronavirus, and with emphasis on the need to continue and expand these services, it is necessary to organize these services into a Health and Treatment Base In addition to treating the sick and establishing medical centers such as field hospitals, places of quarantine, etc., the spread of the disease should also be prevented using the necessary methods. The division of duties and missions of the organizations and departments of the Armed Forces is one of the tasks of this Base. This Base must work in full coordination with the government and the Ministry of Health.
This measure may also be regarded as a biological defense exercise and add to our national sovereignty and power given the evidence that suggests the likelihood of this being a “biological attack.”
It is hoped that with divine guidance and the special support of Imam Mahdi (‘a.j.), the Iranian nation will always be victorious, safe and sound.

Sayyid Ali Khamenei

March 13, 2020

On February 2 2020, in an interview with the Chinese ambassador to Iran, Chang Hua, the Tasnim news agency questioned him on whether coronavirus was “a biological attack on the Chinese economy?”
In response, Hua said, “I have read about such reports on the web but, of course, I have not seen any scientific reports confirming it.”

Alireza Panahian, a middle-rank cleric said on March 14 2020 that “This deadly disease is a biological attack and a weapon in the hands of imperialism against humanity and the resistance movement against world arrogance (the US and its allies).”

Coronavirus is a “biological terrorist attack on China by America,” said Abolfazl Hasanbeigi, a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on March 13 2020. The representative pointed out: “In the current situation, the Americans were looking for a way to take action against the Chinese with the lowest cost and highest income, so they imported the Corona virus to China and then make money by making its medicine. The Americans thought that the corona would not harm them and could even make them rich and force the Chinese to import medicine from the United States, but none of this happened, and the situation went against American expectations.

Between February and March 2020, some Iranian officials tweeted about a potential biological attack by the US:
“Perhaps it would be revealed that the coronavirus has been a biological attack by the US against its adversaries,” tweeted Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, special aide to the chairman of the parliament and a former deputy foreign minister, on February 28, adding that “It may become clear years later that the corona was the White House biological war virus against America’s great global rivals (China and Russia), which spread to the American people in addition to parts of the world.”

“The way that coronavirus has become an epidemic…is not normal and I believe it is a biological attack by the US and the Zionist regime,” tweeted Gholamali Jafarzadeh Imanabadi, member of parliament from Rasht.

On March 1, a letter from former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed to the United Nation’s Secretary-General, António Guterres, was published in which he claimed that the virus was conceived by the US.

Ahmadinejad’s letter to the UN Secretary-General states: “You are aware that the use of biological tools, including recently and on a large scale, the corona virus (Covid 2019) as a new weapon to establish or maintain political and economic superiority in the international arena by some hegemonic powers and its rapid expansion, has caused public concern among nations and further disrupted the security of the people of the world. The sense of responsibility for the extent and depth of the unprecedented material and spiritual damage caused by this war and the imposed aggression against humanity required me to raise the issue with His Excellency.

Ahmadinejad continued: “Today, it has become clear to everyone that the likes of the mutated and intelligent Corona 2019 virus have been fabricated by laboratories and, to be more precise, the biological warfare arsenals of some world dominating powers and much more inhuman, destructive and terrifying than other anti-human weapons.”

The IRGC have also reached similar conclusions:

On March 3, Dr. Alireza Jalali, head of the IRGC’s Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, said in a press conference that a theory suggested by one of his researchers was that the outbreak of coronavirus in China might have been a biological attack or the result of “a mutation in the virus or the escape of the virus from the lab.” But he did not say which one of these theories, if any, have been confirmed.

General Hossein Salami, commander-in-chief of the IRGC, said on March 5 “Today, the country is engaged in a biological battle, but everyone should know that the country will with stability go through this important [battle] at the end of the year [Iranian New Year occurs on March 20]. We will be victorious in the fight against this virus that might be the result of an attack prompted by the US that first broke out in China and then spread to Iran and other parts of the world,”

In an interview with ISNA, Heshmatullah Falahatpisheh, member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, in response to recent remarks by US President Donald Trump about helping Iran fight Corona, said: “Trump and Pompeo lie about Corona. Corona is not a common disease but bioterrorism distributed in Iran and China.” It was promoted against Iran and China and this issue should not be ignored. The fight against bioterrorism needs to go beyond passive defense and be separate. He explained: “From today until 2030, the world will face different types of bioterrorism. An independent organization with special powers must be formed, and we, like the missile defense, must have bioterrorism defense.” “Donald Trump and Pompeo are pleased with what has happened to the Iranian people,” he said.

Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh, a medical doctor and member of the parliament’s board of directors wrote that “With Trump coming to power as a full-fledged representative of imperialist, capitalist, and American culture, China, as the United States’ main rival, has been the target of many of his confrontational strategies. Based on the cost-benefit principle, and given the staggering costs of military operations, the two major strategies of cyber warfare and knowledge-based biological warfare have been considered in US planning for low-cost, high-impact benefits over the past decade . Biological weapons in very small quantities can bring to the target community very destructive psychological, psychological and physical effects.

“At this time, the dominant discourse among defence analysts is that coronavirus is a biological weapon launched to strike a hard blow to China’s economy and credibility. Supporters of this theory refer to evidence that a few weeks before the outbreak of this disease, American forces had visited the Chinese city of Wuhan.”

On March 9, General Hasan Araghizadeh, head of the Health Department of the Armed Forces General Staff, claimed that the likelihood of a biological attack by the US exists. “There is evidence supporting this likelihood and we must judge based on this evidence,” he said. “We all know that the US has labs in some countries that conduct biological tests and genetic engineering on viruses.”

“The United States has a history of using these viruses as weapons, and since this virus is a new virus, it may have been created in the same laboratories, although it is not yet certain, but it could be a possibility. We will examine this possibility and if we reach a definite conclusion, we will announce it.”

Another claim is that Iran has been infected with a strain of coronavirus different from the one in China. This claim was voiced by Shahrooz Barzegar, member of the parliament’s National Security Committee, quoting the health minister. “My interpretation of what the health minister said is that there are two strains of the virus in the country,” he said. “One is the Wuhan virus from china and the other one is of unknown origin which I believe could be a bioterrorism virus that the US has spread in Iran.” The Ministry of Health, however, later denied Barzegar’s claim.

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