Navalny Incident – A Made-in-the-USA False Flag to Harm and Contain Russia?

Stephen Lendman | Author | Common Dreams

By Stephen Lendman

Source

The US has much to gain from Navalny’s illness.

Most obvious is its aim to block Nord Stream 2’s completion.

If Russia’s gas pipeline to Germany becomes operational next year, it will double what Gazprom can supply Germany and other Western countries.

If the project is suspended or halted altogether, it will advantage US LNG producers — despite the much higher cost of this energy supply.

Republicans and Dems have greater aims.

They want Russia harmed economically, geopolitically and strategically. 

They want the country marginalized, weakened, and isolated.

The above objectives have been US policy throughout the Cold 

War and after its aftermath to the present day — no matter which right wing of its one-party state runs things.

Post-WW II, containing Russia became official US policy. 

US diplomat/envoy to Soviet Russia/presidential advisor George Kennan (1904 – 2005) was “the father of containment.”

He was a core member of so-called foreign policy “wise men” in Washington. 

His 1946 “Long Telegram” from Moscow and 1947 “Sources of Soviet Conduct” claimed its government was inherently expansionist. 

In February 1948, his “Memo PPS23” said the following:

“(W)e have 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. (It makes us) the object of envy and resentment. 

“Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships (to let us) maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national society.” 

“We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction…”

“We should dispense with the aspiration to ‘be liked’ or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism.”

“We should (stop talking about) unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization.” 

“The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts.” 

“The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans (ideas and practices), the better.”

In July 1947, his so-called “X” article on the “Sources of Soviet Conduct urged countering it “effectively.”

The US “can never be on Moscow’s side,” he stressed.

In March 1948, NSC 7 detailed “The Position of the United States with Respect to Soviet-Directed World Communism,” saying:

“(A) defensive policy cannot be considered an effective means of checking the momentum of Soviet expansion.”  

“Defeat(ing)” communism was considered “vital to the security of the United States.”

NSC 68 (April 1950 — issued weeks before Harry Truman’s preemptive war on nonbelligerent North Korea) officially inaugurated anti-Soviet Russia containment.

It called the country an enemy “unlike previous aspirants to hegemony…animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own (wishing to) impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world.” 

Ignored was the scourge of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan — or that WW II devastated Soviet Russia, requiring years of rebuilding.

Its government posed no threat to the US — not then, notably not now.

After Soviet Russia’s dissolution in December 1991, capitalism replaced its communist system.

It remains Russian Federation policy today. 

Because Moscow is independent of US control, made-in-the-USA adversarial relations continue.

No Russian threat to US/Western interests exists so it was invented, notably since Vladimir Putin became president.

Bipartisan hostility toward Russia in Washington is all about wanting the country transformed into a US vassal state.

It’s about gaining control over its vast resources and population, along with eliminating a strategic rival — whose overtures for normalized relations are consistently spurned.

The Trump regime is using the Navalny incident to further its strategic interests.

It’s pressuring Germany and the EU to punish Russia for an incident no evidence suggests it had anything to do with.

Last week, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said that if the chemical watchdog OPCW — an imperial lapdog serving Western interests — says Navalny was poisoned by novichok exposure, “I am convinced that (EU) sanctions will be unavoidable” on Russia, adding:

“(S)uch a grave violation of the International Chemical Weapons Convention cannot go unanswered.”

Earlier, a German military lab and facilities in France and Sweden claimed that the deadly nerve agent caused his illness.

Unmentioned by these countries was that exposure to novichok — the deadliest known toxin — causes death in minutes.

Navalny is very much alive over a month after falling ill. 

Discharged from hospitalization in Berlin, German doctors expect him to recovery fully or near-fully.

If poisoned by novichok, he’d have died before boarding a flight from Tomsk, Russia to Moscow.

What’s obvious is suppressed in the West by hostile-to-Moscow political officials and media.

Heroic efforts by Russian doctors in Omsk that saved Navalny’s life was erased from the EU’s historical record.

So was their biological analysis — finding no toxins in his blood, urine, liver, or elsewhere in his system.

According to former German diplomat Frank Elbe, Europe is “making a giant step backwards – back to the Cold War” by allying with US hostility toward Russia instead of normalizing relations, adding:

US policymakers are furious about an alliance by Germany and other EU countries with Russia to construct Nord Stream 2, “pursu(ing) their own independent policy.”

Elbe urged Europe to break from the US when their interests diverge — to uphold their sovereign independence.

Most often, European countries bend to Washington’s will — even  when harming their interests.

So far, opposing the Trump regime’s pressure to abandon the landmark JCPOA nuclear deal is an exception to the rule — if it sticks.

Will Nord Stream 2 be another? 

Will Germany support its completion or shoot itself in the foot by allying with US interests against its own?

ASSISTING ‘INVISIBLE HAND OF MARKET’: U.S. THREATENS GERMAN COMPANIES OVER NORD STREAM 2

Source

Assisting 'Invisible Hand Of Market': U.S. Threatens German Companies Over Nord Stream 2

In a last-ditch attempt to impede the Nord Stream 2, the Trump administration began to threaten German (and not only) companies who are involved in it with sanctions.

According to German media, this is a showing of a new, and incredible, “low point” in Transatlantic relations.

According to a report by German outlet Die Welt, the United States is increasing pressure on German and European companies involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline.

In the past few days, US representatives had held video conference calls with contractors of the project to “point out the far-reaching consequences of continuing to work on the project,” the outlet reported.

The company representatives sometimes faced up to twelve representatives of the US government.

They “made it very clear in a friendly tone that they want to prevent the pipeline from being completed,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed observer of the talks:

“I think the threat is very, very serious.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline to transport gas from Russia to Germany would now fall under a law that would allow punitive measures, among other things, against companies doing business with Russia or countries like Iran and North Korea.

In response, the German Federal Government declared that it rejected extraterritorial sanctions, since these were “contrary to international law”.

The German economy condemned the threats as an “incredibly low point in transatlantic relations”.

Nord Stream 2 is said to transport gas from Russia to Germany and is particularly controversial in Eastern Europe.

The main fear is a weakening of alternative pipelines and traditional transit countries, such as Ukraine. The US government argues that Europe is becoming energy-dependent on Russia.

The United States had previously tried to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2. Sanctions put into effect by President Donald Trump at the end of 2019 are aimed at the operators of laying ships involved in the construction. The construction of the pipeline therefore had to be interrupted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed optimism that the project would be completed by early 2021, with a delay of only a few months.

On July 16th, the US updated its sanctions regime against the Nord Stream 2.

Until July 15th, the scope of US sanctions legislation excluded direct investors, enhancing Russia’s ability to build export pipelines before August 2nd 2017. That cut-off date was removed, meaning contracts signed for Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TurkStream will be included.

“The US signals that sanctions could potentially be applied retroactively, including in respect of European companies that are Gazprom’s partners in Nord Stream 2. However, it is hard to see how this could be enforceable; this would be against the law and should it happen it would certainly be contested in international courts,” according to Katja Yafimava, researcher at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

“The question is whether the state department has the right to independently enforce the provisions of this law. The state department is formally subordinate to the president, but no separate documents have been issued stating that the president gave the state department the right to impose sanctions from the [sanctions act] package,” according to Igor Yushkov, an expert of the National Energy Security Fund and the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.

The proposed additional sanctions in the draft national defence act “are unacceptable and contrary to international law, and the EU firmly opposes them,” EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Josep Borrell said on June 25th.

The biggest issue is that the US is concerned that there are no buyers for its liquefied natural gas (LNG) that it wants to sell to Europe at prices, higher than those Russia offers Europe.

Sometimes, the invisible hand of the market requires a tangible attempt at a push for it to properly and “independently” settle the market on a desirable scenario.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Is Trump Using Nordstream 2 to Exit NATO?

By Tom Luongo
Source: Gold Goats n Guns

July 21, 2020

The one thing I never thought I’d say is that Donald Trump is consistent, and yet on the subject of the Nordstream 2 pipeline he has been.

No single project has caused more wailing and gnashing of teeth than Nordstream 2. And since Nordstream 2 is simply the substitute for South Stream, which was supposed to come across the Black Sea into Bulgaria and then feed eastern Europe, this U.S. opposition to another Russian pipeline spans multiple administrations.

So, this is policy that goes far beyond simple 2020 electoral politics, Trump trying to look tough on the Russians, or his misguided Energy Dominance policy.

With Trump rescinding the sanctions exemption for Nordstream 2 he now has declared open war against Europe, specifically Germany over this project.

But here’s the thing, I think Trump is doing this for updated reasons that fit a different agenda than why the U.S. opposed Nordstream 2 previously, because he knows he can’t stop the pipeline now. All he can do is further alienate Germany, who he has targeted as the main problem in Europe.

Before I go any further, though, I think a little history lesson is in order.

U.S. opposition to Nordstream 2 is deeply ingrained on all sides of the political aisle in D.C. From Republicans still fighting the cold war to Democrats having deep ties to Ukrainian gas transit there are a multitude of reasons why Nordstream 2 is verboten in D.C.

On the other hand, Europe’s relationship with Nordstream 2 is, in a word, complicated.

Russian President Vladimir Putin scuttled South Stream back in late 2014 because the EU changed its pipeline rules during its development after the contracts were in place.

Most of that was U.S. pressure, but some of that was Germany’s Angela Merkel working with then-President Barack Obama to create the worst possible scenario for Gazprom – a pipeline that wasn’t profitable.

Merkel backed Obama’s play in Ukraine in 2014 as a power move to control prices for Russian gas into Europe, putting Soviet-era pipelines under EU gas directive jurisdiction.

The EU was always going to use Ukrainian gas transit as leverage over Putin to drive gas prices below Gazprom’s cost thinking they had no other options.

Putin famously pivoted to China, singing the mega-deal for Power of Siberia in retaliation to that. Since Putin had already brought Crimea in from the cold war and tacitly backed the breakaway of the Donbass Merkel was now the one on her back foot.

At the same time, to salvage the work done on South Stream to that point, Putin cut a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to replace South Stream’s volumes to eastern Europe with Turkstream’s to Turkey.

The plans for Turkstream include multiple trains into eastern Europe with countries like Serbia, Hungary and the Czech Republic itching for that gas.

Russia’s options were manifest and Putin deftly outmaneuvered Merkel and Obama. These events forced Merkel’s hand after she stupidly caved to the Greens over ending Germany’s use of nuclear power and now she needed Nordstream 2.

And so Nordstream 2 became a big geopolitical football because Merkel saw, as well, the opportunity to bring the recalcitrant Poles and Baltics under her control as well, solidifying long-term EU plans to engulf all of Euope to Russia’s borders.

Nordstream 2 would nominally replace Ukrainian gas supplies and she could set Germany up to be the gas transit hub, supporting political power emanating from Brussels.

This would give her leverage over Poland, who are trapped between their hatred of the Russians and their unwillingness, rightfully, to submit to Germany.

But Merkel, ever the deft three-faced keeper of the status quo, worked with Putin to secure gas flows through Ukraine for another five years, allaying the worst of Poland’s fears while they have courted Trump to bring in over-priced U.S. LNG.

But from the beginning, Nordstream 2 becomes a different animal geopolitically the moment Trump comes to power. Because Trump is opposed to the EU’s consolidating power over Europe while also sucking the U.S. dry on trade and defense.

He’s made this abundantly clear.

Since the beginning of the year Trump has ratcheted up the pressure on both China and the EU. And the only way that makes any sense is if you are willing to see them as allies in undermining the U.S.’s global position.

This isn’t to say that the U.S.’s global position should remain as it is. Far be it for me, of all people, to argue that. But with the insanity of the COVID-19 fake pandemic, the World Economic Forum’s plans for The Great Reset, and the fomenting a cultural revolution in the U.S. the stakes are now as high as they’ve ever been.

The Davos Crowd is making their big move to consolidate power in Europe. Trump is working with Boris Johnson in the U.K. to oppose that. That’s the simplified version of the chess board.

And this is why I think Trump refuses to give up on stopping Nordstream 2. He’s seen the depths to which The Davos Crowd will go to implement this radical change and he’s forcing the moment to its crisis, as T.S. Eliot put it.

He’s making the choice very clear for Merkel and company. If you want Nordstream 2, suffer the consequences of having to do business without the U.S.

This isn’t about Russia anymore, at all. It’s about Germany and the future of the U.S. If Trump loses in November all of the work done to slow down this push for transnational technocratic oligarchy will end.

If he wins then the current policy sticks, the EU is forced to deal with the U.S. retrenching completely, pulling back on commitments to Europe while divorcing U.S. trade from China.

He may actually be courting lower U.S. dollar flow the world over and forcing Europe into real economic crisis by early next year.

This sanctions policy against Nordstream 2 is consistent with his ‘snap’ decision to pull troops out of Germany, his unilateral abrogation of both the INF treaty and the JCPOA while pressuring NATO to do more.

Merkel, meanwhile, is trying to run out the clock on both Trump and Brexit, as I talked about in my podcast from last week. She’s hoping that Trump will be defeated which will set things back to the way they were before him, force U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to knuckle under in trade deal talks and establish the primacy of the EU as the center of Western power.

Putin, for his part, doesn’t care who he deals with in the long run. He can’t afford to. He has to play the cards on the table in front of him with the people in power, since Russia is still a minor player but with big potential.

For Trump, I believe he sees Nordstream 2 as the perfect wedge issue to break open the stalemate over NATO and cut Germany loose or bring Merkel to heel.

This next round of sanctions will target the companies involved directly in the pipeline. Germany can’t afford not to finish Nordstream 2. So, we are headed for an epic clash here.

Trump and Merkel hate each other, with good reason. And while I have mixed feelings about the way Trump does business, I know Angela Merkel is the key to the EU’s future.

I mentioned in a recent article that I feel Trump is a guy with almost nothing left to lose. If he’s going out he’s going out with a bang. Arrest Ghislaine Maxwell, sanction China and threaten war over Hong Kong, ramp up dollar diplomacy on Europe.

He knows that hybrid war is the only war the U.S. can ‘win’ decisively given the relative dominance of the U.S. dollar today.

While the end of dollar hegemony is in sight, do not underestimate how much damage can be done to the status quo while Trump is in power. That status quo isn’t good for anyone except those who currently want that power back.


A Pipelineistan fable for our times

June 08, 2020

A Pipelineistan fable for our times

By Pepe Escobar – posted with permission

Ukraine was supposed to prevent Russia from deepening energy ties with Germany; it didn’t work out that way

Once upon a time in Pipelineistan, tales of woe were the norm. Shattered dreams littered the chessboard – from IPI vs. TAPI in the AfPak realm to the neck-twisting Nabucco opera in Europe.

In sharp contrast, whenever China entered the picture, successful completion prevailed. Beijing financed a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Xinjiang, finished in 2009, and will profit from two spectacular Power of Siberia deals with Russia.

And then there’s Ukraine. Maidan was a project of the Barack Obama administration, featuring a sterling cast led by POTUS, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain and last but not least, prime Kiev cookie distributor Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland.

Ukraine was also supposed to prevent Russia from deepening energy ties with Germany, as well as other European destinations.

Well, it did not exactly play like that. Nord Stream was already operational. South Stream was Gazprom’s project to southeast Europe. Relentless pressure by the Obama administration derailed it. Yet that only worked to enable a resurrection: the already completed TurkStream, with gas starting to flow in January 2020.

The battlefield then changed to Nord Stream 2. This time relentless Donald Trump administration pressure did not derail it. On the contrary: it will be completed by the end of 2020.

Richard Grennel, the US ambassador to Germany, branded a “superstar” by President Trump, was furious. True to script, he threatened Nordstream 2 partners – ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall – with “new sanctions.”

Worse: he stressed that Germany “must stop feeding the beast at a time when it does not pay enough to NATO.”

“Feeding the beast” is not exactly subtle code for energy trade with Russia.

Peter Altmaier, German minister of economic affairs and energy, was not impressed. Berlin does not recognize any legality in extra-territorial sanctions

Grennel, on top of it, is not exactly popular in Berlin. Diplomats popped the champagne when they knew he was going back home to become the head of US national intelligence.

Trump administration sanctions delayed Nordstream 2 for around one year, at best. What really matters is that in this interval Kiev had to sign a gas transit deal with Gazprom. What no one is talking about is that by 2025 no Russian gas will be transiting across Ukraine towards Europe.

So the whole Maidan project was in fact useless.

It’s a running joke in Brussels that the EU never had and will never have a unified energy policy towards Russia. The EU came up with a gas directive to force the ownership of Nord Stream 2 to be separated from the gas flowing through the pipeline. German courts applied their own “nein.”

Nord Stream 2 is a serious matter of national energy security for Germany. And that is enough to trump whatever Brussels may concoct.

And don’t forget Siberia 

The moral of this fable is that now two key Pipelineistan nodes – Turk Stream and Nord Stream 2 – are established as umbilical steel cords linking Russia with two NATO allies.

And true to proverbial win-win scripts, now it’s also time for China to look into solidifying its European relations.

Last week, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese premier Li Keqiang had a video conference to discuss Covid-19 and China-EU economic policy.

That was a day after Merkel and President Xi had spoken, when they agreed that the China-EU summit in Leipzig on September 14 would have to be postponed.

This summit should be the climax of the German presidency of the EU, which starts on July 1. That’s when Germany would be able to present a unified policy towards China, uniting in theory the 27 EU members and not only the 17+1 from Central Europe and the Balkans – including 11 EU members – that already have a privileged relationship with Beijing and are on board for the Belt and Road Initiative.

In contrast with the Trump administration, Merkel does privilege a clear, comprehensive trade partnership with China – way beyond a mere photo op summit. Berlin is way more geoeconomically sophisticated than the vague “engagement and exigence” Paris  approach.

Merkel as well as Xi are fully aware of the imminent fragmentation of the world economy post-Lockdown. Yet as much as Beijing is ready to abandon the global circulation strategy from which it has handsomely profited for the past two decades, the emphasis is also on refining very close trade relations with Europe.

Ray McGovern has concisely detailed the current state of US-Russia relations. The heart of the whole matter, from Moscow’s point of view, was summarized by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, an extremely able diplomat:

“We don’t believe the US in its current shape is a counterpart that is reliable, so we have no confidence, no trust whatsoever. So our own calculations and conclusions are less related to what America is doing …. We cherish our close and friendly relations with China. We do regard this as a comprehensive strategic partnership in different areas, and we intend to develop it further.”

It’s all here. Russia-China “comprehensive strategic partnership” steadily advancing. Including “Power of Siberia” Pipelineistan. Plus Pipelineistan linking two key NATO allies. Sanctions? What sanctions?

Merkel trod on holy Ukrainian toes

January 14, 2020

Rostislav Ishenko, 13 Jan 2020

Translated by Nikolai

The visit by the Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel to Russia and her negotiations with Vladimir Putin were full of negative signals for Ukraine.

Merkel busily carved on the crossroad milestone:

– go right – lose your head;

– go left – lose your life;

– go straight – be forever lost;

– stay in place – death will reach you;

– turn back – you will not reach home.

The fact alone that Berlin and Moscow discussed virtually all pressing topics of the global agenda (including Syria, Libya and Iran) should have put Kiev on notice. After all, if these two countries have so many areas of common interest, Ukraine cannot count on exclusive German support. The contrary is rather probable – if Berlin can agree with Moscow on all other key points of the international agenda, then it can quite easily sacrifice Ukrainian interests in favor of full understanding.

In addition, the chancellor also discussed the Ukrainian problem in separate with the president of Russia. By all appearances, they did not spend a lot of time on this discussion. As a result, during the press conference they were brief and clear in announcing their united position – Ukraine must fulfill the Minsk agreements. During the last year, such statements became common, so I will remind that it was not so long ago (in 2018) that Berlin usually stated in such cases that it expects Russia to constructively work with the DNR/LNR, who in turn must fulfill the Minsk agreements. And in 2015-2017 Berlin (in chorus with Paris) demanded that the Minsk agreements were Russia’s responsibility to implement.

France and Germany went over to Moscow’s point of view sort of casually and discretely. Moreover, being more involved in the Ukrainian crisis, Berlin was more stoic than Paris.

Zelensky, when striving for the “Normandy format” meeting, was clearly counting on that he would be accommodated (as a young, popular “new formation politician” as he was called in Ukraine) and allowed to at least partially rework the Minsk agreements, or even better – declare them null and void and begin prolonged, tedious and pointless negotiations on the new format for regulation of the crisis. It was not a coincidence that right after the meeting in Paris the Ukrainian media and diplomats attempted to propose their own version for the translation of Merkel’s words at the press conference and tried to attribute to the federal chancellor a statement supposedly saying that the Minsk agreements are not dogma and can be modernized. They broadcasted this so often and with such certainty, that they even convinced some Russian experts, who began to accept Merkel’s phrase as “ambiguous”.

And so now, the German leader says unequivocally that the Minsk agreements must be implemented without any modernization, that Russia and Germany, in fact, have the same view on this topic. The caringly constructed concept of zelensky diplomacy comes crashing down. The people at home can be still indoctrinated about the “great leap forward” achieved. But the concurring and unequivocal position of Berlin and Moscow means that there will not be a new meeting in Berlin in the “Normandy format” without corresponding steps made by Kiev (doing their homework, as they were told in Paris). Pity for Zelensky, who was so convincing in Paris, saying how he already did everything he could and that he is prevented from moving forward by evil radicals, so everyone should just “understand and forgive” him and get busy reconsidering the “Minsk” in the interests of Kiev.

This is a fiasco. Now, the minister of foreign affairs of Ukraine Vadim Pristaiko and company have to think on how to rationalize before the people taking it all in and frozen in expectations of further diplomatic breakthroughs that the April “Normandy format” meeting is cancelled or postponed to an unclear date. Remember, Kiev already voiced a wealth of demands for the “modernization” of the Minsk agreements, which they were planning on stating and pressing in Berlin. And the April meeting was presented by Ukrainian propaganda as 100% arranged. Mind you, April is very soon: February 23rd, March 8th, then the May holidays are already near – April will arrive suddenly.

Something has to be done and decided with this. But what? The fact is, it is very hard to move Merkel from a position taken in advance. However, if she did change her mind, it is even harder to bring her back around.

Well, Merkel changed her mind, seriously and decisively. This is indicated by another topic discussed by the two leaders. I think no one was surprised upon hearing at the press conference that the chiefs of the two countries discussed the fate of the Nord Stream II gas pipeline. At this time Merkel again stated that the pipeline will be finished despite American sanctions. Putin in turn stated the probable timetable for the end of works: end of this year – first half of next year. This means that during 2022 the gas pipeline must reach its design capacity no matter what.

I will note that for the first time the federal chancellor did not say anything about the Ukrainian transit. This can be because the transit agreement has been signed. However, it has been signed only for five years. And by the end of 2022, when Nord Stream II reaches peak flowrate, three of these years will already have passed. Previously, in 2016, 2017, 2018 and in 2019 Merkel each time packed up the startup of Nord Stream II with the preservation of the Ukrainian transit. She was not talking about prolonging it for five years but about guaranteeing significant transit volumes through the Ukrainian gas transmission network (GTN).

In principle, Gazprom is interested in preserving the transit through the Ukrainian GTN (as is the GTN itself, which actually should be transferred under Gazprom’s control). First, demand for gas in Europe is rising, and the marine “Streams” are just not being built fast enough. Second, it is always better to use available infrastructure than build a new one. Third, Gazprom does not endeavor to move away from the Ukrainian monopoly on transit only to create a German or Turkish one. Of course, this does not mean that Gazprom is ready to start pumping 80-100 bln m3 yearly through the Ukrainian GTN, but it could quite do 30-40 bln.

However, Gazprom is not willing to tolerate Ukraine’s provocative behavior, who has been motivating “substantiated” (“market”) transit costs with its own need for cash and trying to block Gazprom from building gas pipelines going around its territory. Until now, this was a problem for Gazprom and Russia. However, after the frankly anti-European sanctions from the USA that were meant to put the brakes (if not stop completely) on the building of Nord Stream II, the position of Germany changed in a similar, almost unnoticed fashion, since Germany had determined this pipeline as one of the most important infrastructure projects both in concerning European energy safety and German economy.   

Statements by Berlin on the subject of Nord Stream II are now completely lacking mentions of the need to consider Kiev’s interests and provide guarantees of loading the Ukrainian GTN. It seems, the hard pro-American position accepted by Ukraine on this issue decidedly convinced Germany that Kiev is ready to completely irrationally make decisions that are harmful not only to itself (which is not a concern for Berlin), but also to Germany (which is a very strong concern) in order to protect the strategic interests of Washington.

As in the issue of the Minsk agreements, the positions of Moscow and Berlin are united and coordinated as never before concerning Nord Stream II. The fact that Ukraine is taking a pro-American orientation on this issue in only an additional push for Berlin to distance itself from Kiev. Especially since Germany has experience in dealing with Poland. The latter realized that the multi-billion giveaways from EU funds (mostly filled by German money) will soon end and started talking about receiving reparations for World War II (luckily they are not yet demanding Poland be returned to its borders of the times of Bolesław I the Brave and compensations from Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine and Belarus for a millennium of “unlawful ownership” of “immemorial polish lands”).

All in all, Merkel’s visit to Russia does not bode anything good for Kiev. Rather it’s all bad. It seems, German politicians have finally understood the simple truth –support Ukraine or not, but you have to plan your future in such a way that the Ukrainian factor influences it as little as possible, or even better – does not influence it at all.

Source – https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20200113/1026284231.html

Pipeline News – Russia Will Persist! Gas Situation in Europe In Chaos

December 24, 2019

From Vesti news, starting with the Pipeline to the East, following up with the ‘agreement’ with the Ukraine and then at the 10:00 minute mark, quotes from the letter from the US authorities that went to Allseas.

UK’s Tory Victory Likely to Bind U.S. & UK against Europe & Asia

UK’s Tory Victory Likely to Bind U.S. & UK against Europe & Asia

December 23, 2019

Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

Huffington Post headlined on December 21st “I Left Increasingly Right-Wing Britain And Now I Don’t Know If I Will Ever Return Home”, but the young woman who wrote it seems to have had no idea of the deep international forces that — as she sadly noted — are driving ever-larger numbers of young Brits, like herself, to relocate to continental Europe. This is part of a long war against Russia that started in her own UK, then took over in the United States on 26 July 1945, and seems likely to intensify greatly in the future, and to propel UK itself even further into America’s anti-Russian orbit, while Europe will ultimately unify increasingly with the rest of the EurAsian continent — including with both Russia and China.

The U.S. Government has actually been behind all of this reorganization of the international political map (as will be documented here in the links to the present article).

The U.S. Government, by means of its coups, overthrew democratically elected progressive governments and replaced them with brutal fascist dictatorships in Thailand 1948, Iran 1953, Chile 1973, Honduras 2009, and Ukraine 2014, just to mention a few U.S.-hired coups; and, now — with the December 12th Tory landslide and resultant inevitability of Brexit — the UK (America’s former colonizer) will itself become just another American colony. Here is how all of this is happening:

On December 14th, CNBC headlined “US isn’t weaponizing the dollar; sanctions are the alternative to war, Mnuchin says” and reported enormously important news, regarding the strategy that the U.S. Government has increasingly been using ever since, in 2012, it imposed (on fraudulent grounds) the Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia, and subsequently imposed the many other sanctions regimens used against nations that are either allied with or merely friendly toward Russia. That article also discussed the international alliances which will be involved in a military World War III if this preliminary stage of global warfare (the sanctions-phase) won’t produce the capitulation of Russia and of China, but instead an outright military war becomes resorted-to.

That CNBC article mentioned the U.S. Government is even fighting against some of America’s own allies in order to maintain the dollar as the global reserve currency: “Earlier this year, France, Germany and the U.K. set up the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), which uses euros to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iran. While it’s not shown itself to be economically effective, it’s a sign that even allies are seeking dollar alternatives to rebel against U.S. policies they oppose.” Thus, even U.S.-friendly governments are now straining against the U.S. leash, to become free, no longer mere vassals. However, the Tory electoral victory in UK on December 12th assured that Britain will become more, not less, dependent upon the U.S. during coming years. So, Britain is being propelled away from the EU, and toward America, but Europe could actually end up on the anti-U.S. side.

That article interviewed the U.S. Trump Administration, through U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said that the U.S. is employing sanctions — and especially is employing secondary sanctions (sanctions penalizing any country that does trade with a country the U.S. sanctions) — as a less costly way than military invasions (of the targeted country), in order to conquer the entire world, including especially Russia and China. Mnuchin’s CNBC interviewer there volunteered to say (at 2:00 in the video-interview there) “Just over the last few days, we didn’t just get a U.S.-China Phase One, we also got a resounding victory for the Tories in the United Kingdom”, and both parts of that cryptic statement will be explained here, because both parts are geostrategically crucial.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is, of course, aware of the U.S. regime’s successes in their long-term plans to win control over the country he leads, and he has been struggling to block these plans. On December 20th, Russia’s RT bannered “Russia & Ukraine sign ‘protocol of agreement’ for gas transit to Europe – Gazprom”, and reported that “After months of tense negotiations and years of legal battles, Moscow and Kiev have made an agreement on extension to the current gas transit agreement, which expires on December 31.” Those “years of legal battles” go all the way back to America’s successful coup in February 2014 that ousted an internationally neutralist and democratically elected Ukrainian Government and installed a rabidly anti-Russian racist-fascist regime in Ukraine, which refused to pay its bills (then around $3 billion) for gas from Russia. Ukraine also was the main route of pipelines supplying Russia’s gas into the European Union. U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2014 capture for the U.S., of Ukraine — the nation having the longest European border with Russia, 1,625 miles — constituted a major coup for U.S. foreign policy, a coup which is equivalent to if Russia were to overthrow the democratically elected Government of Mexico or Canada and take control over that border as a potential location to place its missiles. Obama’s successor Trump is following through on Obama’s successful anti-Russian policy regarding Ukraine, and Trump is even bolder than Obama in telling Europeans to buy costly trans-Atlantic-shipped U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in preference to the far cheaper pipelined gas from Russia. Of course, if European nations were to do that, their increased energy-costs would weaken their economies so much that the U.S. would be unquestionably the king of the world.

On December 21st, RT headlined “Big bully at work: Firm laying Nord Stream 2 pipeline halts all ‘activities’ faced with ‘crushing sanctions’ by US” and reported that the U.S. Congress and the Trump Administration are forcing EU-based corporations to abandon their participations in the completion of the Russia-EU Nordstream II gas pipeline or else lose all their business with the U.S., by their facing what are called “secondary sanctions” against them, the sanctions that are in addition to the direct sanctions the U.S. already has in place against Russia. Secondary sanctions are punishments against any country which violates the trading-bans that are in the primary sanctions, which are against the targeted country (in this case, Russia). Trump and the U.S. Congress (with the support of overwhelming majorities in both houses) have made clear to the EU either to choose the U.S. and UK, or else to choose Russia and China, as being their main trading-partners. The U.S. already has the pro-jihadist governments in the Middle East — Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Israel, etc. (all of them against Iran) — and is now especially trying to cement the loyalty of EU nations. Under Trump, America is willing even to employ the first stage of war, the sanctions stage, against the EU, in order to compel this loyalty to the owners of U.S.-based international corporations.

Thus, two global trading-blocs are in the process of being formed by Trump (with the near-100-% backing of both Parties — Democrats and Republicans — in Congress), one centered around the U.S., and the other centered around Russia and the countries that have friendly relations with Russia, including China, Iran, and Venezuela. Three of America’s core allies are UK, Israel, and the royal Saud family who own Saudi Arabia.

The landslide victory, on 12 December 2019, of UK’s libertarian/neoliberal Conservative Party, defeating the post-Tony-Blair, progressive (or democratic socialist), Labour Party, means not only that UK’s exit from the European Union is now inevitable, but that there will soon be massive privatization of public services — such as health, education, and welfare — in UK (thus making it more American); and that therefore U.S. international corporations will increasingly dominate UK, which will become, in effect, America’s 51st state (like Israel already is) and a growing market for U.S. brands. Per-capita healthcare costs will thus likely soar in UK to around the U.S. level (where healthcare already is a vastly overpriced bloated libertarian mess and the worst among industrialized countries), which is, in fact, over twice as costly as in today’s socialized-healthcare UK. Healthcare is a necessity, not a luxury, and so anyone in UK who can afford healthcare will increasingly need to pay the resulting sharply increasing costs, but everyone else will simply get sicker and die younger; life-expectancy there will thus decline, in the new, U.S.-dominated, UK (as is already starting to happen in the U.S. itself). The idea that not socializing a necessity is good instead of bad is stupid; there is already ample historical evidence that that idea is false and creates massive unnecessary suffering, but that’s what UK’s voters opted for.

The Jeremy-Corbyn Labour Party was committed to protecting and improving social services and to allowing another vote on Brexit, but UK’s voters rejected that platform in a landslide on December 12th. The UK’s only future now is with U.S.-based international corporations.

Here is what UK’s elections were actually all about — not only Brexit, but also radical libertarianism/neoliberalism and an exclusive alliance with a similarly ideological (libertarian-neoliberal-fascist-neoconservative-imperialist) U.S.:

——

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/nov/27/jeremy-corbyn-reveals-dossier-proving-nhs-up-for-sale

Jeremy Corbyn reveals dossier ‘proving NHS up for sale’”

Jeremy Corbyn reveals 451-page unredacted document ‘proving NHS up for sale’ – video

27 November 2019, Frances Perraudin

Labour has obtained official documents showing that the US is demanding that the NHS will be “on the table” in talks on a post-Brexit trade deal, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader said the uncensored papers gave the lie to Boris Johnson’s claims that the NHS would not be part of any trade talks, and revealed that the US wanted “total market access” after the UK leaves the EU.

“The uncensored documents leave Boris Johnson’s denials in absolute tatters,” he said at a news conference in London. “We have now got evidence that under Boris Johnson the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale. He tried to cover it up in a secret agenda and today it has been exposed.”

Corbyn said the 451 pages of documents covered six rounds of talks from July 2017 to “just a few months ago”. He said the meetings took place in Washington and London. “We are talking here about secret talks for a deal with Donald Trump after Brexit,” he said.

Responding to the Labour claims, the Conservatives said the documents had already been online for two months and were simply readouts from meetings of the UK-US trade and investment working group. The Tories accused Labour of using the documents to try to divert attention from the issue of antisemitism in its ranks.

On medicine pricing, Corbyn said discussions had already been concluded between the two sides on lengthening patents. “Longer patents can only mean one thing: more expensive drugs. Lives will be put at risk as a result of this,” he said.

He used the example of Humira, used to treat Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. “It costs our NHS £1,409 a packet. In the US, the same packet costs £8,115. Get the difference: £1,409 in our NHS, £8,115 in the USA,” Corbyn said. “One of the reasons for US drug prices being on average 250% of those here is a patent regime rigged for the big pharmaceutical companies.”

He added: “Let’s be frank, the US is not going to negotiate to sell its own medicines for less.”

Labour is battling to bring the focus back on to safer ground after Corbyn’s handling of antisemitism came under renewed criticism on Tuesday. [He was called an “anti-Semite” for criticizing apartheid Israel; and U.S. and UK ‘news’-media equate that with anti-Semitism.]

Corbyn avoided apologising to Jewish communities in a TV interview after the chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, alleged he had let the poison of antisemitism take root in the party.

Corbyn had previously highlighted heavily redacted documents obtained by Labour campaigners relating to private meetings between UK and US officials discussing health being included in a trade deal. It is understood the party obtained unredacted versions in the last couple of days.

Corbyn said the documents revealed that the UK and US were closer to a deal than hoped. “[Officials] are ready to ‘exchange text’, which is trade-negotiator-speak for it being at a very advanced stage,” he said. “And they say they are ready to, I quote, ‘really take significant further steps’.”

Corbyn said the report from the third meeting said “everything is included [in trade talks] unless something is specifically excluded” and that the US wanted “total market access” as the “baseline assumption of the trade negotiations”.

He said officials had discussed a system to give corporations the power to sue the UK. “This is not only a plot against our NHS,” said Corbyn. “It is a plot against the whole country.”

He pointed to a passage in the documents that suggested the US would prefer a no-deal Brexit. “There would be all to play for in a no-deal situation but UK commitment to the customs union and single market would make a US-UK [free trade agreement] a non-starter,” it reads.

The Conservatives said it was simply fact that it would not be possible to strike a free-trade deal with the US if the UK remained in the single market and customs union.

The international trade secretary, Liz Truss, said: “Jeremy Corbyn is getting desperate and is out-and-out lying to the public about what these documents contain.”

She said it was Corbyn’s belief in “conspiracy theories” that had led him to fail to crack down on antisemitism in his party, pointing to reports that he had called on “western governments” to confront “the Zionist lobby” in a piece written for the Morning Star in 2011.

“People should not believe a word that he says, this stunt is simply a smokescreen for the fact that he has no plan for Brexit and that he has been forced to admit that he wants to increase taxes for millions of families,” she said.

“As we have consistently made clear, the NHS will not be on the table in any future trade deal and the price that the NHS pays for drugs will not be on the table. This sort of conspiracy theory fuelled nonsense is not befitting of the leader of a major political party.”

Labour’s manifesto includes a pledge to increase NHS funding by an average of 4.3% every year of the next parliament, which is more generous than Conservative and Liberal Democrat proposals.

The party has also promised to “end and reverse privatisation in the NHS in the next parliament”, as well as offering free annual NHS dental checkups and a new national care service to tackle the social care crisis.

——

Here is the main prior history behind that Tory victory:

Back in 1902, the aristocrat Cecil Rhodes, an enormously successful protégé of the European Rothschild family, established The Rhodes Trust, which was based entirely upon Rhodes’s viewpoint, not on that of his Rothschild business-sponsors and investors. Rhodes’s chief agent was W.T. Stead, and page 209 of Sir Frederick Whyte, Life of W.T. Stead, v. II, Ch. 25, stated that “Rothschild would not like that, Stead objected laughingly. ‘When he reads the will and finds that I am in it also, there will be ructions!’ ‘Well,’ said Rhodes, ‘I don’t mind. I shall be gone!” (Unfortunately, only v. I can be directly downloaded online, and it is here. However, v. II can sometimes be found available second-hand online.)

Although his will, which established the Trust, said (p. 39 here) that “No student shall be qualified or disqualified for election to a Scholarship on account of his race or religious opinions,” Rhodes was widely considered to be racist; and, for example, he wrote in 1877, “I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. I contend that every acre added to our territory means the birth of more of the English race who otherwise would not be brought into existence. Added to this, the absorption of the greater portion of the world under our rule simply means the end of all wars.” That statement is stunning to any person who is sensitive to a person’s logically contradicting him-or-her self; it is shocking logical stupidity. Rhodes simply refused to recognize that imperialism means taking over other countries and therefore means creating wars — the exact opposite of “the end of all wars.” Though Rhodes was a brilliant strategist in business, he was a fool regarding his philosophy, because his moralisms always gave way to his sheer psychopathic greed in actual practise. He continued there by saying that his main goals were “The furtherance of the British Empire, for the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire.” And, from the very start of the Rhodes scholarship program, after its first selectees in 1903, the program became, from 1907 onward, almost entirely selectees from the U.S. This reflected not only Rhodes’s determination to bring the U.S. back into the British Empire, but also the very realistic recognition that, going forward into the 20th Century and beyond, the U.S. was going to dominate the world. Therefore, the Rhodes program was designed for UK’s Government and aristocracy to control U.S.’s Government and press. This has been an effort by Britain to reverse the U.S. Revolution, which had been waged against not only Britain but its entire aristocracy, and even against any aristocracy from ever forming in the U.S. (Of course, today’s America is the opposite of their intentions.)

The 12 December 2019 UK elections mean that UK has instead become a vassal of America’s aristocracy. This evil outcome is a humiliation of Cecil Rhodes’s evil dream — it’s a reversal of the master-slave relationship that was championed by Rhodes. He had wanted America to again be ruled by Britain; but, now, instead, Britain will be ruled by America (i.e., by the U.S. aristocracy).

——

Anyone who doubts the authenticity of the history behind the present article should consult the brilliantly written and superbly documented blog-post titled “The Round Table”, which is undated and comes from a “Mike McClaughry” and which was actually first posted on “January 23, 2015”. (That author might be this Scientologist; but, regardless, the sources to which his blog-post there about Cecil Rhodes links are high quality.) It lists a few of its sources but fails to link to the main one, which was the 370-page masterpiece by Professor Carroll Quigley, which work had been completed in 1949 but remained unpublished until 1981 (after the author’s 1977 death, because he wanted to be safe against their destroying him). That masterpiece from Quigley is titled The Anglo-American Establishment. On page 326 of the photographed book shown in McClaughry’s article, 311 of the searchable text of the book, appears the list of the 31 original members of the innermost group that controlled the British Empire’s as-of-12-December-2019 doomed expansion-operation, which they had been intending should ultimately take over the entire world:

A. The Society of the Elect 

Cecil John Rhodes 

Nathan Rothschild, Baron Rothschild 

Sir Harry Johnston 

William T. Stead 

Reginald Brett, Viscount Esher 

Alfred Milner, Viscount Milner 

B. F. Hawksley 

Thomas Brassey, Lord Brassey 

Edmund Garrett 

Alfred Beit 

Sir Abe Bailey 

Albert Grey, Earl Grey 

Archibald Primrose, Earl of Rosebery 

Arthur James Balfour 

Sir George R. Parkin 

Philip Lyttelton Gell 

Sir Henry Birchenough 

Sir Reginald Sothern Holland 

Arthur Lionel Smith 

Herbert A. L. Fisher 

William Waldegrave Palmer, Earl of Selborne 

Sir Patrick Duncan 

Robert Henry Brand, Baron Brand 

Philip Kerr, Marquess of Lothian 

Lionel Curtis 

Geoffrey Dawson 

Edward Grigg, Baron Altrincham 

Jan C. Smuts 

Leopold Amery 

Waldorf Astor, Viscount Astor 

Nancy Astor, Lady Astor 

——

Furthermore, out of the thousands of winners of Rhodes scholarships, at least 71 are now famous (virtually all of them being leaders in the English-speaking world):

John Marshall Harlan

J.W. Fulbright

Robert J. Van de Graaff

Robert Penn Warren

Carl Albert

Dean Rusk

Daniel J. Boorstin

John B. Oakes

Howard K. Smith

Walt Rostow

Byron White

Nicholas Katzenbach

Stansfield Turner

Guido Calabresi

Ronald Dworkin

Paul Sarbanes

Richard Lugar

Kris Kristofferson

Joseph Nye

Jonathan Kozol

Lester Thurow

David Souter

David Boren

Walter Slocombe

James Woolsey

Larry Pressler

Bill Bradley

Wesley Clark

A. Michael Spence

David E. Kendall

Terence Malick

Dennis C. Blair

Robert Reich

Bill Clinton

Strobe Talbot

Ira Magaziner

James Fallows

Franklin Raines

Michael Kinsley

E.J. Dionne

Richard N. Haass

Walter Isaacson

Larry Sabato

Russ Feingold

Michael Sandel

Ashton Carter

NancyAnn DeParle

Tony Abbott, PM Australia

Nicholas Kristof

Barton Gellman

Heather Wilson

David Vitter

George Stephanopoulos

Naomi Wolf

Michael McFaul

Susan Rice

David Chalmers

Atul Gewande

Ben Jealous

Jeff Shesol

Cory Booker

Noah Feldman

Bobby Jindal

Peter Beinart

Chrystia Freeland

Eric Garcetti

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Rachel Maddow

Jake Sullivan

Jared Cohen

Pete Buttigieg

——

The Rhodes Trust organization is extremely secretive and provides no list of its total winners (identifying each winner in each year), which list would reveal the extent to which they had picked from among the tens or hundreds of thousands of applicants the individuals whom the Rhodes Trust had actually helped to become shapers and leaders of their respective professions in the U.S., UK, and their vassal nations. However, the Trust’s known picks seem to be oriented toward leading and shaping the U.S. empire (not actually the British Empire). The selectees carry on the work of Cecil Rhodes; and, now, the U.S. aristocracy (after the 12 December 2019 UK elections) clearly controls the UK aristocracy, which had created the Rhodes Trust (and which currently controls UK’s ‘news’-media through the participating billionaires). This organization’s selectees are not only trained to take over the empire for America’s billionaires but are indoctrinated to respect not only the empire but imperialism itself, and the subordinacy of the empire’s vassal nations, to the imperial center, and the absolute inferiority of other (as Rhodes preached it) “races.”

Consequently: history, going forward, will now be a contest between, on one side, the U.S. and UK aristocracies, versus, on the opposed side, the aristocracies of the EurAsian Continent. Because of the results of UK’s December 12th elections, the ties that bind European nations to the U.S. regime are even likelier to unravel than was the case prior to December 12th. This will be good news for Iran, Russia, China, and Turkey, but bad news for NATO, EU, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and U.S. ‘allies’ (vassal-operations or dependencies) in general. In other words: the dream of the U.S. imperialists, which Barack Obama stated often by his bold assertion that “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation” — meaning that every other nation is “dispensable” — is even more shattered now than it was when he was in office. By winning UK so overwhelmingly on December 12th, America’s aristocracy becomes considerably likelier to lose the vastly larger prize of EurAsia.

The Western Hemisphere, except for U.S. itself, will be weak vassal nations, and Africa will be even more extremely so. Those weaker nations will now need to ally themselves with either U.S.-UK, or else Eurasia. That’s their choice, going forward.

Here are excerpts from Cecil Rhodes’s 1877 “Confession of Faith”:

I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence, look again at the extra employment a new country added to our dominions gives. I contend that every acre added to our territory means in the future birth to some more of the English race who otherwise would not be brought into existence. Added to this the absorption of the greater portion of the world under our rule simply means the end of all wars. …

Why should we not form a secret society with but one object the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule for the recovery of the United States for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire. … 

Even from an American’s point of view just picture what they have lost, look at their government, are not the frauds that yearly come before the public view a disgrace to any country and especially their’s which is the finest in the world. …

Africa is still lying ready for us it is our duty to take it. … More territory simply means more of the Anglo-Saxon race more of the best the most human, most honourable race the world possesses.

To forward such a scheme what a splendid help a secret society would be a society not openly acknowledged but who would work in secret for such an object. …

In every Colonial legislature the Society should attempt to have its members prepared at all times to vote or speak and advocate the closer union of England and the colonies, to crush all disloyalty and every movement for the severance of our Empire. The Society should inspire and even own portions of the press for the press rules the mind of the people. …

For fear that death might cut me off before the time for attempting its development I leave all my worldly goods in trust to S. G. Shippard and the Secretary for the Colonies at the time of my death to try to form such a Society with such an object.

In that same year, 1877, when he was not yet a wealthy man, he first drafted his will. He revised it up until his death in 1902.

Here is the opening of Quigley’s 1981 masterpiece, The Anglo-American Establishment:

One wintry afternoon in February 1891, three men were engaged in earnest conversation in London. From that conversation were to flow consequences of the greatest importance to the British Empire and to the world as a whole. For these men were organizing a secret society that was, for more than fifty years, to be one of the most important forces in the formulation and execution of British imperial and foreign policy.

The three men who were thus engaged were already well known in England. The leader was Cecil Rhodes, fabulously wealthy empire-builder and the most important person in South Africa. The second was William T. Stead, the most famous, and probably also the most sensational, journalist of the day. The third was Reginald Baliol Brett, later known as Lord Esher, friend and confidant of Queen Victoria, and later to be the most influential adviser of King Edward VII and King George V.

The details of this important conversation will be examined later. At present we need only point out that the three drew up a plan of organization for their secret society and a list of original members. The plan of organization provided for an inner circle, to be known as “The Society of the Elect,” and an outer circle, to be known as “The Association of Helpers.” Within The Society of the Elect, the real power was to be exercised by the leader, and a “Junta of Three.” The leader was to be Rhodes, and the Junta was to be Stead, Brett, and Alfred Milner. In accordance with this decision, Milner was added to the society by Stead shortly after that meeting we have described.[1].

The creation of this secret society was not a matter of a moment. As we shall see, Rhodes had been planning for this event for more than seventeen years. Stead had been introduced to the plan on 4 April 1899, and Brett had been told of it on 3 February 1890. Nor was the society thus founded an ephemeral thing, for, in modified form, it exists to this day.

So, what had begun as a plan to globalize the UK empire by means of attaching the U.S. to it, has by now become a vassalage of UK to U.S., which vassalization will produce an asset-stripping of the UK state, and a resultant soaring impoverishment of the UK public, which population the U.S. and UK international corporations will then drain, thus creating a greatly increased emigration from the UK.

The UK empire has thus come crashing down.

Rhodes, the first of the “neoconservatives” (or promoters of an all-encompassing U.S.-UK Empire) had made his fortune on the giant Kimberly Mine in South Africa, the world’s biggest diamond mine. And South Africa during its racist apartheid era happens also to point the way toward what the future UK might become.

The great 1989 movie A Dry White Season is a meticulously accurate reconstruction of South Africa during the apartheid period, and of the way that Blacks were treated there (not only in that movie but in the reality). The way that Blacks were treated there, by South Africa’s U.S-backed apartheid Government, could turn out to be the way that all but the few wealthiest UK ‘citizens’ (actually royal subjects) will be treated by the U.S.-backed UK’s Government, in UK’s future. But, unlike in South Africa, revenge by the public would then produce in UK a very bloody revolution, which would be destructive, not the “Truth and Reconciliation” result that occurred in South Africa. This is only the beginning (and though that news-report on December 13th which is linked-to by that “This,” has an anti-leftist, pro-conservative slant, its videos display the start of what is likely to grow into a full-fledged revolution in UK). Fascism isn’t pretty, and it doesn’t always end in the peaceful way that it did in Franco’s Spain, or in apartheid South Africa. Sometimes, it ends more like France’s monarchy did during the 1789-99 French Revolution — with one imperialistic dictatorship giving rise to yet another. This revolution will probably happen to UK before it happens to U.S. If it does, then U.S. will probably bloodily put down the revolution in UK, but if that happens, then only a control over the ‘news’-media that’s even more total than what currently exists in U.S. would be able to prevent a revolution from resulting in U.S. — and such extremely total control over the media is unlikely anywhere.

To this reporter’s knowledge (which, however, might be incomplete), the first-ever public report that the U.S. regime is using sanctions as the preliminary and cheaper stage toward a possible military invasion was here (from me on 27 May 2019). What Mnuchin on December 14th said, to CNBC, provides the first official confirmation that this reporter has yet seen of this now not-only-established but even officially acknowledged fact. It is now, officially, the U.S. regime versus, actually, the entire rest of the world, and sanctions are the first line of attack. This is an even more-aggressive official assertion of that “Amerika über alles” than was Barack Obama’s repeatedly asserted “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation.” There it is, in black and white: to the U.S. regime, every other nation is “dispensable.” Cecil Rhodes, and the prominent followers in his tradition, such as George Soros, couldn’t have said it better. Trump likewise is in that tradition, though his rhetoric is quite different.

Right now, EU media appear to be reluctant to report that the U.S. regime is exceeding the bounds of the post-WW-II alliance — reluctant to report that America is going overtly hostile. For example, whereas, on December 22nd, the very top of the home-page of Russia’s RT headlined “Oh, really? US envoy to Germany says Nord Stream 2 sanctions ‘EXTREMELY PRO-EUROPEAN’ despite Berlin & EU criticism”, Germany’s Deutsche Welle was still ignoring the problem (underplaying, when not simply ignoring altogether, that “Berlin & EU criticism”), and, on its home page, didn’t show even a single headline which related to this momentous matter concerning the future for all Germans. Perhaps they’re hoping there’s hope, and think that reporting the current reality would be ‘premature’ at the present time. But isn’t the current reality what the “news” is supposed to be reporting? Why aren’t they?

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

The Power of Siberia, Russian Chinese Cooperation at Mega Levels

Power of Siberia Russia China Gas Pipeline

 

The inauguration of the Power of Siberia project to transport gas from Russia to China will strengthen Russia’s position as the world’s first gas exporter and boost economic relations between the two countries in an unprecedented way.

Thanks to the US politicians getting busy with their inner fights over who won the presidency and later over who is more corrupt with power in a newly controlled country (Ukraine), the excessive use of sanctions, and the anti-‘free trade’ war, other global superpowers are solidifying their positions and leaping ahead in steady growth.

Destroying Syria by the US-led War of Terror was partly because the Syrian President Bashar Assad rejected to isolate Russia and Iran by severing the relations with them and by allowing a Qatari gas pipeline through Syria to Europe which would have starved both the Russian and Iranian nations.

Toppling the Ukrainian state, destroying the country’s economy, and installing puppets there by the US was in part to control the Russia – West Europ gas pipeline.

From here comes the added importance of this project that would supply the Chinese economy with flowing energy source for the coming 3 decades, provide the Russian economy with a considerable steady income for the coming 3 decades, and hurting further the US dollar as this ‘energy’ project uses the currencies of both nations and not the currency that controlled the energy production and trade for at least half a century.

Oddly enough it didn’t seem to be of concern to the US politicians and usual Pentagon propagandists to start with demonizing it and then analyzing their losses from creating enemies around the globe instead of engaging positively with the world, especially the established civilizations.

The following report by the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news channel sheds some light on the global event:

Video

The video is also available on BitChute: https://www.bitchute.com/video/S7Y4W8hUNnsU/

It is a historic event according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the opening of the Power of Siberia pipeline between Russia and China will bring about a change in the world’s energy projects, not just between the two countries.

The inauguration, with the participation of the two heads of state on both sides of the border, was accelerated after the completion of the first phase of the project ahead of schedule, a phase, costing an estimated $ 20 billion out of $ 400 billion, the total cost of the Power of Siberia project.

This huge 30-year project was agreed between Moscow and Beijing via Russia’s Gazprom and China National Oil and Gas Company in 2014, it is the largest project to transport gas from eastern Russia to China, 4,500 kilometers of pipelines produced with a new and innovative technologies are supposed to transport 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas annually to China, this puts Russia at the forefront of natural gas providers for this country, which is the fastest-growing economy in the world today.

The Power of Siberia is one of 40 strategic economic agreements between the two countries over the past five years to enhance their cooperation in various fields, the level of cooperation in military production between them has risen in an unprecedented way, Russian and Chinese banks have given financial guarantees for trade using the currencies of the two countries amounting to tens of billions of dollars, the trade between the two neighbors, which share about 4,000 kilometers borders, jumped to $ 100 billion last year alone, this figure is expected to double over the next year.

End of the video English translation transcript.

Following is the Arabic transcript of the video:

More

قوة سيبيريا

افتتاح مشروع قوة سيبيريا لنقل الغاز من روسيا إلى الصين سيعزز موقع روسيا كمصدّر أول للغاز في العالم ويعزز العلاقات الاقتصادية بين البلدين بشكل غير مسبوق

هو حدث تاريخي بحسب الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، افتتاح خط أنابيب قوة سيبيريا بين روسيا والصين كفيل بإحداث تغيير في مشاريع الطاقة في العالم، ليس بين البلدين فقط

الافتتاح الذي شارك فيه رئيسا البلدين كل من جهته على الحدود تم تسريعه بعد إنجاز المرحلة الأولى من المشروع قبل موعدها، مرحلة كلفت تقديرياً نحو 20 مليار دولار من أصل 400 مليار دولار، هي كلفة مشروع قوة سيبيريا الإجمالية

هذا المشروع الضخم، ومدته 30 عاماً، اتفق عليه بين موسكو وبكين عبر شركة غاز بروم الروسية والشركة الصينية الوطنية للنفط والغاز عام 2014 وهو المشروع الأضخم لنقل الغاز من شرق روسيا إلى الصين، إذ يفترض أن تنقل 4500 كيلومتر من الأنابيب المصنّعة بتقنيات جديدة ومبتكرة 38 مليار متر مكعب من الغاز الروسي سنوياً إلى الصين، ما يضع روسيا في مقدمة مزودي الغاز الطبيعي لهذه الدولة التي يعد اقتصادها الأسرع نمواً في العالم اليوم

class=”has-text-align-right” style=”text-align: right;”>قوة سيبيريا واحدة من 40 اتفاقية اقتصادية استراتيجية بين البلدين خلال السنوات الخمس الماضية لتعزيز تعاونهما في مختلف المجالات، مستوى التعاون في الإنتاج العسكري بينهما ارتفع بشكل غير مسبوق، ومنحت المصارف الروسية والصينية ضمانات مالية للتبادل التجاري بعملتي البلدين بلغت عشرات مليارات الدولارات، فيما قفز التبادل التجاري بين الجارتين اللتين يجمعهما نحو 4000 كيلومتر من الحدود إلى 100 مليار دولار خلال العام الماضي فقط، ويتوقع أن يصل هذا الرقم إلى الضعف خلال العام المقبل

Expensive and Humiliating. Poland Bought Gas in the USA (Ruslan Ostashko)

June 30, 2019

TRANSCRIPT:

An extra billion cubic meters of absolutely unnecessary, and highly costing gas, the president of the US has managed to sell it to Polish nationalists. The full beauty of this “Ukrainian victory” can be understood only if you remember the history of the issue.

Andrzej Duda’s visit to Washington was marked not only by loud statements that (showed the depth of the historical illiteracy of the Polish President. http://thesaker.is/the-poles-are-braver-than-the-russians-the-president-of-poland/)

Another highlight of the visit was another deal imposed on Duda in the energy sector.

“Our countries have signed an additional contract for the supply of two billion cubic meters of gas,” the head of the White House said on June 12, noting that the total amount of the contract is about eight billion dollars. The website of the Polish gas operator PGNiG clarifies that the volume of LNG supplied to the country from the US terminal Plaquemines will be increasing starting with 2023 from 1.35 to 3.38 billion cubic meters (after regasification).”

https://ria.ru/20190617/1555578771.html

It has been almost 2 years since one of the best Russian analysts, my friend and colleague Ivan Danilov wrote a material titled “Trump is a vacuum cleaners salesman.” Let me remind you what Ivan wrote in July 2017.

“It would seem that selling liquefied American gas to Poland, which is much more expensive than gas supplied by Gazprom, is a difficult task. More precisely, it is possible to force politicians to make such a decision, but how to make even ordinary voters understand the overpayment, which, according to various estimates, will be from 50% to 150% compared to the price of Russian gas? The American President took one of the most effective trumps from the deck of marked cards of experienced merchants, offering the Poles a bonus in the form of “independence from Russian supplies.” In fact, the American leader said that not just gas is supplied to Poland, but the right American gas “with a taste of independence from Russia”, and, of course, it is implied that such gas should be very expensive, and its consumption is a sign of national success, prestige and belonging to an elite Western club.”

https://ria.ru/20170707/1498046623.html

The devil hides in two things. First, taking into account the LNG purchases in the US and the connection to the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline, Warsaw, starting from 2022, intends to purchase more than 14 and a half billion cubic meters of gas per year. Obviously, it doesn’t need that much. And, secondly, this American gas purchased by the Poles “with a taste of independence from Russia” can not be cheaper than 6-7 dollars per million British thermal units, BTU.

(BTU is an Anglo-Saxon unit of energy, just over a kilojoule. https://www.convertworld.com/ru/energiya/britanskiye-termicheskiye-yedinitsy.html)

So, Russian gas is already at the level of $5 per million of British thermal units. That is, the Poles intend to pay more to the extent of $1 to $2 per million BTU. While the Americans themselves are trying to buy cheaper energy.

The question comes: are people ruling in Warsaw so stupid that they do not understand that they have signed up to buy very expensive gas in quantities that their own country doesn’t need at all?

Turns out Poland plans to resell expensive American gas to other Eastern Europeans. They plan to act as an intermediary and not only to pay for their purchases of expensive energy with other people’s money, but also to get a profit.

“Previously, it was called the concept of ‘three Seas’ or ‘inter-Seas’, and a few years ago put forward the ‘Initiative of the three seas’ (Baltic — Adriatic — Black Sea, BABS). The impetus was the coming to power in the US Donald Trump, who promised ‘to save’ Europe from Russian gas with the help of American LNG. Donald Trump said that this project will provide BABS participants with ‘prosperity and security.’ And then he offered the Europeans to build terminals for American LNG — in the Lithuanian Klaipeda, Polish Swinoujscie and on the Croatian island of Krk in the Adriatic sea. It was assumed that from these terminals the network of gas pipelines would extend to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia and Lithuania, forming a barrier to gas from Russia to the Western Europe.”

https://ria.ru/20190617/1555578771.html

That is, three members of the EU – Poland, Lithuania and Croatia – imagined themselves the most intelligent, deciding to lick Uncle Sam’s shoes, and at the same time to cash in at the expense of their neighbors. For anyone with a head on their shoulders, the outcome was predictable from the start. But, as shown by the behavior of American satellites, they could not wait to take place of the “heroes” of a known saying: “a Ukrainian is stupider than a crow, but more cunning than the devil.”

As a result, the stupid crows all took a part in the operation BABS – Lithuania got into debt by renting a LNG terminal in Klaipeda, which it will never pay off. Poland is rowing expensive and unnecessary American gas, despite the fact that it does not even have money for, say, the modernization of its entirely coal-fired power plants for another type of fuel. And Croats decided to be the coolest of them all.

“In January 2019, Croatian Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić, announced that a construction of a re-gasification complex on the island of Krk ‘will be carried out regardless of the lack of interest from natural gas buyers.’ In early February, the final investment decision was made on the project.”

https://ria.ru/20190617/1555578771.html

That is, the example of Lithuanians taught them nothing. They are so stupid that they will build a LNG terminal at a loss.

Why didn’t the BABS project take off? Because Russia has built the Turkish stream. And why Putin was able to agree with Erdogan on the construction of this gas pipeline to supply energy to the Southern and South-Eastern Europe? Because the American “geniuses of geopolitics” tried to overthrow and kill Erdogan by organizing a coup, and Moscow saved him.

Now Russian Prime Minister Medvedev offers Slovaks the natural gas bypassing “Tse-Europe” (Russian social media nickname for Ukraine from the Ukrainian nationalists’ saying ‘Ukraine is the Europe’ which is not true neither geographically, nor historically, demographically or culturally. – S.H.). As for Poland and Croatia, none of the sane buyers thinks about buying natural gas from the US.

Once again, the post-Soviet nationalists will pay in full for the “decommunization” they started and rise in Russophobia. As they are already paying in other energy issues.

I send my warm regards to all who hoped for the collapse of Gazprom, the rupture into shreds of Russian economy and the realization of other collective wet dreams of post-Soviet westophiles.

A thrifty pays twice the price, an idiot – three times, and a Russophobe always overpays.

3000 KM GAS PIPELINE FROM RUSSIA TO CHINA 99% COMPLETE

3000 km Gas Pipeline From Russia To China 99% Complete

Construction of its gas pipeline from Russia to China is 99% finished, Russian energy giant Gazprom has announced. According to reports, the company is planning to start delivering gas to China via the Power of Siberia line as early as December 2019.

Gazprom’s Investor Day presentation in Singapore revealed that in 2019 the company is planning to invest about $2.24 billion into the project. The pipeline is set to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas to China annually.

Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) reached a 30-year agreement for gas supplies via the Power of Siberia gas pipeline in 2014. In September 2018, Gazprom reported that the Russian part of the pipeline, running from Yakutia gas production centers to China’s border, was almost complete. The construction of pipeline on Chinese territory is also almost completed.

Russia Slides Towards Internal Political Crisis (MUST SEE SouthFront video report!)

Source

February 26, 2019

Saker note: a rather harsh criticism of the Russian Government and the Kremlin in this SouthFront analysis.  Sadly, I cannot say that I disagree with what they say.  In fact, I think that they are spot on and that all the “loyal” Kremlin-bots who deny that there is a serious problem in Russia are wrong.  Supporting Vladimir Putin’s struggle to truly make Russia sovereign again and built a new multi-polar world does not at all entail being blind to all the very real mistakes and even faults of the Russian government.  I can only say that I hope that SF is right and that the current lack of support of the Russian people of the government’s neo-liberal/capitalist policies will force Putin to correct the course and return to the kind of social policies the Russian people clearly want.  It is also high time for Russia to take a harsher stance on the Ukraine, if only because the situation in the Ukraine (political and economic) is a total disaster and because some kind of military escalation in the Ukraine seems inevitable.  All in all, yet another absolutely superb report by SouthFront who sober analysis contrasts favorably with what both flag-wavers and fear-mongers typically produce.

https://southfront.org/wp-content/plugins/fwduvp/content/video.php?path=https%3A%2F%2Fsouthfront.org%2Finternal-political-crisis-russia%2F&pid=1583

Transcript:

This is a critical look at the situation in Russia. The video is based on an article of one of our readers and additional data.

The Russia of 2019 is in a complicated economic and even political situation. Smoldering conflicts near its borders amid continued pressure from the US and NATO affect the situation in the country negatively. This is manifested in society and in national politics. The approval rating of the Russian government and personally of President Vladimir Putin has been decreasing.

According to VCIOM, a state pollster, in January 2019, Putin’s confidence rating was only 32.8%. This is 24% less than in January 2018 when it was 57.2%. At the same time, the confidence rating of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was 7.8%. The approval rating of his cabinet is 37.7% while the disapproval rating is 38.7%. Opposition sources show data, which is far worse for the current Russian leadership.

This tendency is not linked to the foreign policy course of the Kremlin. Rather, it’s the result of the recent series of liberal-minded economic reforms, which look similar to the approaches exercised by the Russian government in the mid-1990s. The decision to increase Value Added Tax amid the slowing Russian economy, especially in the industrial sector, and a very unpopular pension reform increasing the retirement age were both factors contributing to the further growth of discontent in the population.

Russia’s GDP increased by 2.3% in 2018 compared to 1.6% in 2017. However, the Ministry of Economic Development, in its document entitled “Economic Picture” stated that this is linked to “one-time factors” and is not “stable”. The ministry maintained its earlier forecast stating that GDP growth in 2019 will be 1.3%. It confirmed increasing capital outflow. In this case, the repayment of funds to Western creditors by the Russian private sector is one of the causes.

The Ministry of Economic Development also pointed out that the expendable income of the population decreased by 0.2%. Statutory charges, including the increased taxes, are named as one of the reasons. The document says that statutory charges grew by 14.8% in 2018.

Additionally, the population is facing an increasingly restrictive administrative pressure: new fines and other penalties for minor violations in various fields and additional administrative restrictions limiting the freedom of actions of citizens. Restrictive traffic management of big cities, increasing fees for using federal highways as well as policies that are de-facto aimed at small business and self-employed persons are among its landmarks.

Meanwhile the general population has no effective levers of pressure to affect or correct government policy. The public political sphere has become a desert. United Russia (Edinaya Rossiya) is the only political party still de—facto existing in public politics. By now its ideological and organizational capabilities have become exhausted. Other “political parties and organizations” are just media constructs designed to defend the interests of a narrow group of their sponsors. It is hard to find a lawmaker in the State Duma or the Federation Council, who is not affiliated with the cliquish top political elite and oligarch clans.

In the media sphere, the government has failed to explain its current course to the population. A vast majority of the initiatives of Medvedev’s cabinet face a negative reaction from the population. A spate of scandals involving high and middle level government officials made the situation even worse. These cases revealed blatant hypocrisy and the neglectful attitude to duties of some Russian officials.

Some of the officials even became heroes of nationwide memes. Probably, the most prominent of these heroes are Minister of Labour and Employment of the Saratov region Natalia Sokolova and Head of Department for Youth Policy in the Sverdlov Region Olga Glatskikh.

Sokolova advised Russian pensioners to eat “makaroshki” [a derogatory term for maccheroni] to save money and to thus become able to survive on the subsistence minimum of 3,500 RUB [about 50 USD] per month.

“You will become younger, prettier and slimmer! Makaroshki cost is always the same!”, she said during a meeting of the regional parliamentary group on social policy in October 2018 adding that discounted products can be used to create a “balanced, but dietic” menu.

Glatskikh became a meme hero thank to her meeting with young volunteers during the same month. Commenting on the possible financing of youth projects, she told volunteers that the government did not ask their parents “to give birth” to them. So, they should expect nothing from the state.

In the period from 2018 to 2019, there were multiple arrests of officials caught exceeding the limits of their authority and being involved in corruption schemes. In comparison to previous periods, this number had increased by 1.5-2 times. The most recent detention took place right in the Parliament building on January 30. A 32-year-old senator, Rauf Arashukov, is suspected of being a member of a criminal group involved in the 2010 murders of two people and in pressuring a witness to one of the killings. On the same day, authorities detained his father, an adviser to the chief executive of a Gazprom subsidiary, Raul Arashukov. He is suspected of embezzling natural gas worth 30 billion rubles ($450 million).

However, these actions do not appear to be enough to change the established media situation. After a large-scale corruption scandal in the Ministry of Defense in 2012, which led to almost no consequences for key responsible persons including former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who even continued his carrier in state-linked corporation Rostec. The general public has serious reservations about any real success of anti-corruption efforts.

The aforementioned factors fuel the negative perception of the Medvedev government and Vladimir Putin as the head of state among Russian citizens.

The 2014 events in Crimea showed to the Russian population that its state is ready to defend the interests of the nation and those who describe themselves as Russians even by force of arms. This was the first case when this approach was openly employed in the recent history of Russia. Therefore, the population was enthusiastic and national pride was on the rise. However, the Kremlin failed to exploit these gained opportunities and did not use them to strengthen the Russian state. In fact, up to February 2019, the policy towards eastern Ukraine has been inconsistent. At the same time, Moscow continues to lose its influence in post-Soviet states. This can be observed in both the Caucasus and Central Asia. Even, their close ally, Belarus, occasionally demonstrates unfriendly behavior and focuses its own efforts on the exploitation of economic preferences granted by Russia.

Evaluating the current internal political situation in Russia and its foreign policy course, it’s possible to say that the Russian leadership has lost its clear vision of national development and a firm and consistent policy, which are needed for any great power. Another explanation of this is that the Russian leadership is facing pressure from multiple agents of influence, which stand against vision of a powerful independent state seeking to act as one of the centers of power on the global stage. One more factor, often pointed out by experts, is the closed crony-caste system of elites. This system led to the creation of a leadership, which pursues its own narrow clannish interests. Apparently, all of these factors influence Russian foreign and domestic policies in one way or another.

The aforementioned large-scale anti-corruption campaign, regarding the people’s show-me attitude towards its result, could be a sign of a new emerging trend, which would lead to a purge of the corrupt elites and to strategic changes in Russian domestic policy.

It is highly likely that Russia will face hard times in the next two years (2019-2020) and face various threats and challenges to its economy, foreign policy course and even to its statehood.

Washington Cheats its Way into the EU Energy Market, Yet it Lives Off Russian Gas

Source

RLNG564522

Over the past two years, Washington has been adamant in its attempts to pursue a dominant position on the international energy markets in accordance with the strategy presented by Donald Trump, which included an aggressive takeover of the European market by ensuring its LNG supplies to the EU, while using every dirty trick in the book to somehow push Russia out of it, in spite of the fact the latter remains the strongest competitive on it for decades

Just recently, the US house of representatives has approved a largely symbolic resolution expressing opposition to Gazprom’s 11 billion dollars worth natural gas pipeline known as Nord Stream 2, on grounds that «the project will boost the Kremlin’s control over Europe’s energy supplies» (sic!).

To be more specific, the bill finds that the pipeline is a “drastic step backwards for European energy security and United States interests,” and calls for European governments to reject the project. The measure also urges the Trump to administration to “use all available means to support European energy security.”

At this point it’s clear that Washington would basically use every political and military lever it has in a desperate bid to low-kick Russian. It goes without saying that the ongoing US attempts to prevent the construction of Nord Stream-2 that will prevent European consumers to enjoy a steady supply of cheap gas from Russia, as the US is forcing European governments into building expensive LNG terminals so that they can import expensive gas from the United States. It’s ironical that while Moscow has made the decision to foot the bill for the construction of its pipeline, Washington is too cheap to invest a single cent in the construction of LNG terminals across the EU, forcing the costs on European consumers.

It goes without saying that hardly anyone today has any doubts about the fact that if American gas was a competitively viable alternative, the United States would not have such a hard time twisting the hands of European governments for them to support its LNG fantasies.

And while most Western media sources are busy telling us that America is on track to become the dominant exporter of LNG, the Economist would reveal that:

But the big problem with its LNG, is that it is more expensive than pipelined gas from Russia. American LNG exporters need to sell in Europe for at least 6-7 dollars per million British thermal units to cover the costs of freezing, shipping and re-gasification. By contrast Russia’s long-run marginal cost of supply to Europe is only about 5 dollars per British thermal units. American LNG is also more expensive than LNG from Qatar and some African countries because gas in America is more costly to extract, and the distances it has to travel to the customer are longer.

Is it any wonder then that last year Europe imported eight times more gas by pipeline than in the form of LNG shipments, with the trend continuing well into 2019. Even though American liquefied gas has never been a viable alternative for European consumers, the recent gas price spike on the domestic US market makes the rhetorics about American LNG supplies to Europe even more laughable.

Last October, the German foreign ministry released a paper stating that LNG supplies from the US cannot be regarded as a viable alternative to the gas transported via well-established routes. Nevertheless, the idea of forcing Europe into abandoning Russian gas supplies remains a top priority of American policymakers. This fact has been confirmed by the recent statement of America’s ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, who revealed that Washington has a number of yet unused tricks to advance its agenda.

Among those once can name a recent anti-Russian resolution by the European Parliament a month after Sondland’s statement, with PMs casting their votes under an immense pressure applied on them and the states they represent by Washington. This resolution calls on all EU members states to oppose the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

In order to persuade the EU to shoot itself in the foot, Washington has recently started placing a particular emphasis on supporting the Polish Three Seas Initiative, a project aimed at bring closer the twelve anti-Russian states between the Adriatic, Baltic and the Black Sea closer together. Those states are Poland, Croatia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. According to the assurances of Polish politicians, the deepening of the military, economic and ideological partnership of the Three Seas Initiative will create a sanitary cordon at the eastern borders of the Eurasian Union, thus achieving NATO’s policy of containing Russia, while cutting off its gas supplies to the EU.

As for Poland, it has recently become the most active supporter of Washington’s ideas about the bright future of American LNG supplies to Europe. Last October, Poland’s oil and gas company PGNiG signed a 20-year contract with the American company Venture Global on the supply of 2 million tons of LNG (which amounts to 2.7 billion cubic meters after deliquification). At the same time, Warsaw launched a propaganda campaign aimed at persuading its own citizens and the rest of the world that the US will be able to somehow start selling gas across Europe some 30% below the market price.

However, there are facts that look particularly remarkable against this background. First of all, the head of PGNiG refused to reveal the price at which it’s been buying American LNG gas. Then, Poland, in spite of being one of the world’s most dire opponents of Russia and everything that is related to it, oddly enough, over the past six months Poland has increased the import of Russian gas by 0.4 billion cubic meters – which constitutes a 6% increase over the last year! Thus, within 9.5 months of 2018, Poland bought the same amount of Russian gas as it did in 2015!

To make the matters even more grotesque, at the very end of 2018 a n LNG tanker left sailed off the the Russian shores and set its course for the United States of America. Back then it was reported that this shipment was bound to satisfy the needs of the residents of the east coast of the US. And all this is happening the backdrop of a massive hysteria in the media, with Western officials claiming that the US is more than capable to replace Russia on the European energy market! It’s simply ridiculous.

Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook“. 
https://journal-neo.org/2019/01/10/washington-is-cheating-its-way-into-the-eu-energy-market-while-it-lives-off-russian-gas/

Erdogan, MBS, Islamic leadership and the price of silence

November 21, 2018

The House of Saud’s ties to the Khashoggi slaying are being milked by the Turkish President for maximum benefit amid debate on leadership of the Islamic world and how the crisis may affect US and Saudi strategy in the Middle East

Erdogan, MBS, Islamic leadership and the price of silence

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with The Asia Times by special agreement with the author)

It was packaged as a stark, graphic message, echoing across Eurasia: Presidents Erdogan and Putin, in a packed hall in Istanbul on Monday, surrounded by notables, celebrating completion of the 930 kilometer-long offshore section of the TurkStream gas pipeline across the bottom of the Black Sea.

This is no less than a key landmark in that fraught terrain I named ‘Pipelineistan’ in the early 2000s. It was built by Gazprom in only two and a half years despite facing massive pressure from Washington, which had already managed to derail TurkStream’s predecessor, South Stream.

TurkStream is projected as two lines, each capable of delivering 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas a year. The first will supply the Turkish market. The second will run 180 km to Turkey’s western borderlands and supply south and southeast Europe, with first deliveries expected by the end of next year. Potential customers include Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.

Call it the Gazprom double down. Nord Stream 1 and 2 supply northern Europe while TurkStream supplies southern Europe. Pipelines are steel umbilical cords. They represent liquid connectivity at its best while conclusively decreasing risks of geopolitical friction.

Turkey is already being supplied by Russian gas via Blue Stream and the Trans-Balkan pipeline. Significantly, Turkey is Gazprom’s second largest export market after China.

Erdogan’s speech, strenuously emphasizing the benefits of Turkey’s energy security, was played and replayed all across a rainy, ultra-congested Istanbul. To witness this geopolitical and geoeconomic breakthrough was particularly enlightening, as I was deep into discussing Turkish geopolitics with members of the progressive Turkish Left.

Even the opposition to what in Europe is routinely defined as Erdogan’s brand of “Asian illiberalism” concedes Turkey-Russia trade connectivity – in energy, in the military domain via the sale of the S-400 missile system, in the building of nuclear power plants – has been conducted with consummate skill by Erdogan, who is always careful to send direct and indirect messages to Washington that Turkish national interests will not be compromised.

The big prize: leading Islam

Now juxtapose this developing entente cordiale between the Bear and the (aspiring) Sultan with the gripping drama in Istanbul. Ibrahim Karagul – never afraid to apply a Rabelais touch – is always useful as a mirror reflecting the state of play of AKP circles around Erdogan.

For this political elite, a breakthrough in the Erdogan-conducted “Death By a Thousand Leaks” is imminent, allegedly proving that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) directly gave the order for the killing and slaying of Jamal Khashoggi.

The consensus among the AKP leadership – confirmed by independent Left academics – is that the US-Israel-House of Saud-UAE axis is deep in negotiations to extricate MBS from any culpability.

That includes key items in the hefty Erdogan “package” dangled to the axis to essentially buy Ankara’s silence – an end of the Saudi blockade on Qatar and the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, described across the Turkish political spectrum as the leader of FETO (the Fetullah Terrorist Organization).

The Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry are very much aware that the high-stakes game goes way beyond ‘Pulp Fiction’ in Istanbul and the Astana peace process on Syria – carefully micro-managed by both Putin and Erdogan alongside Iran’s Rouhani. The big prize is no less than the leadership of the Islamic world.

There is nowhere better than a few stops in select landmarks of Ottoman imperial power, or a lively conversation at Istanbul’s Old Book Bazaar, to be reminded that this was the seat of the Islamic Umma for centuries – a role usurped by those Arabian desert upstarts.

Alastair Cooke has captured with perfection the House of Saud’s close involvement in the slaying of Khashoggi and how this raises questions about Saudi Arabia’s status as “no more than an inept Custodian of Mecca and Medina”. This is indeed splashed all over the – Erdogan-aligned – Turkish media. And Cooke notes how this status “would strip the Gulf of much of its significance and value to Washington”.

My ongoing conversations with progressive, Kemalist Turkish academics – yes, they are a minority – have unveiled a fascinating process. The Erdogan machine has sensed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to simultaneously bury the House of Saud’s shaky Islamic credibility while solidifying Turkish neo-Ottomanism, but with an Ikhwan framework.

And that’s the rationale behind Erdogan and Turkish media relentlessly denouncing what is interpreted as a plot concocted by MBZ (MBS’s puppet master), Tel Aviv and the Trump administration.

No one can possibly advance the endgame. But that carries the strong possibility of a dominant, Erdogan-led Turkey all across the lands of Islam, allied with Qatar and also with Iran. Plus all of the above enjoying very close geopolitical and economic relations with Russia. Expect major fireworks ahead.

Erdogan, MBS, Islamic leadership and the price of silence

By Pepe Escobar
Source

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, shakes hands with his Russian leader Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Tehran on September 7, 2018. Photo: AFP / Kirill Kudryavtsev

The House of Saud’s ties to the Khashoggi slaying are being milked by the Turkish President for maximum benefit amid debate on leadership of the Islamic world and how the crisis may affect US and Saudi strategy in the Middle East

It was packaged as a stark, graphic message, echoing across Eurasia: Presidents Erdogan and Putin, in a packed hall in Istanbul on Monday, surrounded by notables, celebrating completion of the 930 kilometer-long offshore section of the TurkStream gas pipeline across the bottom of the Black Sea.

This is no less than a key landmark in that fraught terrain I named ‘Pipelineistan’ in the early 2000s. It was built by Gazprom in only two and a half years despite facing massive pressure from Washington, which had already managed to derail TurkStream’s predecessor, South Stream.

TurkStream is projected as two lines, each capable of delivering 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas a year. The first will supply the Turkish market. The second will run 180 km to Turkey’s western borderlands and supply south and southeast Europe, with first deliveries expected by the end of next year. Potential customers include Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.

Call it the Gazprom double down. Nord Stream 1 and 2 supply northern Europe while TurkStream supplies southern Europe. Pipelines are steel umbilical cords. They represent liquid connectivity at its best while conclusively decreasing risks of geopolitical friction.

Turkey is already being supplied by Russian gas via Blue Stream and the Trans-Balkan pipeline. Significantly, Turkey is Gazprom’s second largest export market after China.

Erdogan’s speech, strenuously emphasizing the benefits of Turkey’s energy security, was played and replayed all across a rainy, ultra-congested Istanbul. To witness this geopolitical and geoeconomic breakthrough was particularly enlightening, as I was deep into discussing Turkish geopolitics with members of the progressive Turkish Left.

Even the opposition to what in Europe is routinely defined as Erdogan’s brand of “Asian illiberalism” concedes Turkey-Russia trade connectivity – in energy, in the military domain via the sale of the S-400 missile system, in the building of nuclear power plants – has been conducted with consummate skill by Erdogan, who is always careful to send direct and indirect messages to Washington that Turkish national interests will not be compromised.

The big prize: leading Islam

Now juxtapose this developing entente cordiale between the Bear and the (aspiring) Sultan with the gripping drama in Istanbul. Ibrahim Karagul – never afraid to apply a Rabelais touch – is always useful as a mirror reflecting the state of play of AKP circles around Erdogan.

For this political elite, a breakthrough in the Erdogan-conducted “Death By a Thousand Leaks” is imminent, allegedly proving that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) directly gave the order for the killing and slaying of Jamal Khashoggi.

The consensus among the AKP leadership – confirmed by independent Left academics – is that the US-Israel-House of Saud-UAE axis is deep in negotiations to extricate MBS from any culpability.

That includes key items in the hefty Erdogan “package” dangled to the axis to essentially buy Ankara’s silence – an end of the Saudi blockade on Qatar and the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, described across the Turkish political spectrum as the leader of FETO (the Fetullah Terrorist Organization).

The Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry are very much aware that the high-stakes game goes way beyond ‘Pulp Fiction’ in Istanbul and the Astana peace process on Syria – carefully micro-managed by both Putin and Erdogan alongside Iran’s Rouhani. The big prize is no less than the leadership of the Islamic world.

There is nowhere better than a few stops in select landmarks of Ottoman imperial power, or a lively conversation at Istanbul’s Old Book Bazaar, to be reminded that this was the seat of the Islamic Umma for centuries – a role usurped by those Arabian desert upstarts.

Alastair Cooke has captured with perfection the House of Saud’s close involvement in the slaying of Khashoggi and how this raises questions about Saudi Arabia’s status as “no more than an inept Custodian of Mecca and Medina”. This is indeed splashed all over the – Erdogan-aligned – Turkish media. And Cooke notes how this status “would strip the Gulf of much of its significance and value to Washington”.

My ongoing conversations with progressive, Kemalist Turkish academics – yes, they are a minority – have unveiled a fascinating process. The Erdogan machine has sensed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to simultaneously bury the House of Saud’s shaky Islamic credibility while solidifying Turkish neo-Ottomanism, but with an Ikhwan framework.

And that’s the rationale behind Erdogan and Turkish media relentlessly denouncing what is interpreted as a plot concocted by MBZ (MBS’s puppet master), Tel Aviv and the Trump administration.

No one can possibly advance the endgame. But that carries the strong possibility of a dominant, Erdogan-led Turkey all across the lands of Islam, allied with Qatar and also with Iran. Plus all of the above enjoying very close geopolitical and economic relations with Russia. Expect major fireworks ahead.

Russian Order vs. Western Chaos

September 16, 2018

By Rostislav Ishchenko 

Russian Order vs. Western Chaos
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-russian-order-vs-western-chaos/
source: https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20180914/1021144841.html

 

On September 14th the Court of Appeal of England and Wales made the decision to satisfy Ukraine’s appeal and to send the case of the $3 billion that Yanukovych managed to receive from the $15 billion loan granted by Russia in 2013 for new consideration.

Ukraine recognises the debt, but hopes that a final decision is made on the example of the decision of the Stockholm arbitration court about the debt of “Naftogaz” to “Gazprom”. Kiev considers that if to subtract its debt from the bills [presented to Russia – ed] for “stealing Crimea” and the help of Russia to Donbass, then Moscow will continue to be indebted to Ukraine for a large sum.

I will remind that the Stockholm arbitration, having reviewed the mutual claims of the parties, “satisfied” them in such a way that Ukraine appeared to be the winner for $2.5 billion. The arbitrators motivated their decision not by the contents of contracts, but by the bad economic situation in Ukraine. Now Russia fights for the revision of this decision in the court of appeal and, exactly on the day prior to the decision of the British court, the Court of Appeal of Stockholm cancelled the suspension of the decision of the Stockholm arbitration until a final decision is pronounced by the appeal instance.

Meanwhile both decisions don’t change anything. Both disputes remain essentially incomplete. But it is precisely their basic incompleteness, along with the absolutely obvious faultlessness of the Russian position, together with the already made illegal decision of the Stockholm arbitration court, that creates a situation in which traditional international structures regulating economic disputes are useless because of the obvious politicisation of the made decisions.

The Stockholm arbitration court isn’t authorised to solve the economic problems of Ukraine (especially at the expense of “Gazprom”), and the British courts can’t consider the political claims of states made to each other. Their business lies only in considering the performance/non-performance by the parties of clauses and, in the event of non-performance, applying the sanctions provided by this same contract.

But in recent days not only “Gazprom” suffered, not only Russia, and not only international justice. The Constantinople Patriarchate Bartholomew, despite the protests of the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Metropolitan Onufry, sent two exarchs to Ukraine for the preparation of autocephaly, concerning which he was asked not by Orthodox Christians of Ukraine, but by political authorities and schismatic sects. Meanwhile, in the EU a scandal inflames over the attempt of the European Parliament and the EU Council to undermine Hungary for its anti-migrant policy.

Externally these events can seem like they have nothing in common with each other. In reality, they are links of the same chain. Each of them is an attempt to destroy the existing world order – some in the sphere of the international justice, some in the church’s relationship in the orthodox world, some in the sphere of the relations of national states and the bureaucratic structures of the EU. And here it is not about reformatting certain structures or obtaining advantages by some state, but precisely about destroying the entire global legal system regulating political, economic, financial, sports, cultural, and other relations. So, for example, the “Olympic doping scandal” concerning Russian athletes was not so much an attempt to steal the victories of the Russian national team, defame Russian sport, and humiliate Russia (it was desired to make it seem like this in order to force Moscow to make inadequate reciprocal actions) as it was an attempt to destroy the world Olympic Movement, but in such a way that Russia is to blame for it.

As we see, Moscow is constantly being pushed towards making sharp actions in the most different directions – against the international economic courts, against the Olympic Movement, and intervening in the church question. And in the political-diplomatic sphere the “case of Skripal’s cat” – within the framework of which the royal British government remorselessly poisons not only our deserters, but also their own citizens – Russia, being led to the point of absurdity, is supposed to be finally roused to a sharp diplomatic demarche against Britain, which will allow to lay the blame on Moscow for the sharp deterioration of the international climate.

But it’s not only about Moscow here. Similarly, the US pushes China and the EU towards the game of weakening the dollar, which is needed by Trump’s team much more than it is by Beijing or Brussels (it will yield only losses rather than profits to Europe and the People’s Republic of China). We already mentioned the Hungarian precedent. Here, in fact, it concerns the fact that globalist euro-bureaucracy pushes the national states of Europe towards the dismantlement of the European Union as a structure hostile to their sovereignty.

Since time immemorial, the state launching war wishes to lay the blame on the victim of aggression. It happens not at all with the aim of calming a sick conscience. The reputation of an aggressor still hasn’t brought dividends to anyone. Usually people unite against those who can attack without a motivation. For example, the reason for the entry of Great Britain, and then the US in World War I was the violation by Germany of the neutrality of Belgium. Similarly, the violation of the neutrality of Belgium, Denmark, and Norway in World War II served Roosevelt’s administration a good propaganda service, which allowed to firstly convince the more than neutrally-intended Americans that the US is obliged to give military-economic support to Great Britain, including in forms that are inadmissible for a neutral state (in fact, to provoke the involvement of the US in war). And this is despite the fact that during World War II the allies didn’t hide their intention to also violate neutrality – at least of Belgium and Norway, and on the eve of World War I England strenuously hinted to the Germans that it won’t start to be at war regardless of what happens on the continent. And then it stated that it simply can’t endure the impudent violation of Belgian neutrality.

In both cases, the status of an aggressor assigned to Germany promoted the creation against it of an almost global coalition. Moreover, if during World War II this status corresponded to reality, then in World War I Berlin was no more an aggressor than London, which used more than its best efforts to provoke and incite this war.

Thus, the culprit for global troubles loses allies, bears responsibility for the creation of a conflict situation in the opinion of the world community, loses support, and plunges into isolation, and all of this doesn’t help its victory in the standoff.

Nowadays the US, having appeared to be incapable of preserving its hegemony in the current global configuration, puts in maximum effort for its destruction. Everything that Washington can reach is being destroyed: countries, international organisations, and the norms of international law. But the reputation of a destroyer leads to serious political expenses. Even the congenial elite of the closest allies started to become afraid of the unpredictability of their partner – more precisely, of its predictable destructiveness. And the US would like to share this responsibility with the others (Russia, the EU, and China). It is approximately like Ukrainian “experts” on Russian talk-shows, who answer a question about any violations in Ukraine of norms of law, honor, justice, and common sense by starting to howl: “It’s the same in your country!” or “it’s even worse in your country!”. In a situation when there is no justification and the crime is obvious, they don’t try to justify themselves, but seek to share responsibility.

And the US in the same way, chaotisizing the planet, destroying the structures governing international relations in the most different spheres, creating a barbarous periphery where there was once civilisation (like in Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen; as they tried and still try in Syria, Iran, Turkey, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Armenia, Central Asia, Pakistan, China, and in Russia) wishes to transfer responsibility for the destruction of civilisation, the death of millions and displacement of tens, if not hundreds of millions of people – who lost in the homeland their means of livelihood – to other world players.

It is for this purpose that they support the available contradictions and create new lines of split where they previously didn’t exist, and they use their influence in international structures to force some of them to make decisions that are inadequate and obviously hostile towards certain countries (including Russia), waiting for a reciprocal rigid reaction from the offended, which would make it possible to blame them for the dismantlement of the global system of international law and the collapse of the relevant institutions.

All of this is supposed to increase the level of trust in the US and reduce the support that its opponents receive, which, in turn, will give Washington the chance, having lost the ordered world, to win a chaotisized world.

This is the long and difficult playing on the nerves of each other, in which Russia, China, Iran, partially Turkey, and now a considerable part of the European Union buy time for the rebuilding of the global system and the creation of a new area of international law that is closed to the US’ interference. In turn, Washington and its allies in the most different countries hurry to chaotisize as many countries and structures as possible, to provoke clashes with the participation of their opponents, so that in the game without rules they are deprived of the advantages that they obtained in the game with rules.

We have to understand that the destruction of the system of international law is not a side effect of America’s actions, but a strategic objective of the US – their last chance to jump out of zugzwang and to obtain freedom of political manoeuvre. And Washington will continue to consistently go all the way towards this goal.

When the desire exists to provoke you into a conflict, sooner or later a situation will be created whereby you all the same will be obliged to either fight or capitulate. There is a need to always be ready for this. It’s just that the transformation of “Leopold into a leopard” [A Soviet cartoon in which Leopold transforms into a leopard – ed] must always be sudden, unexpected for the enemy, and as (or even more) effective as the Georgian operation of 2008 and Crimean one of 2014.

Order always has more of a chance of winning than chaos does. But for this purpose one needs to preserve order, at least for oneself and one’s allies.

 

%d bloggers like this: