Fake Reporting on the Blown-up Pipelines and Russia’s “Annexation

Open Letter to the New York Times

September 30, 2022

Global Research,

By Peter Koenig

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Dear Editor of the once-upon-a-time Famous-for-truth New York Times,

With headlines like this, Sabotaged Pipelines and a Mystery: Who Did It? (Was It Russia?), even suggesting that Russia may have blown up their own pipeline, the NYT is killing its last vestige of credibility.

You know exactly this is a lie.

The only force that has a vital interest in doing so is the US / NATO conglomerate – to make sure, there is no way Germany could change their mind and go back on their decision to let their people freeze to death this winter, and to economically destroy Germany, THE economic force and leader of Europe.

You, and your analysts know that.

Unfortunately, there is no common people’s influence on our reporting. There are stronger forces that have bought into your mind-bending journalism.

Still, once a supporter of the NYT, I feel I want to tell you.

The Same with this reporting

Enormous U.S. Military Spending, EU Dragged into Abyss of War against Russia. Italy Out of the War!

Russian Proxies in Ukraine Push Moscow to Annex Occupied Regions

and

Vladimir Putin will sign agreements on Friday to take over four Ukrainian regions, the Kremlin said, after votes widely denounced as a sham

Here too, these are not “proxy” Russians who signed a sham petition to be annexed to Russia. You know it very well.

These are real Russians, living in the far Eastern part of Ukraine, the Donbas area mostly, who have been discriminated ever since the US instigated the Maidan coup on 22 February 2014 – when a neo-Nazi government was installed that let the Nazi Asov Battalions literally slaughter Ukraine’s own people in Donbas — at least 14,000 were reported killed – about half of them children – in the eight years since the “Victoria Nuland” (“Fuck Europe”) coup. See this.

We are talking about the same Asov Battalions, that helped Hitler during WWII fight against Russia.

Already in 2014 / 2015 the Donbas districts wanted to join Russia. President Putin did not allow it, because at that time he still believed in the “Minsk” Agreements, sponsored by France and Germany.

These agreements were principally meant to protect the Donbas people, as well as to demilitarize – de-Nazify – Ukraine, and to keep NATO out of Ukraine. None of the conditions of the Minsk Agreements (September 2014 and April 2015) were ever adhered to.

If truth-seeking geopolitical analysts around the globe know the real background, you, Editor-in-chief of the NYT, and your journalists, know the real story too. Still, you report lies and half-truths to further influence and promote people’s opinion against Russia.

The New York Times has become weaponized against Russia and China, by your mere reporting.

Don’t you think that this will eventually backfire?

*

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

Peter is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He is also is a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Chongyang Institute of Renmin University, Beijing.

Featured image is from FAIR

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Peter Koenig, Global Research, 2022


Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s introductory remarks at the opening of the exhibition of archive records on the 250th anniversary of the reunification of the peoples of Russia and Belarus

September 20, 2022

This year, Russia and Belarus are celebrating the 250th anniversary of the reunification of our fraternal peoples. In Soviet historiography, this event is referred to as the First Partition of Poland in 1772 that took place against the background of incessant wars in Europe.

Count Nikita Panin and Vice Chancellor Prince Alexander Golitsyn conducted talks on Russia’s behalf. They reached an agreement with Prussian envoy Count Solms and Austrian envoy Prince Lobkowitz and signed the relevant conventions in St Petersburg on August 5, 1772. The agreement between the great European powers provided for a peaceful transition (without bloodshed) for the greater part of the Vitebsk and Mogilev regions in present-day Belarus (92,000 sq km and a population of 1.3 million) becoming part of the Russian state.

This epoch event determined the destiny for a common Russian and Belarusian homeland and the course of European history. These primordial Slavic lands returned to the Russian Empire. The populations of these regions had been subjected to artificial Polonising for centuries. I think it would be appropriate to recall that this year we marked 1,030 years since the advent of Orthodoxy to Belarusian lands. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia coordinated his visits to Polotsk and Minsk with this anniversary.

Due to reunification with Russia in 1772, Belarusians managed to preserve their national identity and language and create conditions for shaping their own statehood. Since then – for a quarter of a millennium now – the Russian and Belarusian people have lived in peace and friendship. They are proud of their great common past and common victories. Together – in the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and now in the Union State, they have efficiently resolved and will continue to resolve their urgent tasks and problems. We look to the future with confidence and optimism.

Today, under the Union State’s programmes of coordinated foreign policy actions, Russia and Belarus hold identical positions on the key issues of our time. They support each other at international venues and closely cooperate at the UN and the OSCE.

Under conditions of unprecedented pressure from the collective West, our two countries are strengthening their integration union and are working to create a common socio-economic, migration and defence space. We have something to present to the Russian and Belarusian public. We have fulfilled 50 percent of our goals under 28 union programmes for 2021-2023. We are drafting new cooperation programmes for the next three years. We are implementing our upgraded Military Doctrine and the Union State’s Migration Policy Concept.

I’d like to repeat that Russia and Belarus are inseparably tied by their common culture and history. We are united by common and memorable dates. These include Day of the Baptism of Russia, Day of Slavic Writing and Culture, Day of Unity between the Peoples of Russia and Belarus, February 23, March 8, Easter, Christmas and, of course, Victory Day on May 9, the dearest and holiest holiday for all of us.

This year we will time a meeting of the foreign ministry collegiums of our countries in Minsk in November to another common date – the 210th anniversary of the Battle of Berezina and the victory in the 1812 Patriotic War. I’d like to emphasise that this was a victory not only over the French but actually over all of Europe that was united under Napoleon.

On September 22-23 of this year, our Belarusian friends will hold one more important event in cooperation with the Russian Military Historical Society – the international scientific conference “Partitions of Poland in the historical memory of the peoples of Belarus and Russia.” This work is aimed at ensuring the continuity of our common history and bringing the truth about centuries-old cultural, historical, spiritual, moral and family ties to our people. It deserves respect and support.

In conclusion, I would like to thank once again the organisers of this event, the Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire, which prepared a thematic exhibition of original documents related to the partition of Poland. These originals have never left the archives. They are the Russian-Prussian and Russian-Austrian conventions on the first partition of Poland, the Warsaw extraordinary peace treaty on the accession of some Polish lands to Russia, and notes on Polish affairs by Alexander Bezborodko, member of the Collegium of Foreign Affairs, to Catherine the Great, which bear her handwritten resolution. We have prepared replicas of these unique documents and will present them to our Belarusian friends as a gift.

Roger Waters’ open letter to “Ze”‘s wife

September 09, 2022

“Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?”
An Open letter to Mrs. Olena Zelenska from Roger Waters
Sunday 4th September 2022

Dear Mrs. Zelenska,

My heart bleeds for you and all the Ukrainian and Russian families, devastated by the terrible war in Ukraine. I’m in Kansas City, USA. I have just read a piece on BBC.com apparently taken from an interview you have already recorded for a program called ‘Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg’ which is to be broadcast on the BBC today, September 4th. BBC.com quotes you as saying that “If support for Ukraine is strong, the crisis will be shorter.” Hmmm? I guess that might depend on what you mean by “support for Ukraine”? If by “support for Ukraine” you mean the West continuing to supply arms to the Kiev government’s armies, I fear you may be tragically mistaken. Throwing fuel, in the form of armaments, into a fire fight, has never worked to shorten a war in the past, and it won’t work now, particularly because, in this case, most of the fuel is (a) being thrown into the fire from Washington DC, which is at a relatively safe distance from the conflagration, and (b) because the ‘fuel throwers’ have already declared an interest in the war going on for as long as possible. I fear that we, and by we I mean people like you and me who actually want peace in Ukraine, who don’t want the outcome to be that you have to fight to the last Ukrainian life, and possibly even, if the worst comes to the worst, to the last human life. If we, instead, wish to achieve a different outcome we may have to seek a different route and that route may lie in your husband’s previously stated good intentions.

Yes, I mean the platform upon which he so laudably ran for the office of President of Ukraine, the platform upon which he won his historic landslide victory in the democratic election in 2019. He stood on the election platform of the following promises.

1. To end the civil war in the East and bring peace to the Donbas and partial autonomy to Donetsk and Luhansk.
2. And to ratify and implement the rest of the body of the Minsk 2 agreements.

One can only assume that your husband’s electoral policies didn’t sit well with certain political factions in Kiev and that those factions persuaded your husband to diametrically change course ignoring the peoples mandate. Sadly, your old man agreed to those totalitarian, anti-democratic dismissals of the will of the Ukrainian people, and the forces of extreme nationalism that had lurked, malevolent, in the shadows, have, since then, ruled the Ukraine. They have, also since then, crossed any number of red lines that had been set out quite clearly over a number of years by your neighbors the Russian Federation and in consequence they, the extreme nationalists, have set your country on the path to this disastrous war.

I won’t go on.

If I’m wrong, please help me to understand how?

If I’m not wrong, please help me in my honest endeavors to persuade our leaders to stop the slaughter, the slaughter which serves only the interests of the ruling classes and extreme nationalists both here in the West, and in your beautiful country, at the expense of the rest of us ordinary people both here in the West, and in the Ukraine, and in fact ordinary people everywhere all over the world.

Might it not be better to demand the implementation of your husband’s election promises and put an end to this deadly war?

Love
Roger Waters

source

Contemporary Zionism pursues its assigned role as an advanced military and intelligence base of Anglo-American, European imperialism – Part II

28 Jul 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Niloufer Bhagwat 

The Partition of Palestine to establish a Zionist Military Base in the Arab world; the Partition of Korea and the Partition of the Indian Subcontinent are an extension of the same strategy to set back National Liberation Movements in these regions.

Contemporary Zionism pursues it assigned role as an advanced military and intelligence base of Anglo-American, European imperialism – Part II

To read Part I, click here. (Wrong Link)

The Zionist Israeli colonial-settler, apartheid, military and Intelligence project, was part of the new strategy for control of resource-rich regions of the world, implemented through British, American, and European policy, even as National Liberation Movements in Asia, Africa, and in the Arab world began freeing their countries from British, French and European colonial rule. The establishment of a Zionist military outpost in the Middle East to control adjacent regions was part of the new strategy for continuing colonial exploitation and occupation of several parts of the world by erstwhile colonial powers in collaboration with the United States, by partitioning countries they had earlier colonized, before their withdrawal, to establish proxy governments in various regions of the world, a different strategy to direct colonial rule. At the same time, the Indian Subcontinent was partitioned by the British collaborating with the pro-British comprador classes of different religious groups in India: Muslim, and Hindu, and a new country Pakistan created from this partition, another British project to establish theocratic states, immediately integrated into an Anglo-American Military pact against the Arab world, West Asia, the former USSR, and India. General Zia Ul Haq, then a brigadier in the Pakistan Army (later military dictator and President of Pakistan after a military coup) led a military expedition of Pakistan in 1970 to the Kingdom of Jordan allied with Britain, during what was known as ‘Black September’, to put down by military force the ‘Palestinian uprising’ in the West Bank of Palestine, leading to a massacre of Palestinians. In the Far East, Korea was partitioned by the United States, after the Korean war during which US forces used bio-weapons against the Korean people and its allies the Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army, all cities of North Korea were destroyed. Thereafter a proxy government of the United States was placed in power in South Korea, a colonial adjunct of the United States in the region, and a US military base to dominate and control the Far East, apart from the US military bases in Japan, which exist till date, including for stationing of nuclear weapons platforms of the United States.

The latest example of the establishment of a US military base and colonization of a country in East Europe is Ukraine, after Victoria Nuland, then-Assistant Secretary of State under the administration of President Obama (presently Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs), led the United States ‘Maidan’ coup of 2014 in Ukraine, which was another Anglo-American- Zionist and NATO project to control the resources of the region, to destroy both Ukraine and the Russian Federation and economically setback Europe, by deliberately inciting war on Europe’s Eastern periphery by initiating genocidal attacks on Eastern and Southern Ukraine’s predominantly Russian population, and attempting to destroy their language and culture and encouraging Ukraine and concerned European governments to renege on the Minsk Agreement signed with Russia. Thereafter an all-out economic war was declared on the Russian Federation, with sanctions imposed on Russia’s oil and gas resources, on Russian shipping, banking, and all its financial institution, to financially strangulate the Russian Federation, to control Russia’s trade in energy resources, in food and other commodities; the key to control several economies, the whole of Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America; and if necessary expand this into a Third World War for the Imperialist restructuring of the world, as earlier by the Second World War. Zionism is a global Imperial Military project integrated with Anglo-American Imperialism and NATO’s wars of aggression and internal subversion in Palestine, in the Arab world,  in Iran, and worldwide, including in Ukraine.

The second reason for the failure by Jurists with exceptions, to examine the real nature of Zionism and the Zionist project of “Israel”, was the touching faith of many jurists in the United Nations and its resolutions, including of the Security Council and General Assembly and other organizations, instead of an objective and critical approach to resolutions and decisions of all UN bodies and instrumentalities. No institution national or international can be above scrutiny or is infallible. This approach led to the flawed academic tendency to accept decisions of all United Nations organizations as ‘gospel’ or ‘divine’ truth. Consequently, there was an ideological disinclination to examine the validity of the United Nations Palestine Partition Resolution of 1947 which led to the establishment of the Zionist entity of “Israel” in 1948, controlled by the financial and banking elite of the Anglo-Saxon-Zionist world, in their own interests. The 1947 Partition of Palestine Resolution was a violation of International Law. Palestinian territory was forcibly seized from the people of Palestine by Jewish European settlers, facilitated through the instrumentality of the British Mandate over Palestine, in reality, British colonial occupation. The Palestine Partition Resolution of 1947 was a violation of the right of Self-Determination of the Palestinian Arab people and a violation of General Assembly Resolutions on National Liberation Movements and anti-Colonial struggles of the people of Asia, Africa and South America among other regions. From the legal and political perspective, there was no basis for the 1947 Partition Resolution. The British Mandate over Palestine was ending and in accordance with International Law and De-colonization, it was necessary for Palestine to revert to the political control of the Indigenous Arab people of Palestine, subjugated by British occupation and colonial rule. For the United Nations to give legitimacy to the European Zionist Jewish Settler project, was a decision promoting European-settler colonization in Palestine, in violation of declared International Law on De-colonization and National Self-Determination, and to repeat in Palestine, what had taken place in past centuries in the United States of America, in Canada, in Australia, in New Zealand, in South Africa, in South West Africa, in South America, among other regions of the world; where ‘neo-Europes’ and European civilization were forcibly transplanted into alien soil, to perpetuate European occupation and colonization and the seizure of land and resources of vast continents exterminating the Indigenous people in a colonial holocaust not of 6 million, but of hundreds of millions worldwide including in India and China, with no reparation till date.

The United Nations Charter is an International Treaty. The United Nations was not established as per its declared objectives to perpetuate a Zionist European Jewish Colonial-Settler and a ‘Racist and Apartheid’ Israeli Regime, massacring Palestinians, and waging a continuous war both on the people of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza, and other Palestinian territories occupied by “Israel”, and expansionist wars of aggression on its Arab neighbors, to achieve the Zionist objective of dominating the region and seizing all resources, including land and water reservoirs of Palestine and river waters of neighboring states of Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, including in the Syrian Golan Heights, the Jordan river and Sea of Galilee; with no other justification than the Zionist self-propagated Racist theory of a superior or ‘Chosen People ’, causing widespread ecological devastation from the overuse of waters of the region. “Israel’s” policy is a continuous project for militarization and weaponization of the region against Palestinians, all “Israel’s” neighbors, and beyond against other countries in the wider region and adjacent continents; and includes a covert nuclear weapons program, while destroying peaceful nuclear energy projects of neighboring Arab states of Iraq and Syria; threatening the Iranian Nuclear Energy program, assassinating Iranian scientists, generals and military officers in Iran and in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, that is in countries who have military co-operation agreements with Iran. “Israel” has stealthily infected Iranian facilities with the ‘Stuxnet Virus’ or computer worm to disrupt operations, and resisted all proposals for a ‘Nuclear –Free Zone’ for this entire region including for “Israel”. In a new Quad has been established for the Middle East, of the USA, India, “Israel” and the UAE, a so-called “Indo-Abrahamic” Bloc similar to the Quad of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ a strategic alliance of the US, Japan, India and Australia to counter China which is unlikely to be welcomed by the Arab street, which sees such an alliance which includes the United States and “Israel”, as a threat to the military and economic sovereignty of the Arab world and its energy resources, as this West Asia Quad in its statement refers to focus on joint investments in the region, in” water, energy, transportation, space, health and food security, etc. directly related to economic sovereignty of governments and the people of the region . President Joe Biden of the United States and Prime Minister Yair Lapid of “Israel” also signed a joint declaration on the state of the ‘strategic partnership’ between the two countries, which is in fact a military and strategic pact targeting Iran, purportedly to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In reality, there is a military pact to threaten Iran as a possible prelude to incite a wider war in the region like in Ukraine in furtherance of NATO economic and military hegemony against the Multi-polar world order emerging.

The ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people, the US-UK led Coalition’s repeated wars of aggression on Iraq, to which Ukraine contributed a military contingent as part of the coalition after the invasion of 2003; the US and NATO-led ISIS/Daesh/Jabhat Al-Nusra and their front organizations’ attacks in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon; the successive Israeli wars of aggression on Syria and Lebanon, and earlier on Jordan and Egypt; Israeli military advisers directing and participating in the war of aggression waged on Yemen are all the direct consequence of the powerful Zionist and Israeli lobbies of the United States, UK, France, among other NATO countries, controlling resources of the region, assisting in the expansionist military objectives of the state of “Israel”, the military and intelligence outpost of NATO.

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

Biden war criminal, Taiwan part of China: Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters

August 9, 2022

Source: CNN

By Al Mayadeen English 

Pink Floyd’s co-founder Roger Waters criticizes the United States over its role in the Ukraine war while underlining that Taiwan is part of China.

British singer-songwriter Roger Waters of Pink Floyd

China is not encircling Taiwan, for the latter is part of China, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters told CNN during an interview on Monday, sparking controversy against the British artist.

In an interview with CNN‘s Michael Smerconish, Waters responded to comments from Smerconish that China was “encircling Taiwan”, saying: “They [the Chinese forces] are not encircling Taiwan! Taiwan is part of China.”

“And that’s been absolutely accepted by the whole international community since 1948, and if you don’t know that, you are not reading enough,” the singer added.

The comments led to a large-scale campaign of hate against the British artist.

China announced carrying out fresh military drills around Taiwan Monday, days after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island escalated tensions between the two powers.

Pelosi’s visit led China to announce ending cooperation with the United States on a number of issues such as climate change, anti-drug efforts, and military talks.

The US official’s visit to Taipei triggered a series of Chinese large-scale military drills east of the Taiwan Strait, as well as massive rows between Beijing and Washington.

“Try and figure out what the United States would do if the Chinese were putting nuclear-armed missiles into Mexico or Canada,” Waters stressed.

Waters responded to questions about his This Is Not a Drill live show, which sees an image of Joe Biden appear among pictures of “war criminals”.

He backed his position by underlining that this was because Biden was “fueling the fire in the Ukraine.”

US President Joe Biden among the “war criminals” in George Waters’ “This Is Not a Drill” live show

It is a “huge crime,” he said. “Why won’t the United States of America encourage [Volodymyr] Zelensky, or whatever his name is, the [Ukrainian] President, to negotiate, obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war?”

He went on to say that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine was to do with the “action and reaction of NATO pushing right up to the Russian border.”

Waters brought up the ratification of the Minsk agreement, calling on Zelensky to explain why “when he stood on the platform of ratifying the Minsk agreements, which he did when he was elected by 73% of the Ukrainian population that was able to vote.”

“After that, somebody whispered in his ear, or he completely changed his mind about making peace in the Donbass and about solidifying the Minsk agreement and making peace with their Russian neighbors, and obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war. You’re killing – we don’t know how many Ukrainians,” Waters underscored, holding Zelensky accountable for what has taken place in Ukraine.

His position backs that of Moscow, who had been warning NATO and the European Union against pushing toward the Russian border, but its warnings fell on deaf ears and culminated in the Ukraine war.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov : Member countries of the African Union

July 29, 2022

Editorial Comment: Mr Lavrov’s visits to Arab states, the Arab League, and African states can only be described as a stunning victory and a complete triumph for diplomacy. A short overview is included in the second part of this Operation Z situation report: http://thesaker.is/sitrep-operation-z-collapses-and-progress/
All of the various transcripts can be read at the MFA site: https://www.mid.ru/en/
Short comments and summaries can be found on the MFA Telegram Channel: https://t.me/MFARussia



Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to the questions during a meeting with permanent representatives of the member countries of the African Union and the diplomatic corps, Addis Ababa, July 27, 2022

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Representatives of the media,

Thank you very much for coming here at our invitation. I believed that being in Addis Ababa, it is absolutely important to meet with the African Union members, like I did during all my previous visits. We could not do this at the headquarters for, as far as I understand, scheduling reasons. And I’m glad that you’ve accepted our invitation to come here to the Russian Embassy to discuss issues which are on the top of international agenda.

Many of our Western colleagues try to send the message that the key, if not the only, problem in international relations is the situation around Ukraine. I tend to disagree with such an assertion and during my visit here and  in my previous encounters with my foreign colleagues, I sense a broad understanding that the issue is much more complex and complicated.

What we witness now, especially as the West launches an unprecedented campaign of sanctions, accusations, threats, vis-à-vis Russia and anybody who dares to support Russia or even not to condemn Russia. This campaign indicates that we are living through a very important historical period, a period where we will all be deciding what kind of universe we are going to have and to leave for our children and grandchildren. The universe which is based on the United Nations Charter, which says that the United Nations is founded on the principle of sovereign equality of states, or we will have the world where the right of force, the right of the strongest dominates.

Actually, what it is all about can be described on the following example. Is it our choice to have the world where we have the so-called collective West, totally subordinated to the United States and feeling free, feeling that it has the right to decide when and how to promote its own interests without following the international law, without any respect to the sovereign equality of states?

When our American colleagues felt in the past that there was a threat to their interests, tens of thousands kilometers from the American coast, be it Yugoslavia in 1999, be it Iraq in 2003, be it Libya in 2011, and many other occasions, without any hesitation, without explaining anything to anybody, very often on false pretexts, they just started military operations levelling cities, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, like it happened in Iraq in the city of Mosul which was literally levelled. The same happened to Raqqa in Syria, where dozens and hundreds of corpses have been lying for weeks unattended and I don’t recall the progressive civilized community raising any big noise about that situation.

When the Russian Federation, not just overnight, but for the last ten long years has been drawing the attention of the United States and its allies to the unacceptable policy which they have been promoting on Ukraine, building Ukraine as a stronghold to contain Russia, pumping more and more modern arms in Ukraine, planning to build naval and military bases in that country and encouraging in all possible ways Russophobic policies of its leaders; when in 2014 we categorically protested to the West that in spite of its guarantees, the opposition in Ukraine staged a bloody coup and when they came to power, the first thing they did was to demand to cancel the status of the Russian language which has been the historical language of Ukraine from the very beginning. They also demanded the Russians to get out of Crimea. They sent armed groups to storm the Parliament of Crimea and then the eastern part of Ukraine protested against the coup.

The putchists called them separatists, terrorists and started a full-fledged military operation against them. And the West as I’ve said, which had guaranteed only a few days before that – guaranteed a peace deal between the former president and the opposition, the deal which provided for creation of a government of national unity and early elections, – this deal was disrupted overnight and the opposition bragged that they created the government of the winners.

See the difference: the government of national unity and the government of the winners. This was an invitation for the civil war because the opposition called part of its own citizens “losers” while the opposition became “winners”.

So when this all started we managed, together with some other countries, to stop it in February 2015 – Minsk Agreements were signed – keeping Ukraine one-piece.

The eastern territories of Ukraine that originally after the coup declared independence were persuaded not to insist on independence and to agree to stay inside Ukraine by these Minsk Agreements, provided they are given a special status. First of all, the right to use the Russian language.

This was endorsed by the Security Council and this was systemically and totally ignored and sabotaged by the Kiev regime with the encouragement of the West.

There was no direct dialogue between Kiev and those territories in spite of the fact that this was directly demanded from the Ukrainian regime by the Security Council.

And few weeks ago the former President of Ukraine P.Poroshenko who signed the Minsk Agreements, proudly stated to the media that “When I was signing it, I never intended to implement it. We just needed more time to get more weapons from the West in order to enable us to resolve the problem of Ukrainian East by the use of force.” Very honestly.

But this is totally neglected by the West. So we have been knocking on the door of our Western colleagues at least since 2013, telling them that this is absolutely a red line when you create a direct threat to the Russian Federation just on our borders. When you create a Russophobic state, which during all these years, managed to pass series of laws, prohibiting – physically, literally, – the use of Russian language in education, in culture, in media, and even in day-to-day life.

And at the same time, legislation was passed to legalize neo-Nazi theories and practices. Neo-Nazi battalions with swastikas and insignias of Waffen-SS, have been mushrooming in Ukraine and becoming the cornerstone of the Ukrainian Army.

It’s a very radicalized country. They glorify the collaborators of Hitler condemned by the Nuremberg Tribunal and all this is being done with silent encouragement by the United States and the European Union. And the process which I’ve described was accompanied by the Western attempts, not attempts – policy – to pull Ukraine into NATO.

Dozens of military exercises of NATO with Ukraine were held on Ukrainian territory with an obvious anti-Russian dimension. The efforts of Russia during all these years – it was not just, you know, we say today that this is a threat and excuse us, but we need to remove this threat. It has been happening for at least ten years.

When we’ve told our Western colleagues, “Guys, why are you pulling Ukraine to NATO? You know that this is a hostile organization vis-a-vis Russia, they were telling us, ‘Don’t worry, it will not be detrimental to your security.’”

Russia, as any other self-respectful country has the right to determine itself what is good for its security and what is not. In that case, NATO members led by the United States, opted to decide for us what is good for the Russian Federation.

We reminded them that many years ago in 2010, they all signed up a declaration saying that the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe will be based on the principle of equal and indivisible security, which means that any country can choose alliances, but no country has the right in choosing alliances to increase its security at the expense of the security of other countries. And that no single organization in Europe can pretend to dominate the security space.

NATO is doing exactly this. And NATO, of course, is strengthening the security of its own at the expense of the security of the Russian Federation, because the borders of NATO have been moved just to the borders of Russia.

So we told them, “Guys, political commitments to which your presidents and prime ministers put the signatures don’t work. Let’s make this principle that the security is indivisible and must be equal for all, let’s make it legally binding.”

And we suggested to them respective treaties several times. First, back in 2009 and the last attempt was in December of 2021. And they told us, “Look gentlemen, first there would be no legally binding security guarantees except for NATO members. And second, as regards Ukraine, the relations between NATO and Ukraine are none of your business.” And that was the end of it.

And parallel with this absolute rejection of constructive efforts we have been undertaking for many, many years, parallel to this the Ukrainians, in violation of the Minsk Agreements, started to accumulate huge military force on the line of contact with the eastern part of the country where the two republics have been under siege, basically. They intensified radically the shelling and bombing of those territories.

When we understood that there would be no agreement on security guarantees in Europe which would be equal, when we understood that there would be no implementation of the Minsk Agreements because the Ukrainian leadership publicly renounced this, and when we understood that the only way to save the people in the east of Ukraine was to recognize these two republics, we did so.

We signed the Treaty on Mutual Assistance with them and at their request, we are now exercising a special military operation aimed at saving lives of the citizens of the Donbass and removing any possibility for Ukrainian territory to be used to threaten the security of the Russian Federation.

I am sure that you have been following the events. I know that the Western media presents the situation in a totally distorted manner. If only to mention the so-called food crisis, as if nothing was of concern before February this year.

If you read the reports of the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization, you will refresh your memory and establish the fact that the problems in the world food market started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when in an attempt to fight this virus and the pandemic consequences the US, the EU and Japan have made an emission for eight trillion dollars’ worth without any economic substantiation, and they use this empty money to buy food and all other goods which they believe would be necessary in case pandemic takes long and there will be closure of countries.

Then there were, of course, increases, long ago, of the price of fertilizers because of the reckless policy of the Western countries on the so-called Green Transition, because the energy supplies, the classical energy resources were more or less discriminated and all this has brought the price of fertilizers high, which of course affected the price of food, and so on and so forth. And then there were not very conducive climate conditions for a couple of years.

And yes, the situation in Ukraine did affect, additionally, negatively affected food markets. But not because of the Russian special operation, rather due to the absolutely inadequate reaction of the West, which announced sanctions, undermining the availability of the food on the markets.

When we explain this to them, they say, “Food and fertilizers are not covered by sanctions”. Yes, but you know, half-truth is worse than a lie. And the truth is that the list of sanctions does not contain an item saying “food”, but what it does contain is prohibition for the Russian ships to call to the ports in the Mediterranean, prohibition for the foreign ships to call on the Russian ports, to pick up food and other cargo, prohibition to insure the Russian ships, because of which insurance prices quadrupled overnight. And of course, prohibition for the main Russian bank, Russian Agricultural Bank, which has always served the payments for Russian food exports – it was listed in the European Union sanctions.

So the latest attempt by our Turkish friends and the Secretary General of the United Nations resulted in a deal between Russia and the United Nations, whereby Secretary General Guterres committed himself to press the Western countries to lift those restrictions, which I just quoted. We’ll see whether he can succeed.

And the same deal as you know, provided for Ukraine an obligation to demine its coastal line for the ships which have been locked there, I think 70 ships from 16 countries since February, to allow them out of the Ukrainian territorial waters, after which Turkish and Russian fleet will ensure their safe travel to the straits and then to the Mediterranean.

So those were the agreements, which could have been announced long, long ago, if not for the Western stubbornness in insisting that they are always right, and all those who don’t agree with them, of course, are always wrong.

A similar situation is taking place with the energy markets. Many years ago, before February this year, the West started discriminating Russian energy projects. First, the project called Nord Stream 1 was limited by 50% of its capacity for no good reason at all. Europe deprived itself of 50% of Russian cheap, accessible gas.

Then Nord Stream 2 was blocked by absolutely illegal action when the legal committee of the European Union ruled that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was built and financed and invested, fully aligned with the existing European norms.

But after that, the European Commission changed the rules retrospectively and applied the new rules to the investment which took place legally several years ago.

So Nord Stream 2 is also not available. Poland, several months ago, stopped taking gas from a direct pipeline from Russia. Ukraine stopped one of the two transit lines through its territory from Russia. And there was some hassle with that turbine which went for maintenance to Canada, then Canada didn’t want to bring it back.

I listed five or six factors which immediately negatively affected gas supplies to Europe volume-wise. And, of course, the less you buy from Russia through a pipeline, which is a price established for long-term, the more expensive prices on the spot.

It reached yesterday, I think, $2,200 for a thousand cubic meters. So the attempts to blame us for everything which goes wrong is an attempt with not very clean purposes and intentions.

What is my point? My point is that it’s a period of history where we will have to choose either to go down the current, which the West tries to move, saying that the world must be run not by international law, but by the rules.

They coined an expression “rules-based world order”. And if you analyze the behavior of our Western colleagues in the international arena, you will understand that these rules differ from case to case. There is no single criteria. There is no single principle, except one. If I want something, you have to obey. If you don’t obey, you would be punished.

This is the picture for the future offered to us by the rules-based world order promoted by the West. Basically, this is the unipolar world where the United States, which subordinated to its own will everybody else in the European Union and allies in Asia… This is the offer. Not even an offer, it is an ultimatum actually.

The alternative to this, and I’m sure that the overwhelming majority of the world countries do not want to live as if the colonial times came back, that the vast majority of the states want to be independent, want to rely on their own tradition, to rely on their own history, to rely on their old friends, don’t want to betray their old friends.

And this is basically evident from the fact that except two or three developing countries, no one else in Africa, Asia or Latin America joined the illegal American and European sanctions.

And back to the United Nations Charter. I believe, when we speak about more just, more democratic world order, we don’t need to invent anything. Once again, I quote the Charter which says that the United Nations is based on the principle of sovereign equality of states.

And to recognize that each state is independent, each state has the right to determine how it wants to live, what kind of economic, social, political system it wants to choose on the basis of the will of its people. And I have no slightest doubt that any normal state wants to be like this. Nobody wants to have enemies. This is also an absolute truth. Neither Russia nor any other country present in this hall – I have no doubt.

But if countries, like we witness now the behavior of the West, if they do want to have enemies, as they publicly declared in their doctrines, in the decisions of the latest NATO summit in Madrid – they do want enemies, they appoint enemies, they appoint the order in which they handle these enemies. Now Russia is the first, China is earmarked as the existential challenge for the long term. And all this manifests in renewed thinking about how the world economy and the world system operates.

If the US and the European Union – under the demand of the US – decided to freeze the Russian reserves – and now they seriously start a legal process to prepare the basis to confiscate the Russian money – who knows… If they become irritated by somebody else tomorrow or the day after, they might do the same.

In other words, the reliance on dollar as the instrument supporting the world economy is not very promising, frankly speaking. And it is not by incident that more and more countries are shifting to using alternative currencies, shifting to use national currencies more and more, and this process will be gaining momentum.

This is not to say that we are suggesting some kind of revolution against the dollar, against the United States – this is to state the obvious: the West created a system which was based on certain principles – free market, fair competition, sanctity of private property, presumption of innocence, and something else. All these principles have been thrown down the drain when they needed to do what they believe is to punish Russia.

And I don’t have the slightest doubt that, if need be, they will not hesitate to do the same in relation to any other country which would irritate them one way or another.

I mentioned China as the next target. It’s a very interesting example of how the Americans consider fair competition in practice. Actually, China developed into the number one world economy – everybody recognizes this – and China did so, China achieved those results, working and acting on the basis of the rules established by the West. The IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the rules to settle disputes, competition and the stuff. China accepted those rules in developing its own economy and China defeated the West, economically and trade-wise, investment-wise, on its own turf, on the basis of the rules invented by the West.

And what happened next? Already a couple of years ago, the Secretary of Treasury of the United States and some other officials started saying, “We need to reform the Bretton Woods Institutions, we need to reform the WTO and we need to organize this reform between the US and Europe not to allow anybody else to participate in developing new rules.”

Guys, it is absolutely obvious, how they want this world to be operated. And I believe, as long as it is not too late, we would be ready to talk to our Western friends when they come back to their senses about how they think they should live together with all of us in the future. But this conversation can only be made on full equality, with full respect to the legitimate interests of all of us.

If I took too long of your time, I apologize. And I understand there might be a couple of questions, right?

Question: Your Excellency, Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation,

On behalf of the people of South Sudan, the Government and on my own behalf, I wish to take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Ethiopia for inviting me and my delegation here.

We are grateful that our two countries, the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Sudan enjoy cordial bilateral relations, dating back to the day of our declaration of independence, where the Russian people and their Government were among those who recognized our statehood on July 9, 2011. Since then Your Excellency, the people and the governments of two countries have stood with the people and the Government of South Sudan in many ways.

The people of South Sudan wish to express their gratitude for your immense support in the UNSC, the Human Rights Council in Geneva and other activities where you supported us. First of all, as you explained, Your Excellency, you outlined your view on sanctions. Now we know what’s really going on.

On the current political situation in my country I would like to inform Your Excellency the Minister that the signed revitalized peace agreement of 2018 is holding despite the challenges that you have mentioned. These include numerous sanctions by Western countries and their allies, and an arms embargo. Other factors of concern are natural disasters, such as heavy rains…

Sergey Lavrov: I apologize, can you pass on this text? Because it would be useful and more polite to the others. Ok? Please, pass it. Thank you!

Just one remark. We are against those sanctions which are intended to punish people. And don’t forget that the initiators of these sanctions against you are exactly the same countries who wanted to create South Sudan out of Sudan.

Question: Thank you very much for giving a very detailed and covering all important aspects in your briefing. A short question: How the hegemony of dollar can be controlled by international community because right now the countries like Pakistan and many developing countries are suffering from huge debt that continues to grow. The problem is getting worse. I would like you to clarify the situation.

Sergey Lavrov: I am not an expert in monetary affairs. What I said was it’s an obvious feeling by many countries that the dollar is not reliable, because the capricious behavior could be aimed at anyone in the future.

I know that you can feel this on yourself, if you compare the situation of 20-30 years ago and now. So, it’s life. It’s life. And nobody wants to go to war because of the dollar and I believe this is crazy.  But people want to have some insurance as regards the reliability of their economic and trade relations with their partners. And there are examples, including the use of national currencies, including barter, including clearing mechanisms. Some might say this is going back to the past instruments of conducting trade. But there would be digital currencies, I don’t have the slightest doubt, which are already being developed in China, for example, in Venezuela, in Iran.

We are thinking about this as well. It’s the beginning of a process. Now we have accumulated the elements of the problem and we know that it must be addressed.

Question: With an approach of winter during which gas importations increase. How does Russia going to export its gas and circumvent the sanctions imposed? 15 African countries import more than 50% of their grain from Russia. The situation also affected the exports from African countries to Russia. How does Russia intend to manage trade relations with Africa?

Sergey Lavrov: I think I addressed both issues in my remarks. I hope you listened to me. Antonio Guterres personally promised to make sure that the US and EU remove any obstacles to the export of Russian grain. If you add your noble voice to his efforts, I think it would be useful.

And on gas prices – I also explained how Europe systemically, during the last almost ten years, was creating barriers on the way of bringing to European countries cheap and accessible Russian gas.

I listed five or six specific decisions which were cutting more and more of Russian exports, vacating the room in Europe for much more expensive LNG from the United States, just like, you know, the US insists that Europe sends all its weapons to Ukraine, vacating the arms market in Europe for the import of American weapons. It’s “nothing personal, it’s business.”

As regards your country (Algeria), the Europeans are now thinking of alternative sources of supply. They have suffocated themselves with their own hands the pipeline routes from Russia. Now they are  looking for alternatives. And I know that the Mediterranean, including Algeria, is one of those sources.

They would be asking you to help, and it’s up to your companies to decide, it’s up to your government to decide.

In our case, according to our experiences that when we had long-term contracts with Europe, these long-term contracts protected our interests. But, a few years ago, Europe started cutting long-term contracts saying, “Let’s shift to the spot market”. And the spot market does not guarantee that you will have a long-term investment justified.

So, what we see now is not a scientific, not a responsible approach to the energy markets – it’s a hectic search for something which can save you this winter, with the green agenda shelved for the time being.

The coal is coming back, polluting the atmosphere – it’s a mess, if you take a look at the energy and environment policy that Europe is promoting. I am sorry to say this. We are not getting any happiness or joy from what Europe is experiencing, but they have been doing this to themselves for quite some time already.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have to apologize because the minister – my colleague from Ethiopia – is   waiting for me for the next event. Once again I want to thank you whole-heartedly for accepting our invitation. I hope it was not a waste of time. I tried to be as frank as I can, and we would be ready to promote dialogue with the African Union.

Unfortunately, we could not meet at the headquarters. And we would be ready for a dialogue on all these and any other issues of interest and of importance with you bilaterally. With all of you we have good relations and channels of communication.

I wish you all the best and keep healthy. Thank you very much.

Germany’s Century-Long Plot To Capture Control Of Europe Is Almost Complete

July 20, 2022

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Germany was waiting this whole time for a major crisis, which ultimately turned out to be the latest phase of the Ukrainian Conflict that US-led NATO is entirely responsible for provoking, in order to make its two interconnected power plays that are now actively unfolding.

The German elite has consistently remained hellbent on capturing control of Europe for over a century, with the only thing changing over the decades being their means after military ones horribly failed twice already. The former West Germany came to believe after World War II that the best bet for fulfilling this plot was to play it cool by abandoning unilateralism in favor of US-led multilateralism. That in turn enabled it to strategically disarm the rest of the continent, especially in the run-up to reunification with the former East Germany, after having tricked everyone into thinking that its elite finally changed their ways even though the only change was the means employed to this end.

The strategic patience practiced by the German leadership in the decades since World War II and especially the end of the Old Cold War was impressive since it certainly did indeed seem as though their elite finally abandoned their hegemonic plans. Even President Putin, who established extremely close relations with former Chancellor Merkel and arguably seemed to trust her, was duped to an extent despite his former career in intelligence. After all, he took her government’s word that it would resolve the ”EuroMaidan” crisis that soon thereafter led to a Berlin-backed coup and then still continued to believe that she’d succeed in getting Kiev to implement the UNSC-endorsed Minsk Accords.

These observations speak to how convincing the German elite’s act had been that even this world-class professional largely fell for it, which resulted in Russia losing almost eight years’ worth of time before it was finally compelled to commence its ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. This whole time, Germany was playing everyone for fools by plotting behind the scenes to capture control of Europe exactly as it’s sought to do for a century, albeit through different means than what observers had come to expect from Berlin. Instead of military ones, superficial multilateralism was employed via EU institutions and associated hyper-liberal ideology in order to disguise these hegemonic ambitions.

Germany was waiting this whole time for a major crisis, which ultimately turned out to be the latest phase of the Ukrainian Conflict that US-led NATO is entirely responsible for provoking, in order to make its two interconnected power plays that are now actively unfolding. The first concerns Chancellor Scholz’s plans for his country to have the “biggest conventional army” in Europe and the second involves his latest proposal to abandon national vetoes in order for the EU to compete with other Great Powers. About the last-mentioned, he predictably added that Germany should “assume responsibility for Europe and the world in these difficult times”, which exposed the whole charade as a hegemonic power play.

Russia finally seems to have wised up to Germany’s complicity in provoking the latest phase of the Ukrainian Conflict, with Foreign Minister Lavrov blaming it and France for killing the Minsk Accords in a recent op-ed. From there, it’s only a proverbial hop, skip, and a jump away from realizing that this was all part of Germany’s plan to capture control of Europe by “passively facilitating” the major crisis that was required to unveil the two interconnected power plays that were mentioned in the preceding paragraph. This hegemonic plot is so important for the German elite that they’re even willing to accept massive self-inflicted economic damage in pursuit of it as proven by their anti-Russian sanctions.  

In hindsight, this latest phase of the Ukrainian Conflict was the only scenario that could prompt Germany to unveil this long-plotted power play in a “plausibly deniable” way. The 2015 Migrant Crisis concerned unconventional security threats and wouldn’t have realistically necessitated Germany openly aspiring to build the biggest conventional army in Europe, nor would it have been the proper pretext for proposing an end to the EU’s policy of national vetoes. Only a conventional security crisis could have created the conditions for superficially “justifying” that, hence why Berlin “passively facilitated” this outcome for the past eight years after earlier duping everyone into thinking its elite had finally changed.

What’s different from the last two World Wars and what many have begun describing as a hybrid form of the so-called “Third World War” is that the former saw Germany truly aspiring for independent hegemony over everyone else while the latter sees it willingly behaving as the US’ “Lead From Behind” proxy for managing Europe on Washington’s behalf. In fact, this all seems to have been part of the larger plan too since Germany learned the hard way twice already that America will never let it truly become an independent hegemon, ergo why its elite modified their plot after World War II by incorporating their “junior partner” status vis-à-vis that superpower into everything from the get-go.

Where Russia got it wrong for so long is that its passionately sovereign leadership subconsciously projected their independent aspirations onto Germany, naively believing that the EU’s de facto leader sought to strive for the same Great Power status that their own civilization-state has while also falling for the charade of thinking that its elite abandoned their hegemonic plans. What really happened is that this same elite simply duped everyone through their embrace of superficial multilateralism via EU institutions and associated hyper-liberal ideology into thinking that they changed when the only thing that’s different is the means through which they’ve consistently pursued the same end.

France doesn’t feel militarily threatened by Germany anymore so it won’t seek to sabotage its neighbor’s militarization plans, and while its famous perception of itself as the bastion of European culture might be bruised by Berlin proposing that the bloc abandon national vetoes, Paris could always redirect its grand strategic focus away from Europe in response and towards Françafrique (West-Central Africa) where it’s struggling to retain its declining hegemony there in the face of newfound multipolar trends embodied by the Malian junta. This observation suggests that only Poland could stand in the way of Germany’s century-long hegemonic plot, though it’s unrealistic to expect it to succeed.

Its faux “conservative-nationalist” ruling party already submitted to hyper-liberalism by actively advancing the Ukrainization of their country, plus it’s powerless to indefinitely rebuff Germany’s pressure for Poland to adopt the euro, which gray cardinal Kaczynski just warned would kill its economy once that happens. This aspiring Great Power in its own right might become a nuisance to Germany, but it’s incapable of stopping the latter’s hybrid economic-institutional-military capture of the continent. Poland might temporarily prevent Germany from exerting its envisioned hegemony over the Baltics and especially Ukraine, but Warsaw was ultimately Berlin’s “useful idiot” as it’s finally beginning to realize.

For these reasons and barring any black swan events such as the consequences of President Putin’s prophesized populist-driven “elite change” across the continent that he made in mid-June while speaking at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), it should therefore be taken for granted that Germany will inevitably capture control of the continent sooner or later. This poses a complex array of geostrategic challenges for the emerging Multipolar World Order and Russia in particular, though the silver lining is that they can at least be better predicted than previously now that Moscow finally acknowledges Berlin’s hegemonic ambitions.

Russia’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, talks with RT’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan in an exclusive interview about the challenges Russia faces amid the Ukraine conflict

July 20, 2022

Highlights as seen by Pepe Escobar:

🇷🇺The highlights of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Sputnik and RT:

🔹The EU is forced to make amendments to sanctions against Russia as they have exceeded their potential;

🔹Russia is not happy about energy issues that Europe is currently facing, but “will not worry about it too much”;

🔹Western countries are trying to drag UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres into their “games” around Ukrainian grain;

🔹Moscow has sent a signal to Guterres about the need to include a clause on Russian grain in the Istanbul agreements;

🔹It can hardly be in Europe’s interests to fully cut off ties with Russia and switch to liquefied natural gas supplies from the US;

🔹If the EU suddenly changes its position and proposes Russia to restore relations, Moscow needs to decide if this is beneficial to the country;

🔹The geographical area of the special operation has changed and expanded beyond Donbas due to Kiev receiving the US-made HIMARS and other weapons.

Full Transcript now available

Question: You just returned from a trip and are about to leave again soon. This “international isolation” is so tight that you are almost never home.

Here’s a question from our subscribers. At different levels, from the deputies to public officials, our talks with Ukraine are on and off. We say it’s impossible to hold talks now, but the next thing you know someone is saying it would be good to start them. Does it make sense or is it just a diplomatic ritual?

Sergey Lavrov: It doesn’t make any sense given the circumstances. Yesterday, the President touched on this while speaking at the news conference following talks with the leaders of Iran and Türkiye in Tehran.

Vladimir Putin once again made it clear that the Ukrainian leadership asked for talks early on during the special military operation. We didn’t say no. We approached this process honestly, but the first rounds of talks held in Belarus showed that the Ukrainian side didn’t really want to seriously discuss anything. Then, we passed our assessment of the situation over to them noting that if Kiev was serious about the talks, they should give us something “on paper” so we could understand what kind of agreements they had in mind. The Ukrainian side gave us a document that we found agreeable (yesterday the President again cited this fact) and were ready to conclude a treaty based on the principles outlined in it. Building on their logic, we drafted a corresponding document, which we made available to the Ukrainian side on April 15. Since then, we’ve heard nothing from them, but we hear other people such as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Olaf Scholz, Boris Johnson (though, not now for obvious reasons), President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Chief Diplomat Josep Borrell say that Ukraine must “win on the battlefield” and should not engage in talks, because it has a weak position on the front. First, they need to improve the situation and start dominating the Russian armed forces and the Donetsk and Lugansk militias, and only then start talks “from a position of strength.” I don’t think this approach holds water.

Question: It doesn’t hold water because Ukraine will fail to do so?

Sergey Lavrov: It won’t work. They will never be able to formulate “things” that really deserve people’s time. We understood this. It is no secret that Kiev is being held back from taking any constructive steps, and they are not just flooding it with weapons, but making it use those weapons in an increasingly risky manner. Foreign instructors and specialists are there servicing these systems (HIMARS and others).

With strong support from the Germans, Poles, and Balts, our US and British (Anglo-Saxon) “colleagues” want to make this an actual war and pit Russia against the European countries. Washington and London are sitting far away, across oceans and straits, but will benefit from this. The European economy is impacted more than anything else. The stats show that 40 percent of the damage caused by sanctions is borne by the EU whereas the damage to the United States is less than 1 percent, if you look at the cumulative negative impact of the restrictions.

I do not doubt that the Ukrainians will not be allowed to hold talks until the Americans decide they have created enough destruction and chaos. Then, they will leave Ukraine alone and watch it get out of this mess.

Question: Do you think this plan is actionable? A big war, a clash between Russia and the European countries? In fact, it’s about a nuclear war.

Sergey Lavrov: The Americans are not thinking about this. Ambitious people who want to reach new heights in their careers have come to the White House. I’m not sure how they will try to fulfill these goals as part of this administration. They are acting irresponsibly and building plans and schemes that are fraught with major risk. We are talking about this publicly. We could have told them, but the Americans don’t want to talk to us, and we will not chase them.

The dialogue we had before was not meaningless if only because we could look into each other’s eyes and lay out our approaches. As soon as the special military operation started, the United States tore this dialogue down. I think that Washington hasn’t yet understood that it is playing a dangerous game, but many people in Europe are beginning to realise this.

Question: Is a Russia-US clash, a nuclear war possible in our view?

Sergey Lavrov: We have initiated several statements (Russian-American statement and statement by the leaders of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) to the effect that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it cannot ever be unleashed. This is our position and we will firmly stick to it.

Moreover, we have an endorsed doctrine that clearly explains in what cases Russia will be compelled to use nuclear arms. Our partners, colleagues, rivals or enemies (I don’t know how they refer themselves with regard to us) know this very well.

Question:  We consider Vladimir Zelensky the legitimate representative of Ukraine. Why is that? We say with good reason that everything happening in that country is a result of the coup, a forced change of power. This did not happen under Zelensky, but he became president because of these events. Why did we acknowledge this initially?

Sergey Lavrov: Guided by his own ethical considerations, President of France Emmanuel Macron recently let everyone listen to a recording of his February telephone conversation with President of Russia Vladimir Putin in which the  Russian leader expressed himself clearly. President Macron tried to persuade him not to bother too much with implementing the Minsk Agreements. He said that Donetsk and Lugansk were illegal entities and that it was necessary to work in the context of the suggested interpretations – allegedly Zelensky wanted this. Vladimir Putin replied that Vladimir Zelensky was the product of a state coup and that the established regime hadn’t gone anywhere.

Do you remember how events developed after the coup? The putschists spat in the face of Germany, France and Poland that were the guarantors of the agreement with Viktor Yanukovych. It was trampled underfoot the next morning. These European countries didn’t make a peep – they reconciled themselves to this. A couple of years ago I asked the Germans and French what they thought about the coup. What was it all about if they didn’t demand that the putschists fulfil the agreements? They replied: “This is the cost of the democratic process.” I am not kidding. Amazing – these were adults holding the post of foreign ministers.

Crimeans and the east of Ukraine refused to recognize the results of the coup. In Crimea, this led to the holding of a referendum on reuniting with Russia and in Donbass to a refusal to deal with the new, illegitimate central authorities that started a war. Then Pyotr Poroshenko began a presidential campaign. The election took place in late May, 2014. President of France François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders tried to persuade the President of Russia to say nothing in advance about his refusal to recognise the results of the Ukrainian elections. Vladimir Putin replied: since Poroshenko is holding the election with the slogans of peace, promises to restore the rights of all Ukrainians, including the residents of Donbass, we will not question the legitimacy of this process.

It turned out that Poroshenko quickly forgot his election promises. He cheated his voters, lied to them and his Western sponsors, and unleashed another round of war that was stopped with great difficulty in February 2015. Later the Minsk Agreements were signed. He recently admitted that he had no intention of fulfilling the agreements and signed them only because Ukraine had to build up its strength economically and militarily to “win back its land,” including Crimea. This is why he concluded these agreements.

Question: We did not realise this, did we?

Sergey Lavrov: Well, I still hoped that some conscience was left there. Poroshenko revealed his true attitude towards the Minsk Agreements: he would not fulfil a document endorsed by the UN Security Council. Thus, he confirmed once again, this time in public, that he was not a legitimate president, one that relies on the foundations of international law.

Vladimir Zelensky came to power with slogans of peace as well. He promised to return peace to Ukraine. He said all citizens of the country who wanted to speak Russian would be able to and nobody would harass them or discriminate against them. Listen to what he is saying now.

In the role of Servant of the People Zelensky played a democrat, a glad-hander, a teacher, one of the people, who defeated the oligarchs and paid off the IMF. The people became free. He dissolved the corrupt parliament and the government. There are video recordings that cannot be hidden. They show how Zelensky upheld the rights of the Russian language and Russian culture…

Question: He is an actor, Mr Lavrov!

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, an actor under the Stanislavsky system – quickly turns coat. He was recently asked about his attitude towards the people of Donbass. Mr Zelensky replied that there are people and there are species. He also said that if people feel Russian, let them go to Russia “for the sake of the future of their children and grandchildren.” This is exactly what Dmitry Yarosh said the first day after the coup in February 2014: “A Russian will never think like a Ukrainian, will not speak Ukrainian and will not glorify Ukrainian heroes. Russians need to leave Crimea.”

The elite that came to power after the coup have already established their national genetic code. Arseny Yatsenyuk “in between” Dmitry Yarosh, Petr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky called the residents of Donbass “subhuman.”

Question: Do you remember Petr Poroshenko saying that Ukrainian children would go to school, while Russian children would sit in basements? He said this to the people he considered to be their own.

Sergey Lavrov: Now they say that they will liberate their lands…

Question: Without any people?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t know how Kiev is planning to treat these people. They would start an uprising.

Question: What people? They will try to wipe them out in HIMARS strikes. You mentioned conscience, but you can’t judge others by your own standards. If you have a conscience, this doesn’t mean that your “partners” have it as well.

Before you entered the room, we talked with Maria Zakharova about those whom you have described as seemingly serious people. Of course, we poked fun at them, which was bound to happen. Take the recent comment by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who has replaced our beloved Jen Psaki. When asked what President Joe Biden was doing the previous two days, she replied that he was thinking about the American people.

I mean that Western leaders are crumbling. Many of them have symptoms of “limited adequacy” and sometimes even “limited sanity.” They are going to be replaced. Are there grounds to believe that those who will replace them will display fewer symptoms of “limited adequacy”?

Sergey Lavrov: I would put it differently. The current political establishment that has been raised in the West can be said to have “adequate limitations.” They consider themselves to be adequate, but they have limited competence in terms of political experience and knowledge.

Question: Why is that?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t know, but many people have taken note of this. Henry Kissinger mentioned this recently when speaking about Gerhardt Schroeder and Jacques Chirac. He didn’t put it bluntly, but he clearly hinted at the stark contrast.

There is a tendency towards the average in political processes. You should elect people who are easy to understand and who will focus on simple, banal subjects. They invented the green transition, shouting that everyone will have no air to breathe soon and will die, and that dolphins and fish will disappear, leaving human beings alone in a desert. They have to deal with the effects of the green transition now. President Vladimir Putin explained the details of this mechanism in Western politics and how it has led to a painful flop because of the lack of proper calculations.

I don’t know the reason for their inadequacy. Maybe the absence of strong leaders is convenient for someone?

Question: For whom exactly?

Sergey Lavrov: For the bureaucrats in the European Commission. There are 60,000 of them, which is a lot. They have become a thing-in-itself. It is no coincidence that Poland, Hungary and other countries have asked why they should listen to these people, in particular in the areas where they have no competence. This is really so.

Question: In other words, it is a kind of a “deep state” in Europe, isn’t it?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, it seems so. But it is not quite a “deep state” but the elite, the European Commission.

Question: Is it a “shallow state” then?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, and the pendulum is moving away from the side that was associated with rapid integration. The requirements that are being enforced by Brussels, which are not always based on formal arrangements, are becoming annoying and are preventing countries from living in accordance with their own traditions and religious beliefs. Today they are pestering Budapest with their propaganda of non-traditional values, but Hungarians don’t want this, just as we don’t want this and many other nations. The European Commission demands that Budapest must revise its position, or it will not receive the approved funding.  I believe that this is bad for the EU.

Question: But good for us?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think so. I believe that we should stay aloof. We cannot be happy that people in Europe will suffer from the cold and lower living standards.

Question: I agree about suffering from the cold. But maybe the Europeans will finally have enough of being forced? Maybe pro-nation politicians will come to power, those who will care about their own people and therefore will not quarrel with Russia? No country can benefit from quarrelling with Russia.

Sergey Lavrov: This is true. It is a proper process of recovery. People are abandoning the illusion that Brussels should decide everything for them, that everything will be the same every day with cheap energy and food, that everything will be fine. This would be in the interests of Europe and European nations, but I don’t know how it will happen.

We will not be happy, but we won’t feel overly concerned either. I believe we should stay aloof. They have created these problems for themselves; they have opted for living in these conditions and for abandoning the natural and beneficial ties, which have been created over decades in energy, logistics and transport links. This is their choice. Love cannot be forced. This process, when they complete it, if at all, because it is incompatible with unilateral profiteering, will cost the subsequent economic development in Europe dearly. They should not ask us to revive agreements. They have been proved unreliable. We cannot rely on such “partners” when planning long-term strategic investment in the development of our country and its foreign ties. We will work with other partners who are predictable. They have always been there for us in the East, in the South and on other continents. Now that the share of the West in our foreign economic ties has been reduced dramatically, the share of our other partners will increase commensurately.

As for trends in Europe, there is also total lack of responsibility when it comes to explaining the reasons for the current crisis to their own people. Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz says he has no doubt that there are political rather than technical reasons for Russia’s intention to limit gas deliveries via Nord Stream. He has no doubt! As if the facts, which we have made public on numerous occasions and which President Putin has mentioned, do not prove that Europe has been systematically and consistently reducing the capabilities of Nord Stream 1 and has  suspended Nord Stream 2, and how it retrospectively adopted restrictions on the operation of Nord Stream after all the investments had been made and the financing rules could not be changed. Nevertheless, the European Commission insisted on its decision, and it was adopted. Instead of using the pipeline to its full capacity, we have halved the transit of gas through it.

We are being accused of using hunger as a weapon. Ursula von der Leyen has said this.

Question: Cold and hunger. Do you remember General Frost? Now we have General Grain and General Heating.

Sergey Lavrov: US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen has made a pompous statement that the United States would not allow Russia, China or anyone else to break the international economic order, which has allegedly been approved by the international community. She said that economic integration has been weaponised by Russia. This is going much further than the other rubbish we have been hearing and looks like an agony. They don’t know how else to explain their own failure.

Question: You mentioned the green transition and how they are trying to force the LGBT agenda on some East European countries for which, like for us, it is completely alien. For you, an experienced person who has observed many processes for decades, it must be clearer than for us, the ordinary people. This agenda includes green transition, LGBT, MeToo, BLM, cancelling ballet at Britain’s biggest dance school, the ban on math exams in some schools because the minorities would not be able to learn it, the ban on using the words “breast milk” and “mother”. People are contemplating but cannot understand what the idea is and who benefits from it. Who do you think is behind it?

Sergey Lavrov: We cannot step in their shoes and see why they are doing what they are doing. It is incomprehensible. If a person has some inclinations, why shouldn’t they be left with that? Let them have these inclinations. Why is it necessary to make a movement banner out of it?

Question: Why did the new White House Press Secretary openly declare that she is gay and black?

Sergey Lavrov: I am also interested to see how and where the Western political thought has been evolving. Some progressive philosophers, from the point of view of imperialism and colonialism, believe that the gold billion, or those who lead it and make political decisions, want to reduce the population of the planet because the resources are limited. Too many people, too few resources. As Mikhail Zhvanetsky joked, there should be fewer of us. He said it in Soviet times, when there was not enough food and goods. And now I read this explanation in some Western publications. It is horrifying.

Question: Which is not very logical, because the golden billion is reducing its own ranks this way, while the population in Africa is increasing. In Nigeria, which now wants to be friends with us, there are seven children per woman.

Sergey Lavrov: No, all these ways are constantly promoted there.

Question: It will take some time for them to get there… Look at the Hollywood elite: every second child is transgender or something, or non-binary, and they will have no grandchildren. Yes, it seems that they have started with themselves.

Sergey Lavrov: Maybe it is part of the plan, to reproduce less. I said that I cannot explain this, and shared with you one of the conspiracy theories.

Question: Both before the special military operation and today, people have believed that the West cannot manage without Russia. This is true in many respects, as the fact that they have lifted some of the sanctions clearly shows. What is less clear is whether the new package of sanctions passed this week contains new restrictions or lifts the sanctions adopted earlier. But what if they can manage without Russia after all? What prospects do you see? Can the West do completely without Russian energy carriers in the future, if not during the upcoming winter but in 2023 or 2024? Will it refuse to launch Nord Stream 2 and stop using the resources of Nord Stream 1? Is it possible? What do you think about this?

Sergey Lavrov: The new package of restrictions includes both the sanctions and various exceptions from them because the West has already run out of spheres where it can inflict damage on Russia. Now they have to think about what they have done and how it affects them. As far as I know, the West has now introduced some clarifications, and this will help facilitate Russian food exports. For many months, they told us that Russia was to blame for the food crisis because the sanctions don’t cover food and fertiliser. Therefore, Russia doesn’t need to find ways to avoid the sanctions and so it should trade because nobody stands in its way. It took us a lot of time to explain to them that, although food and fertiliser are not subject to sanctions, the first and second packages of Western restrictions affected freight costs, insurance premiums, permissions for Russian ships carrying these goods to dock at foreign ports and those for foreign ships taking on the same consignments at Russian harbours. They are openly lying to us that this is not true, and that it is up to Russia alone. This is foul play.

Unfortunately, the West has been trying to involve UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in these games. He became concerned about the food crisis and visited Russia, and he advocated a package deal at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is necessary to lift the artificial and illegitimate restrictions on Russian grain, and action should be taken to clear mines at Ukrainian ports where Ukrainian grain is stored. Antonio Guterres said that he would persuade Europe and the United States to remove all obstacles hampering Russian grain deliveries, and that Russia would cooperate with them, Türkiye and Ukraine in clearing mines at Black Sea ports, to facilitate grain shipments.  We replied that, in principle, it was possible to demine Black Sea ports without Russia, but that we would be ready to cooperate if they asked us. The UN Secretary-General actively promoted this package.

Last week, our colleagues visited Istanbul in order to coordinate this mechanism. We agreed on the basic principles for exporting Ukrainian grain. However, when members of the Russian delegation reminded those present about the second part of the package deal, the Ukrainian side flatly refused, and the UN delegation simply blushed and kept quiet.

Yesterday, we indicated to the UN Secretary-General that this was his initiative to begin with. In reply, Antonio Guterres proposed first resolving the issue of Ukrainian grain shipments, and said that Russian grain deliveries were next in line. This is foul play. People engaged in big politics should not behave in such a way. This means only one thing: I am convinced that the UN Secretary-General has come under tremendous pressure, first of all, from representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom who have settled in around him in the UN Secretariat in the posts of undersecretary-generals and who are actively using this “privatised” structure in their own interests. This is highly regrettable.

Question: How are they putting pressure on him, exactly? Technically, how do we explain this to people? Do as you’re told, or… what? Go to jail?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think they are using any personal methods of blackmail. Just, when the UN General Assembly is voting, they come up to the ambassadors, inform them that an anti-Russia resolution has been put to the vote while reminding them, for example, about their account in Chase Manhattan Bank or their daughter at Stanford. Things like that.

Question: But it’s kind of the same thing.

Sergey Lavrov: It happens. Well, of course, they don’t act with such arrogance here. Members of the UN Secretariat (the majority of them are from Western countries because the number of delegated secretariat seats depends on each state’s contribution) aren’t always neutral, as required by the UN Charter and the Regulations on the Secretariat. That’s life. I can assure you, it has always been like this.

Regarding the second part of your question, I think that Western politicians are now making every effort to avoid showing they have been mistaken. The ruling parties will try to do this by hook or by crook – they have no other way. But the opposition – in Austria, voices are increasingly heard (there’s the Austrian Freedom Party, which Brussels does not favour very much, but it’s a legitimate party). In other countries, the opposition is rising their heads: why are we doing this? Why can’t we just look at things and reach agreement? Many people have questions.

Developing countries don’t view the situation as Russia having crossed some “red line.” They remember what the Americans did in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Yugoslavia in 1999. With no notice, no warning that American interests were being infringed on, no calls to do something about it…

Question: No eight years of trying to reach agreement…

Sergey Lavrov: The United States bombed countries located 10,000 kilometres away from its coastline and razed cities to the ground. Europe never even dared to make a sound.

Question: No need to protect large communities of American compatriots living there…

Sergey Lavrov: That’s right. Our situation is totally different. There is a real threat, not something invented in order to spread our imperialist tentacles across the ocean – there’s a threat on our borders. For many years, we have been cautioning the West against turning Ukraine into an anti-Russia, with NATO infiltrating that country, against creating direct military threats to our security. Everyone is perfectly aware of this.

Returning to Europe, I don’t think that it is in European interests to completely cut off all ties with us and switch to LNG, which the Americans are trying to…

Question: …foist on them.

Sergey Lavrov: I wanted to use a less polite term, but foist will do. It will be their choice. Serious scientists write that Germany’s entire economic activity, its prosperity of the past decades was due primarily to Russian energy resources they bought at affordable, reasonable and predictable prices. True, LNG is a more flexible commodity. Gas has to be bought at the “end” of the pipeline, while LNG can be redirected. But this is also a disadvantage. When demand rose in Asia, the Americans sent their LNG there, because it was a better deal. This can lead not only to higher prices, but also to a shortage of supplies at a certain stage. But if they do this, we won’t have any particular problems.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin said that, given what they are doing with Nord Stream 2 (we’re ready to launch it, it is under operating pressure), in the current situation, 50 percent of the volume intended for that pipeline are already reserved for internal consumption: for heating purposes, for the chemical industry and for other industrial projects.

We will redirect supplies without any serious losses. I do not doubt it. We have buyers, we have demand; after all, there are applications within the country too – connecting households and facilities and developing the chemical industry.

Question: And thousands of villages without gas…

Sergey Lavrov: That’s why I mentioned connecting them.

So it will be their choice. I would like to say again: we should not (and, thank God, no one is trying to) invent any solutions implying the possibility, the probability, or even desirability of returning to the situation we had six months ago, where it was possible to restore the old supply chains. I think that they need to be discarded and new ones should be built that will be more reliable. This is what we are doing now, including the North-South corridor from St Petersburg to the Indian Ocean, and from India to Vladivostok. Several projects are already halfway through implementation. If and when, at some stage, Europe suddenly says that they have overreacted and are interested in restoring our economic relations and trade, we shouldn’t push them away. We will see how good the offer is, and only then react.

Question: We say if they duped you once, they’ll do it again. You mentioned the diversification of our areas of cooperation. We have covered the East (China, India) extensively. This time, you are going to Africa, which is south. What are you going to do there? What are your expectations? What should we expect?

Sergey Lavrov: We have long-standing good relations with Africa since the days of the Soviet Union which pioneered and led a movement that culminated in decolonisation. We provided assistance to the national liberation movement and then to the restoration of independent states and the rise of their economies. Hundreds of enterprises were built, which now form the basis of many African economies. At the UN, we led the movement to have decolonisation formalised as an integral part of international law and everyday life.

Then, there was the period when the Soviet Union disappeared and the Russian Federation emerged. We were confronted with major problems, not in Africa, but much closer, in our country.

We have been rebuilding our positions for many years now. The Africans are reciprocating. They are interested in having us. We never engaged in teaching them anything, but helped them overcome their problems so that they could live in their country the way they wanted to.

Question: They think we did teach them something, but in a good sense.

Sergei Lavrov: No. We helped them fulfil their goals. That’s how it was. We never told them not to be friends with America or anyone else. To this day, we are not lecturing them, unlike the Americans who go around Africa telling everyone “do not talk with the Chinese or the Russians. All they care about is their selfish interests, even when they trade with you.”

We visit each other every year. Once a year or every two years, the Foreign Minister visits African countries. We’re trying to cover as many countries as possible in a period of two to three years. This year, it will be Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda and the Republic of the Congo. We have good traditions and economic foundations in these countries.

Egypt is our number one trade and economic partner in Africa with trade just under $5 billion. The first nuclear power plant is being built. The construction of a Russian industrial area on the banks of the Suez Canal is nearing completion. Our relations with Africa have even brighter prospects now that the African Union decided last year to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area. Specific criteria and tariffs for this area are being agreed upon, which will take some time. This will benefit Russia as Africa’s rising partner in terms of boosting our trade and investment which are quite modest compared to the United States, China and the EU. We must work hard, with our colleagues, to prepare for the second Russia-Africa summit. The first one took place in Sochi in 2019. The second one is planned to be held next year.

Question: Maybe in Odessa?

Sergey Lavrov: No, probably not in Odessa. We will announce the venue later. An economic forum will be held concurrently with the summit with round table discussions on trade, energy, cybersecurity, agriculture, outer space and nuclear energy.

It is important to step up our efforts. Africa has a population of 1.4 billion people, which is comparable to China and India. This is a great portion of the modern world and probably the most promising market. That is why companies and countries with good vision are building long-term strategies with regard to Africa, which is the continent of the future. We have an excellent political foundation underlying our relations and a good mutual understanding based on the fact that thousands of Africans who hold positions in their respective governments have studied in Russia and continue to do so. We need to use this human and political capital to achieve economic advancement.

Question: What kind of relations do we have with our “exes?” (I understand exes are rarely friends, but it still happens occasionally.) Do we have real friends among our exes, including Belarus? What is going on in Kazakhstan with mixed signals coming from there?  Is there a sense that we ourselves are a little to blame for some things, that we let them go and gave them away to Europe, America, and even Türkiye? What do you think?

Sergey Lavrov: There was such a period. The Soviet Union ceased to exist. We signed the Belovezh Accords. Of course, the countries that were not invited to Belovezhskaya Pushcha were hurt. No doubt about it. I understand them. Then, some efforts were made to improve this situation (to make amends, so to speak). A special meeting was held in Alma-Ata in late 1991. But it still left a bad taste in the mouth. Most importantly, it was an event followed by some processes.

Our leadership did little to prevent the cooling of relations with our neighbours, closest allies, and comrades-in-arms during the first years of independence and sovereignty. We have lived together for many hundreds, even thousands of years. I remember that time. I was Deputy Foreign Minister in 1992-1994 before I left for work in New York. My scope of duties included international organisations, but at some point Andrey Kozyrev asked me to take up the CIS matters. I didn’t do it for long, though. The situation did not look too good (clearly, the Foreign Ministry was not the one to decide on building policies in this area, the Presidential Executive Office was). Back then, everyone thought they had no place to go. We lived together all that time and shared the language, the universities and the tastes. So, we thought we’ll just keep on living like that. Of course, over the long decades and centuries, the economy had become intertwined to the point where breaking ties was impossible.

True, the West wasn’t sitting on its hands. And not only the West. If you look at Central Asia now, you’ll see multiple “Central Asia plus partner” formats there, such as Central Asia plus the United States, or “plus the European Union,” or “plus Japan,” “plus China,” “plus Türkiye,” or “plus India.” “Plus Russia” is there as well. Despite the fact that we have the CIS, the EAEU, the SCO, the CSTO, there was no association where all five Central Asian countries and Russia were together. Now there is.

This is how things are, not only in foreign ministries, but in our economic agencies as well. It’s an important process. Water and energy were shared. Our Western “partners” are now trying to infiltrate these particular areas. The EU and the United States are coming up with their own programmes which will tailor the ongoing water and energy use processes that rely on the Soviet legacy to their needs, the needs of external players. Clearly, it makes sense to join efforts in this department which is what we are encouraging our partners to do. They agree, but the West is trying in every possible way to disrupt this natural process and meddle in our dealings with our “exes,” as you put it. Poet Andrey Voznesensky once famously said, “Don’t return to those you once loved.” This is the opening line. However, the poem ends with “Anyway, you have nowhere else to go.”

Question:  A trendy modern poetess Vera Polozkova has the following line, “She is friends with all her exes as if they had never let her down.”

You, and the Foreign Ministry, said that you knew nothing about the special military operation before it began. At least, you knew nothing about it long before it started. Perhaps, this is not true, but that was the impression. May I ask you how you found out about it? What did you feel? I remember well what Tigran Keosayan and I felt at home at night, when we learned about it. I wonder what you felt back then. What do you think about the people who are now called “frightened patriots” who were frightened and left, those who are “ashamed” etc.?

Sergey Lavrov: The time and date of when I found out about it is not my secret.

Question: So, this is not a state secret?

Sergey Lavrov: This is not a state secret, but it is not my secret, either. If I may, I would like to leave it at that.

The sense of inevitability is what I felt when this announcement was made. Not joy. Imminent hostilities, with the citizens of your country going to defend justice and risk their lives, are not a reason for joy. It was a sense of inevitability and even relief. For many years we were unable to answer the question posed by the people of Donbass and many of our citizens as to how much longer we would allow them to mock common sense, the people, the UN Security Council resolution and every other aspect of it that was brazenly sabotaged.

Question: What do you think of those who are ashamed of being Russian?

Sergey Lavrov: We are now having a big discussion about foreign agents, and whether it was the right thing to do to draft a new law, which some people consider an extension to the old one and ask if it was right or wrong.

I watch talk shows, including those that you host, where issues are debated that everyone can relate to: so they left, what do we do about them now? How do we feel about them if they return? Or should they even be allowed to return? I don’t have an opinion. Each person is the master of their own destiny. That’s the way it is. But everyone must have a conscience. And everyone has to deal with their own conscience. This is how I see it. But there is something I cannot accept, and that’s people publishing things – I have a duty to read some resources designated as foreign agents in my line of work, and they describe with such lustful pleasure those insurmountable (from their point of view) problems that the Russian Federation is facing. They…

Question: Gloat.

Sergey Lavrov: Yes. They predict collapse. One of them wrote that Russia was threatened with death in terms of high technologies, because it has neither brains nor institutions. It is your country you are writing this about!

There are others. When Roscosmos, in response to the sanctions, told the Americans that, since they did not want our engines anymore, we would discontinue supplies to both the US and the UK, they imposed sanctions on our corporation, making any further contact impossible. A foreign agent site launched into a story about how our corporation had violated every conceivable obligation, and was now irreparably tainted as a dishonest partner that no one would ever deal with. We say double standards. That’s how they work, plain and simple.

My opinion is that these people should be left alone with themselves and realise what they have done. How to treat them is another matter. Will their former acquaintances stay in touch with them? How will the state go about renewing relations with them? That is another question. What is important is to leave them alone with their own conscience.

Question: Your trust that every person has a conscience has already done you a disservice with Petr Poroshenko and the Minsk agreements. Maybe you should just stop believing this. Not everyone has a conscience, unfortunately.

We all wonder, and every person in the country wants to know when “this” will end. We all want the special military operation to end as soon as possible, so that people stop dying – our soldiers, and the civilians that their former Ukraine is hitting every day. Ukraine still considers them its citizens de jure, but this isn’t stopping it, as we know. When will it end? We do not know. I won’t ask you about it. Obviously you don’t have an answer.

But where do you think it should end? I am not asking about the goals that Vladimir Putin announced at the start – the goals, and hence the potential results of this operation – the demilitarisation and denazification. This much is clear. Where should it end geographically? Where would it be reasonable, right and good for us?

Sergey Lavrov: As regards any projections or timeframe, I have just recalled an amusing fact. Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Kuleba recently said that Vladimir Zelensky had set a deadline for joining the European Union, but he wouldn’t reveal that deadline, because many in the European Union might get scared and try to slow down their accession to the EU.

We don’t have any deadlines. As for the special military operation and geographic goals, President Vladimir Putin said clearly (as you quoted him): denazification and demilitarisation, which means no threats to our security, no military threats from the territory of Ukraine. This goal remains. Geography-wise, the situation was different when the negotiators met in Istanbul. Our readiness to accept the Ukrainian proposal was based on the situation as of the end of March 2022.

Question: That was the DPR and the LPR?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, more or less. Now the geography is different. It is more than the DPR, the LPR, but also the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions and a number of other areas. This process continues, consistently and persistently. It will continue as long as the West, in its impotent rage, desperate to aggravate the situation as much as possible, continues to flood Ukraine with more and more long-range weapons. Take the HIMARS. Defence Minister Alexey Reznikov boasts that they have already received 300-kilometre ammunition. This means our geographic objectives will move even further from the current line. We cannot allow the part of Ukraine that Vladimir Zelensky, or whoever replaces him, will control to have weapons that pose a direct threat to our territory or to the republics that have declared their independence and want to determine their own future.

Question: How can this be arranged, technically? This is our territory. Then there are the republics that will accede to us. In fact they already have – the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. You are diplomats, so you cannot say this. I’m a journalist, and I call a spade a spade. Further west, there is the territory controlled by Vladimir Zelensky. They have a common border. So either there should be a 300 kilometre buffer zone or something between them, or we need to march all the way to Lvov inclusive.

Sergey Lavrov: There is a solution to this problem. The military know this.

Question: A secret one? Do you think there is a chance that we will leave half-way? This is something our subscribers and viewers are fearing.

Sergey Lavrov: I see no reason to question what President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24, 2022, and reaffirmed a few days ago – our goals remain the same. And they will be met.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article «Staged incidents as the Western approach to doing politics»

July 18, 2022

https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1822333/

Published in Izvestia newspaper

Today, the Russian Armed Forces, together with the self-defence units of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, are delivering on the objectives of the special military operation with great resolve to put an end to the outrageous discrimination and genocide of the Russian people and eliminate direct threats to the security of the Russian Federation that the United States and its satellites have been creating on Ukrainian territory for years. While losing on the battlefield, the Ukrainian regime and its Western patrons have descended to staging bloody incidents to demonise our country in the eyes of the international community. We have already seen Bucha, Mariupol, Kramatorsk, and Kremenchug. The Russian Defence Ministry has been regularly issuing warnings, with facts in hand, about upcoming staged incidents and fakes.

There is a distinctive pattern that betrays the provocations staged by the West and its henchmen. In fact, they started long before the Ukrainian events.

Take 1999 – the village of Račak in Serbia’s Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. A group of OSCE inspectors arrived at the site where several dozen corpses dressed in civilian clothes were discovered. Without any investigation, the mission head declared the incident an act of genocide, even though making a conclusion of this kind was not part of the mandate issued to this international official. NATO immediately launched a military aggression against Yugoslavia, during which it intentionally destroyed a television centre, bridges, passenger trains and other civilian targets. Later, it was proved with conclusive evidence that the dead bodies were not civilians, but militants of the Kosovo Liberation Army, an illegal armed group, dressed in civilian clothes. But by that time the staged incident has already taken its toll, offering a pretext for the first illegal use of force against an OSCE member state since the signing of the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. It is telling that the statement that triggered the bombings came from William Walker, a US citizen who headed the OSCE’s Kosovo Verification Mission. Separating Kosovo from Serbia by force and setting up Camp Bondsteel, the largest US military base in the Balkans, were the main outcomes of the aggression.

In 2003, there was the infamous performance by US Secretary of State Colin Powell in the UN Security Council with a vial containing white powder of some sort, which he said contained anthrax spores, alleging that it was produced in Iraq. Once again, the fake worked: the Anglo-Saxons and those who followed their lead went on to bomb Iraq, which has been struggling to fully recover its statehood ever since. Moreover, it did not take long before the fake was exposed with everyone admitting that Iraq did not have any biological weapons or any other kinds of WMDs. Later, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was one of the masterminds of the aggression, recognised that the whole affair was a fraud, saying that they “may have been wrong” or something like that. As for Colin Powell, he later tried to justify himself by claiming that he was misled by the underlying intelligence. Either way, this was yet another provocation that offered a pretext for delivering on the plan to destroy a sovereign nation.

There was also Libya in 2011. The drama had specifics of its own. The situation did not go as far as direct lies, like in Kosovo or Iraq, but NATO grossly distorted the UN Security Council resolution, which provided for a no-fly zone over Libya in order to “ground” Muammar Gaddafi’s air force. It did not fly to begin with. However, NATO started bombing the Libyan army units who were fighting terrorists. Muammar Gaddafi died a savage death, and nothing remains of the Libyan statehood. Efforts to put the country back together have yet to succeed, with a US representative once again in charge of the process, appointed by the UN Secretary General without any consultation with the UN Security Council. As part of this process, our Western colleagues have facilitated several intra-Libyan agreements on holding elections but none of them materialised. Illegal armed groups still reign supreme on Libyan territory, with most of them working closely with the West.

February 2014, Ukraine – the West, represented by the German, French, and Polish foreign ministers, de facto forced President Viktor Yanukovich into signing an agreement with the opposition to end the confrontation and promote a peaceful resolution of the intra-Ukrainian crisis by establishing a transitional national unity government and calling a snap election, to be held within a few months. This too turned out to be a fraud: the next morning, the opposition staged a coup guided as it was by anti-Russia, racist slogans. However, the Western guarantors did not even try to bring the opposition back to its senses. Furthermore, they switched immediately to encouraging the coup perpetrators in their policies against Russia and everything Russian, unleashing the war against their own people and bombing entire cities in the Donbass region just because people there refused to recognise the unconstitutional coup. For that, they labelled the people in Donbass terrorists, and once again the West was there to encourage them.

At this point, it is worth noting that, as it was soon revealed, the killing of protestors on the Maidan was also a staged incident, which the West blamed either on the Ukrainian security forces loyal to Viktor Yanukovich, or on the Russian special services. However, the radical members of the opposition were the ones who were behind this provocation, while working closely with the Western intelligence services. Once again, exposing these facts did not take long, but by that time they already did their job.

Efforts by Russia, Germany, and France paved the way to stopping the war between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk in February 2015 with the signing of the Minsk Agreements. Berlin and Paris played a proactive role here as well, proudly calling themselves as the guarantor countries. However, during the seven long years that followed, they did absolutely nothing to force Kiev to launch a direct dialogue with Donbass representatives for agreeing on matters including the special status, amnesty, restoring economic ties, and holding elections, as required by the Minsk Agreements which were approved unanimously by the UN Security Council. The Western leaders remained silent when Kiev took steps which directly violated the Minsk Agreements under both Petr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky. Moreover, the German and the French leaders kept saying that Kiev cannot enter direct dialogue with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, and blamed everything on Russia, although Russia is not mentioned in the Minsk agreements even once, while remaining basically the only country that kept pushing for the agreements to be implemented.

If anyone doubted that the Minsk Package was anything but yet another fake, Petr Poroshenko dispelled this myth by saying on June 17, 2022: “The Minsk Agreements did not mean anything to us, and we had no intention to carry them out… our goal was to remove the threat we faced… and win time in order to restore economic growth and rebuild the armed forces. We achieved this goal. Mission accomplished for the Minsk Agreements.” The people of Ukraine are still paying the price of this fake. For many years now, the West has been forcing them to accept an anti-Russian neo-Nazi regime. What a waste of energy for Olaf Scholz with his calls to force Russia to agree to an agreement guaranteeing Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. There already had been an agreement to this effect, the Minsk Package, and Berlin with Paris were the ones who derailed it by shielding Kiev in its refusal to abide by the document. The fake has been exposed – finita la commedia.

By the way, Vladimir Zelensky has been a worthy successor to Petr Poroshenko. During a campaign rally in early 2019, he was ready to kneel before him for the sake of stopping the war.

In December 2019, Zelensky got a chance to carry out the Minsk Agreements following the Normandy format summit in Paris. In the outcome document adopted at the highest level, the Ukrainian President undertook to resolve matters related to the special status of Donbass. Of course, he did not do anything, while Berlin and Paris once again covered up for him. The document and all the publicity accompanying its adoption turned out to be no more than a fake narrative promoted by Ukraine and the West to win some time for supplying more weapons to the Kiev regime, which follows Petr Poroshenko’s logic to the letter.

There was also Syria, with the 2013 agreement on eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles in a stage-by-stage process verified by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), for which it received the Nobel Peace Prize. After that, however, there were outrageous provocations in 2017 and 2018 staging the use of chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun and Duma, a Damascus suburb. There was a video showing people calling themselves the White Helmets (a would-be humanitarian organisation which never showed up on territories controlled by the Syrian government) helping alleged poisoning victims, although no one had any protective clothing or gear. All attempts to force the OPCW Technical Secretariat to perform its duties in good faith and ensure a transparent investigation into these incidents, as required by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), failed. This, however, did not come as a surprise. The Western countries have long privatised the Technical Secretariat by having their representatives appointed to the key positions within this structure. They contributed to staging these incidents and used them as a pretext for US, British, and French airstrikes against Syria. Incidentally, they carried out these bombings just a day before a group of OPCW inspectors arrived there to investigate the incidents at Russia’s insistence, while the West did everything to prevent this deployment.

The West and the OPCW Technical Secretariat it controls demonstrated their ability to stage fake incidents with the would-be poisonings of the Skripals and Alexey Navalny. In both cases, Russia sent multiple requests to The Hague, London, Berlin, Paris, and Stockholm, all left without a reply, even though they fully conformed with the CWC provisions and required a response.

Other pending questions have to do with the Pentagon’s covert activities in Ukraine carried out through its Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The traces that the forces engaged in the special military operation have discovered in military-biological laboratories in the liberated territories of Donbass and adjacent areas clearly indicate direct violations of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons (BTWC). We have presented the documents to Washington and to the UN Security Council. The procedure has been initiated under BTWC to demand explanations. Contrary to the facts, the US administration is trying to justify its actions by saying that all biological research in Ukraine was exclusively peaceful and civilian in nature – with no evidence of any of this.

In fact, the Pentagon’s military-biological activities around the world, especially in the post-Soviet countries, require the closest attention in light of the multiplying evidence of criminal experiments with the most dangerous pathogens in order to create biological weapons conducted under the guise of peaceful research.

I have already mentioned the staged “crimes” of the Donbass militia and participants in the Russian special military operation. There is one simple fact that clearly shows how much these accusations mean: having shown the “Bucha tragedy” to the world in early April 2022 (we have suspicions that the Anglo-Saxons had a hand in setting the stage for the show), the West and Kiev have not yet answered the very basic questions about whether the names of the dead were established and what post-mortem examinations showed. Just as in the above-described Skripals and Navalny cases, the propaganda production has premiered in the Western media, and now it’s time to sweep it all under the rug, brazen it out, because they have nothing to say.

This is the essence of the well-worn Western political algorithm – to concoct a fake story and ratchet up the hype as if it’s a universal catastrophe for a couple of days while blocking people’s access to alternative information or assessments, and when any facts do break through, they are simply ignored – at best mentioned on last pages of the news in small print. It is important to understand that this is not a harmless game in the media war – such productions are used as pretexts for very material actions such as punishing the “guilty” countries with sanctions, unleashing barbaric aggressions against them with hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties, as it happened, in particular, in Iraq and Libya. Or – as in the case of Ukraine – for using the country as expendable material in the Western proxy war against Russia. Moreover, NATO instructors and MLRS aimers are, apparently, already directing the actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and nationalist battalions on the ground.

I hope there are responsible politicians in Europe who are aware of the consequences. In this regard, it is noteworthy that no one in NATO or the EU tried to reprimand the German Air Force Commander, a general named Ingo Gerhartz, who got carried away higher than his rank and said NATO must be ready to use nuclear weapons. “Putin, do not try to compete with us,” he added. Europe’s silence suggests that it is complacently oblivious of Germany’s role in its history.

If we look at today’s events through a historical prism, the entire Ukrainian crisis appears as a “grand chess game” that follows a scenario earlier promoted by Zbigniew Brzezinski. All the good relations talk, the West’s proclaimed readiness to take into account the rights and interests of Russians who ended up in independent Ukraine or other post-Soviet countries after the collapse of the USSR turned out to be mere pretence. Even in the early 2000s, Washington and the European Union began to openly pressure Kiev to decide which side Ukraine was on, the West or Russia.

Ever since 2014, the West has been controlling, hands-on, the Russophobic regime it brought to power through a coup d’état. Putting Vladimir Zelensky in front of any international forum of any significance is also part of this travesty. He makes passionate speeches, but when he suddenly offers something reasonable, he gets a slap on the wrist, as it happened after the Istanbul round of Russian-Ukrainian talks. At the end of March, it seemed that light glimmered at the end of the tunnel, but Kiev was forced to back off, using, among other things, a frankly staged episode in Bucha. Washington, London and Brussels demanded that Kiev stopped negotiating with Russia until Ukraine achieved full military advantage (former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried especially hard, and many other Western politicians did too, still incumbent, although they have already proved just as inept).

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s statement about this war having to be “won on the battlefield” by Ukraine suggests that even diplomacy has lost its value as a tool in the European Union’s staged performance.

In a broader sense, it is curious to see how Europe, lined up by Washington on the anti-Russian front, has been hardest hit by the thoughtless sanctions, emptying its arsenals to supply weapons to Kiev (without even asking for a report on who will control them or where they go), and freeing up its market only to subsequently buy US military products and expensive American LNG instead of available Russian gas. Such trends, coupled with the de facto merger between the EU and NATO, make the continued talk about Europe’s “strategic autonomy” nothing more than a show. Everyone has already understood that the collective West’s foreign policy is a “one-man theatre.” Moreover, it is consistently seeking ever new theaters of military operations.

One element of the geopolitical gambit against Russia is granting the status of an eternal EU candidate country to Ukraine and Moldova, which, it seems, will also face an unenviable fate. Meanwhile, a PR campaign has been initiated by President of France Emmanuel Macron to promote the “European political community,” which offers no financial or economic benefits, but demands full compliance with the EU’s anti-Russia actions. The principle behind it is not either/or but “who is not with us is against us.” Emmanuel Macron explained the gist of the “community”: the EU will invite all European countries – “from Iceland to Ukraine” – to join it, but not Russia. I would like to stress that we are not eager to join, but the statement itself showcases the essence of this obviously confrontational and divisive new undertaking.

Ukraine, Moldova and other countries being courted by the EU today are destined to be extras in the games of the West. The United States, as the main producer, calls the tune and devises the storyline based on which Europe writes the anti-Russia screenplay. The actors are ready and possess the skills acquired during their tenure at the Kvartal 95 Studio: they will provide a voice-over for dramatic texts no worse than the now forgotten Greta Thunberg and play musical instruments, if needed. The actors are good: remember how convincing Vladimir Zelensky was in his role as a democrat in the Servant of the People: fighter against corruption and discrimination against Russians and for all the right things in general. Remember and compare it with his immediate transformation in his role as president. It is perfect Stanislavsky Method acting: banning the Russian language, education, media and culture. “If you feel like Russians, then go to Russia for the sake of your children and grandchildren.” Good advice. He called Donbass residents “species” rather than people. And this is what he said about the Nazi Azov battalion: “They are what they are. There is plenty of such people around here.” Even CNN was ashamed to leave this phrase in the interview.

This prompts a question: what will be the outcome of all these storylines? Staged incidents based on blood and agony are by no means fun but a display of a cynical policy in creating a new reality where all principles of the UN Charter and all norms of international law are attempted to be replaced with their “rules-based order” in an aspiration to perpetuate their dwindling domination in global affairs.

The games undertaken by the West in the OSCE after from end of the Cold War, where it considered itself a winner, had the most devastating consequences for the modern international relations. Having quickly broken their promises to the Soviet and Russian leadership on the non-expansion of NATO to the east, the United States and its allies nevertheless declared their commitment to building a unified space of security and cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic region. They formalised it at the top level with all OSCE members in 1999 and 2010 within the framework of a political obligation to ensure equal and inseparable security where no country will strengthen its security at the expense of others and no organisation will claim a dominating role in Europe. It soon became evident that NATO members do no keep their word and that their goal is the supremacy of the North-Atlantic Alliance. Even then we continued our diplomatic efforts, proposing to formalise the principle of equal and inseparable security in a legally binding agreement. We proposed this a number of times, the last one in December 2021, but received a flat denial in response. They told us directly: there will be no legal guarantees outside NATO. Which means that the support of the political documents approved at the OSCE summits turned out to be a cheap fake. And now NATO, driven by the United States, has gone even further: they want to dominate over the entire Asia-Pacific region in addition to the Euro-Atlantic. NATO members make no effort to conceal the target of their threats, and China’s leadership has already publicly declared its position regarding such neo-colonial ambitions. Beijing has already responded by citing the principle of indivisible security, declaring its support for applying it on a global scale to prevent any country from claiming its exclusivity. This approach fully coincides with Russia’s position. We will make consistent efforts to defend it together with our allies, strategic partners and many other like-minded countries.

The collective West should come back to Earth from the world of illusions. The staged incidents, no matter how long they go on, will not work. It is time for fair play based on the international law rather than cheating. The sooner everyone realises that there are no alternatives to objective historical processes where a multipolar world is formed based on respect for the principle of sovereign equality of states, fundamental for the UN Charter and the entire world order, the better.

If members of the western alliance are unable to live according to this principle, are not ready to build a truly universal architecture of equal security and cooperation, they should leave everyone alone, stop using threats and blackmail to recruit those who want to live on their own wits and acknowledge the right to freedom of choice by independent self-respecting countries. This is what democracy is all about, the real democracy, not one played out on a shabbily built political stage.

Russia offers fast-track citizenship to all Ukrainians

 -July 17, 2022

All Ukrainians, as as well as citizens of the two Donbass republics, may now apply using a simplified procedure

By  Jonas E. Alexis, Assistant Editor

By Russia Today

Any Ukrainian national may now apply for Russian citizenship under a simplified scheme, according to a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on Monday. The measure also applies to stateless persons permanently living in Ukraine as well as to citizens of the two Donbass republics, recognized earlier by Russia as independent.

Ukrainians may now file the relevant request without the need to live in Russia for five years, to have a source of income or to pass a Russian-language test – something foreigners are normally required to do before they can apply for Russian citizenship.

The presidential decree modifies the procedures earlier reserved for the citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as well as the residents of the two southern Ukrainian regions that have been under the control of the Russian forces almost since the start of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

Back in 2019, a simplified procedure was introduced for those living in territories controlled by the two Donbass entities, which in February were recognized by Moscow as sovereign states. They could have their citizenship paperwork processed in just three months.

As of February, 950,000 people had reportedly filed applications and 770,000 of them have become Russian citizens. Monday’s decree also explicitly stated that people serving in the Donbass militias and its local law enforcement authorities are eligible to applying for Russian citizenship as well, and that their status as foreign military personnel could not be used as a reason to deny them citizenship.

In May, another decree added the residents of Zaporozhye and Kherson regions in the south of Ukraine to those eligible for the citizenship scheme. A separate document signed by the president the same month made orphaned children from the Donbass republics and Ukraine eligible for processing as well. An application could be filed on their behalf by their guardians or foster families.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.

´Rape Europe´ is next, stupid

July 15, 2022

Source

By Jorge Vilches

useful European idiots

“ Washington and London have drawn ´useful European idiots´ into an economic war against Russia ” – said former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev – adding that “the onset of a systemic crisis in the Eurozone is beginning to come true.” He added that Anglo-Saxons on both sides of the Atlantic conned EU members “like a couple of shell-game tricksters” by drawing them into an unwarranted economic war against Moscow which is actually an Anglo-Saxon project, not theirs. Paraphrasing James Carville, “it´s the Anglo-Saxons, stupid”. The US-UK cabal does not want Europe and Russia to trade, do business, relate, or grow together in any way, shape, or form. So they designed, built and forced upon Europe the current John Bolton-Ukraine war which had plan A (now failed) with Russia as target and plan B as substitute with Europe itself as the intended victim coming next. What Dmitry Medvedev may not know though is that such ”useful European idiots” can be broken down into 3 fairly distinct categories starting with the EU “well-trained career idiots” basically focused on continuously earning salaries and perks way above their capabilities. So they know that (a) the EU system rewards them generously despite their obvious mediocrity and limitations and (b) thus do not dare to question, doubt, let alone defy the EU system or dictats. They all know and feel every day of their lives that the EU ´system´ has a very strict pecking order and what top-cock (or top-hen) says to do or say or think is to be summarily executed without questioning the mandate, even if against European best interests as is the case.

This simplifies the problem from the Washington-London perspective as by controlling a handful of EU leaders (more on that later) the rest just follow the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Furthermore, these EU-captured intellectual simpleton retards are not dumb enough to the extreme of questioning their unequivocal role (they are aware of it) and accordingly constantly strengthen their vested-interests relationship. In sum, they work hard at it.

Then there is a second category of “useful European idiots” grouping the visible top EU leaders – many unelected — who can either be (a) plain corrupt as traditionally allowed for in Europe or (b) perceive themselves as God-chosen to lead Europe to a glorious yet undefined destiny no matter if actively hijacking any representational capacity and values they may have received. For lack of a better term, this “affection” – which pretty much comes with the territory – in medical circles is sometimes also known as “bronzemia” a rare hematological disease that makes the patient believe his destiny is to end up in a bronze sculpture and adored – literally — just like a Greek God of sorts. For example, it is very well known that EU Commission President Ursula von den Leyen abhors British leadership, let alone after the yet un-resolved Brexit due to unconfessable trickery from Perfidious Albion. But she still accepts and follows Anglo-Saxon mandates because of what she perceives to be her role in achieving the still unknown greater European “good”. Go figure… Finally, the third group of “useful European idiots” are regular everyday Europeans that – so as not to abandon their zone of political and economic / financial comfort – knowingly allow their leaders to betray their best interests without getting their feet wet in any way.

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Pepe Escobar says in his latest article referenced below: “ The combo in power in Washington actually “supports” the unification of Britain, Poland, Ukraine and The Three Baltic Midgets as a separate alliance from NATO/EU – aiming at “strengthening the defense potential.” That’s the official position of US Ambassador to NATO Julian Smith.

So the real imperial aim is to split the already shattering EU into mini-union pieces, all of them quite fragile and evidently more “manageable”, as Brussels Eurocrats, blinded by boundless mediocrity, obviously can’t see it coming. More on the UK + Australia roles later.

Meanwhile the Austrian Chancellor himself thoughtfully posits that “Alcohol could be our last resort ” and the EU gaslights environmentalists by grossly redefining what ‘green’ energy is. This resembles quite closely former US President Bill Clinton’s dilemma in his grand jury testimony regarding his acknowledged and intense sexual relationship with young White House intern Monica Lewinsky “it depends on what the meaning of the word is is” (sic). No typos in that quote, so say no more…

Ref #1 https://www.rt.com/russia/558846-us-uk-eu-sanctions/ Ref #2 https://www.rt.com/news/558860-austria-chancellor-alcohol-inflation/

Ref #3 https://www.rt.com/news/558790-eu-redefining-green-energy/ Ref #4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton%E2%80%93Lewinsky_scandal

Ref #5 https://thesaker.is/russia-and-china-havent-even-started-to-ratchet-up-the-pain-dial/

plan A

“Rape Russia” was plan A, by first provoking Russia 24x7x365 into an existential armed conflict, then let´s defeat Russia militarily (ha!) and change the regime, then balkanize the Russian Federation and fragment it into manageable pieces, and then plunder all of Russia yet again just like we did in Yeltsin´s time. Easy does it. Problem is plan A failed miserably on all fronts no matter how much and how well hundreds of Anglo-Saxon experts – the real puppeteers moving the EU-Ukraine strings — planned for it, some of whom still insist it´s only a matter of pressing yet longer and harder. Others say let´s not lose this war, let´s just go nuclear (more on that later). Yet others – probably cool-headed baldy boomers with Cuban missile crisis personal experience – warn that let´s better not try nuclear warfare as Russia, at least today with fully proven hypersonic vector delivery… would also win. Besides, European capitals nearby would be very soft and quick targets, would they not? Furthermore, Russia´s Sarmat ICBM would immediately step into the act able to ´demolish half a continent as the most powerful missile of its class in terms of range and warheads invincible to all existing air defenses´(sic) And also possible unstoppable latest generation UAV drone fleets already under Russian deployment and/or drone-bot or regular submarines could also nuclear-trigger unheard-of massive tsunamis at every targeted coastline in Western seaboards that ´almost´ land-locked Russia does not have… plus EMP mid-air detonations grinding the crowded Western cities to a halt. All politically impossible and Russian very highly-improbable… but let´s just hope and pray that it doesn´t happen by accident either…

At any rate, plan A took several disciplines and many years of design and training probably more than 10 as proudly explained by NATO´s top dog, Jens Stoltenberg. Also, as per the latest public statements made by former White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, it took a lot of hard work, many US and UK agencies and hundreds of experts, think tanks, rivers of ink, and Zettabytes of documents (no pun intended) plans, maps, satellite imagery, logistical research, telecommunications development, and testing, interviewing and questioning of many thousands of Ukraine soldiers and foreign mercenaries, political influencing, and many billions of dollars – skeptics please refer to Victoria Nuland — sending tons of lethal, modern, sophisticated weaponry to Russian enemies … and still plan A failed, and badly at that for reasons explained hereafter. Only Field Marshall Nazi General von Paulus and Napoleon Bonaparte would possibly share the disgusting feeling of such terribly frustrating defeat.

With plan A, even Germany broke its long-standing policy of banning all exports of lethal weapons to a conflict zone the instant it agreed to deliver 1,000 rocket launchers and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and many other states have joined the effort and, led by Germany, have added greater support with whatever including anti-tank, anti-aircraft weapons, howitzers, armored vehicles, body armors, night vision devices, grenade launchers, etc., many/most of which completely uncontrolled and without any oversight actually ended up in the hands of numerous resellers on the “black Internet”, not the Ukraine military. The six EU sanctions “packages” – No. 7 is in the works — did not help plan A at all either and, as a matter of fact, all were badly counter-productive. Neither did the addition of “creative transfers” of truly lethal weaponry from Canada per detailed proposal from The Brookings Institution, probably the most prominent “peace-minded” think tank the US will ever have. So imagine what Hoover or The Heritage Foundation, the Council of Foreign Relations, Cato, CSIS, PIIE, American Enterprise or Rand Corporation might say for that matter. The list goes on and on…

Like many other Western strategic projects, plan A most probably originated and/or picked up critical speed in the keenly Russophobic and always protagonistic UK. Still, the level of US involvement was extraordinary and ever-increasing as plan A kept failing, including sanctions preparation, intelligence sharing, weapons deliveries, and tons of money, bribery included. Add to that the ever-heightening political rhetoric: “The United States is in this to win it… not for a stalemate” as one US Congressman proudly tweeted from Kyiv. Or even claiming that “Supplying Arms to Ukraine is Not an Act of War”… The US has sent many F35 jets to Estonia, yet more to Spain and elsewhere…has increased its military presence with US permanent headquarters and troops in Poland… plus a 10-fold enlarged rapid-response force up to 300,000 with yet additional troops in Romania and the Baltic states… plus yet more destroyers in Europe´s waters and skies. And always of course with the always-instrumental UK helping along as per Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – now confirmed candidate for the Prime Minister position — urging to send more “heavy weapons, tanks, and also airplanes” to Ukraine ASAP “digging deep into our inventories and ramping up production”.

Ref #6 https://www.zerohedge.com/political/americas-path-war-russia Ref #7 https://www.rt.com/russia/558801-ukraine-attacks-city-in-kherson/

Ref #8 https://www.justsecurity.org/80661/supplying-arms-to-ukraine-is-not-an-act-of-war/

Ref #9 https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2022/03/11/mind-the-escalation-aversion-managing-risk-without-losing-the-initiative-in-the-russia-ukraine-war/ Ref #10 https://www.rt.com/news/558088-biden-troop-deployments-nato-europe/

Ref #11 https://www.euronews.com/next/2022/03/04/ukraine-war-these-countries-are-sending-weapons-and-aid-to-forces-fighting-the-russian-inv

Ref #12 https://www.b92.net/eng/news/world.php?yyyy=2022&mm=07&dd=04&nav_id=114046

Ref #13 https://estonianworld.com/security/the-us-sends-more-f-35-jets-to-estonia/

Ref #14 https://www.rt.com/russia/558824-russia-sarmat-icbm-missile-production/

Ref #15 https://www.rt.com/news/558827-iran-russia-drone-claim/

Ref #16 https://www.rt.com/news/558964-russian-foreign-ministry-ukraine-himars-civilians/

short war

Semantics matter. Sure enough, a formal stake-holder agreement or peace settlement or “peace treaty” of sorts may take very long… or even never happen such as still in Korea. And yes, the conflict will go far beyond Ukraine only as a starting point of a new revolution already outlined by Russia´s President Vladimir Putin splitting the world in two very distinct 21st century halves in a “before and after” moment. Still, I insist in that the current shooting “hot war” in Ukraine will be short, with Russia simply winning by European default come 2023 – or even before — as explained already in depth. So such “cease-fire” does not need any official “Peace Treaty” or settlement, just shooting and bombing stopped altogether. Ukraine will simply depose its aggression for lack of European support or else be run down by Russian forces wherever Russia decides. Europe would have had enough, so they just want OUT.

In sum, backfiring EU sanctions on Russia will be the reason for Europe and Ukraine – not Russia — to abandon the shooting battlefield thus ´ending the shooting war´ soon even if the US would still want to go for it… which actually would not as their plan B (more on that later) would kick in immediately against Europe (!!) as soon as the battlefield war stops in Ukraine. So, thanks to their own EU sanctions, by not having enough Russian oil, fuels, nat-gas, food produce, etc., etc., with social unrest and millions freezing and starving to death, regular public-opinion Europeans would demand the EU to stop battlefield support for the provoked Ukraine war and have their leadership revert sanctions on Russia embracing it as the reliable trading partner as it has always been and thus returning to “normal” ASAP. In that sense, it´d be a short war. Formally, diplomatically, it may never actually end. Just saying…

Ref #17 https://thesaker.is/pitchforks-soon-in-europe/ Ref #18 https://www.rt.com/news/558848-truss-uk-contest-leadership/

Ref #19 https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraine-war-russia-germany-still-blocking-arms-supplies/ Ref #20 https://thesaker.is/natos-new-world

the UK role

After Brexit failed, Old Blighty UK more than ever had to overact positing, for example, that the collective West now needs “a global NATO” to pursue geopolitics anew. Or also “ Europe must immediately cut itself completely off from Russian energy supplies oil, gas and coal ”. Actually, the current UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss went yet further by tapping her well-known Rule Britannia Anglo-Saxon exceptionalistic mind-set which now would badly demand a much larger “lebensraum”. By the way, the Rule Britannia lyrics let the world know that “…at heaven’s command…Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”. No way, slaves will exist, but Britons shall make sure they are the owners of such and not any other way around. So now, with strategically located Australia – among the world´s largest LNG and food produce exporters — the AUKUS core concept is “all Anglo-Saxons for one, and one Anglo-Saxon for all”. And do not kid yourself as this is national UK policy from Tories, Lib Dems and also Labour. And per Liz Truss it´d be a flashing new “Network of Liberty” yet global in nature. The time and place of this new “Global NATO” setting Ms Truss says is (1) right now and (2) throughout the whole world. And the “lebensraum” Ukraine would only be the starting point says Foreign Secretary Truss very proud of British colonial history. Actually it´d have to be even far larger than what Adolf Hitler originally foresaw with his Nazi foreign policy dictum left on record in “Mein Kampf”. Unbelievably, and per the Führer´s own description, such “lebensraum” was to be found – oh coincidence — “in the Ukraine and intermediate lands of eastern Europe”… Liz Truss is on record adding that China would face the same treatment as Russia if it doesn’t “play by the rules”. The war in Ukraine is “our war” because Ukraine’s victory is a “strategic imperative for all of us” while denouncing the “false choice between Euro-Atlantic security and Indo-Pacific security. We need to pre-empt threats in the Indo-Pacific, working with allies like Japan and Australia to ensure that the Pacific is protected. In the modern world we need bothWe need a global NATO,” she said. Also, there is this new US strategy seeking to arm Japan against China, also consistent with such policies. Ref #21 https://www.rt.com/news/554925-missile-study-pacific-rand/

Liz Truss Poised to Scrap Northern Ireland Protocol

no-one left behind

In addition, the sitting UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss — now official Tory candidate for Prime Minister of the UK — has emphasized that the West “must ensure that, alongside Ukraine, the Western Balkans and countries like Moldova and Georgia have the resilience and the capabilities to maintain their sovereignty and freedom”. So Ukraine is not enough for her. And according to the top UK diplomat, NATO should integrate Finland and Sweden “as soon as possible” if the two Nordic nations choose to join the military alliance something which they are both definitely pressured to do.

Adding insult to injury, British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey also stated it is “completely legitimate” for Ukraine to use UK-supplied weapons to strike deep into Russian territory. Ms Truss also has said it was “time for courage, not caution”, making it necessary for the West to send warplanes to Kiev to defeat Moscow sounding much like the US State Department´s London office. Furthermore, German lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to send ‘heavy & complex weapons’ to Ukraine, thus making Germany the easiest, shortest and most probable first strike in the event that thermonuclear warfare with Russia is provoked. Germany could not have picked a better way to most unnecessarily place itself in harm´s way right next to London… or even before London was struck.

Ref #22 https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/german-lawmakers-vote-overwhelmingly-send-heavy-complex-weapons-ukraine

The UK lost most of its colonies in the 20th century and economically lost further more with Brexit while the US outsourced most of its manufacturing base in the 21st. So with only their financial and military weapons left, both now are trying to make NATO global. And thus the UK would finally reclaim its universal influence and “take back control” refreshing its natural right to run a financial-military ´Empire on which the sun never sets´. British troops are getting ready for one of their largest deployments in Europe since the cold war, the Defence Ministry (MoD) has said.

Thousands of UK soldiers are going to be sent to countries ranging from North Macedonia to Finland in the coming months to take part in joint drills with their counterparts from NATO, Finland, and Sweden, with British soldiers also training together with US forces in Poland. Also troops from the Queen’s Royal Hussars have just been deployed to Finland, which shares a 1,300-km-long border with Russia, to be embedded in an armored brigade. Convened by US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, and at the behest of US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, representatives from 40 countries gathered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to set the game plan with the rest of the world as pawns.

In practice, a global NATO is already in the making, and the US-led military bloc’s Madrid summit in late June 2022

is the best proof of this. For the first time in NATO’s history, the Pacific states – Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea – were invited; actions were intensified to form ‘quasi-alliances’ such as the QUAD (the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the US, Australia, Japan and India), AUKUS (the trilateral pact between the US, Britain, and Australia), and the Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP: AUKUS plus Japan and New Zealand). In contrast to the ‘classical NATO’, which has long been perceived in China as a vestige of the Cold War and intra-Western conflicts, these alliances have an unambiguous anti-Chinese orientation.

Ref #23 https://www.rt.com/news/554705-uk-europe-drills-ukraine/ Ref #24 http://thesaker.is/queen-and-king-set-out-on-the-chessboard/

Ref #25 https://www.rt.com/russia/558819-us-consolidate-west-behind-china/

plan A revised

Since at least 10 years ago, an Anglo-Saxon plan A was proactively deployed for the Ukraine war. It meant having the US + UK fully supporting and pulling the strings from ´behind´ while the EU + Ukraine´s duly bought-out puppets organized a gang-up on Russia from all sides like hyenas on their injured prey. Such plan A by now is obviously failing miserably as the military war is being lost on all fronts and the “sanctions on Russia” have backfired and actually mean terrible “sanctions on Europe” (and “unfriendly” Asians…) with winter rearing its ugly head. Thusly, with plan A failing, Anglo-Saxon plan B is now required. But before getting into its details, let´s first review once more what plan A – or the ´let´s pounce on harmed Russia together´ plan — was all about and how it failed. For Russia was not crushed at all under the weight of sanctions and, actually benefitted in more than one way by collecting ever-larger revenues – due to higher induced prices — for smaller volumes of exports delivered. Furthermore any minute Russia could counter-attack with sanctions of its own regarding many things the West needs besides oil & gas & food & key minerals.

The basic idea behind plan A – not really that “new” by the way — was to prod Russia as much as needed for it to react and then use such reaction to justify a military run-over of Russia. Plan A would take a precise schedule and timing, buying-out whomever wherever, training of the Ukranian military and providing plenty of funding + weapons + intelligence + political coverage + etc. Also there was the requirement to gain time for executing all of the above by actively faking compliance with the Minsk Agreements (shamefully sponsored and led by both Germany & France) which was nothing more than a sham precisely to gain time as readily admitted by former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. So the Western pirating plan was to pounce on Russia hard, produce regime change – despite the “lots of hard work required” per John Bolton former White House National Security Adviser — possibly assassinate Russia´s President Vladimir Putin ( I kid you not ), ruin Russian business capabilities forever, steal Russia´s deposits in Western banks, cut off her trade and finances, “yeltsinize” Russia all over again, fraction down the Russian Federation into weak portions, keep on grabbing Russian resources, just steal all that´s left or buy it on the cheap… and basically schadenfreude it all the way to the bank…

There was nothing to lose as the US & UK productive game of yesteryear was already over and done with, ´Made in USA´ does not exist anymore, the gold-decoupled Bretton Nothing “petro-dollar” standard is in terminal crisis, Brexit did not work out at all as the UK had originally expected, and 75% of the world does not agree with them either. And if while reading this you feel all this is a very unique and peculiar interpretation of facts, I please urge you to (a) take a look at the sources referenced and (b) take into account that if the White House and the worldwide MSM press are willing and able to cover-up today´s US president´s obvious and most dangerous senility, then what other stories are they euthanizing for you not to know about ? Today´s president of the global superpower is permanently confounded by teleprompter and cheat cards telling him what to do and say. Today, the Commander-in-Chief of the by far most powerful military in the world with 790+ military bases spanning the globe and more than 5,000 nuclear warheads, can barely make it through public appearances. Mind you, President Joe Biden wouldn’t pass a driver’s test, unable to distinguish between a pedestrian or a stop sign. But his finger is on the nuclear trigger. Did the MSM press tell you ?

Joe Biden cheat sheet gives detailed instructions to take seat, keep comments to 2 minutes | news.com.au — Australia's leading news site
Commentator-in-Chief Joe Biden is a threat to the West

Ref #26 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/04/lindsey-graham-suggests-putin-assassination-russia-ukraine

Ref #27 https://www.rt.com/russia/558168-nato-defensive-alliance-global-cop/ Ref #28 https://www.rt.com/russia/558321-rus-pivoting-toward-nonwest/

Ref #29 https://www.rt.com/news/558326-spiegel-eu-economic-war/ Ref #30 https://www.rt.com/russia/558202-jens-stoltenberg-ukrainian-civil-war/

Ref #31 https://www.rt.com/russia/558384-west-failed-support-confrontation/ Ref #32 https://www.rt.com/news/558326-spiegel-eu-economic-war/

Ref #33 https://www.rt.com/russia/558168-nato-defensive-alliance-global-cop/ Ref #34 https://www.zerohedge.com/political/bidens-mental-decay

Ref #35 https://technofog.substack.com/p/bidens-mental-decay Ref #36 https://www.theepochtimes.com/former-white-house-national-security-adviser-john-bolton-says-he-helped-plan-attempted-foreign-coups_4594748.html Ref #37 https://www.rt.com/business/558891-russia-oil-earnings-soar/ Ref #38 https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/climate-mandates-imposed-dutch-farmers-will-ruin-their-livelihoods-war-correspondent Ref #39 https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Germany-To-Halt-Russian-Coal-Imports-Next-Month.html

plan B kicks in

Now Russia is winning on all fronts, be it militarily, geo-politically, strategically, financially, economics or logistics. So in the event that plan A failed – as it is now obviously happening – Anglo-Saxon plan B would soon kick in with Europe and Ukraine the victims, not the victimizers because neither will be able to withstand the tremendous burden that their ´Russian sanctions´ bear upon themselves, not Russia. And who would the victimizers be? Answer: the US + UK pupeteers-in-chief . Please re-read the “ useful European idiots “ paragraph above with very clear statements made by former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev. So the ´Russian sanctions´ will continue to (1) harm Europe and the Ukraine and (2) leave the Russian Federation basically unscathed and just collecting ever larger revenues – due to higher induced prices — for smaller volumes of exports delivered. This benefits Russia in two ways (a) getting paid more by producing less while saving the difference for future sales (b) it allows to finance Russia´s attrition-war strategy forever. There will be violence and massive migrations in Europe for sure as EU leaders are finally realizing.

gold anyone ?

EU politicking though has now stopped in its tracks right at the physical limit which “lite” and uncommitted European consumer economies will not allowed to be crossed thus altering their “comfort zone”. It is becoming ever clearer for European public opinion that without Russian energy, Russian food, and Russian produce at large quite simply Europe cannot survive. So as Frank Sinatra foresaw, the end is now near and Anglo-Saxon+EU joint plans for Russian piracy – plan A — are just about over. Never in their history have Europeans depended so much strictly from Russian produce that very simply cannot stop coming in. All the way to very distant Japan and South Korea, with these Russian sanctions their much-required ´Just-In-Time´ strategy is rapidly becoming ´Just-In-S**t. So now Europeans and Western-compliant Asians would freeze and starve with massive migrations democratically spread out everywhere. That´s why plan B “let´s rape Europe instead” will necessarily kick in soon.

What Anglo-Saxons may do after raping Europe and making it their own for peanuts is to make an energy & produce & resources supply deal with whomever. They´d just get a hold of installed and already built capacity plus expertise and human resources capabilities in Europe. Additionally, they would get the continental internal market in a key and unequaled geopolitical area of the world. The Anglo-Saxons basically just want to change the tide and win at something-anything, so if Russia cannot be defeated they´ll rape continental Europe first and try to make buddies with whomever later, even Latam or Africa… with investments profits on top. And Australia, as an active part of the AUKUS core may also perform a key role regarding “unfriendly” Asians. And beware: if you care to believe the Anglo-Saxons, between Fort Knox and the Bank of England they both pretty much vault everybody else´s gold, Europe´s included. So be carefully aware of the plenty of food for thought before you. Gold is real money as Lawrence of Arabia learned the hard way, and per Liz Truss – possibly the future Prime Minister of the UK — let´s recall that whoever has the gold would make the rules, their rules.

This unexpected self-inflicted slow-motion demolition of sorts was not what Europe had in mind for itself nor understood to be the price they´ll have to pay for fighting – let alone winning — this NATO provoked Ukraine war.

So, if Europeans do not react soon enough and revert course 180 degrees, Europe will continue vassalized depending ever more upon the US and thus self-hurting itself with “Russian” sanctions, not Russia, allowing for the US and London to eventually come in and pick up the pieces and keeping it all for peanuts as per their plan B. And this would mean that the hot shooting Ukraine war would stop. By the way, Russia could just watch the scene also unable to cover the whole globe and being fed-up of so much unjustified past aggression from the EU. And besides just sick and tired of so much nonsense and wasted opportunities during decades of accommodation to European needs. So with or without sanctions, Russia could simply sell ever-lower amounts of oil & gas & food and other strategic commodities to Europe and other Asian “unfriendlies” which are not that easy to find elsewhere as badly needed regarding quality, quantity, price, type, delivery, etc.

This would happen most probably not because Russia wanted to starve and freeze anybody, but rather because she would have simply found new and much better export clients elsewhere and with whom to relate and grow together in every sense, most probably ever-growing BRICS+ Accordingly, Russia would prefer to take better care of such new business, trade and political partners – with different currencies involved, not dollars nor euros — and leaving aside all the great opportunities missed after decades of Russia behaving as an excellent EU business partner to no avail. So, for whatever reasons and without firing a single shot, Russian sanctions could just impoverish Europe and other “unfriendlies” to the point which US and UK investors could step in and buy it out like vulture funds for pennies on the dollar. This outcome would be welcomed by the US & the UK, of course, the real puppeteers pulling the strings of it all and ready to prey upon the impoverished. So unless “Russian sanctions” are reverted 180 degrees, the US & UK would achieve their carefully planned plan B negatively affecting Europe and other “unfriendlies” for having dismissed Russia as a reliable business associate. So the (supposed) “international community” (ha!) is in for some surprises while three more countries are set to join BRICS+.

Ref #39 https://www.rt.com/news/558981-china-international-community-argument/

Ref #40 https://www.rt.com/news/558960-saudi-turkey-egypt-brics/

Ref #41    https://www.goldmoney.com/research/the-collapsing-euro-and-its-implications

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Sergey Lavrov’s Presser at a joint news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

June 24, 2022

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tehran, June 23, 2022

Ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to thank my colleague, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the hospitality extended to me and my delegation from the first minutes of my stay on Iranian soil.

Yesterday’s detailed conversation with President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi and today’s long talks have confirmed both countries’ focus on deepening cooperation in all areas in accordance with the agreements reached by our leaders. I am referring to Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Russia in January 2022 and his subsequent telephone conversations with President Vladimir Putin. The last call took place on June 8.

The presidents are unanimous that relations between Russia and Iran have reached the highest point in their history. At the same time, there is significant untapped potential for further advancement in our partnership. To this end, work is now underway on a new and comprehensive “big interstate treaty,” initiated by the President of Iran. Some time ago, Russia submitted its proposals and additions to the Iranian initiative to Tehran. Today we agreed that experts should coordinate this important document as soon as possible because it will determine the prospects for our strategic cooperation for the next two decades.

Particular attention during the talks was paid to trade and economic issues, investment, and the need to expand bilateral relations in a situation where the United States and its “satellites” are using illegal sanctions to hinder our countries’ progressive development and the interaction between Russia and Iran, as well as with other countries that reject diktat and refuse to follow Washington’s orders. Despite this discriminatory policy, trade between Russia and Iran showed a record growth of over 80 percent in 2021, exceeding $4 billion for the first time. This trend continued into 2022. We will do everything we can to support it.

A Russian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak visited Tehran at the end of May to promote economic cooperation. The delegation included representatives from the relevant ministries and agencies, the heads of Russian regions that cooperate with Iran, and business representatives. They met with their Iranian counterparts to discuss purely practical issues of expanding cooperation, outlining action plans for such areas as energy, transport, agriculture, finance, banking, and customs. At this point, these ambitious goals are being considered at the level of relevant experts.

We highlighted success in implementing our flagship projects, including  the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (the second and third units being under construction), the Sirik Thermal Power Plant that is being built with the state loans issued by the Russian Federation and a project to upgrade a railway section.

Just last week, a panel discussion dedicated to the Russian-Iranian business dialogue took place as part of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. A meeting of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation will be held soon. As we agreed today, the foreign ministries of Russia and Iran will continue to provide political and diplomatic support to all joint economic undertakings every step of the way.

In this context, Russia has been facilitating the Iran-EAEU negotiating process that started out in 2021 to develop a free trade agreement. The working group in question will meet in Isfahan in early July.

We talked about fortifying the contractual and legal framework. Hossain Amir-Abdollahian mentioned an agreement on international cybersecurity and an agreement on creating cultural centres in our countries.

We also mentioned the importance of moving forward with drafting an agreement on cooperation in geological exploration and oil and gas production, as well as with ratifying the existing agreement on scientific and technical cooperation between our countries.

We discussed international issues in depth. We stand together in rejecting the concept of the rules-based order that is pushed forward by the United States and its satellites. This concept is designed for use as a substitute for international law and the UN Charter’s basic principles, primarily the principle of sovereign equality of states. Everything that the United States and its allies are doing in the international arena flat-out undermines this fundamental UN principle. Iran and Russia condemn the untenable practice of unilateral illegal sanctions that are imposed contrary to the UN Charter and need to be opposed by all independent members of the international community.

To this end, the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations was established which, among others, includes Iran and Russia and has more than 20 members. I’m sure the group will expand.

On behalf of the Russian Federation, we welcome the official process for Iran joining the SCO as a full member which was launched in 2021. A memorandum will be signed at a SCO summit to be held in Samarkand in September that will clearly lay out the legal scope and timeframe for this process. It should not take long.

We are convinced that Tehran will make a significant contribution to strengthening the SCO as one of the key centres of the emerging multipolar order.

We discussed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action designed to settle matters related to the Iranian nuclear programme. In conjunction with other nations that signed this plan, we have been striving for a long time now to correct the mistake made by the United States. Washington withdrew from this deal and from the corresponding UN Security Council resolution, once again trampling upon its commitments under international law. We will push for the JCPOA to be restored in its original configuration, the way it was approved in 2015 by a UN Security Council resolution, without exceptions or additions, to make sure that the illegal sanctions on Iran that are inconsistent with the JCPOA are lifted. We hope Washington will make a rational choice, although we cannot fully rely on that.

We spoke about our cooperation on a Syrian settlement, primarily in the Astana format that includes Russia, Iran and Turkey. We highly rated the regular session in this format which took place in the capital of Kazakhstan in early June of this year. We agreed to continue coordinating our efforts to achieve the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, resolve humanitarian problems in Syria and encourage the international community to start practical work on restoring the infrastructure, preparing for the return of refugees and in general, ensuring the country’s return to normal life.

Iran and the Russian Federation are doing much in this area, helping to implement relevant projects on the ground in the Syrian Arab Republic. Unfortunately, the majority of the Western members of the international community are doing everything to delay fulfilment of the requirements of this resolution and impede the efforts of international organisations to this end, primarily the relevant UN agencies. This politicised course of action prevents the settlement of problems in Syria and, zooming out, in the Middle East and North Africa.

Russia and Iran have a common position on the need to resume direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis with a view to implementing all decisions of the international community, including the creation of the State of Palestine and the OIC-approved Arab Peace Initiative. We will uphold this position in the UN and closely cooperate with the OIC and the Arab League.

We talked about the developments in the South Caucasus, Afghanistan and Yemen. Russia and Iran have many opportunities to use their influence and contacts with a view to achieving a durable settlement and normalisation.

We reaffirmed our commitment to facilitate stabilisation in the Persian Gulf. As you know, Russia has introduced and continues promoting a concept for collective security in this important part of the world. We are willing to help promote dialogue between the Arab countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

We are members of the Caspian Five. Next week, the Caspian states will meet for a summit in Ashgabat. We coordinated our preparations for this important event.

Talking yesterday with President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi and today with Foreign Minister of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, we described in detail the current developments in and around Ukraine. We thanked our Iranian friends for their entirely correct understanding of the events. Above all, they realise that during the past decade our US-led Western colleagues have been trying to turn Ukraine into a bridgehead for threatening and “deterring” Russia, in part, by developing Ukraine’s territory militarily. We repeatedly sought to engage with the West on this matter. All our concerns have been ignored. President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking officials explained many times that Russia simply did not have another choice but to ensure the interests of Donbass and its Russian residents in the face of a threat from the increasingly aggressive neo-Nazi regime that took power in Kiev after the anti-Constitutional coup d’etat. The Kiev authorities and those who put them in power and continue supporting officially refuted all our attempts to achieve the implementation of the Minsk agreements that were approved by the UN Security Council.

We are convinced that an overwhelming majority of the world’s countries understand the current situation. The Americans are trying to impose a “rules-based order” on all others. This concept is designed to subordinate the security of all countries to the interests of the Western world and ensure the total, “eternal” domination of Washington and its allies. Understandably, this concept goes against the entire historical process and the objective trend towards forming a multipolar world order under which countries, with their independence and self-worth intact, will uphold their interests in conformity with the principles of the UN Charter. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation are among these countries.

Question: Given the constructive role played by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation in the negotiations, they have managed to reach a sustainable agreement on the JCPOA. We see the current sabotage by the United States through the imposition of new sanctions and anti-Iranian resolutions. They are slowing down the process. What is your assessment of Washington’s destructive policy of slowing down the JCPOA negotiating process?

Sergey Lavrov: Not only on the JCPOA, but on virtually every issue on the international agenda, the United States is totally inconsistent, driven by short-term considerations, glancing back at the problems in the United States itself and how they can try to distract voters from them.

What the United States is doing in the negotiations to resume the JCPOA is an example of such actions, where the focus is on creating a “picture” designed to reaffirm the unquestioned leadership role of the United States on every issue on the international agenda. Such attempts to put a falsely understood reputation ahead of the merits of the issue are highly risky.

About a year ago, the United States tried to blame us for the fact that an agreement to fully resume the JCPOA was delayed. That was, to put it mildly, untrue. Everybody understands this very well. A year ago, the Russian Federation, like all the other parties to the agreement, reiterated its readiness to resume it in full. Since then, the United States has been single-handedly stalling the agreement. We have once again confirmed to our Iranian friends that we will support in every way possible their position on the need to resume the JCPOA in full, without any exceptions or unacceptable “add-ons”. This includes lifting all illegitimate sanctions.

Question (retranslated from Pashto): How close is Russia’s position on the Syrian crisis to that of Iran? Does the warning to Israel about an attack on Damascus International Airport mean that the positions of Iran and Russia are close on this issue?

Sergey Lavrov: We have repeatedly emphasised the need for all countries to strictly fulfil UN Security Council Resolution 2254 that relies on the basic principle of recognising the territorial integrity of the SAR and the need to respect Syria’s sovereignty.

During regular contacts with our Israeli colleagues, we constantly draw their attention to the need to stop violating this resolution and the air space of Syria, not to mention striking at its territory.

To our great regret, the latest incident is serious. It was a strike on a civilian airport, which put it out of service for several weeks and made it impossible to deliver humanitarian cargoes by air.

We sent a relevant note to Israel, emphasising the need for all countries to abide by Resolution 2254. We will continue upholding this position in our contacts with Israel and other countries that are involved in the Syrian settlement process in different ways.

You asked my colleague several questions, including one about the food crisis. I would like to emphasise again that there is no connection whatsoever between the special military operation in Ukraine and the food crisis. This is admitted even by US Government members and representatives of the international organisations dealing with food security. The crisis and the conditions for it were created several years ago. It didn’t start today or yesterday, but a couple of years ago when the Western countries embarked on imprudent, ill-considered, populist fiscal policies. President Vladimir Putin spoke about it in detail. I will not describe them at this point. I would merely stress that the efforts undertaken now by Turkey and the UN Secretary-General would have succeeded long ago if Ukraine and its Western patrons demined Black Sea ports. This issue is clear to any specialist. The attempts to establish an international coalition for these procedures are obviously aimed at interfering in the affairs of the Black Sea region under UN aegis. This is perfectly clear to us. There is no need for any complicated procedures. It is simply necessary to allow the ships locked by the Ukrainians in the mined ports of the Black Sea to leave. The main thing is to clear these ports of mines or provide clear passageways for them.

As for international waters, the Russian Federation guarantees the safe travel of these ships to the Strait of Bosporus. We have an understanding with the Republic of Turkey in this respect.

I will say again that the attempts to make a “worldwide tragedy” out of the amount of grain that remains in Ukraine are not above board. Everyone knows that this grain amounts to less than one percent of the global production of wheat and other grains.

Now it is important to compel the Ukrainians to let out the foreign ships that are being held hostage there. There is no need to turn this problem into a diversion to conceal the mistakes and failures of the West in its international policy on the food and fertiliser markets.

Question (retranslated from Farsi): A fortnight ago you mentioned a new political package from the US side. A week ago, Mr Zadeh said that “the train has not yet gone off the rails” and you said that in the future there was a possibility that negotiations could be resumed. Has anything changed recently?

Sergey Lavrov: If I understood the translation correctly, cooperation between Russia and Iran in the energy sector has a rich history and good prospects.

As far as bilateral cooperation is concerned, we have always found solutions to the problems that have arisen in this area because of the illegal actions of the United States and its satellites, who are trying to hinder the development of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s energy sector. At the present stage, they are trying to do the same with regard to oil and gas production and transportation in the Russian Federation. Our bilateral plans under consideration today are starting to take concrete form; they are beginning to be implemented. They are aimed at making sure that they do not depend in any way on the unlawful unilateral intervention of anybody else.

I can assure you: there is a reliable plan to work in this way. Together with Iran, we have traditionally worked together in the context of international efforts to stabilise the oil and gas market. There is a complete agreement within the OPEC+ group on the need to safeguard Iran’s interests in its future activities. We will be guided by this.

Question: Israel and the United States have announced a new regional air defence alliance in the Middle East to protect Israel and neighbours from Iranian rockets. How will this affect the Iran nuclear deal? Will Moscow and Tehran intensify military cooperation in this regard?

Sergey Lavrov: We are following statements made by our American colleagues, who are openly declaring their intention to try and forge a bloc between several Arab countries and Israel and target this new group against the Islamic Republic of Iran. I believe too much has already been said about the inconsistency of American foreign policy. I don’t want to repeat myself. But this idea is obviously at odds with their intention to normalise the situation in the region and resume full implementation of the JCPOA, through the efforts of the United States, if they are sincerely interested in this.

We prefer less contradictory arrangements, as compared to those the Americans are now promoting in various regions. Take their idea of ​​the Indo-Pacific. It runs counter to every universal format that has developed over the years around ASEAN in the Asia-Pacific region. Those formats included the US, Russia, China, Australia, India, Japan and Korea. It was a process whereby all interests, primarily those of the regional players and their partners, were brought to a common denominator. Instead, having disrupted all the bodies created under the auspices of ASEAN, the Americans are promoting conflict-generating, divisive formats, without hiding that their policy is aimed at restraining China and isolating Russia.

The same logic is evident in the initiative to create an air and missile defence system in the Middle East. This is the logic of division and confrontation. We prefer unifying logic. The underlying principle of our initiative to build a collective security system in the Persian Gulf region is unification. The system we propose should provide a framework for the Arab countries to establish a dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran, work out joint measures of confidence and transparency, and take other steps to ensure stabilisation. Our idea is to involve the permanent members of the UN Security Council, the EU, the Arab League, the UN and the OIC to facilitate these processes. This is an example of how we consistently propose resolving any problems through combining efforts and finding a balance of interests.

The example we are now discussing, which involves the US initiative in the Middle East, is not a case of finding a balance of interests; it is a case of planting confrontation, and an attempt to create dividing lines that will be there forever. Needless to say, this is a dead-end position. In any case, in the end, everyone will come to understand the need to return to the underlying principles of the United Nations, such as resolving problems through cooperation, and not through the creation of hostile and aggressive blocs.

‘Rationality is Not Permitted’: Chomsky on Russia, Ukraine and the Price of Media Censorship

June 23, 2022

By Ramzy Baroud

One of the reasons that Russian media has been completely blocked in the West, along with the unprecedented control and censorship over the Ukraine war narrative, is the fact that western governments simply do not want their public to know that the world is vastly changing.

Ignorance might be bliss, arguably in some situations, but not in this case. Here, ignorance can be catastrophic as western audiences are denied access to information about a critical situation that is affecting them in profound ways and will most certainly impact the world’s geopolitics for generations to come.

The growing inflation, an imminent global recession, a festering refugee crisis, a deepening food shortage crisis and much more are the kinds of challenges that require open and transparent discussions regarding the situation in Ukraine, the NATO-Russia rivalry and the responsibility of the West in the ongoing war.

To discuss these issues, along with the missing context of the Russia-Ukraine war, we spoke with Professor Noam Chomsky, believed to be the greatest living intellectual of our time.

Chomsky told us that it “should be clear that the (Russian) invasion of Ukraine has no (moral) justification.” He compared it to the US invasion of Iraq, seeing it as an example of “supreme international crime.” With this moral question settled, Chomsky believes that the main ‘background’ of this war, a factor that is missing in mainstream media coverage, is “NATO expansion”.

“This is not just my opinion,” said Chomsky, “it is the opinion of every high-level US official in the diplomatic services who has any familiarity with Russia and Eastern Europe. This goes back to George Kennan and, in the 1990s, Reagan’s ambassador Jack Matlock, including the current director of the CIA; in fact, just everybody who knows anything has been warning Washington that it is reckless and provocative to ignore Russia’s very clear and explicit red lines. That goes way before (Vladimir) Putin, it has nothing to do with him; (Mikhail) Gorbachev, all said the same thing. Ukraine and Georgia cannot join NATO, this is the geostrategic heartland of Russia.”

Though various US administrations acknowledged and, to some extent, respected the Russian red lines, the Bill Clinton Administration did not. According to Chomsky, “George H. W. Bush … made an explicit promise to Gorbachev that NATO would not expand beyond East Germany, perfectly explicit. You can look up the documents. It’s very clear. Bush lived up to it. But when Clinton came along, he started violating it. And he gave reasons. He explained that he had to do it for domestic political reasons. He had to get the Polish vote, the ethnic vote. So, he would let the so-called Visegrad countries into NATO. Russia accepted it, didn’t like it but accepted it.”

“The second George Bush,” Chomsky argued, “just threw the door wide open. In fact, even invited Ukraine to join over, despite the objections of everyone in the top diplomatic service, apart from his own little clique, Cheney, Rumsfeld (among others). But France and Germany vetoed it.”

However, that was hardly the end of the discussion. Ukraine’s NATO membership remained on the agenda because of intense pressures from Washington.

“Starting in 2014, after the Maidan uprising, the United States began openly, not secretly, moving to integrate Ukraine into the NATO military command, sending heavy armaments and joining military exercises, military training and it was not a secret. They boasted about it,” Chomsky said.

What is interesting is that current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “was elected on a peace platform, to implement what was called Minsk Two, some kind of autonomy for the eastern region. He tried to implement it. He was warned by right-wing militias that if he persisted, they’d kill him. Well, he didn’t get any support from the United States. If the United States had supported him, he could have continued, we might have avoided all of this. The United States was committed to the integration of Ukraine within NATO.”

The Joe Biden Administration carried on with the policy of NATO expansion. “Just before the invasion,” said Chomsky, “Biden … produced a joint statement … calling for expanding these efforts of integration. That’s part of what was called an ‘enhanced program’ leading to the mission of NATO. In November, it was moved forward to a charter, signed by the Secretary of State.”

Soon after the war, “the United States Department acknowledged that they had not taken Russian security concerns into consideration in any discussions with Russia. The question of NATO, they would not discuss. Well, all of that is provocation. Not a justification but a provocation and it’s quite interesting that in American discourse, it is almost obligatory to refer to the invasion as the ‘unprovoked invasion of Ukraine’. Look it up on Google, you will find hundreds of thousands of hits.”

Chomsky continued, “Of course, it was provoked. Otherwise, they wouldn’t refer to it all the time as an unprovoked invasion. By now, censorship in the United States has reached such a level beyond anything in my lifetime. Such a level that you are not permitted to read the Russian position. Literally. Americans are not allowed to know what the Russians are saying. Except, selected things. So, if Putin makes a speech to Russians with all kinds of outlandish claims about Peter the Great and so on, then, you see it on the front pages. If the Russians make an offer for a negotiation, you can’t find it. That’s suppressed. You’re not allowed to know what they are saying. I have never seen a level of censorship like this.”

Regarding his views of the possible future scenarios, Chomsky said that “the war will end, either through diplomacy or not. That’s just logic. Well, if diplomacy has a meaning, it means both sides can tolerate it. They don’t like it, but they can tolerate it. They don’t get anything they want, they get something. That’s diplomacy. If you reject diplomacy, you are saying: ‘Let the war go on with all of its horrors, with all the destruction of Ukraine, and let’s let it go on until we get what we want.’”

By ‘we’, Chomsky was referring to Washington, which simply wants to “harm Russia so severely that it will never be able to undertake actions like this again. Well, what does that mean? It’s impossible to achieve. So, it means, let’s continue the war until Ukraine is devastated. That’s US policy.”

Most of this is not obvious to western audiences simply because rational voices are “not allowed to talk” and because “rationality is not permitted. This is a level of hysteria that I have never seen, even during the Second World War, which I am old enough to remember very well.”

While an alternative understanding of the devastating war in Ukraine is disallowed, the West continues to offer no serious answers or achievable goals, leaving Ukraine devastated and the root causes of the problem in place. “That’s US policy”, indeed.

(The interview with Noam Chomsky was conducted jointly with Italian journalist, Romana Rubeo)

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the BBC TV channel, St Petersburg, June 16, 2022

June 18, 2022

Ed Note:  This transcript is not complete and we will issue an update when it is completed.  We post it now because of the renewed DDoS attacks on Russian infrastructure.

In addition, Mr Lavrov had two more quite serious interviews.  They are available here:


https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1818228/

Question: Did President Putin, before taking the decision and announcing the start of what he calls a special military operation, consult you on whether he should?

Sergey Lavrov: Every country has a decision-making mechanism. In that case, the mechanism existing in the Russian Federation was fully employed.

Question: Did he consult you?

Sergey Lavrov: Again, there are things we do not speak about publicly. There is a mechanism for taking decisions. It was followed in full.

Question: I am asking because you have been foreign minister for 18 years, and invading a sovereign neighbouring state is a foreign matter. The President surely assumed that there would be international repercussions. I thought he would consult you.

Sergey Lavrov: You are an experienced journalists well-aware of the realities in Russia, around Russia, and in the post-Soviet space. Your question seeks to cancel everything prior to February 24 of this year. For eight years, we had been promoting the necessity of implementing the Minsk agreements, unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council, with the help of our intelligence agencies, Foreign Ministry, and Defence Ministry.

Throughout those eight years, we were insisting that Donetsk and Lugansk (which initially, as you may remember, in 2014, declared their independence in response to the neo-Nazi coup d’etat in Kiev) should sign the Minsk agreements, which guaranteed Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. When nowadays Chancellor Olaf Scholz claims that Russia must be forced to reach agreements with Ukraine, agreements that would respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Ukrainian state, I have a feeling that he is not of this world but someone from “outer space.” Because all those eight years we were trying to ensure the implementation of agreements which guaranteed the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state.

Question: But the situation changed four months ago …

Sergey Lavrov: The situation has not changed. We are going back to what the Minsk agreements were coordinated for: protecting Russians in Donbass, who have been betrayed by the French and Germans. The British also played a leading role. All our Western colleagues kept saying they were unable to make Kiev honour the Minsk agreements.

Question: If the goal is to protect Russians in Donbass, why have more civilians been killed in the DPR and LPR in the four months since the start of the special military operation than in all of last year?

Sergey Lavrov: Did you also watch German ARD television and the main French TV channel, which declared recently that a maternity clinic and a marketplace had been shelled by the Russian army killing dozens of civilians? They declared without any qualms that this had been done by the Russian military. Just like they claimed some time ago that a railway station in Kramatorsk had been hit by Russia. Although the Western journalists proved that the missile had come from the territory controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Question: Last year, eight civilians were killed in the LPR and DPR, and seven the year before. While every death is a tragedy, that did not constitute the genocide Russian officials often invoke. With these numbers in mind, can you say that invading Ukraine was a reasonable decision?

Sergey Lavrov: We did not invade Ukraine. We announced a special military operation after being left with no other means to make it clear to the West that it is engaging in criminal activity by dragging Ukraine into NATO, by coddling and doting on a neo-Nazi regime, whose president Vladimir Zelensky said in September 2021 (you didn’t tell your viewers about it, did you?) that, if someone in Ukraine feels Russian, they should leave for Russia. He said that publicly. When a CNN correspondent told him that the Azov Regiment was listed as an extremist and terrorist organisations by some Western countries, the US, and Japan, Vladimir Zelensky shrugged his shoulders and said they had many such battalions and regiments, and they were what they were.

Question: Let’s look at the consequences. Four months have passed. The result: thousands of civilians have been killed; over 14 million Ukrainians have fled their homes; Russian troops sustained considerable losses and a host of sanctions have been imposed on Russia. Do you still call it the right decision?

Sergey Lavrov: I will tell you again: we didn’t have any other choice. We have explained this many times, a thousand times. Today, the Ukrainian regime is attacking civilians with your Western weapons just like they did in 2014 when the putschists came to power, when the centre of Lugansk was bombed by aircraft and 50 people were burned alive in Odessa. Does anyone recall this now?

Question: If you didn’t attack, there wouldn’t have been any weapons from the West.

Sergey Lavrov: We didn’t attack anyone. Russians were attacked in Ukraine. Imagine you are English. English or Scottish?

Question: I mentioned the figures to you. Eight dead in the past year, seven…

Sergey Lavrov: I am telling you that the Ukrainian regime is bombing its own population and you are selling weapons to it so it can continue doing this. Now about genocide. Are you English? What if Ireland (not Northern Ireland but the Republic of Ireland) banned the English language? How would the English feel?

Question: They wouldn’t invade Ireland for certain.

Sergey Lavrov: Wouldn’t you feel humiliated? The Russian language is banned in Ukraine. Try to speak Russian in a street in Kiev when young people with a certain look are walking there.

Question:Why do you consider NATO a threat? Why do people in Russia often talk about five waves of NATO’s expansion?

Sergey Lavrov: I think that NATO is a threat because we have been close friends with Serbians for a long time. They told us what the North Atlantic Alliance is about. The Afghans with whom we maintain relations in Afghanistan (and that includes practically all ethnic groups) also told us about the alliance and how it bombed wedding ceremonies. Just because these pilots wondered why some people had got together. They must be bombed, just in case.

I will explain to you why NATO is a threat. Talk to citizens of Iraq and Libya. Their countries were razed to the ground. After this, NATO still claims to be a defensive alliance. We are told not to worry, that Ukraine’s accession to NATO wouldn’t pose a threat to the Russian Federation. This is what we were told. With all due respect for our colleagues from the North Atlantic Alliance, I must say that Russia has the right to decide for itself what threatens its security and what does not.

Question: There were no NATO troops in Eastern Europe before the annexation of Crimea in 2014…

Sergey Lavrov: Moreover, there was no annexation of Crimea, either.

Question: As a result of Crimea’s annexation, there appeared 4,500 troops in 2016, and 40,000 after February 24, 2022. This is the result of Russia’s actions.

Sergey Lavrov: You are a clever man. These are facts. I will cite different facts for you. Your entire analysis is based on “cancel culture.” You are changing everything that preceded the event that you call an invasion or annexation. What happened in Ukraine on February 21, 2014? What we call a coup d’etat. How do you call it?

Question: I was the first to ask you. How do you call it?

Sergey Lavrov: I’ve already said that this was a coup d’etat that took place the morning after France, Poland and Germany affixed their signatures under the agreement between the then president and the opposition leaders. In the morning, the opposition leaders spat in the faces of Germany, France and Poland which  swallowed it. We called this a coup d’etat. And how did you call it?

Question: Do events of eight years ago give you the right to do what you are doing?

Sergey Lavrov: This is not about the right. I want to hear your honest response. We called it a coup d’etat. How do you call it in Britain?

Question: I wanted to ask you about this.

Sergey Lavrov: I want to understand your logic because if you want me to give you clear answers you must clearly explain to me what you are talking about.

Question: I want to grasp your logic. You say that NATO is a threat. Now you are saying that there is too much NATO on Russian borders. And yet now “there is even more NATO” as a result of Russia’s actions. Finland and Sweden are joining the alliance.

Sergey Lavrov: Finland and Sweden have long been subordinate to the Anglo-Saxons as the EU and NATO have drawn closer together. The EU has lost its meaning.

Question: Is the fact that Finland and Sweden are becoming NATO members a failure of Russian diplomacy?

Sergey Lavrov: Sweden and Finland are exercising their sovereign right and they are acting according to their governments’ decisions. They also are not overly concerned with public opinion, just as they didn’t concern themselves with public opinion in different countries as they carried out the objectives set by NATO.

Question: Does that mean it is not a threat to Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: We shall see how it will end. When and if Sweden and Finland join NATO, we will see what will go into effect on the ground. Whether weapons are delivered there and new contingents deployed. That said, I assure you that nobody is going to listen to either Europeans, or Finland or Sweden. They are telling us now that they will have no foreign troops or military bases. Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that the US intends to increase its military presence in Europe, they have not yet decided if it will be permanent, rotational or permanent-rotational. He never said the EU should be consulted. He does not want to hear from European allies. He just decided, and announced that decisions will be made in Washington.

Question: Russia says that Ukraine is fighting Nazis.

Sergey Lavrov: Ukraine is not fighting Nazis. Nazism is flourishing in Ukraine.

Question: Listen to what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says. She spoke in May following a monitoring mission and said that the Russian military kept 360 people including 74 children and 5 disabled persons for 28 days in a school basement in the village of Yagodnoye, Chernigov Region, without a toilet and water. Ten elderly people died. Is this fighting Nazism?

Sergey Lavrov: International bureaucrats, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and, to my immense disappointment, the UN Secretary-General and many other UN representatives, are being put under pressure by the West and are often being used to amplify fake news spread by the West.

Question: So Russia is squeaky clean, isn’t it?

Sergey Lavrov: Russia is not squeaky clean. Russia is what it is. And we are not ashamed of showing who we are.

May I inquire with you to better understand your media outlet’s policy on the Bucha tragedy? Did you report on the frame-up job in Bucha? You definitely said it had been carried out by Russia, right? The Guardian newspaper published in London later got preliminary forensic results which showed that most people whose dead bodies were shown by all the world’s TV channels got their wounds from artillery shrapnel.

Question:  Why do you ask? We have little time.

Sergey Lavrov: We have little time but you do not want to tell me why you keep saying untruths, to put it mildly. I asked you a question about how the BBC had covered the events in Bucha.

Question:  I wasn’t in Bucha. I am in Russia and this is why I am asking you about Russia’s position. The purpose of the operation as it was stated by President Putin back then is regime change, isn’t it?

Sergey Lavrov: The purpose of the operation is to protect the rights of Russians which have been blatantly ignored not only by the Kiev regime but also by the entire West and the civilised community which refused to implement the Minsk Agreements.

If you did not want to secure the rights of the Russians in Donbass through Kiev’s adherence to a UNSC resolution, we will ensure the rights of Russians ourselves. That is what we are doing.

Question: On February 25 of this year, Vladimir Putin addressed Ukrainian soldiers and urged them to take power in their hands because it would be easier for Russia to come to terms with them than with this gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis in Kiev. This sounds like a direct call for a military rebellion.

Sergey Lavrov: No, it sounds like a direct call for fulfilling their military duty instead of serving Nazis who are cancelling everything that their regime doesn’t like, including Russian education, culture and media. They didn’t cancel BBC because you haven’t told the truth about what was happening there for eight years. I asked you a question: Did you or any of your BBC colleagues go to Donbass during the eight years when Kiev soldiers were bombing civilians there?

Question: Over the course of six years, the BBC had many times contacted the leadership in the separatist-run areas asking for permission to go and see what was happening. We were refused entry every single time. I think if genocide had really taken place there, they would have been interested in letting us come and see but no. Why were we denied entry?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t know why you were denied entry. Our journalists worked there 24/7 and showed the results of bombing by Kiev battalions. You should have gone to the Ukrainian side of the contact line. They do not have such destruction there.

Question: Recently, your President praised Peter the Great for reclaiming primordial Russian territories and even added that “to return and strengthen is also our lot.” How many more territories and what territories are you going to reclaim?

Sergey Lavrov: President Vladimir Putin said it all. I have nothing to add. I will tell you again: you want to forget everything that preceded this event. You deny, cancel and do not want to hear what happened before February 24 of this year, what happened before the voting in Crimea. You cannot accept that we are very patient. But when our patience runs out, we respond to rudeness and the humiliation of the Russian people, like the coup in February 2014 when power was taken by people who cancelled the regional status of the Russian language and were going to oust Russians from Crimea (they sent armed people there). What did BBC report about this? Nothing at all. You said this was a normal democratic process.

Question: Can you say categorically that Russia won’t launch another special operation and won’t invade neighbouring territories?

Sergey Lavrov: We believed words for a very long time. Your comrades-in-arms, your compatriots together with other members of the North Atlantic Alliance solemnly proclaimed a principle of indivisible security where nobody has the right to enhance their security at the expense of the security of others. When we said that NATO’s five expansions undermines our security, we were simply ignored. Now President of France Emmanuel Macron said they must talk to Russia and should not humiliate the Russians. Do you know who replied to him? Some Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky. He said Macron didn’t understand anything, implying that Russians must be humiliated. What is your attitude to this?

Question: I want to ask you about the Brits who recently got a death sentence …

Sergey Lavrov: You should do an interview in the Donetsk People’s Republic about it.

Question: Russia is the only country that recognises the DPR.

Sergey Lavrov: No, it is not the only one, several more countries have recognised them.

Question: I think the DPR has a lot of influence in Russia.

Sergey Lavrov: We are friends and allies.

Question: In the eyes of the West, Russia is responsible for these people. Do you think the death sentence …

Sergey Lavrov: I am not interested in the “eyes of the West” at all. I am only interested in international law, according to which mercenaries are not combatants. So nothing in your eyes matters.

Question: They are not mercenaries, they were serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Sergey Lavrov: This should be determined by the court.

Question: Do you think the court there is independent?

Sergey Lavrov: I am confident they have independent courts there. Do you think your courts are independent? After Alexander Litvinenko’s death your “independent” court announced “public process,” that is, had the case classified. You did the same with the Skripals. That’s your law.

Question: Did the UK government contact you about the fate of these boys?

Sergey Lavrov: I have no information about their contacting us. They are used to doing everything publicly. They began saying they are worried about the fate of their subjects. I do not know if they contacted us or not. They should contact the DPR.

Question: How would you characterise relations with the UK now? Saying they are bad would be putting it mildly.

Sergey Lavrov: I think there is no room for manoeuvre left in the relationship. Boris Johnson and Elizabeth Truss say publicly that they must defeat Russia and bring it to its knees. Come on, do it!

Question: How does Moscow view Great Britain now?

Sergey Lavrov: This is a country which is once again sacrificing the interests of its people for the sake of politicians’ ambitions, who only think about the next election and nothing else.

Question: You criticise the countries, which are supplying weapons to Kiev. Who is more to blame – the countries supplying weapons to a country, which is defending its lands, or the country that has attacked it?

Sergey Lavrov: How is it defending its lands, when it bombs its own citizens? Let me remind you once again: Vladimir Zelensky said in September 2021 that those who think in Russian and feel they are Russian should beat it back to Russia. Why don’t you talk about that? Why do you ignore past events? Now, when they are shelling their own cities, towns, markets, maternity homes, and hospitals – everything is all right [with you]. You ask me why Russia is waging a “war” – in response to what we are showing. If they do not show in Britain the aftermath of the [Ukrainian] shelling of Donetsk, Kramatorsk and other places, you can certainly watch it here. Do you report anything on that?

Question: You said that you are defending Donbass and the people in Donbass. I told you that since the start of the operation twenty times more people had died …

Sergey Lavrov: And I told you that those people are being killed by neo-Nazis. I ask you: Do you show the results of the AFU’s shelling of towns and villages? Or you don’t show them in your reports? You don’t show it, correct? That is why you want to squeeze some words of regret from me about the current developments so as to send a report to London and use my words to back up the false version of events in Ukraine, which you keep broadcasting.

Question: You are wrong about that.

Sergey Lavrov: Being in Moscow, you cannot fail to see what journalists in Donbass are showing, what is happening as a result of [Ukrainian] artillery attacks on  peaceful towns and civilians. Do you report on that or not?

Question: I want to ask you…

Sergey Lavrov: So that means you don’t.

Question: I have been in Russia for almost 30 years. I have toured the country. The phrase I heard most in the villages and cities I visited was “if only there is no war.” I understand that your country suffered terrible losses, that is why it beggars belief that your country has “unleashed a war” in Ukraine. I don’t understand why it was needed. To ruin Ukraine and the future of your own country?

Sergey Lavrov: I got your point. You have no problems with understanding the political course pursued by Kiev in the past ten years – to cancel anything Russian – do you? You think “if only there is no war” means a possibility to humiliate Russians and Russia (as the Czech foreign minister said replying to Emmanuel Macron who had spoken out against humiliating the Russians). For some reason, nobody is speaking about that. You grabbed what you needed for your line, for the narrative of your broadcasts.

The phrase “if only  there is no war” is deeply ingrained in the Russian people. But it also has pride ingrained, what we call self-respect, which they are trying to take away from all the Russians in Ukraine, with your support.

To be continued…

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions: news conference on current international issues

June 08, 2022

Source

Colleagues,

Last night and this morning, we received multiple questions from the media regarding our response to the unprecedented decisions made by a number of NATO members who blocked the Russian Foreign Minister’s visit to the Republic of Serbia.

An unthinkable thing has happened. I understand the interest in our assessment of these outrageous actions. A sovereign state has been deprived of the right to carry out its foreign policy. At the moment, Serbia’s international activities, at least on the Russian track, are blocked.

Let’s not beat around the bush. This is another clear and cautionary demonstration of how far NATO and the EU can go in using the most low-grade methods of influencing those whose actions are grounded in national interests and who are against sacrificing their principles and dignity for the sake of the “rules” imposed by the West instead of international law. If the West sees a visit by the Russian Foreign Minister to Serbia almost as a threat on a universal scale, then, apparently, things are not so good there.

Lately, we’ve heard vociferous calls to the effect that Serbia needs to “make a final choice.” Yesterday, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt made a splashy statement saying that hosting the Russian Foreign Minister in Belgrade was the worst thing Serbia could do to advance its EU prospects. How do you like that? Several days ago (when my visit was announced), US Ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill published a big article titled “East or West: There is no third way,” where he used precisely these terms and logic with regard to Serbia’s future relations with the United States, the EU and the Russian Federation. Even an unsophisticated observer will understand that Brussels is not a place for the sovereign equality of states, as enshrined in the UN Charter, and even less so for the notorious freedom of choice, which Brussels constantly talks about.

During our discussions last year, we proposed signing a treaty on European security with the United States and NATO. We were told that NATO would not accept any principles regarding indivisible security, including the unacceptability of strengthening one’s own security at the expense of others. They will accept only the principle of freedom to choose partners. Now, the West has torn up this very principle, after centering it for so long.

The West believes that Serbia should not have freedom to choose partners. This cynicism is hardly surprising. The West is making it clear that it will continue to unscrupulously use pressure.

We’ve seen this kind of hypocrisy on many occasions, including during the tragic bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 by those who came to believe in their victory in the Cold War and their right to build the world exclusively according to their own design. This mentality manifested itself in the incident that we are now discussing.

I know they will come up with multiple explanations (we haven’t heard any so far). The countries that didn’t allow a flyover for the Russian aircraft will say that they received orders from the European Union or NATO. Those, in turn, will say that these countries were independent in their decision-making. You are well aware of all that. However, most importantly no one will be able to destroy our relations with Serbia.

We had plans to hold important and time-sensitive meetings with President Aleksandar Vucic, Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic, National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic, and the clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church. That would be very helpful. These contacts did not go anywhere on other tracks. Nikola Selakovic was invited to pay a visit to Russia soon. I hope that the plane on which he will fly (a regular or a special fight) will not be subjected to another shameful “punishment” by Brussels and its “clients” that have lost all decency.

We planned to discuss a broad agenda, including the rapidly expanding bilateral strategic partnership and international affairs. Clearly, the Brussels puppeteers were not comfortable with providing us with a platform in the capital of Serbia where we could confirm Russia’s position on Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. They did not want us to express support for Belgrade’s initiative to implement the Open Balkan project in the interests of improving and bolstering relations between all the countries of that region.

Clearly, Brussels (NATO and the EU) wants the Balkans to become a project of its own called Closed Balkans. It is hard to draw other conclusions looking at the situation at hand.

Question: What measures will be taken for this meeting to be held? You said the closure of the air space by three countries is an unprecedented step. Is there a threat of this becoming a norm? That the air space will be shut for ministers to protect these countries?

Sergey Lavrov: This has already become the norm for the European Union and NATO. I mentioned the “sound effects” that accompanied this decision. They were made in the Western media and by some politicians.

They are increasingly afraid of the truth and are trying to escape into an invented, fake reality that is filling screens, social media and any information resources. They have completely shut down all alternative media at their own initiative. They want to resolve their electoral challenges by brainwashing their voters. If such a choice was made (no doubt about it), Brussels is going to decide the destinies of all European countries by itself.

This shows once again the worth of the status sought by the EU applicants. The explanation is simple. It was declared more than once (including by  Josep Borrell, the bellicose EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, who said this war must be won “on the battlefield” in order to “defeat Russia”) that while merely preparing to join the EU, the applicants must fully and unquestionably follow the European policy on security and defence. It is common knowledge that this policy is emphatically anti-Russian. This is what awaits the countries that are trying to find a balance of interests in preserving and developing their relations with the EU and non-EU countries.

We value Serbia’s courageous position in this respect. President Alexandar Vucic has emphasised that he will not engage in anti-Russia activities. But this is exactly what the EU wants – for all applicants to assume Russophobic commitments.

This case showed the worth of NATO membership for Montenegro and North Macedonia and the reasons why NATO needs such countries – only to punish Russia, expand the anti-Russia bridgehead in Europe and create threats and mechanisms of containment. This does not square in the least with the requirements of Article 10 of the Washington Treaty on NATO. This article states that new members must meet the criteria and, most important, contribute to the security of all members of the alliance.

Whose security did Montenegro and North Macedonia contribute to? But they have coped with their role really well as an instrument for deterring Russia and stooges of the big guys. I feel sorry for these countries. These are two friendly nations. They have a wonderful nature and history that they cherish. They valued our relations in the past. But the current political realities have put them into a sticky situation.

As for responses, we will never do anything that will further complicate ties between nations. This is what our Western partners are doing. They are facing problems at home not only because they are creating a socio-economic quagmire but also because more and more sensible Europeans are asking the question: Why turn Russia into an enemy? More and more people are recalling the great, proud and glorious history we have made in cooperation with many European countries.

Speaking about history, I would like to return to the failed visit to Serbia. As part of the itinerary, I was supposed to attend a ceremony at the Eternal Flame in memory of the liberators of Belgrade. I was also supposed to make an entry in the Honoured Guest Book. I planned to write the following. Imagine I am sending it to the Serbian people now.

“Let us be worthy of the memory of the Soviet and Yugoslav warriors who perished in the struggle against Nazism. Serbia and Russia stand in solidarity in their efforts to preserve the truth about the history of World War II. We will not allow the rebirth of Nazism.”

Please consider these words my message to all those who visit this magisterial monument in Belgrade.

Question (retranslated from Serbian): Will you please comment on how it has come to the point that you were literally denied the opportunity to fly on a visit to Serbia as three countries closed their airspace to your plane? What was the reason for this? Does it mean that you might encounter an obstacle like this on any other route over EU or NATO member countries? Or does it only have to do with your visit to Serbia?

Sergey Lavrov: I will not engage in speculation about other routes across EU and NATO member countries. Currently, we have no plans to meet [with any officials from these countries]. As for now, there are no invitations from NATO countries, nor am I expecting anyone in Moscow.

As for the reason you asked about, there was much speculation about it several days ago in the Serbian and Croatian press and in the press in other countries in the Western Balkans. For example, it was suggested that Sergey Lavrov was one of the most unwelcome guests in Serbia now because he decided to “go ahead” of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is planning to visit the Balkans in the next few days. The head of the German Government was allegedly disappointed and even felt hurt by this impolite, in his view, step on the part of Serbia. It is on the conscience of analysts who write things like these. I believe it is humiliating not only for the people whom they write about and whose response they try to predict but, primarily, for the media outlets that are trying to reach more readers and viewers through this type of “exercise”.

Question (retranslated from Serbian): Serbia has been pressured by both sides since the very start of the conflict in Ukraine in the context of the events it has nothing to do with. Will Russia show more understanding for the national interests and position of Serbia as distinct from some Western countries?

Sergey Lavrov: My response is a definite yes. We see how fiercely the West is reacting to what is happening in Ukraine. This proves that we are right. We have explained to the whole world why the special military operation was launched. In retrospect, we showed our efforts for many years to avert threats and not 10,000 km away but right on our borders. The United States considers it possible to declare “today” that Belgrade is posing a threat (to global or European security) and start bombing Belgrade “tomorrow.” Then, in a couple of years, the United States decides that one more country, also located 10,000 km away – Iraq – is posing a threat. Cities are erased from the face of the Earth and hundreds of thousands of civilians are killed. Then they decide that there is one more country across the Atlantic – Libya – that is also posing a threat to the US and must be destroyed for this reason.

We have long been saying that it is unacceptable to expand NATO eastward, support the coup d’etat in Ukraine and tolerate the subversion by Pyotr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky of the Minsk agreements that had been so hard to reach. All these warnings were ignored. The Russian people in Ukraine continued to be discriminated against across the board. Laws banning the Russian language were adopted and Nazi practices (theory and practice of Nazism) were established. The West applauded all this, presenting this process as an achievement of true democracy. It continued supporting the neo-Nazi armed forces of Ukraine that were shelling civilians and civilian infrastructure in Donbass every day. We had no other choice left.

I spoke about all this in detail and now I am reiterating what I said. But Brussels’ line in the Balkans and in Ukraine is the same. The only difference is that in the Balkans the EU favours those who impinge on the Serbian interests, while in Ukraine, NATO and the EU support the regime that has long declared a war on all things Russian. This is an interesting observation. I mentioned it during my interview with the media of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the gist of the EU’s mediation. Some process started in the Balkans after Kosovo proclaimed “independence” unilaterally and without any referendum. The UN General Assembly invited the EU to mediate between Pristina and Belgrade and its effort was rather successful: in 2013, the agreement was reached on establishing the Community of Serbian Municipalities of Kosovo. In 2014, when a coup was staged in Ukraine and the “counterterrorism” forces launched an operation against Donbass and Russians in Ukraine, the EU also acted as a mediator. This led to the signing of the Minsk agreements that established certain rules, just as with regard to the Serbian municipalities in Kosovo.

The EU made a solemn promise to support a special status for northern Kosovo and eastern Ukraine. The status did not imply any complicated things: to let people speak their native tongue (Serbians were supposed to be allowed to speak Serbian and Russians in Ukraine to speak Russian), teach children in schools in their native tongue, use it in daily life and have a certain autonomy as regards law-enforcement and economic ties with neighbouring regions (northern Kosovo with Serbia and eastern Ukraine with Russia). Identical agreements were made, which urged respect for national minorities in full conformity with international European conventions on the rights of these groups. The EU announced that it had succeeded in both cases. But it shamefully failed in both cases and had to admit it later on by saying it could not persuade Kiev to fulfil the Minsk agreements or make Pristina abide by its agreements with Belgrade. There is something in common as regards the EU’s treatment of different areas in our common geopolitical space, its goals, its competence and its ability to make deals.

Question: What role do you think Turkey could play in normalising the situation around Ukraine, especially since it aspires to the role of a mediator? How promising is the format that was initially established with Ukraine and that it subsequently torpedoed? What do you think about Ankara’s position on Sweden and Finland’s potential accession to NATO?

Sergey Lavrov: I will not even comment on the last question. This is Ankara’s sovereign business, just as it is for any other country that is a member of an alliance, union or organisation. I heard somewhere that some overzealous EU members from the Baltic states demanded during the discussion of the sixth package of anti-Russia sanctions that Hungary be deprived of the right to vote because it abused the rule of consensus. But this is a paradoxical claim. Consensus means only one thing: that everyone concurs on an issue. If a single member is against something, there is no consensus. Therefore, by voting against something, nobody can undermine the principles of consensus. I will leave this aside; let the NATO members figure it out among themselves. I already had an opportunity to comment on this. Let us see how this process will develop. As for us, this concerns Russia in just one regard: Will Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO create direct physical and material threats to Russia’s security? I think every sensible politician is aware that this will not make the situation any better politically.

As for the military aspect of this deal, we will see what will be done in this respect.

As far as Turkey’s role is concerned, yes it has its own position that it does not conceal. We do not have identical views on all issues; far from it. We have serious disagreements on many aspects of the regional situation. As our cooperation on Syria and later on the Libyan crisis showed, our presidents, while clearly outlining their views, respect each other’s positions. Instead of aggravating the existing differences, both leaders are trying to take into account each other’s concerns. This is how Moscow treats Ankara and Ankara reciprocates. This was the gist of a recent telephone conversation on the problems on food security the West has created over the past two years. Later it aggravated them further by imposing senseless sanctions. Having introduced them, the West suddenly started thinking about how they will affect food deliveries to different countries.

Yes, Russia and Turkey are interested in resolving these problems. In his recent interview, President of Russia Vladimir Putin explained in detail how to unblock food shipments from the Black Sea ports that had been mined by the Ukrainians, and from the ports of the Sea of Azov that have been demined and are now controlled by the Russian Federation. There are safe routes from there via the Kerch Strait to the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. Specialists are leaving for Turkey today. Tomorrow, my delegation will head there. I hope we will manage to examine in detail all the options mentioned by President Vladimir Putin, and our countries’ leaders will dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. This depends exclusively on who will work with Ukraine and compel it to remove the mines in its own ports, as well as those who must remove all obstacles to shipments, their insurance and servicing of ships that will deliver grain and other food products to European ports and from there to developing nations.

Question: The UK has announced that it will supply multiple rocket launchers to Ukraine to help it defend itself against Russian forces. The United States is doing the same. You said that this was a risky path to take. But if Russia had not attacked Ukraine and there had been no Russian invasion, there would be no deliveries of rocket launchers. Do you agree?

Sergey Lavrov: I will not even try to step into America’s or Britain’s shoes. You don’t even want to hear our arguments. The issue is not that “if someone hadn’t attacked, you wouldn’t have done something.” The thing is that for twenty years, both you, the British, and the Americans, and all other NATO countries were urged to do what all of you subscribed to in 1999: no country shall strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others. Why can’t you do that? Why is it that the commitments signed by your prime minister, the presidents and prime ministers of all other OSCE countries proved to be lies? Instead, you are saying that we should leave NATO alone and that it is “none of our business,” for you will accept whoever you want. You moved closer to our borders on five occasions (a defensive alliance!). The Warsaw Treaty and the USSR are no more. Who are you defending yourselves against? Five times you decided all on your own where your lines of defence would be. What’s that? This smacks of megalomania.

Today Jens Stoltenberg is saying that NATO’s responsibility should be ensured on the global scale in the Indo-Pacific region. This means that your next line of defence will be in the South China Sea. If we look at what is happening, it becomes patently clear that during all these years you believed you had the right to wreak havoc far from your borders. I understand that you are nostalgic for the British Empire and that there are seeds planted somewhere deep down. You are wistful, of course. Regions are picked out an ocean away from the United States, where allegedly there is a threat to Washington, and they are razed to the ground. Now it is Mosul in Iraq, now Raqqa in Syria, now Belgrade. Libya is in chaos, and countries are destroyed.

Just imagine for a minute that your neighbour, Ireland, which occupies half of the island of the same name, upped and banned the English language, or that Belgium banned French, or Switzerland outlawed French, German, or Italian. How would Europe look at that? I will not even expand on this. But Europe was looking on passively at them banning Russian. This took place in Ukraine. All things Russian – education, the media, everyday contacts, etc. – were prohibited. Moreover, the regime that openly professes and glorifies Nazism bombed and shelled ethnic Russians for eight years.

I understand, you must use cut and dried phrases to drum into the heads of your audiences this truth of yours: “if you hadn’t attacked, we wouldn’t have supplied the MLRS.”  Vladimir Putin has commented on the situation that emerged in connection with the arrival of the new weapons. I can only add that the longer-range arms you supply, the farther will we push from our border the line where the neo-Nazis will be able to threaten the Russian Federation.

Question: At the talks with Ukraine in March, Russia demanded that Kiev recognise the independence of Donbass and the Russian status of Crimea. Does Russia intend to demand that Kiev additionally recognise independence of the Kherson Region and part of the Zaporozhye Region currently controlled by the Russian forces, or their accession to Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: This question will be answered by the people living in the liberated territories. They are saying that they want to choose their future on their own. We fully respect this position.

As for the declared objectives, let me reiterate the following. The West has decided to supply weapons that, in all evidence, are capable of reaching not only the border areas of the Russian Federation but also its more remote points. Politicians and legislators in Ukraine itself are laughing at the Americans, who said they believed Vladimir Zelensky’s promise not to shell Russia. If this is how the United States and its satellites react to what is happening, I will stress once again: the longer-range are the systems supplied to the Kiev regime, the farther will we push the Nazis from the line from which threats emanate for the Russian population of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

Question: What expectations do you have for your upcoming visit to Ankara? Will a mechanism to resolve the grain issue be announced? Will the continuation of the Russian-Ukrainian talks in Istanbul be discussed?

Sergey Lavrov: I have already answered this question. The range of topics for the talks was outlined during a telephone conversation between the presidents of Russia and Turkey.

In his recent interview, President Vladimir Putin gave a detailed description of the best options for exporting grain. We have been doing everything that is up to us for a long time. For more than a month, Russian servicemen both in the Black and Azov seas have been opening humanitarian corridors for foreign ships to leave, which are in fact kept hostage there by the Ukrainian authorities. The Ukrainians have to clear the mines for the ships to use these corridors. Our Turkish colleagues declared their readiness to help us in this. I think our military will come to terms on the best way to organise this, so that the ships pass to the open sea through the minefields that have to be cleared. Next, we guarantee – on our own or with our Turkish colleagues – that they will reach the straits and move further into the Mediterranean Sea.

The concept is absolutely clear. We have been talking about it for a long time. Attempts are being made to present the case as if Russia does not want something, as if it is necessary to involve some organisation like the UN or adopt a UN Security Council resolution. We have been through all these games. Everyone who can be even a little bit serious about the task of exporting grain from Ukrainian ports knows very well that only one thing must be done to achieve this: to order Vladimir Zelensky to give the command to clear the ports and stop hiding behind statements that Russia will take advantage of this. President Vladimir Putin said that we are not going to take advantage of this and are ready to tackle this problem earnestly. Let me stress that we have been doing everything in our power for a long time.

Question: An increasing number of countries are trying to join the attempts to settle the disagreements between Moscow and Kiev amid Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine and the problems it has caused. What proposals for mediation is Moscow currently considering as the most realistic and acceptable alternatives?

Sergey Lavrov: The most realistic proposals that did not provide for mediation were put forward at a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Istanbul on March 29, 2022. These proposals were made by the Ukrainian party. We immediately accepted them as a foundation. Afterwards, the Ukrainian party walked out on these proposals either on its own initiative or under orders from Washington, London or Brussels. Western analysts say “mediation” is impossible as Ukraine’s only demand is that the situation be reversed to the state of affairs on the ground as it was on February 24, 2022. Fantasies are talked about every day, sometimes contradicting one another.

Ukraine is unwilling to hold negotiations. It has declined to do this. We have every reason to believe that in this way Kiev is following the wishes of the Anglo-Saxon leadership of the Western world. We were ready to work honestly based on our Ukrainian colleagues’ proposals. A draft agreement drawn up on the basis of those proposals has been shelved by the Ukrainian side for six weeks now.

Question: As for the provocation by Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro, do you think their position was agreed on with Brussels or directly with Washington? Or was it these countries’ desire to gain favour with Washington and Brussels? Has Europe been closed to our diplomacy altogether?

Sergey Lavrov: I do not know what lies behind this move – either an order or the desire to gain favour – but you have hit the mark. I believe it is a combination of both. They may have long since been ordered not to diverge from the policy of containing Russia, so the desire to be servile is part of it. Or maybe they received these orders yesterday. We do not know.

We are still maintaining diplomatic relations with the majority of western countries, including the unfriendly ones. At the same time I have repeatedly emphasised the main geopolitical conclusion from this situation: it is now impossible to agree with Europe on anything and be sure that they will deliver on their obligations. When these “demons” are driven out and Europe comes to itself, we will see what their perspective on our future ties are. We are not going to impose ourselves on them. Of course, we will weigh and consider what they propose. If their proposals do not disagree with our interests, we will be ready to resume our contacts.

Japan’s Perceptions of the Propaganda regarding the SMO

June 05, 2022

Source

by Patricia Ormsby

The Initial News Blitz

In the immediate aftermath of Putin’s announcement on February 24 of the Special Military Operation in Ukraine, Japan’s media instituted a one-sided blitz condemning Russia of a sort that has become familiar to everyone else in the West.1 The blitz appeared to have been well-planned and coordinated in Japan, though it took about a week to eliminate the five-minute Vesti news segment from NHK’s selection of international news sources airing early each morning (this has not been restored since). In the subsequent month a person couldn’t watch any TV for more than 15 minutes without seeing more news on Ukraine or graphic blurbs announcing upcoming documentaries. Talk shows were populated with new, young “experts on Russia,” while well-known, respected experts went absent. These young professors appeared to have no knowledge of the Minsk Accords, for example, though I suspect it was simply made clear to them that the topic was off-limits. The overall impression from the media was that Russia’s incursion into Ukraine was entirely a war of territorial conquest entailing savage, horrifying brutality against innocent civilians.

I do not use social networking services, but the blitz appeared to have been even more intense there, and specifically aimed at women, judging from the effects. Virtually all the women I know in Japan responded viscerally to this propaganda. I witnessed rage at anything that reminded them of Russia. Russian signage installed for the Olympics was blocked off. One friend studying Russian told me she had contacted her teacher in Moscow and told her she could not bring herself to continue her lessons until Russia stopped that nasty invasion. Her teacher explained in tears that she had family in Ukraine. My friend should have realized that there was another side to this story. I explained to her how discriminatory the news on Ukraine in Japan was and the fact no one could really attest to the veracity of all the atrocities we were being bombarded with day and night; still she was just overwhelmed by it.

I can attest as a woman living in Japan nearly four decades that I could not watch the news without feeling that I would be a monster if I didn’t have any sympathy at all for the victims, even if I considered it all unverified and mostly likely misleading. I can’t tolerate such a level of cognitive dissonance, and just flee after a few minutes. My husband and his brother, by contrast, can continue watching with no emotional involvement, just out of curiosity to see how far the authorities will take such obvious propaganda.

Cracks in the Narrative

In contrast to the successful emotional man-handling of the women, virtually all of the men I know in Japan quickly saw through the deception and many, in fact, took umbrage at it. It was men who told me they were sick of hearing constantly about Ukraine. They pointed out how odd the unilateral condemnation of Russia was, considering this was the same sort of action America was constantly engaging in with other small impoverished countries far away that the news otherwise had no interest in. They recognized the attempted manipulation, and what they and an increasing number of women began to see behind it was an anticipated new attempt to rewrite Japan’s constitution enabling it to engage in military actions overseas.

In addition, the talk shows never really managed to shut out pro-Russian views entirely. Prior to the SMO, there had been some positive coverage of Russia in the Japanese media. The knowledge people possessed from before the conflict could not be erased. According to my husband, one commentator noted that Zelensky’s arming of civilians to help fight the invasion rendered the entire civilian population a military target under international law. The public’s perceptions of Zelensky’s role in the conflict changed. The Minsk Accords were brought up in one daytime program, catching one of the young “experts” off-guard. The general perception gradually formed among the public that there was indeed another side to this story.

Russian signage was restored at train stations in April. I have not heard recently of on-line harassment of Russians (or anyone suspected of being Russian, including Ukrainians), which was occurring during the first few weeks of the SMO. Prior to Biden’s recent appearance in Japan, the propaganda increased, but seems to have subsided since then somewhat, though the other day they aired a documentary on what a dictator Putin is.

Shrugging at Official ‘Truths’

Japan has had a long history, including times still within living memory, of life under tyranny. This tyranny has characteristics that distinguish it from European varieties, based on social systems rooted in Buddhism and Confucianism. I won’t go into it here but the result is they’ve inherited ways of coping with tyranny that allow them to lead relatively dignified and meaningful lives. One of these is their concept of “tatemae” versus “honne.” Tatemae literally means “façade,” while honne is composed from hon (main or regular) and ne (sound), and means “real intention” or “true meaning.” They recognize the necessity of the former just so that society can function smoothly without tripping over infelicitous details or long-standing conflicts. That the latter exists in contrast to the former is universally acknowledged. Confucianism gives its blessing to this system, valuing harmony above most other concerns. Everyone puts up their own tatemae and deals with their own honne as they see appropriate.

Of course, this happens everywhere. The difference here is its universal acknowledgement. Dishonest official “truths” are tolerated until they jeopardize things that really matter. Even then, people here are more likely to try to resolve the issue quietly. Japan has to go along with America to a large degree, and as long as the latter does not confront Japan over its sneaky tendency to overlook rules at the local level, they see no reason at all to confront America. And in the matter at hand, what matters to them is not the blatant propaganda or emotional manipulation, but whether or not they as a country can maintain the neutral stance that they have benefited massively from over the past half century.

Left and Right

I have heard that there is a rightward faction in Japan that favors Russia, but have no other knowledge about them. The right wing that I am acquainted with still has a territorial beef with Russia over four of the Kuril Islands https://tass.com/world/1041010?utm_source=yandex.ru&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=yandex.ru&utm_referrer=yandex.ru and as a result no peace treaty has been signed between Japan and Russia in the 67 years since WWII.2 In general, though, Japan’s right wing tends to be isolationist. Shinto, which is largely but not exclusively right wing, is a highly localized religion, and most of the devoted practitioners I know have never been abroad and tend to look down on overseas travel. I attended a meeting of the Fuji Confraternities, a Shugendo sect centered around Mount Fuji, and was pleasantly surprised, given the moral stance inherent to any religion, that not once in three hours did anyone bring up the plight of the Ukrainians.

Japan’s left wing, aside from communist and socialist factions that favored the Soviet Union, strongly favors the US for its idealism and democratic principles. Many of them have traveled abroad, but mostly as part of groups on commercial tours, which are motivated to protect whatever façade will encourage future business. The linguistic distance between Japanese and other languages also makes it hard for them to obtain unfiltered information from abroad. The result is a romanticized view of America and tendency to give credence to Western news sources. My impression is this is true to some extent throughout Asia.

Civic-minded Seeking Knowledge

Given the cracks in the narrative mentioned above, however, there is a growing interest among the civic-minded in Japan, in particular among the left, in hearing about Russia’s viewpoint. I was happy to see a good turnout3 for a lecture by retired Ibaraki University professor Hideo Soga in Mito, Japan, on May 21 to promote understanding Russia’s point of view in the Ukrainian conflict.

In his talk and accompanying handout, Prof. Soga presented content from Putin’s speech to Russia’s citizens on February 24.4 This included the threat from NATO’s easterly expansion since 1990; NATO’s serial aggression against countries without approval through UN Security Council resolutions (Belgrade, Iraq, Libya and Syria); Russia’s inability to reach an agreement with NATO in December 2021 on vital security matters; the situation worsening year-by-year despite Russia being one of the top nuclear nations and possessing many of the most advanced weapons; further threats from NATO to expand into Ukraine, bringing in modern weaponry from nations inimical to Russia; the genocide of ethnic Russians in the Donbass necessitating a military response from Russia in accordance with UN Charter Chapter 7, Article 51; and Russia’s aim to neutralize and demilitarize Ukraine, removing the neo-Nazis, but not occupying the nation.

Prof. Soga described and illustrated NATO’s eastward expansion, gave a rundown of Ukraine’s history, with a diagram showing the percentages of different ethnic and language groups in different parts of Ukraine. He discussed Zelensky’s presidency, mentioning Kolomoisky’s backing and the events since 2014 that led Crimea to rejoin Russia and brought about civil strife to eastern Ukraine and the current conflict, with deep involvement by Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. He explained in more detail the conflict in the Donbass between separatists and Ukraine’s government, mentioning that NATO had turned a blind eye to massacres of civilians and destruction of residential areas by neo-Nazi brigades, in fact abetting it, and that attacks intensified in late 2021. He mentioned the Odessa massacre as well, providing a You-tube link.

He discussed the American Deep State, quoting Mutsuo Mabuchi, former ambassador to Ukraine (2005-2008), who pointed to involvement by Wall Street and the FRB, which had been established in 1912 under President Woodrow Wilson with the authority to issue money. He said these shadowy powers had expanded internationally since then and sought to create a “one world order” through globalization. Mabuchi, he said, considers Biden part of the Deep State.

Finally, Prof. Soga summarized his own views of the situation, saying that the American Deep State (neocons) seeking control over Russia’s assets and enabled by Yeltsin and Russia’s oligarchy, exploited the division between Russia and Ukraine and that Putin’s initial goal was to restore Russia’s assets, which he did by excluding the oligarchy, renationalizing privatized assets and rebuilding Russia’s economy. This, he said, made him enemy number one of the Deep State, whose overriding task became to topple him somehow. This led them to expand NATO eastward, with the Deep State camouflaging its goal of world domination under nice names like globalization and democracy. Putin, he said, was justified in resisting its infringement of nations’ right to independence. For Russia to maintain its independence, a buffer zone, he said, would be necessary, with Russia surrounding itself with friendly or neutral states. At the time of the Soviet Union’s collapse, NATO was supposed to have recognized this. He said that far from recognizing these needs, Zelensky’s regime promoted expansion of NATO into Ukraine and was fanning the flames of division between the closely related Russian and Ukrainian ethnic groups. This, he said, justified Russia’s military response.

I note he did not bring up the biological research laboratories or Zelensky’s stated aim for Ukraine to acquire nuclear weapons.

More Work Needed toward Fuller Understanding

I attended Prof. Soga’s lecture with the hope of learning how people in Japan with some degree of receptivity to non-mainstream points of view were perceiving the situation in Ukraine, and I was well rewarded. In the discussion following Prof. Soga’s presentation, I could see that the media blackout of anything from Russia’s point of view had resulted in major gaps in people’s understanding, and I was able to offer up some information in addition to Prof. Soga’s, but I held back to avoid dominating a discussion I mostly wanted to listen in on. They had the impression that Russia was meddling like America does in countries it has no business in, likening it to Japan if it were to intervene in China on behalf of the Uighurs, but Prof. Soga’s presentation went a long way toward correcting that misunderstanding. There was the question of how the Azov battalion could be Nazi if Zelensky was Jewish, in response to which I explained that the victims of the Nazis were not limited to Jews, and described the Soviet Union’s experience in World War II, where for example, my Russian teacher’s mother in Belarus was forced to watch her own husband’s execution by the invading Nazis despite not being Jewish. The ladies attending were also under the impression that Western countries enjoy more freedom of speech than elsewhere. I told them the situation had changed and there is a lot of censorship going on in Europe and America now. They had not heard that before.

That kind of news comes as a shock to people, who will be inclined to return to and believe in more soothing sources, but if they know this dissident idea exists, they may come to see evidence that what I’ve told them has truth.

Overall, the discussion focused on concerns that Japan might be persuaded to become involved in the conflict, and I think even from a global perspective the most important thing for the Japanese is to be alert to that possibility. In light of my conversations with other people in Japan as well, I expect there to be considerable resistance within Japan to being dragged into a conflict with Russia.

It, of course, remains to be seen when push comes to shove from America, if what the average citizen thinks will make any difference anyway.

After the lecture, I had a chance to talk to Prof. Soga, and he asked me if I knew what percentage of America’s budget goes to the military. I didn’t have an exact figure—in the ballpark of “absolutely enormous.” He asked, “Why can’t the American people address this? Why is no one there discussing this? This is the root of all the pressure for a war in Ukraine.” He wondered if, like in Japan, the problem was people are interested in nothing beyond their own narrow familial and social circles. I replied that that was not as much the case in the US as in Japan to focus intensely on one’s own group to the exclusion of all other considerations.5 In America, I explained, the “defense budget” is something no one can criticize from either side of the political spectrum because they’d be seen as opposing a “strong America.” It’s something no one can touch.

————

1Japan has identified as “Western” since the Meiji Era more than a century ago, when it embarked on modernization and began emulating colonists’ successes rather than becoming another passive victim. In particular, it admired Germany, from where it derives much of its scientific terminology.

2A friend well acquainted with the matter says the politically dominant LDP party has made moves toward a peace treaty, but each time America quickly scuttles it.

3About 20 people. Given what has happened in response to COVID over the past two years, this is big. The Japanese believe in self-restraint for the greater good, so this demonstrates real interest, and the participants will share what they learned with their social circles.

4On YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qS6J-WbTD8 and a Japanese translation of the text is available here: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20220304/k10013513641000.html I think it is significant that NHK provides this translation, but am also grateful to Prof. Soga for pointing it out. On TV, we typically see Putin frowning and moving his lips while hearing the newscaster give an unfavorable interpretation of what he is saying.

5Thorsten J. Pattberg has catalogued a few of the absurdities this can lead to in his series of articles on Japan (latest here: https://thesaker.is/top-guns-kishida-and-us-biden-showdown-with-russia-and-china/). In addition, Japan has relatively little volunteerism, and social injustices wind up ignored with the victims forced to fend for themselves. That’s a downside. An upside is more stability in society.


Patricia Ormsby has lived in Japan since 1984, where she works as a translator. She led ecotours from Japan to Baikal from 1995 to 2002 and has added Russian, Thai and Indonesian to the languages she speaks in addition to Japanese. She and her husband left Tokyo in 2001 and went rural, where they farm organically. She was certified as a Shinto priestess in 2001.

Gonzalo Lira: There Will Be No Peace Agreement

June 05, 2022

W. Bush’s Iraq/Ukraine slip – same truth as Kerry’s ‘implode’/‘sanctions’ Iran slip in 2013

May 25, 2022

by Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with PressTV

The clip of George W. Bush’s attempt to condemn Russia’s military operation in Ukraine but instead referring to his own autocratic warmongering in Iraq exploded across the internet.

I saw the clip and, perhaps like many, watched it several times in succession. I even found myself returning to it several more times. There is so much to be said about it, and it says so much. It perfectly sums up where we were 20 years ago, the state of the world today, the political gullibility of many, decades if not centuries of US history, counterposes the absolutely different last century of Russian history, the ability of Western politicians to so easily wave away their failures no matter how atrocious, and – well, like I wrote, it says so much.

Much, much later I was finally reminded of a similar incident in February 2013 involving then-US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran.

Kerry was in Paris on his first overseas trip as Barack Obama’s new foreign minister, having replaced Hillary Clinton. Add in Bill Clinton and this paragraph contains the Democratic Party’s power brokers since 1992.

I was covering the visit for PressTV, and it was only after a careful reviewing of his answers about Iran that I realised that Kerry had made a shocking Freudian slip. He was responding to a question about the importance of dialogue between nations:

“Richard Nixon, at a time when we had no relationship with China, that they were great dangers, had the courage to send Henry Kissinger and made a decision which opened up China and (which is now) a member of the P5, and now works with us in concert to try to implode put the sanctions in place to deal with Iran.”

The thing is, whoever paid for Kerry’s failed 2004 presidential campaign against W. Bush still got their money’s worth – he is truly a professional: in a lightning flash he rushed out “put the sanctions in place” to cover his initial admission of “implode”. It was so fast I honestly didn’t even catch it the first time I watched.

Nobody else caught it, but PressTV and I ran a report on it, titled US Foreign Minister Kerry talks of trying ‘to implode’ Iran in another overseas gaffeIt’s right here at the 0:40 mark of our report.

“Try to implode” Iran – that’s truly always been the goal of the US. That’s what sanctions have always been about. It was great to finally hear the top US diplomat openly admit it, if only by accident.

Watch the clip – it feels just as vindicating as it was seeing George W. Bush admit, “The decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq. I mean of the Ukraine. Iraq, too. Anyway.”

But the vindication in both is not a righteous one – at least for me – but a tragic one, filled with a nostalgic, deeply sad sense of what could have been but was not allowed to be.

If Twitter existed in 2013 I didn’t know about it, but our report didn’t go viral.

February 2013 was so long ago that an interim agreement for the JCPOA on Iran’s nuclear energy program hadn’t even been signed yet, much less the final agreement. In 2022 Iranians are still – still – waiting for the JCPOA to start and for efforts “to implode” to stop. (Of course, it’s not really “implosion” when the combustion is provided from the outside.) If I could guess the real feelings of Western politicians regarding this deadly delay I think they would likely use Bush’s phrase, “Anyway.”

This week saw the first visit to Iran by a UN human rights expert in 17 years, a stunning delay.

“During our visit, we were able to identify (the) devastating humanitarian impact of sanctions,” said Alena Douhan, the UN special rapporteur focused on the impact of unilateral US sanctions.

I suppose this has to qualify as progress. Probably not to the families of those who died because of the sanctions.

I’m sure that in a few more years we’ll get a viral clip of Obama making a gaffe about the deadly impact of sanctions on Iran and laughing, “Anyway”.

In 20 years I’m absolutely certain French President Emmanuel Macron will make a slip regarding his brutal weekly repression of the Yellow Vests and he’ll just laugh it off and add, “Anyway”.

Ukraine could be roasted in nuclear fire before the 2014 Minsk Agreements were respected by the West, and as the geiger counters are still going haywire 20 years later politicians across the entire West will laugh it off and say, “Anyway”.

The signed JCPOA has still proven to be less valuable than the ink which was used to sign it – the West is simply not “agreement-capable”. The idea that belligerence belonged to W. Bush – but not Obama or Biden – is egregiously nonfactual. If you find that too biased a conclusion then feel free to give your own analysis: just a bit more lobbying in Congress is needed, it’s all Donald Trump’s fault (remember 20 years ago when everything was supposed to be all W. Bush’s fault?), please wait for the new administration in Washington to get settled, Biden really does mean well, etc.

Western-led institutions are discrediting themselves as fast as the internet can now publish proofs of their failures. The UN was told to wait years before allowing an unbiased effort which examined the effort to implode put the sanctions in place on Iran. Gulf War II was based on a total lie. The European Union is not breaking with the foreign policy of Washington, as Tehran has long hoped, but is gleefully gutting their own 99% for years to join a war drive against Moscow.

What the W. Bush clip shows most of all is: how bankrupt the words and policies of Western politicians truly are, and because they reflect the needs of their elite and not of their people. The problem should not be placed in their culture, but in their aristocratic Liberalist structures. That is not only what allows them to make such heinous crimes and to escape domestic accountability, but which propels them even to make such belligerent efforts in the first place.

Tehran fails to realise that the EU is a completely Liberalist – and thus oligarchical – structure. It was rammed through undemocratically from start to finish, with national referendums first being ignored and then totally bypassed – I know, I know: “Anyway”. My point is that the EU is not going to break with the US over Iran while also going along with the US on Russia.

The US and EU are obviously working in perfect tandem, and especially since the Lisbon Treaty of 2009 finally, firmly installed the power of the undemocratic pan-European project. I go back to what I wrote in that February 2013 report on Kerry’s visit: “Since rejoining NATO in 2010 France has marched in lockstep with the US, regardless of international perception.” It’s not that things don’t ever change, it’s that they have only gotten worse in Europe since 2009.

It’s not Tehran’s fault – the failure to pursue diplomacy logically implies a choice to pursue war, and that would be wrong and shameful. Like choosing not to implement the JCPOA. Or the Minsk Agreements. Or choosing to go to war in Iraq. Or choosing to go to war with Russia.

Anyway.


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. His new book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

My recent interview: “Donbas after 8 years of war دونباس پس از 8 سال جنگ”

 

Eva Bartlett

Interview I did yesterday on my recent trips back to the Donbass, on Western media whitewashing of Ukraine’s crimes, and on how it is fine & good to call yourself anti-war, but where were you the last 8 years when the people of the Donbass (who did not ask for Ukraine to unleash 8 years of hellish war upon them) endured constant Ukrainian bombing? They were targeted mercilessly by Ukraine–which violated the Minsk Accords. Russia pushed for diplomacy for 8 years, only in Feb 2022 starting its military operation to demilitarize & de-Nazify Ukraine.

This operation is to end Ukraine’s war & bring stability to the region, and prevent more bloodshed.

Originally published here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSgnyv9QeN0

RELATED LINKS:

The Military Situation In The Ukraine
*The author, Jacques Baud, is a former colonel of the General Staff, ex-member of the Swiss strategic intelligence, was trained in the American and British intelligence services, was a UN expert on rule of law and security.
https://www.thepostil.com/the-military-situation-in-the-ukraine/

Ukrainian strike on Donetsk market was a terrorist act
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2022/04/29/ukrainian-strike-on-donetsk-market-was-a-terrorist-act/

Former Nazi/Aidar prison where they starved, tortured & mock executed prisoners
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Bz13iCR9s

Kirovsk, a City Under Ukrainian Fire
https://youtu.be/IYpI05Rhcg4

-Here’s what I found at the reported ‘mass grave’ near Mariupol
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2022/04/29/heres-what-i-found-at-the-reported-mass-grave-near-mariupol/

Zionism in Ukraine allied with Nazism
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlSBzreRYR4

Rights Groups Demand Israel Stop Arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/rights-groups-demand-israel-stop-arming-neo-nazis-in-the-ukraine-1.6248727

My Donbass playlist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJabtYB3ay4&list=PLqtiZC-4QZC3VvabZMbM0FbOcwBoLdGBT

My 2019 report from Donbass
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/under-fire-from-ukraine-and-misperceived-by-the-west-the-people-of-the-dpr-share-their-stories/

Andrei Martyanov, Russian military expert
https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/

I’m on a ‘hit list’ Kiev allows to silence dissent & journalism. That’s all you need to know about Ukrainian ‘democracy’
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2021/06/12/im-on-a-hit-list-kiev-allows-to-silence-dissent-journalism-thats-all-you-need-to-know-about-ukrainian-democracy/

On the OSCE’s claims of Russian war crimes
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2022/04/28/on-the-osces-claims-of-russian-war-crimes/

It’s 10 years since the war in Syria began, and Western media & pundits are still eager to keep it going
*Regarding the BBC dishonest reporting I mentioned
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2021/03/18/its-10-years-since-the-war-in-syria-began-and-western-media-pundits-are-still-eager-to-keep-it-going/

More Gonzalo Lira: No More Lies, No More BS

May 21, 2022

And this is the real issue:

And a little real history and situation today, that would be fine to discuss at a barbecue and probably not at a formal summit.

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