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.

OPEC to EU: No Alternative to Russian Oil

April 12 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Current and future sanctions on Russia could spawn one of the worst oil supply shocks in history, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo warned EU officials on Monday, adding that it would be impossible to replace the volume of oil lost in such an event.

Some seven million barrels of Russian oil per day are leaving the world market as a result of sanctions and other restrictions on Russian trading, Barkindo explained.

The OPEC official also told the EU that the current volatility in the market is due to “non-fundamental factors” beyond OPEC’s control and that it is the responsibility of the EU to promote a “realistic” approach to energy transition.

The EU has announced that it plans to join the US and UK in instituting an embargo on Russian energy products. However, unlike the US and UK, Europe imports a majority of its energy supplies from Russia, and experts have warned that attempting to cut off the supply could have catastrophic results.

In particular, Germany is anticipating the collapse of entire industries, while the head of Austrian energy giant OMV has declared it would be “impossible” for his country to quit buying Russian gas.

While the US has promised to step up and fill the gaps with its more expensive liquefied natural gas exports, most of Europe’s LNG terminals are already operating at capacity, meaning there would be no place to store the fuel. Other countries are eager to use the crisis as an opening to push into renewable fuels.

Nevertheless, the European Parliament demanded last week an immediate and total embargo on Russian imports of oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear fuel, and it is expected to have a significant negative impact on European standards of living if followed through.

Some countries, such as Hungary and Slovakia, have made clear they plan to ignore the ban in the interests of self-preservation, though others have warned their citizens to tighten their belts and get ready for lean times ahead.

Oil and gas aren’t the only commodities whose supply is drying up amid the war in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine together produce about a third of the world’s wheat exports, and both countries are also major exporters of sunflower oil and fertilizer. As a result, food prices have hit historic highs, and many countries and NGOs are warning of food shortages looming in the near future.

Who’s Really Plotting A Chemical Weapons False Flag In Ukraine: Moscow Or Kiev?

12 MARCH 2022

By Andrew Korybko

Source

There’s no credible reason why Russia would employ chemical weapons when it already has uncontested military superiority in all warfighting domains, not to mention when it’s already coming under unprecedented full-spectrum pressure and being recklessly accused of staging precisely such a false flag. On the other hand, Kiev’s fascists literally have nothing to lose since their defeat is inevitable, hence why they’re inclined to use such weapons of mass destruction out of desperation in a last-ditch attempt to blame the potential incident on Russia in order to get the US-led West to militarily intervene in their support.

The US-led West is wildly speculating without any proof whatsoever that the Russian Armed Forces (RAF) are plotting a chemical weapons false flag in Ukraine, claims that Moscow officially rejected on Friday. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs pushed back by sharing evidence with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UNSC showing that it’s actually Kiev’s fascist-nationalist forces that are gearing up to do this instead. According to their statement, “Radical Ukrainian groups under the control of the representatives of American special services have prepared several potential scenarios of the use of toxic chemicals in order to carry out various types of provocations. The objective of such actions is to accuse Russia of the use of chemical weapons against the civil population and violating its obligations, including those under the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

The global public is understandably confused since each side is accusing the other of this scenario, which ominously suggests that something of the sort might horribly transpire sometime soon. It’s therefore important to analyze the military-strategic dynamics at play in order to more confidently predict who’d be responsible if this actually comes to pass. The American accusations that have been echoed by their fascist proxies in Kiev aren’t credible when one takes the time to actually think about them. Russia’s military superiority over its neighbor is undeniable and nobody questions the fact that the RAF are much larger than the Ukrainian ones (UAF), their fascist-nationalist militias, and the thousands of mercenaries that they’re urgently pleading with to join the fray. Furthermore, Kiev is utterly disappointed that US President Biden reportedly killed Poland’s plan to send fighter jets to them via Rammstein Air Base.

There’s also no chance of NATO daring to impose a so-called “no-fly zone” over Ukraine that would necessitate first destroying the RAF’s air capabilities, including possibly within Russia itself. President Putin very clearly warned during his 24 February address to the Russian people announcing his country’s special military operation in Ukraine that the RAF will regard any third party that directly interferes in its activities there as a hostile force that will be decisively responded to in self-defense. These developments doom the UAF to defeat since they simply cannot hope to beat back the RAF without such significant foreign military assistance, and even then, it would be nigh impossible since the introduction of such forces into the conflict zone could very likely trigger the Third World War that President Putin just narrowly averted through the decisive timing of his country’s special operation there.

Faced with such a predicament yet still politically unwilling to comply with Russia’s reasonable national security red line requests, it’s all the more likely that Kiev’s increasingly desperate forces might be inclined to stage a chemical weapons false flag as a last-ditch attempt to blame the RAF for it in order to compel the US-led West into decisively intervening in their support despite that risking World War III. There’s already an established pattern of false flags committed by Kiev in this conflict, from the Snake Island psy-op to the Mariupol maternity & children’s hospital bombing, the latter of which was exposed by Russian diplomats at the UN the other day. If the US-led Western “logic” is that Russia warning about a chemical weapons false flag supposedly suggests that it’s about to commit precisely that, then Pentagons spokesman Kirby’s earlier warning about Russian false flags suggests the same vis-à-vis Kiev.

There’s no credible reason why Russia would employ chemical weapons when it already has uncontested military superiority in all warfighting domains, not to mention when it’s already coming under unprecedented full-spectrum pressure and being recklessly accused of staging precisely such a false flag. On the other hand, Kiev’s fascists literally have nothing to lose since their defeat is inevitable, hence why they’re inclined to use such weapons of mass destruction out of desperation in a last-ditch attempt to blame the potential incident on Russia in order to get the US-led West to militarily intervene in their support. This insight suggests that the international community must be on alert for Kiev’s US-backed fascist proxies attempting a chemical weapons false flag in the very near future. Hopefully that scenario won’t come to pass, but if it does, then everyone should immediately suspect the US and Kiev.

Rules for the World

February 07, 2022

Source

BACKGROUND

On February 4, 2022, on the occasion of the opening of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, the presidents of China and Russia issued a document entitled:

Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development

This document sets a new level in the cooperation between the two countries in foreign policy and is their exposition of a common viewpoint for setting out the rules that the world should follow in politics among nations. A key section up front contains the following: “The sides call on all States…to protect the United Nations-driven international architecture and the international law-based world order, seek genuine multipolarity with the United Nations and its Security Council playing a central and coordinating role….”

The reliance on the United Nations (UN) as the major guiding rulemaker is an important point. A major question concerning this reliance is the extent to which the design of the UN matches the current reality of the world distribution of wealth and power. The UN was set up in 1945 according to a design that reflected the post-WWII distribution of economic output and advanced weapon systems. Overall, it was based on the outcome of that war, with the winners getting the spoils and the losers getting the left-overs. After some seventy-seven years, the situation has radically changed. According to the CIA Fact Book, China now has a larger economy than the US, India is independent and has the third largest economy, and India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea have become nuclear powers. Japan and Germany each have larger populations and economies than either Britain or France. And yet, the permanent members of the UN Security Council with veto rights are the same nations that were made members in 1945. This is not a recipe for sustainable development of UN-based rules for a peaceable world.

Of course, there have been many calls for reform of the UN ever since it was founded. A quick search for “reform of the united nations” turns up a cornucopia of websites dealing with the topic. Everything from Wikipedia, various think-tanks, to the United Nations University has articles on the subject. They point out in great detail the many reforms proposed and the far fewer reforms completed over the seventy-seven years. All of them, however, tend to point out the immense difficulty in getting any agreement on any changes to the Security Council.

UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL ACTIONS

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) regularly concerns itself with various controversies around the world and adopts measures intended to ameliorate difficult situations. However, there appears to be a lack of foresight in considering how the measures might be lifted when no longer needed or appropriate. For example, the UNSC placed sanctions on North Korea over the nuclear proliferation issue, but now Russia and China would like to have the sanctions lifted, but this is blocked by the United States (US). The UNSC also placed sanctions on Iran, some of which have now expired, but which seemed mostly to support the US interests. With the benefit of hindsight, it would appear that Russia and China may have done better simply to have informal agreements with the other permanent members of the UNSC to institute sanctions and other measures when useful, thus leaving the two countries free to change tactics when the measures were no longer useful from their viewpoint. This is especially true since both Russia and China are claiming to uphold the UN as the proper international body for making rules and would suffer great loss of face if they broke one of the UN rules. The same is not true for the US since it is quite adept at following the “international rules-based order” that it conveniently makes up as it goes along. The US claims to follow a higher order that is based on democracy and humanitarian issues. Perhaps Russia and China knew what they were doing at the time, but it would be helpful to have an expert analysis of how they plan to avoid being trapped like this in the future.

UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION

Permanent membership in the Security Council is a bone of contention that will likely get worse as the years go by since some major countries are excluded, while some less prominent countries are included. If China can be a member, then it will be more and more difficult to explain why India is not a member. If Russia is a member, it still will be a question as to why Japan is not. Having permanent members confined to the countries on the winning side in WWII will not be an adequate answer three-quarters of a century later and in light of all the changes that have transpired since the war. If Britain and France are members, why not Germany and Brazil? Is the criteria the possession of nuclear weapons, or the size of the economy, or the land area, or the population? Now that India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have nuclear weapons, should they become permanent members? Russia and China are again in an awkward position claiming the UN as the organizing force in the world, when the UN is obviously not structured to match the actual makeup of the world. In addition, the UN headquarters was located in the US, reportedly because that was an inducement for the US to join the organization. The fact that New York was undamaged by WWII and transportation was by steamship made it a logical choice at the time. Now, however, travel is by air and there are many locations with good facilities and transport options. In addition, the US places travel restrictions on diplomats trying to attend UN meetings in New York, and the UN employees also are subject to US rules. Consequently, it would appear that a proper world management organization should be located in a small neutral country that possesses modern facilities and means of communication, and excellent air travel options to all other countries. Another example of stress is the continuing issue of the Palestinians and the votes in the UN General Assembly on this topic. The votes overwhelmingly go against the US position and yet next to nothing seems to ever be done. There is no doubt that “safety in numbers” is a factor here—the US cannot sanction nearly 200 countries because they vote the “wrong way” at the same time. In any event, the current UN setup is likely to experience continuing severe stress and instability in the coming years, unless these issues and likely others are addressed. Some solutions could be helpful here also, since it bears directly on the Russian and Chinese positions concerning who makes the rules for the world.

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Another factor that China and Russia need to address is the question of independence, neutrality, and impartiality of the various international organizations that promote and enforce international rules. Several news reports and allegations have arisen concerning the activities of three such organizations: Interpol, OPCW, and IAEA. Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) is the subject of controversy because a general from the UAE was just selected as President despite vigorous opposition due to his qualifications and background. The OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) is in the news with complaints over its investigations of chemical weapons in Syria. Whistleblowers have come forth with damaging accusations about the organization’s activities and its alleged bias. The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) is in a difficult position in checking up on Iran’s nuclear activities while not being able to check up on other West Asian countries’ nuclear activities. The Director just called for a change in the rules so that the IAEA could check up on Israel’s nuclear activities. Many analysts suggest that there exists an undue influence on these organizations by the US, which prevents them from impartial operation. Consequently, if the world is to move forward in a rules-based order using rules made by the UN and the affiliated international organizations, then China and Russia will need to exert more effort to ensure impartiality and more universal coverage of said rules. This issue also applies to “international law” as it appears in court cases such as at the International Criminal Court (ICC), and in the various treaties such as the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This is especially pertinent now that the US has announced that it will move from containment of China to competition with China. The competition appears to be focused on the US and its allies in the West attempting to have more influence over the system of international rules than China. The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy essentially admitted that basis for competition when he stated in essence: He who sets the standards, rules the world.

REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

The Joint Statement places a lot of emphasis on the various regional organizations that China and/or Russia belong to. There is a favorable reference to the grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China, & South Africa (BRICS), although political changes in the constituent countries have made it less coherent. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is Asian-based, as are several others, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The document contains many proposals for widening the involvement of these organizations in the many pressing issues confronting Asia. A reading between the lines suggests that China and Russia plan to go ahead with getting a more robust set of rules for Asia, even if there is less prospect currently for agreements on world-wide rules.

CONCLUSION

China and Russia have issued a very long and very detailed statement of their goals for the future. They specifically mention many international organizations and agreements, and provide concrete details about what they support and what they would like changed. It is much more than a listing of political pious platitudes. Nevertheless, it reads in large part like a political campaign statement for their domestic audiences and marching orders for their officials and bureaucrats. It is, therefore, likely to be disappointing to those analysts who had perhaps expected something more concerning rules for the world. The statements about relying on the UN and international law are fine as aspirations, but lack any specific proposals as to how to turn sentiment into reality. For the past seventy-seven years, the UN has been under the major influence of the US and international law has been under the influence of the rules-based order designed by the US. The Joint Statement does not directly provide clues about how China and Russia propose to deal with this situation during the next seventy-seven years.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with radio stations, January 28, 2022

January 29, 2022

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Sputnik, Echo of Moscow, Govorit Moskva and Komsomolskaya Pravda radio stations, Moscow, January 28, 2022

Question: Will there be a war? We sent them our proposals, we waited for their response, and we got their response. Their answer did not suit us, which was to be expected. Before that, we said and made clear through different representatives that if their response does not suit us, we reserve the right to respond and protect our interests forcefully. Can you explain what that means and what are we going to do? We aren’t going to make McDonald’s illegal after all, are we? If I may quote my subscribers, they frame this question as follows: “When are we going to hit Washington?”, “Will there be a war?”, “How long are we going to procrastinate?”, “Will there be a war?”

Sergey Lavrov: If it depends on the Russian Federation, there will be no war. We don’t want wars, but we won’t allow anyone to trample on our interests or ignore them, either. I cannot say that the talks are over. As you are aware, it took the Americans and their NATO allies more than a month to study our extremely straightforward proposals that are part of the draft treaty with Washington and the agreement with NATO. We received their response only the day before yesterday. It is written in that typically Western style. In many ways, they are confusing the issue, but also providing kernels of rationality on secondary issues such as intermediate- and shorter-range missiles which were quite important for us at some point. When the Americans destroyed the INF Treaty, we urged them to listen to reason. President Vladimir Putin sent a message to all OSCE members suggesting that they join our unilateral moratorium when agreeing on verification measures. It was ignored. Now, it has become part of their proposals. Similarly, our initiatives that were introduced by the General Staff of the Russian Federation to conduct military exercises further away from the borders on both sides, to agree on a critical safe distance between approaching combat aircraft and ships, as well as a number of other confidence-building, deconflicting and de-escalation measures, were ignored. All of that has been rejected during the past two to three years. Now, they propose discussing this. That is, the constructive approach in these proposals has, in fact, been borrowed from Russia’s recent initiatives. I think that now, as we say in Russia, “we are getting somewhere.” To reiterate, most importantly, we should figure out the conceptual pillars that underlie European security.

In 2010 in Astana, and before that in 1999 in Istanbul, all presidents and prime ministers from the OSCE countries signed a package that contained interrelated principles to ensure the indivisibility of security. The West “ripped out” just one slogan from this package: each country has the right to choose its allies and military alliances. But in that package this right comes with a condition and an obligation on each country, to which the Westerners subscribed: not to strengthen their security at the expense of the security of others. With its mantra that the NATO open door policy is sacred and no one can say “no” to Ukraine joining the Alliance and that it’s up to Ukraine to decide, the West is, deliberately and openly, refusing even to acknowledge the second part of the commitments. Moreover, when Josep Borrell, Antony Blinken and many other colleagues of ours talk about the importance of sticking to agreed-upon principles in the context of the Euro-Atlantic security architecture, none of them ever mentions the Istanbul Declaration or the Astana Declaration. They mention the Helsinki Final Act and the 1990 Charter of Paris for a New Europe, in which there is no obligation not to strengthen one’s own security at the expense of others. Russia insisted on including this commitment in subsequent OSCE documents.

Today, as I made clear earlier, I am sending official requests to all my colleagues asking them directly to clarify how they are going to fulfill, in the current historical circumstances, the obligations that their countries have signed onto at the highest level. These are the matters of principle. Before we proceed to discussing individual practical aspects of European security, we want to see the West wriggle out of it this time.

I hope they will give an honest answer about what they have in mind when they implement these agreements in an exclusively unilateral manner that benefits them – again, completely ignoring that fact that the right to join alliances directly hinges on recognising that it is unacceptable to strengthen the security of some states at the expense of the security of others. Let’s see how they respond.

Question: If they give us the answer many experts are discussing, it will most certainly not suit us. Can it lead to a breakdown in relations? Everything we have been hearing recently from the Americans, and they are going to introduce sanctions against the leadership of our entire country, even against you…

Sergey Lavrov: What do you mean “even”? Are you saying I am not worthy of them?

Question: It has never happened in history. There has never been talk of sanctions against the Foreign Minister and the President. This is beyond the pale. Look at what is happening with our diplomats against this backdrop. Yesterday our Ambassador to the United States said that ultimately this might lead to something close to severing relations. As Anatoly Antonov said, our diplomats are simply being expelled although this is presented in a somewhat different way. What should we do? How will it look?

Sergey Lavrov: This is a multilayered question. I will start with the main point: What will we do if the West does not listen to reason? The President of Russia has already said what. If our attempts to come to terms on mutually acceptable principles of ensuring security in Europe fail to produce the desired result, we will take response measures. Asked directly what these measures might be, he said: they could come in all shapes and sizes. He will make decisions based on the proposals submitted by our military. Naturally, other departments will also take part in drafting these proposals.

Now the interdepartmental analysis of the responses received from the US and NATO is underway. Practically everyone knows what these responses are. I have made some remarks. I will note in passing that the American response is all but a model of diplomatic manners compared to NATO’s document. NATO sent us such an ideologically motivated answer, it is so permeated with its exceptional role and special mission that I even felt a bit embarrassed for whoever wrote these texts.

Our reply will be prepared. The proposals contained in our reply will be reported to the President of Russia and he will make a decision. We are developing our line at this point, including the steps that I mentioned.

As for the threats of imposing sanctions, the Americans were told, including during the presidential meeting, that the package you have just mentioned, the one that includes completely cutting off Russia from the West-controlled financial and economic systems, will be equivalent to severing relations. This was said directly. I believe they understand this. I don’t think this is in anyone’s interests.

Now a few words about their treatment of our diplomats. When I was in Washington several years ago, or, to be more precise, in December 2019, a deputy US Secretary of State under Michael Pompeo told my deputy in passing, before saying goodbye, that they were thinking of ways to streamline the functioning of our diplomatic missions on a reciprocal basis. He said American diplomats work abroad for three years. Then they are replaced, sent to a different country or returned to the central office in Washington. So they decided that our diplomats should also observe this term of three years and that’s it. We asked why we were told this on the sly and whether we were the only ones to hear it. We asked whether they had similar thoughts as regards other states, the answer was “no.”  No other country was supposed to be subjected to this experiment, just the Russian Federation. This is when we started yet another round of our diplomatic tit-for-tat. We said okay, you have a practice of sending diplomats to serve abroad for three years, and we have a practice of not hiring local personnel to work in our embassies. The Americans hired over 400 people (nationals of Russia and other countries, mostly CIS).

You probably followed this discussion. They started moaning and groaning “How come? Are you ‘unplugging’ us?” You wanted to be guided by the principle that you can do everything and impose on us what you think is right. We will do the same. This is yet another escalation of the crisis that was triggered by Barack Obama who revealed his genuine character. Three weeks before his departure from the White House, he decided to bind Donald Trump’s hands before slamming the door on the way out. He deprived us of five diplomatic properties and expelled dozens of diplomats who had to pack up all their staff with their families in three days. This was the beginning of it all.

We spoke about this again with Antony Blinken in Geneva, completing our conversation on European security. It is necessary to get back to normal in some way. We suggested starting from scratch and resetting everything to zero, beginning with this disgraceful, piddling move by Nobel Prize winner Barack Obama and everything that followed after it. Let’s wait and see. Another meeting is supposed to take place in the next couple of weeks. The Americans are now in a bargaining mood. They are telling us that they need 12 people serving the ambassador alone.  They argue that we must therefore exempt them from the quota that we establish on a reciprocal basis. We have explained to them that the agreed-upon quota is 455 people, both for them and for us. On our part, this is a gesture of enormous goodwill. The figure of 455 includes not only the employees of the bilateral diplomatic missions: the Embassy and two general consulates but also 150 people who work at our mission at the UN, which has nothing to do with our bilateral ties or any sense of balance. This was a goodwill gesture. However, we warned them that if they continue their obnoxious behaviour (I don’t know how else to describe their statements that if we don’t accept the guards for their ambassador immediately, they will ask Mr Antonov to leave the US), we still have the option of truly equalising our diplomatic presence.

Question: You know perfectly well that my questions are largely based on our radio listeners’ questions. Since we are talking about Russia-US relations, our listener Michael McFaul of California, a Stanford University professor, has sent a question for you. Why didn’t Russia try at least to get UN Security Council authorisation for the use of force if needed in Ukraine? Doesn’t Russia believe in the UN Security Council any longer? Why hasn’t Russia recognised the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics if they are facing the same risk as South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008?

Sergey Lavrov: To be honest, the questions are absolutely ignorant. Take the question about the UN Security Council. Did I get it right?  Why didn’t (past tense) Russia go to the UN Security Council for authorisation to use force if necessary? I will not even try to explain the futility of the phrase. The word “if” does not belong in the diplomatic practice in any country.

Regarding recognition, I think Mr McFaul, who had made a tremendous contribution to destroying anything constructive in Russian-American relations, just did not have time to read the Minsk agreements approved in February 2015. They are about preserving the unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics had already declared independence several months prior to the Minsk meeting. Germany and France, who endorsed the text of the Minsk agreements with us and the Ukrainians, begged us, with Pyotr Poroshenko joining those requests, to persuade the leaders of the two republics to sign the Minsk agreements thus, in essence, changing the results of the spring 2014 referendum in Donbass. Mr McFaul should probably learn the contemporary history of the region. The issue of recognition must be considered in the context of our firm line to get the West to compel Kiev to abide by the Minsk agreements. Then everything will be all right, just as envisaged by this document endorsed by the UN Security Council.

Question: I think that the document we delivered to the United States surprised many of those who read it. It left many, myself included, feeling that Russia won in some kind of a war, while America lost. What I mean is the radical proposals contained in it like returning to NATO’s 1997 borders, etc. My question is, what was all that? It is obvious that the arguments must be really strong for the Americans to return to the 1997 terms or withdraw from countries where they feel so good, confident and comfortable? By all means, you clearly had something in mind. What was that, and what kind of a response did you expect to this letter? After all, the withdrawal must be swift. They were required to respond quickly.

We did our math. You are now working with your fourth US administration, since you became Foreign Minister during George W. Bush’s presidency. Are there any major differences between these teams? Can specific individuals actually make a difference in history as we were once taught, or not? Which of your counterparts did you work better with, and how are you getting along with the current “guys” compared to the previous administrations?

Sergey Lavrov: The proposals we delivered to the United States and NATO on December 15, 2021, may seem excessive only if the expert assessing them proceeds from the premise that “the Americans have already taken away everything there was all around you, so it is too late to make a fuss about it. Just accept it and try to keep the bare minimum they left you.”

What we want is fair treatment. I cited the commitments we all accepted at the highest level within the OSCE. Let me emphasise that presidents, including the US President, signed under these commitments promising that no one would seek to bolster one’s security at someone else’s expense. The United States claims that the right to choose alliances is sacrosanct. But we say, provided it doesn’t worsen the security situation for any other country. This is what you signed, my dear sirs.

They are now trying to present our proposals as an ultimatum, but we are there to refresh their memories and make sure that instead of equivocating they set forth in all honesty their interpretation of what their president signed up for. If he signed these documents while being confident that Russia would never be able to get what they promised, they must acknowledge that. This will be yet another confession on their part. We already reminded them about the promises they made verbally in the 1990s not to expand NATO, but in response they claimed that we got them wrong, that they did not want to mislead us and had little time to think because there were more urgent issues to deal with at the time. This is how they explained it, literally.

We are on our own territory. Michael McFaul has referred to the UN Security Council where the United States intends to discuss what we are doing regarding Ukraine and why we are not working to de-escalate the situation. This is what we hear from a person representing a country with military bases spread around the world, encircling the Russian Federation and the CIS, a country doing who knows what in Iraq (who invited them there?) and so forth. If the Americans want to discuss troop deployments, there are things to talk about. Everywhere we deploy our military forces, we do so based on a request from the host country. We fulfil the agreements we reach with host countries strictly in keeping with international law. Both Josep Borrell and Antony Blinken have been whipping up hysteria on the topic of escalation in Ukraine, demanding that we de-escalate, which has become a mantra of sorts for them, saying that they do hope that Russia chooses the “path of diplomacy.” I take them at their word. For many years after the end of the Soviet Union, we opted for the path of diplomacy. The Istanbul and Astana arrangements I had mentioned are the major outcomes of these diplomatic efforts: everyone undertook not to reinforce one’s security at the expense of others. After all, this was a commitment, a declaration, the supreme act of diplomacy. Use any word you like: compromise, consensus, agreement – anything. If diplomacy is what you stand for, start by delivering on what we already agreed upon.

It is not my intention to discuss our partners on a personal level, though there is much that could be said. Our motto is that we have to work with everyone, and work we do. I can say that I had smooth relationships with all my colleagues. We could always speak candidly with each other at all times even on increasingly divisive matters and on the differences our countries have in their relations with one another.

Question: You are a diplomat. You will never put it the way I’m going to put it right now. But I am a journalist and I can afford to.

Sergey Lavrov: I have said a few undiplomatic things before.

Question: True. But you didn’t say those things into a microphone during an interview. It’s just that we keep an eye on you and print your brilliant sayings on T-shirts.

We recently saved Kazakhstan. We may have to salvage things between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. We have also preserved the peace in Karabakh and, generally speaking, in Armenia, too. We are endlessly saving our “exes.” What do we get in return?

Reporters from Komsomolskaya Pravda – colleagues of editor-in-chief Vladimir Sungorkin who is joining us from their studio – have unearthed a great story. They have investigated school textbooks used in former Soviet republics, including those we continue saving, to find out what they say about Russia, about the Soviet Union and about the Russian Empire. Quite a fascinating story. If you haven’t read it, you’ll be amazed. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev reports to our President that Russian is widespread in Kazakh schools, and not only in schools. According to our information, this is not entirely true, or rather it is not at all true. Regarding Russians living in those countries, we have many, many harassment complaints. I’m not talking specifically about Kazakhstan, but about the former Soviet republics in general. We have heard many times that the Foreign Ministry is opposed to simplifying the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship by Russians living in those countries. I know for sure that it is not. I discussed this with you, and I know your position. Moreover, you have recently played an active role in simplifying current laws. Can you tell us how long we will tolerate this kind of attitude towards our people? When will we start returning our people – the way the Greeks, Germans, Jews and many others are taking people back based on their ethnic identity? How will we defend the rights of our people who have found themselves stranded there after their country’s collapse, which was not something they wanted?

Sergey Lavrov: This is several questions in one. As for relations with our neighbours, CSTO allies, CIS partners – we have a problem. Nobody is hiding this. It largely stems from the fact that the newly independent states, which left the Soviet Union and which had been part of the Russian Empire before that, have been given the first chance in a long historical period, the first opportunity to build their own national (the key word) states. They sometimes overdo it because they want to assert their national identity as soon as possible. Nobody would deny this. This always happens when great empires fall apart.

The Soviet Union was heir to the Russian Empire. In fact, it was an imperial entity, although softer and more humane than the British, French or other empires.

Some of the imbalances you are talking about would be inevitable in the current historical period. We certainly wish to avoid them and curtail them. This must be done by all means, including so-called soft power, and we need to allocate significantly more resources for it than now. Our ministry is active in lobbying for appropriate Government decisions and streamlining the state’s activities on this track. But we are still far below the level that Western countries have reached in this respect. In addition to soft power, apart from diplomacy, bringing these problems up during meetings with our allies and partners – there is also reciprocity, which refers to considering our partners’ approaches to matters that are relevant to us when making decisions that affect them. This concerns labour migrants, economic assistance, and much more. Our economic systems are interconnected. The Eurasian Economic Union creates conditions, but it is up to the Russian Federation to make most of them a reality, and much more.

I do not see why this should rule out the development of friendly, allied, and very close – including personal – relationships with the elites of our neighbours. This whole situation is the result of a geopolitical catastrophe, the collapse of the Soviet Union. As Russian President Vladimir Putin said, 25 million people (maybe more) then found themselves abroad, outside their country overnight. We had no borders and no idea how to build ties. It took a titanic effort. Now the situation is more or less back to normal; it is clear who should be responsible for what. This is already a great achievement. But the problems you mentioned – our compatriots’ situation – should be addressed on a mutual basis.

I’ll make a couple of points now. The first point is we should be more active and open in discussing human rights within the CIS, including the rights of non-titular ethnic groups – Russians in Kazakhstan, Kazakhs in Russia, Azerbaijanis in Armenia and vice versa (although there are very few of them left there). We have reached the following agreement with our CIS partners. Back when the Commonwealth was being created, its Charter included a provision on the CIS Commission on Human Rights as one of its bodies. However, we never got around to actually setting it up. At first, the idea was simple – the West should see that we also address human rights. But over the past few years, we have proposed materialising this statutory provision. There is a general agreement to launch the commission and an understanding that we will primarily deal with human rights issues in the CIS. It should be up to us, to all CIS countries, to make judgments about the human rights situation in our countries, not to Western agencies or bodies like the European Court of Human Rights, which has long lost the ability to rely on the principles of justice and which increasingly politicises its decisions every year.

Last year, the number of regional programmes exceeded 80, that is, apart from the federal programme, including in the regions of the Far East and Trans-Baikal Territory which we see as priority areas for those willing to move to the Russian Federation. I listed the major benefits that have been approved. I will say straight away that we wanted more. I believe that one’s family, parents and relatives having roots not only in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic but also in other republics of the Soviet Union must have relevance for being entitled to preferential access to citizenship.

We have to consider a number of issues that we would like to settle as soon as possible. The work has not been finished yet. We have now “capitalised” what we have agreed on at the current stage. The President approved the consensus that was reached. We will continue to work to further improve the process and ease conditions for acquiring citizenship. The more so that at President Putin’s direction, the United Russia party, our leading political force, formed a commission on international cooperation and assistance to compatriots abroad. It involves not only helping compatriots come to Russia but also in the sense in which we discussed your first question – so as to make them feel as comfortable as possible upon arrival.

A couple of days ago the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper ran an article about history textbooks published currently in the former Soviet republics. I will not comment on what Estonians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians and Latvians are writing in them. However, regarding the CIS countries, we have repeatedly told them that nationalists should not be given pretexts by exploiting difficult moments in our common history. It ultimately helped all the peoples inhabiting this huge geopolitical space to lay the foundation for building their statehood. While we acknowledge the newly independent states’ aspiration to self-determination which I mentioned, overheated assessments should be avoided as they obviously, and maybe intentionally, play into the hands of extremists and nationalists.

Last year, a decision was signed within the Commonwealth of Independent States on establishing an international association (commission) of historians and archivists from CIS member states. It will focus, among other things, on discussing the issues of our common history with an eye toward a constructive consideration of all matters. I don’t think there will be unified history textbooks, but guidelines will be produced to reflect a consolidated point of view and a variety of perspectives. We have a commission of historians with Germany, Poland and Lithuania. They release joint documents. I believe that a similar mechanism within the Commonwealth will operate much more constructively in view of our closeness in many organisations – CSTO, EAEU, CIS and SCO.

Question: To follow up on our relations with the United States, you just said that we will continue to work with them. A meeting with Antony Blinken will take place soon. However, now that we have their answer, many analysts, in fact, almost all of them, are saying that the United States and the Alliance members are unlikely to change their position on the main issues. They are saying that “the ball is in Russia’s court now, and we are ready for any scenario.” You are saying our President said that we would respond, and that the response is in the works. The Foreign Ministry is involved in this. Can we have a sneak peek at the direction in which our Foreign Ministry is going to move in order to shoot the “ball” back at them? Is it Latin America? Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua? Could it be Europe? Serbia? Maybe we can do something with Iran? Can you give us a hint about what our response should be like for these guys to sit down, use their heads and try to give us different answers to our main questions, rather than secondary ones?

Sergey Lavrov: If they insist on not changing their position, we will not change ours, either. It’s just that their position is based on false premises and a flat-out misrepresentation of the facts. Our position is based on things that everyone has signed onto. I don’t see any room for a compromise here. Otherwise, what are we supposed to talk about if they openly sabotage and misrepresent previous decisions? This will be a key test for us.

As for the “ball,” we are playing different games. They may be playing baseball, while we may be playing tipcat. What matters is not to try to shirk responsibility, which is exactly what our American and other NATO partners are doing now.

They will not succeed in dodging the question of why they are not complying with what their presidents have signed onto, namely, that it is unacceptable to strengthen one’s security at the expense of the security of others.

Regarding our relations with Latin America, Serbia, Iran, China and many other states that act decently in the international arena, are not trying to unilaterally impose anything on anyone and are always willing to seek mutually acceptable solutions to any issues. Our relations are not subject to the vagaries of life. They are quite comprehensive and cover economic, cultural, educational, and sports contacts. They also include military and defence cooperation in full compliance with international law. I assure you that no matter how developments unfold with regard to European security, we will continue to consistently expand these relations.

I would like to underscore that we are studying their response and we have already provided our initial assessments. It is not satisfactory with regard to the main issue: the West fails to honour its obligations in terms of indivisibility of security and ignores our interests, although we laid them out in an extremely straightforward and clear way

With regard to issues of secondary importance, they were shocked by us presenting these documents publicly. This helped change their negative attitude towards our previous proposals, including medium- and short- range missiles and working out de-escalation measures during the exercises. This means that the West understands only this kind of language, and we should continue in the same vein that we did when we put forward our initiatives. We are now focused on getting explanations. We cannot accept evasive answers when it comes to the indivisibility of security. The West is shirking its commitments just as it failed to deliver on its commitment not to expand NATO. But then (as it is now telling us) it was a verbal commitment. Now, written commitments are available. Respond to us in writing to our written demands. Explain how you fulfill the written commitments signed by your presidents.

Question: When it is necessary to come to the defence of Russian journalists that are subjected to certain restrictions in the US or Germany, and we know the story with RT, the Foreign Ministry is forcefully intervening and defending them both on and off the record, and not only Maria Zakharova but also at the level of ambassador, deputy minister and at your level. When it comes to the countries with which we have closer relations, your department is quite modest. It is enough to recall the case of the Komsomolskaya Pravda journalists and the end of their news office that is practically closed. Its chief is behind bars.

I would like to remind you of the murders of journalists. When our journalists were killed in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry took a very tough, assertive position that was hard to ignore, but it was silent when our journalists were murdered in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Here’s a question from our listener Dmitry Muratov from Moscow, a Nobel Prize winner and editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta. Without any additional investigation or operational measures, the new ambassador of Russia to the CAR named the murderers of the Russian journalists – the 3R group. The Foreign Ministry is aware of this but their families are not. The clothes of the journalists were burned as evidence, no investigation was conducted and the Foreign Ministry does not make any statements as regards the CAR leaders. Maybe, the Foreign Ministry should become more active in these cases with respect to both the Belarusian government and the CAR leaders?

Sergey Lavrov: You are right in saying that we must always defend the rights of Russian citizens, and not only journalists but every citizen, and the Americans have simply abducted dozens of them. We must also protect our journalists when there are obvious reasons for doing so.

We expressed our concern over what was happening with the Komsomolskaya Pravda news office. We talked with Mr Sungorkin about this. As I understand, the matter concerns Belarusian citizens and a specific Belarusian citizen. This is a somewhat different story. Any country that allows dual citizenship follows its own laws if something happens on its territory. I don’t want to go into details but there are issues that require silence. We did quite a bit to persuade the Belarusian authorities to be understanding. Now their position is what it is, and I cannot argue against it. They are ready to open any news office but its employees have to be citizens of the Russian Federation.

We could also look at how Russian journalists are treated in the West and how their working conditions are dictated there. I think a request to employ Russian citizens in Russian media is not beyond the pale. We believe the rights of journalists must be respected without exception everywhere, including Belarus or any other CIS country. If these rights are openly violated, we will continue to raise questions about this.

As for the CAR, we are willing to convey any information we have to the families of the dead journalists. As for the culprits, as you know, the CAR authorities are conducting an investigation. I don’t want to excuse the acts of these murderers. I can only say that journalists should take precautions. If they had at least notified the Foreign Ministry and our Embassy that they were bound for a country with a domestic armed conflict and a terrorist threat, the chances of avoiding this tragedy would have been a bit higher. This was all the more important since they went there as tourists, without declaring the purpose of their visit. Let me repeat again that this is not an excuse but this creates additional security risks in such cases.

Therefore, I’d like everyone to know that we do want journalists to work all over the world, including hot spots. I remove my hat and bow to all those who do such reporting in flak jackets and helmets, and let me say something, in passing, to your colleagues in eastern Ukraine. Once again I am addressing, through you, those who may have some influence on Western journalism and the media. Why do journalists appear sporadically, once every six months, at best, on the Kiev-controlled side of the contact line in Donbass? Why is their reporting so spotty? It would be very interesting to see them there. On the other side of the contact line, our journalists show the results of the atrocities committed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine that are bombing kindergartens, outpatient clinics and residential areas and killing people. According to the OSCE, civilian casualties on the side controlled by Donbass defenders are five times higher than on the opposite side. This speaks for itself.

Let’s return to the Central African Republic. We again sent an inquiry to the CAR government when the information about this 3R group emerged. We will do all we can to bring this investigation to completion. As you know, their government is dealing with this. Let me emphasise once again that we want to know the truth. I would like to impress upon our journalist colleagues and friends the importance of notifying us about trips to hot spots (if you don’t trust the Ministry, I cannot force you to do this). Please do it for the sake of your own safety. It will help.

Question: Thank you very much for your support to our service in connection with what happened to Gennady Mozheiko. Our thanks go to Alexei Venediktov for bringing up this issue. Gennady Mozheiko has been in police custody for four months now and not even once has he been questioned. He’s just sitting there. I appealed to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko [for assistance] but, so far, there has been no response.

You were right in saying that it is not only a matter of journalists. Today, according to the Russian Embassy in Belarus, 457 Russian nationals are behind bars in Belarus. This is only what the embassy says, and I suspect the real figure is even bigger. Yesterday, another person – Russian national Vera Tsvikevich – was added to this list. She was detained only for taking, during the protests, a photograph of herself, a selfie, in a beautiful red dress with a patrol in the background. She was taken to prison for that. Judging by the precedents, she will be sentenced to two years in prison. Something needs to be done about this.

As for Belarus, we should have a very different relationship with them, as this is the Union State. Today, our journalists believe their work to be the most difficult in Belarus and not in Georgia or America, or Israel, and so on. We are constantly talking about the Union State, saying that we need to synchronise our legislation. What is in store for us, with regard to what I just said? Do we stand any chance of becoming a true Union State?

Sergey Lavrov: As for the Union State, you know, there are 28 union programmes that were approved last autumn…

Question: They have not been published, which is an interesting fact.

Sergey Lavrov: These are framework documents. They contain no secrets. They provide for work that has already started to flesh out each of the 28 programmes with specific and direct legal decisions in the economy, financial activities, transport, communications and so on. It is an important step towards consolidating economic assets. According to the two presidents, this work has to be completed in the next two to three years. This means embarking on the path to the Union State with much broader powers.

Yesterday, we saw off the newly-appointed Ambassador, Boris Gryzlov who was leaving for Belarus. I handed him letters of credence signed by the Russian President. This ceremony was attended by Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Semashko. I recalled that our joint work also includes efforts to align the rights of the people of the two countries. Much has already been done. I believe 95 percent of rights have been aligned; however, the remaining outstanding issues in some areas need to be addressed as soon as possible. In particular, this includes the terms on which healthcare services or hotel accommodation are to be provided to people travelling privately. This is all very important for the daily life of people.

But the question you asked is not about what the Union State will look like in the end. Even if the criminal legislation of the two countries has been unified in full, there will still be Russians detained in Belarus and Belarusians detained in Russia. Our embassy keeps a close eye on the course of legal proceedings involving detained Russian nationals. The law enforcement agencies and prosecutor general’s offices of the two countries stay in contact. I haven’t heard anything about Vera Tsvikevich. Is this today’s newspaper?

Remark: No. It was issued in 2020.

Sergey Lavrov: Why then did you say that she was added to this list yesterday?

Remark: She was detained yesterday. The newspaper is old but she was detained yesterday.

Sergey Lavrov: Is she on the staff of Komsomolskaya Pravda?

Remark: No, she is just a Russian national. I said that about 500 Russian nationals were serving sentence in Belarus.

Sergey Lavrov: Four hundred fifty-seven. So, she will be the 458th . We will be watching what happens to her, the way we do it in any other country. There are questions that require close cooperation between the law enforcement agencies. I would rather not talk about them now in public but such questions do exist. It is important that they are resolved in a manner characteristic of two allies or brotherly nations. We will invariably adhere to this line.

Question: Mine is not a question but an urgent request concerning the fate of the German RT channel. We have not faced such unprecedented and uncompromising pressure, actually not even pressure but a real ban on work, in any other country, not the US or the UK, as in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is all disguised with hypocritical statements by German leaders at different levels. Supposedly, they have nothing to do with the closure of the German YouTube channel. Even when we gained the largest audience in the history of the English-language YouTube among the world’s TV channels, we were not shut down. They didn’t dare. But the Germans did.  They pressured Luxembourg so as to have our licence denied even though practically everything had been agreed and done there. Ultimately, we were given the licence in Serbia. They pressured the European regulators – so we can’t broadcast with that licence either. Titanic efforts of hundreds of people who had been building the channel amid the pandemic, produced shows, won the audience – all that was in vain. The audience was sacrificed to interests. Nobody shows the German people what we show.

The only thing that can affect them (as was the case with the UK) is reciprocity, which you are more familiar with than we are. Deutsche Welle has not even been designated as a foreign agent, even though this status does not entail what it does in the US (criminal charges). In our country it is just a piece of paper and an occasion to shout about it. In fact, it does not entail anything. Foreign agents take interviews, they are invited to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press conferences. To say nothing about shutting down Deutsche Welle here the way they shut us down in Germany. This also concerns other German media outlets. Please, help us.

Sergey Lavrov: You don’t need to persuade me. Just yesterday the Russian Embassy in Berlin demanded an explanation. Procedures are underway. This is not within the competence of the federal agency but of the regulator of the German states Berlin and Brandenburg. The embassy’s lawyers looked into precedents. The Axel Springer concern had faced a similar situation but they quickly got a licence.

The key here is that the Germans are trying to place their internal regulations, which allegedly prohibit the registration of state-run channels, above their commitments under the European Convention on Transfrontier Television. According to our information, their regulators are using various pretexts to justify the primacy of their national law. This won’t do. The result will be the same as the NATO enlargement – this is what they want so they won’t do the things they had promised somewhere else. The Germans know that reciprocal measures will follow. I raised this issue when German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was here on a visit. I think she and her delegation heard it. I am going to have a telephone conversation with her today. I will definitely remind her.

Question: A scandal is unfolding in the United States. CNN published a report citing its own sources. In it, they alleged that the United States and Ukrainian presidents talked on the phone, with Joe Biden supposedly yelling at Vladimir Zelensky in an attempt to explain to him in a raised voice that unless he changes his position on Donbass, Kiev will fall and be pillaged, etc. CNN published this report on its website, but later removed it. Still, the scandal lives on. Both Joe Biden and Vladimir Zelensky are getting questions about this. In this telephone conversation, the President of the United States allegedly requested that the President of Ukraine urgently resolve the special status issue for Donbass.

If Kiev does decide to amend its constitution and grant Donbass a special status, will this affect Russia’s policy on Ukraine in any way? To be honest, you cannot trust these people. There are 720,000 Russian nationals there today, and in the future there could be even more of them. We do understand the threats they may face after obtaining a Russian passport. Are we ready for these eventualities? What will be Russia’s policy on the people’s republics?

Sergey Lavrov: We have always stressed the need to fully implement the Minsk agreements in good faith and following the sequence it sets forth. As my colleagues and I have been saying in our public statements, during the Geneva summit meeting in June 2021 between the Russian and United States presidents, Joe Biden said at his own initiative that he wanted to facilitate the implementation of the Minsk agreements, including in terms of granting an autonomous (this was the word he used) status to Donbass. He understands everything.

This is consistent with what the Minsk agreements say. The special status provisions they set forth cannot be subject to any equivocal interpretations. What needs to be done is clear. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reassured me that they want to help implement the Minsk agreements. His under-secretaries said that the US would not join the Normandy format but still wants to help. If they do force Kiev (nobody else can do it), this outcome would suit us. So far, I find this hard to believe. They are playing a game by continuing to supply weapons. Some tend to interpret these deliveries as a support for those ready to engage in a senseless armed conflict. This is something many have to factor into their projections. In fact, hardly anyone wants this, but there is still a small group of people who stand to benefit from it, in one way or another.

Why are the Americans the only ones that can force Kiev into compliance? The Normandy format met in Paris at the level of political advisors to the four leaders. Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Dmitry Kozak travelled there. They agreed to take two more weeks to understand how they can move forward in carrying out the Minsk agreements.

France, Germany and the European Union name Russia as a party to the conflict. What kind of agreement can we reach in these circumstances? They are saying we must comply with the Minsk agreements. President Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Kozak have repeatedly stated that no one has ever given us an answer to the question of which specific provision we must comply with. The implication is that everything depends on Russia. It’s like we snap our fingers and everything will come to pass.

Kiev realised that Berlin and Paris would not insist on it complying with the Minsk agreements. President Zelensky said he didn’t like the Package of Measures, but it was nonetheless important, because it keeps Western sanctions on Russia in place. That’s all there is to it: nothing but crude cynicism. Ukraine realises that it can do anything now. Vladimir Zelensky and his regime are being used (primarily by the Americans) to escalate tensions and to engage their underlings in Europe, who are playing along with the Americans as they pursue their Russophobic undertakings. The future of Ukraine is not Washington’s main goal in this particular case. It is important for the United States to escalate tensions around the Russian Federation in order to “close” this issue and then “deal with” China, as US political scientists are saying. How do they plan to “close” it? I have no idea. If there are any reasonable political strategists still out there, they must realise that this road leads nowhere.

The Americans are using Ukraine against Russia so openly and cynically that the Kiev regime itself is now scared. They are now saying there is no need to aggravate the discussion and are suggesting that the Americans keep down the rhetoric, and are also wondering why evacuate diplomats. Who is evacuating diplomats? The Americans and other Anglo-Saxons (Canada and the UK), meaning they know something others don’t. Perhaps, pending a provocation on their part, we should take precautionary measures with regard to our diplomats as well. We’ll see about that.

I have already answered the question about how we feel about the recently vocalised idea of recognising the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics. My answer is straightforward: we must push for the implementation of the Minsk agreements. There’s a host of people out there who are ready to grab any excuse to remove blame from Kiev for the sabotage which it has been involved in for eight years now with regard to the document approved by the UN Security Council.

Question: You said that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has lost touch with reality. Maybe you live in different realities? Today, he will give a live interview to Ekho Moskvy. Do you want to say hi to him or ask a question?

Sergey Lavrov: Serves him right.

Question: I looked through the list of the sanctions approved by the US Congress and Treasury last year. The absolute majority of them are associated with the name of Alexey Navalny, not Ukraine. The OPCW (independent German, French and Swedish labs) found traces of a poisonous substance in his blood, which clearly means that he was poisoned. The Foreign Ministry requested assistance. But Russia did not open a criminal investigation. Germany said in that case there would be no help. We are members of the OPCW. You have seen the report on Navalny. Do you continue to cooperate on this matter? We are in the minority in every single international European organisation. We are saying that the ECHR, PACE, the OSCE and the OPCW are Russophobes. Could it be that Russia is the one that is out of step?

Sergey Lavrov: I’ll start off by saying that I watched Euronews yesterday. There was a story about the village of Dvani in Georgia, near the South Ossetian border. It is located in an area that Georgia considers its territory. The reporter said he was in the village of Dvani at the separation line, with the administrative border that Russia keeps fortifying behind him. A house owned by a Georgian “was burned down during the war.” The new one “came into the Russian military’s surveillance zone.” A local resident said that we were “abducting people in unfathomable ways.” A Georgian journalist said that he has been “working in the villages near the conflict zone for several years now” and that “14 years have passed since the war that forced the people to live in difficult circumstances ended. They are losing their lands and forest allotments almost daily. People are being kidnapped. Russian troops are detaining them,” etc. Then the reporter continued to say that “after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia was the first among the former Soviet republics to experience an escalation of separatism and armed confrontation, and thousands of refugees are still unable to return home.”

He didn’t say, though, anything about what kind of separatism took root in Georgia even before the breakup of the Soviet Union. Zviad Gamsakhurdia was quite chauvinistic in his demands for Abkhazians to get out or to “georgify.” He believed South Ossetia residents did not deserve humane treatment. Nobody is saying anything about it. Then comes a brilliant phrase: “In 2008, when the conflict entered the hot phase, Russia took South Ossetia’s side.” This is Euronews, which touts itself as a channel of fair news and an epitome of diversity when it comes to presenting diverse viewpoints. They did not even mention how the fratricidal conflict began.

I’m saying this because you asked a question about the OPCW without mentioning the reference points that require clarification. If we state it the way you framed your question, then Michael McFaul and other unsophisticated listeners may get the impression that all of that is true. You are saying we asked the Germans to provide clarifications, and they wanted us to open a criminal investigation before they give us anything. What is that all about? Germany’s obligations under the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters are not dependent on whether a particular country opens a criminal investigation or not. Under our laws, a criminal case can be opened if there is corroborating evidence. This is in no way inconsistent with multiple instances of using this procedure in relations with many other countries. We have a lot of material which we circulate around the world. I’m sure reporters from Ekho Moskvy and other media outlets have access to it.

We are still waiting for an answer to our question about who flew in to pick up Alexey Navalny. Why the plane that flew to Omsk to pick him up was chartered the day before he fell ill. Why are there no answers to the purely specific and factual questions asked in the German Parliament: how come the pilot, who did not want Maria Pevchikh to take the bottle onboard, eventually let her do so? There was also a sixth passenger. These questions were asked at the Bundestag. Why is it impossible to question Ms Pevchikh? The Germans say she did not communicate with the blogger and did not visit him at the hospital. She wrote that she did. The bottle she brought along has not been shown to anyone. Our requests to run a joint examination of it are rejected. Allegations that illegal poisonous substances were found in Mr Navalny’s body began after no CWC-prohibited substances had been found by the Charité clinic, which is a civilian hospital. All of that was “discovered” at a clinic operated by the Bundeswehr in a matter of just three days. Before that, a similar scenario unfolded with the Skripal family. We insisted that the investigation must be grounded in hard facts, not “highly likely” assumptions. We cited facts that there are almost 150 patents for the infamous Novichok in the West, in particular, the United States. It was developed in Europe as well. Then Germany, France, Sweden and many other countries swore that they did not have this technology. Without the technology, it is impossible to detect this substance in the human body in three days. Any more or less experienced chemist is aware of that.

At first, the Germans told us that they would not give us the materials, because they constituted “classified military information.” How’s that? We are being accused of murder or attempted murder, and the information is classified. By definition, they should not have access to this technology if they are bona fide participants in the CWC. Then they began to say that they could give it to us, but Navalny says no. What’s next? At the same time, his lawyer criticised Dmitry Peskov for accusing the blogger of collaborating with the CIA and demanded proof. What kind of proof? US intelligence officers came to see him at the hospital, which Dmitry Peskov mentioned. We are demanding proof behind the accusation of attempted murder, but we are then told that he does not want to.

We asked the OPCW to provide the results but were told that they could do so only with the permission of the Germans. The circle closed. Read carefully the paper released by the OPCW. It says that some substances were discovered that are similar in composition to other substances that are on the OPCW’s banned chemicals list. Not a word about Novichok. Neither the Germans, nor the French, nor the Swedes gave us the formula. It’s classified. The formula is the proof of whether this is true or pure deception and lies.

I am inclined to believe that so far the West has no grounds to accuse us. This is done for the purpose of instigating a provocation. I mentioned the day when a special flight was chartered to fly to Omsk to pick up Mr Navalny. The day before the poisoning, the Germans (according to the OPCW report) asked The Hague for assistance in conducting the investigation of this case. Then they said it was a typo, and everything actually happened later. There are many interesting things there. In early September 2020, the Germans contacted the OPCW. The OPCW Secretariat concealed this from us for several days. In hindsight, they confessed that the Germans allegedly asked them not to tell anyone. Doesn’t it all look suspicious? It does to me, and suspicions run deep. I encourage Ekho Moskvy and other radio stations’ listeners to go the Foreign Ministry’s website and read the material containing a vast number of legitimate questions that remain unanswered by the West to this day.

Question: The most popular question: will there be a war with Ukraine?

Sergey Lavrov: This is what we started off with. If it’s up to the Russian Federation, there will be no war. I do not rule out the possibility that someone out there would like to provoke hostilities.

According to the West, there are about 100,000 troops on the line of contact. The Kiev regime does not control most of these armed men. A significant portion of the units that are stationed there include the former volunteer battalions, current territorial defence units, and militia. MANPADS are already being handed out to them. The media are reporting this information. They are encouraged to bring along hunting rifles with them, because there aren’t enough MANPADS for everyone. This is a militaristic frenzy. I cannot rule out the possibility of someone losing it, just like that soldier who shot and killed five of his fellow servicemen.

Question: Why aren’t we talking with Vladimir Zelensky? He is one of us, a former Komsomol member with a background in Channel One.

Sergey Lavrov: He is also a “piano player.” President Vladimir Putin answered this question. If President Zelensky wants to talk about normalising bilateral relations that were damaged by the unilateral actions of his regime, actions to which we responded, Russia stands ready to do so. Let him come to Moscow, Sochi, or St Petersburg, wherever they may agree. But if he wants to discuss Donbass – please go to the Contact Group, which, according to the Normandy format’s decision, is in charge of all settlement issues directly between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. When he says he won’t talk to us, this bodes ill for the domestic Ukrainian crisis. If he has something to offer in order to restore bilateral relations, the destruction of which Kiev, Vladimir Zelensky and his predecessor initiated, we are ready to consider his proposals. President Vladimir Putin has stated this in no uncertain terms.

Question: Another meme for a T-shirt from Minister Lavrov: “Please go to the Contact Group.”

Question: Are we going to evacuate our staff from Kiev as well?

Sergey Lavrov: We discussed this bout of insanity that is being fomented in Ukraine, primarily by the Anglo-Saxons and some Europeans. Dramatic claims that everyone must leave the place are part of this insanity. People who came there to tend to their business are urged to leave. Diplomats and their families are being taken home and non-core staff is being cut.

We cannot let it go unnoticed or turn a blind eye to it. If they are doing this (even though the Ukrainians haven’t asked them to), could it be that the Anglo-Saxons are up to something? The British particularly have a long track record in this area.

Question: This happened after you said something during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. What did you say or show to him? Immediately after the Geneva meeting, he started saying that diplomats should be evacuated. You must have done something.

Sergey Lavrov: You are mistaken if you think that I have lost the ability to understand what is happening around me. I didn’t say anything to him. In a one-on-one conversation (I hope this will not offend him) he told me that if something happens, their people would be there… It sounded rather strange to me. That’s what I told him.

Take my word for it, we discussed nothing but security guarantees. Then I raised the issue of the unacceptable state of affairs with our diplomatic missions. I made a proposal which we eventually agreed upon. In a couple of weeks, another meeting between experts will take place. I can assure you that no threats were uttered. However, we cannot leave things without analysis. We are analysing them to see what stands behind the Anglo-Saxons’ actions.

China, Russia and India: Foreign Ministers Joint Communique

November 27, 2021

Joint Communique of the 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China

November 26, 2021

1. The 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China was held in the digital video-conference format on 26 November 2021. The meeting took place in the backdrop of negative impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic, on-going economic recovery as well as continuing threats of terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, trans-national organized crime, natural and man-made disasters, food security and climate change.

2. The Ministers exchanged views on further strengthening the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral cooperation and also discussed various regional and international issues of importance. The Ministers recalled their last meeting in Moscow in September 2020 as well as the RIC Leaders’ Informal Summit in Osaka (Japan) in June 2019 and noted the need for regular high level meetings to foster closer cooperation among the RIC countries.

3. Expressing their solidarity with those who were negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministers underlined the importance of a timely, transparent, effective and non-discriminatory international response to global health challenges including pandemics, with equitable and affordable access to medicines, vaccines and critical health supplies. They reiterated the need for continued cooperation in this fight inter-alia through sharing of vaccine doses, transfer of technology, development of local production capacities, promotion of supply chains for medical products. In this context, they noted the ongoing discussions in the WTO on COVID-19 vaccine Intellectual Property Rights waiver and the use of flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.

4. Emphasizing the need for collective cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministers noted the measures being taken by the World Health Organization (WHO), governments, non-profit organisations, academia, business and industry in combating the pandemic. In this context, the Ministers called for strengthening the policy responses of WHO in the fight against Covid-19 and other global health challenges. They also called for making Covid-19 vaccination a global public good.

5. The Ministers agreed that cooperation among the RIC countries will contribute not only to their own growth but also to global peace, security, stability and development. The Ministers underlined the importance of strengthening of an open, transparent, just, inclusive, equitable and representative multi-polar international system based on respect for international law and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and central coordinating role of the United Nations in the international system.

6. The Ministers reiterated that a multi-polar and rebalanced world based on sovereign equality of nations and respect for international law and reflecting contemporary realities requires strengthening and reforming of the multilateral system. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. The Ministers acknowledged that the current interconnected international challenges should be addressed through reinvigorated and reformed multilateral system, especially of the UN and its principal organs, and other multilateral institutions such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), with a view to enhancing its capacity to effectively address the diverse challenges of our time and to adapt them to 21st century realities. The Ministers recalled the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and reaffirmed the need for comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges. Foreign Ministers of China and Russia reiterated the importance they attached to the status of India in international affairs and supported its aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations.Foreign Ministers of Russia and China congratulated India for its successful Presidency of the UNSC in August 2021.

7. Underlining the significance they attach to the intra-BRICS cooperation, the Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the 13th BRICS Summit held under India’s chairmanship on 9 September 2021. They agreed to work actively to implement the decisions of the successive BRICS Summits, deepen BRICS strategic partnership, strengthen cooperation in its three pillars namely political and security cooperation; economic and finance; and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Russia and India extend full support to China for its BRICS Chairship in 2022 and hosting the XIV BRICS Summit.

8. In the year of the 20th Anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) the Ministers underlined that the SCO as an influential and responsible member of the modern system of international relations plays a constructive role in securing peace and sustainable development, advancing regional cooperation and consolidating ties of good-neighbourliness and mutual trust. In this context, they emphasized the importance of further strengthening the Organization’s multifaceted potential with a view to promote multilateral political, security, economic and people-to-people exchanges cooperation. The Ministers intend to pay special attention to ensuring stability in the SCO space, including to step up efforts in jointly countering terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and trans-border organized crime under the framework of SCO-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure. They appreciated the Ministerial meeting in the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan format held on 14th July 2021 in Dushanbe.

9. The Ministers supported the G-20’s leading role in global economic governance and international economic cooperation. They expressed their readiness to enhance communication and cooperation including through G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and other means, through consultations and mutual support in areas of respective interest.

10. The Ministers stand for maintaining and strengthening of ASEAN Centrality and the role of ASEAN-led mechanisms in the evolving regional architecture, including through fostering ties between ASEAN and other regional organizations such as the SCO, IORA, BIMSTEC. The Ministers reiterated the importance of the need for closer cooperation and consultations in various regional fora and organizations, East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), to jointly contribute to regional peace, security and stability.

11. The Ministers consider it important to utilize the potential of the countries of the region, international organizations and multilateral associations in order to create a space in Eurasia for broad, open, mutually beneficial and equal interaction in accordance with international law and taking into account national interests. In that regard, they noted the idea of establishing a Greater Eurasian Partnership involving the SCO countries, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other interested States and multilateral associations.

12. The Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Ministers reaffirmed that terrorism must be comprehensively countered to achieve a world free of terrorism. They called on the international community to strengthen UN-led global counter-terrorism cooperation by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In this context, they called for early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. The Ministers stressed that those committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting, financing terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with existing international commitments on countering terrorism, including the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the FATF standards, international treaties, including on the basis of the principle “extradite or prosecute” and relevant international and bilateral obligations and in compliance with applicable domestic legislation.

13. The Ministers emphasized the importance of the three international drug control conventions and other relevant legal instruments which form the edifice of the drug control system. They reiterated their firm resolve to address the world drug problem, on a basis of common and shared responsibility. The Ministers expressed their determination to counter the spread of illicit drug trafficking in opiates and methamphetamine from Afghanistan and beyond, which poses a serious threat to regional security and stability and provides funding for terrorist organizations.

14. The Ministers reiterated the need for a holistic approach to development and security of ICTs, including technical progress, business development, safeguarding the security of States and public interests, and respecting the right to privacy of individuals. The Ministers noted that technology should be used responsibly in a human-centric manner. They underscored the leading role of the United Nations in promoting a dialogue to forge common understandings on the security of and in the use of ICTs and development of universally agreed norms, rules and principles for responsible behaviour of States in the area of ICTs and recognized the importance of strengthening its international cooperation. The Ministers recalled that the development of ICT capabilities for military purposes and the malicious use of ICTs by State and non-State actors including terrorists and criminal groups is a disturbing trend. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to principles of preventing conflicts stemming from the use of ICTs, as well as ensuring use of these technologies for peaceful purposes. In this context, they welcomed the work of recently concluded UN-mandated groups namely Open Ended Working Group on the developments in the fields of Information and Telecommunications in the context of international security (OEWG) and the Sixth United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) on Advancing responsible State behaviour in cyberspace in the context of international security and their consensual final reports. The Ministers supported the OEWG on the security of and in the use of ICTs 2021-2025.

15. The Ministers, while emphasizing the important role of the ICTs for growth and development, acknowledged the potential misuse of ICTs for criminal activities and threats. The Ministers expressed concern over the increasing level and complexity of criminal misuse of ICTs as well as the absence of a UN-led framework to counter the use of ICTs for criminal purposes. Noting that new challenges and threats in this respect require international cooperation, the Ministers appreciated the launch of the UN Open-Ended Ad-Hoc Intergovernmental Committee of Experts to elaborate a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes under the auspices of the United Nations, pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly resolution 74/247.

16. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to broadening and strengthening the participation of emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs) in the international economic decision-making and norm-setting processes, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this regard, they emphasized the importance of constant efforts to reform the international financial architecture. They expressed concern that enhancing the voice and participation of EMDCs in the Bretton Woods institutions remains far from realization.

17. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for a transparent, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core. In this context, they reiterated their support for the necessary reform which would preserve the centrality, core values and fundamental principles of the WTO while taking into account the interests of all members, especially developing countries and Least Developing Countries (LDCs). They emphasized the primary importance of ensuring the restoration and preservation of the normal functioning of a two-stage WTO Dispute Settlement system, including the expeditious appointment of all Appellate Body members. The post-pandemic world requires diversified global value chains that are based on resilience and reliability.

18. The Ministers agreed that the imposition of unilateral sanctions beyond those adopted by the UNSC as well as “long-arm jurisdiction” were inconsistent with the principles of international law, have reduced the effectiveness and legitimacy of the UNSC sanction regime, and had a negative impact on third States and international economic and trade relations. They called for a further consolidation and strengthening of the working methods of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee to ensure their effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency.

19. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions- economic, social and environmental in a balanced and integrated manner – and reiterated that the Sustainable Development Goals are integrated and indivisible and must be achieved ‘leaving no one behind’. The Ministers called upon the international community to foster a more equitable and balanced global development partnership to address the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and to accelerate the implementation of 2030 Agenda while giving special attention to the difficulties and needs of the developing countries. The Ministers urged developed countries to honour their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments, including the commitment to achieve the target of 0.7 percent of gross national income for official development assistance (ODA/GNI) to developing countries and to facilitate capacity building and the transfer of technology to developing countries together with additional development resources, in line with national policy objectives of the recipients.

20. The Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to Climate action by implementation of Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement adopted under the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the principle of Equity, Common But Differentiated Responsibilities, the criticality of adequate finance and technology flows, judicious use of resources and the need for sustainable lifestyles. They recognized that peaking of Greenhouse Gas Emissions will take longer for developing countries, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. They stressed the importance of a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that addresses the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in a balanced way. They welcomed the outcomes of the 26th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-26) and the 15th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-15).

21. The Ministers underlined the imperative of dialogue to strengthen international peace and security through political and diplomatic means. The Ministers confirmed their commitment to ensure prevention of an arms race in outer space and its weaponization, through the adoption of a relevant multilateral legally binding instrument. In this regard, they noted the relevance of the draft treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects. They emphasized that the Conference on Disarmament, as the single multilateral negotiating forum on this subject, has the primary role in the negotiation of a multilateral agreement, or agreements, as appropriate, on the prevention of an arms race in outer space in all its aspects. They expressed concern over the possibility of outer space turning into an arena of military confrontation. They stressed that practical transparency and confidence building measures, such as the No First Placement initiative may also contribute towards the prevention of an arms race in outer space. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for enhancing international cooperation in outer space in accordance with international law, based on the Outer Space Treaty. They recognized, in that regard, the leading role of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). They agreed to stand together for enhancing the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and safety of space operations through deliberations under UNCOPUOS.

22. The Ministers reiterated the importance of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC) as a key pillar of the global disarmament and security architecture. They highlighted the need for BTWC States Parties to comply with BTWC, and actively consult one another on addressing issues through cooperation in relation to the implementation of the Convention and strengthening it, including by negotiating a legally binding Protocol for the Convention that provides for, inter alia, an efficient verification mechanism. The BTWC functions should not be duplicated by other mechanisms. They also reaffirmed support for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and called upon the State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to uphold the Convention and the integrity of the CWC and engage in a constructive dialogue with a view to restoring the spirit of consensus in the OPCW.

23. The Ministers showed deep concern about the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) falling into the hands of terrorist groups, including the use of chemicals and biological agents for terrorist purposes. To address the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, they emphasized the need to launch multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism at the Conference on Disarmament. They urged all States to take and strengthen national measures, as appropriate, to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and materials and technologies related to their manufacture.

24. The Ministers noted rising concerns regarding dramatic change of the situation in Afghanistan. They reaffirmed their support for basic principle of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and called for formation of a truly inclusive government that represents all the major ethnic and political groups of the country. The Ministers advocated a peaceful, secure, united, sovereign, stable and prosperous inclusive Afghanistan that exists in harmony with its neighbors. They called on the Taliban to take actions in accordance with the results of all the recently held international and regional formats of interaction on Afghanistan, including the UN Resolutions on Afghanistan. Expressing concern over deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the Ministers called for immediate and unhindered humanitarian assistance to be provided to Afghanistan. The Ministers also emphasized on the central role of UN in Afghanistan.

25. They stressed the necessity of urgent elimination of UNSC proscribed terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, ISIL and others for lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region. The Ministers acknowledged the widespread and sincere demand of the Afghan people for lasting peace. They reaffirmed the importance of ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any other country, and that no Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country.

26. The Ministers reiterated the importance of full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and UNSC Resolution 2231 and expressed their support to the relevant efforts to ensure the earliest reinvigoration of the JCPOA which is a landmark achievement for multilateral diplomacy and the nuclear non-proliferation.

27. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Myanmar. They expressed support to the efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) aimed at implementation of its Five-Point Consensus in cooperation with Myanmar. They called on all sides to refrain from violence.

28. The Ministers underlined the importance of lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. They expressed their support for a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to resolve all issues pertaining to the Korean Peninsula.

29. The Ministers welcomed the announcement of the Gaza ceasefire beginning 21 May 2021 and stressed the importance of the restoration of general stabilization. They recognized the efforts made by the UN and regional countries to prevent the hostilities from escalating. They mourned the loss of civilian lives resulting from the violence, called for the full respect of international humanitarian law and urged the international community’s immediate attention to providing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in Gaza. They supported in this regard the Secretary General’s call for the international community to work with the United Nations, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), on developing an integrated, robust package of support for a swift and sustainable reconstruction and recovery as well as for appropriate use of such aid. The Ministers reiterated their support for a two-State solution guided by the international legal framework previously in place, resulting in creating an independent and viable Palestinian State and based on the vision of a region where Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders.

30. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic. They expressed their conviction that there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict. They also reaffirmed their support to a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in full compliance with UNSC Resolution 2254. They welcomed in this context the importance of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, launched with the decisive participation of the countries-guarantors of the Astana Process and other states engaged in efforts to address the conflict through political means, and expressed their support to the efforts of Mr. Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria, to ensure the sustainable and effective work of the Committee. They reiterated their conviction that in order to reach general agreement, members of the Constitutional Committee should be governed by a sense of compromise and constructive engagement without foreign interference and externally imposed timelines. They emphasized the fundamental importance of allowing unhindered humanitarian aid to all Syrians in accordance with the UN humanitarian principles and the post-conflict reconstruction of Syria that would contribute to the safe, voluntary and dignified return of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of origin thus paving the way to achieving long-term stability and security in Syria and the region in general.

31. The Ministers expressed grave concern over the ongoing conflict in Yemen which affects the security and stability not only of Yemen, but also of the entire region, and has caused what is being called by the United Nations as the worst humanitarian crisis currently in the world. They called for a complete cessation of hostilities and the establishment of an inclusive, Yemeni-led negotiation process mediated by the UN. They also stressed the importance of providing urgent humanitarian access and assistance to all Yemenis.

32. The Ministers welcomed the formation of the new transitional Presidency Council and Government of National Unity in Libya as a positive development and hoped that it would promote reconciliation among all political parties and Libyan society, work towards restoration of peace and stability and conduct elections on 24 December 2021 to hand over power to the new government as per the wishes of the Libyan people. They also noted the important role of UN in this regard.

33. The Ministers noted that some of the planned activities under the RIC format could not take place in the physical format due to the global Covid-19 pandemic situation. They welcomed the outcomes of the 18th RIC Trilateral Academic Conference organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi (ICWA) in the video-conference format on 22-23 April 2021. In this context, they also commended the contribution of the Institute of Chinese Studies (New Delhi), Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) and China Institute of International Studies (Beijing) in establishing the RIC Academic Conference as the premier annual analytical forum for deepening RIC cooperation in diverse fields.

34. The Ministers expressed their support to China to host Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

35. Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China and the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation thanked the External Affairs Minister of India for successful organization of the RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting. External Affairs Minister of India passed on the chairmanship in the RIC format to the Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China. The date and venue of the next RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting will be agreed upon through the diplomatic channels.

The Grayzone: OPCW Tampered with Findings of Douma Attack Investigation

Nov 23, 2021

Source: The Grayzone

By Al Mayadeen

Expert toxicologists concluded that chlorine gas was not what killed victims in the Douma attack, adding that OPCW officials censored explosive findings.

The Grayzone: the suppression of the toxicologists is among a series of deceptions by the OPCW

The Grayzone website published revealing a series of “leaks [that] expose how senior Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) officials censored this explosive finding” in the Syrian city of Douma.

In its investigation, the website stated that “in the early days of the OPCW’s investigation of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, expert toxicologists ruled out chlorine gas as the cause of death for more than 40 civilians reported at the scene.”

The investigation confirmed that “instead of publishing this finding, senior OPCW officials concealed it, and then launched an investigation of a veteran inspector who questioned the censorship.”

It added that “the suppression of the toxicologists is among a series of deceptions by the OPCW leadership to corrupt the Douma probe’s scientific process, as detailed in this new multi-part investigation by The Grayzone.”

According to the investigation, this report was concealed, undermining the attack as a public pretext for US-led airstrikes on Syria two months prior, and raising the possibility that the rebels launched the April 7, 2018 incident to frame the Syrian government.

It also revealed that during the mission of an OPCW team to meet with several toxicologists in Germany, the rapid onset of heavy foam shown in the videos, documenting what happened in Douma, was not compatible with the accusation of exposure to toxic chlorine. 

The Grayzone: Expert toxicologists ruled out chlorine gas as the victims’ cause of death. 

The investigation added that the OPCW did not publish the findings in Germany but instead left the investigation open to many possibilities, and therefore did not allow for the completion of the investigation. 

“I imagine you have similar concerns about how such pivotal information could have been omitted from the report – possibly biasing the outcome,” Whelan wrote his colleagues. He asked them to join him in raising this with the OPCW chief. Instead, the OPCW investigated him.

The Grayzone also accused the organization’s director-general, Fernando Arias, of suppressing the toxicologists’ critical findings: When Arias was asked about excluding the findings of the toxicologists from the final report, before the European Parliament, he made false excuses as to why he refused to address the alleged scientific fraud in the Douma investigation.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 24, Moscow

November 05, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 24, Moscow

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 24, Moscow, November 1, 2021

Question: Not so long ago, you said that Russia would not use ideology-based rules in its international diplomatic practices. What examples can you give to explain this to a layman in matters of politics?

Sergey Lavrov: It’s simple. Ideally, any society should obey generally accepted rules that have proved their efficacy and sensibility.  Speaking about international life, the United Nations Charter is a book of collectively and universally coordinated rules. Later, when new members joined the UN, they accepted these rules in their entirety, without any exemptions, because UN membership requires that the Charter be ratified without any reservations. These rules are universal and mandatory for all.

With the age of multipolarity now dawning – and its emergence is an objective fact – new centres of economic growth, financial power and political influence have come into being. The multitude of voices is louder at the UN. A consensus or a vote are required in a situation where new solutions or rules have to be developed based on the UN Charter. In both cases, this work involves conflicting opinions and the need to defend one’s position and prove it is correct. Truth springs from argument and this is what this collective work is all about.

Conscious of the fact that its arguments are increasingly vulnerable because its policy is aimed at slowing down the objective formation of a polycentric world fully in keeping with the UN Charter, the collective West thinks it more beneficial for itself to discuss current issues outside of universal organisations and make arrangements within its inner circle, where there is no one to argue with it. I am referring to the collective West itself and some “docile” countries it invites from time to time. The latter are needed as extras and create a semblance of a process that is wider than a purely Western affair. There are quite a few such examples.

Specifically, they are pushing the idea of a “summit for democracy.” This summit will take place in December at the invitation of US President Joe Biden. To be sure, we will not be invited. Neither are the Chinese on the list of invitees. The list itself is missing as well. Some of our partners are “whispering in our ear” that they have been told to get ready: supposedly an invitation is in the pipeline. Asked, what they would do there, they reply that theirs will be an online address, after which a final statement will be circulated. Can we see it? They promise to show it later. So we have here the “sovereign” and his “vassals.”

The Summit for Democracy seeks to divide people and countries into “democracies” and “non-democracies.”  Furthermore, my colleagues from a respected country have told me that they could infer from the invitation they had received that the democratic countries that were invited to attend were also divided into “fully” and “conditionally” democratic. I think the Americans want to have the biggest possible crowd to show that the Washington-led movement has so many followers. Watching who specifically gets invited and in what capacity will be quite amusing. I am certain that there will be attempts to reach out to some of our strategic partners and allies, but I do hope that they will remain faithful to the obligations they have in other frameworks instead of taking part in artificially concocted, one-off unofficial summits.

The same applies to the initiative Germany and France proposed two or three years ago. I am referring to the idea of an Alliance of Multilateralists. Asked, why should it be formed – after all, the United Nations, where all sovereign states are represented, stands at the pinnacle of multilateralism – they gave rather an interesting answer.   According to them, there are many conservatives at the United Nations, who hinder the genuine multilateral processes, while they are the “forerunners,”   they want to lead the van and show others with their example how to promote multilateralism. But this prompts the question: Where is the “ideal” of multilateralism? Allegedly, it is personified by the European Union, a paragon of “effective multilateralism.” Once again, they understand multilateralism as the need for the rest to accept the Western world’s leadership along with  the superiority of Western “values” and other things western. At the same time, multilateralism, as described on the US dollar  (E pluribus unum) and as embodied in the United Nations, seems  inconvenient, because there is too much diversity for those who want to impose their uniform values everywhere.

Question: Is this a constructive approach?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, not! Let me reiterate that this is how they understand the serious processes that are unfolding across the world against the backdrop of the emerging multilateralism and multipolarity. The latter, by the way, were conceived by God, for He created all men equal. And this is what the US Constitution says, but they tend to forget its formulas, when it comes to geopolitics.

There are other examples. The Dutch and the British are pushing the idea of a Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence. Why not do this at UNESCO? Why discuss this outside the organisation that was specifically created for dealing with new scientific achievements and making them available to mankind? There is no reply.

There are several competing partnerships, and the Media Freedom Coalition formed by Canada and Britain is one of them. The French, together with Reporters without Borders, promote the Information and Democracy Partnership. Once again, not everyone is invited to join it. Several years ago, Britain held the Global Conference for Media Freedom.

Question: Russia was not invited to attend, was it?

Sergey Lavrov: At first, there was no invitation, but then we reminded them that if this was a “global forum,” it was right to hear opposing points of views. But they did not invite us all the same.

Examples of this kind are not in short supply. Talking about these matters, there are mechanisms within UNESCO, which is fully legitimate and competent to deal with these issues. However, it gives a voice to others who may have a different view on media freedom compared to that of our Western colleagues. I think that this sets the international community on a path that is quite destructive, just like the attempts to “privatise” the secretariats of international organisations.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a case in point, since people from Western and NATO countries are fully in control of its Technical Secretariat. The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) states that everything must be done by consensus. However, the Technical Secretariat obediently tolerates gross violations of the Convention. The Western countries vote for their decisions, which is completely at odds with the CWC, and claim that executing these  is the Secretariat’s duty. By arrogating the right to pinpoint who is to blame for using chemical weapons, the Technical Secretariat takes over the functions of the UN Security Council.

The West has now instructed the Technical Secretariat to crack down on Syria, where many shady things and outright provocations took place over the past years. We exposed them and held news conferences in The Hague, where the OPCW has its headquarters, as well as in New York. We showed that the Technical Secretariat was being manipulated with the help of destructive and extremist NGOs like the White Helmets. I would like to note that we are starting to hear statements along these lines from heads of certain respected organisations. For example, some senior executives of the UNESCO Secretariat have come forward with the initiative to promote “values-based multilateralism.”

Question: And they are the ones who define these values, aren’t they?

Sergey Lavrov: Probably. The UNESCO leadership also represents a Western country and NATO. There is no doubt about this.

We do know that at the end of the day, behind all this talk on building consensus and having regard for the opinion of all countries, the collective West will set the tone. This has already happened more than once. The way the West views “values-based multilateralism” will shape its negotiating position.

At the same time, there is an effort to promote a “human rights-based” approach. If we look at the challenges the world is currently facing, there is security, including food security, as well as ensuring livelihoods and healthcare. This is also related to human rights. The right to life is central to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but it is being trampled upon in the most blatant manner, just like the socioeconomic rights. The United States has yet to join the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and has only signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that the West is seeking to emphasise. Lately they have been focusing on the ugliest ways to interpret these rights, including on transgender issues and other abnormal ideas that go against human nature itself.

Question: You mentioned the humanitarian aspect, which is very important. The border crisis in Belarus. Refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries trying to enter the EU are being deported peremptorily. It is a serious crisis, and the problem has grown in scale. It concerns the border with the EU, which claims to respect human rights and the humanitarian rules. Can Russia mediate the settlement of this conflict? Can we influence the situation at all? And would there be any point?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think that mediation is needed here. I do not see any violations of international law or obligations by Belarus. I have access to information about these developments, just as all the other stakeholders. According to this information, those who do not want to live in Belarus are trying to enter the EU from the territory of Belarus. Demanding that President Alexander Lukashenko and the Belarusian law enforcement agencies stop this would be contrary to international law, especially humanitarian law. The hysterical claims made in some EU countries that Belarus, supported by Russia, is deliberately encouraging these flows of refugees are unseemly for serious politicians. This means that they are aware of their helplessness, including in terms of international law, which is why they are growing hysterical.

Here is a simple example. You have said that the EU does not want refugees to enter its territory. I believe that it is not the EU but individual countries that do not want this. The situation is different across the EU in terms of the positions of individual countries and regions. There is no unity on this matter. Poland and Lithuania are pushing the refugees eager to enter their territory back to Belarus. I wonder how this is different from the recent developments in Italy. Former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refused to allow refugees to disembark in Italy. He argued that there were several other EU countries along their route where they could request asylum. Salvini is likely to face trial for endangering the lives of those refugees, who had fled from the dire, catastrophic conditions in their home countries. What is the difference between the behaviour of the Baltic states and Poland and the decision for which the former minister is about to  stand trial?

There are many other examples of double standards here, but just take a look at the identity of those refugees fleeing to Europe. They are Syrians, Iraqis and, recently, Afghans. People from the Sahel-Sahara region in Africa are trying to enter Europe via Libya.  As we list the countries from which illegal migrants are exporting instability, we should not forget the reason behind the collapse of their home countries. This collapse has been brought about by Western adventurism. A  case in point is the US adventure in Iraq, where tens of thousands of NATO troops and  contingents of other countries eager to please Washington were later stationed in a cover-up ploy . Look at the aggression against Libya, and the failure of the 20-year-long war trumpeted as a mission to restore peace in Afghanistan. They attempted to do the same in Syria. As a result, several million people have been uprooted and are now trying to enter Europe from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. This is our Western partners’ style. They regard any situation from a historical and chronological angle that suits them best. They launched devastating bombing attacks on Libya and Iraq. But after both countries were reduced to ruins, they urged everyone to assume a shared responsibility for the fate of refugees. We asked, why this should be a “shared responsibility?”After all, it was them who created the problem in the first place. They replied: “Let bygones be bygones.” There is no point looking back, they have awakened to the problem, and now it rests with us. Ukraine is another remarkable example of the logic of forgetting historical embarrassments.

QuestionI would be remiss not to ask you about Ukraine. The situation there is escalating. Not so long ago, an officer, a Russian citizen,from the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) on Ceasefire and Stabilisation in Southeastern Ukraine was detained (in fact, kidnapped) on the demarcation line. The Ukrainian military have become increasingly active in the grey zone. With that in mind, how much longer can the Normandy format dialogue continue? Is a ministerial meeting being planned? How productive will this dialogue be?

Sergey Lavrov: I would like to revisit the diplomatic tactics of cutting off inconvenient historical eras and periods. How did it all begin? In our exchanges with our German or French colleagues who co-founded the Normandy format and the February 2015 Minsk agreements, they unfailingly maintain a “constructive ambiguity” with regard to who must comply with the Minsk agreements. We keep telling them: What ambiguity is there? Here, it is clearly written: Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk must enter into consultations and agree on a special status, an amnesty and elections under the auspices of the OSCE. This is clearly stated there. They say they know who plays the decisive role there. We reply that we do not know who else plays the decisive role there except the parties whom the UN Security Council has obliged to act upon what they signed. To their claims that we “annexed” Crimea, we say that, first, we did not annex Crimea, but rather responded to the request of the Crimean people, who had come under a direct threat of destruction. I remember very well the Right Sector leaders saying that Russians should be expelled from Crimea, because they would never speak, think, or write in Ukrainian. Everyone back then was telling me that it was a figure of speech. It was not. Recently, President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky confirmed this when he said: If you think you are Russian, go to Russia. This is exactly the ideology proclaimed by the Right Sector immediately after the EU-guaranteed settlement document had been trampled upon in the morning by the same people who had signed it on behalf of the opposition with President Viktor Yanukovych. When you remind them of Russophobia, which instantly manifested itself among the putschists who seized power as a result of the coup, they say no, it is a thing of the past. They propose starting the discussion with the fact that the sanctions were imposed on us. This is an unsavoury approach.

I am disappointed to see such a decline in the Western negotiating and diplomatic culture. Take any hot item on the international agenda and you will see that the West is either helpless or is cheating. Take, for example, the alleged poisoning of blogger Alexey Navalny. This is a separate matter.

Returning to Ukraine and the Normandy format, indeed, the situation has escalated. There are attempts to create a provocative situation, to provoke the militia into responding and to drag Russia into military actions.

The Bayraktar drone incident is nothing short of a mystery. The Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that this weapon was indeed used, while the Defence Minister claimed that nothing of the kind had happened. I think they are now pondering options to see which one will work better for them: either to show how tough they are having started bombing in direct and gross violation of the Minsk agreements, or to say that they are complying with the Minsk agreements and to propose to get together in the Normandy format. We do not need a meeting for the sake of holding a meeting. They are sending mixed messages through characters like Alexey Arestovich (he is some kind of a semi-official adviser), or head of the presidential executive office Andrey Yermak, or Denis Shmygal, or President Zelensky himself. But they follow the same logic: the Minsk agreements should not and must not be fulfilled, because this will destroy Ukraine. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Minsk agreements were created as a result of 17-hour-long talks precisely in order to preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Initially, having proclaimed their independence, the new republics were even unhappy with us for encouraging them to find common ground with Kiev. Whatever the new authorities may be, Ukraine is our neighbour and a fraternal nation. After signing the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements in Minsk, the Russian Federation convinced representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk to sign this document as well.

Accusing us of destroying Ukraine’s territorial integrity is unseemly and dishonest. It is being destroyed by those who are trying to make it a super-unitary state while reducing the languages ​​of ethnic minorities, primarily Russian, to the status of token tools of communication, and making education in Russian and other languages nonexistent​. This is a neo-Nazi approach to society building.

As you may be aware, in April 2014, immediately after the Crimea referendum, former US Secretary of State John Kerry, former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, Acting Foreign Minister of the new regime in Ukraine Andrey Deshchitsa and I met in Vienna. We agreed on one page of a “dense” text to the effect that the United States, the EU and Russia welcomed the Kiev authorities’ plan to hold a nationwide dialogue on federalisation with the participation of all regions of Ukraine. It was approved. Truth be told, this document did not go anywhere, but it remains open information. It was made available to the media. That is, back then, neither the United States nor the EU wanted to make a “monster” out of Ukraine. They wanted it to be a truly democratic state with all regions and, most importantly, all ethnic minorities feeling involved in common work. Up until now, the Ukrainian Constitution has the linguistic and educational rights of ethnic minorities, including the separately stated rights of Russian speakers, enshrined in it. Just look at the outrageous things they are doing with the laws on education, languages ​​and the state language. There is a law recently submitted by the government titled On State Policy during the Transition Period. It does more than just cross out the Minsk agreements. It explicitly makes it illegal for Ukrainian political, diplomatic and other officials to fulfil them. The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe recently came up with a positive opinion about this law, which did not surprise us. This decision does not say a word about the fact that this law undermines Ukraine’s commitments under the Minsk agreements and, accordingly, Kiev’s obligations to comply with the UN Security Council resolution.

Question: If I understood you correctly, a ministerial meeting cannot even be prepared in this atmosphere.

Sergey Lavrov: Our German and French colleagues have been saying all the time: let’s preserve “constructive ambivalence” as regards who must observe the Minsk agreements. An EU-Ukraine summit took place literally two days after the telephone conversation of the President of Russia, the Chancellor of Germany and the President of France, when Vladimir Putin said such law-making was unacceptable, including the destructive draft law on a transitional period. Following the summit, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky signed a statement a good quarter of which is devoted to the crisis in southeastern Ukraine. The top-ranking EU officials and the Ukrainian President officially stated that Russia bears special responsibility for this crisis because it is a party to the conflict. We immediately asked Berlin and Paris: so which is it: constructive ambivalence or this position? We were told that we shouldn’t be surprised because from the very beginning of the crisis in 2014 they proceeded from the premise that we ought to do all this. If that is the case, what was the point of signing the Minsk agreements?

Now they are trying to draw us in, citing President Vladimir Putin, who promised to organise the Normandy format at least at the ministerial level. We are not avoiding meetings. But promising to instruct Russian officials to work on this process, President Putin said that first we must fulfil on what we agreed in Paris in December 2019. The Kiev authorities were supposed to do everything the sides agreed upon then. They did not move a finger to implement the Steinmeier formula, determine a special status for Donbass, fix it permanently in the Ukrainian legislation and settle security issues.

A draft of this document was prepared when the parties gathered for this summit in Paris in December 2019. Its first item was an appeal by the Normandy format leaders for the disengagement of troops and withdrawal of heavy artillery along the entire contact line. President Zelensky said he could not agree to do this along the entire contact line and suggested doing it in three points only. Even the German and French participants were a bit perplexed because the aides of the presidents and the Chancellor coordinated the text ahead of the summit. Eventually, they shook their heads and agreed to disengagement in three points. Ukraine has not carried out this provision so far. Its conduct was indicative: it did not want to adopt a radical measure that would considerably reduce the risks of armed clashes and threats to civilians.

With great difficulty, the parties agreed on special measures in the summer of 2020. They signed a Contact Group document stating that any fire must not immediately trigger reciprocal fire. Otherwise, there will be an escalation. After each shelling, a commander of a unit that was attacked was supposed to report to the supreme commander. Only after his approval, the commander of the unit could open reciprocal fire. The republics included this provision in their orders but Ukraine flatly refused to fulfil it. Then, several months ago, it was persuaded to accept it and went along with this, implementing what was agreed upon a year ago. However, recently the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that none of this was required: if you hear a shot, even into the air, you can go ahead and bomb the civilian population.

Question: Let’s move on to Central Asia, if you don’t mind. The Taliban coming to power is a daunting challenge to Russia and the post-Soviet Central Asian countries, which are our former fraternal republics. Are we ready to take up this challenge and how can we help our neighbours in Central Asia?

Sergey Lavrov: We saw it coming one way or another all these years while the Americans were trying to “stimulate” agreements between the Afghans. This was done, I would say, not too skilfully. I’m not hiding my assessment. The agreement that was concluded with the Taliban in Doha without the involvement of then President Ashraf Ghani was the last “diplomatic victory” as it was portrayed by the previous US administration. On the one hand, it gave rise to a hope that the Taliban would now be amenable to talks. On the other hand, there were many skeptical assessments, because the Taliban agreed to create some kind of common government bodies in exchange for a complete withdrawal of all foreign troops by May 1, 2021. Former President Ghani was outright unhappy with this since he realised that if this agreement was fulfilled, he would have to share power. Under all scenarios, he was unlikely to remain the number one person in the new Afghan government. So, he did his best to slow down the process. As a result, the Americans stayed longer. According to a number of US political analysts, this happened because Washington failed to withdraw its troops by the agreed deadline. The Taliban then decided they were free from any commitment to form a government of national accord.

However, this is a thing of the past, and we believe that the United States and those who stayed there for 20 years promising to make a model country out of Afghanistan must now get directly involved, primarily financially, to avert a humanitarian disaster. In this sense, we want to preserve historical continuity with its causal relationship.

An event that we held recently in Moscow with the participation of Afghanistan’s neighbours and other leading countries of the region and the SCO and CSTO-sponsored events that took place not so long ago in Dushanbe were aimed at urging the Taliban to deliver on their promises and the obligations that they made and assumed when they came to power. First of all, this is to prevent the destabilisation of neighbouring countries and the spread of the terrorist and drug threat from Afghanistan and the need to suppress these threats in Afghanistan itself, to ensure the inclusive nature of government in terms of ethnopolitical diversity and to be sure to guarantee, as they said, Islam-based human rights. This can be interpreted fairly broadly, but, nevertheless, it provides at least some benchmarks in order to get the Taliban to make good on its promises.

Humanitarian aid must be provided now. I see the Western countries making their first contributions. The issue is about distributing this aid. Many are opposed to making it available directly to the government and prefer to act through international organisations. We see the point and are helping to reach an agreement with the current authorities in Kabul to allow international organisations, primarily humanitarian organisations, to carry out the relevant activities. Of course, we will do our fair share. We are supplying medicines and food there. The Central Asian countries are doing the same. Their stability is important to us, because we have no borders with our Central Asian allies, and we have visa-free travel arrangements with almost all of them. In this regard, President Putin told President Biden in Geneva in June that we are strongly opposed to the attempts to negotiate with the Central Asian countries on the deployment of the US military infrastructure on their territory in order to deliver over-the-horizon strikes on targets in Afghanistan, if necessary. They came up with similar proposals to Pakistan as well, but Pakistan said no. Uzbekistan has publicly stated that its Constitution does not provide for deployment of military bases on its territory. Kyrgyzstan has also publicly, through the mouth of the President, announced that they do not want this.

Knowing the pushy nature of the Americans, I do not rule out the possibility of them continuing to come up with the same proposal from different angles. I heard they are allegedly trying to persuade India to provide the Pentagon with certain capabilities on Indian territory.

Refugees are issue number two, which is now being seriously considered. Many of them simply came to Central Asia on their own. These countries have different policies towards them and try in every possible way to protect themselves against these incoming flows. In Uzbekistan, special premises for the refugees have been allocated right outside the airport, from where they are flown to other countries and they are not allowed to enter other parts of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Our Tajik neighbours are doing the same. They are also being pressured to accept refugees. They want to set up holding centres under strong guarantee that after some time the refugees will be relocated. The West rushed to beg the neighbouring countries to accept tens of thousands of refugees, each claiming that it was a temporary solution until the West gives them documents for immigration to Western countries.

Question: But it turned out it was for the long haul …

Sergey Lavrov: Thankfully, no one has agreed to that, at least not to the numbers the West was talking about. Of course, some refugees relocated there, and proper arrangements must be made with regard to them. The West said they needed “two to three months” to issue documents for these people and it was necessary to save them, since they collaborated with the coalition forces. But if you collaborated with these Afghans on the ground for a long time and employed them as translators and informants, you surely ran background checks on them. If, after they had worked for you for so long you were still unable to decide whether you could trust them or not, why are you then “dumping” them onto the Central Asian countries, which are our allies? This issue remains open.

As you may be aware, we have come up with a proposal for the UN to convene a conference to address the Afghan people’s pressing humanitarian needs. I think the message was taken, so we expect a more specific response will come.

False Flag Chemical Attack against Syria Brewing in Idlib and Hama, Again

MIRI WOOD 

Oscar Award White Helmets Al Qaeda propaganda arm taking selfie after shooting false flag movie

Another false flag chemical attack is brewing in the Levantine republic. Syrian intelligence sources have collected reports that NATO special operative terrorists from France and Belgium (a terrorist special forces operative from Morocco has also been assisting) have overseen modifications in “locally made rockets” to fit warheads loaded with “chlorine and sarin” chemical weapons. On 14 September 2013, Syria deposited its instrument of accession with the UN Secretary-General. Syria’s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force on 14 October 2013.

In between, on 27 September, UNSCR 2118 (2013) was passed because the Council somehow declared there was an “extraordinary character” of “the situation posed Syrian chemical weapons.” Given the lack of caractère extraordinaire ever discovered in the US still owing the CWC 3,000 since April 1997, and given ANNEX 1 is a paste of the OPCW ‘Executive Council Decision’ included fraudulent concern that CW’s might have been used in the SAR sometime in March 2013.

The statement came with a malignant inference, and omitted all details: On 19 March 2013, terrorists exploded rockets with weapons-grade chlorine into Khan Al Asal, murdering mostly SAA soldiers. Syria immediately requested a UN-OPCW investigation — a request the stenography-hooker media helped sabotage via mass propagation of the criminal lie of a retired Israeli general. Itai Bruin was essentially the puppet run by NATO saboteurs Britain and France against Syria’s request; the F/UK machinations are detailed in a 60-minute press conference given by Dr. Jaafari, forty days after his country requested the investigation, and which no medium reported (statement included, here)

In that great vision called hindsight, it now seems like 20/20 vision to understand that the intention of the NATO junta of the SC getting 2118 passed was opening the door to the false flag phenomenon, whenever needed. The false flag is the raison d’être for the monthly Goebbels chemical hoax fetish, soon to break the 100th meeting, each one filled with the same lies ejaculated by the same P3 liars and their tap-dancing house servants.

OPCW never investigated terrorist CW attack in Khan al Asal but has taken al Qaeda’s word on subsequent false flag CW attacks.
OPCW never investigated terrorist CW attack in Khan al Asal but has taken al Qaeda's word on subsequent false flag CW attacks.

Skilled wetworkers from the terror states of France and Belgium spent two weeks overseeing al Qaeda’s building of rockets and accurate placement of the chemical weapons-loaded warheads. JaN (Jabhat al-Nusra aka Al Qaeda Levant) then shipped the chemically tweaked rockets via two fake ambulances of the stethoscope-less CIA contra White Helmets.

On 30 September, eight rockets filled with chemical weapons were transported to Bdama village in Jisr al Shughur (Idlib), and where some were handed over to the savages of the ‘Turkistan Islamist [sic] Party,’ which dispatched two of the chemical weapons rockets to an unnamed village in the al Ghab Plain, and to Ahsam village in the Zawiya Mountain region of Hama governate, where they were delivered to the Nusra faction of al Qaeda terrorists.

Syria News reminds our readers that back in May 2013, American terrorist illegal in Aleppo exchanged emails with the pudgy little Brit unemployed ladies underwear salesman turned gamer stay at home day, Eliot Higgins, that were it not for the “foreign fighters” — terrorists, TERRORISTS, killers, armed insurrectionist foreign invaders — there would be no [NATO] revolution. He told Higgins that the terrorists had some chemical weapons and were prepared to use them in a false flag, to blame President Assad, who had no need of them, as he was winning the war against the foreign terrorists (soy boy Higgins received massive financial rewards for his criminal lies, including for time spent as a ‘fellow’ on warmongering think tank/fake charity — thank you, American taxpayers — Atlantic Council, Wetworker VanDyke not only got out of Syria with his head, but won awards from the fake left 5th columnists Hollywood and Sundance, praise from the utterly duped and fake religious conservatives who view the small animal bestialist as some Christian teetering on martyrdom, and bipartisan taxes for his fake Christian 501(c) militia doing the devil’s work in various hotspots around the world).

Let us also not forget that these terrorists were the ones who used chemical weapons as a false flag massacre in al Ghouta, 23 August 2013.

NATO illegal in Syria told NATO operative in UK that 'rebels' ready for a false flag chemical attack.
Matthew Vandyke, American illegal embedded with terrorists wrote Brit operatives that the savages were prepared to launch a false flag chemical attack to blame on the government.
American Foreign Terrorist VanDyke complained that if not for other foreign terrorists, Syria would have ended the foreign imposed war in 2013. UN held no special session

The author also reminds her fellow Americans that we are the ones who pay for murderous propaganda and murderous false flag operations, in addition to paying for the bombs, the aircraft, and the pilots who are then used by the piquerist scum who have made it to the NATO heads of state war criminal big time.

Atlantic Council notorious for false flag liars.
Elizabeth O’Bagy speaking before Atlantic Council. A major mouthpiece in anti-Syria propaganda, her lies were cited by media and politicians. She was forced to leave ISW over her fake PhD. She was immediately hired by Syria-hating McCain.
Quadruple dipping & Gobbels propaganda: AC tax funded, as are Helmets, fake head Raed Saleh (& translator) — always ready for a false flag.
Junkie/felon Raed Fares used for false flag propaganda against Syria, courtesy of American taxpayers.
Atlantic Council war criminal propaganda & false flag apparatus, courtesy of American taxpayers.
Atlantic Council war criminal propaganda & false flag apparatus, courtesy of American taxpayers.

False flag preparations are uncovered every few months, in the Syrian Arab Republic. The tendency is to postpone them whenever they are discovered. The tedious monthly orgies on the ‘chemical files’ that do not exist are continued for the purpose of Nuremberg crimes against peace cover story for any false flag explosion.

This was also the reason that the NATO klan ruling the OPCW stripped Syria of its voting rights early this year; it is not enough for the NATO terror regimes to simply bomb sovereign countries in breach of the Geneva Agreement.

The “C” in MIC stands for Complex, and requires the organized sociopathic leaders, sociopathic weapons contractors, sociopathic humanitarians,’ sociopathic diplomats, sociopathic politicians, sociopathic stenographers, sociopathic academia, and child pervs running dark web marketing under cover of charities that do not exist, to each get a nice taste of taxpayer monies.

Imagine how boring the world would be if the NATO regimes bombed, and the media dogs of war would simply report, Today NATO bombed… instead of interviewing countless criminal liars, instead of prominent universities having ‘labs’ in which to teach their students to be war criminals.

What the NATO junta of the UNSC considers a medical team in Ltamenah.
What the NATO junta of the UNSC considers a medical team in Ltamenah.

After the mid-August unique terror warnings first from the DHS and then from UNSC which sounded remarkably similar, the expectation was of one or more domestic terror operations in one or more NATO countries, on or around that September 11th anniversary.

August DHS terror warning suggested impending false flag in west.
August DHS terror warning suggested impending false flag in west.
August DHS terror warning suggested impending false flag in west.
UNSC held a closed, ministerial-level briefing 19 August & subsequently issued a statement that sounded like plagiarism from DHS’s 13 August warning of impending false flag.

However, late August and all of September showed an increase in Gestapo-like brutality against peaceful anti-lockdown, anti-Mengele mandated injections, pro- let our physicians prescribe what they think is best for us protesters in NATO countries, and countries that are NATO allies. Though the stenographer-reporters who were honest about the brutal George Floyd murder have tried to either defame or ignore these massive demonstrations and physical attacks by cops against peaceful assembly, the videos are getting out faster than YouTube can censor them.

Additionally, Mayor de Blasio got caught in a lie that showed the complicity of some UNGA diplomats to stand against the Nuremberg Code, against what Leo Alexander, M.D., described as the small beginnings of Nazi medicine. As if this were not shameless enough, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres provided massive evidence at UNGA that the bastion of peace and security is the cement now fusing the Military-Industrial Complex and the Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex.

What may have been launched as controlled chaos within NATO countries by various fascist dictator wannabes, using the horrific COVID pandemic as cover story for mini-fiefdoms and midi- and upward-sized dictatorships may have lost its footing and gone into free-fall chaos.

The temporary NATO antidote for the NATO-induced chaotic hell might be a false flag NATO-supported chemical weapon attack against Syria, to give westerners a two-minute respite from domestic chaos, via another Two Minute Hate against the Syrian Arab Republic, in support of al Qaeda.

— Miri Wood

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UNSC Goebbels Gang Holds Monthly Syria Chemical Hoax Fetish Meeting

 MIRI WOOD 

UNSC Goebbels gang held its monthly anti-Syria chemical meeting on 2 September. Referred to as ‘the Syria files’ — though better described as the chemical hoax fetish –these painfully repetitive, filled with lies meetings are supposed to somehow fulfill the mandate of UNSCR 2118 (2013) which was fulfilled in June 2014.

As August’s anti-Syria fête fell two days before the anniversary of the US nuclear obliteration of Hiroshima, Japan, we used the occasion to remind the NATO clique of the UNSC of their countries many war crimes, uses of weapons of mass destruction, and point out the many domestic atrocities perpetrated by these liars, against their own population — Waco, MOVE, Edmund Pettis, DAPL — for which none has ever been held accountable (because a tenet of fascism is that might makes right).

The cloud from the atomic bomb dropped by the USA on Hiroshima, Japan 1945 - US Army Archive

Chemical hoax fetish is an accurate title, as the Syrian Arab Republic acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in September 2013, and turned over its arsenal in such record time that a couple of diplomats hinted at the expectation of a Nobel. In one of his final statements to the UNSC, Dr. Jaafari called for the closure of the phony Syria files, during its 90th meeting.

Please note the extensive ADDENDUM which details evidence of murder by poisoning of kidnapped Syrian children in Khan Sheikhoun, which the NATO junta at the UNSC continues to lie was a chemical weapons attack by Syria, against Syria.

Geir O. Pedersen usually keeps track of the meeting number, but he is busy in Rome, Italy (despite the challenges of COVID), meeting with the Foreign Ministry, there, and with various NATO think tanks, some of which used to be called banksters, to discuss the situation in Syria.

We provide a short geopolitical checklist, which is consistently ignored by the Goebbels gang, aka the NATO junta, aka the unindicted axis of evil.

More

Zakharova: OPCW Disproves Navalny’s Poisoning Story, West Fabricated It (Rossiya-24)

Zakharova: OPCW Disproves Navalny’s Poisoning Story, West Fabricated It (Rossiya-24)

July 13, 2021

Translated and subtitled by Leo.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) itself unwittingly denied the version of Navalny’s poisoning. It’s hard to make a different conclusion to the OPCW report presented this week. In the document, it is said that the organization, with the request of Germany, formed a technical commission to check the information about the poisoning of the Russian citizen even from August 20th. Basically from the moment that the blogger started ‘feeling sick’ on board the plane, flying from Omsk to Moscow.

The reason for this malaise was not and couldn’t be understood by anyone. As the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova commented, in order to appeal to the OPCW, Germany had to have on-hand some primary data about the poisoning.

Maria Zakharova: “It means that the whole story was being prepared ahead of time. If by August 20, in that moment when the doctors didn’t get a chance to start the primary analysis, and make at least some conclusions, the OPCW already answered to Germany’s request. And they sent their experts on chemical weapons poisoning. It’s a falsification.”

Emergency help for Navalny after the unexpected plane landing in Omsk was done by ambulance paramedics from a local hospital. They were the first to do research on the status of his organs with all possible poison substances, including synthetic ones. And they received a negative result.

Already two days later, the blogger landed in Berlin from a special flight for his further treatment. Germany and other Western countries accused Russia of poisoning. However, the data from the analysis on the basis of which this conclusion was made, overlooking the numerous official inquiries made by Moscow, neither Berlin nor the OPCW provided them with it. And now without any analysis, it has emerged that the version of using a battle-poison substance against Navalny, was knitted by white threads.

GRAPHIC: Al Qaeda in Idlib Plots New False Flag Chemical Attack

MIRI WOOD 

New chemical attack plotted in Idlib

Al Qaeda in Idlib and Hama are plotting a new false flag chemical attack. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates announced yesterday confirmation that the White Helmets terrorists, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS aka Nusra Front aka Al Qaeda Levant), and other related terrorists have brought “tankers loaded with raw chlorine through the Bab al Hawa crossing from Turkey.”

A lab in Atimah has been prepared for the terrorists to fill shells, fire the chemicals into civilian areas and again blame the Syrian government for the degenerate atrocities.

Terrorist organizations including the White Helmets and those who support them in the field and in some international platforms have not stopped preparing for terrorist acts by preparing for plays using chemical weapons in some areas of Idlib and Hama governorates. to accuse the Syrian Arab Army of it.

The Ministry “pointed out that Syria calls on the countries that support these terrorists to stop these games, whose victims were only innocent Syrian civilians, and not to carry out this new bloody crime. The Syrian Arab Republic will hold the countries supporting these terrorists, especially the United States, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey, responsible for using these games, toxic substances and the killing of civilians.”

The Ministry “called on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) not to ignore this information and the need to take it very seriously and deal with it within the framework of its mandate set out in the Chemical Weapons Convention instead of turning it into a vehicle for false accusations against Syria by the United States of America and its allies.”

The Syrian Arab Republic has repeatedly confirmed its categorical refusal to use chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances, and that it has not used these weapons before and cannot use them now because it does not possess them, and at the same time stresses the Such open and repeated crimes will not discourage it from continuing its war against terrorism until it restores security and safety to its people on the entire soil of Syria.

Thus ends the pristinely diplomatic portion of this report, announced by the Ministry on 22 June; now we take off the gloves to provide another in-depth look at the spawns of Satan, from the low-level criminally and violently insane, to the pristinely coiffed rabid NATO dogs of war, the hideously corrupt and Syrian blood-saturated liars running the NATO Degeneracy and Immorality League of the UN and of the OPCW.

The OPCW recently stripped Syria of its voting rights. According to its own reports, this is the same NATO klan that never entered Khan Sheikhoun, nor Ltamenah, nor Saraqib. OPCW reported no investigators could enter these areas because the terrorists caused safety problems.

Nonetheless, the ignoble club had no problem accepting the lies and the sexed-up forensics from the terrorists.

The gaggle of affluent scum is all here, neatly awaiting the criminal al Qaeda cover story to demonstrate its altruism by bombing Syria — humanitarianly, of course — because of the failure of the NATO Spring. The assemblage of blood-lusting, ravenous vultures masquerading as human beings are in a near-sexual frenzy over the possibility that China and/or Russia will vote against the extension of the UNSCR 2533 (2020) to keep open the Bab al Hawa lifeline from Turkey to al Qaeda in Idlib, and continue in rage state — a barb coma might be useful — over the re-election of President Bashar al Assad, and the subsequent interview with Dr. Bashar al Jaafari who defined Dr. Assad’s victory as the victory of the Syrian people against the unprecedented war of terror waged against them by NATO.

As another false flag chemical attack is being plotted, to be blamed on Syria’s obviously beloved president, let the unindicted war criminal miscreants of the UN and the unindicated mass murderers of the countries they represent, the last time any NATO head of state was surrounded by fellow citizens, and not by locked and loaded security forces; let the rabid dogs of war watch hundreds of Syrians storm the stage to hug and pet and kiss their president, after his speech at the Damascus Opera House, and let the vultures eat out their own hearts and each other’s livers, in dirty envy, instead of circling to devour Syrian flesh and blood.

Another chemical attack is plotted, to be blamed on the beloved president of Syria
War criminals pushing new chemical attack to blame on beloved president
Rabid dogs of war ready to unleash chemical attack to blame on beloved President Assad.

The false flag chemical attack atrocities have been the foundation of war crimes against Syria, beginning in late 2012, when intelligence operatives skilled in the handling of chemical weapons and poisons, demonstrated the deadly skills on rabbits, in an alleged makeshift lab in Gaziantep, Turkey; the 5 December video appeared to show the terminal use of VX:

On 21 December, the skilled human garbage provided a second threat of a chemical attack. Claiming the perverse name of Screaming Wind Chemical Battalion, that degenerate reported on the newly developed, quick-acting poison that would be used to pollute Alsinn Spring, the main water source for Lattakia; he also explained other efficient uses, to slaughter Syrians who dared to be patriots:

https://videopress.com/embed/0fSZ7JM1?preloadContent=metadata&hd=1

Diplomatic requests by the Syrian Mission for a UN-OPCW investigations of the threats were ignored; the efficient poison was later used in heinous snuff porn, showing agonizing deaths of kidnapped Syrian children, on 4 April 2017, in Khan Sheikhoun. The children had recently been kidnapped, and were also stripped half-naked for the sadistic enjoyment of all of the degenerates — from the lowly perverts, to the classy dogs of war.

In May 2013 — months before the criminally degenerate FSA launched the chemical attack in al Ghouta, with weapons provided by ”Prince Bandar” who neglected to teach his vermin in proper use — American illegal embedded with takfiri in Aleppo, Matthew Vandyke told unemployed ladies underwear salesboy cum Brit intelligence operative that the “rebels” had chemical weapons, were prepared to use them and blame on the government, and that President Assad was ‘winning’ and had no need to use them (Vandyke has been rewarded with a 501(c) fake charity, and an award for a 15-minute ‘fraudumentary‘, and Higgins with lots of money, war pimp media stenographers beating a path to his door, and a personal trainer).

NATO illegal in Syria told NATO operative in UK that 'rebels' ready for a chemical attack.
Matthew Vandyke, American illegal embedded with terrorists wrote Brit operatives that the savages were prepared to launch a chemical attack to blame on the government.

Post the heinous chemical attack in al Ghouta, August 2013, President Obama and other NATO accomplices prepared to ‘punish’ Syria with massive bombings for the attack by the takfiri vermin supported by NATO, but this plot was sabotaged when Syria joined the CWC and turned over its chemical weapons, in record time (the US, by the way, still holds approximately 3,000 tons of CWs, despite having joined CWC-OPCW in early 1997. Oddly, the filthy NATO junta ruling the UN does not hold monthly meetings against the US, as it does to Syria.). As with every yield to the demands of NATO tyrants (e.g., Iraq, Libya), said tyrants always create the loophole, used for destruction. In September 2014, Obama and accomplices used the convenient executions of British, US, and Japanese special operatives illegally in the SAR as slimy cover story to ignore Syrian sovereignty, and bomb it by fake targeting the US-created ISIS, though, in fact, the plot was to obliterate Syria while helping ISIS and other al Qaeda beasts with two legs.

Russia: White Helmets Planning New Gas Attack Outrage in Syria

By VT Editors -May 21, 2021

Damascus will be holding presidential elections on 26 May even though the government still does not control the province of Idlib, where the opposition and terrorist groups are in charge. It also does not control the country’s north-east, seized by the Kurdish militia backed by US forces.

The Al-Nusra Front* terrorist group is amassing chemicals in the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria’s north in order to use them against the civilian population, the Russian Foreign Ministry has warned. According to the ministry, the terrorists are planning to carry out the provocation in the form of time-tested false-flag chemical attacks with the help of the White Helmets.

The White Helmets group calls itself a volunteer organisation and was established by former UK Army officer James Le Mesurier to allegedly help the victims of the Syrian civil war. However, they’ve often been spotted working hand-in-hand with terrorists from the Al-Nusra Front* and, according to Russian authorities citing witnesses, helped the group stage false-flag chemical attacks pretending to be assisting victims.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that it obtained the information about the planned false-flag attack from a reliable source. The ministry stressed that the attack is scheduled to take place ahead of a crucial moment for Syria – the presidential election on 26 May.

“We express the hope that the disclosure of this information may help disrupt these criminal plans and prevent the deaths of innocent people”, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

The western media and governments have repeatedly accused Damascus of using chemical weapons against its own citizens in the war against the opposition and terrorists. Following the first accusations, the government agreed to destroy all of its stockpiles of chemical weapons under the surveillance of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). While Damascus destroyed its chemical armaments by June 2014, it warned that terrorists controlling some regions of the country, including Syrian Army warehouses, might still possess some.

Despite the supervised destruction of chemical weapons, western governments once again accused Damascus of using them in Douma, a city not far from the capital, on 7 April 2018. That attack was reported by the White Helmets, who published videos showing them purportedly treating survivors of the alleged attack. Although Damascus denied the act, the US, UK, and France launched airstrikes against Syrian government objectives claiming it was retaliation for the alleged chemical attack.

Smoke is rising over town of Saraqib, Syria's Idlib Governorate
© SPUTNIK / BASEL SHARTOUH

Terrorists Preparing Provocations Using Poisonous Substances in Syria’s Idlib, Russian Military Says

Russian chemical and military experts later found individuals who witnessed the actions of the White Helmets and who testified that there was no chemical attack and that members of the pseudo-humanitarian group simply grabbed them from off the street, poured water on them, and injected unknown medicine pretending to treat them for exposure to chemical weapons. Despite their testimonies, the OPCW failed to officially recognise the Douma incident as a false-flag attack.

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VT Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff. All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff

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Syria Regime Change Still on Western Agenda – Ex-Ambassador Peter Ford

Source

Finian Cunningham

April 30, 2021

Syria Regime Change Still on Western Agenda – Ex-Ambassador Peter Ford -  TheAltWorld

“The Western powers are like dogs with an old bone on the subject of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. There is no meat on it but they continue to gnaw away,” says former British ambassador to Syria in an interview with Finian Cunningham.

The United States, Britain, and other NATO powers failed in their covert military efforts for regime change in Syria, thanks in large part to the principled intervention by Russia to defend its historic Arab ally. However, Peter Ford, the former British ambassador to Syria, contends that regime change is still very much a top priority for Western powers and their criminal agenda of reshaping the Middle East according to their imperial objectives. In the following interview, Ford explains how the Western tactic has now shifted to intensifying economic warfare in order to buckle the Syrian government led by President Assad. Nevertheless, the former British envoy envisages that the presidential election on May 26 will see Assad being resoundingly re-elected by a nation defiant towards Western aggression.

peterford hashtag on Twitter

Peter Ford is a former British ambassador to Syria (2003-2006) who has publicly denounced Britain’s proxy-terror war for regime change in the Arab nation, along with other NATO accomplices. He is a seasoned diplomat having graduated in Arabic Studies from Oxford University and serving as an envoy in several Middle East countries. Ford has incurred the wrath of the British establishment for his outspoken truth-telling about their nefarious agenda in Syria. On the other hand, he has won the admiration of many people around the world for his courage and integrity. He is a recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromising Integrity in Journalism.

Interview

Question: What do you make of the ruling last week by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to strip Syria of its member rights based on allegations that the Syrian government military forces have repeatedly used chemical weapons during the 10-year war? It seems that the OPCW has become extremely politicized by the United States and its Western allies. Do you see a lot of arm-twisting of member states by Western powers to produce OPCW sanctions against Syria?

Peter Ford: The Western powers are like dogs with an old bone on the subject of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. There is no meat on it but they continue to gnaw away. Why? Because the trope that “Assad gasses his own people” has become a cornerstone of the whole Western propaganda narrative on Syria. Without it, justifying the cruel economic war on Syria, largely through sanctions, would be harder to justify. And with military efforts at regime change having failed, economic warfare is now the last hope for the Western powers of destabilizing Syria enough to topple the government. For this strategy to work the Western powers are more than ready to undermine the credibility of the OPCW by abusing their ability to manipulate it in the Syrian context.

Question: The OPCW’s executive has been exposed in distorting its own reports for the objective of incriminating the Syrian government over alleged chemical weapons attacks. Do you think the OPCW has been turned into a lever to enable Western powers to harass Syria because these powers have been blocked by Russia and China from using the United Nations Security Council as a mechanism for aggression against Syria?

Peter Ford: The United States and the United Kingdom have not hesitated to ventriloquize the OPCW executive to get their way on Syria, stifling whistleblowing even where the cases of misreporting have been flagrant. As a former United Nations official myself, I can say that international organizations are nearly all controlled and used by the U.S./UK, with the Security Council thankfully the one arena where they are unable always to get their own way. This irks them considerably, leading them to go even further in exploiting and debasing agencies like the OPCW.

Question: Three months into a new administration in the United States under President Joe Biden, is there any discernible change in Washington’s policy towards Syria? You have stated publicly before that the whole war in Syria was a regime-change operation orchestrated by the U.S., Britain, France, and others. Is regime change in Syria still on the Western powers’ agenda?

Peter Ford: Regime change is very much still on the agenda. It cannot be openly avowed, of course, but how else to describe a policy of seeking a  “transition” under conditions that would guarantee removal of the present government? Those conditions include rigged elections and “justice” against “war criminals”. The economic warfare is as severe as anything that was waged against Iraq to bring Saddam down. It is blatant deceit to pretend this policy is not aimed at President Bashar al-Assad’s removal. Biden brings no change. If anything he is doubling down on the policy of his predecessor, without even the pretense of wanting out of Syria, holding on to sanctions, and deliberately hampering reconstruction.

Question: The United States still has troops illegally occupying parts of eastern Syria near the country’s oil fields, denying the Syrian state important resources for national reconstruction. You have described the American forces there as functioning like a “tripwire”. Could you expand on that concept?

Peter Ford: U.S. forces in occupied parts of Syria number around a thousand. The Syrian Arab Army could overrun these forces and their Kurdish allies in a matter of days. What stops them? The certain knowledge that any advance towards the American forces would trigger massive retaliation from the U.S. Air Force operating from its bases in the region. So the function of these U.S. forces is not to help “eradicate ISIS terror remnants” as implausibly claimed, but to serve as a tripwire and thereby deter Syrian forces from recovering territories that hold most of Syria’s oil and grain resources. Denial of these resources is key to bringing Syria to its knees via economic warfare.

Question: Could Biden step up the military intervention in Syria? Or is it more likely that the U.S. and its Western allies will pursue economic warfare through sanctions against Syria?

Peter Ford: It must be considered unlikely that the U.S. would put many more boots on the ground but many in the Pentagon are straining at the leash to bomb Syria at the slightest pretext. For the moment, the policy planners are counting on economic sanctions and are content to wait for the Syrian government to buckle.

Question: What are the strategic reasons for Western regime change in Syria?

Peter Ford: It’s a way of getting at Russia and Iran, essentially. A little thought experiment proves it. Imagine Assad suddenly said he was ready to get rid of the Russians and Iranians and complete America’s set of Arab powers in return for being left in power. Egypt’s Sadat did something similar in the late 1970s so it’s not unthinkable, and Assad was having tea with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth not so very long ago. Would the U.S. not then cast aside without a moment’s hesitation all the blather about democracy and human rights?

Question: How significant was Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian war in October 2015?

Peter Ford: It was a life-saver. Most people do not realize how close ISIS and other terrorist proxies were to grabbing control of Damascus. Naturally, the Western powers never like to acknowledge this awkward truth.

Question: France’s former Foreign Minister Roland Dumas remarked in a media interview back in 2013 how he was privately approached by British officials with a scheme for regime change in Syria two years before the war erupted in 2011. As a former British ambassador to Syria (2003-2006) can you recall noticing any such plot being considered?

Peter Ford: Planning for regime change in Syria only really began when the aftermath of the Iraq war went really sour and rather than blame themselves, the U.S./UK sought to deflect blame on to Syria. It accelerated after Britain’s Conservatives with their anti-Russian and anti-Iranian obsessions, and their support for Israel, came to power in 2010.

Question: Your principled and outspoken criticism of the British government’s involvement in the Syrian war has won you much respect around the world. Do you feel personally aggrieved by the malign conduct of Britain in Syria?

Peter Ford: I feel ashamed for my country’s actions. It really is quite shameful that we have been instrumental in causing suffering for millions of Syrians while hypocritically claiming we are doing it for their own good.

Question: Finally, Syria is holding presidential elections on May 26 in which incumbent Bashar al-Assad is running for re-election. The Western powers disparage Syria as an “undemocratic regime”. How do you view Syria’s polity? Is Assad likely to win re-election?

Peter Ford: Of course Assad will win and of course the Western powers will try to disparage his victory. But I can state with certainty that if you could offer the Conservative party in Britain a guarantee of achieving in the next general election anything anywhere near Assad’s genuine level of support, albeit some of it reluctant from a war-weary people, the Tories would bite your hand off for such an electoral gain. Much of the current Western propaganda effort against Syria is geared at trying to spoil Assad’s victory and deny it legitimacy. But inside Syria itself, the people will see the election as setting the seal on 10 years of struggle, and Assad will emerge strengthened as he faces the next phase in the Western war on Syria.

OPCW scandal: Jimmy Dore and Aaron Mate take it apart

May 2, 202121

Israel Bombs Syria in Retaliation for ‘Controlled Explosion’ in Israel

 MIRI WOOD 

Israel war crimes supported by NATO

Israel has again bombed the Syrian Arab Republic in the early morning, engaging in its more than 100th such war criminal attack. Four SAA soldiers were injured; infrastructural damage has not yet been reported. `Israel’s own backstory would be risible were it not for its attempt, and that of NATO, to impose the final solution on the SAR; the timing of the military attack, however, is coherent with ongoing criminal propaganda.

To have a better understanding of the babbling behind the war crime, let us again seek the assistance of our friends, the maps (author recommends using the oasis Be’er Sheva as reference point):

Israel bombs Syria again
Israel war criminal in SW Asia.
Israel bombs Syria again
Massive explosion in Ramle, later reported as ‘controlled.’
Israel backstory for war criminal bombing is idiotic.

At 2:28 p.m., Times of Israel reported that the explosions heard around Ramle (also transliterated “Ramla”) were controlled — though apparently nobody remembered to tell anyone. At 2:17 a.m., the same medium reported that sirens had gone off near the Dimona nuclear facility, that an errant ground-to-air missile from Golan, Syria, had somehow missed its target in Golan, Syria which is criminally occupied by Israel, and magically found its way to near the nuclear facility, where there were no reported injuries and no reported infrastructural damage, after which Israel [war criminally] ‘retaliated.’

Israel rocket explosion later called controlled
Did Israel neglect to tell Israelis of the impending ‘controlled test’ in Ramle?

For those who may have forgotten, not only has Israel functioned as al Qaeda’s first air force against Syria, but it also has bragged about providing state of the art trauma care to ISIS terrorists in Golan, Syria, criminally occupied by Israel.

Israel gives state of art trauma care to ISIS in occupied Golan, Syria
When it comes to terrorists on the occupied Golan, Israel spares no US taxpayer expense in state of art medical care

Syria News also reminds our readers that when President Biden was a mere senator, he bragged that Israel is our rabid dog of war in the region, that it deserved every penny it drains from the American taxpayer teat, and that it is so important that if it did not exist, the US would have to create it.https://www.youtube.com/embed/FYLNCcLfIkM?feature=oembed

On cue, NATO stenographers /NATO stenography-journalists immediately launched its mandatory propaganda campaign, yelping whines of non-existent self-defense, and never, ever, questioning if Israel has a right to any nuclear facility, though the shameless gaggle cheered the bombing of Osirak, supports NATO supremacists control over Iranian nuclear development, and also has been able to forego the little blue pill after Trump, May and Macron bombed Syria’s non-nuclear Barzeh Pharmaceutical and Chemical Research Institute in 2017.

Israel

Though Israel’s backstory for its most recent war criminal bombing of Syria is utterly ridiculous, far beyond Hollywood screenwriting’s suspension of disbelief, it’s timing is in NATO colonial supremacy chronological order: While the Oops! Forgot to tell you! ‘controlled’ demolition was happening in Ramle, the NATO OPCW was busy in The Hague, lying about Syria’s non-existent chemical weapons — based on al Qaeda reports to investigators too terrified of terrorists to physically investigate — and censoring Syria’s voting rights at the CWC.

The NATO klansmen who led the precedent-setting, anti-Syria thuggery at The Hague also gloated about holding a ménagerie à trois — avec beacoup de voyeurs de l’OTAN — VTC viewing, with the alleged physician who practices medicine nowhere, but meets with NATO heads of state everywhere, the viewing of the filthy Nuremberg indictable fraudumentary, The Cave, which shows kidnapped children FX’d with moulage trauma, and Mengele sadists claiming to perform surgery without anesthesia.

Israel layers its war crimes after propaganda

NATO klansmen of OPCW held VTC viewing with phony physician one day before stripping Syria of its voting rights.

Emotional war pornography is the lubricant, the blue pill, and the foreplay of NATO klansmen, the unindicted war criminal Military-Industrial-Complex con artists.

Israel — NATO’s rabid dog in the Levant — again bombed Syria, per NATO dictum, and immediately after the klan censored the SAR at The Hague.

— Miri Wood

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OPCW NATO Klan Strips Syria Voting Rights in The Hague

MIRI WOOD 

OPCW investigators afraid of armed terrorists.

OPCW NATO klansmen and their terrified house servants in The Hague, stripped Syria of its voting rights on Wednesday 21 April. The threat was originally launched by P3 member France, at the monthly anti-Syria chemical file meeting of the NATO klan ruling the UN, on 6 April. A whopping six days later, the UN-OPCW or the OPCW-UN published its Nuremberg crimes against humanity propaganda piece, via its IIT which is some type of geometric conversion of its FFM, as IIT is twice now twice the length of the criminally lying FFM.

Lest anyone forget, or have been thoroughly brainwashed into believing the crossword puzzle when the clue is “peacekeeping force,” NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Its stenography journalists keep to the acronym, to help prevent westerners — who used to learn geography via war — from looking at a map.

OPCW is run by the NATO klan.
The first two letters of the acronym, NATO, stand for “North Atlantic.”

The NATO klansmen took over the OPCW when Dick Cheney sent John Bolton to threaten then OPCW head Jose Bustani, and then to threaten other members unless he was removed — because he refused to lie about Iraq and WMD (a similar reason as when Cheney had CIA agent Valerie Plame outted; her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson had refused to lie about Iraq and yellow cake.).

Another reminder: THE OPCW INVESTIGATORS NEVER ENTERED KHAN SHEIKHOUN, LTAMENAH, NOR SARAQIB BECAUSE AL QAEDA OCCUPYING THOSE AREAS OF SYRIA WERE A SECURITY HAZARD.

NONETHELESS, OPCW ACCEPTED AL QAEDA’S VERBAL TESTIMONY, AND AL QAEDA’S ‘SEXXED UP’ PHYSICAL EVIDENCE.

OPCW ADMITTED ITS INVESTIGATORS DID NOT ENTER THE AREAS THAT REQUIRED INVESTIGATIONS, IN ALL OF THE FFM AND IIT ‘DOSSIERS,’ ALL OF WHICH ARE INCLUDED IN ABOVE HYPERLINKED REPORT. SYRIA NEWS HAS READ EVERY WORD OF EACH OF THEM.

NOTE THE FEATURED IMAGE OF THE HUMAN GARBAGE PSYCHOPATHS THAT SCARED THE OPCW FROM ENTERING LTAMENAH. THESE BABOONS ARE THE REPUTED MEDICS, ACCORDING TO THE NATO KLANSMEN.

Colonialist France — which tested its nukes on Algeria — has always had a special antipathy toward the Syrian Arab Republic, for ejecting its occupiers, and its occupation; Evacuation Day was just celebrated, last week.

War criminal France, which nuked Algerians in its Gerboise Bleue atrocity, France which enucleated so many Gilets Jaunes that the ophthalmologists of the country actually sent a letter to Macron asking him to please stop blinding French citizens, also led the NATO UN klan sabotage of Syria’s request for an OPCW investigation of the terrorists’ use of chemical weapons which murdered upwards of 25 people in Khan al Asal, 19 March 2013, most of them Syrian Arab Army soldiers. France’s successful sabotage was assisted by UK, US, and Israel (the latter is basically a NATO country that pays no dues).

Syria’s requests to the UN for OPCW investigations began immediately after 5 December 2012, when terrorists located in Turkey uploaded a video showing the use of a chemical weapon in a terminal rabbit experiment, threatening to unleash it against the Syrian people. The same takfiri savages released a second deadly chemical video on 12 December 2012, claiming they had a poison that could be used to destroy the al Asinn natural water supply in Lattakia, and to massacre the ethnic minority of Alawites in the region. Both videos are in this report which pre-dates the al Qaeda atrocities in Khan Sheikhoun, by four weeks and two days. The poison appears to be what the Nusra Helmets used on their kidnapped victims on 4 April, as it was quick acting and resulted in the same, painful, agonal breathing in the caged rabbit as in the children stripped half-naked, triple atrocity of kidnap, poison, and show a snuff pornography to the world’s most degenerate pathogens.

OPCW pimps for al Qaeda for perpetual war.
Remember this child? Stripped naked, pummeled with a power hose, poisoned in snuff porn which showed painful agonal breathing. One of dozens murdered by al Qaeda 4 April 2017.

The OPCW is NATO. NATO is the devil. As always — Iraq, Libya, Syria — in the making of any deal with the devil, it must only be considered in terms of a tactical necessity, to postpone the inevitable.

Despite Syria having joined the the NATO-run OPCW, turning over its unused chemical stockpile (something the US still has not done, yet there are no monthly meetings about the US ‘chemical file,’ no bombing of the US, no stripping it of its voting rights at The Hague), the NATO junta of the US, UK, France and assorted house servant criminals bombed the SAR based on the word of the Brit illegal once on trial for terrorism at home, the #NotADoctor criminal Shajul Islam, whose license to practice medicine in his homeland had long been revoked, and had it not, the illegal practice of medicine in someone else’s country is grounds for licensure revocation.

The OPCW / UN klansmen are still enraged over the ten year anniversary of the failed NATO Spring against the SAR, and likely have also been engaged in rug-chewing over the recent closure of their al Qaeda boys’ training center near Tadmor.

ISIS will be crushed and USA ejected
Syria President Dr. Bashar al-Assad: “Every inch of Syria will be liberated”

— Miri Wood

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Syria rejects ‘fabricated’ OPCW report on alleged 2018 gas attack in Saraqib

Source

By VT Editors -April 15, 2021

Press TV: Syria has dismissed as “false and fabricated” the results of a probe by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into an alleged chemical attack in the northwestern city of Saraqib on February 4, 2018.

On Monday, the OPCW released the findings of its Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), which blamed the Saraqib incident on the Syrian government.

“The report reached the conclusion that there are reasonable grounds to believe that, at approximately 21:22 on 4 February 2018, a military helicopter of the Syrian Arab Air Force under the control of the Tiger Forces hit eastern Saraqib by dropping at least one cylinder. The cylinder ruptured and released chlorine over a large area, affecting 12 named individuals,” it claimed in a report.

In a statement published on Wednesday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the OPCW’s “misleading report,” written by “an illegitimate and incredible team,” fabricates “facts” to incriminate the Damascus government.

“This report has included false and fabricated conclusion which represents another scandal for the OPCW and the inquiry teams that will be added to the scandal of the reports of Douma incident in 2018, and Ltamenah in 2017,” it said.

“The Syrian Arab Republic condemns, in the strongest terms, what has been included in the report of the illegitimate so-called ‘Investigation and Identification Team’ and rejects all its context.”

The ministry also stressed that the Syrian government categorically denies using toxic gases in Saraqib or in any other city or village, affirming that the army has never used such materials during most difficult battles carried out against armed terrorist organizations.

It further reiterated that Syria categorically rejects the use of chemical weapons at any time or place, saying, the country “has never used any chemical weapon and can’t use it.”

Syria surrendered its entire chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the United Nations and the OPCW.

It believes that false-flag chemical attacks on the country’s soil have been staged by foreign-backed militants in a bid to pressure the government amid army advances.

https://if-cdn.com/dM0G7Br?v=1&app=1

Revelations suggest that the OPCW may have intentionally doctored its findings about alleged gas attacks in Syria to avoid implicating the foreign-backed militants.

Damascus has repeatedly urged the chemical weapons watchdog to avoid politicizing Syrian issues.

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NATO Junta at UN Monthly Chemical Weapons Meeting against Syria

 MIRI WOOD 

Colin Powell lied about chemical weapons in Iraq US continues to lie about chemical weapons in Syria.

The ruling NATO junta at the UN held its monthly chemical weapons lying meeting against Syria, on 6 April. The rabid hyenas once again vomited up and then ate each others’ emesis, though even they are becoming bored with their nonsense. The US ambassador did not bother to post a self-aggrandizing tweet, UK issued a blurb without statement, and the High Representative on Disarmament apparently also had better things to do than to issue a tweet on her statement to the UNSC. Colonialist France — which has never forgiven the Levantine republic for ejecting its occupiers, seventy-five years ago on 17 April — did issue an arrogant and menacing statement based on the NATO klansmen’s chemical weapons lies against the SAR.

UK’s tweet once again showed Great Britain’s support of al Qaeda in Syria. The Ltamenah chemical weapons lies came from terrorists of whom the OPCW FFM investigators were too terrified to actually investigate, so the team basically took the savages at their word, having “assessed the credibility of the allegations based on information collected from open sources and information received from several non-governmental organizations (NGOs).” In Khan Sheikhoun, the primary source of the lies came from the Brit illegal in Idlib, the fake doctor whose medical license in his home country was permanently revoked, and the place where the terrorists were too terrifying for the fake FFM to do any physical inspecting, as admitted in the OPCW report of 19 May 2017.

UK ambassador does not answer chemical weapons full admission question.


Regarding Douma, the Brits continue to lie that chemical weapons were used, and continue to lie that Syria — which immediately invited the OPCW investigators to come and investigate, but they first were inexplicably detained in Belgium — and Russia had blocked entry, after the team belatedly arrived. Though the criminal OPCW reports on the teams non-inspections of Ltamenah and Khan Sheikhoun were published in a timely fashion, it took almost a year for the once noble, and subsequently corrupted by NATO klansmen to jerry-rig a report that could barely concoct a meaningless conclusion that “the objects from which the samples were taken at both locations had been in contact with one or more substances containing reactive chlorine.” [2.6]. Syria News has provided massive evidence provided by the savages’ own videos and photographs, that al Qaeda’s Jaish al Islam faction, with the assistance of its humanitarian benefactors kidnapped dozens of civilians, especially woman and their children, slaughtered most of them, engaged in acts of necrophilia with their corpses, and terrorized children taken from their moms, stripped some half-naked and turned power hoses on them in a fake hospital setting on a chilly night.

The FFM team could not enter Douma until almost a week after arrival due to the
high security risk to the team, which included the presence of unexploded ordinance,
explosives and sleeper cells still suspected of being active in Douma. On 18 April,
during a reconnaissance visit to two sites of interest, the security detail was
confronted by a hostile crowd and came under small arms fire and a hand-grenade
explosion. The incident reportedly resulted in two fatalities and one injury. — 2.2 Summary, 106 pp OPCW report on Douma, 1 March 2019

The once-noble OPCW showed its turn to corruption when it ejected Jose Bustani per the dictate of neocon Dick Cheney, via his errand boy neocon, John Bolton, who threatened the lives of Bustani’s children. Since October 2020, this organization has shown its revulsion to integrity by ending open, civilized, discourse to its Twitter account.

OPCW only permits comments by its designated elites; the serfs who pay for the now phony watchdog group are excluded from civilized discourse.

The devastating photo posted by La France looks like it could be Libya after NATO obliterated it, or al Raqqa after the fascist coalition of war criminals led by the US bombed it, though it also could be CGI, as it is not found in a reverse image check of 46.7 billion images on the web.

France continues to threaten Syria over chemical weapons.

In her second consecutive monthly address on the never-ending Syria files dedicated to the never-ending implementation of UNSCR 2118 (2013), Zakamitsu sallied for against the difficulties regarding COVID being in the way, reported on previously unreported September 2020 samples having been analyzed with cryptically unexpected results to which the UNSC chemical weapons gathering is not yet privy. Due course has also not yet arrived as, per the UN press release, she made no mention of the collected November 2020 samplings.

Disarmament rep continues to throw shade on Syria regarding the chemical weapons scam

At the 4 March chemical weapons propaganda party.

In meticulously diplomatic language, First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy told the Council of the upcoming, unprecedented plot by the NATO klan to illicitly remove Syria from the CWC at the upcoming Conference. Such an attempt to “incapacitate” Syria at the OPCW is a breach of the OPCW noble Charter and is based on the “illegitimate” IIT which “defied the principles of investigation, including the so-called ‘chain of custody.’” What Representative Polyanskiy diplomatically did not say is that the removal of the SAR from its membership to the CWC would facilitate new false flag chemical attacks by various al Qaeda terrorist factions, many of which have been thwarted over the recent period (here, herehereherehere.)

Presidents may change, but chemical weapons lying continues at the UNSC
Though POTUS’ and ambassadors may change, the chemical weapons lies at the SC are constant. Tweet from 5 October 2020.

His Excellency Bassam Sabbagh reaffirmed that Syria has never used chemical weapons, that it willingly ascended to the CWC, that it gave full accounting of its stockpile, and continues to work closely with the OPCW and the High Representative. He decried the ongoing politicization by ‘some members’ [NATO klan bullies who have hijacked the UN], the omission of any mention of the Courage Foundation of 11 March, which forcefully condemned the unscientific OPCW reports on the Douma ”chemical weapons” attack, as culled from the mass murderers and NGOs with charitable status, conveniently aligned with State Department and other NATO countries anti-Syria propaganda (

The seemingly long silence at the beginning of the Syrian ambassador’s statement is actually short, and likely part of the ongoing subtle sabotage of the Syrian Mission to the UN, which includes such things as getting stuck with the worst simultaneous translators on the planet, and introducers choking on the pronunciations of Syria, Arab, Syrian Arab Republic.

— Miri Wood

APPENDIX:

While in search of a criminal lie tweeted about Douma and the OPCW investigative team (not found), the author stumbled into a lengthy lying statement by the UK to the OPCW, issued two days after UK, France, and the US bombed Syria on behalf of al Qaeda kidnappers, mass-murderers, and necrophiliacs of Douma. The Couture Beauty Diamond Lipstick wearing pig lied about a chemical weapons attack, lied that breaching the Geneva Agreements was “humanitarian intervention.” The Couture-wearing pig flagrantly flaunted the use of open source — i.e., mass murderers and necrophiliacs of various al Qaeda factions – as ‘evidence’ of his war criminal lies.

Quite disturbing was his blanket statement that “The World Health Organization has reported that 500 patients, seen by its partners in Syria, had symptoms consistent with chemical weapons exposure.” While the WHO was ”deeply alarmed by reports of the suspected use of toxic chemicals in Douma city,” its actual statement does not say that, but does open up a can of maggots involving its unnamed Health Cluster partners, given that the reports all came from kidnappers and killers:

According to reports from Health Cluster partners, during the shelling of Douma on Saturday, an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals. In particular, there were signs of severe irritation of mucous membranes, respiratory failure and disruption to central nervous systems of those exposed.

The WHO also made the outrageous claims that “[m]ore than 70 people sheltering in basements have reportedly died, with 43 of those deaths related to symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals. Two health facilities were also reportedly affected by these attacks.”

The subsequent outrage demanded by WHO Deputy Director-General Peter Salama, “at these horrifying reports and images from Douma” should be directed to the criminally insane savages who slaughtered dozens, dumped them like garbage, next to empty dog food bowls and rusting bicycles, dumped them in a way that even persons forced to stand jammed like human sardines could not have possibly fallen when murdered, corpses shown as rearranged for more emotional impact, murdered children whose bodies have been stripped half naked, photographed with useless ambu bags nearby, EKG electrodes wrongly positioned, something unidentifiable placed between the legs of a murdered, half-naked child, non-existent hospitals where kidnapped children separated from their moms, were emotionally terrorized and physically abused.

Only idiots or degenerates who touch themselves watching murder porn videos could possibly see hospitals where none exist, or human beings slaughtered to give the NATO war criminals the excuse to murder more Syrians, would lie that these obscene photographs are evidence of civilians who died from a chemical weapons attack. Infamia.

Let us also finally put to rest the horror of perverts smearing shaving cream and other concoctions onto the faces of corpses — many in varying states of decomposition — so that the rabid hyenas can claim the “foaming at the mouth” reputedly caused by chemical toxins. “Foaming — or frothing — at the mouth” is a simplified way to describe pleural effusion, and the body’s attempt to excrete excessive fluid in the lungs, caused by a variety of diseases and disorders, including an acute episode of congestive heart failure (CHF). The excretion may look like small bubbles on the lips, which do not have the drama of shaving cream applied by perverts.

Look on these terrible works by the criminally psychotic, and despair, but do not dare to suggest these heinous atrocities perpetrated against Syrian human beings are anything other than mass slaughter for the unfettered rabid dogs of war.

More Here

Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses

MARCH 30 ,2021

By Rick Sterling

Source

In the past few months, Grayzone journalist Aaron Mate has interviewed two former ambassadors to Syria: former UK Ambassador Peter Ford and former U.S. Ambassador Robert S. Ford.  

The two ambassadors have a common surname but dramatically different perspectives. This article will compare the statements and viewpoints of the two diplomats.

UK Ambassador Peter Ford (PF)

Newsnight: Peter Ford warns of 'bloodbath' if Syria's Bashar al-Assad goes  | World | News | Express.co.uk

Peter Ford trained as an Arabist and served in the British foreign service in numerous cities including Beirut, Riyadh, and Cairo. He was Ambassador to Bahrein from 1999 to 2003, then Syria from 2003 to 2006.  From 2006 until 2014 he was a senior officer with the UN Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees.  

The interview with UK Amb. Peter Ford (PF) shows why he is exceptional former diplomat. He analyzes and criticizes western aggression against Syria. 

PF describes the current situation:

“The Syrian government forces control about 70% of the country. There’s that pocket of jihadi fighters controlling Idlib province and a couple of patches of neighboring provinces, and then you’ve got the big—what I call the wild east of Syria—the big triangle of land up all the way along the thousand miles along the Turkish border and then down the Iraqi border, and that is effectively a US protectorate. There are US forces there being helped on the ground by basically Kurdish militia, the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces.”

PF describes the crushing economic sanctions:

“It’s utterly shocking…The policy has been effective in the sense that Syrian people are suffering every day. There are long queues for bread, long queues for gasoline. The policy of sanctions and denial of assistance for reconstruction has been effective, but what kind of policy is it that tries to immiserate a whole country? It’s delusional because it’s not even going to work….

“The experience of 10 years of this conflict is that the Syrian government is amazingly resilient. They’ve been on the ropes many times in this conflict and pulled through largely because they have the support of great swaths of the Syrian populace. Assad is not going to buckle under this new increased economic pressure. It is utterly delusional to believe that this cynical, callous policy could work.”

PF analyzes the US troops in north eastern Syria.

“By their mere presence, they’re preventing the advance of the Syrian government forces. The result is that the Syrian people are denied the great oil and grain wealth of that triangle, the territory. And, so the war over the last year has been more an economic war than a military war…

“The troops are there basically as a tripwire, a deterrent, so that if the Syrian government forces advanced, they would trip over a few American soldiers and that would incur the massive intervention of the US Air Force. This is what it comes down to. They don’t even need big numbers of troops to create the tripwire.

“Even so, it’s interesting that the architects of this policy in the permanent government of the US found it necessary to deceive the head of the executive, the President, keep him in the dark about the numbers…. So, the deceit that has gone on—on every level—is jaw-dropping to me as a former ambassador and an insider in the British system. I find it absolutely incredible.”

PF describes what the war is and is NOT about.

“US policy is NOT about installing in Syria a democratic government, because there is no prospect of that while the US is effectively supporting Islamist fanatics, and while it’s supporting elsewhere in the Middle East regimes like the feudal regime of Saudi Arabia. No, it’s not about democracy. It’s about helping Israel on the one hand and scoring points against Russia on the other. And when it comes down to it, that is what this whole war is really about, from the US standpoint.”

PF analyzes accusations Syrian government used chemical weapons.

“The world has amnesia over Iraq, the non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the Colin Powell dossier proof presented to the UN. It’s like Groundhog Day when you hear the claims made about Assad, the use of chemical weapons.

“In the first place, it would make no practical sense for Assad to use chemical weapons; it could only ever have been an own goal. If he wanted to invite heavy Western intervention, he would not have gone about it any other way. You’d have to be incredibly either twisted or delusional to believe that Assad could have been so stupid as to do the one thing—use chemical weapons—which would bring about, or possibly bring about, his obliteration.

“I’m quite convinced this is an elaborate hoax. A series of hoaxes. It’s very revealing that not one of the alleged instances of use of chemical weapons was investigated on the ground by any UN or other international investigations, with the sole exception of Douma. And why Douma? Because that was a piece of territory that the government forces managed to recover immediately after the alleged incident, so that the US and its allies were unable to keep away the international investigators…. That ultimately is the purpose of the chemical weapon hoaxes—to justify the occupation of northeast Syria and the continuing cruel economic pressure.”

PF comments on the senior staff from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons who say they did NOT find evidence of chemical weapons attack and their findings were changed by management.

“These gentlemen [from OPCW]) drafted a report stating that they found evidence that was consistent with staging of an incident, rather than an authentic incident. And ever since, they have been vilified, condemned, undermined. And the campaign against the truth goes on and on and on….”

PF comments on the role of the “White Helmets”.

“The White Helmets’ role is absolutely crucial, pivotal to the Western effort to undermine Syria through these accusations of use of chemical weapons. I think, basically, what happened is that Western governments realized that after the Iraq debacle, that if they were going to use claims about WMD, chemical weapons, whatever, again, they were going to have to produce some kind of smoking gun.

“And this is the role of the White Helmets. They produced the phony pictures of phony incidents which constitute the smoking gun. And that is absolutely pivotal to the propaganda to justify the bombing and the relentless economic and military pressure on Syria…. Western governments [have] been funding the White Helmets to the tune of about $50 million a year. That’s peanuts compared to what they see as the advantages of bringing Syria to its knees.”

PF predicts what may happen ahead.

“I think things are likely to get worse, rather than better.

“What we’ll probably see is simply a continuation of the status quo. The current policies will simply be extended…. to prolong the conflict, to prevent Assad gaining military victory, the continuation of economic warfare to try to bring Assad to his knees and force him to sign a suicide note, which would be acceptance of elections on US terms. I’m sure these policies will be continued.

“But there’s a question mark over whether policy might not become even more adventurous and interventionist with a beachhead of a few thousand soldiers already occupying part of Syria. I greatly fear that Biden might be tempted to increase those numbers, put some military pressure on the Syrian government forces, create more no-fly zones. Already, there’s effectively a no-fly zone over that big triangle of territory that’s occupied by the US forces and Kurdish allies. An attempt might be made to create the no-fly zone of Idlib, which would be ironic. It would mean that the US Air Force was the air wing of al-Qaeda…

“I’m definitely not optimistic. And I fear things could get even worse.”

US Ambassador Robert S. Ford (RSF)

Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses - LA Progressive

Robert S. Ford was a U.S. diplomat in numerous cities including Algiers and Cairo. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Bahrein from 2001 to 2004, then Political Counselor at the US Embassy in Baghdad from 2004 to 2006. As an Arabic speaker,  he may have helped Ambassador John Negroponte launch the “El Salvador option” (death squads) in Iraq.  Robert S. Ford was Ambassador to Syria from the end of 2010 until 2014 when the US terminated diplomatic relations with Syria. He has continued as an unofficial advisor on Syria policy.

In contrast with the Peter Ford interview, the interview with US Ambassador Robert S. Ford (RSF) is a case study in public relations. Interviewer Aaron Mate asks important questions but RSF deflects the questions, claims ignorance of new revelations, and repeats standard talking points on Syria.

RSF acknowledges there has been “mission creep” for US troops in Syria.

“American troops were sent into Syria originally to fight ISIS.  Now that that job is more-or-less finished, we have a sort of mission creep where now the American forces are there not to defeat ISIS—ISIS is already defeated…   But now, so what are the Americans doing?  Well, now they sort of changed the mission to putting pressure on Damascus, the Assad government, trying to get the Iranians out, trying to limit the Russian influence.”

RSF implies the sanctions on Syria are just.

“Sanctions is a different question, Aaron.  I think a lot of it is emotional here in the United States.  There’s a desperate desire for justice after all the war crimes committed in Syria.  And I think getting rid of the sanctions is going to be a much harder battle to fight in the Congress.  So, the sanctions have very strong approval in Congress…”

RSF maintains the initial protests were “almost entirely peaceful”

“In March and April, May into June, the protests were almost entirely peaceful. That’s not to say there was no violence.  In the first protest, for example, in Daraa, in which we’re now coming up on the 10-year anniversary, yeah, the protesters did attack the telephone office [Syriatel] that’s owned by Bashar al-Assad’s cousin, Rami Makhlouf.  They did attack a court building…”

[Fact check: RSF neglects to mention seven police were killed in the “almost entirely peaceful” Daraa protest.]

RSF acknowledges US allies were sending weapons early but claims the US began sending weapons in 2013.

“Those countries [Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey] did send in weapons before the Americans…

 “I supported arming factions of the Free Syrian Army as early as the summer of 2012.  And it took the president a year to get to a decision.”

[Fact check: US Central Intelligence Agency was sending weapons from Benghazi Libya to Syria in Oct 2011.]

RSF compares the Free Syrian Army to the anti-Nazi resistance in WW2.

“The United States never gave anti-tank weapons to al-Qaeda…. the number might be half a dozen.

“I want you to think about this in historical context. Do you think when the Americans airdropped weapons into the French resistance against the Nazis in France, do you think the Nazis never got their hands on any of those air drops?… 

“The leakage to the al-Qaeda elements, there was a small amount of leakage, but much, much, much more of their weaponry came from the Assad government, either, because the Assad soldiers were corrupt, as we said, we talked at the start about corruption.  They sold them, or in some cases, they surrendered, and with that, huge caches of weaponry made their way into al-Nusra hands.  The amount of material that al-Nusra got from the United States wouldn’t have lasted them for a day of combat.”

Fact check:  This claim is preposterous. As reported by Janes Defense, the US supplied nearly one thousand TONS of weapons in December 2015, much of which ended up in Nusra (Al Qaeda) hands. Nusra obtained weapons when they over-ran Syrian military bases, but otherwise they were amply supplied with weapons by the Gulf monarchies, Israel, Turkey, the US and UK. 

RSF claims the Syrian government has primary responsibility for the war and are the “bad guys”.  

“What I hope your listeners will take away from this is that it is not an equal combat on both sides; is not an equal responsibility on both sides.  One side from the beginning was using torture and shooting at innocent people, thousands of arrests.  And one side was trying peacefully, for a very large part, to bring about change.  And, unfortunately, in this instance, the bad guys won.”

Fact check:  The campaign against Syria has been waged by a coalition of western powers, Turkey, Israel and the Gulf monarchies. About 121 thousand Syrians in the Syrian army and militias have died defending their country.

RSF claims that Syria is responsible for the war refugees and destabilizing its neighbors.

“Even had Turkey, Qatar and the United States, Saudi Arabia, stayed out of it, there still would have been huge refugee flows trying to escape from those same brutal Syrian security forces, and they still would have flooded the borders of Lebanon and Jordan and of Turkey, which is itself destabilizing, particularly in Lebanon, but some places like Jordan, Turkey.  Therefore, you can’t just say that all these other countries intervened in sovereign Syrian territory.  The Syrian government itself was taking actions which were destabilizing to its neighbors.”

Fact check: Most refugees fled when their neighborhoods were taken over by militants and became battle zones, NOT because they were afraid of Syrian security.

RSF criticizes Turkey but thinks Syrian government bears primary responsibility.

“I’m never going to justify the Turks allowing Salafi jihadists to go into Syria.  I think that I’ve already said that that was a bad mistake.  And we criticized them at the time of playing with snakes.  I’m never going to justify it.  But I have to say, Aaron, that in the end, they came in response to what the Assad government was already doing.  And so, the principal responsibility … do the Americans have a share of responsibility?  Of course, we do.  Yeah.  It was our anti-tank missiles blowing up Syrian government tanks, and not just a few; I mean, hundreds of them.

“I think we have to go back to where it started in 2011.  And that’s with the Syrian government…”

RSF says he is not aware of the huge scandal at the OPCW but believes Syria has used chemical weapons.

“I’m not familiar with that controversy within the OPCW…. 

“But I guess I would just say this, Aaron.  There’s plenty of documentation by the UN’s joint investigative group with the OPCW that looked at incidents in Syria chemical weapons use, from 2013 onwards.  They’ve issued several reports…. So, the 2018 incident, I don’t know about that report, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on multiple instances, the same government that bombs hospitals, the same government that bombs bakeries, the same government that kills people in detention routinely.  Look at the photos that were brought up by the military defector.  You know, why would you think they wouldn’t use chemical weapons?  Why would you think they would suddenly have moral scruples against these?   It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

[Fact check: the OPCW scandal has confirmed manipulation of that organization by the US and west. The “military photographer” refers to the ‘Caesar torture photos’ propaganda stunt.]

RSF wants to increase humanitarian aid to Syria refugees.

“Something the Americans could do that would be hugely helpful is to increase humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees that number some five million, particularly in Lebanon, where their living circumstances are precarious, very precarious, but also in Jordan and Turkey…  I’d like to spend less on the military operation and much more on humanitarian aid.

“And then there is the issue of Northwest Syria, Idlib, where the UN is in charge of an operation getting humanitarian aid to some two million displaced Syrian civilians.”

[Fact check and observation:  Idlib province is dominated by Nusra (Al Qaeda). Robert Ford seems to want to perpetuate the AQ stronghold and refugee crisis by supplying aid to Idlib and foreign countries while preventing return of refugees and rebuilding war torn Syria.]

Conclusion

Both ambassadors speak Arabic and have intimate knowledge of Syria.

Robert S. Ford criticizes some past decisions and tactics, but not the assumptions or right of the US to violate the UN Charter and commit aggression against Syria.

Meanwhile, Peter Ford is doing his best to expose the reality of the situation, contrary to government and media bias and falsehoods. Like Daniel Ellsberg, Scott Ritter and Katharine Gun, he is using his special knowledge to publicly challenge the claims and assumptions of western policy. With Ellsberg it was about Vietnam. With Ritter and Gun, it was about Iraq. With Peter Ford, it is about Syria.

The full interview with UK Ambassador Peter Ford is well worth watching or reading.

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