Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

FAO Sez Russia is Now Major Actor on Global Agriculture Markets



UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva told RIA Novosti:

Russia made significant progress in the agriculture sector; it’s now an important player on global agricultural markets. It’s poised to become the biggest global wheat exporter in 2016/17. Further, our understanding is that forecasts show that Russia’s total cereal production in 2016 will reach record levels. Russia was one of the most important partners of FAO, significantly contributing to global nutrition security. The [Russian-FAO] coöperation revolves around knowledge exchange and provision of technical assistance to developing countries in ensuring food security, food safety, nutrition, and in tackling transnational animal and plant diseases. FAO is also very much interested in attracting Russian expertise to its forestry, fisheries, land/water management, and soil programmes.

Russia provided 6 million USD (366 million Roubles. 41.4 million Renminbi. 405.6 million INR. 7.878 million CAD. 8.028 million AUD. 5.658 million Euros. 4.728 million UK Pounds) to FAO to implement a food and nutrition security project in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Russia is also interested in allocating money for a FAO project for the progressive control of foot-and-mouth disease in the same region. In 2015, during my official visit to the Russian Federation, we signed a 1 million USD (61 million Roubles. 6.9 million Renminbi. 67.6 million INR. 1.313 million CAD. 1.338 million AUD. 943,000 Euros. 788,000 UK Pounds) coöperation agreement to support the Global Soil Partnership. I also hope that FAO and Russia would boost coöperation to support FAO work in post-disaster and emergency situations across the globe. The international community can achieve the ambitious goal of eradicating hunger by 2030. We aren’t talking about simply halving hunger’s scope or reducing the absolute numbers of hungry people… we’re talking about really ending hunger by 2030, and providing healthy sustainable diets to all. This is a bold goal, but we’re convinced that it’s indeed viable and affordable. We can and we must be the Zero Hunger generation.

The struggle against hunger requires multiple efforts in many spheres. The UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, including elimination of hunger and poverty, as well ensuring quality education, are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015. The instability and various conflicts around the world have a negative impact on the issue of global food security, as well as social protection capabilities. Conflict is one of the main… if not the main… drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition. It reduces food availability, disrupts access to food and health care, interrupts food production and agriculture, and undermines social protection systems. Indeed, conflict characterised every famine in the modern era. Some 80 percent of humanitarian funding appeals had links to conflicts, adding that over 56 million people affected by protracted crises were in an emergency level of food insecurity. The FAO exerts efforts to promote stability and food security in conflict-ridden countries such as Nigeria, which deals with the Boko Haram insurgency.

13 December 2016

Sputnik International



Obama… Out Not With a Bang, But a Whimper

00 Vitaly Podvitsky. Obama the Peacemaker. 2014


This is the way the Obama administration ends… not with a bang, but a pathetic whimper. Queen of War Hillary “We Came, We Saw, He Died” Clinton’s campaign (fully supported by President Obama) spent a whopping 1.2 billion USD (73.21 billion Roubles. 8.29 billion Renminbi. 81 billion INR. 1.58 billion CAD. 1.61 billion AUD. 1.13 billion Euros. 944 million UK Pounds), but floundered ignominiously in the US presidential election. Therefore, Obama decided that the consolation “prize” was to order the “intelligence community” (a contradiction in terms) to conduct a “full review” of how the evil Russians handed out the Big Prize to Donald Trump. Famously, the Queen of War insisted throughout the campaign that “17 US intelligence agencies” confirmed Russian hacking of the Podesta emails, then, she claimed that WikiLeaks slow-dripped them (Chinese torture-style) day after day, revealing the slimy inner workings of the DNC. In fact, there was no damning verdict  from 17 intel agencies, just a dodgy comment by further disgraced Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper offering no evidence whatsoever.

Now, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ two-bit neocon-infested rag (the Washington Post… once-upon-a-time a decent newspaper) pipes up, mouthing sensationalist CIA spin that Langley has proof the Russians did manoeuvre to install their Trumpian Manchurian Candidate. This was right after the same rag went the full McCarthy, promoting a long black list remix of websites/news agencies (Sputnik included) denounced as fifth columnists and/or propaganda ops. Further enhancing its already negative credibility… constantly boosted by the neocon/neoliberal ravings of its editorial pages… to this day, the Post hasn’t retracted its infantile bogus “report”. The New McCarthyism’s intersection with the CIA at the Post couldn’t be more predictable; after all, Bezos’ Amazon is a major contractor with the CIA, thus, configuring the Post as a key US deep-state asset. Therefore, welcome to Washington’s alleged newspaper of record regurgitating a US government blacklist of American and foreign journalists.

One False Flag Too Many

As for the CIA’s intel breakthrough, it amounts to the proverbial “senior US official” reassuring US public opinion that the “consensus view” of the “intelligence community” is that “individuals with connections with the Russian government” provided WikiLeaks with the Podesta emails. Back in October, WikiLeaks had already debunked this narrative. Now, Langley hacks “secretly” briefed senators on Capitol Hill last week, breathlessly reassuring them the Russians did it. Yet, even the Post’s shoddy report had to acknowledge the proverbial “senior US official” saying “there were minor disagreements about the agency’s assessment”… as in no solid evidence of “the Kremlin ‘directing’ the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks”. Therefore, this is essentially old debunked news repackaged (with no supporting facts) as a powerful indictment planted by the CIA on Washington’s alleged paper of record. No wonder the Trump transition team (under White House chief strategist Steve Bannon) duly punctured the CIA strategic balloon:

These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Case closed. Go back to play with your plastic toys. Even kindergarten hopefuls know, based on the historical record, that the US government (and the CIA, as well) specialise in lying non-stop. Sometimes the lies are cumulative; sometimes they contradict each other. Take the sarin gas attack in Ghouta in August 2013… this propelled the US government to the brink of a renewed Shock and Awe on Syria. US intel at the time was sure that Jabhat al-Nusra (AKA al-Qaeda in Syria… or “moderate rebels”, according to the Beltway “consensus”) could produce sarin gas. Yet, Obama insisted Assad had done it, thus, violating Obama’s silly self-proclaimed red line. Straight out of the neocons-do-Iraq playbook, Obama cherry-picked intel to justify what would’ve been a war on Syria. fact is, the sarin gas went to al-Nusra because of the influence wielded by the notorious Prince Bandar… then tasked by the House of Saud to provoke régime change in Damascus by all means necessary. In fact, Bandar was even more influential than the CIA; he was directly coordinating the handout of tons of cash and weaponising to jihadists in Syria, as well as concocting false flags such as Ghouta. All this after Obama himself ordered, in early 2012, a CIA rat-line through the Turkish-Syrian border of Libyan weapons destined to supply the “moderate rebels”.

The bottom line is that Nobel Peace Prize Obama… lying through his teeth like a lowly neocon… was on the brink of launching a full-scale war on Syria for a “crime” about which there was no evidence.  Moreover, the lies accumulate as the Obama administration’s elaborate Syrian plans flounder in the East Aleppo cauldron. This (in Arabic) is how the “moderate rebels” were expelled… revealing, in parallel, how Damascus profited from inside intel as myriad “rebel” outfits were fighting among themselves. This is about facts on the ground… not the relentless US government propaganda/psy-ops campaign about evil Russians bombing hospitals. The whimpering Obama administration isn’t over yet. Expect more sensational CIA exploits, more demonisation of Russia, more weaponising of “moderate” Syrian “rebels”, and even the odd false flag

12 December 2016

Pepe Escobar

Sputnik International


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