Voices from Russia

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Why Washington is Terrified of Russia and China

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The Russia-China strategic partnership, uniting the Pentagon’s avowed top two “existential” threats to America, didn’t come with a formal treaty signed with pomp, circumstance… and a military parade. Enveloped in layers of subtle sophistication, there’s no way to know the deeper terms Beijing and Moscow agreed upon behind those innumerable Putin-Xi high-level meetings. Off the record, diplomats occasionally let it slip there might’ve been a coded message delivered to NATO to the effect that if it seriously harassed one of the strategic members… be it in the Ukraine or in the South China Sea… NATO would have to deal with both. For now, let’s concentrate on two instances of how the partnership works in practice, and why Washington is clueless on how to deal with it.

Exhibit A is the imminent visit to Moscow by the Director of the General Office of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Li Zhanshu, invited by the head of the Presidential Administration in the Kremlin, A E Vaino. Beijing stressed the talks will revolve around… what else… the Russia-China strategic partnership, “as previously agreed on by the countries’ leaders”. This happens just after President Putin received China’s First Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, one of the top seven in the Politburo and one of the drivers of China’s economic policies, in Moscow. They discussed Chinese investments in Russia and the key energy angle of the partnership. However, most of all they prepared Putin’s next visit to Beijing, which will be particularly momentous, for the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) summit on 14-15 May, steered by Xi Jinping. The General Office of the CCP… directly subordinate to Xi… only holds this kind of ultra-high-level annual consultations with Moscow and no other player. Needless to add, Li reports directly to Xi as much as Vaino reports directly to Putin. That’s as highly strategic as it gets.

That also happens to tie directly to one of the latest episodes featuring The Hollow (Trump) Men, in this case, Trump’s bumbling/bombastic National Security Advisor Lieutenant-General H R McMaster. In a nutshell, McMaster’s spin, loyally regurgitated by US corporate media, is that Trump developed such a “special chemistry” with Xi after their Tomahawks-with-chocolate cake summit in Mar-a-Lago that Trump managed to split the Russia-China entente on Syria and isolate Russia in the UN Security Council. It would have taken only a few minutes for McMaster to read the BRICS joint communiqué on Syria for him to learn that the BRICS are behind Russia. No wonder a vastly-experienced Indian geopolitical observer felt compelled to note:

Trump and McMaster look somewhat like two country bumpkins who lost their way in the metropolis.

Follow the Money

Exhibit B centres in Russia and China quietly advancing their agreement to replace the US Dollar’s reserve status with a gold-backed system. That also involves the key participation of Kazakhstan… very much interested in using gold as currency along OBOR. Kazakhstan couldn’t be more strategically positioned; a key hub of OBOR; a key member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAES); member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (ShOS); and not by accident the smelter of most of Russia’s gold. In parallel, Russia and China are advancing their own payment systems. With the Yuan now enjoying the status of a global currency, China has swiftly promoted their payment system, CIPS, careful not to frontally antagonise the internationally-accepted SWIFT, controlled by the USA.

On the other hand, Russia emphasises the creation of “an alternative”, in the words of Russian Central Bank’s Elvira Nabiullina, in the form of the Mir payment system, a Russian version of Visa/ MasterCard. What this implies is that were Washington inclined to exclude Russia from SWIFT, even temporarily, at least 90 percent of ATMs in Russia would be able to operate on Mir. China’s UnionPay cards are already an established fixture all across Asia… enthusiastically adopted by HSBC, amongst others. Combine “alternative” payment systems with a developing gold-backed system… and “toxic” does not even begin to spell out the reaction of the US Federal Reserve. It’s not just about Russia and China; it’s about the BRICS. What First Deputy Governor of Russia’s Central Bank Sergey Shvetsov outlined is just the beginning:

The BRICS countries are large economies with large reserves of gold and an impressive volume of production and consumption of this precious metal. In China, the gold trade is in Shanghai, in Russia, it’s in Moscow. Our idea is to create a link between the two cities in order to increase trade between the two markets.

Already, Russia and China established systems for global trade bypassing the US Dollar. What Washington did to Iran… cutting their banks off SWIFT… is now unthinkable against Russia and China. Thus, we’re already on our way, slowly but surely, towards a BRICS “gold marketplace”. We’re building a “new financial architecture”. That’d imply the eventual inability of the US Fed to export inflation to other nations… especially those in the BRICS, EEU, and SCO.

The Hollow Men

Trump’s Generals, led by “Mad Dog” Mattis, may spin all they want about their need to dominate the planet with their sophisticated AirSeaLandSpaceCyber commands. Yet, that may be not enough to counter the myriad ways the Russia-China strategic partnership is developing. Therefore, more on than off, we’ll have Hollow Men like Vice-President Mike Pence, with empurpled solemnity, threatening the DPRK:

The shield stands guard and the sword stands ready.

Forget this doesn’t even qualify as a lousy line in a cheap remake of a Hollywood B-movie; what we have here is Aspiring Commander-in-Chief Pence warning Russia and China there may be some nuclear nitty-gritty very close to their borders between the USA and the DPRK. Not gonna happen. Therefore, here’s to the great T S Eliot, who saw it all decades in advance:

We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

Our dried voices, when

We whisper together

Are quiet and meaningless

As wind in dry grass

Or rats’ feet over broken glass

In our dry cellar.

21 April 2017

Pepe Escobar

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201704211052866086-washington-terrified-of-russia-china/

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Iran and Russia Ink Military Cooperation Agreement… Ends Threat of Anglo Aggression Against the Islamic Republic

00 S K Shoigu. Russian Minister of Defence. 21.01.15

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Defence Minister S K Shoigu and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehghan signed an agreement on military coöperation between the two countries. Afterwards, Shoigu said that relations between the Russian and Iranian Defence Ministries have been on a steady rise for the past few years, saying, “Today’s signing of an intergovernmental agreement on military coöperation is a major step along these lines. We created a theoretical basis for interaction in the military sphere”. Russia and Iran agreed that bilateral coöperation should have a greater practical aspect and contribute to enhancing the combat readiness of the Russian and Iranian forces. Shoigu said that the negotiations concerned issues of mutual interest, such as delegation exchanges, inter-staff talks, exchange of experience in peacekeeping operations, and the struggle against terrorism. At Russia’s request, both parties discussed the topic of humanitarian mine-clearing operations. Shoigu said, “We agreed to expand frequency of naval ship visits to Russian and Iranian ports”.

In addition, Shoigu invited his Iranian counterpart to a Moscow conference on international security, due in April, saying after the negotiations and signing a Russo-Iranian of military coöperation agreement, “I invited General Dehghan to visit Russia and to speak at the 4th Moscow Conference on International Security in April 2015”. Besides this, he voiced hope for a further dialogue with Iran in the course of activities Russia would arrange for during its presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (ShOS). Dehghan thanked Shoigu for the invitation to the conference, where, according to Dehghan, “We’ll be able to speak our mind and express our views on crucial issues of maintaining international security and regional stability”. Last year, Dehghan visited the Moscow conference. At a meeting with Shoigu, he declared that Iran had interest in taking coöperation with Russia to a new level.

Shoigu noted, “During the talks, we exchanged views on several key issues of international and regional security. Primarily, this related to the Middle East and Afghanistan. To a large extent, our assessments on the situation are similar or identical”. He said that both parties emphasised a need to coördinate efforts aimed at countering terrorism and drug trafficking, saying, “We consider de-escalation of tensions one of the priority tasks in our responsibility area. We’ll intensify contacts on this problem. I hope for further close cooperation”.

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On Tuesday, Defence Minister S K Shoigu said at talks with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehghan that the development of constructive relations between Russia and Tehran is an “important factor of ensuring international security and global stability. We want long-term and multi-faceted coöperation with Tehran. We welcome the Iranian leadership’s drive for the comprehensive extension of ties with Russia, amongst other things, in the defence sphere”. Shoigu, who arrived in Tehran for a two-day official visit on Monday, said that Russia and Iran have common challenges and they can only counter regional threats with joint efforts. Shoigu said that his meeting last year with his Iranian counterpart in Moscow helped to lay the foundation for boosting bilateral military and technical coöperation. He called to focus on strengthening its legal basis, saying, “The signing of a Russian-Iranian agreement on military coöperation will become an important step in this direction”. He also proposed discussing prospects of bilateral coöperation, to prioritise practical steps that the sides are due to take in the near future. Shoigu also praised Iran’s efforts in the fight against global terrorism, observing, “We welcome Tehran’s wish for fair coöperation on Afghanistan including in the framework of the ShOS”, adding that Tehran took taken serious steps towards counteracting drug trafficking from Afghanistan. In this context, he said, “The cooperation of Russian and Iranian military agencies is becoming of special importance”. Shoigu thanked Dehghan for the invitation to visit Tehran, saying this is the first visit to Iran paid by a Russian Defence Minister in 15 years.

20 January 2015

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The Obama Administration is still “studying” information about Defence Minister S K Shoigu’s visit to Tehran. In advance, the US side warned Russia that supplying S-300 SAM systems to Iran would be unacceptable. The USA saw the news about the meetings in Iran between Russian and Iranian officials to discuss military coöperation and possible agreements. Now, a US State Department official told TASS on condition of anonymity that it’s studying reports about these meetings. Previously, the official added that the US side made it clear that it objects to any sale of the S-300 system to Iran, and that these objections are still in force. According to previous reports, in particular, during Shoigu’s visit to Tehran, the sides signed an agreement on Russo-Iranian military coöperation. Connected with the start of UN sanctions against Iran in September 2010, Russia suspended implementing a contract to supply Iran S-300 SAM systems. Later, Tehran challenged this decision through the courts. Last summer, Iran announced that it successfully tested its own analogue of the S-300 system, the Bavar-373 (Belief-373).

21 January 2015

ITAR-TASS

http://itar-tass.com/en/russia/772087

http://itar-tass.com/en/russia/772066

http://itar-tass.com/en/world/772294

Editor:

The Americans are scared shitless of the S-300… that means that it’s superior to American gear and immune to American airborne missile countermeasures. That is, with S-300s, Iran could fend off any American or Israeli aggression via airstrikes. In other words, this agreement renders all loudmouth US Republican trash talk bootless bullshit. It couldn’t happen to better people. Eat shit and die, Ted Cruz… go to hell, go directly to hell, don’t pass “Go”, don’t pocket 200 million bucks, Marco Rubio. Isn’t it drop-dead funny to see them throw tantrums? It means that the “sole superpower” doesn’t have the power to impose its juvenile and narcissistic will.

God willing, this will preserve the peace…

BMD

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Pushkov sez that the USA Lost its Unilateral Dictation over Global Decision-making

00 Uncle Sam ravaged by GOP... political cartoon. 07.12

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RF Gosduma Deputy Aleksei Pushkov, the chairman of the Gosduma Committee on International Affairs, believed that the USA couldn’t issue unilateral diktats on global political affairs anymore. According to Interfax, he posted on Twitter, “The USA lost its monopoly on global solutions. At the G20BRICS countries supported Russia on Syria, and, now, the SCO summit. It’s a lesson for Barack Obama“. On 5 September, BRICS leaders stated that foreign intervention in Syrian affairs is negatively affecting the global economy. On the eve of the SCO summit, the SCO members issued the Bishkek Declaration, which supported the initiative “transferring Syrian chemical weapons to international control, their subsequent destruction, and the accession of Syria to the UN Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction“.

14 September 2013

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/news/2013_09_14/Pushkov-SSHA-lishilis-monopolii-na-prinjatie-globalnih-reshenij-1907/

Editor’s Note:

Don’t attend to the hogwash emanating from CNN and Fox… after all, they’re attending to “Their Master’s Voice”, aren’t they? Their fat paycheques with many zeros in them are dependent on their echoing the lies of the leading elements of the Affluent Effluent… and they do so, don’t they? Bite the coin… there’s a lot of funny money out there, kids…

BMD

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Putin and Hu Oppose Military Intervention in Syria and Iran

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Russia and China oppose foreign military intervention to implement régime change in Syria. President Vladimir Putin and Paramount Leader Hu Jintao signed an Outline Joint Statement during President Putin’s official visit to the PRC. Their Joint Statement said:

The two parties emphasise that as further development of the situation in Syria is essential to peace and stability in the Middle East and for the world as a whole, they are strongly in favour of the need to find a peaceful and just settlement of the Syrian crisis without outside intervention, through a cessation of violence by all parties to the conflict and the establishment of a comprehensive political dialogue. Russia and China strongly oppose attempts by external parties to use force to resolve the Syrian crisis, including moves at the UN Security Council, in order to implement régime change. The two parties are convinced of the need to strengthen and consolidate international support for the mediation efforts of Special UNArab League Envoy Kofi Annan to resolve the Syrian crisis. They urge all parties to the conflict to accomplish an immediate cessation of armed confrontation, the full implementation of the Annan six-point peace plan, and the carrying out of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Russia and China Oppose the Use of Force and Threats Against Tehran

Russia and China oppose the use of armed force or the threat of force, they don’t approve the implementation of excessive pressure on Iran and the adoption of unilateral sanctions against it, they support the intensification of negotiations on the questions surrounding Iran’s nuclear programme, to seek a peaceful resolution through dialogue and negotiation instead of having a confrontation with Iran. Such a confrontation is fraught with serious negative consequences, not only for the region, but also for the international community as a whole, especially when one sees it against the background of general instability in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Putin and Hu Welcomed the Granting of Observer Status in the SCO to Afghanistan

Russia and China favour the establishment of Afghanistan as a peaceful, stable, independent, developing country free from terrorism and drug-related crime. Russia and China welcome the granting of the status of an observer at the SCO to Afghanistan; they also believe that there’s a necessity to focus on the development and improvement of existing regional cooperation structures involving Afghanistan, such as the SCO, to avoid reducing their efficiency of interaction as a result of overlapping mechanisms.

Putin and Hu Urged the Resumption of Talks on the Korean Peninsula

Russia and China strongly oppose any act prejudicial to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, as well as any action not conducive to the denuclearisation of the region; they hope that the states concerned will exercise restraint to avoid further aggravation of the situation on the peninsula. They believe that dialogue and consultation are the only effective means of resolving the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Russia and China call on the countries concerned for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks and a balanced settlement of the concerns of each party through peaceful means, in order to establish long-term stability. They confirm that the maintenance of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and a responsibly-executed denuclearisation of the region are the common aspirations of all the parties concerned. The realisation of this objective is essential to the maintenance of peace, stability, and security in the Asia-Pacific Region.

6 June 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2012_06_06/77251925/

Editor’s Note:

All of us have noted Wafflin’ Willy’s move to the extreme right. It’s had its effects, to be sure… none of them good for the USA and the future. His blustering threats have moved China and Russia closer to an actual military alliance, and have moved Russia and China to give Iran tacit assurances of support. GWB used black sites, torture, indefinite detention, aggressive war, and indiscriminate attacks on civilians… and Willy wants more of the same. Obama’s not used these methods to the extent that the Republicans did (in fact, the torture at black sites HAS ceased). In short, GWB, Cheney, and all those who plotted and carried out the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were war criminals under the definitions of the Nürnberg Trials, and, frankly, they deserve to hang (don’t hold your breath… the perpetrators of Wounded Knee and Dresden died of old age in bed).

Ergo, as Willy supports the same policies, the choice is clear and stark. You can vote for Barack Obama, and vote for a VERY imperfect social democracy, or you can vote for Willy and vote for evil so profound that one could call it “Anti-Christian”. The Apocalypse tells us that the Antichrist will be so subtle that “he will fool the elect”… that means that it’ll look “pretty” on the surface but be utterly evil and crawling with maggots on the inside. The Republican Party of today not only wishes to undo what FDR did… it wishes to undo what TR did, and unleash an unfettered amoral brutish corporate dictatorship. It’ll be under the rubric of “economic freedom”… that is, “I’m free to fuck you royally, if I have the means to do so, and the state won’t stop or hinder me”.

THAT is why Russia and China are coming together… they have serious differences, but they see that the USA is an out-of-control rogue state, and that if Willy’s elected, it’ll be a ravening beast that’ll require their joint efforts to put down.

President Putin and Leader Hu have done the only right thing. God bless them. We may have peace in our time as a result…

BMD

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