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Tag "Russia"

Russia-Ukraine: breaking news

(Thanks to C. for pointing these out to me – VS) Ukraine will receive a discount of $100 per 1,000 cu m at the natural gas price of $330 and a 30% discount on other prices, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday. Medvedev’s announcement came after a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych in Kharkov in eastern Ukraine. “Discounts for Ukraine will come into effect from April this

The latest bombing and a personal note

Dear friends, The putatively ‘Chechen’ terrorists have detonated two more bombs in Russia, this time in Dagestan. In think that the trend here is clear – ‘Chechen’ terrorism is on the rise again, striking at strategic Russian targets (such as the Moscow-Petersburg train or the Moscow subway). The curious thing is that this is all happening while in Chechnia proper there is comparatively very little insurgent activity. I would like

It is sometimes hard to tell Russia and the USA apart

I have been watching the news out of Moscow over the past 24 hours and they make for a rather depressing viewing indeed. No, I am not referring to the two blasts in the Moscow subway system which, of course, are tragic events, but to the rhetoric of the Russian authorities. Listening to the Russian news, I was wondering if the script had been written in Washington, DC. President Medvedev

Georgia’s internal politics turn into a sad show of paranoid buffoonery (UPDATED!)

Civil Georgia reports: A 30-minute long fake report by Imedi television station on Saturday evening as if Russian troops were advancing to Tbilisi triggered panic and also wave of anger on the television station, which has a nationwide broadcasting. In a brief notice to viewers before the launch of the report, the television station told viewers it was “a simulation” of what might happen in case Russian plans materialize. But

Great Game playoff: Russia/Turkey vs Palestine/Israel

In Russia, Turkey and the Great Game: Changing teams the new line-up of the players in the Great Game was set out. Here, Eric Walberg considers the implications for the Middle East. A vital playing field in today’s Great Game is Palestine/Israel, where again there is a tentative meeting of political minds between Russia and Turkey. In defiance of the US and much of Europe, both endorsed the Goldstone report

Pentagon Confronts Russia In The Baltic Sea

by Rick Rozoff for Stop NATO Twelve months ago a new U.S. administration entered the White House as the world entered a new year. Two and a half weeks later the nation’s new vice president, Joseph Biden, spoke at the annual Munich Security Conference and said “it’s time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia.” Incongruously

Russia, Turkey and the Great Game: Changing teams

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev’s visit to Turkish last month shows that Turkey and Russia are rapidly developing close economic and political ties, notes Eric Walberg For all intents and purposes, Turkey has given up on the European Union, recognising it as a bastion of Islamophobia and captive to US diktat. As Switzerland bans minarets and France moves to outlaw the niqab, the popular Islamist government in Istanbul moves in the

Yanukovich — Man for all seasons

Ukraine’s new president — unless there is another Orange Revolution — has fashioned a comeback worthy of Nixon, marvels Eric Walberg Ukraine’s presidential elections Sunday were remarkable in more ways than one. The winner of the first round and favourite to lead Ukraine at a crucial moment in its history is the one politician observers long ago dismissed as a has-been. Viktor Yanukovich is mocked by his opponents as an

Russia, China, Iran redraw energy map

By M K Bhadrakumar for The Asia Times: The inauguration of the Dauletabad-Sarakhs-Khangiran pipeline on Wednesday connecting Iran’s northern Caspian region with Turkmenistan’s vast gas field may go unnoticed amid the Western media cacophony that it is “apocalypse now” for the Islamic regime in Tehran. The event sends strong messages for regional security. Within the space of three weeks, Turkmenistan has committed its entire gas exports to China, Russia and

Venezuela to reinforce troops on Colombia border with Russian tanks

Ria-Novosti reports: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has announced plans for the deployment of new Russian-made tanks and combat helicopters on the border with Colombia. Ties between Venezuela and Colombia deteriorated last August after Washington signed a deal with Bogota allowing U.S. forces to run anti-drug operations from Colombian bases. Chavez has criticized the deal and called for the Venezuelan people and army to prepare for a war. “We are expecting

Russia, NATO and Afghanistan: High stakes Great Game

What did Medvedev have up his sleeve when he welcomed Obama’s new surge in Afghanistan, wonders Eric Walberg US President Barack Obama’s now expanding war against the Taliban is garnering support from liberals and neocons alike, from leaders around the world, even from Russia. “We are ready to support these efforts, guarantee the transit of troops, take part in economic projects and train police and the military,” Russian President Dmitri

Obama’s Nobel & START: Peacemaker arrives empty-handed

There are many a smirk as US President Barack Obama flies to Oslo to be crowned Peacenik of 2009, but it is the Russians who get the prize for taking the shine off Obama’s trophy, notes Eric Walberg Obama desperately needed a new nuclear arms treaty to replace START I to provide some justification for the Nobel Committee’s gamble. The award in the face of US imperial wars and hubris

Train bombing serious blow to Russian security

by Eric Walberg The worst terrorist attack to hit Russia in five years, the bombing of the Nevsky Express train last week, was almost certainly by Islamist extremists, and security forces are just not prepared for these less spectacular acts of terrorism, Russian security experts say. The cause of the crash was identified as a homemade bomb that exploded on the tracks between Moscow and St Petersburg, killing 26, wounding

Russia: New Iran sanctions not on agenda

Press TV reports: Whilst the US threatens Iran with consequences, Russia rules out the possibility of additional UN Security Council sanctions against Tehran at the present juncture. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Andrei Nesterenko, said on Thursday that there was as yet no talk of new sanctions at the UN Security Council. “Currently there is no discussion about working out additional sanction measures against Iran at the UN Security Council,” he

Why is Saudi Arabia going on a weapons shopping spree in Russia?

Russian media outlets are reporting that Saudi Arabia is negotiating a 2 billion dollars weapons deal with Russia which would include the sale of 150 helicopters (30 Mi-35 and 120 Mi-17), over 150 T-90C tanks, about 250 BMP-3 (infantry combat vehicle) armored vehicles and several dozens of anti-aircraft systems and complexes including the brand new S-400 Triumf missile system. In the meantime, Russia is also clearly delaying the sale of

Russia-India-China: The Bush curse

Moscow is trying to draw India and China closer to put out the flames now flaring across the continent, from the Caucasus and Central Asia, to Iran and Pakistan, notes Eric Walberg United States President Barack Obama has shown a flicker of independence in shaping US Eurasian politics. To secure transit routes through Russia to Afghanistan, he loudly proclaimed the end to US missile base plans for Poland and the

NATO vs CSTO: The Fogh of war

‘Regional’ defence organisations are very much in transition, notes Eric Walberg NATO’s reputation as the guardian of peace on Earth is in tatters these days. Once avowedly an alliance of North America and Western Europe to fight the communist hordes of Eurasia, it morphed into something quite difference with the collapse of the socialist bloc two decades ago. It now pretends to unite all of Europe to fight the Muslim

Obama’s predictable surprise

The big news this morning is that it appears that the Obama administration has scrapped the plans for the deployment of a ABM system in Europe. Finally. This is somewhat of a surprise, although the Russians were heavily hinting that this might happen already a week ago, but this is also something we should have expected. The first thing to keep in mind here is that this anti-ballistic system made

Medvedev invites Ahmadinejad to SCO summit

Press TV reports: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has invited his Iranian counterpart to participate in an upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. Iran’s ambassador to Russia, Mahmoud Reza Sadjadi, was quoted as saying by IRNA on Monday that President Ahmadinejad would attend the summit, which will be held in Russia’s Yekaterinburg city. Iran, an observer member since 2005, has been seeking to join the 9-year-old international organization since 2008. The

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