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Tag "Russia"

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

Who is purging the Russian military intelligence and why?

For several months already, rumors have abounded about the reported conflict between the head of the Russian military intelligence service (GRU), Valentin Korabelnikov, and President Medvedev. Today, the Russian media announced that Korabelnikov had been replaced by one of his deputies, Alexander Shliakhturov. Of all the intelligence and security services of the former Soviet Union and Russia, the GRU was by far the most secretive. It was also one of

Russia and China back currency study

Reuters reports: Russia proposed on Thursday an IMF or G20 study on creating a new international reserve currency and China reiterated support for a broader discussion of the dollar’s role that was missing at the London G20 summit. Strengthened regional currencies would be a basis for the new unit, which could also be partially backed by gold, Russia said in a statement released on the sidelines of the summit. Chinese

Translating the BBC’s oblique language

The BBC reports: Nato ministers have agreed to resume high-level contacts with Russia, making what US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called a “fresh start”. Relations conducted through the Nato-Russia Council had been frozen by Nato in protest at the brief war last summer between Russia and Georgia. Mrs Clinton said areas of mutual concern included Afghanistan. translation: NATO sulking at Russia for beating Georgia in 4 days did not

20 years ago the last Soviet soldiers left Afghanistan

On February 15th, 1989 the last Soviet soldier crossed the (then) Soviet-Afghan border leaving behind over one million dead Afghans, several millions more wounded and displaced. This war cost the Soviet Union just under 14 thousand lives. This is, for sure, a disastrous tally and nobody in his right mind would attempt to qualify the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan as a “success”. Still, while unequivocally a failure and a tragedy,

US-Russia-Afghanistan: Triangulation or strangulation?

This will appear in the next issue of Al-Ahram Weekly http://weekly.ahram.org.eg Triangulation or strangulation? The new president is discovering that America ’s road to Kabul goes through Moscow , says Eric Walberg As Obama prepares to transfer troops from Iraq to Afghanistan , Al-Qaeda and other jihadists are also “transferring” there according to Afghan Defence Minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak, giving the country the dubious distinction of remaining the centre

US-Russia Tensions Escalate Over Closure of Afghan Supply Base

The World Socialist Website reports: The threatened closure of a key Pentagon supply base in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, with serious implications for the Obama administration’s planned escalation of the US-led war in Afghanistan, has deepened tensions between Washington and Moscow. The Manas air base, located near the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, is the major air link between the US military and American occupation forces in Afghanistan. Last

Russian Prime Minister Putin’s keynote speech at the Davos World Economic Forum

The following text is a transcript of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Good afternoon, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank the forum’s organisers for this opportunity to share my thoughts on global economic developments and to share our plans and proposals. The world is now facing the first truly global economic crisis, which is

Europe ’s winter of discontent: the Russian-Ukrainian gas war

This will appear in the next issue of Al-Ahram Weekly http://weekly.ahram.eg.org/ More tricks and hot air from across the Atlantic leave Europeans in the cold, notes Eric Walberg A hurried resolution to the Ukraine-Russia gas war was reached during a visit to Moscow by Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko to meet with her Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin this week. Ukraine finally agreed to pay higher European prices for Russian gas

The Ukies are taking Europe hostage. Good!

It appears that the Ukrainians have siphoned off the Russian gas destined to Europe for themselves because they don’t want (or cannot) to pay market prices for their own gas. The Ukies have in fact taken the Europeans hostage. Good. Serves the bloody Europeans well for their support for the worst forms of Ukrainian nationalism and their anti-Russian policies, including in the war in Georgia this summer. The Ukraine –

Cold War shivers

This will appear in the next issue of Al-Ahram Weekly http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/ Sense is returning to East-West relations, despite the US and NATO, affirms Eric Walberg 2008 will be remembered as a turning point in Russia’s relations with the West. It was a tumultuous year, with Kosovo, missiles in Europe and NATO’s seemingly relentless march eastward like thunderclouds gathering on Russia’s horizon, which finally burst 8 August over South Ossetia, bringing

Russia’s response to the US radar/missile system

Press TV reports: Russia to deploy Iskander-Ms by 2015 Missile brigades in western Russia will be armed with Iskander-M missile system by 2015 to counter a planned US missile shield in Europe. “By 2015, the Iskander system will be put in service with five missile brigades, primarily near Russia’s western border and in the Kaliningrad Region,” a source in the Russian Defense Ministry was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying

War 08.08.08 – The Art of Betrayal

From the website http://www.war080808.com/: “War 08.08.08. The Art of Betrayal” – is one of the first documentary Internet-films. This is the most outspoken film about the war, that started on the day of opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing, the film about the war, in which tens of Russian peacemaker perished as well as hundreds of peaceful Ossetians; it is the film about the war that turned out to

Folllwing Syria’s example, Libya now also wants a Russian naval base on its soil

Russia to up Mediterranean presence? Press TV reports: The Libyan president will discuss opening a Russian naval base in Libya during his three-day visit to Moscow, according to a newspaper. “During these talks the colonel [Muammar Gaddafi] intends to raise the issue of opening a base for Russia’s navy in the Libyan port of Benghazi,” the business daily Kommersant quoted an unnamed source involved in preparing Gaddafi’s visit. “In line

Why negotiating with the Taliban is both stupid and immoral (UPDATED!)

There are increasing signs that the USraelian Empire is trying to negotiate some kind of deal with the Taliban including their chief, Mullah Omar. Some are rejoicing at this development seeing it as a way to finally get the US out of Afghanistan. I would agree with such optimistic hopes if the issue was only getting the US out of Afghanistan, but there is far more at stake here than

Putin Suggests Russia, China Ditch Dollar in Trade Deals

RIA Novosti reports that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed on Tuesday that Russia and China gradually switch over to national currency payments in bilateral trade, expected to total $50 billion in 2008. “We should consider improving the payment system for bilateral trade, including by gradually adopting a broader use of national currencies,” Putin told a bilateral economic forum. He admitted the task would be tough, but said it was

Russia, Iran and Qatar to form an organization of gas-exporting countries similar to OPEC

Press TV reports: The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has defended the formation of an organization of gas-exporting countries similar to OPEC. Iranian Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari, his Qatari counterpart Abdulla Bin Hamad al-Attiya and the head of Russia’s Gazprom, Alexei Miller, had a Tuesday meeting in Tehran in which the three countries vowed to seriously pursue the formation of an OPEC-like gas group. Lavrov told journalists on Wednesday that

Russia sends a very clear message to the West (and to itself)

Russia has recently embarked on the most massive military maneuvers since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Interestingly, the role of the Ground Forces was this time rather limited and it is the Navy and the Air Force which took center stage. The maneuvers, code name “Stability 2008” included the use of Tu-95MS and Tu-160 strategic rocket bombers, IL-86 inflight refueling aircraft, Tu-22M3 intermediate range heavy bombers, A-50M

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