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Tag "Russia"

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

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

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