Tag Archives: Putin

Pakistan, Russia to improve relations

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir

Islamabad: Pakistan and Russia have decided to improve their multi-dimension ties and for the first time, Pakistan’s parliamentary delegation led by its speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq is proceeding to Moscow next Sunday on a bilateral visit.

The six-member delegation is undertaking the visit on the invitation of Chairperson of Federation Council Ms Valentina Matviyenkov, who is in order of precedence, comes after president and prime minister of her country. She is an experienced diplomat and of Ukrainian origin. Well placed sources told The News that the Foreign Office will provide special briefing to the members of the delegation before embarking for the trip.

Former federal minister Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, who is member of the National Assembly from Peshawar, will accompany the speaker as deputy leader of the delegation. Haji Bilour, belongs to the Awami National Party (ANP), that has the history of having close association with the Russian leaders. The parliamentary delegation will also have meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has expressed his keenness to improve relations with Pakistan.

Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq will convey message from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the Russian leader, the sources said. 

The occasion will help strengthening relations between parliaments of the two countries. The delegation from Pakistan will also visit State Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament. The delegation will be meeting the Chairman State Duma and will watch the proceedings of the two houses of the Parliament during its stay in the Russian capital.

The delegation from the Russian Parliament will also undertake return visit to Pakistan later and for the purpose an invitation would be extended by Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. The delegation will stay in Moscow from 21st of this month till 23rd, and its members will also visit St Petersburg before returning home, the sources said.

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http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-244062-Pakistan-Russia-to-improve-relations

Afghanistan Backs Russia’s Crimean Invasion, Fails Irony 101

By Adam Weinstein

Afghan President Hamid Karzai threw U.S. observers for a loop over the weekend, announcing that his country would join Syria and Venezuela in supporting Russia’s Crimea invasion annexation:

Citing “the free will of the Crimean people,” the office of President Hamid Karzai said, “we respect the decision the people of Crimea took through a recent referendum that considers Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.”…

Aimal Faizi, the spokesman for Mr. Karzai, said that the Russian annexation of Crimea was a “legitimate move” and that the palace statement represented Afghanistan’s official recognition of the new borders.

“Afghanistan always respects the free will of the nations on deciding their future,” he wrote in an email. He did not elaborate.

Continue reading Afghanistan Backs Russia’s Crimean Invasion, Fails Irony 101

Crimea’s Tatars: fearing a return to Stalin-era terror

By Lindsey Hilsum on International Affairs

The soldiers came at midnight when the children were sleeping. Sabrie, who was ten, struggled to stay awake as her mother grabbed her little sister and two brothers.

There was no time to change, to pack, to bring anything – they had fifteen minutes to get to the station. There they stayed, hungry and afraid, until the train came to remove them from their home in Crimea to a distant land. They would not return for half a century.

I met Sabrie in the town of Bakhchiserai yesterday. Aged 80 now, she speaks of what happened as if it were last week, not 70 years ago. Her green eyes widen and she gesticulates with gnarled hands, reliving her story as if telling it for the first time.

Read more » Channel 4

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Crimean parliament votes to join Russia

Ukraine calls proposed Crimean referendum ‘a farce, a fake’

By: SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Reuters

World leaders are decrying a proposed referendum in Crimea on joining Russia as illegal and illegitimate.

President Barack Obama warned Thursday the referendum would violate Ukranian sovereignty and international law while Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the Canadian government will not recognize the results of the referendum. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday the referendum was “illegal and incompatible with Ukraine’s constitution.”

Read more » The Globe And Mail
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/crimean-vice-premier-says-referendum-on-status-set-for-march-16-report/article17341409/

Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses ‘3am ultimatum’ as ‘total nonsense’

By Kashmira Gander 

Russia has rejected reports that it threatened Ukraine with military assault if it does not surrender the Crimea by 3am on Tuesday as “total nonsense”.

Amid the confusion of the worst diplomatic crisis since the Cold War, the Russian Defence Ministry told RT that the country has “become accustomed to the daily accusations by the Ukrainian media of carrying out some sort of military actions against our Ukrainian colleagues”.

Relations between East and West have plummeted as the Russian Government continued to ignore calls from Western leaders to leave the Ukrainian area.

This morning, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, justified the military incursion claiming it was necessary in order to protect his country’s citizens living there. “This is a question of defending our citizens and compatriots, ensuring human rights, especially the right to life,” he said.

Read more » independent.co.uk
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ukraine-latest-g7-condemns-russias-movement-into-the-crimea-9164961.html

Russia, Ukraine and the West: Will there be war?

Written by Alan Woods

As Ukraine slides deeper into chaos, the sound of war drums gets ever louder. On Saturday President Vladimir Putin secured his parliament’s authority to send the Russian army, not just into Crimea but also into Ukraine itself.

This threat was issued only days after “unidentified” armed men seized control of the Crimea peninsula. These were later unsurprisingly identified as troops from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, based in Crimea. The new pro-Russian president of Crimea equally unsurprisingly immediately called on Moscow to intervene. At the same time, pro-Moscow demonstrators hoisted flags above government buildings in two eastern cities.

Western leaders shook their heads and said that Russia must not intervene. Moscow held up its hands, indignantly protesting that it would not do so. But the facts seem to indicate otherwise. For the whole of last week Russian troops were staging what were described as “routine manoeuvres” on the borders of Ukraine.

Putin secured without difficulty the unanimous approval of the Russian senate for the use of armed force on the territory of his neighbour, citing the need to protect Russian citizens. He asked that Russian forces be used “until the normalisation of the political situation in the country”: a very reasonable sounding request, a velvet glove that barely conceals the iron fist within, for he gave exactly the same reason for invading Georgia in 2008.

This threat to what was supposed to be an independent country of 46 million people on the edges of central Europe creates the biggest direct confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War. There has been a flurry of diplomatic activity in different capitals aimed at “calming the situation”. The government in Kiev protested. The EU protested. Obama protested.

Britain summoned the Russian ambassador to voice its “concern”. Soon after the UK’s Foreign Minister William Hague flew to Kiev, presumably to express his sympathy to the provisional government there. EU ministers were due to hold emergency talks. Czech President Milos Zeman recalled the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Washington has warned that Russia’s actions would have “consequences”. But nobody is saying what these would be. In reply Putin calmly asserted his right to deploy troops in Ukraine “to defend the interests of Russian people”. Western politicians have hundreds of arguments, but Putin has hundreds of thousands of troops, tanks and guns. And whereas the forces of NATO are rather far away, his own forces are conveniently massing right on the Ukrainian border, and some are already on the ground in Crimea as Russia has a permanent naval base there.

The tension between the two sides increases by the hour. In a televised address, Ukraine’s acting President Olexander Turchynov urged people to remain calm. (Everyone is urging exactly the same thing). He asked Ukrainians to bridge divisions in the country and said they must not fall for provocations. But in the same breath said he had put the army on full alert, which is hardly a very calming message.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who was standing next to Mr Turchynov, said he was “convinced” Russia would not intervene militarily “as this would be the beginning of war and the end of all relations.”

Fear and misery in Ukraine

The situation in Ukraine is dramatic. The euphoria of the first few days after the fall of Yanukovych has dissipated and is being replaced with an anxious and tense mood.

Continue reading Russia, Ukraine and the West: Will there be war?

Obama: ‘There will be costs for military intervention in Ukraine’

International community scrambles to  Russian moves in Crimea

President Barack Obama said the United States stands with the international community in affirming that “there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine” and defended the country’s citizens’ right to “determine their own future,” at a press conference Friday.

A senior U.S. official said Obama and European leaders would consider skipping the G8 summit in Sochi, Russia, if the country intervenes militarily in Ukraine. He also said a possible response could include avoiding deeper trade and commerce ties Moscow is seeking. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called for sanctions against “Russian individuals and entities who use force or interfere in Ukraine’s domestic affairs.”

Read more » Aljazeera
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/2/28/obama-there-willbecostsformilitaryinterventioninukraine.html

Ukraine – Will Putin Send in the Tanks?

By

“In the words of the popular proverb, Moscow was the heart of Russia; St Petersburg, its head. But Kiev, its mother…”

By James H. Billington

Just hours after a truce had been established between protesters and the government, violence erupted again today in the central square of Kiev, Ukraine’s capital city.

A trio of officials from the European Union—the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland—now head to Kiev to try to breach the fundamental divide roiling the country: a struggle between east and west, its outcome highly uncertain, the possibility of a civil war undeniably looming.

This divide has been at Ukraine’s core for centuries. What’s unfolding now is nothing less than the violent struggle for a nation’s soul. To some current and former diplomats, what is surprising is not that Ukraine appears to be coming apart, but that it has taken this long into the post Soviet era for something like this to happen.

At its origins, more than ten centuries ago, what was known as “Kievan Russia” was, as James Billington wrote in his classic study of Russian culture, “closely linked with Western Europe—through trade and intermarriage with every important royal family of Western Christendom.”

But , he continued, “those promising early links with the West were, fatefully, never made secure.”

Focus on that one word. “Fatefully.”  “Increasingly,” Billington writes, “inexerorably, Kievan Russia was drawn eastward into a debilitating struggle for control of the Eurasian steppe.”

What we’re witnessing now, make no mistake, is the latest chapter of that struggle. And it is one in which Moscow has an important, inherent and obvious advantage: Ukraine matters more to President Vladimir Putin, and Russia, than it does to Barack Obama, or German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

 The dissolution of the Soviet Union is the central, disastrous geopolitical fact of Putin’s life (See Newsweek cover story February 13, Putin’s Games). And among the new states that were created when the empire imploded, Ukraine was first among equals. It was, as Walter Russell Mead, professor and author at Bard College wrote recently, “the largest and most important republic within the Soviet Union.”

If Putin dreams of reassembling a reasonable facsimile of the Soviet empire—and he does—then, as Russell wrote, “everything pales beside the battle for Ukraine.”

When it appeared last fall that the government in Kiev was going to more closely align itself politically and economically with Europe than ever before, Putin moved forcefully to block it. Flush with oil and gas revenue—the beginning and the end of Russian economic strength–he offered Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych a $15 billion bribe to spurn the European Union.

Read more » News Week
http://www.newsweek.com/will-putin-send-tanks-229631

Global Arctic wars already started

By Adrian Salbuchi

Excerpt;

Today’s globalized geopolitical grand chessboard often plays out in interestingly complex and roundabout ways. Such is the case of the on-going tug of war between the US, UK and EU on the one hand, and Russia and its allies on the other.

Pieces are moved; sometimes a pawn from one square to the next, at other times a rook or bishop straight across the chessboard; even a knight in its more crooked way… Such is the game of the looming “Arctic War” which is starting to unfold, in which seemingly unconnected events begin to make sense when we start joining the right dots correctly. …..

…. Then there’s also NATO-ally Denmark filing its claims through Greenland territorial projection, weak ally Norway and, of course, there’s Superpower Russia which in 2007 actually planted its flag on the Arctic sea bed right on the North Pole. Canada too claims that the North Pole is hers. Alas! Poor Santa Claus, let’s just hope he’s not evicted before Christmas…

As history has shown time and again, the only language that the US-UK Alliance really understands is the language of force or the threat thereof. So President Putin has very prudently ordered his military starting 2014 to beef up Russia’s presence and defence over its entire huge Arctic sphere of interest: a “top government priority to protect its security and national interest” in his own words.

In recent months, Russia has started creating new Arctic military units, reinstating its military bases in the Novosibirsk Archipelago and Franz Josef Land that had been abandoned after the demise of the former Soviet Union, and began restoring key airfields in the region including those on Kotelny Island which includes making ready the towns of Tiksi, Naryan-Mar, and Anadyr for increased military personnel and logistical needs.

10 Russian warships and nuclear powered icebreakers are now operative in that region overseeing key shipping lanes joining the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, including ports like Murmansk (where the “Arctic Sunrise” lies peacefully anchored).

Clearly, the Arctic is very much on the global grand chessboard’s radar screen. What happens there over the next few years will have immense significance considering that the manoeuvring and relative positioning achieved by the powers in conflict will also help to consolidate their respective presences in the region and worldwide.

For when it comes to oil and gas, the US and UK have clearly decided to militarize oil exploration, exploitation and shipping lanes. Just as they have done in the South Atlantic with the UK’s Falkland/Malvinas nuclear military base and the US’s powerful Fourth South Atlantic Fleet with its rosary of military bases discretely spread into Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and other countries in the region.

For there lies another even vaster and richer region: the Antarctic which is not just a sea but an entire continent centred on the South Pole.

Indeed, in our complex world what happens in the scorched deserts of Arabia, Libya and Iraq; in the infinite steppes of Asia; in the steaming jungles of Africa; or in the windswept pampas of South America has an impact – albeit, indirect – on this new front which we could described as the coming polar wars.

Wars involving superpower nations, their allied countries, environmental NGO’s fronting for the global power elites, oil, gas and mining giants, and of course the bankers pulling the strings from above; way above 10 Downing, way above the White House, the Palais D’Elysee and Greenpeace’s HQ in Amsterdam.

Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina. www.asalbuchi.com.ar

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Read more » rt.com
http://rt.com/op-edge/global-arctic-war-syria-488/

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Via – Siasat.pk
http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?224864-Global-Arctic-wars-already-started

Russia Warns of ‘Catastrophic Consequences’ If US Meddles in Syria

By KIRIT RADIA

MOSCOW: Russian officials today hit back at the United States and its allies after Secretary of State John Kerry warned Monday that the Syrian government would face consequences for last week’s alleged chemical weapons attack.

A statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry this morning warned of “catastrophic consequences” for Syria and the region if the United States and its allies intervene. It also expressed “serious disappointment” after the United States announced it would back out of a meeting this week with Russian officials to plan a long-delayed peace conference.

Read more » ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/International/russia-warns-catastrophic-consequences-us-meddles-syria/story?id=20081747#.Uh0qZCO7_1g.twitter

via Twitter

Edward Snowden: Obama guilty of deceit over extradition

US president pledged to avoid ‘wheeling and dealing’ while bullying countries that might grant asylum, says whistleblower

By in Washington and in The Guardian, Tuesday 2 July 2013

Edward Snowden has accused Barack Obama of deception for promising in public to avoid diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over his extradition, while privately pressuring countries to refuse his requests for asylum.

Snowden, the surveillance whistleblower who is thought to be trapped in the legal limbo of a transit zone at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, used his first public comments since fleeing Hong Kong to attack the US for revoking his passport. He also accused his country of bullying nations that might grant him asylum.

“On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic ‘wheeling and dealing’ over my case,” Snowden said in a statement released by WikiLeaks.

“Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the president ordered his vice-president to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions. This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression.”

Snowden’s increasingly desperate predicament became further apparent on Monday night with the leak of a letter he had written to Ecuador praising its “bravery” and expressing “deep respect and sincere thanks” for considering his request for political asylum.

Read more » Guardian.co.uk
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/02/edward-snowden-barack-obama-wikileaks

Pakistan, Russia Intensify Contacts to Improve Ties

By: Ayaz Gul

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan and Russia have held high-level discussions focusing on how to expand their political, economic and military relationship. But analysts believe Afghanistan is at the center of the intensified diplomacy as both countries are positioning themselves in anticipation of expected withdrawal of most U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan by 2014.

Pakistani military chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani traveled to Moscow this week while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Islamabad.

The high-level exchanges took place just days after President Vladimir Putin cancelled his much anticipated trip to Pakistan, which would have been the first visit by a Russian head of the state. He was supposed to be in the Pakistani capital this week to attend a summit involving Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Russia, which was also postponed. The cancellation is seen by many as a setback for efforts to improve ties.

Continue reading Pakistan, Russia Intensify Contacts to Improve Ties

Russia Weighs What to Do With Lenin’s Body

By C. J. CHIVERS

MOSCOW, Oct. 4 – For eight decades he has been lying in state on public display, a cadaver in a succession of dark suits, encased in a glass box beside a walkway in the basement of his granite mausoleum. Many who revere him say he is at peace, the leader in repose beneath the lights. Others think he just looks macabre.

Time has been unkind to Lenin, whose remains here in Red Square are said to sprout occasional fungi, and whose ideology and party long ago fell to ruins. Now the inevitable question has returned. Should his body be moved?

Revisiting a proposal that thwarted Boris N. Yeltsin, who faced down tanks but in his time as president could not persuade Russians to remove the Soviet Union’s founder from his place of honor, a senior aide to President Vladimir V. Putin raised the matter last week, saying it was time to bury the man. …

Read more : The New York Times

Russian Model: Team Leadership, Sovereign Democracy

Russian Model: Team Leadership, Sovereign Democracy, National Champions

by Shiraz Paracha

Russia has become a leading world power because of its leader Vladimir Putin’s vision and political strategy. Prime Minister Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev have introduced new concepts of team leadership and ‘Sovereign Democracy’ in Russia’s political system.

The relationship between Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev is harmonious, they speak with one voice. The West is looking for fault lines in Putin-Medvedev relationship but, till date, the Western media and policy makers have not been able to create misunderstandings between Putin and Medvedev. Both leaders stand shoulder to shoulder to defend Russia. …

Read more >> criticalppp

Chávez Putin. Washington’s Nightmare

by: Alessia Lai

Caracas and Moscow forge ties, deepen an already strong friendship. And the reaction in Washington not long in coming. Punctual, on the eve of the first visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Venezuela signed several bilateral agreements, press rumors leaked cleverly sent a clear message Venezuelan Russian axis.

Continue reading Chávez Putin. Washington’s Nightmare