EUROPE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

EUROPE

Jan 21 13:59

France ready to send NATO troops to Romania

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, announced on Wednesday, January 19, that France would send troops to Romania as part of NATO operations to ensure the security of the eastern alliance states, G4media.ro reported.

The statement comes amid a security crisis on NATO's eastern flank.

"We have sent troops to ensure the security of our European partners in NATO missions, to our friends in the Baltic area, and we will continue to do so. We have shown our readiness to move forward, within NATO, to engage in new missions and to take responsibility for "enhanced advanced presence" missions, especially in Romania. Solidarity with our European friends in NATO," said the French president.

Jan 21 13:57

Russia wants NATO forces to leave Romania, Bulgaria - foreign ministry

The security guarantees that Russia seeks from the West include provisions requiring NATO forces to leave Romania and Bulgaria, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.

Jan 21 10:04

UK Might Dispatch Hundreds of Troops to NATO Countries Near Ukraine, Reports Say

London is considering the possibility of sending hundreds more troops to allied countries neighboring Ukraine as a "deterrent" to Russia, thereby beefing up the UK's contribution to NATO's operations in the region, The Times reported on Friday, citing defense sources.

The alliance members have reportedly held high-level talks about bolstering their military presence in the Baltic States and Poland right after UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss warned Russian President Vladimir Putin to "step back from Ukraine before he makes a massive strategic mistake", as quoted by The Times.

Currently, the United Kingdom leads a NATO battle group of 1,200 troops in Estonia, where it has tanks, armoured vehicles, air defence systems, and intelligence assets, according to the media. Poland hosts 140 UK troops as part of NATO's mission too.

Jan 21 06:59

CIA chief William Burns made secret visit to Europe ahead of Secretary of State Blinken's trip as part of effort to drum up support for tough response if Moscow invades Ukraine

The head of the CIA quietly visited Europe ahead of Secretary of State Antony Blinken's trip this week as Washington tries to rally allies around a tough response against Moscow if Vladimir Putin presses ahead with plans to invade Ukraine.

Senior figures have become increasingly concerned that countries including France and Germany may pursue their own path because of closer economic ties with Russia.

The diplomatic push took on even greater urgency on Thursday, a day after President Biden said he believed Putin would press ahead with an invasion.

Jan 21 06:54

Stoltenberg Says NATO Helping Train Ukraine Forces to Resist Russia

NATO is helping train Ukrainian forces to resist a possible Russian invasion of their country, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.

“We are training, helping Ukraine with equipment, training their forces so they can resist. They have an inherent right for self defense,” Stoltenberg told CNN in response to a question about what he wishes to convey to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Stoltenberg explained Russia says it wants less NATO presence, but its aggressive actions are leading to the opposite situation and the alliance is currently considering deploying more troops the eastern flank.

The NATO allies are united and have sent a clear message Russia will pay a high price if it further invades Ukraine, Stoltenberg said.

Jan 21 06:53

Albania: NATO acquires, to upgrade air base in ninth Eastern European nation

In recent months NATO and the U.S. have announced securing new air bases in Latvia, Hungary, Slovakia and Albania. Those acquisitions are in addition to U.S./NATO air bases in Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. The latter airfields have been modernized and expanded as will no doubt. the newer ones. That accounts for nine of the fourteen Eastern European nations inducted into NATO in the past twenty-three years. Only the Czech Republic (to the best of one’s knowledge) and the former Yugoslav republics of Croatia, (North) Macedonia, Montenegro (population: 620,000) and Slovenia haven’t provided NATO with air bases for use against Russia and Belarus to date. (The Pentagon is moving a forward-based special operations forces headquarters to Albania as well.)

Jan 21 06:52

Brzezinski clan returns to Poland after 84 years to subvert Belarus, boost NATO

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by brother Ian and insufferable sister Mika and her spouse.

Mark Brzezinski sworn in as new US ambassador to Poland

Brzezinski, who was last month approved by the US Senate to serve as the country’s next envoy to Warsaw, took his oath of office from Vice President Kamala Harris during a ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on Wednesday….

He is expected to arrive in Warsaw later this week.

Jan 21 06:51

Tucker: Here's what America should learn from Hungary

Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto discusses country's border policies on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight.

Jan 21 06:50

Macron Wants Abortion Added to EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for the right to abortion to be added to the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.

“The right to abortion” should be added to the EU’s legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights, according to French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron’s suggestion — which will no doubt raise the ire of Malta, Poland and Hungary — comes shortly after Roberta Metsola, a pro-life MEP, was elected President of the European Parliament.

Jan 21 06:44

Spain Sends Warships to Black Sea, Considers Sending Warplanes

Spain has sent warships to join NATO naval forces in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea as tension in the region rises over the Russian military build-up on the Ukrainian border, Defence Minister Margarita Robles said on Thursday.

A mine-sweeper is already en route and a frigate will sail within three or four days, Robles told reporters. The Madrid government is also considering sending fighter jets to Bulgaria, she said.

"Russia cannot tell any country what to do, so NATO will protect and defend the sovereignty of any country that can or wants to join NATO," she said.

Spain's preference was for an "exclusively diplomatic response" to resolving the conflict, she added.

Jan 21 06:00

BRZEZINSKI BECOMES US AMBASSADOR TO POLAND

Mark Brzezinski, son of former US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, has been sworn in as US ambassador to Poland. Vice President Kamala Harris conducted the ceremony on Wednesday, which was attended by Brzezinski’s sister Mika and brother-in-law Joe Scarborough, both hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Brzezinski, who previously served as US ambassador to Sweden from 2011 to 2015, was nominated for the position in August and confirmed by the Senate last month.

His father, Zbigniew, served as the national security advisor under former president Jimmy Carter and was well known as the architect of the Grand Chessboard theory of geostrategic power. The elder Brzezinski viewed the Eurasian continent as the fulcrum of world power and believed it was in the best interests of the US to control it, given its richness in natural resources, physical wealth, and population.

Jan 20 15:51

U.S. clears Baltic states to send U.S.-made weapons to Ukraine

The U.S. State Department has cleared Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to send U.S.-made missiles and other weapons to Ukraine, three sources familiar with the decision said, as President Joe Biden predicted Russia would move on Ukraine.

Jan 20 13:41

NATO teases massive Arctic drill

NATO allies and partners will soon hold massive war games in the European Arctic involving the US Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 8, the country’s mission to the military bloc has said. The reminder comes amid tensions with Russia over NATO’s enlargement on the continent, which Moscow considers a threat to its national security.

The Cold Response is scheduled to launch in March and will bring together “35,000 soldiers from 28 nations,” the American mission tweeted on Wednesday.

Jan 20 12:08

France calls for new 'European order'

French leader Emmanuel Macron, has marked the start of his country’s presidency of the EU by calling for a “frank” dialogue with Russia, which he deemed necessary for building a new rules-based “European order.”

“Our continent’s security requires strategic rearmament of our Europe as a force of peace and balance, particularly in our dialogue with Russia,” Macron said in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

He explained he has been making this point “for several years.”

Jan 20 12:03

COVID-19: Van Gogh Museum offers haircuts, manicures in protest of Dutch lockdown

Jan 20 11:17

NATO’s northeast spearhead states speak of imminent war

Estonian Defense Forces commander: There will likely be war in Ukraine soon

Threat of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine is “Serious” Says Polish Deputy FM

Canada, echoing U.S., says it fears armed conflict could erupt in Ukraine

Jan 20 11:13

NATO Military Liaison Officer in Kyiv

NATO has a military officer in Kyiv as part of the NATO Liaison Office (NLO). This officer and his staff focus at the military aspects of the NLO's mission in Ukraine. This webpage gives further information on these military aspects.

The NATO Liaison Office (NLO) was established in Kyiv in April 1999 to facilitate Ukraine's participation in the Partnership for Peace and to support Ukrainian efforts in the area of defence reform.

NATO and Ukraine are working to deepen and expand their partnership and create a strong framework for cooperation. This will include intensified consultations and cooperation on political, economic and defence issues, with a view to raising the relationship to a qualitatively new level.

Jan 20 11:06

‘One-sided, incendiary’: Russian diplomat slams NATO’s space policy paper

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova took NATO to task over its space policy paper at a briefing on Thursday, branding it as slanted and incendiary.

According to her, the document entitled NATO’s Overarching Space Policy, which was published on January 17, covers the Western-led bloc’s priorities in space.

"The document is one-sided and in fact incendiary as it is based on destructive beliefs of the US-led NATO members who have an important role in space," Zakharova emphasized.

She added that by releasing the document, NATO sought to legitimize the use of force in outer space, which ran counter to the international community’s efforts to prevent an arms race in space. "That said, the alliance is turning outer space into a battlefield," the Russian diplomat noted.

Jan 20 10:55

Finland's PM Says NATO Membership Is 'Very Unlikely' in Her Current Term

Finland does not plan to join NATO in the near future but is ready to stand with its European allies and United States by imposing tough sanctions on Russia if it attacks Ukraine, Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Wednesday.

"It would have a very substantial impact and the sanctions would be extremely tough," Marin told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

Marin said it is "very unlikely" that Finland would apply for a NATO membership during her current term of office.

The Nordic country shares a 1,340 km (833 mile) border and a difficult history with Russia and the Soviet Union, including clashing during World War Two, but has opted to only cooperate with the Western security alliance instead of joining it.

Jan 20 10:27

Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia Waiting for US Approval to Send Weapons to Ukraine - Reports

Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are waiting for US approval to send American-made lethal weapons to Ukraine in order to deter an alleged Russian invasion, Politico reported on Wednesday.

The three Baltic countries are prepared to transfer weapons such as anti-armor and ground-to-air missiles to Ukraine, the report said citing officials from the countries and people familiar with the matter.

Sen. Jim Risch, who is the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Politico he hopes the Biden administration will immediately approve the transfer of weapons to Ukraine.

Jan 20 10:15

'There are no minor incursions' pleads Ukraine leader after Biden remarks

Western countries sought to project unity over Ukraine on Thursday, after U.S. President Joe Biden suggested allies were split over how to react to any "minor incursion" from Russia, prompting Kyiv's leader to plead that there was no such thing.

Jan 20 10:14

Top US, European diplomats hold talks on Ukraine crisis

Top American and European diplomats are meeting in Berlin on Thursday as the allies seek to project a united front to Russia over concerns that it may be planning an invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has massed an estimated 100,000 troops near Ukraine, and U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday he thinks Moscow will invade. He warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country would pay a “dear price” in lives lost and a possible cutoff from the global banking system if it does.

Against that backdrop, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks Thursday with diplomats from Germany, France and Britain — a so-called Quad meeting. A day earlier, he met Ukraine’s president in Kyiv to discuss the threat.

Russia has denied it is planning an invasion and has, in turn, accused the West of plotting “provocations” in Ukraine, citing the delivery of weapons to the country by British military transport planes in recent days.

Jan 20 07:14

Biden lays bare Nato divide over Russian aggression against Ukraine

Joe Biden confirmed at his press conference on Wednesday what has been apparent for weeks – Nato remains divided over how to respond to Russian aggression against Ukraine.

His admission of a split was overshadowed by his passing remark that a minor incursion would be treated differently to a full-scale invasion. The White House afterwards clarified that a minor incursion meant cyber-attacks, as opposed to a movement of Russian troops into Ukraine sovereign territory.

None of this is academic since Biden said he thought Vladimir Putin would risk an invasion, however much Nato tried to change the Russian president’s calculus with threats.

The greatest tension over the correct response is between the US and Germany, hence the visit of the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, to Berlin on Thursday before a meeting with Russian officials in Geneva.

Jan 19 17:02

Moldova declares state of emergency

The government of Moldova has declared a new 60-day state of emergency, following a warning from Russian energy firm Gazprom that it could halt gas deliveries to the country due to unpaid bills.

Prime Minister Natalia Gavrili?a announced the news at a cabinet session on Wednesday, saying, “the decision has been approved. It must now be confirmed by parliament. After that, an emergency commission will take full measures to ensure that consumers have uninterrupted access to gas.”

Jan 19 14:35

TUCKER COVERS THE EUROPEAN PROTESTS 1/18/2022

Jan 19 13:08

Huge victory in Czech Republic…

JUST IN – Vaccination against COVID will not become mandatory in the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said today at a press conference.

Jan 19 11:28

US seeking ways to profit should Russia-Ukraine conflict break out – reports

The US State Department has reportedly held talks with international energy majors on the possibility of contingency supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe if conflict between Russia and Ukraine disrupts deliveries.

Over the past several months, the White House has repeatedly expressed the concern that Russia is preparing to launch a military assault on Ukraine. Russia has made it clear it has no such plans.

The US administration has threatened Moscow with another round of “crippling” sanctions in the event of a conflict between the neighboring states.

The imposition of penalties could disrupt the supply of Russian LNG to Europe, which accounts for about a third of European energy imports, and would inevitably exacerbate the energy crisis that has recently hit the region.

Jan 19 10:48

NATO Signs Deal With Ukraine To Deepen Cyber Cooperation

Early this week NATO signed a new deal with Ukraine to boost cyber cooperation amid simmering tensions with Russia.

Ukraine and NATO first signed a technology-related agreement in 2015, and cooperation has increased over the years. The new deal aims to help Ukraine’s military modernize its information technology and communications services.

Jan 19 09:29

PROF. PERRONNE AT LUXEMBOURG PARLIAMENT HEARING ON VACCINATING CHILDREN

Jan 19 09:05

Challenge for World Peace… the United States and NATO Are Incapable of Disarming Cold War Mentality

Russia will have to be on guard and use counter-force to prevent any reckless offensive conduct by the United States and its European minions.

The dangerous tensions that have escalated between the United States, NATO and Russia pose a grave threat to world peace. It’s important to remember that the series of high-level talks convened this week in three European cities was initiated by Russia. Moscow put forward stern proposals for a clearer security arrangement in Europe between the U.S.-led NATO military bloc and Russia.

Those proposals include no further eastward expansion of NATO and a rollback of forces and U.S. strike weapons from eastern European states that joined the military alliance after 1997 – Poland, the Baltic states and other former members of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. Other proposals include agreed limits to military exercises in the region.

Jan 19 09:05

US Imperialism and European Vassals are Real Enemies of Europe

Russia finds itself in a fiendish situation, one that’s almost laughable if it were not so dangerous. One where the right to defence is distorted as an offense, and vice versa.
And then on top of that, there is a slippery slide towards conflict because Russia is dealing with American and European idiots who have no mental brakes.

Here’s the theatre of absurd in a nutshell: Moscow is warned by American and European hotheads that if it escalates tensions over Ukraine then Russia will face severe consequences.

US undersecretary of state Victoria Nuland sounded gung-ho when she told media that there would be “very sharp and very fast pain” for Russia “if it makes a move” that is perceived to be hostile to Ukraine.

The Biden White House has been threatening to cut Russia off from international banking systems. That would be tantamount to declaring war.

Jan 19 09:04

European Parliament elects first female president in 20 years

Maltese lawmaker Roberta Metsola has been appointed to the largely ceremonial role of presiding over the EU Parliament, succeeding Italian politician David Sassoli, who passed away at the age of 65 earlier this month.

Metsola, 42, who has been serving as a member of the European Parliament for Malta since 2013, is its first Maltese president. Prior to that, she served as the first vice president of the European Parliament during Sassoli’s tenure.

In a video posted to Twitter ahead of her election, Metsola said it was “time that the European Parliament is led by a woman,” so the EU can send a positive message to “every single young girl” across the continent.

Jan 19 08:51

Blinken meets Zelensky in Ukraine tomorrow, NATO Quad in Berlin after

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Kyiv and Berlin from January 18-20, 2022….

“Secretary Blinken will begin his trip in Kyiv, Ukraine, where he will meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on January 19 to reinforce the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Department of State’s Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

The trip follows extensive diplomacy with America’s European Allies and partners about a “united approach to address the threat Russia poses to Ukraine and our joint efforts to encourage it to choose diplomacy and de-escalation in the interests of security and stability.”

Jan 19 08:50

Coordinating plans along NATO’s eastern flank: chief of Polish general staff in Georgia

The Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland is paying an official visit to Georgia. General Raimund Andjejak is hosted by the Commander of the Georgian Defense Forces, Major General Giorgi Matiashvili. After the official welcoming ceremony held at the General Staff training ground at the Ministry of Defense, the Georgian and Polish counterparts discussed the issues of bilateral cooperation in a face-to-face meeting. Major General Giorgi Matiashvili thanked the Polish side for its unwavering political support to Georgia and assistance in the field of defense and expressed hope for deepening cooperation.

Jan 19 08:40

The US Plan of an Afghanistan Inside Europe

Soldiers in war gear and armored fighting vehicles have been deployed by Sweden on Gotland, the island in the Baltic Sea 90 km from its eastern coasts. The Ministry of Defense declares that it has done so in order to defend the island from threatening Russian landing ships crossing the Baltic Sea. Thus Sweden also contributes, as a partner, to the frantic US-NATO campaign which, inverting reality, presents Russia as an aggressive power preparing to invade Europe.

130 km east of Gotland, Latvia is on alert, together with Lithuania and Estonia, against the invented enemy that is about to invade. As a “defense against the Russian threat”, NATO has deployed four multinational battalions in the three Baltic republics and in Poland. Italy participates in the one in Latvia, with hundreds of soldiers and armored vehicles.

Jan 19 08:34

Impossible to Switch Off Nord Stream 2, Gas Deliveries Have Not Started Yet, Moscow Says

It is impossible to switch off the Nord Stream 2 project as gas deliveries have not started yet, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday, adding that this kind of situation has a negative impact on European consumers.

"Russia is regularly, daily threatened by someone. The commercial international project Nord Stream 2 cannot be turned off, because it has not yet been turned on," Peskov told reporters when asked about German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s statement on the possibility of switching off the project in case of escalation in Ukraine.

Peskov went on to say that the situation in Ukraine is tense and additional deliveries of weapons there may escalate it further.

“As for the tense situation in Ukraine, it is indeed very, very tense. We see the supply of weapons there, we see various maneuvers, flights of aircraft from NATO and Western European countries. This is all leading to tensions around Ukraine," Peskov told reporters.

Jan 19 08:26

Russia-US Security Talks: Is Ukraine Vital for NATO?

Russia's security talks with the US, NATO and OSCE have opened doors to further set of negotiations, says German academic Tim Buthe, suggesting that further consultations could possibly break the ice.

A series of Russian meetings with the US, NATO and OSCE over Moscow's security proposals took part last week in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna, respectively. While a number of gaps have not been bridged, the sides clearly and frankly articulated their positions and signalled an openness for more talks. Russia's security proposals include legally binding guarantees of NATO's non-expansion eastward and a pull-out of the bloc's forces from member states that have joined it since 1997, among other measures.

Jan 19 08:24

How the EU found itself excluded from talks on deciding Europe's future

The EU has hit out after it was effectively excluded from security talks between Russia and the US. The fate of the world may have once been decided in Western European capitals, but now it seems to be out of their hands.

However, it seems increasingly clear that the bloc only has itself to blame for the fact its members no longer have a seat at the top table, leaving them the subject of discussions, rather than the driver of them.

In advance of the talks last week, Washington rhetorically agreed that European security cannot be decided over the heads of the EU and Ukraine, before then simply going ahead with the bilateral US-Russia format. Simply put, Washington cannot do diplomacy with Eurocrats in the room.

Jan 19 08:15

Spanish Police Declare Resistance To Covid Tyranny and Corruption

Readers may be interested in this piece (Google will translate it into English if the link takes you to a Spanish version), Cops for Freedom, the deniers within law enforcement led by a quantum healer. It’s worth reading for the more sophisticated way they trash this group of police, labelling them as essentially a dangerous cult. One of them is, gasp!, a quantum healer. As we are moving into a quantum system of just about everything, including finance and medicine, this guy might very well be ahead of his time.

Jan 19 07:38

US tells Israel it no longer supports EastMed pipeline project: Report

The Biden administration has informed Israel, Greece, and Cyprus in recent weeks that the US no longer supports the proposed EastMed natural gas pipeline from Israel to Europe, a diplomatic source told the Jerusalem Post.

State Department officials conveyed the new position to the Israeli foreign ministry, a diplomatic source in Jerusalem confirmed to the newspaper on Tuesday.

Middle East Eye reported earlier this month that Washington had silently abandoned the pipeline project, sending Greece its concerns about it in a "non-paper", an unofficial diplomatic correspondence.

Jan 19 07:10

EU explains position on new Russia sanctions

The EU’s most senior diplomat Josep Borrell has ruled out the introduction of “preventive sanctions” against Russia over the situation in Ukraine, clarifying that any measures would only be implemented in case of an actual attack.

Borrell’s comments come as tensions on the Russian frontier with Ukraine remain high and as Moscow stands accused of placing over 100,000 troops in the area in preparation for an invasion. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied these suggestions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Europe is sending a signal that they do not want a war.

Jan 19 07:05

Even Without War, Russia Has Defeated Europe Already

Whether or not Vladimir Putin moves his troops into Ukraine, he has once again confronted Europe with a most painful reality: while being too weak to defend itself, it can no longer rely on the United States to come to its rescue.

We are facing a reality in which Russia, despite its economy only having the size of Italy's, can bully and intimidate a continent thanks to its energy reserves and its readiness to project vast military power.

Sure, any Russian invasion of Ukraine would cost Russia a fortune and likely degrade into a grinding war of attrition. Invasion is unlikely to be president Putin's preferred option. Yet, this game of brinkmanship has another part of the equation. If Russia invades Ukraine, the costs for Europe will be equally devastating.

It will force gas-addicted European countries to find expensive alternatives and to severe billions in infrastructure, from pipelines, over pumping stations, to dedicated storages.

Jan 18 13:44

NATO mounting build-up near Belarus, Russia claims

Amid heightened tensions with NATO, Moscow has vowed that it will not turn a blind eye to the US-led military bloc’s purported build-up near Belarus, as Russian officials seek responses to their proposed security guarantees.

Speaking as part of an interview with TASS published on Tuesday, Russia’s ambassador to Minsk, Boris Gryzlov, remarked “we see that the build-up of NATO forces and resources, in fact, does not stop at our gates.”

He continued, stating that during the migrant crisis, when thousands of would-be asylum seekers from troubled nations, mainly in the Middle East, attempted to cross over from the former Soviet republic into EU states, additional forces, including heavy weapons were moved to the Belarusian border from Poland.

Jan 18 07:23

Drone Sightings Above Swedish Nuclear Power Plants Trigger Investigation

Sweden has been noticing strange sightings around its three nuclear power plants. And while sightings like these might not receive attention outside of the local press, the tensions with Russia across the Baltic Sea has made the situation particularly tense.

Following sightings of large drones flying above all three of Sweden's nuclear power plants, Swedish police deployed patrols and helicopters to the Forsmark nuclear plant north of Stockholm to look for evidence of the drones. Unfortunately, the patrol came back empty-handed.

Jan 18 06:51

Patrick J. Buchanan: Biden Should Declare NATO Membership Closed

In 2014, when Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to a U.S.-backed coup that ousted a pro-Russian regime in Kyiv by occupying Crimea, President Barack Obama did nothing.

When Putin aided secessionists in the Donbass in seizing Luhansk and Donetsk, once again, Obama did nothing.

Why did we not come to the military assistance of Ukraine?

Because Ukraine is not a member of NATO. We had no obligation to come to its aid. And to have intervened militarily on the side of Ukraine would have risked a war with Russia we had no desire to fight.

Last year, when Putin marshaled 100,000 Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine, President Joe Biden declared that any U.S. response to a Russian invasion would be restricted to severe sanctions.

The U.S. would take no military action in support of Ukraine.

Why not? Because, again, Ukraine is not a member of NATO.

Jan 17 16:32

White House Denies Report Saying US & EU Rule Out Russia's Disconnection From SWIFT

Earlier, Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper reported, citing German government sources, that Western governments are no longer considering cutting Russian banks off from the SWIFT global payments system.

The White House has denied a report saying that the US and EU have abandoned their plans to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT system as part of restrictive measures that would be imposed if Russia invades Ukraine.

The US does not rule out such a possibility, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said, quoted by the presidential pool.

He added that Washington has remained in close contact with its European colleagues concerning possible grave consequences for Russia should it invade Ukraine.

This comes after earlier on Monday, Handelsblatt reported, citing German government sources, that the West was no longer opting for blocking Russia from SWIFT and was mulling economic sanctions against major Russian banks as an alternative.

Jan 17 08:58

NATO-Russia Relations Near Red Line Due to Alliance's Military Support of Ukraine, Peskov Tells CNN

The Kremlin spokesman's interview with CNN comes several days after talks in Geneva between Russia and the US - along with Russia-NATO talks - over tensions in Ukraine ended.

Relations between Russia and NATO are nearing the red line because of the military support the alliance is giving to Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN on Sunday.

Peskov also told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that Moscow considers it necessary to keep troops near the border with Ukraine because of "a very tense situation and very unfriendly environment."

According to the Kremlin spokesman, Russia "cannot put up" with NATO "gradually making its way" into Ukraine.

"We have seen NATO gradually invade Ukrainian territory with its infrastructure, its instructors, supplies of defensive and offensive weapons, teaching the Ukrainian military and so forth. That has brought us to the red line, a situation which we couldn’t tolerate anymore," he said.

Jan 17 08:57

Some of America's NATO Allies Were 'Unsettled' by 'Certain US Ideas' at Security Guarantee Talks

During the Russia-NATO negotiations on Moscow's security guarantee draft agreements earlier this week, the alliance reiterated its reluctance to stop its eastward expansion, something that runs counter to the bottom line of the proposals.

Some NATO countries were "unsettled" with "certain ideas" that US officials put forward in recent negotiations with Russia on security guarantees, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has quoted unnamed diplomats from the alliance as saying.

The sources said that during the talks, the US and its allies publicly presented "a united front" as they rejected Russia's "demands that they rule out NATO enlargement and pull military forces back from the alliance’s eastern flank".

Jan 17 08:31

Stoltenberg Says NATO Won't Agree to Keep Military Within Pre-1997 Borders

Russia previously slammed the alliance's creeping expansion, saying that NATO should return to the positions that existed at the moment of signing the 1997 Russia-NATO Founding Act. The Russian Foreign Ministry has underscored that strengthening NATO’s military potential near Russia’s borders poses a national security threat.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday the bloc would never pull allied troops from member states that had joined it since 1997, but is ready to discuss arms reduction with Russia.

"Of course, we cannot agree that we should have no NATO troops in all the countries that have joined NATO since 1997. That’s actually half of our members," he said in an interview with CBC News airing Sunday.

Jan 17 07:48

Kremlin reveals how it will respond to NATO deployments to Ukraine

Russia believes it would be “madness” to start a war over Ukraine, but doesn’t rule out taking “counter-actions” to NATO deployments if security negotiations fail and its concerns are left unaddressed, the Kremlin has told CNN.

Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin's long-time spokesman, added that Russia is deeply concerned by a recent spiraling-up of tensions in Europe, in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

“We have too much tension on the border [with Ukraine]. We have too much tension in this part of Europe. It drags [in] more problems automatically. It is extremely dangerous for our continent,” he told the host of the ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS’ show.

According to Peskov, the only way forward for the US and NATO is to finally address Russia’s concerns in earnest, instead of brushing them off. “This is the reason we are insisting on receiving a direct response,” he explained, adding that Moscow expected an “extremely specific” response to its “extremely specific proposals.”

Jan 17 06:38

Thousands protest over Europe’s first mandatory vaccine plan

Thousands of Austrians took to the streets of Vienna to protest against an upcoming parliamentary vote to make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory, with demonstrators calling for the government to be replaced.

Protesters carried Austrian flags through the streets on Saturday as police in riot gear could be seen standing in a line nearby. “Face your guilt and turn back!” one banner read, while others accused Austria’s right-wing ruling party – the Austrian People’s Party (OVP) – of splitting the nation with its coronavirus policies.

Jan 16 07:14

EU adds strident voice to chorus clamoring for war in Europe

Russia’s aggressive policy on Ukraine and the demands for security guarantees from the United States and NATO pose a challenge to transatlantic security…the European Union’s foreign ministers agreed during an informal meeting on Friday while discussing the security situation in Eastern Europe.

…[Estonian] Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics participated in the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brest, France, on Thursday and Friday. The meeting featured EU foreign and defense ministers’ discussion on the EU Strategic Compass for Security and Defense. The foreign ministers also discussed the security situation in Eastern Europe and EU-China relations, as well as the situation in Mali, where the transitional government is significantly hindering the development of democratic processes.

Jan 16 07:13

NATO to deploy two carrier strike groups, 35,000 troops for war games off Russia’s northwest coast

With the aim to train reinforcement of northern Norway, Cold Response will be the largest NATO exercise inside the Arctic Circle since the 1980s. Some 35,000 soldiers from 28 nations will participate and a significant portion of the training that kicks off in March will be at sea and in the air.

…[A] conflict in eastern Europe could spill over to the Arctic as the Kola Peninsula is home to some of Russia’s most powerful weapon systems, including hypersonic cruise missiles and the naval component of the strategic nuclear triad.

On January 11, the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy announced that its newest aircraft carrier, the “HMS Prince of Wales”, will sail to the Arctic to lead naval involvement in the large-scale Norwegian-led exercise Cold Response.

Jan 16 07:08

Russian Roulette: As Croupier at This Particular Casino Table, I Invite You To Place Your Bets

The Russia-US-NATO-OSCE meetings this week have come and gone. The Russian verdict was succinctly delivered by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Ryabkov, who explained even before the OSCE session was over that the talks have come to “a dead end” and it was unlikely the Russians will participate in any follow-on talks.

This opens the question to what comes next.

Jan 16 06:59

Kick in the Baltics for Peace

There’s a sound reason why Russia insists on a buffer zone of non-NATO countries on its borders. Because some of its neighbors are so unhinged in their Russophobia, it would be irresponsible to see them weaponized.

This week it is reported that Baltic states are seeking to have more NATO troops and weapons stationed on their territories, according to Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.
That means potentially more American, German and British warplanes and tanks massing on the border with Russia than there are already. This militarization of the Baltics by NATO is partly the reason why Russia is demanding new security arrangements in Europe involving a rollback of the US-led military alliance from its borders.

And just when those negotiations are underway this week, the Baltic states are pushing for more NATO militarization.

Jan 16 06:58

US to train ‘Ukrainian insurgents’ in EU – media

The US is mulling a strategy of subverting Russia’s aims, without direct involvement, in case it invades Ukraine, the New York Times reported on Friday, adding that it may involve arming and training Ukrainian fighters in Europe.

American President Joe Biden has apparently not made up his mind about what his government would do in the event that Moscow occupies the former Soviet republic, the newspaper claims. However, it insists that officials have come up with a possible US response in case an attack does take place.

Washington apparently believes that Ukraine does not stand a chance against a potential Russian invading force in an open battle and it instead has focused on supporting Ukrainian “guerrilla” warfare on territory that could be occupied by Moscow, the report explains.

Jan 16 06:53

US Prepared 18 Response Scenarios in Case of 'Russian Invasion' of Ukraine, Victoria Nuland Says

The US, NATO, and Russia met earlier this week to discuss European security issues, including the alliance's continuing expansion towards Russia's borders, which Moscow opposes, and the ongoing concerns of the West regarding an alleged Russian military buildup near Ukraine.

The US prepared 18 response scenarios in case Russia decides to invade Ukraine as the West fears it might do, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has stated. She refused to elaborate on what exactly they were, but promised that Washington and its allies are ready to inflict high costs on Russia if it acts aggressively.

"I would simply say that our commitment and the conversation that we have with our allies is around inflicting very sharp pain very fast, if Russia makes this move in any form", Nuland said.

Jan 16 06:52

Tanks in European streets explained by Russia

Sweden has moved to ramp up security on the largest Baltic Sea island of Gotland with a view to “adapting” its security strategy to the “tense situation” on the Russian-Ukrainian border, located some 1,700km southeast.

Residents of the sleepy town of Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland awoke to the sound of heavy military hardware roaring through the streets on Saturday. The Swedish Army’s Stridsfordon 90 infantry fighting vehicles had arrived overnight to secure the tranquil coastal town and its port.

A rapid response tactical unit of the Swedish Armed Forces has been deployed to the island, the military said in a statement on Saturday. A part of the unit was flown in on Friday evening by the US C-17 heavy transport aircraft as part of Sweden’s “international collaboration” program while the rest arrived by ferry from mainland Sweden.

Jan 16 06:50

Russia is right: The West promised not to enlarge NATO & these promises were broken

With Russia challenging Western unilateralism in a way not seen since the end of the Soviet Union, two major issues keep coming to the fore. Both, it seems, are centered on America's flagship military bloc, NATO.

First, there is Moscow’s claim that there was a Western promise not to expand NATO beyond its Cold War area. Second, there is a Western claim that NATO cannot, let alone will not, put an end to admitting new member states.

Jan 15 08:29

Russia-NATO Talks: How the Cold War-Era Hubris of the Bloc Limits Pan-European Security

The parties of the Russia-NATO Council consultations have so far failed to find common ground on the issue of what Moscow notes is the transatlantic bloc's eastward expansion. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, in response, stated that NATO will not give up on its "core principles," including its open-door policy for membership to nations including Ukraine and Georgia. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grushko warned that Moscow could be left with no other choice than "counter-intimidation" if the parties fail to reverse the current course of events.

Why NATO is Unwilling to Reach a Compromise With Russia

The NATO stance is unsurprising, given that the bloc's purpose depends on the idea of Russian containment, says Dr. Matthew Crosston, professor of political science and executive vice chairman with ModernDiplomacy.eu.

Jan 15 08:03

NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard

Declassified documents show security assurances against NATO expansion to Soviet leaders from Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, Gates, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Hurd, Major, and Woerner.

Slavic Studies Panel Addresses “Who Promised What to Whom on NATO Expansion?”

U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s famous “not one inch eastward” assurance about NATO expansion in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, was part of a cascade of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991, according to declassified U.S., Soviet, German, British and French documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Jan 15 07:40

Russia redeploys military hardware and personnel to western borders

For the time being, Russia has deployed as many as 100,000 troops and thousands of units of military hardware on the border with Ukraine. Many videos showing the transportation of military equipment from the eastern part of Russia towards the western borders have appeared on the internet recently. It appears that Russia is putting its troops on high alert against the background of a very high risk of provocations on the part of NATO.

Given the scale of the transfer of military hardware, it appears that Russia is taking efforts to build up the troops on its western borders to 500,000. Most of the Russian troops will thus be deployed in western regions of the country.

The videos that eyewitnesses made in different parts of the country show the railway transportation of tanks, multiple launch rocket systems, light armored vehicles, engineering vehicles, military trucks, field artillery, etc.

Jan 15 07:20

Hackers' use of Polish in attack on Ukrainian sites attempt to destabilize Polish-Ukrainian relations – Polish Foreign Ministry

The publication of "statements" as a result of a cyberattack against Ukrainian government agencies in the Polish language is another attempt to destabilize Polish-Ukrainian relations, Polish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lukasz Jasina said.

"We interpret the publication of the 'statements' in Polish as another attempt to destabilize Polish-Ukrainian relations," Jasina said on Twitter on Friday.

Poland strongly condemns the cyberattack, he said.

Jan 15 07:18

Audio: NATO rules out withdrawal of troops all along Russia’s western border

NATO will not give in to Russian pressure to withdraw forces from its eastern flank, the alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Beata P?omecka, Polish Radio’s Brussels correspondent, in an exclusive interview.

Jan 14 09:03

NATO, US brought world close to brink of nuclear war during talks with Russia - expert

The behavior of the US and NATO during talks on security guarantees with Russia in Geneva and Brussels brought the world closer to the brink of the nuclear war and further consultations can be useful only in case the West changes its approaches, representative of the Schiller Institute in New York Richard Black told TASS.

"What NATO and US have done from Monday through Wednesday [consultations with Russia were held on different floors from January 10 to 12 - TASS] on this going week is to bring the world close to the brink of nuclear war by insisting on the continuance of placing the weapons with nuclear strike capability not near but at Russia’s border," Black said.

"What is needed is a new world security architecture, which guarantees all nations security and it includes Russia and the United States. West needs to give up its violent fantasy of getting win Russia and China," the expert noted.

Jan 14 08:59

Further escalation in Russia-NATO relations probable, expert says

Initiation of a dialog on purely military-technical matters of European security or further military-political escalation are two possible scenarios in evolvement of Russia-NATO relations after talks on security guarantees in Brussels, Valdai Club expert Dmitry Suslov told TASS.

The first scenario of initiated talks on military-technical aspects of European security is less probable but more preferable for the West, the expert said. "On such issues as control over conventional and nuclear arms, strengthening of de-conflicting mechanism on Russia-NATO borders, deployment or non-deployment of small- and medium-range missiles in Europe and so on. Avoiding at the same time discussion of fundamental political issues and principles of European security, NATO expansion and setting new rules of the game in European security, whereby NATO and the US should respect vital interests of Russia and its national security," Suslov noted.

Jan 14 08:54

Ukrainian FM thanks EU-NATO-U.S. triumvirate for “unshakeable” support

“We welcome the unshakable unity demonstrated by the United States, NATO, and the EU in rejecting Russia’s illegal demands,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba while commenting on the US-Russia and NATO-Russia meetings.

Jan 14 08:50

Can Russia do a deal with the West?

A diplomatic marathon that saw Russia hold talks with the US and NATO on European security guarantees, this week, ended with the bloc offering to address a range of issues it had previously refused to even discuss with Moscow.

The areas now apparently open for negotiation include reciprocal limitations on deploying missile systems, a reduction in the scale of military exercises, and the reopening of military communication channels. At the same time, NATO is not going to renounce its Open Door policy, with Ukraine’s aspirations to join a key area of contention. Neither will it remove its troops and infrastructure stationed in the former Warsaw Pact nations that joined after 1997, as Moscow has requested. In short, the situation remains tense and unpredictable.

Jan 14 08:46

Acquiring Natural Immunity Intentionally Carries a 5-Year Sentence in Switzerland

Covid infection parties are becoming more popular in Switzerland, although authorities have confirmed that the practice is illegal.

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) confirmed this week that intentionally contracting Covid-19 is illegal and leaves you liable to a prison sentence of up to five years.

Some vaccine-skeptic people in Switzerland go to great lengths to catch coronavirus so they can receive a Covid certificate after recovery.

They apparently advertise on social media looking for contaminated people who can transmit the virus to them.

Jan 14 07:54

Russia-NATO relations at critical level, Moscow warns

Ties between NATO and Russia have plummeted to an alarming low, the country’s Defense Ministry has warned, in the wake of discussions between the US-led military bloc and Moscow over security concerns on the European continent.

Speaking following a meeting between the two parties in Brussels on Wednesday, Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin stressed that Russia is counting on a constructive discussion of the proposed guarantees.

“The Russian side has repeatedly proposed to the [bloc] to take measures to de-escalate the situation,” the department’s press service quoted him as saying, adding that Moscow’s initiatives have been ignored.

The ministry cited the official as warning that “Russia-NATO relations are at a critically low level.” He added that “this creates preconditions for incidents and conflicts, as well as undermining the foundations of security."

Jan 14 07:47

Two NATO Carrier Groups To Sail North For Large-Scale Arctic Exercises Near Russia

At a moment both sides are firmly rejecting the other's position in ongoing Russia-NATO talks, and as the Kremlin could stage fresh naval drills in the Black Sea if the West continues to "provoke" Russia, there's also set to be a military building in the far north, within the Arctic Circle.

The maritime monitoring site Barents Observer reports that two NATO carrier groups are currently en route to waters off northern Norway, not far from Russia's border, for the "the largest NATO exercise inside the Arctic Circle since the 1980s."

Jan 14 07:31

Europe At Highest Risk of War in Decades, Says Top Polish Official

The probability of a new war in Europe is now higher than at any time in the last three decades, according to a top Polish official addressing delegates gathered in Vienna for a final round of diplomacy talks.

“It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than ever before in the last 30 years,” Zbigniew Rau said in the speech, without naming Russia.

The head of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the comment while addressing envoys from the 57 members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—listing a string of conflicts in which Moscow’s involvement has been alleged.

“For several weeks we have been faced with the prospect of a major military escalation in Eastern Europe,” Rau said, likely referring to Russia’s deployment of more than 100,000 troops near its borders with Ukraine.

Jan 14 07:25

Peeking Past the Pall Put Over Arms Talks With Russia

Western media are painting an image of gross failure for Russia at the U.S.-Russia bilateral talks in Geneva, as well as subsequent talks between Russia and NATO in Brussels and the Organization for Co-operation and Security in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna.

Adamant! is the impression being fostered by both Russia and the West (largely for domestic consumption): Russia will continue to oppose NATO membership for countries like Ukraine and Georgia; NATO, for its part, will continue to reject Russian opposition as “none of your business”. (Bear in mind that Ukraine and Georgia are each several years away from qualifying for NATO membership in any case.)

The corporate media takeaway is that Russian President Vladimir Putin abjectly failed to get the West to agree formally on no further expansion of NATO and that, in these circumstances, no one can divine how he might lash out (maybe invade Ukraine?). World War III, anyone?

Jan 14 07:16

EU Extends Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine Peace Deal Failures

The European Union on Thursday prolonged economic sanctions against Russia for six months for failing to live up to its commitments to the peace agreement in Ukraine, amid concern that Moscow may be preparing to invade its former Soviet neighbor.

The measures target Russia’s financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes. The move is part of a rolling review, and is not linked to current tensions over Russia's military buildup near Ukraine.

The measures are part of a raft of sanctions slapped on Russia in 2014 after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, and are tied to respect of the 2015 Minsk peace deal. The EU renewed the sanctions, which will remain in place until at least July 31, because Russia “did not fully implement” the peace agreement.

Jan 14 07:08

If the U.S. and Russia are Implacable Foes, Then All Lines of Inquiry Lead to NATO

In 1961, as a young academic Henry Kissinger had an opportunity to interview President Harry Truman. He asked the former president what in his presidency had made him most proud.

Truman replied, “That we totally defeated our enemies and then brought them back to the community of nations.”

Unfortunately, the U.S. chose not to emulate Truman’s achievement in the years that followed. With the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact, the military threat to Western Europe had ended, but NATO alliance did not disband itself. Mission accomplished was not good news for the military alliance — it needed new enemies and a new mission for self-preservation.

Jan 14 06:54

Politics or war: Moscow makes the West face simple, but tough choice

Two rounds of negotiations between representatives for the United States and Russia can be called unsuccessful, Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, RIA Novosti reports.

Politics or war: Moscow makes the West face simple, but tough choice
According to Peskov, the parties failed not reach an agreement on specific issues.

"The negotiations were initiated in order to get specific answers to specific fundamental questions raised. It is these fundamental issues that we had disagreements on. This is bad,” Peskov assessed the recent talks.

Answering a question of possible sanctions against Russia, Peskov said that Moscow was extremely negative about such a development. The issue of sanctions does not contribute to the formation of the constructive atmosphere in the negotiations on security guarantees, he said.

Jan 14 03:59

Italy’s expanded COVID-19 vaccine mandate BANS unvaccinated people from work and public life

Italy has essentially declared war on citizens who are afraid to get vaccinated against COVID-19, mandating that everyone over 50 get the jab and tightening the rules for its “green pass.” -- Last week, they announced that all people over 50 will join all healthcare workers, school and university staff, military members, and police officers in being required to have the vaccine. Around 28 million of the country’s 59 million inhabitants are over the age of 50.

Jan 13 16:22

Baltics in new NATO demand

The Baltic states have begun discussions to increase the number of NATO soldiers on their territories, due to a perceived threat posed by Russia, the Prime Minister of Estonia revealed on Wednesday.

Speaking to news agency Reuters, Kaja Kallas explained that her nation has serious concerns and wants to have extra troops on the ground as a means of deterrence. Alongside Latvia and Lithuania, the three Baltic nations are former Soviet republics, and each shares a border with Russia.

“Of course, we are discussing with our allies to increase their presence here to act as a deterrent,” Kallas told Reuters. “If you look at the map, the Baltic states are a NATO peninsula and, therefore, we have our worries.”

Jan 13 16:21

Russia, at an Impasse With the West, Warns It Is Ready to Abandon Diplomacy

Russian officials signaled that they could abandon diplomatic efforts to resolve the security crisis surrounding Ukraine, bringing a whirlwind week of European diplomacy to an ominous end and deflating hopes that negotiators could forge a path toward easing tensions in Eastern Europe.

Russian tanks taking part in drills at a firing range in the Rostov region, near the border with Ukraine, on Wednesday.
One senior Russian diplomat said that talks with the West were approaching a “dead end,” while another said the Kremlin would wait until it receives written responses next week to its demands from Washington and from NATO before deciding how to proceed.

It was clear that Russia’s next move would be up to President Vladimir V. Putin, who, his spokesman said on Thursday, was being briefed regularly this week on negotiations with the West.

Jan 13 10:10

I’m Living In A Prison Country

Jan 13 07:58

Nato chief warns of ‘real risk of conflict’ as talks with Russia over Ukraine end

Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has said there is “a real risk for a new armed conflict in Europe” after talks between alliance members and Russia ended with no signs of progress towards defusing the crisis over Ukraine.

The Russian deputy foreign minister, Alexander Grushko, emerged from the four hours of talks renewing Moscow’s threat that it would take military steps if political measures were not enough to “neutralise the threats” it says it faces. His remarks came only days after his fellow Russian diplomat, Sergei Ryabkov, had assured reporters Russia had no intention of invading Ukraine.

Grushko said he had told Nato representatives that “further sliding of the situation could lead to the most unpredictable and most severe consequences for European security”.

Jan 13 07:45

NATO boss reveals result of crunch Russia talks

Crisis talks between Russian diplomats and representatives from NATO have not yet reached an agreement over Moscow's key demands, the military bloc's secretary general has revealed, adding that other areas are open for compromise.

Speaking following the summit in Brussels on Wednesday, Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that the two sides had a “frank and open discussion on a wide range of issues, of course focusing on tensions in and around Ukraine.”

He said that it is even more important when tensions are high that representatives meet. According to him, the bloc is prepared to discuss a range of arms control issues with Moscow and schedule “a series of meetings on various topics, including restrictions on missile weapons in Europe. The Russian side has made it clear that it is not ready to schedule a meeting today, but I welcome that there is a willingness for dialogue," he said.

Jan 13 07:21

New US Military Base in Albania Aimed at Countering China

In a recent interview, a former CIA agent reported that his country is opening a military base in Albania in order to contain China. A unit of American special forces in the Balkan country has as its main objective to stop any form of rapprochement between Tirana and Beijing, turning Albania into a mere regional satellite of Washington’s interests.

Last Friday, the US European Command (better known by the acronym, EUCOM) announced that it was establishing a new headquarters in the Balkans – a special operations unit based in Albania, which would form part of an overall US government effort to increase the capacity of Western forces to guarantee stability in that region, commonly strained by various conflicts with historical roots. The unit would be responsible for ensuring the interoperability between US and Albanian forces, as well as the strategic access to key Balkan military centers.

Jan 13 07:20

Black Alliance for Peace Condemns the Policies of the U.S./EU/NATO Axis of Domination in Ukraine

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) concludes that the full responsibility for the dangerous crisis unfolding in Ukraine has its genesis in the illegal policies of the U.S./EU/NATO “Axis of Domination” beginning in 2014. As the corporate press presents a one-sided presentation of event in Ukraine as part of a massive propaganda effort to mobilize public opinion to support the reckless positions of the Biden administration, BAP believes that the public must be presented with a counternarrative of the chronology of events in Ukraine. BAP National Organizer; Ajamu Baraka summarizes some of those events:

Jan 13 07:14

NATO-Russia talks at impasse amid ‘real risk’ of Ukraine war

NATO and the United States have rejected key Russian security demands for easing tensions over Ukraine but left open the possibility of future talks with Moscow on arms control, missile deployments and ways to prevent military incidents between Russia and the West.

The decisions came at a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on Wednesday, the first of its kind in more than two years. That Russia’s delegation did not walk out of the talks and remained open to the prospect of future meetings despite the West rebuffing central demands were seen as positive notes in a week of high-level meetings aimed at staving off a feared Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Jan 13 06:38

For Fox Sake… Has US Any Intelligent Diplomats?

Foxes seem to be in vogue during the high-stakes talks this week between the US and Russia over deteriorating security conditions in Europe.

The BBC headlined with this: “Can the Silver Fox outwit Vladimir Putin?” The report was referring to Wendy Sherman, the gray-haired diplomat who is leading the US delegation in discussions with Russian counterparts in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna.

Deputy Secretary of State Sherman is described glowingly as an expert negotiator whose wily ways may get the better of Russia on how to reduce dangerous tensions in Europe. (In truth, with people like her, the tensions will only get worse.)

Jan 13 06:37

“Working for Ned/NED”: Nuland accuses Russia of creating crisis “for Ukraine, for European security and for global stability”

Excerpts from comments by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland on January 11. After being introduced by State Department Spokesman Ned Price she spoke of working for Ned/NED in what may be one of the more revealing lapsus linguae in recent years.

Her four-bullet-point indictment of Russia, below, is similar to that of her boss Antony Blinken following the recent NATO foreign ministers meeting and comments by her second boss Wendy Sherman after her one-on-one meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov two days ago.

From Blinken:

It’s Russia that invaded Ukraine nearly eight years ago.

It’s Russia that is the military occupier of part of Ukraine, in Crimea.

It’s Russia that, to this day, is fueling a war in eastern Ukraine.

It’s Russia that has failed to implement any of its Minsk commitments, indeed is actively violating many of them, and refuses to acknowledge it’s a party to the conflict.

Jan 13 06:35

Is A Pig Ebola Outbreak Imminent In Europe?

The highly transmissible and fatal disease for pigs, known as African swine fever (ASF), continues to spread throughout Europe. Leading some to believe the next major outbreak could be nearing and may result in soaring pork prices.

Bloomberg reports the latest case has been reported in a wild boar in Italy. It's the first reported case in the country since the virus was first detected in Western Europe in 2018.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Biological warfare against the food supply?

Jan 13 06:33

Infographic: NATO’s members, mission and tensions with Russia

Members of the world’s most powerful military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), met in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday to discuss Russia’s military build-up along Ukraine’s border.

Washington and Kyiv say Moscow has deployed an estimated 100,000 soldiers near the Ukraine border in recent months, eight years after it seized the Crimean Peninsula from its neighbour.

The NATO-Russia Council will be followed by further talks between Russia and members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna on Thursday.

So, which are these organisations and what do they do?

Jan 13 06:32

Covid pass protesters attempt to breach parliament (VIDEOS)

Bulgarian police have foiled an attempt by demonstrators protesting the enduring anti-coronavirus restrictions to breach the national parliament. The scuffles left four officers injured and saw several protesters detained.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Bulgarian parliament building in the capital, Sofia, on Wednesday.

The protest, staged by the nationalist Vazrazhdane (Revival) party, decried the standing anti-coronavirus restrictions, including the green pass system put in place by the country’s authorities.

Jan 13 06:09

Russian-NATO summit: First step towards war made

It appeared prior to the negotiations that they would take place as a conversation between two deaf people. The United States and NATO are unwilling to listen to what Russia is trying to tell them.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with RIA Novosti before speaking in Geneva that it was difficult for the Americans to conduct a dialogue with Russia because the UK, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and other "younger brethren" were watching them.

The Geneva summit was no success, but Russia took advantage of it to express its thoughts clearly to everyone.

At one point of history, Russia failed to stop NATO from expanding. A lot of things have changed since then. Moscow does not want NATO to expand any further, and such a stance annoyed even neutral states, such as Finland, for example. Therefore, Moscow's requirement not to incorporate any new members of the alliance sounds unreal and unacceptable for NATO.

Jan 12 14:49

NATO Seeks to 'Contain' Russia, There's 'No Room for Common Positive Agenda,' Top Diplomat Says

Russian and NATO officials met in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss security proposels put forth by the Russian Foreign Ministry in December aimed at cooling tensions between Moscow and the Western bloc. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has said the alliance won't give up its open door policy, or its right to beef up troop numbers near Russia.

Wednesday's meeting of the Russia-NATO Council was open and direct, but there were many disagreements, and the Western alliance has demonstrated through the recent diplomatic spat over accreditation rights that there is no room for a common positive agenda, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko has said.

"Today's meeting was devoted precisely to the analysis of the factors affecting the degradation of European security which we have observed in recent years," Grushko said, speaking to reporters Wednesday after the conclusion of the meeting.

Jan 12 14:48

Russia & NATO fail to find common ground – Moscow

The US-led NATO military bloc has reverted to full Cold War strategy of “containment” towards Russia and seeks “full spectrum dominance,” Moscow's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told reporters on Wednesday.

The diplomat added that Moscow believes NATO’s behavior is creating a “unacceptable” threat to Russia that it will have to counter.

Grushko also alleged that the bloc is responsible for ending any and all cooperation with Russia on key common security issues such as the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and piracy. He called out the US over the “collapse” of the arms control agreements, bringing up Washington’s exit from the INF and Open Skies treaties and dragging its feet on extending New START.

Jan 12 14:26

Covid pass protesters attempt to breach parliament (VIDEOS)

Bulgarian police have foiled an attempt by demonstrators protesting the enduring anti-coronavirus restrictions to breach the national parliament. The scuffles left four officers injured and saw several protesters detained.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Bulgarian parliament building in the capital, Sofia, on Wednesday.

The protest, staged by the nationalist Vazrazhdane (Revival) party, decried the standing anti-coronavirus restrictions, including the green pass system put in place by the country’s authorities.

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