SOFA agreement with Baltic states quietly signed by Obama before departure clearing way for permanent US military presence

This will mean lucrative contracts for U.S. companies.

How much money was paid to secure this “agreement”, money which then disappeared into protected personal bank accounts?

From Fort Russ

-Our exercises are a warning to Russia!
– Should we beep?

March 2, 2016 – Fort Russ News
Rubaltic – Translated by Kristina Kharlova

The Baltic States have recognized the special status of the US military in its territory

By Alexander Shamshiev

The US soldiers will receive special legal treatment in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. New rules involve tax incentives, lower prices, immunity from criminal prosecution and potential conflicts with local population.

The Baltic States have agreed with the United States about status of presence of American troops on their territory.

Local media agreed in opinion that negotiations with the American party took place at an accelerated pace to wrap up before the inauguration of Donald Trump, scheduled for January 20. Previously American soldiers visited Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to participate in military exercises and short-term maneuvers. The agreements actually create a legal framework for permanent presence of US military in the three republics. This is what is expected by local authorities. “I am convinced that the presence of US forces is one of the most important factors that will make people of Lithuania feel safer in the current situation, – said Lithuanian defense Minister Karoblis, – and I hope that a permanent presence will continue in the future.” Preparations to welcome Americans are in full swing.

The authorities are actively building barracks, and investing in upgrading infrastructure at the bases in Rukla, Adazhi and Tapa, which in the spring will begin to accept the multinational battalions of NATO.

The purpose of SOFAs [Status of Forces Agreements] is to: “Protect against U.S. personnel being subject to host country criminal or civil justice systems. This is important not only to protect U.S. personnel’s rights and to vindicate the U.S. interest in exercising disciplinary authority over its personnel, but also because U.S. willingness to deploy forces overseas – and public support for such deployments – could suffer significant setbacks if U.S. personnel were at risk of being tried in a potentially unfair system. The United States also has an interest in preserving the principle that U.S. military discipline is enforced by the U.S. military justice system.” – Lsm.lv

 

NATO forces in the Baltics – 2017

Model agreements on the status of forces and amendments are an integral part of any stable presence of the US army abroad. The Pentagon has signed more than 100 agreements governing the relationship between its military and host countries. Signing a SOFA is considered a prestigious event for the allies. It means that the White house took their defense seriously. Therefore, if the agreements facilitate certain developments, in the long term in can propell Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to the level of America’s closest allies, such as Japan, South Korea and Germany.

The Baltic States promised to create a military haven with an abundance of benefits. Among them – preferential tax regime without VAT, taxes on sales and excise taxes, and special stores for the sale of goods at competitive prices. It is indicated that the receiving party does not seek to obtain “additional income” from foreign troops. This fact will certainly depress the municipal authorities and local residents, who planned to cash in on foreign soldiers. In response to the generous reception the American side agrees to strictly comply with Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian laws and not get rowdy.

But from the experience of friendly visits by NATO military incidents can not be avoided.

Guests often provoke an adverse reaction. Last year was no exception: Americans staged a pogrom in Druskininkai waterpark, tore down Lithuanian flag from the building of the prosecutor’s office in Kaunas and desecrated it; the servants of Bundeswehr beat a Lithuanian colleague at Rukla base; the British attacked a Latvian in Riga “McDonald’s” and broke his nose; Japanese seamen invaded Klaipeda, flooded bars and harassed local residents. Typically, such antics were committed in a drunken state. Defiant behavior and disorderly conduct of the military led the mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs to compare them with occupants. Similar cases periodically happen in other countries – for example, in May 2016 in the Italian Vicenza 13 soldiers of the elite 173rd airborne brigade of the United States were arrested for their part in a mass brawl.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/03/sofa-agreement-with-baltic-states.html

NATO force on Russian border ‘not a threat in any way’ – U.S. State Department

From RT

November 22, 2016

© Ints Kalnins
© Ints Kalnins / Reuters

Washington has expressed discomfort over Russia’s deployment of Iskander missiles and air defenses in Kaliningrad, saying that NATO is a “defensive alliance”and is not threatening Moscow. Meanwhile, more tanks and troops are being deployed to the Baltics.

“NATO is a defensive alliance, it’s always been a defensive alliance, it will remain a defensive alliance,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday. “There is no reason why Russia should view NATO in any way, shape or form as a threat.”

On Sunday, NATO kicked off “Iron Sword 2016”exercises in Lithuania, the largest such maneuvers to date, involving 4,000 troops from across the alliance. The exercises in 2015 and 2014 involved 2,500 and 2,000 troops, respectively.

“There is no reason for anybody in Russia to feel threatened by NATO’s military activities or preparations.” Kirby continued. “In terms of recent months and years, there would have been no reason for NATO to advance and commit additional capabilities on the European continent – including American capabilities – had it not been for Russia’s move in Ukraine.”

This is in line with NATO’s official position that military activities in eastern Europe were a defensive response to alleged Russian “aggression” in Ukraine. NATO said Russia was responsible for “annexing” Crimea from Ukraine. The region voted to join the Russian Federation in March 2014, following the coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected government.

Moscow responded to the recent NATO build-up by announcing it would deploy S-400 air defense systems and “Iskander” missile launchers to Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave containing almost one million inhabitants sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.

“Russia is doing all that is necessary to protect itself amid NATO’s expansion toward its borders,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told reporters at the Kremlin on Tuesday. “The alliance is a truly aggressive bloc, so Russia does what it has to do. It has every sovereign right to take necessary measures throughout the territory of the Russian Federation.”

‘Russia is doing all that is necessary to protect self’ – Kremlin spokesman on deployment of missiles in Kaliningrad http://on.rt.com/7vt8 

Photo published for Russia has right to defend against ‘aggressive’ NATO – Kremlin on Baltic missile placement — RT News

Russia has right to defend against ‘aggressive’ NATO – Kremlin on Baltic missile placement — RT News

Russia has the right to protect itself against NATO’s eastward expansion, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on the deployment of Russian ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad Region….

rt.com

NATO’s military drill on Russia’s border comes amid preparations to permanently station 4,000 alliance troops in Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, a decision made at the NATO summit in Warsaw in July.

A quarter of the force would be composed of US troops currently based in Germany, who would relocate to Poland. A 1,000-strong German-led force equipped with tanks would be deployed in Lithuania in February for the first time since WWII. The remaining 2,000 British and Canadian troops would be stationed in Estonia and Latvia.

READ MORE: Germany to send modern tanks to Russian border – Defense Ministry

NATO has accused Russia of “aggressive military posturing” over reports that missiles would be deployed in Kaliningrad, while on Monday Kirby called for Moscow to “refrain from words or deeds that are inconsistent with the goal of promoting security and stability.”

Kosovo: An evil little war (almost) all US candidates liked (Op-Edge) http://on.rt.com/7822 

Established in April 1949 – six years before the Warsaw Treaty Organization – NATO ensured a permanent US presence in western Europe during the Cold War. After the dissolution of both the WTO and the Soviet Union, NATO expanded both its boundaries and its mission. On March 12, 1999, the alliance admitted the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. Twelve days later, NATO attacked Yugoslavia. After a 78-day bombing campaign, alliance troops were allowed occupy the Serbian province of Kosovo as “peacekeepers.”

Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states joined the alliance in March 2004, putting NATO on the shores of the Black Sea and on the western border of the Russian Federation. In March 2011, NATO launched an intervention in Libya, aiding the rebels that overthrew the government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

https://www.rt.com/usa/367860-russia-missiles-nato-defensive/

Germany to send modern tanks to Russian border – Defense Ministry

From RT

October 27, 2016

Leopard 2A7 © Michaela Rehle
Leopard 2A7 © Michaela Rehle / Reuters

Germany is preparing to deploy its most modern ‘Leopard 2’ tanks and more than 600 infantrymen to Lithuania as it joins NATO’s biggest military buildup since the Cold War, German media reported citing the defense ministry.

The plans to deploy not infantry and tanks to the NATO member state bordering Russia were announced by the German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen at a two-day meeting of the alliance’s defense ministers in Brussels.

Deployment of “heavy weaponry” was then confirmed to the German daily Die Welt by a defense ministry spokesman, who said that tanks will be only part of the military equipment that Germany is going to deploy to the Baltic State.

A NATO battalion under German command will be stationed in Lithuania In February. The battalion’s personnel will amount to 1,000 soldiers, with from 450 to 650 of them coming from Germany and the rest being deployed by France, Belgium and Croatia.

According to the German daily Der Tagesspiegel daily, this will be an autonomous combat-ready unit equipped with tanks and armored vehicles that will also have snipers, engineering troops, military medics and even military police. The battalion will be fully operational starting from June 2017, German media reported.

The decision to send tanks alongside with the infantry to Lithuania should “send a clear signal” that Germany takes security concerns of the eastern NATO members “seriously,” von der Leyen said during the ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

“It should send a clear signal that an attack on any NATO member state would be regarded as an attack on all 28 members [of the bloc],” she said, as cited by Der Tagesspiegel. At the same time, she stressed that the deployment of German forces on the Russian border was a “strictly measured” step that has exclusively “defensive” purposes, as reported by Die Welt.

In 2015, von der Leyen ordered 100 new Leopard 2 tanks for the German army, the Bundeswehr, “in response to the Ukrainian crisis.” Additionally, all tanks that are currently in use by German forces should be modernized starting in 2017, according to the defense ministry’s plan.

The upper threshold for the number of tanks in the German army, which was set at 225 in 2011, was then increased to 328 in line with the ministry’s new plans, Die Welt reported.

However, the plans to station tanks almost on the Russian border provoked criticism from some German politicians.

“Sending tanks to the Russian border means forgetting the history,” Sara Wagenknecht, the head of the Left Party’s faction in the German parliament, told the news agency DPA. She also denounced the move as “a step towards further escalation of relations with Russia.”

“Those who really want to preserve peace in Europe should eventually return to relying on the traditions of the policy of détente instead of continuing to support the confrontational course that is neither in German interests, nor in the interests of the EU,” she said.

Continue reading

“Showcasing freedom of movement,” US military marches across Lithuania prior to large-scale Baltic NATO drills (VIDEO)

From RT

© Ruptly

Wagenknecht calls for new peace policy instead of NATO’s ‘aggressive game’; press release on sending Bundeswehr troops to the Russian border

From Fort Russ

Die LINKE [The Left Party]
April 29, 2016
Translated from German by Tom Winter April 30, 2016

New peace policy instead of NATO aggression

“Chancellor Angela Merkel is committing an irresponsible provocation, when, 75 years after the attack on the Soviet Union, she is sending the Bundeswehr to the Russian border,” said Sahra Wagenknecht, Chairman of DIE LINKE.

Wagenknecht further: “The federal government is playing with fire if they blindly support NATO’s aggressive game. A permanent presence of NATO combat troops on the Russian border is contrary to the existing agreements with Russia.

EU eastward expansion and the NATO troop parades are poison for peace and stability in Europe. The deployment of combat units of the Bundeswehr to the Russian border threatens the vital interests of the German population. The German Bundestag must debate it.”
_____________________________
On the same subject, click “Forgetting History”

http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/04/wagenknecht-press-release-on-sending.html

Lithuanian government intensifies persecutions against anti-imperialist activists

From Nacionalistas

internet_cenzura

On March 19 in various different cities in the country, the Criminal police, on behalf of the politically motivated and pressured Prosecution, has done house searches in the homes of 9 different activists, both separate individuals, as well as members of various movements, all of which expressed and continue to express strict opposition towards NATO membership, US imperialism and the war mongering that is going on today in the region, not to mention a clear stance in favor of independence and national sovereignty, against the dictatorship of Washington and Brussels.

The persons who were affected by this act of persecution include members of the National workers movement, as well as the political party Socialist People’s Front (Socialistinis Liaudies Frontas): Žilvinas Razminas, Giedrius Grabauskas, and others. Many other individuals involved actually are not even active in any organized groups, but are simply being made into scapegoats for the hysterical witch hunt and search for imaginary “anti-constitutional” subversives or “Russian provocateurs”.

It is likely that this situation may develop into political kangaroo show trials against the persons and movements involved, which would have the intention of silencing any kind of dissent or opposition to the status quo and making a public political “lynch” against those who refuse to bow down to the will of the ruling class.

The pretext for these house searches, during which items such as books, personal computers, video cameras, telephones, etc., were confiscated, is an alleged conspiracy to create so-called “anti-constitutional groups”, with the alleged intention of illegally changing the established constitutional order in favor of Russia, which is supposed to be financing these individuals and movements.

However, in fact such allegations are completely false and in contradiction to the fact that these are the people who are actually making a political statement against the de facto subjugation of Lithuania and in favor of the re-establishment of national sovereignty, not to mention that any supposed “financing from Russia” is merely a propaganda cliche intended to discredit and demonize the anti-imperialist movement in our country.

We consider this to be just another step in the ongoing trend of political witch hunts that are only intensifying here, particularly because of the growing tensions in Ukraine, as a result of the US-imperialist instigated coup d’etat and its geopolitical impact on the Middle and Eastern European regions; it shows the pure and utter hypocrisy of the so called “democratic” government of Lithuania which attempts to persecute and suppress people, by violating their civil and basic human rights, in order to create a fictitious “public enemy” and to continue the ongoing hysteria about an alleged “Russian threat”, by labelling sincere patriots as “Russian agents”.

Our struggle is against capitalism and terroristic neoliberal imperialism, which, as we see, is the guiding policy of the USA, that acts as the true master behind the Lithuanian government; it is against the undermining of national sovereignty and for true national independence; we stand for socialism and the independence and freedom of our country, which is absolutely incompatible with the present system of economic exploitation, social injustice and imperialist war mongering. And the persecutions against us are, above all, directed not against any illegal actions, but against the open expression of such a political opinion. However, we do intend to stand firmly by our principles and maintain ourselves within the existing legal framework, in spite of any provocative actions or repressions on behalf of the government apparatus.

Thus we request all people of Europe and the world who support progressive patriotic, anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist causes, to stand in solidarity with the active people of Lithuania and their struggle against the imperialist policies of the USA and EU and for freedom of speech in our country, against the repressions on behalf of the Lithuanian government.

DOWN WITH IMPERIALISM!
LONG LIVE THE INDEPENDENCE OF NATIONS!

revolution fist

https://ltnacionalistas.wordpress.com/angliskai/lithuanian-government-intensifies-persecutions-against-anti-imperialist-activists/

Lithuanians are under police state attack, as the world is under Washington’s attack

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Global Research, March 26, 2015

According to news reports and to this appeal by Kristoferis Voishka, the pro-American government installed in Lithuania is persecuting Lithuanians who dissent from the anti-Russian propaganda that is driving Washington’s NATO puppets to war with Russia.  Unlike their puppet government, Lithuanians understand that war with Russia means that Lithuania on the front line will be utterly destroyed, a result that would not bother Washington in the least, just as Washington is undisturbed when its forces obliterate weddings, funerals, and children’s soccer games.

What is Lithuania?  To Washington it is a nothing.

Kristoferis Voiska runs an alternative Internet news site in Lithuania. Not long ago he interviewed me, and the interview appeared in both Lithuanian newspapers and on his Internet news program in video form.  I found him to be sincere and well informed.  I advised him that interviewing me would bring trouble for him, and he already was aware of that.

As I have said so many times, Americans are the worst informed people on the planet.

They are unaware of the growing momentum toward war with Russia.  The presstitute media throughout Europe, especially in the Baltic states and Poland, is hard at work creating in people’s minds the fear of a Russian invasion.  The orchestrated fear then provides the basis for the American puppet governments to beg troops and tanks and missiles from Washington, and the US military/security complex, counting its profits,  is pleased to comply.

 But what Russia sees is a threat, not a money-making opportunity for the US military/security complex and payoffs to the corrupt Lithuanian and Polish governments, which are increasingly perceived as neo-nazi like the government that Washington bestowed on Ukraine.

 The situation is dangerous, as I keep telling you, a message that some are too weak to accept.

  If you care to show support for Kristoferis and the independent media in Lithuania, send emails to  tautiniai.socialistai@yandex.ru

 In about one week I will be 76 years old.  I was born in 1939 as World War II was unfolding as the direct consequence of the Versailles Treaty that broke every promise President Woodrow Wilson made to Germany in exchange for the end of World War I.

 I remember as a child Cold War nuclear attack drills in elementary school during which we would cower under our school desks.  We were issued dog tags with our blood type just like the dog tags ripped by their comrades off US soldiers killed in the war movies by Germans or Japs (no longer a permissible word) and sent home to the dead GI’s family.

To us it was more romantic than scary.  We loved wearing the dog tags.  I have no idea what happened to mine.  They must be collectors’ items by now.

I have seen a lot.  As kids playing war–in those days you could have toy guns without being shot down by the police who are protecting us–we reveled in America’s World War victories.  We understood, thanks to our parents and grandparents, that the Red Army won the war against Germany, but we Americans beat the heartless Japs.

That was enough. We knew that the US was tough.

I was 14 when the Korean War broke out.  We expected to win, of course, and our expectations, we thought, were proven correct when General MacArthur’s amphibious landings rolled  up the North Korean army.  But what MacArthur and Washington had overlooked is that China and the Soviet Union were not about to accept a US victory.

Before Americans could cheer, the Third World Chinese Army rolled in and pushed the conquerors of Japan back town to the tip of South Korea.  It was a humiliating defeat for American arms.  In his dispute with President Truman about the conduct of the war, MacArthur, America’s most famous general, was removed from command.

Washington accepted defeat in Korea and again in Viet Nam where a 500,000 US force consisting of US Army, Marines, and Special Forces was defeated by a Third World guerrilla  army.

To these defeats we can add Afghanistan and Iraq.  After 14 years of killing, the Taliban controls most of the country.  Jihadist have carved a new state out of parts of Syria and Iraq.  The Middle East reeks of American defeat.  Just like Korea.  Just like Viet Nam.

Despite these facts insouciant Americans and their crazed rulers in Washington imagine that the US is a Uni-Power, the world’s only superpower against whom no country can stand.  Arrogance, ignorance, and hubris are leading the US into conflict with Russia and China, either of which can destroy the US with ease.  And Europe as well.  And the stupid bought-and-paid-for Japanese government, a total non-entity, a disgrace to the Japanese people, a collection of well-paid American puppets.

As Andrew Cockburn has documented, the US military is lost in abstractions and is no longer capable of conducting conventional warfare. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/03/24/us-government-us-military-became-murder-inc-paul-craig-roberts/

Any American or NATO army sent to attack Russia will be destroyed almost instantly.  Washington cannot accept the loss of prestige from defeat and would take the war nuclear.  Life on earth would end.

The only conclusion that informed analysis supports is that Washington is the greatest threat to life on earth.  Washington is a greater threat than global warming.  Washington is a greater threat than the exhaustion of mineral energy sources.  Washington is a greater threat than the rise in world and US poverty from Washington’s policy to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

The only possible conclusion is that unless Washington collapses from its economic house of cards or is abandoned by its NATO puppet states, Washington will destroy life on earth.

Washington is the greatest evil that the world has ever faced.  There is no good in  Washington.  Only evil.

 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/lithuanians-under-police-state-attack-and-the-world-under-washingtons-attack/5438859