Russian Foreign Minister comments on Pence, McMasters statements, and chemical weapon investigation problems

From Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian Federation
April 17, 2017

Excerpts:

Question: Can you comment on rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, taking into account US Vice President Mike Pence’s comment that the era of strategic patience is over in relations with North Korea and that all options are on the table to achieve security in the region?

Sergey Lavrov: I wouldn’t describe relations between North Korea and the Obama administration as an era of strategic patience, because the United States greatly restricted North Korea’s ability to develop the industries that could promote the nuclear or energy sectors. The UN Security Council adopted harsh sanctions against North Korea and condemned its policy.

If the figure of speech used by the US Vice President can be understood as a threat of a unilateral military solution, it is a highly risky path. We condemn Pyongyang’s opportunistic nuclear missile plans, which violate the numerous UN Security Council resolutions. But this does not mean that other countries can violate international law and use military force contrary to the UN Charter. I strongly hope that no unilateral actions will be taken similar to those we have recently seen in Syria, and that the United States will pursue the line President Donald Trump put forth during his election campaign.

Question: Can you comment on the statement by the US National Security Adviser Army Lieutenant General McMaster that “it’s time though, now, to have those tough discussions” with Russia over its support for Syria’s government and its “subversive actions” in Europe?

Sergey Lavrov: This is a complex question. I have no desire to comment on the unsubstantiated accusations made against Russia. First they concerned Ukraine, and now the focus has shifted to Syria. I have seen media reports that US or British officials are saying that they could cooperate with Russia if it [behaved] in Ukraine and, Syria, and now the Korean Peninsula has been added to the list. It appears that we must do something for somebody on the Korean Peninsula too, although we did not create the chaos that is reigning there. ISIS, and before it, al-Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra, are the offspring of opportunistic projects that involved our Western partners, primarily many US administrations, which began by supporting the mujahedeen in Afghanistan and praising them as freedom fighters, and continued this policy in Iraq and Libya. And now that these countries have been ruined, it appears that we must pay for the consequences. This is not how partners act. This approach is not acceptable to us. We will not listen to what President Trump’s adviser has said, but what President Trump himself has said, that he is optimistic when it comes to improving relations with Russia. We are ready for this.

Question: What issues are on the agenda of the upcoming Geneva meeting on the intra-Syrian settlement? Will it be political issues only, or will military issues also be discussed, in light of the recent air strike on the Syrian airfield and the coalition landing operation near Deir Ez-Zor?

Sergey Lavrov: The talks in Geneva will be held after May 3–4, that is, following a regular meeting in Astana. We hope that the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Mr Staffan de Mistura, will find a suitable date. It has been suggested that since the holy month of Ramadan begins in late May, it would be expedient to postpone the talks until after it ends. We are convinced that we must not lose momentum, especially in a situation when the political process has been brought into question. I am referring to the strike on the Shayrat airfield and the intention of many players in Syria, among the external opposition and in many countries in and outside the region, to use this situation to place the blame squarely on Bashar al-Assad. They seek to deviate from a political settlement through the expression of the will of the Syrian people themselves to conduct unilateral actions to overthrow the Syrian government. It is an alarming trend. As I have said, in pursuit of this goal, they are using the April 4 chemical weapons incident in Idlib, which was followed by the illegal US air strike on the airfield from which planes allegedly carrying chemical weapons took off. I have said repeatedly that we demand that an objective and unbiased investigation be carried out under the auspices of the OPCW with assistance from independent experts, and that this investigation be fully transparent.

I would like to remind you that we have pointed out a very strange coincidence: that the two groups of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) on the potential use of chemical weapons in Syria are chaired by UK citizens. We have said that this runs contrary to the principles of an international organisation, the structures of which must be maximally balanced. We have not received any response as yet, but we can regard a recent statement by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as an indirect response. He said in an interview that Damascus and Russia and Iran, which support it, are to blame for the chemical attack.  By way of evidence, he said that British scientists have analysed samples from the site of the attack, and that these have tested positive for sarin or a sarin-like substance. That’s an interesting coincidence: British citizens chairing the OPCW FFM don’t tell anyone anything, while British scientists have already analysed samples taken at the site of the incident. I believe we will be sending a request to the OPCW today demanding an explanation. I expect they will have to answer this time.

The situation is not simple at all. We hope that the majority of countries see what is going on. We will not permit anyone to derail the efforts to attain a political settlement in Syria under the UN Security Council resolution.

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2729221

Refusing to engage diplomatically, talk grows in U.S. of possibility of military strikes on North Korea

Peace would be too easy. Respect is not a U.S. government value. A peace treaty and peace talks have been requested by North Korea for years. The U.S. government doesn’t want independent states to exist which have alternate economic models or values.

What about Americans? What are they willing to fight for? Is their allegiance to this state or to the planet’s peoples — all of them?

And what about the nuclear facilities, if the U.S. was to strike them? The fallout and radioactive contamination would impact the Northern Pacific region and certainly South Korea. And it would spread worldwide. 

This hatred displayed by American leaders is pathological, insanity. What they propose is more genocide.

Global Research, January 05, 2017
Yonhap News Agency 5 January 2017

alk is growing in the United States of the possibility of using military strikes to take out North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities after the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, threatened he’s close to testing a long-range missile apparently capable of hitting the U.S.

Kim said in his New Year’s Day address that the communist nation has reached the final stage of preparations to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile. The remark was seen as a thinly veiled threat that Pyongyang is close to developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the continental U.S.

The threat appears to have stoked genuine fears of security among Americans, with reporters bombarding the Defense Department with questions of what the U.S. is going to do about the North’s missile, including whether it’s going to shoot it down or even launch a preemptive strike before it’s fired.

It also prompted President-elect Donald Trump to send a tweet: “North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won’t happen!”

On Wednesday, a private intelligence analysis firm, Stratfor, even laid out a list of potential targets in North Korea, including the Yongbyon nuclear complex, home to the North’s plutonium-producing reactor and reprocessing facility.

“When considering an attack on North Korea, there are two broad categories of strikes to deliberate. The first is a minimalist strike, specifically focused on dismantling the North’s nuclear weapons program. In this scenario, the United States would engage North Korean nuclear objectives only,” Stratfor said in an analysis piece carried by MarketWatch and, titled, “How the U.S. could derail North Korea’s nuclear program by force.”

“By not launching strikes on other North Korean targets, Washington leaves the door open, if only slightly, for de-escalation if Pyongyang can be convinced that the strike is not part of a regime change operation. What benefits Pentagon planners in this scenario is that a limited strike requires less resources and preparation, enhancing the element of surprise,”

Potential targets in the minimalist strike include the Yongbyon complex, including the 5-megawatt nuclear reactor and the reprocessing plant, as well as the Pyongsan uranium mine that provides fuel for the reactor, and the Pyongsong nuclear research and development facility, known as the North’s “Silicon Valley,” Stratfor said.

“These facilities form the heart of North Korean nuclear production infrastructure. If they were destroyed or disabled, the North Korean nuclear production network would be crippled, set back years at least,” it said.

U.S. defense officials were quoted by Reuters as saying that if ordered, the U.S. military has three options to respond to a North Korean missile test: a pre-emptive strike before it is launched, intercepting the missile in flight, or allowing a launch to take place unhindered.

Still, many arms and defense experts agree that a military strike is too risky to consider, especially in consideration of the proximity of Seoul to the border with North Korea and the possibility of the North showering artillery shells on the bustling capital area.

Military strikes “would be a wild gamble, especially with the Seoul-Inchon region — South Korea’s commercial, political and population heart — so close to the border. Although the DPRK would lose any war, it could cause horrendous casualties before succumbing,” said Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

“Yet the great achievement of America’s military presence for the past six decades has been to prevent precisely such a conflict from occurring,” he said in a recent piece carried by the National Interest.

Jeffrey Lewis, an expert on North Korea’s military, was also quoted by Reuters as questioning whether U.S. missile defenses could shoot down a test missile, saying destroying North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs would be a huge and risky undertaking.

Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), was also quoted as saying that the North’s main nuclear and missile test sites were on different sides of the country, and an ICBM can be launched from anywhere in the country because it’s mobile.

Robert Manning, a senior Atlantic Council analyst, said U.S. options are limited on the North.

“While everyone says North Korea is at the top of the U.S. foreign policy agenda, other than strengthening deterrence, imposing tough sanctions that remove North Korea from the international financial system, there is little the U.S. can do in the near-term that does not risk a war, thousands of U.S. and hundreds of thousands of South Korean deaths,” he said.

By Chang Jae-soon

What the West unleashed — possible nuclear blackmail from Ukraine against Europe, Russia, and U.S.

From Fort Russ

Zhuravko: Islyamov Could Engage in Nuclear Terrorism for the Sake of Blackmailing Russia

Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

27th June, 2016

antifashist

The situation in Ukraine continues to be alarming, and, unfortunately, does not create hope and optimism. The state under the control of the coup is rapidly approaching collapse on all fronts. In this sense, unfortunately, the threat is not only to the State of the country or the welfare of its inhabitants, but also the lives of millions of people, and not only in Ukraine. The Kiev government largely does not control the situation in Ukraine, does not control its own militants, and cannot prevent many emergencies, among which the safety of Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant has special status.

This was discussed on the TV programme “Special Status” on the TV channel “Zvezda”, which the Ukrainian opposition politician Alexei Zhuravko participated in.

“I am receiving disturbing information from Ukraine almost every day. The threat of a terrible collapse and many deaths exists. We mustn’t joke on the topic of nuclear plants. In addition, experts seak about one other threat: it is Islyamov, it is “Azov” militants, fighters of “Dnepr”. And no one knows where the gun will turn. The worst thing is that the safety of nuclear power plants, which was ensured by the State, internal security, no longer exists. That is, there is no protection, there are no guns that were defending the stations before, all was stolen, money for major repairs of the stations was looted, very little resources were allocated. In Zaporozhye, according to my real information, there was already a shutdown of this station, and it is linked with experiments. (I still have connections, I used to work with “Energoatom”) In this situation, we need to unite, to connect media, to reach out to the Ukrainians, otherwise there will be a disaster,” he said.

Zhuravko doesn’t exclude that the fugitive Crimean Tatar terrorist Lenor Islyamov and his fighters, who have repeatedly threatened Russia with terrorist attacks, can bring his threats to life. Among those may be the explosion of nuclear facilities, nuclear power plants.

“It is simple. If some fool will get guns and mortars, after that it can explode. It’s scary! If today Islyamov wants to blackmail Russia, he has everything to do it. He can order the militants to close the stations and just to install terror. Nuclear terror. Because in Ukraine, the President does not control the country! And this process must be controlled by specialists,” said the politician.

“I ring all the bells around and I hope god will forbid those bastards from entering into nuclear power plant and chemical plant, and it’s just hard to imagine what the consequences and human toll would be,” adds Zhuravko.

“If today Russia will not interpose, we will have such a blast that it will not look like something small. And it will be Belarus, Russia, Europe, and other countries that will suffer the most! It is necessary to “rear up” Europe… it is necessary to inform Ukrainians, it is necessary to show and to tell the truth on this matter. And to prove to people that they need to rise because a catastrophe will whip up, and humanity will be no more. Think about it for the time being it’s not too late,” warns the politician.

At this time, in the South of Ukraine, armed militants that are massively deployed in the region, continue criminal terror. According to Zhuravko, robbery of the population gains the scope of this disaster.

“Kherson region. 50 people armed to the teeth took away the farmer’s tractor, covers, chemicals, and seed material to the amount of twelve million hryvnias.

Mykolaiv region, Bashtansky district, 25th June 2016, 40 people armed with machine guns and other machetes seized the entire crop from this year.

According to available information, in Ukraine, on the black market and near the area of the ATO, you can buy any kind of weapons, machine guns, grenades, machine guns, explosives, anti-tank mines, and more.

Private territorial battalions in Ukraine are growing like mushrooms after rain. The example of Isylamov’s battalions and their ISIS-isation of the Kherson region is already enough of a problem.

The President does not control the situation in Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine is not fighting against private territorial battalions with radical ideas, and are not fighting terrorism,” writes the ex-MP on a social network.

Alexei Zhuravko’s data was unexpectedly confirmed by the famous Ukrainian militant, leader of “Brotherhood” Dmitry Korchinskiy. Battalions under the leadership of businessman Lenur Islyamov, formed on the border with Crimea in Kherson region, are engaged in robbery, he said to the TV channel “112 Ukraine”.

“They have already proclaimed the necessity of national autonomy of the Crimean Tatars, without asking the Ukrainian people. Crimean Tatars, even in the times of Geray (dynasty of Kahn in the 15th Century – O.R), were not a majority in Crimea. And today they say that Crimea should be a national autonomy of Crimean Tatars!

Today in two districts in Kherson region… Tatars under the command of Lenur Islyamov, the former Deputy Prime Minister of the occupational government of Crimea, already have military formations that are very well armed, and are also engaged in robbery and all sorts of boorishness,” said Korchinskiy.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/06/zhuravko-islyamov-could-engage-in.html

Article on nuclear power in Ukraine:

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-T-Z/Ukraine/

Declassified documents reveal Pentagon’s 1950s planned nuclear holocaust: “Systematic destruction” and annihilation of Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Moscow, Beijing, …. More than 1000 cities.

Global Research, December 27, 2015
Strategic Culture Foundation
Atomic bombs eight times the destructive force of that dropped by the US on Hiroshima

GR Editor’s Note

Publicly available military documents confirm that pre-emptive nuclear war is still on the drawing board  of the Pentagon.

Compared to the 1950s, the nuclear weapons are more advanced. The delivery system is more precise. In addition to China and Russia, Iran, Syria and North Korea are targets for pre-emptive nuclear war.  

Let us be under no illusions, the Pentagon’s plan to blow up the planet using advanced nuclear weapons is still on the books. 

Should we be concerned?  Blowing up the planet through the use of nuclear weapons is fully endorsed by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who believes that nuclear weapons are instruments of peace-making. Her campaign is financed by the corporations which produce WMDs. 

Scientists on contract to the Pentagon have endorsed the use of tactical nuclear weapons: they are “harmless to civilians because the explosion is underground.”

The people at the highest levels of government who make the decision regarding the use of nuclear weapons haven’t the foggiest idea as to the implications of their actions. 

Michel Chossudovsky, December 27, 2015

*        *       *

Recently-declassified nuclear targeting documents from 1959 describe how Washington planned to obliterate the capital cities of what are now America’s NATO allies in Eastern and Central Europe. The revelation casts doubt on Washington’s Cold War commitment to the protection of what it referred to as «captive nations» in Europe. The documents are contained in a report titled, «SAC (Strategic Air Command) Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959».

The US Air Force study called for the «systematic destruction» of such major population centers as Warsaw, East Berlin, Prague, Bucharest, Tallinn, and others, as well as Peiping (Beijing), Leningrad (St. Petersburg), and Moscow.

Excerpt of list of 1200 cities targeted for nuclear attack in alphabetical order

Atomic bombs eight times to destructive force of that dropped by the United States on Hiroshima were trained on a number of targets in Moscow and St. Petersburg. There were 179 «designated ground zeros» for atomic bombs in Moscow and 145 in St. Petersburg.

US atomic weapons would have laid waste to Wittstock, just upwind of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hometown of Templin in Brandenburg in the former East Germany. It is most certain that had the US launched an atomic attack on Europe, Merkel, her parents Horst and Herlind Kasner, and brother Marcus would have been vaporized in the massive pre-targeted strike on East Berlin and the regions surrounding it.

Budapest would have been completely destroyed after the US hit the Tokol military airfield on the banks of the Danube River with one of its «city-busting» nuclear weapons. The blast would have rendered the Danube a radioactive drainage ditch and anyone exposed to the poisonous Danube waters downriver would have succumbed to an agonizing death from radiation sickness. Adding to the misery of anyone living alongside the Danube was the fact that Bratislava, also on the banks of the Danube, was also targeted for nuclear annihilation. The first major urban center casualties outside of Hungary and then-Czechoslovakia from the radioactive Danube would have been in Belgrade, the capital of neutral Yugoslavia.

The nuclear targeting of Vyborg on the Finnish border would have brought death and destruction to the border region of neutral Finland. Four atomic bombs were targeted on the former Finnish city: Koyvisto, Uras, Rempeti airfield, and Vyborg East.

Nuclear weapons, as the United States knew in 1959 and very well knows today, are not «precision-guided munitions».

For all of its propaganda beamed to Eastern Europe on Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, the United States was willing to sacrifice the very peoples it proclaimed to want to «free» from the Soviet bloc. America’s «mutually assured destruction» policy was based on increasing the «mega-death» count around the world by having the ability to hit the enemy with more nuclear «throw weight».

Increasing the mega-death count was why the United States targeted such large population centers as Peiping (Beijing), Shanghai, Mukden (Shenyang), and Tientsin in China. The pummeling of metro Moscow with atomic bombs was also designed to increase body count. The formerly Top Secret nuclear targeting document lists the following areas of Moscow for nuclear bombardment: Bykovo airport, central Moscow, Chertanovo, Fili, Izmaylovo, Khimki, Kuchino, Lyubertsy, Myachkovo airport, Orlovo, Salarevo, Shchelkovo, and Vnukovo airport.

Eighteen nuclear targets were programmed for Leningrad: Central Leningrad (including the historic Hermitage), Alexandrovskaya, Beloostrov, Gorelovo, Gorskaya, Kamenka North, Kasimovo, Kolomyagi, Kolpino, Krasnaya Polyana, Kudrovo, Lesnoy, Levashovo, Mishutkino, Myachkovo, Petrodvorets, Pushkin, Sablino, Sestroretsk, Tomilino, Uglovo, and Yanino.

Bucharest, Romania, was the target for three city busters aimed at Baneasa, Otopeni airport, and Pipera. Ulan Bator, the capital of the present America-idolizing Mongolia, would not have been spared. The Pentagon nuclear target list does not even list Mongolia as a separate country. The entry for the nuclear strike reads: «Ulaan Baatar, China».

Two uncomforting facts stand out from the disclosure of the targeting list. First, the United States remains as the only country in history that used nuclear weapons in warfare – hitting the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Second, some Pentagon officials, notably Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lyman Lemnitzer, called for a nuclear first strike on the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. In fact, while the USSR, China, and France rejected the first use of nuclear weapons, NATO and the United States, on the other hand, chiseled in stone the first use of tactical nuclear weapons in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. But, as seen with the wishes of LeMay, Lemnitzer, and others, a massive pre-emptive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union and its allies, including China, was on the wish list of the Pentagon’s top brass.

Because the Soviet Union had virtually no intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in 1959 and hinged its nuclear warfare capabilities on strategic bombers, the Pentagon brass wanted to hit the Soviet Union in a pre-emptive strike before they reached missile parity with the United States. At the heart of the crazed Pentagon reasoning was what the nuclear warfare champions called the «missile gap».

There is not much of a leap from the «black comedy» nuclear Armageddon film «Dr Strangelove» to actual Cold War era meetings on pre-emptive nuclear strikes held in the White House and Pentagon. Attorney General Robert Kennedy walked out of one such meeting in disgust while Secretary of State Dean Rusk later wrote: «Under no circumstances would I have participated in an order to launch a first strike». In 1961, President John F Kennedy questioned the motives of his generals and admirals after one such nuclear war pep talk from the Pentagon brass by stating, «And we call ourselves the human race».

Kennedy and his brother Robert had every reason to be fearful that the Pentagon would circumvent civilian authority and launch a nuclear strike either against Cuba, the Soviet Union, or both during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. According to Nikita Khrushchev’s memoirs, Robert Kennedy told Soviet ambassador to Washington Anatoly Dobrynin during the height of the crisis that «the President is not sure that the military will not overthrow him and seize power. The American military could get out of control».

Today, the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe continue having their love affair with NATO and the Americans. Yet, it was the same NATO and the forefathers of the present gung ho military interventionists in Washington who once wanted to rain nuclear fire upon the cities of Warsaw (six ground zeroes: Ozarow, Piastow, Pruszkow, Boernerowo, Modlin, and Okecie), Prague (14 designated ground zeroes at Beroun, Kladno, Kralupy nad Vltavou, Kraluv Dvor, Neratovice, Psary, Radotin, Roztoky, Slaky, Stechovice, Velvary, Kbely, Ryzyne, and Vodochody), Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia (three ground zeroes: Bozhurishte, Kumaritsa, and Vrazhdebna),  Bratislava, Kiev (three nuclear targets: Bortnichi, Post-Volynskiy airport, and Svyatoshino airport), Leipzig (where seven atomic bombs were targeted on Altenhain, Boehlen, Delitzsche, Grimma, Pegau, Wurzen, and Brandis), Weimar, and Wittenberg.

Also not to be spared nuclear annihilation were Potsdam, Vilnius (five nuclear ground zeroes: Novo Vilnya, Novaya Vileyka, Vilnyus (Center), Vilnyus East, and Vilnyus Southwest), Lepaya (Latvia), Leninakan (Gyumri) in Armenia, Alma Ata (Kazakhstan), Poznan, Lvov (three ground zeroes: Gorodok, Lvov Northwest, and Sknilov), Brno, Plovdiv in Bulgaria, Riga (four ground zeroes: Salaspils, Skirotava, Spilve, and Riga West), Ventspils in Latvia (two targets: Ventspils South and Targale), Tallinn (two ground zeroes: Lasnamae and Ulemiste), Tartu, Tirana, Vlone (Albania), Berat/Kucove (Albania), Kherson (Ukraine), Baku/Zabrat, Birobidzhan in the Jewish Autonomous Republic, Syktyvkar in the Komi Autonomous Republic, Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic on the Iranian border, Osh in Kyrgyzstan, Stalinabad (Dushanbe) in Tajikistan, Tashkent in Uzbekistan, and Tbilisi (seven ground zeroes at: Tbilisi central, Agtaglya, Orkhevi, Sandar, Sartichala, Soganlug, and Vaziani).

NATO and neo-conservative propagandists continue to paint Russia as an enemy of the peoples of central and eastern Europe. However, it was not Russia that had nuclear weapons once trained on the cities of the Eurasian land mass but the United States. Had the Pentagon generals and admirals had their way, today the eastern front of a rapidly expanding NATO would have been nothing more than a smoldering and radioactive nuclear wasteland, all courtesy of Uncle Sam’s nuclear arsenal.

Ukraine on the brink of a nuclear disaster; Ukrainian saboteurs nearly caused another Fukushima

  1. When Ukrainian terrorists blew up power lines to Crimea last month (to punish Crimeans for seceding from Ukraine), the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant was “one millimeter away from an emergency.” Nuclear reactors require grid electricity to keep reactor cores and fuel rods cool. Without it, they will overheat, explode, and meltdown, just like Fukushima.
  2. Ongoing gas and coal shortages in Ukraine and the resulting electricity blackouts threaten the nuclear power plants in Ukraine every day.
  3. Necessary preventative maintenance, including replacing worn parts at the plants, is not being done or is delayed, creating a dangerous situation.

From Fort Russ

In the coming year the world will observe a sad date, the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl explosion. Could it happen again?

Pavel SHIPILIN,

In Экспресс Газета, December 15, 2015

Translated from Russian by Tom Winter, December 25, 2015

Come January 1, Europe will start draining the last juice from the “Square.” Few gave noted the fact that cutting the power lines to de-energize Crimea nearly led to fatal consequences at the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant, which is located in the Mykolaiv region, – an accident on a Chernobyl scale. A miracle saved us all: workers at the station succeeded in a few hours to restore the electricity to the security system. [Nuclear power plants produce electricity, but they need a constant supply of it to avoid meltdown, as in Fukushima, for instance — tr.]

For nearly two years now Ukraine has been teetering on the brink of default, techno disaster, popular revolt. And every time that there is a miracle, and the dire predictions don’t come true, a cure is declared – a victory over Russia, over the elements with the unpredictable laws of nature, over the skeptics. But in the end – common sense.

Last winter was surprisingly warm. As if the one who is responsible for the top temperature, specifically decided to lull the already careless Ukrainian government. Today it is once again assuring the public: there is enough gas — unless there’s a problem.

And it may be right – if a miracle happens again. Experts also warn that if the miracles do not happen, and the temperature in the apartments can’t be maintained at least at + 14 ° C, a catastrophe is imminent. Pipes will burst; heat and electricity will go off-line. In response, experts are declared fear-mongering pessimists. After all, last year they said the same thing – they warned and frightened, backing up arguments with some tricky formulas incomprehensible to the ordinary Maidanists.

There is only one thing: for the power system go off line for decades, would need only a couple of weeks really severe frosts – lower than -15 – 20 ° C. At least at night.

Such cold weather is rare, but still it happens. This is what experts are always taking into account, because no one of them can confidently forecast, but a technological disaster in the middle of winter – is inevitably a tragedy with deadly outcomes. Therefore, the gas must be redundant and not “just enough.”

The lack of gas and coal can lead to accidents in which the entire metropolitan area will be without heat and light. Unfortunately, the amateurs in Kiev may well make a more global catastrophe whose consequences will impact not only the public, but residents of neighboring countries. We are talking about the atomic energy plant.

There are four of them in Ukraine – a total of 16 units. That is 16 potential nuclear bombs. Experts say that it’s thanks to a miracle that new Chernobyls haven’t yet happened.

Vasili Volga, Ukrainian politician and nuclear-energy specialist: “What happened when these, so to speak, “activists” brought down the power lines? Immediately the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant lost a huge amount of electricity, which the system has to have. According to the accounts of shift managers, the guys were on one millimeter away from an emergency. Only the dedicated work of the station staff prevented it.” A state of emergency was miraculously avoided. But Kiev have provided us all with new problems connected with nuclear power. As Vasily Volga spelled out, the specific operation of nuclear power plants requires precise timing of preventive maintenance. Otherwise, every time there is a risk of accidents on the scale of Chernobyl. “As for the core of the nuclear reactor and all the systems and mechanisms that serve it, we just can’t say,” You know, we do not have money just now, and you work, the way you have, and we’re putting off scheduled preventive maintenance.”

“If it clearly states that the gasket in the main centrifugal pump should be changed after a year, then it should be changed after a year.” All the systems and mechanisms that are around Ukrainian nuclear reactors, are produced either in Ukraine or in Russia. Today, due to the rupture of relations, there have been huge time lapses, when scheduled preventive maintenance at nuclear power plants has not been carried out. They know about this in Kiev, but are silent about the problem, because in order to solve it, you have to call Moscow. Or they do not realize how dangerous it is to finance nuclear power on installments.

The eternal question of our Svidomy opponents is why we are so keenly interested in Ukrainian affairs, instead of dealing with our own problems, has a simple answer: because you’re close. Because your refugees are with us. Because thanks to Maidan our trade and economic relations, which made both our countries stronger, have been disrupted. Not to mention the friendship and kinship between our people. Finally, because your problems are directly linked to our own. After all, Kiev does not pay its debts and yet asks worldwide for offensive weapons. It is understandable that systemic problems come up here and there – Ukraine has no money. However, there is one more miracle in Ukraine – for the second year it has managed to avoid a default. A fact the talking heads and the Kiev politicians proudly remind us of. Moreover, on December 8, the IMF decided that even a default can not be an obstacle to Ukraine getting more credit [!].

That is, the entire civilized world, led by the United States, has defended the winners of Maidan. Pessimists and “Moscalis” again notwithstanding. That’s where the real win lay. Let us, however, remember how many loans have been promised and how many have been issued: The European Union promised in 2015 to provide $1.8 billion., USA – $2 billion. Nearly one billion promised to other countries on a bilateral basis. From the IMF, Ukraine was to receive $10 billion. The World Bank has promised to lend $500 million for injection of gas into underground storage [just like in Los Angeles, where over 2000 residents have been evacuated due to leaking methane gas?], but recently began to doubt that this would happen.

So actually this year, Ukraine has received less than half of the promised amounts, two tranches of 6.7 billion from the IMF. Catastrophically short. All other potential lenders under one pretext or another have not fulfilled promises. No one is sure that Ukraine pays debts.

However, the decision of the International Monetary Fund to continue the lending program says that global players will not desist until that unfortunate country undresses to the skin. Kiev will receive new loans so it can pay the old ones — weights hung around the neck of future Ukrainian generations.

“Square” optimists nailed it: declaring a default is not allowed. They will kill Ukraine. The problem can be solved only if nenka* learn how to produce and sell their products, filling the budget with the taxes of successful entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens. But there are practically no prospects.

From 1 January, 2016 a free trade area (FTA) will be in full force between Ukraine and the European Union. Where previously only Ukrainian duty-free goods were sold, now, the direction of trade changes – European goods crossing the Ukrainian border also will not be surrounded by cushioning duties.

To protect its market Russia will put up a customs barrier starting next year. Therefore, in Kiev, they very much expect compensation in Brussels. And Yatsenyuk’s regime has received signals that there will be compensation. We have heard rumors that the EU will allocate $ 600 million. Not much, but at least something.

However, recently the European Union dropped its promises. “We will say frankly, already since we agreed on an FTA, it was no secret that after the introduction, the Russian Federation could act in response, whether we like it or not. And there was plenty of time to prepare for this,” said the European Commissioner Johannes Khan, cynically.

The year and a half that the FTA has been acting in one direction – from east to west, has demonstrated very feeble opportunities for the Ukrainian economy. The miracle did not happen – trade with the West simply collapsed, and was not able to compensate for the loss of the Russian market.

And it’s not working, of course – it was not for this that the Ukrainians were lured to the Association Agreement, to lose money. Come January 1, Europe will begin to receive attachments back. As is customary in the civilized world, ten times over, sucking the last juices out of the colony.

Now Johannes Hahn can afford to speak plain, without hints. In Ukraine there is no way back – just to the economic abyss a millimeter away. Or maybe it is not. ______________________________

*Ukrainian slang term for Ukraine. I’ve been getting used to it. — Tr.

http://www.fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/12/ukraine-on-brink-of-nuclear-disaster.html

U.S. will station 20 nuclear bombs in Germany against Russia

Global Research, September 22, 2015

Germany’s ZDF public television network headlines on Tuesday September 22nd, “New U.S. Atomic Weapons to Be Stationed in Germany,” and reports that the U.S. will bring into Germany 20 new nuclear bombs, each being four times the destructive power of the one that was used on Hiroshima. Hans Kristensen, the Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, says, “With the new bombs the boundaries blur between tactical and strategic nuclear weapons.” 

A former Parliamentary State Secretary in Germany’s Defense Ministry, Willy Wimmer, of Chancellor Merkel’s own conservative party, the Christian Democratic Union, warns that these “new attack options against Russia” constitute “a conscious provocation of our Russian neighbors.”

German Economic News also reports on Chancellor Merkel’s decision to allow these terror-weapons against Russia:

The Bundestag decided in 2009, expressing the will of most Germans, that the US should withdraw its nuclear weapons from Germany. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel did nothing.”

And now she okays the U.S. to increase America’s German-based nuclear arsenal against Russia.

Maria Zakharova, of the Russian Foreign Ministry, says: “This is an infringement of Articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” which is the treaty that provides non-nuclear states the assurance that the existing nuclear powers will not try to use their nuclear status so as to take over the world.

German Economic News says:

“The federal government had demanded the exact opposite: The Bundestag decided in March 2010 by a large majority, that the federal government should ‘press for the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany.’ Even the coalition agreement between the CDU and FDP, the German government in 2009 had promised the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Büchel. But instead there will be these new bombs.”

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

The US and EU owe Iran over $100 billion in seized assets – the real reason behind stalled negotiations?

Global Research, July 02, 2015

Another deadline in the nuclear negotiation between Iran and the Permanent 5 +1 (or EU3 + 3) over the restrictions on the Iranian nuclear energy program was not reached on June 30, 2015. To some it may look like the United States and its allies have had a change of heart while others may think that Washington and its allies are trying to secure more concessions from the Iranians. The US and its European Union allies, however, are clearly trying to maintain the sanctions and trying to avoid returning Iranian financial assets and funds that they have withheld due to the sanctions regime against Iran. Could this be because Iran’s frozen financial assets and funds have been illegally channeled elsewhere by the US and the EU?

The Stonewalling of a Nuclear Agreement

Since the Lausanne Agreement was reached in Switzerland, the US team negotiating with Iran has, so to speak, changed the goal posts for the nuclear negotiations. In other words, Washington has ignored the framework of the Lausanne Agreement that it made with Iran on April 2, 2015. Instead US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Obama Administration have asked for new concessions from the Iranians on things that an understanding was already reached about. These demands appear to be excuses or pretexts.

During the negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran a good and bad cop strategy has clearly been used by the US and France where either Washington has or Paris has stonewalled the negotiations. Even the split between the US Congress and the Obama Administration could be part of this two-track approach. Is the Republican Party faction in the US genuinely acting as a spoiler or does some level of establishment cooperation exist between it and the Obama Administration?

Are parallel foreign policies at work or not in the US? While the Obama Administration is engaged in a dialogue with Iran to get as much concessions from it as possible on its nuclear energy program, pressure is being exerted by the US Congress and the Republican Party, which are threatening to disrupt the nuclear negotiations and keep the sanctions regime against Iran. Regardless of what their strategy is or strategies are, the saber rattling definitely helps give an edge to the US negotiating team.

Obama Threatens to Walk Out While Sending Secret Messages

On the eve of the June 30 deadline, when the US Department of State confirmed that the negotiations with Tehran were being extended for another week, US President Barack Obama made the threat of “walking away” from the negotiating table with Iran on June 29. “I will walk away from the negotiations if in fact it’s a bad deal,” Obama told reporters during a press conference with his visiting Brazilian counterpart, Dilma Rousseff.

As a response to the fog of war that has deliberate been created around the nuclear negotiations, on the same day that Obama threatened to “walk away” from the negotiations, the Iranian parliamentarian Mehrdad Bazrpash told Fars News Agency that the US leader had sent Iran another secret letter. The letter is believed to have been delivered to the Iranian side by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi sometime during his visit to Tehran either on June 17 or 18, 2015. MP Bazrpash took the opportunity to point out that the contents of Obama’s letter where very different from the public position of Washington. The point is that Washington’s private messages to Iran are very different from what the Obama Administration is saying in public and that Washington’s public threats are meant to create the impression that it is negotiating from a position of strength.

In reality, it is the US that needs a nuclear deal with Iran. In the first place, the US only began negotiations with Iran when it saw that it had no means left to pressure Tehran. A war with Iran is too dangerous and unpredictable for the US. Moreover, it was becoming increasingly clear that the sanctions were going to crumble as the Chinese, Russians, and others began to show signs that they would normalize trade with Iran even if a nuclear agreement was not reached.

Washington needs a deal with Iran to deactivate tensions with Tehran. Deactivating or freezing tensions with Iran are important for Washington, because it will be able to focus more on Russia and China. An accommodation with Iran will allow the US and the EU to tighten sanctions on Russia. It will additionally help the European Union eventually substitute energy imports from Russia with energy imports from Iran. In this regard, one of Washington’s major objectives is to co-opt the Iranians against the Russians.

In Vienna the US Team Acted As If the US Never Signed the Lausanne Agreement

Although the nuclear negotiations for a final deal or what is called the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” were extended until July 7, 2015 under what the negotiating teams have dubbed the “Joint Plan of Action” (JPA), a major stumbling block has been the release of the immense holdings of Iranian financial assets and funds that have been frozen or seized under the justification of sanctions. Months before the June 30 deadline, US Secretary of State John Kerry told the US Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs that the Iranians had well over one hundred billion US dollars that were seized and frozen. In addition, he testified that since 2012 that the US has denied the Iranians access to two hundred billion US dollars in lost exports and funds held in restricted accounts.

The Lausanne Agreement was reached by Iran and the P5+1 on the basis of an understanding between Iran, the US, and the EU that there would be simultaneous gives-and-takes of equal substance. That means that sanctions would be dropped at the same time that Iran made nuclear concessions. Tehran has been very adamant about this point, refusing to make any concessions without having sanctions reciprocally dropped and having access to its appropriate financial assets.

During the negotiations at the Palais Coburg or Palais Saxe-Coburg Hotel in the Austrian capital of Vienna, the US government took backward steps and reversed its track. In Vienna, the US no longer recognized the terms of the Lausanne Agreement and the understanding that the US side had reached with the Iranians and committed itself to respecting. There was a return by the US team to arguing over the number of Iranian centrifuges that could be in operation, demands for restrictions on nuclear research and scientific development, demands for inspections of Iran’s military bases, and a refusal not to prolong the economic sanctions against the Iranians.

Siphoning Iran’s Money: Have Frozen Funds Been Funneled Elsewhere?

The US and the EU are no strangers to looting from others. When financial sanctions were imposed on Libya by the US and the EU, Libyan funds and the interest they accumulated were appropriated and even illegally used by these actors. In this regard there are important questions about why the US is trying to keep the sanctions on Iran or to end them in gradual phases.

Are Iranian financial assets and funds really frozen or are they also being utilized as loans or collateral? In other words, have Iran’s frozen funds been channeled elsewhere by the US and the EU to make up for their own economic problems and the economic war against Russia? Do the financial liabilities of those holding Iranian funds exceed their financial assets? More simply asked: can the countries that froze Iran’s money pay Tehran its money back or are they stalling, because they cannot return all the money that was frozen under sanctions?

The position of the US and France are excuses to avoid lifting the sanctions on Iran and to avoid returning Iranian funds. Their goal is to neutralize the Iranian nuclear energy program while keeping the sanctions and appropriating Iranian funds. This is why the frame of time for Washington’s promises to remove the sanctions have no guarantees. What the US is doing is trying to impose legal obligations on Iran without giving any guarantees on the removal of sanctions. Washington’s promises to remove the sanctions also gradually became longer, changing from six months to a year to over a year, and have had additionally conditions placed on them.

Aside from the strategic considerations and dimensions of the nuclear negotiations, it should come as no surprise if Washington is stonewalling a final agreement to help the US and the EU continue siphoning Iran’s earnings. After all the US is in the midst of an economic war and fighting to keep the US dollar’s position as the top currency of the world while the EU is experiencing economic decline. The EU, however, is in a predicament; even if it wanted to keep Iranian funds and continue the sanctions, it still needs to start large-scale trade with Iran to mitigate its economic decline and negative effects from the EU sanctions against Russia.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/is-a-nuclear-deal-with-iran-being-stalled-because-the-west-cant-pay-tehrans-money-back/5459994