Putin: U.S. accuses Russia, yet stonewalls requests for information; some Western ‘partners’ have ‘mush for brains’

From Kremlin.ru
Vladimir Putin took part in the 7th Russia Calling! Investment Forum organised by VTB Capital.
October 13, 2015

Excerpt [the transcript is somewhat different than the on-video translation; also, there were additional questions to and answers from President Putin on Syria and Ukraine, but they are not yet transcribed]:

This excerpt starts at approx. 45:23 on the video.

Question [from Geoff Cutmore, CNBC]: Over the weekend, US President Obama called into question your leadership over Syria. He said that you are propping up an ally rather than going after ISIS. He also said you are running down the economy here. Can I ask you, how do you respond to President Obama’s comments and what would you say to international investors who are dissuaded from putting money into the Russian economy because of such remarks? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: You know, as we say in Russia, everything has been thrown into one pile. What does the situation with ISIS in Syria have to do with investments in Russia? Although, of course, everything in the world is interconnected. There is no direct connection, but ultimately, of course, everything is interconnected.

First of all, I do not want to debate with anyone right now, but I will note that we are not striving for some sort of leadership in Syria. There can only be one leader in Syria: the Syrian people. We strive to make our input in the fight against terrorism, which is dangerous for the United States, Russia, European nations and the entire world, without any exceptions.

I will point out that all our actions, as I have said before, are in strict compliance with the UN Charter and international law – unlike our colleagues from the so-called international coalition led by the United States, which is acting without UN Security Council resolutions and without invitation by the Syrian authorities. Over this time (operations by international forces headed by the United States – or if we put it simply, the actions by the US – have been underway by over a year), they have engaged 11 nations in bombing, with over 500 strikes on Syrian territory, spending half a billion dollars, and that’s only officially, to train Free Syrian Army fighters to fight against ISIS. We know the result: there is none, there’s no result.

Now, it has been reported that the Free Syrian Army is being supplied with ammunition via aircraft. Where is this Free Syrian Army? If they simply discharge or dump the ammunition and weaponry somewhere from the air, how can we know that it won’t all get into the hands of ISIS, as this happened during training of the Free Syrian Army personnel and arming it – what are the guarantees? After all, this was just done, this just happened, and just now, the United States admitted that the action failed. And now, they are simply throwing ammunition somewhere. To whom? This is not a rhetorical question.

Now, we often hear that our pilots are bombing the wrong targets, not ISIS. First of all, we briefed US leadership in advance, although the United States has never done this. We were the first to do this out of respect and a desire to establish a working relationship. Now they tell us, “No, first, we are not ready to cooperate with you, and second, you are bombing the wrong targets.” We said at the military level, appealed and asked, “Give us the targets that you are 100% certain to be terrorists.” The replied, “No, we are not ready to do that.” So then, we thought about it and asked another question: “Then tell us, where shouldn’t we be bombing?” No response there either. So then, what should we be doing? This is no joke, I did not make this up, this is what happened. Just recently, we said to the Americans, “Tell us the facilities we should strike.” There was no response. How can we work jointly then? Do you have an answer? I don’t have one either, yet.

I think that some of our partners are simply confused [translated elsewhere as “have mush for brains” (1)] and do not have a clear understanding of what is really happening on the ground, nor what goals they want to achieve. But we will insistently work to ensure that the efforts in the fight against international terrorism are joint efforts, and the result is clear, expected, and aimed at fighting international terror, to eliminate this threat for all of us.

As for investments, as I already said, I do not feel the two are related, but when I was just telling you about how these events occurred; I had said from the very beginning that nobody ever warned against such actions. Whereas we did. This speaks to the fact that we want to work together, and whoever wants to work with us in the spheres of security, counter-terrorism and economics is welcome.

The theme of the plenary session was “Building Long-term Cooperation and Developing Opportunities for Economic Growth.” The discussion focused on ways of adapting the Russian economy to the changing macroeconomic conditions that open up new opportunities for strengthening the Eurasian Economic Union and creating strategic integrational projects within the framework of the Silk Route Economic Belt, as well as other issues of importance for the Russian and global economies.

The video url is http://static.kremlin.ru/media/events/video/en/video_low/hekWYcaE4JaSJfMEmRXMBOptiqMOd6K7.mp4

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50498

(1) http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/putin-syria-mush-brains/2015/10/13/id/695942/

Text: Vladimir Putin’s speech to the UN General Assembly, September 28, 2015

From the Kremlin website
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50385

70th session of the UN General Assembly

Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary meeting of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

The UN General Assembly is the United Nations Organisation’s main consultative body and examines the principles for cooperation in ensuring international peace and security.
September 28, 2015 
President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary General,

Distinguished heads of state and government,

Ladies and gentlemen,

The 70th anniversary of the United Nations is a good occasion to both take stock of history and talk about our common future. In 1945, the countries that defeated Nazism joined their efforts to lay a solid foundation for the postwar world order. Let me remind you that key decisions on the principles defining interaction between states, as well as the decision to establish the UN, were made in our country, at the Yalta Conference of the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition.

The Yalta system was truly born in travail. It was born at the cost of tens of millions of lives and two world wars that swept through the planet in the 20th century. Let’s be fair: it helped humankind pass through turbulent, and at times dramatic, events of the last seven decades. It saved the world from large-scale upheavals.

The United Nations is unique in terms of legitimacy, representation and universality. True, the UN has been criticized lately for being inefficient or for the fact that decision-making on fundamental issues stalls due to insurmountable differences, especially among Security Council members.

However, I’d like to point out that there have always been differences in the UN throughout the 70 years of its history, and that the veto right has been regularly used by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and the Soviet Union, and later Russia. It is only natural for such a diverse and representative organization. When the UN was first established, nobody expected that there would always be unanimity. The mission of the organization is to seek and reach compromises, and its strength comes from taking different views and opinions into consideration. The decisions debated within the UN are either taken in the form of resolutions or not. As diplomats say, they either pass or they don’t. Any action taken by circumventing this procedure is illegitimate and constitutes a violation of the UN Charter and contemporary international law.

We all know that after the end of the Cold War the world was left with one center of dominance, and those who found themselves at the top of the pyramid were tempted to think that, since they are so powerful and exceptional, they know best what needs to be done and thus they don’t need to reckon with the UN, which, instead of rubber-stamping the decisions they need, often stands in their way.

That’s why they say that the UN has run its course and is now obsolete and outdated. Of course, the world changes, and the UN should also undergo natural transformation. Russia is ready to work together with its partners to develop the UN further on the basis of a broad consensus, but we consider any attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the United Nations as extremely dangerous. They may result in the collapse of the entire architecture of international relations, and then indeed there will be no rules left except for the rule of force. The world will be dominated by selfishness rather than collective effort, by dictate rather than equality and liberty, and instead of truly independent states we will have protectorates controlled from outside.

What is the meaning of state sovereignty, the term which has been mentioned by our colleagues here? It basically means freedom, every person and every state being free to choose their future.

By the way, this brings us to the issue of the so-called legitimacy of state authorities. You shouldn’t play with words and manipulate them. In international law, international affairs, every term has to be clearly defined, transparent and interpreted the same way by one and all.

We are all different, and we should respect that. Nations shouldn’t be forced to all conform to the same development model that somebody has declared the only appropriate one.

We should all remember the lessons of the past. For example, we remember examples from our Soviet past, when the Soviet Union exported social experiments, pushing for changes in other countries for ideological reasons, and this often led to tragic consequences and caused degradation instead of progress.

It seems, however, that instead of learning from other people’s mistakes, some prefer to repeat them and continue to export revolutions, only now these are “democratic” revolutions. Just look at the situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa already mentioned by the previous speaker. Of course, political and social problems have been piling up for a long time in this region, and people there wanted change. But what was the actual outcome? Instead of bringing about reforms, aggressive intervention rashly destroyed government institutions and the local way of life. Instead of democracy and progress, there is now violence, poverty, social disasters and total disregard for human rights, including even the right to life.

I’m urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least realize now what you’ve done? But I’m afraid that this question will remain unanswered, because they have never abandoned their policy, which is based on arrogance, exceptionalism and impunity.

Power vacuum in some countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa obviously resulted in the emergence of areas of anarchy, which were quickly filled with extremists and terrorists. The so-called Islamic State has tens of thousands of militants fighting for it, including former Iraqi soldiers who were left on the street after the 2003 invasion. Many recruits come from Libya whose statehood was destroyed as a result of a gross violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973. And now radical groups are joined by members of the so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition backed by the West. They get weapons and training, and then they defect and join the so-called Islamic State.

In fact, the Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere. It was initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes. Having established control over parts of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State now aggressively expands into other regions. It seeks dominance in the Muslim world and beyond. Their plans go further.

The situation is extremely dangerous. In these circumstances, it is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade.

It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you’ll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them.

I’d like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as you are. So, it’s a big question: who’s playing who here? The recent incident where the most “moderate” opposition group handed over their weapons to terrorists is a vivid example of that.

We consider that any attempts to flirt with terrorists, let alone arm them, are short-sighted and extremely dangerous. This may make the global terrorist threat much worse, spreading it to new regions around the globe, especially since there are fighters from many different countries, including European ones, gaining combat experience with Islamic State. Unfortunately, Russia is no exception.

Now that those thugs have tasted blood, we can’t allow them to return home and continue with their criminal activities. Nobody wants that, right?

Russia has consistently opposed terrorism in all its forms. Today, we provide military-technical assistance to Iraq, Syria and other regional countries fighting terrorist groups. We think it’s a big mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities and government forces who valiantly fight terrorists on the ground.

We should finally admit that President Assad’s government forces and the Kurdish militia are the only forces really fighting terrorists in Syria. Yes, we are aware of all the problems and conflicts in the region, but we definitely have to consider the actual situation on the ground.

Dear colleagues, I must note that such an honest and frank approach on Russia’s part has been recently used as a pretext for accusing it of its growing ambitions — as if those who say that have no ambitions at all. However, it is not about Russia’s ambitions, dear colleagues, but about the recognition of the fact that we can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world.

What we actually propose is to be guided by common values and common interests rather than by ambitions. Relying on international law, we must join efforts to address the problems that all of us are facing, and create a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism. Similar to the anti-Hitler coalition, it could unite a broad range of parties willing to stand firm against those who, just like the Nazis, sow evil and hatred of humankind. And of course, Muslim nations should play a key role in such a coalition, since Islamic State not only poses a direct threat to them, but also tarnishes one of the greatest world religions with its atrocities. The ideologues of these extremists make a mockery of Islam and subvert its true humanist values.

I would also like to address Muslim spiritual leaders: Your authority and your guidance are of great importance right now. It is essential to prevent people targeted for recruitment by extremists from making hasty decisions, and those who have already been deceived and, due to various circumstances, found themselves among terrorists, must be assisted in finding a way back to normal life, laying down arms and putting an end to fratricide.

In the days to come, Russia, as the current President of the UN Security Council, will convene a ministerial meeting to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the threats in the Middle East. First of all, we propose exploring opportunities for adopting a resolution that would serve to coordinate the efforts of all parties that oppose Islamic State and other terrorist groups. Once again, such coordination should be based upon the principles of the UN Charter.

We hope that the international community will be able to develop a comprehensive strategy of political stabilization, as well as social and economic recovery in the Middle East. Then, dear friends, there would be no need for setting up more refugee camps. Today, the flow of people forced to leave their native land has literally engulfed, first, the neighbouring countries, and then Europe. There are hundreds of thousands of them now, and before long, there might be millions. It is, essentially, a new, tragic Migration Period, and a harsh lesson for all of us, including Europe.

I would like to stress that refugees undoubtedly need our compassion and support. However, the only way to solve this problem for good is to restore statehood where it has been destroyed, to strengthen government institutions where they still exist, or are being re-established, to provide comprehensive military, economic and material assistance to countries in a difficult situation, and certainly to people who, despite all their ordeals, did not abandon their homes. Of course, any assistance to sovereign nations can, and should, be offered rather than imposed, in strict compliance with the UN Charter. In other words, our Organisation should support any measures that have been, or will be, taken in this regard in accordance with international law, and reject any actions that are in breach of the UN Charter. Above all, I believe it is of utmost importance to help restore government institutions in Libya, support the new government of Iraq, and provide comprehensive assistance to the legitimate government of Syria.

Dear colleagues, ensuring peace and global and regional stability remains a key task for the international community guided by the United Nations. We believe this means creating an equal and indivisible security environment that would not serve a privileged few, but everyone. Indeed, it is a challenging, complicated and time-consuming task, but there is simply no alternative.

Sadly, some of our counterparts are still dominated by their Cold War-era bloc mentality and the ambition to conquer new geopolitical areas. First, they continued their policy of expanding NATO – one should wonder why, considering that the Warsaw Pact had ceased to exist and the Soviet Union had disintegrated.

Nevertheless, NATO has kept on expanding, together with its military infrastructure. Next, the post-Soviet states were forced to face a false choice between joining the West and carrying on with the East. Sooner or later, this logic of confrontation was bound to spark off a major geopolitical crisis. And that is exactly what happened in Ukraine, where the people’s widespread frustration with the government was used for instigating a coup d’état from abroad. This has triggered a civil war. We are convinced that the only way out of this dead end lies through comprehensive and diligent implementation of the Minsk agreements of February 12th, 2015. Ukraine’s territorial integrity cannot be secured through the use of threats or military force, but it must be secured. The people of Donbas should have their rights and interests genuinely considered, and their choice respected; they should be engaged in devising the key elements of the country’s political system, in line with the provisions of the Minsk agreements. Such steps would guarantee that Ukraine will develop as a civilized state, and a vital link in creating a common space of security and economic cooperation, both in Europe and in Eurasia.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have deliberately mentioned a common space for economic cooperation. Until quite recently, it seemed that we would learn to do without dividing lines in the area of the economy with its objective market laws, and act based on transparent and jointly formulated rules, including the WTO principles, which embrace free trade and investment and fair competition. However, unilaterally imposed sanctions circumventing the UN Charter have all but become commonplace today. They not only serve political objectives, but are also used for eliminating market competition.

I would like to note one more sign of rising economic selfishness. A number of nations have chosen to create exclusive economic associations, with their establishment being negotiated behind closed doors, secretly from those very nations’ own public and business communities, as well as from the rest of the world. Other states, whose interests may be affected, have not been informed of anything, either. It seems that someone would like to impose upon us some new game rules, deliberately tailored to accommodate the interests of a privileged few, with the WTO having no say in it. This is fraught with utterly unbalancing global trade and splitting up the global economic space.

These issues affect the interests of all nations and influence the future of the entire global economy. That is why we propose discussing those issues within the framework of the United Nations, the WTO and the G20. Contrary to the policy of exclusion, Russia advocates harmonizing regional economic projects. I am referring to the so-called ”integration of integrations“ based on the universal and transparent rules of international trade. As an example, I would like to cite our plans to interconnect the Eurasian Economic Union with China’s initiative for creating a Silk Road economic belt. We continue to see great promise in harmonizing the integration vehicles between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union.

Ladies and gentlemen, one more issue that shall affect the future of the entire humankind is climate change. It is in our interest to ensure that the coming UN Climate Change Conference that will take place in Paris in December this year should deliver some feasible results. As part of our national contribution, we plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 70–75 percent of the 1990 levels by the year 2030.

However, I suggest that we take a broader look at the issue. Admittedly, we may be able to defuse it for a while by introducing emission quotas and using other tactical measures, but we certainly will not solve it for good that way. What we need is an essentially different approach, one that would involve introducing new, groundbreaking, nature-like technologies that would not damage the environment, but rather work in harmony with it, enabling us to restore the balance between the biosphere and technology upset by human activities.

It is indeed a challenge of global proportions. And I am confident that humanity does have the necessary intellectual capacity to respond to it. We need to join our efforts, primarily engaging countries that possess strong research and development capabilities, and have made significant advances in fundamental research. We propose convening a special forum under the auspices of the UN to comprehensively address issues related to the depletion of natural resources, habitat destruction, and climate change. Russia is willing to co-sponsor such a forum.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues. On January 10th, 1946, the UN General Assembly convened for its first meeting in London. Chairman of the Preparatory Commission Dr. Zuleta Angel, a Colombian diplomat, opened the session by offering what I see as a very concise definition of the principles that the United Nations should be based upon, which are good will, disdain for scheming and trickery, and a spirit of cooperation. Today, his words sound like guidance for all of us.

Russia is confident of the United Nations’ enormous potential, which should help us avoid a new confrontation and embrace a strategy of cooperation. Hand in hand with other nations, we will consistently work to strengthen the UN’s central, coordinating role. I am convinced that by working together, we will make the world stable and safe, and provide an enabling environment for the development of all nations and peoples.

Thank you.

“Only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO”– Italian newspaper interview with Vladimir Putin, transcript

I think that only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO. I think some countries are simply taking advantage of people’s fears with regard to Russia. They just want to play the role of front-line countries that should receive some supplementary military, economic, financial or some other aid,”

Posted by the Russian Federation Embassy in the UK, June 6, 2016

Vladimir Putin’s Interview to the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening.

Luciano Fontana: Good evening, Mr President. First of all, we would like to thank you for giving us this important opportunity to interview you today.

Vladimir Putin: It is my pleasure.

Luciano Fontana: My name is Luciano Fontana. I am the new head of Il Corriere della Sera, and here with me is my colleague, Paolo Valentino, who worked for a long time in Russia and even married a Russian woman.

Vladimir Putin: You are the new head of the newspaper?

Luciano Fontana: Yes, it has only been a month.

Vladimir Putin: Congratulations you on the appointment.

Luciano Fontana: Thank you very much, Mr Putin.

I would like to start with a question concerning Russian-Italian relations. This relationship has always been close and privileged, both in the economic and political spheres. However, it has been somewhat marred by the crisis in Ukraine and the sanctions.

Could the recent visit by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to Russia and your upcoming visit to Milan somehow change this trend, and if so, what is needed for that?

Vladimir Putin: First, I firmly believe that Russia was not responsible for the deterioration in relations between our country and the EU states. This was not our choice; it was dictated to us by our partners. It was not we who introduced restrictions on trade and economic activities. Rather, we were the target and we had to respond with retaliatory, protective measures.

But the relationship between Russia and Italy has, indeed, always been privileged, both in politics and the economy. For instance, in recent years, that is, in the last couple of years, trade between our countries increased elevenfold, from what I believe was $4.2 billion – we make calculations in US dollars – to over $48 billion, nearly $49 billion.

There are 400 Italian companies operating in Russia. We are cooperating actively in the energy sector, in an array of fields. Italy is the third largest consumer of our energy resources. We also have many joint high technology projects: in the space and aircraft industries, and in many other sectors. Russian regions are working very closely with Italy. Last year, almost a million Russian tourists, about 900,000, visited Italy. And while there, they spent over a billion euro.

We have always enjoyed trust-based relations in the political sphere as well. The establishment of the Russia-NATO Council was Italy’s initiative – Silvio Berlusconi was Prime Minister at the time. This advisory working body no doubt became an important factor of security in Europe. In this regard, Italy has always contributed greatly to the development of the dialogue between Russia and Europe, and NATO as a whole. Not to mention our special cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

All this, of course, lays the foundation for a special relationship between our countries. And the incumbent Prime Minister’s visit to Russia sent a very important message showing that Italy is willing to develop these relations. It is only natural that this does not go unnoticed either by the Government of the Russian Federation or by the public.

We are, of course, ready to reciprocate and go further in expanding our cooperation as long as our Italian partners are willing to do the same. I hope that my upcoming visit to Milan will help in this respect.

Continue reading

Summary of Italian newspaper interview with Vladimir Putin

Posted on RT, June 6, 2015
Russia ‘never viewed Europe as a mistress’ – Putin

Russia has never sought a no-obligation kind of relationship with Europe, and has always called for a serious partnership, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview that touched on EU sanctions, energy disputes and severed business ties with Ukraine.

“We have never viewed Europe as a mistress,” Putin told Il Corriere della Sera on the eve of his visit to Italy. “I am quite serious now. We have always proposed a serious relationship. But now I have the impression that Europe has actually been trying to establish material-based relations with us, and solely for its own gain.”

Putin said the “deterioration in relations” between Moscow and the EU states was not Russia’s fault.

“This was not our choice,” Putin said. “It was dictated to us by our partners. It was not we who introduced restrictions on trade and economic activities. Rather, we were the target and we had to respond with retaliatory, protective measures.”

Read more‘Worst is over’ – Putin on Russian economy

The Russian president recalled the “notorious” Third Energy Package and Brussels’ denial of access for Russian nuclear energy products to the European market – despite all the existing agreements.

The EU is also reluctant to acknowledge the legitimacy of Russia’s integration attempts on the territory of the former USSR, initially the Customs Union, which was later succeeded by the Eurasian Economic Union.

“It is all right when integration takes place in Europe, but if we do the same in the territory of the former Soviet Union, they try to explain it by Russia’s desire to restore an empire,” Putin said. “I don’t understand the reasons for such an approach.”

http://twitter.com/RussianEmbassy/status/607131817091727361/photo/1

Putin recalled that once it was French President Charles de Gaulle who first voiced the need to establish a

“common economic space stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok.”

“Today nobody objects to it, everybody says: yes, we should aspire to this,” the Russian leader said, stressing that the reality sharply contrasts with the expectations.

It has cost Russia billions to rearrange its energy system because Brussels insists that its new members, such as the three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), must join the European Union’s energy system, whereas these territories have for decades been an integral part of the energy system of the Soviet Union, and later Russia.

Brussels explains that although “there are no problems,” it was decided that it will “be better this way,” whereas for Russia that means building additional generating capacities in western regions.

Because electricity transmission lines went through the Baltic States to Russia’s territories in Europe and vice versa, the Baltic States cut-over plan and ensuring electricity supply to Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave has cost Russia about €2 billion to €2.5 billion in practical terms, Putin said.

If a similar procedure is forced on the electricity infrastructure of Ukraine, Putin said, that would cost Russia another €8 billion to €10 billion.

“Why is this necessary if we believe in building a common economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok?” said Putin, referring to the fear that the European Union’s Eastern Partnership’s aims not to integrate the whole former Soviet Union into a single space with Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok, but to “cut something off,” like Ukraine and Moldova, and establish a new border between modern Russia and western countries.

In the interview, President Putin paid special attention to the Ukrainian economy, pointing out that although the European Union unilaterally removed its customs duties for Ukraine, the country’s sales to the European market remain low because “there is nothing to sell,” since there is no demand for Ukrainian products in Europe “either in terms of quality or price.”

“We have a market for Ukraine, but many ties have been severed unilaterally by the Ukrainian side,” the Russian president said.

“I don’t understand why this was done,” Putin said, adding that when he puts this question to his colleagues in Europe and the US, they say that the situation “has run out of control.”

Still, despite the difficulties that the development of the Russian economy faces today, the country’s agricultural sector has been “growing steadily” at a rate of 3.4 percent to 3.5 percent in 2014, Putin said.

Putin recalled that once it was French President Charles de Gaulle who first voiced the need to establish a

“common economic space stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok.”

“Today nobody objects to it, everybody says: yes, we should aspire to this,” the Russian leader said, stressing that the reality sharply contrasts with the expectations.

It has cost Russia billions to rearrange its energy system because Brussels insists that its new members, such as the three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), must join the European Union’s energy system, whereas these territories have for decades been an integral part of the energy system of the Soviet Union, and later Russia.

Brussels explains that although “there are no problems,” it was decided that it will “be better this way,” whereas for Russia that means building additional generating capacities in western regions.

Because electricity transmission lines went through the Baltic States to Russia’s territories in Europe and vice versa, the Baltic States cut-over plan and ensuring electricity supply to Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave has cost Russia about €2 billion to €2.5 billion in practical terms, Putin said.

If a similar procedure is forced on the electricity infrastructure of Ukraine, Putin said, that would cost Russia another €8 billion to €10 billion.

“Why is this necessary if we believe in building a common economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok?” said Putin, referring to the fear that the European Union’s Eastern Partnership’s aims not to integrate the whole former Soviet Union into a single space with Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok, but to “cut something off,” like Ukraine and Moldova, and establish a new border between modern Russia and western countries.

In the interview, President Putin paid special attention to the Ukrainian economy, pointing out that although the European Union unilaterally removed its customs duties for Ukraine, the country’s sales to the European market remain low because “there is nothing to sell,” since there is no demand for Ukrainian products in Europe “either in terms of quality or price.”

“We have a market for Ukraine, but many ties have been severed unilaterally by the Ukrainian side,” the Russian president said.

“I don’t understand why this was done,” Putin said, adding that when he puts this question to his colleagues in Europe and the US, they say that the situation “has run out of control.”

Still, despite the difficulties that the development of the Russian economy faces today, the country’s agricultural sector has been “growing steadily” at a rate of 3.4 percent to 3.5 percent in 2014, Putin said.

https://youtu.be/Vc4qnvGxF1U

We pay significant attention to the development of agriculture in our country,” Putin said, adding that the growth in the first quarter of the current year remains at the same level, at 3.4 percent.

“Russia is now the third-largest grain exporter in the world,” Putin said, noting that last year Russia produced a record harvest of grain crops, at 105.3 million tons.

“Russia has an enormous potential in this sphere,” the Russian president said, mentioning among the reasons for this the world’s probably largest area of arable land and the biggest freshwater reserves, since Russia is the largest country on the planet.

The Russian president’s itinerary for his visit to Italy includes attending the Russia Day at the Universal Exhibition EXPO 2015 in Milan, where the core theme of this year’s exhibition is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.”

In this regard, Vladimir Putin said that, according to experts, the world’s fast-growing population will reach 9 billion people by 2050.

Yet even today, according to the UN, 850 million people, including 100 million children, around the planet are undernourished or starving.

“There is no doubt that this is one of the key issues of our time,” Putin said, noting that Russia’s contribution to the UN programmes exceeds $200 million.

http://rt.com/business/265408-russia-europe-mistress-putin/

 

La Repubblica: Ucraina, ucciso giornalista filorusso a Kiev. È il terzo omicidio politico in 24 ore. Lo sdegno di Putin

For English translation and analysis: https://freeukrainenow.org/2015/04/17/italian-newspaper-breaks-silence-over-political-assassinations-in-kiev-somebody-is-killing-those-opposed-to-the-ukrainian-government/

Oles Buzina, giornalista e scrittore molto noto nella capitale ucraina, è stato giustiziato sotto casa. Il presidente russo: “uno dei tanti crimini della Nuova Ucraina”

16 aprile 2015

dal nostro corrispondente NICOLA LOMBARDOZZI

MOSCA – Qualcuno sta uccidendo sistematicamente tutti gli oppositori al governo ucraino nato dalla “Rivoluzione” di un anno fa. Stamattina è toccato a un personaggio molto noto a Kiev, Oles Buzina, giornalista e scrittore, grande protagonista dei talk show televisivi, e schierato su posizioni apertamente filo russe. Lo hanno atteso sotto casa e lo hanno giustiziato secondo il preciso copione di un delitto studiato ed eseguito da professionisti. Vladimir Putin, che lo ha comunicato in diretta mentre stava partecipando alla consueta maratona televisiva di primavera e rispondendo alle domande del pubblico, ha definito l’omicidio “uno dei tanti crimini della Nuova Ucraina”.

In realtà, nel silenzio di molti media occidentali, nella Kiev democratica e in corsa per entrare in Europa, sta avvenendo una spietata operazione di repulisti di ogni forma di opposizione. Ancora ieri sera, sempre nella capitale ucraina, un commando ha ucciso Sergej Sukhobok, titolare di un sito internet e di un piccolo giornale che contrasta la politica del governo e sostiene le ragioni della gente del Donbass ribelle. Poco prima, nel pomeriggio, altri killer avevano compiuto un’identica missione sotto casa di Oleg Kalashnikov, ex deputato del Partito filorusso delle Regioni e considerato un grande oppositore dei movimenti che hanno protestato l’anno scorso sulla Majdan di Kiev e che adesso guidano il Paese.

Tre omicidi politici in meno di 24 ore che, inevitabilmente sollevano lo sdegno interessato di Putin e della stampa russa. Ma è comunque inquietante il clima di odio e di desiderio di vendetta che si respira in queste ore in Ucraina. Dopo la notizia dell’uccisione dell’ex deputato molti oligarchi, politici e personaggi popolari in Ucraina hanno rilasciato raccapriccianti dichiarazioni infarcite di “finalmente”, “se l’è meritato”, “eliminato un nemico”.

Anche poco fa, subito dopo l’assassinio dello scrittore Buzina, il ministero dell’Interno ucraino ha diffuso la notizia definendolo “il famigerato giornalista”.

Probabile che gli omicidi, almeno per quanto riguarda l’esecuzione, siano collegati alla frangia più estrema dei “rivoluzionari” ucraini, il movimento neonazista Pravj Sektor che ha gestito la fase più violenta del ribaltamento al potere e che adesso partecipa con le sue unità paramilitari alla repressione della rivolta filorussa nell’Ucraina dell’Est. Sin dall’inizio della grande svolta di Kiev, Pravj Sektor condiziona pesantemente le scelte del governo e del presidente Poroshenko, boicottando ogni tentativo di cercare una soluzione pacifica e allestendo spedizioni punitive contro chiunque dissenta dalla nuova linea ipernazionalista e patriottica.

Il risultato è quello di inasprire ancora di più i rapporti con la Russia e complicare ogni possibile mediazione. Ieri, parlando di Ucraina, Putin ha continuato ad accusare l’Occidente di “appoggiare un governo di estrema destra” e ha negato ancora una volta che sul territorio ucraino ci siano dispiegate truppe russe come sostengono Kiev e molti media americani. “State tranquilli, non credo che si arriverà mai a una guerra aperta tra Russia e Ucraina”, ha detto ai cittadini russi preoccupati. Ma l’inizio di una nuova ondata di terrore incontrollabile in Ucraina non promette niente di buono.

http://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2015/04/16/news/ucraina_ucciso_giornalista_filorusso_a_kiev_e_il_terzo_omicidio_politico_in_24_ore_lo_sdegno_di_putin-112106358/

Reposted under Fair Use Rules.

Why the Western media will never show Putin’s three hour press conference

From Russia Insider, December 19, 2015
By Alex Christoforou

Imagine a western leader doing a live, three hour Q&A session with a hostile media?

Could President Obama speak in front of hundreds of journalists for over three hours, unscripted and without a teleprompter? Highly doubtful.

How about Hillary? Can Mrs. Clinton take on the local and international press in an honest, nothing off limits, press Q & A….once again for over three hours and no teleprompter to assist. No chance.

What about John McCain. Could Senator McCain field intelligent questions for over three hours (let alone 15 minutes) without resorting to name calling, warmongering or regime change rhetoric? Please!

Cameron, Hollande, Merkel…no way. European leaders are puppets to US policy and could probably not even string together thirty minutes of independent thought, let alone three hours of live debate.

What we saw today, for the 10th time, is about as transparent as any world leader can get…and western man stream media hates Putin, and Russia for this.

Putin’s tenth annual press conference format, length, and total transparency are all the facts any sane, brain functioning human being needs in order to easily deduce that all the western leader rants and main stream media propaganda about Russian aggression, Hitler comparisons, and dictator aspirations are all flat out lies.

Their is not one dictator on the planet, not one ruler alive today, not one President or Prime Minister in power, who has the balls and guts to sit in front of so many local and international journalists and answer every single question thrown at him or her with just a pen and paper handy.

Putin took questions from Ukrainian journalists, the BBC, Reuters, FT…just about every news outlet that crudely crucifies him on a daily basis, he engaged with in an open and honest debate in front of the whole entire world to see.

Nothing was hidden, and man was it refreshing to watch. If only my President was this open and forthcoming.

What we saw today was exactly why America, Europe, and the entire main stream media cabal despises Vladimir Putin.

The last thing any of the western nations want is transparency and public debate. They prefer to operate in the shadows, keep their citizens fully zombified.  They would never expose their leaders to unscripted events like this tenth annual press conference.

The closest thing western countries have to what we saw today in Moscow is Jen Psaki’s State Department press briefings, which are more stand up comedy, than intelligent discussion.

The west can hate on Putin all they want…until I see Obama, Cameron, or Merkel pull off what this man just did (for the tenth consecutive year in a row) then step off. ‘Haters gonna hate.’

Confidence

 

Crowd listens

http://russia-insider.com/en/2014/12/18/2013

Occupants or liberators: the USSR’s role in WW II

From TASS

Putin blasts attempts to rewrite history of Russia’s role in WWII as ‘cynical lies’
March 17, 2015

Defamation of the whole generation of people, who gave everything for this Victory and stood up for peace in the world is aimed at eroding the power and moral authority of modern Russia, Putin says

People in Sofia greeting Soviet soldiers, 1944

People in Sofia greeting Soviet soldiers, 1944

© Fotokhronika TASS

The Russian president said that “the insolent defamation of the whole generation of people, who gave everything they had for this Victory and stood up for peace in the world,” was aimed “at eroding the power and moral authority of modern Russia and to deprive it of the status of the victor-country with all the following international legal consequences.”

Russian President has instructed Russia’s Victory Day celebration organizing committee to effectively counter attempts to distort the truth about World War II.

“The task of the Russian organizing committee in each Russian region is to effectively counter these challenges with the citizens’ active participation and support; it is important to use all the possibilities to tell the truth about the Fatherland history, about combat heroism and labor achievements of our ancestors, to open the doors before those who want to become known in this field, fulfil their aspiration to make a contribution to the national cause, patriotic education, defending the own country’s national interests,” the president said at a meeting of the Victory organizing committee.

http://tass.ru/en/russia/783247

False statements on attitude to Soviet WWII soldiers easily refuted
March 20, 2015

Chief of Staff of the Russian Presidential Administration made this statement visiting a Second World War memorial in Moscow together with head of the General Office of the Communist Party of China

MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. False statement about Soviet troops treated “not as liberators but as occupants” during World War Two are easily refuted by documents, including by photographs of those years, Chief of Staff of the Russian Presidential Administration Sergey Ivanov said while visiting a Second World War memorial in Moscow together with head of the General Office of the Communist Party of China Li Zhanshu.

Ivanov noted that various statements to this effect that could be heard now were nothing else but attempts to falsify history. They claim that “that was not liberation but enslavement and occupation”. “When we show photos depicting people with flowers welcoming Soviet troops, these myths are debunked,” he said.

Ivanov and Li Zhanshu began the museum tour by visiting the Hall of Remembrance and Sorrow, which honors all Soviet people who perished in the war or were reported missing.

The two politicians also visited an international exhibition dedicated to the 1938 Battle of Wuhan and Soviet assistance to China in its struggle against Japan.

In conclusion, their paid a visit to the Hall of Glory featuring feats of heroism by Red Army soldiers and officers.

http://tass.ru/en/russia/784072

Vladimir Putin’s legendary speech at 2007 Munich Security Conference

A commenter stated that this speech has been taken down numerous times. Apparently, there was also a Q&A with reporters after the speech. These versions are just the speech.

Here are two versions.

Full speech  — poorer video quality

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frDYKeP1hnM

30:46

—————————————————————-

Part 1-4 — good video quality

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlY5aZfOgPA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZewZnZ13X-Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf90nezYKwY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyBzNR-x6l8

 

How Vladimir Putin blocked the U.S. “pivot to Asia”

Posted on CounterPunch, March 8, 2015
By Mike Whitney

“The collapse of the Soviet Union removed the only constraint on Washington’s power to act unilaterally abroad…. Suddenly the United States found itself to be the Uni-power, the ‘world’s only superpower.’  Neoconservatives proclaimed ‘the end of history.’”

—  Paul Craig Roberts,  former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury

“Don’t blame the mirror if your face is crooked.”

— Russian proverb

On February 10, 2007,   Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the 43rd Munich Security Conference that created a rift between Washington and Moscow that has only deepened over time.  The Russian President’s blistering hour-long critique of US foreign policy provided a rational, point-by-point indictment of US interventions around the world and their devastating effect on global security.   Putin probably didn’t realize the impact his candid observations would have on the assembly in Munich or the reaction of  powerbrokers in the US who saw the presentation as a turning point in US-Russian relations. But, the fact is, Washington’s hostility towards Russia can be traced back to this particular incident, a speech in which Putin publicly committed himself to a multipolar global system, thus, repudiating the NWO pretensions of US elites. Here’s what he said:

“I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security. And we must proceed by searching for a reasonable balance between the interests of all participants in the international dialogue.”

With that one formulation, Putin rejected the United States assumed role as the world’s only superpower and steward of global security, a privileged position which Washington feels it earned by prevailing in the Cold War and which entitles the US to unilaterally intervene whenever it sees fit. Putin’s announcement ended years of bickering and deliberation among think tank analysts as to whether Russia could be integrated into the US-led system or not.  Now they knew that Putin would never dance to Washington’s tune.

In the early years of his presidency, it was believed that Putin would learn to comply with western demands and accept a subordinate role in the Washington-centric system. But it hasn’t worked out that way. The speech in Munich merely underscored what many US hawks and Cold Warriors had been saying from the beginning, that Putin would not relinquish Russian sovereignty without a fight.  The declaration challenging US aspirations to rule the world, left no doubt that  Putin was going to be a problem that had to be dealt with by any means necessary including harsh economic sanctions, a State Department-led coup in neighboring Ukraine, a conspiracy to crash oil prices, a speculative attack of the ruble, a proxy war in the Donbass using neo-Nazis as the empire’s shock troops, and myriad false flag operations used to discredit Putin personally while driving a wedge between Moscow and its primary business partners in Europe. Now the Pentagon is planning to send 600 paratroopers to Ukraine ostensibly to “train the Ukrainian National Guard”, a serious escalation that violates the spirit of Minsk 2 and which calls for a proportionate response from the Kremlin. Bottom line: The US is using all the weapons in its arsenal to prosecute its war on Putin.

Last week’s gangland-style murder of Russian opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, has to be considered in terms of the larger geopolitical game that is currently underway. While we may never know who perpetrated the crime, we can say with certainly that the lack of evidence hasn’t deterred the media or US politicians from using the tragedy to advance an anti-Putin agenda aimed at destabilizing the government and triggering regime change in Moscow.  Putin himself suggested that the killing may have been a set-up designed to put more pressure on the Kremlin. The World Socialist Web Site summed up the political implications like this: Continue reading

Wikileaks: Nemtsov advises American Embassy, Russia needs a crisis to topple Putin

Posted on Fort Russ

<iframe width=”459″ height=”344″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/R_5g1RrDJI0&#8243; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

March 4, 2015
Alexey Pushkov

Translated by Kristina Rus
Originally recorded in 2010-2011
“Komsomolskaya Pravda” has published Wikileaks cables regarding the meetings of Russian human rights defenders and representatives of the right opposition with the representatives of the American administration.
These meetings took place at the American Embassy in Moscow.
The cables give a lot of food for thought, and we would like to share some of it with you.
One of the cables talks about a meeting which took place on January 14, 2010 at the American Embassy in Moscow between Obama’s representative in Russia Michael McFaul and Russian human rights defenders.
This was not the first such meeting with the leadership of American administration.
Such meetings occurred earlier, for example, with Hillary Clinton where the human rights defenders expectedly complained about human rights abuses and characteristically insisted on the hardening of American policy towards Russian leadership.
In another cable as of January 19, 2010, under the code name “Moscow 000305”, the American ambassador, John Byerle [2008-2012],  informs the State Department about a meeting of the same McFaul with the leaders of the right opposition: Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Milov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and also a representative of the party “The Right Deed” Georgy Goft.
What was the topic of this discussion?
They discussed conditions which would ensure the departure of Vladimir Putin. 
The American ambassador wrote about the position of the Russian right:
“The Russian right opposition agreed that the goal of the opposition during the next two years, should be the work to prevent the return of Vladimir Putin to the post of the president. But according to their opinion only an emergency situation would bring about his demise.”
According to McFaul, there is no other way, because most of the civil society in Russia “is still asleep”, and most of citizens of the country are content with current situation.
Let’s make some conclusions.
The conclusion number one: the leaders of the radical right opposition  are discussing a change of Russian government with American representatives, which is scandalous in itself and causes a lot of questions. We could have guessed about it, but now it received a documentary evidence.
Conclusion number two: in order to achieve their goals, the radical right opposition needs an emergency situation in the country.
So while our country and our people have not yet recovered from a constant “emergency situation in 1990’s”, when the right and Boris Yeltsin were in power, as the opposition wants to plunge the country into another emergency situation.
At his time, Boris Nemtsov putting dressed in an orange tie supported Yushenko and Timoshenko in Kiev, and declared that he was envious of the Ukrainian people: “Thanks to the Orange Maidan they will have democracy and happiness all around. Only if we could have the same!” – dreamed Nemtsov, holding his breath.
The results of the Orange democracy are well known – almost five years of emergency situation in Ukraine, economic collapse, a sudden drop of standard of living.
Now Nemtsov wants the same for Russia in order to return to power.
In the face of McFaul, the Russian Right found a faithful listener.
“Deputinization must come from Russia itself” – told them Michael McFaul. [so now we know the purpose of his appointment for ambassador to Russia in 2012 – KR]
Although the American president does not openly support the civil society in Russia [he did support it, but not OPENLY], as the members of opposition would like to, he completely supports democratic reforms.
This looks like a direct coordination of the line of our opposition and American administration.
The representative of US president practically tells the right: you start first, and we will support you.
What can you say, this is the style of our right – to appeal to the US with the hope that the almighty America will either help them keep the power or bring them to power.
Lets remember who was the main outside support of the government of Boris Yeltsin and his “reformers” – of course, America. The same goes for other opposition members, such as Casparov and Kasyanov, who keep on shouting to the United States “Help, help!”
And of course the fact of such meetings and discussions at the American Embassy in Moscow speaks for itself.
“Komsomolskaya Pravda” rightfully notes:
“It is hard to imagine that the representatives of Democrats or Republicans would run to the Russian Embassy in Washington DC and tearfully beg; “Please be harder on our government” and without blinking formulate the task: “In order to come to power we need a collapse!”
American politicians don’t do that as they consider themselves first of all a part of their country. But our right as evident during the Yeltsyn times, when they were in power, constantly and enthusiastically relied on the outside forces in order to subject their country to foreign models and foreign interests.
The citizens of Russia have realized this quickly and refused to support them, because even without the Wikileaks they understand very well, that the radical right in Russia is not so much Russian as it is American.
And this speaks for itself.
Kristina Rus:
 
Although the Russian opposition has christened itself as “The Union of the Right Forces”, it is still commonly known as “the liberals” – this is characteristic of the Russian political spectrum.
 
It is easy to judge about a utility of any politician by the reaction to his death in the Western press and the State Department, from which it gets it’s daily instructions. 
 
If they declare him a great loss to his country, you can bet he is a great loss to the State Department. 
 
However, it is unclear if the State Department understood that Nemtsov was unelectable, as he had admitted in his wiretaps: “I am from the nineties – it’s like a sentence”, when Nemtsov was #3 in the Yelsyn governmnet as a Vice Prime Minister. It is quite possible that Nemtsov realized that he could make more money working for the US interests, then in Russian politics, and he has a 90 million ruble apartment near the Kremlin to show for it. 
 
Nemtsov’s unelectablility is another argument for the theory of a “sacrificial lamb”, as Nemtsov was the most likely figure for such sacrifice, as he had no chances to become a Russian president with his shady past from the nineties and a rating of 2-4%. 
 
Ironically he himself was the mastermind of the idea that “only an emergency situation” can shake up Russian politics, and his murder falls into that category. 
 
That he was active in the opposition for a decade without any political chances may also speak for the fact that it simply became a lucrative business. His friend Irina Khakamada, said that Nemtsov lived of the money of the sponsors, which was plentiful. He also admitted in his wiretaps, that money was not an issue. Offering to fly another activist for an urgent meeting in a helicopter was not unusual, as was his high roller lifestyle and patronage of elite escort services.
 
Nemtsov made an excellent agent of the State Departmet, as he was brilliant (becoming a governor of Nizhny Novgorod at 32 years old) and was not burdened with too many moral principles.
 
Nemtsov’s eloquence and charisma made it easy for him to persuade people, and only his actions (such as marching with  Ukrainian nationalists in Odessa after Odessa massacre and a complete disregard for the human rights of fellow Russians in Eastern Ukraine – he preferred to be obsessed about counting how many times Putin changed his watches) would revel his true intentions to the outside observer.