European Union

'"Market-distorting measures": Compromise or trade war between EU and US?'

By Oleg Burunov - 5 hours ago (Updated: 31 minutes ago)

28 Oct, 2022

MEP admits all EU countries abuse spyware to snoop on citizens

BRUSSELS, November 8. /TASS/. The intelligence services of all EU countries without exception are abusing spyware, which poses ‘a grave threat to democracy’, Dutch representative of the European Parliament Sofia in 't Veld said on Tuesday at a press conference in Brussels, presenting the preliminary results of her team's investigation into a scandal involving the use of spyware to illegally snoop on EU citizens.

She stressed that the entire system of development, production, distribution and use of spyware was "entirely a European matter" and was beyond any public control.
"All [EU] member states have spyware at their disposal, all of them, even if they don’t admit it, they do," the lawmaker said, "So, they all play a role. Cyprus and Bulgaria [are] export hubs, Luxembourg is where spyware vendors do their financial business, Ireland offers fiscal conditions which are attractive, Malta, interestingly, seems to be a comfortable home to spyware bosses with golden passports and letterbox companies. Italy, France and Austria are home to some important manufacturers and vendors of spyware. The Czech Republic hosts every year the big fair, the spyware fair, also referred to as the Wiretappers’ Ball. The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium have <…> more or less admitted that their police forces are using it [the spyware], although not entirely." Among the countries most widely using spyware against their citizens, Sofia in 't Veld listed Hungary, Greece, Spain and Cyprus.
"The abuse of spyware in EU member states is a grave threat to democracy on the entire continent," she stressed, noting that "none of the authorities (government officials from EU countries - TASS) have been willing to work with us (the European Parliament investigation team - TASS)."
And from here

WIRETAPPERS BALL: The secretive trade fair where cops and spies buy spyware, surveillance software and hacking tools​

You may not believe me when I say this, but every year, spies and cops from governments around the world gather at a secretive trade show known as the “Wiretappers Ball.” There they buy spyware, surveillance software and hacking tools they use in spycraft and often on their own citizens.
I first encountered the market for off-the-shelf surveillance software in 2011, when my team at The Wall Street Journal obtained the marketing brochures for companies exhibiting their wares at the roving trade show in Washington, D.C.
We compiled more than 200 documents in a Surveillance Catalog that showcased the hacking tools that enable governments to break into people’s computers and cellphones, and “massive intercept” gear that can gather all internet communications in a country.
And the software being peddled has only gotten more invasive since then. The poster child of this new hacking-for-hire industry is an Israeli firm called NSO Group, which was found last year to have distributed an alarming new type of spyware called Pegasus that could infect a user’s phone without any action taken by the user.
Previously, to infect a user’s phone with spyware, a company would need to trick a user into clicking on a malicious link or downloading a malicious file.
This so-called “zero-click” spyware was even creepier. Apple immediately issued a patch to fix the flaw that Pegasus was exploiting and sued NSO Group, but there is no doubt that the emergence of the zero-click has ratcheted up the surveillance arms race.
To understand the spyware landscape and what can be done about it, I turned this week to the world’s best spyware hunter, Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Citizen Lab is the leading forensic research lab investigating and identifying new strains of spyware, including Pegasus.
Deibert has overseen and been a contributing author to more than 120 research reports covering cyber espionage, commercial spyware, internet censorship, and human rights. He is the author of several books, including “Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society,” and won the 2021 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.
My interview with Deibert is below, edited for brevity and clarity.
Angwin: Could you start at the very beginning, with the origin story of Citizen Lab?
Deibert: I’m a political scientist, and my area of expertise, when I did my Ph.D., was information technology and international security. Around 1999 or 2000, I was contacted by the Ford Foundation—actually it was Anthony Romero, who was a program officer at the time—and they were looking to “field build,” as they call it, in precisely this area. So I put together a proposal for the Citizen Lab.
I had this idea for some time of creating a kind of watchdog that would be based in the university that would appropriate methods from computer science and engineering. I knew we could gather data directly from the internet in a way that would uncover threats to human rights.
Originally, it was mostly focused on internet censorship, but I was also interested in surveillance, which I thought would be a much more difficult challenge. But the idea from the very beginning was to have this university-based, evidence-based research watchdog and to employ a mixture of methods.
Angwin: This was before a lot of people were thinking about these issues. What sparked your interest in it? What were you seeing in the world that made you think this was needed?
Deibert: During my time as a graduate student, I was contracted by the Canadian Foreign Affairs Department to do a couple of studies for a very obscure unit (that no longer exists) within Foreign Affairs called the Verification Research Unit. The purpose of this unit was to do research and information gathering around how to verify arms control accords. Governments were using these very advanced technologies to monitor each other.
I had this really formative experience as part of a study I was doing on potential use of commercial satellite imagery for arms control around a potential nuclear test ban. I spent some time with a group of scientific experts who were seismologists, chemists, people who had set up things like underwater sniffing technologies and imagery analysts. It was this really impressive collection of people with different skill sets and expertise, all focused on this one topic, which was to prevent governments from cheating on arms control.
And at the time, it just hit me like a gong: Why isn’t there a similar capacity in civil society to watch governments and watch private companies?
Angwin: Doing this type of work, I imagine you face certain threats, technical and legal?
Deibert: The technical risks are omnipresent. But that would be, in many respects, the least of our concerns, because it’s hard to protect yourself entirely. What really concerns me are the physical risks, the threats that we’ve faced when my staff were targeted in a Black Cube [a private Israeli investigative company known for its messy operations and public scandals] operation.
This was a big experience for us after we did one of our very important NSO-related reports on the hacking of a Saudi permanent resident in Canada, Omar Abdulaziz, who was a close confidant of Jamal Khashoggi. Our report was published Oct. 1; the next day Khashoggi was executed. Shortly thereafter, my staff were the targets of a clandestine operation to try to gather incriminating information.
We organized with the Associated Press a counter sting at a Manhattan restaurant and exposed the operation and outed the person behind that one part of it, a person who used to work for the Mossad and works for Black Cube.
It turns out that at the same time, Black Cube was also going after Ronan Farrow. If you watch Ronan Farrow’s HBO series, the last episode is all about the targeting of Citizen Lab.
Angwin: Can you tell me about the Pegasus discovery?
Deibert: We started investigating cyber espionage over a decade ago, and we began to realize around 2011 that there was a commercial market for kind of off-the-shelf NSA tools from companies that would provide government clients with the ability to undertake surveillance.
We were mostly concerned with offensive actions like hacking into devices, which was really growing after the Arab Spring and as a by-product of the growth of end-to-end encryption. As end-to-end encryption has spread, the value of being able to have visibility over networks diminished, and the industry responded by saying, well, we’ll get inside of the device. Once you’re inside the device, then you can see everything.
We started investigating these companies, and when we first crossed paths with NSO Group, it was when we discovered that a company called DarkMatter was using the NSO Group’s espionage tool Pegasus to try to get in the phone of a human rights defender named Ahmed Mansoor. Mansoor sent us the links, and we captured Pegasus.

Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. PHOTO/MARKUP
Angwin: What does Pegasus do?
Deibert: I describe it as the nuclear version of spyware. It is the big bomb; there is no defense against it.
It enables government clients to hack into a device and gather all of this information, virtually anything, turn on the camera, turn on the audio capture, track geolocation, read text messages, even those that are encrypted.
Last fall, we captured a new version of Pegasus from a Saudi activist’s phone that was hacked, and it was a zero-click, zero-day. Zero click requires no interaction on the part of the target; you just target the device, and you can take it over.
(A zero-day is a vulnerability in Apple software that Apple didn’t know about. So we did a responsible security disclosure to Apple, and they issued a security patch back in September.)
And one thing people don’t talk about is the prospect of using spyware to plant falsely incriminating data on someone’s mobile phone. So you’d suddenly end up with horrible thing X here on your own phone, and you don’t know it’s there.
The spyware is also engineered to evade forensics. That’s notable because it’s actually very hard even for us to pinpoint on somebody’s device, if they’ve been hacked. This is extremely dangerous, powerfully invasive technology that right now operates without any international regulation whatsoever.
Angwin: The U.S. government took some action, right?
Deibert: Yeah. The U.S. Department of Commerce put NSO Group, Candiru, and two other hack-for-hire firms on the designated “Entity List,” which means that Americans can’t do business with them and vice versa. That had a profound effect on NSO’s bottom line. Moody’s downgraded them. [NSO Group told The Jerusalem Post that their technology does support the U.S.‘s national interest and will act in order to reverse this decision.]
These companies are very lucrative. They’re owned by private equity funds, so one of the remedies, we think, is to go after their bottom line.
Angwin: Do you think tech companies have any responsibility for releasing products with security vulnerabilities?
Deibert: I definitely think they do. Fortunately, we’ve seen companies trying to protect their users, and they’re being responsible when it comes to litigating this stuff. WhatsApp is in the process of suing NSO Group in California over the exploitation of WhatsApp’s video protocol, and Apple is doing the same thing. [NSO Group lost its challenge to get the WhatsApp lawsuit dismissed and told Fortune, in response to questions about the lawsuits, that its technologies have saved thousands of lives.]
But the reality is, the digital ecosystem is invasive by design. It’s insecure and poorly regulated. Those things together make it a ripe environment for the type of exploitation that we see. It’s remarkable how convenient it is to have the entire technological environment oriented around vacuuming up data. I think it is very important to clean up some of the bottom-feeder companies that orbit around location tracking data, which I see as a horrible, poorly regulated cesspool. There are so many companies that take advantage of that location tracking marketplace to do business for government clients.
Angwin: In your essay, “Protecting Society from Surveillance Spyware,” you propose some solutions, can you describe them?
Deibert: The Commerce Department designation is a good start. It’s a good example of how existing authorities could be used to punish these terrible companies that are just routinely and serially causing harm worldwide. I mean, what do you make of a company that sells repeatedly to Rwanda or Saudi Arabia? And the technology is used in connection with death squads and executions? There has to be some consequence.
I think you start with governments saying, “Citizens in our country will not do business with this company.” So you put them on a deny list. That won’t solve the problem, but it will help.
Second, I think we could pass legislation that would make it easier for victims of this type of surveillance to sue, both the companies and the foreign governments that are behind it. If you begin to wrap these companies up in court, and the cases result in significant financial damages, then it’ll begin to scare the industry overall.
I also think we need export controls. The Israeli Ministry of Defense actually does export controls but the worst possible type: They basically rubber-stamp and actually go even further and use Pegasus sales as a component of their strategic foreign policy. That needs to change. If the Israeli authorities had very strict human rights due diligence mechanisms that required these companies to follow certain rules, not sell to governments that are going to abuse it, that would also help.
Quite a few people have advocated that there should be a worldwide moratorium or ban on this technology. I get where they’re coming from. But I think it’s not practical. Most governments have a horse in this race, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll get agreement on such a thing. But if they are going to contract with espionage companies, they could easily build in procurement rules that say we will only purchase from companies that follow certain protocols.
Lastly, we need some oversight over security agencies. The United States should have clear, transparent documents that are available to the public and researchers saying here’s who we contract from, here’s how much we spent, etc.
All of this wouldn’t solve the problem overnight.
It looks like France and the UK will be in trouble this winter! :-O

The core baseload of the European grid is in trouble, and there is no back up. If the rest of Europe had enough coal or nuclear power, this wouldn’t be so bad, but they were all too worried about heatwaves in 2100 they forgot…

This is bad news for Europe. Half of France’s nuclear power fleet were already out of action and EDF was hoping to bring “all of them” back online for winter. But they’ve just announced that at least four plants they planned to restart will suffer a major delay. France’s electricity prices have hit €1,000 per MWh for January delivery. (Which is a blockbuster $1,500 AUD).

France’s large nuclear fleet is normally a major exporter of electricity, referred to as the “backbone” of the whole European grid. Blackouts are not only being forecast in France, but there is growing recognition that they are now more likely in the UK too. Where else will this spread?

To make matters worse, a week ago, a pipe ruptured during a safety test at the Civaux plant. This is the same plant where corroded welds were discovered in August last year, but this is “absolutely not a weld that gave way” this time, which sounds ominous. When they shut Civaux down last year, they also shut down another 12 reactors built to the same design — which paradoxically are the newest reactors in the nuclear fleet and only about 20 years old. Such is the urgency, that currently 500 specialist welders are working on these plants, about 100 of those have come from the US and Canada.

On MindMatters, there was an interview in 2021:

Is Liberalism the New Totalitarianism? A Conversation with Ryszard Legutko where among other points Legutko argues that the EU parliament is not similar to a one party system, because there are not major difference between the Liberals, the Christian and Social Democrats and the Green parties. The point is made at 17:04 / 1:46:55, although he begins his argument before

PROF: RYSZARD LEGUTKO: "Two minutes of truth, of bitter truth" in the European Parliament

I absolutely loved this! Look at the faces of the Useless Eater Euroc-Rats, how their smiles are fading fast. Mayhaps these demonic wretches are disturbed by their sharp Jackal Ears picking up applause in the EU Parliament? How dare they [!!] applaud this man Legutko??! Watch them hysterically protesting that somebody - [I image they think] this "subhuman Prof. Legutko"(professor of philosophy) dares to step forward and oppose them! Them!??! - the Mighty Exceptionally Privileged Ones, who didn't have to pay their heating and electricity bills in their life, since their wealthy acquaintances always got them covered:
..the smug smiles of the European Parliament's sinecure abusers who pretend that they are representatives of someone in Europe (actually, some of them are), the wiping of those smiles from their faces will not come through academic discussion and scientific reasoning. Albeit, Legutko's civic courage is appreciated.
I agree with Andrei Martyanov: the wiping of those smiles will come with Guillotine, I think.

While in Hungary, Honored Parliament Members rake in SIX TIMES THE SALARY of Hungarian Workers' Average payment per month. Social-net payments of course are in the gutters compared even to that average.. I can only smile, but recently a Soup Kitchen opened in my little agricultural city of 18K Sheeple and there is a surprisingly long line each day.

Will the soup kitchen solve the heinous disparity in Hungary - and probably in most places in the world?
Last edited:
'That's why EU is sinking.'

25 Jan, 2023
During the interview, he was asked if he thought the EU was “too weak,” to which he replied by explaining that “Europe [sic] does not have a real foreign or defense policy… We always come after the Americans,” adding that this has been the case since 1954 [when the European Defence Community collapsed].
In the french news today, ambiance (translation) :

"In Brussels, Meloni beats Macron cold

The Italian leader could not stomach not having been invited to the dinner organized on Wednesday February 8 at the Elysée for the Ukrainian president.

At her very first European summit, in December 2022, Giorgia Meloni had kept a low profile. Nothing like this this time. As soon as she arrived in Brussels, the Italian leader criticized Emmanuel Macron. In question: the dinner that the president had organized the day before at the Élysée with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz. When she was asked about the recent trip by the French and German Ministers of the Economy to Washington - without their Italian counterpart, therefore -, the President of the Italian Council had this answer: "Yesterday's invitation to Zelensky felt more inappropriate because I think our strength in this story is unity."

Even more directly, she accused Emmanuel Macron of having instrumentalized Zelensky's trip to Paris.
"I understand domestic political issues, privileging one's own domestic public opinions, but there are times when privileging those opinions may not be favorable to the cause and it seems to me that it has been," she told reporters.

In Italy, the press drew a parallel between this dinner to which Giorgia Meloni had not been invited and Emmanuel Macron's trip to kyiv last year with Olaf Scholz and… Mario Draghi, the former President of the Italian Council, who had privileged relations with the French president. The comparison greatly displeased the Italian leader. She spent her day beating the president. While the Twenty-Seven were to exchange in groups of five with Volodymyr Zelensky, the latter finally offered a bilateral exchange.

During his press conference, Macron admitted that there were no bilateral meetings with Meloni during the long day. Even though the leaders had a lot of dead time and, beyond the arrival of Zelensky, two subjects of importance for the two countries were on the agenda: migration and the response to the massive American plan of grants. According to the words of the president, the two leaders would have only crossed paths. “I am always respectful of people and choices,” he slipped to journalists, before joining Paris. A way of showing that Meloni, on the contrary, had not been respectful towards him. Emmanuel Macron, however, wanted to justify the format chosen for Zelensky's dinner at the Élysée. “I think that Germany and France have had a special role for 8 years on this issue (Ukraine, editor’s note), since we have also, together, precisely supported this process. I think it is also up to President Zelensky to appreciate the formats he chooses, ”he said in a reference to the Normandy format. Giorgia Meloni has been at the head of Italy since October 2022. Relations with Emmanuel Macron did not start under the best auspices, due to the Ocean Viking affair. Meloni had refused to let this migrant boat dock in Italy. At the end of a showdown lasting several days between Paris and Rome, France had finally resolved to let the 234 migrants disembark in Toulon."

From here, some economic news (17 jan 2023) :

"The number of bankruptcies explodes in France

In 2022, France recorded the highest increase in business failures in its history, at nearly 50% over one year, according to a report by the specialist firm Altares. In all, 42,500 companies went out of business in 2022, i.e. +49.9% compared to 2021 – an unprecedented figure, resulting from an economic recovery lagging behind since Covid-19.

While the numbers are still lower, by around 10,000, compared to pre-Covid, the gap has narrowed drastically throughout the past year. Defaults had fallen sharply between March 2020 and November 2021, when the State intervened to support companies in the face of the pandemic. A trend whose risks EURACTIV highlighted in August 2022, when the first repayments of State-guaranteed loans (PGE) and the collection of social debts, such as URSSAF charges (famous french gov'tax upon societies) , began.

In question, the numerous financial constraints imposed by the repayments of PGE and URSSAF debts, which are added to a gloomy economic situation and rising energy bills. The era of “whatever it takes”, a period during which the state was able to support companies in all directions, is also over.

The report expects 55,000 failures in 2023, a return to figures from 2017, when 55,400 companies went out of business. In addition, no sector is spared: construction accounts for a quarter of bankruptcies, with 10,000 closures. Ditto in trade, especially retail, which sees the number of companies, and especially the smallest, decline. As for business services, they showed a more contained increase, at +32.3% compared to 2021.

A trend that is not limited to France: 100,000 companies are at risk of going bankrupt in Italy, according to October 2022 figures from the Osservatorio Rischio Imprese of market research firm Cerved. In Poland, requests for temporary suspension of activities have increased by 39.4% over the last twelve months. As for the UK, "more than one in ten UK businesses reported a moderate to severe risk of insolvency in August 2022", according to a note from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)."

Bring the popcorns 🍿, enjoy the sinking !
From here in french, the EU has not reached the bottom, yet. But still trying hard.
French's president had a "de Gaulle" moment, trying to shake his leash... and Italy feels some pressure :

"Berlin and Prague are outraged by Emmanuel Macron's comments on China and the United States

Emmanuel Macron's renewed efforts to boost the EU's strategic autonomy and lessen the bloc's willingness to sign on to US foreign policy goals have been met with harsh criticism in Germany, although the government has not not yet commented on this. In Prague, politicians went further, accusing Mr Macron of undermining transatlantic relations.

French President Emmanuel Macron, returning from a trip to China, told Politico and Les Echos that when it comes to Taiwan, which Beijing considers a rebel province and ardently wishes to control, "[t]he worst thing would be to think that we Europeans should be followers on this subject and adapt to the American rhythm and a Chinese overreaction".
These remarks drew strong criticism from American and German politicians, with Republican American Senator Marco Rubio asking if Mr. Macron "speaks on behalf of Europe".

On the German side, Metin Hakverdi, a centre-left SPD lawmaker, was the first to speak about the situation. "Macron is starting again. He speaks in Beijing without any authorization from the EU. He will then certainly organize security guarantees for Ukraine on his own," said the senior legislator. He then told the Tagesspiegel that "it is a serious mistake for the West to allow itself to be divided in its relations with Beijing".

Norbert Röttgen, of the center-right CDU party, is the German politician who has criticized Mr Macron the most. Mr. Röttgen, a former minister and candidate for the leadership of the party, warned against the French policy which leads to a " geopolitical impasse " for Europe. Ukraine has shown that Europe's dependence on the United States for security policy persists. "It's almost ironic that Macron, who is doing even less for Ukraine than Scholz, is alienating the United States with his statements on China," he said. "

If Americans had thought the same way since February 24, 2022, Ukraine would no longer exist and Putin would probably already be standing in front of Paris," said CDU lawmaker Tilman Kuban. It is generally accepted that Ukraine could not have withstood the Russian invasion of February 2022 without the help of the United States.


In his comments after his visit to China, Macron also stressed that Europe should strive to achieve strategic autonomy. However, some Czech politicians are convinced that strengthening ties with China is not the right way to achieve this.

"When the Council of the EU last year agreed on the need for strategic autonomy, it had in mind the strengthening of our independence from Russia and China. In any case, reassuring the Asian giant by telling it that Taiwan is none of our business does nothing to reduce the risk of military conflict. On the contrary ! warned the Czech senator of the Mayors and Independents party (STAN, EPP), David Smoljak."

"Italy: state of emergency declared in the face of the influx of migrants

Italy on Tuesday (April 11) declared a nationwide state of emergency for the next six months, following the exceptional increase in the number of migrants continuously arriving via Mediterranean routes.

On Tuesday, the Council of Ministers led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (FDI/ECR) declared a national state of emergency on immigration after the Minister of Civil Protection and Maritime Policies, Nello Musumeci, the has proposed. This decision also follows a meeting between Mr. Musumeci and Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi.

The state of emergency will be funded to the tune of 5 million euros. " Let's be clear. The problem is not solved and its solution is only linked to a thoughtful and responsible intervention by the European Union ”, affirmed Mr. Musumeci after the state of emergency was declared by the government.

“ There is an absolute emergency. It is not a new fact [...] It is a problem destined not to be solved for at least the next ten years", declared the minister to Radio Anch'io, stressing the need to " neutralize the mafia of scapegoats ".

Last February, the Italian parliament approved the "Code of Conduct for NGOs" — a government decree establishing a code of conduct for ships intervening to rescue migrants — despite criticism from the UN and humanitarian groups. The migratory flows of recent months have put a strain on state structures, according to Mr. Musumeci, who called for a " responsible approach " towards migrants and their rights.

The minister notably underlined the difficulty of managing the flows arriving on the islands – Lampedusa and the entire southern coast of Sicily – areas where the first reception centers are constantly collapsing. It has been a busy Easter weekend for national authorities, with broken boats and migrants at sea. Around 2,000 people have been rescued and rescue operations are underway for another 1,200. Frontex coastguards and air assets participate in search and rescue (SAR) operations.

" Rescue operations are still ongoing in the Ionian Sea ", tweeted the coast guard on Tuesday, referring to two barges - one with 800 and the other with 400 migrants on board - intercepted more than 160 kilometers away southeast of Sicily. Both boats were escorted to shore due to unfavorable weather conditions. According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, 31,292 migrants landed between January 1 and April 11. During the same period of the previous two years, arrivals were significantly lower: 7,928 in 2022 and 8,505 in 2021."
From here in french, the EU has not reached the bottom, yet. But still trying hard.
French's president had a "de Gaulle" moment, trying to shake his leash... and Italy feels some pressure
Scene straight out of Laura's Romance Book Project! Specifically "The Russian Billionaire" series, book: Love’s Sacrifice, (IIRC): When Blake's father is ready to prove the Power of Their Deep State Club by asking the heroine, Lana, to name any European politician - "Please don't select a head of state as we had a lot of work cherry-picking and positioning them on top, but you can select anybody else.." - to prove that they can 'Warn By Proxy'™, 'financially assassinate' / Soft Kill = Ruin or hard kill anybody on Earth.
they can 'Warn By Proxy'™, 'financially assassinate' / Soft Kill = Ruin or hard kill anybody on Earth.

and Italy feels some pressure :

Maybe there's a clue here, Russia's long arm in action...


Son of Krasnoyarsk Governor Back in Russia After Escaping House Arrest in Italy​

A Russian entrepreneur wanted by authorities in the United States revealed Tuesday that he had returned to Russia after escaping from house arrest in Italy, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Artyom Uss, 40, the son of the governor of Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region, was one of five Russians detained last year at Milan’s Malpensa Airport at Washington’s request over “unlawful schemes to export powerful” U.S. military technology to Russia.

On March 22, Uss escaped house arrest in Italy by removing his electronic bracelet and traveling by car with an unknown driver, before using a fake passport and a private jet to flee the country.
“I’m in Russia! Over the past particularly dramatic days I was with strong and reliable people. I'd like to thank them,” Uss told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

The Italian newspaper La Repubblica earlier reported that the entrepreneur was likely aided in his escape by Russia’s secret services.
(elsewhere, "The prosecutor's office in Milan believes that Uss left Italy by car in a few hours, changing several cars, the newspaper claims. Investigators believe that he went to Slovenia, and then to Serbia, from where he could then allegedly take a plane to Russia.")

“The Italian court, whose impartiality I was originally counting on, revealed that it was politically motivated. Unfortunately, it’s ready to bend to the will of the American authorities,” Uss said.

The governor’s son faces a number of charges in the U.S., including sanctions violations and money laundering that could see him sentenced to decades in prison.
On March 21 an Italian court approved the entrepreneur’s extradition to the U.S., while an appeal filed by his defense was rejected.
In his interview with RIA Novosti on Tuesday, Uss explained that due to the current geopolitical climate, when the West engages Moscow “without any rules,” he was compelled to return to Russia through "unconventional means." He called his return a "victory."
Clare Daly

"The brightest and most courageous woman in the EU parliament and amongst all EU politicians. Always a pleasure listening to one of her brilliant speeches."

"Shameful displays of colonial arrogance towards China should be left in the past. The issue is simple. Do we want to be a vassal of our Atlantic friends, or have peaceful, independent relations with our largest trading partner, which hasn't dropped a bomb on anyone in 40 years?"

Tweet/video of her short speech below:

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