Lavrov speaks out against NATO at UN

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The Living Force
NATO envoys will discuss the future of the Open Skies treaty on Friday after the United States announced it would quit the 35-nation pact that allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, an official of the defence alliance said.

NATO to discuss Open Skies treaty after U.S. announces withdrawal


May 22, 2020 - Senior officials in President Donald Trump’s administration, which says Russia has repeatedly violated the treaty’s terms, said on Thursday that Washington would formally pull out of Open Skies in six months.

The U.S. move deepens doubts about whether Washington will seek to extend the 2010 New START accord, which imposes the last remaining limits on U.S. and Russian deployments of strategic nuclear arms to no more than 1,550 each. It expires in February.

U.S. allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have pressed Washington not to leave the Open Skies pact, whose unarmed overflights are aimed at bolstering confidence and providing members forewarning of surprise military attacks.

The NATO official recalled concern raised at a 2018 summit of alliance leaders that “Russia’s selective implementation” of Open Skies was undermining their security.

“In particular, we are concerned that Russia has restricted flights over certain areas,” the official said. “Allies continue to consult closely on the future of the treaty and the North Atlantic Council will meet today to discuss the issue.”


Russia says U.S. withdrawal from Open Skies treaty undermines international security
May 22, 2020 - MOSCOW - The U.S. withdrawal from the Open Skies treaty undermines international security, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday.

Ryabkov said Washington had provided no facts to back up its assertion that Moscow has repeatedly violated the pact’s terms.

The United States announced its intention on Thursday to withdraw from the 35-nation Open Skies treaty that permits unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, the Trump administration’s latest move to pull the country from major global agreements.


US army resumes Europe exercises after pandemic pause | DefenceTalk
May 14, 2020 - US military exercises in Europe that were suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic will go ahead next month but in a scaled-back format, the Army said Wednesday.

US-Polish exercise Allied Spirit, originally planned for May, will see the mobilization of 6,000 soldiers from the two countries from June 5-19 at the Drawsko Pomorskie base in the north of Poland, the army said in a statement.

“All COVID-19 precautionary measures will be taken to ensure the health and protection of participating armed forces and the local population,” it said.

The 4,000 US soldiers that will take part had already traveled to Europe for Defender-Europe 20, the biggest US military deployment in Europe in 25 years.

But the pandemic prompted the Pentagon to freeze all US military movement around the world.

The new exercise will feature a Polish airborne operation and a US-Polish division-size river crossing.

By the time US troop movements to Europe were halted in early March, more than 90 percent of the equipment earmarked for Defender-Europe 20 had been loaded on aircraft or ships bound for Europe.

More than 6,000 soldiers and 3,000 pieces of equipment arrived in Europe, and over 9,000 vehicles were moved to training areas in Germany.

“Overall, despite the adjustment to the exercise due to COVID-19, many of the strategic readiness objectives were met,” the army statement said.

Over the coming months, more exercises will be held to use the resources mobilized for Defender-Europe 20, which originally called for the dispatching of 20,000 US troops as far afield as Ukraine and the Baltic states.

This amounts to a daunting logical challenge and a special deployment that reflects the strategic upheaval triggered by Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Defence Forum & Military Photos - DefenceTalk

Russian Navy Discussions and Updates
 

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The Living Force
As the influence of the US and Europe wanes in the face of a new geopolitical reality, their Cold War progeny, NATO, seeks to redefine itself as a global player. The problem is NATO is not capable of even stepping onto the field.

NATO’s Call on ‘Like-minded Nations’ to Stand Up to the Rise of China Is Just a Desperate Bid for Global Relevance - Global Research
June 12, 2020 - During a video presentation this week sponsored by the Atlantic Council and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told an attentive audience that while the alliance “does not see China as the new enemy,” it must be prepared to respond to that country’s growing military and economic strength. He highlighted China’s increased cooperation with Russia as a “security consequence for NATO’s allies.”
Launching his #NATO2030 reflection on strengthening the Alliance in an increasingly competitive world, @JenStoltenberg says "COVID-19 has changed our lives in ways we could barely imagine… and magnified existing trends"—from Russia & ISIL to disinformation & the rise of China. pic.twitter.com/T4Icupgp10
— Atlantic Council (@AtlanticCouncil) June 8, 2020
Stoltenberg was using the kind of language his sponsors understood very well, defending an established post-war order that had been in place since 1945, which NATO had been organized to sustain and defend. For decades, this order had been based upon parameters set by a geopolitical reality defined by North American and European socio-economic interests. The threat existed in the form of Soviet power, and the need to contain the same. Once the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the NATO alliance kept playing the same game, replacing the Soviet threat with a new Russian threat.

The world, however, had moved on. In the 1970s and 80s, China emerged from its Maoist isolation, and by the 1990s pulled hundreds of millions of people from poverty-level conditions into Western-style, middle-class lifestyles servicing a domestic economic engine that dictated the pace and scale of the global economy unlike any other. In the past decade, the Chinese government has been implementing a policy of global economic engagement known as the Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI. Through BRI, China has extended its economic tentacles into every third-world market, accessing natural resources while building demand for products produced in China.

In the regions where BRI is active, China makes the rules, building the institutions which set the norms and standards that drive day-to-day life. It does so on the basis of a business model which does not seek to impose Western-style notions of freedom and democracy, and as such poses a grave threat to the interests of those who use “freedom” and “democracy” as code words to quantify the self-interests of NATO and its collective membership.

China has used BRI to expand its influence into South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and, most worrisome to the transatlantic alliance, Europe itself, with BRI relationships already in place in Greece, Portugal and Italy, and more being negotiated with France.

With the expansion of China’s economic reach comes a similar expansion in military power projection. China has built a number of man-made islands in the South China Sea which it has turned into military outposts defending the so-called “nine-line dash,” a contested demarcation line used by China to assert its territorial claims on waters similarly claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and others.

China’s military build-up is seen as a threat to strategic shipping lanes connecting Northern Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan with the rest of the world. The United States has been working with these nations, as well as other regional allies such as Australia and New Zealand, to challenge China’s position in the South China Sea, resulting in several faceoffs between the Chinese military and the US in that area.

It is this very increase in military tensions that drives Stoltenberg’s Pacific pivot. “Military strength is only part of the answer,” Stoltenberg noted in his presentation. “We also need to use NATO more politically.”

But NATO, despite Stoltenberg’s claims otherwise, is not a political alliance, but rather a military one. Political outreach by the alliance has been for the exclusive purpose of either expanding it through programs such as the “partnership for peace” initiatives begun in 1994, or projecting military presence through the so-called Mediterranean Dialogue (for northern Africa) or the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (for the Middle East).

Moreover, NATO has seen itself morph from a purely defensive alliance to one which waged an offensive war of aggression against Serbia in the 1990s, nation-building operations in Afghanistan in the post-9/11 era, and a regime change conflict in Libya in 2011. “This is not about a global presence,” Stoltenberg said of his Pacific pivot, “but a global approach.” But a leopard doesn’t change its spots, and the only presence NATO knows is a military one, which begs the question why NATO would be seeking to engage China in the Pacific.

The answer rests in the near-total subordination of NATO to US national security interests. The US military has been caught flat-footed by China in the South China Sea, with no viable military response to China’s regional power projection.

While the US Marine Corps is undergoing major organizational changes in order to better confront the military challenges posed by China, this transformation will take years and requires the support of regional allies which have been burned by the Trump administration in recent years.

Stoltenberg’s Pacific pivot is little more than a false-flag operation seeking to use the NATO banner as an umbrella to draw together regional partners which might otherwise balk at a purely bilateral relationship with an unpredictable US ally.

Even here, however, the fragility and political instability of the NATO alliance has undermined Stoltenberg’s Pacific pivot before it could even get off the launching pad. At the same time Stoltenberg was delivering his speech, President Trump was announcing the precipitous withdrawal of some 9,500 US troops from Germany. This decision, which appeared to have been made without either consulting NATO or senior US military commanders, has shaken the alliance to its core.

For now, the Pacific pivot will remain nothing more than a vague concept, a failed last-ditch effort of a flawed alliance desperate for relevance in a changing world but weighed down by its own systemic failures.

A video clip shared by local farmers from Ras Al-Ayn showing an inferno burning their livelihood before their eyes, hundreds of acres of wheat on fire just as the crop is due to harvest.

Video: Hearing Is Not Like Seeing: NATO’s Terrorists Burning Syrian Wheat Crops - Global Research

June 12, 2020 - We’ve been reporting about these fires in areas of operation of the NATO’s Turkish (Orwellian-named) ‘Spring of Peace’ military operation in northern, and especially in northeastern Syria regions as well as in areas where remnants and sleeper cells of NATO-sponsored terrorists of ISIS and its affiliates are active in the south of the country.

The video is also available on BitChute and Dailymotion.

Truly, hearing is not like seeing, any person with the least sense of humanity, especially citizens of all NATO member countries as these crimes are committed in their names with their tax money making them accomplices in the crimes, should be appalled of these scenes and should condemn these war crimes and call for the culprits to face justice.

Syria has officially filed a complaint to the NATO-dominated United Nations Security Council against these crimes committed by terrorists operating directly under the protection and sponsorship of the Turkish Army TSK of NATO, with the help of their US allies. But we all know the hapless mechanism of the United Nations and how only resolutions in favor of NATO countries are implemented, and under its Article 7 of its Charter when needed, the article that enforces the resolutions with military power.

Burning of wheat crops started earlier by the US-sponsored Kurdish separatist SDF and Asayish militias in Qamishli, Hasakah, when the farmers refused to sell their crops to Turkey for cheap and be paid in Turkish Lira, they were insisted on selling it to the Syrian state for the fair price offered to them by their government and in the Syrian Lira, therefore, the Kurdish separatists looted their crops and burned down what they couldn’t loot.

Kurdish PYD Asayish SDF Torching Wheat Farms in Qamishli


Kurdish separatist SDF armed militia burning wheat fields in Qamishli (video)

These war crimes are part of the Trump regime’s ‘Maximum Pressure’ official policy against countries that do not accept puppet rulers loyal to the US working against the interests of their own people, Syria has been on the Pentagon’s destabilizing and threats since 1956 and these destabilization efforts and threats only increased through the past decades reaching this month with the so-called ‘Caesar Act‘, a US regime of sanctions approved by the ‘democratically elected representatives of the US citizens to Congress’ and by the ‘democratically elected president’ in addition to the already draconian sanctions imposed earlier to suffocate the last breath the Syrian ordinary people can take.

This ‘economic terrorism’ act comes at the same time the whole world is calling on the USA and its European minions to lift off the sanctions, instead, the EU renewed their illegal inhumane unilateral sanctions against Syria for one more year earlier this month and the US Special Envoy to Syria James Jeffery gloating about the hardship this act is causing the Syrian people bragged: ‘The hardship the Syrian are living and the collapse of their national currency is the result of our policies.:

The US-led War of Terror and Attrition War it is waging against the Syrian ordinary people under the guise of ‘helping them out of oppression’, these lies should stop but we are very much aware and especially after we saw how the policy of sucking the life out of people and not allowing them to breathe is deeply rooted in the US culture, we are not betting much on their humanity rather on their fear of Karma, you will reap what you sow sooner or later and on Judgment Day there won’t be elections to manipulate or hide behind or any navy carriers protecting you, you’ll be called individually to stand naked before your creator and in front of all humans to answer for your crimes against others, including your silence to the crimes committed in your name by your politicians and military and with your money.

NATO Terrorists Burning Wheat Crops in Ras Al Ayn -Hasakah

Nato chief says on Huawei: UK review of 5G security is important

Jun 10, 2020 -The head of the Nato military alliance said on Wednesday (June 10) that the West could not ignore the rise of China and so it was important that the United Kingdom had a review of the role of Huawei in its 5G network to ensure its security.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said China was coming closer to the West in various ways - in the Arctic, in cyberspace and in critical infrastructure, including telecommunications.

"I trust that the UK government will design their networks in ways that protect the networks and make sure that the UK has secure 5G networks," Stoltenberg told BBC radio.

"Therefore, also I think it is important that there now will be a new review looking at exactly how to make sure that should happen," he said.

When asked about Stoltenberg’s comments, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswomen Hua Chunying said that China does not pose a threat to any country.

"We hope Nato can continue to hold a correct opinion about us and view our development rationally," she said.

As part of a broader reassessment of relations with China, Britain's National Cyber Security Centre is analysing the impact of recent US sanctions on Britain's decision earlier this year to allow Huawei a role in building its 5G network.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in January granted Huawei a limited role in Britain’s 5G mobile network, frustrating a global attempt by the United States to exclude the Chinese telecoms giant from the West’s next-generation communications.

Defying Britain’s closest ally in favour of China on the eve of Brexit, Johnson ruled that "high-risk vendors" such as Huawei would be allowed into the non-sensitive parts of the 5G network.

But the coronavirus outbreak, disagreements over Hong Kong and US President Donald Trump’s anger over China has prompted Britain to reassess relations with Beijing.

"China is coming closer to us, we see that in the Arctic, we see they are heavily investing in critical infrastructure in Europe, and we see of course China also operating in cyberspace," Stoltenberg said. "So this is not about deploying Nato into the South China Sea but responding to the fact that China is coming closer to us."

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was created in 1949 by the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and other western European states to provide collective security against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.



3 SUPERCARRIERS - USS NIMITZ , USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT & USS RONALD REAGAN DEPLOYED TO COUNTER CHINA!
Published on Jun 13, 2020 (11:22 min.)
 

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The Living Force
After Turkish incident, France suspends NATO naval mission - official

Paris July 1, 2020 - France has informed NATO that it is suspending its involvement in a naval operation in the Mediterranean after the results of a probe into an incident between French and Turkish warships, an official at the Armed Forces ministry said on Wednesday.

The official said in a letter to NATO’s Secretary-General that France had made four demands to clarify the role of the Sea Guardian operation, including its cooperation with an EU mission that is enforcing a U.N. arms embargo to Libya.

The riff and discord between Turkey and France might be due to France requesting a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers to place Sanctions on Turkey for illegally drilling oil off Greece?

France's foreign minister says new sanctions on Turkey possible
 

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The Living Force
NATO has put a defence plan for Poland and Baltic states into action after Turkey dropped its objections, officials from Lithuania, Poland and France have said.

NATO puts defence plan for Poland, Baltics into action, officials say

July 2, 2020 - The plan for Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, details of which are classified, was drawn up at their request after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. It was approved at a NATO summit in London in December.

But Turkey did not allow NATO chiefs to put the plan into action unless they recognised the Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria as a terrorists.

“The Turks have dropped their objections,” an official of the French Armed Forces Ministry said on Wednesday.

A NATO diplomat said that the plans were now finally agreed.

Although it was unclear if Turkey extracted any concessions for agreeing, a second NATO diplomat said Ankara had acquiesced after pressure from the other 29 allies late last month.

The Poland and Baltics defence plan, known as Eagle Defender, has no direct bearing on Turkey’s strategy in Syria.

“Putting in place the political decision, which was reached in London, is a success for all NATO,” Lithuanian Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis told reporters. Paweł Soloch, head of Poland’s National Security Bureau, also confirmed the deal.

Turkey began its offensive in northern Syria after the United States pulled 1,000 troops out of the area in October. Ankara’s NATO allies have said the incursion undermines the battle against Islamic State militants.

NATO declined to comment directly, saying that it “has plans in place to protect all allies. Those plans are regularly revised and updated”.
 

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The Living Force
According to Russia's top Diplomat, over the 20 years of the US’ and the coalition’s other participants' presence in Afghanistan, drug trafficking from that country has increased many-fold.

Possible use of NATO aircraft to traffic Afghan drugs needs to be investigated — Lavrov
MOSCOW, July 10, 2020 - Russia insists that reports about possible use of NATO aircraft to traffic drugs in Afghanistan be probed into, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

"We keep on receiving reports, including via mass media, that contraband of opiates has been organized from Afghanistan to other countries, including to Europe, with the use of military aircraft of the NATO coalition," he said during the Primakov Readings international online forum.

"We cannot verify these reports 100% but such reports are coming too regularly to be ignored. If military aircraft were used over Afghanistan, they could have been only NATO’s aircraft and such flights could have been performed only by the military or special services. Naturally, such information needs to be probed into, first of all in the United States," Lavrov stressed.

According to the Russian top diplomat, investigation is also needed inside the country of NATO presence. "Looking at absolutely reliable facts, we can say that over the 20 years of the US’ and the coalition’s other participants' presence in Afghanistan, drug trafficking from that country has increased many-fold. Neither the United States nor other members of the coalition have taken any serious efforts to stop drug production in Afghanistan," he added.

Mediterranean NATO members will not challenge Russia for the U.S.

RAND’s hope that NATO opposes Russia in the Mediterranean is divorced from reality
July 13, 2020 - Submitted by InfoBrics, authored by Paul Antonopoulos, independent geopolitical analyst…

Russia is conducting “military intimidation” in the Mediterranean according to RAND in a newly published article titled “Russia Is Eyeing the Mediterranean. The U.S. and NATO Must Be Prepared.” The authors claim that “As part of its great power exertions Russia seeks more access and freedom of movement in the Mediterranean region, and is bolstering its military footprint to achieve this objective.” The authors also urge the U.S. and NATO to meet “this rising challenge” by developing “a more robust southern strategy with a reinforced air and naval presence.”

RAND is considered the U.S. Air Force’s think tank as it was established by General H. H. “Hap” Arnold, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and by aeronautical engineer Theodore von Kármán. The bulk of its funding in its early formation was from the Air Force. Therefore, when reading RAND reports it must be noted that articles are written through the eyes of US unilateralism and unipolarity.

The authors argue that “By upgrading its military posture in the region, Russia seems to believe it can be more successful in projecting power and minimizing the influence of the United States and NATO.” However, this would imply that NATO has a unified policy in the Mediterranean when in actual fact the Alliance has never been so divided over its so-called southern flank. The article claims that Russia is in direct conflict with NATO and their interests in the Mediterranean, but ignores that the Alliance is deeply divided in Libya, Syria and the Aegean.

It is especially in Libya where NATO’s division is observed, with Turkey supporting the Muslim Brotherhood Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli, and Greece and France backing Libya’s House of Representatives based in Tobruk. RAND’s position on Libya is clearly in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood government by claiming it is “United Nations–backed” but omits the GNA’s mandate from the UN to rule was for a two-year period that expired in December 2017. The authors then describe Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar as a “warlord” despite being appointed as commander of the Libyan National Army by the Libyan House of Representatives, the only institution that has been elected by the Libyan people. By falsely claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood government is UN-backed and describing Haftar as a warlord demonstrates the very division in NATO as RAND also completely omits that the GNA is attempting to steal maritime space from NATO-member Greece.

Russia is on the side of Haftar, and it is here that RAND is willing to gloss over the fact that the Turkish-backed militias fighting for the GNA are overwhelmingly jihadist and include former ISIS fighters. It is also for this reason that RAND ignores that Haftar was appointed by the only elected body in Libya and has the support of NATO members Greece and France. Therefore, RAND is not dealing with the realities occurring in the Mediterranean and rather expects all NATO members to fall into line and ignore their own strategic and security interests in the Mediterranean for the sake of opposing greater Russian influence in the region.

This expectation led RAND to write that “A greater U.S. and NATO presence might also reassure allies in the Mediterranean, which could help by buttressing their own southern-facing postures.” Greece and France do not need to be “reassured” that Russia is not a threat in the Mediterranean, but rather that Turkey’s plan to steal Greek maritime space is thwarted and the jihadists it arms and trains to fight in Libya do not enter Europe. It appears that RAND is trying to unite NATO under the guise of opposing Russia in the Mediterranean, something that is not a major concern for the Mediterranean NATO members, with the exception of Turkey. A unified front in opposing Russia in the Mediterranean is only in the interests of the US and Turkey and not the entire Alliance. Therefore, RAND is effectively admitting that NATO is just a tool used to strengthen Washington’s influence and demands with no interest of other members’ security concerns.

As RAND is one of the most influential think tanks in the US today, sidelining NATO’s deep divisions on the idea that the alliance will unite to oppose Russian influence in the Mediterranean shows how it is divorced from the realities on the ground and demonstrates why Washington is having little influence over events in Syria and Libya, and has a disinterest in de-escalating Turkey’s aggression against Greece in the Aegean. It is for this reason that French President Emmanuel Macron correctly and continually asserts that NATO is experiencing a “brain death” and is open to the idea of Europe restoring relations with Russia.

The disillusionment of RAND is summed up in its conclusion: “Western priorities could change. The United States and NATO might give more thought to a strategy that could better deter potential Kremlin risk-taking in the Mediterranean.”

This is an unlikely scenario since Greece and France are not only on the same side as Russia in Libya, but Greece has fully restored relations with what RAND calls the “Assad regime” in Syria, while France is slowly beginning to thaw its relations with Damascus. Although RAND wants a re-energized and united NATO to oppose Russia in the Mediterranean, its dismissal of the realities and power games in the region will only lead to more misguided foreign policy decisions in Washington that not only weakens their position in region, but helps strengthen Moscow’s as it finds mutual cooperation with Mediterranean countries like France, Greece, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Cyprus and others to oppose Turkish ambitions.
 
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