Lavrov speaks out against NATO at UN


The Living Force
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According to the US idea, the Arab NATO will bring together six Persian Gulf states, Egypt and Jordan.

Feb. 25, 2019 - Lavrov questions Washington’s push to cobble together doubtful ‘Arab NATO’ bloc

Lavrov questions Washington’s push to cobble together doubtful ‘Arab NATO’ bloc

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov © Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

The United States is trying to impose the creation of the so-called Arab NATO, the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), despite serious doubts of its possible members, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

The steps have been made to reshape geopolitical landscape in a way to obstruct the natural development of events and try to contain the formation of new growth centers,
Lavrov told a conference dubbed International Cooperation in a Troubled World, organized by the Valdai International Discussion Club in partnership with the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

One of the examples is the Middle East Strategic Alliance, which now [US President Donald] Trump’s administration is trying to impose on the Persian Gulf states plus Jordan and Egypt while overcoming very serious doubts of potential members, and here Israel is also pursuing its interests around this initiative," Lavrov said.
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Georgian leader Salome Zurabishvili said that the cooperation "is aimed at contributing to the preservation and establishment of peace and stability in the region".

March 6, 2019 - Georgia-NATO cooperation is not directed against Russia, says president

Georgia-NATO cooperation is not directed against Russia, says president

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili © Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili stated that the cooperation between her country and NATO is not directed against Russia or any other country, she said at a plenary session of the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi on Wednesday in her annual report on the situation in the country, televised live by the Georgian Public Broadcasting.

"Georgia is actively cooperating with NATO; the course for integration in the alliance is the sovereign right and the choice of our country. I also want to state that the cooperation between Georgia and NATO is not directed against Russia or any other country," she stated.

Zurabishvili highlighted that "the cooperation between Georgia and NATO is aimed at contributing to the preservation and establishment of peace and stability in the region."

The cooperation between Georgia and NATO
Georgia has cooperated with NATO since the late 1990s. In November 2002, President Eduard Shevardnadze stated at a summit in Prague the country’s wish to become a member of the Alliance. The next president, Mikheil Saakashvili, confirmed this intention. The new government which came to power after the victory of the Georgian Dream coalition in October 2012 continued the course for integration with NATO, but still the new authorities called "the gradual normalization of relations with the Russian Federation without damaging Georgia’s territorial integrity" as "the most important task" of the Georgian foreign policy.

In 2015 and 2016, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Tbilisi. He affirmed that Georgia is a NATO member, but noted that he cannot name any exact date of the country’s accession to the alliance. In late March this year Stoltenberg will visit Georgia again and take part in the "NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019" that will be held not far from Tbilisi.

In late January the Georgian Ministry of Defense reported that 23 countries already stated the readiness to take part in these drills that will be held as part of the package of cooperation between Georgia and NATO (adopted at a summit in Wales in 2014). The drills are directed at supporting the conformity of the Georgian Defense Forces with the standards of the Alliance.

A dissenting opinion
Still, a number of local politicians oppose the course for Georgia’s accession to the military-political bloc. The former parliamentary speaker and head of the Democratic Union - Common Georgia party Nino Burjanadze is most active on this issue. She repeatedly stated that neither the US, nor NATO can solve Georgia’s vital problems. She believes that these problems can be solved only through the massive normalization of relations with Russia.


The Living Force
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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is coming to Washington, D.C., on April 4. We’re organizing a peace festival to unwelcome them.

Why? NATO is coming to DC to mark 70 years since its creation on April 4, 1949. NATO is the largest military alliance in the world with the largest military spending (roughly three-quarters of the world total) and nuclear stockpiles. While claiming to “preserve peace,” NATO has violated international law and bombed Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya. NATO has exacerbated tensions with Russia and increased the risk of nuclear apocalypse. The notion that supporting NATO is a way to cooperate with the world ignores superior non-deadly ways to cooperate with the world.

Wednesday, April 3 at St. Stephen’s Church
, 1525 Newton St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010:
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Screenprinting for Justice Workshop with The Sanctuaries DC, and Nonviolent Action Prep with Nadine Bloch of Beautiful Trouble (munch on vegan snacks, make art, and plan for the April 4 protest). If you’re a nonviolent activism trainer and want to help, please fill out this form.
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Keynote Speeches + Biting Comedic Entertainment with Lee Camp(Full list of speakers)
8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: Spoken word by Eleanor Goldfield and live music by Eric Colville& Ryan Harvey & Megaciph.
5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: Screenprinting, Art Exhibits & Activity Booths + Vegan Food & Drink


Thursday, April 4

Plans include a procession from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to a rally at Freedom Plaza, and nonviolent demonstrations outside the NATO meeting. Plans are subject to change when we learn when and where NATO is meeting. Tentatively, we plan to meet at the MLK Memorial at 11 a.m. and hear speakers until noon. At noon we will set off to Independence Ave, then up 17th Street to a right on Constitution Ave., up 15th Street to a right on Pennsylvania Ave, then two blocks to Freedom Plaza. We will be there until 3 p.m. for a rally with speakers and music. (Full list of speakers)

Other No to NATO events in Washington DC:
Saturday, March 30
@ 1:00 p.m. Rally at Lafayette Park
Saturday, March 30 @ 7:30 p.m. Songs of Struggle
Sunday, March 31 Concert for Peace and to End War
Sunday, March 31
Anti-NATO Conference
Monday, April 1
Meeting of the International Network “No to War – No to NATO” at the AFSC Office 1822 R St. NW 10:00 to 3:00
Tuesday, April 2 No to NATO – Yes to Peace and Disarmament Counter-Summit
Thursday, April 4 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Black Alliance for Peace program at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, 5301 N Capitol St., NE, Washington D.C. “No Compromise, No Retreat in the Fight to End Militarism and War”

Lodging for the nights of 2nd and 3rd is available.

Other No to NATO events elsewhere:
March 21-27
: Solidarity trip to Belgrade
March 30: Conference and Rally in Saskatchewan
April 4: No to NATO action, Parliament Hill, Ottawa (details to be announced)
April 4: No to NATO events in Oslo, Norway
April 7: Conference in Florence, Italy
Monthly: NATO protests in Toronto

Our Message: War is a leading contributor to the growing global refugee and climate crises, the basis for the militarization of the police, a top cause of the erosion of civil liberties, and a catalyst for racism and bigotry. We’re calling for the abolition of NATO, the promotion of peace, the redirection of resources to human and environmental needs, and the demilitarization of our cultures. Instead of celebrating NATO’s 70th anniversary, we’re celebrating peace on April 4, in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech against war on April 4, 1967, as well as his assassination on April 4, 1968.

The Case Against NATO: While Donald Trump once blurted out the obvious: that NATO is obsolete, he subsequently professed his commitment to NATO and began pressuring NATO members to buy more weapons. So, the notion that somehow NATO is anti-Trump and therefore good would not only be silly and practically amoral on its own terms, it is also at odds with the facts of Trump’s behavior. We are planning an anti-NATO / pro-peace action at which opposition to the militarism of NATO’s dominant member is welcome and necessary. Here are the Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO no matter what Trump does.

NATO has pushed the weaponry and the hostility and the massive so-called war games right up to the border of Russia. NATO has waged aggressive wars far from the North Atlantic. NATO has added a partnership with Colombia, abandoning all pretense of its purpose being in the North Atlantic. NATO is used to free the U.S. Congress from the responsibility and the right to oversee the atrocities of U.S. wars. NATO is used as cover by NATO member governments to join U.S. wars under the pretense that they are somehow more legal or acceptable. NATO is used as cover to illegally and recklessly share nuclear weapons with supposedly non-nuclear nations. NATO is used to assign nations the responsibility to go to war if other nations go to war, and therefore to be prepared for war. NATO’s militarism threatens the earth’s environment. NATO’s wars fuel racism and bigotry and erode our civil liberties while draining our wealth.

NATO Expansion Over the Years:

We must say: No to NATO, Yes to peace, Yes to prosperity, Yes to a sustainable environment, Yes to civil liberties, Yes to education, Yes to a culture of nonviolence and kindness and decency, Yes to remembering April 4th as a day associated with the work for peace of Martin Luther King Jr.


The Living Force
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More European allies in NATO increased defense spending in 2018, with sharp rises in the Baltics, Poland and the Netherlands, but only six governments met a target sought by the United States - while Germany lagged and Canadian outlays fell.

March 14, 2019 - NATO edges toward Trump's spending demands, Germany lags

Polish soldiers take part in NATO military defence exercise Anakonda 2018, at military range near Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, November 16, 2018. Cezary Aszkielowicz/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS

Polish soldiers take part in NATO military defence exercise Anakonda 2018, at military range near Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, November 16, 2018. Cezary Aszkielowicz/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS

European allies have tried to deflect threats from U.S. President Donald Trump, who last year demanded countries double NATO’s defense spending goal of two percent of economic output. They say security is not just about spending targets.

NATO’s 2018 annual report showed on Thursday that the U.S.-led alliance moved closer to a pledge to dedicate 2 percent of national economic output on defense every year, with European allies reaching the 1.51 percent level, a five-year high.

“We face a paradox,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference as the report was released. “At a time when some are questioning the strength of the transatlantic bond, we are actually doing more together ... than ever before.”

Trump, as the alliance’s de facto leader, has made defense spending a priority after years of defense cuts following the 1945-90 Cold War. He has questioned NATO’s value to Washington.


The Living Force
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Norway has electronic proof that Russian forces disrupted global positioning system (GPS) signals during recent NATO war games, and has demanded an explanation from its eastern neighbor, the Nordic country's defense minister said on Monday.

Norway says it proved Russian GPS interference during NATO exercises

Both Norway and Finland protested to Russia, which dismissed those allegations when they were first made.

“Russia asked (us) to give proof. We gave them the proof,” Norwegian Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told reporters, adding that this consisted of measurements showing signals had been jammed.

“Russia said ‘thank you, we will come back when our experts review that’. To have such an answer from Russia is a positive thing,” he said. “To be a neighbor of Russia you need to be patient.”

Asked whether Russia could have targeted Norway intentionally, the minister said: “They were exercising very close to the border and they knew this will affect areas on the other side.”

Finland is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but took part last year as an ally in NATO’s largest exercise in decades, involving forces from 31 countries in an area stretching from the Baltic Sea to Iceland.

NATO to receive first Northrop surveillance drone, years late
FILE PHOTO - A German soldier holds NATO flag during a ceremony to welcome the German battalion being deployed to Lithuania as part of NATO deterrence measures against Russia in Rukla, Lithuania February 7, 2017.  REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

NATO is to receive the first of five Northrop Grumman high-altitude drones in the third quarter after years of delays, giving the alliance its own spy drones for the first time, the German government told lawmakers.

NATO plans to use the aircraft, a derivative of Northrop’s Global Hawk drone, to carry out missions ranging from protection of ground troops to border control and counter-terrorism. The drones will be able to fly for up to 30 hours at a time in all weather, providing near real-time surveillance data.

Northrop first won the contract for the AGS system from NATO in May, 2012, with delivery of the first aircraft slated for 52 months later. However, technical issues and flight test delays have delayed the program, Silberhorn said.

Andrej Hunko, a member of the radical Left opposition party, called for Germany to scrap its participation in the program, warning of spiraling costs and the risk that it could escalate the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“The drones are closely linked to a new form of warfare,” he said. “They stand for an arms race that will see existing surveillance and spy systems replaced with new platforms.”

Silberhorn, in a previously unreported response to a parliamentary query from Hunko, said NATO had capped the cost of the program at 1.3 billion euros ($1.47 billion) in 2007.

Germany, which is funding about a third of system, scrapped plans to buy its own Global Hawk drones amid spiraling costs and certification problems, and is now negotiating with Northrop to buy several of its newer model Triton surveillance drones.

Fifteen NATO countries, led by the United States, will pay for the AGS system, but all 29 alliance nations are due to participate in its long-term support.

Germany has sent 76 soldiers to Sigonella to operate the surveillance system and analyze its findings, Silberhorn said. He said a total of 132 German soldiers would eventually be assigned to AGS, of whom 122 would be stationed in Sigonella.

NATO officials had no immediate comment on the program status or whether Northrop faced penalties for the delayed delivery. No comment was available from Northrop.
March 18, 2019 - Kids killed in airstrikes become symbol of NATO’s Yugoslavia aggression, says Vucic
Kids killed in airstrikes become symbol of NATO’s Yugoslavia aggression, says Vucic

Children killed in bombing raids are a symbol of NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday, answering a question from a TASS correspondent.

"What became a symbol and why all of us were shocked is what they called collateral losses. Many children, more than 90, were killed, but all of us do remember little Sanja from Varvarin who excelled in mathematics, and especially little Milica Rakic, a two-year-old kid in Batajnica killed by bombing raids. An innocent child, not guilty of anything. That became a symbol of that terrible crime committed against Serbia and our people," the Serbian leader said.

NATO’s military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began on March 24, 1999. Top NATO officials said the primary cause of Operation Allied Force was the prevention of the alleged genocide of the Albanian population in Kosovo. According to the NATO website, during the operation, which lasted 78 days, the alliance’s warplanes made 38,000 sorties, more than 10,000 of them for conducting bombing raids.

According to research by military experts, 3,000 cruise missiles were fired, about 80,000 tonnes of bombs, including cluster bombs and ones containing depleted uranium, were dropped. According to Serbian data, from 3,500 to 4,000 people were killed in NATO’s bombing raids, about 10,000 others were injured, two-thirds of them were civilians. Material damage amounted to $100 bln. That said, the bombing of oil refineries and petrochemical plants led to the contamination of the country’s water system with toxic substances.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Just my opinion but NATO should be disbanded, made obsolete and the brand new headquarters in Brussels, that cost 1.23 billion dollars should be repurposed and dedicated as the new United Nations Headquarters?

March 18, 2019 - Expensive and Expanding NATO Celebrates Two Anniversaries
Expensive and Expanding NATO Celebrates Two Anniversaries

2019 is a year of interesting commemorations, among them the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of D-Day, the landing of allied troops in France that, along with Russia’s Operation Bagration (which “inflicted the biggest defeat in German military history by completely destroying 28 out of 34 German divisions and completely shattered the German front line”), heralded the end of the Second World War. Then there was the anniversary of the first landing on the moon, which was fifty years ago in July.

Which brings us to the US-NATO military alliance that celebrates two anniversaries of its own this year in its new headquarters in Brussels that cost 1.23 billion dollars. It commemorates its creation 70 years ago and the occasion when “On March 12, 1999, in the presence of their US counterpart, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the foreign ministers of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic finally signed the protocols of NATO accession.”

Twenty years ago the NATO grouping began its eastwards expansion, purposefully menacing Russia, contrary to assurances given to Mikhail Gorbachev by the Bush administration and other Western leaders in 1990.
There were declarations alleging that such a pledge was not given, but researchers have shown these to have been misinformation. Indeed, it has been revealed that “President George HW Bush, West German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the CIA Director Robert Gates, French President Francois Mitterrand, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, British foreign minister Douglas Hurd, British Prime Minister John Major, and NATO Secretary-General Manfred Woerner” gave “assurances that NATO would not expand.”

But expansion is the name of the game, and naturally prompted protests from Russia. For example, at the Munich Conference on Security Policy in 2007, as reported in the Washington Post, President Putin said “I think it is obvious that NATO expansion does not have any relation to modernisation of the Alliance itself or with ensuring security in Europe. On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. And we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them. But I will allow myself to remind this audience what was said. I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said ‘the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee.’ Where are these guarantees?”

The answer is that the guarantees were subjected to a cynical campaign of attempted deletion, denial and destruction.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said on Monday that Europe was concerned about the United States' long-term commitment to NATO and implicitly criticized President Donald Trump's approach toward the military alliance.

French minister expresses concern about long-term U.S. commitment to NATO
FILE PHOTO -  French Defence Minister Florence Parly stands with marine officers as she visits the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, on the occasion of the completion of its 18 month-long renovation in Toulon, France, November 8, 2018. Christophe Simon/Pool via REUTERS

FILE PHOTO - French Defence Minister Florence Parly stands with marine officers as she visits the aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle", on the occasion of the completion of its 18 month-long renovation in Toulon, France, November 8, 2018. Christophe Simon/Pool via REUTERS

“What Europeans are worried about is this: will the U.S. commitment be perennial?,” Parly said during an event in Washington. She will meet with her American counterpart at the Pentagon on Monday to discuss issues including Syria.

“The alliance should be unconditional, otherwise it is not an alliance. NATO’s solidarity clause is called Article 5, not article F-35,” Parly added, in a reference to the Lockheed-Martin F-35 jet fighter. She did not mention Trump specifically.

NATO treaty’s Article 5 is a provision that means an attack against one ally is considered an attack against all of them.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
This Sunday, March 24th, will mark the passing of 20 years since the illegal NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

The first time I came across the name "Sergey Lavrov" was in early 1999, when he was Russia's Ambassador and an emergency meeting had been called at the United Nations in New York. I had a personal interest in the developments in Yugoslavia because all four of my Grandparents had migrated to the US, shortly after the German invasion in 1941. It had always been their wish - to some day, go back to their homeland. When I was 10-11 years old, my Paternal Grandmother had requested to go back home, before she was too ill to travel and hopefully, locate lost relatives. My Father was head of household and began making plans to liquidate property, etc. for the move but unfortunately, he died of a sudden heart attack before the plans were completed. A short time after, my Grandmother passed away. If it wasn't for their deaths, chances are - I probably would have witnessed or been a casualty of the 1999 bombing.

Sergey Lavrov has "my deepest Respect", for his continued support of Yugoslavia and it's people and for his unwavering dedication in keeping the truth - alive! He's been there, ever since the first emergency United Nation's Session and for the last 20 years - has kept the truth - out in the open.

Thursday, March 25, 1999 - World: Europe - Russia condemns NATO at UN
BBC News | Europe | Russia condemns Nato at UN

Russia and China have condemned the NATO air strikes on Serbia as "an illegal military action".

Speaking at an emergency meeting of the United Nations' Security Council in New York, Russia's ambassador Sergey Lavrov accused the western military alliance of seeking to forge a role as a new "global policeman".

US assertions in council that NATO had the right under existing UN resolutions were backed by the UK, France, The Netherlands, Canada, Slovenia, Albania, Bosnia and Germany, speaking for the European Union.

But Yugoslavia's UN representative Vladislav Jovanovic called on the council to condemn the "most brutal and unprovoked aggression". The air strikes had already led to "heavy destruction and great loss of human life," he said.

The Security Council meeting ended without any resolution on the deepening crisis as the five permanent members remained divided.

Yeltsin 'upset' - The meeting came after the UN's Secretary-General Kofi Annan gave qualified backing to the strikes, arguing that there were occasions when the use of force could be considered legitimate. But he added that the Security Council should have been involved in the decision.

Earlier, Russia's President Boris Yeltsin said he was "deeply upset" by the bombing, describing it as ''open aggression''.

He recalled Russia's chief military representative to NATO, Lieutenant-General Viktor Zavarzin and cancelled any military co-operation with the alliance.

China backs Russia - Echoing Russia's concerns, China's UN Ambassador Qin Huasun said Beijing opposed "power politics of the strong bullying the weak".

China' s President Jiang Zemin had earlier called for the strikes to be halted, saying that he was ''extremely concerned and worried" about action which risked "plunging the region into deeper turmoil".

'Peace on our soil' - French President Jacques Chirac said that the air attacks were launched to defend "peace on our soil, peace in Europe".

Four German aircraft joined the sorties over Serbia - the first time that any of its military have been involved in foreign combat since the Second World War - a prospect which has previously split German public opinion.

But Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said the strikes were "not aimed at the Serbian people" and promised the allies would do all they could to avoid loss of civilian lives.

'Grave consequences' - Libya also criticized the action, warning of ''grave consequences". Iraq which said the strikes had no "international legitimacy" and accused the US of bearing "a large responsibility in crimes of aggression and killing in the world".

The Serb chairman of Bosnia's collective presidency, Zivko Radisic, also condemned the action.

The Vatican deplored the use of force as ''a defeat for humanity''. Pope John Paul said he was praying for ''the gift of peace''

Security stepped up - Meanwhile, neighbouring countries have been reinforcing their borders.

Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit warned: "The fire in Kosovo could engulf the whole Balkans'' and Albania has sent extra troops to its border and set up bunkers and shelters. The government has also set up more camps to handle refugees from Kosovo.

Greece boosted security along its borders with Albania and Macedonia, fearing a possible refugee wave. Officials said the NATO member would not join any direct military action against Serbia - a traditional Greek ally.
Fri Mar 22, 2019 - Russia: West Covering up Their Crimes Committed During Bombing of Yugoslavia

Western countries are covering up the crimes their representatives committed during NATO’s military operation in Yugoslavia in 1999, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated in an interview for NTV’s "U-Turn Above the Atlantic" documentary.

"I think the West has been and will continue doing everything possible to prevent it from happening," Lavrov said when speaking about the possibility of an international investigation into NATO representatives in connection with civilian deaths, strikes on civilian facilities and the use of depleted uranium munitions during the bombing of Yugoslavia, TASS reported.

"As for the banned munitions, the Serbs are conducting an investigation. Once it is over, we will see what can be done to make sure that the crime doesn’t go unpunished," the Russian top diplomat noted.

"I would like to reiterate, I don’t see any chance that international agencies that involve the West and where Western votes count will go for it. They will make every possible effort to prevent it," Lavrov added.

He pointed out that in 2010, Swiss lawmaker Dick Marty had published a report, "which contained horrifying information about the crimes of Kosovo Liberation Army militants, who abducted people for human trafficking purposes".

The West had to make the Kosovo authorities give their consent to establish a special court to investigate into the crimes mentioned in the report. An American national was appointed the court’s prosecutor. However, the court stopped operating several years ago, the Russian foreign minister pointed out.

"Since then, new prosecutors have been appointed twice, the incumbent one is American, but not a single charge has been brought. I doubt there is any clear investigation underway. So Western countries will continue to sweep under the rug the facts that prove they and their underlings are involved in crimes against humanity," Lavrov emphasized.

According to the Russian foreign minster, NATO’s bombing campaign was a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.

"One time NATO airstrikes hit a passenger train crossing a bridge. And its attack on a television center is entirely unacceptable," he said.

Lavrov stressed that the consequences of the West’s fight against Yugoslavian media were still there.

"They try to use the experience they gained then designating some media outlets as propaganda tools. This is what RT and Sputnik are called in France, they are banned from attending events for which other media outlets are accredited," he explained.

"This is when certain news outlets began to accuse journalists of being propaganda tools, this is how they justified attacks on Belgrade’s television center," Lavrov noted.

When speaking about the 1999 massacre in Kosovo’s Racak village, which prompted NATO to start talking about the need to use force in Yugoslavia, the Russian top diplomat said it had been a deliberate provocation.

"It was not a reason but an artificial excuse. It has long been known that it was a provocation," he stated.

"The killed civilians turned out to be militants from the Albanian liberation army, the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, who had been told to wear civilian clothes," Lavrov pointed out.

"Unfortunately, then OSCE mission chief William Walker was the one who organized that provocation. When he arrived at the scene and saw dead bodies in civilian clothes, he said right away that an act of genocide had taken place there," he added.

"He [Walker] did the same that the so-called White Helmets are doing in Syria, staging incidents to provide the West with excuses to attack a sovereign state," Lavrov emphasized.

The Russian foreign minister also said that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia had failed to release the full report of a Finnish forensic team that had tried to determine the circumstances of the Racak deaths.

"I demanded - with the support of my colleagues - at a UN Security Council meeting that the report be published, but it never happened. Then International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte provided the UN Security Council with a brief, which had been watered down to the maximum extent and sounded neutral," Lavrov added.

Western countries first moved to replace international laws when they began to bomb Yugoslavia in 1999, Lavrov said.

"All Western permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, the United Kingdom and France - vigorously called for using force," added Lavrov, who was Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations back in 1999.

"Then non-permanent members Canada and the Netherlands supported them. Russia, China and then non-permanent members Argentina and Brazil most actively opposed those plans and demands to use force," he noted.

However, in Lavrov’s words, "there was no stopping the Americans".

"They had long made a decision and sought the UN Security Council’s blessing. But when it became clear that it wouldn’t work, they carried out a unilateral aggression against a sovereign state, violating the UN Charter and OSCE principles and disrupting the entire world order established following World War II," the Russian top diplomat emphasized.

"It continues to this day. It was then when the double-talk began and the Americans moved to destroy international law and replace it with some rules-based order," he went on to say. "Now, Western countries tend to use the term ‘rules-based order’ instead of calling for compliance with international law," he noted.

"The difference is clear. International law came to be as a result of consensus-based negotiations, while rules are invented by the West that demands everyone follow them," Lavrov said, adding that "it all began 20 years ago".
A missile hit the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during NATO’s operation in Yugoslavia, killing three Chinese nationals.
March 22, 2019 - Lavrov: NATO airstrike on Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999 could have been deliberate
Lavrov: NATO airstrike on Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999 could have been deliberate

The NATO airstrike on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999, could have been deliberate, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview for NTV’s "U-Turn Above the Atlantic" documentary.

"I think it was an accident but I am not completely sure," Lavrov said when asked to comment on the airstrike.

A missile hit the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during NATO’s operation in Yugoslavia, killing three Chinese nationals. The North Atlantic Alliance claims it was a mistake, while the Federal Procurement Office located nearby was the actual target of the attack.

The situation on the continent continues to be complicated, Russia's top diplomat noted.
March 21, 2019 - NATO’s actions violate security indivisibility principle, Lavrov says
NATO’s actions violate security indivisibility principle, Lavrov says

NATO’s actions close to Russia’s borders violate the principle of the indivisibility of security, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in the Grand and General Council (parliament) of San Marino on Thursday.

"It is no secret that the situation on our common continent continues to be complicated. We see the ongoing policy aimed at stepping up NATO’s military and political activities and bringing the alliance’s military infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders," Lavrov noted.

"We observe violations of the principle of the indivisibility of security despite the fact that commitments not to bolster one’s security at the expense of others were enshrined in OSCE and NATO-Russia Council documents approved by consensus at the top level," he said.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Members and supporters of the Serbian Radical Party staged a rally in Belgrade on Sunday, March 24, the day that marks 20 years since NATO launched its military operation against Yugoslavia. Party leader Vojislav Seselj burned flags of NATO and the European Union during the Sunday rally, Tanjug news agency reported.

March 24, 2019 - Serbian Radical Party activists stage rally in Belgrade, burning NATO, EU flags

Serbian Radical Party activists stage rally in Belgrade, burning NATO, EU flags

Twenty years ago we saw criminal and barbarous raids against the Serbian people and the killing of Serbian children. We must never forget this, and it will never occur to the Serbian people to join this organization [NATO] to make us then attack other peoples," the politician said.

"We have nothing to seek in the EU, as most EU countries are NATO members. There is only one road for Serbia and the Serbian people - this is a road east, integration with Russian and membership of the Collective Security Treaty Organization," Seselj added. Participants in the rally chanted "Serbia, Russia, we don’t need the European Union" as they marched through Belgrade’s streets.

NATO air raids - March 24, 2019 marks 20 years since NATO started its military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The bombings started without the permission of the UN Security Council. Top NATO officials said the primary cause of Operation Allied Force was to prevent the alleged genocide of the Albanian population in Kosovo. According to the NATO website, during the operation, which lasted 78 days, the alliance’s warplanes made 38,000 sorties, more than 10,000 of them for conducting bombing raids.

According to Western data published by Human Rights Watch, the bombings killed nearly 500 civilians and some 1,000 military.
Serbian data said some 2,000 civilians died in the bombings and several hundred people went missing, while the death toll among the military is estimated at 1,000. Serbia’s military and industrial infrastructure was almost fully destroyed, and more than 1,500 settlements, 60 bridges, 30% schools and 100 monuments were ruined. Material damage amounted to between $30bln and $100bln, and some facilities have not been reconstructed by now.

Kosovo PM fires deputy minister over comments about NATO
FILE PHOTO: Kosovo's Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj talks during an interview withe Reuters in Pristina, Kosovo, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Hazir Reka/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Kosovo's Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj talks during an interview withe Reuters in Pristina, Kosovo, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Hazir Reka/File Photo

Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has fired the country's ethnic Serb deputy justice minister after she called NATO's 1999 bombing campaign against Serbia a "planned genocide".

Deputy minister Vesna Mikic comes from Kosovo’s Serb minority which accounts for about 5 percent of the country’s population of 1.8 million.

“The NATO alliance committed a deliberately planned genocide against a sovereign country that fought Albanian terrorism inside its own borders,” Mikic said on her Facebook account on Sunday, marking the 20th anniversary of the NATO bombing.

NATO carried out air strikes in 1999 against the now defunct Yugoslavia, comprised of Serbia and Montenegro, to halt a brutal crackdown against Kosovo Albanians by Serbian security forces.

After 78 days of bombing, under the terms of an armistice, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic ordered his troops to withdraw from Kosovo and be replaced with NATO control.

Mikic’s post sparked criticism in the predominantly ethnic Albanian Kosovo where most people praise NATO for halting the two-year war and clearing the way for its independence in 2008. As many as 4,000 NATO peacekeepers are still deployed.

Haradinaj dismissed the deputy minister with immediate effect.

“In Kosovo government there will be no place for individuals, despite their ethnicity, to denigrate our common euro-Atlantic values,” Haradinaj said in a statement.

More than 13,000 thousand people, mainly local Albanians, were killed in the 1998-99 war.

Kosovo has earned recognition from the United States and most EU countries, but Serbia and its major allies Russia and China remain adamantly opposed to Kosovo’s independence.


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According to the Bosphorus Naval News portal, a group of NATO ships entered the Black Sea on Thursday.

March 29, 2019 - Russian Navy keeping an eye on NATO warships in Black Sea

Russian Navy keeping an eye on NATO warships in Black Sea

© Yury Smitiuk/TASS

Russia’s Navy is monitoring the movement of the three NATO warships that entered the Black Sea, Russia’s National Defense Management Center said on Friday.

According to the Center, "the Black Sea Fleet is monitoring the movement of a group of three NATO vessels that entered the Black Sea, which belong to the Netherlands, Canada and Spain."

"The Ivan Khurs and Vasily Bykov ships from the Russian Navy are monitoring the movement of the NATO vessels," the Center added.

According to the Bosphorus Naval News portal, a group of NATO ships entered the Black Sea on Thursday.

The main aim is to practice the Sea Shield-2019 maneuvers, the official said.
March 29, 2019 - NATO exercises in Black Sea unrelated to Ukrainian election, official says

NATO exercises in Black Sea unrelated to Ukrainian election, official says

NATO Standing Maritime Group 2’s exercises in the Black Sea have been "long-planned" and are unrelated to the Ukrainian presidential election. Their main aim is to practice the Sea Shield-2019 maneuvers, a NATO official told TASS on Friday.

"NATO Standing Maritime Group 2 is currently conducting patrols in the Black Sea ahead of exercise Sea Shield 2019. This exercise is a long-planned, annual exercise led by Romania. Neither the patrols, nor the exercise, are linked to events in Ukraine," the official stated in response to a TASS question relating to the coinciding dates of the NATO exercises and the Ukrainian election.

"Three Allied nations (Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey - TASS) border the Black Sea, and NATO regularly conducts exercises and operations in the Black Sea in order to maintain credible deterrence and readiness," the official continued.

In 2018, NATO Standing Maritime Group 2 vessels had entered the Black Sea three times as part of planned exercises.

On Friday, Russia’s National Defense Management Center informed that the Russian Navy is monitoring a group of NATO vessels that have entered the Black Sea. Earlier, the Bosphorus Naval News portal reported that an operative group of NATO ships entered the Black Sea waters on Thursday. The vessels are set to participate in the Sea Shield-2019 maneuvers with Ukrainian and Georgian coast guard ships.


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" It’s important to remember that NATO was birthed with an elitist, anti-democratic intent. Its reason for creation was to manage “democracy” so that existing elites maintained their status."

NATO’s Extensive War Crimes against Yugoslavia: “World of Equals” Calls NATO to Account

NATO's Extensive War Crimes against Yugoslavia: "World of Equals" Calls NATO to Account - Global Research

In March of 1999, NATO, at the behest of President Bill Clinton, unleashed an aerial assault on Serbia under the pretext of “humanitarian intervention.” This led to massive destruction and heavy loss of life.

The attack violated international law and the UN Charter, and became a precedent for similar attacks on Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.

But in some ways it was the end of Russian compliance with Washington’s “new world order.” Tiphaine Dickson reports on an important conference in Belgrade calling for a “World of Equals.” Release date:26 March 2019 (45:03 min.)

Belgrade, 23th March 2019 - Never to Forget: 1999 – NATO’s War on Yugoslavia. The 2019 Belgrade Declaration

Never to Forget: 1999 – NATO's War on Yugoslavia. The 2019 Belgrade Declaration - Global Research

By Belgrade Forum

On the occasion of 20th anniversary of the aggression of NATO Alliance against Serbia (the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the FRY), on 22nd and 23rd March 2019 Belgrade was the venue of the International Conference under slogan NEVER TO FORGET, and title “Peace and Progress instead of Wars and Poverty”.

The organizers of the Conference are the Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals, the Federation of Associations of Veterans of the National Liberation War of Serbia, the Serbian Generals and Admirals Club, the Society of the Serbian Hosts, in cooperation with the World Peace Council. Besides the participants from Serbia, the Conference was attended by more than 200 distinguished guests from some 35 countries from all over the world, whom the organizers welcomed and expressed sincerest gratitude for their solidarity, support and huge humanitarian relief during one of the most challenging periods in the recent history of Serbia and the Serbian nation.

The program of activities marking this anniversary was dedicated to preserving the lasting memory and paying tribute to the military and the police personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of their country against the aggression, as well as to the civilian victims including the very young, the very old, and the ailing victims killed during this 78-day aggression by NATO.

The participants have unanimously condemned NATO aggression,
affirming that in its essence it was an illegal, invading and criminal war against a peaceful sovereign European country, waged without the UN Security Council mandate and under brute violation of the United Nations Charter, the OSCE Helsinki Final (1975) and the basic principles of international law. (Article continues.)

On NATO’s 70th Anniversary Important to Remember Its Anti-democratic Roots
On NATO’s 70th Anniversary Important to Remember Its Anti-democratic Roots - Global Research

Excerpt: NATO planners feared a weakening of self-confidence among Western Europe’s elite and the widely held belief that communism was the wave of the future. Tens of thousands of North American troops were stationed in Western Europe to strengthen the Western European elite’s confidence to face growing left-wing parties and movements. Apparently, “Secret anti-Communist NATO protocols” committed alliance countries’ intelligence agencies to preventing communist parties from gaining power. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, information surfaced regarding groups the CIA and MI6 organized to “stay-behind” in case of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. No invasion took place, of course. Instead, NATO’s Secret Armies notes:
“The real and present danger in the eyes of the secret war strategists in Washington and London were the at-times numerically strong Communist parties in the democracies of Western Europe. Hence the network in the total absence of a Soviet invasion took up arms in numerous countries and fought a secret war against the political forces of the left. The secret armies… were involved in a whole series of terrorist operations and human rights violations that they wrongly blamed on the Communists in order to discredit the left at the polls.”
Informally known as “Operation Gladio”, these right- wing “stay behind” groups were overseen by NATO’s Office of Security.

A Spanish paper reported, in November 1990,
The Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe (SHAPE), directing organ of NATO’s military apparatus, coordinated the actions of Gladio, according to the revelations of Gladio Secretary General Manfred Wörner during a reunion with the NATO ambassadors of the 16 allied nations.”
At the time the European Parliament condemned Operation Gladio and requested an investigation, which hasn’t been undertaken.

Canada was one of two NATO countries omitted from Daniele Ganser’s NATO’s Secret Armies (Iceland was the other). No researcher has tied the two together, but the year after NATO was established the RCMP began a highly secretive espionage operation and internment plan known as PROFUNC (PROminent FUNCtionaries of the Communist Party). In October 2010 CBC’s Fifth Estate and Radio-Canada’s Enquête aired shows on “this secret contingency plan, called PROFUNC, [which] allowed police to round up and indefinitely detain Canadians believed to be Communist sympathizers.” In case of a “national security” threat up to 16,000 suspected communists and 50,000 sympathizers were to be apprehended and interned in one of eight camps across the country. Initiated by RCMP Commissioner Stuart Taylor Wood in 1950, the plan continued until 1983.

Blunting the European Left was an important part of the establishment of NATO. As odes to the organization ring across the dominant media during this week’s 70th celebrations, it’s important to remember that NATO was birthed with an elitist, anti-democratic intent. Its reason for creation was to manage “democracy” so that existing elites maintained their status.


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Well, someone has to pay for the new "Expensive and Expanding NATO"? Just look at the cute Glass House they erected (and how many levels - underground - does it contain)?

Virtual tour - This virtual tour provides an inside and outside look at NATO’s iconic new building in Brussels.
(2:42 min.)

Seven decades after its founding, NATO is in the middle of an "existential crisis", with German resistance to President Trump's demand that members commit 2 per cent of GDP to defence spending threatening to destroy the bloc, the Spiegel magazine claims.

31.03.2019 - German Media wary of NATO's 'Existential Crisis', Blames Trump

German Media Wary of NATO's 'Existential Crisis', Blames Trump

According to the publication, while Germany is pinching pennies and calling into question plans to raise defence spending even to 1.5 per cent of GDP by 2024, the alliance is facing issues in the south and southeast as well. Turkey, the magazine notes, is gradually moving away from the alliance and toward Russia, while Italy's authorities are "flirting" with Moscow and Beijing, the West's other major 'geostrategic adversary'.

But possibly the biggest danger to the alliance is its "huge American problem", according to Spiegel, with the White House said to run by a man who considers international organisations redundant at best, and whose advisers seem incapable of persuading him not to call NATO's usefulness into question.

According Spiegel, the worst case scenario is for the alliance to unravel altogether, with the US withdrawing and the Europeans blaming Berlin for the fiasco.

Spiegel notes that if Germany's budgetary planning does not change, Berlin will not be able to fulfil even its 2017 pledge to create three additional fully equipped divisions for the army with about 20,000 troops each by 2031.

Speaking to the publication, SPD lawmaker Rolf Mutzenich suggested that NATO's problem stems partly from its lack of political function. "An alliance which justifies its existence only by the Russian threat has no future," Mutzenich said. According to the politician, the Western bloc will retain its right to exist only if it is prepared to contribute to the strengthening of the UN and the EU in security policy.


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March 31, 2019 - Hundreds March in Washington to Protest Against NATO, US Interference in Venezuela
Hundreds March in Washington to Protest Against NATO, US Interference in Venezuela

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Washington to oppose the upcoming NATO ministerial meeting in the US capital. The meeting of NATO foreign affairs ministers is scheduled for April 3 and 4. It marks the 70th anniversary of the alliance.

The demonstrators also decried the continued US involvement in the Venezuelan political crisis.

The march was aimed at showing "mass popular opposition to NATO, wars, racism and US aggression against Venezuela", the National Mobilization Steering Committee, a loose, ad hoc coalition of activists representing dozens of peace movements and action groups, said in a statement, RT reported.

Demonstrators gathered at Lafayette Square in front of the White House and then marched through the area, stopping near the offices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the Organization of the American States (OAS), which the demonstrators also hold partly responsible for the "imperialist" policies of the West.

They also marched past the Washington mayor's office to address local issues, and the Customs & Border Enforcement office to highlight the plight of Latin American asylum seekers coming to the US.

The protesters held placards and banners that read: "No to NATO, No to war and racism", "Unite to fight NATO's racist wars", "NATO Bombs=Slavery in Libya", "NATO Killed One Million Iraqis", and "Shut Down NATO'S War Crimes".

Some slogans also referred to the continued US pressure on Venezuela, where Washington supports self-proclaimed 'interim president' Juan Guaido, who seeks to depose the elected leader, Nicolas Maduro. The slogans read: "Hands off Venezuela", "No war on Venezuela", and "US Sanctions Caused Venezuela's Crisis".
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