Lavrov speaks out against NATO at UN

angelburst29

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Self-defeating cause ... and waste of time, energy and resources __%@^&__?

A meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Washington this week will discuss all elements of the threat posed by Russia and seek to agree on a package of measures to bolster the military alliance's presence in the Black Sea, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.

April 2, 2019 - NATO to seek package to deter Russia aggression in Black Sea: U.S. official
Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of new NATO headquarters during the move to the new building, in Brussels, Belgium April 19, 2018.  REUTERS/Yves Herman

Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of new NATO headquarters during the move to the new building, in Brussels, Belgium April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

“The focus is on the defense and deterrence posture of the alliance in the Black Sea region,” said the official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity to preview the NATO meeting.

The official said NATO ally Turkey remained an important partner to the United States, but emphasized that its planned purchases of S-400 missile systems from Russia was a concern.

“Our relationship is not being defined by the single issue of the S-400 but the S-400 is a deeply problematic issue for the United States,” the official added. (Get over IT - already!)
 

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview for a Vladimir Kobyakov documentary, “A U-Turn over the Atlantic”, to be screened by NTV Channel, Moscow, March 22, 2019
Интервью Министра иностранных дел России С.В.Лаврова для документального фильма В.Кобякова на телеканале «НТВ» «Разворот над Атлантикой», Москва, 22 марта 2019 года

Transcript: Introduction

Question:
Mr Lavrov, the bombing of Yugoslavia was carried out 20 years ago. What were, in your opinion, the main geopolitical reasons why the United States launched this large-scale military operation?

Sergey Lavrov: As I see it, it was the beginning of the period when Washington decided that they had won the Cold War. The Soviet Union had disappeared, Russia was weak and sought to convince everyone that it wanted to join the Western democratic processes and become part of the civilised world, as the Russian leaders of the time said. Obviously, they thought we were uncivilised in the Soviet era. But Washington felt tempted to take the situation in the entire world under its full control, to abandon the principles of coordinating approaches to international problems based on the UN Charter, and to address all arising issues in such a manner as to dominate in all regions of the world. It goes without saying that the Yugoslav story also had to do with the desire to promote NATO’s eastward expansion closer to the Russian Federation’s borders. There is no doubt about that. The subsequent developments prove this to be generally the case.

Question: How was this accepted in Moscow at the time? Wasn’t the political elite split down the middle? Did you feel that we could enter into a military confrontation with NATO on this account?

Sergey Lavrov: No. At that moment, we were discussing, including at the UN, the possibility of sending a peacekeeping mission to prevent clashes and reduce tensions around Kosovo. The West, primarily the United States, was categorically against this.

Question: Why didn’t they want our peacekeepers?

Sergey Lavrov: Because they wanted to address the issues on their own. They were not interested in reducing tensions. They needed a situation where Yugoslavia would break up. By that time, Yugoslavia had already disintegrated, but obviously not until the end, the end that the West desired. The Kosovo gamble was aimed precisely at this. In the end, we had a paratroopers contingent on the ground that had entered the territory at our initiative, in line with a decision by the Russian leadership, rather than in the context of some grand international peacekeeping mission. I remember well how the Western representatives grew pensive when it took the Slatina airport under its control. Thank God, the hotheads in Washington and other capitals, specifically London, who were urging that the Russians be reined in, did not prevail. What did prevail was the professionalism of the Western military, including British soldiers, who were deployed on the ground. There was an incident where our contingent had a close encounter with the British but, I repeat, the top professionalism of the military on both sides prevailed. (Transcript continues.)
 

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Trump says NATO countries' burden-sharing improving, wants more
U.S. President Donald Trump listens to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg while meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday his pressure on NATO nations to pay more for their defense is leading to tens of billions of dollars more in contributions, but the allies may need to boost their budgets even more.

NATO chief says Brazil, other Latin American countries could become 'partners'
FILE PHOTO - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi listen in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
NATO can look at the possibility of other Latin American states joining Colombia in becoming alliance partners, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday, while appearing to rule out U.S. President Donald Trump's suggestion that Brazil could one day become a full member of the North Atlantic security body.

April 3, 2019 - NATO set to guarantee free passage of ships via Kerch Strait — US envoy

NATO set to guarantee free passage of ships via Kerch Strait — US envoy

© Sergei Malgavko/TASS

NATO is set to guarantee the safe passage of ships via the Kerch Strait, connecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, and to step up aerial surveillance in the area, US envoy to NATO told foreign journalists on Tuesday.

US Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, said that a package of measures will be approved during a two-day conference to begin in Washington on Wednesday.

"I think that we have been working on a package to present to the foreign ministers, and it is a package that beefs up the surveillance, both air surveillance as well as more of the NATO country ships going into the Black Sea to assure that there is safe passage from Ukrainian vessels through the Kerch Straits, the Sea of Azov," she said.


The ambassador added that those measures were very important for making sure that "the countries in and around the Black Sea are safe from Russian meddling."

"It is very important that Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine, as well as Georgia, have the security in that Black Sea area both for ships but also for their land-based safety," she continued.

The US ambassador added that the package of measures was drafted in the wake of the Kerch Strait incident.

April 3, 2019 - Russia to take measures if NATO ships approach its coast, senior MP says
Russia to take measures if NATO ships approach its coast, senior MP says

Ex-Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Airborne Troops commented on NATO plans to ensure a safe passage through the Kerch Strait for Ukraine vessels and expand the Black Sea aerial reconnaissance.

We will continue to keep an eye on the number and class of ships they plan to show off in the Black Sea near Russia’s coast and will take necessary measures with regard to both the sea zone and land borders," he said, commenting on NATO’s plans to ensure a safe passage through the Kerch Strait for Ukrainian vessels and expand aerial reconnaissance in the Black Sea region.

April 3, 2019 - Kremlin dismisses NATO plans for Ukrainian ships’ passage through Kerch Strait
Kremlin dismisses NATO plans for Ukrainian ships’ passage through Kerch Strait

© Sergei Malgavko/TASS

Moscow has responded to NATO’s statements on its intention to guarantee the passage of Ukrainian vessels through the Kerch Strait made by US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison in a negative way, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"In a negative light," he said when asked how Kremlin viewed such statements. "We do not understand what that means."

"According to Peskov, "the situation with the Kerch Strait and navigation there is well known." "In accordance with international law, Russia’s stance is very consistent and is well-known too," he added.

Commenting on the possibility of NATO ships’ passage through these waters, the Kremlin spokesman noted that it was necessary to wait for an appropriate request first. "When this request is received, the decision will be made," Peskov said when asked under what circumstances Russia could let NATO warships pass to the Sea of Azov. "The issue at hand is an enclosed water body, so this is a separate issue, and I would refrain from commenting on it hypothetically."

According to Peskov, "there is a certain notification system about such plans, which should be complied with." "Besides, there is a procedure for warships’ presence in the Black Sea, which is enshrined in the Montreux Convention that must be implemented as well," the Kremlin spokesman concluded.
 

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April 2, 2019 - Mr. President: Close NATO For Good
Mr. President: Close NATO For Good

When Donald Trump meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg today, the president should give him a direct message: The roster of NATO membership is closed. For good. The United States will not hand out any more war guarantees to fight Russia to secure borders deep in Eastern Europe, when our own southern border is bleeding profusely.

And no one needs to hear this message more than Stoltenberg.

In Tblisi, Georgia, on March 25, Stoltenberg declared to the world: “The 29 allies have clearly stated that Georgia will become a member of NATO.”

As for Moscow’s objection to Georgia joining NATO, Stoltenberg gave Vladimir Putin the wet mitten across the face: “We are not accepting that Russia, or any other power, can decide what (NATO) members can do.”

Yet what would it mean for Georgia to be brought into NATO? The U.S. would immediately be ensnared in a conflict with Russia that calls to mind the 1938 and 1939 clashes over the Sudetenland and Danzig that led straight to World War II.

In 2008, thinking it had U.S. backing, Georgia rashly ordered its army into South Ossetia, a tiny province that had broken away years before.

In that Georgian invasion, Russian peacekeepers were killed and Putin responded by sending the Russian army into South Ossetia to throw the Georgians out. Then he invaded Georgia itself.

“We are all Georgians now!” roared uber-interventionist John McCain. But George W. Bush, by now a wiser man, did nothing.

Had Georgia been a NATO nation in 2008, the U.S. could have been on the brink of war with Russia over the disputed and minuscule enclave of South Ossetia, which few Americans had ever heard of.

Why would we bring Georgia into NATO now, when Tblisi still claims the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, both of which Moscow controls and defends?

Are we not in enough quarrels already that could lead to new wars—with Iran in the Gulf, China in the South China Sea, North Korea, Russia in the Baltic and Black Sea, Venezuela in our own hemisphere—in addition to Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia where we are already fighting?

Among neocon and GOP interventionists, there has also long been a vocal constituency for bringing Ukraine into NATO.

Indeed, changes in the GOP platform in Cleveland on U.S. policy toward Ukraine, it was said, were evidence of Trumpian collusion with the Kremlin.

But bringing Ukraine into NATO would be an even greater manifestation of madness than bringing in Georgia.

Russia has annexed Crimea. She has supported pro-Russian rebels in the Donbass who seceded when the elected president they backed was ousted in the Kiev coup five years ago.

Kiev’s recent attempt to enter the Sea of Azov by sailing without formal notification under the Putin-built Kerch Strait Bridge between Russia and Crimea, proved a debacle. Ukrainian sailors are still being held.

No matter how supportive we are of Ukraine, we cannot commit this country to go to war with Russia over its territorial integrity. No Cold War president from Truman to George H. W. Bush would have dreamed of doing such a thing. Bush I thought Ukraine should remain tied to Russia and the Ukrainian independence movement was born of “suicidal nationalism.”

Trump has rightly demanded that Europeans start paying their fair share of the cost of NATO. But a graver question than the money involved are the risks involved.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has added 13 nations: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, and six Balkan countries—Bulgaria, Rumania, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania and Montenegro.

Also attending the NATO gathering in Tblisi a week ago were Sweden, Finland and Azerbaijan. Are these three also candidates for U.S. war guarantees?

The larger NATO becomes, the further east it moves, the greater the probability of a military clash that could lead to World War III.


Yet none of the nations admitted to NATO in two decades was ever regarded as worth a war with Russia by any Cold War U.S. president.

When did insuring the sovereignty and borders of these nations suddenly become vital interests of the United States?

And if they are not vital interests, why are we committed to go to war with a nuclear-armed Russia over them, when avoidance of such a war was the highest priority of our eight Cold War presidents?

Putin’s Russia, once hopeful about a new relationship under Trump, appears to be giving up on the Americans and shifting toward China.

Last week, 100 Russian troops arrived in Caracas. Whereupon, The Wall Street Journal lost it: Get them out of our “backyard.” The Monroe Doctrine demands it. Yet, who has been moving into Russia’s front yard for 20 years?

As the Scotsman wrote, the greatest gift the gods can give us is to see ourselves as others see us.
 

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April 5, 2019 - ‘Security risk & lawbreaker’: German MP says 70yo NATO should retire
‘Security risk & lawbreaker’: German MP says 70yo NATO should retire
‘Security risk & lawbreaker’: German MP says 70yo NATO should retire
<img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2019.04/xxs/5ca745c9dda4c87c448b45d0.JPG" class="media__item " alt="‘Security risk & lawbreaker’: German MP says 70yo NATO should retire" />
© Reuters / Ints Kalnins

German lawmaker Alexander Neu lambasted NATO for conducting aggressive wars and raking up defense spending, suggesting Germany should quit its military command, and the bloc be dissolved altogether.

NATO’s 70th birthday is “not a reason to celebrate, but rather an occasion to finally rethink it, before it’s too late,”

Neu wrote in Die Freiheitsliebe blog on Thursday.

The lawmaker from the opposition Left Party slammed the US-led military bloc as an organization that poses “significant security risk to the world” and “systematically violates international law.”

NATO revealed its true colors when it waged an “aggressive war” against Yugoslavia without the UN’s approval, and carried out numerous interventions, which claimed the lives of “countless victims,” Neu argued.

He pointed out that last year NATO’s member states spent more than $1 trillion on defense, which is far more than the defense budgets of its rivals, China and Russia, combined.

The imperialist competition and the fear of losing economic and ideological supremacy drive NATO towards more rearmament and confrontation.
In order to avoid global escalation, the lawmaker proposed that Germany should leave the alliance’s “military structures,” and then NATO itself should be dissolved and replaced by a new “collective security system,” which would include Russia.

Berlin’s contribution to NATO has caused a rift with Washington in recent years, as President Donald Trump repeatedly accused Germany, along with other EU nations, of not spending its “fair share” on the bloc’s collective security. German officials rebuked the criticism, but admitted the country won’t reach NATO’s spending target until 2024.

Founded in 1949, NATO was primarily seen as a bulwark against the Soviet Bloc during the Cold War. The alliance continued its existence after the Soviet Union collapsed, and expanded eastwards, despite vehement protests from Moscow.

Published on Apr 4, 2019 (4:18 min.)
 

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While voicing its commitment to multilateralism, Germany is facing increasing criticism from disenchanted allies for making go-it-alone decisions on defense spending, energy and arms exports.

German conservative leader blasts SPD over NATO spending target

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer addresses the media following a CDU/CSU senior party leaders meeting in Berlin,, Germany, March 25, 2019.  REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
German conservative leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said divisions in the ruling coalition about planned military spending were undermining Germany's credibility worldwide.

“The big problem we have is that the world has doubts whether it ... can rely on us, and it’s up to us as the CDU to lead, because I have the increasing impression that on this question, we cannot rely on our coalition partner,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservatives back bigger military spending increases, formed a coalition with the SPD in early 2018 after failing to reach agreement with her preferred partners, the pro-business Free Democrats, following the 2017 national election.

SPD Finance Minister Olaf Scholz last month announced budget plans that will see Germany fall even shorter of a NATO goal of spending 2 percent of economic output on defense in coming years than it was already slated to.

Having previously said it would reach 1.5 percent by 2024, Germany would see military spending drop to 1.25 percent of gross domestic product by 2023 under the new plans.

Scholz has said Germany remains committed to the NATO target and the budget plans can be revised year-by-year, but experts say a slowdown in Europe’s largest economy is diminishing the prospects for any big increases in defense spending.

This week, Justice Minister Katarina Barley, a Social Democrat, was criticized by conservatives after she described the NATO target as unrealistic in today’s world situation during an interview with the Russian news outlet Russia Today.
“This is left-wing populist rhetoric, let’s be clear about it,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said. “If we have political forces in the Bundestag, and in parts of the coalition, who ... say they want to spend money on pensions, not weapons. Then I say, be honest and say you don’t want a German army.”

Russia to respond in kind to NATO plans in Black Sea — diplomat
The Canadian Forces' HMCS Toronto (FFH 333) Halifax-class frigate at the port of Odessa

The Canadian Forces' HMCS Toronto (FFH 333) Halifax-class frigate at the port of Odessa © Arkhip Vereshchagin/TASS

Russia closely follows NATO’s military planning in the Black Sea region and is set to respond in kind to the Alliance’s actions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told reporters on Saturday on the sidelines of the 27th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.

"Definitely negative," he said when asked about Russia’s attitude to NATO’s increased activity in the Black Sea.

"Their activities in the Black Sea region cannot add security, they are just undermining regional stability. We will definitely take every precaution to neutralize the threats related to increased NATO activity in that region," he noted.

"We are closely following how the Alliance will be planning to strengthen its presence in the region, and we will respond in kind," he continued. "Our deep belief is that security in that region should be, first and foremost, ensured through cooperation among Black Sea littoral states. There are all required instruments for doing so," Grushko said.

In recent months, NATO has increased military presence in the Black Sea. On April 9-13, NATO’s Sea Shield 2019 exercise is being held in the region. Naval ships and aircraft from the United States, Bulgaria, Greece, Canada, the Netherlands, Romania and Turkey, in cooperation with representatives from Georgian and Ukrainian forces, are taking part in the drills.

Russia’s ships, missile systems put on duty due to NATO exercise in Black Sea
Russia’s ships, missile systems put on duty due to NATO exercise in Black Sea
Spanish frigate from the Standing NATO Maritime Group

Spanish frigate from the Standing NATO Maritime Group © Arkhip Vereshchagin/TASS

NATO’s Sea Shield-2019 exercise began in the southwestern part of the Black Sea .
 

angelburst29

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Text of The Florence Declaration adopted by more than 600 participants to the Florence No War No NATO Conference, April 7, 2019.

Original in Italian. Translations into English, French, Russian, Spanish. The debates and discussions were chaired by renowned author and geographer Manlio Dinucci.

April 11, 2019 - The Florence Declaration: The Creation of a “NATO-Exit” International Front


The event was organized by Italy’s Comitato No Guerra, No NATO, in collaboration with the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). The Florence Declaration was drafted by Italy’s Comitato and the CRG.

***
The risk of a vast war which, with the use of nuclear weapons, could mean the end of Humanity, is real and growing, even though it is not noticed by the general public, which is maintained in the ignorance of this imminent danger.

A strong engagement to find a way out of the war system is of vital importance. This raises the question of the affiliation of Italy and other European countries with NATO.

NATO is not an Alliance. It is an organisation under the command of the Pentagon, and its objective is the military control of Western and Eastern Europe.

US bases in the member countries of NATO serve to occupy these countries, by maintaining a permanent military presence which enables Washington to influence and control their policies and prevent genuine democratic choices.

NATO is a war machine which works for the interests of the United States, with the complicity of the major European power groups, staining itself with crimes against humanity.

Manlio Dinucci from Italy



NATO – No Need – NATO-EXIT: The Florence Declaration

Michel Chossudovsky from Canada



The war of aggression waged by NATO in 1999 against Yugoslavia paved the way for the globalization of military interventions, with wars against Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and other countries, in complete violation of international law.

These wars are financed by the member countries, whose military budgets are increasing continually to the detriment of social expenditure, in order to support colossal military programs like that of the US nuclear program which costs 1,200 billion dollars.

In violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the USA is deploying nuclear weapons in five non-nuclear NATO States, under the false pretext of the ”Russian menace”. By doing so, they are risking the security of Europe.

Zivadin Jovanovic from Serbia


To exit the war system which is causing more and more damage and exposing us to increasing dangers, we must leave NATO, affirming our rights as sovereign and neutral States.

In this way, it becomes possible to contribute to the dismantling of NATO and all other military alliances, to the reconfiguration of the structures of the whole European region, to the formation of a multipolar world where the aspirations of the People for liberty and social justice may be realized.

We propose the creation of a NATO EXIT International Front in all NATO member countries, by building an organizational network at a basic level strong enough to support the very difficult struggle we must face in order to attain this objective, which is vital for our future.
 

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The efforts are absolutely adequate and proportionate to the real defense security requirements, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said.

April 19, 2019 - Russia upgrades Black Sea forces in response to NATO buildup

Russia upgrades Black Sea forces in response to NATO buildup


© Sergei Malgavko/TASS

Russia is upgrading its Black Sea forces in the context of NATO’s approaching infrastructures and proportionately to its real defense requirements, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told TASS in an interview on Friday.

"It goes without saying that we have been upgrading our forces in view of the fact that NATO’s infrastructures are approaching our shores. All of our efforts are absolutely adequate and proportionate to the real defense security requirements," he said.

Russia keeps a close watch on NATO’s infrastructure projects in Romania and Bulgaria and also attempts by NATO countries to create bases and deploy additional forces there.

"We will respond to all this in accordance with our ideas of what else is to be done to safeguard our defense and security interests," Grushko said. "This will be done. No doubts about that."

Grushko said that the North Atlantic Alliance was now trying to demonize Russia’s military activity on the Black Sea.

"By and large nothing has changed," he said. "The Black Sea Fleet has been there for the past 200 years, including the period when Crimea was Ukrainian. The fleet incorporates the ships, both surface ones and submarines, the Marines, the coastal defense and a very strong air component. In this sense the quality of our military presence on the Black Sea has not changed in any way."

NATO countries in April agreed a package of measures to step up reconnaissance activity and the scale of Black Sea exercises.

The Black Sea Fleet’s commander, Alexander Moiseyev, said that in March the fleet would get 13 different ships. The share of new equipment will grow to 70% by the end of the year.
 

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On Monday, April 29, Soldiers of the North Atlantic Alliance countries officially began the annual exercise Spring Storm.

NATO launch exercise "Spring Storm" in Estonia as part of plan to "contain" Russia – media

NATO launch exercise "Spring Storm" in Estonia as part of plan to "contain" Russia – media
REUTERS

This year's training involved approximately 10,000 soldiers and hundreds of combat vehicles and aircraft.

During exercises from April 29 to May 17, servicemen at different levels
will work on techniques for synchronizing combat plans, cooperation in management, and increased readiness for tactical tasks, according to the Defence Blog, an online military magazine.

The Spring Storm is a large-scale live exercise of the Estonian Defence Forces, with participation from NATO's enhanced Forward Presence and other Allied forces. This year's training involved approximately 10,000 soldiers and hundreds of combat vehicles and aircraft.

"The Spring Storm exercise this year will be held in northeastern Estonia. Nearly 10,000 troops will take part in them, including the military contingents of Great Britain and Belgium from the NATO international battalion stationed in Estonia and the soldiers of the Estonian Defense Forces," the press service of the Estonian Armed Forces said.

Combat aircraft and helicopters of the Estonian Air Force and allies will take part in the exercise in Estonian airspace. Among them are the Eurofighter fighters of the German and British Air Forces, the Polish Su-22 attack aircraft, the British and U.S. Air Force helicopters Wildcat, Apache and Pavehawk. The exercises will be attended by warships of the Estonian Navy and allies.

According to preliminary plans, the military personnel of Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Georgia, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the USA, Ukraine, Finland, France and Estonia will take part in the present exercises "Spring Storm."

It is assumed that this technique will be in the Baltic republic for about three months.
The helicopters arrived at Emari airbase in the military town of Tapa, located just 150 km from the Russian border. The heavy machinery of the Armed Forces of France, including five tanks and more than ten infantry fighting vehicles, were also transferred there.

NATO exercises in the Baltic near the Russian borders negatively affect relations between Russia and the countries of the alliance, experts warn.

"Despite the fact that the number of military men involved in these exercises is relatively low, maneuvers create military tension on the borders of Russia. Moscow is forced to take this into account in its plans for the country's defense. When tanks drive and planes fly near the borders of the Russian Federation, various kinds of incidents can occur. Even if they are unintentional, they can still be quite dangerous for the Russian side," said Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of Arsenal of the Fatherland, in an interview with RT.

In his opinion, the measures of the North Atlantic Alliance to prepare the theater of military operations in the Baltic States pose a potential military threat to Russia.

As Viktor Murakhovsky notes, the North Atlantic Alliance exercises in the Baltic are becoming annual, the number of participating countries is constantly growing, and the reflection of the "Russian aggression" is being worked out, as a rule.

"A whole series of NATO exercises are being held as part of a plan to 'contain' Russia," the expert stated.
 

angelburst29

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Erdogan always plays both sides of any conflict, so why the drama?

The consequences of Turkey's plans to deploy the Russian S-400 missile defense system are worrying, as Washington has made clear it would impose sanctions, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday in a news conference.

NATO worried over Turkish plan to use Russian missile opposed by U.S.
FILE PHOTO: New S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile system after its deployment at a military base outside the town of Gvardeysk near Kaliningrad, Russia.  Picture taken March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Vitaly Nevar/File Photo/File Photo

The consequences of Turkey’s plans to deploy the Russian S-400 missile defense system are worrying, as Washington has made clear it would impose sanctions, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday in a news conference.

Speaking in Ankara following a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Stoltenberg said NATO would want to avoid conditions where allies impose sanctions on one another.
 

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Erdogan always plays both sides of any conflict, so why the drama?

The consequences of Turkey's plans to deploy the Russian S-400 missile defense system are worrying, as Washington has made clear it would impose sanctions, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday in a news conference.

NATO worried over Turkish plan to use Russian missile opposed by U.S.
'No drama, just training.' :-)

Turkish servicemen to start training to operate S-400 systems this month — source
May 07, 2019
 

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A new European Union military pact risks shutting American companies out of defense contracts and undermining NATO, the United States has told the bloc, hinting at possible retaliation.

'Poison pills': Pentagon tells EU not to block U.S. companies from defense pact
FILE PHOTO: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks to the media during an alliance foreign minister's meeting in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks to the media during an alliance foreign minister's meeting in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

In a May 1 letter, the U.S. government said limitations on the involvement of non-EU countries under consideration in the European pact amounted to “poison pills”.

“It is clear that similar reciprocally imposed U.S. restrictions would not be welcomed by our European partners and allies, and we would not relish having to consider them in the future,” said the letter from two U.S. Department of Defense undersecretaries, Ellen Lord and Andrea Thompson, to the EU’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini.

Any rules limiting U.S. defense contractors’ participation would also amount to “a dramatic reversal of the last three decades of increased integration of the transatlantic defense sector,” said the letter, seen by Reuters.

Mogherini said the American concerns over the EU accord - agreed in December 2017 and aiming to fund, develop and deploy armed forces together - were unfounded.

“The European Union is and remains open to U.S. companies and equipment,” she told reporters on Tuesday, adding the European procurement market is more open than that of the United States, which is already dominant in the global weapons trade.

EU defense ministers, who discussed the rules governing the pact on Tuesday, are trying to agree legislation by June on how to allow the involvement of non-EU countries, including Britain after it leaves the bloc and the United States.

Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said the Netherlands wanted U.S. involvement and had proposed an “emergency brake” mechanism for EU governments to trigger if they felt unease about the participation of non-EU states in a defense project.

President Donald Trump’s administration told EU governments in February last year the United States should play a central role in the European pact.

However Trump’s “America First” policy, problems for European firms breaking into the U.S. weapons market and years of overlapping defense spending by individual EU members have spurred European efforts to better integrate its armed forces.

The U.S. letter, which says Brussels should not harm damaging burgeoning EU-NATO ties, was the most vocal U.S. opposition to the EU military pact.

‘RESTRICTIVE LANGUAGE’
As France and Germany seek to develop a next-generation European fighter jet, Washington said it noticed “restrictive language” in draft texts that failed to reciprocate U.S. openness to involving European companies in its contracts.

U.S. concerns about being frozen out of the European pact, known formally as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and its multi-billion euro defense fund, have sown confusion in Brussels, which is also the headquarters of U.S.-led NATO.

One European government official said the letter showed a “misunderstanding of how the European Union works” because the defense pact and fund were only one way to coordinate with the United States.

“They are reading language into it (the pact) that fences the European continent off from American cooperation, and that is not true,” the official said.

Unlike past attempts at European defense integration that NATO took a dim view of, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has publicly backed the defense pact as long as it does not lead to duplication.

Caught off guard by Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and facing threats ranging from state-sponsored computer hackers to militant attacks, EU governments say the pact is justified by EU surveys that show most citizens want the bloc to provide security.

A Franco-British air campaign ran out of munitions and equipment in Libya in 2011 and Europe was again forced to turn to the United States. That was considered an enduring embarrassment for the EU, a global economic power.
 

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A new monument in Chicago celebrates US-born Lithuanian Nazi collaborator Adolfas Ramanauskas “Vanagas,” who led a fascist militia that massacred Jews in the Holocaust. EU and NATO member Lithuania heroizes him for fighting the USSR.

May 15, 2019 - New NATO-approved US monument honors fascist Lithuanian Nazi collaborator as anti-Soviet hero
New NATO-approved US monument honors fascist Lithuanian Nazi collaborator as anti-Soviet hero

The United States is now the site of a monument to a Nazi collaborator.

In the suburbs of Chicago, a Lithuanian government-backed group has erected a statue dedicated to US-born Adolfas Ramanauskas (known by the codename Vanagas), who led a fascist militia that massacred Jews in the Holocaust.

Because Ramanauskas also helped lead the fight against the Soviet Union, he has been lionized by NATO allies.

In fact, the current government of Lithuania — a proud member of both the European Union and NATO — even sent its foreign minister to bless this pro-fascist monument at its unveiling ceremony.


The academic publication Defending History, which tracks Holocaust revisionism in Eastern Europe, has documented the controversy behind the construction of the statue.

The government-sponsored Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania initiated a campaign to build a monument to Ramanauskas in the town of his birth, New Britain, Connecticut.

Lithuania’s state-funded Genocide and Resistance Research Centre has spent the past nearly three decades fueling Holocaust revisionism by portraying Nazi-collaborating Lithuanian fascists who murdered Jews in the Holocaust as anti-communist resistance heroes, while depicting Jewish anti-fascist partisans as war criminals; and by advancing the “double genocide” theory that falsely equates Soviet atrocities with Nazi crimes against humanity.

But the New Britain, Connecticut Common Council rebelled against the Lithuanian government’s plans to build the monument, forcing the town’s Republican mayor to cancel the construction.

This led the Lithuanian government to move the monument to the private property of the Lithuanian World Center in Lemont, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, which has a large Lithuanian-American community.

On May 4, the monument to the infamous Nazi collaborator was unveiled in a ceremony sponsored by EU and NATO member Lithuania. Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius ‏traveled to the US for the event, and honored Ramanauskas as a “freedom fighter.”


The Russian government pushed back, declaring in response to Linkevicius on Twitter, “Adolfas Ramanauskas (Vanagas) – Nazi collaborator & criminal actively involved durind WWII and afterwards in extermination of Jewish population of Lithuania, participated in massacres of Poles, Lithuanians, Russians, Belorussians & other ethnic groups. Glorifying him is shameful!”

The Lithuanian foreign ministry replied with an impassioned defense of the Nazi-collaborating anti-Soviet partisan leader.


A few days after tweeting in support of these Nazi collaborators who led fascist militias that murdered Jews in the Holocaust, Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry and foreign minister published tweets praising Israel.

Government honors for Nazi collaborators
A staggering 90 to 96 percent of Jews in Lithuania were killed in the Holocaust. Support for fascism and the Nazi occupation was not uncommon in the deeply right-wing, anti-Semitic, and anti-communist country.

Adolfas Ramanauskas’ role in this genocidal onslaught is well documented. Lithuanian scholar Evaldas Balciunas noted that, in his own memoirs, Ramanauskas “boasts that he served as leader of ‘the rebels’ squad’ during the precise days and weeks of June and July 1941 when these ‘rebels’ of the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) were in fact unleashing humiliation, plunder, violence and indeed murder against Jewish neighbors (the Soviet army was escaping Hitler’s invasion, not these white-armbanded LAFers).”

Many Lithuanian anti-Soviet partisans took the following oath, as documented by Balciunas:

“I pledge to battle the Bolshevik soldiers in hiding as well as other Bolshevik supporters, Communists, Communist Youth, Pioneers, and all pillagers and enemies of the public order with all my strength and no fear for my own life…
Long live Lithuania, long live our liberator Germany and its leader Adolf Hitler.”
Since the overthrow of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1990 and the collapse of the USSR, the increasingly right-wing government in Vilnius has moved to rehabilitate past Nazi collaborators like Ramanauskas.

Lithuania’s parliament the Seimas designated 2018 to be the year of Adolfas Ramanauskas “Vanagas.” The Lithuanian government held a ceremony to commemorate Ramanauskas’ 100th birthday. The Lithuanian Armed Forces marched in honor of the Nazi collaborator, after a flag ritual in front of the parliament building in the capital Vilnius.

In October 2018, the Lithuanian government held a massive two-day state funeral ceremony for Ramanauskas, also featuring the military and top figures from the Catholic Church, including the archbishop of Vilnius. Ramanauskas had been captured by the KGB and killed in 1957, but Lithuania’s post-Soviet right-wing government posthumously honored him with this state funeral, along with a symbolic promotion to brigadier general and the Order of the Cross.

Lithuanian media reports on these state-sponsored ceremonies referred to the fascist leader of an anti-Semitic militia as an “anti-Soviet resistance commander” and “prominent leader of the Lithuanian Freedom Fighters.”

NATO’s praise for Baltic Nazi collaborators
This is not the first time NATO allies have honored Nazi collaborators from the Baltic states. The Grayzone reported in July 2017 on a flashy film produced by NATO that honored the Forest Brothers, Baltic pro-fascist fighters who voluntarily collaborated with the Nazis before later fighting the Soviet Union.


The Lithuanian government has returned the favor, flaunting pride for its membership in NATO, and the EU.

On their official Facebook and Twitter accounts, the Foreign Ministry and Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius have header images boasting of Lithuania’s “15 years in the European Union and NATO.”

Lithuania foreign ministry EU NATO

Before being promoted to foreign minister in 2012, Linkevicius served for six years as Lithuania’s permanent representative to NATO. He has fawned over NATO, repeatedly calling it the “greatest political-military Alliance in history.”
 
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