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Zakharova Warns of Pitfalls of Western ‘Sanctions War’

May 4, 2021 (EIRNS)–“Diplomacy is being replaced by sanctions,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned in an interview with RT Television yesterday, and this is “undermining mutual trust and darkening the prospects for normalizing relations” between Russia and the collective West.

“The vicious practice of imposing unilateral political and economic restrictions, especially the extraterritorial application of such measures, is an infringement on the sovereignty of states and interference in their internal affairs aimed at keeping, at any cost, their [imposers’–ed.] dominant position in the global economy and international politics, which they are gradually losing,” she charged.

She discussed various measures which Russia is taking to defend itself: consolidating its national financial system, searching for new international partners, diversifying foreign economic ties while developing advanced, competitive domestic industries which lay the basis for substituting domestic products for what was previously imported. New legal mechanisms are being worked on, and legislation “providing for measures to counter new potential unilateral steps by the United States and other countries” is being drafted.

RT asked several questions about ways Russia might protect itself from restrictions on its access to Western financial systems. Zakharova noted that cutting Russia off from the SWIFT system for international settlement of payments “is so far considered a hypothetical scenario.” That said, work is underway on reducing Russia’s dependence on the dollar, a discussion that has been underway for at least a decade, she noted. She referenced that the 2007-2008 crisis “called into doubt the sustainability of the world currency system based on the supremacy of one national monetary unit.”

 Zakharova made clear that such discussions are not taking place just in Russia, as finding ways to secure “the independence and sustainability of the financial system to external threat is increasingly becoming a priority for any state.” Russia will not be driven by the “hostile foreign policy” of others to shut out the outside world; it is discussing measures that can be taken with regional neighbors, the BRICS, and others.

Once again, Zakharova, as other high-ranking Russian officials have consistently been doing, proposed that Western nations change course, and come to the table to reach agreements which defend everyone’s interests: “We have repeatedly made it clear that we did not start this sanctions war, but we are ready, at any point, to do our part in order to end this pointless confrontation, in which there will not be and cannot be any winners…. We strongly support a broad international discussion of ways to counteract the illegitimate unilateral measures. We are confident that a systematic dialogue should help reduce the business community’s concerns regarding the uncertainty and instability in global affairs, which are provoked by the West’s one-sided and inconsistent policy.” The RT coverage can be found here.

The Foreign Ministry carries the transcript of the interview on its website.


Kissinger on U.S.-China War Threat

Kissinger on U.S.-China War Threat

May 2 (EIRNS)–Henry Kissinger warned that pushing the conflict with China is threatening the extinction of humanity. Speaking to the McCain Institute’s Sedona Forum on April 30, said: “For the first time in history, humanity has the capacity to extinguish itself in a finite period of time. We have developed technology beyond what anyone imagined 70 years ago.”  This is not only a nuclear issue as it was then, Kissinger said, “but also a high-tech issue with artificial intelligence, now based on the fact that we are now a partner of machines, and machines can make their own decisions.”   

Kissinger also observed that while the Soviet Union was a major nuclear power, it was not, like China today, a major technological power. “A conflict today with such a high-tech power would be of such colossal input and significance…. It’s the biggest problem for America; it’s the biggest problem for the world. Because if we can’t solve that, then the risk is that all over the world, a kind of Cold War will develop between China and the United States.” 

While the U.S. must remain “true to its principles,” Kissinger said, there must be “continual negotiations with China,” as well as with Russia. It was a mistake, he said, “that we haven’t had serious negotiations with Russia for over a decade.” Diplomacy cannot always resolve the problems, he said, but if it fails, “we have to be sure that we have tried all options.” 
Russia had a powerful nuclear military capacity, he said, but they “didn’t have developmental technological capacity as China does. China is a huge economic power in addition to being a significant military power.”


India: a Belated Mobilization Begins

Apr. 30 (EIRNS)–Friday was yet another new record with over 386,000 official new cases. New Delhi hospitals are beyond capacity and patients are sharing beds and using the floors of corridors. In the next two weeks, 1,200 more intensive care beds are to be added, but New Delhi has about 24,000 new cases/day with approximately 3,600/day needing hospitalization. The Army Chief, M. M. Naravane, opened the military hospitals and invited those in distress to approach a military base. One military hospital with 500 beds was opened, and three hours later was all filled up.

Also on Friday, two planeloads of equipment arrived from Russia, including 20 oxygen concentrators, 75 ventilators, 150 bedside monitors and 22 tons of medicine. The first U.S. shipment arrived with some oxygen cylinders, N95masks, and rapid antigen tests. Bangladesh provided 10,000 vials of anti-virals and 30,000 PPE kits. On Saturday, the German Air Force will arrive with supplies, and Taiwan is delivering 150 concentrators this weekend. Finally, Friday also saw China’s head, Xi Jinping, call India’s Prime Minister Modi, offering condolences and expressing willingness to strengthen cooperation with India. Global Times reports that China has sent 26,000 ventilators and oxygenators, 15,000 patient monitors and about 3,800 tons of medicine to India so far this month.


Lyle Goldstein Asks “Uncomfortable Question:” Why Is the U.S. Threatening Nuclear Russia on So Many Fronts?

Lyle Goldstein Asks an “Uncomfortable Question:” Why Is the U.S. Threatening Nuclear Russia on So Many Fronts?

April 28 (EIRNS)–U.S. Naval War College analyst Lyle J. Goldstein again today sounded an alarm over the insanity of the United States treating fellow nuclear powers China and Russia as adversaries. Under the title, “Parsing Putin’s Red Lines,” Goldstein warns in an article posted on the American Committee for U.S.- Russia Accord blog, that people have failed to register the full import of Vladimir Putin’s warning last week to the United States and others not to cross Russia’s red lines, and specifically Putin’s own emphasis on the fact that Russia “will determine ourselves where these red lines are according to the circumstances of each situation.”

Goldstein wrote in his personal capacity, as a qualified military strategist:

“When it comes to fully bulked up nuclear powers like China and particularly Russia, the issue is absolutely grave, since we are talking about countries that can `end’ the U.S., perhaps in a matter of hours, even if we have the solace that we would take our adversary down in flames with us….

“Americans should ask the uncomfortable question: why do the U.S. and its allies appear to be encroaching upon so many different Russian red lines in so many `situations’ simultaneously? Indeed, Russian interests are now directly engaged against U.S. interests, or those of our allies, in a zero-sum pattern on a vast front stretching from the Arctic, to the Baltic, through Belarus to the Donbass and Crimea, and all the way down to the Caucasus and beyond.

“A common sense notion of peace, and indeed survival, for the 21st century must incorporate limits and crucially the principles of realism and restraint. We should not be touching the red lines of other major, nuclear armed powers on a daily basis. The fact that Western strategists seek to probe Russia’s red lines in Eastern Europe is itself a powerful indictment of U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War….

“We must learn to live amicably with Russia or risk a continuing succession of showdowns on the pattern of the Cuban Missile Crisis– this time on Russia’s doorstep, with a Kremlin that has an infinitely more capable nuclear arsenal when compared to the early 1960s. In that unfortunate case, we may again be taught some lessons about red lines.”


Rosatom Launches `Atoms for Humanity’

April 28 (EIRNS) — According to Nuclear Engineering International, this “global nuclear awareness” initiative by Rosatom will be launched April 30. The theme is that modern nuclear technology is clean and reliable, but is much more than green electricity. It is a versatile tool to solve the most urgent challenges.

“Rosatom believes that it is high time to put a human at the center of nuclear debate. The Atoms for Humanity is a unique collection of stories capturing ordinary people from all over the world sharing how nuclear transforms their lives and helps fulfil dreams, both big and small,” the agency said in a release.

The project launch event, “Why Humanity Needs Nuclear”, will take place on 30 April. Kirsty Gogan, an internationally sought-after expert with over 15 years in advising the government on climate and energy, will host the discussion. Other speakers include Rosatom and World Nuclear Association executives, environmental experts, and “heroes of Atoms for Humanity documentaries”.


Putin Speaks With Modi, As Planeloads of Russian Aid Begin

April 28 (EIRNS)—President Vladimir Putin personally informed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today that Russia will send equipment urgently-needed to care for Indians infected with COVID-19 to India, starting with flights today by the Russian Emergencies Ministry delivering over 22 tons of equipment, including 20 oxygen production units, 75 lung ventilators, 150 medical monitors and 200,000 packs of medicine. The two leaders spoke by telephone, with Putin assuring Modi of his support in this difficult period, and Modi “warmly thank[ing] the President of Russia for the assistance provided, which is largely high-tech and is in great demand in the country,” the Kremlin reported. They also discussed that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has also now been registered in India, and both are satisfied that the Russian Direct Investment Fund had reached an agreement with Indian companies to produce 850 million doses of Sputnik V, production of which is to begin in May.


Mexican, Russian Foreign Ministers Sign Far-Reaching Agreements In Moscow Meeting

April 28 (EIRNS)—In a ceremony today at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard and his counterpart Sergey Lavrov signed a series of comprehensive agreements, not only relating to Mexico’s plan to produce the Sputnik V vaccine at its state-run Birmex lab, but also to far-reaching cooperation in a number of fields, including economics and trade, aerospace, culture and science and technology. As both ministers stressed, the relationship between the two countries is growing stronger. At their joint press conference, Lavrov reported, “we have decided to intensify our political contacts,” including signing a plan for Ministerial Consultations spanning 2021-2024. Ebrard underscored, according to a communique from Mexico’s Foreign Ministry, that Mexico and Russia are “entering a phase in our relationship which is very close, and the pandemic has opened the door for us to broaden and deepen that relationship.” Lavrov pointed out that Presidents Putin and López Obrador speak by phone “regularly,” and hope to meet in person once the epidemiological situation permits. The official communique is published on Mexico’s government website. 

Mexico is the only country in North America which has approved emergency use authorization for Sputnik V and one million Mexicans have already been vaccinated with it. The plan agreed to now is that Mexico’s state-run Birmex laboratories will do the final bottling and packaging of Sputnik V, beginning in May or June. Aside from meeting with Lavrov today, Ebrard also held meetings with officials of the Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF—Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) and with the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, which produces the vaccine. The daily Economista reported Ebrard’s remarks that Birmex is already working with the RDIF to arrange for “filling and bottling in Mexico,” and then down the road, perhaps there can be “full production (combined) of Sputnik V, or Sputnik No. 2, or `Sputnik Light.’” Sputnik Light is a one-dose vaccine in which Mexico is particularly interested, as its use would help accelerate its national vaccination program and avoid some of the logistical problems associated with a two-dose vaccine.

Other agreements included a commitment to resume, perhaps by June, meetings of the Intergovernmental Russian-Mexican Joint Commission on Economic, Trade, Scientific and Technological Cooperation and Maritime Navigation. They also signed an agreement on aerospace cooperation, for the peaceful exploration of outer space, and on establishing in Mexico City a Russian Center of Science and Culture. Lavrov and Ebrard discussed plans to ensure that a large Mexican business delegation attends the June summit of the St. Petersburg Forum, and they stressed that their governments agreed on a global agenda which includes respect for the UN-centered international order, respect for international law and multilateralism, reject interference in the internal affairs of sovereign nations, and reject coups as a means to effect regime change. The official report on the meeting is here


Report: Russia Is Getting Wheat, Oil, Medicines to Syria

Report: Russia Is Getting Wheat, Oil, Medicines to Syria

April 26 (EIRNS) – Alexander Mercouris of The Duran gave a lengthy report from Southwest Asia
sources on his video blog April 25, that Russia has succeeded in conveying significant amounts of
wheat, oil and pharmaceuticals to Syria despite the killing “Caesar Act” sanctions imposed by the U.S.
Congress. This was implied in an April 17 report in the Lebanese newspaper Al Masdar, and
Mercouris was able to confirm and expand the report from other sources.
His Syrian diaspora sources, for example, reported the extremely dangerous situation of food
insecurity and deprivation in the country has improved due to Russian deliveries of wheat; these are
to continue through June with the aim of providing wheat stocks sufficient through 2022. Russia is the
world’s largest wheat exporter. In addition, Mercouris reported that Iranian oil tanker convoys with
Russian naval escort have begun. The original Al Masdar report was that pharmaceuticals were also
coming in “from another country”, unnamed; Mercouris says this certainly refers either to Russia or to
China.
There is a military side to this report as well, related to a separate report about a Russian air
attack on a significant jihadi base; Mercouris makes the point that Syrian national elections are only a
month away and are likely to return President Hafez al-Assad.
But the report points to a broader Russian resistance to UK/US Malthusian population
destruction policies in several parts of the world, often in tandem with China. See the separate report
on Britain’s Royal United Services Institute complaining of Russia’s economic and military influence in
the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Uganda. That is resistance to the
British/European “green” campaign to destroy technological development there while looting the
strategic metals for mass lithium battery production. A link to Mercouris’ report is here.


Russia’s Peskov: Crimea Not a Topic of Any Putin-Zelensky Meeting

Peskov Says Crimea Will Not Be the Topic of Any Putin-Zelensky Meeting

April 23 (EIRNS)–The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Crimea would not be on the agenda for any meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as Crimea is not a Ukrainian matter. While a meeting between the two leaders is still on the agenda, there is as yet no venue. Zelensky proposed meeting Putin in the Donbas region of Ukraine. But Putin rejected the proposal and said that Zelensky should meet with the Donbas people, as Russia was not a party in that internal conflict in Ukraine. He suggested that Zelensky come to Moscow to meet to discuss bilateral relations, but Crimea is not on the table.


Suicide Watch: Day One of Biden’s Climate Summit

Suicide Watch: Day One of Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate

April 22, 2021 (EIRNS)–Forty government heads of state and dozens of other leaders of institutions gathered (virtually) today to sing the praises of Joe Biden (“Joe” to many of them) for “bringing America back,” as most of them said — perhaps best expressed by the UK’s Alok Shama, the President of the COP 26 event planned for November in Glasgow: “We welcome America back into the fold,” clearly meaning the Malthusian death cult known as the British Empire. The meeting was chaired by climate fanatics Joe Biden, Antony Blinken and John Kerry.

There was a sharp distinction between the presentations of the leaders of the western world, and those of Russia, China, Mexico, South Africa, and some (but only some) other leaders from the Global South. While Biden, Macron, Merkel, Trudeau, Draghi, et al. described the so-called “climate crisis” as the greatest existential crisis facing mankind today, they emphasized that {all countries} must join in the suicide pact of eliminating fossil fuels and shutting down major portions of industry and agriculture to save Mother Earth from the non-existent danger of carbon dioxide. 

But the West no longer can dictate to the nations still guided by reason, rather than by Chicken Little’s screaming, ‘the sky is falling.’ 

Xi Jinping spoke poetically about the harmony and balance between man and nature, but added that it must follow a “people-centered approach,” focusing on those “longing for a better life.” We must follow the UN-centered multi-nationalism (i.e., not the artificial “rules-based order” made up by the imperial powers). Most importantly, he and many others emphasized the “common but differentiated responsibilities” between the advanced sector and the developing sector, insisting that the concerns of the developing countries must be accommodated. It is of note that climate czar John Kerry, speaking on Wednesday, called on China to give up its intention to allow coal-fired energy production to “peak” only in the 2030s. Xi did not obey, stating that they would continue producing coal-fired plants, as presented in the 14th Five Year Plan. That plan made clear that moving beyond coal depends on expanding nuclear and fusion power.

Vladimir Putin also insisted on UN-centered policies. He explained that Russia had reduced carbon emissions by half since the 1990s (like China, Russia has a serious real pollution problem, which they are resolving, with the side-effect of reducing carbon emissions). He said Russia is restructuring its energy and industrial sectors, focusing on nuclear power (he reminded the world that there are no carbon emissions from nuclear), as well as petro-gas and hydrogen. He noted that Russia’s ecosystem absorbs 2.5 billion tons of CO2 per year. He closed by insisting that global development must “not only be green, but also sustainable,” by fighting poverty and closing the gap between rich and poor. Nary a word about solar or wind.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) began by stating that Mexico had recently discovered three hydrocarbon deposits, all of which, he said, would be used to meet domestic demand. No longer, he said, would Mexico sell crude oil and import gasoline. Hydro plant turbines were being modernized to produce more electricity at less cost. Vast reforestation was taking place — 700 million trees, heading for a billion, and Mexico would help reforestation in the triangle countries to the south. He offered to advise the US on this successful program. He also called on the US to treat migrants as “exceptional people” who are willing to work hard, and who should have a path to citizenship if they desire. The State Department had warned AMLO in advance that the issue of migration should not be raised in the context of the environment — they are two totally different matters — but he did anyway. 

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, interestingly, barely mentioned climate, but focused on the financial disaster which, due to the pandemic, is striking countries like his dependent on tourism, and demanded that the nation’s debt must be forgiven or reorganized — it simply cannot be paid. He praised the fact that not only the US, but also China, were setting the pace on the climate issue. 

The session was ended by 19-year-old Xiye Bastida, a Mexican version of Greta Thunberg (who is from Fridays for the Future and was busy testifying at the US Congress), ranting and lecturing the evil white folk in the Global North who caused all the problems, and must now take direction from the brainwashed children. Blinken spent several minutes praising her as one of the “leaders of the future” who are dedicated to saving us from our folly. Xiye had been scheduled to speak in the session following AMLO’s, but she was moved up to provide a direct rejoinder to AMLO, and build her up as an international figure. One pro AMLO YouTube program, Antonio Villegas’s Guacamole News, reported on the incident: “Biden Ambushes AMLO at the Summit! They Create a Mexican Greta. She Already Attacked Him. From the Soros Group.” According to Villegas, Xiye insisted that the world has to recognize that we are at the end of the era of fossil fuels.  

The rest of the day included a session on Green Finance genocide with the normal suspects (Yellen, Georgieva, etc.), and another on Green Defense genocide (Sec. Austin, DNI Avril Haines, Sec. Ben Wallace, NATO’s Jens Stoltenberg, etc.). Climate is the center of all things, they all agreed, and the world must bow down or die. 

Friday is more of the same, ending with Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates.


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