Pompeo Testifies, Affirms No Crimea Recognition, Neocon Senators Push Sanctions on Russian Sovereign Debt

Pompeo Testifies, Affirms No Crimea Recognition, Neocon Senators Push Sanctions on Russian Sovereign Debt

Those who watched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s testimony to the Senate on Wednesday about the content of the President’s meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin could be forgiven for thinking nothing has changed in U.S.-Russia relations. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who is co-authoring legislation with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to increase sanctions against Russia including targeting investors in the Eurasian country’s sovereign bonds led the questioning of Pompeo.

To the Secretary of State’s credit, Pompeo defended Trump’s prerogative to meet one on one with Putin and just their translators in the room as hardly unprecedented for great power summits. He also emphasized that U.S. policy with regards to non-recognition of Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation and the Ukraine sanctions had not changed as a result of the Trump-Putin meeting. What has changed is the deep state’s recognition of defeat in Syria and constructive talks between Moscow, Washington and Tel Aviv on ending the conflict in that country — despite the provocative Israeli shoot down of a Syrian Air Force jet along the Golan Heights.

Read More

Russian Energy Minister Novak in Washington, Meets Energy Secretary Perry

Russian Energy Minister Novak in Washington, Meets Energy Secretary Perry

Although it’s been overshadowed by the news that Presidents Trump and Putin will meet for a summit in Helsinki on July 16, this week’s talks between the former Texas Governor, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak are also highly significant. Interestingly enough, the Gazprom board member Novak hails from Avdeyevka, a town on the front lines of the war in Donbass.

Novak was in Washington for the World Gas Conference, where Perry promoted U.S. LNG exports to Europe and Asia that compete with Russian gas. Novak reported that he and Perry had an “exchange of views” regarding the Nordstream 2 pipeline linking Russia directly to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea (and thereby bypassing Poland and Ukraine) that Washington opposes.

It is likely that more than Nordstream 2 was discussed, as Moscow has formed an alliance with U.S. ally and global swing producer Saudi Arabia. As the no. 1 and no. 2 oil producers, Moscow and Riyadh reportedly agreed at this month’s Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) summit in Vienna to increase their output, keeping prices steady and making up for cratering Venezuelan output plus American sanctions on Iran. Whether this action relates to Trump’s recent tweets bashing the oil cartel is a matter of speculation, but the Administration does not want to see pain at the pump as summer turns to fall closer to the 2018 midterm elections. — JWS

Read More

Getting Down to Business

Presidents Putin and Xi hosted a business event at the Kremlin on July 4th. Representatives from media companies and cultural organizations were in attendance. Heads of commerce from many sectors shook hands with their Russian or Chinese counterpart and signed Memos of Understanding. Xi was awarded the highest order of friendship from the Russian Federation, the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle. It is clear that that threads of the Silk Road fabric are being woven stronger with every passing day. Read on for highlights and video from the event.

Read More

The Guerrilla Interviews Mimi al Laham aka Syrian Girl (@PartisanGirl)

The Guerrilla Interviews Mimi al Laham aka Syrian Girl (@PartisanGirl)

V the Guerrilla Economist interviews Mimi al Laham aka Syrian Girl from Australia on her views of the proxy war that has ravaged her homeland over the last six years. Al-Laham is a Muslim who defends a secular, multiconfessional Syrian state, whose family was persecuted by the father of the current President Bashir al-Assad, Hafez al-Assad.

For the last few years through her Twitter feed and Youtube channel, Syrian Girl has exposed the U.S/UK government funded propaganda supporting Washington's Saudi/Qatari backed jihadist takfiris posing as moderate rebels fighting Assad. She also worked with MIT professor/arms control expert Dr. Ted Postol to expose the August 2013 East Ghouta sarin attack as a false flag operation blamed on the Syrian Arab Army. Mimi has appeared on numerous media platforms including Infowars, Russia Today and Iran's Press TV. - JWS

Read More

FPO's Hofer Concedes in Austria

FPO's Hofer Concedes in Austria

In a surprise the Freedom Party of Austria (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ) has conceded defeat in Sunday's presidential elections in the Austrian Republic, after successfully petitioning the country's judiciary to overturn the previous runoff vote of May 22 over serious voting irregularities.

While overshadowed by the defeat of Hillary Clinton-supporting Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in an EU-shaking national referendum, the Austria vote appears to -- for now -- retain a critical brick in the crumbling Atlantic[ist] Wall of EU sanctions against Russia. The same sanctions Hofer told RT on the eve of the vote must be ended. But the Austrian businesses particularly the agro-lobbies that have pushed Alexander Van Der Bellen's predecessor to ease the sanctions against Russia aren't going away. [For background on the geopolitical and energy position of Austria as the 'rational (read: non-NATO/Washington dominated) Germans' from the Russians' perspective, read these articles from April 2016, "Austrian Military Chief of Staff: No One Will Prevent Us From Cooperating With Russia, Austria's President Says Anti-Russian Sanctions 'Disastrous'" and Sept. 2016, "Make Austro-Hungary Great Again".]

Read More

Make Austro-Hungary Great Again: Orban Unofficially Endorses Trump, Austrians Reject TTIP Ahead of October 2nd Elections

“Today it is written in the book of fate, that hidden, faceless world powers will eliminate everything that is unique, autonomous, age-old, and national. They will blend cultures, religions, and populations, until our many-faceted and proud Europe will finally become bloodless and docile. If we resign ourselves to this outcome, our fate will be sealed and we will be swallowed up in the enormous belly of the United States of Europe."

"We must therefore drag the ancient virtue of courage out from under the silt of oblivion."

"First of all, we must put steel in our spines, and we must answer clearly, with a voice loud enough to be heard far and wide, the single most important question determining out fate. The question upon Europe stands of falls is this:"

"Shall we be slaves – or men set free?” 

- Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary

Read More

Battle for Syraq SITREP 2: Will Turkey Cut the Cord to Jihadists in Syria?

Battle for Syraq SITREP 2: Will Turkey Cut the Cord to Jihadists in Syria?

As Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Tuesday in St. Petersburg, the Turkish press is putting out warm rhetoric towards the Russian leader and his country. After banning the state funded media agency Sputnik from Turkey after the Turkish Air Force shoot down of the SU-24, post-coup Ankara reinstated the organization's press credentials as a goodwill gesture toward Russia.

However, U.S. and Sunni Persian Gulf aligned media and pundits are poo pooing any potential strategic pivot emerging from Tuesday's Putin-Erdogan meeting that would be averse to Washington's agenda. And it's no accident that as the two leaders meet to try and find some compromise on the issue of Syria where they've been on opposite sides, the Financial Times newspaper is emphasizing the sheer amount of arms and equipment the Jabhat al-Nusra (the 'ex' Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria) jihadists received via Turkey and their Saudi and Qatari paymasters.

Read More

Flynn Effect: Trump Adviser Gives Speech in Moscow, Lt. Gen. and Former DIA Chief Being Vetted for Trump's VP Slot

Flynn Effect: Trump Adviser Gives Speech in Moscow, Lt. Gen. and Former DIA Chief Being Vetted for Trump's VP Slot

While the U.S. media focused on the tragic police killings in Dallas and the European press the Euro2016 matches and NATO's summit in Warsaw, some subtle unofficial diplomacy was underway last week in Moscow.

Carter Page, an adviser to the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign and a former manager in the Moscow offices of Merrill Lynch, gave a speech at the New Economic School in the Russian capital. To the consternation of The Washington Post, Page called for dialogue and mutual respect rather than continued Cold War 2.0 confrontation with Russia

Read More