NATO and Russia do not consider each other as adversaries. They share the goal of overcoming the vestiges of earlier confrontation and competition and of strengthening mutual trust and cooperation. The present Act reaffirms the determination of NATO and Russia to give concrete substance to their shared commitment to build a stable, peaceful and undivided Europe, whole and free, to the benefit of all its peoples.
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Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who said earlier he would be satisfied if NATO located two heavy brigades in Poland, said on arrival at the NATO meeting that he would welcome any NATO forces being stationed there.
Germany’s Steinmeier said the basing of a significant NATO force in Poland would not be completely in line with a 1997 treaty on NATO-Russian cooperation.
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. . . Vladimir Putin has been grasping for a narrative that could legitimize a second decade of his rule.
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Yet, as the portrait of Peter the Great hanging in his office testifies, Putin views himself as a modern day czar, finding threats to his empire intolerable. Seeing himself and Russia as one and the same, Putin is a consummate narcissist whose every move is calculated to protect his image and goals, which are severely threatened by the current crisis.
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In 2011, $84 billion of capital fled Russia, and another $33 billion was taken out of the country in the first quarter of 2012, even though the Russian economy is growing and the rest of the world is in a downturn. This money mainly belongs to bureaucrats, siloviki and other mafiosi. These beneficiaries of the mafia state don’t trust their own system, nor do most of them want to live in Russia.
Putin’s Russia: where is it going to go?
Most unfortunately, Putin’s Russia has already gone to Syria where it will be associated with Bashar al-Assad’s brutal repression of what began as a children’s protest representing a true people’s revolution. True to form in that theater, political ingenuity and a sociopath’s sadism have managed to cast as the main players Assad’s secular-leaning kleptocracy against a motley cloud of al-Qaeda associates with, this from a refugee of the war, the complicity of the regime.
Leave The People of Syria out of it: Putin-Assad-Khamenei have rigged the war that makes them before their own eyes glorious.
Next smart move: responding to another people’s revolution against authoritarian kleptocracy, Putin’s Russia, hiding in insignia-stripped uniforms behind a mighty fortress of unfounded assertions about Ukraine, has planted its field boots in Crimea.
No news there.
However, the swipe of the Bear’s paws in the middle east and in eastern Europe, the essential anomic character of Putin’s calculations on top of ambition, and whatever personal demons might have assailed him on the way to becoming the Godfather of Post-Soviet Russia, have ensured the Russian president’s enmity with the world itself — and the world would seem to be waking to the necessity of defending its interests.
BackChannels: “Anthropolitical Psychology”.
Pro-west propaganda on LiveLeak: “Vladimir Putin: The Last Emperor” – 8/25/2013.
Williams, Carol J. “Vladimir Putin, Russia’s human tank: Taking Crimea from Ukraine was easy: Any internal debate had already been crushed, and the West didn’t want to get too involved.” Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2014.
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The deputy PM in charge of the weapons industry says Russia would remove all ‘sensitive’ production facilities from Ukraine if the association agreement with the EU is signed, and he doesn’t believe Ukraine can count on eventual EU entry anyway.
“We will not be able to place certain sensitive technology [in Ukraine], we will have to completely localize them on Russian Federation territory. This means problems connected with the future cooperation in the aircraft and space industry and many more spheres,” Dmitry Rogozin told reporters.
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“One can experiment as long as one wishes by deploying non-nuclear warheads on strategic missile carriers. But one should keep in mind that if there is an attack against us, we will certainly resort to using nuclear weapons in certain situations to defend our territory and state interests,” Rogozin, the defense industry chief said on Wednesday speaking at the State Duma, the lower house.
He pointed out that this principle is enshrined in Russia’s military doctrine. Any aggressor or group of aggressors should be aware of that, he said.
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German newspaper Bild wrote this weekend that Russia stationed several Iskander tactical ballistic missile systems – which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads – in its westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad, along the border with Baltic states. The paper said it obtained “secret satellite” images showing at least 10 Russian missiles close to the EU border, which were deployed over the past year.
▶ Iskander-M (SS-26 “Stone”) – YouTube – Posted 11/10/2008.
STUTTGART, Germany — NATO’s largest war game in years, which kicked off in Poland on Saturday, will involve some 6,000 troops at locations spread out across the region over the course of nine days.
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ANKARA — While the last of six Patriot anti-missile batteries are deployed in Turkey, ostensibly to protect Turkish airspace from a potential missile strike from neighboring Syria, some officials claim the primary purpose is to protect a radar that would track Iranian missile launches.
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The U.S. deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey began Saturday to help the country defend against any possible threats from neighboring Syria in the throes of a civil war, AFP reported.
[Russia – Syria – Iran] | Ukraine and Eastern Europe | NATO
Syria’s pit fire would seem to have spilled over into Russia’s post-Soviet pseudo-democratic mafia-oligarch relationship with Europe: The Bear wants its buffers back (whether they like it or not).
Call it jockeying for position, political posturing, or whatnot, the world at the edge of history, i.e., the apparently still collapsing Soviet Union and the more just and friendly and expanding European melange of democratic open societies just got a lot more dangerous.
Perhaps from the start with Boris Berezovsky playing kingmaker, Putin had no intention of being the one to turn the lights out on imperialism Soviet-style. The talk has changed, perhaps: the walk? You tell me.
In this dangerous and hideous play, which may be entering a new phase, Syria’s civil war would seem to have signaled the fragility of Soviet-built post-Soviet relationships: what card had the Assad regime to play but its longstanding “thing” between Iran’s theocracy gone mad and Russia’s military-industrial trade complex?
That card has been played, indeed, and the old Syria ruined for hanging on to its yesterday.
Now Ukraine’s a kind of chip and both NATO and Russia would seem to have turned up new cards at the table, not too suddenly though but, still, one’s pushing a radar system behind missile batteries associated with the adverse Syria-Iran relationship and the other has sent out to its borderlands some trucks with missiles on their backs.
Who wants popcorn?
Stove top? Hot air? Or microwave?
The latest professionally-agitated spectacle in Kyiv’s was spearheaded by the same Soros/Sharp/National Endowment for Democracy/CIA hydra that saw the overthrow of Ukraine’s government in 2004 in the so-called Orange Revolution. This time, not only is Ukrainian President Yanukovych, but ultimately Russian President Vladimir Putin, are the targets…
Ukraine: NATO’s Eastern Prize – 12/16/2013.
Russia: Missiles Deployed In West ‘Legitimate’ – 12/16/2013.
Russian missile threats a bluff that should be called | National Post – 11/23/2011; related from the same time period: Vladimir Putin asks elite in Russia to gather behind his hardline rule | National Post – 11/23/2011.
From “way back” as measured in Internet years: The return of missile diplomacy / ISN – 11/12/2008.
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As you know, West Europe gets gas from Russia, or if they get from other ex(soviet) countries, the pipes go by way of Russia and allows Russians to control the stream. There are many things which Russia directly or indirectly controls, so better not to play games with them. Keeping in mind history of Russian empire, the title you chose, “Colonel President Emperor” is just appropriate to anyone standing at its wheel, be it today Putin or anyone else.
My real space space is remote and small as relations to power go, but online, the presence is larger — at least wide — and the correspondence reaches from Riyadh to Islamabad but here with a stop in eastern Europe.
Writing about Russia and democracy, the Lithuanian writer had this to note:
Keeping that in mind, one shouldn’t expect from Russia too much in this direction. For instance, Lithuania is one of the main exporters of dairy products to Russia. This time, because Lithuania keeps the EU presidency and some of EU (anti-Russian) decisions, the long line of cars on the border to Russia were suspended for indefinite time. They were kept in line of waiting already about two weeks, so that losses from this delay cost millions of Litas (LT monetary) and also roubles to Russians, but who cares?
Related: Russia halts Lithuanian dairy imports before EU summit – Yahoo News – 10/7/2013.
Our conversation had started with noting in the library here the presence of Hedrick Smith’s Soviet Era classic The Russians and the possibility of it being out of date. In riposte and with some awareness of Persian “escape methods”, I suggested that the constituents of autocratic regimes find ways to diminish their own presence — today we might call it “footprint” — in the same while finding workarounds to get the things they need, including, for example, home fermentation of grapes in place of bringing home a bottle of wine for supper now and then.
Russia, so I have read in mail, “is just too big to be democratic and free.”
Is it true?
I don’t know.
However, the world does see Putin’s oligarchy and Soviet hangover getting some testing.
The Khodorkovsky affair just isn’t disappearing from world view; Pussy Riot may have drawn the law as would have similar miscreants in as liberal a realm as Sweden, but with uncanny political alacrity, the pussy rioters have pushed the focus away from youthful rebellious and tawdry behavior and put it brightly, firmly on the old jails and rather disturbing persistence of Gulag values.
With those ghosts inhabiting Russia’s atmosphere — again: another aristocrat gathering power unto himself with the leveraging of an immensely critical natural resource into a system of equally great patronage; again: control of the media — just watch that RT spin on Syria; again: the Gulag and unchecked gulag practices, albeit on this round no Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn need be about for the global press plus Facebook work just fine.
Continues my correspondent:
Some Russian politicians, like Zherinovsky, more than once openly admitted that to re-occupy the Baltic states, if Russia wanted, is a matter of 15 minutes. How much truth is in that is less important, as you understand, than it is an open threat. True, such information never came from Putin or officialdom, only from separate politicians. The fact that they are break-away republics in Russia is not forgotten.
At the moment, and I hope my correspondent will access another book in the library here — Ben Judah’s Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin — Russia would seem to be having a difficult time occupying itself, arrangements being terribly skewed in Moscow and unresponsive, so has been my impression drawn from Ben Judah’s book, outside of select circles.
(Not that I don’t enjoy aristocracy myself but do at the moment understand the necessity of begging around for funding, work (research and editorial functions), or really good, appropriate, and responsive advice).
Still, with money tied up in private systems and beyond the purview of the public and public assigns — i.e., out of sight of cold, dispassionate, ineluctably honest accountants and auditors — the conversation turns toward post-Soviet, now contemporary, regional and international corruption or, plainly, theft.
I am personally surprised that such abundant export is towards Russia when it could be directed to the west, not east. There are many EU limitations, which, being an EU member one has to keep. Some of them are limitations on export and, as far as I understand by the parallel to the EU “help” in billions of euros to the Palestinian Autonomy, those limitations are being “solved” by monetary influx to those countries without actually being interested where the money goes.
Related: Articles: The Unsurprising Corruption of Palestinian Authorities – 10/17/2013.
How is that for timing?
Michael Curtis’s article for American Thinker, a conservative publication, could not be more on the money, so to speak:
“The new 2013 report of the Court reveals that $2.7 billion in direct aid to the Palestinians between 2008 and 2012 could not be accounted for and appeared to be lost. In addition, EU investigators who visited Jerusalem and areas on the West Bank were unable to obtain information or speak to Palestinian officials about corruption in the areas they controlled.”
Perhaps we have reached a point — post-Soviet, post-Cold War, and post-Afghanistan — in which warfare has become a half measure: nothing’s over!
It has been said of invention and perfection that it’s the last 10 percent of the work that consumes 90 percent of the effort.
Perhaps those involved with managing disruptive forces (now equipped with advanced small arms everywhere) should give the end of the end of “the job” that much more thought. Whether in Russia, in which the failure of capital-C Communism has become equally the failure of capital-D Democracy, or in Iraq, in which the power of language, grandiose promise, and magical thinking have jerked reason sideways with continuing deadly effect, it would seem the end of war is not the apparent cessation of hostilities but rather an observable and measurable shift in broad cultural consciousness.
When the place thinks and speaks differently — and one may hope with a greater courage and humanity — then, wherever it has taken place and whatever it is or was, it’s finished.
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