Ukraine, Separatists Agree On Cease-Fire; EU May Suspend Sanctions

UPDATE: So far no good…*HEAVY ARTILLERY BLASTS HEARD IN UKRAINE’S MARIUPOL: RIA
While we had grown weary of trashed truces and snapped cease-fires in Israel, it appears, according to Interfax, that Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine (having gained notably over the army in recent days) have agreed a cease-fire:
*UKRAINE, SEPARATISTS AGREE ON CEASE-FIRE FROM 6PM TODAY: IFX *POROSHENKO: PRELIM. PROTOCOL TO CEASE-FIRE SIGNED IN MINSK: BBC Great news, especially for Merkel (and Hollande) who has already come out and noted that the cease-fire means EU could suspend sanctions (saving face and avoiding some further escalation). The question is – how much of Putin’s 7-point-peace-plan will Ukraine acquiesce to? If any?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/05/2014.

Russia Blasts NATO’s “Pre-Emptive Deployment” Plan For Undermining The Peace Process

As if like clockwork, on the heels of news from Russia of plans to shift their military doctrine towards pre-emptive reactions (and potential nuclear strikes), the NATO Summit has come out swinging with it’s own plan change:
*GEN. BRADSHAW, NATO’S DEPUTY SUPREME COMMANDER: NATO REACTION FORCE COULD BE DEPLOYED PREEMPTIVELY Russia’s response – “not surprised” NATO is trying to dominate Europe, adding that “NATO plans undermine the Ukraine peace process.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/05/2014.

As Fighting Rages In Mariupol, Ukraine Soldiers Say President Would “Betray The Country” If He Backs Peace

The NATO summit of world-class golfers is on its way out (having achieved nothing material and merely regurgitating old talking points), but it will be promptly replaced with yet another round of “peace talks” in Minsk, Belarus where all the usual suspects are gathered as well as the leaders of the eastern Ukraine separatists. According to Reuters, representatives of Ukraine, the pro-Russian separatist leadership, Russia and the OSCE security watchdog began talks on Friday on resolving the Ukraine conflict.
Most participants declined to comment to reporters as they arrived for the talks in the Belarussian capital, Minsk, but former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said: “We all came for peace, that’s the most important thing – to find a truce.” President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday he would announce a ceasefire if the talks took place although there was no immediate ceasefire announcement.
News that the talks on securing a ceasefire had started pushed Moscow shares up.
A ceasefire agreed in June ended after 10 days because fighting did not stop, but officials were hopeful any new agreement could trigger steps to secure a more lasting peace after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Poroshenko gave it their backing.
Sadly, said officials must not be aware of the latest news then, that even as efforts to cobble together a makeshift truce continue (and ask Gaza how those have fared in the past months), the Russian rebels (as they are now known) continue to make territorial gains, and following our report that “The Battle For Strategic Mariupol Begins“, said fighting has escalated and is now openly raging between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels just east of the strategic port of Mariupol on Friday, as Reuters confirmed earlier today.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/05/2014.

No New NATO Bases in Eastern Europe

Poland has confirmed there will be no new NATO bases in eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression.
The alliance is creating a new “spearhead” force of some 4,000 troops designed to react if Russia attacks its eastern borders.
But Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski told press on Thursday at a NATO summit in Wales that that the force will not be physically stationed in the region. The only new facilities will include airfields, vehicle parks, and ammunition depots to help it to deploy more quickly.

This post was published at EU Observer

Slovakia Asks EU to Cut Sanctions Some Against Russia

Slovakia speaks against some sanctions against Russia, proposed by the European Union, according to the Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico.
“We have addressed the EU, asking them to remove some clauses from the sanctions proposal. We want a number of products included in the list to be exempt from sanctions, so that we can continue exporting them to Russia,” Fico said during press conference after a special meeting dedicated to the discussion of new EU sanctions against Russia.
The ministers, who took part in a meeting, spoke against proposed export ban on goods that can have both military and civilian use, aimed for Russian private companies. According to the ministers, some Slovak machine-tool makers may become bankrupt if sanctions become effective.

This post was published at RAI Novosti

Cease-fire in Ukraine with Russia, Islamic State Grows, Ferguson Police Investigated by AG Holder

The following video was published by Greg Hunter on Sep 4, 2014
There is a cease-fire between the pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine. I hope this is a legitimate effort and not a tactic to stall for time until NATO can send in more troops. I hope this is not a way to say well, we tried to talk to Russia, and it did not work out. Now, there is an excuse for wider war. Anyone who thinks Russia is not heavily involved is dreaming. After all, it is Vladimir Putin laying out a ‘seven point plan’ to end hostilities in eastern Ukraine.
The other big story out there is the Islamic State that is now the size of the UK in between Syria and western Iraq. The President is all over the map on this issue. Last week, he said he did not have a strategy, and this week, he says he wants to ‘degrade and destroy’ the Islamic State. Obama also said he wanted to ‘manage’ this group that cuts the heads off of people while shooting video of the horrible acts.
Meanwhile, there are all sorts of warnings of a terror attack here in the U. S., and who does the Justice Department go after but the Ferguson Police Department. Let me get this straight, AG Eric Holder thinks the Ferguson Police are a bigger threat than Islamic terrorists.

Is This Putin’s Ukraine Strategy?

“The West is afraid of a major war and Putin is exploiting that,” says one former Kremlin adviser, adding that “his end goal is a Ukraine that is a buffer state between Russia and the West.” After the recent rebel offensive, it’s now militarily possible to gain full control of Donetsk and Luhansk and to create a ‘land bridge’ to Crimea, and “without help, Russian troops can roll ever-deeper into Ukraine.” As Bloomberg reports, Vladimir Putin will continue his shadow war until he’s created quasi statelets in Ukraine’s easternmost regions with veto power over the country’s future, five current and former Russian officials and advisers said.
As Bloomberg summarizes, Putin’s strategy appears to be…
[He] won’t settle for less than broad autonomy for Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, including the right to reject key decisions at the national level such as joining NATO, according to the people. Putin is willing to wait until November, after Ukraine elects a new parliament and the heating season starts, to ensure his goals are met, in part by extending a natural gas cutoff to force a compromise if needed, one official said on condition of anonymity after speaking with Putin last week.

‘Putin’s goal is to force Ukraine to its knees,’ said Stanislav Belkovsky, a Kremlin adviser during Putin’s first term who heads the Institute for National Strategy in Moscow. ‘He wants a federal structure to put part of the country under Moscow’s informal control and block NATO membership.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/04/2014.

Russian General Demands Preemptive Nuclear Strike Doctrine Against NATO

While NATO is contemplating its existential purpose in a world where the Cold War has suddenly come back with a vengeance, and the military alliance has found itself woefully unprepared to deal with a Russia which no longer accepts the supremacy of the west (appropriately enough NATO is doing this on a golf course) Russia is also strategizing, only instead of issuing “sharply-worded catchphrases” and hashtags, a Russian general has called for Russia to revamp its military doctrine, last updated in 2010, to clearly identify the U. S. and its NATO allies as Moscow’s enemy number one. That in itself is not disturbing: we reported as much yesterday and is merely more rhetorical posturing. Where things, however, get very problematic is that the general demands that Russia spell out the conditions under which the country would launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the 28-member military alliance.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/04/2014.

Justin Raimondo: Our Cold War with Russia Could Turn Hot

As the NATO summit approaches, and Ukraine’s ruthless war on its eastern provinces sets off an exodus of nearly a million refugees to Russia, war hysteria in the West is reaching epic proportions. The pundits are up in arms: miffed that the long-awaited Russia invasion has failed to materialize, they are now declaring it happened anyway – it’s a "stealth" invasion, i.e. the kind only a neocon can see. There has to have been a Russian invasion, because, after all, the Ukrainians are losing, and it can’t be because their soldiers are deserting in droves or turning tail and running at the prospect of having to shoot their fellow countrymen
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who doesn’t realize that even the most expansive estimates of the number of Russians fighting in Ukraine put it at a mere one-thousand, says it’s a "direct invasion" in which "thousands" of Russkies are overrunning the place. He wants us to arm the Ukrainians with "defensive" weapons – although Anne Applebaum’s somewhat overwrought contention that Moscow is planning to nuke Kiev makes Menendez look like a piker. The Amazonian Applebaum is demanding “total war.”

This post was published at Anti War

Medvedev Names Moscow’s Terms for Resumption of Gas Cooperation with Ukraine

Moscow will resume gas cooperation with Ukraine only when Kiev repays its “astronomical” debt to Russia in full and agrees to the average annual price of $385 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday.
“We are ready to discuss ways to resume our gas cooperation with Ukraine, a country that owes us. However, two preconditions must be fulfilled. Firstly, the existing debt, which has already risen to astronomical figures, must be repaid in full. And, secondly, even if the price is subject to seasonal revisions, the average annual price with a $100 discount… must be $385 per 1,000 cubic meters,” Medvedev told reporters, commenting on a recent statement by his Ukrainian counterpart Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

This post was published at RAI Novosti

Finland Most Vulnerable to Russian Gas Cutoff

Finland would experience gas shortages even if Russia cut off exports just for one month, while other EU countries would last between three to nine months without Russian gas, according to a German study.
"A Russian gas export embargo during the winter of 2014/15 lasting for more than 6 months would cause supply shortfalls in many European countries, in particular, in central and eastern Europe, including Germany," according to a study published Wednesday (3 September) by the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne.
Based on a computer simulation of European pipelines, storage facilities and liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure, the study explores what would happen if Russia would cut off the gas for one, three, six or nine months.

This post was published at EU Observer

EU Targets Bank Loans, World Cup in Russia Sanctions Talks

EU ambassadors are holding talks in Brussels on new proposals for Russia sanctions – seen by EUobserver – with ideas including “action” to block its 2018 World Cup.
The talks are taking place amid news of a “ceasefire process” agreed between Kiev and Moscow, which EU diplomats regard with caution.
According to an options paper tabled by the European Commission and the E.U. diplomatic service, "there are two possible avenues for stepping up economic pressure" to make Russia cease hostilities.

This post was published at EU Observer

France Folds (Again): Reconsiders Mistral Warship Sale To Russia

Various US Senators applauded French President Hollande’s decision to suspend the Mistralk delivery to Russia. However, they may be disappointed today as, having clearly been reminded of the huge potential penalties that his nation would face (let alone lost revenue/rebates) if it were to cancel the delivery of 2 Mistral warships to Russia, Hollande “explained” today that the contract for the Mistral sale to Russia “is not broken or suspended” but will instead depend on events in the coming weeks. Ironically, the Russians may actually be pleased if the deal is canceled as they avoid overpaying for the ships and benefit from France’s weakening.
The US was very excited… U. S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N. H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement regarding French President Francois Hollande’s decision to suspend warship delivery to Russia:
We commend President Hollande’s decision to suspend delivery of a Mistral-class warship to Russia. This announcement sends another clear message to Russia that its continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty will lead to severe consequences from the international community. As noted in our letter to President Hollande this summer, the delivery of two Mistral-class warships to the Russian Navy would enhance Russia’s ability to further intimidate neighboring countries and illegally seize sovereign territory. We will continue to urge President Hollande to end cooperation on future construction and sales of these warships to the Russian military. Together we must send an unwavering message to the Russian Federation that its illegal acts of aggression will not be tolerated.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/04/2014.

Powerful Trend: Cannabis Decriminalization Emerges From a Do-Nothing US Congress

Current Congress might be history’s worst at passing laws … It seems like there’s not a whole lot being accomplished in the Capitol with the current group of legislators. The current Congress is on track to be the worst ever at passing laws since modern record-keeping began, with three of its lawmakers failing to introduce a single bill, The Post has learned. The divided House and Senate have managed to pass just 163 laws that garnered President Obama’s signature since the two-year term began in January 2013. At this rate, Congress will have no problem beating the previous record set during the 2011-2013 session in which 284 laws were passed. That was down from 385 laws passed in the 2009-2011 session. – The New York Post
Dominant Social Theme: We need more laws as soon as possible, and make them good ones.
Free-Market Analysis: This article appeared on September 1, and perhaps the editorial staff of the New York Post intended to use the paper’s “bully pulpit” to remind federal legislators that they had three more months to accomplish something significant.
There is however, one encouraging “activist” trend that runs counter to our general position that the less the US Congress does, the better.
More on that below.
First, let’s concentrate on why Congressional inaction is probably a good thing. Look at the US today and ask if the political system at local, state or federal levels has proven successful in ensuring US prosperity or building on the dominance that the US once enjoyed after World War II. The answer is obvious, and negative.
The US is in terrible shape, with moribund employment, serial wars sapping resources, a confrontation with Russia brewing, a Southern border that is being determinedly turned into a kind of regional sieve by an administration that wants to essentially merge Mexico and the US or so it seems.

This post was published at The Daily Bell on September 04, 2014.

The Battle For Strategic Mariupol Begins As NATO Vows To Do “Whatever It Takes”

Shelling is reported to have started on the eastern outskirts of Mariupol, Ukraine, according to local reporters on social media. This crucial city, due to its standing as the last major city standing in the way of a land connection to Crimea (from Russia) across the Southern border. Furthermore, Mariupol’s strategic importance as a port and major industrial city is crucial to Kiev who are reinforcing the city after losing Novoazovsk last week, with the Ukrainian army on full alert. NATO has been actively sabre-rattling this morning, pulling a full Draghi by threatening to do “whatever it takes” to defend ourselves and our allies, and offering training and support for Ukraine (as they report over 3,000 Russian troops in Ukraine). Escalation?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/04/2014.

France Caves and Cancels 600M Warship Deal with Russia

In a significant escalation of European sanctions on Moscow, France has announced that it will be suspending the controversial delivery of a state-of-the-art €600m warship to the Russian navy.
After an emergency meeting of the national defence council, President François Hollande said that “conditions do not today exist” for the delivery of the first of two Mistral helicopter carriers this autumn. He described the latest developments in eastern Ukraine as “grave”.

This post was published at The Independent

NATO Secretary General Expects Wales Summit to Make History

NATO is preparing for the start of an intense two-day Summit in Wales on Thursday that will "address current and future security challenges," including Russian military aggression and the rise of extremism in the Middle East and North Africa.
"This is a time of multiple crises on several fronts," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen remarked on Monday. "To the east, Russia is intervening overtly in Ukraine. To the south, we see growing instability, with fragile states, the rise of extremism, and sectarian strife."
Rasmussen added that he expects the gathering "to be a crucial summit in NATO's history."

This post was published at UPI

Will The Missing Libyan Jetliners Be Used For The False Flag Event ? – Episode 458

The following video was published by X22Report on Sep 3, 2014
July factory orders soared, but if you take away airliner purchases it really dropped by .8%. The Housing markets is continuing to collapse, loan requests which is an indicator of how the housing market is doing dropped 1.5%. Billionaires are now preparing for the stock market crash. France postponed the delivery of the Mistral ships to Russia due to the Ukrainian crisis. Putin proposes a cease fire plan, President Obama and Yatsenyuk call for more war. US lawmakers preparing a bill to go after terrorist no matter where they are. Libya has fallen and now jetliners are missing. Some officials say that these jetliners might be used on the anniversary of 9/11. Be prepared for a false flag.

Obama Gets Back To Work…..At The Celtic Manor Resort: But Just Lose The NATO Part!

Better that our President work on the greens and skip the NATO meetings. Its an anachronism anyway, and should have been abolished 25-years ago when the cold war ended and its reason for being vanished.
Would that back then Bush ’41′ had parachuted into Ramstein Air Base in southern Germany and declared ‘mission accomplished’! The American taxpayers would have been spared billions in the sheer waste of maintaining NATO, and the world would have been spared the bombast of armchair war mongers like NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. By the way, he’s the guy with an unwavering capacity to make ‘Baghdad Bob’ look good, having assured the world back in 2003 that
‘Iraq has WMDs. It is not something we think, it is something we know.’
When the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact vassal regimes vanished into the mortuary of history, NATO had 16 member states in a mutual defense alliance that had arguably enhanced the safety and security of citizens in Lincoln NE and Spokane WA. Now it has 28 members including the likes of Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Slovenia and Slovakia – micro-states that are mainly insolvent and have no bearing whatsoever on national security.
Worse, it was Washington’s double-cross of Russia that set the stage for the present clash over Ukraine. The elder Bush who did not use his parachute in Germany did promise Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for vacating the eastern regions of that nation that NATO would not be expanded ‘by a single inch’.
Fast forward to February 2014 and his successor not only permitted the US foreign policy and CIA apparatus to fund and orchestrate the overthrow of the democratically elected government in Kiev, but did so with the implicit condition that the resulting junta would ‘pivot’ to the west and eventually join NATO. Yes, while Putin was sitting in his box taking bows at Sochi NATO came knocking on his back door.
Prior to February 21, 2014 there was not a peep out of Washington about Putin’s designs on Ukraine, rebellion of Russian speakers in the eastern Donbas region or an ‘invasion’ of Russian forces. None of this even entered the narrative until an unelected and radical nationalist junta in Kiev brought the threat of ethnic cleansing, and then launched a brutal campaign of aerial and artillery bombardment on its own citizens in the eastern regions.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 3, 2014.

Western Doublethink on Blind Path to War

In October 1962, the United States threatened to go to war with Russia over the Cuban missile crisis. That high-stakes drama came about after Washington learned that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had overseen the installation of ballistic missiles on the Caribbean island, some 90 miles from the US mainland. Never mind that the nascent military alliance between Moscow and the socialist government of Fidel Castro was a inviolable matter between two sovereign states – Washington was apoplectic that Soviet missiles were permitted anywhere near its territory. The then US President John F Kennedy was impelled to go to war over the issue, even if that meant igniting an all-out thermonuclear conflagration. In the end, the standoff was resolved, in part through a mutual personal understanding between Kennedy and Khrushchev that such a catastrophic war had to be avoided at all costs. The Soviet Union eventually withdrew its missiles after receiving a guarantee from the White House that there would no follow-up US invasion of Cuba, as in the failed CIA-backed Bay of Pigs assault of April 1961. In addition, Kennedy gave a commitment to reciprocate US missile withdrawal from Turkey’s territory bordering with the former Soviet Union.

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on September 3, 2014.