US Unveils Latest Russian Sanctions, Putin Immediately Responds That Russia Drafting Retaliation

Moments ago, as was widely preannounced, the US Treasury unveiled its latest round of Russian sanctions. While the bigger picture was well-known, here are some of the highlights:
U. S. SANCTIONS FOCUS ON FINANCIAL, ENERGY, DEFENSE SECTORS U. S. TREASURY ADDS SBERBANK TO SANCTIONS LIST, U. S. TREASURY SANCTIONS AFFECTS GAZPROM, GAZPROM NEFT, LUKOIL, ROSNEFT, AND SURGUTNEFTGAZ U. S. TIGHTENS DEBT FINANCING RESTRICTIONS TO 30 DAYS As Bloomberg reports, action deepens existing sanctions on Russian financial institutions, expands sanctions on Russia’s energy sector, targets additional energy- and defense-related firms, U. S. Treasury says in statement. “Today’s actions demonstrate our determination to increase the costs on Russia as long as it continues to violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen says in statement
Treasury Dept says it ‘maintains significant scope to expand these sanctions.’
Sberbank added to sanctions list; Treasury also tightens ‘debt financing restrictions by reducing from 90 days to 30 days the maturity period’ for sanctioned banks
Also imposes sanctions that ‘prohibit the exportation of goods, services (not including financial services), or technology in support of exploration or production for Russian deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects that have the potential to produce oil’
Step affects 5 cos.: Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas, and Rosneft, Treasury says
And instantly: PUTIN: GOVT DRAFTING PROPOSALS TO RETALIATE AGAINST SANCTIONS
PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA TO RETALIATE ONLY IF IT SERVES ITS INTERESTS PUTIN SEES MORE POSITIVES THAN NEGATIVES IN LATEST SANCTIONS PUTIN SAYS UKRAINE `HELD HOSTAGE’ BY OUTSIDE INTERESTS PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA WON’T IMPOSE TRAVEL BANS IN RETALIATION So back to square one, as Russia and China get progressively closer.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/12/2014.

George Soros Warns “This Is The Worst Possible Time” For Scottish Independence

Authored by George Soros, originally posted Op-Ed at The FT,
This is the worst possible time for Britain to consider leaving the EU – or for Scotland to break with Britain.
The EU is an unfinished project of European states that have sacrificed part of their sovereignty to form an ever-closer union based on shared values and ideals. Those shared values are under attack on multiple fronts. Russia’s undeclared war against Ukraine is perhaps the most immediate example but it is by no means the only one. Resurgent nationalism and illiberal democracy are on the rise within Europe, at its borders and around the globe.
Since world war two the European powers, along with the US, have been the main supporters of the prevailing international order. Yet, in recent years, overwhelmed by the euro crisis, Europe has turned inward, diminishing its ability to play a forceful role in international affairs.
To make matters worse, the US has done the same, if for different reasons. Their preoccupation with domestic matters has created a vacuum that ambitious regional powers have sought to fill.
The resulting breakdown of international governance has given rise to a plethora of unresolved crises around the globe. The breakdown is most acute in the Middle East. The sudden emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or Isis, provides the most gruesome example of how far it can go and how much human suffering it can cause.
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, military conflict has spread to Europe. Two radically different forms of government are competing for ascendancy. The EU stands for principles of liberal democracy, international governance and the rule of law. In Russia, President Vladimir Putin maintains the outward appearance of democracy by exploiting a narrative of ethnic and religious nationalism to generate popular support for his corrupt, authoritarian regime.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/11/2014.

Putin – War – & Return of Mercenaries – the Masquerade

Many people have written asking about Putin. The pundits are claiming the Russian Army is weak and could not wage war. Russia is actually looking at expanding its military policy re-targeting Europe and the USA as enemies, and rewriting protocols for justification of a defensive first strike with nuclear weapons. The greatest mistake that the West has made so far is to judge Russia through their own eyes based upon themselves with extreme arrogance and prejudice. Just because you would not want war does not mean your opponent has the same view. Additionally, the arrogance of the politicians can force war by their unyielding posture and inability to realize that they have left their opponent with no other option.
The arrogance that Russia is weak and could not afford war is a huge mistake because it is the West who cannot afford war in the middle of an economic implosion where we have a Sovereign Debt Crisis brewing on an unprecedented scale. War also gas been an escape valve for fiscal mismanagement and in this respect, war become desirable as a decoy to hide the inability of politicians to cope with managing the state.
The Russian military forces are composed of 150,000 officers and 766,000 soldiers on active duty. There are about 2,485,000 reservists. The Russian Ground Forces have 15,500 tanks, 27,607 armored fighting vehicles (AFV), 5,990 self-propelled guns (SPG), 4,625 towed artillery guns and 3,781 multiple rocket launcher artillery systems (MLRS), according to reports of the Military portal Global Fire Power. For the Air Force, Russia has about 3,082 airplanes, jets and helicopters. Russia has only about 114 combat helicopters compared to the USA’s 914 attack helicopters …

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 10, 2014.

Putin To Head Military-Industrial Commission, Sees Nuclear Deterrence As Top Task

When we exposed the shift in Russia’s military doctrine towards one of nuclear deterrence and pre-emptive strikes, many eschewed it as fantastical thinking of extremists. They were wrong. Speaking at a defense meeting this morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared he is taking charge of Russia’s military-industrial complex:
*PUTIN SAYS DRAFT NEW MILITARY DOCTRINE SHOULD BE READY BY DEC. *PUTIN CALLS ENSURING NUCLEAR DETERRENT TOP DEFENSE TASK TO 2030 This does not seem like de-escalatory conversation as NATO continues to push – to justify its existence – and Putin now prepares an increasingly Cold-War-esque response threat (following an overnight nuclear missile test).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/10/2014.

Russian Retaliation Begins: Gazprom “Limiting EU Gas”, Cuts Poland Supplies By 24% In Past Two Days

Over the weekend, we commented that in response to Europe’s latest, and most serious, sanction round which would finally impact Russian energy giants Rosenft, Gazprom Neft (but not Gazprom) and Transneft, “suddenly the stakes for Russia, and thus Europe, just got all too real, as Putin will now have no choice but to really ramp up the retaliatory escalation, which following the food ban can only mean one thing: a staggered reduction in gas flow to Europe.“
And while Europe appears to have blown its load prematurely, with the sanctions leaked before Europe actually has the consensus to implement them (it is now a daily threat by Europe which is screaming that it will impose the sanctions any minuteyet not actually doing so), Russia has no such moral quandaries and three days following our forecast, here comes Gazprom confirming once again that it is perfectly happy to play the “mutual defection” strategy in the ongoing and ever escalating game theory between Europe and Russia for one simple reason: it has all the leverage.
From Bloomberg:
RUSSIA LIMITING EU GAS TO RESTRICT REVERSE SUPPLY TO UKRAINE In other words, this is only the beginning as Ukraine has clearly made the case that it will plug its gas reserve gap using “reverese flow” of Russian gas in transit to Europe. More importantly, this follows news earlier today from Poland’s PGNiG which said Gazprom lowered supply by 20%-24% in past 2 days.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/10/2014.

Russia And Iran Put Oil-For-Goods Deals Into Motion As Iran Signals Similar Arrangements Coming With China

Russia-Iran Oil-for-Goods Contracts Representatives of the Russian and Iranian governments met in Tehran yesterday for the 11th meeting of the Iran-Russian Trade Council, where details of a ground breaking oil-for-goods swap between the two heavily sanctioned countries were revealed.
With both countries now sanctioned by the West, Russia and Iran have been in extensive negotiations on how to facilitate Iranian oil exports without breaching the UN Security Council nuclear deal that was agreed between Iran, Germany and the five UN Council permanent last January.
Sanctions on Iran had reduced Iranian oil production from 2.5 million barrels per day (BPD) down to between 1 million – 1.5 million BPD. Under the UN’s nuclear deal, Iran can only now export up to 1 million BPD. Iran has the world’s 4th largest oil reserves and both Russia and Iran are large producers and exporters of oil.
On August 5, Russia and Iran signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on oil-for-goods exchanges under which Russia could take 500,000 BPD of Iranian oil exports in returns for providing goods, services and equipment to Iran. This deal was said by Russian media to have been directly negotiated previously by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin

This post was published at Gold Core on 10 September 2014.

Russia’s Response To European Capital Sanctions In One Word

While the West continues to press the “Russia is increasingly isolated” meme, it appears – as we noted ironically previously, that Vladimir Putin is finding plenty of friends… most notably China. While threats of ‘asymmetric’ retaliation over European sanctions may have been enough to worry Europe’s leaders, the slew of news overnight regarding increased cooperation between China and Russia is likely more damaging to Western strategy (and egos).
Not so isolated…

h/t @PersonOfAwesome

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

Ukraine ceasefire at risk amid shelling in Mariupol, Donetsk

Shelling erupted in eastern Ukraine’s strategic port of Mariupol and the city of Donetsk overnight, threatening a fragile ceasefire agreed Friday between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists.
The ceasefire – brokered in Minsk by envoys from Ukraine, the separatist leadership, Russia and Europe’s OSCE security watchdog – is part of a broader peace plan intended to end a five-month-long conflict that has killed nearly 3,000 people.
The renewed shelling broke out hours after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko had agreed in a telephone call that the truce was holding and had discussed ways of allowing in shipments of humanitarian aid.
Both sides blamed the other on Sunday for the ceasefire violations.

This post was published at France24

Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault: Foreign Affairs

According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine.
But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West. At the same time, the E.U.’s expansion eastward and the West’s backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine — beginning with the Orange Revolution in 2004 — were critical elements, too. Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically important neighbor turned into a Western bastion. For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president — which he rightly labeled a “coup” — was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a NATO naval base, and working to destabilize Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West. 
Putin’s push back should have come as no surprise. After all, the West had been moving into Russia’s backyard and threatening its core strategic interests, a point Putin made emphatically and repeatedly. Elites in the United States and Europe have been blindsided by events only because they subscribe to a flawed view of international politics. They tend to believe that the logic of realism holds little relevance in the twenty-first century and that Europe can be kept whole and free on the basis of such liberal principles as the rule of law, economic interdependence, and democracy.

This post was published at Foreign Affairs

Russian president Putin threatens nuclear war over Ukraine

September 2014 – UKRAINE – On Friday, as Russian Federation tanks and troops poured across the border into eastern Ukraine, Vladimir Putin talked about his country’s most destructive weaponry. ‘I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations,’ he said. ‘This is a reality, not just words.’ Russia, he told listeners, is ‘strengthening our nuclear deterrence forces.’That same day, Putin used a term for eastern Ukraine meaning ‘New Russia.’ So when he refers to repelling ‘any aggression against Russia’ and speaks of ‘nuclear deterrence,’ as he did on Friday, the Russian president is really warning us he will use nukes to protect his grab of Ukrainian territory. For more than a generation, nuclear weapons were considered defensive only. In a few short sentences on Friday, however, Putin made these devices offensive in nature, just another tool to be employed by an aggressor. And to highlight his threat, on Aug. 14 at Yalta, the Crimean city he had seized this year, Putin mentioned ‘surprising the West with our new developments in offensive nuclear weapons about which we do not talk yet.’

This post was published at UtopiatheCollapse on September 7, 2014.

EBOLA – OVERPOPULATION CURE

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I’m supposed to be scared of the dreaded ebola virus. We’re all going to die. It’s the fear mongering tactic for this week. One week it is Putin. The next week it’s ISIS. One week it’s terrorists streaming across our southern border. It’s always global warming (oh yeah climate change). I don’t give two fucks about the ebola ‘epidemic’. Why don’t they create an ice bucket challenge to cure it? We cured ALS last week. Right?
It seems the doom websites have bought into this terrible threat hook line and sinker. This is nothing more than another way to keep the sheep docile and cooperative as the authorities pretend to protect them from a phantom menace.
Ebola is not in the United States. You see we’re a first world country where we don’t piss where we drink or shit in our front yard. Africa is an overpopulated cesspool inhabited by ignorant dreadfully poor people who live their entire short lives in utter squalor. Most of the countries are run by dictators and socialists. The people reproduce at 4 times the rate of first world countries. Of course they are going to create disease and starvation on a massive scale. There are consequences for every action. Did you notice how quickly the infected Americans recovered when they got to a first world country?
Sorry folks. It’s not our problem. We do not have the financial resources to save all seven billion people on this over-populated planet. We already spend $2 billion per day more than we generate in taxes. The same control freaks who blather on about population control are the same ones saying we have to do something about the ebola ‘crisis’.
I’ve got an idea. Let Africa worry about their problems. They can either take the necessary steps to control their populations or disease will control it for them. It really is pretty simple. A telethon with George Clooney and the rest of the Hollywood douchbags will just perpetuate the continued behavior of these countries.
Aldous Huxley pondered the future of the planet and overpopulation in 1958 in Brave New World Revisited:
‘In the bad old days children with considerable, or even with slight, hereditary defects rarely survived. Today, thanks to sanitation, modern pharmacology and the social conscience, most of the children born with hereditary defects reach maturity and multiply their kind. Under the conditions now prevailing, every advance in medicine will tend to be offset by a corresponding advance in the survival rate of individuals cursed by some genetic insufficiency. In spite of new wonder drugs and better treatment (indeed, in a certain sense, precisely because of these things), the physical health of the general population will show no improvement, and may even deteriorate. And along with a decline of average healthiness there may well go a decline in average intelligence.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on 6th September 2014.

Putin, Poroshenko Speak; Kiev Church Says Russian “Under Satan’s Spell”, Locals Say “Ceasefire Just Theater”

So far, and contrary to most expectations, the latest ceasefire between Ukraine and the eastern separatists, which was announced early yesterday, has managed to hold up. “Contrary” because while it is the talking point of the west that it is Putin’s desire to perpetuate the proxy civil war, in reality it was Ukraine’s own troops who voiced against a ceasefire as we reported yesterday:
“A ceasefire would be a disaster, we would lose everything. By fighting we can resist the invasion and send them back. With a ceasefire they will consolidate and carry on after a while,” said Ukrainian soldier Taras. Another Ukrainian soldier who gave his name as Mykola said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko – who was attending the second day of a NATO summit in Wales on Friday – would “betray the country” if he backed a peace plan at this time.”
Ironically, their rebel opponents share the same but opposite opinion: “The ceasefire is looking good for now but we know they (the Ukrainian side) are only using it to bring in more forces here and ammunition and then to hit us with renewed strength,” said one rebel commander in Donetsk known by his nickname Montana.
In other words, both sides believe their adversary is merely using the break in the fighting to regroup and reinforce.
As to whether Ukraine’s chocolate oligarch has betrayed his country remains to be seen, but for now the fighting has indeed subsided and the two main confrontation hubs, rebel-held Donetsk and Ukraine-held Mariupol, were quiet on Saturday, despite some isolated shelling overnight near Donetsk’s airport, which remains in government hands. Mortar rounds were also fired at regular intervals through Saturday in the vicinity of the airport.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/06/2014.

Lessons on Hornets and Bears; Ukraine Ceasefire a Victory for Common Sense

If you are looking for something to gag on today, please consider the Bloomberg View by Leonid Bershidsky Ukraine’s Cease-Fire Is Putin’s Victory.
…As for Russian President Vladimir Putin, he has secured a ringside seat and may settle down with a bowl of popcorn. Any outcome suits him as long as Ukraine struggles to get out of its impasse alone. He will be happy to see the Lugansk and Donetsk regions turn into a frozen-conflict zone, precluding Ukraine’s further integration into NATO and the European Union, and equally pleased to have them gain broad autonomy from Kiev and a veto on major political decisions. A military solution suits him, too, since the West has refused to engage him except in the form of ineffectual sanctions.
Make no mistake about it: The ceasefire is a victory for Putin, a vindication of his aggression and duplicity. I just hope it ends the bloodshed.
Victory for Common SenseWhile one can claim this is a victory for Putin, one should rightfully gag over Bershidsky’s comment regarding “aggression and duplicity.”The US and EU fomented this crisis and now apologists for failed US policy don’t like the results: Russia annexed Crimea and Ukraine may splinter.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Friday, September 05, 2014.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union: The U.S. and Nato Are Provoking the Ukrainian Crisis

Encircling Russia and Arming Ukraine Are What’s Provoking the Bear Jack Matlock, U. S. ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991, says that the U. S. and NATO are to blame for the Ukraine crisis:
The fact is they are going to intervene until they are certain that there is no prospect of Ukraine becoming a member of NATO. And all of the threats by NATO and so on to sort of increase defenses elsewhere is simply provocative to the Russians. Now, I’m not saying that’s right, but I am saying that’s the way Russia is going to react. And frankly, this is all predictable. And those of us who helped negotiate the end of the Cold War almost unanimously said in the 1990s, ‘Do not expand NATO eastward. Find a different way to protect eastern Europe, a way that includes Russia. Otherwise, eventually there’s going to be a confrontation, because there is a red line, as far as any Russian government is concerned, when it comes to Ukraine and Georgia and other former republics of the Soviet Union.’
***
There needs to be an understanding between Russia and the Ukrainians as to how to solve this problem. It is not going to be solved militarily. So the idea that we should be giving more help to the Ukrainian government in a military sense simply exacerbates the problem. And the basic problem is Ukraine is a deeply divided country. And as long as one side tries to impose its will on the other – and that is what has happened since February, the Ukrainian nationalists in the west have been trying to impose their will on the east, and the Russians aren’t going to permit that. And that is the fact of the matter. So, yes, there simply needs to be an agreement.
And most of the – I would say, the influence of the West in trying to help the Ukrainians by, I would say, defending them against the Russians tends to be provocative, because – you know, Putin is right: If he decided, he could take Kiev. Russia is a nuclear power. And Russia feels that we have ignored that, that we have insulted them time and time again, and that we are out to turn Ukraine into an American puppet that surrounds them. And, you know, with that sort of psychology, by resisting that, in Russian eyes, he has gained unprecedented popularity. So, it seems to me that we have to understand that, like it or not, the Ukrainians are going to have to make an agreement that’s acceptable to them, if they keep their unity.

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 5, 2014.

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.

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.

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.

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.