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French President Macron to attend World Cup Semifinal, further isolates UK leadership

President’s Macron’s decision is as promised, but visibility of forthcoming trip to Russia continues to isolate and embarrass Great Britain

Seraphim Hanisch

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TASS News Agency reported on Friday July 6 that French President Emmanuel Macron plans to travel to Russia to attend the semifinal match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. France advanced to this stage in the tournament, so the nation’s leader wants to be there.

A June 8th piece on Deutsche Welle, a German-state funded news site, discussed the matter of the European nations and their response to the games being held this month in Russia. A number of leaders took politically calculated stances, such as Great Britain, Ukraine and Germany, and even the French leader said that he would only go if his nation’s team made it to the semifinals.

However, the truly incredible success of Russia’s presentation of the World Cup tournament is garnering more and more international attention. Even the American hawkish National Security Adviser, congratulated President Vladimir Putin in person on the success of this international tournament, with Mr. Putin’s reply offering to help the US manage the event when it comes to North America in 2026.

Deutsche Welle continues:

The World Cup is presenting several world leaders with a real quandary. Show up, and they may be accused of playing into President Vladimir Putin’s hands at a time of severe tension with Russia on several fronts.

German Green party politician Rebecca Harms is one of 59 Members of the European Parliament who have written an open letter urging all heads of state and government not to visit.

“They should stay away from the stadiums in Russia, because they will be instrumentalized by President Putin,” Harms tells DW. “I’m also convinced that we have a lot to talk about with Vladimir Putin. And we should do this right away, in the proper places, with serious diplomatic talks on Iran, on Syria, on Ukraine. But the football is more Putin’s instrument to get legitimization for all his wrongdoings, in the eyes of Russia’s people, by being joined by Western politicians.”

It’s no secret that the German national team values Merkel’s support.

But decline to go, and politicians run other potential risks. They could be accused of seeking to politicize sport, or of leaving their national teams in the lurch. Some might even talk of a missed diplomatic opportunity, especially given developments at the Winter Olympics in South Korea earlier this year.

Even for someone like Angela Merkel, a World Cup provides a bigger, happier stage than is available to her on a typical day at the Chancellery. In the past, she has always jumped at the opportunity to travel with Germany’s national team. She went to Brazil in 2014 twice, once in the group stages and again for the final. As for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, it helped boost her profile — especially abroad — very early in her tenure.

Yet even in victory in 2014, the World Cup final was a public-relations mixed bag for Merkel. Yes, most people remember the photos of her and former President Joachim Gauck cheering the winning goal. But images of Merkel sat watching the game alongside Vladimir Putin and FIFA’s disgraced ex-president Sepp Blatter circulated the world just as feverishly, just a few months after the annexation of Crimea and at the height of the FIFA scandal.

The Sun reported back in March that six countries – Poland, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Australia and Japan – were expected to boycott the World Cup in support of Britain’s claims that President Putin or his agencies ordered the poisoning of Yuliya and Sergey Skripal, a claim which was strongly denied by Russia.

However, the success of the English team and the experiences shared by visitors to Russia from so many nations – Mexico, the US, Australia, Brazil, Iran, Portugal, Argentina and Spain to name a few – has made this decision something of an embarrassment to the governments who decided to boycott. Their own people are bringing back entirely different stories of life in Russia and among the Russian people.

Since France – under President Macron’s leadership – was part of the triad of nations involved in the April 2018 missile strike in Syria, and since the US has adopted a visibly more conciliatory tone with Russia at the highest public levels, these recent events point at a certain isolating factor for Great Britain in regards to Russian relations with Western countries.

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AM HantsTim RutkevichVeeNarian (Yerevan)lordbaldricIsabella Jones Recent comment authors
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AM Hants
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AM Hants

The best world cup, in the history of the World Cup. France have made it to the next stage. The EU might not be impressed with Maccron going. However, the people of France would never forgive him for snubbing the team, meaning flag and nation. Especially if the team got through to the finals,

So love karma. Working well at the World Cup.

Tim Rutkevich
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Tim Rutkevich

UK already been sidelined in the world politics

VeeNarian (Yerevan)
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VeeNarian (Yerevan)

The sad and deluded UK is still fighting the Crimean war against Russia from the 19th century. The wee darlings think they still own India and Russia’s expansion towards the “jewel in the crown” must be stopped at all costs. Maybe it is time for the UK elite to wake up and smell the Novichuk? Chuk, chuk, chuk!!!

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

Oh dear. UK government to be made to feel yet more isolated and inconsequential.
Yet another couple of social misfits scheduled to be “accidentally poisoned with Novichok” perhaps?

lordbaldric
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lordbaldric

Britain is the one embarrassing itself by its own ridiculous actions.

John Vu
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John Vu

Its all white…it’s alright

dago dingo
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dago dingo

Fuck Teresa May and fuck Boris the clown Johnson, let them stay at home and drink the Luke warm cups of tea and eat their cucumber sandwiches.

andyoldlabour
Guest
andyoldlabour

Rebecca Harms is a member of the EU/Ukraine parliamentary association committee, so I guess she has a bit of an agenda trying to encourage people not to visit the WC.
As for our clowns in Westminster, their relevance is diminishing by the hour.
They are saddos who don’t understand the first thing about sports.

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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