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Here’s FIVE reasons why Russia will NOT host Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit

Some have suggested Mongolia as possible venue

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According to a statement on Friday by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russia will not host the much-anticipated summit between US President Donald Trump, and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.

While this may come as a disappointment to some hoping to see Russia increase her role as the perceived leader of a global resistance movement, this was the most realistic decision for several reasons. In short, here are five reasons why Russia didn’t offer to host the summit.

  1. It’s not Russia’s job.
  2. It’s a US-North Korean issue.
  3. Russia gate could be dragged into this.
    • Russia could be blamed or targeted for the summit. Failures could be blamed on Russia, and progress could be attacked by Trump’s domestic enemies as benefiting Russia or being Putin’s plan.
    • Those who wish to sabotage the peace process could fabricate a new Russia related scandal to overshadow the meeting.
    • It does not matter how unlikely it is, they could produce a believable Russia-gate story during the Summit; sad history proves evidence is never needed to blame Russia.
  4. Russia and China are both too high profile, and not perceived as being neutral enough.
  5. Russia wasn’t asked, so Russia didn’t offer, as a result of any number of reasons.

For those not only interested in Russian politics, but the Russian mentality, it’s interesting to explore this subject.

Russia is not obligated to mediate

First and foremost, it must be stated that Russia never intended to be, nor does she endeavor to be some form of Anti-American counterbalance to the US. One country, culture, or civilization shouldn’t see it’s mission as resisting another. From a cultural point of view, the Rus’ Nation (which includes Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarussians) never expressed her patriotism via hating another people.

This mindset is brilliantly explained by legendary Russian intellectual Egor Kholmogorov in an amazing work explaining Russian patriotism. (Check it out)

“Russian self-awareness was based on a positive patriotism, on love for one’s own land, people, culture, and ruler. The rejection of others expressed itself not in hatred but in a good-natured gibe similar to the manner in which The Lay of the Ruin describes the neighbors of Rus’.” Mammoths and Patriots on the Russian Plain ~ Egor Kholmogorov, translated by Anatoly Karlin

Far too often we hear imprudent criticisms of Russia such as “Why didn’t Russia stop x” or “Why didn’t Putin prevent the West from doing x”. Russia is not obligated to become the global mediator for the world’s problems.

The only responsibility Russia has is to the Russian people, and the Russian people do not necessarily benefit by having their state play mediator between two relatively unstable elements. That is not to say Russia does not encourage, and actively work towards lasting peace in Korea, but unlike the US, Russia does not see herself as a world police or nanny.

If it appears Russia is finding herself at the forefront of some kind of resistance movement, that’s only because Russia is one of the few brave and major voices in the world actively fighting for sanity.

All throughout history, Russia tends to find herself in a position resisting nefarious forces, whether it be the Mongolian Horde, The Ottomans, Hitler or Napoleon, but that was a podvig (valorous labor) which fell upon on her, not one which she elected. She still rose to victory none the less in ages past.

In today’s climate, Russia didn’t want to see her Slavic sister Ukraine – the birthplace of Rus’ – turn into a fascist nightmare, or watch the Syrian people be driven to extinction. Now, simply for not having allowed pandemonium to reign, many peoples in the world think Russia has some form of special mission she never asked for.

This isn’t to deny the idea that God has given Russia a special destiny, merely to say foreigners shouldn’t impose upon Russia their views of what she should do, and what that destiny is. Russians have been struggling over that for centuries.

All that said, there are far more practical reasons Russia did not choose to be host of an American-North Korean Summit, and it’s self-evident in the name.

This is a US-North Korean Issue

This is an American-North Korean summit, not a Russian summit. Its quite simple, Russia does not wish to insert herself in the middle of an external dispute. Contrary to popular belief, Russia does not “meddle”, and she doesn’t take to kindly to those who do.

Russia Gate

If a Summit were to transpire in Russia between Trump and Kim, we mustn’t forget the ugly revenant of Russia-gate may still loom over the event. Any progress made by the two leaders could theoretically be dismissed by Trump’s domestic enemies as a “one-sided deal which benefits the Kremlin” – as if Trump has been anything but “America first” – as if the U.S. has been anything but “America first” since its inception.

Likewise, if the Summit ends particularly catastrophically, someone could theoretically blame it on Russia. Realistically, that shouldn’t happen as Russia would just be the host, but recent years have shown that Russia can be accused of anything without any evidence. Russia has had enough of instability, the last thing she needs to do is facilitate the presence of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in the same room.

Neutral Ground

The meeting between the two leaders will be highly controversial; no matter where it takes place, someone, somewhere is going to be upset. This is why its unlikely either side will allow a meeting on their own territory, and choosing a major superpower like Russia or China would still feel too politicized.

The meeting will be politized enough, the venue ought to be as neutral as possible. Even if Russia-gate would not be dragged into it, or more fake news of Russian meddling produced to overcast the meeting, Russia is Russia. The climate is just too hysterical for Russia to host such a summit.

To this end, some have suggested the landlocked Mongolia, the least densely populated country in the world. The former Soviet state which produced the legendary Genghis Khan is one of the closest countries that could be considered neutral, yet it also borders both Russia and China.

There is no use speculating, as there may not even be a meeting. Or they may all surprise us, and meet in Pyongyang, or the “truce village” of Panmunjom. We will just have to wait and see, but the final reason why Russia will not be hosting the summit is quite simple.

Russia was not asked, and she would likely be turned down for the aforementioned reasons if she did offer. It is wise not to offer something, or volunteer yourself, even if it’s what you truly want, if you were not asked, and are likely to be turned down.

Making such an offer could potentially lower yourself, and being turned down could be embarrassing.

In any event, few countries outside of the Korean peninsula want peace more than Russia and China – unlike the US, those two nuclear powers share a border with North Korea.

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Photos of swastika on Ukrainian mall stairway creates a stir [Video]

Ukrainian nationalist press in damage-control mode to explain away the Nazi sign, but they forgot the name of the street the mall is on.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the aspects of news about Ukraine that does not make it past the gatekeepers of the American and Western news media is how a significant contingent of Ukrainian nationalists have espoused a sense of reverence for Nazis. The idea that this could even happen anywhere in the world in an open manner makes the claim seem too absurd to be taken seriously. Gone are the days when the Nazi swastika adorned streets and buildings in Europe. Right?

Well, maybe, wrong.

This was seen in Kyiv’s Gorodok (or Horodok, if you insist) Gallery, a shopping center in that city, located on Bandera Avenue.

The pro-nationalist news service UNIAN wasted no time going to press with their explanation of this incident, which admittedly may be accurate:

Children and teenagers who participated in the All-Ukrainian break dance festival held in the Kyiv-based Gorodok Gallery shopping mall were shocked to see a swastika image projected onto an LED staircase.

The mall administration apologized to visitors, explaining saying that their computer system had apparently been hacked.

“The administration and staff have no relation to whatever was projected onto the LED-staircase, and in no way does it support such [an] act. Now we are actively searching for those involved in the attack,” it said in a statement.

According to Gorodok Gallery’s administrative office, it was not the first time a cyber breach took place.

As reported earlier, Ukraine is believed to be a testing ground for cyberattacks, many of which are launched from Russia. Hackers have earlier targeted critical energy infrastructure, state institutions, banks, and large businesses.

This time, it appears, hackers aimed to feed the Kremlin’s narrative of “Nazis in power in Ukraine” and create a relevant hype-driving viral story for Russian media to spread it worldwide.

The Gorodok Gallery also apologized on its Facebook page and said that this was a result of hacking.

But what about the street that the mall is on? From the self-same Facebook page, this is what we see:


To translate, for those who do not read Ukrainian or Russian, the address says the following:

23 Steven Bandera Prospekt, Kyiv, Ukraine 04073

This street was formerly called “Moscow Avenue.” Big change, as we shall see.

Steven Bandera got his birthday designated as a national holiday in Ukraine last December. He is known in Ukraine’s history for one thing. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

Several Israeli papers picked this bit of news up, and of course, the reasons are understandable. However, for the West, it appears possible that this news event will largely go unnoticed, even by that great nation that is often called “Israel’s proxy”, the United States.

This is probably because for certain people in the US, there is a sense of desperation to mask the nature of events that are happening in Ukraine.

The usual fare of mainstream news for the West probably consists of things like “Putin’s military seizes innocent Ukrainian sailors in Kerch incident” or, “Ukraine’s Orthodox Church declared fully independent by Patriarch of Constantinople” (not that too many Americans know what a Constantinople even is, anyway), but the overriding narrative for the American people about this country is “Ukraine are the good guys, and Russia are the bad guys,” and this will not be pushed aside, even to accommodate the logical grievance of Israel to this incident.

If this article gets to Western papers at all, it will be the UNIAN line they adhere to, that evil pro-Russia hackers caused this stairway to have a swastika to provoke the idea that Ukraine somehow supports Naziism.

But UNIAN neglected to mention that the street name was recently changed to Stephan Bandera (in 2016), and no one appears to have hacked this. Nor does UNIAN talk about the Azov fighters that openly espoused much of the Nazi ideology. For nationalist Ukrainians, this is all for the greater good of getting rid of all things Russia.

A further sad fact about this is the near impossibility of getting assuredly honest and neutral information about this and other similar happenings. Both Ukrainian nationalists and Russian media agencies have dogs in the race, so to speak. They are both personally connected to these events. However, the Russian media cannot be discounted here, because they do offer a witness and perspective, probably the closest to any objective look at what is going on in Ukraine. We include a video of a “torchlight march” that took place in 2017 that featured such hypernationalist activity, which is not reported in the West.

More such reports are available, but this one seemed the best one to summarize the character of what is going on in the country.

While we do not know the motive and identities of whoever programmed the swastika, it cannot really be stated that this was just a random publicity stunt in a country that has no relationship with Nazi veneration.

The street the mall is on bears witness to that.

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Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.

RT

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Via RT…


If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

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Russia’s Lukoil Halts Oil Swaps In Venezuela After U.S. Sanctions

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades.

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Via Oilprice.com


Litasco, the international trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, stopped its oil swaps deals with Venezuela immediately after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and state oil firm PDVSA, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said at an investment forum in Russia.

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, has vowed to defend its interests in Venezuela—including oil interests—within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us.”

Because of Moscow’s support for Maduro, the international community and market analysts are closely watching the relationship of Russian oil companies with Venezuela.

“Litasco does not work with Venezuela. Before the restrictions were imposed, Litasco had operations to deliver oil products and to sell oil. There were swap operations. Today there are none, since the sanctions were imposed,” Lukoil’s Alekperov said at the Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Another Russian oil producer, Gazprom Neft, however, does not see major risks for its oil business in Venezuela, the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Dyukov said at the same event.

Gazprom Neft has not supplied and does not supply oil products to Venezuela needed to dilute the thick heavy Venezuelan oil, Dyukov said, noting that the Latin American country hadn’t approached Gazprom Neft for possible supply of oil products for diluents.

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades. Analysts expect that a shortage of diluents could accelerate beginning this month the already steadily declining Venezuelan oil production and exports.

Venezuela’s crude oil production plunged by another 59,000 bpd from December 2018 to stand at just 1.106 million bpd in January 2019, OPEC’s secondary sources figures showed in the cartel’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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