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How the proposed European Army is causing the EU to fracture

The proposal for the new European army is being strongly resisted by the anti-Russian states of the EU – Poland and the Baltic States – because they distrust the EU to pursue the same anti-Russian foreign policy in the future.




Much has been discussed about the internal identity crisis within the European Union. It is indeed a question that precedes the original concepts of ‘Europeanism’.

In Revolutionary France, firebrands in Paris struggled to unite peasants behind the new state as many, in spite of their poverty, identified with regional localities not with the French state (whether the Kingdom of France or the French Republic).

Today, when individuals are more globally inter-connected than ever, thanks not to governments but to technology, an identity crisis persists in Europe.

Can one identify with a nation state and with the EU simultaneously?  In Britain at least, the recent Brexit vote answered this question in the negative. 

But an even more interesting matter is the EU’s external identity crisis: how does the EU define its position in the world? 

Is the EU’s destiny as a global bloc what it has been in the last 8 years or so: a political arm of NATO/Atlanticist  policy, which sanctions whomever the US sanctions, condemns whomever the US condemns, and can even be used to give cover to US policies that even the US itself is ashamed of – think of France’s leading role in Hillary Clinton’s war on Libya, a war Obama now regrets?

Or is the external identity of the EU that of a bloc which is friendly to the Anglo-American consensus, but which ultimately is independent of and distinct from it.

This approach has also been attempted, most famously under the Commission of Jacques Delors, whose Social Chapter softened the neoliberalism of the bloc, if only a bit.

Such a possibility dates back to the bloc’s inception, where in spite of the aid the then European Economic Community was receiving from the US, France’s Charles de Gaulle was keen to block what he saw as the spread of Anglo-Saxon influences in the bloc. 

It was for this reason de Gaulle twice vetoed British membership of the European Economic Community.  Inversely, it was also the reason why the US wanted a sceptical British ally inside the bloc, so that the UK could promote Atlanticist policies inside it.

Yet in the early 2000s, the leading founders of the EU, France and Germany, led at that time by President Chirac and Chancellor Schröder, opposed the US’s war on Iraq, and led most of western Europe into opposition with them.

However, the year following the declaration of war on Iraq, the so-called A8 countries were all admitted to the EU.

Many of these countries have stridently anti-Russian foreign policies, and over the years these countries have influenced the EU in the following two ways: (1) They have made it easier for countries like Britain (until now) to push for a less economically and politically integrated EU; and (2) They have made it easier to achieve an anti-Russian consensus within the EU.

This consensus however may be showing signs of unravelling. Here’s why:

The two immediate causes are the increasing unlikelihood that TTIP will come into place.

Opposition to TTIP from both the left and right in the European nation states and the toothless but occasionally influential EU Parliament has contributed to this.

Additionally, opposition in the US from the increasingly powerful anti-TTIP alliance of Ron Paul style libertarians, Trump style neo-protectionists, and anti-globalist commentators like Alex Jones, has pushed TTIP on to the back burner.

Secondly Angela Merkel’s policy of welcoming the world’s refugees whilst enacting policies which create refugees in Donbass looks set to end the long political career of this coldly calculating opportunist, defenestrating Europe’s most powerful leader.

However, a third and more important issue has arisen, which threatens to unravel even further the present, uneasy consensus in Europe.

What is at stake is the creation of a unified EU army, something which Jean Claude Junker says will prevent future wars between European states.

Clearly the names Charles V, Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler are not familiar to the nominal leader of the EU.

Whilst the full proposals for an EU Army will be laid out in December, there is already opposition to its creation, and it is coming from some unexpected quarters.

Some of the most stridently anti-Russian member states of the EU have come out in opposition to an EU Army, including the Baltic states and Poland, countries which if they had nuclear weapons, might well have a collective Hillary Clinton style spasm, and fall atop the little red button if Vladimir Putin so much as stamps his foot energetically whilst putting on a pair of shoes.

The fact that these countries have energetically welcomed NATO troops to occupy their territory with arms and men, means that they are not exactly ready to climb aboard the peace train. What it means is that they find the US dominated NATO to be a reliable partner in their anti-Russian crusade, but are sceptical that a would-be EU Army would share such zeal.

Their underlying fear is that a future Schröder, Chirac or de Gaulle might do with Europe what Trump seeks to do to the US: put local interests first. This would exclude wasting European time and money antagonising Russia economically (not that that has worked), and would certainly imply no interest in further military provocations of Russia.

Britain is also opposed to the creation of such an EU Army for the same reason it has opposed many integrationist policies.

Publicly Britain articulates the fears of Poland and the Baltic states in stating that an EU Army is unnecessary, as it would more or less duplicate what NATO does.

In reality Britain would never join an EU Army, even if Brexit had been soundly rejected.

And then comes the question of NATO itself.

Donald Trump wants to shift NATO’s focus from being an anti-Russian bloc to being an anti-ISIS bloc, something that might well upset countries who bankrupt their small treasuries buying weapons to fight an imaginary Russian attack, and countries which unlike Germany, France, America and Britain, have never been the victims of Islamic terror attack.

Many of these countries are in fact totally unfamiliar with the terrorism that swept western and central Europe in the latter half of the 20th century. There was no Baader-Meinhof Gang in Poland, no IRA in Latvia, and no Symbionese Liberation Army in Estonia.

Much therefore depends on forthcoming events. What is certain is that the fate of the EU looks to be uncertain at best, and this is because the consensus it was supposed to consolidate, is instead unravelling.

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Peace on Korean Peninsula within reach, if only Trump can remove Pompeo & Bolton (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou



RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the results of the Putin-Kim summit in Vladivostok, Russia, aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries, as well as working to contribute to a final peace settlement on the Korean peninsula.

Putin’s meeting with Kim may prove to be a pivotal diplomatic moment, as North Korea continues to work towards normalizing ties with the U.S. amidst ongoing denuclearization talks with the Trump White House.

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Via the BBC…

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un needs international security guarantees if he is to end his nuclear programme.

Such guarantees would need to be offered within a multinational framework, he added, following talks near Vladivostok in Russia’s far east.

Mr Kim praised the summit as a “very meaningful one-on-one exchange”.

Mr Putin said North Korea’s leader was “fairly open” and had “talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda”.

The meeting followed the breakdown of talks between the US and North Korea in February, when Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Those talks reportedly stalled over North Korea’s demand for full economic sanctions relief in return for some denuclearisation commitments – a deal the US was not willing to make.

Speaking after the talks on Thursday, Mr Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

But he said this could only be achieved through respect for international law.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world,” he said.

Mr Kim greeted Russian officials warmly when he arrived in Russia on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader was entertained by a brass band in Vladivostok before he got inside a car flanked by bodyguards, who – in now familiar scenes – jogged alongside the vehicle as it departed.

What do we know about the summit?

According to the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin believes the six-party talks on North Korea, which are currently stalled, are the only efficient way of addressing the issue of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

Those talks, which began in 2003, involve the two Koreas as well as China, Japan, Russia and the US.

“There are no other efficient international mechanisms at the moment,” Mr Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

“But, on the other hand, efforts are being made by other countries. Here all efforts merit support as long as they really aim at de-nuclearisation and resolving the problem of the two Koreas.”

What do both sides want?

This visit is being widely viewed as an opportunity for North Korea to show it has powerful allies following the breakdown of the talks with the US in February.

The country has blamed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the collapse of the Hanoi summit. Earlier this month North Korea demanded that Mr Pompeo be removed from nuclear talks, accusing him of “talking nonsense” and asking for someone “more careful” to replace him.

The summit is also an opportunity for Pyongyang to show that its economic future does not depend solely on the US. Mr Kim may try to put pressure on Moscow to ease sanctions.

Analysts say the summit is an opportunity for Russia to show that it is an important player on the Korean peninsula.

President Putin has been eager to meet the North Korean leader for quite some time. Yet amid the two Trump-Kim summits, the Kremlin has been somewhat sidelined.

Russia, like the US and China, is uncomfortable with North Korea being a nuclear state.

How close are Russia and North Korea?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union (of which Russia is the main successor state) maintained close military and trade links with its communist ally, North Korea, for ideological and strategic reasons.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, trade links with post-communist Russia shrank and North Korea leaned towards China as its main ally.

Under President Putin, Russia recovered economically and in 2014 he wrote off most of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt in a major goodwill gesture.

While it is arguable how much leverage Russia has with the North today, the communist state still regards it as one of the least hostile foreign powers.

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Putin meets Kim for the first time (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at the historic meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the city of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The meeting marks the first ever summit between the two leaders.

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Via RT…

Leaders of Russia and North Korea sat down for a historic summit in Vladivostok, expressing hope it will revive the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and talks on normalizing relations with the US.

The summit on Russky Island, just off Vladivostok, started a little late because President Vladimir Putin’s flight was delayed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had made the trip by train, arriving on Wednesday.

In brief public remarks before the talks, the two leaders expressed hope the summit will help move forward the reconciliation process in the Korean Peninsula. Putin welcomed Kim’s contributions to “normalizing relations” with the US and opening a dialogue with South Korea.

Kim said he hoped the Vladivostok summit would be a “milestone” in the talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but also build upon “traditionally friendly ties” between Russia and North Korea.

The North Korean leader also made a point of thanking Putin for flying all the way to Vladivostok for the meeting. The Far East Russian city is only 129 kilometers from the border with North Korea.

The historic summit takes place less than two months after Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi fell apart without a breakthrough on denuclearization. The US rejected North Korea’s request for partial sanctions relief in return for moves to dismantle nuclear and missile programs; Washington insists on full disarmament before any sanctions are removed.

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the main subject of the Kim-Putin summit, but there will also be talks about bilateral relations, trade, and humanitarian aid. The first one-on-one meeting is scheduled to last about an hour, followed by further consultations involving other government officials.

Following the summit, Putin is scheduled to visit China.


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Kim And Putin: Changing The State Of The Board In Korea

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.




Authored by Tom Luongo:

Today is a big day for Korea. The first face-to-face summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un takes place.

At the same time the 2nd annual Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing.

This meeting between Putin and Kim has been in the works for a while but rumors of it only surfaced last week. But don’t let the idea that this was put together at the last minute fool you.

It wasn’t.

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

I know that sounds bold. But hear me out.

And while no one seems to think this meeting is important or that anything of substance will come from it I do. It is exactly the kind of surprise that Putin loves to spring on the world without notice and by doing so change the board state of geopolitics.

  • Russia’s entrance into Syria in 2015, two days after Putin’s historic speech at the U.N. General Assembly
  • 2018’s State of the Union address where he announced hypersonic missiles, embarrassing the U.S. Militiary-Industrial Complex which accelerated the Bolton Doctrine of subjugating the world
  • Flying 2 TU-160 nuclear-armed bombers to Venezuela, creating panic in D.C. leading to the ham-fisted regime change operations there.
  • Nationalization of Yukos.
  • The operation to secure Crimea from U.S. invasion by marines aboard the U.S.S Donald Cook during the Ukrainian uprising against Viktor Yanukovich.

Both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping are angry at the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi back in February. It was clear that everyone expected that meeting to be a rubber stamp on a deal already agreed to by all parties involved.

In fact the two meetings between Kim and Trump were only possible because Trump convinced them of his sincerity to resolve the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea which would clear a path to rapid reunification.

It’s why they went along with the U.S.’s increased sanctions on North Korea as administered through the U.N. in 2017.

That John Bolton and Mike Pompeo destroyed those talks and Trump was unwilling or unable (who cares at this point, frankly, useless piece of crap that he is) to stop them embarrassed and betrayed them.

They are now done with Trump.

He’ll get nothing from either of them or Kim until Trump can prove he’s in charge of his administration, which he, clearly, is not.

And they will be moving forward with their own agenda for security and Asian economic integration. So I don’t think the timing of this meeting with that of the Belt and Road Forum is an accident.

And that means moving forward on solving the Korea problem without Trump.

It is clear from the rhetoric of Putin’s top diplomat, the irreplaceable Sergei Lavrov, that Russia’s patience is over. They are no longer interested in what Trump wants and they will now treat the U.S. as a threat, having upped their military stance towards the U.S. to that of “Threat.”

If Bolton wants anything from Russia at this point he best be prepared to start a war or piss off.

This is also why Russia took the gloves off with Ukraine in the run up to the Presidential elections, cutting off energy and machinery exports with Ukraine.

To put paid Putin’s growing impatience with U.S. policies, he just issued the order to allow residents of Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to apply for Russian passports.

This will send Bolton into apoplexy. Angela Merkel of Germany will be none too pleased either. Putin is now playing hardball after years of unfailing politeness.

It’s also why Lavrov finalized arms and port deals all over the Middle East in recent weeks, including those with Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and India.

Bolton, Pompeo and Pence are ideologues. Trump is a typical Baby Boomer, who lives in a bubble of his own design and believes in an America that never existed.

None of them truly understand the fires they are stoking and simply believe in the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to rule the world over a dim and barbaric world.

Putin, Xi, Rouhani in Iran and Kim in North Korea are pragmatic men. They understand the realities they live in. This is why I see Putin willing tomorrow to sit down with Kim and flaunt the U.N. sanctions and begin the investment process into North Korea that should have begun last year.

Putin would not be making these moves if he didn’t feel that Bolton was all bark and no bite when it came to actual war with Russia. He also knows that Germany needs him more than he needs Germany so despite the feet-dragging and rhetoric Nordstream 2 will go forward.

Trade is expanding between them despite the continued sanctions.

Putin may be willing to cut a deal with President-elect Zelensky on gas transit later in the year but only if the shelling of the LPR and DPR stops and he guarantees no more incidents in the Sea of Azov. This would also mollify Merkel a bit and make it easier for her politically to get Nordstream 2 over the finish line.

There are moments in history when people go too far. Bolton and Pompeo went too far in Hanoi. He will pay the price now. Putin and Kim will likely agree to something in Vladivostok that no one is expecting and won’t look like much at first.

But the reality is this summit itself marks a turning point in this story that will end with the U.S. being, in Trump’s transactional parlance, a “price taker” since it has so thoroughly failed at being a “price maker.”

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