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US, Britain, and allies seek to expand OPCW competencies

Because the Russians are ‘highly likely’ to be up to some really bad stuff

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Ever so convenient for the powers of the West which arm, fund, and run interference for terrorist organizations, which serve as their proxies as agents of destabilization, a special session for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is being held at the Hague for the purpose of outlining and granting it expanded competencies in the area of assigning definitive charges for the use of chemical weapons.

With recent chemical weapons attacks allegedly in Salisbury, UK, and Douma, Syria, but without any evidence materializing to that effect, with Russia being involved in both of them to some degree, it’s doggone important that some means to definitively assign the blame on the Russians and Syrians gets hammered out.

The Russians and Syrians simply can’t be allowed to exist in the world with such impunity, because they’re always up to some really bad stuff which is usually undermining freedom and democracy across the civilized world.

AFP reports:

Britain, the US and their allies squared off against Russia Tuesday in a high-stakes diplomatic battle seeking to empower the world’s global chemical watchdog with the authority to identify those behind toxic arms attacks.

The meeting opened in The Hague as inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are also expected to unveil soon a long-awaited report into an alleged sarin and chlorine gas attack in April in the Syrian town of Douma. Medics and rescuers say 40 people were killed.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was to head up his country’s delegation to a rare special session of the OPCW’s top policy-making body, and was due to address the session later in the day.

“We want to strengthen the Organisation entrusted with overseeing the ban on chemical weapons,” the British delegation said in a tweet.

“We want to empower the @OPCW to identify those responsible for chemical weapons attacks.”

London called the gathering of the OPCW’s state party members after the nerve agent attack in March on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English town of Salisbury, which Britain and its allies have blamed on Russia.

There has been growing international concern about repeated allegations of the use of poison gases in the Iraq and Syria conflicts, as well as alarm at the 2017 assassination of the North Korean leader’s half-brother in a rare nerve agent attack in Kuala Lumpur airport.

It is feared that use of deadly chemical weapons, first seen during World War I, is becoming gradually normalised due to the lack of any effective way of holding perpetrators to account.

– ‘No longer a Cold War body’ –

Opening the session, the conference chairman, Abdelouahab Bellouki, said, those responsible for chemical weapons attacks “need to be punished on the basis of true and strong evidence”.

“In spite of different and divergent positions and opinions, we are all committed to constructive cooperation… in order to rid once and for all the world of chemical weapons.”

Tensions ran high from the start Tuesday. It took three hours of a heated back-and-forth between the delegates of Russia, Syria and Iran joining forces against the representatives of the United States and Canada just to adopt the agenda.

The talks will move behind closed doors on Wednesday and possibly linger on until Thursday for a key vote on the British draft decision. It is only the fourth time in the body’s history that such a special session has been convened.

Russia has already denounced the meeting, and the head of the delegation, Georgy Kalamanov, said Moscow would not support Britain’s draft decision and will unveil its own, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

“We believe that the powers that Britain wants to give to the OPCW are the powers of the UN Security Council and this is the only body which has a right to make such decisions,” he said.

But others, including France and the United States, believe it is time the organisation’s role evolved.

“The mandate of the OPCW must be adapted to the challenges of the 21st century,” said a French diplomat ahead of the talks, asking not to be named.

“It was conceived in an entirely different context to independently verify the proper destruction by the major powers during the Cold War of their chemical weapons stocks.”

– ‘Culture of impunity’ –

A two-thirds majority, minus any abstentions, is needed for Britain’s draft to pass, with about 143 countries out of the OPCW’s 193 attending the meetings, according to an official count.

Russia was reportedly already working behind the scenes to defeat Britain’s proposal.

Moscow wielded its veto power at the UN Security Council to effectively kill off a previous joint UN-OPCW panel aimed at identifying those behind attacks in Syria.

Before its mandate expired in December, the panel known as the JIM (Joint Investigative Mechanism) had determined that the Syrian government used chlorine or sarin gas at least four times against its own civilians. The Islamic State group used mustard gas in 2015.

Outgoing OPCW head Ahmet Uzumcu has said the current situation of impunity is “unsustainable”, warning “a culture of impunity cannot be allowed to develop around the use of chemical weapons”

This would mean that the next time a staged chemical weapons attack takes place, the West can conduct some ‘precision’ strikes before the OPCW gets around to investigating it and then the OPCW can confirm that the strikes were legit because investigations can definitively determine that either the Russians or the Syrians were ‘highly likely’ to have been behind it.

 

 

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John MasonWayne BlowAkitGonzogalYou can call me Al Recent comment authors
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John Mason
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John Mason

No different to the UN is the OPCW, an institution set up to benefit the globe and like the UN has turned rogue. Russia should give the West a complete miss, get out of the OPCW, UN, they do not serve the purpose anymore, let the US and West have their institutions and save yourself the embarrassment.

Wayne Blow
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Wayne Blow

Just another “UN” fixed up “CLUB” for Nikki to lord over , eh, eh???

Akit
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Akit

Very odd since they take absolutely no notice of what the OPCW says anyway. I believe they openly declared that Syria was free of all chemical weapons in 2017. The Russian should demand to know what stockpiles of chemical weapons the US and Britain have got squirrelled away. More likely this is a meeting with one purpose only. To offer more bribery money for the OPCW to lie and ignore all the use of chemical weapons by western powers.

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal

“We want to empower the @OPCW to identify those responsible for chemical weapons attacks.”

And their panic when proof is given that THEY are responsible for cw attacks?! This MUST cut both ways, and there is more proof that THEY were responsible than Syria or Russia!

You can call me Al
Guest
You can call me Al

“Britain, the US and their allies squared off against Russia Tuesday in a high-stakes diplomatic battle seeking to empower the world’s global chemical watchdog with the authority to identify those behind toxic arms attacks.”…….. maybe they / we should be careful what we wish for. !!.

Breaking OPCW news 1: “UK supplies Syrian terrorists with chemicals”.
Breaking OPCW news 2: “No chemicals used in Salisbury UK”.

and so on and so on.

By the way – I am British and I am ashamed by the so called politicians allegedly running our dying nation.

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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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