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Damned if you do: US Treasury slaps new sanctions on Russian, Chinese firms over North Korea

Despite cooperating with Washington on new sanctions on the DPRK, Russia and China have been targeted by a new round themselves

Ricky Twisdale

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The support lent by Russia and China at the UN security council for new sanctions against North Korea, apparently has not paid off.

On Tuesday, Steven Mnuchin’s Treasury Department slapped a new set of sanctions on Russian and Chinese firms, allegedly for doing business with Pyongyang.

That’s despite the 15-0 vote in the security council earlier this month, which Beijing and Moscow made possible.

Fresh off the wires from Reuters:

The United States on Tuesday imposed new North Korea-related sanctions, targeting Chinese and Russian firms and individuals for supporting Pyongyang’s weapons programs, but stopped short of an anticipated focus on Chinese banks.

The U.S. Treasury designated six Chinese-owned entities, one Russian, one North Korean and two based in Singapore. They included a Namibia-based subsidiary of a Chinese company and a North Korean entity operating in Namibia.

The sanctions also targeted six individuals – four Russians, one Chinese and one North Korean.

Reportedly, the Chinese government reaction has been a swift condemnation, with Beijing demanding that Washington “immediately correct its mistake” by repealing the sanctions.

So far, the Kremlin has not responded to this latest US measure targeting its economy.

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AM Hants
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AM Hants

Washington DC are not the brightest bulbs in the box. How are they going to handle it when all the sanctioned nations work and trade together, completely bypassing the $USD? Have they not noticed how the sanctions are backfiring on them?

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

lol. It’s wonderful to be sitting on the outside and watching the inside continually shooting itself in the foot, isn’t it? I dont believe they see a single thing of reality AM. It’s truly schizophrenic. That mental condition is defined as being “an inability to discern reality, the tell the difference between reality and self generated illusions / delusions”. What else is it they are doing? I feel as if I’m watching an old Jerry Lewis movie sometimes – you know, the goofy twit the audience laughs at, who can’t get a thing right!! As for any surprise at being… Read more »

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

Have you noticed that Washington DC has shut up about Russia, but, is now focused on going for China?

Afghanistan, one of the reasons is to interfere with Pakistan and China working together.

Peter Hallam
Guest
Peter Hallam

I don’t think they have forgotten about Russia. Don’t forget all the turmoil they’ve fomented in Ukraine. And now they are building a naval base there even though it is on contravention of some laws of the sea or the agreement the nations that boarder the black sea have. When America is quiet, its because the are up to something and are hoping not to draw attention to it. I said similar in another post here at The Duran or over at Russia Insider. What bothers me is if other nations decide to toe the line and go along with… Read more »

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Yes, I’m wondering if they had a hand in fostering some of the China : India spat along the border right now, too; They keep doing all they know to do. They can’t see that it doesn’t work anymore, the world is increasingly getting to see through their tricks and lies. It’s almost embarrassing, like the guy who insist on telling the same lie when he can see everyone has seen the truth. I think, deep down, Washington is more scared of China than it is of Russia. Xi will tell them very abruptly what to do with themselves and… Read more »

TravelAbout
Guest
TravelAbout

It’s like watching a circular firing squad 🙂

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

LOL and a nice line.

Simon
Guest
Simon

So, coal companies in China have been sanctioned for helping NK’s ballistic missile program, but not Yuzhmash Ukraine……fascinating.
Every week the US announces new sanctions on someone and there are 2 choices – pay attention or not.
‘NOT’ is what is happening. The world has grown bored of the U S A.

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Actually, so that’ so spot on Simon. I feel it too. I read “US has imposed sanctions…..” and the faint stir of emotion is just that. Bored, bored.

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

Good observation.

SFC Steven M Barry USA RET
Guest
SFC Steven M Barry USA RET

Typical US foreign policy… nothing but lies and duplicity.

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

What I do not understand is why is the Pro-Israel US Lobby behind the sanctions? They do nought for the people of Israel of the people of the US, but, are freaking out about Russia? Look at the HR 1644 Bill, which was the precursor and who finances the writers and supporters. The US Bill H.R. 1644 to kill Russian food export and Chinese trade Authors of the Bill Edward Randall “Ed” Royce, a member of the United States House of Representatives for California’s 39th congressional district, is listed as the main author of this bill. Edward R. Royce is… Read more »

Aussie battler
Guest
Aussie battler

The Russians and the Chinese have to realise the US
Is now full spectrum war footing against them.

seby
Guest
seby

from Moon of Alabama If the Trump administration insist of holding up these sanction China and Russia will obviously become negligent in controlling the sanctions imposed on North Korea. Why should they hold to their side of the deal, at great costs, when the U.S. does not hold up its side? They will also stop at making any further deals with the Trump administration. It has now proven to be just as lying and cheating as the Obama administration has been. The U.S. can forget about ANY further action or sanctions at the UN. This as extremely shortsighted and stupid… Read more »

Aussie battler
Guest
Aussie battler

Exactly Seby,the rest of the World will just view the
US as a totally unreliable rogue State!.

seby
Guest
seby

As others have said on this thread, I think the days of the $US as international trading currency are very numbered. The only reason at present, the world is putting up with the john wayne horse’s arse behaviour.

seby
Guest
seby

Excellent analysis on all this here, despite some typos.

“….It is not entirely wrong to say that the American unipolar moment is coming to an end, with the deep state’s attacks on the Trump presidency preventing any rapprochement with Moscow. The stronger the pressure of the deep state on the multipolar powers, the greater the speed with which the advance of the multipolar world will replace the unipolar one. Early effects will appear in the economic sphere, particularly in relation to movement towards de-dollarisation, which may mark the beginning of a long-awaited change.” https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/08/22/how-us-deep-state-accidentally-forged-multipolar-world-order.html

lmimkac
Guest
lmimkac

They must be under medications to trust the West in any way…. Paul Craig Roberts is right, there is something wrong there…

Andrew Earl
Guest
Andrew Earl

it may be a good thing, after so many sanctions the US will find itself not trading with anyone, and everyone else trading with each other, its commonly known as shooting tourself in the foot.

Anthony Enos Wicher
Guest
Anthony Enos Wicher

The U.S. Congress is made up of morons and crooks.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Practice makes perfect.

Latest

Is this man the puppet master of Ukraine’s new president or an overhyped bogeyman?

Smiling to himself, Kolomoisky would be within his rights to think that he has never had it so good.

RT

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By

Via RT…


It doesn’t actually matter if Ukrainian-Israeli billionaire Igor Kolomoisky is the real power behind Volodymyr Zelensky – the president elect has to get rid of the oligarch if he is to make a break with the country’s corrupt past.

The plots, deceits and conflicts of interest in Ukrainian politics are so transparent and hyperbolic, that to say that novice politician Zelensky was a protégé of his long-time employer was not something that required months of local investigative journalism – it was just out there.

Zelensky’s comedy troupe has been on Kolomoisky’s top-rated channel for the past eight years, and his media asset spent every possible resource promoting the contender against incumbent Petro Poroshenko, a personal enemy of the tycoon, who hasn’t even risked entering Ukraine in the past months.

Similarly, the millions and the nous needed to run a presidential campaign in a country of nearly 50 million people had to come from somewhere, and Kolomoisky’s lieutenants were said to be in all key posts. The two issued half-hearted denials that one was a frontman for the other, insisting that they were business partners with a cordial working relationship, but voters had to take their word for it.

Now that the supposed scheme has paid off with Zelensky’s spectacular victory in Sunday’s run-off, Ukrainian voters are asking: what does Kolomoisky want now, and will he be allowed to run the show?

‘One-of-a-kind chancer’

Born in 1963, in a family of two Jewish engineers, Kolomoisky is the type of businessman that was once the staple of the post-Soviet public sphere, but represents a dying breed.

That is, he is not an entrepreneur in the established Western sense at all – he did not go from a Soviet bloc apartment to Lake Geneva villas by inventing a new product, or even setting up an efficient business structure in an existing field.

Rather he is an opportunist who got wealthy by skilfully reading trends as the Soviet economy opened up – selling Western-made computers in the late 1980s – and later when independent Ukraine transitioned to a market economy and Kolomoisky managed to get his hands on a large amount of privatisation vouchers that put many of the juiciest local metals and energy concerns into his hands, which he then modernised.

What he possesses is a chutzpah and unscrupulousness that is rare even among his peers. Vladimir Putin once called him a “one-of-a-kind chancer” who managed to “swindle [Chelsea owner] Roman Abramovich himself.” In the perma-chaos of Ukrainian law and politics, where all moves are always on the table, his tactical acumen has got him ahead.

Kolomoisky’s lifeblood is connections and power rather than any pure profit on the balance sheet, though no one actually knows how that would read, as the Privat Group he part-owns is reported to own over 100 businesses in dozens of Ukrainian spheres through a complex network of offshore companies and obscure intermediaries (“There is no Privat Group, it is a media confection,” the oligarch himself says, straight-faced.)

Unsurprisingly, he has been dabbling in politics for decades, particularly following the first Orange Revolution in 2004. Though the vehicles for his support have not been noted for a particular ideological consistency – in reportedly backing Viktor Yushchenko, then Yulia Tymoshenko, he was merely putting his millions on what he thought would be a winning horse.

Grasp exceeds reach

But at some point in the post-Maidan euphoria, Kolomoisky’s narcissism got the better of him, and he accepted a post as the governor of his home region of Dnepropetrovsk, in 2014.

The qualities that might have made him a tolerable rogue on TV, began to grate in a more official role. From his penchant for using the political arena to settle his business disputes, to creating his own paramilitary force by sponsoring anti-Russian battalions out of his own pocket, to his somewhat charmless habit of grilling and threatening to put in prison those less powerful than him in fits of pique (“You wait for me out here like a wife for a cheating husband,” begins a viral expletive-strewn rant against an overwhelmed Radio Free Europe reporter).

There is a temptation here for a comparison with a Donald Trump given a developing country to play with, but for all of the shenanigans, his ideological views have always been relatively straightforward. Despite his Russia-loathing patriotism, not even his fans know what Kolomoisky stands for.

The oligarch fell out with fellow billionaire Poroshenko in early 2015, following a battle over the control of a large oil transport company between the state and the governor. The following year, his Privat Bank, which at one point handled one in four financial transactions in the country was nationalized, though the government said that Kolomoisky had turned it into a mere shell by giving $5 billion of its savings to Privat Group companies.

Other significant assets were seized, the government took to London to launch a case against his international companies, and though never banished, Kolomoisky himself decided it would be safer if he spent as long as necessary jetting between his adopted homes in Switzerland and Tel Aviv, with the occasional trip to London for the foreseeable future.

But the adventurer falls – and rises again. The London case has been dropped due to lack of jurisdiction, and only last week a ruling came shockingly overturning the three-year-old nationalization of Privat Bank.

Smiling to himself, Kolomoisky would be within his rights to think that he has never had it so good.

Own man

Zelensky must disabuse him of that notion.

It doesn’t matter that they are friends. Or what handshake agreements they made beforehand. Or that he travelled to Geneva and Tel-Aviv 13 times in the past two years. Or what kompromat Kolomoisky may or may not have on him. It doesn’t matter that his head of security is the man who, for years, guarded the oligarch, and that he may quite genuinely fear for his own safety (it’s not like nothing bad has ever happened to Ukrainian presidents).

Volodymyr Zelensky is now the leader of a large country, with the backing of 13.5 million voters. It is to them that he promised a break with past bribery, graft and cronyism. Even by tolerating one man – and one who makes Poroshenko look wholesome – next to him, he discredits all of that. He will have the support of the people if he pits himself against the puppet master – no one would have elected Kolomoisky in his stead.

Whether the oligarch is told to stay away, whether Ukraine enables the financial fraud investigation into him that has been opened by the FBI, or if he is just treated to the letter of the law, all will be good enough. This is the first and main test, and millions who were prepared to accept the legal fiction of the independent candidate two months ago, will now want to see reality to match. Zelensky’s TV president protagonist in Servant of the People – also broadcast by Kolomoisky’s channel, obviously, would never have compromised like that.

What hinges on this is not just the fate of Zelensky’s presidency, but the chance for Ukraine to restore battered faith in its democracy shaken by a succession of compromised failures at the helm.

Igor Ogorodnev

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Latest

Roger Waters – The People’s Champion for Freedom

In February 2019, Waters showed his support for the Venezuelan Maduro government and continues to be totally against US regime change plans there.

Richard Galustian

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Submitted by Richard Galustian 

Roger Waters is one of Britain’s most successful and talented musicians and composers but more importantly is an outstanding champion for freedom in the world, beyond compare to any other artist turned political activist.

By way of background, he co-founded the rock band Pink Floyd in 1965.

A landmark turning point of his political activism occurred in 1990, when Waters staged probably the largest rock concert in history, ‘The Wall – Live in Berlin’, with an attendance of nearly half a million people.

In more recent years Waters famously narrated the 2016 documentary ‘The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States’ about the insidious influence of Zionist Israel to shape American public opinion.

Waters has been an outspoken critic of America’s Neocons and particularly Donald Trump and his policies.

In 2017, Waters condemned Trump’s plan to build a wall separating the United States and Mexico, saying that his band’s iconic famous song, ‘The Wall’ is as he put it “very relevant now with Mr. Trump and all of this talk of building walls and creating as much enmity as possible between races and religions.”

In February 2019, Waters showed his support for the Venezuelan Maduro government and continues to be totally against US regime change plans there, or any place else for that matter.

Here below is a must see recent Roger Waters interview, via satellite from New York, where he speaks brilliantly, succinctly and honestly, unlike no other celebrity, about FREEDOM and the related issues of the day.

The only other artist turned activist, but purely for human rights reasons, as she is apolitical, is the incredible Carla Ortiz.

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ISIS Says Behind Sri Lanka Bombings; Was ‘Retaliation’ For New Zealand Mosque Massacre

ISIS’s claim couldn’t be confirmed and the group has been  known to make “opportunistic” claims in the past, according to WaPo. 

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Via Zerohedge…


Shortly after the death toll from Sunday’s Easter bombings in Sri Lanka climbed above the 300 mark, ISIS validated the Sri Lankan government’s suspicions that a domestic jihadi organization had help from an international terror network while planning the bombings were validated when ISIS took credit for the attacks.

The claim was made via a report from ISIS’s Amaq news agency. Though the group has lost almost all of the territory that was once part of its transnational caliphate, ISIS now boasts cells across the Muslim world, including in North Africa and elsewhere. Before ISIS took credit for the attack, a Sri Lankan official revealed that Sunday’s attacks were intended as retaliation for the killing of 50 Muslims during last month’s mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand.

However, the Sri Lankan government didn’t offer any evidence for that claim, or the claim that Sunday’s attacks were planned by two Islamic groups (though that now appears to have been substantiated by ISIS’s claim of responsibility). The group is believed to have worked with the National Tawheed Jamaath, according to the NYT.

“The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch,” State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene told the Parliament.

Meanwhile, the number of suspects arrested in connection with the attacks had increased to 40 from 24 as of Tuesday. The government had declared a national emergency that allowed it sweeping powers to interrogate and detain suspects.

On Monday, the FBI pledged to send agents to Sri Lanka and provide laboratory support for the investigation.

As the death toll in Sri Lanka climbs, the attack is cementing its position as the deadliest terror attack in the region.

  • 321 (as of now): Sri Lanka bombings, 2019
  • 257 Mumbai attacks, 1993
  • 189 Mumbai train blasts, 2006 166 Mumbai attacks, 2008
  • 151 APS/Peshawar school attack, 2014
  • 149 Mastung/Balochistan election rally attack, 2018

Meanwhile, funeral services for some of the bombing victims began on Tuesday.

Even before ISIS took credit for the attack, analysts told the Washington Post that its unprecedented violence suggested that a well-financed international organization was likely involved.

The bombings on Sunday, however, came with little precedent. Sri Lanka may have endured a ghastly civil war and suicide bombings in the past – some credit the Tamil Tigers with pioneering the tactic – but nothing of this scale. Analysts were stunned by the apparent level of coordination behind the strikes, which occurred around the same time on both sides of the country, and suggested the attacks carried the hallmarks of a more international plot.

“Sri Lanka has never seen this sort of attack – coordinated, multiple, high-casualty – ever before, even with the Tamil Tigers during the course of a brutal civil war,” Alan Keenan, a Sri Lanka expert at the International Crisis Group, told the Financial Times. “I’m not really convinced this is a Sri Lankan thing. I think the dynamics are global, not driven by some indigenous debate. It seems to me to be a different kind of ballgame.”

Hinting at possible ISIS involvement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a Monday press conference that “radical Islamic terror” remained a threat even after ISIS’s defeats in Syria.

Of course, ISIS’s claim couldn’t be confirmed and the group has been  known to make “opportunistic” claims in the past, according to WaPo. The extremist group said the attacks were targeting Christians and “coalition countries” and were carried out by fighters from its organization.

Speculation that the government had advanced warning of the attacks, but failed to act amid a power struggle between the country’s president and prime minister, unnerved citizens and contributed to a brewing backlash. Following the bombings, schools and mass had been canceled until at least Monday, with masses called off “until further notice.”

 

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