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Furious China slams Trump’s UN speech on North Korea

Global Times editorial says US President Trump’s UN speech endangers peace in Korean Peninsula.

Alexander Mercouris

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Global Times, the unofficial English language voice of the Chinese government, has published a strongly worded editorial which makes clear China’s strong disapproval of the comments about North Korea made by US President Trump during his recent speech at the UN General Assembly.

In that speech US President Trump had these things to say about North Korea

The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based.  They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries.

If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.  When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.

No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea.  It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more.

We were all witness to the regime’s deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America only to die a few days later.  We saw it in the assassination of the dictator’s brother using banned nerve agents in an international airport.  We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea’s spies.

If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life.

It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.  No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles.

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.  Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.  The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.  That’s what the United Nations is all about; that’s what the United Nations is for.  Let’s see how they do.

It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its only acceptable future.  The United Nations Security Council recently held two unanimous 15-0 votes adopting hard-hitting resolutions against North Korea, and I want to thank China and Russia for joining the vote to impose sanctions, along with all of the other members of the Security Council.  Thank you to all involved.

But we must do much more.  It is time for all nations to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior.

This sort of existential language – talking of North Korea’s government as “evil”, bracketing it with a group of other “rogue regimes” (specifically Iran, Venezuela and Cuba) in a way eerily reminiscent of George W. Bush’s previous “Axis of Evil” speech, ridiculing Kim Jong-un (North Korea’s “Great Leader”) as “Rocket Man on a suicide mission”, and threatening North Korea with “total destruction” – is guaranteed to raise hackles in Beijing.

Beijing’s response is the editorial in Global Times, whose sentiments are summed up by its title

Trump’s UN address reduces hope of peace on Korean Peninsula

Global Times follows this up with the very first sentence of the editorial, which most unusually directly criticises Donald Trump (China, like Russia, generally avoids personal criticisms of foreign leaders)

US President Donald Trump vowed to “totally destroy North Korea” at his UN address Tuesday. This is not what one expects from a US president.

(bold italics added)

Having called President Trump “un-Presidential” Global Times goes on to say why

Trump’s anger toward Pyongyang is understandable. China firmly opposes North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and has joined the UN in sanctioning the country. But it’s increasingly clear that pressure alone cannot address Pyongyang’s nuclear issue and actions should be taken to alleviate tensions on the peninsula. Vowing to “destroy” North Korea, Trump’s UN remarks dampened public hopes for the US to ease the situation.

Facts prove Pyongyang won’t yield to pressure. Pushing North Korea to its limit may eventually trigger a bloody war.

Chinese and South Koreans strongly oppose war. “Totally destroying North Korea” would bring an ecological disaster unbearable to Northeast Asia, and Northeast China, Shandong peninsula and South Korea would all be engulfed by nuclear fallout. Thus the US president, instead of boasting of military strength, should try to avoid such a war.

Neighboring North Korea, China and South Korea naturally have different feelings from Washington about the “total destruction.” The US would be extremely selfish if it cannot understand Beijing’s and Seoul’s wish to peacefully address the issue.

If a nuclear war broke out, that would be a crime against Chinese and South Koreans by Pyongyang and Washington.

Eliminating potential security threats by war is crazy in the 21st century. The US may have the capability to destroy North Korea, but a peaceful solution would be the real victory.

Washington should address the North Korean conundrum in a way that conforms to the interests of all human beings, instead of pressuring and even destroying Pyongyang at the sacrifice of neighboring countries.

Confrontation between Pyongyang and Washington has escalated to a degree that we have never seen before. If Washington is worried about national security while possessing an overwhelming military advantage, then Pyongyang will only feel even more insecure. If the US President cannot calm down, how will the North Korean leader exercise restraint?

Washington is too obsessed with its strength. Its elites hold the view that as long as the US applies pressure to the full, it can crush any will that confronts the US. But the geopolitical rule tells us that some changes cannot be forced by threat of war. If the core interest of the other party is touched upon, it will mount a desperate resistance.

In other words, threatening North Korea with “total destruction” will not persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.  On the contrary it will make North Korea – which has acquired nuclear weapons because it feels threatened by the US – even more determined to hold onto them.

Worse still such language actually increases the danger of war, by making North Korea feel even more insecure, whilst at the same time making the “total destruction” of the “evil regime” of North Korea appear to be not just a US national security interest but even a moral duty.

As Global Times points out, such a war aiming at North Korea’s “total destruction” – which given North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons would be certain to go nuclear (that is what the words in the editorial about North Korea “mounting a desperate resistance” refer to) – would have utterly devastating consequences for the surrounding countries, first and foremost for China and South Korea.

The Global Times editorial in China’s usual way tries to balance its criticism of Donald Trump and of the US with criticism of North Korea.

Pyongyang must bear equal responsibility for the worsening situation. It’s a delusion if North Korea believes it can break the stalemate by advancing nuclear and missile technology. The world won’t accept North Korea as a legitimate nuclear state. There is no hope that it can overcome this view.

(bold italics added)

The point about these words however is that in a sense they are also a criticism of the US.  What the Chinese are saying is that the US and North Korea are as bad as each other.  Not only is that a claim which the US would vehemently reject.  It is one which by placing the US on the same level as North Korea (an “evil rogue regime”) the US is bound to see as insulting.

Behind these strong Chinese words one senses feelings of deep dismay.  How else to explain words like “crazy” and “Washington being too obsessed with its strength”?

Unlike Russia, which in the Arctic directly borders on the US, and which has to deal every day with NATO on its doorstep and with US regime change strategies and wars in its “near abroad” and in the Middle East not far from its borders, China has been protected from the worst effects of US foreign policy by the fact that it has no land border with any US ally and is separated from the US itself by the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

In addition, since the end of the Vietnam war in the 1970s, China’s neighbourhood in the Asia Pacific region unlike Europe and the Middle East has been for the US an area of only peripheral geostrategic interest.

The result is that the US has until recently left the Chinese alone, enabling them to build up their now massive economic position quietly by themselves.

That to a certain extent has made the Chinese complacent, so that every so often one comes across an article in the Chinese media which hints that the Russians by their actions have brought at least some of their problems with the US upon themselves.

In the Korean Peninsula and in the South China Sea the Chinese are now for the first time becoming exposed to the full weight of the aggressive and nihilistic maximalism of US foreign policy in the neocon era, which despite Donald Trump’s election victory it is now clear is still continuing.

The result is that the US threats of a total war in the Korean Peninsula with potentially catastrophic consequences for China and the rest of north east Asia have come as a shock.

Moreover the Chinese are undoubtedly aware that Donald Trump is not the only person in the US who is talking in this way, with persistent rumours that General H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s National Security Adviser, is one of those who along with Senator Lindsey Graham are pressing for a “solution” of the North Korean problem involving an armed attack on that country, with all the catastrophic that will follow in its wake.

The Chinese have already made it clear that they will defend North Korea if the US invades North Korea and tries to overthrow its government.

As the full implications of the dangerous turn of US policy sinks in, it is now a foregone conclusion that the Chinese will be focusing increasingly on building up their defences.

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Neil
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Neil

Good writing from Alexander and from Global Times.
Unlike the average Chinese person in the street, China’s leaders will not be surprised by US attitude.
US wants to borrow more money to increase it’s military spending to 700 Billion. US already owes a lot of money to Chinese investors. I wouldn’t lend them any more.

S.M. De Kuyper
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S.M. De Kuyper

They may not loan one cent more!

Matt Hol
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Matt Hol

i watch the TIC reports every month. And every month, the cowards in China bail the US out

stevek9
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stevek9

You, like many others mistake the nature of the financial relationship between China and the US. China does not ‘loan’ the US anything. What they stupidly do is run a huge trade surplus with the US. So, now they have dollars. What to do with them? They can just leave them in an account at the Fed, or they can buy Treasuries and earn more dollars … The Fed doesn’t care whether they buy them or not. There are usually plenty of takers, and if not the Fed buys the bills themselves. What China needs to do is stop trading… Read more »

Neil
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Neil

Of course you are correct but it comes to the same thing: China is left with US Treasury bonds which are devalued by US money-printing and may be worth very little when people start selling them in a hurry. Buying US bonds is effectively the same as lending the US money.
I agree completely with you that China should stop trading real good for numbers at the Fed, and running huge trade surpluses with US is stupid.
When China stops buying oil with dollars, the US will have very little to offer China.

S.M. De Kuyper
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S.M. De Kuyper

Furious China lashes out at USA…. I really see that President does not know what he is doing instead he is doing what he has been told to do. What he has been told to do, If I am right, is 100% wrong.

colum
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colum

Best thing for China to do is firstly have a word with Kim about Diplomacy (the kid really is in over his head) and knowing when to shut up. Next do a bit of growling at the US. When Kim becomes a bigger dog (a few more nukes to intimidate the US and a calmer, more mature attitude. Hell maybe a tourist industry (Saudis have one) and some less militaristic pet projects) he can growl back when the US is old and on it’s way out.

Helen B
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Helen B

… already there mate.

Matt Hol
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Matt Hol

Yeah yeah. China sucks at this. They will cry in their media about it. Then they will hand over 100’s of billions of dollars of their own money, to the US in the form of US treasury debt purchases.

Learn from Russia.

Amerikanisch
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Amerikanisch

Well, we gave them one-third of our manufacturing base. They ought to give us something. A loan that we have to pay back? Big F’ing deal!

George Orwell
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George Orwell

China and Russia are the US’s WATER CARRIERS. I despise especially Lavrov’s spineless comments designed apease the war criminal nation. It is obvious Russia is a hostage of the same Rothchild banks that fund both Russia’s and the UK’s Defense Industries. And “bad” behavior from Russia may cause that money to dry up at the detriment of Russia. China also has huge trade with both North America and Europe, and the American gangsters openly blackmail both nations exactly as the mobsters in NY/NJ/PA and Chicago do amongst themselves for turf. After all the US government is a collection of war… Read more »

Helen B
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Helen B

You mistake diplomatic language for being spineless. That’s because the West usually appoints retired or failed politicians or people they owe a favour to as diplomats.
Lavrov is a professional diplomat, and long may he remain. He and his rare ilk are the only hope for adult conversation at a diplomatic level. The bullying bluster of American presidentS … note plural … is just so tiresome.
Don’t mistake diplomacy for weakness though … BIG mistake.

Jermano
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Jermano

Here’s the rub. Kim’s missile firing hits Japan because of a malfunction, and the US unleashes the fury of retaliation, destroying N.Korea. Very stupid, to continue provocations. My advice if Kim wants nukes, is become a New Province of China, and be under their Security umbrella. China handles the nuke security, now Kim can take care of his province Economy. No more provocations, or possible malfunction or accidents. And no more senseless arguing. I know Kim’s father would not be behaving like his son. And it will shut up President Dotard. A good thing.

Helen B
Guest
Helen B

Here’s the real rub. Korea has an independent history and civilisation of over 6,000 years. America is a Johnny-come-lately rag tag 400+ year old nation that perpetrated genocide against the original inhabitants of its land, couldn’t even live together in peace, and have been stirring up wars somewhere on the planet ever since. Born in violence, lives in violence, is entertained by violence and sees only violence as the solution to getting its own way. KJU saw what happened to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria … if you can’t defend yourself against US aggression, you will end up the same.… Read more »

Jermano
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Jermano

Dear Helen, I know all about N. Korean History. And I agree with you on the founding of the US Government. I have written articles about it. I have even written about the fraud of American Universities. Consider that we as a society have no deterrent really. And it matters not where you go, we are already home. Have you noticed that the Super Powers don’t do nuclear test any more? Why? Because it does havoc to the Environment. Detonation of Atomic Bombs there is no escape from where it is done. Underground? You think it is safe? No it’s… Read more »

Helen B
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Helen B

I doubt they will subsume their sovereignty to China, but the proposition by Russia of a Russia-China-NK-SK (and possibly Japan) co-operation zone seems to me the best option. Russia is, as ever, the adult in the room. SK’ns still talk of when NK and SK are re-united: it’s only the US that keeps them apart. Common sense would indicate that 60 years after the end of the “Korean War”, and 72 years after Japan was bludgeoned by 2 nuclear blasts, there is no valid reason for the US’s presence in the far east. As I have said before, NK is… Read more »

Jermano
Guest
Jermano

Russia’s idea will not work. N. Korea wants Nuclear Protection, and a cooperation zone is too muddy, just like the EU Zone a bloody farce.. They trust China more than Russia. China shares the greater N. Korean Border. Economic ideas are fine and dandy, but N. Korea wants Nuke Protection, and their best option is with and through China. The greater achievement is to get them to stop testing, and stop the radiation contamination factors.

Andrew Earl
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Andrew Earl

The scourge of our planet is the USA.

Helen B
Guest
Helen B

“This is not what one expects from a US president.”
Really?
This exactly what we have come to expect. The Bushes, Clinton, Obomba & Killary … sounds just like any one of them.
Doesn’t surprise me one jot.

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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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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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Crimea: The Geopolitical Jewel Russia Continues to Polish

As Putin continues to polish his Black Sea jewel, Europe has to decide if it is going to continue playing the U.S’s games over Ukraine or begin the next phase of its independence.

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Authored by Tom Luongo via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


With all that is happening in the world Crimea has taken a bit of a backseat recently. Yes, the US, EU and Canada just added more sanctions on Russia via the odious Magnitsky legislation but this is inconsequential.

There’s been a flurry of good news coming out of Crimea and the Black Sea recently that bears discussion. Let’s start with the most important. President Vladimir Putin was in Crimea earlier this week to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the peninsula’s reunification with Russia. There he also officially inaugurated two major upgrades to Crimea’s power grid.

Located in Simferopol and Sevastopol, two new power plants will produce 940 megawatts and secure Crimea’s energy needs for now and into the future.

Power has been Crimea’s Achilles’ heel since breaking off from Ukraine in 2014. It received almost 90% of its power from the mainland. In November 2015, the trunk lines into Crimea were sabotaged by Ukrainian nationalist radicals, encouraged by President Petro Poroshenko plunging it into darkness as winter took hold.

Does this sound familiar? A place that defies US edicts geopolitically is first hit with a full trade embargo, sanctions and threatened militarily by proxies before having its electricity shut off?

*Cough* Venezuela *Cough*

And there are reports that the US has game-planned a similar fate for Iran as well. For Crimea it was easy because of the single-point-of-failure, the trunks from the mainland. For Venezuela it was as well, with the Guri dam, which affected nearly 70 percent of the country.

So, Putin timing the fifth anniversary of reunification with the announcement of the plants moving to full operational status was yet another smooth bit of international political maneuvering.

A not-so-subtle poke in the eye of the Gang Who Can’t Sanction Straight in D.C. as well as lame duck Poroshenko. Elections are at the end of the month and this celebration by Russia and Crimea will not sit well with many Ukrainians, especially the diaspora here in the US which is virulently anti-Putin in my experience.

Secure and stable power generation is a hallmark of a first world territory. Without that economic growth and stability are impossible. This is why to first help stabilize the situation in Crimea after the blackout Russia brought in 400 MW of power across the Kerch Strait from Krasnodor.

Tying Crimea to the mainland via the Kerch Strait bridge was a masterstroke by Putin. The initial power lines were simply a necessity. For those that complain he isn’t doing enough to counter US and European aggression need only look at the Kerch Strait bridge.

Not only did the Russians not seek international approval given the nearly universal refusal to recognize Crimea as Russian they built the thing in a time frame that defies description.

Imagine if this had been an EU project. They would still be debating the initial engineering plans and the political effects on some protected minority.

Not only does it open up the Eastern Black Sea to trade via Crimea but it ends the use of the Sea of Azov as a potential staging ground for naval provocations as last fall’s incident proved. Ukraine is cut off from acting aggressively and cannot count on any help from the US and Europe.

Moreover, Crimea is now permanently Russia’s. And every bit of infrastructure Russia builds there ties the two further together and weakens any bonds Crimea had with Ukraine. The resultant growth and modernization will make its way, economically and culturally back into southern Ukraine and erode the hard border over time.

This is far more important than striking out and metaphorically punching Poroshenko in the mouth, that many of Putin’s detractors wish for.

Presidents change, after all. Patience and attrition is how you beat an aggressive, distant enemy like the US

To remind everyone just how insane the Trump White House has become on matters international, no less than Vice President Mike Pence lobbied Germany to provoke another naval incident at the Kerch Strait.

If there was ever an example of how little Trump’s gang of moldy neocons think of Europe it is this bit of news. In effect, Pence was saying, “We can’t start a war with Russia because it would go nuclear, but you can because Russia can’t live without your trade.”

This coming after the US unilaterally pulled out of the INF treaty and is now flying nuclear bombers to eastern Europe. The message is clear. If the EU doesn’t get with this open-ended belligerent program against Russia and China of John Bolton’s they will be the ones paying the price when chaos breaks out.

On the other side there is Putin; building bridges, pipelines, power plants and roads.

He’s making it clear what the future holds not only for Europe but the Middle East, central Asia and India. We will defend Crimea at all costs, develop it not only into a tourist destination but also a major trade hub as well.

You are more than welcome to join us. But, we don’t need you.

These power plants will raise Crimea’s power output well beyond its current needs, allowing first export of power as well as providing the foundation for future growth.

And as if it weren’t coordinated in any way, the Chinese, on the morning of Putin’s speech, announced that Crimea would be an excellent fit for investment projects attached to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

That’s according to the head of the association of Chinese compatriots on the peninsula, Ge Zhili. “Our organization is bolstering cooperation ties, exchanges and friendly contacts with the Crimean society,” he said at an event dedicated to the fifth anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia, which was held in the Russian Embassy in Beijing on Monday.

It is also ready to contribute to the establishment of “reliable partner ties” and the explanation of legal details of business cooperation with Crimea, Ge Zhili said. “The Chinese society hopes for the development of friendly cooperation with Crimea; we are ready to overcome difficulties for fruitful results.”

Again this is a direct challenge to the US who has Crimea under strict sanctions in the West. China is happy now to move forward with integrating Crimea into its plans. It’s just another example of how Russia and China simply ignore Trump’s fulminations and move on.

I can’t wait until I get to write this article all over again, this time about North Korea, now that Bolton has thrown Russian and Chinese assistance in getting North Korea to the negotiating table back in their face by destroying the Hanoi talks.

This announcement is not to be underestimated given that Chinese Premier Xi Jinping is in Rome this week to open up relations with the new Italian government. Five Star Movement’s Leader Luigi Di Maio said he would welcome becoming a part of BRI, much to the consternation of Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as his coalition partner Lega Leader Matteo Salvini.

It’s already well known that Salvini is interested in ending sanctions on Crimea and re-opening trade with Russia. Italy is desperate for new markets and opportunities, currently stifled under the euro itself as well as Germany’s insistence on austerity hollowing out Italy’s economy and its future prospects.

These issues as well as energy security ones are coming to a head this year with Brexit, the European Parliamentary elections in May and the completion of the Nordstream 2 pipeline later this year.

As Putin continues to polish his Black Sea jewel, Europe has to decide if it is going to continue playing the U.S’s games over Ukraine or begin the next phase of its independence. Salvini will lead a Euroskeptic revolt within the European Parliament in May. It may be big enough to finally defy Merkel and end EU sanctions on Russia over Crimea.

At that point the US will also have a choice, burn down the world economy with even more sanctions, tariffs and acts of war or accept the facts on the ground.

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