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EU’s sanctions against Crimea extended for another year

How this jives with democracy is anyone’s guess

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The European Union is committing to its policy of perceiving revolutionary determination as its course of legitimacy. Apparently, a referendum gaining nearly 100% popular support isn’t sufficient to qualify for the self determination of a region. Therefore, the EU will continue to consider the Crimea as politically a part of the Ukraine. This, of course, means that the EU has reason for its sanctions regime against Crimea, which it will be extending for yet another year.

Deutsche Welle reports:

The European Union extended economic sanctions on Crimea and its port city of Sevastopol on Monday. The 28-member bloc imposed the measures after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula four years ago.

The EU said it remains “firmly committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” reiterating that “it does not recognize and continues to condemn this violation of international law.”

The measures — which will now stay in place until June 23, 2019 — ban the import of products originating in Crimea. They also prevent EU nationals or companies based in the bloc from investing or buying real estate in Crimea and Sevastopol, and ban EU cruise ships from docking there, except in an emergency.

The move comes three weeks after French lawmakers voted in favor of a resolution to lift parallel sanctions targeting Russia — currently set to expire at the end of next month — over its role in an ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. “(The sanctions are) totally ineffective today to solve this international crisis and are dangerous for France’s interests,” said conservative MP Thierry Mariani, who put forward the resolution.

Some French lawmakers also highlighted the importance of forming an “alliance” with Russia to fight the “Islamic State”, a common enemy, and find a solution to the Syrian conflict.

The general idea is that Crimea, now considered Russian territory by Moscow, isn’t responsible for its present predicament, and that Russia is the one to blame for the sanctions. EU hits someone with sanctions and points the finger elsewhere. The West, therefore, loves to create economic hardship on citizens of certain nations in an effort to stir up popular discontent against its government which the West then hopes to employ its efforts to control a method of regime change, commonly referred to as ‘color revolutions’. How this jives with democracy is anyone’s guess, as it appears to violate democratic processes going and coming.

 

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Red Pilled ThoughtCrimestomRussGRadical PragmatistIsabella Jones Recent comment authors
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Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes
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Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes

meh sanctions.. eu r toothless

tom
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tom

“How this jives with democracy is anyone’s guess”.

The word is “jibes”. I recommend an English dictionary – or you can look one up online. It’s not hard. If you go on using words at random, sooner or later your articles will become completely incomprehensible.

tom
Guest
tom

If the EU doesn’t accept the legality of Crimea’s decision to secede from Ukraine and return to Russia, does it accept the legality of the American colonists’ self-interested rebellion against their legal government in London? Or does that get a pass under one of the two great overriding moral principles:

1. It happened a long time ago.

2. It was done by friends of ours so it doesn’t count.

tom
Guest
tom

Incidentally, the Ukraine has never been a legal state. Until 1991 it was part of the Russian Empire, then part of the USSR. A group of ruffians in Kiev announced that Ukraine had become an independent nation in July 1991 – six months before the USSR dissolved itself.

Since Ukraine’s secession from the USSR and its successor state, the Russian Federation, was illegal, Crimea – like the rest of Ukraine – has always been part of Russia.

RussG
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RussG

I had hopes for some sensibility from the EU, but those hopes are now dashed. I guess they are still a bunch of stupid US vassals.

Radical Pragmatist
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Radical Pragmatist

The per capita GDP of basket case Ukraine was only 1/3 of Russia and Poland before the U.S. instigated Maidan fiasco. The people of Crimea would not accede to a return to Ukraine authority even if Russia tried to simply hand it back.

Moreover, the U.S. “self-determined” the breakup of Yugoslavia with that inspired chaos and Nitwit Joe Biden and other U.S. political hacks ruminated about partitioning Iraq in 2009. So in other words, the U.S. has no problem breaking up countries when it sees fit.

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones

“…..Crimea, now considered Russian territory by Moscow,………” Rather more to the point Mr. Sellars — Crimea is now, and indeed has always been, considered Russian territory – by Crimea. Moscow is in no way “at fault” for Crimea being formally and legally announced to be part of Russia. This was done in response to a referendum and vote conducted by the Crimean people. You write as though the EU is being unfair to Crimea in applying sanctions to her, because it was Russia [i.e. Moscow, i.e. Kremlin, i.e. Putin ] which is the guilty party which enforced the situation on… Read more »

Andrew Orr
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Andrew Orr

This might make sense if Russia was holding Crimea against its will.

Gio Con
Guest
Gio Con

Apparently Israel is the only imperialist nation that’s allowed to annex other people’s land without getting sanctioned.

Wayne Blow
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Wayne Blow

God-damned gutless, chicken-assed, weaklings, need some one to wipe your asses eh ??? How can any one in the “FREE” world respect you pompous asses, you have zero integrity !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John Mason
Guest
John Mason

Thought that Italy was going to appose further sanctions against Crimea. Italian new government mentioned their opposition to sanctions not long ago, well the Italians have been known to be all bluster and talk with very limited action.

ColinNZ
Guest
ColinNZ

The EU are only accelerating their own demise … I suspect many senior Russian political figures are enjoying the show.

Thraxite
Guest
Thraxite

The Russian Foreign Office should start emphatically stating that the reciprical sanctions will not be removed until 12months after the EU sanctions are removed. So that the Wests’ farmers know that they will have a whole extra year of suffering after western sanctions are removed, this may cause some blow back at home and if it doesn’t then really who cares? Obviously not their own governments!

VeeNarian (Yerevan)
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VeeNarian (Yerevan)

It is crystal clear that both Banderised Ukraine and enslaved EU suffer from the same affliction as a result of the mysterious forces of exceptionalism, supremacism, expansionsm and racism. These are deep animal instincts that prevent logical higher order thinking. These political animals have to be trained by simple methods that work on real live animals. There is no need and no chance for Crimea to be recognised as Russian land. Like some mindless animal on the hunt they are still salivating at the thought of possessing Crimea and outraged that Crimea returned Russia in 2014. Consider this: will the… Read more »

Lisa Miller
Guest
Lisa Miller

Take a look at the date; timing is everything. 1991. Even before Bubba.

HappyCynic
Guest
HappyCynic

Luckily, Ukraine heeded Putin’s warning not to start an invasion of Donbass during the World Cup, but they’re eventually going to invade Donbass, They’re as dumb as Saakashvili was in shelling Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia (how’d that work out for Georgia? 🙂

André De Koning
Guest
André De Koning

Kosovo did not even need a referendum to be made into a state, while Crimea did and already had a level of autonomy and a government at a time when there was no legal government in Ukraine (even the voting did not meet the numbers after the coup and threat to kill the President.
Russia is doing well in diversifying under the sanctions (extorrtions,as they are not legal, only the UNSC can impose such sanctions).

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

Fak the EU.

ke4ram
Guest
ke4ram

Considering the unelected European Commission one can understand why they don’t accept the vote of the Crimean’s.

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Foreign Banks Are Embracing Russia’s Alternative To SWIFT, Moscow Says

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative.

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Via Zerohedge


On Friday, one day after Russia and China pledged to reduce their reliance on the dollar by increasing the amount of bilateral trade conducted in rubles and yuan (a goal toward which much progress has already been made over the past three years), Russia’s Central Bank provided the latest update on Moscow’s alternative to US-dominated international payments network SWIFT.

Moscow started working on the project back in 2014, when international sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea inspired fears that the country’s largest banks would soon be cut off from SWIFT which, though it’s based in Belgium and claims to be politically neutral, is effectively controlled by the US Treasury.

Today, the Russian alternative, known as the System for Transfer of Financial Messages, has attracted a modest amount of support within the Russian business community, with 416 Russian companies having joined as of September, including the Russian Federal Treasury and large state corporations likeGazprom Neft and Rosneft.

And now, eight months after a senior Russian official advised that “our banks are ready to turn off SWIFT,” it appears the system has reached another milestone in its development: It’s ready to take on international partners in the quest to de-dollarize and end the US’s leverage over the international financial system. A Russian official advised that non-residents will begin joining the system “this year,” according to RT.

“Non-residents will start connecting to us this year. People are already turning to us,”said First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova. Earlier, the official said that by using the alternative payment system foreign firms would be able to do business with sanctioned Russian companies.

Turkey, China, India and others are among the countries that might be interested in a SWIFT alternative, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in a speech earlier this month, the US’s willingness to blithely sanction countries from Iran to Venezuela and beyond will eventually rebound on the US economy by undermining the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

To be sure, the Russians aren’t the only ones building a SWIFT alternative to help avoid US sanctions. Russia and China, along with the European Union are launching an interbank payments network known as the Special Purpose Vehicle to help companies pursue “legitimate business with Iran” in defiance of US sanctions.

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative. For one, much of Europe is dependent on Russian natural gas and oil.

And as Russian trade with other US rivals increases, Moscow’s payments network will look increasingly attractive,particularly if buyers of Russian crude have no other alternatives to pay for their goods.

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US leaving INF will put nuclear non-proliferation at risk & may lead to ‘complete chaos’

The US is pulling out of a nuclear missile pact with Russia. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty requires both countries to eliminate their short and medium-range atomic missiles.

The Duran

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Via RT


If the US ditches the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), it could collapse the entire nuclear non-proliferation system, and bring nuclear war even closer, Russian officials warn.

By ending the INF, Washington risks creating a domino effect which could endanger other landmark deals like the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and collapse the existing non-proliferation mechanism as we know it, senior lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said on Sunday.

The current iteration of the START treaty, which limits the deployment of all types of nuclear weapons, is due to expire in 2021. Kosachev, who chairs the Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned that such an outcome pits mankind against “complete chaos in terms of nuclear weapons.”

“Now the US Western allies face a choice: either embarking on the same path, possibly leading to new war, or siding with common sense, at least for the sake of their self-preservation instinct.”

His remarks came after US President Donald Trump announced his intentions to “terminate” the INF, citing alleged violations of the deal by Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly denied undermining the treaty, pointing out that Trump has failed to produce any evidence of violations. Moreover, Russian officials insist that the deployment of US-made Mk 41 ground-based universal launching systems in Europe actually violates the agreement since the launchers are capable of firing mid-range cruise missiles.

Leonid Slutsky, who leads the Foreign Affairs Committee in parliament’s lower chamber, argued that Trump’s words are akin to placing “a huge mine under the whole disarmament process on the planet.”

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The deal effectively bans the parties from having and developing short- and mid-range missiles of all types. According to the provisions, the US was obliged to destroy Pershing I and II launcher systems and BGM-109G Gryphon ground-launched cruise missiles. Moscow, meanwhile, pledged to remove the SS-20 and several other types of missiles from its nuclear arsenal.

Pershing missiles stationed in the US Army arsenal. © Hulton Archive / Getty Images ©

By scrapping the historic accord, Washington is trying to fulfill its “dream of a unipolar world,” a source within the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“This decision fits into the US policy of ditching the international agreements which impose equal obligations on it and its partners, and render the ‘exceptionalism’ concept vulnerable.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov denounced Trump’s threats as “blackmail” and said that Washington wants to dismantle the INF because it views the deal as a “problem” on its course for “total domination” in the military sphere.

The issue of nuclear arms treaties is too vital for national and global security to rush into hastily-made “emotional” decisions, the official explained. Russia is expecting to hear more on the US’ plans from Trump’s top security adviser, John Bolton, who is set to hold talks in Moscow tomorrow.

President Trump has been open about unilaterally pulling the US out of various international agreements if he deems them to be damaging to national interests. Earlier this year, Washington withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. All other signatories to the landmark agreement, including Russia, China, and the EU, decided to stick to the deal, while blasting Trump for leaving.

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Converting Khashoggi into Cash

After two weeks of denying any connection to Khashoggi’s disappearance, Riyadh has admitted that he was killed by Saudi operatives but it wasn’t really on purpose.

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The hazard of writing about the Saudis’ absurd gyrations as they seek to avoid blame for the murder of the late, not notably great journalist and Muslim Brotherhood activist Jamal Khashoggi is that by the time a sentence is finished, the landscape may have changed again.

As though right on cue, the narrative has just taken another sharp turn.

After two weeks of denying any connection to Khashoggi’s disappearance, Riyadh has ‘fessed up (sorta) and admitted that he was killed by Saudi operatives but it wasn’t really on purpose:

Y’see, it was kinda’f an ‘accident.’

Oops…

Y’see the guys were arguing, and … uh … a fistfight broke out.

Yeah, that’s it … a ‘fistfight.’

And before you know it poor Jamal had gone all to pieces.

Y’see?

Must’ve been a helluva fistfight.

The figurative digital ink wasn’t even dry on that whopper before American politicos in both parties were calling it out:

  • “To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement,” tweeted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “First we were told Mr. Khashoggi supposedly left the consulate and there was blanket denial of any Saudi involvement. Now, a fight breaks out and he’s killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown Prince. It’s hard to find this latest ‘explanation‘ as credible.”
  • California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that the new Saudi explanation is “not credible.” “If Khashoggi was fighting inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he was fighting for his life with people sent to capture or kill him,” Schiff said. “The kingdom and all involved in this brutal murder must be held accountable, and if the Trump administration will not take the lead, Congress must.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan must think he’s already died and gone to his eternal recreation in the amorous embraces of the dark-eyed houris. The acid test for the viability of Riyadh’s newest transparent lie is whether the Turks actually have, as they claim, live recordings of Khashoggi’s interrogation, torture, murder, and dismemberment (not necessarily in that order) – and if they do, when Erdogan decides it’s the right time to release them.

Erdogan has got the Saudis over a barrel and he’ll squeeze everything he can out of them.

From the beginning, the Khashoggi story wasn’t really about the fate of one man. The Saudis have been getting away with bloody murder, literally, for years. They’re daily slaughtering the civilian population of Yemen with American and British help, with barely a ho-hum from the sensitive consciences always ready to invoke the so-called “responsibility to protect” Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, Syria, Xinjiang, Rakhine, and so forth.

Where’s the responsibility not to help a crazed bunch of Wahhabist head-choppers kill people?

But now, just one guy meets a grisly end and suddenly it’s the most important homicide since the Lindbergh baby.

What gives?

Is it because Khashoggi was part of the MSM aristocracy, on account of his relationship with the Washington Post?

Was it because of his other, darker, connections? As related by Moon of Alabama: “Khashoggi was a rather shady guy. A ‘journalist’ who was also an operator for Saudi and U.S. intelligence services. He was an early recruit of the Muslim Brotherhood.” This relationship, writes MoA, touches on the interests of pretty much everyone in the region:

“The Ottoman empire ruled over much of the Arab world. The neo-Ottoman wannabe-Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like to regain that historic position for Turkey. His main competition in this are the al-Sauds. They have much more money and are strategically aligned with Israel and the United States, while Turkey under Erdogan is more or less isolated. The religious-political element of the competition is represented on one side by the Muslim Brotherhood, ‘democratic’ Islamists to which Erdogan belongs, and the Wahhabi absolutists on the other side.”

With the noose tightening around Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS), the risible fistfight cock-and-bull story is likely to be the best they can come up with. US President Donald Trump’s having offered his “rogue killers” opening suggests he’s willing to play along. Nobody will really be fooled, but MbS will hope he can persuade important people to pretend they are fooled.

That will mean spreading around a lot of cash. The new alchemy of converting Khashoggi dead into financial gain for the living is just one part of an obvious scheme to pull off what Libya’s Muammar Kaddafi managed after the 1988 Lockerbie bombing: offer up some underlings as the fall guys and let the top man evade responsibility. (KARMA ALERT: That didn’t do Kaddafi any good in the long run.)

In the Saudi case the Lockerbie dodge will be harder, as there are already pictures of men at the Istanbul Consulate General identified as close associates of MbS. But they’ll give it the old madrasa try anyway since it’s all they’ve got.Firings and arrests have started and one suspect has already died in a suspicious automobile “accident.” Heads will roll!

Saving MbS’s skin and his succession to the throne of his doddering father may depend on how many of the usual recipients of Saudi – let’s be honest – bribery and influence peddling will find sufficient pecuniary reason to go along. Saudi Arabia’s unofficial motto with respect to the US establishment might as well be: “The green poultice heals all wounds.”

Anyway, that’s been their experience up to now, but it also in part reflects the same arrogance that made MbS think he could continue to get away with anything. (It’s not shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, but it’s close.) Whether spreading cash around will continue to have the same salubrious effect it always has had in the past remains to be seen.

To be sure, Trump may succeed in shaking the Saudi date palm for additional billions for arms sales. That won’t necessarily turn around an image problem that may not have a remedy. But still, count on more cash going to high-price lobbying and image-control shops eager to make obscene money working for their obscene client. Some big American names are dropping are dropping Riyadh in a sudden fit of fastidiousness, but you can bet others will be eager to step into their Guccis, both in the US and in the United Kingdom. (It should never be forgotten how closely linked the US and UK establishments are in the Middle East, and to the Saudis in particular.)

It still might not work though. No matter how much expensive PR lipstick the spinmeisters put on this pig, that won’t make it kissable. It’s still a pig.

Others benefitting from hanging Khashoggi’s death around MbS’s neck are:

  • Qatar (after last year’s invasion scare, there’s no doubt a bit of Schadenfreude and (figurative) champagne corks popping in Doha over MbS’s discomfiture. As one source close to the ruling al-Thani family relates, “The Qataris are stunned speechless at Saudi incompetence!” You just can’t get good help these days).

Among the losers one must count Israel and especially Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. MbS, with his contrived image as the reformer, was the Sunni “beard” he needed to get the US to assemble an “Arab NATO” (as though one NATO weren’t bad enough!) and eliminate Iran for him. It remains to be seen how far that agenda has been set back.

Whether or not MbS survives or is removed – perhaps with extreme prejudice – there’s no doubt Saudi Arabia is the big loser. Question are being asked that should have been asked years ago. As Srdja Trifkovic comments in Chronicles magazine:

“The crown prince’s recklessness in ordering the murder of Khashoggi has demonstrated that he is just a standard despot, a Mafia don with oil presiding over an extended cleptocracy of inbred parasites. The KSA will not be reformed because it is structurally not capable of reform. The regime in Riyadh which stops being a playground of great wealth, protected by a large investment in theocratic excess, would not be ‘Saudi’ any longer. Saudia delenda est.”

The first Saudi state, the Emirate of Diriyah, went belly up in 1818, with the death of head of the house of al-Saud, Abdullah bin Saud – actually, literally with his head hung on a gate in Constantinople by Erdogan’s Ottoman predecessor, Sultan Mahmud II.

The second Saudi state, Emirate of Nejd, likewise folded in 1891.

It’s long past time this third and current abomination joined its antecedents on the ash heap of history.

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