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Greece EXPELS Russian diplomats, prompting retaliation from Moscow

While cordial relations remain, allegations suggest that some Greek authorities are taken in by European perception of Russia as a threat

Seraphim Hanisch

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

The Greek government has decided to expel two Russian diplomats and bar the entry of two others. The reason given is the accusation of these diplomats’ “intrusion into domestic affairs and illegal acts against Greece’s national security,” according to Kathimerini.

The concern that appears to have sparked this involves the deal struck between the Athens government and that of FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) in June. According to Radio Free Europe, the two countries agreed to rename the former Yugoslav republic to North Macedonia, which would pave the way for the remainder of Macedonia to join NATO. Russia does not support this, while Western Europe does.

Ekathimerini goes on:

More specifically, Athens is accusing the Russian diplomats of efforts to extract and circulate information, and to bribe Greek state operatives, which have failed.

The case brings to the forefront the tension that seems to have been brewing between Athens and Moscow over the last two years, for reasons that have to do with regional security.

According to high-level Greek diplomatic sources, Athens is calling for the immediate expulsion of two personnel, including the Russian Embassy official Victor Yakovlev, and the expulsion of two more.

The same sources note that the initiative follows numerous coordinated efforts to expand Russian influence in Greece including, among others, the activities of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society.

The New York Times goes on further to state that the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) was suspected of being the conduit of Russian influence in Greece, most notably on Mount Athos, the Greek Orthodox monastic republic, an allegation that the IOPS categorically denied:

Kathimerini named the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society — an organization that promotes Russian ties to Christians in the Middle East — as being among certain groups trying to fan Russian influence in Greece, including in the Greek Orthodox monastic community of Mount Athos.

A representative of the society said it was not involved in any alleged attempts to bribe senior Greek Orthodox clergymen, the Russian state Interfax news agency reported.

“IOPS has nothing to do with this and I don’t believe that Russian diplomats or anyone can have anything to do with this,” Interfax quoted Sergei Zhitenev, deputy head of IOPS, as saying.

“There were no attempts from our side to influence local authorities, this never even occurred to us.”

The Russian News agency TASS reported that Moscow was expecting to take the same measures against Greece, and that some Greek diplomats would also be expelled from Russia:

Moscow always takes tit-for-tat measures in response to diplomat expulsions, an official at the Russian Foreign Ministry told reporters, commenting on media reports about the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from Greece.

“The expulsion of diplomats always leads to tit-for-tat measures,” the official said.

The Greek Kathimerini daily reported earlier citing diplomatic sources that Athens had decided to expel two Russian diplomats and ban another two from entering the country. According to the daily, the Greek authorities accuse the diplomats of interfering in the country’s domestic affairs and undermining the national security of Greece. The newspaper says that the diplomats are particularly accused of “attempts to get and disseminate information, as well as bribe state officials.” Athens’ decision is said to be “a response to a number of well-coordinated steps aimed at increasing Russia’s influence in Greece.”

However, the same sources said that Greece “is still willing to maintain good relations with Russia, facilitate friendship between the two countries’ people, as well as cooperation between the two governments and civil societies” based on equality and respect for each other’s sovereignty and independence. The sources added that Greece had been cautious about relations with Russia, particularly refraining from following the example of many Western states that had expelled Russian diplomats in the wake of the Skripal incident – a decision welcomed by the Russian leadership.

Diplomatic sources stressed that Athens’ decision stemmed from the activities of the four diplomats and had nothing to do with Greece’s attitude towards Russia. They also said that any retaliatory measures that Moscow might take would be useless.

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Putin, Trump meet in Helsinki for first bilateral summit

The Helsinki summit is the first ever full-fledged meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Their previous encounters were brief talks on the sidelines of the G20 and APEC summits in 2017.

Vladimir Rodzianko

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for their first bilateral one-on-one meeting.

Trump arrived in the Finland capital a day early, while the jet of Putin, who wrapped up his nation’s hosting of the World Cup Sunday, touched down around 1 p.m. local time and the Russian president’s motorcade whisked him straight to the palace where the two world leaders are meeting.

Trump signed an August 2017 law imposing additional sanctions on Russia. The law bars Trump from easing many sanctions without Congress’ approval, but he can offer some relief without a nod from Congress.

Almost 700 Russian people and companies are under U.S. sanctions. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.

The agenda of the summit hasn’t been officially announced yet, though, the presidents are expected to discuss global crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.

Stay tuned for updates…

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“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

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A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

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Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

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Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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