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Is the US about to offer Greece a poison pill? EU debt deal but Greece must stop Turk Stream project

The US State Department special envoy has ordered Greece to halt its participation in the Turk Stream project. Athens is holding firm to its commitment to Turk Stream, but with G7 this weekend, many sources expect Obama to order his EU vassal states to let Greece off the hook if Athens drops its Turk Stream ambitions.

Alex Christoforou




The G7 summit due on June 7-8 in Castle Elmau in the Bavarian Alps is about to kick off.

In attendance Germany, France, UK, and Italy. Also present will be the United States.We all know who gives the orders and who takes them.

The European vassal states may have to implement one specific order from their American master that may not be to their liking, ‘let Greece off the hook’…for which Merkel, Hollande and Cameron will have to oblige.

What would prompt Washington to come to Greece’s rescue? Simple, it’s called Turk Stream.

Washington’s goal is to keep Turk Stream from morphing into Greek Stream, and eventually into South Europe Stream.

Fearing that the Russian gas pipeline set to transit Turkey, is now finding safe haven on EU shores in Greece, Washington is pulling all the stops to prevent Athens from moving ahead with one of the few viable investments to come to Greece in six years of EU back breaking austerity.

In exchange for Greece’s agreement to halt its energy aspirations and partnership with Russia, Obama will deliver a debt deal to Tsipras’ liking. Of course stopping the Greek Stream project would torpedo much of Greece’s economic future. Greek Stream has the potential to transform the Southern Mediterranean nation, from a bankrupt EU whipping boy, into a regional energy power broker, netting Athens hundreds of millions of euros in transit fees and sparking massive growth and development in Northern Greece.

To compensate Greece for its economic loss should it swallow America’s poison pill, Washington is ordering Greece to focus on the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), an inferior, drastically smaller scale project. It’s like passing up on a Ferrari, and being offered a moped instead.

Ekathimerini reports…

Washington increased the pressure on Athens on Friday to concentrate on the completion of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) rather than devote efforts toward the extension of the planned Turkish Stream pipeline so it runs through Greece.

“What we agreed on is it’s important to focus on what projects are on the table today and that is TAP, that will interconnect to the Azerbaijani pipeline. That is what’s on the table for Greece today,” Amos Hochstein, the US special envoy for energy affairs, said after talks with Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis and State Minister Nikos Pappas.

The TAP pipeline is being built to transport natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, crossing through Turkey, Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea. Turkish Stream, which is backed by Russia but is yet to get off the ground, aims to carry gas from the Black Sea to Turkey. Athens is in talks with Moscow over extending the pipeline so it runs across Greece and to other parts of Europe.

“Turkish Stream doesn’t exist. There is no consortium to build it, there is no agreement to build it,” said Hochstein. “So let’s put that to the side, and wait until there’s some movement on that and see if that’s relevant or not relevant and in the meantime focus on what’s important – the pipeline we already agreed to, that Greece already agreed to.”

After the meeting with the US envoy, Lafazanis said the government would continue to back the Turkish Stream project because it believes it will be “useful” for Greece.

The Greek Energy Minister is holding firm in his position, he is no fool. Unfortunately for him, we all know what Washington does when it cannot find fools to carry out its policy.

Via Sputnik News Agency…

The Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy condemned the latest claims by US State Department Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein. The ministry called the claims an unacceptable interference in Greece’s domestic affairs.

During the 31st convention of the International Coordinating Committee “Justice for Cyprus”, Hochstein demanded construction of the gas pipeline from Turkey be stopped. He claimed that the pipeline would undermine alternative plans to supply energy resources to Europe and increase reliance on Russia.

“We are dealing with the energy crisis in Europe. If Greece continues to promote a pipeline for supplying Russian gas to Europe, it will be part of the problem, not a solution,” Hochstein said.

According to him, Central and Eastern European countries buy gas from only one supplier, but now it is possible to diversify shipments and “Greece would play a major role” in the diversification.

“This is an unacceptable interference in Greece’s domestic affairs. Our government makes its decisions taking into account country’s national interests and on behalf of the Greek people,” sources in the Energy Ministry told RIA Novosti.

According to the sources, any pipeline transferring Russian gas through the Greek territory would contribute to the diversification of gas supplying routes and bolster cooperation and energy security of all European countries.

In early-May, during his visit to Athens, Hochstein opposed the construction of a new gas pipeline, instead of the South Stream project, to deliver Russian gas to Europe. Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said, in his turn, said Greece stands for the construction of a pipeline in its territory from the Greek-Turkish border to supply gas from Russia because it would serve country’s national interests.


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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou



RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.


Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.





Via RT

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran



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 ( 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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