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Serbia’s President-elect Aleksandar Vucic has evidence of a ‘Greater Albania’ project

The Serbian President-elect has highlighted the words of a former American OSCE leader in the region. US citizen William Walker is openly lobbying for the creation of a Greater Albanian state that would annex the legally recognised territory of Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and possibly even Greece.

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Serbia’s President elect Aleksandar Vucic has recently exposed damning statements from William Walker, the American former head of  the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe)  mission to the war torn Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija.

Vucic’ statements speak of Walker’s desire to create a so-called Greater Albania that will annex parts of neighbouring states including Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece into a large Albanian state in the Balkans.

Mr. Walker’s statements were not leaked but were made publicly. The scandal is that few people in the media have reported these statements. This is why the Serbian President-elect highlighted them in an interview with Sputnik.

Mr. Walker has stated the following on Monday while in Pristina

“This project that I’m working on is meant for all Albanians in Kosovo in the diaspora, in Albania. I’m working on a joint project for their unification. Albanians worldwide were united in the 1990s with the sole purpose of the liberation of Kosovo. I was with them when they declared independence. Albanians have won and they came here to celebrate together. Now is the time for the final step, for all of us to be together, to accomplish this achievement”.

President-elect Vucic responded to these inflammatory remarks, saying,

“Serbia will in every place and at every level present this as the ultimate proof that Walker’s goal was never to protect human rights in Kosovo but to fight against Serbia and for the creation of the ‘Greater Albania’.”

William Walker was in the then Yugoslav Republic of Serbia as early as 1998. He was one of the key figures whose statements NATO used as a justification for a war on Yugoslavia.

Walker fabricated evidence that Serbs were engaged in acts of aggression against ethnic Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija, often just called Kosovo.

The reality couldn’t have been further from the truth. Walker was essentially the Yugoslav equivalent of Colin Powell speaking before the UN about the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that did not exist.

Likewise in Yugoslavia, most people in Kosovo and Metohija lived in peace. To that end, throughout the latter half of the 20th century, living standards in Yugoslavia were far higher for all citizens than those in the neighbouring Albanian state.

In spite of this, a minority of Albanians began a slow insurgency and campaign of extreme violence against Serbs living in Kosovo and Metohija. This combined with the fact that the 1974 Constitution of Yugoslavia gave non-Serbs living in provinces of Serbia autonomy while not allowing Serbs living in Yugoslav republics like Bosnia and Croatia the same privilege, lead Serbs to petition the Yugoslav government in the form of the Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art (SANU Memorandum).

The SANU memorandum’s major points included 

–A desire to redress the imbalance of the Yugoslav Constitution so that reforms could be made to afford Serbs outside of the Serbian Yugoslav Republic the same autonomous rights as non-Serbs in autonomous provinces of Serbia.

–Highlighting of the atrocities committed by ethnic Albanians against Serbs and others in places like Kosovo.

–Highlighting the sacrifices that Serbs had made for Yugoslav freedom and unity in the world wars. 

The entire memorandum, translated into English can be read here

At the time, the memorandum was denounced by future Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević as well as future Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić.

By the late 1980s, constitutional amendments were made to redress the problems of an imbalance against the rights of Serbs in both Kosovo  as well as in the autonomous Serbian province of Vojvodina.

However, this did little to quell the Albanian insurrection. Throughout the 1990s, as Yugoslavia became a war zone, a group that even the United States recognised as a terrorist organisation for much of the decade, the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) began a guerrilla war against both Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as Albanians who wanted to maintain the political status quo and live in peace.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of William Walker, the KLA was declassified as a terrorist group by the US, shortly before Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair led NATO into a war on Yugoslavia, a war which saw the US fighting with the KLA terrorists. The war had no UN authorisation and consiquently was both a war crime according to international law as well as a violation of NATO’s own charter which defined the group as a defensive alliance. No Balkan state was in NATO in 1999.

READ MORE: 18 years later, the spectre of NATO’s war on Yugoslavia still haunts Europe

The war displaced thousands of Serbian families in their own country. Many are still without  proper homes almost 20 years later.

Now, the likes of Walker as well as the current Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, are speaking openly about annexing parts of Serbia as well as other Balkan states like Macedonia, in an attempt to great a ‘Greater Albania’.

The so-called Tirana Platform is more or less a blueprint for how Albanians can ironically ‘Balkanise’ the Balken Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, while the Albanian Prime Minister recently spoke openly about annexing parts of Serbia.

READ MORE: Albanian PM threatens to annex part of Serbia if the EU doesn’t admit Albania

The conflict has in recent decades also taken on a religious aspect as majority Sunni Muslim Albanians have burnt down sacred Orthodox Christian Serbian churches in Kosovo and Metohija.

Since the early 2000s, the religious angel of a dirty protracted ethnic war has become even more magnified.

The Tirana Platform designed to weaken Macedonia, threats to annex parts of Serbia and Montenegro’s controversial ascension into NATO, something which most Montenegrin citizens oppose, is designed to accomplish two things.

First of all, it is an attempt to weaken Serbia in the Balkans by surrounding what remains of Serbia by hostile states and secondly, the west is attempting to draw Russia into a new war in the Balkans, playing on Russia’s historic fraternal ties to Serbia.

READ MORE: NATO is trying to draw Russia into a new Balkan war

William Walker is supposed to represent the neutral ‘so-called’ international community, but as the Serbian President-elect rightly says, Walker is merely a lobbyist for the Greater Albania project, a project that threatens the legal territorial integrity of up to four Balkan states.

Anywhere else in the world, Mr. Walker would be considered a menace, but because it’s the Balkans, he’s ignored in public and praised behind the scenes.

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Rod Rosenstein resigns from his post before President Trump can fire him

Rosenstein’s comments about secretly recording the President backfire, and resignation may throw the Mueller Russiagate probe into question.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Washington Times broke the story that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein resigned from his post. He submitted his resignation to Chief of Staff John Kelly.  At present the breaking story says the following:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is out at the Department of Justice.

Axios reported that Mr. Rosenstein verbally resigned to White House Chief Of Staff John Kelly, but CNN said that he is expecting to be fired.

Sarah Isgur Flores, a Department of Justice spokeswoman, declined to comment on the reports.

Mr. Rosenstein’s departure immediately throws Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion probe into chaos.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation, leaving Mr. Rosenstein in charge.

President Trump mulled firing the No. 2 at the Department of Justice over the weekend.

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This report came after Fox News reported that the Deputy AG was summoned to the White House. Fox reported a little more detail:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is heading to the White House expecting to be fired, sources tell Fox News, in the wake of a report that he suggested wearing a wire against President Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office last year.

This is a developing story, however one major factor that comes under consideration is the fate of Robert Mueller and his Russiagate investigation, which was authorized by Rosenstein. CNBC had this to say in their piece:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is resigning Monday, according to Axios, which cited a source familiar with the matter.

NBC News’ Pete Williams, however, reported that Rosenstein would not resign of his own accord, and that he will only depart if the White House fired him. He will refuse to resign if asked to do so, Williams added.

Rosenstein was at the White House when Williams reported this on the air. However, President Donald Trump is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

Bloomberg later reported that the White House accepted Rosenstein’s resignation, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Rosenstein’s expected resignation will immediately raise questions about the fate of the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump.

Rosenstein’s job security was called into question after The New York Times reported last week that the No. 2 DOJ official had discussed invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump, and had also talked about surreptitiously recording the president.

Rosenstein oversees the special counsel investigation, and has appointed Mueller to run the Russia probe last year, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the case.

The special counsel’s office declined to comment on the report.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Axios’ report. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s inquiry.

Trump has repeatedly blasted Mueller’s inquiry, which also is focused on possible collusion with Russia by members of the Trump campaign.

He has called the investigation a “witch hunt,” and has repeatedly vented frustration about Sessions’ recusal, which directly led to Mueller’s appointment by Rosenstein.

Rosenstein’s expected departure comes on the heels of a guilty plea by Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort to conspiracy charges related to his consulting work in Ukraine, which predates his role on the campaign.

As part of the investigation, Mueller’s team has been locked in an ongoing back-and-forth with Trump’s legal team over an in-person interview with the president.

Trump’s lawyers, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have signaled that Trump is unwilling to sit for an interview, calling it a “perjury trap” and setting up a potential challenge for Mueller to subpoena the president.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

 

 

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European Council crushes Theresa May’s soft Brexit dream (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 116.

Alex Christoforou

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May hoped that the European Council was ready to see things her way, in terms of proceeding with a soft Brexit, which was essentially no Brexit at all…at least not the hard Brexit that was voted on in a democratic referendum approximately two years ago.

Much to May’s surprise, European Council President Donald Tusk delivered a death blow verdict for May’s Brexit, noting that EU leaders are in full agreement that Chequers plan for Brexit “will not work” because “it risks undermining the single market.”

Without a miracle compromise springing up come during the October summit, the UK will drift into the March 29, 2019 deadline without a deal and out of the European Union…which was initially what was voted for way back in 2016, leaving everyone asking, what the hell was May doing wasting Britain’s time and resources for two years, so as to return back to the hard Brexit terms she was charged with carrying forward after the 2016 referendum?

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss what was a disastrous EU summit in Salzburg for UK PM Theresa May, in what looks to be the final nail in May’s tenure as UK Prime Minister, as a hard Brexit now seems all but certain.

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Via Zerohedge

Tusk was speaking at the end of an EU summit in Salzburg, where the leaders of the 27 remaining states in the bloc were discussing Brexit. He said that while there were “positive elements” in May’s Chequers plan, a deal that puts the single market at risk cannot be accepted.

“Everybody shared the view that while there are positive elements in the Chequers proposal, the suggested framework for economic co-operation will not work, not least because it is undermining the single market,” Tusk said. He also said that he could not “exclude” the possibility that the UK could exit the EU in March with no deal.

May has been urging her European counterparts to accept her controversial Chequers plan which has split both the Conservative party and the broader UK population after it was thrashed out back in July. However, despite the painfully-slow negotiation process, which appears to have made little headway with just a few months left, the UK is set to leave the EU on March 29 2019 – with or without an exit deal.

The main sticking point that has emerged, and left May and the EU at loggerheads, has been how to avoid new checks on the Irish border. May has claimed that her proposals were the “only serious, credible” way to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland. She said during a press conference after the Salzburg meeting that she would not accept the EU’s “backstop” plan to avoid a Northern Ireland hard border. She said the UK would shortly be bringing forward its own proposals.

May also said that there was “a lot of hard work to be done,” adding that the UK was also preparing for the eventuality of having to leave the EU without a deal. Tusk, meanwhile, said that the upcoming October summit would be the “moment of truth” for reaching a deal, and that “if the conditions are there” another summit would be held in November to “formalize” it.

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Russia makes HUGE strides in drone technology

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The US and Israel are universally recognized leaders in the development and use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones. Thousands of American and Israeli UAVs are operating across the world daily.

The US military has recently successfully tested an air-to-air missile to turn its MQ-9 Reaper drone into an effective long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance unmanned spy aircraft capable of air-to-surface as well as air-to-air missions. This is a major breakthrough. It’s not a secret that Russia has been lagging behind in UAV development. Now its seems to be going to change with tangible progress made to narrow the gap.

Very few nations boast drones capable of high-altitude long endurance (HALE) missions. Russia is to enter the club of the chosen. In late 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry awarded a HALE UAV contract to the Kazan-based Simonov design bureau.

This month, Russian Zvezda military news TV channel showed a video (below) of Altair (Altius) heavy drone prototype aircraft number “03”, going through its first flight test.

Propelled by two RED A03/V12 500hp high fuel efficiency diesel engines, each producing a capacity of 500 hp on takeoff, the 5-ton heavy vehicle with a wingspan of 28.5 meters boasts a maximum altitude of 12km and a range of 10,000km at a cruising speed of 150-250km/h.

Wingspan: about 30 meters. Maximum speed: up to 950 km/h. Flight endurance: 48 hours. Payload: two tons, which allows the creation of a strike version. The vehicle is able to autonomously take off and land or be guided by an operator from the ground.

The UAV can carry the usual range of optical and thermal sensors as well as synthetic-aperture ground-surveillance radar with the resolution of .1 meter at the range of 35km and 1 meter at the range of 125km. The communications equipment allows real-time data exchange.

Russia’s UAV program currently underway includes the development of a range of large, small, and mid-sized drones. The Orion-E medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAV was unveiled at the MAKS 2017 air show. Its developer, Kronstadt Technologies, claims it could be modified for strike missions. The one-ton drone is going through testing now. The Orion-E is capable of automatic takeoff and landing.

It can fly continuously for 24 hours, carrying a surveillance payload of up to 200 kg to include a forward looking infra-red (FLIR) turret, synthetic aperture radar and high resolution cameras. The drone can reach a maximum altitude of 7,500 m. Its range is 250 km.

The Sukhoi design bureau is currently developing the Okhotnik (Hunter) strike drone with a range of about 3,500km. The drone made its maiden flight this year. In its current capacity, it has an anti-radar coating, and will store missiles and precision-guided bombs internally to avoid radar detection.

The Kazan-based Eniks Design Bureau is working on the small T-16 weaponized aerial vehicle able to carry 6 kg of payload.

The new Russian Korsar (Corsair) tactical surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will be upgraded to receive an electronic warfare system. Its operational range will be increased from 150km to 250km. The drone was revealed at Victory Day military parade along with the Korsar unmanned combat helicopter version.

The rotary wing drone lacks the speed and altitude of the fixed wing variant, but has a great advantage of being able to operate without landing strips and can be sea-based. Both drones can carry guided and unguided munitions. The fixed-wing version can be armed with Ataka 9M120 missiles.

The first Russian helicopter-type unmanned aerial vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells was presented at the Army-2018 international forum. With the horizontal cruising speed of the drone up to 60 kph, the unmanned chopper can stay in the air at least 2.5 hours to conduct reconnaissance operations. Its payload is up to 5 kg.

Last November, the Kalashnikov Concern reported that it would start production of heavy unmanned aerial vehicles capable of carrying up to several tons of cargo and operating for several days at a time without needing to recharge.

All in all, the Russian military operate 1,900 drones on a daily basis. The multi-purpose Orlan-10 with a range of 600km has become a working horse that no military operation, including combat actions in Syria, can be conducted without. Maj. Gen. Alexander Novikov,
the head of the Russian General Staff’s Office for UAV Development, Russian drones performed over 23,000 flights, lasting 140,000 hours in total.

Russia’s State Armament Program for 2018-2027 puts the creation of armed UAVs at the top of priorities’ list. Looks like the effort begins to pay off. Russia is well on the way to become second to none in UAV capability.

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Via Strategic Culture

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