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Russian “liberal” press does not notice the BRICS’ success

BRICS summit was a huge success, but the liberal press refuses to report it.

Dmitry Babich

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The BRICS summit in Goa, India has cracked up to be a success, despite numerous predictions about the organization’s “irrelevance” by liberal media around the globe. The members of the organization (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) signed the so called Goa Declaration, which in general terms reflects Russia’s and China’s opposition to the policy of “regime change,” even though not naming the US and the EU as the main motors of this policy.

The leaders of the five biggest non-Western economies vowed to continue their support for New Development Bank and Contingent Reserve Arrangement – the two bodies set up by BRICS in order to resist the pressure of the IMF and other US-controlled global institutions.

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin met with India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, and the two leaders found common ground on all the issues discussed (including Syria). So much for the numerous reports of the Western press about Modi’s “reorientation,” presumably favoring an alliance with the United States against China. (http://thebricspost.com/putin-modi-meet-in-goa-announce-defence-energy-deals/#.WAR2GCOhqko).

The two leaders of Russia and India signed deals on the deliveries of Russian S400 air defense systems to India, with the contract worth $5 billion. The two countries are also going to set up a joint venture in order to build Russian-designed Kamov helicopters in India.

But just 4-5 days ago the mood about this summit was not so optimistic – at least, in the Russian opposition press. The Goa summit attracted a lot of attention in the liberal Russian press, making it a contrast to the last year’s BRICS summit in Russia’s Ufa. In 2015, when “isolation” of Russia was still name of the game in the mainstream media of the US and the EU, where the Russian liberals take most of their ideas about their own country. This year, however, the attention of the Russian liberal press to the BRICS summit was there – but it was of a negative character. The pro-Western Russian media outlets have pronounced BRICS to be in a “critical condition.” The main reasons cited were the change of the head of state in Brazil and India’s attempts to improve relations with the United States, supposedly inviting the wrath of China.

“Despite the task of creating a “new world order”, BRICS is losing its role of a counterweight to Western institutions, becoming a union of states, whose interests move further apart,” wrote the Moscow-based Kommersant daily, a traditional liberal critic of any Russian government since 1991.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, which under the guidance of its publisher Konstantin Remchukov, a big friend of the US ambassador in Russia, blasts the Kremlin in its editorials, while from time to time allowing a sober voice to speak out on its foreign policy page, – this newspaper concentrated its attention on India’s “unhappiness” about Moscow’s expanding contacts with China and Pakistan. “Moscow and New Delhi still officially name each other privileged partners,” the newspaper reported. “But these relations are going through a difficult test now. Both friendly powers are subjected to strong pressure from outside… Can their relations take a dip down?”

But then, if Russo-Indian relations were going through such a difficult test, why would Russia suggest selling to India its most sophisticated anti-aircraft system – S400 missiles (also called “Triumph” in Russia)? The latest versions of weapons are in fact never sold to unreliable friends, not to speak of adversaries. Meanwhile, Putin’s chief foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, on the eve of the summit assured the journalists that the deal had been sealed just recently – in the midst of India’s supposed “alienation” from Russia.

“The agreement on deliveries to India of the of the anti-aircraft missiles S400 (“Triumph”) will be signed as a finalization for the talks our president and prime minister Modi are going to have,” Ushakov said on the eve of the summit. “The deal’s signing by Putin and Modi as a conclusion for the talks reflects the similarity of the Russian and the Indian approaches to the problems on the regional and the global agendas,” Ushakov told the journalists in Moscow.

All in all, the Russian side and the Indian side signed 18 documents on various spheres of cooperation in Goa.

In an interview to Russia’s RIA news agency and the Indian news agency IANS, president Putin mentioned 20 priority projects, which will be jointly developed by the Russian and Indian companies. Some of these projects are of high-tech nature, co contradicting the stereotypes about the “oil and gas” nature of Russian exports. For example, the Moscow-based “AFK Systema” group is working on a model of a “smart city” for India.  And the Russian company “Dauria Airspace” plans to help Indians place their telecommunications equipment on the Earth’s orbit.

Speaking to journalists before the summit, Putin sounded confident that his vision of the current developments in international relations will be supported by all of the BRICS’ heads of state, including the newcomer to BRICS’ summits, the new Brazilian acting president Michel Temer.

“BRICS countries do not accept outside pressure on independent states and the attempts to limit their sovereignty. This will be reflected in the declaration of our summit in Goa,” Putin said confidently to RIA. “BRICS is one of the key elements of the world order which is in the process of forming itself… We have similar approaches on the Syrian crisis and on the settlement in the Middle East in general.”

Putin also condemned the attempts of “certain Western states” to push through “one-sided solutions.”

The participants of the summit in Goa adopted the declaration and the Plan of Action, setting the priorities of their cooperation in the next few years.

As for Russo-Chinese ties, the good news is that after a slump of 27.8 percent which the trade between the two countries endured in 2015, bilateral turnover restarted its growth in 2016, gaining 7.1 percent against the level of the first three quarters of the year 2015.

According to the information from the General Administration of Customs (GAC),  the turnover between Russia and China now is $50.27 in the first three quarters of this year.

During their recent meetings, the foreign ministers of Russia and China, Sergei Lavrov and Wang Yi agreed that they saw eye to eye on the dangers of the American deployment of THAAD anti-ballistic-missile systems in South Korea. Formally directed against North Korea, these ABM complexes were obviously aimed at obliterating the importance of both the Chinese and Russian nuclear arsenals.

As for the more distant partners, such as Brazil and South Africa, the idea of a free trade zone between the BRICS’ member countries had been floated before the summit. As usual in this kind of situations, the Chinese side has fewer fears of “going global,” than the other countries, which have less competitive industries.

“By setting up a free trade  area, the BRICS countries will be able to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers, giving free play to their comparative advantages,”   said Shen Danyang, the spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce.

In the situation, when the United States did not take Russia and China into its own Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP agreement), it is only natural that the BRICS’ countries, as the biggest emergent economies, strive to develop ties between each other, including the creation of a free trade zone of their own. It is only to their peril that Kommersant and Nezavisimaya refuse to note these trends.

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Via RT


Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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