Tuesday 25th of February 2020

reviving the fear meme...


US President Donald Trump has imposed another round of sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of a former spy in Britain, a move Moscow says will hurt already-strained US-Russia ties.

Key points:
  • Washington imposed an initial batch of sanctions on Moscow last year
  • Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in March last year
  • The Russian rouble dipped to 65 versus the US dollar for the first time in weeks


Under the new sanctions, US banks are banned from providing loans to Russia, and Washington will oppose any loan extension to Moscow by international institutions.

The move came hours before a landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty expired.

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PUTIN: Our Soccer World Cup is going to give us too much kudos… How can we muck this up?
P: What’s that?
L: Old Soviet poison prepared by your old Auntie Kay Geebee.
P: Ah yes… I remember. The good old days...
L: So we poison a traitor but in a manner that can be traced back to us…
P: Brilliant! Poland would be difficult, but England would be a piece of cake, no?
L: Sure. I’ve heard of two guys we could use to do the deed.
P: good ones?
L: No. Total crap... They came last at spy school. Could not tie their shoe laces without being seen by CCTV.
P: Sounds good.
L: … and they have no clue on how to use underarm deodorant. They smell like “piss and Russian”.
P: When can we start?
L: A couple of months before the kick off.
P: you're sure these bumbling idiots can do poisoning without killing themselves?
L: We'll give them fake poison in a perfume bottle. They will stay clear of the stuff.
P: should we tell MI6 about these guys?
L: No need to. MI6 is a fantastic superior tremendous, remarkable, great, terrific, enormous, huge, striking, impressive, outstanding, phenomenal, monumental, overwhelming spy organism of the Royal United Kingdom— it’s far better than our tired recycled GRU...
P: Did you say bicycle clips?
L: Sure. Our spies can’t even afford cars. They have to travel by train.
P: How can a perfume simulate poisoning?
L: Hey? Have you smelled the stuff? It’s anti- “piss and Russian” odor…
P: So who are we targetting?
L: Ol' Skripal… He’s Russian and he pissed on us before. As an anti-piss and Russian, that perfume will make him pass out.


P: We’re devious, aren’t we?
L: It's going to work like clockwork... as long as the English trains run on time...


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not a single proof is good enough in the lynching country...

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States has assumed the role of a supreme judge and ignores fundamental principles of the rule of law, such as the presumption of innocence, the Russian embassy in the country said in the wake of Washington’s move to introduce additional sanctions against Moscow over the so-called Skripal case.

"Washington decided to assume the functions of a super-cop and supreme judge with the right to determine who is guilty and impose punitive measures on them … The United States once again showed to the entire world its blatant disregard to fundamental principles of a law state, such as the presumption of innocence and the necessity to bear the burden of proof when making accusations, let alone the need to respect the most basic norms of civilized discourse among nations", the embassy wrote on Facebook late on Friday.

"The goal of such a policy is self-evident – to penalize those, who refuse to submit to Washington’s dictates and defend their own national interests", the diplomatic mission insisted.

The embassy insisted that up until now, Russia has not been shown any proof of its involvement in the poisoning incident in the United Kingdom’s Salisbury, adding that London had been refusing to cooperate with Moscow on the case.

The diplomatic mission insisted that Russia "would not repent and take the blame for what we have nothing to do within the so-called ‘Skripal case’".

The embassy recalled that Russia eliminated its chemical weapons stockpiles back in 2017, which was confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It also noted that the United States still had to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal, but it kept shifting the deadline for completing the elimination process.

"Attempts to intimidate us by sanctions are futile and will not pay off. Previous rounds of restrictions have not met their intended goals. Russia is a country with a history that spans more than a thousand years, and has always used the privilege co carry out an independent foreign policy. We are not going to change this tradition today. We will continue to protect a multi-polar democratic world order, based on international law and the principles of the UN Charter. These sanctions games are detrimental to the vital interests of the U.S. itself", the embassy pointed out.

The diplomatic mission also called on Washington to stop its reckless moves leading to the destruction of Russian-US relations.

The first round of sanctions, imposed under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act, went into effect on 27 August 2018. Washington claims that Moscow has allegedly violated norms stipulated by the legislation.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump has signed off on the second round of sanctions against Russia over the alleged poisoning of former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom in 2018. The sanctions are introduced under the US Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act.

In March 2018, Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping centre in Salisbury. London said they had been subject to poisoning with a military-grade nerve agent. London accused Moscow of staging the attack.

However, Moscow has repeatedly noted that London has not provided any evidence proving its role in the poisoning.


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trumped up false claim...

Trump explained to lawmakers that his order instructs the Secretary of Treasury, in consultations with the Secretary of State, to take certain actions to impose sanctions on Russia in accordance with the law on chemical weapons. In particular, it goes about the decision to obstruct the provision of loans, as well as financial and technical assistance to Russia.

In addition, the decree bans US banks from providing any loans to the government of Russia, except for loans to purchase food or other agricultural goods or products.

The decree notes that it relates to the implementation of the provision of the law, which provides the executive branch with a right to choose from a number of restrictions that may be imposed on the country that violated the law on chemical weapons. 

Earlier, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives called on US President Donald Trump to proceed to the second stage of sanctions against the Russian Federation for the incident in the UK.

On March 4, 2018, former GRU colonel Sergei Skripal, convicted in Russia for spying for the UK, and his daughter Yulia were, according to the British side, exposed to Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury.

London claims that the Novichok was developed in Russia. Moscow strongly rejected all allegations, pointing out that Novichok programs had not existed either in Russia or in the USSR. According to the Russian authorities, all chemical weapons had been destroyed in accordance with international agreements.

The USA imposed the first package of sanctions for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter on August 27, 2018 as part of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Prohibition Act from 1991. The package was relatively soft: it banned exports of military and dual-purpose products to Russia (a number of exceptions was provided) and prohibited buying arms from Russia. 

The second package of sanctions included measures to lower the level of bilateral diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States, or even their complete suspension. It also stipulated for the total ban of exports of US goods to Russia, with the exception of food, as well as imports of Russian goods by the United States, including oil and petroleum products. The sanctions of the second package also deprived Russian airlines controlled by the Russian government of the right to land in the USA. To crown it all, Washington intended to block loans to Moscow through international financial organizations.

The Trump administration eventually had to impose some of the sanctions after US intelligence agencies could not prove that Russia had stopped using chemical weapons.

The Russian ruble started losing its value against the euro and the dollar due to the introduction of new sanctions against Russia. The ruble has already dropped to 65 rubles per one dollar. The euro has climbed to 72 rubles per one euro. 

The ruble is weakening even despite the fact that oil prices have been growing recently after the strongest decline in four years. The price on Brent oil rose by almost two percent to $61.70 per barrel, WTI - by 1.5% to $54.82 per barrel.

The new sanctions cause the Russian stock market to drop as well. The Russian stock market opened on Friday, August 2, with a drop in blue chips stocks. MICEX and RTS indices lost 1.2-2%, during the first minute of trading.


Читайте больше на http://www.pravdareport.com/world/142586-sanctions/



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making poisons...

Sarin in Syria: chemistry, and cui bono?

by Philip Roddis


The exchange below took place a few days ago, below the line of an OffGuardian piece on the corruption of the UN’s Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as shown in its handling of last year’s Douma incident.

Louis Proyect is one of many on the marxist left I think dead wrong on Syria – see my post from last year on Workers’ Power. He professes bafflement that marxists could defend evil Assad. 

Me, I’m baffled that any marxist could buy, on such negligible evidential basis, the demonising of a third world leader who stands in the way of imperialist powers with multiple motives (oil pipeline, privatisation, Golan theft, hurting Iran and Russia) for crushing Ba’athism – and with a record as long as your arm of lying at every turn as to the why of it.

Moving on, Proyect claims – I’ve heard the Guardian’s George Monbiot do the same – that sarin is hard to manufacture; certainly beyond the capacity of Islamist groups working to bring down Assad. Since neither Proyect not Monbiot are experts, I’ll turn to those who are.

Let none accuse me of cherry picking. This piece, from Wired two years ago, is vehemently of the view that Assad does have sarin, and does use it.

[Sarin] is not especially hard to produce, in terms of both resources and expertise. “A competent chemist could make it, and possibly very quickly, in a matter of days,” says John Gilbert, a senior science fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, who spent much of his Air Force career assessing countries’ WMD capabilities. Producing sarin doesn’t require any kind of massive facility; a roughly 200 square foot room would do.

Author Brian Barrett, eager to make the case that Damascus could have rebuilt sarin stockpiles after the OPCW oversaw their destruction in 2014, inadvertently blows Proyect’s and Monbiot’s argument clean out of the water!

We should also note the Tokyo subway attack of March 20, 1995. Perps? Aum Shinrikyo, a bunch of doomsday wingnuts originating as a yoga and meditation group devoted to a mishmash of deities with Hindu deity Shiva – the destroyer – in overall charge and channelled through head wacko Shoko Asahara.



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he did not hold Russia responsible for the incident...

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Charles Rowley, a UK citizen who was allegedly exposed to a military-grade nerve agent in Amesbury last summer, intends to file lawsuit against Russia and demand a compensation of one million pounds sterling ($1.25 million), media reported on Sunday.

Rowley has already hired a top lawyer, Patrick Maguire, who has represented victims of the 2017 London Bridge and Westminster terror attacks, The Mirror newspaper said.

"This [Amesbury poisoning] has affected my life in a huge way. I want justice," Rowley said, as quoted by the media.

Maguire said that Rowley was still suffering effects from poisoning, but his main concern was to uncover the truth about the incident.

In April, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko said following the meeting with Rowley that the latter did not hold Russia responsible for the incident.

A UK woman Dawn Sturgess and her boyfriend Rowley fell ill in their Amesbury home months after former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia had been found slumped on a park bench. Rowley has recovered, while Sturgess died after a week on life support and was cremated. The two were believed to have touched an object contaminated with the same substance that was used against the Skripals.

On March 4, 2018, the Skripals were found unconscious on a bench near a shopping centre in Salisbury. London claimed they were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent Novichok and accused Moscow of staging the attack, provoking a huge international scandal.


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