Wednesday 19th of June 2024

the future explained....

The future of the Black Sea Initiative, possible prisoner exchanges between Washington and Moscow, and the prospects for preventing the Third World War were among the topics Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addressed on Tuesday while speaking with reporters at the UN in New York.

“You suspected I would not speak Russian, right?” Lavrov told reporters, in English, at the very start of the hour-long press conference, before switching to his mother tongue in accordance with protocol.


The ‘grain deal’ is just half the story

The reporters were most interested in the prospect of extending the deal negotiated in July 2022, which has allowed Ukraine to export its grain. Lavrov pointed out that the other part of the package, having the UN unblock Russian exports of food and fertilizer, has not been implemented at all, so Moscow isn’t inclined to extend the arrangement. Noting that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said he would do everything possible to change this, Lavrov noted, “Maybe we need to do something impossible.” He also pointed out that less than 3% of Ukrainian grain went to countries that most needed it – Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia – while more than 80% went to wealthy countries.


Prisoner swaps require privacy

Asked about the fate of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and ex-Marine Paul Whelan, Lavrov revealed that a special channel for discussing possible prisoner swaps was set up on the presidential level, but “does not provide for the involvement of journalists.” The Russian diplomat reminded Western reporters that their governments lamented the arrest of people caught spying, but no one seemed to care about the unjust imprisonment of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, or Russians “abducted” in the West and imprisoned on dubious charges.


Sudan, Africa and non-interference

Commenting on the current conflict in Sudan, Lavrov pointed out that the US initiated the separation of South Sudan in 2011, but instead of supporting both states, Washington imposed sanctions and kept imposing demands. “This is a form of geopolitical engineering and doesn’t bring about any positive results,” he said, adding that outside powers should not interfere on the continent, but allow for “African solutions to African problems.”


What NATO says Russia wants, versus reality

Russia’s top diplomat took issue with the claim that the conflict in Ukraine caused NATO expansion to Finland and maybe Sweden. The US-led bloc had always wanted to expand, Lavrov said, despite repeated promises to Moscow that turned out to be lies – just like the Minsk Agreements, regarding Ukraine. Russia has stated its objectives very clearly: removing any threats from Ukraine to its security and the protection of people facing discrimination and extermination, he said. As for US goals, Lavrov described the recent media speculation about ceasefire talks after the Ukrainian offensive as “the logic of a schizophrenic.”


WWIII and how to prevent it

Lavrov brought up a statement by US President Joe Biden, about how the West helping Ukraine was somehow preventing the Third World War, and reminded reporters that top British, French and German officials have rattled the proverbial nuclear saber. Meanwhile, Russia has offered to sign a joint statement denouncing nuclear war. “These Western statements about Ukraine leading to WWIII, I hope the people making these claims are of sound mind,” he said.


Russia’s response to sanctions

According to the Russian foreign minister, the US-led embargo against Russia has “unleashed” the process of de-dollarization around the world, as countries saw how Western dominance in the financial system could be weaponized. Moscow has no intention of relying on countries, or companies, that “lie and try to cheat,” but is looking to develop domestic industries previously dominated by foreign corporations.


Fearing alternative views

Lavrov once again brought up the fact that the US effectively blocked accredited Russian journalists from coming to New York to cover his visit. The West, he said, went from the 1980s rhetoric of human rights and freedom of information to repressing alternative viewpoints that disagreed with its preferred narratives – first denying credentials to RT and Sputnik, then outright banning them. He also brought up the dismissal of Tucker Carlson from Fox News, saying this “impoverished the diversity of thought” in the US media space. As for Moscow’s response, he would not specify what it might be, only that the US’ behavior will be remembered “when Americans need something from us.”








the price of oil.....

Saudi Arabia & Russia JUST BANNED US From All OPEC Oil Beating Sanctions & Collapsing The US Economy Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are reportedly “satisfied” with oil markets after sharing a phone call over the weekend that’s sure to raise feathers in Washington.

According to Russian state media, Putin and MbS (as he’s colloquially known) had a “friendly, constructive and informative” conversation on Friday in the wake of last month’s OPEC production cuts of about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd). Russia, a member of the so-called OPEC+, chipped in with a half million bpd of its own.

“With this in mind, it was agreed to build up contacts in specific areas of cooperation," according to a statement from the Kremlin. After sagging in the months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and multiple bank failures in the US and Europe, oil prices jumped about 5% on the news of the OPEC cut and have stabilized in the $80 range. The OPEC basket — a posted price that doesn’t trade — was going for about $84.

That’s good news for Putin, who is relying on oil revenue to fund his faltering war efforts in Eastern Europe. Russian seaborne cargoes are under a fixed price cap of $60 and Russia has been looking for new buyers as the EU attempts to wean itself off Putin’s crude dependency. Despite the bans, Russia has emerged as the top oil supplier to India — the world’s third largest importer after China according to a Reuters analysis. Ironically, the US was the planet’s largest importer — selling 6.1 million barrels per day — while simultaneously being its largest producer. Which underscores why President Joe Biden travelled with cap in hand to visit MbS in Riyadh last October to urge the Saudis to pump more oil. Instead, they’ve cut almost 3 million bpd since then, straining relations. Saudi has also cozied up to China in recent weeks after joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization — along with India — prompting speculation that it is teaming up with Biden’s geopolitical rivals to displace the US dollar as the default currency for crude oil payments. OPEC has almost always had a policy of defending market share and will face increasingly stiff competition from the US as its production continues to rise and domestic demand goes down, freeing up more of its own barrels for export. "OPEC's output cut decision is helping Russia as well, as the planned supply cut has lifted global oil prices and at the same time narrowed the discounts for Russian oil against Brent.

This latest step by Saudi Arabia away from the US and towards the China-Russia axis should come as no surprise to anyone who has been watching developments in the Kingdom since the rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) from around 2015. At that point, he was not Crown Prince, that role was held by Muhammad bin Nayef (MbN) – but rather Deputy Crown Prince with burning ambition to take the number one succession spot upon the death of King Salman. His stint as Defense Minister was disastrous, with the dramatic escalation of the war against the Houthis in Yemen – including indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets, roundly condemned by the West.

This led the German intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), to leak an abridged internal-only assessment report of MbS to various trusted members of the press that stated: ‘Saudi Arabia under MbS has adopted an impulsive policy of intervention.’

It went on to describe MbS in terms of being a political gambler who was destabilising the Arab world through proxy wars in Yemen and Syria.








no warning....

Scott Ritter joins Stephen Gardner on this exclusive interview to discuss the Russia Ukraine war, the conflict of Bakhmut, the bad feelings between Putin and Zelenskyy and how this war will end. China is doing the diplomacy the United States and NATO refuse to do. This is no longer a war, this is a humanitarian crisis says Colonel Douglas Macgregor. Scott Ritter agrees. Ritter also quotes Ray McGovern on the failed diplomacy efforts.