Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 07:13:23 PM EST
A long history of a divided state, caught up in collapse of West-European and Eastern Empires and the Rise and Fall of Communism in the 20th Century. The oligarchs run the nation ...
○ Zelensky unchained: What Ukraine's new political order means for its future | ECFR |
Viktor Pinchuk, Trump's Lonely Friend In Ukraine
In the first google search the organization "Yes" appeared ... a long history to join the EU and reset the relations with Russia.
[A number of links added are mine in article below - Oui]
Who are Donald Trump's friends in Ukraine? | DW |
US President Donald Trump has never been to Ukraine and has shown little interest in the country. In the past, he has accused the former Soviet Republic of attempting to sabotage his 2016 election campaign. At the time, information from Kyiv led to the resignation of his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who earlier had advised a pro-Russian party in Ukraine and was later sentenced to prison for charges relating to his foreign lobbying work.
Continued below the fold ...
Against that backdrop, Trump's relationship with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was reserved when he entered the White House in 2017. But in a telephone conversation with Poroshenko's successor, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in July, Trump didn't hold back his praise for Ukraine: "It's a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, they're incredible people." The call in question has since sparked an impeachment investigation in the US Congress.
Billionaire Viktor Pinchuk is perhaps Trump's most prominent Ukrainian friend. His name is linked with one of Trump's first public appearances on the subject of Ukraine. In September 2015 Trump, then a Republican primary candidate for the presidency, participated in via video-transmission in the YES summit (video), a private event where Western politicians and experts discussed Ukraine's relations with the West.
"The money was paid to president-elect Trump's foundation for support of a video conference call during the Yalta European Strategy annual conference, which is organized by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and Pinchuk-founded NGO YES in Ukraine every September," the press service told Ukrayinska Pravda.
Pinchuk is one of the wealthiest people in Ukraine. The 58-year-old son-in-law of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma comes from Dnipro (formerly Dnipropetrovsk). He owns a pipe manufacturing firm and a media conglomerate.
Remarks by US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt at the Odesa Financial Forum | U.S. Embassy - Sept. 24, 2015 |
I encourage all of you to speak up in support of these brave investigators and prosecutors. Give them the resources and support to successfully prosecute these and future cases.
We have learned that there have been times that the PGO not only did not support investigations into corruption, but rather undermined prosecutors working on legitimate corruption cases.
For example, in the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized 23 million dollars in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people. Officials at the PGO's office were asked by the U.K to send documents supporting the seizure.
Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky's attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result the money was freed by the U.K. court and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.
The misconduct by the PGO officials who wrote those letters should be investigated, and those responsible for subverting the case by authorizing those letters should - at a minimum - be summarily terminated.
Even as we support the work of the new Anti-Corruption Commission, and the recruitment of new prosecutors, we have urged Prosecutor General Shokin to empower Deputy Prosecutors Sakvarelidze and Kasko to implement reforms and bring to justice those who have violated the law, regardless of rank or status. We are prepared to partner with reformers within the PGO in the fight for anticorruption.
That's why, on August 10, the United States signed a Joint Action Plan with Deputy Prosecutor General Sakvarelidze to provide 2 million dollars in U.S. assistance to support reform, anticorruption, and capacity building at the PGO.
John Garamendi, a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California, and former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski speak at the Warsaw Security Forum on Oct. 3.
○ Speakers at Warsaw Security Forum
○ Everything you know about Ukraine is wrong | Pando - Mark Ames |
○ Experts Debate Pros and Cons of Lethal Arms for Ukraine | VOA |
From previous links here @EuroTrib in chronological order ... there are just a few.
Not quite the 'perfect fix'? by djhabakkuk on Dec. 3, 2008
In John Le Carré's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a disinformation operation by the KGB spymaster Karla creates what his adversary George Smiley calls 'the perfect fix' -- ensuring that MI6 misreads ambiguous evidence, and by silencing doubters making 'everyone wrong who's right', as Smiley graphically puts it.
The Russian President (now prime minister) Vladimir Putin features in much Western coverage of the death of the former KGB operative Alexander Litvinenko as a kind of latter-day Karla without the subtlety -- sending his minion Andrei Lugovoi to London to inflict an agonising death on an heroic dissident whose only offence was to tell the truth.
An erstwhile associate of Yuri Shvets, Karon von Gerhke-Thompson, pinpointed his role in a vigorous response to a restatement of official British claims that Litvinenko's death was a 'state action' by the BBC journalist Mark Urban in July.
Her claims take on a wholly new significance in the light of evidence unearthed by European Tribune's own resident elucidator of Italian mysteries, de Gondi, about the nuclear scaremongering scenarios and bogus murder plots fabricated by Litvinenko and his Italian associate Mario Scaramella -- in which Shvets figures as a key source.
More Gas War Background by DoDo on Jan 13th, 2006
In the recent spat about the Russian-Ukrainian gas war,
- Ukraine and many Western papers contended that Russia is just out to punish the Ukraine for turning to the West politically.
- Jérôme argued that the real conflict was between the oligarchs on the two sides, who wanted to re-divide the cake; a cake that consisted of gas given by Gazprom essentially barter for transit of Western exports and then distributed in the Ukraine for profit, and nominally Turkmen gas sold for profit by a private company owned by parts of Gazprom's management.
- In contrast, skitalets, blackhawk and slaboymni argued that the real issue is that the Ukraine exploited generous terms, to the extent of re-selling cheaply bought gas on its Western borders for market prices.
Russian-Ukrainian gas deal - what's behind it? by Jerome a Paris on Jan 4th, 2006
A resolution of the recent gas crisis between Russia and Ukraine, which had led to a temporary cut of gas supplies to Ukraine and then to Europe, has apparently been found ...
○ Russia and Ukraine reach complex, murky deal | Reuters |
First, the announcement is very suspicious on the price level.
With Gazprom delivering 25 bcm (billion cubic meters) and another 35 bcm coming from Turkmenistan (via Gazprom's pipes), to get an average price at 95$/tcm for the total would require, if 25 bcm are paid 230$/tcm, that the other 35 bcm be delivered for free.
The only way this might make sense is if the transit payment (increased from 1.09$/100km/1000tcm to 1.6$) is taken into account - i.e. the 95$/tcm would be the net price for Ukraine after the deduction of the transit fees. As they are worth about $1.5 bn at the new price, that would put a price of around 45-50$/tcm for Turkmen gas, which could be realistic. If that's the case, this is a very good deal for Russia, as they do get market prices for their gas, and they get cheap transit for their exports.
But what makes this deal even more suspicious if the announcement that the full gas volumes (i.e. 60 bcm) are going to be delivered to Ukraine by RosUkrEnergo, a "Russian-Ukrainian joint venture". Digging stuff on that company is not that difficult, as it was already involved in a "precursor" scandal last summer over the exact same subject (Gazprom wanting to increase its gas prices to Ukraine). Guess what:
○ The Russo-Ukrainian gas dispute of January 2009: a comprehensive assessment | Oxford Institute |
○ The Russian gas industry, its legal structure, and its influence on world markets
Ratify the CFE Now! by soj on June 25, 2006
Yesterday morning in my PDB [cached version] I reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin was meeting (in Moscow) with NATO head Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, to press the alliance to ratify the Adapted Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe.
But what does all this mean? What is the treaty (referred to hereafter as the CFE) refer to? And why should anyone care? Obviously most people don't, as this meeting is only being reported in the Russian press. Yet it's one of the most important treaties of our time and absolutely vital to the future of Europe and NATO-Russia relations.
Back in 1990, a treaty was signed called the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. Its goal was to significantly reduce the number of conventional weaponry in Europe to prevent any kind of build-up that led to the previous two world wars. At the time of the signing of the treaty, the Soviet Union was still in existance and, along with its Warsaw Pact allies, had vastly larger numbers of conventional weaponry (tanks, artillery, armored vehicles, etc) than did the NATO alliance (on European soil).
While nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war are "sexier", the reality on the ground is that conventional forces are much more dangerous to world peace. Tanks, artillery and attack helicopters are used to kill people on a daily basis while a nuclear weapon has not been used in 60 years.
Related reading ...
○ U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Control Watch | Arms Control Association |
○ Russian Energy Narrative Targets Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States | Polygraph - Oct. 2019 |