- NATO Summit of Bucharest – A Declaration of War Part 2 | @BooMan – Mar. 4, 2017 |
Low point: the summit in Bucharest in 2008, where NATO under De Hoop Scheffer’s leadership noted that Georgia and Ukraine would become NATO member. Putin took it as a declaration of war.
“Talking about that: it was not my finest hour, nor of NATO. In retrospect that was a moment of great consequences.”
Exactly, a turning point in the relationship between Europe, America and Russia. The Atlantic Council outspoken policy: “We’ll make Russia a pariah state.”
INTRODUCTION Year 2006
Putin's Russia: rich, powerful, unpredictable and malicious
by Jerome a Paris Mon Jan 9th, 2006
Jerome quoted a reporter for the Economist ... some quick rebuttals explains much about today's state of affairs in the EU ... the split between East a West or New and Old has been plastered over with universal Russophobia.
Edward Lucas: The sick party line on Eastern Europe
Few more quotes from from quick googling of Lucas are below. It's even funny to read his dire predictions on Russia in 2000/2001. To me he looks patented Russophobe, consistently highly negative of Russia.
Putin's dacha or cottage
The first thing I noticed about my neighbour was that he had to build a new house: he hadn't inherited the sumptuous country retreat of his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin. That was because the deal between Russia's crooks and spooks that brought Mr Putin, then an unknown and undistinguished bureaucrat, to power in 2000 included an iron-clad agreement that the outgoing Yeltsin clan would not just be immune from prosecution, but also keep the spoils of office cash, cars and country cottages.
Secondly, the Putin "dacha" or "cottage" (it was about the size of Sandringham) was built at amazing speed and great secrecy on a disused airfield at the edge of our village. That infuriated my sons, who were learning to ride bicycles there. It also illustrated an important point about the way the Russian state works. It may be corrupt, lethargic, and stunningly incompetent in general. But when the man at the top wants something done, it happens fast and ruthlessly.
Edward Lucas: Putin's choice is between the dacha and the graveyard | ERR News - Feb. 13, 2023 |
Dutch Foreign Affairs minister Halbe Zijlstra, who lied about being in Russian president Vladimir Putin's dacha, has come under further pressure following the intervention of former Royal Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer.
Halbe Zijlstra BIG LIE: I was in Vladimir Putin's dacha and heard him speak of Greater Russia
Dutch Cabinet a leading role in false accusations, disinformation and serious warmongering ...
Dutch PM Mark Rutte has been on the roll with accusations of Russian disinformation about the MH-17 crash, election meddling and fake news through RT. It took a while to form a new cabinet after last year's general election, his party nominated its chairman for the task of Foreign Minister. Someone with no experience in diplomacy and foreign affairs. Except of course his meeting with Russia's president Putin in his dacha. Well more or less ...
The World According to Dutch FM Halbe Zijlstra
Putin's dacha and war narrative Russia bashing
Russia signals new optimism on ties with U.S. | Reuters - Feb. 9, 2009 |
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Russia welcomed a pledge by the United States "to press the reset button" on relations with Moscow, in a sign the former Cold War rivals could repair relations under President Barack Obama.
Vice President Joe Biden, in a speech at a security conference in Munich, said on Saturday it was time to end a dangerous drift in ties and work with Moscow.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, speaking at a news conference in Munich after meeting Biden on Sunday, said the United States had sent a strong signal about its willingness to cooperate.
"It is obvious the new U.S. administration has a very strong desire to change and that inspires optimism," Ivanov said.
Relations between Russia and the United States have grown increasingly strained in recent years.
Russia's brief war with Georgia last year and its recognition of the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia were condemned by the United States.
Moscow responded angrily to former President George W. Bush's plans to deploy parts of a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic as defense against perceived threats from countries hostile to Washington, chiefly Iran.
It also bristled at
Bush VP Cheney's push to bring Russia's neighbors Georgia and Ukraine into the NATO alliance.
Biden says U.S. stands with Georgia a year after war | July 22, 2009 |
TBILISI (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden, visiting Georgia, said the United States "stands with" the former Soviet republic a year after war with Russia, and urged consolidation of its 2003 revolution.
Biden arrived from Ukraine on the second leg of a trip designed to reassure the two former Soviet republics they have not been abandoned in U.S. President Barack Obama's drive to "reset" relations with Russia.
Biden said he had come "to send an unequivocal, clear, simple message to all who will listen and those who even don't want to listen: that America stands with you at this moment and will continue to stand with you."
"The shackles of the 20th century have been shed," he said at a dinner hosted by President Mikheil Saakashvili. "It's our collective responsibility to make sure that they are not once again put upon you or any other freedom-loving people."
Georgia and Ukraine turned West with the Rose and Orange revolutions of 2003 and 2004 respectively, setting their sights on membership of NATO, to the anger of neighbouring Russia.
But the revolutions have become tainted, with Ukraine's Orange leadership beset by infighting and Georgia's opposition taking to the streets to protest Saakashvili's record on democracy and last year's disastrous five-day war with Russia.
Russia crushed a Georgian assault on the breakaway pro-Russian region of South Ossetia in August, shaking Western confidence in Georgia as a transit route for oil and gas and sounding a new low in West-Russia relations.
The war deepened a split within NATO over Georgian and Ukrainian accession. Analysts say membership has been shelved for the foreseeable future.
Georgia War of aggression and two diaries by Jerome a Paris from August 2008 ...
Same corrupt leadership and same homophobic rightwing population ... eligible for the EU ⁉️WTF
NATO aspirant country blames NATO for Russia's war on Ukraine NATO aspirant country Georgia blames NATO for Russia's war on Ukraine | Politico - May 30, 2023 |
Anti-Americans should stop masquerading as anti-war
by Frank Schnittger Tue Aug 19th, 2008
My letter to the Editor on the South Ossetia crisis was published by both the Irish Times (today) and as the featured Letter in Saturday's Irish Independent, the largest circulation newspaper in Ireland.
It has also drawn a vituperative response in today's Irish Independent.
Another case of America-bashing - Letters, Opinion - Independent.ie [cached archive]
...the letters by Frank Schnittger and John Gunning attempting to link America to the catastrophe were ludicrous.
The former's insinuations about a supposed role played by the McCain campaign in fomenting unrest in the region, would be laughable if they weren't so serious.
Both letters [UPDATE - and a string of further Letters to the Editor which have been published in the Irish Times and Irish Independent since] are reproduced in full below. Perhaps ET readers might like to suggest an appropriate response.
Firstly, my letter:
Aftermath of war in the Caucasus - The Irish Times - Tue, Aug 19, 2008 [cached archive]
Madam, - Randy Scheunemann, Senator John McCain's senior foreign policy adviser, is a friend of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and was for four years a paid lobbyist for the Georgian government. He ended his official lobbying connection only last March, months after starting to work for McCain. He also worked on McCain's 2000 presidential campaign, after which he headed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which championed the US Iraq invasion.
In 2005, while registered as a paid lobbyist for Georgia, Scheunemann worked with McCain to draft a congressional resolution pushing for Georgia's membership of Nato. A year later, while still on the Georgian payroll, Scheunemann accompanied McCain on a trip to that country, where they met Saakashvili and supported his hard-line views toward Russia's Vladimir Putin.
Carl Bildt: Neocon lobbyist? by NordicStorm Wed Feb 21st, 2007
Randy Scheunemann was a director of Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI), and a former advisor of Donald Rumsfeld, according to the article. CLI had "close links to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) according to Wikipedia.
US-UK Military Libya Intervention by NATO- Campaign for Oil Contracts - 2011
Confirmation of my writings where the start of a NATO-Russia alliance came to an abrupt halt ... R2P policy used by the United States for military intervention by any means to foster regime change. One moment under Medvedev, the Fox was allowed in the hen house ...
Putin's answer to NATO and Arab states putsch to oust Bashar al Assad ... to preserve sovereignty and uphold the UN Charter.
Inside the Kremlin rivalry that radicalized Russia's strongman | Politico - Oct. 1, 2015 |
The protests in the Arab world had galvanized Russia's beleaguered opposition, at least in the still safe space of the Internet, and Medvedev's remarks sounded sympathetic to things that Putin feared most. Medvedev, while hardly endorsing protests at home, sounded irresolute. The American vice president, Joseph Biden, even had the audacity to quote him during a speech at Moscow State University in March 2011, in which he declared that Russians should have the same rights as anyone else. "Most Russians want to choose their national and local leaders in competitive elections," Biden said in what amounted to an endorsement in the undeclared campaign taking shape. "They want to be able to assemble freely, and they want a media to be independent of the state. And they want to live in a country that fights corruption. That's democracy. They're the ingredients of democracy. So I urge all of you students here: Don't compromise on the basic elements of democracy. You need not make that Faustian bargain."
Behind the scenes, Biden used his visit to press Medvedev to support a United Nations Security Council resolution to authorize a military intervention in Libya, where peaceful protests had turned into an armed insurrection against the country's dictator, Muammar al-Qaddafi. The United States, its NATO allies, and some Arab nations wanted to establish a "no fly" zone over the country to prevent the bloody suppression of the rebels. Medvedev agreed, persuaded by the humanitarian case for intervention, despite the opposition of the Foreign Ministry and other security officials who saw the prospect of a NATO-led campaign outside its border as an extension of American hegemony to another part of the world. He had drifted dangerously far from Putin's path, making a confrontation seem inevitable.
Moscow 2011 : White man speaks with forked tongue.
Joseph Biden during a speech at Moscow State University in March 2011, in which he declared that Russians should have the same rights as anyone else urges democracy
Vice President Biden's Remarks at Moscow State University | March 10, 2011 |
I want to publicly as well thank President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin for their hospitality. We have very good meetings, very long meetings, and I hope, productive.
And I want to thank AmCham Russia for sponsoring this event, working to foster a modern business climate after the fall of communism.
And, Rector, again, thank you for hosting us here at Moscow State University, which has given Russia and the world so many and such an extraordinary array of graduates, among them eight-- if I'm not mistaken, eight Nobel Laureates, including former President Gorbachev, who I have known for some time.
In addition to my wife, Jill, I brought along my granddaughter. Her name is -- my number two granddaughter. Her name is Finnegan Biden. And I brought her along to Russia, because I wanted her to see this great country with her own eyes, the country of Pushkin's poetry and Tolstoy's prose, the country of Tchaikovsky's compositions, and Zhukov's and Gagarin's heroic feats. It is a rich and a noble culture. And I'm delighted she has had a chance to get a -- just a little glimpse of it.
Let me also thank our Ambassador John Beyrle, and his team, for hosting me. As you businesspeople know, there's an old expression if you're in the military -- but also if you're in the diplomatic corps. The good news is the commanding general is coming. The bad news is the commanding general is coming. On the diplomatic side, the good news is the Vice President is coming, and the bad news, the Vice President is coming because I've created an extraordinary amount of work for John's incredible team.
But John is one of the best America has to offer. And anyone who doubts the ability of Americans and Russians to work together, need only examine the history of John's family. His father, Joe -- Joseph was a hero in both Russia and the United States, an American soldier taken prisoner by the Nazis who went on -- later when he escaped to fight with the Red Army on the Eastern Front. And now, more than 65 years later, his son is the American envoy to Moscow. I think that's a remarkable, remarkable story.
And today, I also want to address -- and the main reason I'm here -- is the state of U.S.-Russian relations. I don't need to tell anyone in this audience that our administration, when we took office in January of `09, our relationship with Russia had hit a fairly low point that had accumulated over the previous eight years.
Yes, so we saw a war between Russia and Georgia played out, and played a role in that decline. But even before that conflict erupted in August of `08, a dangerous drift was underway in this important relationship. While we no longer considered each other enemies, we couldn't always tell from the rhetoric that was flying back and forth across the continent.
Ironically, this came at a time when American and Russian interests -- on nuclear arms control, nonproliferation, stabilizing Afghanistan, fighting terrorism, opening global markets and a range of other issues -- at a time when all of them, we were more closely aligned than ever on each and every one of those issues.
So to seize this opportunity, President Obama and I proposed forging a fresh new start by, as I said in the initial speech on our foreign policy, by pressing a restart button, reset button. We wanted to literally reset this relationship, reset it in a way that reflected our mutual interests, so that our countries could move forward together.
The President asked me to make that "reset" the focus of our administration's first foreign policy speech, that I delivered several weeks after our inauguration at the Munich Security Conference. And I said then, and I quote, "the United States and Russia can disagree and still -- still -- work together where our interests coincide. And they coincide in many places."
Now, we know that pursuing this agenda -- we knew pursuing this agenda would be hard work, that old habits -- as we say in America, old habits die hard. That's why President Obama has met nearly a dozen times with President Medvedev, and why together we established a Bilateral Presidential Commission with working groups on key issues like arms control and energy, broadening the contacts between our two governments.
And in spite, in spite of what we call -- excuse me, in the spirit of what we call in America a "dual-track engagement," we've also worked to deepen our ties between our countries' business leaders, including many of the distinguished men and women in this room, as well as between our civil society groups.
Nudging Russia towards western democracy had taken root during the Yeltsin years and his favorite American president Bill Clinton ...
William Browder 2017
Lawsuit Against Prominent Putin Critic Bill Browder Revived by D.C. Circuit | Law & Crome - Dec. 2020 |
Peter Katsyv was part of the $230 million tax scam to defraud the Russian government/taxpayer.
My diary @ET
A Gordian Knot: IC-Gate | July 13, 2017 |
5 citizens who left the U.S. to avoid paying tax -- WILLIAM BROWDER | CBS News - 2012 | [cached archive ]
5 citizens who left the U.S. to avoid paying tax | CNET - July 17, 2012 |
These former U.S. citizens made lots of money in the land of the free, then headed overseas
Born in New Jersey in 1964, William Felix Browder is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Hermitage Capital Management, a $1 billion British investment fund.
Browder, a grandson of the chairman of the U.S. Communist Party from 1932 to 1945, gave up his American citizenship in Q3-1998, two years before he co-founded the fund with Lebanese-Brazilian Jewish banker Edmond Safra.
"Well, my grandfather was the biggest Communist in America," Browder said in an interview in 2006, the year he was barred from re-entering Russia.
"I'm one of the biggest friends there is in Russia," Browder said. "I've brought $4 billion of capital. I've been extremely supportive in the West of their policies. It couldn't, they couldn't possibly be kicking me out like this."
Officials with the U.S Department of State had no serious plan to assist Browder find a new home in 2006, after he renounced his American
rights citizenship for tax reasons.
Browder Interview -- 2006
American Energy Investor Barred from Russia | NPR - May 21, 2006 |
William Browder runs Hermitage Capital Management, a $4 billion-plus fund investing mainly in Russia's oil and gas sector. But now Browder has been barred from Russia.
MICHELE KELEMEN reporting:
When you ask Russophiles what drew them to Russia, you don't usually get the kind of story Bill Browder has to offer. His grandfather was once the chairman of the American Communist Party.
Mr. BILL BROWDER (President, Hermitage Capital Management): Well, my grandfather was the biggest Communist in America. And I'm one of the biggest capitalists in Russia.
KELEMEN: The 42-year-old Browder runs a $4 billion investment fund in Moscow, Hermitage Capital Management. He's been a vocal supporter of Vladimir Putin, even when most Western analysts were criticizing the Kremlin's crackdown on Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the oil company Yukos.
Browder seemed comfortable with his Kremlin connections, until one day back in November, when he was returning to Moscow from one of his regular weekend jaunts to his second home in London. Russian authorities turned him away.
Mr. BROWDER: And at first I thought it must be a big mistake, because if anything, I'm one of the biggest friends there is in Russia. I've brought $4 billion of capital. I've been extremely supportive in the West of their policies. It couldn't, they couldn't possibly be kicking me out like this.
KELEMEN: The only explanation he got was that his visa was revoked under a law which bans foreigners who pose security or health risks. Browder suspects the real reason is that he stepped on a few too many toes with his numerous court battles to promote shareholder rights and stop asset stripping in the opaque oil and gas companies he was investing in.
Mr. BROWDER: The whole business strategy that I pursued over the last 10 years has been anti-corruption, transparency and shareholder activism. And so I've pissed off a lot of people. And there's no other explanation, in my mind, as to why they would have done this, other than I stepped on the wrong toes. And this is the type of thing that happens all the time. It just never happened to me before.
KELEMEN: This is not just a story about one wealthy businessman running afoul of the Russian system. Russia watchers say it is a sign of just how arbitrary the Russian system is, and a sign that the KGB types are winning in a power struggle with reformers.
Russia's Reformist Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin alluded to this when he was asked recently about Browder's visa headaches.
American Energy Investor Bill Browder Barred from Russia December 2005
Kremlin Bashes Russia
by Jerome a Paris Fri March 17th, 2006
Overvalued costs on purchases have been the other usual way for Gazprom managers to skim off vast amounts of money (the main one being skimming on the exports to non-EU countries like Ukraine, as I have extensively chronicled), so nothing new here.
Now let me say that Browder's expectations are to some extent naive, but he is in his role. Russia chose to put Gazprom on the stock market and cannot expect shareholders not to worry about the value of their investment, and especially about the very real risk of value capture by insiders.
And they don't have so much to complain, as Gazprom's stock market value has gone up sharply in recent months.
But preventing the guy from coming to Russia? Sheesh.
It's... it's... like the French building "national champions" - too much in your face!
Officials with the U.S Department of State had no serious plan to assist Browder find a new home in 2006, after he renounced his American
rights citizenship for tax reasons
The Hague - April 2014: Investors who are withdrawing capital from Russia because of the Ukraine crisis are mainly moving it to Cyprus, the Netherlands and the British Virgin Islands. That is what specialists say who have insight into these capital flows.
Borrell: "Even As Afghanistan Has Been A Failure, Georgia Has Been a Succes Story"
A more recent diary …
Catch 22: From Georgian War to Ukraine 2022