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28 August 2008

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Curious

Russia is drawing their line and making their policy clear. At least Medvedev say it outloud they don't want confrontation, just want their land back.

There goes NATO weapons market.

Ukraine next.


http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e9469744-7784-11dd-be24-0000779fd18c.html

Russia anounces ‘spheres of interest’

By Charles Clover in Moscow

August 31 2008

Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday announced Moscow’s intention to preserve geographical spheres “of privileged interest” on or near its borders as part of a five point foreign policy statement in a television interview.

...

In the announcing his five-point foreign policy, he emphasised Russia’s wish to avoid confrontation or international isolation as the result of the recent conflict, which has been widely criticised in the west. “Russia does not intend to isolate itself. We will develop, as much as possible, our friendly relations with Europe and the United States, and other nations of the world”

He also focused on a commitment to international law, and again expressed Moscow’s now familiar antipathy to a “unipolar” world dominated by Washington, saying “this type of world is unstable and threatens conflict”.

Mr Medvedev’s announcement that Russia has “regions of priviledged interest” is likely to be greeted with concern in the west, where it might be interpreted as the announcement that Moscow has imperial ambitions in the former Soviet Union. It is also likely to resonate in Crimea, the province of Ukraine that is dominated by ethnic Russians, ethnically Russian northern Kazakhstan, and Baltic states with large Russian minorities.

"Russia, like other countries in the world, has regions in which it has privileged interests” said Mr Medvedev. “In these regions are located countries which have friendly relations…Russia will work attentively in these regions" he said, adding these "privileged" regions included states bordering Russia, but not only those.

Curious

Gah... Another hawk getting loud.

1. Russia already warned Bush about georgia months before Olympic.

2. Everybody knows US/Israel preparation, Sakaasvily Rose revolution. Georgia is a neocon hackery.

3. Isolate Russia internationally? Russia answer to that is to start screwing with Israel to shut every jewish hawks within the minute. (arming Syria, Iran, Jordan and Egypt) Russia knows Israel is the beginning and the end of neocon interest. And the state department is nothing more than neocon organization by now.

4. Albright is all for Iraq war. So she should shut the hell up. She is a war criminal.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jKGyvl-wPdH2pItbNf_eGOGEWdkw

Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright has blasted the current US administration's handling of the Georgia crisis, saying her first move would have been to travel to Russia for talks.

In an interview with the online service of German news weekly Der Spiegel Sunday, Albright said she would have criticised the Russian military surge into Georgia and recognition of two Georgian rebel enclaves but reassured Moscow over its security fears.

"I would have gone straight to Moscow, unlike the current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice," she said, in remarks printed in German.

"I would have told the Russians in no uncertain terms that this behaviour is unacceptable. At the same time, I would have assured them that there is no threat at their borders."

Albright called for a decisive response by the West to the Russia's actions in the Caucasus.

"If (Russian Prime Minister Vladimir) Putin does not rethink this then we must find ways to isolate Russia internationally," she said.

Curious

Here goes the "huge policy change"

The military industrial complex wants to keep all their big toys.

Regarding space shuttle:
1. It should have been retired 20 years ago and a replacement should have been readya decade ago.

2. unfortunately, a replacement vehicles is not as lucrative as maintaining this giant space shuttle boondagle. (It's really work pogrom for Boeing and Space Alliance. It has nothing to do with space and space exploration. Everything to do with selling more gear and launch service to nowhere.)

Direct result keeping the enormously expensive and non effective space shuttle alive: It retards development of cheap vehicles. And Russia - European cooperation will dominate space exploration after space shuttle really become far too expensive to do anything useful. (that would be after they launch their tug boat on Soyuz 2.5 in late 2009)

The launch cost & frequency parity will be 3 to 1 or bigger. (Shuttle launch cost is half a billion a pop and growing.)

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/orl-nasa2908aug30,0,3449221.story

NASA chief asks: Can shuttle fly after 2010?

The decision signals what could be a huge change in NASA policy. Griffin has steadfastly opposed extending the shuttle era beyond its 2010 retirement date, arguing it could kill astronauts and cripple the agency's fledgling Constellation program, a system of new rockets and capsules meant to replace the shuttle.

But geopolitics and political pressure are undermining his position.

The Russian invasion of neighboring Georgia has chilled relations between Washington and Moscow. The incursion has threatened NASA's carefully laid plans to rely on Russian spaceships to ferry astronauts to the international space station during the years between the shuttle's retirement and the maiden voyage of NASA's next generation of rocket in 2015.

Clifford Kiracofe

Per Russia-US relations--

to get out from under the US media's bubble over the United States, and official White House propaganda, listen to the extremely interesting and significant speech by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to Moscow State University students of international relations today is available live on Russia Today online at: http://russiatoday.com/news/news/29758/video

The words speak for themselves and you do not need some vapid American journalist-entertainer-talking head to
"explain" them to you.

David Habakkuk

Dana Jones:

During the Cold War, a second strike retaliatory capability never existed as a serious operational option -- either for the Russians or the U.S.

It was an abstract construct produced by academic theorists who did not study the practical problems of operationalising their ideas.

As to the contemporary Russian situation, it is not clear that they even have a viable launch on warning capability any longer.

The risks of inadvertent nuclear war involved in a confrontation between two opposing arsenals, both structured for launch on warning, were vastly greatly than was generally realised.

Where one of those arsenals does not possess a warning system adequate to sustain a launch on warning posture, it would seem likely that the risks will be far greater.

Curious

Georgia better reevaluate their position. They are not going to last. Their 15 minutes of fame has just expired.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aoaeJtVV781c&refer=home

Georgia August Dollar Sales Surge Amid Russia Crisis


Georgia's central bank sold more dollars in August than in any other month in at least nine years as the former Soviet republic sought to support the lari amid its five-day war with neighboring Russia.

The $187.2 million that was sold amounted to almost 13 percent of Georgia's $1.5 billion reserves, according to central bank figures. The sales were the highest since the National Bank of Georgia started to compile data on foreign-exchange interventions on its Web site in January 1999.

-------

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-09/02/content_9752291.htm

An extraordinary European Union summit shelved sanctions against Russia on Monday to cover internal divisions, but the 27-nation bloc agreed to postpone meetings on negotiations of a partnership agreement.

"Until troops have withdrawn to the positions held prior to Aug.7, meetings on the negotiation of the Partnership Agreement will be postponed," said a conclusion issued after the summit ended following hours of discussions on the situation in Georgia and ties with Russia.

Curious

Israeli made M85 cluster munition found in Georgia. This doesn't look good in europe.

http://www.boomantribune.com/?op=displaystory

Clifford Kiracofe

Georgia as a base for Israeli strike against Iran:


...."In a secret agreement between Israel and Georgia, two military airfields in southern Georgia had been earmarked for the use of Israeli fighter-bombers in the event of pre-emptive attacks against Iranian nuclear installations. This would sharply reduce the distance Israeli fighter-bombers would have to fly to hit targets in Iran. And to reach Georgian airstrips, the Israeli air force would fly over Turkey." ....
http://www.metimes.com/Security/2008/09/02/
commentary_israel_of_the_caucasus/f5e1/

Clifford Kiracofe

One benefit of reading the foreign press is that you can find interesting analyses. Over here, the media censorship news bubble over America and the news as entertainment thing combine with the generally incompetent "journalists" covering foreign affairs. Informed discussion is thus made more difficult. We can be thankful for a handful of authentic pros like Pfaff (LA Times) and de Borchgrave (UPI).

Here is something interesting today from London:

"The most frightening sight in recent weeks has not been the media’s metamorphosis of Russia from genial, if rather uncouth, bear into snarling wolf, but the knee-jerking of British politicians.

"In Kiev and Tbilisi, David Miliband, the foreign secretary, and David Cameron, the Tory leader, displayed their lack of historical perspective, posturing on politico-economic faultlines of which they appear to have barely schoolboy understanding. Russia is a huge country not as far away as we would like, about which our politicians know far too little. That is most acute when it comes to the “near abroad”, the former Soviet republics to which George W Bush – and now Miliband and Cameron – would like to extend the Nato membership that the West refused Russia....."
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/
columnists/guest_contributors/article4641340.ece


Curious

Bush is mapping the black sea. This is going to lead into submarine battle for real.

few months from now, we gonna start hearing submarine colliding with each others in the black sea.

(Is the result of the survey gong to be accurate? All the russian has to do is to put a submarine right under the surveyor)

http://en.rian.ru/world/20080903/116513608.html


"A U.S. Pathfinder ship has entered the Black Sea," the source said on condition of anonymity.

USNS Pathfinder (T-AGS 60) is an oceanographic survey ship owned by Military Sealift Command and has a civilian crew and scientists on board.

However, a Russian military source told RIA Novosti that ships of the Pathfinder class could be used for reconnaissance and intelligence gathering purposes.

"We have reliable information confirming that the [Pathfinder] ship has arrived in the Black Sea primarily to conduct intelligence gathering operations in support of the NATO naval task group currently deployed in the area," the source said.

NATO sent at least five warships, including guided missile frigates, into the Black Sea after Russia completed its operation "to force Georgia to peace" on August 12.

Curious

Georgia as a base for Israeli strike against Iran:
Posted by: Clifford Kiracofe | 03 September 2008 at 06:16 AM

very clever. I almost miss that. But by now, the entire georgian airspace is under Russia's radar and air defense.

btw, France/Sarkozy is leading the UNIFIL for this year. We'll see if he lets the Israeli pass the Lebanese airspace.


The Israeli was so angry when the German didn't let them fly through UNIFIL area few years back.

Curious

"The most frightening sight in recent weeks has not been the media’s metamorphosis of Russia from genial, if rather uncouth, bear into snarling wolf, but the knee-jerking of British politicians.
Clifford Kiracofe | 03 September 2008 at 06:48 AM

I got the feeling Downing street needs a distraction/boogey man to hide the UK recession. Their economic number is really bad.

---

anyway, the Russian is running down their list. Obviously, suddenly they realizes they can't simply hitch the entire thing on european economy. They simply have to build international network + building their own country and neighbors. (They just sign pipe deal wil Uzbek/turk-. Several treaties was also sign in last SCO meeeting.)

Commercial transaction between Russia and Japan is also booming.

Once the Pacific pipeline is open, Russia can play Europe vs. Asian oil/gas market. (2011?)

http://www.kommersant.com/p1018696/Russia_confronts_the_West/

More serious sanctions are usually hard to realize, although the public considers them quite probable. For example, it’s impossible to redirect the pipes from Europe to China – the Russian economy won’t endure it. Moreover, China is not ready to consume such volumes of energy carriers at global prices. There are no pipelines going from the peninsula of Yamal to China – the whole infrastructure is Europe-oriented. The Kovyktinskoye field could become a source of energy carriers for China. But in this case the fields of Russia’s richest gas area – Yamal – would be closed.

Curious

Yushchenko is gone. He gonna lose election and has no coalition power as Timoshenko is changing side.

Next president is going to be Timoshenko . Tho how she gonna hold a coalition against Yuschenko is a big question.

probably Yuschenko has to cheat massively.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=avVAAysbcd8I&refer=europe

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko threatened to dissolve the parliament and call elections after his party quit the ruling coalition when Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko teamed up with a pro-Russian opposition party.

Timoshenko joined former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's party and the Communist party in a vote to curtail presidential powers and reject Yushchenko's condemnation of the Russian invasion of Georgia, another former Soviet republic, last month.

``The coalition's collapse may bring on early national elections as all of the big parties may see some benefits,'' said Oleksandr Lytvynenko, a political analyst at Kiev-based Razumkov Center, by phone today. ``We may also see a new coalition, formed by Timoshenko and Yanukovych, and that might explain Timoshenko's neutral position on the Russian-Georgian conflict.''

Ukraine, which is split between a Russian-speaking east and wealthier western regions, became an increasing concern for the West after Russia rolled over Georgia's army and recognized the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The U.S. suggested that Russia may next pose a threat to Ukraine, a conduit for natural gas exports to Europe, which Yushchenko has steered toward NATO and European Union membership.

Clifford Kiracofe

A clear statement from the Vice President:

"President Bush has sent me here with the clear and simple message for the people of Azerbaijan and the entire region.

"The United States has a deep and abiding interest in your well being and security."

Cheney, the most senior US official to visit the Caucasus region since Russia and Georgia fought a brief war last month, said access to energy resources there and in Central Asia was a top concern for Washington.

"Energy security is essential to us all and the matter is becoming increasingly urgent," Cheney said after meeting Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

"We must work with Azerbaijan and other countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia on additional routes for energy exports," he said.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jtXFWLBxeHhLZF8XCVKVjDwqE8jw

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