Russia to Renew Arms Cooperation with Cuba
December 6, 2011

Russia has decided to resume defense cooperation with the country, which remains in a state of a conflict with the United States, even though it is situated very close to US borders. It goes about Cuba. Russia will resume cooperation with this country against the background of the rising tensions in the US-Russian relations. Russia’s defense export giant Rosoboronexport is going to conclude a contract with Havana to purchase the processing line for the production of 7.62-mm rifle rounds, Kommersant daily reports.

It particularly goes about the rifle rounds designed in 1943. The processing line is to be installed at Cuba’s Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara defense enterprise. Cuba, the newspaper wrote, sent an application to Rosoboronexport last year. Russia will establish the production of the ammunition and provide Cuba with both the license and the technology for the utilization of the ammo.

According to the source, Havana evinced interest in the Russian line after Cuban officials and military men visited the ammunition factory in Venezuela. Russia has been building the factory in the Latin American country since 2006.

The cost of the contract with Cuba has not been exposed.

In the future, Moscow hopes to conclude another contract with Cuba to modernize the entire ammo production, which was established in the country at the end of the 1970s and in the beginning of the 1980s with the participation of Soviet specialists, Kommersant also said.

Cuba was one of the largest buyers of Russia’s military hardware from the 1960s till the beginning of the 1990s. Soviet army bases were deployed on the Island of Freedom about 50 years ago, as a result of the agreement between US and Soviet administrations. After the collapse of the USSR, Moscow withdrew the training center for ground troops from Cuba. In 2001, Russia closed its only radar center in the western hemisphere. The decision caused an extremely negative reaction on the part of the Cuban administration. The country lost a considerable share of budget revenues in the form of oil shipments.

From 1961 to 1991, the volume of arms shipments from the USSR to Cuba made up nearly $16 billion. The USSR supplied T-55, T-62 tanks, armored vehicles, anti-aircraft systems, MiG-29, MiG-23 and MiG-21 aircraft, helicopters, submarines, combat vessels and boats, small arms and communication means to Cuba.

All of that hardware has become outdated, of course, and needs to be modernized. The Cuban authorities are aware of that, but financial problems make them start with the modernization of small arms, Konstantin Makienko, deputy director o the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

The relations between Cuba and Russia began to improve only several years ago. Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque visited Moscow in November 2008. Two weeks after that visit, Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev went to Havana. Raul Castro paid a visit to Moscow in the beginning of 2009.

Resuming defense cooperation with Cuba may exacerbate the US-Russian relations even more, experts believe. In 1961, the United States imposed an economic embargo against Havana. In 1996, the US Congress passed the Helms-Burton Act, which stipulated additional sanctions against the foreign companies that cooperated with Cuba.

In the beginning of the fall of the outgoing year, US President Barack Obama prolonged the economic sanctions against Cuba till September 2012.

‘Arab Spring is about controlling Eurasia’

November 1, 2011

The ultimate goal of the US is to take the resources of Africa and Middle East under military control to block economic growth in China and Russia, thus taking the whole of Eurasia under control, author and historian William F. Engdahl reveals.

­The crisis with the US economy and the dollar system, the conduct of the US foreign policy is all a part of breakdown of the entire superpower structure that was built up after the end of WWII, claims Engdahl.

“Nobody in Washington wants to admit, just as nobody in Britain a hundred years ago wanted to admit that the British Empire was in terminal decline,” claims the author, noting that “All of this is related to the attempt to keep this sole superpower not only intact, but to spread its influence over the rest of the planet.”

William F. Engdahl believes the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa is a plan first announced by George W. Bush at a G8 meeting in 2003 and it was called “The Greater Middle East Project”.

It was masterminded to take under control for the “democratization” of the entire Islamic world from Afghanistan down through Iran, Pakistan and the oil producing Persian Gulf area, across North Africa all the way to Morocco.

“The so-called Arab Spring had been planned, pre-organized and used by the instigators of the ‘spontaneous’ protests and Twitter revolts in Cairo and Tunisia and so forth,” insists the historian.

Engdahl exposes that the some of the leaders of the protests had been trained in Belgrade, Serbia, by activists of Canvas (the Center for Applied Non-Violent Actions and Strategies) and Otpor (a youth movement that played a significant role ousting the former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic), organizations financed by the US State Department.

Engdahl names two reasons for the US State Department’s designs on the Islamic world.

The first reason is a vast wealth in the hands of the Arab world’s leaders, sovereign wealth funds and resources. The agenda – exactly as it was done with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 – is “the IMF privatization, ‘free market’ economy and so forth so that Western banks and financial agencies and corporations could come in and take the plunder.”

“The second agenda is militarize the oil sources in such places as Libya and the so-called Republic of South Sudan, that are directly strategic to China’s future economic growth,” points Engdahl.

“This is all about controlling Eurasia, something Zbignew Brzezinski talked about back in 1997 in his famous book The Great Chessgame, especially about controlling Russia and China and any potential cohesion of the Eurasian countries economically and politically,” he says.

And the results are already there – in Egypt and Tunisia the democracy has already brought weak economy, while Libya, the country with the highest living standards in all of Africa before the NATO bombings, today is in ruins.

The concern of the Western powers, especially the Pentagon, is the military control of the troubled region, not restoring normality, the historian evaluates. The NTC puppet government’s main concern is giving NATO prominent basing rights – something unheard of during the 42 years of Gaddafi rule.

“The AFRICOM [the Pentagon’s Africa command] is co-ordinating the scene,” William F. Engdahl says, mentioning that “interestingly enough [AFRICOM] was created just after 2006 China’s Africa diplomacy, when 40 heads of African nations were invited to Beijing and enormous deals were signed on oil exploration, building hospitals and infrastructure – anything the IMF did not do in Africa over the last 30 years.”

It is true that the US is acting against Chinese interests and national security but Beijing, that gets around $300 billion every year of trade income, simply has to invest this money somewhere and as there are no markets big enough to absorb such money – Beijing has to buy American treasuries – thus sponsoring the American wars that ironically are directed against Chinese interests.

“For the ‘Gods of Money’ of Wall Street, the only chance of survival and keeping dollar now is finding new areas of loot. The Arab Spring is directed at grabbing and privatizing the vast wealth of the Arab world,” Engdahl concludes.

But the future of the eurozone also looks grim because the Greek financial crisis was planted under the EU back in 2002 by none other than Goldman Sachs.The money trail shows, states Engdahl, that “the Greek crisis was programmed to be detonated at command by Wall Street and the US Treasury, as well as the Federal Reserve in order to defend the reserve currency – the US dollar.”

Engdahl warns that the US is building more and more bases around the world, like 17 new, mostly Air Force, bases in Afghanistan to be ready for the new war with China or probably Russia.

“Given the history more than the Cold War era, Russia can play a very stabilizing and constructive role as a counterforce to this highly dangerous strategy of The Greater Middle East project of NATO and the US,” Engdahl claims. “I would hope they do.”

Russia Completes its Own Missile Shield

Defense system to start working in December

July 22, 2011

Russia has completed the formation of its aerospace defense (VKO) – an analog of the European missile defense system – and it is expected to start operating on December 1, Lieut. Gen. Valery Ivanov, VKO commander, said on Friday.

July 22 is marked as the Day of Defenders in Moscow.On this day, 70 years ago, the Soviet air-defense troops repulsed the first massive air attack by Nazi bombers on the country’s capital. Today, as memorial events were held to commemorate the heroes, Russia’s modern air-defense was also in the spotlight.

Talking to journalists in the town of Mozhaisk in the Moscow region – where a monument to WW2 soldiers was erected – Valery Ivanov announced that “the aerospace defense system has already been created”. It will enter service on December 1, cites Interfax. Currently, the VKO is “developing, improving, integrating, and modernizing”, the aerospace system commander noted.

“We are now merging our Space Forces with the operative strategic command of the aerospace defense system,” he said.

In answer to a question regarding what the new entity would look like in the future – whether it would be a corps within a preexisting branch of the military or constitute a new branch of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the commander said that that as of now, that point is yet to be determined.

“A final decision will be made by the political leadership of our state,” Ivanov said.

Earlier, in November 2010, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered that a united air and space defense system be created by 2011, one which would bring together the air defense and missile defense systems, as well as the early missile warning and space control systems, under a unified command.

Speaking on Friday, the VKO commander also said that by 2015, the Russian Army will get the S-500 Samoderzhets (Autocrat) surface-to-air missile system – a new generation of defense weaponry that is currently under development by the Almaz-Antey company.

“We will receive new radio technical equipment, new fighter jets, and new S-500 systems by 2015. These fifth-generation tools will form a shield over Moscow,” Ivanov said. The system, which has a range of 600 km, will be able to simultaneously track and destroy up to 10 ballistic missiles at a range of 3,500 kilometers.

According to the military chief, the aerospace defense currently covers 2/3 of the territory of the Russian Federation with its shield.Every day, around 800 people are on duty to ensure Moscow’s security, he added. The VKO’s key task is to protect the capital and the central industrial regions.

Russian FSB Boss: Internet a Haven for Terrorists

Kurt Nimmo
July 6, 2011

The boss of Russia’s Federal Security Service, the main successor of the KGB during the Soviet era, told the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency that global terrorists are actively integrating with new media.

“The activity of many terrorist organizations is being carried out independently from al Qaeda and bin Laden. Their leaders actively use media and internet to publicize themselves,” Alexander Bortnikov told a meeting of security service chiefs, the Russian news agency reports.

Bortnikov said “the internet is a universal tool for terrorist to attract, recruit and teach new members as well as to plan and coordinate terrorist activity.”

According to Bortnikov, the prevention of terrorist-related activity coming from the internet is being included into the agenda of FSB meetings over the next three years.

Although details were not provided, we can assume the Russian state will take a more active role in closing down websites and internet connectivity to groups and individuals it considers terrorists.

Bortniknov’s concern was underscored by Michael Leiter, director of the National Counter-terrorism Center. Leiter said earlier this week that it is important for the government to attack and disrupt the activity of homegrown terrorists on the internet. He said views on the First Amendment and privacy will “evolve” as Americans understand the threat of terrorist propaganda transmitted over the internet.

In June, the Pentagon used the red herring of terrorist attacking subways, electrical grids, financial systems and even nuclear reactors to push its plan to actively attack hackers and others the government deems terrorists.

In 2003, the Pentagon designated the internet an enemy “weapons system.”

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Russia will continue to lower its U.S. Holdings

June 20, 2011

Russia will likely continue lowering its U.S. debt holdings as Washington struggles to contain a budget deficit and bolster a tepid economic recovery, a top aide to President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday.

“The share of our portfolio in U.S. instruments has gone down and probably will go down further,” said Arkady Dvorkovich, chief economic aide to the president, told Dow Jones in an interview on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Russian holdings of U.S. Treasury securities fell to $125.4 billion in April 2011 from $176.3 billion in October 2010, Treasury Department data showed.

Asked if U.S. debt was as solid an investment now as it was 10 years ago, Mr. Dvorkovich said: “On an absolute basis, yes. On a relative basis, compared to other investments, of course not.”

“When we take decisions and compare, we’re not thinking in absolute terms,” he said.

Russia’s financial reserves—which stood at $528 billion as of June 10—are the world’s third largest, after China and Japan’s. As of May, according to Russia’s central bank, 47% of reserves were in dollars and 41% in euros, compared with 45.2% in dollars and 43.1% in euros on Jan. 1.

The central bank recently diversified the stash to include the Canadian dollar, which makes up 1% of the total, and plans to put 0.8% into the Australian dollar starting in September.

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