(AP) Thousands of troops, backed by hundreds of tanks, artillery and other heavy weaponry, began rumbling through the North Caucasus on Monday, as Russia began its largest military exercises since last year’s war with Georgia.
The Caucasus 2009 war games are being seen by many experts as a warning shot for nearby Georgia, where the government says it has rearmed armed forces and where NATO recently wrapped up its own exercises.
Experts say the exercises may also be signal to the United States that Russia will give no ground on its efforts to maintain an exclusive sphere of influence in Georgia and other former Soviet republics. The games run through July 6 _ the day that President Barack Obama arrives in Moscow for a highly anticipated summit with Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev.
MOSCOW — A Russian air force chief said Saturday that the country could base some strategic bombers in Cuba or on an island offered by Venezuela, the Interfax news agency reported, but a Kremlin official quickly said the military had been speaking only hypothetically. The U.S. and Russia have been trying to reset their relationship, severely strained over U.S. plans to position missile defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic and by Russia’s invasion of U.S. ally Georgia last year. Russia has nothing to gain strategically from basing long-range craft within relatively short range of U.S. shores, independent military analyst Alexander Golts said, calling the military statement a retaliatory gesture aimed at hitting back after U.S. ships patrolled Black Sea waters near Georgia. The chief of staff of Russia’s long range aviation, Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, was quoted by Interfax as saying Saturday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had offered “a whole island with an airdrome, which we can use as a temporary base for strategic bombers.”
Octogenarian War Criminal and Globalist Mafioso Henry Kissinger Meets in Secret with Russia to Offer Putin a New World Order Deal he “Can’t Refuse”
American statesman Henry Kissinger made a secret visit to Moscow to persuade the Kremlin to join a US proposal to slash the number of nuclear warheads on both sides, reports The Daily Telegraph. The former US Secretary of State met with both President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin on the vist, the UK newspaper says. One of the world’s most controversial politicians, Henry Kissinger is again spearheading American foreign policy. In December, Kissinger – now 85-years-old – secretly flew into the Russian capital at the request of then President-elect Barack Obama. Kissinger was there to sound out the Kremlin on a bilateral reduction of nuclear weapons, the paper says.
The members of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation – Russia and six neighbouring states – have agreed to set up a collective rapid reaction force to combat terrorism, military aggression, and drug trafficking. The decision was made during a CSTO summit in Moscow, attended by the leaders and foreign ministers of the member-states: Russia, Belarus and five countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia – Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, the current chair of the group, said the decision was momentous.
Ukraine’s Naftogaz has requested Gazprom to hand over 21 million cubic metres of gas daily if the Russian company wants transit to Europe resumed, RT’s sources in Ukraine say. In this quarter alone the demanded gas would cost up to $US 1 billion. Naftogaz has sent a draft agreement to Gazprom that would amend the contract between them. The clause says the Russian company would provide the so-called process gas that is used to power compressor stations that pump the fuel through the pipelines.
According to Russia’s energy giant, this contradicts all the agreements reached by both the two countries and the EU. Gazprom Deputy CEO Aleksandr Medvedev said that under these conditions there is no physical ability for the company to transport gas to Europe via Ukraine, and the responsibility for that is ‘totally with the Ukrainian side’. He added that the European Commission representatives have defined the situation as force majeure. “The Ukrainian side has cynically informed us that their gas transporting system has been redirected to inner consuming. In this case any gas pumped into their system will not reach European customers,” Aleksandr Medvedev said.
…The Ukraine-Russia gas debacle is a pathetic attempt by the Anglo-American establishment to foment rabid anti-Russian hysteria in Western Europe. Ukraine receives its primary line of credit from the IMF and World Bank. How much do you want to bet that the criminal overlords of the Bank of England have instructed Ukraine not to divert any gas into Western Europe to vilify Russia?
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