You have to ask, how could the blockade of Kaliningrad not have unintended consequences? One side thinks one thing is going to happen, and the other side thinks something else entirely is going to happen. From Robert Bridge at strategic-consequences.org:
For the EU to impose even a partial blockade of Russian territory presents a tremendous risk to regional stability and world peace. Some are beginning to talk about the risk of World War III.
Lithuania has blocked a number of rail-transport goods from reaching the Russia exclave of Kaliningrad. Vilnius says it is merely adhering to the EU-mandated sanctions regime, but Moscow warns it has broken international law. Is this a casus belli?
Efforts to punish Russia for defending its territory from encroaching NATO forces, as well as a very real neo-Nazi threat in neighboring Ukraine ratcheted up this week as Vilnius halted the flow of goods into Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave that is bordered by NATO members Poland to the south, Lithuania to the north and east, and the Baltic Sea to the west.
Kaliningrad Governor Anton Alikhanov says the ban affects some 50 percent of all imported goods, including energy resources, metals, construction materials and advanced technology. Official pleas against panic buying went unheeded as frantic shoppers were seen hoarding products.
At a moment US media and much of the West is consumed with the historic Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Russian President Vladimir Putin just issued what’s possibly the most alarming and escalatory statement thus far in the four-month long Ukraine war.
On Saturday Putin for the first time informed his close ally Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that he has approved supplying Belarus with nuclear capable long-range missiles. Minsk has long offered to host Russian nukes as a ‘deterrent’ against the West – a prospect which Lukashenko had very provocatively offered even in the months leading up to the Feb.24 invasion of Ukraine. This move will likely be viewed from Washington as a first step in moving toward a heightened nuclear posture in Eastern Europe.
Reuters writes of the announcement, “Russia will supply Belarus with Iskander-M missile systems, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a televised meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday. Delivery will take place within a few months, he added.”
Putin referenced nuclear-capability, according to a transcript of the televised remarks: “In the coming months, we will transfer to Belarus Iskander-M tactical missile systems, which can use ballistic or cruise missiles, in their conventional and nuclear versions.”
The report underscores further that “The Iskander-M is a mobile guided missile system with a range of up to 500 km (300 miles). The missiles can carry conventional or nuclear warheads.”
Currently, Putin and Lukashenka are meeting face-to-face in St. Petersburg on the 30th anniversary of the two countries establishing diplomatic relations, which eventually led to the so-called ‘Union State’ pact of 1999, and has persisted till now, which also enabled Russia to muster much of its forces on Belarusian territory just ahead of the Ukraine invasion.
The U.S. has been going after Russia via proxies for quite some time. From Patrick Macfarlane at libertarianinstitute.org:
In 1998, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbiegnew Brzezinski told Le Nouvel Observateur that the CIA “knowingly increased the probability” that the Russians would invade Afghanistan by covertly supporting the Mujahideen before the Soviet invasion. Later in that same interview, Brzezinski claims that this covert intervention caused the end of the Soviet Union:
B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, essentially: “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.” Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war that was unsustainable for the regime, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
In July 2014, almost six months after the Maidan Revolution and Russia’s subsequent annexation of Crimea, Brzezinski hinted at a similar plan for Ukraine, although he couched it in defensive terms. He wrote on the Atlantic Council’s blog:
If Ukraine has to be supported so that it does resist, the Ukrainians have to know the West is prepared to help them resist. And there’s no reason to be secretive about it. It would be much better to be open about it and to say to the Ukrainians and to those who may threaten Ukraine that if Ukrainians resist, they will have weapons. And we’ll provide some of those weapons in advance of the very act of invasion. Because in the absence of that, the temptation to invade and to preempt may become overwhelming. But what kind of weapons is important. And in my view, they should be weapons designed particularly to permit the Ukrainians to engage in effective urban warfare of resistance.
Speaking in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday, President Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
The White House immediately rushed to talk back that call for regime change and a day later Biden himself denied that he was calling for regime change:
President Joe Biden told reporters on Sunday he was not calling for a regime change in Russia when he said a day earlier that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power,” a surprising comment the White House quickly tried to walk back Saturday.When a reporter asked if he was calling for Putin’s removal from office, Biden replied “no” as he walked out of church Sunday afternoon, according to Bloomberg pool reporter Courtney Rozen.
However, other parts of the U.S. government makes unmistakeably clear that its aims in Russia go even much than regime change. Tomorrow the US Government’s Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) will hold a briefing on the “Moral and Strategic Imperative” that makes it necessary to “Decolonize Russia”.
Lithuania must think its American big brother will bail it out should Russian decide to act on this newest provocation. From Ray McGovern at antiwar.com:
Lithuania is trying to create new “facts on the ground,” hoping to provoke the kind of response from Russia that will determine tone and substance of the important NATO summit scheduled for June 28-30 in Madrid.
On June 17 the Lithuanians announced they were banning the rail transit of goods through Lithuania to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The ban went into effect on June 18. Sandwiched between EU and NATO members Poland and Lithuania, Kaliningrad receives supplies from Russia via rail and gas pipelines through Lithuania including goods sanctioned by the EU.
Moscow’s response came on June 20, with a foreign ministry statement calling the denial of transit “openly hostile.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov branded Lithuania’s actions “illegal” and told reporters:
“This decision is really unprecedented. It’s a violation of everything. We consider this illegal. The situation is more than serious … We need a serious in-depth analysis in order to work out our response.”
Could a sliver of land between Poland and Lithuania set off World War III. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Update (1100ET): The Russian Foreign Ministry has responded to Lithuania’s partial blockade of Kaliningrad, writing in a statement that they consider the “provocative measures” to be “openly hostile” and warning that the Kremlin may take action to “protect its national interests.”
Kaliningrad is sandwiched between the EU and NATO members Poland and Lithuania. Supplies from Russia are delivered via rail and gas pipelines through Lithuania – which announced last week that it was banning the rail transit of goods subject to EU sanctions, which include coal, advanced technology, metals and construction materials.
“If in the near future cargo transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation through Lithuania is not restored in full, then Russia reserves the right to take actions to protect its national interests,” the statement reads.
They have demanded that Lithuania immediately lift the ban on a number of goods to the Kaliningrad region.
Much of the world is not just turning its back on the U.S., it is constructing an alternative order. From Pepe Escobar at thesaker.is:
The coming of the new G8 points to the inevitable advent of BRICS +, one of the key themes to be discussed in the upcoming BRICS summit in China.
The speaker of the Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, may have created the defining acronym for the emerging multipolar world: “the new G8”.
As Volodin noted, “the United States has created conditions with its own hands so that countries wishing to build an equal dialogue and mutually beneficial relations will actually form a ‘new G8’ together with Russia.”
This non Russia-sanctioning G8, he added, is 24.4% ahead of the old one, which is in fact the G7, in terms of GDP in purchasing power parity (PPP), as G7 economies are on the verge of collapsing and the U.S. registers record inflation.
The power of the acronym was confirmed by one of the researchers on Europe at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Sergei Fedorov: three BRICS members (Brazil, China and India) alongside Russia, plus Indonesia, Iran, Turkey and Mexico, all non adherents to the all-out Western economic war against Russia, will soon dominate global markets.
Fedorov stressed the power of the new G8 in population as well as economically: “If the West, which restricted all international organizations, follows its own policies, and pressures everyone, then why are these organizations necessary? Russia does not follow these rules.”
Is Russia the last great hope for civilization? From Batiushka at thesaker.is:
A huge and historic injustice took place in Europe in 1914, which over the next four years left many, many millions dead. Who was responsible? The power-lusting Prussians of Germany, using Austro-Hungarian imperialism as their pawn, or the power-lusting Establishment of Great Britain, using French revanchism as their pawn? Some would say that all were to some extent responsible, though the spontaneous 1914 Christmas Armistice on the Western Front suggests that this was not a War of the peoples, but of the elites. But we shall leave the debate about responsibilities to the academics. We are not concerned by apportioning blame or conspiracies, here we are concerned only by the tragic consequences.
That War, become to some extent worldwide, left millions of dead, the flower of European Youth massacred by sadistic politicians, by greedy arms merchants who also largely controlled the Press, and by heartless generals. Apart from the dead, the forces of evil left behind them a Continent traumatised, tens of millions of shell-shocked, maimed, widows, orphaned and also spinsters, who sixty years after were still dying in lonely and childless old age, as there had been no man to marry. How many hundreds of millions of human tragedies had been caused by human evil, the lust for power and riches. But it was all much worse even than this.
Putin has dedicated his life to opposing the traitors who betrayed Russia for personal profit after the fall of the Soviet Union. From Batiushka at thesaker.is:
The prolific Russian nationalist author of 91 books, Oleg Platonov (born 1950), relates in his work on the fall of the Soviet Union how in the 1980s, on the eve of the country’s collapse, Westerners, whom The Saker rightly calls ‘Euro-Atlanticists’, betrayed the USSR. These ‘Euro-Atlanticists’ were the ‘Communists’ who in the 1990s overnight became super Capitalists, bought shares for almost nothing in valuable, about-to-be privatised national companies and so became ‘oligarchs’. Their shameful acts, in fact thefts of national property by those with insider knowledge, created an underclass of homeless. They reveal how these money-launderers sold out their own country and people and souls, often then going to live in Tel Aviv, New York, London, Nice, Marbella, Nicosia etc.
The Traitors were opposed by the Patriots, some of whom worked in the national intelligence services, where some of the best brains met. One of these Patriots, the future President Putin, was then a lowly colonel in Dresden in East Germany, working in the Soviet intelligence services (not a head of it, like so many US Presidents, heads of the CIA). When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, his office sought answers from Moscow as to what to do. And there was no answer. ‘Moscow is silent’. I believe the story is related in many places, among them in ‘The Putin Interviews’ by Oliver Stone. It was that paralysis and silence of the Centre in Moscow that was among the most decisive events in the future President’s life. He realised that Moscow was betraying the Soviet Union, that it had been taken over by the Traitors, the ‘Nomenklatura’. They believed in nothing, except in their own disgraceful gain. They were anti-Patriots.
There’s quite a contrast between what participants in the Eurasion Economic Union are offered and what the U.S. offers: bullets, bombs, and regime change. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:
The Eurasian Economic Forum has shown once again that this high-speed – economic integration – train has already left the station.
The first Eurasian Economic Forum, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, took place this week at a very sensitive geopolitical juncture, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov keeps stressing that, “the West has declared total war against us, against the entire Russian world. Nobody even hides this now.”
It’s always important to remember that before Maidan in 2014, Ukraine had the option to become a full member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and even balance it with a loose association with the EU.
The EAEU comprises five full members – Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Armenia – yet 14 nations sent delegations to the forum, including China, Vietnam and Latin American nations.
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