On March 18, 2014 Russia and Crimea signed a treaty which gave the Russian Federation control over the Black Sea as well as the Sea of Azov, the west coastline of which borders on Eastern Ukraine and the Donetsk region. The agreement was announced by Russian President Putin who said two “constituent regions” of Crimea were to join the Russian Federation: the “Republic of Crimea” and the “City of Sevastopol,” both with the status of autonomous regions.
Filed under Europe, History
On April 29, a Royal Canadian Air Force Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter on a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military mission, with six Canadians on board, crashed violently in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Greece. It had flown from the Canadian naval frigate HMCS Fredericton, whose home port is Halifax, which was deployed in the Greater Mediterranean and the Black Sea as part of Operation REASSURANCE. Continue reading
Protest against warships in Halifax harbour and expansion of the Canadian navy, CFB Stadacona, May 29, 2012.
By TONY SEED
The U.S. Navy is reestablishing its Second Fleet to control the North Atlantic, navy sources report. It will be operational by July 1 and headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. Continue reading
Crimean people celebrate being accepted as part of the Russian Federation in Simferopol, the Republic of Crimea, March 18, 2014.
Ukraine has stopped cargo and passenger train movements to Crimea, Crimean Railway head Andrei Karakulkin said on Saturday. “All Ukrainian trains have fully stopped traffic since today.”
“This is misunderstanding. People have to return tickets. Queues have formed at railway ticket offices. People are concerned over their families and relatives both in Crimea and Ukraine,” Karakulkin said.
Is the USA fueling crises as negotiation tactics? The US is doing its best to estrange the EU from Russia to get the upper hand in a free trade deal, and also, to manipulate European countries into buying America’s relatively more expensive natural gas.
By MAHDI DARIUS NAZEMROAYA*
The TTIP and Ukraine
(Oct. 8) – The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a Euro-Atlantic free trade agreement that is the subject of ongoing negotiations between the US and the EU. The deadline for finalizing the TTIP free trade agreement is in 2015. Its goal is to create what is referred to as the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Area (TAFTA) and to cement the European Union with the United States as one supranational trading bloc. Continue reading
By Rick Rozoff
(May 22) – US Vice President Joseph Biden appeared at a military base in the capital of Romania on May 20 and, against the backdrop of this year’s annual Carpathian Spring joint military exercises, announced that Washington’s willingness to go to war over the mutual military support clause of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, the founding document of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is not only clear and unwavering, but indeed of a mock-religious – extramundane and sempiternal – nature.
In his precise words: “America’s commitment to collective defense under Article 5 of NATO is a sacred obligation in our view – a sacred obligation not just for now, but for all time.” In aeternum, in saecula saeculorum and in line with eschatological imperatives. Continue reading
Prof Michel Chossudovsky explains the strategic and geopolitical significance of the referendum results. The union of Crimea with Russia redefines both the geography as well as the geopolitical chessboard in the Black Sea basin, Professor Chussudovsky writes. “It constitutes a major setback for US-NATO, whose longstanding objective has been to integrate Ukraine into NATO with a view to undermining Russia, while extending Western military presence in the Black Sea basin,” he adds. An excerpt of Professor Chussudovsky’s article follows.
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WITH the March 18, 2014 Treaty signed between Russia and Crimea, the Russian Federation will extend its control over the Black Sea as well over the Sea of Azov, the West coastline of which borders on Eastern Ukraine and the Donesk region. (see map below) Continue reading
“Ukraine’s agriculture could be a real gold mine.” – U.S.-Ukraine Business Council
Behind the U.S.-backed coup that ousted the democratically-elected president of Ukraine are the self-serving predatory interests of giant corporations – from Cargill to Chevron to Monsanto – and vulture capitalists which see the country as a potential “gold mine” of profits from the plunder of its rich agricultural and energy resources, as JP SOTTILE* documents in consortiumnews.com. This underlies the sharpness of the inter-imperialist contradictions over control of Ukraine as well as the crimes being carried out by the big powers of the U.S. and Europe against the Ukrainian people. Canadians should firmly reject this meddling in Ukraine’s affairs as they can no doubt extrapolate that the same process in the Ukraine is also being carried out by the imperialists in our country and elsewhere.**
(March 16) – ON JANUARY 12, a reported 50,000 “pro-Western” Ukrainians descended upon Kiev’s Independence Square to protest against the government of President Viktor Yanukovych. Stoked in part by an attack on opposition leader Yuriy Lutsenko, the protest marked the beginning of the end of Yanukovych’s four year-long government.
That same day, the Financial Times reported a major deal for U.S. agribusiness titan Cargill. Continue reading
Ukrainians including veterans protest “visit” of USS Vella Gulf, a Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser, at the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in January 2012. Their slogans included “Yankee, go home!” and “No to NATO!” The protesters also burned a U.S. flag featuring Nazi swastika instead of stars. Yevhen Dubovik, a protest organizer, said the visit of a ship with offensive weapons was illegal because it had not been authorized by Ukraine’s parliament.
Following the overthrow of the government by an armed coup d’état, the goal of turning Ukraine into NATO territory complete with US military bases tops the agenda under the anti-Russian flag. This has been a consistent thrust of all governments since 1999, of both Yushchenko and Yanukovych, in the context of broad resistance by the people of Ukraine to the imperialist project.
In July 2008, anti-NATO protestors moved ten boats into positions blocking the exits from the port of Odessa, preventing NATO ships from participating in the Sea Breeze 2008 exercise. According to their statement, “The NATO drill in Odessa is being accompanied by numerous protests by local residents. This demonstrates the public mood in Ukraine over the government’s course toward early admission to the alliance.” A branch of the Ukrainian Communist Party in Donetsk said over 1,000 people had taken part in anti-NATO rallies in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine. In 2006, protests forced U.S. Marine reservists who came to prepare for the exercises to leave without carrying out their mission.
The extent of the anti-NATO resistance amongst Ukrainians was so broad that it could not be dismissed as something “ethnic” or “communistic.” Continue reading
During the Sochi Winter Olympics last month, TV coverage highlighted Russian warships and even a nuclear submarines stationed just off the coast of the resort city for security, but the passage of two U.S. warships – the USS Mount Whitney, the sophisticated command or flag ship of the US Sixth Fleet and the guided missile frigate USS Taylor with 600 U.S. Marines onboard – into the Black Sea was never mentioned. The US has for several years been staging, in conjunction with its NATO allies including Canada, annual large-scale naval war games called Sea Breeze. They are conducted in the Crimea dangerously close to where the Russian Black Sea fleet is stationed at Sevastopol. The objective: to convert the Black Sea into an American lake. However, if the latest exercise is something ordinary – Washington says that they are a regularly scheduled exercise – then why the extraordinary armament, i.e., guided missiles in the Black Sea? Continue reading