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What’s behind the growing activity of the US and NATO in the Black Sea

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What’s behind the growing activity of the US and NATO in the Black Sea

NATO is preparing a package of measures to counter Russia in the Black Sea region. This package includes the deployment of NATO warships to the Black Sea to guarantee ‘passage’ of Ukrainian ships via the Kerch Strait, U.S. ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison stressed during a press briefing on April 2.

Hutchison said that the prepared package “beefs up the surveillance, both air surveillance as well as more of the NATO country ships going into the Black Sea to assure that there is safe passage from Ukrainian vessels through the Kerch Straits, the Sea of Azov”.

Earlier the US State Department announced that the Black Sea package is a response to the challenges the US and NATO face in the region, “not merely because of the Kerch Strait incident,” but because “Russia is threatening the alliance all along the eastern flank, not just in the north.

The public announcement of a possible NATO operation in the Kerch Strait is itself a move undermining the shaky stability created after the incident of November 25, 2018, when Russian coastal guards detained 3 ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which were attempting to enter the Kerch Strait in a way which violated the established norms and rules. Then, Moscow’s actions gave rise to large-scale hysteria in mainstream and Ukrainian media outlets. However, the situation developed no further. Ukraine’s “partners” limited their response to formal declarations. It was clear that the Kiev government was the side that had provoked the conflict. Before and after the Kerch Strait incident Ukrainian ships were passing the strait after going through the formal procedures established in this area.

If NATO naval forces together with or in some form assisting Ukrainian forces were to make an attempt to break through the Kerch Strait by force violating the established rules of passage, this would be seen by Moscow as an aggressive military action, which would provoke an equivalent response. In other words, a military clash could be expected. In such an event, the situation might escalate further. The media and political importance of such developments could be compared with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which became the formal pretext for the start of the First World War or the annexation of the Sudetenland by Nazi Germany before the start of the Second World War.

At the beginning of 2019, it seemed that despite the unfriendly rhetoric between the United States and Russia, there were actually no valid reasons for organizing the next armed incident, at a minimum, or in the worst case, for starting a war. However, there are a number of factors which may nudge Washington towards pushing for an escalation in the Black Sea region.

1. On March 25, President Donald Trump officially signed a declaration recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel. This step met with a negative reaction from almost all important regional and international players. The Trump administration has now destroyed one of the last fragments of the post-World War 2 international security system. This action as well as previous blatant violations of international law will have negative consequences for the entire system of international security and international law. Following this, global players can be less and less concerned about even the formal justification of their actions from the point of view of international law and can increasingly rely on military power, sanctions and informational pressure, coups and other “hybrid” methods to achieve their goals. As we see, Washington is the forerunner in the employment of such approaches. Now, the White House is interested in diverting international attention from the current situation and from the expected consequences of Golan-style decisions.

2. The failure of the Venezuelan blitzkrieg forced Washington to reconsider the approaches employed to force regime change. The inability of the US to fully delegitimize and overthrow the Maduro government is based on several factors:

  • the insufficient support from the local population for the US puppet;
  • the decision of the military to support the legitimate government;
  • the resolution of Maduro himself and his inner circle, who unlike the former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, were not prepared to sit by indifferently while power was seized by the henchmen of external forces.
  • The strong stand of China and Russia in support of Venezuela and the surprising inability of the Trump administration to set up a strong anti-Venezuelan coalition even at the regional level. So far, most of the US regime change partners have limited their participation to formal declarations or, like Columbia, to a lack of opposition to the actions of US agents.

So, the US operation has entered a new phase. The economic and diplomatic pressure on the Maduro government has increased, and the country has experienced a series of large-scale “accidents” targeting critical objects of the energy infrastructure. The Maduro government openly blamed hostile actions by the US for the recent series of blackouts. There are signals that the US is preparing for a military operation in the region, on its own or within the framework of a formally created coalition to put an end to the resistance of Caracas. To ensure the success of this operation, Washington has to carry out actions on the periphery to distract attention from the Venezuelan issue.

3. The situation in Ukraine ahead of the second round of the presidential election is not stable. Experts and analysts have serious doubts that Poroshenko actually gained fairly the 16%, which allowed him to proceed to the second round. It is suggested that from 3 to 8% may have been obtained fraudulently. Even if the incumbent president really did get 16% of the vote, the entire structure of voting demonstrated that the Ukrainians are frustrated by the destructive policy of the ruling regime and the status as a Western colony obtained by Ukraine in 2014. The arbitrary development of this situation could create conditions in which the US and the associated European bureaucracy would lose their influence in Ukraine, and as a result, the money spent on bringing Kiev to vassalage. In the event of the escalation of the political struggle, a possible outcoume could even be that Ukraine would split further into two political antagonists along the west-east line. If the Washington establishment wants to keep the situation under control, it must create the conditions in which Poroshenko could achieve victory. Or should Vladimir Zelensky win, he must be limited in his ability to maneuver and de-escalate relations and even start a dialogue with Russia. He must also be prevented from starting a more or less independent dialogue, ie not that of a vassal, with the European Union.

A military provocation in the Kerch Strait with the support of NATO warships would be suitable for achieving all the goals just described. Moreover, the logic of NATO’s actions includes damage to the infrastructure of the Crimean Bridge or at least its significant damage during the incident. This would have a resounding informational effect and would create significant problems for the economy of Crimea.

Another interesting point is the declaration that Russia “is threatening the alliance all along the eastern flank, not just in the north”. The entire format of such rhetoric raises eyebrows. If, in the case of the northern front, such statements can be justified with the complex configuration around Kaliningrad and the specific historical experience of the Baltic countries and Poland with Russia, the statement about the Russian threat in the south is a rude propaganda cliché.

Hutchison stressed that Russia is threatening “Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine, as well as Georgia”. But there are some issues. Georgia is separated from Russia by mountains, is not a NATO country and does not experience territorial claims from Russia. Moreover, Russia still categorically refuses to consider the inclusion of South Ossetia and Abkhazia into its own territory. Almost 30 years have passed since the actual independence of these republics, and almost 11 years since the last aggressive war unleashed by Georgia with the support of NATO. Ukraine is also not a NATO country, and recent years have shown that Moscow has no desire to conduct full-scale military operations on its territory. Bulgaria and Romania do not have a land border with Russia and both states have working bilateral relations with Moscow. Even more strikingly, US statements do not even mention the second most significant military state of NATO, the country whose military potential exceeds the combined military potential of Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Greece – Turkey, which by the way, is located on the southern flank of the military bloc. This statement by a representative of the Washington establishment is another vulgar example of Psaki-style rhetoric that has little to do with democratic values, freedom, or a desire for justice. They themselves do not believe in it. They know only that a few others do believe in it. Thus they simply mock the masses, who they consider to be sheep.  Such statements demonstrate that Washington is seriously considering conducting aggressive actions in the near future in several directions at once.

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  • Dr. Ronald Cutburth

    Expect WW3 started by the USA

    • Sinbad2

      Probably, but Russia and China are trying very hard not to get into a war with an empire that is dying from self inflicted wounds, I hope they are successful and the US/UK can be permanently disarmed.

  • MADE MAKER

    USA Leading Nato Astray

  • Real Anti-Racist Action

    Israel the UK and NATO are at war with Russia, and Russians don’t even know it.
    Since when did Russians become so clueless?
    #1 The attack upon Kaspersky #2 The attack upon Russia’s economy #3 The systematic attacks upon Russia’s few allies. #4 The media campaign in full gear to demonize Putin just as it was used to demonize Kaiser and other opponents of the globalist. #5 The interference in Russian society and social norms. #6 The frame jobs against Russia. And #7 The super military buildups on all fronts of the Russian borer.
    Thank God the Kaiser and others when they encountered this same recipes being used against them wised up and prepared for war (though always too late).
    Russia what are you doing? You are in a war right now. Wise up, stop your emotional tethering to pretending everything is alright and will be fine and that you can still just vacation everywhere.
    Until the Zionist run western governments problem has been resolved, you are in deep trouble on every front.
    Take action. – Keep the enemy at bay from your ancestral homes lands as far as possible by supplying what minor supply of Allies you have left by equipping them so well that NATO/Israel fear invading them.
    This is the last shout out of reason for you oh Russia to end the war now today with minimal fighting.
    Better to take the action of supplying defensive measures today, then to wake up one day surprised like the Greeks that a massive army has moved across the earth to go visit you.
    https://pics.me.me/why-the-u-s-government-might-not-like-syrias-central-18673040.png

    • paul ( original )

      Yes I agree with you that the war against Russia has been in progress for sometime now. It does appear as you say that Russia seems oblivious to this. I keep on expecting some spark that will see Russia strike back, but so far nothing seems to provoke them. Although I don’t think this is impossible, I do fear that only bombs falling on Moscow will wake then up.

      • DontBelieveEitherPropaganda

        Well, the public sure knows this, and the military and security services too.

        It is just that the Russian “elites” are corrupt to the bone.
        They all got their offshore money in the west, or oligarch friends with money in the west. No matter if Medvedev or Putin, ot Kudrin.

        When friends of Putin like oleg deripaska have money and companys in the west, and the US threatens with Sanctions, then be sure that those friends ask Putin to help them.

        Thats why the US loves their sanctions: They know the corrupt Russian elite will do anything to protect their $. Even sell the interests of their homelands.

        And this is the reason it seems, because both the Medvedev and putin clique still hope to make a deal with the west and to end the sanctions.

        Facing reality that those offshore dollars are lost, and that the US will never make a fair deal with Russia is too much to ask for those.

        But again, be sure that any russian besides from the corrupt elites know what time it is..

        • paul ( original )

          I don’t know enough about Russia to be certain what is going on. However, your analysis is persuasive as I am certain that it is a general truth that in all countries the wealthy elites act exclusively in their own interest and are quite willing to sacrifice the citizens .

      • Jens Holm

        I see none of that. Russia as usual are not able to keep themselves in line and has to learn that. Very expensive for them too.

        As usual they go on thinking missiles are more important then tractors, good varm houses,medical care and pension.

        Now they are reducing free speech even more. Soon they will remname theselves again as USSR and KGH and we again wont know if the covered cremling is playing cards or mingling with ppstitudes

    • 1691

      You forgot to upvote yourself.

      • Real Anti-Racist Action
        • Neil

          He didn’t say that.

          I dislike Judaism for real reasons: it says Christians should be killed for false idolatry, among other things.

          I’m not any kind of racist; I judge a man by the content of his character, and that includes any odious religious beliefs.

          https://duckduckgo.com/?q=false+idolatry+punishment+judaism&t=ffnt&ia=abou;

        • 1691

          You shouldn’t have bothered. In any case I know who pays you so I never take you seriously.
          Nice confession you have posted. Are you proud or just sh*t scared? Who do you think you are fooling?

          • Jens Holm

            Its not like that. He is paid not to write here, but still do :)

        • Jens Holm

          I kind of liked that kind of guy even his kind as character also should not be born.

          We still have too many of his kind better to win war then jeping the peace after wars.

          In Syria Damskus not even have one winning the war :)

    • Hasbara Hunter

      The U.S….U.K….France…ISISraHell & ZIONATO should start WWIII…Russia is just taking adequate Counter-measures on every stupid move of the Desperate AngloZioNazis….Let your opponent make Stupid moves…so that they will Stumble & Fall in their own Swords….a Dumb way of committing Seppuku….

    • Sinbad2

      Russia is well aware that the US/UK is at war with Russia, the UK has been attacking Russia for over 150 years and the US has been attacking Russia for over 100 years.
      Those clueless Russians as you call them have thwarted the powers of capitalism many times whilst the rest of the world has been taken prisoner by the forces of evil.

      Things are however changing and soon the evil empire will be crushed by their own greed, and the allied forces of Russia and China will finish them off permanently.

      The Russians/Chinese play Sun Tzu, whilst the Anglos play Marvel Comics.

      • seawolf

        Oufff your comment is a kind of relief to me although it looks too optimistic !!!

        • Jens Holm

          Big memory leeaks to me.

          Both expanded but mainly very different places. The Brittish Empire decclined in 1948 or just before 1948. USSR kept going until 1991 even it only expanded a little here and there.

      • Jens Holm

        Thats 90´% incorrect.

        Russia, USA and Britts helped each other in WW1 and WW2.

        USA in WW2 even sold Russia for 11 bilion important stuff and gave them even more for free, which they were allowed to keep.

        I see very few confrontations among UK and Russia. During the last 150 years UK has beeen one of the biggest tradepartners even making Archangelsk for it. The same goes for the Baltic parts. That trade mainly was for the Brittish navy, which was very improtant for the Brittish Empire.

        • Sinbad2

          Never heard of the Crimean war?

          • Valery Grigoryev

            Russia would never be at enmity with the UK, if the UK were not support the Big Bully, which servant the UK actually is. Small dog, trying to show her master, that she is obey to every his command. Congratulations, former British Empire:)

  • Rhodium 10

    I dont think that Nato want to risk warship in kerch strait to save porky face…

    • PZIVJ

      Porky went for the gambit of causing a problem in the strait.
      So now a comedian will be in charge?

      • Sinbad2

        Porky is just a minion of the Americans, Washington gives all the orders, Ukraine is just cannon fodder.

        • Jens Holm

          Ukraines are many million inhabitants and not like pork. The same goes for the many new states. Thay have to have their chances and possibilities and has not to bestopped or delayed by joining the russian bad habits.

          • Tom in AZ

            Jens, I am assumming you don’t speak native English, won’t say ‘You aren’t making sense.’ ‘You are a Ukrainian troll (from some where else by a generation.’ But I won’t.

    • Sinbad2

      No but they will risk a warship to invade Russia and Central Asia.
      They are trying to militarily counter the Chinese New Silk Road.
      If China can pull this off, Eurasia would be totally self sufficient, and America would be irrelevant.
      Nothing angers America more than being irrelevant.

      • purplelibraryguy

        Nobody’s going to invade Russia. For anyone who does, there are only two possibilities
        1) You lose, just like everyone else except the Golden Horde, which was before there was something you could call Russia.
        2) You start to win and then the nukes fly and for the brief moments before you die, you wish you’d lost.
        This goes beyond Darwin awards–there is just no possible scenario where invading Russia has positive results. Nobody’s going to do it deliberately, not even the nutbars in the US State department.
        They might stumble into it though.

        • Jens Holm

          I agree even having other reasons. As long as Russia has nothing we have to use more then know and they have no more money then now, they are just some backyard of ours, but also has not to expand again it was before WW1 and after WW2.

          We did velcome them and their leftovers after their collapse even we didnt treat them as well and fair as we should.

      • Jens Holm

        Maybee. It is about long term planes for a very undevelloped parts.

        Some in thos might forget, that fx the Chinese vision wasnt a chines road but a road both way bringing the chinese thingsand money back as well.

        We trt new things. Some big Maersk Moeller vessel could sail north of all Siberia being the first one to do it. Thats a new way too instead of Suez. If warmer Russia by that can use their biggets rivers for international transport and reuse many mineralsources from there.

    • Jens Holm

      I dont think thats the point. Its a defence against Russians comming back forcing bad things back. That includes allthe new countries in Caucasyús and behind Caucasys us as wel.

      Here Russia onlý have good relations to Kasakstanis. The rest for good reasons feel they are under pressure forstaying neutralised in low devellopment, as they are.

      It my own oppinion of it.

      Of course oil and gas is mixed into it as well. But oil and gas for mainly west should – to my oppinion – not go to Russian pockets but is mneant for thenew countries themselves. Russia should be no taxer in the middle doing nothing.

  • Xoli Xoli

    Their planting sea land mines.

  • S Melanson

    Point of clarification – the Sudetenland was agreed to by UK and France to appease Hitler – Hitler signed a piece of paper promising ‘peace in our time’. Czechoslovakia was thrown under a bus to obtain a promise that Hitler had no intentions of honouring. Hitler took the Sudetenland but soon after invaded and occupied all of Czechoslovakia and this action is when France and UK drew the line in the sand and gave a security guarantee to Poland. Hitler assumed this was a bluff and attacked Poland. Well it was not a bluff and WW2 began. We have similarities to today and Ukraine and Syria have hardened Russia’s stance. South Ossetia, Crimea, Syria and most recently Venezuela.

    US has never abandoned its post-WW2 policy of full spectrum dominance and global hegemony. The first Cold War involved strategic patience and containment under assumption the USSR would eventually collapse which it did. The US then attempted to incorporate Russia into its orbit but miscalculated by misreading Putin – quite badly I would say.

    Russia has thwarted US in its hegemonic vision of a unipolar world. In fact, Russia has been explicit that this is policy as outlined in Putin’s 2007 Munich speech. This speech was a declaration of war against US hegemonic policy, making clear the objective was to break the iron grip of the US to establish a multipolar world where Russia would be one of the great powers. We can see Russia is making good on its intentions to challenge and break US hegemony.

    The US response is to be expected and frankly could not be otherwise. That the US is demonizing Russia and Putin for no good reason and the two countries could come to an accommodation is a fairy tale. Russia is not so stupid to not anticipate the US reaction and the reaction has been exactly what would be expected. What is surprising is how effective the challenge to US dominance has been.

    The globalists are losing but have still power to create havoc and this transition to a multipolar world has still a ways to go before a new world order based on multiple great powers stabilizes and until this happens, we face heightened danger of catastrophic global war.

    The long game is driving policies of Russia and China so this is to be kept in mind when criticizing tactical moves and apparent restraint. While restraint has been shown, on the whole,Russia has been increasingly confrontational in countering US dominance and the US response is predictable. The Ukraine is just another act in this play and Poroshenko the comedian of the theatre about to be replaced by another comedian. Problem is, this is not fun and games…

    • frankly

      Your writing is increasingly polished and succinct. Gave up my home internet and enjoyed the freedom so much did not replace. Occasionally venture to the library and load some articles. All the best.

      • S Melanson

        Thank you. My latest project is building a web site to post opinion and articles and invite debate and discussion. Will let you know when ready.

        Also, I say return to the Internet as people like you can make a difference. As for your latest endeavour, I think it is their perception of a lack of productive outcomes not a lack of humour. The planes need passengers and certain world leaders and elites would be fitting as they experience a once in a lifetime treat of being on a plane being flown into a building. This gives your idea a truly compelling value proposition and do not worry about profits – If it is an issue, just have the Fed print more ‘profits’ … ;)

    • Feudalism Victory

      Its my opinion that China will betray Russia. They covet their resources and territory. Their interest in the Arctic gives them away.

      Their base materialism always signals they can be bought off as well.

  • peter mcloughlin

    The Kerch Strait presents a very dangerous flash point that could ‘escalate further. The media and political importance of such developments could be compared with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which became the formal pretext for the start of the First World War or the annexation of the Sudetenland by Nazi Germany before the start of the Second World War.’ All the evidence suggests we are in pre-world war landscape; unlike the Cold War, which turned out to be the peace. The pattern of history points to nuclear Apocalypse.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

    • S Melanson

      Yes, the first Cold War was to prevent a hot war. The second Cold War is very different and is setting the conditions for WW3 as you point out. Stephen Cohen has been warning how close we are to a catastrophic war between nuclear powers.

      I suggest watching 1991 movie “By the Dawns Early Light”. It is eerily prophetic as WW3 is started by a false flag nuclear attack on the City of Donetsk. Remember this is 1991, over twenty years before the Donetsk region became a breakaway.

      • peter mcloughlin

        Stephen is a prophet for our age and I’ll follow up that movie – thanks.

  • Jens Holm

    Nothing strange in that. Putin and his Oligarks undeerstand nothing else and parts of the Ukrainiens dont seemes to be among the clever ones as well.

    Besides that there are trades with Caucasus and devellopment needed both ways in normal trade, where oil and gas too often is mentioned as the important thing only.
    By long time being USSR, they collapsed as well being long time behind fx most parts of the western Europe. Turks also try to gain trade there having only small succes, but at least some.

    I kind of dont care about USA naming poarts of it as “Democrasy”. Facts are that in USSR there was none. Its also true several new countries east of tthe Black sea have no idea about the usefull parts of democrasy and seemes to be infected by Dicattatirship as well as infame Sharia versions.

    Some counter weight by anything else might change things for the better. By that I am sceptic but also more positive for those initiaves but mainly think those countries has to be coodinated more to the parts of the world which in most matters are better.

    Bith the running by Txars, Religions as well as the Bolsjevics has damaged those big pars vey much. At least the muslims know the prices follow what things are worth according to the market.

  • jim crowland

    partition of Turkey is necessary. Armenia should take their ancestral lands. Kurds take their chunk. Greece gets back Constantinopla, Esmirna and other greek areas. bulgaria Gets the european turkey; Sirya might get a piece and russia the black sea shores. erdogan and his wife get life in prison. the more modest turkey can be free, non religious and democratic.

    • ©igare☘☘e👽Sm⚽️k🚬ng🦉Man️🎲

      Konstantinopolis is the name.
      And Turkey is only the 2nd power in NATO in numbers.
      In reallity and in real battle conditions the Greek pilots beat the Turks daily in dogfights, and on the ground it would be impossible for Turkey to attack Greece without a counter attack by Greece literally anywhere Greece fancied, cause the Greek islands are de facto unshinkable ‘aircraft carriers’.

      I would rather see Turkey get the F35 Flying patato and NOT the S400.

  • verner

    the important lesson where moronistan (aka usa) is concerned is that they never forgive and never forget and where russia is concerned it cheated the morons out of crimea and it agreed to give snowden a safe place to reside and both those items are enough to make the morons wrath rain on russia and moreover, russia is resource rich and the morons can’t forgive and forget that putin cheated the a”’holes out of the riches they managed to lay their greedy hands on during the reign of jeltsin.