Friday, 16 March 2018

Latest news on the Scripal case

Nikki Haley lays down foundation for war with Russia, says chemical weapons “could be used here in New York” (Video)

Nikki Haley channels “Colin Powell, anthrax” ghost of Iraq WMDs.

15 March, 2018

The US and its client sate, the UK, have accused Russia of poisoning Sergei Skripal at a emergency UNSC meeting.

The UK government has accused Russia of breaching the International Chemical Weapons Convention, even though the United Kingdom refuses to share its finding with Russia, in accordance with international law.

The escalating threats from the globalist controlled powers came during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, called by London over the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in Britain.



In its most pointed criticism of Russia to date, on Wednesday the White House said in a statement that it agreed with the British government’s assessment that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the United Kingdom.
The United States shares the United Kingdom’s assessment that Russia is responsible for the reckless nerve agent attack on a British citizen and his daughter, and we support the United Kingdom’s decision to expel Russian diplomats as a just response,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in the statement.
This latest action by Russia fits into a pattern of behavior in which Russia disregards the international rules-based order, undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide, and attempts to subvert and discredit Western democratic institutions and processes. The United States is working together with our allies and partners to ensure that this kind of abhorrent attack does not happen again.”
Until Tuesday night, the White House had avoided pointing the finger at Russia for the attack, in which a former Russian spy was poisoned with a nerve agent near his home in southern England, and which the UK concluded was orchestrated by the Kremlin, despite offering no proof and refusing to comply with Russian demands that the alleged toxin be produced.
This explicit condemnation of Moscow by the White House, however, was apparently not enough for the NYT, which said that despite Sanders’ statement, “for whatever reason, Mr. Trump avoided saying so personally in public, much as he has generally avoided condemning Russia for its election meddling.”
Neo-liberal left and neocon right American congressmen jumped on Trump’s apparent silence, pushing the POTUS to create conditions for all out conflict with Russia, and “to speak out personally and possibly take action to back up Mrs. May.”
Where Prime Minister May has taken bold and decisive initial action to combat Russian aggression, our own president has waffled and demurred,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. “Prime Minister May’s decision to expel the Russian diplomats is the level of response that many Americans have been craving from our own administration.”
Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, said the United States should consult with NATO allies about “a collective response,” including the possibility of expelling Russian diplomats from Washington and other alliance capitals or freezing more Russian assets. “We ought to make it inescapably clear to Russia that its shadow war will be met with a coordinated response,” he said.

Zerohedge reports that the legacy neocons were most vocal: Evelyn Farkas, a former Pentagon official who oversaw Russia policy under President Barack Obama, said Trump should offer a range of assistance to Britain to help investigate the episode, prevent further such attacks on British sovereignty and impose punishment. She added that the United States could cite the suspicious death of Mikhail Y. Lesin, a former Russian minister, in a Washington hotel in 2015, in taking joint action. Investigators concluded that he died from a drunken fall but many remain skeptical.
Judgment day for Donald Trump,” R. Nicholas Burns, a former ambassador to NATO and an under secretary of state under President George W. Bush, wrote on Twitter. “Will he support Britain unequivocally on the nerve agent attack? Back #NATO sanctions? Finally criticize Putin? Act like a leader of the West?”
After all, what better way to prove to Mueller that you are not a Putin pawn than to lob a couple of nukes over the North Pole and into the Russian capital, in the process sending the stocks of US defense contractors through the roof?

The White House’s official statement on the attack came from the disgusting United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who said Russia was responsible for using a nerve agent to poison the ex-spy and his daughter.
The United States believes that Russia is responsible for two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent.” 

Via Zerohedge…

The fear mongering then quickly escalated, with Haley next telling the UN Security Council that “if we don’t take immediate concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used. They could be used here in New York, or in cities of any country that sits on this Council. This is a defining moment.
The specter of more Russian attacks – when there still isn’t actual proof of the first one – was raised during an emergency council meeting, held at the request of British officials who have accused Russia of using “a military-grade nerve agent” to target a former military intelligence officer who committed treason. Russian diplomats have denied responsibility for the incident, but British investigators say they have identified the poison as a chemical weapon produced by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
They have, however, refused to present it to Russia for examination, despite repeated requests. So without the requirement of even a minimal burden of proof, the propaganda flowed:
Time and time again, member-states say they oppose the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance,” Haley said. “Now one member stands accused of using chemical weapons on the sovereign soil of another member. The credibility of this council will not survive if we fail to hold Russia accountable.”

Russia has repeatedly denied responsibility for the poisoning. Russian Ambassador Visaly Nebenzia told the Security Council…
A hysterical atmosphere is being created by London.”
We would like to warn that this will not remain without reaction on our part.”

Russia has faulted the UK for taking action before submitting to a formal investigation brokered by Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

An unhinged, blood thirsty Haley, then compared the Skripal poisoning to North Korea’s use of a nerve agent to assassinate the half-brother of Kim Jong-un, which led to the designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Haley then linked the Salisbury incident to the use of chemical weapons in Syria (something that has been proven false time and again).

In a final act of arrogance and stupidity, Haley urged Russia to “come clean” about the assassination attempt, once again without presenting any evidence to the council.
The Russians complained recently that we criticize them too much,” she said. “If the Russian government stopped using chemical weapons to assassinate its enemies; and if the Russian government stopped helping its Syrian ally to use chemical weapons to kill Syrian children; and if Russia cooperated with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by turning over all information related to this nerve agent, we would stop talking about them. We take no pleasure in having to constantly criticize Russia, but we need Russia to stop giving us so many reasons to do so.”

According to Zerohedge some tried logic…
Nebenzia argued Russia had no reason to try to kill Skripal. He described the former double agent as “a perfect victim” for a plot to frame Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government in the run-up to the March 18 presidential elections.
[T]he most probable source origin for this chemical are the countries which have since the end of the 90s been carrying out intensive research on these kinds of weapons, including the UK,” Nebenzia told the Security Council. “If the UK is so firmly convinced this is a [Soviet-era] Novichok gas, then that means that they have the samples of this and they have the formula for this and they are capable of manufacturing it.”
By then however, with both sides entrenched in factless allegations, any possibility for a rational discussion was long gone.

Instead, we can now look forward to the moment when Colin Powell will again make a grand appearance in the UN, and definitively prove to the world that Russia is guilty by holding a vial of that infamous Russia anthrax, as justification for heating up a few notches the new cold war between Russia and the West.

US Accuses Russia Of Cyber Attacks, Sanctions "Putin's Chef", Russian Troll Farm



15 March, 2018


The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has posted a new and improved list of cyber-related sanctions targeting several Russian individuals and entities.

Among those sanctioned are Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a Russian caterer known as "Putin’s Chef."


As Bloomberg reports, The U.S. issued financial sanctions against two major Russian intelligence agencies along with a St. Petersburg-based “troll farm” and other Russian citizens and businesses indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on charges of meddling with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The penalties listed Thursday on the Treasury Department’s website follow the February indictment and more than a year of criticism from Democrats and some Republican lawmakers that Trump has been too slow to act against Russia for intruding in the election.

The sanctions cover the Internet Research Agency and all other businesses and entities included in Mueller’s Feb. 16 indictment, which alleged a vast scheme to interfere with the campaign through social media and help President Donald Trump win.

Treasury also points to 2017 ‘NotPetya’ attack, which the U.S. says was "the most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history."
NotPetya resulted in billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia and U.S., disrupted global shipping, trade and medicine production, and rendered several U.S. hospitals unable to create electronic records for more than a week.

*  *  *

The following entity has been added to OFAC's SDN List:
INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY LLC (a.k.a. AZIMUT LLC; a.k.a. GLAVSET LLC; a.k.a. MEDIASINTEZ LLC; a.k.a. MIXINFO LLC; a.k.a. NOVINFO LLC), 55 Savushkina Street, St. Petersburg, Russia [CYBER2].
The following changes have been made to OFAC's SDN List:
ALEXSEYEV, Vladimir Stepanovich; DOB 24 Apr 1961; Passport 100115154 (Russia); First Deputy Chief of GRU (individual) [CYBER2] (Linked To: MAIN INTELLIGENCE DIRECTORATE). -to- ALEXSEYEV, Vladimir Stepanovich; DOB 24 Apr 1961; Passport 100115154 (Russia); First Deputy Chief of GRU (individual) [CYBER2] [CAATSA - RUSSIA] (Linked To: MAIN INTELLIGENCE DIRECTORATE).
CONCORD CATERING, Nab. Lieutenant Schmidt D. 7, von Keyserling Mansion, St. Petersburg 119034, Russia; Ulitsa Volkhonka Dom 9, Moscow 119019, Russia [UKRAINE-EO13661]. -to- CONCORD CATERING, Nab. Lieutenant Schmidt D. 7, von Keyserling Mansion, St. Petersburg 119034, Russia; Ulitsa Volkhonka Dom 9, Moscow 119019, Russia [UKRAINE-EO13661] [CYBER2] (Linked To: INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY LLC).
FEDERAL SECURITY SERVICE (a.k.a. FEDERALNAYA SLUZHBA BEZOPASNOSTI; a.k.a. FSB), Ulitsa Kuznetskiy Most, Dom 22, Moscow 107031, Russia; Lubyanskaya Ploschad, Dom 2, Moscow 107031, Russia [CYBER2]. -to- FEDERAL SECURITY SERVICE (a.k.a. FEDERALNAYA SLUZHBA BEZOPASNOSTI; a.k.a. FSB), Ulitsa Kuznetskiy Most, Dom 22, Moscow 107031, Russia; Lubyanskaya Ploschad, Dom 2, Moscow 107031, Russia [CYBER2] [CAATSA - RUSSIA].
GIZUNOV, Sergey (a.k.a. GIZUNOV, Sergey Aleksandrovich); DOB 18 Oct 1956; Passport 4501712967 (Russia); Deputy Chief of GRU (individual) [CYBER2] (Linked To: MAIN INTELLIGENCE DIRECTORATE). -to- GIZUNOV, Sergey Aleksandrovich (a.k.a. GIZUNOV, Sergey); DOB 18 Oct 1956; Gender Male; Passport 4501712967 (Russia); Deputy Chief of GRU (individual) [CYBER2] [CAATSA - RUSSIA] (Linked To: MAIN INTELLIGENCE DIRECTORATE).
KOROBOV, Igor (a.k.a. KOROBOV, Igor Valentinovich); DOB 03 Aug 1956; nationality Russia; Passport 100119726 (Russia); alt. Passport 100115101 (Russia); Chief of GRU (individual) [CYBER2] (Linked To: MAIN INTELLIGENCE DIRECTORATE). -to- KOROBOV, Igor Valentinovich (a.k.a. KOROBOV, Igor); DOB 03 Aug 1956; nationality Russia; Gender Male; Passport 100119726 (Russia); alt. Passport 100115101 (Russia); Chief of GRU (individual) [CYBER2] [CAATSA - RUSSIA](Linked To: MAIN INTELLIGENCE DIRECTORATE).
KOSTYUKOV, Igor (a.k.a. KOSTYUKOV, Igor Olegovich); DOB 21 Feb 1961; Passport 100130896 (Russia); alt. Passport 100132253 (Russia); First Deputy Chief of GRU (individual) [CYBER2] (Linked To: MAIN INTELLIGENCE DIRECTORATE). -to- KOSTYUKOV, Igor Olegovich (a.k.a. KOSTYUKOV, Igor); DOB 21 Feb 1961; Passport 100130896 (Russia); alt. Passport 100132253 (Russia); First Deputy Chief of GRU (individual) [CYBER2] [CAATSA - RUSSIA] (Linked To: MAIN INTELLIGENCE DIRECTORATE).
LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY CONCORD MANAGEMENT AND CONSULTING (a.k.a. KONKORD MENEDZHMENT I KONSALTING, OOO; a.k.a. LLC CONCORD MANAGEMENT AND CONSULTING; a.k.a. OBSHCHESTVO S OGRANNICHENNOI OTVETSTVENNOSTYU KONKORD MENEDZHMENT I KONSALTING), D. 13 Litera A, Pom. 2-N N4, Naberezhnaya Reki Fontanki, St. Petersburg 191011, Russia; Registration ID 1037843002515 [UKRAINE-EO13661]. -to- LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY CONCORD MANAGEMENT AND CONSULTING (a.k.a. KONKORD MENEDZHMENT I KONSALTING, OOO; a.k.a. LLC CONCORD MANAGEMENT AND CONSULTING; a.k.a. OBSHCHESTVO S OGRANNICHENNOI OTVETSTVENNOSTYU KONKORD MENEDZHMENT I KONSALTING), D. 13 Litera A, Pom. 2-N N4, Naberezhnaya Reki Fontanki, St. Petersburg 191011, Russia; Registration ID 1037843002515 [UKRAINE-EO13661] [CYBER2] (Linked To: INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY LLC).
MAIN INTELLIGENCE DIRECTORATE (a.k.a. GLAVNOE RAZVEDYVATEL'NOE UPRAVLENIE (Cyrillic: ГЛАВНОЕ РАЗВЕДЫВАТЕЛЬНОЕ УПРАВЛЕНИЕ); a.k.a. GRU; a.k.a. MAIN INTELLIGENCE DEPARTMENT), Khoroshevskoye Shosse 76, Khodinka, Moscow, Russia; Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Frunzenskaya nab., 22/2, Moscow 119160, Russia [CYBER2]. -to- MAIN INTELLIGENCE DIRECTORATE (a.k.a. GLAVNOE RAZVEDYVATEL'NOE UPRAVLENIE (Cyrillic: ГЛАВНОЕ РАЗВЕДЫВАТЕЛЬНОЕ УПРАВЛЕНИЕ); a.k.a. GRU; a.k.a. MAIN DIRECTORATE OF THE GENERAL STAFF; a.k.a. MAIN INTELLIGENCE DEPARTMENT), Khoroshevskoye Shosse 76, Khodinka, Moscow, Russia; Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Frunzenskaya nab., 22/2, Moscow 119160, Russia [CYBER2] [CAATSA - RUSSIA].
PRIGOZHIN, Yevgeniy Viktorovich (a.k.a. PRIGOZHIN, Evgeny), Russia; DOB 1961; Gender Male (individual) [UKRAINE-EO13661]. -to- PRIGOZHIN, Yevgeniy Viktorovich (a.k.a. PRIGOZHIN, Evgeny), Russia; DOB 01 Jun 1961; Gender Male(individual) [UKRAINE-EO13661] [CYBER2] (Linked To: INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY LLC).

*  *  *
One wonders if there are any Russians (or Russian entities) left to sanction?
Apparently there are - Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said that more Russian officials and oligarchs are to face sanctions.

And for now, the most obvious reaction to these new sanctions is further selling of the Ruble - to one-month lows...


France, Germany, US Demand Russia Explain UK Attack Despite Decrying May's "Fantasy Politics"



ZeroHedge,
15 March, 2018



Update: Just hours after Macron issued the statement below demanding "more proof" and decrying May's "fantasy politics," it appears a phone call with the UK has changed the attitude and Germany, US, and France have now issued a statement that says they agree with UK that "Russia must be responsible" for the UK attack.


The countries are "horrified" at the attack, according to the joint statement, and explain in full-Haley (Colin-Powell-esque) fearmongery, warn the attack "threatens the security of us all" and Russia must explain the UK attack.




As AP reports, the leaders of the United States, France, Germany and Britain say they are united in blaming Russia for a nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal.
In a rare joint statement, President Donald Trump, President Emmanual Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Theresa May say "there is no plausible alternative explanation" to Russian responsibility in the March 4 attack in England.
They say Russia's failure to respond to Britain's "legitimate request" for an explanation "further underlines its responsibility."
First use of nerve agent in Europe since World War II “threatens all of our security”
The leaders say the use of a chemical weapon is "an assault on U.K. sovereignty" and "a breach of international law."
We call on Russia to respond to all questions connected with the attack in Salisbury,” particularly those relating to its Novichok program
Britain has expelled 23 Russian diplomats and suspended high-level contacts with Moscow over the incident. Russia is expected to take retaliatory measures soon.

*  *  *
As we detailed earlier, UK Prime Minister made many of her European allies uneasy (particularly those who, like Germany, rely on Russia for supplies of LNG) on Monday when she accused the Russian government of masterminding an attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal - an attack that left 18 bystanders and one law-enforcement officer hospitalized. 
And with Russia threatening to retaliate, France's Emmanuel Macron - hardly a far-right authoritarian - is speaking up and undermining May's push to rally international support for another round of sanctions against Russia, according to RT.

Macron said he wants more proof linking Russia to the attack - which occurred at a shopping center in Salisbury earlier this month. So far, the UK government has essentially admitted that its strongest evidence was the presence at the scene of a nerve agent known to have been developed in Russia. May has threatened sanctions in response to the attack. And on Tuesday, she ordered 23 Russian diplomats to leave the country. The reaction resembled the UK's response to the death via radiation poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko.

May

Via a spokesman, Macron accused May of engaging in "fantasy politics."
On Wednesday, May announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and the suspension of bilateral talks. May claimed Russia was "culpable" for the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, which amounted to "unlawful use of force against the UK."
However, President Emmanuel Macron’s spokesman suggested May was acting prematurely. "We don’t do fantasy politics. Once the elements are proven then the time will come for decisions to be made, Benjamin Griveaux told a news conference in Paris.
Griveaux added that France was waiting for "definitive conclusions" and evidence that the "facts were completely true” before taking a position. He said that the Salisbury poisoning was a "serious act" against a strategic ally, but France would await evidence of Russian involvement before taking a position.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has asked the UK for a sample of the toxin that it's citing as evidence so that it might be examined by Russia.

Lavrov has also threatened to retaliate by expelling British diplomats. Russia has also refused to respond to the UK's demand that it furnish an explanation for how the nerve agent came to be found at the scene. Did Russia deliberately plan the attack? Or did it simply recklessly lose track of dangerous chemical weapons? The UK said it would give Russia a day to respond, infuriating the Kremlin.
In return, Russia has sternly rebuked the UK for its conduct, cautioning that "one does not give 24 hours notice to a nuclear power."

In addition to refusing to share the toxin, the UK is resisting settling the issue through the proper channels - ie the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Russia and the UK are both members.

Moscow’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said Wednesday that "we demand that material proof be provided of the allegedly found Russian trace in this high-resonance event. Without this, stating that there is incontrovertible truth is not something that we can take into account."
Even Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also challenged May’s evidence of Russian culpability. Corbyn believes there is not enough proof to conclude Russia was behind the incident.

"The government has access to information and intelligence on this matter which others don’t. However, there is also a history in relation to weapons of mass destruction and intelligence which is problematic, to put it mildly," said Corbys spokesman Seumas Milne. "I think the right approach is to seek the evidence to follow international treaties, particularly in relation to prohibitive chemical weapons."

* * *
However, as one Twitter user pointed out, if Russian President Vladimir Putin really did personally authorize the "wet job" - FSB-speak for assassination - then for a reportedly 'smart guy', he picked a remarkably ill-time moment to carry out such an attack...

This Putin guy is really something: at the height of anti-Russian hysteria in the west, and right before both the Russian election and World Cup, he decides the time is right to execute a spy living openly in the UK since 2010 using a Russian nerve agent.

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