Category Archives: Russia

Snowden issued Russian entry papers, leaves airport

http://rt.com/news/snowden-entry-papers-russia-902/

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been issued papers which will allow him to enter Russian territory, according to his legal representative in the country. Sources say he has already left the airport.

“I have just handed over to him papers from the Russian Immigration Service. They are what he needs to leave the transit zone,” Anatoly Kucherena told Interfax.

Snowden has already left the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, an RT crew at the scene has confirmed.

The whistleblower has been granted temporary political asylum in Russia, Rossiya 24 news channel reports.

Snowden, a former CIA employee and NSA contractor, came to international prominence after leaking several classified documents detailing massive electronic surveillance by the US government and foreign allies who collaborated with them.

Snowden was hiding out in a Hong Kong hotel when he first went public in May. Amidst mounting US pressure on both Beijing and local authorities in the former-British colony to hand the whistleblower over for prosecution, Snowden flew to Moscow on June 23.

Moscow was initially intended as a temporary stopover on his journey, as Snowden was believed to be headed to Ecuador via Cuba. However, he ended up getting stranded at Sheremetyevo Airport after the US government revoked his passport. Snowden could neither leave Russia nor enter it, forcing him to remain in the airport’s transit zone.

In July, Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia, a status that would allow him to live and work in the country for one year. Kucherena earlier said the fugitive whistleblower is considering securing permanent residency in Russia, where he will attempt to build a life.

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Asylum for Snowden won’t stop journalist Greenwald from publishing more leaks

http://rt.com/news/asylum-nsa-leaks-greenwald-037/

Snowden leaks on US domestic surveillance programme – there is more to come

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has indicated that he is willing to halt his leakage of US secrets, a condition for gaining Russian asylum, though the journalist who first published information from those leaks intends to continue.

Glenn Greenwald, a journalist working with both the British Guardian newspaper and Brazil’s O Globo, had been in direct contact with the now fugitive Snowden and coordinated with the former intelligence contractor ahead of publishing information on secret online surveillance programs.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that asylum for Snowden would be offered only under the condition that he releases no further information that could prove damaging to the US. Greenwald, however, has indicated that he would consider the intelligence provided by Snowden already in his possession fair game.

“There are many more domestic stories coming, and big ones, and soon,” Greenwald wrote in an email to Politico on Friday.

“Given everything I know, I’d be very shocked if he ever asked me that,” Greenwald told Politico when asked if he would halt publishing any sensitive information if Snowden were to ask.

“I’d deal with that hypothetical only in the extremely unlikely event that it ever happened, but I can’t foresee anything that would or could stop me from further reporting on the NSA documents I have,” he added.

On Friday, Snowden said that he would remain in Russia until able to get safe passage to Latin America, where he has been offered political asylum by Venezuela as well as Honduras. Comments made during a meeting with human rights activists at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport Friday also indicated that he intended to renew a petition for asylum from Russia.

“Snowden is serious about obtaining political asylum in the Russian Federation,” said Vyacheslav Nikonov, a lawmaker who attended the meeting at the Moscow airport, reports The Guardian.

Most recently, Greenwald in conjunction with several reporters with O Globo published further information showing the existence of a wide array of surveillance programs tracking citizens of South American countries.

O Globo cited documents this week indicating that from January to March of 2013, NSA agents carried out “spying actions” via the ‘Boundless Informant’ program, which collected telephone calls and Internet data. Agents also used PRISM from February 2 to 8 this year, O Globo said.

Essentially all of Latin America is reported to be targeted for surveillance, including Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and El Salvador. The most intense surveillance according to O Globo seems to have been directed at Colombia, a key US ally in the so-called War on Drugs, as well as Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico.

Comments by Greenwald to Politico on Friday suggest that the journalist already has a backlog of leaks to work with, and that any agreement Snowden were to make with a foreign government in regards to conditions of political asylum would be independent of Greenwald’s publication of that information.

Meanwhile, Snowden released a statement on Friday via WikiLeaks, which has orchestrated his legal defense as well as asylum petitions, to convey that he would accept all offers of political asylum made to him.

“I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future,” Snowden stated during his meeting with rights activists and lawyers at Sheremetyevo.

“I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted,” he told the meeting.

UK and France plan to arm Syrian rebels despite opposition from EU, Russia and Amnesty International

The UK and France, acting on Obama’s orders, have deliberately spoiled any chance of an agreement with EU partners on renewal of current EU embargo on arms to Syria. This means that when the EU embargo ends (1st June) each EU country will be free to pursue its own course of action regarding sending arms to Syrian rebels and of course, in the case of the UK and France, we know what that means. All EU other EU countries and Russia, as well as bodes such as Amnesty International, oppose arming the Syrian rebels on the grounds that it can only reduce the chances of a successful political solution and increase the violence and suffering for innocent civilians

US pushes Europe to amend arms embargo on Syrian rebels)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/22/syria-arms-embargo-rebels

Syria Rebels ‘Committing War Crimes’, Amnesty Urges Caution Over Arming Opposition

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/13/syria-opposition-war-crimes-amnesty-rebels_n_2867000.html

Russia says EU lifting Syria embargo hurts chances for peace

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/May-28/218612-russia-says-eu-lifting-syria-embargo-hurts-chances-for-peace.ashx

EU failure will allow UK, France to arm Syrian rebels

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/27/us-syria-crisis-eu-idUSBRE94Q09320130527

Reuters) – Britain and France are free to supply weapons to Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad from August, after attempts to renew an EU arms embargo on Syria failed on Monday.

After a marathon negotiating session in Brussels, EU governments failed to bridge their differences and let a ban on arming the opposition expire, with France and Britain scoring a victory at the expense of EU unity.

Britain and France have made a commitment not to deliver arms to the Syrian opposition “at this stage,” an EU declaration said. But EU officials said the commitment effectively expires on August 1.

The refusal of London and Paris to go along with the arms embargo could have caused the collapse of all EU sanctions against Syria, embarrassing the EU and handing a victory to Assad. EU ministers managed to avert that by agreeing to reinstate all of the restrictions except for the arms embargo on the rebels.

EU sanctions on Syria that will remain in place include asset freezes and travel bans on Assad and senior Syrian officials, as well as curbs on trade, infrastructure projects and the transport sector.

London and Paris have argued for months that Europe must send a strong signal of support for rebels fighting Assad by allowing EU arms deliveries, even though they say they have not decided yet to actually supply arms.

But they ran into strong opposition from other EU governments, led by Austria and Sweden, which argued that sending more weapons to the region would increase violence and spread instability.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the EU meeting had effectively ended the EU’s arms embargo on the Syrian opposition.

“While we have no immediate plans to send arms to Syria, it gives us the flexibility to respond in the future if the situation continues to deteriorate,” Hague told reporters.

SWAYING THE CONFLICT

London and Paris were seeking to increase the opposition’s leverage in planned U.S. and Russian co-sponsored peace talks expected next month by raising the prospect they could supply arms to the rebels if the political process made no headway.

The debate has gained urgency because of military gains by Assad’s troops and allegations of chemical weapons use.

French newspaper Le Monde published first-hand accounts on Monday of Syrian forces loyal to Assad having repeatedly used chemical weapons against rebel fighters in Damascus.

But while a number of member states softened their opposition to amending the EU arms embargo and said they could back a compromise, Britain was unyielding in the talks, diplomats said.

“The British didn’t give an inch,” one diplomat said.

Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said he regretted it had not been possible to find a compromise with Britain and France.

Spindelegger said the Austrian government would now discuss what to do about its 380 soldiers patrolling the U.N. ceasefire line on the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria. Vienna has said in the past it might have to pull them out if the arms embargo was eased.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, sought to repair any damage to the bloc’s image, saying Monday’s decision did not mean the EU has lost the capacity to “have a common policy.”

“What it does mean is there is a recognition that in trying to establish how best to support the people of Syria, countries will want to make some decisions (on their own),” she told reporters.

Even if Britain and France decide to supply arms to the rebels, they will have to authorize any shipments on a case-by-case basis and follow safeguards to ensure no equipment lands in the wrong hands.

(Additional reporting by Ilona Wissenbach, Claire Davenport, Rex Merrifield in Brussels, Yesim Dikmen in Istanbul; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Bill Trott)

The New Great Game Round Up : May 19, 2013

The latest on ‘The Great Game’ i.e. global domination plans of the west

 

The Great Game Round Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. This week we start with a story which was widely covered in the mainstream media:

US ‘spy’ Ryan Fogle expelled after CIA refused to stop recruiting, say Russians

He was caught while allegedly attempting to convince an FSB agent focused on fighting terrorism in the troubled north Caucasus to work for the CIA.

Russia highlighted that this is not an isolated case:

FSB Officer Complains of Repeated CIA Infiltration Attempts

“Over the past two years we have been observing persistent attempts by the CIA to recruit employees of Russian law enforcement and security agencies,” the man said, with his face concealed and his voice altered to protect his identity, adding that in January a CIA officer had been expelled from Russia.

Next I want to draw your attention to new information about the main suspect in the Boston bombing, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, [emphasis mine]:

Syria: SAA Liberate More Towns – Disturbing Findings

 

http://www.syrianews.cc/syria-saa-liberate-towns-disturbing-findings/

When the terrorists were thought to be winning by their masters in the west, all calls for dialogue and a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis were trashed by the western and regional sponsors of Alqaeda ‘freedom fighters’, but when the tide turned against their agents, everybody is now calling for a ‘peaceful solution’ and a new international peace conference. Syrian state vowed to fight terror and discuss peace based on the facts on the ground. Therefore the Israeli (nuke) raid, the Turkish intelligence bombings in Reyhanieh (Reyhanli), and a chemical weapon craze, now lowered.

In an unexpected location all western mainstream media gives the impression it’s out of the state control, units of the Syrian Arab Army clears a main road, Idleb – Areha road is now safe and cleansed of terrorists and their traces of IEDs – Improvised Explosive Devices. Some of the devices were with remote control and others were wired as part of the ‘humanitarian aid’ Nusra Front terrorists receive from NATO member states.

Syria peace talks ‘unlikely in May’: Russia source

A high-ranking Russian diplomatic source said on Saturday it is highly unlikely that a proposed international peace conference on Syria could be held this month because of differences over who should take part.

“It is unlikely before the end of May,” said the source who participated in talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday.

“This is a very complicated matter,” he was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies. “It’s unrealistic to set some kind of a tight timeframe.”

Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry offered to hold a new international conference in search of peace in Syria after 26 months of deadly conflict.

The source said Putin and Cameron had discussed “a number of preparatory concrete steps on the way to convening some kind of format”.

“It is too early to say whether it will be a conference or something else,” the diplomatic source was quoted as saying.

“There are too many differences: who can take part in this format, who is legitimate, who is not legitimate.

“It is obvious that this cannot be done without representatives from the opposition but the question is, what opposition,” he said, arguing that the opposition in Syria was not united and therefore could not speak with one voice.

http://www.france24.com/en/20130511-syria-peace-talks-unlikely-may-russia-source

Some UN monitors spying in Syria: Jordanian observer

A Jordanian member of the UN observer team in Syria says some of his teammates are carrying out spy missions by collecting information about Syria’s military headquarters.

The Jordanian officer, who was not named in the report, was quoted by the Lebanese al-Diyar newspaper as saying that the Western members of the team, in particular head of the UN mission in Syria, Major General Robert Mood, conduct acts of espionage against the Syrian government.

He said the monitors, on the order of Mood, made a visit to the port city of Tartus that hosts a Russian naval base and is of high military and security importance and sensitivity.

UN monitors are tasked with observing the implementation of a ceasefire that was part of UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan, but the visit to Tartus raises suspicions as the city has not been affected by the tensions and unrest in the country.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/06/13/245983/some-un-monitors-spying-in-syria/

Nobel Peace Price Winner Starts another war for regime change

US President Barack Obama has ordered the US Navy and Air Force to accelerate preparations for a limited air offensive against the Assad regime and the imposition of no-fly zones over Syria,DEBKAfile reports. Their mission will be to knock out Assad’s central regime and military command centers so as to shake regime stability and restrict Syrian army and air force activity for subduing rebel action and wreaking violence on civilian populations.

DEBKAfile’s sources disclose that the US President decided on this step after hearing Russian officials stating repeatedly that “Moscow would support the departure of President Bashar al-Assad if Syrians agreed to it.”  This position was interpreted as opening up two paths of action:

http://propheticseer.com/5/post/2012/06/breaking-news-obama-orders-limited-air-strikes-against-syria-here-we-go.html

‘Americans don’t share global domination policies of their leaders’

http://rt.com/s/swf/player5.4.swf?file=http://rt.com/files/news/america-corporate-conglomerate-scott-751/i71b8223f1fc79ea83bf3e1f0f8b465ba_scott.dv.flv&image=http://rt.com/files/news/america-corporate-conglomerate-scott-751/afp-images-photogetty.n.jpg&skin=http://rt.com/s/css/player_skin.zip&provider=http&abouttext=Russia%20Today&aboutlink=http://rt.com&autostart=false

Russia says 15,000 foreign “terrorists” in Syria

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=%2F2012%2F3%2F9%2Fworldupdates%2F2012-03-08T190732Z_2_BRE82714Q_RTROPTT_0_UK-SYRIA-RUSSIA&sec=Worldupdates

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