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Russia’s top diplomat SLAMS anti-Semitism, calling it ‘the most horrible crime against humanity’

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov took part in the opening ceremony of a new exhibition about the Holocaust, the great mass-execution drive of over six million Jews and others deemed by Nazi Germany to be “unfit” for life. The speech was extremely succinct, so much so that we are printing the full translation below along with the video.

We want to provide a further service though, so in the text of the speech you will see hyperlinked places that offer further explanation of some of the vague charges Mr. Lavrov has given.  It is a classic feature of Russian diplomacy to lay the charge out very clearly, while not naming the perpetrator of the charge.  This is statesmanship, and properly applied, it should interest the listener or the reader to conduct their own research to find out what the whole story is.

The Duran wants to again call to attention the very important fact that Russia brooks no hostility towards the Jewish people, their religion or their way of life.

Recently an opinion piece by Russia Insider editor Charles Bausman attempts to explain Western media hostility towards Russia as being a “Jewish-based” phenomenon.

This view is of course, highly charged, controversial, and in the rebuttal pieces by The Duran’s Dmitri Babich, and Alexander Mercouris, this point of view is shown to be far less true that Mr. Bausman holds.  Given the text of the speech here, it is apparent that the Russian Federation stands committed to upholding the dignity of humanity everywhere, and of every ethnicity and creed.

At The Duran, we consider free speech and expression to be sacred. But more than that, we consider honest and objective assessment to be the journalistic Holy Grail, and we strive to achieve this. Nevertheless, we believe that we seek to find and report the truth, and most of all, to do it in such a way that allows our readers to think about topics for themselves.

What we DO have on our side is the simple fact that the truth always reveals itself to one who seeks it, and our efforts to analyze and describe the amazingly complex field of geopolitics hopefully are tools to reveal the truth, in hopes that we might act in knowledge of the truth.

Here is the speech in full, followed by the text:

It is a great honor for me to address the UN headquarters at the opening of the historical and documentary exhibition “The Holocaust: Destruction, Liberation, Salvation”. This exhibition is held on the eve of the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust, celebrated annually on January 27.

First of all I would like to thank the Scientific Educational Center “Holocaust”, its co-chairman Ilya Altman, the Russian Jewish Congress for organizing this exposition, which contains unique archival documentary evidence of the terrible tragedy of the Holocaust, photographs of prisoners of Nazi death camps and their liberators, (which included) the soldiers of the Red Army.

Russian soldiers with men liberated from the Nazis’ Auschwitz concentration camp. 1,082,000 people, mostly Jewish, were murdered at this camp alone.

The Holocaust is one of the most horrible crimes against humanity, the manifestation of merciless cruelty and contempt for the value of life. The mass extermination by the Nazis, of Jews, as well as many victims from other ethnic groups was the result of the implementation of the misanthropic policy of racial superiority.

Our sacred duty is not only to honor the memory of the millions of innocent victims, but also to do our utmost to avoid the recurrence of such tragedies in the future.

One cannot but be disturbed by the fact that recently we have seen a creeping resurgence of Nazism. In a number of countries, including those classifying themselves as “paragons of democracy,” there is a systemic course for revision of the historical outcome of the Second World War, including the glorification of the activities of the Hitler activities (Nazism) of local collaborationists.

It is especially immoral that a number of the EU member countries are waging a war on the monuments, where they destroy and defile monuments to Soviet soldiers who helped save the world from the horrors of the “brown plague” and who gave their lives in their contribution to ensuring long years of peace and stability on the European continent.

Inmates of the Nazi concentration camp at Ebensee. This camp was one of the deadliest Nazi camps. Approximately 20,000 inmates were literally worked to death here.

Such actions are sacrilegious from the general human point of view. They challenge the postwar architecture of security, which is based on the UN Charter, the decisions of the Nuremberg Tribunal, and other unshakable international legal documents.

All of us need to counteract these extremely dangerous trends.

In Russia, special attention is paid to this problem. Every year, we submit to the UN General Assembly a draft special resolution on combating the heroism of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to the escalation of contemporary forms of racism and intolerance.

The number of states that have co-sponsored it has been steadily growing from year to year.

Once again we adopted such a resolution a month ago, on December 19, 2017, at the plenary session of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. The document was approved by an overwhelming majority of member nations, but a number of countries did not support it, trying to justify their position by referring to the need to respect freedom of speech. [the vote was 133 in favor, 49 abstentions, and 2 against – Ukraine and the USA]

I believe that today’s exhibition is designed to send another unambiguous signal that such attempts to re-interpret Nazizm are absolutely unacceptable.

Soviet Soldiers with women liberated from Auschwitz

In the coming months, this exhibition will be shown in a number of other countries. I am convinced that this will help solidify historical truth, will once again remind of the valorous feats of those who defeated Nazism, saved Jews and other peoples from complete destruction.

In conclusion, I would like to wish you good health and all the wellbeing to our dear veterans, including those who saved the Jews, liberating Auschwitz, and those who helped to save us all defeated Nazism in Europe.

Of course, I’m very glad to see my good friend Arthur Schneier, who is one of the pillars of New York political life and conducts a very important work to prevent the hero-making of those people who committed heinous crimes.

Thank you all and best wishes to you!

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Russia’s Lukoil Halts Oil Swaps In Venezuela After U.S. Sanctions

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades.

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Via Oilprice.com


Litasco, the international trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, stopped its oil swaps deals with Venezuela immediately after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and state oil firm PDVSA, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said at an investment forum in Russia.

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, has vowed to defend its interests in Venezuela—including oil interests—within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us.”

Because of Moscow’s support for Maduro, the international community and market analysts are closely watching the relationship of Russian oil companies with Venezuela.

“Litasco does not work with Venezuela. Before the restrictions were imposed, Litasco had operations to deliver oil products and to sell oil. There were swap operations. Today there are none, since the sanctions were imposed,” Lukoil’s Alekperov said at the Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Another Russian oil producer, Gazprom Neft, however, does not see major risks for its oil business in Venezuela, the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Dyukov said at the same event.

Gazprom Neft has not supplied and does not supply oil products to Venezuela needed to dilute the thick heavy Venezuelan oil, Dyukov said, noting that the Latin American country hadn’t approached Gazprom Neft for possible supply of oil products for diluents.

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades. Analysts expect that a shortage of diluents could accelerate beginning this month the already steadily declining Venezuelan oil production and exports.

Venezuela’s crude oil production plunged by another 59,000 bpd from December 2018 to stand at just 1.106 million bpd in January 2019, OPEC’s secondary sources figures showed in the cartel’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Germany Pulls Rank on Macron and American Energy Blackmail

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


It was billed politely as a Franco-German “compromise” when the EU balked at adopting a Gas Directive which would have undermined the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia.

Nevertheless, diplomatic rhetoric aside, Berlin’s blocking last week of a bid by French President Emmanuel Macron to impose tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 gas project was without doubt a firm rebuff to Paris.

Macron wanted to give the EU administration in Brussels greater control over the new pipeline running from Russia to Germany. But in the end the so-called “compromise” was a rejection of Macron’s proposal, reaffirming Germany in the lead role of implementing the Nord Stream 2 route, along with Russia.

The $11-billion, 1,200 kilometer pipeline is due to become operational at the end of this year. Stretching from Russian mainland under the Baltic Sea, it will double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany. The Berlin government and German industry view the project as a vital boost to the country’s ever-robust economy. Gas supplies will also be distributed from Germany to other European states. Consumers stand to gain from lower prices for heating homes and businesses.

Thus Macron’s belated bizarre meddling was rebuffed by Berlin. A rebuff was given too to the stepped-up pressure from Washington for the Nord Stream 2 project to be cancelled. Last week, US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and two other American envoys wrote an op-ed for Deutsche Welle in which they accused Russia of trying to use “energy blackmail” over Europe’s geopolitics.

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question. Those extra regulations if they had been imposed would have potentially made the Russian gas supply more expensive. As it turns out, the project will now go-ahead without onerous restrictions.

In short, Macron and the spoiling tactics of Washington, along with EU states hostile to Russia, Poland and the Baltic countries, have been put in their place by Germany and its assertion of national interests of securing economical and abundant gas supply from Russia. Other EU member states that backed Berlin over Nord Stream 2 were Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.

Washington’s claims that Nord Stream 2 would give Russia leverage of Europe’s security have been echoed by Poland and the Baltic states. Poland, and non-EU Ukraine, stand to lose out billions of dollars-worth of transit fees. Such a move, however, is the prerogative of Germany and Russia to find a more economical mode of supply. Besides, what right has Ukraine to make demands on a bilateral matter that is none of its business? Kiev’s previous bad faith over not paying gas bills to Russia disbars it from reasonable opinion.

Another factor is the inherent Russophobia of Polish and Baltic politicians who view everything concerning Russia through a prism of paranoia.

For the Americans, it is obviously a blatant case of seeking to sell their own much more expensive natural gas to Europe’s giant energy market – in place of Russia’s product. Based on objective market figures, Russia is the most competitive supplier to Europe. The Americans are therefore trying to snatch a strategic business through foul means of propaganda and political pressure. Ironically, the US German ambassador Richard Grenell and the other American envoys wrote in their recent oped: “Europe must retain control of its energy security.”

Last month, Grenell threatened German and European firms involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 that they could face punitive American sanctions in the future. Evidently, it is the US side that is using “blackmail” to coerce others into submission, not Russia.

Back to Macron. What was he up to in his belated spoiling tactics over Nord Stream 2 and in particular the attempted problems being leveled for Germany if the extra regulations had been imposed?

It seems implausible that Macron was suddenly finding a concern for Poland and the Baltic states in their paranoia over alleged Russian invasion.

Was Macron trying to garner favors from the Trump administration? His initial obsequious rapport with Trump has since faded from the early days of Macron’s presidency in 2017. By doing Washington’s bidding to undermine the Nord Stream 2 project was Macron trying to ingratiate himself again?

The contradictions regarding Macron are replete. He is supposed to be a champion of “ecological causes”. A major factor in Germany’s desire for the Nord Stream 2 project is that the increased gas supply will reduce the European powerhouse’s dependence on dirty fuels of coal, oil and nuclear power. By throwing up regulatory barriers, Macron is making it harder for Germany and Europe to move to cleaner sources of energy that the Russian natural gas represents.

Also, if Macron had succeeded in imposing tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 project it would have inevitably increased the costs to consumers for gas bills. This is at a time when his government is being assailed by nationwide Yellow Vest protests over soaring living costs, in particular fuel-price hikes.

A possible factor in Macron’s sabotage bid in Germany’s Nord Stream 2 plans was his chagrin over Berlin’s rejection of his much-vaunted reform agenda for the Eurozone bloc within the EU. Despite Macron’s very public amity with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin has continually knocked back the French leader’s ambitions for reform.

It’s hard to discern what are the real objectives of Macron’s reforms. But they seem to constitute a “banker’s charter”. Many eminent German economists have lambasted his plans, which they say will give more taxpayer-funded bailouts to insolvent banks. They say Macron is trying to move the EU further away from the social-market economy than the bloc already has moved.

What Macron, an ex-Rothschild banker, appears to be striving for is a replication of his pro-rich, anti-worker policies that he is imposing on France, and for these policies to be extended across the Eurozone. Berlin is not buying it, realizing such policies will further erode the social fabric. This could be the main reason why Macron tried to use the Nord Stream 2 project as leverage over Berlin.

In the end, Macron and Washington – albeit working for different objectives – were defeated in their attempts to sabotage the emerging energy trade between Germany, Europe and Russia. Nord Stream 2, as with Russia’s Turk Stream to the south of Europe, seems inevitable by sheer force of natural partnership.

On this note, the Hungarian government’s comments this week were apt. Budapest accused some European leaders and the US of “huge hypocrisy” in decrying association with Russia over energy trade. Macron has previously attended an economics forum in St Petersburg, and yet lately has sought to “blackmail” and disrupt Germany over its trade plans with Russia.

As for the Americans, their arrant hypocrisy is beyond words. As well as trying to dictate to Europe about “market principles” and “energy security”, it was reported this week that Washington is similarly demanding Iraq to end its import of natural gas from neighboring Iran.

Iraq is crippled by electricity and power shortages because of the criminal war that the US waged on that country from 2003-2011 which destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. Iraq critically needs Iranian gas supplies to keep the lights and fans running. Yet, here we have the US now dictating to Iraq to end its lifeline import of Iranian fuel in order to comply with the Trump administration’s sanctions against Tehran. Iraq is furious at the latest bullying interference by Washington in its sovereign affairs.

The hypocrisy of Washington and elitist politicians like Emmanuel Macron has become too much to stomach. Maybe Germany and others are finally realizing who the charlatans are.

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Russia Readies Own Web To Survive Global Internet Shutdown

Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.

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Via Zerohedge


Russian authorities and major telecom operators are preparing to disconnect the country from the world wide web as part of an exercise to prepare for future cyber attacks, Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) reported last week.

The purpose of the exercise is to develop a threat analysis and provide feedback to a proposed law introduced in the Russian Parliament last December.

The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russian internet service providers (ISP) to guarantee the independence of the Russian Internet (Runet) in the event of a foreign attack to sever the country’s internet from the world wide web.

Telecom operators (MegaFon, VimpelCom (Beeline brand), MTS, Rostelecom and others) will have to introduce the “technical means” to re-route all Russian internet traffic to exchange points approved by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), Russia’s federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications.

Roskomnazor will observe all internet traffic and make sure data between Russian users stays within the country’s borders, and is not re-routed abroad.

The exercise is expected to occur before April 1, as Russian authorities have not given exact dates.

The measures described in the law include Russia constructing its internet system, known as Domain Name System (DNS), so it can operate independently from the rest of the world.

Across the world, 12 companies oversee the root servers for DNS and none are located in Russia. However, there are copies of Russia’s core internet address book inside the country suggesting its internet could keep operating if the US cut it off.

Ultimately, the Russian government will require all domestic traffic to pass through government-controlled routing points. These hubs will filter traffic so that data sent between Russians internet users work seamlessly, but any data to foreign computers would be rejected.

Besides protecting its internet, Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.

“What Russia wants to do is to bring those router points that handle data entering or exiting the country within its borders and under its control- so that it can then pull up the drawbridge, as it were, to external traffic if it’s under threat – or if it decides to censor what outside information people can access.

China’s firewall is probably the world’s best known censorship tool and it has become a sophisticated operation. It also polices its router points, using filters and blocks on keywords and certain websites and redirecting web traffic so that computers cannot connect to sites the state does not wish Chinese citizens to see,” said BBC.

The Russian government started preparations for creating its internet several years ago. Russian officials expect 95% of all internet traffic locally by next year.

As for Russia unplugging its internet from the rest of the world for an upcoming training exercise, well, this could potentially anger Washington because it is one less sanction that can keep Moscow contained.

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