Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ukraine / Russia situation ( September 4 - 5 , 2014 ) As the Nato Summit in Wales begins , expect lots of noise and sputtering on Russian and Russian aggession - but Europe still needs Russian natural gas this winter......

Morning and late day  tweets....

 Retweeted by ConflictReporter
soldiers defending ask: "Where is our artillery, where is our air force?"

More treason.This time in . "Ukr army generals promised accurate artillery fire on Russian troops,but did nothing."- Battalion Azov

army & separatists are shelling 's with | идет обстрел Мариуполя из Градов

 Retweeted by 
Leaders walking into , before the start of the ISAF meeting.

 Retweeted by 
DAY 1 of ! Leaders starting with discussions on ISAF/Afghanistan, Ukraine:

Russian FM Segei Lavrov: joining could derail all efforts of ensuring national -

Military Officer says Russia has several thousand combat troops, hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles inside

The warned that economically-devastated may need an extra US$19 BILLION assistance should it fail to quell

Shelling on the outskirts of Mariupol

Confirmed: The army has withdrawn its 2 battalions from to avoid being trapped there

Germany: Arms to not on NATO agenda.

The President's next meeting is on with the Leaders of , the , , and .

: the frontlines on 4 September according to the NSDC (left) + rebel map (right)

Russian, European experts hold consultations on Ukraine gas issue

 September 04, 14:48 UTC+4
The meeting in Brussels aimed at the analysis of figures with the aim of securing stable supplies of the Russian natural gas to Ukraine and Europe this upcoming winter
BRUSSELS, September 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Experts from the Russian Energy Ministry, country’s energy giant Gazprom and from the European Commission gathered on Thursday in Belgium’s Brussels for technical consultations on the Ukrainian gas issue.
EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger earlier said that the current expert consultations were held to supplement his last week’s visit to Moscow, where he discussed the Ukrainian gas issue with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.
The commissioner said the meeting in Brussels aimed at the analysis of figures with the aim of securing stable supplies of the Russian natural gas to Ukraine and Europe this upcoming winter.
Oettinger visited Moscow last Friday with the aim of discussing with Russia the stalled Ukrainian gas issue. The commissioner held talks with Russian Energy Minister Novak and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller in a bid to find a solution to the Russia-Ukraine gas price dispute.
Following the meeting with Oettinger, Russian Minister Novak said that the date for trilateral talks, which involve Ukraine, Russia and the European Union, on the Ukrainian gas issue would be announced early this week.
However, Novak once again made it clear before the mooted talks that Russia was ready to resume natural gas supplies to Ukraine, if Kiev repays its $2 billion debt.
The Russian energy minister said this figure included Ukraine’s $1.4 billion debt for Russian natural gas deliveries to the ex-Soviet republic in 2013 and partial repayment of the gas debt accumulated from April.
The Russian energy minister also said Russia was prepared to offer Ukraine a gas price discount of $100 per 1,000 cubic meters, which would not breach contractual obligations and would not contradict Russia’s position in an international arbitration tribunal as this offer was not a corporate discount.
Russia raised the gas price for Ukraine from $268.5 to $485.5 per 1,000 cubic meters from April 2014. Ukraine has said it will not pay for Russian natural gas supplies at such a high price.
After Russia and Ukraine failed to reach a compromise on the gas issue, Naftogaz and Gazprom filed mutual claims to the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal.
INFOGRAPHICSRussian gas in EuropeRussian gas in Europe
One-third of gas consumed in EU comes from Russia. Infographics ITAR-TASS
The gas price for Ukraine has increased, in particular, by $100 per 1,000 cubic meters since April 1, 2014 after Russia denounced the 2010 Kharkiv accords on extending the lease of the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s base in Crimea in exchange for a gas price discount. The accords were denounced after the Black Sea peninsula joined Russia in the spring of 2014.
Russia also offered Kiev the second discount as part of an anti-crisis aid package for Ukraine in November 2013 but scrapped it from April 1, 2014 over Ukraine’s failure to repay its debts for Russian natural gas supplies.
Gazprom halted gas supplies to Ukraine in June over its unpaid debt and filed a $4.5 billion suit to the Stockholm arbitration court. Later, Kiev reciprocated by sending a suit to the court against Gazprom for making Ukraine overpay $6 billion for gas since 2010, setting too high prices in its contract.

Ukrainian troops continue artillery strikes on Donetsk

 September 04, 13:49 UTC+4
Thundering explosions and shooting were heard in central part of the city overnight
DONETSK, September 04./ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian troops continued shelling several residential districts in Donetsk, particularly aiming at ifrastructure facilities in its western part, on Thursday morning.
A road to the west of the Donetsk region was blocked. Fighting was continuing for the Donetsk airport. The city had no water and no cell telephone communication. It was impossible to begin repair because of continuing shelling, locals said.
Artillery strikes on the city began late on Wednesday. Thundering explosions and shooting were heard in central part of the city overnight.
Later, the militia pressed Ukrainian troops out of the city, but the Kiev-loyal forces continued strikes on residential areas and infrastructure objects north of Donetsk, the inform bureau of the army of the South-East said on Thursday.
The cities of Gorlovka, Makeyevka and Yenakiyevo were also under fire.
Ukrainian troops lost 16 armoured and 28 other vehicles and up to 130 people in dead and wounded overnight, the bureau said.
ITAR-TASS had no confirmation of the information from other independent sources.

Preliminary results of MH17 crash probe to be released on September 9

 September 04, 11:59 UTC+4
The Netherlands is in charge of the investigation of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash in eastern Ukraine that killedall 298 people on board
© AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky
THE HAGUE, September 04. /ITAR-TASS/. A preliminary report on the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash probe will be published on September 9, the Dutch Safety Board that is leading the investigation said on Thursday.
"The preliminary report will present factual information based on sources available to the Dutch Safety Board," the investigators said adding that they hoped to publish a final report on the causes of the July 17 tragedy within a year.
The Netherlands is in charge of the investigation of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash in eastern Ukraine that killedall 298 people on board. Among them were 193 Dutch citizens.
INFOGRAPHICSBoeing 777 crash in UkraineBoeing 777 crash in Ukraine
Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777 crashed in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. 280 passengers and 15 crewmembers have died. Infographics by ITAR-TASS

Russia prepares 1,800-tonne relief cargo for southeast Ukraine

 September 04, 14:40 UTC+4
Negotiations with the Red Cross had already taken place and all Ukrainian customs services had been informed
MOSCOW, September 04./ITAR-TASS/. More than 1,800 tonnes of humanitarian aid have been prepared for southeast Ukraine, Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry deputy head Vladimir Artomonov said on Thursday.
He said 1,848 tonnes of relief supplies were ready for shipping, of which 608 tonnes would be sent by rail and 1,240 tonnes by road.
Negotiations with the Red Cross had already taken place and all Ukrainian customs services had been informed, he said. The delivery date would be set only at the request of the Red Cross and Ukraine's Ministry of Social Policy when the cargo was confirmed as being relief aid, he added.

RIA Novosti....

Russian Senator: Mistral Contract Breach May Cost France Billions in Fines

Topic: Russia's Purchase of French Mistral-Class Warship

Russian Federation Council's defense and security committee chairman Viktor Ozerov said Mistral contract breach may cost France billions in fines
13:33 04/09/2014
Tags: dealfinesMistralFrancois HollandeViktor OzerovFranceRussia
MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) - The deal for the delivery of Mistral-class helicopter carriers, signed by Russia and the French shipbuilder DCNS, allows for fines of several billion euros in the event of a contract breach, the Russian Federation Council's defense and security committee chairman Viktor Ozerov told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
“If we are talking about the possibility of a contract breach, Russia will use the money, returned for Mistrals, including the penalty payments, for fulfilling several positions in accordance with the state defense program, “ Ozerov said, commenting on the statement by French President Francois Hollande that the conditions under which Paris could authorize the delivery of the helicopter carriers are not in place.
Ozerov noted that the delivery has not been officially suspended, and that the statement reflects Hollande’s personal position.
According to Ozerov, there has not been any decisive expert judgment on whether Russia truly needed the carriers.
“Prior to signing this contract there has been a broad discussion among the Russian military on whether Russia needs such vessels,” Ozerov said, adding that it cannot be ruled out that the Russian Defense Ministry's former decision makers simply yielded to the persuasions of the French side.
On Wednesday, the office of President Francois Hollande released a statement saying that the head of the country concluded that the conditions under which France could authorize the delivery of the first helicopter carrier are not in place.
Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The first of these, the Vladivostok, is due for delivery by the end of 2014, and the second, the Sevastopol, is expected to arrive in 2015.
In the end of July, DCNS said that the sanctions against Russia imposed by the United States and the European Union will not impact the delivery of the helicopter carriers to Russia.

Pentagon Excludes Possibility of War With Russia Over Ukraine

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says that US excludes the possibility of any military engagement between Russia and the US over the situation in Ukraine.
05:06 04/09/2014
Tags: military conflictpolitical crisisChuck HagelUnited StatesUkraineRussia
MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) - United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel excluded the possibility of any military engagement between Russia and the US over the situation in Ukraine, the CNN reported.
“We’re not going to get into a military engagement, a war, over this with Russia,” Hagel said as quoted by the CNN.
Apart from that, Hagel defended the US response to the Ukraine conflict and dismissed any criticism about Washington’s failure in reaching a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Chuck Hagel stated that Russia continues to take “very dangerous escalatory actions” with regards to Ukraine.
Although Washington keeps unjustifiably blaming Moscow in escalating the Ukrainian conflict, Kremlin, in contrary, does everything possible to assist in stabilizing situation in eastern Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined a seven-point plan for the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine, calling on Kiev to withdraw troops from southeastern regions of the country and militia to cease military advances. The plan also includes proposals for an international monitoring force, the establishment of a humanitarian corridor, a ban on the use of combat aircraft over urban areas, an exchange of prisoners in an “all for all” formula and direct repair-crew access to destroyed infrastructure in the war-ravaged areas.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko supported Russia’s readiness to implement a joint plan of actions on peaceful settlement of a conflict in Donbas.

Ukraine: Obama Doubles Down?

Included in yesterdays assessment of the Ukrainian loss of the war and the coming ceasefire was this caveat:
Obama may still decide to double down and that destroying Ukraine -like Afghanistan, Libya and Syria- by prolonging the conflict is in U.S. "interests".
Pat Lang believes that Obama will take the escalation path:
Will the United States let the world "off the hook" by accepting this outcome? Perhaps it will not. The lure of the Children's Crusader vision of a future devoid of schoolyard bullies may prove too strong to ignore. NATO exercizes are planned. Speeches have been made. Grand posturing has taken place. Obama wills it! pl
That "Obama wills it" may be the reason for the confusion about a Ukrainian presidential statement today on a ceasefire agreement that came after Poroshenko had had a phonecall with Putin:
Mr. Poroshenko’s office first issued and then retracted a statement saying that the two had agreed to a “lasting cease-fire.” A spokesman for Mr. Poroshenko’s office said the initial statement, posted on the presidential website, went too far in describing the results of a telephone call between the two leaders, and that the call had not produced a formal agreement.
The statement, "The conversation resulted in an agreement on XXX in the Donbas." actual changed twice from XXX being first "lasting ceasefire" then "ceasefire" then "ceasefire regime". After the Poroshenko call Putin went public with a 7 point ceasefire plan which seems to have been the one Poroshenko had agreed to. But some "intervention", I assume from the U.S., took place to change Poroshenko's statement of a "lasting ceasefire".
The main U.S. puppet, scientology prime minister "Yaz" Yatsenyuk, is still throwing verbal bombs even though Ukraine has run out of significant military means:
“Putin’s real plan is the destruction of Ukraine and the resumption of the U.S.S.R.,” Mr. Yatsenyuk was quoted as saying. He said “the best plan to stop Russia’s war against Ukraine” would be if "Russia withdraws their regular troops, mercenaries and terrorists from Ukrainian territory — then peace will be reinstated in Ukraine.”
... and pink ponies will fly by.
To the delight of U.S. hardliners France has "postponed" the delivery of the two helicopter carrier of the Mistral type to Russia. The Russians will be happy about that. Such carriers are useful in small conflicts against minor enemies but Russia has now again to prepare for larger ones. The deal (once given to Sarkozy for his help in the 2008 Georgia conflict) included several ships some of them to be build in Russia. As part of the deal a shipyard in Russia has been modernized for the project and that important work has been finished. Russia can now (again) build such ships on its own.
If the two ships from France get not finally delivered Russia will demand back some €600 million already paid and a €1.2 billion contractual penalty. Without the Russia deal France may also have to close its shipyard in Saint-Nazaire. To hold back the ships is a terrible deal for France but president Hollande's poll rating is already so bad that the further drop in the polls for kissing Obama's ass will likely be irrelevant.

If Obama, as Pat Lang believes, wants to keep the conflict brewing we will see more destruction, more dead people and larger land losses for the current Ukraine. The end state will not change. Ukraine will become a bankrupt finlandized federation, not join the EU and not join NATO. The EU will lose a lot of business with Russia and take even longer to get out of the second great depression. China will win a lot. Not only in commerce but also because the U.S. will be busy to herd the NATO cats and to fight the non-existing Russian "threat". This will give China probably a decade of less pressure in south Asia. All for the genius of Obama and his Children's Crusader.