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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Annals of Cold War II: U.S. State Department Condemns Kremlin over Khodorkovsky

Jurist reports that the U.S. State Department has issued the following official statement concerning the Kremlin's attempt to try Mikhail Khodorkovsky twice for the same crime:

As we have commented in connection with the original trial, the continued prosecution of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the dismantlement of Yukos raise serious questions about the rule of law in Russia. Khodorkovsky and his associate, Platon Lebedev, would have been eligible to apply for parole this year, having served half of their terms. These new charges would likely preclude their early release. Many of the actions in the case against Khodorkovsky and Yukos have raised serious concerns about the independence of courts, sanctity of contracts and property rights, and the lack of a predictable tax regime. The conduct of Russian authorities in the Khodorkovsky Yukos affair has eroded Russia's reputation and confidence in Russian legal and judicial institutions. Such actions as this and other cases raise questions about Russia's commitment to the responsibilities which all democratic, free market economies countries embrace.

That's rough talk coming from diplomats, as rough as it gets. Way to go, Miss Condi! LR knew she could count on you in a pinch!

Meanwhile, the
Kremlin was announcing a major escalation of the arms race, as the Associated Press reports:

The Russian military will sharply increase the number of new intercontinental ballistic missiles to be deployed this year as part of an ambitious weapons modernization plan, Russia's defense minister said Wednesday. Sergei Ivanov said the military would get 17 new ballistic missiles - a drastic rise compared with an average four deployed annually over recent years. The purchases are part of a weapons modernization program for 2007-2015 worth about $189 billion.

Ivanov said in a speech before lawmakers that the plan envisages the deployment of the total of 34 new silo-based Topol-M missiles and their control units, as well as another 50 such missiles mounted on mobile launchers through 2015; Russia so far has deployed more than 40 silo-based Topol-Ms. The Russian military will sharply increase the number of new intercontinental ballistic missiles to be deployed this year as part of an ambitious weapons modernization plan, Russia's defense minister said Wednesday.

President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have described the Topol-M as a bulwark of Russia's nuclear might for years to come, and hailed its ability to penetrate any prospective missile defenses. Putin last week dismissed Washington's claims that missile defense sites it hopes to establish in Poland and the Czech Republic were intended to counter threats posed by Iran, and said that Russia would respond by developing even more efficient weapons systems.

A rising tide of oil revenues gave Russia a chance to increase its defense spending following a desperate money shortage that plagued the military throughout the 1990s. "The economic growth and the scientific achievements allow us to reach a qualitatively new level in military procurement," Ivanov said. Russia's defense budget which stood at $8.1 billion in 2001 nearly quadrupled to $31 billion this year, Ivanov said. But despite a steady increase in military spending in recent years, Putin said last week that Moscow's military budget was still 25 times smaller than Washington's defense spending. Ivanov said that a share of weapons purchases in the military budget also has been growing over years. This year, the military will spend $5.4 billion on new weapons, buying aircraft, tanks and other armored vehicles and four new satellites, he said

27 comments:

Vova said...

DOS comment, "...The conduct of Russian authorities..." implies that they regard Russia to be more legitimate than the Medellin cartel and Putin--at least as legitimate as Manuel Noriega (no offence intended, Manny). I understand that the sriped pants are paid a lot of bucks to play along and enjoy the good life in Washington but I am less upbeat about Condi's perceived toughness than the esteemed author

La Russophobe said...

VOVA: Thanks for the comment. You're certainly correct that no member of the current administration can possibly claim to have fully embraced the appropriate policy towards Russia. On this issue, we have a ding-doing in chief, not a chief executive. However, the fact that even this crowd is willing to move away from Russia now is a pretty strong indication of how powerfully Russia has alienated the world, and when there is a new administration we will quite possibly see even more dramatic action.

Sapka said...

Thank God, the State Department has no jurisdiction in Russia yet.
The Knesset either.

La Russophobe said...

SAPKA: Hmmm. You think the diplomatic service of the world's most powerful nation and only superpower have no jurisdiction to influence Russia? I think you've been listening to far too many neo-Soviet TV broadcasts. That's just what the old Politburo members used to say. And where are they now?

Vova said...

Thanks for the "encouraging" words. I am glad we are on the same sheet of music. No USG body, not to mention MSM, would dare to confront the "root cause" (don't they love to find it everywhere?) whether it's WMD in Iraq or Clinton's to Russia in 1968, to name just a few

Irishman said...

To LR:
Ded Moroz has more influence in Russia than the US State Department. Dont be trying to fool yourself or anyone else. ''The Worlds Most Powerful Nation'' -dont you mean the world's most IN DEBT nation(trillions of overseas debt owed by the US government), hopelessly mired in Iraq and Afghanistan, with poverty in the south(Louisiana, Mississippi, I've been there myself) comparable to that in Brazil? Still as gas hungry as ever and with competition from relatively debt free countries like China and India? Who are you trying to con? Yourself?

If Ivanov becomes president then Burundi and the Faroe Islands will have more say in Moscow than Washington. As for your hero Condi, gotta hand it to her. She hates Russia so much she learnt the language and became fluent. She actually mastered a complex eastern slav language through sheer hatred. Says a lot about her. Pity no-one in Moscow listens to her, whether she speaks in english or russian.
Elsewhere on this site you've ignored substantive, entirely reasonable questions I have put to you. Why dont you answer them? Because you cant. You cant explain your ridiculous spin, hysterics and offensive comments, can you? You cant explain the misleading post titles and intros backed up by little or no evidence.
Copy and paste is a great tool all the same. Pity you wouldnt do that only and leave the shite commentary aside.

Sergej Varsjinskij said...

Ger,

'As for your hero Condi, gotta hand it to her. She hates Russia so much she learnt the language and became fluent.'

The only time I remember having heared Condi speak Russian was at some press conference covered on tv. She said about six times 'да' and one or two times 'нет'.

да да да да да да нет нет ...

sounds more like the Spice Girls than a high ranked official of a 'super power' ;-)

Irishman said...

Hey Sergei! At least youre replying, cos LR has given up trying to respond. 'Beaten' is the word.
Seemingly she IS fluent-its hard to believe - I read that many years ago in an Irish newspaper before Bush was first elected. The piece said that if elected Bush would be strongly anit-russian compared with Clinton or Gore and that waiting in the wings was Condoleeza Rice, a cold war nut who learnt Russian cos she hated the USSR(it was the USSR when she'd started studying Russian) and wanted to undermine it and be tough in negotiations. Like I said its just a pity neither the Soviets or the Russians could be bothered litening to her in either language.
But I was amazed in that the effort required was motivated by hatred. It just staggered me that someone could do that. I suppose spies and intelligence people have to do it all the time. Russian was and still is hard work for me and I actually live in Moscow and like Russia!

Sergej Varsjinskij said...

Hi Ger,

just a little anekdote on languages :-)

A couple of years ago a colleague and I went to a trade fair in Germany (Berlin) to promote our services. Let me add that I am fluent in Dutch, French and German but also have a quite good contol of several other 'western' languages. My colleague Yuri is our expert for 'eastern' languages.

During that fair we had to make use of one of the business lounges the fair provided to get some paperwork done. The lounge was rather big and there was a lonely guy sitting in the other corner. I can't exactly recall what the topic was, but suddenly this guy came up to us and spoke to us in a language we didn't understand. (Later it turned out to be Finnish.) He had a problem and asked for help. I tried to speak to him in English but learned that besides 'yes' and 'no' he didn't understand a word. So I tried German, no result. Dutch and French, no result. Yuri tried Polish, Bulgarian, Czech ... no result.

We were close to giving up. Suddenly Yuri, rather jokingly, said "Let's try Japanese".

He addressed the guy in Japanese and suddenly a bright smile appeared on his face and the conversation started. The guy had been a former engineer in shipbuilding and had spent years in Japan working on a shipyard.
Yuri had been in Japan for years, working in our embassy and had also learned Japanese.

Ergo, you never learn a language 'for nothing'. There will always be an opportunity to use it somewhere and somehow.

Regarding 'Condi' ...

I didn't know she spoke Russian. But I guessed she must be smart because otherwise she wouldn't work for George Wanker Bush. George jr needs smart people around him to compensate his own dullness. But she is as much a 'hawk' as Rummy Rumsfeld and therefore her motivation to learn something most likely isn't driven by interest but by other things. I am not sure if I would call her motivation 'hate'.

La Russophobe said...

IRISHMAN: Dude, don't drink and post. Vladimir Putin doesn't respond to Amnesty International's letter of protest. Does that mean he is "beaten" by them? Your comments are without source material and utterly insane. Only the insane argue with the insane. You've just said America isn't the world's most powerful nation. That's the statment of a moron. I might as well respond to a lemon. Just out of curiosity, who IS the most powerful then, Mr. Genius?

Seriously, don't drink and post. You're making a fool of yourself.

La Russophobe said...

HOORAY!!!! LR is happy to announce VICTORY OVER VLADMIR PUTIN!!! We wrote him a letter and HE DIDN'T RESPOND!!!! WE WIN!! HE IS "BEATEN"! Irishman confirms it!!

hahaahahahahaahahahaha.

rotf.

what a wacko!

(PS: It's so good to have confirmation of who actually reads the eXile! This is purely priceless!)

La Russophobe said...

Putin? Who cares about Putin? We wrote about MARK AMES back in September and HE DIDN'T RESPOND! We win!! We've beaten the eXile! We've made the world safe for democracy! ;)

La Russophobe said...

That is nothing. We wrote to George Bush to complain about his lenient Russia policy. No reply. That means we now control U.S. foreign policy. ;)

Sergej Varsjinskij said...

Ger,

!!! 4 !!! nervous breakdowns by LR in a row. She must have ran out of her pills. ;-)

La Russophobe said...

SERGEJ: Oh, now we're really confused. First you said we should comment, then you said we shouldn't. Can't you make up your mind? How can we live our lives by following your wise advice if you can't manage to be consistent?

Sergej Varsjinskij said...

LR: Just out of curiosity, who IS the most powerful (nation) then, Mr. Genius?

Hmmm ... let me see ... the one that is trying to pacify Iraq for for ~ 4 years now ? Naw.

The one that isn't able to control a few insurgents in Baghdad ? Naw.

The one who's CiC announced Mission Accomplished years ago already and still there are coming planeloads full of her dead soldiers flying in on a daily basis ? Naw.

The one that couldn't protect the WTC and the Pentagon against some ragheaded sandniggers flying in with some planes ? Naw.


Well, I cannot tell which nation is the most powerful but I can tell which nation is definitely not the most powerful.

It is spelled:

U N I T E D S T A T E S O F A M E R I K A

Note: Before you start to hyper-ventilate again, NO, I am not claiming that Russia is more powerful. So I don't have to provide evidence for soemthing I haven't said or written. ;-)

Russia does neither want to nor needs to be the most powerful nation on this planet. She leaves this privilege to the megalomaniacs on the banks of the Potomac. ;-)

Sergej Varsjinskij said...

LR wrote:SERGEJ: Oh, now we're really confused. First you said we should comment, then you said we shouldn't. Can't you make up your mind? How can we live our lives by following your wise advice if you can't manage to be consistent?

Take your pills, relax, it will hopefully go away.

Don't forget: For risks and side effects consult your doctor or pharmacist ;-)

La Russophobe said...

SERGEJ: You're a gutless little toad. You can't name a single nation that is more powerful than the United States, yet you can't admit you were wrong. The fact that American can't do everything doesn't mean it can't do more than any other nation. Your brain needs serious work.

La Russophobe said...

Maybe somebody should clue poor little Sergej into the fact that more than one person stands behind this blog. Then again, maybe he's beyond cluing in . . .

Sergej Varsjinskij said...

LR, I simply don't care who is behind this blog. Enjoy your superiority complex.

The Nazis were also more than one person and also had their 'Herrenrasse' complex. And they were removed and dumped into the trashcan of history. To a great deal by Russia while the USA errected a 'paper wall' to not have to welcome the migrating Jews prior to the Holocaust.

Ask any Holocaust survivor, the worst SS and Gestapo supporters were the Jewish Capo's in Auschwitz / Birkenau. And some went by the name of 'Zigfeld'.

Family of yours ?

Irishman said...

You really are a childish twat LR. First of all Putin and Bush are heads of state and I'm sure get plenty of mail. You DONT get plenty of mail and put your poisoned opinions out there for attack. This is a blog after all. So trying to compare yourself with Putin etc because you dont answer is just so juvenile and stupid ist beyod repair. You dont reply because you dont have any answers to the valid points and question put to you. Any mature person would attempt to deal with the flak received when they publish on a blog. You dont. You just run away. You reply to yourself(e.g. Penny) and whoever else agrees with you. But anyone who challenges you is simply nuts. As a student, like anyone else I had to defend my theses(scientific, not arts degree stuff) and accept criticism and grow from it. You choose not to you. Which makes you immature and a loser. Its a simple fact.
Now, back to the US - in what way exactly is the US the most powerful nation on earth -explain, please. Cos it sure as hell doesnt look like it now. Having the most debt? Do you actually know what debt means? It means you owe money. What happens when you cant pay back? You're sunk. Does causing grief in the Middle East count as being powerful? The US is the single biggest cause of militant Islam. Supporting the Shah, backing both sides in the Iran-Iraq war contributing to the deaths of nearly a million people -what are you on about? Does that mean you are powerful? Means evil to me. Its a actually quite sad because 60 years ago the US was a place that genuinely did good for the world. I have relatives there myself.
As for changing the tone of your poison, I'll keep posting until you answer my questions. Maybe I wont change the tone but hopefully Sharapova's lawyers will. Or even better, the lads in Lubyanka Square.
And I dont mean Detskiy Mir either.
Ger

La Russophobe said...

SERGEJ: Your brain seems so feeble that it's useless trying to communicate with you. We didn't say there is more than one of us because we were trying to prove we are so good. We said it because you critized us for putting up several comments, as if we were just one person, you hopeless moron.

La Russophobe said...

IRISHMAN: Again, I beg you not to drink and post. You alone have produced a giant volume of blabber on this blog, and if you are so full of hubris that you think we have nothing better to do than answer your insane drivel, then you are obvioulsy not worth answering. Plus which, I BELIEVE Bush and Putin have plenty of staff to help them answer mail if they choose to do so.

Dude, your head needs work. Seriously. We have a blog that's visited by HUNDREDS of people every day, far more than any other blog of its kind in the world, and we have far more links from blogs than any other similar blog too. If you don't like it, you are welcome to leave and never come back. Very, very welcome.

La Russophobe said...

You come here and insult us, blabbering nonsense and adding not one shred of value to the blog with links to source material, and then you're surprised we ignore you. What a hopelessly pathetic failure you are.

Irishman said...

La Russophobe,

I am not insulting you at all. I am asking you questions about your various postings and you are unwilling to answer because you DONT HAVE ANSWERS. Its a simple as that. Call me what you want, everyone can see through you.
AGAIN, I REITERATE:
ANSWER THE QUESTIONS PUT TO YOU AND STOP AVOIDING THE ISSUES BROUGHT UP. I thought Pennsylvania, Land of Steel and home of George A Romero, was made of better people than you. Maybe Allentown is a bit different to the rest of the state?

Irishman said...

PS for real tennis fans views on Kim Zigfeld's 'expert' opinions on Masha Sharapova, check out:
http://www.protennisfan.com/2006/04/maria_sharapova_2.html

Very interesting stuff there.

La Russophobe said...

IRISHMAN: You mean questions like this: "Who are you trying to con? Yourself?" Dude, you've taken leave of your senses. You yourself are doing EXACTLY what you accuse this blog of doing, except you're doing it comments that nobody cares about. If you think you've spoken in an appropriate and respectful manner and contributed value to this blog, you are quite insane. This blog will ignore you just like everyone else in the world has already done.