Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lukashenka Regime And HATO (NATO) Launch Propaganda Wars For Hearts And Minds Of Weary And Economically And Spiritually Dislocated Russian Citizens

"Loss of Belarus, the abandoning of the idea to build the Union State can be a tragedy for Russia, member of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament Alexander Tyagunov told a roundtable sitting dedicated to pressing issues of the Belarusian-Russian integration in Moscow on May 18.

“Belarus is more important for Europe than Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic states,” believes the Russian MP. “The West will momentarily find an application for Belarus.”

Alexander Tyagunov stated, the attention of the Russian State Duma towards the Belarusian-Russian integration had been slack recently. He believes, measures would be in order to hold elections to the Union parliament soon. With a single parliament, Belarus and Russia will have a common power branch, stressed the parliamentarian.

Alexander Tyagunov noted, the strongest part of the Belarusian-Russian relations is the economic ties, which are being vigorously developed, including development at the regional level. The spiritual link between the two nations is no less strong. “Belarusian issues find understanding with every stratum of the Russian population,” said the Russian MP."

Belarusian [Official State] Telegraph Agency "Russian MP: loss of Union State can be tragedy for Russia" May 18, 2006


"NATO may accept more ex-Soviet states as members in the future but the alliance also wants closer ties with Russia and its expansion is not directed against Moscow, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a seminar here May 18.

Speaking via teleconference from Brussels to students and academics in Moscow, de Hoop Scheffer said the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) wanted to boost its image in Russia, its former Cold War enemy.

Asked to comment on aspirations voiced by Russia’s ex-Soviet neighbors Ukraine and Georgia to join the Atlantic alliance, de Hoop Scheffer said they should be free to do so if their populations supported the move but cautioned they would have to meet NATO military standards to join.

”Could I see Georgia and Ukraine as members of NATO? I say yes... but I add that this is performance-based.

”Let them be free to say what they say and let them be free to do what they do. Let the people decide. That’s called democracy,” de Hoop Scheffer said, adding: “NATO enlargement is never anti-Russia. It should take place and it will take place in complete transparency and openness.”

The video linkup was part of a promotional campaign, dubbed “NATO-Russia Rally 2006: What binds us together”, consisting of a series of public events between May 11 and May 26 across Russia aimed at raising the alliance’s profile in the country.

De Hoop Scheffer said it became clear to him on his last visit to Moscow that NATO had a major image problem in Russia, the bloc’s Cold War adversary where most people still view the alliance with suspicion or contempt.

”Building a bridge of trust and cooperation across Europe between Russia and NATO is a strategic goal we all share,” he said, adding: “That bridge is now being built.” The likely deployment of U.N. peacekeeping forces in the troubled Darfur region in western Sudan would give NATO and Russian troops a chance to work together closely, de Hoop Scheffer said.

Russia and the countries of NATO “don’t see fully eye to eye” on all issues — he specifically pointed to Russian support for the government in the ex-Soviet republic of Belarus — but the two sides could overcome disagreements.

Although relations between NATO and Russia have improved considerably since the creation of a formal cooperation structure at a 2002 summit in Rome, tensions remain over the military alliance’s eastern expansion."

"NATO Chief Soothes Russia on Expansion" AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, MOSCOW May 18, 2006 via


"Two regional security organizations comprising post-Soviet nations and China are planning joint military exercises, the chief of Russia’s general staff said Thursday, the RIA Novosti news agency reports.

“We are currently discussing a joint exercise under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),” Yury Baluyevsky said, adding that the date of the exercise, which would also involve troops from Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) nations, had yet to be decided.

Baluyevsky said the exercises would practice joint counteraction against terrorist threats.

The chiefs of the CSTO nations’ general staffs held a meeting in Moscow Thursday to discuss ways to make the collective security system more effective, including by improving control of the Collective Rapid Reaction Force, which currently numbers 1,500 military personnel deployed in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which comprises the former Soviet republics in Central Asia — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan — as well as Russia and China, was created in 2001 to deal with security issues, including border conflicts, and terrorism.

These countries, without China, also form the CSTO, which also includes Belarus and Armenia. The CSTO is seen by some experts as a counterbalance to NATO’s eastward expansion. CSTO was created in the framework of Commonwealth of Independent States in 1994. The treaty affirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force against each other and obliged signatories not to join other military alliances or other groups of states, while an aggression against one signatory would be perceived as an aggression against all." ...

"Russia, China to Hold Joint Military Exercises Under SCO Aegis" May 18, 2006


"Belarus will host a meeting of the Integration Committee of the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC, member states are Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) and a session of the EAEC Interstate Council at the level of the heads of government on 18-19 May, the Belarusian news agency Belapan reported on 17 May, quoting the first deputy foreign minister of Belarus,...

Belarus will also host summits of the EAEC and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) at the level of heads of state on 23-24 June, Belapan said ..."

"Belarus to Host Meetings of CIS Eurasian Bloc, CIS Security Body in May, June" Belaplan News Agency (Minsk), May 17, 2006 via Armenian News Network /Groong

The loss of human life, and humanity, in a 21st century once again driven by ideologies and geo-politics.

Universal Studios has bought the rights to an article about the 2004 rebel raid on a school in the southern Russian town of Beslan, near the border with Chechnya, which left more than 300 people dead, most of them children.

Photo credit: With thanks.


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