Saturday, April 19, 2014
The Pentagon is exploring options for deploying U.S. troops to Poland to expand NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe because of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, as pro-Russian militants defiantly refused Friday to leave government buildings in eastern Ukraine despite a diplomatic accord reached in Geneva.
A senior U.S. official told Fox News on Friday the U.S. is considering sending relatively small units to the country of around 130 soldiers, and the units would be there on a rotational basis.
Poland’s Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak told the Washington Post Friday the U.S. was planning on sending ground troops after speaking with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Thursday.
Siemoniak said military planners are working out the logistics and the two countries also plan to increase their cooperation in air defense, cyber defense, special forces and other areas. Siemonack said he believes the U.S. needs to turn its focus back to Europe, after announcing a “pivot” to Asia.
“The idea until recently was that there were no more threats in Europe and no need for a U.S. presence in Europe anymore,” Siemoniak told the Washington Post. “Events show that what is needed is a re-pivot, and that Europe was safe and secure because America was in Europe.”
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told Fox News the agency will not announce any specific plans at this time, but is considering military options in Europe.
The U.S. also deployed 12 F-16 fighter jets to Poland in recent weeks and delivered 10 F-15s to the Baltic states for air-patrol programs. Vice President Joe Biden said on a trip to Poland last month the U.S. is looking forward to helping Poland as it continues to modernize its military.
In Washington, President Barack Obama conveyed skepticism about Russian promises to de-escalate the volatile situation in Ukraine, and said the United States and its allies were ready to impose more sanctions if Moscow doesn't make good on its commitments.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, complained on state television about possible further sanctions against Russia.
"You must not act toward Russia as if it were a naughty schoolgirl, to whom you thrust some kind of paper where it's necessary to mark off that she did her homework," Peskov said.
Meanwhile, former Ukrainian prime minister and presidential hopeful Yulia Tymoshenko arrived Friday in Donetsk in a bid to defuse the tensions and hear "the demands of Ukrainians who live in Donetsk."
"I'd like to listen to these demands by myself and find out how serious they are, so that one could find the necessary compromise between the east and the west that will allow us to unite the country," she told The Associated Press.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has emphasized that the requirement to abandon occupied buildings applied to all parties — an apparent reference to the ultranationalist Right Sector, whose activists are occupying Kiev city hall and a Kiev cultural center.
Credit to Fox News
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,299.25 EUR 937.48 & GBP 771.89 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,299.00, EUR 938.58 & GBP 773.03 per ounce.
Gold rose $0.20 or 0.015% yesterday, closing at $1,303.10/oz. Silver gained $0.05 or 0.25% yesterday to $19.67/oz.
Gold in U.S. Dollars - Year To Date, 2014 - (Thomson Reuters)
Gold traded near $1,300 an ounce, set for a weekly drop, as investors weighed tentative signals of a U.S. recovery against the risk of conflict in Ukraine and geopolitical tension. Silver, platinum and palladium are all marginally lower.
Prices reversed losses after Ukraine accused Russia of fueling terrorism in its eastern provinces. The metal is 1.3% lower this week and may snap a two-week advance. However, shorts will be nervous heading into a long holiday weekend with the potential for headline risk.
Gold bullion should be higher as the dollar is under pressure after Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen yesterday reiterated that ultra-accommodative monetary policies will continue. This will manifest in interest rates staying near zero percent and continuing currency debasement.
Gold consolidated yesterday around the 200-day simple moving average and found some support around $1,297/oz, the 61.8% retracement of gold's rise in April.
Assets in the largest gold-backed exchange-traded product sank the most this year. New York's SPDR Gold Shares, reported outflows of 8.39 tonnes on Wednesday, the largest one day decline in its holdings since December 23. That has erased almost its entire inflow for the year, with its holdings currently at 798.4 tonnes, against 798.22 on December 31.
Gold in euros continues to consolidate around the €1,000/oz mark and looks set to rise in the coming months. The euro’s strength is not merited given the appalling fundamentals of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. As soon as the Eurozone debt crisis rears its ugly head again, and it will, gold will again protect against euro weakness.
Credit to goldcore.com
Moscow: Russia may invade south-east Ukraine to protect the local population, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
Speaking live at his annual call-in show in a Moscow television studio, Mr Putin implied he reserved the right to move Russian troops into the neighbouring country on behalf of pro-Russian residents.
Russian President Vladimir Putin: "Of course our servicemen stood behind the defence forces of Crimea. They acted with great restraint but ... very resolutely and professionally." Photo: Reuters
"We know quite well that we must do our best to protect their rights and help them independently decide their fate, and we will struggle for that," he said. "I remind you that the Federation Council of Russia [the upper house of parliament] empowered the president to use the armed forces in Ukraine."
But Mr Putin added he hoped he would not have to resort to that.
Mr Putin's threat suggests that Russia's armed intervention in Ukraine is a looming reality, Ukrainian political scientist Vadim Karasyov said.
Pro-Russian activists reflected on a TV screen as they watch a TV broadcast of the Russian president. Photo: AFP
"Today, Putin in fact set up an ultimatum for Kiev to either allow a wide federalisation of Ukraine with vast powers for eastern regions - allowing Moscow to regain its political and economic control over them without formally annexing them - or to face a full-scale armed invasion resulting from which Moscow will establish its military control over at least the south-east of Ukraine," Mr Karasyov, director of the Kiev-based Institute for Global Strategies, said. "He made his terms quite clear today."
Mr Putin also reiterated his position that the south-east regions of Ukraine for centuries were Russian territories called Novorossiya or New Russia, and it was the Bolshevik leadership in the early 20th century that handed those regions over to the newly formed Soviet Ukraine.
Mr Putin lashed out at the lack of democracy and attacks on opposition candidates in the course of the current presidential campaign in Ukraine and refused to recognise the legitimacy of the interim government in Kiev.
"We consider the current Ukraine authorities illegitimate as they have no national mandate to run the country."
He vehemently denied the alleged involvement of Russian troops and agents in Wednesday's attack on a base in south-eastern Ukraine: "This is all rubbish. There are no Russian units, no special services, no instructors. These are all local residents ... I told my Western partners, 'They have nowhere to go, they will not go away anywhere, they are the masters of their land and they need to be talked to.' "
Earlier this week, Ukraine's Security Service accused Russia of directing military operations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, presenting as proof transcripts and recordings of allegedly intercepted radio and telephone communications between armed terrorists capturing administrative buildings and police stations in the region and their alleged co-ordinator in Russia.
Mr Putin's TV show was conducted as armed confrontations between separatist forces and Ukraine's regular army, security and police troops were already raging in the region.
Ukraine Acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook account that Ukraine National Guard troops repelled an attack by armed separatists on Wednesday night in the port of Mariupol in south-east Ukraine. Three separatists were killed, 13 wounded and 63 taken prisoner, Mr Avakov said.
Mr Putin for the first time admitted publicly that Russian troops were deployed in Crimea before the referendum to help it be democratically conducted.
Until Thursday, he had more than once publicly denied such an involvement, saying the troops in unmarked uniforms who seized administrative buildings, and surrounded and blocked Ukrainian army units in Crimea were local defence forces who could have bought Russian military uniforms in a store somewhere.
"Of course our servicemen stood behind the defence forces of Crimea. They acted with great restraint but ... very resolutely and professionally," he said. "Otherwise it was simply impossible to hold the referendum openly, honestly and with dignity, and to help the people to express their opinion. You should bear in mind that there were over 20,000 [Ukrainian] well-armed servicemen in Crimea."
Russia annexed Crimea on March 18 shortly after the referendum, which Ukraine and the United Nations refused to recognise.
Credit to TheAge.com.au
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/putin-says-russia-may-invade-ukraine-to-protect-locals-20140418-zqw4c.html#ixzz2zJ4Pr7HX
Washington’s Corruption and Mendacity Is What Makes America “Exceptional” — Paul Craig Roberts
World events permitting, I am going to take a few days off.
Many of you write to me asking for financial advice or for explanations of the pros
and cons of different investments. I don’t give financial advice and cannot answer
such a large number of individual inquiries. However, I can call to your attention two books that provide different views from those available in the financial media. The Aftershock Investor by David Wiedemer, Robert A. Wiedemer, and Cindy S. Spitzer (John Wiley & Sons, 2014) explains the vulnerabilities of each kind of investment. The Money Bubble by James Turk and John Rubino (DollarCollapse Press, 2013) explains the possible consequences of the current economic policies. Both books are directed at a general audience and are readable.
As I have reported on several occasions, the US government pays foreign rulers to do
Washington’s bidding. There is no such thing as an independent government in the UK, Europe or Japan. On top of all the other evidence, it has now come to light that the US Agency for International Development has a large slush fund “where millions are paid to political figures in foreign countries.” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38253.htm
If you have four hours, watch President Putin’s amazing open press conference with the Russia people and then try to imagine an American or European leader capable of such a feat.http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38254.htm The Russians have a real leader. We have two-bit punks.
The Los Angeles Times has acquired its own Judith Miller. His name is Sergei L. Loiko.
An incompetent Obama regime has botched its takeover of Ukraine with its Kiev coup.
The White House Fool is embarrassed that so many Ukrainians prefer to be part of Russia than part of Washington’s stooge “freedom and democracy” government in Kiev. The prostitute American and European media have thrown the propaganda into overdrive, demonizing Russia and President Putin, in order to cover up Washington’s blunder.
The latest deception cooked up by Washington or by the anti-semitic neo-nazi Right Sector in western Ukraine consists of leaflets falsely issued under the name of one of the leaders of Russian secessionists in eastern Ukraine. The leaflet calls for Jews to sign a registration and list their property. However, no such registration office exists. Washington’s ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt who assisted Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in orchestrating the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government and installing Washington’s stooges, declared the leaflets to be “the real deal.” But the Jewish community is suspicious and has issued a statement that the leaflet “smells like a provocation.” Jewish residents of the Russian territories that Soviet leaders added to the Ukraine Soviet Republic say that anti-semitism has not been a feature of their lives in the Russian speaking areas. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/17/jews-ordered-to-register-in-east-ukraine/7816951/ See also:
Washington and the prostitute media are purveyors of misinformation. Remember, Washington and its media prostitutes told you that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was a threat to America. Washington and its media prostitutes told you that Syria’s President Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. Washington and its media prostitutes told you that “we are not spying on you.” Remember, the New York Times sat on the first leak from a top NSA official that Americans were being illegally spied upon for one year until George W. Bush was safely reelected.
A government that relies on propaganda cannot be believed about anything. Americans misinformed by a prostitute media are in no position to protect the US Constitution and their liberty. Misinformed, they become tyranny’s allies
Credit to Paul Graig Roberts