Putin breaks ground on Russia-China gas pipeline, world’s biggest

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli have launched the construction of the first part of Gazprom’s Power of Siberia pipeline – which will deliver 4 trillion cubic meters of gas to China over 30 years.

“The new gas branch will significantly strengthen the economic cooperation with countries in the Asia-Pacific region and above all – our key partner China,” Putin said at the ceremony outside the city of Yakutsk – the capital of Russia’s Republic of Yakutia on Monday.

Both President Putin and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli signed the freshly-welded pipeline in a time-honored Russian tradition. The ‘Power of Siberia’ was welded together by workers from Chayanda gas field, overseen by CEO Aleksey Miller.

“Gazprom is always a reliable supplier of gas to its customers – which also applies to the ‘Power of Siberia,” Miller said.

The 3,968 km pipeline linking gas fields in eastern Siberia to China will be the world’s largest fuel network in the world. Both Putin and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli have called the project the world’s largest construction project, as investment from both countries will be more than $70 billion.

“The gas pipeline ‘Power of Siberia’ will increase energy security and ensure Russia’s ability to fulfill export obligations,” Putin said in the opening remarks.

Read More: Russia and China seal historic $400bn gas deal

Starting in 2019, Power of Siberia will pump gas from Siberia to China’s populous northeast region as well as to Russia’s Far East. The Chinese side will start the construction of its part of the pipeline in the first half of 2015, the Vice Premier of China said.

Last year, China consumed about 170 billion cubic meters of natural gas and expects to consume 420 billion cubic meters per year by 2020. Europe still remains Russia’s largest energy market, buying more than 160 billion meters of Russian natural gas in 2013.

Gas resources exploration and gas transmission system formation in Eastern Russia (Source: Gazprom)

Gas resources exploration and gas transmission system formation in Eastern Russia (Source: Gazprom)

“Once we create a gas pipeline network here in the Far East and Siberia, we will be able to connect European pipeline system to the East. And this, in terms of export opportunities and expanding Russia’s ‘gasification’, is very beneficial. Depending on the situation in world markets, we can more effectively implement gas flows- either more to the West or to the East,” Putin told students at North-Eastern Federal University earlier on Monday.

Running from the Chayanda gas field in the Republic of Yakutia, the cost of construction is estimated at more than $20 billion (770 billion rubles), which includes other investment in the region of $7.5 billion (283 billion rubles). Russia’s largest steel pipeline manufacturer, TMK, will provide materials for the project.

The gas pipeline will become a common transit center for gas production centers in the Yakutia and Irkutsk regions.

The first stage of the project will be to transport gas from the Chayanda deposit in Yakutia and connect to the town of Blagoveshchensk on the Chinese border. The 968 km pipeline should be completed by 2018.

September 1, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, at the ceremony marking the joining of the first link in the Power of Siberia main gas pipeline, held at Namsky Highway near Us Khatyn village. Gazprom Board Chairman Alexei Miller, right. Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China Zhang Gaoli, left (RIA Novosti / Alexey Nikolsky)

September 1, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, at the ceremony marking the joining of the first link in the Power of Siberia main gas pipeline, held at Namsky Highway near Us Khatyn village. Gazprom Board Chairman Alexei Miller, right. Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China Zhang Gaoli, left (RIA Novosti / Alexey Nikolsky)

The Chayanda field, which will begin production in 2015, is estimated to have reserves of 1.2 trillion cubic meters in gas and 93 million tons of liquid hydrocarbons. Each year the field is expected to produce up to 25 billion cubic meters of gas and at least 1.5 million tons of oil.

Putin also said that China can become a shareholder in the Vankor oil and gas fields in the Krasnoyarsk region in Eastern Siberia. China will enter into a strategic relationship with Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, which owns the field.

The area is estimated to hold reserves of 520 million metric tons of oil and 95 billion cubic meters of natural gas. It has been in operation since 2009 and last year produced 21.4 million tons of oil and oil condensate.

“We generally take a very careful approach to the approval of our foreign partners, but of course, for our Chinese friends there are no restrictions,” Putin said.

In May, Russia’s state-run Gazprom signed a 30-year gas deal with China’s CNPC valued at $400 billion.

OBAMA: MEDIA MAKES YOU THINK ‘WORLD IS FALLING APART’

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Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart”

By Justin Sink – 08/29/14 06:02 PM EDT

President Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart.”

“I can see why a lot of folks are troubled,” Obama told a group of donors gathered at a Democratic National Committee barbecue in Purchase, N.Y.

But the president said that current foreign policy crises across the world are not comparable to the challenges the U.S. faced during the Cold War.
Acknowledging “the barbarity” of Islamist militants and Russia “reasserting the notion that might means right,” Obama, though, dismissed the notion that he was facing unprecedented challenges.

“The world’s always been messy … we’re just noticing now in part because of social media,” he said, according to a White House pool report.

“If you watch the nightly news, it feels like the world is falling apart,” said Obama.

The president acknowledged that conflicts in the Middle East posed difficulties, “but it’s been challenging for quite a while,” he said.

“We will get through these challenging times just like we have in the past,” Obama added.

The president, looking to strike a reassuring tone, argued that American military superiority has never been greater and that the U.S. still held advantages over potential international rivals like China.

The event, held at the home of Robert Wolf, an occasional Obama golf partner and former president of UBS Investment Bank, was the second of three fundraisers the president was slated to attend on Friday. Tickets to the event began at $15,000 per couple, and around 250 supporters were in attendance.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/216281-media-makes-you-think-world-is-falling-apart#ixzz3BtoPsWWb
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PUTIN’S “NUCLEAR” REMARK CHECKS U.S. MOVES IN EASTERN EUROPE

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U.S. has violated ABM and numerous other treaties

by KURT NIMMO | INFOWARS.COM | AUGUST 29, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks on Russia’s nuclear arsenal appear to be partly in response to a U.S. claim Russia has violated a 1987 nuclear missile treaty.

“It’s best not to mess with us,” Putin said at a youth camp near Moscow.

On August 1, prior to the unverified claim Russia has invaded Ukraine, Obama mentioned the alleged treaty violation during a telephone call between to the two leaders.

The U.S. claims Russia tested a cruise missile prohibited under the treaty signed by President Reagan and General Secretary of the Soviet Union Gorbachev on December 8, 1987.

The treaty eliminated nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges.

During coverage of the alleged treaty violation, the establishment media neglected to mention that the United States has violated and abrogated a number of international treaties, including the landmark 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty.

The U.S. considered the ABM treaty a “Cold War relic.”

In 2002 then president George W. Bush announced the treaty is “now behind us” and declared his commitment to deploy missile defenses “as soon as possible.”

In 2007, then Russian Prime Minister Putin said the so-called NATO missile “defense shield” would lead to a new arms race and enhance the probability of mutual destruction.

Poland, the Czech Republic, and Romania have indicated they would host anti-missile systems, but in 2009 Obama said a defense against short- and medium-range missiles using AEGIS warships would be deployed instead.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, contender Mitt Romney said Obama’s move represented a “gift to Russia,” a remark reflecting the attitude of Republicans and many in the establishment toward nuclear deescalation.

In addition to placing anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe, Russia is concerned about the United States using the situation in Ukraine as a pretext to introduce troops near its border.

Since the beginning of the year, the U.S. has deployed hundreds of troops in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

U.S. Violates Treaties with Russia

According to the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy, the United States routinely violates international treaties.

“The United States has violated, compromised or acted to undermine in some crucial way every treaty that we have studied in detail,” said Nicole Deller, principal editor and co-author of a report produced by the two organizations.

In addition to the ABM treaty, the U.S. has violated the 1970 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

The Bush administration undercut the NPT when it insisted reductions in strategic weapons previously agreed upon with Russia can be reversed.

The U.S. reached this conclusion after a Nuclear Posture Review expanded “options for using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.”

EX-CIA OFFICIAL PROPOSES ASSASSINATION OF PUTIN

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Former intelligence official wants sanctions against Russia to lead to the removal of Putin, “with a bullet hole in the back of his head” if necessary

by KIT DANIELS | INFOWARS.COM | AUGUST 28, 2014

In a recent op-ed, a former CIA official suggested the removal of Russian President Vladimir Putin, by assassination if necessary, should be the primary objective of the Obama administration in its strategy for Ukraine.

Herbert E. Meyer, who served as a Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence under the Reagan administration, said the goal of U.S. sanctions against Russia “should be to get the Russians who’ve been keeping Putin in power, or tolerating Putin in power, to throw that knockout punch.”

“If Putin is too stubborn to acknowledge that his career is over, and the only way to get him out of the Kremlin is feet-first, with a bullet hole in the back of his head — that would also be okay with us,” he stated.

To ensure Putin’s removal, Meyer suggested, the Obama administration should strike a wedge between the Russian business elite and the Kremlin that could serve as a catalyst for an attempt on Putin’s life.

“That’s why the sanctions will work if the president and his European counterparts will keep tightening the screws; if they keep making commerce more difficult for Russia’s serious business executives, for instance by blocking their access to capital, and if they keep making life more miserable for Russia’s playboy oligarchs, for instance by canceling their credit cards and denying landing rights to their private jets,” he added. “And if the president and European leaders keep telling these Russians – bluntly and publicly – that all this will end the moment Vladimir Putin leaves the Kremlin for good.”

The former CIA official is describing a centuries-old tool of statecraft in which a foreign power creates discontent between the nobles of another country and their ruler to ensure the eventual overthrow of that ruler.

But given today’s explosive increase in tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which could very well lead to another world war, Meyer’s suggestion is particularly disturbing considering is it likely that current Western intelligence officials also share similar views.

And the destabilization of the Russian government with the loss of Putin will only create chaos in the East, chaos which can be exploited by the global financial elite who hold no allegiance to any nationality.

“Every major international crisis for the past century or more has ended with an even greater consolidation of world power into the hands of the few, and this is no accident,” journalist Brandon Smith wrote.

Obama threatens Russia with new sanctions over Ukraine

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President Barack Obama acknowledged during an impromptu press conference on Thursday afternoon that the United States is considering new sanctions to impose against Russia over the escalating crisis in Ukraine.

From the White House, Pres. Obama told reporters that he’s certain Russia is playing a direct role in the ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine between anti-Kiev separatists and the country’s military, and that the US is weighing further sanctions to intensify the restrictions previously waged against Moscow.

“As a result of the action Russia has already taken and the major sanctions we’ve imposed,” Obama said, “Russia is already more isolated than any time since the end of the cold war.”

“The separatists are backed, trained, armed, financed by Russia. Throughout this process we’ve seen deep Russian involvement in everything that they’ve done,” Obama added.

That behavior, he added, “will only bring more cost and consequences to Russia.” After speaking with allies, Obama continued, he expects a new wave of sanctions to come soon. The president is expected to meet with NATO partners next week, and said the US “will continue to stand firm with our allies and partners” to protect Ukraine from further encroachment.

“In our consultation with our European allies,” Obama said, “…my expectation is we will take additional steps, primary because we have not seen any meaningful action on the part of Russia to try and actually resolve this in a diplomatic fashion.”

Earlier Thursday, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said during a press conference that there are “additional tools and sanctions” being considered against Russia.

Psaki and the president’s remarks sandwiched a meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York City, during which representatives from the US, United Kingdom, Australia and others all urged Russia to refrain from further escalating the situation near its border with eastern Ukraine.

“In the face of this threat, the cost of inaction is unacceptable,” Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, said during the meeting.

Vitaly Churkin, Power’s Russian counterpart, deflected blame and warned the US: “Stop interfering in the affairs of sovereign states.”

On his part, Pres. Obama added that the US has ruled out the possibility of a military response.

“We are not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem. What we’re doing is to mobilize the international community to apply pressure on Russia. But I think it is very important to recognize that a military solution for this problem is not going to be forthcoming,” he said.

“Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but a number of those states who are close by are,” he added, “and we take our Article Five commitments to defend each other very seriously — and that includes the smallest NATO member as well as the largest.”

OBAMA ON ISIS: ‘WE DON’T HAVE A STRATEGY YET’

Obama stressed the “limited” nature of any potential operation in Syria

by Matt Wilstein | 4:45 pm, August 28th, 2014 VIDEO

President Barack Obama spoke to the press from the White House Briefing Room Thursday afternoon in order to address both Russia’s “stealth invasion” of Ukraine and the possibility of military airstrikes on ISIS in Syria. The second of those issues was the subject of the first question Obama received from new Meet The Press host Chuck Todd.

When the president called on Todd first, whom he called a “big cheese” and congratulated on his new role, but said it would be the last time he would be asking him a question as a member of the White House Press Corps. “I’m glad you said ‘in the press room,’” Todd joked.

Answering Todd’s question about how he prioritizes using military action against ISIS in Syria and potentially helping President Bashar al-Assad in the process, Obama stressed the “limited” nature of any potential operation in Syria. He said in order to find success, the U.S. will need “Sunni partners,” who as of now are “not in place.”

Later, Obama said, “I have consulted with Congress throughout this process. I am confident that as commander in chief I have the authority to engage in the acts we are conducting currently. As our strategy develops, we will continue to consult with Congress, and I do think it will be important for Congress to weigh in, for our consultations with Congress to continue to develop so the american people are part of the debate.”

“But,” he added, “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet.”

“There is no point in me asking for action on the part of Congress before I know exactly what it is that is going to be required for us to get the job done,” Obama said.