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Russian mission in NY; Kremlin compound, Moscow

Russian economy looks rosy but neocons cover up their bad predictions

Jon Hellevig, a Finnish lawyer and investment analyst, runs a Moscow-based consultancy Awara that has just published its assessment of Russian economic performance since 2014: The Russian economy is looking rosy.

Published: July 12, 2017, 6:37 am

    The gist of the Hellevig report is that the US and NATO campaign against Russia has failed to do much damage and now their propaganda outlets, media and think-tanks are lying to conceal the failure.

    The punchline of the report reads: “We predict Russia to push through the 4 trillion level in 2017 and overtake Germany by 2018 to become the world’s fifth biggest economy.”

    Hellevig also warns against the illusion of a friendly United States: “Russia must understand that the Russia containment strategy of the West will be there for years to come, and will only disappear the day when they gather the courage to understand that Russia has overcome. Therefore, Russia must root all its economic strategy and development efforts in a firm understanding of this reality, and never to count on West in anything. Russia must, focus on China, the East, and the rest of the world.”

    Meanwhile the Trump administration has just appointed Kurt Volker, the neocons’ neocon, and one of the worst possible picks for the job as US Special Representative for Ukraine.

    The diplomat is expected to address the implementation of the Minsk agreements – the ceasefire and peace plan signed in the Belarus capital by Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany in early 2015. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed the appointment of the special representative to “draw on his decades of experience in the US Diplomatic Corps, both as a representative to NATO and also his time as a permanent political appointment”.

    But the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity executive director Daniel McAdams says Volker’s current position is head of the McCain Institute, a neo-conservative Washington-based think tank founded by fanatically anti-Russian Senator John McCain, and casts doubt on whether Washington is really committed resolving the Ukraine crisis.

    Moscow may also yet decide to expel some 30 US diplomats and freeze some US assets over the situation over the Russian diplomatic facilities closed down in the United States, Russian media reported on Tuesday.

    Quoting a Foreign Ministry source, the Izvestiya newspaper says failure to reach an agreement on two Russian diplomatic compounds in the US seized by the outgoing Obama administration in December last year, has prompted the move.

    “There is a preliminary agreement on holding a meeting between Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ryabkov and US Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon in St. Petersburg. If the compromise is not found there, we will have to take such measures,” a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told Izvestiya.

    Relations between the two countries have not been normalised but have deteriorated further following the latest round of sanctions directed against Russian energy concerns.

    Russophobia is rife in the US media. An American LGBT and women’s rights activist, Amy Siskind, even warned Russian insurance companies not to cover the life of Russia’s US ambassador. The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova said the tweet showed “the intensity of Russophobia that has overwhelmed the United States”.

    Zakharova responded dryly: “I very much hope that Amy will never learn what the American diplomats were doing, for example, in a number of countries in Latin America, the Middle East, and, of course, in Ukraine. Otherwise, it can provoke a crisis of the American insurance system.”

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