Project "ZZ". NATO’s military weakness, foreign policy paralysis and corruption in Germany, Britain’s financial dependence on Russian millions and the liberal democratic craziness of the United States. Blame, of course, the "aggressor" Putin.
Their finances don't sing romances
Chris Bryant is a member of the British Parliament from Ronda County from the Labor Party, deputy leader of the House of Commons, curator of British-Russian relations and an openly gay man who previously worked as a priest and former conservative. It was he who signed the “Open Letter Against Political Repression in Russia” this year. And it was he who wrote in November 2019 of the year for «The Guardian» an article in which he sharply criticized the policies of the British government.
According to Bryant, one should go back ten years and even further to discover the roots of evil and see the reasons for the “unconsciousness” of Tory leaders.
In 2009, the author recalls, the future conservative government had the intention to “normalize” relations with Putin's Russia. So when David Cameron arrived at Downing Street, he started from scratch. Russia was then considered one of the largest and largest economies in the world; moreover, its economy grew rapidly. Britain needed to trade more with Putin and let the "past go into the past."
And this very desire led to “deliberate amnesia” among conservative ministers. Bryant retells the sensational themes of the past. In 2006, Alexander Litvinenko was "poisoned with polonium" in the UK, and "all evidence pointed to the Kremlin." However, the then Minister of the Interior, Theresa May, stated the reason why she blocked the investigation into the murder. The reason was that this investigation would be detrimental to diplomatic relations. Then, in 2009, Sergei Magnitsky died in a Russian prison, a man who, while working in a British company, discovered "massive corruption from Kremlin officials."
"But again and again, when I asked Cameron and May if they intend to ban anyone connected with his murder from entering Great Britain, they got off with excuses and let the fog go."
That is how the “massive inflow of Russian money into the UK” began, Bryant believes. “The oligarchs hid their money here and abruptly inflated housing prices,” he complains. First-level visas (“gold”) were issued in whole armfuls to “dubious characters”. The main thing is that the "characters" had 2 million pounds for investment in the UK. And one investment has become the most common thing - it's investing in the Conservative Party! Since Mr. Cameron came to power, Russian money has replenished the treasury with at least 3,5 million pounds sterling (of which at least 500.000 pounds last year alone).
Conservative ministers, an expert develops his thought, do not deny that Russia tried to intervene in British democracy. But the truth is different: Putin "believes that he is at war with the West," continues Bryant. No, it’s not related to tanks or missiles, "Putin is" very effectively manipulating "the British democratic system. His "factory of bots and trolls in St. Petersburg is focused on individual British politicians and on groups that are known for their special negative attitude towards Putin." The goal of the bots is simple, the Briton believes: to "destabilize" all critics of Putin.
In the end, the author reports one confession of Boris Johnson. Johnson admitted that the biggest mistake he made as Foreign Minister was his visit to Moscow: at that time he believed that relations could be restored.
Bryant advises Johnson to finally come to his senses. The time has come to unveil the report of the intelligence committee - this is the only way that Johnson could "counter Russian influence." At best, the successive conservative prime ministers "were naive about Putin." If Johnson continues to refuse to publish the report, it will be clear: “he is an accomplice, he has something to hide,” summarizes Bryant.
Offshore companies are out of fashion. Money laundered in Germany today
The monetary theme worries more than one British democracy. While a well-known segment of the British progressive public offers the rulers to reveal their bad secrets, the German press declared their own country a haven for money laundering.
Ingo Malcher in an influential newspaper «Die Zeit» directly writes in the title: "Deutschland ist ein Geldwäsche-Paradies". (This is a quote from an interview with an anonymous detective, see text below.) The article was published under the heading “Kriminalität”. It is understandable why: the material in question is about laundering money received from drug trafficking, fraud and even human trafficking. The author of the article in the publication claims that Germany has become a place for a "huge industry", where not only laundering, but also investing money "from around the world", obtained by illegal means. Moreover, Germany is mired in corruption.
The amounts of dirty money that are being “washed off” in Germany are amazing. According to UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), 2-3% of global GDP is laundered every year around the world. In monetary terms, this is 1,6-4 trillion. dollars. There are German data. According to the Ministry of Finance of the Federal Republic of Germany (2016), more than 100 billion euros are “washed” every year in the country. About such a financial turnover has a concern "BMW"!
What is the government doing? It is planned to introduce stricter controls ... Here's how? Anti-corruption investigators in Germany already doubt the meaning of their investigations. Some investigator, whose real name is not given for obvious reasons, called the country “a paradise for money laundering” and spoke about the case when the procedure itself does not make it possible to expose the shadow dealers. One couple (originally from Ukraine), living in Germany, came to the bank and deposited two hundred thousand euros into the account - in cash! The official earnings of the husband and wife are insufficient for such savings. The bank notified the competent authorities of a major deposit to the account. The investigator immediately understood: these two are dummies, and the money does not belong to them. In such cases, intermediaries get later, when the money goes to some German company, whose founders are in Panama, five percent of the amount. All washing completed.
A separate part of the article is devoted to how drug dealers transfer cash to Germany and then launder it with the help of buying ... German cars.
Federal Financial Intelligence Directorate inundated with business. On September 2019 of the year, 48.229 messages were awaiting consideration, including reports from banks about the financing of terrorism and money laundering.
Not only dirty money excites pure Germans. It turns out that the foreign policy of Germany looks like attempts by the paralyzed to get up and go.
Jörg Lau in «Die Zeit» expresses the following thought: Germany does not have the right to further evade the defense of its interests. It is time to define the role of Germany in the global world.
The United States is retreating and is becoming a source of impending uncertainty.
Russia plays the role of mediator in the Middle East.
China is building a “parallel world order” in pursuit of its own goals.
Meanwhile, the EU is losing strategic weight.
And all these trends concern Germany! If the country is dependent on the United States in security policy, then in energy policy it cannot get rid of ties with Russia. Germany's trade is tied to China. And with all this, Germany serves as a guarantor of the strength of the European Union. The last guarantor.
Particular attention in the article is paid to Russia. According to the author, foreign policy in relation to this country in Germany stands still - neither here nor there. No one is able to comprehend an explosive mixture from sanctions and at the same time laying gas pipelines bypassing Ukraine. No wonder political scientist H. Münkler noted that Putin strengthens influence and benefits where there is no order in relations.
It got to the point, Lau believes, that consensus has been lost on defense issues, a common European and Russian policy. No work is being done on this front at all: the government is frightened by disagreements! And this also means the external economic paralysis of the German authorities, the author imprints.
Do not confuse the idea with matter. Only one spirit left from NATO
Jürgen Trittin, member of the Bundestag of the Alliance 90 / Greens, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, “mirrored” in Spiegele current position of NATO. According to the expert, the alliance is losing its integrity. In the “desire” of NATO, only classical German idealism remained.
The former NATO "has long ceased to exist." The Union is decrepit, now it is only a shadow of the past.
According to the author, the European disarmament initiative is long overdue. It should be suggested that the Russians, for example, abandon the Iskanders in Kaliningrad, and along with land-based medium-range missiles in Europe.
What will the EU give in return? Europe would abandon US missile defense systems in Eastern Europe and tactical nuclear weapons in Buchel.
This is madness!
In the USA, meanwhile, liberal-democratic madness is growing. President Trump said that it was “difficult for his family to endure” impeachment, and he called the word “dirty”. This was reported by the channel NBC News.
Mr. Trump called the impeachment procedure a personal “problem” that is “very difficult” for his family. He said this at a rally in Louisiana. “Impeachment is a dirty word for me,” he added.
“It was very unfair, very difficult for my family. I, this is my whole life, this is crazy ... What kind of life I lead ... Do you think this is fun, is it really? But it was very hard for my family. Very, very hard. ”
However, Trump did not say anything specific.
Turn upside down
Apparently, the vacillations in NATO, Germany’s foreign policy paralysis along with corruption, Britain’s dependence on Russians in London, and especially the political “frenzy” in the United States led some to a certain conclusion. Like, Russia's actions are not a sign of strength, but a sign of weakness. The USSR did not allow itself to interfere in American affairs!
On this topic argues in "The Hill" Marik von Rennenkampff
Geopolitical analysts associate the growing “Russian aggression” with the desire of Vladimir Putin to return “greatness” to Russia, the author recalls. But a more accurate assessment is different: “Putin's provocations” are far from the “resurrection” of the Russian “empire”, but signs of the decline of “isolated power”.
The recent “militancy of Russia around the world” boils down to supporting only a few allies or to attacks when Russia loses another ally. Ultimately, “Putin’s aggressive behavior,” including “the campaign to disrupt the US election of the 2016 of the year,” is the result of “Russia's growing isolation in the international arena.”
In 2016, Putin "sought to elect Donald Trump as president." Putin’s efforts to intervene in the election were intended to “wreak havoc in the United States.” The thousands of paid advertisements, Internet memes, and false news stories created and promoted by “Russian intelligence officers” proved to be “extremely successful in America’s political polarization,” von Rennenkampf believes.
Russia's attempt to undermine American democracy is a "flagrant violation of international standards." But Putin’s dangerous game is not at all an act of great power on the rise. Not once during the Cold War, even when the Soviet Union was at the peak of its development, Moscow did not think “to resort to such direct (and egregious) interference in America’s internal affairs,” the author writes.
After a “long list of Moscow’s strategic defeats,” Putin’s attempt to “elect Trump” and “destabilize the United States” reflects only the desperation of the former empire that wants to “change the status quo,” the analyst concludes.
* * *
Apparently, the author of the last article implies that US interference in the affairs of other countries, including in the elections, is an exceptional blessing for the world. And not without reason in Europe, especially in Germany, where the whole world launders dirty money, competing with Britain, they regret the US withdrawal from the position of a good hegemon: they say, now we have to work ourselves.
However, no one is going to fight with Europe (and NATO). Let the Germans pull the pipes from Russia, and let the Americans themselves dump Trump. If American democracy is so weak that "Russian intelligence officers" can undermine it in a year, then is it time to exchange it for something else, more durable? Independent of Russia's will?