US/Russia Rift Deepens

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US/Russia Rift Deepens
by Stephen Lendman 
America’s imperial agenda bears full responsibility for souring relations between both nations – what can and may lead to belligerent confrontation if Washington doesn’t curb its reckless appetite.
Moscow’s patience appears wearing thin. On Monday, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said “(a)ll (military) contacts…have been stopped of late. There has been no exchange of information.”
Despite its good faith efforts for cessation of hostilities toward resolving Syria’s long-running conflict, US policymakers consistently undermine them.
“We are trying to agree with Americans on resumption of truce in Syria,” Gatilov explained – unsuccessful so far because of unacceptable US demands Moscow rejects.
Gatilov blasted France’s politicized draft Security Council resolution Russia finds outrageous – calling for efforts to free Aleppo from US-supported terrorists halted, including imposition of a no-fly zone except for US-led “coalition” warplanes.
With certain Sino/Russia veto of France’s draft as proposed, will more direct US intervention follow, attacking Syrian forces and overall military capabilities on the phony pretext of protecting civilians?
According to Tass, “(s)uch a development…will not leave Moscow another choice than to increase its military support for Damascus. The consequence of such development of events may be the new escalation of conflict between Russia and the West.”
Separately, Moscow suspended its plutonium disposal agreement with Washington. According to Sergey Lavrov, “(t)he decision we have made is a signal to Washington: attempts at talking to Russia from the position of strength, in a language of sanctions and ultimatums while continuing selective cooperation with our country there where this cooperation benefits the United States will not succeed.”
“If Washington adjusts its policy and fully eliminates the obstructions that emerged through its fault to bring about negative changes in the political, military and economic balance in the world, we will be prepared to resume compliance with the agreement.”
Lavrov explained Russia won’t abandon its nuclear disarmament commitments, including reducing nuclear materials used in weapons development.
“Russian plutonium…will remain beyond arms activity,” Lavrov added. It’s no longer needed for defense.
Washington needs to understand it’s “impossible to impose sanctions (and other provocative policies) against us with one hand…and to continue optional cooperation…where it is beneficial for them with the other.”
Russia’s decision fully complies with provisions of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. It scrupulously observes its international obligations. America flagrantly breaches them.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.