Obama to Ask Netanyahu Not to Wage War on Lebanon ‘No Matter What,’ Report

Obama to Ask Netanyahu Not to Wage War on Lebanon ‘No Matter What,’ Report

U.S. President Barack Obama will reportedly ask Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will visit the White House next week, not to wage war on Lebanon “for whatever reason, motive or justification.”The daily An-Nahar on Thursday, which carried the report, quoted ministerial sources as saying that Obama will also ask Netanhayu to facilitate success of the U.S.-brokered Middle East peace process.

Netanyahu will hold talks with Obama in Washington June 1 after White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel handed him a personal invitation from the U.S. president on Wednesday.

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Russia Demands Explanation for U.S. Missiles in Poland

Russia Demands Explanation for U.S. Missiles in Poland

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday demanded a detailed explanation from Washington and Warsaw for the deployment of U.S. missiles near the Polish-Russian border.

Polish and U.S. officials unveiled on Wednesday the first battery of U.S. surface-to-air Patriot-type missiles to be stationed on Polish soil, at a base just 60 kilometers from Russia’s Kaliningrad territory.

The move came despite a recent improvement in ties between Russia and the United States following the signing of a long-awaited nuclear arms reduction deal in April and a thaw with Poland after years of mistrust.

“We expect that some articulate explanations will be given,” Lavrov told reporters.

“So far we’re just told: ‘Do not worry, this is not against you.’ We have heard this,” he said in televised remarks.

“We expect that the new nature of our ties with Washington and Warsaw allows us to count on more detailed explanations of what is happening.”

Russian officials have said the deployment of the missiles jeopardizes stability in the region and does not help bilateral ties.

Poland says the deployment was aimed at upgrading its air defenses and the site of the Patriot battery, a military base in the northeastern Polish town of Morag, was not chosen for political reasons.

Up to 150 U.S. troops based in Kaiserslautern, Germany, are to service the battery in Poland and train Polish soldiers to operate it.(AFP)

Russian Consul General offers full cooperation to Pakistan

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: Consul General of Russia based at Karachi, Aldrei  V Belidov, has said that his country was ready to cooperate with Pakistan over Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project and to pull out Pakistan from the ongoing energy crisis.

Speaking with newsmen at  Balochistan Arts Council after watching photographic exhibition here Tuesday, the Russian Consul General said that unlike the Americans,  his country was not interested in opening consulate in Balochistan adding, “We would improve our economic, political and cultural relations with Pakistan first.”

He said when people of Balochistan would invite the Russians for any kind of cooperation then they would “definitely” come here but not at the verge of force.  ‘Balochistan issue is economic and when everyone get basic facilities at this doorsteps, it would be resolved,’ he said.

Aldrei  V Belidov said his country supported Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme but would never like any country, including Iran, to have atomic arsenal.

He said he had learnt a lot from his country’s past in Afghanistan. Unfortunately some countries did not get any lesson from Afghanistan’s past and they have to pay a price for this.

“We are optimistic keeping in view law and order situation situation, Afghan and other forces will take positive decisions,” he said.

Nato installs surveillance tower on Pak-Afghan border

The Baloch Hal News

CHAMAN: Nato forces in Afghanistan have installed a sophisticated surveillance system along the Pak-Afghan border to monitor the movement of insurgents in the area.

Equipped with more than half a dozen security cameras, the sprawling three hundred yards tall balloon type satellite tower has been installed at Spin Boldak town and can easily be seen from Chaman town, which lies about a kilometer south of Spin Boldak.

An Afghan security official told this news agency on the conditions of anonymity that the tower would be instrumental to monitor the border especially during the Nato operation against the Taliban in Kandahar.

He added that if needed more such towers would be installed inside The Afghan territor adjoining Pakistan.

In the Caspian Sea has a ghost of the Gulf of Mexico

In the Caspian Sea has a ghost of the Gulf of Mexico

Шельф Каспийского моря. Остров Д на месторождении Кашаган. 2009 год.Caspian Sea shelf. The Island of Dr. at the Kashagan field. 2009.

26.05.2010
Azamat MAYTANOV

The incident in the Caspian Sea, a similar accident on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, may result in ecological disaster. Prerequisites for the disaster occurred on the Caspian Sea is, say the pessimists.

Ghost of the Gulf of Mexico

In mid-April in the Gulf of Mexico, an explosion occurred on a drilling platform, the company British Petroleum and the gap was formed, through which is ejected into the bay, according to some estimates, more than 750 thousand liters of oil every day. An oil slick has brought the deaths of many living things in its path.

Pernicious catastrophe so great that its concerns expressed and the U.S. president Barack Obama. British oil company BP, which is responsible for the operation of the drilling platform, promises to repair any damage to the legitimate claims.

But for several years in the northern Caspian Sea is a quiet environmental catastrophe: killing seals and birds, declining populations of fish, including sturgeon. Despite assurances from oil companies on his innocence, local, independent scientists and environmentalists believe that the death of animals is due to regular environmental pollution and industrial activities on the Caspian shelf.

Accident at Kashagan in confidence

Drilling the first well at Kashagan started Aug. 11, 1999. Winter of 2000 was opened first subsalt sequence with huge reserves of oil and gas – 38 billion barrels, or 6 billion tons, of which extracted about 10 billion barrels of oil. Officially, this was announced in July 2000, when the floating drilling platform “Sunkar” Kashagan visited by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. Nursultan Nazarbayev, who blessed the opening, and anointed the first Kashagan oil face the then head of the company Kazakhoil Nurlan Balgimbaev and Akim of Atyrau region Imangali Tasmagambetov.

Immediately after the problems began, often hidden oilmen. Thus, the winter of 2000 when tested wells number one place emissions, explosions and fires. And in the spring and summer of 2000, according to the Ministry of Environment of Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea was mysteriously killed 10 and a half thousand seals. Independent Kazakh environmentalists say the 30 thousand dead seals.

Even today in the Kashagan project, according to the Atyrau media and fishermen periodically detected oily stains several kilometers. However, the causes and amounts of these contaminants has not been formally disclosed, and not commented upon. Himself an international oil consortium Azhip KKO, like his predecessor OKIOC periodically reassures the public that oil operations in the Caspian Sea are conducted in strict accordance with

Old flowing oil well in the Atyrau region. (Archive photo)
environmental rules and regulations of the Government of Kazakhstan.

However, do not know who and how will share the responsibility, if the Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan in its sector, the failure of oil platforms. Insurance in a reputable international companies, as demanded by the independent Kazakh ecologists, not done. Public hearings on oil operations, which took place in Atyrau and Mangistau areas were, according to critics, in the mode of pre-prepared performance.

The last officially confirmed case of pollution on marine Kashagan field became known to the public in March 2009. Then it was discovered spot unidentified liquid in the vicinity of the drilling rig “Sunkar.

At the scene of an accident, left the group to respond to emergencies of “Azhip KKO” (at the time the project operator), were delivered to a place Absorption collections to collect the liquid.Around the spots were exposed fencing boom barriers and conducted Processing absorbent.According to the press service of Agip KCO, the amount of spillage was negligible – only 0.15 cubic meters.

Meanwhile, double-check the data almost impossible, since the only marine environmental laboratory belongs to the operator of the project – the company North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC). Independent State Laboratory, which would fix the pollution of the sea, does not meet the required modern standards.

On the part of supervisory authorities have repeatedly put forward the claim to the company NCOC, carrying out oil operations in the Caspian Sea shelf. Under the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) between the Government of Kazakhstan and foreign companies, drilling and subsequent oil extraction on the shelf should be conducted on the principle of zero emissions.However, the company NCOC been repeatedly accused of violating the PSA.

As shown in world history, such a non-transparent activities and disregard for international environmental standards, transnational companies employ in third world countries with authoritarian regimes.

WORN Caspian fleet

Meanwhile, in the Caspian Sea, we are now seeing strong growth in oil tanker traffic, mostly obsolete vessels. According to forecasts, in the near future volumes of transportation of oil from Aktau to Baku will reach 20 million tons per year. The major carriers are national Azeri company “Caspian Shipping Company and the Kazakh company Kazmortransflot, as well as private companies Volgotanker,” Palmali “and” Anship.

An analysis of state regulatory bodies in Kazakhstan, most of the Caspian fleet is worn out and requires a survey to confirm suitability for further operation in accordance with international maritime regulations.


Floating object Shapagat “on the Caspian shelf. (Archival photo).

Since 2001, the Caspian Sea oil spills occur repeatedly, mainly in the production of loading operations in the oil tankers. Causes of the spill were the poor state of cargo-handling equipment of oil tankers, negligence and poorly trained staff and inadequate monitoring of the coastal services of the technical readiness of the vessel to receive the oil.

Over the past few years Kazmortransflot water had been lowered just two new tanker “Astana and Atyrau, meeting modern requirements.

Flooding “mines” in slow motion

Another factor that threatens environmental catastrophe Caspian Sea, is the presence of many conserved “oversaline” oil wells (closed 20-30 years ago), which since 1993 have been submerged by the rising level of the Caspian Sea. During the Soviet era are preserved and the eradication of these wells was carried out without regard to the possible flooding of sea water in the case of raising the level of the Caspian Sea.

These flooded and abandoned oil wells are a kind of “mine” in slow motion, which gradually pollute the sea and can yank anytime.

Of the world’s oil production practice is known that during the decades of production from any field is removed, only one third of the volume of oil. Since the secondary extraction is ineffective and too costly, and oil is usually canned. Over time in the womb, especially in the subsalt fields, reservoir pressure is restored and leaking due to hydrogen sulfide corrosion starts leaking oil wells. For example, this happened in the fields of Aksaray in the Astrakhan region of Russia and Tengiz fields in the Atyrau Oblast of Kazakhstan.

In 2004, the Committee of Geology and Mining Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Kazakhstan carried out work on the survey and inventory of flooded oil wells in the areas and fields of Atyrau and Mangistau regions.

We identified 1,383 oil wells in the area of flooding by the Caspian Sea. Was drawn up an inventory of 90 wells, requiring priority conservation. To date, liquidated in 1972 flooded wells, among which were “fonyaschie” that let oil into the sea. Liquidation works are carried out very slowly due to lack of funding.

Genie In The Bottle

Chairman of Atyrau environmental non-governmental organization Caspian Tabigat Makhambet Khakimov convinced that Kashagan project is fraught with great environmental disasters.

– The mega sea Kashagan field will be drilled 240 wells for the extraction of the subsalt deposits 1.5 billion tons of oil and after the work is completed in the subsoil will another 3 billion tons of oil. But we care more – this is a high degree of risk of environmental disaster at sea – said Makhambet Hakim.

It is, in his words, there is the exploration, drilling, production, and even after the petroleum operations in Kashagan, as the volume of remaining oil in reservoirs is always greater than the volume extracted.

– At Kashagan will produce oil with high content of highly toxic sulfur compounds, which literally eats metal. There is scientific evidence of Russian and French scientists, because of the aggressive environment serovodorodistoy metal construction of wells for six years come to the unsuitability and begin to flow oil. Meanwhile, in the world practice there is simply no effective way to fully prevent corrosion in the wells, – said Makhambet Khakimov our correspondent radio Azattyk.

As an example, environmentalist and social activist mention the hundreds of releases and accidents at Tengiz in the period of 1980-2008 years, which led to the displacement of villagers Karaton Kenaral, Sarykamys in Atyrau region.

– The worst accident occurred in 1985 – then the people have fled, and only after 398 days of the forces from all over the Soviet Union was able to eliminate that awful “rehearsal Apocalypse.Because only one emergency well number 37 was thrown out and burned 3 million tons of oil, billions of cubic meters of various gases. The radius of the negative impact has reached 400 kilometers, the following year hurt, 50 percent of the population of Atyrau region and killed nearly one million birds on the sea coast, and in the minds of men firmly lodged “tengizofobiya.After the horrific accident at Tengiz passed in 1923, but so far there is no radical solutions to prevent this type of catastrophe – says Makhambet Hakim.

OIL FILM ENOUGH FOR ALL THE CASPIAN SEA

It is estimated Makhambet Khakimov, in case of catastrophe on Kashagan, the number of spilled oil (in the form of films) will be enough for all the Caspian Sea, and discarded greenhouse gases will have on the Earth’s atmosphere have more influence than the emissions of greenhouse gases from all over the world.

– In addition to this coming “oil bomb”, even under normal emission zone established pollution will be equal to 160 kilometers by 160 kilometers in Tengiz and 230 kilometers by 230 kilometers at Kashagan – says ecologist.

Environmental disaster in the Caspian Sea will be one to one similar to today’s accident in the Gulf of Mexico, predicts Makhambet Hakim.

– In contrast to the Russian and Azerbaijani high coast, Kazakh Caspian coast is lower and very similar to the low marshy shores of Louisiana, which suffered from an oil spill. On the shore of the Caspian Sea are protected wetlands, opposite the Kashagan field is located State Nature Reserve “Ak Zhayik”, home to rare species of birds and animals. God forbid, of course, but if a similar disaster in the Caspian Sea, with oil prices surge winds easily fall on the muddy coast, where it will collect just impossible. Marshes with reeds easily as a sponge, absorbs the oil, and the unique nature of the Caspian Sea die – says the ecologist.

Recall that commercial oil production at Kashagan, after a long dispute between the Kazakh government and the international consortium to develop the North-Caspian project was moved to the end of 2012.

The expected volume of oil production at Kashagan has to be up to 50 million tonnes per annum by the end of the next decade. According to some projections, oil production at Kashagan in 2019 should reach 75 million tons per year. It is expected that with the Kashagan project in Kazakhstan will enter the top five of the world’s oil powers.

Kashagan project participants are: the Italian company Eni, Kazakhstan – KMG Kashagan BV (subsidiary of KMG “), French – Total, U.S. – ExxonMobil, the British-Netherlands-Royal Dutch Shell, which each have 16.81 per cent stake, as well as U.S. – ConocoPhillips, which has 8.4 per cent, and Japanese – Inpex, possessing shares of 7.56 percent.

Israelis To Purchase Kazakh Uranium

“Uranium forge” Central Asia is open to the Israelis

arrived in Israel akim (governor) of one of the most industrialized and resource-rich regions of Kazakhstan. Following the Israeli minister of industry, he began to translate into action the various initiatives on bilateral cooperation.

In Israel, the two-day visit was mayor of East-Kazakhstan region, the former Minister of Labour and Social Protection Berdibek Saparbayev. Arriving here on personal business (one of his relatives being treated in hospital “Ihilov”), he nevertheless hold a series of official meetings and presentation of its area to Israeli businessmen.

As the portal IzRus the Embassy of Kazakhstan, May 24 in Tel Aviv Hotel Carlton, in conjunction with the Israeli Institute for Export Saparbayev will hold a conference on opportunities for cooperation with Israeli firms. The potential in the field led by him is enormous, because it is rich in reserves of polymetallic and copper ores, tantalum, uranium, gold, coal, oil and other minerals. It is called the “uranium forge” Kazakhstan and the central city of Ust-Kamenogorsk, referred to as the “capital of non-ferrous metals” of the country.

As noted in the embassy after the April visit to Kazakhstan Industry Minister Ben-Eliezer, Berdibek Saparbayev decided to speed up the implementation of specific collaborative initiatives. He will present Israeli businessmen a number of projects which offer or invest, or contribute to the development of delivery technologies.

Saparbayev going to visit several industrial sites. In particular, he is interested in the sphere of bio-fuels, its production and use. Saparbayev plans to visit one of the companies in the south, which produces such fuel.

05/23/2010 Alexander Kogan

Source – izrus.co.il

Stability in Turkmenistan – a myth?

30.11.2009

Stability in Turkmenistan – a myth?

Miriam Elder

Heroin, illegal arms trafficking and the Taliban pose a threat to Turkmenistan.

At first glance, Turkmenistan – a land of nod. In the capital of this state Ashgabat with its ancient streets and newly constructed skyscrapers silence reigns, as in a ghost town. Streets sparkle clean, as countless number of women continuously sweep him with brooms. However, behind this facade is brewing storm.

Neighbouring countries with Turkmenistan not differ very respectable behavior. Turkmenistan has a long border with Afghanistan, Iran and Uzbekistan.

Here is how this situation one Western diplomat: “We are surrounded by snakes, scorpions and the Taliban.

This is not being overlooked by the U.S., which is quietly being constructed in the present, several border posts in Turkmenistan in order to – at least in the short term – to stop the flow of drug trafficking in the country. Such a border post on the border in Iran was discovered in 2006, with Afghanistan – in 2007, and Uzbekistan – in late October this year. The construction of at least two more such posts.

This is a very sensitive issue. In official documents Turkmenistan is designated as an independent state with permanent neutrality. It became the basis of neutrality and foreign policy of this country that has not allowed the Americans to deploy a military base there to serve in neighboring Afghanistan military operations, but the Russian military base was closed shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

And, nevertheless, potential threats to stability in Turkmenistan – are not empty words. According to sources inside Turkmenistan, drugs safely move within the country and across its borders. However, drugs have come and other forces – arms dealers, Islamic fundamentalists and the Taliban.

Turkmenistan – a predominantly Muslim state, but there is also a Russian, a minority who consider themselves Orthodox Christians. At the moment Islam assimilated state, but strict adherence to the canons of faith not so much common.

A few years before his death in 2006, the eccentric dictator and the first post-Soviet president Turkmenbashi has built a huge mosque in one and the outlying areas of the capital. Its walls are decorated – other than quotations from the Koran – the very words of this former president. In other Muslim countries such proximity would be called blasphemy.

By basing its post-Soviet identity, Turkmenistan, opted for rigid nationalism. The country banned all that is extraneous – opera, ballet, circus. The current President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov soften the policy, but he began to support the strengthening of other forms of nationalism, such as forcing children to school wearing traditional clothing.

“If they can not create its own ideology, then we know what ideology will succeed,” said one Western diplomat.

Widely publicized stability in Turkmenistan rests on autocratic president, but people are mostly quite the status quo, since all receive substantial assistance from the state.

Officially, unemployment stands at 5 percent. International organizations, as well as themselves, Turkmens, believe that it is about 50 percent.

“Find a job very difficult – recognized the driver engaged in an illegal cab driver. – But in Uzbekistan is even worse. Everything is expensive, and should pay for everything. ”

About Turkmenistan can not say. Basic services – water, gas for heating – all for free. Wheat is sold at subsidized prices. Every citizen gets a month free of charge a certain amount of electricity and gasoline for their cars, even though their price and so is extremely low. Those Turkmens, who manage to find a job, earn an average of 200-300 dollars a month.

“They do not need money to survive, as many here free of charge – yet another Western diplomat. – If you strictly observe all the rules, do not complain about the regime, the president, then you have everything in order.”

Some Turkmens disagree. The most shocking confirmation of this occurred in September 2008, but this incident has almost nothing was reported in local media under strict government control and refusing to cooperate with foreign media. So after a year, much remains unclear.

You can only say that a group of people who are former security officers – some consider them to drug traffickers, while others believe that they were activists of the local mosque – seized an abandoned factory of soft drinks in a quiet suburb of Ashgabat. In their possession was a decent arsenal of weapons – machine guns and grenades, which allowed them for several hours (according to various estimates from 18 hours to three days) not to allow themselves to security forces. Then gunfire erupted. The government advanced tanks. As a result of the assault all the members of this group were killed, also died and 50 security officers.

It was an unprecedented event for this relatively peaceful country, in possession of the wide spy network for the surveillance of its citizens.

We can say that in the eyes of some of the Turkmens of this siege has acquired mythical status as the only example of opposition to the State that has trampled on the freedom and simultaneously receiving huge profits from the sale of energy resources, but these funds do not reach the majority of the population.

“He is a hero, – said 24-year-old resident of Ashgabat, referring to the head of the rebel group. – Its all supported. We then, together with the neighbors thought: “What do we do? We would have took to the streets, if all did so, but no one dared. ”

That is what the current regime and fears the most. While many observers positively assess some conquered under Berdymukhammedov freedom – especially freedom of movement and access to the Internet – and many of those who condemned the government for the fact that prisons are still dozens of political prisoners.

In late October, one of the most prominent opponents of the regime, has repeatedly clashed with the government, was arrested on charges of hooliganism. According to the same charges he was arrested and some time in prison in December 2006, after which he was prohibited from leaving the country. Environmental activists Andrei Zatoka claims in his letter that he prepared in the event of his re-arrest and who was in possession GlobalPost, that he had been pressured by the security forces of the country.

KGB officers – both in form and in civilian clothes – watch everywhere and for all, they control the streets and businesses. They carefully observe the behavior of its citizens.

“They’re everywhere. Most often they work in civil, – admits resident of Mary, located in the heart of Turkmenistan. – People are afraid of them. Nobody criticizes our president, no one says a word against him. And if someone says, then he immediately go to prison. ”

Recently, one Western diplomat noted that the state was interrupted religious meetings under the pretext that there are going to drug traffickers. So the state tries to prevent the creation of organized opposition.

While all of this, apparently – only preventive measures. “Against the background of what is happening in this region, the situation here is very stable and calm,” said first-mentioned Western diplomats.

Translation Rambler