Malaysia Gets International Permission To Investigate Downing of Its Own Aircraft

‘Malaysia plays crucial role in criminal probe’

new-straits-times

 

MALAYSIA’S participation as a full and equal member of the MH17 joint investigation team tasked with the criminal investigation into the downing of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft is expected to result in the identification of the perpetrators of the heinous act, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the investigation was ongoing, with Malaysia jointly participating with the investigation teams from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine in the criminal and technical
investigation group.

“Our participation in the investigation is important and I am confident it can help the team find vital evidence to bring those responsible to justice,” he said after the Kojadi Institute convocation at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

Last Monday, the Attorney-General’s Chambers had said in a statement that Malaysia had been accepted as a full and equal member of the joint investigation team that focused on the criminal investigation into the downing of the MAS aircraft.

It was conveyed by the Netherlands National Public Prosecutor’s Office in a letter dated Nov 28 to Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

As part of the international criminal investigation process, Gani and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar left for The Hague last Wednesday to attend the third Eurojust Coordination Meeting on the criminal investigation, which was scheduled last Thursday.

Flight MH17 is believed to have been shot down in Ukraine while flying from Amsterdam to here on July 17, and all 298 passengers, including 44 Malaysians, died in the crash.

On the intention of families of victims to take legal action against Malaysia, Liow said the government was prepared for any possibility.

However, he said, his ministry had yet to receive any information on the matter.

“I just returned from Chongqing, China, and have yet to receive any information related to these cases (filing of suits), but Malaysia is prepared to face any charge in court,” he said in response to a news portal report in the Daily Mail of the United Kingdom last Wednesday, which quoted news.com.au as saying that family members of eight of the MH17 victims from Australia would sue Russia, Ukraine and Malaysia.

Aviation lawyer Jerry Skinner, who will represent the eight Australian families from New South Wales, Canberra, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, was quoted as saying that he was awaiting information before filing the case at the European Court of Human Rights.

Skinner is known for his negotiation in a US$2.7 billion settlement (RM9.4 billion) for the 270 victims with Libya over the 1988 Lockerbie disaster. Bernama

An American, A Lithuanian and A Georgian Walk Into the Ukrainian Govt.

[SEE: Obama’s Russian War Resolution Passes By 411 to 23]

Ukraine’s new finance minister is a former U.S. State Department employee who graduated from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Even though the struggling country’s new cabinet now contains three high-profile foreigners, it remains the focus of a crude internal power struggle that will hamper crucial economic changes and could lead to a financial meltdown.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who visited Kiev two weeks ago, told President Petro Poroshenko that Ukraine needed to form a new government “within days, not weeks.” After an International Monetary Fund mission concluded its work Nov. 25, the IMF stated that “discussions will continue after the new Ukrainian government is formed.” That meant Ukraine wouldn’t find out when it might receive the much-needed next tranche of an IMF bailout package until Poroshenko complied with Biden’s wishes.

Pro-European politicians who form the ruling coalition rushed to find a compromise on the attribution of cabinet portfolios. The resulting lineup is a motley crew.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, whose party performed unexpectedly well in October’s parliamentary elections, remains prime minister. The coalition parties distributed the rest of the 19 posts on a quota system, and Poroshenko had the parliament approve the lineup en bloc, avoiding individual votes for each minister.

Poroshenko’s party proposed three foreigners:  Natalie Jaresko, a U.S. citizen, for finance minister, Lithuanian Aivaras Abromavicius for economics minister and Georgian Alexander Kvitashvili for health minister. Poroshenko granted them Ukrainian citizenship yesterday, hours before the parliamentary vote that approved the appointments. The nationalities of the three officials sent a clear message: Ukraine aspires to be a U.S. ally and a good IMF client, and it admires the reforms that rid Lithiuania and Georgia of their Soviet economic and cultural heritage. The choice of personalities, however, is less straightforward.

Jaresko, who grew up in a Ukrainian family in Chicago, has lived in Kiev for 20 years. She started her career in Ukraine distributing U.S. government aid to small and medium-sized businesses, then co-founded a small private equity firm, Horizon Capital, which has invested $255 million in Ukrainian companies. She has a few successful exits under her belt and an untarnished reputation as a thorough and enthusiastic manager, as well as a competent financier. She has no experience of the convoluted Ukrainian budget, however, and the finance minister will have to cut spending by about 10 percent of gross domestic product within weeks, a group of international economists recently concluded. Jaresko will need to learn quickly and act decisively in an unfamiliar, antiquated bureaucratic environment with elaborate, ritualistic paper-based procedures and lots of political traps.

Abromavicius, too, was living in Kiev at the time of his appointment. A partner at the Swedish investment company East Capital, he is married to a Ukrainian. But he also was responsible for managing East Capital’s Russian investments, the core of the company’s business. East Capital Russia Fund has been underperforming for a while: Its five-year return is minus 6.63 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and the fund’s net asset value is down 55 percent from its 2007 peak.

Kvitashvili, who has a U.S. master’s degree in public management, ran the Georgian Health Ministry for almost three years under former President Mikheil Saakashvili. Yet, according to Larisa Burakova, who wrote a book about Saakashvili’s libertarian reforms, Kvitashvili had no part in designing and implementing the large-scale privatization of Georgia’s health care system.

Kakha Bendukidze, the real architect of Georgia’s economic transformation, told me in one of his last interviews before he died last month that Ukraine had to get rid of many of its ministries and state agencies. “Who needs them when the government’s sole function these days is to take money from the International Monetary Fund and pass them on in payment for Russian gas?” he asked.

The Vox Ukraine group of pro-Western experts recently suggested cutting at least 20 ministries and agencies. Doing that, however, would have made it difficult for coalition parties to reach a compromise because there would have been fewer portfolios to hand out.

The new cabinet even added one portfolio — an Information Ministry. It will be headed By Yuri Stets, who ran Poroshenko’s Channel 5 TV and is a close friend of the president. Stets had recently vowed not to accept any appointment from Poroshenko because it would be seen as a conflict of interest. Now he is setting up an agency whose goal will be to counter Russia’s anti-Ukrainian propaganda.

The new appointment created a furor among Ukrainian journalists, who fear Poroshenko has created a ministry for censorship and propaganda. Even a top Poroshenko administration official recently said Ukraine “doesn’t earn enough” to set up another ministry.

There was another reason for Poroshenko’s dismissal of legislators’ requests that each minister be approved separately: Such a procedure would have buried the coalition compromise. The populist Radical Party, for example, proposed Valery Voshchevsky, the former chief of Ukraine’s perennially corrupt road construction and maintenance agency under deposed President Viktor Yanukovich, for deputy prime minister. Voshchevsky’s chances of separate approval would have been slim, but now he has the job.

Some pro-European legislators, including those elected on Poroshenko’s party ticket, were openly dismayed at this heavy-handedness. Borys Filatov, a close ally of billionaire Igor Kolomoiskiy, called the vote a “disgrace” and an example of “non-transparent Byzantian policies.” “It’s a great way to mess up something the country badly needs, no matter what pretty words are used to cover it up,” he wrote on Facebook.

An official in Poroshenko’s party told me the president’s plan was to undermine Yatsenyuk’s power over the cabinet and perhaps allow him to fail before Team Poroshenko moved in. At the same time, Poroshenko faces a growing rift with Kolomoiskiy, who runs the important Dnepropetrovsk region and finances much of Ukraine’s war effort in the rebellious eastern regions. This political maneuvering has nothing to do with driving down Ukraine’s 20 percent inflation, cutting exorbitant government spending on pensions and energy subsidies and eliminating corruption. According to Transparency International‘s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index, Ukraine is the 142nd most corrupt of 175 countries, up just two spots from 2013, when Yanukovych’s shameless regime ran the country for personal enrichment. Pro-European Ukraine, according to the index, is more corrupt than Vladimir Putin’s Russia, in 136th place.

Although the new cabinet lineup makes the requisite symbolic nods to Ukraine’s Western orientation, and provides the IMF with a comfortable negotiating partner in Jaresko, it is another step toward turning Ukraine into a failed state. The “revolution of dignity” that freed many Ukrainians from a feeling of inferiority early this year will probably need to continue before the country finally sheds the burden of its Soviet past.

To contact the author on this story:
Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor on this story:
Max Berley at mberley@bloomberg.net

Embracing Struggle In the New World Order

[Austerity measures and social upheaval without end, fit in very neatly with an endless terror war.]

Sisyphean

A Sisyphean task

ekathimerini

By Nikos Xydakis

The most likely outcome of the government’s ongoing negotiations with the troika is that Greek Parliament will vote through all the proposed measures and that the budget which was drafted without the prior approval of the international lenders will be amended to meet their demands. These include reforms adding the unbearable burden of an additional 2.5-3 billion euros’ worth of measures on a population that is exhausted from austerity and an economy that had been bled dry. They include a hike in the value-added tax on medicines, books, the press, tourism services, rural parts of the country and islands, no pensions before the age of 62 and the abolition of a recently approved scheme for overdue debts to the state to be paid in 100 installments.

The troika, in short, is forcing the Greek coalition government to stand before the citizens of this country and tell them that all the sacrifices they have made over the past four years have failed to yield the desired results, that they have fallen short and that more cutbacks will be required despite the fact that there can be no guarantees that the end is anywhere in sight.

Unfortunately, the core of these measures are outlined in the midterm fiscal program and the memorandum, two agreements that were ratified by the country’s MPs but were not studied by the ministers signing them; not at the time and not now either. And again, yet another Greek government is being called upon to lead another tax raid, basically to switch off the light at the end of the tunnel. It is as if four-and-a-half years have not passed since that day when then PM George Papandreou announced in an address to the nation that Greece would be signing a memorandum of understanding with the EU, ECB and IMF.

More than the material cost of the stringent austerity Greece has had to pursue, the greatest toll on the people has been on their morale as they have seen the promise of a decent and viable future dashed. The bailout program is seen by Greeks more like an endless Sisyphean task and it now comes to threaten the country’s social cohesion by distorting the meaning of terms such as “reforms” and “acquis communautaire” to stir violent reactions.

In Cyprus, the bail-in brought back memories of the 1974 invasion. This is how collective conscience works, by drawing correlations that can be extremely powerful. In this context, how can a lengthening of the Sisyphean martyrdom and the annulment of future prospects be perceived? What kind of collective conscience will be formed? It is as though our lenders/partners are pushing the so-called Greek, but actually European problem, into a vicious cycle, transforming it into a black hole.

athens

Putin Cancels South Stream/Netanyahu Peddles His Hot Gas To Europe

[When the Noble Energy company first discovered the massive Tamar and Leviathan gas fields off the shore of Israel, there was no foreseeable buyer of the “gas bonanza.”  It didn’t take long after for the PTB (powers that be) to destroy Russia’s energy franchise to Europe, by disrupting principle flow lines, running mainly through Ukraine.  Due to EU anti-Russian sanctions making the South Stream pipeline impossible, Putin cancelled the project.  In steps Israel (SEE:  Gazprom Signs 20-Year LNG Purchase Deal with Israel).  This is the first, concrete example of the EU cutting its own throat, to bow to Imperialist-Zionist directives.  Stoking the fires in Ukraine has always been the key to US Imperialist war plans for Russia.  If Israel captures the southern European gas market, beating-out both NABUCCO and SOUTH STREAM, then rest assured, that there will be no opposition to them running a four-foot diameter undersea gas line through the eastern Mediterranean war zone. 

It is logical to suspect, at this point, to label the Ukrainian civil war as a Mossad operation.  After all, key elements of the Maidan movement are composed of Jewish militants, some even forming their own brigades (SEE:  In Kiev, an Israeli army vet led a street-fighting unit).]

Ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Israel to meet Energy Union Commissioner

Cyprus mail

Ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Israel to meet Energy Union Commissioner

Energy Ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Israel will meet next Monday with EU Commissioner on Energy Union Maros Sefcovic to promote a joint project on a pipeline to transfer natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean offshore fields to Europe.

Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis told the Cyprus News Agency that the three Ministers had signed a letter requesting a meeting with Sefcovic.
The three Ministers will promote a planned pipeline connecting Israel Cyprus, Greece with Europe in view of the new call by the European Commission for projects of common interest in the first quarter of 2015.
Sources told CNA that the ministers would request the approval of the project which emerged after a merger of two separate projects (Cyprus Trans Med pipeline and Greece`s East Med pipeline) to be implemented by the Greek Gas Corporation (DEPA as a project of common interest (PCI)  that will give access to EU funding for technical and feasibility studies.
Projects that will be considered as PCI’s will be entitled to request funding from the Connecting Europe Facility with a budget of €5.85 billion.
The same sources made clear that only new reserves would be channeled through the pipeline, as Cyprus is in consultations with Egypt for a possible sale of the Aphrodite reservoir (estimated at 4.5 trillion cubic feet) located in block 12 of Cyprus` EEZ. Egyptian Minister Serif Ismail said during a Cyprus, Greece and Egypt Energy Ministers meeting that his country could absorb Cyprus` natural gas reserves.
Italy`s ENI is carrying out an exploratory drilling in block 9 with the results expected by January the latest. ENI also has been granted concessions for exploratory drilling in blocs 2 and 3. French TOTAL which has concessions over blocks 10 and 11 will begin exploratory drilling in the second half of 2015.

The Importance Of The Cancellation Of South Stream—(Vinyard of the Saker)

[SEE:  Turkey Gets 63 Billion Cubic Meter Gas Line That Europe No Longer Wanted]

RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov [SEE: Hungary Begins Laying Pipe for South Stream System ]

The Importance Of The Cancellation Of South Stream

vinyard of the saker
by Alexander Mercouris

The reaction to the cancellation of the Sound Stream project has been a wonder to behold and needs to be explained very carefully.

In order to understand what has happened it is first necessary to go back to the way Russian-European relations were developing in the 1990s.

Briefly, at that period, the assumption was that Russia would become the great supplier of energy and raw materials to Europe. This was the period of Europe’s great “rush for gas” as the Europeans looked forward to unlimited and unending Russian supplies. It was the increase in the role of Russian gas in the European energy mix which made it possible for Europe to run down its coal industry and cut its carbon emissions and bully and lecture everyone else to do the same.

However the Europeans did not envisage that Russia would just supply them with energy. Rather they always supposed this energy would be extracted for them in Russia by Western energy companies. This after all is the pattern in most of the developing world. The EU calls this “energy security” – a euphemism for the extraction of energy in other countries by its own companies under its own control.

It never happened that way. Though the Russian oil industry was privatised it mostly remained in Russian hands. After Putin came to power in 2000 the trend towards privatisation in the oil industry was reversed. One of the major reasons for western anger at the arrest of Khodorkovsky and the closure of Yukos and the transfer of its assets to the state oil company Rosneft was precisely because is reversed this trend of privatisation in the oil industry.

In the gas industry the process of privatisation never really got started. Gas export continued to be controlled by Gazprom, maintaining its position as a state owned monopoly gas exporter. Since Putin came to power Gazprom’s position as a state owned Russian monopoly has been made fully secure.

Much of the anger that exists in the west towards Putin can be explained by European and western resentment at his refusal and that of the Russian government to the break up of Russia’s energy monopolies and to the “opening up” (as it is euphemistically called) of the Russian energy industry to the advantage of western companies. Many of the allegations of corruption that are routinely made against Putin personally are intended to insinuate that he opposes the “opening up” of the Russian energy industry and the break up and privatisation of Gazprom and Rosneft because he has a personal stake in them (in the case of Gazprom, that he is actually its owner). If one examines in detail the specific allegations of corruption made against Putin (as I have done) this quickly becomes obvious.

His agenda of forcing Russia to privatise and break up its energy monopolies has never gone away. This is why Gazprom, despite the vital and reliable service it provides to its European customers, comes in for so much criticism. When Europeans complain about Europe’s energy dependence upon Russia, they express their resentment at having to buy gas from a single Russian state owned company (Gazprom) as opposed to their own western companies operating in Russia.

This resentment exists simultaneously with a belief, very entrenched in Europe, that Russia is somehow dependent upon Europe as a customer for its gas and as a supplier of finance and technology.

This combination of resentment and overconfidence is what lies behind the repeated European attempts to legislate in Europe on energy questions in a way that is intended to force Russia to “open up” its the energy industry there.

The first attempt was the so-called Energy Charter, which Russia signed but ultimately refused to ratify. The latest attempt is the EU’s so-called Third Energy Package.

This is presented as a development of EU anti-competition and anti-monopoly law. In reality, as everyone knows, it is targeted at Gazprom, which is a monopoly, though obviously not a European one.

This is the background to the conflict over South Stream. The EU authorities have insisted that South Stream must comply with the Third Energy Package even though the Third Energy Package came into existence only after the outline agreements for South Stream had been already reached.

Compliance with the Third Energy Package would have meant that though Gazprom supplied the gas it could not own or control the pipeline through which gas was supplied.

Were Gazprom to agree to this, it would acknowledge the EU’s authority over its operations. It would in that case undoubtedly face down the line more demands for more changes to its operating methods. Ultimately this would lead to demands for changes in the structure of the energy industry in Russia itself.

What has just happened is that the Russians have said no. Rather than proceed with the project by submitting to European demands, which is what the Europeans expected, the Russians have to everyone’s astonishment instead pulled out of the whole project.

This decision was completely unexpected. As I write this, the air is of full of angry complaints from south-eastern Europe that they were not consulted or informed of this decision in advance. Several politicians in south-eastern Europe (Bulgaria especially) are desperately clinging to the idea that the Russian announcement is a bluff (it isn’t) and that the project can still be saved. Since the Europeans cling to the belief that the Russians have no alternative to them as a customer, they were unable to anticipate and cannot now explain this decision.

Here it is important to explain why South Stream is important to the countries of south-eastern Europe and to the European economy as a whole.

All the south eastern European economies are in bad shape. For these countries South Stream was a vital investment and infrastructure project, securing their energy future. Moreover the transit fees that it promised would have been a major foreign currency earner.

For the EU, the essential point is that it depends on Russian gas. There has been a vast amount of talk in Europe about seeking alternative supplies. Progress in that direction had been to put it mildly small. Quite simply alternative supplies do not exist in anything like the quantity needed to replace the gas Europe gets from Russia.

There has been some brave talk of supplies of US liquefied natural gas replacing gas supplied by pipeline from Russia. Not only is such US gas inherently more expensive than Russian pipeline gas, hitting European consumers hard and hurting European competitiveness. It is unlikely to be available in anything like the necessary quantity. Quite apart from the probable dampening effects of the recent oil price fall on the US shale industry, on past record the US as a voracious consumer of energy will consume most or all of the energy from shales it produces. It is unlikely to be in a position to export much to Europe. The facilities to do this anyway do not exist, and are unlikely to exist for some time if ever.

Other possible sources of gas are problematic to say the least. Production of North Sea gas is falling. Imports of gas from north Africa and the Arabian Gulf are unlikely to be available in anything like the necessary quantity. Gas from Iran is not available for political reasons. Whilst that might eventually change, the probability is when it does that the Iranians (like the Russians) will decide to direct their energy flow eastwards, towards India and China, rather than to Europe.

For obvious reasons of geography Russia is the logical and most economic source of Europe’s gas. All alternatives come with economic and political costs that make them in the end unattractive.

The EU’s difficulties in finding alternative sources of gas were cruelly exposed by the debacle of the so-called another Nabucco pipeline project to bring Europe gas from the Caucasus and Central Asia. Though talked about for years in the end it never got off the ground because it never made economic sense.

Meanwhile, whilst Europe talks about diversifying its supplies, it is Russia which is actually cutting the deals.

Russia has sealed a key deal with Iran to swap Iranian oil for Russian industrial goods. Russia has also agreed to invest heavily in the Iranian nuclear industry. If and when sanctions on Iran are lifted the Europeans will find the Russians already there. Russia has just agreed a massive deal to supply gas to Turkey (about which more below). Overshadowing these deals are the two huge deals Russia has made this year to supply gas to China.

Russia’s energy resources are enormous but they are not infinite. The second deal done with China and the deal just done with Turkey redirect to these two countries gas that had previously been earmarked for Europe. The gas volumes involved in the Turkish deal almost exactly match those previously intended for South Stream. The Turkish deal replaces South Stream.

These deals show that Russia had made a strategic decision this year to redirect its energy flow away from Europe. Though it will take time for the full effect to become clear, the consequences of that for Europe are grim. Europe is looking at a serious energy shortfall, which it will only be able to make up by buying energy at a much higher price.

These Russian deals with China and Turkey have been criticised or even ridiculed for providing Russia with a lower price for its gas than that paid by Europe.

The actual difference in price is not as great as some allege. Such criticism anyway overlooks the fact that price is only one part in a business relationship.

By redirecting gas to China, Russia cements economic links with the country that it now considers its key strategic ally and which has (or which soon will have) the world’s biggest and fastest growing economy. By redirecting gas to Turkey, Russia consolidates a burgeoning relationship with Turkey of which it is now the biggest trading partner.

Turkey is a key potential ally for Russia, consolidating Russia’s position in the Caucasus and the Black Sea. It is also a country of 76 million people with a $1.5 trillion rapidly growing economy, which over the last two decades has become increasingly alienated and distanced from the EU and the West.

By redirecting gas away from Europe, Russia by contrast leaves behind a market for its gas which is economically stagnant and which (as the events of this year have shown) is irremediably hostile. No one should be surprised that Russia has given up on a relationship from which it gets from its erstwhile partner an endless stream of threats and abuse, combined with moralising lectures, political meddling and now sanctions. No relationship, business or otherwise, can work that way and the one between Russia and Europe is no exception.

I have said nothing about the Ukraine since in my opinion this has little bearing on this issue.

South Stream was first conceived because of the Ukraine’s continuous abuse of its position as a transit state – something which is likely to continue. It is important to say that this fact was acknowledged in Europe as much as in Russia. It was because the Ukraine perennially abuses its position as a transit state that the South Stream project had the grudging formal endorsement of the EU. Basically, the EU needs to circumvent the Ukraine to secure its energy supplies every bit as much as Russia wanted a route around the Ukraine to avoid it.

The Ukraine’s friends in Washington and Brussels have never been happy about this, and have constantly lobbied against South Stream.

The point is it was Russia which pulled the plug on South Stream when it had the option of going ahead with it by accepting the Europeans’ conditions. In other words the Russians consider the problems posed by the Ukraine as a transit state to be a lesser evil than the conditions the EU was attaching to South Stream .

South Stream would take years to build and its cancellation therefore has no bearing on the current Ukrainian crisis. The Russians decided they could afford to cancel it is because they have decided Russia’s future is in selling its energy to China and Turkey and other states in Asia (more gas deals are pending with Korea and Japan and possibly also with Pakistan and India) than to Europe. Given that this is so, for Russia South Stream has lost its point. That is why in their characteristically direct way, rather than accept the Europeans’ conditions, the Russians pulled the plug on it.

In doing so the Russians have called the Europeans’ bluff. So far from Russia being dependent on Europe as its energy customer, it is Europe which has antagonised, probably irreparably, its key economic partner and energy supplier.

Before finishing I would however first say something about those who have come out worst of all from this affair. These are the corrupt and incompetent political pygmies who pretend to be the government of Bulgaria. Had these people had a modicum of dignity and self respect they would have told the EU Commission when it brought up the Third Energy Package to take a running jump. If Bulgaria had made clear its intention to press ahead with the South Stream project, there is no doubt it would have been built. There would of course have been an almighty row within the EU as Bulgaria openly flouted the Third Energy Package, but Bulgaria would have been acting in its national interests and would have had within the EU no shortage of friends. In the end it would have won through.

Instead, under pressure from individuals like Senator John McCain, the Bulgarian leadership behaved like the provincial politicians they are, and tried to run at the same time with both the EU hare and the Russian hounds. The result of this imbecile policy is to offend Russia, Bulgaria’s historic ally, whilst ensuring that the Russian gas which might have flown to Bulgaria and transformed the country, will instead flow to Turkey, Bulgaria’s historic enemy.

The Bulgarians are not the only ones to have acted in this craven fashion. All the EU countries, even those with historic ties to Russia, have supported the EU’s various sanctions packages against Russia notwithstanding the doubts they have expressed about the policy. Last year Greece, another country with strong ties to Russia, pulled out of a deal to sell its natural gas company to Gazprom because the EU disapproved of it, even though it was Gazprom that offered the best price.

This points to a larger moral. Whenever the Russians act in the way they have just done, the Europeans respond bafflement and anger, of which there is plenty around at the moment. The EU politicians who make the decisions that provoke these Russian actions seem to have this strange assumption that whilst it is fine for the EU to sanction Russia as much as it wishes, Russia will never do the same to the EU. When Russia does, there is astonishment, accompanied always by a flood of mendacious commentary about how Russia is behaving “aggressively” or “contrary to its interests” or has “suffered a defeat”. None of this is true as the rage and recriminations currently sweeping through the EU’s corridors (of which I am well informed) bear witness.

In July the EU sought to cripple Russia’s oil industry by sanctioning the export of oil drilling technology to Russia. That attempt will certainly fail as Russia and the countries it trades with (including China and South Korea) are certainly capable of producing this technology themselves.

By contrast through the deals it has made this year with China, Turkey and Iran, Russia has dealt a devastating blow to the energy future of the EU. A few years down the line Europeans will start to discover that moralising and bluff comes with a price. Regardless, by cancelling South Stream, Russia has imposed upon Europe the most effective of the sanctions we have seen this year. .

Obama’s Russian War Resolution Passes By 411 to 23

H.Res. 758: PASSED

411 YEA
10 NAY
13 NOT VOTING

congress.gov

H.Res.758 – Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.113th Congress (2013-2014)

[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 758 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. RES. 758

Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under
President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression
against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic
domination.

_______________________________________________________________________

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 18, 2014

Mr. Kinzinger of Illinois submitted the following resolution; which was
referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

RESOLUTION

Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under
President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression
against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.

Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to “reset” relations with the Russian Federation, which was
described by former United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul as
a policy to “engage with Russia to seek agreement on common interests”, which included the negotiation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in which the United States agreed to major reductions in its nuclear forces;

Whereas the Russian Federation has responded to this policy with openly anti-
American rhetoric and actions and with armed aggression against United
States allies and partner countries, including Ukraine and the Republic
of Georgia;

Whereas the Russian Federation has subjected Ukraine to a campaign of political, economic, and military aggression for the purpose of establishing its
domination over the country and progressively erasing its independence;

Whereas the Russian Federation’s invasion of, and military operations on,
Ukrainian territory represent gross violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty,
independence, and territorial integrity and a violation of international law, including the Russian Federation’s obligations under the United Nations Charter;

Whereas the Russian Federation’s forcible occupation and illegal annexation of
Crimea and its continuing support for separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine are violations of its obligations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, in which it pledged to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine;

Whereas the Russian Federation has provided military equipment, training, and
other assistance to separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine that has resulted in over 4,000 civilian deaths, hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees, and widespread destruction;

Whereas the Ukrainian military remains at a significant disadvantage compared to the armed forces of the Russian Federation in terms of size and technological sophistication;

Whereas the United States strongly supports efforts to assist Ukraine to defend
its territory and sovereignty against military aggression by the Russian
Federation and by separatist forces;

Whereas the terms of the ceasefire specified in the Minsk Protocol that was
signed on September 5, 2014, by representatives of the Government of
Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Russian-backed separatists in
the eastern area of the Ukraine have been repeatedly violated by the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it supports;

Whereas separatist forces in areas they controlled in eastern Ukraine prevented the holding of elections on May 25, 2014, for a new President of Ukraine and on October 26, 2014, for a new Rada, thereby preventing the people of eastern Ukraine from exercising their democratic right to select
their candidates for office in free and fair elections;

Whereas, on November 2, 2014, separatist forces in eastern Ukraine held
fraudulent and illegal elections in areas they controlled for the supposed purpose of choosing leaders of the illegitimate local political entities they have declared;

Whereas the Russian Federation has recognized the results of the illegal
elections and continues to provide the military, political, and economic support without which the separatist forces could not continue to maintain their areas of control;

Whereas the reestablishment of peace and security in Ukraine requires the full
withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, the resumption of the government’s control over all of the country’s international borders, the disarming of the separatist and paramilitary forces in the east, an end to Russia’s use of its energy exports and trade barriers to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to Russian interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs;

Whereas Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a civilian airliner, was destroyed by a Russian-made missile provided by the Russian Federation to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, resulting in the loss of 298 innocent lives;

Whereas the Russian Federation has used and is continuing to use coercive
economic measures, including the manipulation of energy prices and supplies, as well as trade restrictions, to place political and economic pressure on Ukraine;

Whereas military forces of the Russian Federation and of the separatists it
controls have repeatedly violated the terms of the ceasefire agreement
announced on September 5, 2014;

Whereas the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Georgia in August 2008, continues to station military forces in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and is implementing measures intended to progressively integrate these regions into the Russian Federation;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject the Republic of Georgia to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the country and to prevent Georgia from establishing closer relations with the European Union and the United States;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to station military forces in the
Transniestria region of Moldova;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to provide support to the illegal
separatist regime in the Transniestria region of Moldova;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject Moldova to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the countries and to prevent efforts by Moldova to establish closer relations with the European Union and the United States;

Whereas under the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a flight-test or deployment of any INF-banned weapon delivery vehicle by
the Russian Federation constitutes a violation of the INF Treaty;

Whereas, on July 29, 2014, the United States Department of State released its
report on the Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, as required by Section 403 of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act, for calendar year 2013, which found that, “[t]he United States has determined that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles”;

Whereas according to reports, the Government of the Russian Federation has
repeatedly engaged in the infiltration of, and attacks on, computer networks of the United States Government, as well as individuals and private entities, for the purpose of illicitly acquiring information and disrupting operations, including by supporting Russian individuals and entities engaged in these actions;

Whereas the political, military, and economic aggression against Ukraine and
other countries by the Russian Federation underscores the enduring importance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as the cornerstone of collective Euro-Atlantic defense;

Whereas the United States reaffirms its obligations under the North Atlantic
Treaty, especially Article 5 which states that “an armed attack against one or more” of the treaty signatories “shall be considered an attack against them all”;

Whereas the Russian Federation is continuing to use its supply of energy as a
means of political and economic coercion against Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries;

Whereas the United States strongly supports energy diversification initiatives
in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries to reduce the
ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy for political and economic coercion, including the development of domestic sources of energy, increased efficiency, and substituting Russian energy resources with imports from other countries;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to conduct an aggressive propaganda effort in Ukraine in which false information is used to subvert the authority of the legitimate national government, undermine stability, promote ethnic dissension, and incite violence;

Whereas the Russian Federation has expanded the presence of its state-sponsored media in national languages across central and western Europe with the intent of using news and information to distort public opinion and
obscure Russian political and economic influence in Europe;

Whereas expanded efforts by United States international broadcasting across all media in the Russian and Ukrainian languages are needed to counter Russian propaganda and to provide the people of Ukraine and the surrounding regions with access to credible and balanced information;

Whereas the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL),
Incorporated continue to represent a minority market share in Ukraine and other regional states with significant ethno-linguistic Russian populations who increasingly obtain their local and international news from Russian state-sponsored media outlets;

Whereas the United States International Programming to Ukraine and Neighboring Regions Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-96) requires the Voice of America and RFE/RL, Incorporated to provide programming content to target
populations in Ukraine and Moldova 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including at least 8 weekly hours of total original video and television content and 14 weekly hours of total audio content while expanding cooperation with local media outlets and deploying greater content through multimedia platforms and mobile devices; and

Whereas Vladimir Putin has established an increasingly authoritarian regime in
the Russian Federation through fraudulent elections, the persecution and jailing of political opponents, the elimination of independent media, the seizure of key sectors of the economy and enabling supporters to enrich themselves through widespread corruption, and implementing a strident propaganda campaign to justify Russian aggression against other countries and repression in Russia, among other actions:

Now, therefore,be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) strongly supports the efforts by President Poroshenko and the people of Ukraine to establish a lasting peace in their country that includes the full withdrawal of Russian forces from its territory, full control of its international borders, the disarming of separatist and paramilitary forces eastern Ukraine, the adoption of policies to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use energy exports and trade barriers as weapons to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to interference by the Russian Federation in the internal affairs of Ukraine;

(2) affirms the right of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and all countries to exercise their sovereign rights within their internationally recognized borders free from outside intervention and to conduct their foreign policy in accordance with their determination of the best interests of their peoples;

(3) condemns the continuing political, economic, and military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova and the continuing violation of their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity;
(4) states that the military intervention by the Russian Federation in Ukraine–

(A) is in breach of its obligations under the United Nations Charter;
(B) is in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in which it pledged to respect the independence, sovereignty, and existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat of the use of
force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine; and
(C) poses a threat to international peace and security;

(5) calls on the Russian Federation to reverse its illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, to end its support of the separatist forces in Crimea, and to remove its military forces from that region other than those operating in strict
accordance with its 1997 agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet Stationing on the Territory of Ukraine;
(6) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to refuse to recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation;
(7) calls on the Russian Federation to remove its military forces and military equipment from the territory of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, and to end its political, military, and economic support of separatist forces;
(8) calls on the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it controls in Ukraine to end their violations of the ceasefire announced in Minsk on September 5, 2014;
(9) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to impose visa bans, targeted asset freezes, sectoral sanctions, and other measures on the Russian Federation and its leadership with the goal of compelling it to end its violation
of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, to remove its military forces and equipment from Ukrainian territory, and to end its support of separatist and paramilitary forces;
(10) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with defense articles, services, and training required to effectively defend its territory and sovereignty;
(11) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with appropriate intelligence and other relevant information to assist the Government of Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty;
(12) calls on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and United States partners in Europe and other nations around the world to suspend all military cooperation with Russia, including prohibiting the sale to the Russian
Government of lethal and non-lethal military equipment;
(13) reaffirms the commitment of the United States to its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5, and calls on all Alliance member states to provide their full share of the resources needed to ensure their collective defense;
(14) urges the President, in consultation with Congress, to conduct a review of the force posture, readiness, and responsibilities of United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each are sufficient to meet the obligations of
collective self-defense under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies;
(15) urges the President to hold the Russian Federation accountable for violations of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to take action to bring the Russian Federation back into compliance
with the Treaty;
(16) urges the President to conduct a review of the utility of the INF Treaty in securing United States interests and the consequences for the United States of withdrawing from the Treaty if the Russian Federation does not return to compliance with its provisions;
(17) calls on Ukraine, the European Union, and other countries in Europe to support energy diversification initiatives to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy as a means of applying political and
economic pressure on other countries, including by promoting increased natural gas and other energy exports from the United States and other countries;
(18) urges the President to expedite the United States Department of Energy’s approval of liquefied natural gas exports to Ukraine and other European countries;
(19) calls on the President and the United States Department of State to develop a strategy for multilateral coordination to produce or otherwise procure and distribute news and information in the Russian language to countries with
significant Russian-speaking populations which maximizes the use of existing platforms for content delivery such as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated, leverages indigenous public-private partnerships for content production, and seeks in-kind contributions from regional state governments;
(20) calls on the United States Department of State to identify positions at key diplomatic posts in Europe to evaluate the political, economic, and cultural influence of Russia and Russian state-sponsored media and to coordinate with
host governments on appropriate responses;
(21) calls upon the Russian Federation to seek a mutually beneficial relationship with the United States that is based on respect for the independence and sovereignty of all countries and their right to freely determine their future, including their relationship with other nations and international organizations, without interference, intimidation, or coercion by other countries; and
(22) calls for the reestablishment of a close and cooperative relationship between the people of the United States and the Russian people based on the shared pursuit of democracy, human rights, and peace among all nations.

H.Res. 758: PASSED

Vote Party Representative District
Alabama
Yea   R   Byrne, Bradley AL 1st
Yea   R   Roby, Martha AL 2nd
Yea   R   Rogers, Mike AL 3rd
No Vote   R   Aderholt, Robert AL 4th
Yea   R   Brooks, Mo AL 5th
Yea   R   Bachus, Spencer AL 6th
Yea   D   Sewell, Terri AL 7th
Alaska
Yea   R   Young, Don AK
Arizona
Yea   D   Kirkpatrick, Ann AZ 1st
Yea   D   Barber, Ron AZ 2nd
Yea   D   Grijalva, Raúl AZ 3rd
Yea   R   Gosar, Paul AZ 4th
Yea   R   Salmon, Matt AZ 5th
Yea   R   Schweikert, David AZ 6th
Yea   D   Pastor, Ed AZ 7th
Yea   R   Franks, Trent AZ 8th
Yea   D   Sinema, Kyrsten AZ 9th
Arkansas
Yea   R   Crawford, Eric AR 1st
Yea   R   Griffin, Tim AR 2nd
Yea   R   Womack, Steve AR 3rd
Yea   R   Cotton, Tom AR 4th
California
Yea   R   LaMalfa, Doug CA 1st
Yea   D   Huffman, Jared CA 2nd
Yea   D   Garamendi, John CA 3rd
Yea   R   McClintock, Tom CA 4th
Yea   D   Thompson, Mike CA 5th
Yea   D   Matsui, Doris CA 6th
Yea   D   Bera, Ami CA 7th
Yea   R   Cook, Paul CA 8th
Yea   D   McNerney, Jerry CA 9th
Yea   R   Denham, Jeff CA 10th
Nay   D   Miller, George CA 11th
Yea   D   Pelosi, Nancy CA 12th
Yea   D   Lee, Barbara CA 13th
Yea   D   Speier, Jackie CA 14th
Yea   D   Swalwell, Eric CA 15th
Yea   D   Costa, Jim CA 16th
Yea   D   Honda, Mike CA 17th
Yea   D   Eshoo, Anna CA 18th
Yea   D   Lofgren, Zoe CA 19th
Yea   D   Farr, Sam CA 20th
Yea   R   Valadao, David CA 21st
Yea   R   Nunes, Devin CA 22nd
Yea   R   McCarthy, Kevin CA 23rd
Yea   D   Capps, Lois CA 24th
Yea   R   McKeon, Buck CA 25th
Yea   D   Brownley, Julia CA 26th
Yea   D   Chu, Judy CA 27th
Yea   D   Schiff, Adam CA 28th
Yea   D   Cárdenas, Tony CA 29th
Yea   D   Sherman, Brad CA 30th
No Vote   R   Miller, Gary CA 31st
Yea   D   Napolitano, Grace CA 32nd
Yea   D   Waxman, Henry CA 33rd
Yea   D   Becerra, Xavier CA 34th
No Vote   D   Negrete McLeod, Gloria CA 35th
Yea   D   Ruiz, Raul CA 36th
Yea   D   Bass, Karen CA 37th
Yea   D   Sánchez, Linda CA 38th
Yea   R   Royce, Ed CA 39th
Yea   D   Roybal-Allard, Lucille CA 40th
Yea   D   Takano, Mark CA 41st
Yea   R   Calvert, Ken CA 42nd
Yea   D   Waters, Maxine CA 43rd
Yea   D   Hahn, Janice CA 44th
Yea   R   Campbell, John CA 45th
Yea   D   Sanchez, Loretta CA 46th
Yea   D   Lowenthal, Alan CA 47th
Nay   R   Rohrabacher, Dana CA 48th
Yea   R   Issa, Darrell CA 49th
Yea   R   Hunter, Duncan CA 50th
Yea   D   Vargas, Juan CA 51st
Yea   D   Peters, Scott CA 52nd
Yea   D   Davis, Susan CA 53rd
Colorado
Yea   D   DeGette, Diana CO 1st
Yea   D   Polis, Jared CO 2nd
Yea   R   Tipton, Scott CO 3rd
Yea   R   Gardner, Cory CO 4th
Yea   R   Lamborn, Doug CO 5th
Yea   R   Coffman, Mike CO 6th
Yea   D   Perlmutter, Ed CO 7th
Connecticut
Yea   D   Larson, John CT 1st
Yea   D   Courtney, Joe CT 2nd
Yea   D   DeLauro, Rosa CT 3rd
Yea   D   Himes, James CT 4th
Yea   D   Esty, Elizabeth CT 5th
Delaware
Yea   D   Carney, John DE
Florida
Yea   R   Miller, Jeff FL 1st
Yea   R   Southerland, Steve FL 2nd
Yea   R   Yoho, Ted FL 3rd
Yea   R   Crenshaw, Ander FL 4th
Yea   D   Brown, Corrine FL 5th
Yea   R   DeSantis, Ron FL 6th
Yea   R   Mica, John FL 7th
Yea   R   Posey, Bill FL 8th
Nay   D   Grayson, Alan FL 9th
Yea   R   Webster, Daniel FL 10th
Yea   R   Nugent, Richard FL 11th
Yea   R   Bilirakis, Gus FL 12th
Yea   R   Jolly, David FL 13th
Yea   D   Castor, Kathy FL 14th
Yea   R   Ross, Dennis FL 15th
Yea   R   Buchanan, Vern FL 16th
Yea   R   Rooney, Thomas FL 17th
Yea   D   Murphy, Patrick FL 18th
Yea   R   Clawson, Curt FL 19th
Nay   D   Hastings, Alcee FL 20th
Yea   D   Deutch, Theodore FL 21st
Yea   D   Frankel, Lois FL 22nd
Yea   D   Wasserman Schultz, Debbie FL 23rd
Yea   D   Wilson, Frederica FL 24th
Yea   R   Diaz-Balart, Mario FL 25th
Yea   D   Garcia, Joe FL 26th
Yea   R   Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana FL 27th
Georgia
Yea   R   Kingston, Jack GA 1st
Yea   D   Bishop, Sanford GA 2nd
Yea   R   Westmoreland, Lynn GA 3rd
Yea   D   Johnson, Hank GA 4th
Yea   D   Lewis, John GA 5th
Yea   R   Price, Tom GA 6th
Yea   R   Woodall, Rob GA 7th
Yea   R   Scott, Austin GA 8th
Yea   R   Collins, Doug GA 9th
Yea   R   Broun, Paul GA 10th
Yea   R   Gingrey, Phil GA 11th
Yea   D   Barrow, John GA 12th
Yea   D   Scott, David GA 13th
Yea   R   Graves, Tom GA 14th
Hawaii
Yea   D   Hanabusa, Colleen HI 1st
Yea   D   Gabbard, Tulsi HI 2nd
Idaho
Yea   R   Labrador, Raúl ID 1st
Yea   R   Simpson, Mike ID 2nd
Illinois
Yea   D   Rush, Bobby IL 1st
Yea   D   Kelly, Robin IL 2nd
Yea   D   Lipinski, Daniel IL 3rd
Yea   D   Gutiérrez, Luis IL 4th
Yea   D   Quigley, Mike IL 5th
Yea   R   Roskam, Peter IL 6th
Yea   D   Davis, Danny IL 7th
No Vote   D   Duckworth, Tammy IL 8th
Yea   D   Schakowsky, Jan IL 9th
Yea   D   Schneider, Bradley IL 10th
Yea   D   Foster, Bill IL 11th
Yea   D   Enyart, William IL 12th
Yea   R   Davis, Rodney IL 13th
Yea   R   Hultgren, Randy IL 14th
Yea   R   Shimkus, John IL 15th
Yea   R   Kinzinger, Adam IL 16th
Yea   D   Bustos, Cheri IL 17th
Vote Party Representative District
Yea   R   Schock, Aaron IL 18th
Indiana
Yea   D   Visclosky, Peter IN 1st
Yea   R   Walorski, Jackie IN 2nd
Yea   R   Stutzman, Marlin IN 3rd
Yea   R   Rokita, Todd IN 4th
Yea   R   Brooks, Susan IN 5th
Yea   R   Messer, Luke IN 6th
Yea   D   Carson, André IN 7th
Yea   R   Bucshon, Larry IN 8th
Yea   R   Young, Todd IN 9th
Iowa
Yea   D   Braley, Bruce IA 1st
Yea   D   Loebsack, David IA 2nd
Yea   R   Latham, Tom IA 3rd
Yea   R   King, Steve IA 4th
Kansas
Yea   R   Huelskamp, Tim KS 1st
Yea   R   Jenkins, Lynn KS 2nd
Yea   R   Yoder, Kevin KS 3rd
Yea   R   Pompeo, Mike KS 4th
Kentucky
Yea   R   Whitfield, Ed KY 1st
Yea   R   Guthrie, Brett KY 2nd
Yea   D   Yarmuth, John KY 3rd
Nay   R   Massie, Thomas KY 4th
Yea   R   Rogers, Hal KY 5th
Yea   R   Barr, Andy KY 6th
Louisiana
Yea   R   Scalise, Steve LA 1st
Yea   D   Richmond, Cedric LA 2nd
Yea   R   Boustany, Charles LA 3rd
Yea   R   Fleming, John LA 4th
Yea   R   McAllister, Vance LA 5th
Yea   R   Cassidy, Bill LA 6th
Maine
Yea   D   Pingree, Chellie ME 1st
Yea   D   Michaud, Michael ME 2nd
Maryland
Yea   R   Harris, Andy MD 1st
Yea   D   Ruppersberger, A. Dutch MD 2nd
Yea   D   Sarbanes, John MD 3rd
Yea   D   Edwards, Donna MD 4th
Yea   D   Hoyer, Steny MD 5th
Yea   D   Delaney, John MD 6th
Yea   D   Cummings, Elijah MD 7th
Yea   D   Van Hollen, Chris MD 8th
Massachusetts
Yea   D   Neal, Richard MA 1st
Yea   D   McGovern, Jim MA 2nd
Yea   D   Tsongas, Niki MA 3rd
Yea   D   Kennedy, Joseph MA 4th
Yea   D   Clark, Katherine MA 5th
Yea   D   Tierney, John MA 6th
No Vote   D   Capuano, Michael MA 7th
Yea   D   Lynch, Stephen MA 8th
Yea   D   Keating, William MA 9th
Michigan
Yea   R   Benishek, Dan MI 1st
Yea   R   Huizenga, Bill MI 2nd
Nay   R   Amash, Justin MI 3rd
Yea   R   Camp, Dave MI 4th
Yea   D   Kildee, Daniel MI 5th
Yea   R   Upton, Fred MI 6th
Yea   R   Walberg, Tim MI 7th
Yea   R   Rogers, Mike MI 8th
Yea   D   Levin, Sander MI 9th
Yea   R   Miller, Candice MI 10th
Yea   R   Bentivolio, Kerry MI 11th
Yea   D   Dingell, John MI 12th
Yea   D   Conyers, John MI 13th
Yea   D   Peters, Gary MI 14th
Minnesota
Yea   D   Walz, Timothy MN 1st
Yea   R   Kline, John MN 2nd
Yea   R   Paulsen, Erik MN 3rd
Yea   D   McCollum, Betty MN 4th
Yea   D   Ellison, Keith MN 5th
Yea   R   Bachmann, Michele MN 6th
Yea   D   Peterson, Collin MN 7th
Yea   D   Nolan, Richard MN 8th
Mississippi
Yea   R   Nunnelee, Alan MS 1st
Yea   D   Thompson, Bennie MS 2nd
Yea   R   Harper, Gregg MS 3rd
Yea   R   Palazzo, Steven MS 4th
Missouri
Yea   D   Clay, Lacy MO 1st
Yea   R   Wagner, Ann MO 2nd
Yea   R   Luetkemeyer, Blaine MO 3rd
Yea   R   Hartzler, Vicky MO 4th
Yea   D   Cleaver, Emanuel MO 5th
Yea   R   Graves, Sam MO 6th
Yea   R   Long, Billy MO 7th
Yea   R   Smith, Jason MO 8th
Montana
Yea   R   Daines, Steve MT
Nebraska
Yea   R   Fortenberry, Jeff NE 1st
Yea   R   Terry, Lee NE 2nd
Yea   R   Smith, Adrian NE 3rd
Nevada
Yea   D   Titus, Dina NV 1st
Yea   R   Amodei, Mark NV 2nd
Yea   R   Heck, Joseph NV 3rd
Yea   D   Horsford, Steven NV 4th
New Hampshire
Yea   D   Shea-Porter, Carol NH 1st
Yea   D   Kuster, Ann NH 2nd
New Jersey
Yea   D   Norcross, Donald NJ 1st
Yea   R   LoBiondo, Frank NJ 2nd
Yea   R   Runyan, Jon NJ 3rd
Yea   R   Smith, Chris NJ 4th
Yea   R   Garrett, Scott NJ 5th
Yea   D   Pallone, Frank NJ 6th
Yea   R   Lance, Leonard NJ 7th
Yea   D   Sires, Albio NJ 8th
Yea   D   Pascrell, Bill NJ 9th
Yea   D   Payne, Donald NJ 10th
Yea   R   Frelinghuysen, Rodney NJ 11th
Yea   D   Holt, Rush NJ 12th
New Mexico
Yea   D   Lujan Grisham, Michelle NM 1st
Yea   R   Pearce, Steve NM 2nd
Yea   D   Luján, Ben NM 3rd
New York
Yea   D   Bishop, Timothy NY 1st
Yea   R   King, Pete NY 2nd
Yea   D   Israel, Steve NY 3rd
No Vote   D   McCarthy, Carolyn NY 4th
Yea   D   Meeks, Gregory NY 5th
Yea   D   Meng, Grace NY 6th
Yea   D   Velázquez, Nydia NY 7th
Yea   D   Jeffries, Hakeem NY 8th
Yea   D   Clarke, Yvette NY 9th
Yea   D   Nadler, Jerrold NY 10th
Yea   R   Grimm, Michael NY 11th
Yea   D   Maloney, Carolyn NY 12th
Yea   D   Rangel, Charles NY 13th
Yea   D   Crowley, Joseph NY 14th
Yea   D   Serrano, José NY 15th
Yea   D   Engel, Eliot NY 16th
Yea   D   Lowey, Nita NY 17th
Yea   D   Maloney, Sean NY 18th
Yea   R   Gibson, Christopher NY 19th
Yea   D   Tonko, Paul NY 20th
Yea   D   Owens, William NY 21st
Yea   R   Hanna, Richard NY 22nd
Yea   R   Reed, Tom NY 23rd
Yea   D   Maffei, Daniel NY 24th
Yea   D   Slaughter, Louise NY 25th
Yea   D   Higgins, Brian NY 26th
Yea   R   Collins, Chris NY 27th
North Carolina
Yea   D   Butterfield, G.K. NC 1st
Yea   R   Ellmers, Renee NC 2nd
Nay   R   Jones, Walter NC 3rd
Yea   D   Price, David NC 4th
Yea   R   Foxx, Virginia NC 5th
No Vote   R   Coble, Howard NC 6th
Yea   D   McIntyre, Mike NC 7th
Vote Party Representative District
Yea   R   Hudson, Richard NC 8th
Yea   R   Pittenger, Robert NC 9th
Yea   R   McHenry, Patrick NC 10th
No Vote   R   Meadows, Mark NC 11th
Yea   D   Adams, Alma NC 12th
Yea   R   Holding, George NC 13th
North Dakota
Yea   R   Cramer, Kevin ND
Ohio
Yea   R   Chabot, Steve OH 1st
Yea   R   Wenstrup, Brad OH 2nd
Yea   D   Beatty, Joyce OH 3rd
Yea   R   Jordan, Jim OH 4th
Yea   R   Latta, Robert OH 5th
Yea   R   Johnson, Bill OH 6th
Yea   R   Gibbs, Bob OH 7th
Yea   D   Kaptur, Marcy OH 9th
Yea   R   Turner, Michael OH 10th
Yea   D   Fudge, Marcia OH 11th
Yea   R   Tiberi, Pat OH 12th
Yea   D   Ryan, Tim OH 13th
Yea   R   Joyce, David OH 14th
Yea   R   Stivers, Steve OH 15th
Yea   R   Renacci, James OH 16th
Oklahoma
Yea   R   Bridenstine, Jim OK 1st
Yea   R   Mullin, Markwayne OK 2nd
Yea   R   Lucas, Frank OK 3rd
Yea   R   Cole, Tom OK 4th
Yea   R   Lankford, James OK 5th
Oregon
Yea   D   Bonamici, Suzanne OR 1st
Yea   R   Walden, Greg OR 2nd
Yea   D   Blumenauer, Earl OR 3rd
Yea   D   DeFazio, Peter OR 4th
Yea   D   Schrader, Kurt OR 5th
Pennsylvania
Yea   D   Brady, Robert PA 1st
Yea   D   Fattah, Chaka PA 2nd
Yea   R   Kelly, Mike PA 3rd
Yea   R   Perry, Scott PA 4th
Yea   R   Thompson, Glenn PA 5th
Yea   R   Gerlach, Jim PA 6th
Yea   R   Meehan, Patrick PA 7th
Yea   R   Fitzpatrick, Michael PA 8th
Yea   R   Shuster, Bill PA 9th
Yea   R   Marino, Tom PA 10th
Yea   R   Barletta, Lou PA 11th
Yea   R   Rothfus, Keith PA 12th
Yea   D   Schwartz, Allyson PA 13th
No Vote   D   Doyle, Mike PA 14th
Yea   R   Dent, Charles PA 15th
Yea   R   Pitts, Joseph PA 16th
Yea   D   Cartwright, Matthew PA 17th
Yea   R   Murphy, Tim PA 18th
Rhode Island
Yea   D   Cicilline, David RI 1st
Yea   D   Langevin, Jim RI 2nd
South Carolina
Yea   R   Sanford, Mark SC 1st
Yea   R   Wilson, Joe SC 2nd
Yea   R   Duncan, Jeff SC 3rd
Yea   R   Gowdy, Trey SC 4th
Yea   R   Mulvaney, Mick SC 5th
Yea   D   Clyburn, Jim SC 6th
Yea   R   Rice, Tom SC 7th
South Dakota
Yea   R   Noem, Kristi SD
Tennessee
Yea   R   Roe, Phil TN 1st
Nay   R   Duncan, John TN 2nd
Yea   R   Fleischmann, Chuck TN 3rd
Yea   R   DesJarlais, Scott TN 4th
No Vote   D   Cooper, Jim TN 5th
Yea   R   Black, Diane TN 6th
Yea   R   Blackburn, Marsha TN 7th
Yea   R   Fincher, Stephen TN 8th
Yea   D   Cohen, Steve TN 9th
Texas
Yea   R   Gohmert, Louie TX 1st
Yea   R   Poe, Ted TX 2nd
Yea   R   Johnson, Sam TX 3rd
No Vote   R   Hall, Ralph TX 4th
Yea   R   Hensarling, Jeb TX 5th
Yea   R   Barton, Joe TX 6th
Yea   R   Culberson, John TX 7th
Yea   R   Brady, Kevin TX 8th
Yea   D   Green, Al TX 9th
Yea   R   McCaul, Michael TX 10th
Yea   R   Conaway, Michael TX 11th
Yea   R   Granger, Kay TX 12th
Yea   R   Thornberry, Mac TX 13th
Yea   R   Weber, Randy TX 14th
Yea   D   Hinojosa, Rubén TX 15th
Nay   D   O’Rourke, Beto TX 16th
Yea   R   Flores, Bill TX 17th
Yea   D   Jackson Lee, Sheila TX 18th
Yea   R   Neugebauer, Randy TX 19th
Yea   D   Castro, Joaquin TX 20th
Yea   R   Smith, Lamar TX 21st
Yea   R   Olson, Pete TX 22nd
No Vote   D   Gallego, Pete TX 23rd
Yea   R   Marchant, Kenny TX 24th
Yea   R   Williams, Roger TX 25th
Yea   R   Burgess, Michael TX 26th
Yea   R   Farenthold, Blake TX 27th
Yea   D   Cuellar, Henry TX 28th
Yea   D   Green, Gene TX 29th
Yea   D   Johnson, Eddie TX 30th
Yea   R   Carter, John TX 31st
Yea   R   Sessions, Pete TX 32nd
Yea   D   Veasey, Marc TX 33rd
Yea   D   Vela, Filemon TX 34th
Yea   D   Doggett, Lloyd TX 35th
Yea   R   Stockman, Steve TX 36th
Utah
No Vote   R   Bishop, Rob UT 1st
Yea   R   Stewart, Chris UT 2nd
Yea   R   Chaffetz, Jason UT 3rd
Yea   D   Matheson, Jim UT 4th
Vermont
Yea   D   Welch, Peter VT
Virginia
Yea   R   Wittman, Robert VA 1st
Yea   R   Rigell, Scott VA 2nd
Yea   D   Scott, Bobby VA 3rd
Yea   R   Forbes, Randy VA 4th
Yea   R   Hurt, Robert VA 5th
Yea   R   Goodlatte, Bob VA 6th
Yea   R   Brat, Dave VA 7th
Yea   D   Moran, Jim VA 8th
Yea   R   Griffith, Morgan VA 9th
Yea   R   Wolf, Frank VA 10th
Yea   D   Connolly, Gerald VA 11th
Washington
Yea   D   DelBene, Suzan WA 1st
Yea   D   Larsen, Rick WA 2nd
Yea   R   Herrera Beutler, Jaime WA 3rd
Yea   R   Hastings, Doc WA 4th
Yea   R   McMorris Rodgers, Cathy WA 5th
Yea   D   Kilmer, Derek WA 6th
Nay   D   McDermott, Jim WA 7th
Yea   R   Reichert, David WA 8th
Yea   D   Smith, Adam WA 9th
Yea   D   Heck, Denny WA 10th
West Virginia
Yea   R   McKinley, David WV 1st
Yea   R   Capito, Shelley WV 2nd
Yea   D   Rahall, Nick WV 3rd
Wisconsin
Yea   R   Ryan, Paul WI 1st
Yea   D   Pocan, Mark WI 2nd
Yea   D   Kind, Ron WI 3rd
Yea   D   Moore, Gwen WI 4th
Yea   R   Sensenbrenner, James WI 5th
Yea   R   Petri, Tom WI 6th
Yea   R   Duffy, Sean WI 7th
Yea   R   Ribble, Reid WI 8th
Wyoming
Yea   R   Lummis, Cynthia WY

“Battleship” the Movie Becomes The Cornerstone of Obama’s Own “Star Wars”

[If you wanted people to calm people’s nerves about the dozens of Arleigh-Burke class destroyers slowly taking-up positions in their Mediterranean and Black Sea neighborhoods, what would you do?  Would you downplay the lethality of the American destroyer fleet, or would you turn to Hollywood to help soften their image?   The White House obviously turned to Hollywood and found cooperation in the form of the block-buster movie, “Battleship.”  Mix a generous dose of US Navy cooperation with an ongoing alien invasion and you get the ultimate, most entertaining form of military propaganda imaginable.  Now, name recognition of the term “Arleigh-Burke class destroyer” automatically endears its image in our psyche, just when the destroyers are set to take a big part in Obama’s war against Russia, where they will serve as the cornerstone of Obama’s ABM program, the first element of the European Phased Adaptive Approach .]

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers

Putin: Missile shield deployment in Europe threatens US itself

 

Russia-Today

Further deployment of America’s global anti-ballistic missile defense poses a threat to the US and those European countries that agreed to host it, because it builds up a dangerous illusion of invincibility, President Vladimir Putin said.

“This [ABM] constitutes a threat not only to the security of Russia, but to the whole world, in view of the possible destabilization of the strategic balance of powers. I believe this is dangerous for the US itself, as it creates a dangerous illusion of invulnerability and reinforces the tendency of unilateral, often ill-considered decisions and additional risks,” Putin said in his annual state of the nation address to the Federal Assembly.

Russia will not get involved in an expensive arms race, the Russian president said, yet the country’s defensive capacity in the new conditions will be securely guaranteed.

“There’s no doubt about that – consider it done. Russia has both the capacity and creative decisions to do so,” Putin said.

The European Phased Adaptive Approach, a centerpiece of the US missile defense shield in Europe, implies deployment of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, all of which are fitted with the Aegis weapon and radar system, interceptor batteries in Poland and Romania, radar in Turkey, and a command center at Ramstein, Germany, a US Air Force base.

Russia is considering the system to be a major threat to its own security and has threatened to increase its own arsenals and missile shield piercing capabilities in response.

“Talking to Russia from a position of strength is meaningless,” said Putin, stressing that ‘deterrence policy’ towards Russia is nothing new.

“The deterrence policy was not invented yesterday, it has been always conducted towards our country, for decades, if not centuries,” Putin noted.

“Every time somebody considers Russia is becoming too powerful and independent, such instruments are turned on immediately,” said Putin.