Putin continues fight against the West and the rest

Vladimir Putin, supreme Russian leader (Photo: Flickr)

Vladimir Putin, supreme Russian leader (Photo: Flickr)

In her last year book on Russian President Vladimir Putin, journalist Masha Gessen, wrote an exceptional description of this former KGB agent turned supreme leader of the Russian Federation over the last almost 15 years. She writes:

“Putin loved the Soviet Union, and he loved its KGB, and when he had power of his own, effectively running the financial system of the country’s second-largest city, he wanted to build a system just like them. It would be a closed system built on total control – especially control over the flow of information and the flow of money.” 

Obama’s Sherpa prepares tactics for G8/G20

Michael Froman, photo: Flickr

Michael Froman, photo: Flickr

As we approach next week G8/G20 meeting which will be held in Muskoka and Toronto world leaders are getting tactically ready for back-to-back meetings with their fellow heads of states. Same situation is with U.S. President Barack Obama who choose his deputy national security adviser and Harvard University chum Michael Froman as his “Sherpa” on those meetings.

Froman’s duty will be to prepare Obama’s tactics for meetings with many leaders especially with French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel in negotiations over strengthening their financial systems or as it reports Bloomberg Weekly he will tell to global leaders that they can’t count on U.S. costumers to lead world economic recovery.  Mr. Froman said to Bloomberg that one of the biggest challenges on upcoming summits will be to keep the summiteers on the agenta.

“People will try and deflect attention to the other issues. One of the roles of the Sherpa is to bridge the gap between what the bureaucracy serves up and what leaders want to talk about”, said Mr. Froman.

Prediction are that main tension in Toronto will be focus on the individual response to debt crisis roiling Europe and much spread threat to infect global financial and economic markets. In this case U.S. is trying to push European colleagues not to move too fast in expected trimming of their national stimulus packages which are founded for fight against global crisis started in 2008. According to Mr. Froman there is present broad consensus among the G20 members about importance of fiscal consolidation. But Bloomberg rightly concludes that just year or so ago on London’s Summits this issue was just opposite; the intention was too figured out how to persuade each country to spend more and now is how to persuade them to spend less.

Upcoming summits will be the fourth session for Mr. Froman as Obama’s Sherpa and he is completely confident that President is going to Toronto and Muskoka in new position.

“The President goes to Toronto in a position of strength. [U.S. banks] went through transparent stress test, raised new capital, and took steps to clean up their balance sheets”, he said to the Bloomberg.

Host of summits Canada is also ready for economic and bank sector talks, empowered by strong results in last and this year, but Canada and U.S. are in a same position towards European countries and they are sending a clear message to them that ball is in European court. Only dispute between Canada and European side can be proposed global bank tax and PM Harper will have a hard fight with his colleagues on this issues, also the important issue which will rise a harsh debate will be maternal and child health in Africa which includes abortion.

World leaders summit or touristic conference?

Harper's fake lake

Harper's fake lake, photo: The Toronto Star

Biggest Canadian dilemma in a last two or three days is what are really G8/G20 meetings which will be held at the end of this month. They are suppose to be world leader summits and open space for discussion on the most important issues in the world as it’s economy, maternal and child health, financial crisis and bank taxes but it seems that Canadian government sees  them as a touristic conference. According to PM Harper those events are great chance for Canada to represent herself to the journalists and world leaders who will visit Canada.

Fake lake, gazeboes and boats are just few of the costly elements or Harper’s charade to visitors in Canada because he wants them to forget on important issues and start deliberating what’s more beautiful fake lake or real lake. On of the presented arguments is that those “Harper-Potemkin villages” will help a Canadian tourist industry in the future. Canada was suppose to be world leader and leading country in both clubs and someone who will bring strong and deliberated ideas in favour of all countries and to represent new wave in political world. Today’s reports in major newspapers, agencies and on the TV stations all over the world are focused on the fake lakes and $2 million CAD costs for that toy; no one is mentioning any Canadian initiative or proposal for upcoming summits. Great representation of Canada; country of fake lakes and irresponsible politicians.

Let’s back for the moment on the costs of fake lake in Toronto. Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said on Tuesday’s Question Period few different amounts of money supposedly spent on this “great” representation. In one of his answers he said that costs are $57.000 CAD, few minutes later cost for same “artificial water structure”  are lowered on $55,000 CAD. That’s shows to Canadian public who confidential and accountable current government is. Even when they try to lay to their fellow Canadian they are doing that in the bad fashion. It would be easier and more respectful to country and the Citizens if they say: “Yes, those are the costs. We spend this money on this and this and that and your can punish us on the next elections if you don’t like how we did it.” They will get immediate support for their actions and they will be free to accomplish all goal settled for upcoming summits.

After all it seems that G8/G20 countries will be on a vacation summit in Canada and that all important world decisions will be made in Korea at the end of this year on the winter summit. Another missed chance for world leadership.

Obama on West Point: “International order” to promote democratic values

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

American President Barack Obama pledged to shape new “international order” as a part of his national security strategy that emphasizes his belief in global institutions and America’s role in promoting democratic values around the world. In his speech to the graduating class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point President Obama said that he as a commander in chief who is leading two foreign wars wants to express his faith in cooperation and partnership for future in confrontation with economic, military and environmental challenges of the future.

“The international order we seek is one that can resolve the challenges of our times. Countering violent extremism and insurgency; stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and securing nuclear materials; combating a changing climate and sustaining global growth; helping countries feed themselves and care for their sick; preventing conflict and healing its wounds”, he said in prepared remarks.

Obama’s administration is getting ready for next week scheduled release of first president’s national security strategy; preview released on Saturday is showing that Obama’s strategy will be far different than the last Bush’s strategy released in 2002.

As is was expected Obama has spoken lot frequently about new world alliances led by America, as one of way to improve America’s image abroad badly damaged by Bush policies in early 2000’s. He’s vision in to pursue national renewal and to build new global partnership.

“Yes, we are clear-eyed about the shortfalls of our international system. But America has not succeeded by stepping outside the currents of international cooperation. We have succeeded by steering those currents in the direction of liberty and justice — so nations thrive by meeting their responsibilities, and face consequences when they don’t.”, he said on West Point.

High on list of Obama’s priorities is Afghanistan and according to media reports Obama believes that military will have enough ability to succeed in Afghanistan; but he is still concern about Afghan future and ability to fight alone against Taliban’s and other extremists. Other concern’s of Obama administration are connected to Afghan ability to succeed in revitalization and reconstruction of country after foreign forces are deployed from the country.

Some of those doubts Obama will discuss next month on G8/G20 meetings in Canada, but also he will try to improve his relations with European allies on the road to better future of Afghanistan, is also expected that he will brought up questions regarding actions and future strategies regarding Iraq and Haiti.

Canadian leader traveling to Europe instead to work on Afghan detainee debate

Stephen Harper is travelling to Europe

Stephen Harper is travelling to Europe

PM Stephen Harper will be traveling throughout Europe next week instead to stay in Canada and help his government and MP’s to reach a deal on Afghan detainee debate and to explain to public all unclear details regarding Guergis/Jaffer scandal. PM will take a part in 65th anniversary ceremonies marking Canada’s role in the liberation of the Netherlands, beside that he will visit Belgium, Croatia and briefly Germany.

Annual anniversary ceremonies throughout the Netherlands are celebrating the end of World War II, which marks liberating of the Netherlands on May 5, 1945. The role of Canadian troops and fact that Ottawa provided shelter to Dutch Princess Juliana and her children has to led a strong bond between the two countries.

Leaving behind him highly important Afghan detainee battle and Speaker’s ruling PM will held “important” talks on global economy and potential impact of the Greek debt crisis on financial situation in World. While in the Netherlands, Mr. Harper will visit Amsterdam and The Hague which is seat of the government and seat for two very important world courts – International Crime Court and International Court for Former Yugoslavia. PM Harper will also visit Croatia’s capital Zagreb and capital of Germany, Berlin, on his way back to Ottawa.

His talk in Croatia will be chance to get more information about situation in Balkan region especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to Italy proposal situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be discussed on next G8 meeting in Muskoka in June, Croatia as regional leader in EU integration and NATO integration processes will be rich source of information for Canadian leader.