UK, Germany Agree to Counter ‘Increased Russian Aggression’

AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

UK Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed in a phone call on Wednesday to work together to counter Russia, the British minister’s office said.

“The Chancellor and Prime Minister both agreed on the need to continue to work together to counter increased Russian aggression,” the press release read.

May thanked the German leader for her “strong support and solidarity” following the Salisbury attack.

The UK government expelled 23 Russian diplomats earlier this month after concluding that Russia had been behind the March 4 nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter.

Earlier this week, Germany said it was ousting four Russian diplomats in a show of solidarity with London. More than 20 other nations followed UK’s lead. Russia has denied any involvement in the attack, stressing there was no proof.

US May Take Additional Actions Against Russia

US State Department announced Thursday that the US may be taking additional actions in response to Russia ordering the expulsion of 60 US diplomats by April 5.

The State Department noted that there was “no justification” for Russia’s response and that it shouldn’t act “like a victim.”

“There is no justification for the Russian response,” Heather Nauert, the spokesperson for the US State Department, said Thursday. “Our actions were motivated purely by the attack on the United Kingdom.”

The response comes hours after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Russia would be expelling the same number of Russian diplomats that the US ordered out of the Land of the Free. Russia’s decision is in addition to shutting down the US Consulate General in Saint Petersburg.

“The measures will be reciprocal,” Lavrov said at a briefing. “They include expulsion of the equivalent number of diplomats and they include our decision to withdraw our agreement to allow the United States’ general consulate to operate in St. Petersburg.”

Lavrov noted that 58 diplomatic employers would be removed from the US embassy in Moscow and that two staffers would have to leave the Consulate General in Ekaterinburg by April 5.

Americans stationed at the St. Petersburg address would have the next two days to leave.

More than 150 Russian diplomats have been ordered out of their stations following UK Prime Minster Theresa May’s announcement on March 14 that she would be expelling 23 Russian diplomats following the nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

On March 4, the pair were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping mall in the UK’s Salisbury area. Though Russia has repeatedly denied having any involvement in the nerve agent attack, May has continued to blame Russia.

Russia to Expel 60 US Diplomats

American diplomats declared personae non gratae have to leave Russia by April 5, according to a step Moscow made in response to the greatest ever expulsion of Russian diplomats from the US over Skripal’s poisoning, groundlessly blamed on Russia.

Moscow will expel the same number of American diplomats as Washington and will shut down the US Consulate General in Saint Petersburg, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced.

“The measures will be reciprocal… They include expulsion of the equivalent number of diplomats and they include our decision to withdraw our agreement to allow the United States’ general consulate to operate in St. Petersburg,” Lavrov told a briefing.

The minster specified that 58 diplomatic employers will be removed from the US embassy in Moscow and two staff will have to leave the Consulate General in Ekaterinburg by April 5. As for the St. Petersburg consulate, Americans have to vacate the premises in two days.

The top diplomat went on to say that Russia will not only provide a reciprocal response to the West’s steps in the wake of Skripal’s poisoning, which has been blamed on Moscow, but even “more than that.” As he explained, Russia’s counter-measures will affect all countries that have made a decision to expel diplomats.

The minister noted that Russia will convene an emergency meeting of the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in a bid to start a dialogue and establish the truth.

Sergei Skripal, an ex-Russian intelligence officer who worked for the UK’s MI6, and his daughter Yulia have been hospitalized since March 4 after being exposed to what UK experts claim was an A-234 nerve agent. London has stated that it was “highly likely” that Moscow was behind the attack. The UK government responded by expelling 23 Russian diplomats from the country. Expressing solidarity with the United Kingdom, the United States and over 25 other countries have also expelled Russian diplomats.

Russia has strongly rejected the accusations, and retaliated by expelling the same number of UK diplomats and closing the British Council in Russia. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the UK “proof” a “global fake” and stressed that London was not responding to Moscow’s constructive offers to work together on the investigation into the poisoning. Zakharova noted that the United Kingdom had repeatedly demonstrated its neglect for the norms of international law, as London neither granted Moscow access to samples of the poisonous substance, nor allowed a consular officer to meet with Yulia Skripal, who is a Russian citizen.

US Ambassador Jon Huntsman has been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry to hear a report on a batch of counter-measures Russia is going to take. Leaving the ministry, the envoy refused to answer any questions from reporters.

Moscow demanded clarifications of Huntsman’s earlier remarks about the possible seizure of Russian state assets in the US. According to Lavrov, in case Washington continues its hostile actions towards the Russian diplomatic mission, additional measures from the Russian side will follow.

Earlier the US ambassador admitted that the seizure of Russian assets was possible.

“I don’t know what the future holds, I hope that we will be able to stabilize the relationship… But of course it’s possible,” Huntsman told the RBC broadcaster, answering the corresponding question.

The envoy’s suggestions echoed UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to consider the proposal to prohibit the sale of Russian bonds through the City of London’s clearing houses, which help finance Russia’s sovereign debt.

The move was earlier initiated by Foreign Affairs Select Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat, who pointed the finger at several sanctioned Russian banks, including VTB, which he claimed are behind the issue of Russian bonds due to UK and EU legislation.

On March 14, May pledged to “freeze Russian state assets wherever we have the evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals or residents” in addition to the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats as well as suspension of all planned high-level bilateral contacts in retaliation for the alleged attack on Skripal on the British soil.

What is an Interpretive Essay?

Find useful tips on how to write an interpretive essay. Discover which distinctive features this type of an essay has. Follow the guidelines you will find here.

There is no a student who has never faced a need to write an interpretive essay as this is one of the favorite college assignments in the literature course. It is not a secret that there are not many students who like devoting much time to the literature analysis. However, writing an interpretive essay it is impossible to avoid this. As you may guess from the name of this essay type, it supposes that the writer will interpret the main idea of the literary work expressing his own vision of the subject.

In order to write a good interpretive essay, you will have to take into account that it differs from other academic papers much. Only learning more about its distinctive features you will be able to develop a well-written essay, which should include your attitude to the piece of literature you are going to consider in your work.

There are several steps each interpretive essay should take. The very first thing you should do is to make sure that you have a clear picture of what an interpretive essay is.
What is an Interpretive Essay?

The definition of an interpretive essay may sound like this: “A piece of writing where an essay writer interprets the meaning of an artwork, a literary work or any other subject sharing his own understanding of the main idea.” As a task for such an essay a teacher may use a quote consisting of one or more sentences, which meaning need to be explained.

At first, students should rephrase this quote, showing their understanding of the meaning. Then the author of the essay can either comment on this statement or interpret the meanings laid down in the statement by the author. As a rule, in this type of an essay, a writer is free to refer to the personal experience as well as to the generalization of the social experience (cinema, literature, etc.).

This type of assignment allows the literature teacher to evaluate not only writing skills but first of all an ability to analyze relationships between the characters, situations, which take place, the behavior of the main characters, as well as other subject areas.

Effective Tips for Writing a Top Quality Interpretive Essay

If you have already written essays before, you definitely know that any essay should include three main parts: an introductory part, the main body, and the summary. The interpretive essay is also structured according to these format requirements. However, there are certain things you should take into account if you want to develop an impressive interpretive essay.

● Choose the literary work: First of all, you should brainstorm ideas about the topic of your research. Give preference to those literary works, which have made a strong impression on you. After choosing the work, concentrate on the episode, which you would like to interpret. Imagine that the literary work is a puzzle, which you should divide into separate parts first and then collect again. The same is here. Consider each event, character, activity individually. After having made an analysis of the separate components you may understand the general meaning of the work.

● Make an essay outline: It is much easier to organize your thoughts while making a detailed outline. Remember that you should start with the short introduction, then write your main body consisting of two or three paragraphs where you provide your arguments and the final part is the clear and concise conclusion.

● Support your opinion with the quotes from the text: You should interpret the meaning of the considered literary work in your own words. However, each thought should be supported by the author’s quotes. You may have more than one variant of the meaning interpretation. Depending on how many ideas you have the number of main body paragraphs may vary.

● Find out what literature critics think about the same work: It is a good idea to compare your literature work interpretation with the thoughts of the professionals. If you based on their ideas, you shouldn’t forget to include references. Consider ideas of others but don’t steal their thoughts writing them as your own. You should look for the most original way to express your opinion or even look at the chosen work from another angle.

● Try to be persuasive: Your essay can be called successful if you manage to convince the reader that you are right. Prove that the interpretation you have is worth the attention of your
target audience. To make your statements more powerful you can add citation and quotations from the work.

● Summarize your essay findings: At the end of the paper, you should summarize all ideas briefly. Remember that you shouldn’t give any new information in the final essay part. Write a couple of sentences, which should be logical and meaningful.

● Proofread your essay: Make sure that all characters’ names have been written correctly. The proofreading is a must if you want to be sure that there are no misspellings and grammar mistakes. It is good if you can ask somebody to read your essay as sometimes the writer cannot notice some errors after doing a great job while writing an essay. Pay attention to the formatting style, especially to the references and the title page. Make sure that the work is able to meet all requirements of your college teacher before you hand in the paper.

Origins of gold discovered in space

In August 2017, an explosion was spotted by scientists in a previously obscure galaxy called NGC 4993. The observation of that cataclysmic explosion has helped to explain the origin of gold on Earth.

According to scientists, the burst of gravitational waves with tiny ripples in the fabric of space was an ultra-powerful collision between two neutron stars. Those collisions are in fact the cosmic forge in which gold and other precious metals are made, before being flung out into the universe.

“It was so exciting, the way we got the alert and found the light source corresponding to the gravitational waves,” Kate Maguire of Queen’s University Belfast told the Financial Times. She was one of more than 3,000 researchers around the world who took part in the project.

Maguire said they discovered that the debris from the stellar collision included gold during analysis of the different wavelengths of the explosion’s spectrum. The explosive collision between the neutron stars propelled glowing debris into space at 300 million kph – around one-third of the speed of light.

Researchers claim that, although the extreme velocity smears out the heavy metals, making it hard to identify individual elements, gold is undoubtedly there. “We estimate that the collision created about as much gold as the mass of the earth,” said Professor Andrew Levan of Warwick University, another leading member of the large band of astronomers analyzing the event.

This means that an Earth made of pure gold which is about six billion trillion (6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) tons could have been fashioned from the debris of that one collision.

To compare, statistics show the total amount of gold extracted and used by humanity since the beginning of civilization is about 187,000 tons.

According to the US Geological Survey, the current global output from gold mines is believed to be around 3,100 tons per year.

Neutron star collisions occur only about once every 10,000 years in the Milky Way galaxy. Scientists, however, say that their conditions are so favorable to r-process nucleosynthesis (it creates elements like gold and platinum) that they are likely to be the main source of gold and other heavy elements.

“We can make enough gold in neutron star collisions to do away with supernovae as a source,” said Professor Levan. “We should find out for sure within the next two years. There are still big uncertainties.”

The initial neutron collision propels gold and other atoms into space at about 300 million kph as a glowing gas cloud, leaving a black hole behind at the site of the explosion.

“Over tens of thousands of years the cloud dissolves gradually into the interstellar medium, which will eventually create the next generation of stars,” said another member of the project, Professor Smartt from Queen’s University Belfast.

RT

Kosovo “ready to take Presevo and Medvedja”

Kadri Veseli and DOnald Trump - @KadriVeseliKS / Twitter

The interview of the Kosovo Parliament Speaker Kadri Veseli given to T7 TV channel has made the head of Serbian Government Office for Kosovo Marko Djuric react, GazetaExpress reports.

He said on Thursday that Kosovo will never be a state, nor will Presheva ever be a part of it.

“Let Kadri Veseli not rejoice because Kosovo will never be a state, nor will Presevo, Medvedja, or Nish ever be a part of the so-called ‘Republic of Kosovo’. But Pristina is and will remain a part of Serbia, and he will be a Serbian citizen,” Djuric said in a written statement quoted by Belgrade media.

During an interview with the T7 channel Veseli “spoke for the first time about exchange of territory with Serbia.” He said that Pristina was “ready to take Presevo and Medvedja” – towns in central Serbia close to the administrative line with Kosovo that have Albanian communities – but that Pristina “has nothing to offer to Belgrade.”

“I’d like nothing better than Presevo and Medvedja to join Kosovo. We will accept a bilateral agreement, if Serbia accepts it, but we have nothing to give. Opening up (the issue) of borders in the Balkans always means war, this is what I want to say, and I am being direct – there is no other possibility of changing the borders,” said Veseli.

In his reaction, Djuric said that Veseli was “free to wish for Neverland, too, to become a part of the self-proclaimed Kosovo” – but that such a wish would not be realistic, “just as his dreams about Presevo, Medvedja, Nish, or the so-called Greater Albania are not realistic.”

Vucic: Western powers consider Kosovo as closed issue

Aleksandar Vucic

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that the western powers firmly maintained the stand of keeping Kosovo independent, and added that this was very hard for Serbia, GazetaExpress reports.

Vucic told Serbian public broadcaster RTS that after ‘in-depth’ discussions with people who decide about many things, from different capitals of the West, he understood that their stand is to firmly keep to the principle of preserving Kosovo’s independence.

“That is very hard for us,” Vucic said.

Asked to comment his meetings at the United Nations and all other meetings over the past few days during a visit to the U.S., Vucic said that he was satisfied with the work and efforts of the Serbian side, but not with the results. He said that “the western countries do not wish to discuss the issue of where the territory of Kosovo belongs; they consider that to be a closed issue.”

“After three days of difficult meetings, which I cannot speak about too much, my conclusion is that, in order to prepare a platform for the citizens, I must have support from the international community. This was a disappointment to me, we understood the message, it is now up to us to continue working,” Vucic said.

SERBIA HAS RECEIVED ULTIMATUM

AFP 2016 / ARMEND NIMANI

Serbia has received an ultimatum – “to recognize Kosovo in exchange for the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO).”

According to the media, the Serbian president “received such an offer” from diplomats in Berlin, Paris, London, and Washington – while this has been “confirmed to him” these last days during the meetings in New York City.

Serbia’s Minister for EU Integrations Jadranka Joksimovic spoke about this for the broadcaster:

“What’s more important is that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has demonstrated a responsible policy, statehood and resolve in all relevant places and forums, with everyone involved in the process. He presented the position of Serbia, which is important, and although he has not been met with understanding and flexibility, that does not mean that Serbia has no valid arguments and that the voice of Serbia is not being heard.”

After a repeated question about media speculation, the minister said that her thinking was “not at all based on headlines in the newspapers, but on the facts.”

“Those who have recognized the independence of Kosovo are pushing their agenda, for that project not to collapse, and that is realpolitik. But five (EU-member) states have not recognized it, and a part of the world. We are promoting our agenda of interest, and the Brussels agreement (reached in the Belgrade-Pristina talks) is legally binding, one party has not fulfilled any of the obligations, and the guarantor of that agreement is the European Union. In Brussels, there must be a topic of whether there is political will in Pristina to implement it,” said Joksimovic.

Milovan Drecun, who serves as chairman of the Serbian National Assembly’s Committee on Kosovo and Metohija, also spoke for the media, to say that the West “does not want to open the issue of solving Kosovo’s final status, because for them that process is finished.”

“It seems that Pristina is doing everything in agreement with the West. Pressure on Serbia is intensifying, and in the geopolitical confrontation between the US and Russia, the Kosovo problem is being used,” Drecun said.

Asked “what could happen if Serbia did not accept the ultimatum of the West,” Drecun did not rule out the possibility of “isolation.”

“Serbia continues with the policy of not recognizing Kosovo’s independence declared in this way, of not opening the door of the UN to it. Vucic is seeking support for such a policy and firmly insists that our path cannot be obstructed by Pristina’s unilateral behavior,” Drecun concluded.

Russia warns of negative effects of FYROM’s accession to NATO

Photo: Reuters

Russia has warned FYROM (Macedonia) of the negative consequences of its accession to NATO for regional security and bilateral relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday following a meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko and Macedonian Ambassador to Russia Goce Karajanov.

“The sides shared their positions on the situation in the Balkan region,” the Russian ministry noted.

“The Russian side stressed that the plans of drawing the Republic of Macedonia into NATO may have negative effects on regional security and bilateral relations.”

The sides confirmed the intention to continue cooperation in the spheres of mutual interest.

“They stressed the importance of renewing the activity of the Russian – Macedonian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Science and Technical Cooperation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

US Colonel of Serbian ancestry takes over command of Bondsteel

US Colonel Nick Ducich, of the California National Guard, took over the command of the US Army base in Kosovo – Bondsteel, GazetaExpress reports. During the handover ceremony held on Tuesday Ducich said that the role of the NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo – KFOR on offering a safe and secure environment remains the same.

After change of command ceremony within the Multinational Battle Group East (MNBG-E), Colonel Ducich assuming his duties said that this mission is of a special importance for him, because he is the first US officer of Serbian ancestry who commands the Multinational Battle Group East.

“The role of KFOR remains unchanged, contribution to a safe and secure environment for all. We will continue remaining unbiased, and continue supporting developing of a safe and stable Kosovo,” he said.

“This mission is of a special importance to me. I am the first US officer of Serbian ancestry, to command the Multinational Battle Group East. I am privileged to serve here and give my great contribution, for a safe environment for all people in Kosovo,” news agency Kosovapress quoted Ducich as saying.

Kosovo: Serb arrested after reporting burglary

Illustration

A Serb man has been arrested on Monday afternoon in Klina municipality suspected of committing war crimes against Albanians during Kosovo war in 1998-99, GazetaExpress reports.

The Kosovo Police in Klina have arrested on Monday Milorad Zajic after he went to the police station to report a burglary, TV channel KTV has reported.

After his arrest in Klina he has been transferred to Pristina at the prosecutor’s order suspected of committing war crimes against Albanians in 1998-99. Zajic has returned to his village in Kosovo recently after living in Serbia since the end of the war.

Head of the Office for Communities at the Municipality of Klina, Ranko Kostic, said that his arrest is concerning and discourages Serbian community to return in Klina.

Vucic congratulates Putin on winning presidential election

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has congratulated Vladimir Putin on winning the Russian presidential election, the Serbian leader’s press service said in a statement obtained by TASS.

“Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on your re-election as Russian president and best wishes to further steer your country along the clearly defined path of progress for the benefit of all its citizens. I am confident that with you outstanding talent of a leader with a clear understanding and inflexible will, responsibility and commitment to your cause, you will continue to achieve success in solving all issues important for Russia and in implementing plans for its further comprehensive development,” the statement runs.

Putin secures landslide victory in Russian election

Photo: Tanjug

Voter turnout in the Russian presidential election reached 67.4% as of 6.52 a.m. Moscow Time, Russia’s Central Election Commission reported.

The Central Election Commission continues counting the votes on Monday.

Russia’s incumbent head of state Vladimir Putin has garnered 76.67% of the vote in the March 18 election with 99.79% of the ballots counted.

More than 108 million Russians were eligible to vote. The overall number of ballots, which were cast during the voting, reached more than 73 million.

Ana Ivanovic gives birth to a son

Once the first racket of the world, Ana Ivanovic, and her husband, Bastian Schweinsteiger, became parents.

Former Serbian tennis player gave birth to a son last night in Chicago.

Ana and Bastian got married in 2016 in Italy.

Spanish Prime Minister: Kosovo is Serbia, Hashim Thaci is a criminal

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rahoy once again showed that he is one of the greatest European friends of the Serbs and Serbia. He refused to got in May to Sofia for the EU-Western Balkans summit, because Hashim Thaci will appear there “as the president of the fake state of Kosovo”, writes the distinguished Spanish daily “El Pais”.

Rahoy will never be in the same place with Thaci, since the official Madrid does not recognize Kosovo as a state, but also because of the more controversial, criminal biography of this Albanian leader.

Rahoy’s decision to boycott Thaci comes only two months after Spain sent a “non paper” document to Brussels stating that Kosovo is an inalienable part of Serbia and that Madrid will never allow the false country to enter the European Union.

According to the “El Pais”, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Spain was supposed to attend the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia on May 17, but it is quite certain that he will cancel his participation, unless organizers deny the hospitality to Thaci.

“Rahoy will not attend the EU-Western Balkans summit because he does not want to be photographed with Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, since Spain does not recognize the independence of Kosovo. Catalonia has repeatedly used Kosovo’s doctrine to justify its attempt to secede from the Spanish legal system, which leads Rahoy not to participate in the summit in Sofia”, writes Madrid newspaper, adding that Rahoy does not want to be photographed with Thaci because of his controversial, criminal biography.

Well-informed sources of “El Pais” add that the President of the European Council Donald Tusk has already begun a “special mission” to persuade Rahoy to change his mind, because it is “important to maintain close ties with the Balkan countries”. At the same time, organizers of the summit in Bulgaria, which currently presides over the EU, are considering how to cheer up the Spanish Prime Minister, so they proposed that the flag of the so-called Republic of Kosovo is not visibly displayed with the flags of other countries. However, this is not enough for Spain. Madrid insists that the representatives of the Kosovo are not present at all.

Commenting on Rahoy’s decision, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said that Spain has repeatedly shown that it is a true friend.

“Every honor to Prime Minister Rahoy! That is how you defend principles! Spain has repeatedly shown that it is on the side of Serbs. It did not recognize the false state of Kosovo and we have always known how to appreciate that support. This is another indicator that our diplomatic fight for Kosovo makes sense and gives results. We will continue to fight for our southern province by all diplomatic means”, emphasized Dacic.

Career diplomat Zoran Milivojevic believes that the Spanish attitude is extremely important because it relies on the Lisbon Treaty, on which rests the European Union.

“According to the article 49 of that treaty, only sovereign countries can be EU members, or candidates for membership. Because of the Spanish position, the EU did not sign SAA with Kosovo, but the European Commission did as a technical body. Therefore the so-called Republic of Kosovo is shown in the EU strategy separately, with the assertion that membership negotiations will begin when the conditions are met. All this is very important and evidence that Madrid defends its views in a principled and consistent manner. For Spain Kosovo is not a state and can not participate in the EU summit”, concluded Milivojevic.

In a letter to the EU, the Kingdom of Spain emphasized that Kosovo is inalienable part of Serbia and that at no cost will it allow a false state to enter the European Union.

The official Madrid delivered to Brussels an unofficial document (the so-called non-paper), which firmly emphasizes that Kosovo “can not be considered as a state”. This letter was sent from Madrid a week before the planned adoption of the EU Enlargement Strategy, in which Brussels treats Kosovo as a separate state, which Spain has unequivocally opposed.

Vucic: No babies, no Serbia

Illustration

If we do nothing with natality, we are over as a nation. Therefore, in the future, the mother who gives birth to the first child will receive 100,000 Serbian dinars (~1000 USD) at once, for the second child 10,000 (~100 USD) dinars per month for two years, for the third 12,000 (~125 USD) dinars for 10 years and for the fourth 18,000 (~185 USD) dinars per month also for a period of 10 years.

The mother who gives birth to third and fourth child will have 30,000 dinars per month from the state in the period of 10 years, said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, noting that this is only one of a number of measures taken to improve the demographic image of Serbia and that he made a decision to form a Population Policy Council. President’s public address was also attended by Minister Slavica Djukic Dejanovic and Secretary General Nikola Selakovic.

“Demographic image of Serbia is devastating. Serbia currently has 6,995,808 inhabitants, and if such negative trend continues – by 2060 it will have between 3.9 and 5.5 million inhabitants”, said the president in addressing the nation. “This means that we would seize to exist both as people and a nation, we would not have national, economic nor demographic or political potential.”

President Vucic explained that we “lose” 107 people every day, that we have been losing population for 67 years, and that in the last 27 years we have a negative natural increase.

“The number of children per mother is 1.44, and for simple reproduction we need at least 0.8 more. Otherwise, we will come to the situation that in a few years we have significantly fewer inhabitants with the same number of pensioners”, said Vucic and added that no one else is guilty of this, not the US, EU, … But ourselves.

On Friday, the government adopted, according to him, population strategy and urges all those responsible to engage in its implementation.

Ex-US Ambassador to Serbia: Enough is enough, Belgrade to say “no” to EU, US

Tanjug

Serbia should not agree with the formation of the Kosovo army even at the cost of EU integration, said former US ambassador to Serbia William Montgomery.

“Enough is enough”, Montgomery answered when asked by Tanjug how he sees messages delivered to Belgrade by US State Department official Wess Mitchel, including the open support of the US to the Kosovo Army.

Serbia should insist on the primordial positions of the West on the issue of the Kosovo army – and this is a strong opposition to every form of it.

Montgomery recalls that he himself has been involved in the Kosovo issue for years and that he remembers how much the West strongly resisted any formation of the Kosovo army.

“We knew very well that former KLA fighters will be part of it and that the formation of a truly multi-ethnic group was impossible. It’s no coincidence that the Kosovo Constitution also forbids it”, said Montgomery.

For this reason, he said, “I see with great regret that Kosovo Albanians ‘have deflected the blade of that resistance’ and that we have changed the attitude and began to reluctantly accept these armed forces”, said former US diplomat.

He warns that at the same time it is allowed that ZSO is “neither in heaven nor on earth”.

“My advice to the Serbian government would be to say: No, no and no”. And to keep the West in the beginning positions regarding the Kosovo Army. If it means the end of the progress in the process of EU accession, then let it be so”, Montgomery said.

According to him, the Kosovo chapter in the negotiations with the EU was first opened and will be the last to be closed.

“The completion of concessions now will not end the undue pressure from the EU, nor will the EU be much more firm towards the Kosovo Albanians. “What’s enough is enough”, concluded William Montgomery.

Vucic: Kosovo – only compromise or there will be no solution

AFP 2016 / ARMEND NIMANI

“If they do not want a compromise, there will be no solution and that’s it – full stop.” said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

“We will continue discussions with Albanians, to try to resolve our problems, no matter I don’t believe them. But, we have no other choice”, said Vucic in an extraordinary address to the nation on the Kosovo issue, as a key political issue of the country, and defeating demographic situation, as the main problem of the state, as he previously defined it.

“Conversation and dialogue are the most important thing, to find a compromise solution. If they do not want a compromise, there will be no solution and that’s it”, he said.

He is ready, he said, to listen to anyone who shows him another choice, provided that the person knows all the circumstance related to the issue.

Brussels Agreement is dead?

Screenshot Tanjug video

More than five years we have been trying to reach the peace and solution for Kosovo-Metohija issue, said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Speaking to the nation, on the day of the pogrom in Kosovo, he said that the first six out of total 15 points in the Brussels Agreement are dedicated to the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO).

All six of the 15 points from the Brussels Agreement on the Establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities remained a dead letter on paper, said Vucic.

“For five years someone does not want this to happen. We did not believe that Albanians would do anything for the sake of the Serbs. The EU wanted the ZSO to be formed, but if the international community really wanted it, their condition for visa liberalization to Pristina would be formation of the ZSO, and not the demarcation with Montenegro”, Vucic said.

Serbian President urged Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija not to participate in the formation of Kosovo’s Army. At the press conference he said that the authorities in Pristina are going to Serb areas and bribing Serb young men to join their army.

“I cann’t tell you everything now…”, said Vucic.

On the occasion of the statement of the US Ambassord William Montgomery that Serbia should not accept the formation of the Kosovo army at any cost, but to insist on the US’s original position on the issue, which is “no” to the Kosovo army, Vucic thanked Montgomery for the correct approach.

President stressed that Serbia can not approve the formation of the Kosovo Army.

“They are not going only to the south, they also go to the north to bribe our young men. They say – here is the cash, be part of the army. We are facing this and talking to the Serbs in Kosovo”, said Vucic.

He added that he did not want to react to the statement by US official Wess Mitchel that the Kosovo Army, in which there will be Serbs, will not be a threat to Serbia.

“Really? You are forming an alien army on the territory of Serbia, in which you will include Serbs… What, as in Austro-Hungarian and Turkish times, we are to fight Serbs against Serbs?”, asked Vucic.

That is why he urged Serbs not to participate in the formation of the Kosovo Army, both those from the south and north of the province, and in that way help resolve the Kosovo issue.

“They are to behave responsibly, take care of themselves and their security, but not to participate in the formation of state bodies of another state, without having agreed with Serbia on any issue”, Vucic emphasized.

Dacic: If they do not form ZSO we will rip apart the Brussels Agreement

PHOTO: TANJUG/ZORAN ZESTIC/ nr

Whether the Serbian Municipalities Community (ZSO) will be formed in due time or will wait for the signing of a legally binding agreement between Belgrade and Pristina, is a dilemma opened by Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, saying that he heard a new option – that the ZSO will be just part of the package of the agreement, which he called a “superb insolence”.

“I would never sign the Brussels Agreement if the main thing in it wasn’t ZSO. ZSO and the integration of Serbs into Kosovo institutions were on the paper. If there is no ZSO, we will withdraw the entire Brussels Agreement”, said Dacic.

Asked whether the EU is for the change of the content of the agreement on the ZSO, which is required by Pristina, and whether its formation will be awaiting a legally binding agreement, Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for the High Representative Federica Mogherini, told Serbian daily “Vecernje Novosti”:

“The ZSO agreement is agreed between the two parties within the framework of the dialogue. Within this dialogue, the EU expects the relations between the two sides to normalize and to form the ZSO as soon as possible.”

Political analyst Dusan Janjic believes that “the package” Dacic mentioned does not necessarily mean that the formation of the ZSO will have to wait until the signing of a legally binding document with Pristina. He explained that the two parties in 2013 only initialed the Brussels Agreement, and that the signing of a legally binding “paper” will give legal force to that first agreement.

Vucic to US, EU: I do not trust you anymore

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said yesterday that he no longer trusts the international community, which is a guarantor of the Brussels agreement, and not just Albanians, on the issue of the formation of the Community of Serbian municipalities (ZSO).

“ZSO is talked about at every meeting. I dont trust them about anything. They have been lying to me for five years. I’ve been asking for five years and now I say ‘You are lying to me’. Not only Albanians. I didn’t trust them too much, but I did trust you from the international community”, he said, answering questions from the journalists in Prokuplje.

Vucic also recalled that Serbia fulfilled everything it signed.

“They [Kosovo Albanians] are your pet, you made them an independent state, you, the US and many European countries. How can you not persuade your pet to fulfill what it signed, and you are the guarantor of that”, he said.

Vucic said that he sees that they are not interested in this issue at all, and Albanians have certainly have never been interested in it.

“Only when there is a need to have the Serbs attacked, they are the champions”, the head of the Serbian state said adding that we are not completely without the means to oppose it.

He also said that he expect “absolutely nothing” from the Special Court for the KLA [“Kosovo Liberation Army / UCK].

He recalled that 14 years have passed since the terrible pogrom in Kosovo, killing, expulsion of Serbs and demolition of our churches, and that no one was held responsible for that.

Zuroff to Croatian President: Are you proud of Pavelic and Sakic?

The statement by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitanovic during her visit to Argentina, that Croats after World War II welcomed freedom in that country, has provoked vicious reactions in both Croatia and the world, writes Serbian daily “Vecernje Novosti”.

Efraim Zuroff, director of the Center Simon Wiesenthal, also reacted reminding that at that time the worst Ustasha criminals, such as Ante Pavelic, fled to Argentina in 1945.

On this occasion he sent a letter to the President Kitarovic, which was published on the portal 24sata.hr.

“Dear President Grabar-Kitarovic,

I am writing to you to express my horror and to protest against your statements during your visit to Argentina. According to Croatian portal 24sata.hr, you said that you are ‘proud of all generations of Croats who came to Argentina’. If this is true, you are obviously proud of the notorious Ustasha war criminals such as Ante Pavelic, Eugen Dida Kvaternik, Dinko Sakic, Nada Sakic, Ivo Rojnica, Vinko Nikolic and Franja Nevistic, to name only some of the Ustashas who fled to Argentina to avoid punishment …

Such a statement is usually the disguise of the horrible crimes of the Ustasha regime in NDH and a terrible insult to the victims, their families and those who fought against it.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Efraim Zuroff.”

President Grabar-Kitarovic immediately sent a reply.

“I am rejecting your missed interpretations of my statement, and my opinion on NDH is well known. Only malicious commentators can read from my statement the glorification of a totalitarian regime”, she wrote in a reply to Dr. Zuroff and accused him of repeatedly trying to impose collective guilt on Croatia.

The Croatian opposition also reacted with a message to the President saying that it is better for her not to travel anywhere because she always compromises the country.

Joe Biden, John McCain, Mike Turner to receive medals from Montenegro

Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic will next week present medals to the former US Vice President Joseph Biden, Senator John McCain and Congressman Mike Turner because, as he stated, “of contribution to promotion of Montenegrin interests and strengthening of bilateral relations and international reputation and status of Montenegro”.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Podgorica, the support of the aforementioned US officials to Montenegro during the entire process of Euro-Atlantic integration, and especially in the final phase of NATO accession, as one of its most important, if not the most important foreign policy interest, was of special importance and significance.

“Therefore, the visit of Minister Darmanovic will be an opportunity to show, in this way, sincere appreciation for the traditionally strong and continuous support of the USA to Montenegro in the past period”, the statement said.

Darmanovic will visit the US from March 19 to March 23.

Willy Wimmer: Serbian people are in the wrong place at the wrong time

Sputnik

In an exclusive interview with journalist D. Vujičić for Serbian daily “Vecernje Novosti” Willy Wimmer, German politician, spoke about Kosovo’s unilateral proclamation of independence, bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, US – Russia and US – EU relationship and China.

Speaking for the daily, Wimmer said that the story about the year 2025 as the date for Serbia’s accession to the EU is running of Angela Merkel from her current office obligations. According to him, when one speaks about a problem being solved in 2025, it is clear that the person is not interesting in solving the problem.

Former spokesman of Merkel’s CDU and former vice-president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) said that Germany these days has been in a madness and, in the interview for the daily, emphasizes that the Serbian people are in the wrong place at the wrong time. He also believes that Kosovo is a state whose foundations have been excavated on “living sand”, pointing that the way Yugoslavia was destroyed is still being used for the collapse of the international order created by the UN Statute, the Helsinki Charter…

Wimmer said that by the Paris Act of 1990 it was promised that there will be no war on the Old Continent, and then [Bill] Clinton and [Madeleine] Albright appeared in Europe because of the global interests of the United States. Now Europe is facing the “construction” of aggression against Russia.

Reminded that back in 2000, in a letter to Gerhard Schröder after the NATO summit in Bratislava, he warned that Serbia was bombed in 1999 for the purpose of establishing US bases on its territory, Wimmer said:

“When it comes to global US policy towards Russia and others, the Serbian people are in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

He further said that Belgrade was the first “hot spot” of a great rivalry, orchestrated by the US. The 1999 war had much to do with US’ idea of destroying Russian influence in the Balkans, he said.

“By establishing the ‘Bondstill’ base the US want to control the oil and gas pipelines from the Caspian Sea and to rule the road and rail system in the region.”

He further said that the EU wanted to have the road corridors to be in the north-south direction, and the US in the east-west direction. He added that the issue of Kosovo was and still is topic of a discussion between Israel and its neighbors about the future of the Middle East.

Speaking about Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence Wimmer said that the declaration is against all related UN documents. This is why five members of the EU does not recognize this “independence”. If they would do it, they would face the same result in their own country, which can be seen today in Catalonia, he said.

“Why would anyone legalize an illegal declaration? Kosovo as a state exists only as a result of the US intentions,” he said.

When asked about repeating that NATO collapsed the international legal order in Yugoslavia in 1999, Wimmer said that Russia is successful in Syria because it acts within the global legal system. In Syria and the region between Afghanistan and Libya, the US and its “coalition of common war friends”, such as London and Paris, are doing everything in their power to destroy the international legal order. They want to do what they want, he said, and to be in a position to make their own decisions about war and peace on a global level. According to Wimmer, the war in Syria now is underway to help the international legal order survive in order to prevent a future global conflict.

Asked about whether those who see possible “war” of Brussels with Moscow are right, Wimmer said:

“Joe Biden, former US Vice President, was very clear and specific when he asked and received European support for sanctions against Russia. The US then showed who has control over ‘Western alliance’, that is, Europe is more or less the area of colonialism with a modern look, where the domination of Washington is unquestionable.”

All European economies are suffering from sanctions to Russia, he said. However, according to him, there is no chance that EU leaders will again try to work normally with Russia – without the risk of “not surviving” in the political sense.

Speaking about Merkel and Macron’s recent announcement of a new independent European policy in relation to the US, Wimmer said that it is funny, because Trump is the one who maintains global peace, intact, or whatever it is.

“He is the US President who has not received his ‘war’, which has been ‘normal’ in 200 years of the history of that country.”

Further, he said that Europeans who welcomed all US wars since the one against Yugoslavia in 1999, were hostile to new US President for one reason – he “threatened” that he will be constructive and friendly when it comes to US-Russian relations.

“Trump is different. He does not belong to the political system of the US which failed at the polls in the last elections. That is why he was elected – said Wimmer. “Classic” Democrats and Republicans were unable to prevent the collapse of the US system through the failed infrastructure, corpses of soldiers returning from the Middle East.

Nevertheless, he said, a time when Trump is fighting for political survival in the White House, some kind of military government, a system of “top military commanders”, has global control over the world.

Speaking about financial crisis in 2007, Wimmer said for “Vecernje Novosti” that one should not forget that it was China who saved all from that crisis.

“We received financial support from Beijing, which allowed us to survive the blow from the other side of the Atlantic, which also had a goal to destroy euro. One also should not forget that China still does not have the chance that the money is being returned to it.”

According to him, things on the field look like this: every week trains from Shanghai come to Duisburg, Europe’s largest internal port. These trains, he said, connect the largest industrial zone in the world with the largest consumer market in the world. But the goal of the Chinese trains is not Duisburg but London. It is the ultimate Chinese financial destination, Wimmer concluded.

Montenegro “Especially Vulnerable to Russian Cyber Attacks”

Photo: MoD of Montenegro

Montenegro and some other Balkan countries fear meddling from Moscow in what they believe is an expansion of Russian foreign policy, according to the report by RFE/RL.

Officials in Podgorica feel their country is especially vulnerable. Over the last two years, authorities in Montenegro have recorded a sharp rise in cyberattacks, mostly targeting state institutions and media outlets in that aspiring EU state on the Adriatic, RFE/RL reports.

“We are doing everything to be prepared the best we can,” Milica Jankovic, the head of the Directorate for Electronic Administration and Information Security at the Public Administration Ministry, told RFE/RL.

“We are organizing prevention and monitoring systematically, and we will try to recognize the attacks and predict them before they arise.”

Jankovic said cyberattacks in 2017 totaled around 700, a 20-fold increase over previous years.

Montenegro’s leaders also say Moscow tried to interfere in the country’s 2016 general elections, a charge that Russian officials have denied. Adding to that, the authorities and ruling parties claim that Russia sponsored a coup attempt on election day during that vote.

“Attacks with a political background are most commonly occurring in the organization of states, and malicious programs distributed in the service of states are the most massive weapons used by states in the pursuit of their political goals,” said Adis Balota, dean of the Faculty of Information Technology at the Mediterranean University in Podgorica.

“Montenegro before every election cycle or change, and not only Montenegro, but also the region — Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The activity of such attacks or attempts to attack a certain state infrastructure is always increasing,” Balota added.

Montenegro’s government has stopped short of officially pinning the attacks on Russian sources.

But IT security firms such as FirstEye and Trend Micro say they have seen evidence tying many of them to APT28, a Russian hacker group also known as Fancy Bear and a half dozen other sobriquets, which has been tied by U.S. intelligence services and private cybersecurity analysts to the Russian military intelligence service, GRU.

Fancy Bear has been accused of attempted election interference and cyberattacks on NATO, the White House, and possibly a handful of German government institutions.

The EU’s Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has said Montenegrin infrastructure has been targeted by Fancy Bear.

Russia “is likely to continue using cyber capabilities to undermine Montenegro’s smooth integration into the alliance,” according to Tony Cole, vice president and chief technology officer for global government at FireEye.

The Kremlin has strongly denied any role in the attacks on governments, media, or elections worldwide.

Hoxhaj: FYROM asked Kosovo’s assistance to apply Albanian language law

Deputy Prime Minister of the so-called Republic of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj, during Government’s meeting on Friday, said that the Government of FYROM (Macedonia) has asked Kosovo’s support to assist in implementation of bilingualism in institutions of Macedonia, after Parliament in Skopje has approved on Wednesday the law allowing for the wider use of the Albanian language.

Hoxhaj said that the Government of FYROM made the request “based on the good experience of Kosovo in applying bilingualism – Albanian and Serbian – as two official languages in Kosovo,” GazetaExpress reports.

“At the request of the Government of Macedonia, now after approval of the Law on use of Albanian language, it was requested the support of the Government of Kosovo to assist in order to apply bilingualism in institutions, materials and other levels in Macedonia considering Kosovo’s good experience,” said Hoxhaj.

He said that the Government of Kosovo can offer such a support and there is a political willingness to offer the support of the neighbouring Macedonia.

Albania Arrests 39 for Smuggling People Into UK, US, Canada

Albanian police arrested 39 people on Saturday, including four police officers, on charges of having smuggled 1,000 Albanians to Britain, the United States and Canada, and they were looking for a dozen others, including two Bulgarians.

Since Albania embraced democracy in 1990, many Albanians have chosen to migrate for a better life, even paying hefty sums to smugglers. Now they can travel freely in and out of the European Union’s Schengen zone, but still need visas for Britain and North America.

National police chief Ardi Veliu said seven criminal groups operating in Albania, Bulgaria, Spain, France, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Britain, Ireland, the United States and Canada had smuggled 1,000 people to Britain, the U.S. and Canada.

“Every person paid at least 7,000 pounds ($9,764) to get to the United Kingdom and from $24,000 to $30,000 to reach the U.S. and Canada,” Veliu told reporters.

He said the group had forged passports for those traveling and had helped them reach their destinations by traveling via other European countries, or through the Dominican Republic or other countries in South America.

Veliu said Albanian police had worked with U.S. colleagues and European agencies as well as with Interpol and EUROPOL.

In a drive to convince the European Union to agree to start accession negotiations this June, Albania has stepped up its fight against crime and has lately seized 613 kilos of cocaine and busted a large cannabis smuggling group.

Former CIA director to US President: You will take your rightful place as disgraced demagogue in dustbin of history

AP Photo/ Jae C. Hong

Lawmakers and former federal officials weighed in Saturday on the firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe late Friday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who served under former President Barack Obama, tweeted “this is dangerous” when referring to McCabe’s ouster.

“Analyze McCabe firing on two levels: the substance and the timing. We don’t know enough about the substance yet. The timing appears cruel and a cave [capitulation] that compromised DOJ [Department of Justice] independence, to please an increasingly erratic President who should’ve played no role here,” Holder said on Twitter Saturday.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who also served under Obama and has been a frequent critic of the Trump administration, aimed his Twitter remarks directly at President Donald Trump: “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history,” he said. “America will triumph over you.”

A former FBI agent who worked closely with McCabe before his own retirement two years ago, Frank Montoya Jr., told Business Insider: “This is a political assassination on a good man and public servant. It is also a savage broadside on the institution he served.”

Montoya also questioned the timing of McCabe’s firing.

“One does not get fired one day before one is eligible” for retirement, he said. “I’ve never heard of that happening before in 26 years of service.”

Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, however, issued a statement Saturday that said McCabe’s actions had “tarnished” the FBI’s reputation.

“I applaud Attorney General Jeff Sessions for taking action and firing former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe prior to his scheduled retirement,” said Goodlatte, head of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

Former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker, who retired in 2006, said in a commentary for Fox News that McCabe’s firing “was justified because the FBI has a [sic] zero tolerance for lying under oath.”

“In fact,” he said, “there are many examples of the rank and file in the FBI losing their jobs and retirement benefits for violating these high standards.”

Russians vote in presidential election across 11 time zones

Russians eligible to vote in the presidential elections have headed to cast their ballots, as polls first opened in the Far East regions of Kamchatka and Chukotka. Eight candidates are vying for the government’s top position.

The vote will last for a total of 22 hours, as Russians across all the country’s 11 time zones, spanning from Kamchatka and Chukotka in the East to the westernmost enclave of Kaliningrad, will be heading to polls on Sunday.

First polling stations welcomed early voters at 8:00 am local time [20:00 GMT] on Saturday in Kamchatka and Chukotka regions, followed by the island of Sakhalin an hour later.

In Moscow, the voting will start nine hours later, at 5:00 am GMT, and proceed until the polls close at 8:00 pm [17:00 GMT].

First results will be announced no sooner than 9:00 pm Moscow time [18:00 GMT], after the voting ends in Kaliningrad, which is an hour behind Moscow time. RT will bring special coverage of the elections starting at that time on Sunday.

Overall, 97,000 polling stations, 400 of them located abroad, are hosting the elections. Over 108 million citizens in Russia and nearly 2 million outside are eligible to take part in the vote.

Some 30,000 Russians have already cast an early ballot vote from abroad, Russia’s Electoral Commission said. It is expected that the majority of those who live in foreign countries or happened to be outside Russia on the day of the presidential ballot will be able to vote on Sunday.

This is not the case in Ukraine, as it has barred Russian citizens from voting in the Russian diplomatic missions on its territory for what Kiev claims are “illegal” elections in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, that reunited with Russia in wake of a popular referendum in March 2014.

Otherwise, Russians will have to pick one of the eight candidates on Sunday: Pavel Grudinin (Communist Party of the Russian Federation), Vladimir Putin (independent), Ksenia Sobchak (Civic Initiative), Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia), Sergey Baburin (All-People’s Union), Maxim Suraykin (Communists of Russia), Boris Titov (Party of Growth) and Grigory Yavlinsky (Yabloko).

The elections, preliminary results of which will be announced on Monday, will determine who will serve as Russia’s president for the next six years.

RT

Analysts: Rating agencies use double standards, unfairly keep US ratings high

Photo: financeswire.com

Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s, and Fitch Group are often accused of using double standards when assessing countries, companies and financial instruments. RT has talked to experts about this bias.

“It is absurd when Russia, a country with the fifth-largest reserves of physical gold, and with gold reserves of $450 billion, had a rating lower than the investment grade and close to the junk status of some Latin American countries with a much less reliable level of protection of the financial system,” analyst at TeleTrade Petr Pushkarev told RT.

Another example of unfair ratings is Brazil, according to Pushkarev. “The credit rating of such a huge and rich country like Brazil is BB-, according to two of the ‘big three’ – the same as back in 2001. The country has undergone a lot of development during this time, and the whole BRICS community has become much more united, stronger,” he said. Despite this, Brazil has the same rating as Bangladesh, the analyst notes.

Not all investors are following the advice of the ‘big three,’ and those who invested in the Russian or Brazilian economy have enjoyed the strengthening of the rouble and Brazilian real, said Pushkarev. However, hedge funds, pension funds and many investors are still looking at the ratings by the ‘big three’ when making investments, and developing countries are losing money.

Pushkarev said that when S&P was forced to downgrade America’s rating from AAA to AA+, “the indignation and pressure from the US government was so great that then, despite the growth of public debt and budget deficits, there were no new revisions of US ratings, and the other agencies didn’t downgrade the US.”

Vladimir Rozhankovsky, Global FX Investment analyst, said it is very difficult to prove that the ‘big three’ agencies are biased in their ratings. There have been many trials against these companies, but their bias hasn’t been proved yet.

“The agencies are using internal scoring models, which are their own methods and, for this reason, they are not obliged to disclose information about these,” the analyst told RT. Moreover, the agencies are claiming that if you don’t like their ratings, then don’t use them, he said.

Rozhankovsky said that poor assessment of synthetic collateralized debt obligations (SCDOs) led to the most large-scale global crisis since the Great Depression of 1929.

Despite the accusations of having triggered the crisis, S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch have done close to nothing to change their assessment criteria, he added.

RT

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