Archive for the ‘Russia and Uranium’ category

Turkey’s Nuclear Ambitions

November 6, 2017

Turkey’s Nuclear Ambitions, Gatestone Institute, Debalina Ghoshal, November 6, 2017

(Wouldn’t it be easier to buy nukes and missiles from North Korea? — DM)

Russia’s ROSATOM already has nuclear cooperation deals with Iran, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, among others. Turkey is just the latest to benefit — possibly along with Iran and North Korea, both of which have been openly threatening to destroy America — from Moscow’s play for power in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

The West would also do well not to feel secure in the knowledge that Turkey is a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Nuclear reactors in the hands of a repressive Islamist authoritarian such as Erdogan could be turned into weapons factories with little effort.

Turkey’s announcement over the summer that it had signed a deal with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) — of Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One stardom — to begin building three nuclear power plants in the near future is cause for concern. The $20 billion deal, which has been in the works since 2010, involves the construction in Mersin of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant — Turkey’s first-ever such plant — will be operational in 2023.

ROSATOM already has nuclear cooperation deals with Iran, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, among others. Turkey is just the latest to benefit — possibly along with Iran and North Korea, both of which have been openly threatening to destroy America — from Moscow’s play for power in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. It is also a source of desperately-needed revenue for Russia, hurt by sanctions imposed on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (then Prime Minister) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 18, 2012. Their meeting focused on nuclear cooperation, among other things. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

Like Iran, Turkey claims that its budding nuclear program is for civilian purposes only. Ankara’s interest in nuclear energy dates back to the 1960s, when it conducted a study on the feasibility of building a 300-400 megawatt nuclear power plant, three decades before the rise of President (formerly Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP party.

Although it is true is that Ankara is currently incapable of meeting the country’s electricity demands, and relies heavily on imported natural gas even to manage that, it would be wishful thinking to assume this is Turkey’s only goal. Even though its state-controlled conventional power plants are dilapidated, since 2001, no public companies in Turkey have been allowed to invest in them.

Before international sanctions were imposed on Iran — prior to the 2015 neversigned Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — Tehran and Moscow were Turkey’s main suppliers of fossil fuels for the operation of the conventional plants. Ironically, it was the hindrance to commerce with Iran that led Turkey to consider nuclear energy a viable option to supplement the natural gas imports on which it relies heavily.

Russia is not the only country to strive to profit from Turkey’s nuclear energy ambitions. China, too, evidently wants a share. Last year, Beijing ratified the nuclear agreement it reached with Turkey in 2012. In 2015, China’s arch-rival, Japan, also signed a deal with Turkey: $20 billion for the construction of four nuclear power plants at Sinop, along the Black Sea.

In 2008, Turkey reached an “Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation” with the United States. Two years later, it signed a memorandum of understanding on nuclear cooperation with South Korea.

Let us not be lulled by Ankara’s touting of the need to accommodate what it claims is the “highest rate of growing energy demand among OECD countries over the last 15 years.” The West would also do well not to feel secure in the knowledge that Turkey is a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The ever-radicalizing Erdogan regime, which exploited the opportunity created by the failed coup in 2016 to imprison thousands of judges, journalists, academic, generals and anyone else suspected of being critical of the ruling party and its policies, has made no secret of its hegemonic ambitions in an already volatile and war-torn region. Nuclear reactors in the hands of a repressive Islamist authoritarian such as Erdogan could be turned into weapons factories with little effort. This potential for disaster must be taken into account and monitored.

Debalina Ghoshal, based in India, is an independent consultant specializing in nuclear and missile and missile defense related issues.

Who Is Putin’s Real Ally?

July 28, 2016

Who Is Putin’s Real Ally? PJ MediaRoger L Simon, July 27, 2016

put hill

There’s money in them thar reset buttons!

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Oh, the vapors, the vapors!  Donald Trump has done it again. He has a gone a bridge too far for the 150th time, but on this occasion taken us all the way across the Bering Straits to the very edge of the Gulag Archipelago. He has urged Vladimir Putin to reveal the contents of Hillary Clinton’s gazillion missing emails the FBI somehow couldn’t find.

Traitor!  Traitor!  yell the well-intentioned, like former SecDef Leon Panetta. This selfish yellow-haired plutocrat must be disqualified from the presidency!

Never mind that Putin would need no encouragement whatsoever from any outsider to hack the wide-open server of the former secretary of state, nor would the intelligence services of at least a dozen other first-world countries (they all do it—we were listening to Merkel’s cell phone ourselves, it will be recalled), not to mention the who-knows-how-many non-state actors and twelve-year-old high-tech whippersnappers with the skill to do this.

Never mind that Trump was undoubtedly far less interested in making friends with Putin than in calling attention to the obvious relationship between Hillary’s home-brew server and the similarly wide-open server of the DNC that Mrs. Clinton claimed to know nothing about. Her media lackeys on 60 Minutes made sure no one paid attention (hello, Scott Pelley!).

Meanwhile, discussion is curiously mute on a far more substantive alliance with Putin by, yes, the Clintons themselves that could actually change the balance of power in the world in a way far more dangerous than Trump mouthing off about Vladimir.  It probably already has.

But don’t believe me. I’m biased. Believe that center of the “great right-wing conspiracy,” The New York Times, which ran the article “Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal” on April 23, 2015.

The headline on the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when its precursor served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Wait a minute.  According to the sainted Times, one-fifth of U.S. uranium production now belongs to the Russians thanks to Ma and Pa Clinton?! If you wanted to talk treason, wouldn’t that be the textbook definition?  Do the folks at the Democratic National Convention know about this?

If I had to, I would guess at best three-to-five percent do and they’re certainly not telling the others. Neither are the media, so hell-bent are they on defeating Donald Trump.  I mean he’s uncouth and makes fun of people. That’s worse than a few measly atom bombs, isn’t it?…  Okay, perhaps more than a few…. Well, isn’t it?

Nasty business, huh? You could put it another way: There’s money in them thar reset buttons!

Yes, we live in an era of true evil when disinformation and distraction is king.

Nevertheless, some of the truth is out there. Two movies have opened and are doing quite well—Clinton Cash and Dinesh D’Souza’s Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party.  I have seen Dinesh’s movie and can recommend it.  I plan on seeing Clinton Cash soon.  See them both and try to bring your liberal and independent friends.  They’re the ones who should be there.  Just bring some ibuprofen for them.