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Un empresari # rus va donar a #USCongress un missatge que es va resultar difícil d’empassar

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The Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, also known as "Putin's Chef", for having catering contracts with the Kremlin, has written an open letter to the US congressmen and senators who are to consider two resolutions personally against him. This is an unusual step, on the part of a figure who does not normally participate in public policy. What message is the Kremlin trying to convey and why it is important – asks Louis Auge?

Les acusacions contra Prigozhin

On June 11, a resolution (H.Res.996) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives calling for new sanctions against Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman with connections to the Kremlin. On June, 16th Senator Republican Marco Rubio together with his fellow democrat Chris Coons introduced to the Senate a similar resolution (S.Res.624). The document says that "Yevgeniy Prigozhin is a Russian national who has maintained close personal ties with President Vladimir Putin since the early 2000s" and he "is the patron and funder of the Wagner Group, also known as the Private Military Company (PMC) Wagner, a Russian mercenary organization staffed by current and former military and intelligence officers, and the Internet Research Agency (IRA), an organization engaged in online influence operations.

A Prigozhina se l’ha acusat de participar en operacions a Ucraïna, Àfrica i Pròxim Orient i d’interferir en les eleccions americanes ”.

El document enviat al Senat, a més de demanar sancions més dures i enumerar les regions on Prigozhin actua contra els interessos dels Estats Units, demana una estratègia especial per contrarestar la seva activitat:

"The President, in addition to maintaining sanctions on Yevgeniy Prigozhin, his affiliated entities, and the Wagner Group, should work with Congress to develop and execute a strategy drawing on the multiple instruments of United States national power... ...to counter the malignant influence and activities of Prigozhin, the entities affiliated to him, and the Wagner Group, should work with Congress to develop and execute a strategy drawing on the multiple instruments of United States national power...”

El grup Wagner i altres presumptes entitats relacionades amb l’empresari rus són temes freqüents d’actualitat mundial. Yevgeny Prigozhin és sospitós d'ajudar el general rebel libi Khalifa Haftar. El 16 de juny, la cap del departament de relacions públiques de l'AFRICOM Nicole Kirschmann va declarar que 2,000 mercenaris del Grup Wagner operaven a Líbia. (https://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/us-africa-command-2000-russian-wagner-mercenaries-fighting-haftar-libya).

At the same time, Mr. Prigozhin according to the Times newspaper, is trying to bring to power in Libya Haftar's rival Saif Gaddafi, son of the deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/russia-grooms-gaddafis-son-to-rule-in-libya-fbq27krsx ). Tanmateix, als Estats Units, Prigozhin i els seus trolls de l’IRA estan sotmesos a l’elaboració electoral del 2016 i fins i tot fomenten les tensions racials a la societat nord-americana.

Missatge dels russos

On 22 June, an "Open Letter to the US Congress", signed by Prigozhin himself, was published on the Internet. The Russian is trying to rhetorically refute the charges against him. What targets did a person close to Vladimir Putin choose to criticize the United States?

First, he is criticizing the very foundations of American statehood. "The basis of the American nation is that in the 17th century the first settlers came to North America, destroyed the native inhabitants and created their own state," notes Prigozhin.

Secondly, he emphasizes that the U.S. itself in its foreign policy does not pay attention to the interests of other countries: "Presently the national interests of the United States are based on destroying all dissent and spreading its influence around the world. America annihilates everything that does not meet the national interests of the United States. In total, the United States launched 41 wars in which millions of people were killed. It includes the unceremonious and unjustifiable use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The key national interest of the United States is the destruction of foreign cultures and the enslavement of other peoples".

Third, he notes that the U.S. itself interferes in the affairs of other countries and has the largest army in the world, much of which is located outside the U.S.: "In order to destroy the national values of other countries, including their customs and culture, the United States regularly interferes in political processes and elections around the world, shamelessly opening the doors of embassies and presidential offices, creating lawlessness and rewriting laws for themselves to push their interests," - Prigozhin writes.

"U.S. military presence overseas is many times larger than foreign military missions from any other country in the world and numbers about 300,000 people", the Russian businessman claims.

Finalment, segons ell, no cal dividir en absolut la població dels Estats Units. Ja està fragmentat.

"Despite the fact that the United States is the richest country in the world, the colored population or the majority of Americans live no better than the common residents of the Russian hinterland," says Putin's Chief.

Punts febles

Yevgeniy Prigozhin assenyala les debilitats de la societat moderna nord-americana i l'estat nord-americà. De fet, la diferència d’ingressos entre els blancs i negres nord-americans és impactant. Altres països estan cada vegada més descontents amb les accions unilaterals dels Estats Units. A Iraq, els militars nord-americans ja han sol·licitat que marxin. Els Estats Units sota l’administració de Trump a la Casa Blanca s’han disputat amb els seus aliats a Europa i Àsia, negant-se a perseguir un multilateralisme en política.

However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The U.S. foreign policy is based on the principle of American exclusivity, where the U.S. can do anything, conduct operations anywhere in the world, without the permission of the UN, based only on domestic counter-terrorism legislation. Drone strikes in the Middle East and Africa have become the Americans' favorite weapon since the time of Barack Obama.

El racisme estructural continua essent una característica integral de la societat nord-americana, ja siguin demòcrates o republicans al poder. El moviment Black Lives Matter va sorgir després de Ferguson el 2014, quan els Estats Units eren governats per un president negre, però no hi ha cap signe que la vida de les persones negres hagi esdevingut realment més important per a la policia.

Commenting on Prigozhin's statements, it is easy to move aside, and that is what American politicians mostly do. Hence the statements that the Russians were “fomented racial tensions” (https://bylinetimes.com/2020/06/11/how-the-kremlin-tries-to-play-us-protests/) o que els russos d’alguna manera van ajudar a elegir Trump.

In fact, if they are trying to do that, they are using the already existing problems in the United States. It is not the Russians' fault that now even in wealthy Minneapolis the median black family income was $36,000 – only just more than half the $83,000 a typical white family in the city.

It's the same in foreign policy. Russians, Chinese, Iranians and others benefit from the failures of the United States. If the U.S. and European NATO countries had not overthrown Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, opening up the prospect of a civil war, Libya would not have had any Wagner mercenaries - there would simply be no job for them.

Amb prou feines és possible trucar a Yevgeniy Prigozhin amic dels EUA. Ell i d’altres com ell estan contents de fer servir les crítiques als Estats Units per minar la posició dels nord-americans en la competència de grans potències. Tanmateix, aquestes persones fan un servei inestimable als propis americans. Igual que els partits d’oposició en societats democràtiques en la seva crítica als partits governants, els opositors dels Estats Units en la seva crítica a les posicions nord-americanes dins del país i a l’escenari mundial ajuden a descobrir els punts vulnerables del sistema estatal americà.

The United States will either draw conclusions from this criticism and begin to change, or demonstrate rigidity, linking internal and external misunderstandings with the intrigue of its enemies in the best traditions of totalitarian powers. The latter strategy still prevails in the U.S., where Trump supporters attribute racial protests exclusively to the plans of George Soros, and Democrats are described as China's puppets. Democrats respond to them by constantly linking Trump to Russia. However, all this only adds points to the US critics such as Prigozhin.

Crim

Drets de les víctimes: el comissari Reynders llança una nova plataforma i presenta el primer coordinador de la Comissió Europea per als drets de les víctimes

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At a high-level videoconference on 22 September, co-hosted with the German Presidency, Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders inaugurated the new Victims' Rights Platform – an important deliverable following the adoption of the first EU Strategy on Victims' Rights a principis d'aquest any.

The new platform, which will meet annually and on an Ad-hoc basis when necessary, will serve as an important forum for discussions on victims' rights with all relevant actors. These include the European Network on Victims' Rights, the EU Network of national contact points for compensation, the EU Counter–Terrorism Coordinator, Eurojust, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and civil society.

In addition to these organizations, who will also participate this afternoon, the event will gather EU ministers of justice and members of the European Parliament. At the conference, Commissioner Reynders will also introduce the Commission's newly appointed Coordinator for Victims' Rights Katarzyna Janicka-Pawlowska.

Ahead of the event, Commissioner Reynders said: “Today is an important moment in our work to protect victims' rights in the European Union. With a new EU-wide Victims' Rights Platform and a new Coordinator for Victims' Rights, we are showing clear commitment to carry this work on, and only a few months after the Commission presented the first EU strategy in this area. I welcome the support of the German Presidency as well as our stakeholders, and I look forward to our cooperation going forward. On 24 June 2020, the Commission adopted the first ever EU Strategy on Victims' Rights. The primary goal is to ensure that all victims of crime can rely on their rights no matter where in the European Union and no matter in what circumstances the crime happened."

More information on the strategy is available aquí.

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coronavirus

La Comissió celebra la finalització del sistema de garantia de l'instrument SURE de 100 milions d'euros

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The Commission welcomes the activation of the SURE instrument, which will provide up to €100 billion in financial support to help protect jobs and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This follows the finalization of national approval procedures and signatures by all Member States to provide for the guarantee agreements with the Commission worth a total of €25bn.

The voluntary commitment of guarantees is an important expression of solidarity in the face of an unprecedented crisis. These guarantees are necessary to expand the volume of loans that can be provided to Member States while safeguarding the Union's prime credit rating and strong position on international capital markets.

The Commission has already presented proposals to the Council for decisions to grant financial support of €87.3bn to 16 member states under the SURE instrument. Once the Council adopts these proposals, the financial support will be provided in the form of loans granted on favourable terms from the EU to member states. These loans will assist member states in addressing sudden increases in public expenditure to preserve employment in the context of the pandemic crisis.

Specifically, they will help member states to cover the costs directly related to the financing of national short-time work schemes, and other similar measures they have put in place as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, in particular for the self-employed. As an ancillary, SURE could also finance some health-related measures, in particular at the work place, used to ensure a safe return to normal economic activity.

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Brexit

Alemanya diu a la Gran Bretanya que "aturi els jocs", sense temps per a l'acord

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Germany’s Europe Minister Michael Roth (A la foto) urged Britain on Tuesday (22 September) to drop plans for a bill that would break the country’s obligations to the European Union under its withdrawal treaty as time was running out to clinch an EU-Britain trade deal, escriu Jan Strupczewski.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels that is to prepare a summit of EU leaders later this week, Roth said he was “extremely worried” by London’s plans to pass an internal market bill that would break international law.

“Please, dear friends in London, stop the games, time is running out, what we really need is a fair basis for further negotiations and we are ready for that,” Roth said. The bill is expected to pass through the lower chamber of parliament next week and has thrown talks on a trade agreement between Britain and the EU into chaos as it undermines Britain’s willingness to honour international deals.

“The so-called internal market bill extremely worries us because it violates the guiding principles of the withdrawal agreement. And that is totally unacceptable for us,” Roth said.

He said the EU was “really, really disappointed” about the results of the trade negotiations, which have become stuck on the issue of EU fishermen’s access to British waters, fair competition between EU and British companies and a mechanism to resolve disputes in the future. Roth said EU ministers on Tuesday would state their strong support for the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and his team and re-affirm a strong commitment to a fair trade deal based on trust and confidence.

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