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Bulgaria sees 'no real benefit' in supporting Ukraine's NATO drive

Nikolay Milkov
© AFP / Bryan R. Smith
Bulgaria’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Nikolay Milkov addresses the 77th session of the UN General Assembly on September 24, 2022.
A joint statement issued by the leaders of several eastern and central European countries in support of Ukraine's NATO bid carries no actual weight and provides "no real benefit," Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Milkov said Wednesday. The remarks come as the country refused to join the pro-Ukraine declaration.

"We can support this declaration, from which nothing would follow, because it does not mean fast-track accession [to NATO membership for Ukraine] and, if we do not support it, nothing would happen either," Milkov said, as quoted by state-owned news agency BTA. "This is a political statement by a group of countries."

The remark echoed the stance of the country's President Rumen Radev, who explained his refusal to join the declaration by the drastic changes in the "security environment" that have occurred since the time when Ukraine first announced its aspirations to join the US-led bloc. He stressed that a "decision on Ukraine's accession to NATO should be made only after the development of clear parameters for the peaceful settlement of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine," which would last and be acceptable to both sides.

Burka

Iranian protests broaden as Raisi calls for national unity

hijab, headscarves, Iranian students, Iran, protests, Mahsa Amini

Iranian students remove their headscarves in support of protests over the death of Mahsa Amini.
Iranians have taken to the streets for a 17th consecutive day in anti-government protests triggered by the death in custody of a young woman as President Ebrahim Raisi appealed for unity.

Universities and high schools joined the protests on October 4, highlighting the broadening of demonstrations that have followed the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody for allegedly improperly wearing a hijab.

Videos posted on social media showed unrest in the cities of Tehran, Karaj, Shiraz, and Isfahan, with demonstrators shouting slogans such as "Death to the dictator."

During a session of parliament, Raisi acknowledged "weaknesses and shortcomings" in the country.

"Today the country's determination is aimed at cooperation to reduce people's problems," he told the session. "Unity and national integrity are necessities that render our enemy hopeless."

At the same time he echoed other officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in blaming the United States and Israel for inciting the unrest.

Comment: See also:


Wolf

Will French officials' turtlenecks save the country from crisis?

Emmanuel Macron
© Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP
French President Emmanuel Macron.
Has anyone else noticed the number of Western officials who have gone out of their way lately to model for - or lecture to - their constituents on how to not be a selfish, irresponsible jerk amid various crises that these same officials had a role in promoting or exacerbating?

Here in France, as Paris Fashion Week was in full-swing last week, top French officials were modeling the new Fall/Winter 2022 Virtue-Signaling Collection. Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire showed up indoors amid 20C weather in a turtleneck. "You will no longer see me wearing a tie, I'll wear a turtleneck instead," Le Maire said. "And I think that will be very good, it will allow us to save energy, to show proof of sobriety." If someone showed up at work in ski attire amid summertime weather claiming definitive proof of "sobriety" - energy-related or otherwise - it might be time for an intervention.

Not to be outdone, French President Emmanuel Macron subsequently donned a turtleneck for a public address. French Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne and Energy Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher also showed up at yet another indoor event wearing down jackets.

Western leaders seem more focused on coercing and cajoling their citizens into austerity than on fixing what they've broken. The latter would require courage - specifically, opting out of what Brussels' brand of self-harming "solidarity".

Russian Flag

International Boxing Association votes to overturn ban on boxers from Russia and Belarus

russia boxer
© Harry Murphy / Sportsfile via Getty Images
The International Boxing Association (IBA) has voted to overturn a ban imposed on boxers from Russia and Belarus, the organization has announced.

The IBA, which governs amateur boxing, joined numerous international sporting federations in imposing sanctions on sportspeople from both Russia and Belarus following the beginning of Russia's military operation Ukraine earlier this year.

However, the IBA stated on Wednesday that it has reversed the suspension, adding that it believed politics and sport should not be mixed.

It also stated that boxers from both countries will be fully entitled to compete under their own national flags and anthems.

Question

Is nationalism returning to Europe?

nationalism europe resurgence
The past few weeks have proven rather interesting for European geopolitics. This comes following the success of various Italian conservative politicians, the increased rhetoric surrounding Russia, and the outrage surrounding the supposed US involvement in the destruction of a Nord Stream pipeline (supposedly under Germany's control). Both are not isolated incidents, but rather play into the growing agitation among average Europeans who are beginning to see the fruit of globalism, neo-Marxism, and foreign interference, which, up until this point, had little impact on everyday life. Now with all of that changing, people across the continent are beginning to change the way that they think, vote, and live.

Anti-nationalism

Let me start by saying that the precursor to much of what is happening right now is the push towards globalism and away from national concerns. This has been happening in Europe for the better part of 30 years. During the initial decade (throughout the 1990s) globalism proved somewhat beneficial to the first world in an era of naive optimism. With the fall of the Soviet Union, no major threats were on the horizon, and with China growing as a manufacturing power there was ample benefit to being interconnected on a global scale. Since then, these ideas have indeed been proven naive at best, and wilfully destructive at worst. The past decade has proven that globalism fails on the economic front thanks to cultural differences, and fails on the societal front for the exact same reason. Now, looking forward, it appears as if Europe is on the verge of major change in the face of these same issues.

Bad Guys

Lockdowns have left more than a third of young people feeling their life is spiralling out of control, study finds

youth stressed mental health covid
© Tero Vesalainen/Alamy
More than a third of young people feel their life is spiralling out of control following the pandemic, according to findings released to the Guardian ahead of a nationwide campaign that highlights the impact of years of restrictions on the younger generation. Here's an excerpt from the newspaper's report - though it being the Guardian, it's always "Covid" or "the pandemic" that is to blame rather than lockdowns or restrictions.
The Prince's Trust Class of Covid research also found that more than 60% of 16-25-year-olds said they were scared about their generation's future, having lived through a pandemic only to face a cost-of-living crisis. One in three think their job prospects will never recover from the pandemic...

There is also evidence of widespread "retarded development" among young people as a result of missing developmental milestones during the pandemic, according to findings from the Savanta State of the Youth Nation report.

Comment: See also:


Propaganda

John Pilger: Silencing the lambs. How propaganda works

sheep
© MintPress News
In the 1970s, I met one of Hitler's leading propagandists, Leni Riefenstahl, whose epic films glorified the Nazis. We happened to be staying at the same lodge in Kenya, where she was on a photography assignment, having escaped the fate of other friends of the Fuhrer.

She told me that the 'patriotic messages' of her films were dependent not on 'orders from above' but on what she called the 'submissive void' of the German public.

Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? I asked. 'Yes, especially them,' she said.

Bad Guys

Explosion at Bulgarian firearms factory kills one, occurs same day President called for Ukraine's NATO admission to be postponed

bulgaria ammunition factory
© Arsenal website
A suspected accidental explosion at a factory in the town of Kazanlak owned by Bulgaria's leading manufacturer of firearms has left one person dead and several injured.
An explosion in the Arsenal firearms factory in the Bulgarian town of Kazanlak on Tuesday left one person dead and two missing, with another hospitalised in a critical condition, according to media reports.

Focus Radio reported that there are also workers buried in rubble at the building and efforts to rescue them are underway.

The local prosecution is investigating the case as an accident and has warned that there might be a second explosion.

According to Bulgarian National Radio, the blast was caused by technological disruptions related to violations of workplace safety protocols.

Comment: It's perhaps a coincidence that on the same day it was reported that Bulgaria's President said that Ukraine shouldn't be admitted into NATO until a peace deal with Russia has been agreed, and warned against NATO's further involvement the West's proxy war.

One is also reminded of the numerous other munition factory explosions that have occurred in recent years: See also:


Stock Up

Ports, mines, agriculture: What can new regions give Russia's economy?

novorossiya putin and friends
© Getty Images / Anadolu Agency / Contributor
The former Ukrainian territories have large industrial and agricultural potential.

On Monday, Russia's State Duma ratified the treaties on the accession of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR), as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, to the Russian Federation. The territories overwhelmingly voted to join the country in referendums in September.

Economists say the restoration of the conflict-ravaged territories will take huge investment, noting, however, that the returns may be even greater. RT looks at the economic cost as well as the benefits of integrating the territories into Russia.

Wall Street

Twitter to close Elon Musk purchase at $54.20 per share

elon musk twitter
Elon Musk has confirmed his plan to proceed with his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, and thus will avoid trial with the social media giant. A letter confirming Musk's plans to Twitter was released on Tuesday, which says that Musk "intend[s]s to proceed to closing the transaction contemplated by April 25, 2022."

"On behalf of ... the 'Musk Parties', we write to notify you that the Musk Parties intend to proceed to closing of the transaction contemplated by the April 25, 2022 Merger Agreement, on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth therein and pending receipt of the proceeds of the debt financing contemplated thereby, provided that the Delaware Chancery Court enter an immediate stay of the action, Twitter vs. Musk, et al. (C.A. No. 202-0613-KSJM) (the 'Action') and adjourn the trial and all other proceedings related thereto pending such closing or further order of the Court," the letter reads, according to Bloomberg.

Comment: It looks like the buyout is proceeding. But it remains to be seen whether an Elon Musk-owned Twitter will be any better than what we currently have.

See also: