June 11, 2015

Putin sends warship to stalk Harper

Brian LilleyArchive

As Prime Minister Stephen Harper took a tour of HMCS Fredericton, a Russian warship stalked the Canadian frigate, coming within seven nautical miles as they sailed in the Baltic Sea.

The Fredericton is taking part in naval exercises with 50 ships from 17 countries, mostly NATO members though Sweden and Finland have joined as well. Veteran war correspondent Matthew Fisher is following Harper on his European trip, which included a visit to Ukraine ahead of the G7. Fisher says the northern waters off the coast of Poland and the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are becoming contested.

The waters here became a potential flashpoint when Russia annexed Crimea and had proxies seize eastern Ukraine. Sweden and Finland, which are not part of NATO but joined the exercise, have also had problems recently with unidentified submarines in their coastal waters.

The skies above the Baltic have become more dangerous as well, as Russian warplanes test the mettle of Swedish, Finnish and NATO aircraft. On several occasions last year Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter jets had to scramble from a base in Lithuania to escort Kaliningrad-based Russian aircraft from NATO airspace.

Lithuania and Sweden have both claimed Russian interference in their attempts to lay an undersea power cable linking their two countries. The plan is to provide energy security for both countries, Lithuania is currently heavily reliant on Russian power.

Canada and other NATO allies have pledged to protect the Poland and the Baltic states, all NATO members, from Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made noises about needing to protect Russian ethnic speakers in places like Estonia just as he protected Russians in Crimea.

Prime Minister Harper has been one of the most outspoken leaders against Russian aggression towards its neighbours. Fisher said by sending his warship so close to Canada's ship, Putin gave Harper a gift

Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have got exactly what he wanted from his trip on HMCS Fredericton when two Russian warships tracked the Canadian frigate, approaching within seven nautical miles Wednesday in the Baltic Sea.

“It’s normal and expected for them to be operating in the Baltic Sea,” Cmdr. Jeff Murray, the Fredericton’s captain, emphasized.

But overflights earlier in the week by Russian fighter jets and patrol aircraft underlined the PM’s consistent message during his six-day trip to Europe: Russian President Vladimir Putin is a menace to peace in Europe and elsewhere.



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commented 2015-06-13 01:24:05 -0400
One of the delights of following comments on The Rebel sites is watching the socialist carp inevitably rising to the bait of “hard bread” which doesn’t suit their tastebuds… So it is with “Stu Gatzo”… Or, is that really a play on the Italian “stugots”? Anyway, it seems that there is a school of thought in socialist, and ex-NAZI ranks (!), that misinformation told hard and often enough will somehow prevail, and those, quote “dumbed down western citizens” will grow tired of defending reality. I am not from the Ukraine, but as a Canadian citizen, born in the Baltic States, I can tell your that “STU GATZO’s” spin on the Ukrainian situation is deliberate misinformation and his knock on NATO clearly indicates what his goal is… Anytime that “STU GATZO” wants to debate Eastern European politics I will be more than willing to take him on… What say “Tovarich”?
commented 2015-06-11 20:51:22 -0400
Should we put the Bankers’ enforcers (NATO) under the same scrutiny as Russia and China? After all, the USA spent $5B to overthrow the elected Ukraine government and install a fascist junta after Ukraine decided not to join the EU. It was the USA that stole the 30 tonnes of Ukraine gold and was being “held” by JP Morgan. It was the junta that shot down the airliner. It was the the Ukrainians who voted over 90% to return to Russia after Crimea was illegally given to Ukraine by Khrushchev in the 1960’s. It’s NATO arming the junta to take back the eastern Ukraine which separated because they want to become another Greece.
Knowing how dumbed down western citizens are they started the big lie that all the ills in Ukraine were caused by Russia. Based on the comments on this site it looks like their assessment of westerners is correct.
“You get the government you deserve”
commented 2015-06-11 15:59:25 -0400
Joan: I agree 110% that Vlad the Invader needs to be under a microscope, and will go even further to say that NATO needs to get in there and push this retrograde back across the Iron Curtain. Since Turkey’s apparently not using their troops to combat the ISIS threat, perhaps they’d be happier fighting non-Muslim rebel-provocateurs.
Rick: I was a sonarman and you are absolutely right. The Soviets thought it would help mask the sounds of the sub with the AGI’s noise…the trouble was, Soviet subs until the late 80’s were as quiet as a tin can full of marbles in a windstorm.
The point of my original comment is that Canadian media are taking a commonplace practice and making it as unusual as Stu Gatzo having a rational, critical thought. (See what I did there?)
commented 2015-06-11 15:37:16 -0400
Shadowing may well be common practice, I certainly can’t dispute that, however, I suspect PM Harper would experience some nervousness seeing two Russian warships just a few miles from his location. The same would be said of passengers on a luxury cruise if they were being “shadowed!” PM Harper , whether you like him or not, is the Leader of our country and should something happen to him, whether here or abroad, this country would be thrown into an international state of crisis. Pathetic wannabe Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulclair would soon find out what the price tag is for this country, the question is: would they hold the value of Canada as priceless; or would they sell out in a heartbeat to save their own puny ass? The handshakes and contract solidified before the ink dried, that’s what would happen!! Any Canadian who sits about blindly, with their head up their ass, thinking Canada is exempt from international tyranny is a fool.
commented 2015-06-11 14:59:03 -0400
7 miles is too far to spit. Enough said.
commented 2015-06-11 14:38:50 -0400
Oh my. Russian aggression in the Ukraine. Can anyone provide facts to support these claims? Harper can’t; US can’t; Ukraine can’t; international observers don’t see any. Must be that the uninformed are relying too much on the lamestreet media’s pushing the official narrative (propaganda) for truth instead of looking outside the country for it.
The latest from Swiss medics is that John Kerry (US Secretary of State) was shot in France during a meeting with ISIS, flown to a Swiss hospital for emergency treatment and is now in a Washington hospital in serious condition. Is this true?… I don’t know, not enough sources to confirm. Did the lamestreaat media report on this? NO. Did the lamestreet media report on the tens of thousands that protested the transatlantic treaty? No.
We must demand facts from our bumboy PM before he sends our children off to war. To do that we must question everything he says and stop being sheeple. We must stay informed and always be skeptical of politicians.
commented 2015-06-11 14:31:08 -0400
Darren. “Actually, the shadowing of each other’s navies is common practice.” Quite correct. And not just the navies. When I served on the Coast Guard Weatherships in the seventies, from time to time one of those Intelligence Ships you refer to, with the giant cone structure communications arrays would come within a few miles of us while on station in the North Pacific. Additionally, in calm seas, and good water clarity, sometimes one could just barely make out what looked like the outline of a submarine gliding under the ship. Whose? Best guess.
commented 2015-06-11 14:11:23 -0400
Darren, you are right about everyone watching everyone. But so is Harper right to keep a close eye on Putin’s aggressive posturing in light of his incursions into Ukraine and his skirting of NATO countries we are honour-bound to defend should he pull in Poland or Lithuania what he has pulled in Ukraine.
commented 2015-06-11 13:52:29 -0400
Actually, the shadowing of each other’s navies is common practice.
When I served, we, whether as a squadron, fleet, or joint ops, were always shadowed by at least 1 AGI (Soviet Intelligence gathering ship), possibly 1 or more ‘recognized’ navy vessel, and even overflown by the Soviet air force, including a MiG-29 and a Tu-95 Bear-D; all depending on the number of ships and countries involved in the op.
Although Canada didn’t/doesn’t have the resources to physically monitor other nation’s combatants, you can bet your last doughnut that NATO and other interested gov’ts – read: China – watches the watchers and in turn are watched.
commented 2015-06-11 12:57:18 -0400
Vlad . . . you mean Ole soon to be 70 Hillary’s friend, who got the “Reset” button a few years ago . . . seems to me the Reset took the Russians back to the 60s . . . .
commented 2015-06-11 12:53:03 -0400
The new Czar just wants to flex his muscles. This is the new Imperial Russia.
commented 2015-06-11 11:31:37 -0400
This is just Putin stroking his giant ego!
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