Contrary to Diana Johnstone’s recent assertion that the escalating crisis between the U.S. and Russia “all began…in Yalta in September 2013,” (Counterpunch, Dec. 9), we actually need to go back a bit further to the May 2012 Bilderberg meeting in Chantilly, Virginia.
For fear of being called “conspiracy theorists,” most journalists avoid mentioning Bilderberg – the annual conclave where wealthy power-brokers gather to discuss and attempt to orchestrate unfolding world events. But if journalism is the so-called “first draft of history,” then leaving Bilderberg out of the narrative distorts any attempt at contemporary understanding of an ongoing crisis such as this one between Russia and the West.
Daniel Estulin, the foremost (non-member) expert on Bilderberg, reported in June 2012 that the “top headache” for the Bilderberg participants at that May 2012 meeting was Russian President Vladimir Putin because of his “opposition to war in Syria and Iran,” his “belligerence with respect to U.S. bases encircling Russia,” his “insistence on maintaining state sovereignty intact,” and his plans for another natural gas pipeline to Europe (South Stream) that “could turn into a major victory for Russia” at the expense of competing plans (the Nabucco pipeline) backed by Bilderberg members. 
Some 30 per cent of Western Europe’s natural gas has been coming from Russia, with most of it provided by a pipeline network centred in Ukraine.
Estulin noted a Bilderberg “campaign to delegitimize Putin,” financed by “some very angry and powerful Anglo-American elites.” Present at that 2012 conclave were top executives from Royal Dutch Shell (CEO Peter Voser and Chair Jorma Ollila) and BP (CEO Robert Dudley).  Also present was then-Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, now U.S. Secretary of State.
Given the seven Canadian participants in that May 2012 Bilderberg meeting, including the then Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, I have argued elsewhere that the Bilderberg conclave likely gave tacit approval to TransCanada Corporation’s Energy East pipeline.  That pipeline – hatched as an alternative to Keystone XL which has been blocked by the U.S. – is intended to take tar sands crude to Atlantic tidewater for export, including to Europe.
I recently discovered that John Kerry’s federal financial disclosure records in January 2013 revealed investments in two Calgary-based tar sands producers: Suncor and Cenovus Energy.  Both companies are backing the Energy East pipeline as an export alternative to Keystone XL. So apparently, tar sands shareholder John Kerry was involved in the Bilderberg discussions about demonizing Putin on behalf of Western oil interests.
The EU, worried about meting long-term fuel needs, is now vacillating about enforcing its Fuel Quality Directive (FQD), which would restrict imports of heavy crude such as tar sands oil. Canada’s business press recently reported: “All this uncertainty for both Europe and Russia augurs well for Canada” because it “may well prompt EU politicians to finally endorse imports of Canada oil.”  With no official parliamentary debate, PM Harper sent Canadian troops to Ukraine-related NATO exercises in May 2014, and he has been a shrill opponent to Putin on the world stage.
Interestingly, Daniel Estulin further reported that at the May 2012 Bilderberg meeting, “…one European Bilderberger openly admitted [that] ‘Putin is by far the most formidable opponent in the world stage to our plans.’ What makes [the] Bilderberg position that much more difficult is Putin’s moral position in ‘protecting and promoting its [Russia’s] national interest’.”
In other words, Putin had done nothing wrong, and the Bilderberg participants knew it. But he is in the way of “our plans,” whatever those may be.