Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan: Emerging Alliance

Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan: Emerging Alliance

ALEX GORKA | 08.11.2017 | WORLD

Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan: Emerging Alliance

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Iran was covered as the top story worldwide. On November 1, the president was in Tehran to attend the tripartite summit of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan. The event was held against the background of additional sanctions imposed against Russia and Iran on October 31 by the US Treasury Department. It’s only natural for the nations under sanctions to get closer to each other. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Vladimir Putin that Tehran and Moscow must step up cooperation to isolate the United States and help stabilize the Middle East.

At the end of the summit, the presidents of Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan signed the Tehran Declaration. The leaders announced joint plans to expand collaboration in the oil and gas sector as well as on electricity exchange plans and the formation of a single market. It is planned to use national currencies in trade transactions instead of US dollar.

The plans include the participation of Russian investors and private sectors in joining Iran’s infrastructural projects, including industry and energy, and rail networks. Russia holds the largest amount of natural gas reserves in the world. Iran holds the world’s second biggest natural gas reserves. Together the two nations account for around 50% of world reserves of hydrocarbons. By joining together they can significantly influence the world markets.

The Tehran Declaration declares the intent to develop three-way cooperation, including the long-awaited International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200km road, rail, and sea route to connect the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea via Iran, and is then to be connected to North Europe via Russia. The project includes ten other countries, connecting Azerbaijan and Armenia in the Caucasus, then moving north and west to Turkey, Belarus, Syria, and Bulgaria, to Oman in the Middle East, as well as north and east to reach Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

Iran also plans to build a railroad to the Mediterranean Sea through Iraq and Syria. Russia could take part in the implementation of the project.

A temporary agreement on establishing a free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Iran is expected to be signed till the end of the year. A draft agreement between Iran and EEU was signed in Yerevan, Armenia, on July 5 after more than a year of negotiations for levying preferential export tariffs on 350 Iranian industrial products in return for 180 commodities from EEU. The negotiations on a free trade deal with the Eurasian Economic Union make it clear that other nations will not follow the US if it backs out of the nuclear accord with Iran. With global economic interest in Iran, and international commitment to the deal, Tehran looks set to continue its reintegration into the global economy.

Iran has joined Russia in taking control of the Syrian peace process, becoming a party to the Astana peace process. Russian arms supplies, including an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system delivered last year, help Tehran maintain the capability to defend itself, especially in view of potential US intervention.

Azerbaijan is a very important regional actor – a secular state obstructing the spread of religious extremism.

Baku would gain a lot by joining a free trade zone between the EEU and Tehran. The logic and the economic benefits of a free trade area are obvious. It would bring together highly compatible economies and consolidate economic and trade links in Central Asia and in southern Eurasia. It would also allow Azerbaijan to resume trade links with Armenia, a member of the EEU, facilitating a settlement of the currently frozen Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Moscow-Tehran-Baku format could be much more efficient than the OSCE in finding a peaceful solution to the problem.

The construction of a railroad from Iran to Russia through Azerbaijan was an issue on the agenda. Azerbaijan is ready to allocate 500 million euros to modernize its section of the railway corridor.

President Putin said Russia is ready to deliver gas to the northern part of Iran via Azerbaijan. According to him, Moscow and Baku should not compete when it comes to energy projects. This is a matter of special importance for Baku in view of obstructions created on the way of transporting Azeri gas to Europe. This summer, a group of influential NGOs, including Greenpeace, Bankwatch Network, Friends of the Earth Europe и Climate Action Network Europe, called on the European Commission to withdraw support for the 878-kilometer-long Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) stretching from Azerbaijan. The pretext used is possible damage to climate and increasing energy dependence on oppressive political regimes (meaning Azerbaijan).

Azerbaijan has good reasons to doubt the West’s reliability as an ally. Baku is routinely criticized in the West for being a “dictatorship”. Western NGOs in Azerbaijan have often openly backed anti-government opposition leaders in ways that must make Azerbaijan’s government wonder whether it is a target for a West-backed color revolution.

The burgeoning cooperation between the three powers is just one if the trends shaping the regional landscape. There is also an emerging alliance to involve Turkey-Iran-Qatar – all of them closely cooperating with Moscow.

The process of rapprochement between Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan will continue. The next trilateral meeting will be held in Moscow in 2018. If the plans agreed at the Tehran summit will go through, the landscape of the Middle East and South Asia will change with many countries of the regions united by economic interests. The influence of the United States will greatly diminish. China’s One Belt One Road initiative and the Russia-Azerbaijan-Iran energy bridge will create the conditions for a multipolar world.

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China, Azerbaijan, Serbia, India, Kazakhstan to help Russia bring aid to Aleppo

Several nations to join Russian aid operation in Aleppo 

ALEPPO, SYRIA (11:30 A.M.) – A coalition of countries have agreed to help deliver humanitarian aid to the beleaguered civilians of Aleppo, Interfax News Agency reported on Tuesday morning.

“China, Azerbaijan, Serbia, India, Kazakhstan intend to join Russia’s humanitarian operation in Aleppo,” the Russian-based news agency stated.

Armenia and China have already sent humanitarian aid to Aleppo; however, they are reportedly expanding their participation with their Russian allies in Syria.

War has taken a toll on this historical Syrian city, as Aleppo’s current population has dwindled to 1.5 million inhabitants, with at least 1.35 million people still living in the government-held neighborhoods.

Kazakhstan SITREP June 20, 2016 by Scott Humor

June 20, 2016

Kazakhstan SITREP June 20, 2016 by Scott Humor

Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev and Putin say “we” at SPIEF 2016

On June 16-18 the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum took place in the Northern capital of Russia St. Petersburg

Om June 17, 2016 President Putin met with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. The presidents’ conversation took place at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum before the plenary session, in which they will take part.

On Friday Russian President Vladimir Putin, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed a plenary session during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

 

 

The session was focused on the theme, “Capitalizing on the New Global Economic Reality,” and Nazarbayev called on the EU to cooperate with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which is currently comprised of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

“Disintegration and economic isolation don’t solve any of the internal problems, that’s just self-delusion,” Nazarbaev said.

“The EEU wants to see an effective, stable European Union, with which it wants to closely cooperate. In exactly the same way cooperation with our union is beneficial for Europe.”

“We propose the creation of a large Eurasian partnership with the participation of the EEU and also countries with which we have already developed close relations: China, India, Pakistan, Iran, and of course our partners in the Commonwealth of Independent States as well as other interested countries and unions,” Putin said.

 

Does it look like the president of Russia Putin and president of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev host a Russian economic forum together?  

So, what is behind Nazarbayev and Putin addressing as “we” guests of the Russian biggest economic forum?

Valery Pyakin, a political analyst with the Concept Technologies Foundation think tank, explains the situation in no uncertain terms.

 

 

“At first we had an agreement [between Russia and Kazakhstan] about the common economic zone. After that, Kazakhstan was hit with a Maidan style riots that were instantly diffused in a harsh manner by the government. Western Media didn’t know what to say about this upheaval. To support the upheaval, or to support the government? What to do?

Immediately after those mass riots, Medvedev has met with Nazarbayev, where Nazarbayev stated his dedication to the course of creating a common economic zone and a custom union, all the questions of integration. In other words, recreation of the Soviet Union (or Russian Empire, if you wish) with the new economic and political base. Of course, this move is absolutely rejected by the world deep government and by the US. Nevertheless, Nazarbayev stated that he supports and will continue to work towards this goal.

After that, the Western media, NGOs and politicians all at once came out with the scathing statements about the violation of “human rights” in Kazakhstan. However, all these talks about “human rights” completely stopped, after China and Japan have reached an agreement that both countries will not use dollar for their economic transactions.

In other words, China and Japan demonstrated that they understand this process [between Russia and Kazakhstan] and that they know what impact it will have on the international process. They have showed that they don’t want to be left out of these processes, they don’t want to be just observers in all these. They want to secure their sovereign interests. They want to stay alive.

[On May 23rd, China reconfirmed its support for reunification of Russia and Kazakhstan, or “Russia’s integrational initiatives” ]

In response to this, the West made the situation around Iran sharply worse. Iran is the main source of oil for China.  China and Japan have received an ultimatum to make them join the Western assault on Iran. China told to the West to go to hell. Japan in a very diplomatic form said that Japan is not going to stop using Iranian oil. They were joined by the South Korea. These countries showed to the US and the EU to stop blackmailing them and to stop interfere with Russia’s affairs. They told the West to get its foot off their throats, because if they don’t use Iran’s oil, they will use Russian oil.

For the US it’s becoming very expensive to continue its meddling in the integration processes between Russia and its southern historical part Kazakhstan. If the US won’t success in breaking down the national elites of China and Japan, as they successfully done with Europe, it will have to urgently diffuse this process. The US is already spreading too thin. They won’t be able to conduct further attacks.  Note how more and more countries are simply telling to the US to take a hike with their “peacemaking.” The US is collapsing.  They can only deal with one target at a time. If they get tied up with Syria, they will get Iran. If they get tied up with Iran, they will get Syria. Each one of these countries has relationship with  countries around them. Imagine that any question concerning Iran immediately touches interests of China and Japan.

That’s why the situation for the US and the Globalists is very, very difficult. They got themselves into a situation described in Russian fairy-tale.

“Guys, I’ve caught a bear.

Bring it here.

It wouldn’t go.

Why don’t you come back here, then?

I can’t. The bear holds me and wouldn’t let me go.”

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