Under Satan’s Banner

October 19, 2022

by Dragan Filipovic

In all history, there is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare

– Sun Tzu, ‘The Art of War’

Putin’s West is Satanic Speech

During the signing ceremony on the accession to the Russian Federation of the four new regions on September 30th president Vladimir Putin declared that a ‘revolutionary transformation of the world’ is underway and stated that there will be ‘no return to the old order’. As expected, his oration was largely ignored or distored by Western mainstream media:

“Our compatriots, our brothers and sisters in Ukraine who are part of our united people have seen with their own eyes what the ruling class of the so-called West have prepared for humanity as a whole. They have dropped their masks and shown what they are really made of.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the West decided that the world and all of us would permanently accede to its dictates. In 1991, the West thought that Russia would never rise after such shocks and would fall to pieces on its own. This had almost happened. We remember the horrible 1990s, hungry, cold and hopeless. But Russia remained standing, revived, grew stronger and occupied its rightful place in the world.”

Signing ceremony for the accession of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions at the Grand Kremlin Palace’s St George Hall

“Meanwhile, the West continued to look for another chance to strike a blow at us, to weaken and break up Russia… to set our peoples against each other and to condemn them to poverty and extinction. They cannot rest easy knowing that there is such a great country with this huge territory and its natural wealth, resources and people who cannot and will not do someone else’s bidding.

Western countries have been saying for centuries that they bring freedom and democracy to other nations. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of bringing democracy they suppressed and exploited, and instead of giving freedom they enslaved and oppressed. The unipolar world is inherently anti-democratic and unfree; it is false and hypocritical through and through.

Do we want to have in Russia, ‘Parent number one, parent number two and Parent number three’ instead of Mother and Father? Do we want our schools to impose on our children perversions that lead to degradation and extinction? Do we want to drum into their heads the idea that other genders exist besides Female and Male, and to offer them gender reassignment surgery? This is all unacceptable to us. We have a different future of our own.

Let me repeat that the dictatorship of the Western elites targets all societies, including the citizens of Western countries themselves. This is a challenge for us all. This complete renunciation of what it means to be human, the overthrow of faith and traditional values, and the suppression of freedom are coming to resemble the reverse of religion – pure Satanism. Exposing false messiahs, Jesus Christ preached in the Sermon on the Mount: “By their fruit ye shall know them.” These poisonous fruits are already obvious to people, and not only in our country but in all countries, including many people in the West itself.

The world has entered a period of a fundamental, revolutionary transformation. New centers of power are emerging. They represent the majority of the international community. They are ready not only to declare their interests but also to protect them. They see in multipolarity an opportunity to strengthen their sovereignty, which means gaining genuine freedom, historical prospects, and the right to their own independent, creative and distinctive forms of development, to a harmonious process.

There are many like-minded people in Europe and the United States, and we feel and see their support. An essentially emancipatory, anti-colonial movement against unipolar hegemony is taking shape in the most diverse countries and societies. Its power will only grow with time. It is this force that will determine our future geopolitical reality.“

“The destruction of the Western hegemony is irreversible,“ Putin concluded.

JFK’s Forgotten ‘Peace For All Time Speech’

President John F. Kennedy, under the influence of the Cuban Missile Crisis when the world was brought to the brink of annihilation, made an equally momentous speech at the American University on June 10, 1963:

“I have chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth is too rarely perceived – yet it is the most important topic on earth: world peace.

What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave.

I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children – not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women – not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.”

“I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age when great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.

Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need to use them is essential to keeping the peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles – which can only destroy and never create – is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace.

…wherever we are, we must all, in our daily lives, live up to the age-old faith that peace and freedom walk together. In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because the freedom is incomplete. It is the responsibility of the executive branch at all levels of government – local, State, and National – to provide and protect that freedom for all of our citizens by all means within their authority…

All this is not unrelated to world peace. ‘When a man’s ways please the Lord,’ the Scriptures tell us, ‘he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.’ And is not peace… basically a matter of human rights – the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation…?

The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough – more than enough – of war and hate and oppression. We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we labor on – not toward a strategy of annihilation but toward a strategy of peace.”

“Man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life.” – JFK in his 1961 Inaugural Address

Rise and Fall of a Hegemon

Kennedy’s speech was quickly relegated to the memory hole after his assassination only five months later with his successor Lyndon B. Johnson quickly ramping up the war in Vietnam, chosing to ignore painful French colonial lessons there a decade earlier as well as president Charles de Gaulle’s warning that “…you will sink step by step into a bottomless military and political quagmire”. LBJ forged full steam ahead, using a false flag attack in the Gulf of Tonkin in August 1964 to commit a half a million U.S. troops to the jungles of Indochina.

An alleged North Vietnamese attack on the USS Madoxx was used as an excuse to ramp up the Vietnam war which ended up costing 58,220 American and over two million Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian lives

Even though it was done under the banner of ‘defending democracy and freedom’, it nevertheless gave the lie to JFK’s assertion that the United States would never start a war.

Shock and Awe on full display in Baghdad, March 2003 at the start of the war to rid the world of Saddam’s non-existent WMD’s; when the kinetic phase of a war is completed it is replaced by an economic shock and awe, when the target country’s economy is plundered

Former Austrian foreign minister Karin Kneissl concurs with Putin’s portrayal of the West’s exploitative colonial mindset:

“The era of the ‘Seven Sisters,’ a cartel of oil companies that divided up the oil market, came to an end (in the 1970’s). However, for US policymakers – at least, psychologically – this era still persists. ‘It’s our oil,’ is an expression I often hear uttered in Washington. Those voices were particularly loud during the illegal US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq. To really understand the core of the conflict in Ukraine – where a proxy war rages – one must break down the confrontation thus: The US and its European allies, who represent and back the global financial sector, are essentially engaged in a battle against the world’s energy sector. “ Kneissl wrote for the The Cradle on October 13th.

Political Studies professor Radhika Desai lectures in the same vein:

“The conflict that the West calls Russia’s invasion of Ukraine… is not a conflict between Ukraine and Russia; it is a phase in the hybrid war that the West has been waging for decades against any country that chooses an economic path other than subordination to the United States. In its current phase, this war takes the form of a US-led NATO war over Ukraine. In this war, Ukraine is the terrain, and a pawn – one that can be sacrificed. This fact is hidden by wall-to-wall Western propaganda portraying Russian President Vladimir Putin as either mad or a devil hell-bent on recreating the Soviet Union. This pre-empts any questions about why Putin might be doing this, about the rationale for Russian actions.

The United States, having sought without success to dominate the world, wages this war to stall its historic decline, the loss of what remains of its power. This decline has accelerated in recent decades as neoliberalism turned its capitalist economic system unproductive, financialised, predatory, speculative, and ecologically destructive, massively diminishing Washington’s already dubious attractions to its allies around the world.“

With an annual budget approaching a trillion dollars, the U.S. military is far removed from its Hollywood image of a ‘mean, lean fighting machine‘, and has turned into a bloated dinosaur mired in monumental corruption. This was confirmed by no less an auhority than the former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who, on September 10, 2001, revealed that Pentagon auditors found that 25% of the military budget could not be accounted for, and that $2.3 trillion were missing.

The very next day, however, the war on waste was overtaken by the ‘war on terror’ and everything was forgiven and forgotten. Business continued as usual.

The current decrepit state of the U.S. military is aply reflected in its dismal recruitment figures, with the army announcing on October 1st that – despite offering sign-up bonuses of up to $50,000 – it had still managed to miss its enlistment target by 25%.

The most likely causes: one in three Americans are overweight or otherwise unfit, the Covid ‘vaccine’ mandates, and lastly, Pentagon’s advocacy of LGBTQ/transgender ideology which has become the centerpiece of Biden regime’s ‘numerous accomplishments’ but which a priori eliminates potential conservative and religious-minded candidates who usually form the backbone of the military.

After obligatory inoculations recruits must undergo doctrinal inculcation emphasizing ‘equity and minority rights’ prior to being unleashed to sow death and destruction in defense of human rights around the globe

The New Normal: ‘Drag Queens’ are now in charge of teaching biology to kids, including that 72 genders exist – according to polls, a third of Generation Z consider themselves ‘gender fluid’ – which is what Putin was referring to in his speech

Winner Takes All

Ukraine’s Blitzkrieg Means That Russia Cannot Win The War,” runs a typical headline used by the mainstream media as it downplays Russia’s strategic success and amplifies the tactical setbacks in order to make it look like the war is turning into a quagmire for Putin.

This is something which geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar takes issue with: “ … in only 7 months, Russia annexed 120,000 km2 – or 22% of Ukrainian territory – that produces nearly 90% of GDP and has over 5 million citizens. Along the way, the allied forces basically destroyed the Ukrainian army, which they continue to do 24/7; billions of dollars of NATO equipment; accelerated the demise of most Western economies; and evaporated the notion of American hegemony…”

The U.S. military has shown itself incapable of beating a ragtag Taliban force in Afghanistan and does not stand a chance against Russia, as the military expert Scott Ritter confirmed in 2017:

“NATO would be totally outmatched in a conventional war with Russia… Today, NATO and American anti-armor weapons continue to play catch up to new innovations being fielded by the Russians. The Americans like to quantify the Russian Army as being ‘near peer’ in terms of its capabilities; the fact of the matter is that it is the U.S. and NATO armored forces that are ‘near peer’ to their Russian counterparts, and there are many more Russian tanks in Europe today than there are NATO and American.”

Instead of Russia running out of missiles and ammunition as is often claimed, it is the U.S. and NATO which have emptied out their warehouses and run out of weapons, as reported by CNBC: “In the U.S. weapons industry, the normal production level for artillery rounds for the 155mm howitzer – a long-range heavy artillery weapon currently used on the battlefields of Ukraine – is about 30,000 rounds per year in peacetime. The Ukrainian soldiers… go through that amount in roughly two weeks.” Pentagon is now looking for U.S. companies to build more shells, while new HIMARS systems promised to Ukraine won’t arrive for years.

The painful truth for NATO is that the decades-long offshoring of manufacturing to low-wage countries has left it with insufficient industrial capacity required to wage a protracted war against a ‘near-peer’ adversary.

All this is ignored by the Western media which, through sensationalistic headlines like “In Washington, Putin’s Nuclear Threats Stir Growing Alarm” and “Putin Prepared to Use Nuclear Weapons”, is creating the illusion that Russia is losing badly and will resort to anything to turn things around.

Former CIA director and retired general David Petraeus was thus interviewed by ABC News on October 2nd and stated how Russia is “desperate after a string of setbacks” and then promised that if it used nuclear weapons, the US would destroy the Russian military in Ukraine and sink its naval fleet.

What Petraeus – better known for having lost both ‘surges’ in Iraq and Afghanistan – fails to mention is that the U.S. is the one nuclear superpower with a first strike policy which is defined as an “…attack on an enemy’s nuclear arsenal that effectively prevents retaliation against the attacker. A successful first strike would cripple enemy missiles that are ready to launch and prevent the opponent from readying others for a counterstrike by targeting the enemy’s nuclear stockpiles and launch facilities.”

Under this policy, “The U.S. president has the auhority, without consulting anyone, to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike – not merely in retaliation… Our warheads could be launched in defense of allies, after the onset of a conventional war involving our troops… or in response to a bellicose threat posed by a nuclear state.”

On the other hand, Russia’s Basic Principles doctrine does not allow for unprovoked use of nuclear weapons – tactical or strategic. In any case, Russia has absolutely no need to resort to tactical nukes as it possesses the most powerful conventional weapon in existence, nicknamed FOAB – Father of All Bombs – a thermobaric bomb with a blast yield of 44 tons TNT; more importantly, these weapons do not emit any radiation, as nuclear fallout would pose both an immediate and lingering threat to their troops as well as to local civilians – most of whom are expected to one day become loyal Russian citizens.

FOAB dropped from a Tu-160 bomber at the Opuk training range, Black Sea in 2016; this ordnance is designed to vaporize targets and collapse structures by igniting a fuel-air mixture in midair

Some 150 U.S. B61 nuclear bombs are located in six air bases throughout Europe

Artist Marina Abramovich and Jacob Rotschild posing in front of a painting titled ‘Satan Summoning His Legions’ by Thomas Lawrence at the Royal Academy of Arts; Lord Rotschild & Co. control most of the planet’s assets

High Noon for NATO, Midnight for Humanity?

100 Seconds to Midnight according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists who now warn that we have never been closer to a nuclear holocaust and find ourseleves at doom’s doorstep

NATO has on October 17th launched ‘Steadfast Noon’, its annual nuclear drills set to last until October 30th which is taking place 600 miles from the Russian border with “14 countries and air forces from across NATO to exercise nuclear deterrence capabilities involving dozens of aircraft, including fourth and fifth generation fighter jets as well as surveillance and tanker aircraft,” as per the NATO press release.

As luck would have it, ‘Steadfast Noon’ will likely coincide with Moscow’s own annual nuclear drills dubbed ‘Grom’, when Russia tests its nuclear-capable bombers, submarines and missiles.

This is a Do-or-Die moment for the western hegemon which is not willing – or rather, cannot – back down under any circumstances. Conscious of its inability to win a conventional war against Russia, it will resort to any measure in order to win, even if it means setting the world ablaze.

The U.S. has managed to convince itself that it can emerge victorious from a pre-emptive nuclear war, but cannot afford be seen as the aggressor in the eyes of the global community; a ‘False Flag’ event is therefore set to be staged in Ukraine using a low-yield device for which Russia would quickly be blamed, triggering an immediate NATO response. As inadvertently confirmed by Ukrainian president Zelensky while addressing the Australian Lowy Institute on October 6th, the scheme involves a ‘decapitation strike’ on Moscow against Putin and his Cabinet, after which the rest of the regime would collapse like a house of cards.

Assuredly, if this suicidal policy is ever applied outside a computer simulation, the world would have to concur with Mr. Putin’s assertion that the collective west is being run by satanists.

Sadly, that realization will have come too late to save humanity.

2017 Deagel.com forecast in which the U.S. is projected to lose two-thirds of its population by 2025; Deagel is a branch of the US military intelligence, preparing briefs for agencies such as the NSA, NATO, UN, and the World Bank. This forecast has been purged after the founder Edwin Deagel passed away in 2021

“There are decades where nothing happens; and then there are weeks where decades happen.”

– Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Vladimir Putin’s comments at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit

October 13, 2022

Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit

Vladimir Putin attended the 6th summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA). The meeting is taking place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

Following the summit, the participants adopted the Astana Statement on Transforming the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Statement by CICA Heads of State on Cooperation to Ensure ICT Security. The package of approved documents includes the CICA Action Plan to Implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, as well as the summit’s decisions in granting the status of a CICA member state to Kuwait, on CICA presidency issues in 2022–2024 and on holding regular meetings of the Council of Heads of State and Government and the Council of Ministers. The CICA Fund Regulations have also been approved.

* * *

Speech by the President of Russia at the 6th CICA summit

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President [of Kazakhstan] Kassym-Jomart Tokayev,

Colleagues,

Over the past 30 years, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia has been discussing vital aspects of strengthening security and stability in the vast Asian region.

Today we have met against the backdrop of serious changes in global politics and economy. The world is becoming truly multipolar, and Asia, where new centres of power are growing, is playing a major, if not the key role in this.

Asian countries are drivers of global economic growth. Integration associations, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Eurasian Economic Union, are working dynamically and effectively here.

Russia is actively contributing to these processes. We are committed to the development and prosperity of Asia, to creating an open trade and investment cooperation space and broadening and deepening cooperation ties in various economic sectors towards this end.

I would like to remind you that Russia was a founding country of the CICA Business Council, which has held many successful conferences and seminars on the entire range of economic issues over the past years.

We are working hard together with other Asian counties to create a system of equal and indivisible security based on the universally recognised principles of international law and the UN Charter.

Our Conference and other regional associations are dealing with many pressing issues, notably the increased volatility of global prices of energy, food, fertilisers, raw materials and other essential goods, which is affecting the quality of life in industrialised and developing countries. Moreover, this is creating a real threat of hunger and large-scale social upheavals, especially in the poorest countries.

For its part, Russia is doing its best to supply crucial products to the countries that need them. We call for lifting the artificial and illegal obstacles, which are hindering the revitalisation of the normal operation of global supply chains, in order to be able to address pressing tasks in the field of food security.

Like many of our Asian partners, we believe that it is necessary to start a revision of the operating principles of the global financial system, which for decades allowed the self-proclaimed “golden billion,” which has been using capital and technology flows to its sole advantage, to largely live at others’ expense.

As a priority measure, we believe it is necessary to more actively use national currencies in mutual settlements. These measures would definitely help strengthen the financial sovereignty of our states, develop domestic capital markets and deepen regional economic integration.

It is extremely important to take further action, in cooperation with other regional forums and organisations, to resolve any crises and conflicts occurring in Asia, strengthen cooperation between our states on countering terrorism, expose and neutralise extremist groups, block their financial sources, fight drug trafficking and prevent the propaganda of radical ideas.

Unfortunately, Afghanistan remains one of the biggest security challenges for our region, as my colleagues have already said today.

After more than 20 years of US and NATO military presence and their failing policy, that country turned out to be unable to independently deal with the terrorist threat, as indicated by the endless series of violent terrorist attacks, including the blast outside the Russian Embassy in Kabul on September 5.

To normalise the situation in Afghanistan, naturally, we have to work together to help it with economic recovery. But first of all, we strongly insist on compensating for the damage caused to the Afghan people during the years of occupation and unblocking the unlawfully frozen Afghan funds.

In the context of a settlement in Afghanistan, it would be helpful to use the resources of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and its regional anti-terrorist body.

We also invite all Asian countries to engage in closer cooperation with the International Counter-Terrorist Data Bank, established at Russia’s initiative.

I would like to point out that Russia and China have drafted a joint statement for this summit on cooperation in ICT security. We hope that the joint statement will be approved.

Finally, I would like to mention the importance of strengthening multilateral cooperation between the participating countries on social, cultural and humanitarian issues and in promoting the inter-civilisational dialogue and contacts between peoples.

In particular, volunteer movements are among those that require support. The acute stage of the Covid-19 pandemic that we have passed demonstrated the helpful role of volunteer and youth groups in supporting the population. Russia has accumulated extensive and useful experience in these matters and we are ready to share it with interested countries.

Overall, I would like to note with satisfaction that our joint work within this Conference on Mutual Interaction and Confidence Building is making progress. Russia will further develop multi-dimensional cooperation with all represented parties.

We support the initiatives of the Kazakh presidency.

Thank you.

Ukraine: Somewhere between Afghanization and Syrianization

Ukraine is finished as a nation – neither side will rest in this war. The only question is whether it will be an Afghan or Syrian style finale.

August 30 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Pepe Escobar

One year after the astounding US humiliation in Kabul – and on the verge of another serious comeuppance in Donbass – there is reason to believe Moscow is wary of Washington seeking vengeance: in the form of the ‘Afghanization’ of Ukraine.

With no end in sight to western weapons and finance flowing into Kiev, it must be recognized that the Ukrainian battle is likely to disintegrate into yet another endless war. Like the Afghan jihad in the 1980s which employed US-armed and funded guerrillas to drag Russia into its depths, Ukraine’s backers will employ those war-tested methods to run a protracted battle that can spill into bordering Russian lands.

Yet this US attempt at crypto-Afghanization will at best accelerate the completion of what Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu describes as the “tasks” of its Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine. For Moscow right now, that road leads all the way to Odessa.

It didn’t have to be this way. Until the recent assassination of Darya Dugina at Moscow’s gates, the battlefield in Ukraine was in fact under a ‘Syrianization’ process.

Like the foreign proxy war in Syria this past decade, frontlines around significant Ukrainian cities had roughly stabilized. Losing on the larger battlefields, Kiev had increasingly moved to employ terrorist tactics. Neither side could completely master the immense war theater at hand. So the Russian military opted to keep minimal forces in battle – contrary to the strategy it employed in 1980s Afghanistan.

Let’s remind ourselves of a few Syrian facts: Palmyra was liberated in March 2016, then lost and retaken in 2017. Aleppo was liberated only in December 2016. Deir Ezzor in September 2017. A slice of northern Hama in December and January 2018. The outskirts of Damascus in the Spring of 2018. Idlib – and significantly, over 25 percent of Syrian territory – are still not liberated. That tells a lot about rhythm in a war theater.

The Russian military never made a conscious decision to interrupt the multi-channel flow of western weapons to Kiev. Methodically destroying those weapons once they’re in Ukrainian territory – with plenty of success – is another matter. The same applies to smashing mercenary networks.

Moscow is well aware that any negotiation with those pulling the strings in Washington – and dictating all terms to puppets in Brussels and Kiev – is futile. The fight in Donbass and beyond is a do or die affair.

So the battle will go on, destroying what’s left of Ukraine, just as it destroyed much of Syria. The difference is that economically, much more than in Syria, what’s left of Ukraine will plunge into a black void. Only territory under Russian control will be rebuilt, and that includes, significantly, the bulk of Ukraine’s industrial infrastructure.

What’s left – rump Ukraine – has already been plundered anyway, as Monsanto, Cargill and Dupont have already bagged 17 million hectares of prime, fertile arable land – over half of what Ukraine still possesses. That translates de facto as BlackRock, Blackstone and Vanguard, top agro-business shareholders, owning whatever lands that really matter in non-sovereign Ukraine.

Going forward, by next year the Russians will be applying themselves to cutting off Kiev from NATO weapons supplies. As that unfolds, the Anglo-Americans will eventually move whatever puppet regime remains to Lviv. And Kiev terrorism – conducted by Bandera worshippers – will continue to be the new normal in the capital.

The Kazakh double game

By now it’s abundantly clear this is not a mere war of territorial conquest. It’s certainly part of a War of Economic Corridors – as the US spares no effort to sabotage and smash the multiple connectivity channels of Eurasia’s integration projects, be they Chinese-led (Belt and Road Initiative, BRI) or Russian-led (Eurasian Economic Union, EAEU).

Just like the proxy war in Syria remade large swathes of West Asia (witness, for instance, Erdogan about to meet Assad), the fight in Ukraine, in a microcosm, is a war for the reconfiguration of the current world order, where Europe is a mere self-inflicted victim in a minor subplot. The Big Picture is the emergence of multipolarity.

The proxy war in Syria lasted a decade, and it’s not over yet. The same may happen to the proxy war in Ukraine. As it stands, Russia has taken an area that is roughly equivalent to Hungary and Slovakia combined. That’s still far from “task” fulfillment – and it’s bound to go on until Russia has taken all the land right up to the Dnieper as well as Odessa, connecting it to the breakaway Republic of Transnistria.

It’s enlightening to see how important Eurasian actors are reacting to such geopolitical turbulence. And that brings us to the cases of Kazakhstan and Turkey.

The Telegram channel Rybar (with over 640k followers) and hacker group Beregini revealed in an investigation that Kazakhstan was selling weapons to Ukraine, which translates as de facto treason against their own Russian allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Consider too that Kazakhstan is also part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the EAEU, the two hubs of the Eurasian-led multipolar order.

As a consequence of the scandal, Kazakhstan was forced to officially announce the suspension of all weapons exports until the end of 2023.

It began with hackers unveiling how Technoexport – a Kazakh company – was selling armed personnel carriers, anti-tank systems and munitions to Kiev via Jordanian intermediaries, under the orders of the United Kingdom. The deal itself was supervised by the British military attaché in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh capital.

Nur-Sultan predictably tried to dismiss the allegations, arguing that Technoexport had not asked for export licenses. That was essentially false: the Rybar team discovered that Technoexport instead used Blue Water Supplies, a Jordanian firm, for those. And the story gets even juicier. All the contract documents ended up being found in the computers of Ukrainian intel.

Moreover, the hackers found out about another deal involving Kazspetsexport, via a Bulgarian buyer, for the sale of Kazakh Su-27s, airplane turbines and Mi-24 helicopters. These would have been delivered to the US, but their final destination was Ukraine.

The icing on this Central Asian cake is that Kazakhstan also sells significant amounts of Russian – not Kazakh – oil to Kiev.

So it seems that Nur-Sultan, perhaps unofficially, somehow contributes to the ‘Afghanization’ in the war in Ukraine. No diplomatic leaks confirm it, of course, but bets can be made Putin had a few things to say about that to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in their recent – cordial – meeting.

The Sultan’s balancing act

Turkey is a way more complex case. Ankara is not a member of the SCO, the CSTO or the EAEU. It is still hedging its bets, calculating on which terms it will join the high-speed rail of Eurasian integration. And yet, via several schemes, Ankara allows Moscow to evade the avalanche of western sanctions and embargoes.

Turkish businesses – literally all of them with close connections to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) – are making a killing, and relishing their new role as crossroads warehouse between Russia and the west. It’s an open boast in Istanbul that what Russia cannot buy from Germany or France they buy “from us.” And in fact several EU companies are in on it.

Ankara’s balancing act is as sweet as a good baklava. It gathers    economic support from a very important partner right in the middle of the endless, very serious Turkish economic debacle. They agree on nearly everything: Russian gas, S-400 missile systems, the building of the Russian nuclear power plant, tourism – Istanbul is crammed with Russians – Turkish fruits and vegetables.

Ankara-Moscow employ sound textbook geopolitics. They play it openly, in full transparence. That does not mean they are allies. It’s just pragmatic business between states. For instance, an economic response may alleviate a geopolitical problem, and vice-versa.

Obviously the collective west has completely forgotten how that normal state-to-state behavior works. It’s pathetic. Turkey gets “denounced” by the west as traitorous – as much as China.

Of course Erdogan also needs to play to the galleries, so every once in a while he says that Crimea should be retaken by Kiev. After all, his companies also do business with Ukraine – Bayraktar drones and otherwise.

And then there’s proselytizing: Crimea remains theoretically ripe for Turkish influence, where Ankara may exploit the notions of pan-Islamism and mostly pan-Turkism, capitalizing on the historical relations between the peninsula and the Ottoman Empire.

Is Moscow worried? Not really. As for those Bayraktar TB2s sold to Kiev, they will continue to be relentlessly reduced to ashes. Nothing personal. Just business.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

The Power Of The Pakistani People Will Defeat Their Unpopular Imported Government

Jul 27 2022

By Andrew Korybko

Source

The power of the people is unbeatable whenever the people are truly united behind a cause greater than themselves such as their country’s sovereignty and anything related to its existential defense. Pakistanis both present and past have suffered so much to preserve their hard-earned independence and won’t let it be stolen from them by elite echelons who betrayed the social contract between citizens and the state under the influence of a foreign party.

The imported government that was imposed on the global pivot state of Pakistan as a result of a US-orchestrated but domestically driven post-modern coup carried out through the superficially “democratic” means of “lawfare” has proven itself to be the most unpopular regime in that country’s history. Nowhere is this more evident than by the formerly ruling PTI’s landslide victory in the Punjab by-elections, yet instead of letting the constitutional process play out by peacefully ceding power to that party, PMLN and its allies made a desperate last-ditch attempt to stage a post-modern coup in Pakistan’s most populous region. This decisively failed after the Supreme Court ruled against the plotters and ordered that PTI ally Pervez Elahi be sworn in as its next Chief Minister.

None of this would have been possible had it not been for the Pakistani people pushing back against their unpopular imported government ever since it was imposed upon them against their will nearly one-third of a year ago in early April. Since then, they’ve braved vicious state-directed violence – most notably during their Long March on Islamabad in late May – and some of their most prominent journalists like Imran Riaz Khan were thuggishly harassed by the authorities. That, however, didn’t weaken their will but only emboldened them. The Pakistani people united in the face of this post-modern martial law and didn’t let it break them. It only made them stronger by becoming a formative experience for collectively building the New Pakistan that seems inevitable at this point.

Those stakeholders who’ve hitherto stubbornly resisted the people’s are now finally forced to confront the reality of what they’ve done. They arrogantly thought that they could impose a foreign-backed government onto Pakistanis and then gaslight the population into thinking that they’re crazy if they suspect that any foul play was involved. This was a severe violation of the trust that had hitherto been established between citizens and the state after people placed their faith in certain stakeholders to always tell them the truth and defend their objective national interests no matter what. Instead, this trust was taken advantage of and ruthlessly disrespected, though those dark days might soon be ending if recent developments are any indication.

Proponents of multipolar school of thought that became popular among some elite echelons in recent years were always opposed to their pro-American peers’ post-modern coup but lost the influence to shape events due to shadowy dynamics from the preceding months (particularly speculation about the scandal surrounding DG ISI’s appointment late last year). Nevertheless, their star might once again be rising as the pro-American school of thought now realizes that they pushed the country to the brink of collapse and even potentially domestic conflict all for the sake of satisfying their foreign partners. They might not yet have learned their lesson in full, but the fact that they didn’t stop the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Punjab suggests that their influence might finally be on the decline.  

The power of the people is unbeatable whenever the people are truly united behind a cause greater than themselves such as their country’s sovereignty and anything related to its existential defense. Pakistanis both present and past have suffered so much to preserve their hard-earned independence and won’t let it be stolen from them by elite echelons who betrayed the social contract between citizens and the state under the influence of a foreign party. What’s taking place in Pakistan right now is nothing short of revolutionary and is truly unprecedented since the time of its formation. The nation is being remodeled according to modern circumstances connected to the global systemic transition to multipolarity, which is giving its people the promising future that they deserve.

زلّة لسان

الإثنين 23 أيار 2022

بثينة شعبان 

صحيح أن العيون تتّجه إلى أوكرانيا لمعرفة نتيجة الحسم العسكري بين روسيا وحلف الناتو العدواني هناك، ولكن ما يجري بالتوازي من إعادة تشكُّلات وصياغات في عالم اليوم قد يكون هو الأهم.

لم تكن زلّة لسان الرئيس جورج بوش الابن لتحدث في ظروف أكثر مواءمة وخدمة لما تحاول الصين وروسيا أن تؤكداه، وسط أحداث متسارعة ومعقدة؛ فقد قال الرئيس بوش الابن: ” قرار رجل واحد لشن غزو وحشيّ غير مبرّر للعراق… آه… أقصد لأوكرانيا”، وضحك الجمهور، وأعاد هو: “العراق، العراق”، وسط أنباء جادة يتحدّث بها الرئيس الصيني شي جين بينغ عن شكل العالم المقبل، في كلمته المهمة في الـ 21 من نيسان/ أبريل لمنتدى بواو الآسيوي، ووسط إعلان وزارة الخارجية الروسية بعد مناقشة نسخة جديدة من مفهوم السياسة الخارجية الروسية في ضوء الحرب الغربية على روسيا باستخدام أوكرانيا.

زلّة لسان

وبدلاً من أن يستنكر القرّاء والمشاهدون كل القرارات الأحادية والحروب غير الشرعية التي شنّتها الولايات المتحدة على الشعوب الآمنة في أفغانستان والعراق وليبيا وسوريا واليمن، فقد أتت زلّة لسان جورج بوش الابن، المسؤول هو وأبوه عن مقتل الملايين من المدنيين العراقيين حصاراً وقتلاً وإرهاباً ووباءً، لتكشف ما حاول هو وإدارته والإدارات السابقة واللاحقة أن يخفوه، وبرهن (ولتبرهن) أنه يسكن في “لا وعيهم” من غزو ظالم وغير مبرر للعراق، ما زال الشعب العراقي يدفع ثمنه في كل يوم من حياة أبنائه.

كما أنّ عمليات النهب الأميركية للموارد العراقية والليبية والسورية جريمة تطال لقمة عيش جميع أبناء الشعب العربي في هذه البلدان، لأن هذا النهب الاستعماري لموارد الشعب السوري واحتلال أرضه وسرقة نفطه وقمحه قد تمثّل زلّات لسان لرؤساء ومسؤولين أميركيين في المستقبل، ولكنه (ولكنها) جريمة إبادة جماعية لما سببه (سبّبته) من آلام وموت للمدنيين المحاصرين.

ولكن العالم اليوم لم يعد بحاجة إلى الكشف عن المستور، لأنه لم يتبقَّ هناك مستور أصلاً سوى حملات التضليل الإعلامية التي يصدّرها الغرب للعالم، وينسج من خلالها أكاذيبه وأوهامه. والخطوة الأولى المجدية في عالم اليوم هي أن يتبنّى جميع الحريصين على حياة البشر إما مقاطعة هذا الإعلام الغربي المزيّف، وإما التساؤل بشأن كل سردية يتبنّاها حيال أي قضية في العالم. إنني أجد نفسي أعيد صياغة ما أقرأه من إعلام غربي حول سوريا أو فلسطين أو لبنان أو إيران أو أوكرانيا أو الصين، وأتساءل اليوم ما هي جدوى قراءة إعلام أصبحنا نعلم علم اليقين أنه مكرّس لخدمة أهداف استعمارية لمن يشنّون الحروب على دولنا ويقومون باحتلال أرضنا ودعم الإرهاب ضد شعبنا وتمويله وإرسال الإرهابيين وتسليحهم واحتلال أرض أشقائنا وأصدقائنا، ويعطّلون أيّ قرارات أمميّة تحاول أن تحقق ولو جزءاً من العدالة للشعوب المستضعفة؟؟ 

فإذا كان اجتماع وزارة الخارجية الروسية قد ناقش مهامّ السياسة الخارجية الروسية في ضوء الحقائق الجيوسياسية المتغيّرة جذرياً، فإن هذه الحقائق قد تغيّرت بالنسبة إلى العرب منذ وعد بلفور وسايكس بيكو واحتلال فلسطين من قبل عصابات الإرهاب الصهيونية، ومنذ غزو العراق وقصف ليبيا، وشنّ حرب إرهابية على مدى عقد ونيّف على سوريا، وتدمير حياة المدنيين العرب في اليمن، ومع ذلك لم يعقد العرب اجتماعاً واحداً لدراسة الوضع المستجد حيالهم، ودراسة الخطوات التي يمكن اتخاذها لحماية أنفسهم من سياسة التشظّي وتفتيت البلدان والشعوب إلى طوائف وأعراق وإثنيات على حساب اللُحمة الوطنية المنشودة، وهي سياسة فرّقْ تسُدْ الاستعمارية التي تستهدف العرب جميعاً.

إنّ النقاش الدائر في روسيا والصين يُري أن البلدين يدركان أن العالم قد تغيّر، وأن لا عودة تُرتجى إلى عالم ما قبل الـ 24 من شباط، وهو تاريخ انطلاق العملية العسكرية الروسية في أوكرانيا، ولذلك فإنهما منشغلان بوضع المرتسمات الجديدة لعالم ما بعد اليوم وعالم المستقبل. ومن يقرأ كلمة الرئيس شي جين بينغ يجد أنها تضع رؤية للتحديات التي طرأت على عالم اليوم، ومساراً للتعامل معها بجدية لضمان السير إلى الأمام رغم كل التحديات. ويؤكد خطاب بينغ أن زمن الحرب الباردة ونزعة الهيمنة وسياسة القوة ستكون جزءاً من الماضي، وقد طرح مبادرة الأمن العالمي من خلال التمسّك بمفهوم الأمن المشترك والشامل والتعاوني والمستدام، والعمل معاً على صيانة السلام والأمن في العالم، ومعارضة السعي إلى الأمن القومي على حساب الأمن القومي للغير.

في هذه المرحلة المفصلية بتشكُّل عالم جديد وسعي الأطراف في الشرق لأن تكون فاعلة في تشكيل هذا العالم، لاقتناعهم بأنّ أسس الهيمنة الغربية آيلة إلى الزوال، وأنها أصبحت مرفوضة وغير قادرة على الاستمرار، وأنها تخوض معركة منازعة أخيرة مهما بدت أنها طويلة اليوم، ولكنها ستكون الأخيرة.

في هذه المرحلة يتهدّد العرب جميعاً خطران أساسيان، إضافة إلى خطر الصهيونية الجاثمة على ضمير الأمة وأرض فلسطين والجولان، ألا وهما: الخطر العثماني الإخواني، وخطر أن لا يجد العرب لأنفسهم موطئ قدم إذا ما استمروا في حالة الفرقة والتشظّي التي يعيشونها اليوم، والتي لا يبدو أن هناك جهداً حقيقياً وواعداً للتخلص منها. فالخطر العثماني الإخواني اليوم حقيقي على سوريا والعراق وليبيا، حيث يحتل الأرض ويقيم القواعد وينشر لغته وثقافته وأكاذيبه وعملاءه من إخوان الشياطين، ويُلبس هيمنته لبوس الحرص على اللاجئين أو المسلمين أو محاربة التنظيمات الكردية، وهو لبوس لا يقل خطراً علينا جميعاً من وعد بلفور واتفاقية سايكس بيكو.

واللافت أنه بدأ بأسلوب مختلف بمحاولة تدنيس أرض الجزائر الطاهرة، من خلال اتخاذ الجزائر بوابة للدخول إلى شمال أفريقيا وأفريقيا، بعد أن فشل في أن تكون تونس منصة انطلاقه لنشر فكر الإخوان المسلمين وعقيدتهم في شمال أفريقيا. وفي هذه البلدان تتعدّد أساليبه وأدوات مكره؛ فحيث لا يستطيع (يتمكّن من) الاحتلال المباشر، قد يلجأ إلى التسلل الاقتصادي أو العقائدي كي يثبّت أقدامه في المكان، وينطلق منه لتحقيق غاياته وأهدافه التي لا تختلف بين شمال قبرص والشمال السوري والشمال العراقي والليبي والعمق الجزائري.

صحيح أن العيون تتّجه إلى أوكرانيا لمعرفة نتيجة الحسم العسكري بين روسيا وحلف الناتو العدواني هناك، ولكن ما يجري بالتوازي من إعادة تشكُّلات وصياغات في عالم اليوم قد يكون هو الأهم، لأنه هو الذي يُرسي أسس العالم الجديد وشكله، وسوف تكون الغلبة، ولا شكّ، لمن يخطط ويفكّر من اليوم أو من البارحة، أين سيكون تموضعه في هذا العالم، وكيف وما هي الميزات والأدوات التي يمتلكها كي يكون رقماً صعباً في عالم يسهم في بنيانه ويشكّل جزءاً من هويته وتوجّهاته.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

After the NATO War is Over

May 17, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

Make no mistake about it: The tragic war that is currently taking place on Ukrainian battlefields is not between the Russian Federation and the Ukraine, but between the Russian Federation and the US-controlled NATO. The latter, also called ‘the collective West’, promotes an aggressive ideology of organised violence, a politically- economically- and militarily-enforced doctrine euphemistically known as ‘Globalism’. This means hegemony by the Western world, which arrogantly calls itself ‘the international community’, over the whole planet. NATO is losing that war, which uses NATO-trained Ukrainians as its proxy cannon fodder, in three spheres, political, economic and military.

Firstly, politically, the West has finally understood that it cannot execute regime change in Moscow. Its pipedream of replacing the highly popular President Putin with is CIA stooge Navalny is not going to happen. As for the West’s puppet-president in Kiev, he is only a creature of Washington and its oligarchs. A professional actor, he is unable to speak for himself, but is a spokesman for the NATO which he loves.

Secondly, economically, the West faces serious resistance to the 6,000 sanctions it has imposed on Russia and Russians. Those sanctions have backfired. In the West, we can testify to this every time we buy fuel or food. The combination of high inflation (10% +) and even higher energy prices, caused almost solely by these illegal anti-Russian sanctions, are threatening the collapse of Western economies, much more than threatening Russia or China. As a result of this reverse effect of sanctions against Russia, the rouble is at a three-year high, standing at about 64 to the US dollar and rising, though immediately after the sanctions it had briefly gone down to 150 to the dollar.

After strenuously denying that they would do it, already most countries in Europe (at least 17 for now), including Germany and Italy, have agreed to open accounts with Gazprombank, as Russia advised them to do and to pay for oil and gas in roubles. And this number is growing by the week. The problems will be even greater with food shortages, as the world food chain is highly integrated and the agricultural production of Russia and the Ukraine (now controlled by Russia) is at least 40% of the world’s grain production.  Just days ago it was announced that Russia expects record grain production this year (130 million tonnes). Russia may yet demand payment in roubles for all this as well.

The sanctions against Russia have divided Europe and are threatening to divide NATO. President Erdogan of Turkey, a NATO member, has announced that he would veto the entry to NATO of Finland and Sweden into NATO. At the same time, Russia has announced that it will cut off Finland’s natural gas supply. Swedish leaders are re-thinking their entry to NATO.

Thirdly, militarily, it is clear that the Ukraine, with huge numbers of desertions and surrenders, has no chance of winning the war against Russia. Most of its military equipment has already been wiped out and newly-delivered and often antiquated Western equipment will make little difference, even if it is not destroyed by Russian missiles as soon as it reaches the Ukraine. The conflict could now be over within weeks, rather than months. The US ‘Defense Secretary’ (= Minister for Offense), Lloyd Austin, has desperately called the Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu to beg for a ceasefire. Would you agree to a ceasefire when in less than three months and with only 10% of your military forces you have already occupied an area greater than England inside the Ukraine, an area that produces 75% of Ukrainian GDP?

The panic of financial disaster in the West has begun to set in. As a result, the French President Macron has told President Zelensky (that is, told Washington) to give up part of Ukraine’s sovereignty and at last start serious negotiations with Russia. Macron is also trying to free French mercenaries from Azovstal in Mariupol, but the problem is much bigger than this, as the whole of Europe is facing economic meltdown. And the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, has asked President Biden to contact President Putin and ‘give peace a chance’. Note that Mario Draghi is a former president of the European Central Bank and a Goldman Sachs puppet – just as Macron is a Rothschild puppet.

There have always been empires and invasions throughout history. However, they have always been local and not been justified as the only possible global ideology, a ‘New World Order’, to be imposed by violence all over the planet. After the NATO war is over, lost by ‘the collective West’, NATO Centralism, the ideology of a ‘Unipolar World’, controlled from Washington, must end. However, Centralism must also come to an end everywhere else, like that under Soviet-period Moscow (1).

However, Nationalism must also come to an end. Here we should remember that the very word ‘Nazism’ comes from the German words for ‘National Socialism’. (Nationalism entails hatred for others, whereas Patriotism means the ability not only to love your own country, but also love the countries of others, not hate their countries). And the Ukraine has a history of Nazism, stretching back over eighty years. Moreover, today’s leading Kiev soldiery are Nazi nationalists and represent the tribalism so typical of Western Europe, responsible in the twentieth century for two huge wars which it spread worldwide. The Nazi Ukrainian cries of ‘Glory to the Ukraine’ and their slogan of ‘Ukraine above Everything’ are slogans of Nazism.

Let us move to a world that is multipolar and multicentric, which has unity in diversity and diversity in unity. If we do not move towards this, we will probably be lost. For a multipolar, multicivilisational and multicultural world, the world of seven billion human beings already, is the only civilized world, the only true international community.

Note:

1. Here anti-Semites will tell you that the Centralism of Soviet-period Moscow was founded by the Bolsheviks, of whom over 80% were Jews. Firstly, it should be pointed out that they were atheist Jews, internationalists like Bronstein/Trotsky, who supported the ‘Third International’. In other words, they were political Zionists (not religious Zionists, indeed, they were anti-religious). And let us recall that a huge number of Jews were and are anti-Zionists and a huge number of Zionists were and are not at all Jews. This is why the Saker rightly uses the term ‘Anglo-Zionism’ for these unipolar centralisers.

“The unipolar world has come to an end”: Medvedev

25 Mar 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen net 

Dmitry Medvedev discussed what he believed to be serious geopolitical changes.

Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev (TASS)

Deputy chairman of the Russian security council, Medvedev considered Europe possibly abandoning Russian gas and noted that the unipolar world has “come to an end.”

In an extensive interview with Sputnik and RT, the former president reviewed the West’s actions during Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. He also discussed various perspectives on it, including those who chose to leave Russia.

Commenting on the jarring and obvious western Russophobia, Medvedev declared that the US is no longer the “masters of planet earth.”

Medvedev has recently become known for his tough and sardonic assertions about Western countries’ behavior. Previously, he stated that anti-Russian sentiments, which have risen since the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, have been hidden for the last 30 years behind “the hypocritical white-toothed smiles of politicians and diplomats who said one thing and did something completely different.”

Sanctions Seppuku: The Big Reveal: “Let them fly to space on their broomsticks”

March 03, 2022

Source

by Chris Faure

Russia is beginning to respond to the insane sanctions, and the sanctions are insane.

“Russia will stop deliveries of rocket engines to US – Russian Space Agency chief. The Roscosmos chief added, “Let them fly into space on their broomsticks.”

And we all say OORAH!

OneWeb Pulls Workers from Russian-run Baikonur Satellite Launch Project

The London-based tech company OneWeb has removed its employees from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrone, where they had planned to send 36 Internet satellites into orbit using a Russian Soyuz rocket.

The move comes after Russian space agency Roscosmos demanded guarantees that their satellites wouldn’t be used for military purposes, and that the UK government – which owns shares in OneWeb – divest itself from the company.

The Russian (ROC) Paralympics athletes have just been banned by the Olympics Committee from taking part in the Olympics in Beijing.

But Coca-Cola will continue to operate in Russia

The ICC (International Criminal Court) is in the process of accepting the Ukraine’s complaint of war crimes or crimes against humanity against Russia and Belarus in the Ukraine. (Israel and Palestine comes to mind and also the Yemen). The complainer has to have membership of course, but the ICC has awarded a quasi membership to Ukraine from nowhere.

Russian individuals are facing hate-filled attacks, diplomatic buildings and athletes are being targeted for exclusion. Reports of Russians being discriminated against are spreading far and wide. This is similar to what happened the previous two years with Chinese citizens as a result of the propaganda against China.

There is a very dark underbelly to sanctions which are of course war by any other name. Trump called it! by calling it a Trade War, when it was against China. What the west wants, is to loot Russia from the ground up and just make them go away in some form or fashion, because they cannot take Russia by Dollar and/or Bomb.

Western governments, media, think tanks etc., are so desperate to believe their version of the outcome of the Ukraine war that they are seeing things which have no basis in reality. And their fear that things will not turn out the way they want them to, is visible. They are having Terrible Two Tantrums.

It is however filtering through to European leaders. They are figuring out that Russian sanctions are already having an impact and on them directly.

And the countries are not all in some special cahoots here. They are being threatened. We have news from India that they are being threatened with sanctions because they stood neutral in the last security council vote and did not condemn Russia in one or another fashion. Of course, they do not call it by name but rather: US weighing up sanctions against India over Russian military stockpiles (The Hill).   Please be aware, this is not some game, but the stakes are high, as the sanctions war and the cyber war are all, and I mean all, western attempts at regaining its lost power and luster.

We see how Russian-owned businesses, private jets, money, and real estate are being looted. The west is just stealing it, like oil and grain from Syria. This time they want to do to Russia what they did in the early 1990’s yet again. The idea is to rape Russia again, because how dare Russia charge for their oil and for their business. How dare Russia act like a country or even people that have the right to make a business, do trade, be concerned about their security and function in the wider world. What is being tried here, is to do to Russia exactly the same as what was done to Japan, after Japan surrendered in WWII, but this time they want to do as much as they can, without waging real war (so far).

You can see an example of the looting here: Poland started seizing (or looting) Russian Property in Warsaw, including even a school building.

And then of course there was Josep Borrell saying in a fit of pique:  Oh Dear, we cannot find Russia’s Central Bank Assets. They must have planned for sanctions. (This from memory as I cannot find his tweet. But then again, this is what they do! They make a big statement and then quietly delete what they said.).

This is what sanctions look like. Everything has a ‘carve out’. Sanctions do not work, excepting to pressurize and gain the upper hand in western media. This is how they think, trying to find a concerted calculated effort to loot Russia again, but the mistakes being made are not only comical but also very very serious, and perhaps not for Russia.

Here is one story:

1. On Tuesday a law was passed prohibiting Russian owned, operated, controlled, registered or flagged ships from accessing British ports – but theoretically foreign vessels could carry Russia’s oil and gas to Britain.

OOPS! BUT …

2. The UK Department of Transport confirmed that Russian oil and gas can still arrive in the country despite sanctions barring Russian ships from entering their ports, as bans only apply to the vessels not the cargo itself.

OOPS! Did we go bananas again? How does oil and gas get there without the vessel?  Let’s try and fix it.

3. Well, we don’t know.  We are So Confused, so how about British MPs calling for the Expulsion of ALL Russians from UK.

Japan’s JAL, canceled ALL flights to Europe – the airlines would normally use Russian airspace to make the journey.

OOPS! (This country is killing its own industry).

Bank bailouts by taxpayers due to Russian sanctions? But of course.  Some shareholders of Société Générale in France are speaking about a €2.7 billion loss linked to sanctions on its Russian subsidiary Rosbank.

OOPS! How about sanctioning your own company? Please bail out the bank! They’re apparently asking for indemnities from French and European authorities.

It has become known that the US nuclear industry is lobbying to continue importing enriched uranium from Russia at low prices despite the situation in Ukraine, as it is seen as a key element in keeping US electricity prices low.

OOPS! Is it time for flying off on a broom again?

Btw, the flagship Apple Store has just opened again in Russia, with iPhones and other tech now returning with a 20-30% markup.

Is it really that simple? Are these western influences really committing economic harakiri just so they can hide their own economic fall and of course: Blame Russia?

The true colors of the west are now shown in full daylight. Their claims on a monopoly on virtue is a clear and convincing demonstration of their own hypocrisy. There is no need to listen to the West.

Russia is taking it. They are taking what they must and protecting what they must. The big reveal is how many organizations and companies are totally controlled by western financial sources. This is the biggest surprise to many of us. We truly live in a world of neo-nazis and fascists. Look, I knew they were in the Ukraine, and in spots in the world, but I never knew it was this widespread. Personally, I cannot wait for Zone B to fulfill its purpose.

And then the question. What about China? And now we see some sunshine, although it is a muted and a nuanced response but there is no failure to respond, every time!

A quote from our own Larchmonter445:

“The Chinese are learning a lesson that reality is what is shot at you by your enemies. They see how Russia was set up for destruction using Ukraine with NATO. It brings them back to Belgrade ’99 and the bombing of their embassy.

Russia just got the emotional support of a billion four hundred million souls.

I bet if Russia needed volunteers and they put out a call, 10 million Chinese would be there in a day.

The Double Helix has history. Korean War. WWII. Harbin. Unit 731. Chinese and Russians were both used for Jap medical experiments and tortured together.

It’s not all just recent alignment and coordination and cooperation.

This human cohesion against the Hegemon is deep. Visceral. Existential.”

China’s action works like this:

A tranche of sanctions are announced. Vehicles, phones and whatever.

China publishes: Chinese firms see opportunity in cars, smartphones in Russia after Western exit

Insane and stupid sanctions are announced

China publishes: New ‘sanctions’ against Russian cats shocks Chinese netizens, trending top on social media

Sanctions Phase 4 is announced by the EU

China publishes: Western sanctions only create more problems for the global economy

Russia gets nailed by a cyber war

China publishes: Exclusive: US NSA launches cyberattacks against China for a decade, making citizens’ privacy ‘run naked’

Biden or some western EU stooge makes a speech

China publishes: The US tries hard to hijack world’s view on Russia, but more countries are not buying it

Certain Russian banks are cut from SWIFT

China publishes Russian comments: For citizens, this will be a problem only for those whose purchases and whose lives are most connected with currency, like in dollars and euros, in their consumption. The main part of the population that purchases Russian goods from the Russian markets, using Russian currency or Russian cards (ie., normal people), will not experience any significant threats to their standard of living and quality over the next few months.

China publishes: Unilateral actions violate China-U.S. trade deal and WTO principles

In addition and it is not very visible, there is a soft process happening around China. It is the same process as what we’ve seen with Russia. The west is trying the same thing but with lesser noise.

Biden sends former officials to Taiwan

China publishes: It is to ‘offset Pompeo’ and pacify DPP

Japan talks about hosting US nuclear arms

China publishes: Beijing urges Tokyo to ‘deeply reflect on its history’

And so we can see the response of China to each move that the Seppuku Sanctions crowd makes. Take a look at this image.  Please do so, I cannot load this on the blog.  The title is Aggressive Expansion.   Please take a good look and you will know for sure that China understands the issues exactly correctly.

Aggressive Expansion

Do you still feel conflicted? Do you still not know that this is another attempted Russia Rape?

Russian MFA: “The EU’s (…) unilateral restrictions, (…) incompatible with international law, are not directed against the Russian people. Brussels officials (…) are saying openly they intend to inflict the maximum possible damage (…) “suppress Russia’s economic growth.”

A few more images from China.

And the Canadian Embassy in Beijing put up “We support Ukraine” sign in Chinese. Few hrs later…

The humor in China is noticeable and there is not one Chinese source that I follow, that is not clearly with Russia.

But it is different, as this time Russia will not be raped. The Ukrainian actions may be the first move and action may not stay there. In fact, I believe action will not stay there, as it was very well described by Putin and Xi Jinping, in their political manifesto. The world simply cannot continue with a small part of it Raping the Rest, because this small part is unable to support themselves without aggression and looting. Western countries have begun the process of destroying their own economies’ – Russian FM spox

Russia may be planning to confiscate western assets inside Russia and convert them to Russian assets to balance the theft. Intellectual property has major value.

Many of us are despairing as Russian news and Russian information is being sanctioned and suppressed in the free west. So, where do we get Russian news? The answer is: From the Chinese Russian News Store. Every major Chinese publication has Russia / Ukraine round-the-clock coverage.

Expectations

My expectation is that we may see the UN in its current form, just collapse. If this august body can simply ban diplomats against all norms of agreement and international law, why should it exist in its current form in its current location?

My further expectation is that Russia will be just fine economically. They’ve prepared for this. Many banks issued credit cards are inter-operable with the Chinese system. Russia says clearly that they will use the other mechanisms that were developed exactly for this. The sanctions are a massive pretense and an overreach of major proportions. They will all lead to a further de-dollarization.

Russia (along with the other BRICS nations) has an incentive to introduce a global digital currency that can be used anywhere (to export energy for example). The West has an incentive to introduce CBDCs at the national level that can only be used within a given economic zone. This will form part of the multipolar war.

A further expectation is that these sanctions (from hell) will speed up both de-dollarization and a complete economic collapse of the west. They can do their reset. Nobody else is interested. The sanctions don’t work. They have massive carve outs with Big Headlines but in the fine print, they say: We don’t really mean that because they exclude the important things from the sanctions like gas, like oil, metals and Coca Cola.

Russian MFA: “The EU’s (…) unilateral restrictions, (…) incompatible with international law, are not directed against the Russian people. Brussels officials (…) are saying openly they intend to inflict the maximum possible damage (…) “suppress Russia’s economic growth.”

And then one can only chuckle and say, Russia singlehandedly shut down the green agenda. https://www.rt.com/business/550968-baltic-pipe-construction-resumed/

Welcome to the first skirmish in the move to human multi-polarity.

القمة الصينية الروسية.. ولادة عالَمٍ جديدٍ

الثلاثاء 14شباط 2021

عمرو علان

القمّة الصينية الروسية الأخيرة جاءت استثنائيةً في توقيتها ومضامينها وبيانها الختامي، وهي تشير بما نتج عنها إلى تبلور معسكرٍ في مقابل معسكرٍ غربيٍ استعماريٍ تقليديٍ.

البيان الختامي للقمة تناول في 5000 كلمةٍ العديد من القضايا

عقب قمة الرئيسين الصيني شي جين بينغ والروسي فلاديمير بوتين الثنائية، التي عُقِدت في 4 شباط/فبراير 2022، على هامش دورة الألعاب الأولمبية الشتوية التي تستضيفها الصين هذا الشهر، صدر بيانٌ ختاميٌ مشتركٌ، كما جرت العادة في القمم، لكنْ تميَّز هذا البيان الختامي في كونه جاء مفصلاً وشاملاً، إذ إنه أسَّس لمرحلة تعاونٍ صينيٍ روسيٍ مستقبليةٍ تمتدّ لسنواتٍ أو ربما لعقودٍ، فقد تناول في 5000 كلمةٍ عدة قضايا، كان من بينها:

صفقات استراتيجية في عدة حقول رئيسية، كالطاقة وتكنولوجيا الفضاء.

تنسيق مواقف البلدين تجاه قضايا الأمن الإقليمي الراهنة والمستقبلية في أوروبا ومنطقة الإندو باسيفيك.

أفكار وإشارات حول مرتكزات النظام العالمي ومستقبله، بحسب الرؤية الصينية الروسية.

صفقات استراتيجية

كشف الرئيس بوتين عن عدة مشاريع روسيةٍ صينيةٍ جديدةٍ في مجال الطاقة، من بينها صفقة تزود بموجبها روسيا الصين بعشرة بليون مترٍ مكعبٍ من الغاز سنوياً، وذلك عبر خطّ أنابيبَ جديد، ما يجعل الصين المستورد الأكبر للغاز الروسي، إضافة إلى تواتر أنباء عن أنّ شركة الطاقة الروسية العملاقة “روسنيفت” المملوكة للحكومة، ستصدّر 25% من مجمل إنتاجها النفطي للصين. 

من شأن هذه الاتفاقيات الطويلة الأمد والاستراتيجية تأمين الاستقرار في سوق الطاقة لكلا البلدين، الصين وروسيا على حدٍ سواء، وذلك في مواجهة تقلّبات سوق الطاقة العالمي التي تهدد أوروبا وآسيا. وفي هذا كلّه تدعيمٌ للتكامل الروسي الصيني في مجال الطاقة، الذي يعدّ أحد أهم المجالات الحيوية لدى الدول.

أما في مجال الفضاء، فقد وقَّعت كلٌ من الشركتين الصينية “بيدو” والروسية “جلوناسس” اللتين تديران “أنظمة الملاحة عبر الأقمار الصناعية” الصينية والروسية، على اتفاقيةٍ جديدةٍ تزيد مدى التعاون بين النظامين الصيني والروسي، ليصل إلى حدّ التكامل بينهما.

تأتي هذه الاتفاقية الجديدة لتبني على الاتفاقية المسماة “التعاون للأغراض السلمية لنظامي بيدو وجلوناسس” والتي وقَّعت عليها الصين وروسيا في العام 2018.

وتتيح الاتفاقية الجديدة للنظامين الصيني والروسي مزيداً من التكامل والاستمرارية في حالتي السلم والحرب، إذ سيتمّ استخدام النظام المتكامل للأغراض العسكرية والمدنية على حدٍّ سواء، ناهيك بكون التكامل بين النظامين الصيني والروسي يعطي دقّة لا يتجاوز فيها هامش الخطأ 1.2 متر فقط، على عكس نظام التموضع العالمي “<ج بي أس” الأميركي الذي يتراوح هامش الخطأ فيه بين 5 و10 أمتار.

تنسيق المواقف

أما تنسيق المواقف بين البلدين تجاه القضايا الأمنيّة، كما جاء في البيان الختامي، فكان أبرزه يتمثل برفض روسيا القاطع استقلالَ جزيرة تايوان عن جمهورية الصين الشعبية. في المقابل، رفضت الصين مساعي حلف شمال الأطلسي التوسع في أوروبا من دون مراعاة المخاوف الأمنية الروسية، وذلك في إشارةٍ إلى تأييد الموقف الروسي في الأزمة الروسية الأميركية الراهنة حول أوكرانيا. 

كما نسَّق البيان الختامي مواقف البلدين تجاه قضايا أمنيةٍ أساسيةٍ أخرى في منطقة الإندو باسيفيك والقارة الأوروبية، كالمواقف من حلف “أوكوس” ، والحوار الأمني الرباعي المسمى “كواد” (Quad)، وقضايا أخرى.

رؤية الصين وروسيا إلى النظام العالمي

ما تَقدَّم من أمثلةٍ على بعض ما جاء في بيان القمة الختامي من صفقات استراتيجية وتنسيق لرؤى البلدين حول قضايا أساسيةٍ راهنةٍ في الجغرافيا السياسية، يعطي فكرةً عن الخطوات العملية والملموسة التي اتفق عليها العملاق الاقتصادي الصيني مع شريكه العملاق العسكري الروسي، للدفع نحو تطبيق رؤيتهما للنظام العالمي، والتي تقوم على فكرة أنّ العالم يخرج من مرحلة الهيمنة الأميركية الأحادية الجانب وتسلُّط فكر العولمة الليبرالية على العلاقات الدولية، ليدخل مرحلة التعددية القطبية، واحترام سيادة الدول، وحقّها بتقرير مصيرها وصياغة نُظُمِها السياسية والاقتصادية بما يتماشى مع موروث شعوبها الحضاري، إذ ترى الصين وروسيا أنَّ العلاقات الدولية تدخل حقبة جديدة. وكانت هذه الرؤية واضحةً في عدة فقراتٍ في البيان، وفي روح اللغة المستخدمة فيه عموماً.

جاء في مقدِّمة البيان: “يمرّ العالم اليوم بتغيراتٍ بالغة الأهمية، فالبشرية تدخل مرحلةً جديدةً من التقدم السريع والتحولات العميقة، وترى هذه الظواهر في التعددية القطبية، وعولمة الاقتصاد، وحلول عصر المجتمع المعلوماتي، وتنوع الثقافات، وتحوّل بنية إدارة الشؤون العالمية والنظام العالمي، ويشهد العالم زيادةً في مستوى الترابط والتكامل بين الدول، وتوجهاً لإعادة توزيع القوة حول العالم”. وتبرز جلياً في هذه المقدِّمة الإشارة الواضحة إلى نظام عالمي يقوم على التعددية القطبية وإعادة توزيع القوة بين الدول على رقعة العالم. 

وتمضي مقدِّمة البيان ليتّضح المعنى أكثر، إذ يشير بعد ذلك إلى زيادة التحديات والمخاطر الأمنية على المستويين الدولي والإقليمي، ويضيف: “يستمرّ بعض اللاعبين الذين لا يمثلون سوى الأقلية على مستوى المجتمع الدولي بالتسويق للنهج الأحادي في معالجة القضايا الدولية، عبر اللجوء إلى القوة والتدخل في الشؤون الداخلية للدول، منتهكين بذلك حقوق تلك الدول ومصالحها المشروعة، ومثيرين القلاقل والخلافات، ما يعرقل تطور البشرية، في تحدٍ للمجتمع الدولي”، وفي هذا إشارةٌ واضحةٌ إلى الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ونهجها الذي يرتكز على الأحادية القطبية، لكن من دون ذكر اسمها صراحةً. 

وتتكرّر هذه الإشارات إلى الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وإلى سعيها للهيمنة على دول العالم في عدة مواضعَ من البيان، فيشير البيان في إحدى الفقرات إلى عدم وجود وصفة واحدة لتطبيق الديمقراطية، بل إنَّ الشعوب وحدها تملك الحق بالحكم على نظامها السياسي إذا ما كان ديمقراطياً، ويعود لكلِّ شعبٍ حقّ اجتراح الطرق الأصلح له من أجل تطبيق الديمقراطية، بما يتماشى ونظامه السياسي والاجتماعي وخلفيته التاريخية وتقاليده وثقافته المميزة.

في المحصّلة، جاءت القمّة الصينية الروسية الثنائية استثنائيةً في توقيتها ومضامينها وبيانها الختامي، فكما عبَّر الرئيس بوتين عن أنَّ روسيا والصين تمران بمرحلة غير مسبوقة من الصداقة والتعاون في كلِّ المجالات من دون سقوف، يشير حجم الصفقات الموقعة وطبيعتها الاستراتيجية، إضافة إلى التصور الذي قدمته القمة حول مستقبل النظام العالمي الذي يتم العمل على ترسيخه، إلى تبلور معسكرٍ في مقابل معسكرٍ غربيٍ استعماريٍ تقليديٍ يضمّ “لاعبين لا يمثلون سوى أقليةٍ على مستوى المجتمع الدولي”، بحسب وصف البيان.

وغالب الظنّ أنَّ هذا المعسكر الناشئ سيكون جاذباً لأعضاء جددٍ، سواء أكانوا من العالم الإسلامي التواق إلى التخلص من الهيمنة الغربية، أم من بعض دول أميركا اللاتينية، أم من دولٍ أفريقيةٍ، حيث توسَّع النفوذ الصيني، كما الروسي، لكن بدرجةٍ أقل.

لكن لا يجب الخلط بين طبيعة هذا المعسكر الناشئ وما كان عليه حال المعسكر الاشتراكي إبان حقبة الاتحاد السوفياتي، فدينامية العلاقات الدولية وبُنية إدارة الشؤون العالمية الحاكمة لهذا المعسكر تنبثق من ركيزتين أساسيتين: تعددية الأقطاب، واحترام خصوصية كلّ شعب في تقرير شكل نظامه السياسي والاقتصادي بما يراه مناسباً.

إذاً، شيّدت الصين وروسيا الهيكلية لمعسكرٍ ناشئٍ وواعدٍ، وتبقى العِبرة في حُسْن التطبيق، وفي عدم تضارب المصالح بين القطبين الشريكين، جراء تبايناتٍ محتملةٍ في بعض الساحات، ولا سيما في منطقتي وسط آسيا وشرق أوروبا، لأنَّ روسيا تستمد حضورها الدولي من كونها عملاقاً عسكرياً، ما يمكن أن يجعلها تستخدم القوة لتثبيت موقعها الدولي في بعض الساحات، بما يتعارض ومصالح الصين التي ترتكز على كونها عملاقاً اقتصادياً.

ورغم هذه التخوفات، ولمحاولة استشراف مستقبل كِلَا المعسكرين، يكفي النظر إلى حجم مخرجات القمة الصينية الروسية وطبيعتها، ومقارنتها بنتائج قمة جو بايدن “من أجل الديمقراطية”، التي جاءت باهتةً وهزيلةً بكل المعايير، ولا سيما بعد نفور الكثيرين حول العالم من الأيديولوجية الليبرالية التي ما انفكت تروج لكلِّ أشكال الموبقات، من ترويجٍ للشذوذ الذي يضرب المجتمعات عبر هدم مفهوم العلاقات الإنسانيّة والأسرة السويَّة، إلى استنزاف موارد كوكب الأرض، إلى الحدّ الذي باتت معه استمرارية الحياة البشرية موضع تساؤلٍ. يلخّص الفيلسوف ألكسندر دوغين نتائج القمة الصينية الروسية بالقول: “المستقبل بالتأكيد للتعددية القطبية… عالَمٌ جديدٌ قد وُلِد”.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

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The New Era Of International Relations Is Defined By The Russian-Chinese Entente

5 FEBRUARY 2022

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

They’re truly changing the world in pursuit of their shared vision of making it more equitable, just, and multipolar, but neither is going to go to war for the other….Precisely because they’re ‘more than allies’, they can responsibly agree to disagree on certain key issues like Kashmir and the South China Sea while still continuing their globally game-changing cooperation.

The Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership serves as the engine of the emerging Multipolar World Order. It was unprecedentedly strengthened after these Great Powers’ grand strategies were compelled to converge in response to the US’ attempted simultaneous “containment” of both after 2014. The declining unipolar hegemon coordinated provocations in Eastern Europe via Ukraine and Southeast Asia through the South China Sea but “counterproductively” brought those two closer than ever before as a result. All of its attempts to divide and rule them through information warfare have also failed.

Nowhere is their grand strategic convergence more apparent than in the joint statement that they released during President Putin’s visit to the People’s Republic to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games and meet with his Chinese counterpart. Titled “Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development”, this document confirms that those two are coordinating almost every facet of their respective policies across the world.

They’re united in their shared vision of the emerging Multipolar World Order and are convinced that the sanctity of international law as enshrined in the UN Charter must be respected no matter what. Russia and China are strongly against attempts to weaponize the concept of “democracy” as a pretext for meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. They regard the people as granting legitimacy to their government, yet they also acknowledge that each country has the right to practice their own unique form of democracy based on their circumstances, history, socio-political situation, and traditions.

On the economic front, Russia and China agree that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals must be achieved, though this has become challenging as a result of the international community’s uncoordinated efforts to contain COVID-19 (“World War C”). Nevertheless, the synchronization between Beijing’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) and Moscow’s Greater Eurasian Partnership (GEP) will provide a much-needed impetus for bringing this about, all with the intent of jointly forging a community of common destiny for mankind.

The greatest obstacle to their ambitious vision is some states (understood to be a reference to the US) unilaterally ensuring what they describe as their own “security” at others’ expense, including through Color Revolutions, which Russia and China jointly oppose. The creation of military alliances aimed against others, the abrogation of international arms control pacts, and the nuclear proliferation threat posed by AUKUS are all of serious concern to these Great Powers. Only full compliance with the principle of indivisible security as enshrined in international law will suffice for stabilizing the world.

No so-called “forbidden” areas exist in terms of the spheres where Russia and China will now cooperate, nor are there any limits thereof. They’ll pursue true multilateralism in all international fora and will work to strengthen those in which they presently participate such as APEC, EAS, BRICS, RIC, the SCO, and the G20, et al. People-to-people ties will also continue to be prioritized, as will their efforts to maintain ASEAN’s central role in the Asia-Pacific. Russia and China are truly uniting to ensure that the ongoing global systemic transition towards multipolar remains stable and sustainable.

Having reached that conclusion throughout the course of reviewing their very detailed joint statement, it also deserves mentioning that Russia and China still aren’t “allies” in the traditional sense that this term is widely understood to signify. Although Chinese President Xi Jinping described their relations as “more than allied”, this doesn’t in any sense imply that either country is willing to have their troops fight, sacrifice, and potentially even die in defense of the other’s legitimate security interests that are threatened by unprovoked American aggression.

Rather, what’s meant is that neither is dependent on the other or “owes” them anything since their relations are truly between equals and not in any sort of “hierarchy” whereby one can order the other to sacrifice on their behalf like in the alliances of times past. Their joint statement makes it clear that these two are coordinating on issues of global strategic significance that surpass the cooperation of any pair or group of states in history. They’re truly changing the world in pursuit of their shared vision of making it more equitable, just, and multipolar, but once again, neither is going to fight for the other.

Nor, in that case, should they even be expected to as explained by the author in his answer to the third question that he was asked in a recent interview that can be read in full here. He also elaborated on the interplay of China and India’s importance for Russian grand strategy here, which is crucial for observers to keep in mind since Moscow and Beijing still don’t see eye-to-eye on exactly all issues like Kashmir or the South China Sea as was explained in the last part of this article about why China isn’t fully taking Russia’s side in its dispute with Ukraine despite supporting it against NATO’s warmongering.

Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership is truly the driving force in accelerating International Relations’ ongoing global systemic transition towards multipolarity following the brief and highly destabilizing period of US-led unipolar hegemony. Their ties are rock-solid and won’t be weakened even by their objectively existing differences over hot international issues like those that were touched upon in the abovementioned paragraph. Precisely because they’re “more than allies”, they can responsibly agree to disagree while still continuing their globally game-changing cooperation.

Russia Won’t Let The World Forget What The US Did To Afghanistan

26 JANUARY 2022

Map of Afghanistan.

Source

By Andrew Korybko

Far from being ‘isolated’ and ‘rogue’, Russia is at the center of international efforts to respond to this crisis and is quickly becoming the world’s conscience on Afghanistan.

The Russian Permanent Mission to the UN published a press release that condemned the US for seeking to shift responsibility for the current Afghan crisis and get other countries to help rebuild that war-torn state instead. It concisely described the sequence of events that led to the present predicament whereby the Norwegian Prime Minister just warned that “1 million children (are) at danger of starving, half the population in need of aid, 90% are really out of any proper working”.

The Afghan Aid Game Is A Gamble That No One Can Afford To Lose”, not just for reasons related to that country’s immediate humanitarian crisis, but also because its further worsening could create space for terrorist groups like ISIS-K to expand and possibly even prompt a regional refugee crisis unseen since 2015. Even before the US’ chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan last August, Russia emerged as the global voice of reason for explaining what should be done and why.

Although Pakistan is considered to be the country that enjoys the closest ties with the Taliban, Russia is a close second in spite of still officially designating them as terrorists. It pragmatically cooperates with the group in the shared interests of peace, security, and development. As a Great Power, it’s much more capable of informing the world of everything that’s happening there than Pakistan is, with which it nowadays cooperates very closely as well in an increasingly strategic way.

Its UN Mission’s press release wasn’t a partisan statement, however, since it has everything to do with helping average Afghan civilians and nothing to do one way or the other with the Taliban. It’s all about setting the historical record straight in order to imbue international aid efforts with a renewed sense of urgency so as to hopefully avert the impending worsening of this potentially unprecedented humanitarian and security crisis.

This noble aim contrasts with the US-led Western Mainstream Media’s warped portrayal of Russia and its strategic motives. Far from being “isolated” and “rogue”, Russia is at the center of international efforts to respond to this crisis and is quickly becoming the world’s conscience on Afghanistan. It’s able to leverage its rising appeal across the non-Western world to inform the global masses about what’s really happening in Afghanistan, why, and what must be done to improve the situation there.

That’s quite a change from decades ago when the former USSR was militarily active in Afghanistan. A lot of the world united against it and Moscow ultimately had to withdraw after 9 years, though in a dignified manner altogether different from the shameful one that the Americans just experienced. It also didn’t destroy the country prior to departing either and the USSR’s local allies remained in power for the next several years instead of collapsing prior to their withdrawal’s completion.

Nowadays Russia has returned to Afghanistan but solely in a diplomatic and moral way. It’s doing its utmost to remind the world what the US did to that country, rally the international community’s aid efforts, and be the global conscience on this crisis. These new roles speak to just how fundamentally different Moscow’s 21st-century grand strategy is from its late 20th century one during the final years of the Soviet era. This is purely because of President Putin’s pragmatic and visionary leadership.

Unlike in times past, Russia is focused on becoming the supreme balancing force in Eurasia in order to accelerate the emerging Multipolar World Order, not lead its own unipolar one for ideological reasons. Returning to Afghanistan in a completely different way than before confirms the seriousness of its new grand strategy. It also starkly contrasts with the US’ shameful withdrawal from that country and shows that Russia is responsibly filling the void that its Great Power rival just left.

The Other Side of the Story: Russia’s view on Geopolitics, War and Energy Racketeering

January 21, 2022

by Nash Landesman

The following is an exclusive interview with Russian Duma deputy, Yevgeny Fyodorov, a high-ranking conservative, nationalistic lawmaker in President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party. He has been Chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy of the State Duma and a member of the Advisory Council of the President of the Russian Federation. Below we discuss war with Ukraine, principles of sovereignty and geopolitics, the ongoing energy battle, the nuclear option, and the reestablishment of the Soviet sphere, all within the context of US ambition and Russian counter-strategy.

INTRO:

Atop the unipolar priority list lies the looming Russian “threat” of providing European consumers with affordable, dependable heating and cooking gas at stable long-term contract terms amidst the dead of winter. Only America and its’ “allies”/ [subordinates/collaborators] can halt this menace by supplanting cheap Russian gas piped from relatively short distances with much more expensive, technically-complex US liquid natural gas shipped from across the Atlantic, capitalizing on America’s shale revolution while stamping out Russian influence in Europe—killing two birds with one stone. (Although at least twenty-nine multibillion dollar regasification intake terminals have been built across Europe under US pressure to import its supplies, a new Russian pipeline threatens to render them sunk costs).

The Russian pipeline would “pose an existential threat to European energy security,” states one US sanctions bill, implying that the very notion of energy security outside of US/EU auspices is the threat itself. Washington is trying to block this development, using various means that now include the threat of war under any pretext.

Since Soviet times as much as 80% of Europe’s Russian gas imports traversed Ukraine— but lately those flows have since slowed to a trickle, due to Washington’s eight-year proxy war in Donbas, NATO expansion, Kiev’s tendency to syphon Russian gas and not pay its bills, and other factors. It is little wonder Moscow is scrambling to establish alternate routes avoiding third-party generated instability.

This year European gas prices rocketed to record highs, adding fuel to Russian ambitions to circumvent its’ now-hostile neighbor with its’ latest project, the recently- completed $11 billion natural gas pipeline, Nordstream 2, running under the Baltic sea direct to Germany, crucially evading land transit states subject to external control.

Nordstream 2 could be a major geopolitical boon to both Russia and Germany, helping the latter achieve the energy independence it would need to take steps to chart an independent course and/or remove US occupation troops from its territory, still present under the NATO umbrella since WWII.

Despite the pipeline’s recent completion, the European Commission has delayed (indefinitely) the certification required in order for Russia to start pumping gas. Whether Moscow will go ahead and do it anyway remains up in the air.

What is clear is that US counter-strategy is a patchwork of threats, hysterics and racketeering. As Richard Morningstar, former US diplomat and founding director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Centre, bluntly put it, “I think Nord Stream 2 is really a bad idea…If you want to kill the [US-based] LNG strategy go ahead with Nord Stream [2]”.

The pipeline also undermines an interrelated, long-developing, radical globalization scheme—an internal EU gas market established under the European Energy Charter that’s designed to dismantle Gazprom by preventing Russia from owning or controlling its downstream energy assets.

Large land transit states like Ukraine help to ensure that Russia obey the rules. But after withdrawing from the aforementioned treaty in 2009, Russia has struck bilateral gas deals with states like Hungary and Belarus, enraging Washington and Brussels. Now Nordstream 2 would symbolize the ultimate affront to the internal energy market architecture as it involves Europe’s most powerful nation, Germany, with no transit states in-between.

(Berlin has been left in the cold ever since caving to pressure to phase-out its nuclear capacity and cease domestic coal production). The pertinent question is: on whose outside supplies will Berlin come to depend? Europe’s future may hang on the answer.

Ex-German chancellor Angela Merkel supported the pipeline, her foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, along with the Austrian Federal Chancellor, Christian Kern, complaining, “The draft bill of the US [sanctions regime] is surprisingly candid about what is actually at stake, namely selling American liquefied natural gas and ending the supply of Russian natural gas to the European market. We cannot accept the threat of illegal extraterritorial sanctions…involving Russia, such as Nord Stream 2, [which] impacts European-American relations in a new and very negative way.”

Detractors, meanwhile, insist that a pipeline avoiding Ukraine would give Russia more leverage over its weaker neighbor, despite the implied detachment, a piece of double-think requiring little to no explanation.

Nevertheless, one hard-headed member of Russia’s Duma explains what’s really going on, from Moscow’s view, and what’s truly at stake in this developing saga.

INTERVIEW:

Q: How does EU policy affect European states’ energy consumption?

Yevgeny Fyodorov

A: The alternative to our natural gas is, of course, importing US LNG, which is much more expensive. The crucial interested parties in our piped gas are Europe and especially Germany. The key question arises from the fact that the EU wants absolute control over the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline. They want to control everything. The principle of competition of nations is involved. Russia is also interested in full control over those gas supplies; it helps Russia to fulfill its obligations. We welcome no third party to play this game as an outside controller over the pipeline.

Hence the Germans’ position: they support Nordstream 2 because it provides for their gas balance and they understand that otherwise they will lack gas. Nord Stream 2 is a kind of “magic wand” for Russia because it helps Germany to get a stable gas supply and sign long-term contracts. Otherwise they will need to keep temperatures in their dwellings very low. If the EU refuses to certify Nordstream 2, Europe will freeze. It would be like shooting its’ own leg.

The position of Europe is this: give us all transport routes and gas fields—but it contradicts the Russian principle of state sovereignty. So Russia won’t agree to it. Our position is simple: we supply gas, you can either take it or not. We aren’t going to sort out your domestic problems.

Q: What are the impediments to gas flowing through the recently-completed Nordstream 2 pipeline?

A: Blocking Nordstream 2 is a result of pressure from the Americans. There we need to understand common sense. What is the Americans’ interest? It is a very basic interest. There is no economic profit in LNG supplied from the US. The interest of the US is that they are generally against German economic independence and independent resouces. Yes, we have American military troops in Germany, Germany is being controlled by the US. In case Germany becomes too independent it will simply throw away American control. This is how history works. Of course, this is why the Americans are against NS2. Not just because of the competition with their LNG, but also because of US Anti-German policy. They dislike that Germany would gain a new level of economic independence; such level which would allow Germany to get rid of American control.

It’s clear that the U.S. wouldn’t like European countries, particularly Germany, to become more powerful. So, the U.S.’s geopolitical interest consists in Germany not being able to solve its problems with gas supply beyond U.S.’s influence, without the influence from Ukraine, Poland etc… As a result Americans opposed Nord Stream 2 from the very beginning. It’s obvious. Because it’s one thing when you control a few countries and manipulate them and it’s absolutely different thing when Germany will get a regular gas supply and will be independent of the US. It’s the position of the US and it’s clear and understandable.

The position of Germany: it needs a reliable gas supply and independence. The position of Russia: to earn money for its gas supply. With every coming year, Germany will become more and more sovereign\independent and one day American troops will be withdrawn from its territory. I’m sure one day Germany will raise the question of withdrawal of American occupation troops from their land. You know, these troops were simply renamed from occupation troops into NATO’s troops. It’s in the interests of German people and at some point Germans will do it. Russia will definitely help them, not in a military way but by creating geopolitical foundation of free nations.

And now another question: the situation in the European Union. European regulations/treaties/charters/energy packages were adopted not by Germany but by the EU and which are greatly influenced by the U.S. They created the so-called energy packages … If EU countries had signed long-term contracts, there wouldn’t have been any price increase. They could have agreed on $300 per cubic meter for many years ahead. But without these contracts the price rocketed to $1000, harming Germany and other European countries.

A: How does the issue of sovereignty come into effect?

What’s the main motivation of any nation? Sovereignty and freedom. And if there are any occupation troop on their land, it’s anything but freedom. That’s why any nation will demand occupation armies to leave their country even if at present they don’t talk about it openly because of the propaganda. Germany is moving in this direction. It’s a normal process. A Unipolar world is neither normal nor legal in the historic context. Either there is one Empire, like the Roman Empire of Alexander the Great, or the world is multi-polar. There is no other option.

Today’s unipolar world is volatile. And Americans understand this. They have two options: either to create a colonial empire (but aren’t powerful enough to do it) or accept\embrace the multi-polar world model. They are guided by the rules of competition among nations according to which everyone is everyone’s enemy. That’s the way people live in the world. All the wars were caused by this. The logic is: you’re the most powerful and the rest are suppressed by you. Everyone is suppressed by you, not only major enemies like Russia, but allies as well. They are allies because American troops are on their territory but not because they love America.

Q: Why does the U.S. still insist on gas transit through Ukraine?

A: Another play is the game with Ukraine, where we still talk about keeping gas supply transiting through it. Nobody (in Russia) refuses to transit via Ukraine. But the talks and wishes are about the substantial profit Ukraine will obtain from transiting our gas over its’ territories. The Americans will continue to insist that Russia must finance its’ own war with Ukraine, until NS2 will start to function; until Russia manages to exclude Ukraine from financing its’ military actions with Russian money [via transit fees amounting to billions of dollars per year].

Frankly speaking there is a particular part of Ukraine that refused to follow the orders of the newly- emerged power in Kiev, who occupied power in 2014. The new undersea pipeline (NS2) shouldn’t involve a third party like what we have to deal with in the case of Ukraine. Our undersea pipeline is more convenient for Europe. It is clear that when the Ukraine pipeline was constructed in the middle of last century there were no underwater pipeline technologies. Now this new technology has emerged thanks to scientific progress.

Q: What are the economic implications of this energy battle?

A: Let’s look at this question from the viewpoint of science, history and geopolitics. What is the American dollar? The American dollar is a world currency. Let’s look at some figures: the American dollar turnover in the world is 40%, the euro turnover is 40% whereas the ruble turnover is only 0.18%. So, the ruble turnover is 400 times lower than that of the dollar or euro. The ruble doesn’t exist on the global scale.

Americans have built their consumption at the expense of the world dollar. Estimates show that Americans consume 4 times more than they produce on their territory. The situation in Russia is quite the opposite. Russia produces 4 times more of the global GDP than it consumes. As a result Russia is a contributor to the world economy while the US is a vermin\parasite. These are merely figures\data, nothing personal. So, the dollar is of great importance to the Americans.

The dollar requires worldwide jurisdiction – Anglo-Saxon law – because currency is worthless if it’s not supported by juridical system. Hence comes the mechanism of the world jurisdiction, the unipolar world as a vertical authority. According to Putin, “one power center means one decision-making center”. What’s Russia’s interest? To restore the ruble, which will allow Russia to immediately control 6% of the world currency turnover. And I’d like to remind you that at present we control only 0.18%. In the long run, taking into account that Russia has 1\3 of the world’s resources, we expect this figure to reach 1\3 of the world turnover. We want to have the right to print out currency.

Q: Do the aforementioned issues implicate a pivot to Asia?

A: There is a policy of reducing dependance of EU countries on Russian gas. We are ready to sell our gas to EU countries. But we see EU legislation creates harm to Europe, eg. Now the natural gas price jumped to $900 per 1000 cubic meters. But those are internal problems; they should be able to set up their legislation so that it will not harm their economy. Concerning Chinese – Russian relations and natural gas supply to China, the supply will continue to grow.

This is about geopolitical and economic profitability. There are certain issues that lead to this. Russia and China have a common goal: to establish sovereignty. I reiterate one figure for economists: in the world economy the USD and the Euro comprise 80% of the world economy. The Russian ruble comprises one twentieth of 1% of global reserves. Hundreds of times less. Naturally that is unfair and illegal. And we will carry on politics which will result in the situation where the Russian ruble will equal Russia’s economy and resource export capability. And China will be our ally.

Q: What is the general position of European states, notwithstanding EU internal market legislation?

A: Who is the enemy of American unipolar world? The enemy of any unipolar world, including the American one, is national thousand-year-old states\countries, like Germany, France, etc… because such countries don’t want to be given orders. France has been independent for more than 1000 years.

They don’t need any bosses in Brussels, let alone in Washington. So the policy of the US is to subdue them. The US has been trying to achieve this goal, firstly, by assisting in EU creation and by Mediterranean wars which led to millions of refugees who break French, German etc… national regimes. That’s the goal. Why did America bomb Libya, Syria? Why were they involved in the coup d’état in Egypt? It’s clear that they wanted to destroy national thousand-year-old states, which leads to economic destruction.

Q: What do you make of the de-Russification laws in Ukraine?

A: It is occupational tool intended to limit and prohibit the Russian language in Ukraine. The character and basic feature of Russian nation is that it is cultural people with big history. And the Russian language is a very important factor in consolidating and uniting multiple smaller nations.

In the territory of Ukraine, as Ukraine itself is not a legal state from the position of International Law. So in Ukraine outside extranational parties. First of all, the US and their allies carry out the politics to stop the process of reestablishment of the joint united Motherland within it’s 1945 borders. In turn the reestablishment process in many parts of the Soviet Union is being carried out by all interested parties.

From this fact emerges the conflict within Ukraine. This conflict could only be resolved by establishment of one single united state of Ukraine and Russia. Otherwise, it will never be resolved and will last forever. Actually, the reunion (of Ukraine and Russia) will definitely happen one day, is my strong belief. All serious leading experts understand that. The situation (between Russia and Ukraine) is still not regulated in accordance with the procedures guiding the liquidation of the Soviet Union. That is most important to understand. To say it in rough words, the situation with Ukraine and Crimea is prolonged and delayed until today. These are the roots of conflicts and arguments with Ukraine about Crimea and Donbass and Lugansk, and with Moldova, Transdniestria, Georgia, Abkhazia, etc…

Q: How does Russia view subversive actions in nearby states like Belarus, for example?

A: As an attempt to intrude by a third party into territory of an internationally recognized state entity, a joint Motherland within 1945 borders. Actually, we will react to intrusion into any other country, not only Belarus. Russia will use shield and defense tools. Defense tools we have include nuclear weapons, to protect and secure our borders and keep them safe and contain safely our nuclear weapons, and using those nuclear weapons. In other words, should America enter the territory of Belarus, our nuclear missiles are targeted at London, Washington, New York and other cities. The US will continue to manipulate Ukraine and Belorussia to oppose Russia. They will utilize the issue of unregulated state borders [see today: Kazakhstan] between these countries as a lever against its’ competitor and opponent, Russia.

Q: Do you feel that America’s missile bases in Eurasia are directed towards Russia?

A: We don’t ignore the reality that the US has installed missile bases throughout Eurasia. And the [US] State Department was saying that they will form new military nuclear bases there, including in Asian countries. Please understand this is very simple story. Russia plans to engage its nuclear weapons not against those countries where it was launched against Russia, but against the mastermind cities where the decisions were made. To be exact, it is Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other American cities. Please fully understand, in case American nuclear weapons are launched from, eg. Taiwan, or Poland, the response will hit New York or Washington.

Q: Please elaborate on the EU’s long-unfolding internal gas market/energy treaty packages.

A: Sure. European policy was to reject long-term contracts. This policy was to start a competitive war in which, as they said, the price would be reduced as a result of competition. And here lies their error of judgment. Competition works only if there is excess supply.

But taking into consideration the post-Covid economy boost of China and Asia [among other factors], there hasn’t been any excess supply. As a result the EU failed. [higher prices, however, have increased demand for US LNG imports, perhaps implying that Russia’s plan backfired, playing into America’s hands]. Those who signed long-term contracts didn’t suffer at all. Some French companies, for instance, didn’t lose anything. They even benefited from this. So this price increase is the EU’s fault. What Russia wants is just to earn money for its produce. Russia thinks like this: if we don’t sell gas in Europe, we could sell it in China.

Q: What is the situation surrounding US negotiations with Germany regarding Russian energy?

A: Look: Who is more important: the supplier or the consumer who pays money? Surely, it’s the consumer. So, who is the main player in this situation: Germany or Russia? Germany. That’s why the U.S. opposes Nord Stream 2 by negotiating with Germany, not Russia. Germany is the main player here. So, the U.S. exerted pressure on Germany. And Germany, in its turn, tried to compensate by offering to invest in Ukrainian system, hydrogen etc… The negotiations regarding Nord Stream 2 were conducted between Germany and the U.S. but not between America and Russia.

Q: How do offhand events, like the “Russiagate” fraud, the alleged Navalny poisoning, hysteria surrounding Russian troop buildup along the Russian-Ukrainian border, etc… influence public opinion?

A: Russia is constantly blamed and there are two reasons why. Firstly, Russia doesn’t have influence on its own information sphere; it doesn’t have the necessary technology. Even Russia’s social networks, television are American. Mass media in Russia are beyond Russia’s jurisdiction. Russia doesn’t have “weapons” in the information sphere. Besides it’s very convenient to put all the blame on Russia in order to solve one’s own domestic problems. It’s common practice.

Q: Is the EU’s energy Treaty Packages/Charter unfeasible?

A: The EU’s energy packages are based on market excess supply. What I mean is they get gas supply from everywhere, from the U.S., Asia, Norway, and Russia. Europe wants to get the lowest price due to the competition between these suppliers. It only works providing there is excess supply due to different reasons, including transport logistics [plus Russia’s allegedly withholding supply from the market for leverage in Nordstrream 2 negotiations]. So it was a wrong strategy. I have only one question here: was this strategy was wrong because they are fools in Brussels or because they just played along with Americans? I think the latter. The situation got out of control: it led to price increase. Now they don’t know how to handle it.

Q: Will Russia accept the terms and conditions of these energy packages?

A: While drawing up this energy package (and it took years), they didn’t anticipate post-Covid syndrome which changed the situation globally. But Russia’s position is very simple. We support sovereignty. Historically, the concept of sovereignty in the Russian word is a priority. We respect the sovereignty of others. Russian position is simple: here is gas, you can either take it or not. We aren’t going to change your own internal regulations.

Q: How does US and Russian geopolitical strategy differ?

A: We have a different geopolitical strategy. The U.S. strategy is to support dollar turnover in the world. The U.S. domestic economy is dependent on external dollar. Hence 800 (military) bases abroad.

The strategic historical policy of Britain and later America – the so called “gunboat policy, is creating conflict zones and supporting both conflicting parties with the aim of controlling the situation. That’s the U.S. policy. It originates from the American principle of nation building. Russia’s policy is exclusively managing our own business. We are a country of defensive\protective policy. The only exception was the USSR with its Marxist ideology of world revolutions. But it was a temporary exception and it was rejected by Russia.

Q: Do you regard ecological complaints from Poland as a part of the American scheme?

A: Sure. Poland is under U.S. control. If Americans remove this control, it will be gained by Germany. But it’s not in the U.S. interests, so they use Poland and Ukraine. They tried to control Belarus but failed. It’s a clash of strategies. The American strategy is “divide and rule.” Americans want to divide Russia in order to get supplies separately from the Siberia, Ural. But since Russia has nuclear weapons, this plan won’t work out for them.

Q: Would Russia like to restore something like the USSR?

A: The priority here consists in re-establishing legal outcomes, in restoring something that was violated illegally. If a country is divided legally, they have the right to do so. For example, the Czech Republic and Slovakia decided to split. If they did it legally, that’s not a problem. But if it’s illegal, it should be revoked. Do you feel the difference?

As for Yugoslavia one should scrutinize the legitimacy of its division. What are the relations between international and internal\domestic laws? International law doesn’t interfere with domestic laws. A country can be destroyed\divided only by its own laws. If internal Yugoslavian laws were broken while dividing Yugoslavia, then this country should be restored. For the same reason Americans insist on Serbia recognizing Kosovo. Because Americans are well aware that until Serbia recognizes Kosovo’s independence, Serbia and Kosovo can’t be considered legally divided, no matter how many American (military) bases are located in Kosovo.

Without any doubt, the Soviet Union’s dissolution was illegal. By the way, from the viewpoint of law, it wasn’t dissolved because no republic, except for the Baltic States, took the decision to leave the Soviet Union. The republics decided on the state sovereignty but any union consists of sovereign states. So, it doesn’t mean the dissolution of the union.

Q: Who controls Russia’s Central Bank?

A: You must understand how our Central Bank works. The Central Bank is the Depositary of IMF and secures and answers for worldwide USD circulation and includes part of Russian territory. So the Central Bank is part of USD circulation. The Russian Ruble is a derivative of USD and Euro circulations. The Ruble emission is carried out proportionally to part of export deals, as part of USD and Euro income as a result of such operations. So, the Central Bank policy and ruble policy does not reflect the Russian economy at all. It just shows our export potential. So we understand we need reforms to nationalize our currency exchange system and Central Bank. And reforms would create a ruble currency bulk inside Russia in correlation with exports. Similar to what the ECB and Forex are doing. We plan this reform.


Nash Landesnan has written for a number of publications. He can be contacted at NashLandesman1@gmail.com.

China, Russia and India: Foreign Ministers Joint Communique

November 27, 2021

Joint Communique of the 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China

November 26, 2021

1. The 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China was held in the digital video-conference format on 26 November 2021. The meeting took place in the backdrop of negative impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic, on-going economic recovery as well as continuing threats of terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, trans-national organized crime, natural and man-made disasters, food security and climate change.

2. The Ministers exchanged views on further strengthening the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral cooperation and also discussed various regional and international issues of importance. The Ministers recalled their last meeting in Moscow in September 2020 as well as the RIC Leaders’ Informal Summit in Osaka (Japan) in June 2019 and noted the need for regular high level meetings to foster closer cooperation among the RIC countries.

3. Expressing their solidarity with those who were negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministers underlined the importance of a timely, transparent, effective and non-discriminatory international response to global health challenges including pandemics, with equitable and affordable access to medicines, vaccines and critical health supplies. They reiterated the need for continued cooperation in this fight inter-alia through sharing of vaccine doses, transfer of technology, development of local production capacities, promotion of supply chains for medical products. In this context, they noted the ongoing discussions in the WTO on COVID-19 vaccine Intellectual Property Rights waiver and the use of flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.

4. Emphasizing the need for collective cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministers noted the measures being taken by the World Health Organization (WHO), governments, non-profit organisations, academia, business and industry in combating the pandemic. In this context, the Ministers called for strengthening the policy responses of WHO in the fight against Covid-19 and other global health challenges. They also called for making Covid-19 vaccination a global public good.

5. The Ministers agreed that cooperation among the RIC countries will contribute not only to their own growth but also to global peace, security, stability and development. The Ministers underlined the importance of strengthening of an open, transparent, just, inclusive, equitable and representative multi-polar international system based on respect for international law and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and central coordinating role of the United Nations in the international system.

6. The Ministers reiterated that a multi-polar and rebalanced world based on sovereign equality of nations and respect for international law and reflecting contemporary realities requires strengthening and reforming of the multilateral system. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. The Ministers acknowledged that the current interconnected international challenges should be addressed through reinvigorated and reformed multilateral system, especially of the UN and its principal organs, and other multilateral institutions such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), with a view to enhancing its capacity to effectively address the diverse challenges of our time and to adapt them to 21st century realities. The Ministers recalled the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and reaffirmed the need for comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges. Foreign Ministers of China and Russia reiterated the importance they attached to the status of India in international affairs and supported its aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations.Foreign Ministers of Russia and China congratulated India for its successful Presidency of the UNSC in August 2021.

7. Underlining the significance they attach to the intra-BRICS cooperation, the Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the 13th BRICS Summit held under India’s chairmanship on 9 September 2021. They agreed to work actively to implement the decisions of the successive BRICS Summits, deepen BRICS strategic partnership, strengthen cooperation in its three pillars namely political and security cooperation; economic and finance; and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Russia and India extend full support to China for its BRICS Chairship in 2022 and hosting the XIV BRICS Summit.

8. In the year of the 20th Anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) the Ministers underlined that the SCO as an influential and responsible member of the modern system of international relations plays a constructive role in securing peace and sustainable development, advancing regional cooperation and consolidating ties of good-neighbourliness and mutual trust. In this context, they emphasized the importance of further strengthening the Organization’s multifaceted potential with a view to promote multilateral political, security, economic and people-to-people exchanges cooperation. The Ministers intend to pay special attention to ensuring stability in the SCO space, including to step up efforts in jointly countering terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and trans-border organized crime under the framework of SCO-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure. They appreciated the Ministerial meeting in the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan format held on 14th July 2021 in Dushanbe.

9. The Ministers supported the G-20’s leading role in global economic governance and international economic cooperation. They expressed their readiness to enhance communication and cooperation including through G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and other means, through consultations and mutual support in areas of respective interest.

10. The Ministers stand for maintaining and strengthening of ASEAN Centrality and the role of ASEAN-led mechanisms in the evolving regional architecture, including through fostering ties between ASEAN and other regional organizations such as the SCO, IORA, BIMSTEC. The Ministers reiterated the importance of the need for closer cooperation and consultations in various regional fora and organizations, East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), to jointly contribute to regional peace, security and stability.

11. The Ministers consider it important to utilize the potential of the countries of the region, international organizations and multilateral associations in order to create a space in Eurasia for broad, open, mutually beneficial and equal interaction in accordance with international law and taking into account national interests. In that regard, they noted the idea of establishing a Greater Eurasian Partnership involving the SCO countries, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other interested States and multilateral associations.

12. The Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Ministers reaffirmed that terrorism must be comprehensively countered to achieve a world free of terrorism. They called on the international community to strengthen UN-led global counter-terrorism cooperation by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In this context, they called for early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. The Ministers stressed that those committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting, financing terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with existing international commitments on countering terrorism, including the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the FATF standards, international treaties, including on the basis of the principle “extradite or prosecute” and relevant international and bilateral obligations and in compliance with applicable domestic legislation.

13. The Ministers emphasized the importance of the three international drug control conventions and other relevant legal instruments which form the edifice of the drug control system. They reiterated their firm resolve to address the world drug problem, on a basis of common and shared responsibility. The Ministers expressed their determination to counter the spread of illicit drug trafficking in opiates and methamphetamine from Afghanistan and beyond, which poses a serious threat to regional security and stability and provides funding for terrorist organizations.

14. The Ministers reiterated the need for a holistic approach to development and security of ICTs, including technical progress, business development, safeguarding the security of States and public interests, and respecting the right to privacy of individuals. The Ministers noted that technology should be used responsibly in a human-centric manner. They underscored the leading role of the United Nations in promoting a dialogue to forge common understandings on the security of and in the use of ICTs and development of universally agreed norms, rules and principles for responsible behaviour of States in the area of ICTs and recognized the importance of strengthening its international cooperation. The Ministers recalled that the development of ICT capabilities for military purposes and the malicious use of ICTs by State and non-State actors including terrorists and criminal groups is a disturbing trend. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to principles of preventing conflicts stemming from the use of ICTs, as well as ensuring use of these technologies for peaceful purposes. In this context, they welcomed the work of recently concluded UN-mandated groups namely Open Ended Working Group on the developments in the fields of Information and Telecommunications in the context of international security (OEWG) and the Sixth United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) on Advancing responsible State behaviour in cyberspace in the context of international security and their consensual final reports. The Ministers supported the OEWG on the security of and in the use of ICTs 2021-2025.

15. The Ministers, while emphasizing the important role of the ICTs for growth and development, acknowledged the potential misuse of ICTs for criminal activities and threats. The Ministers expressed concern over the increasing level and complexity of criminal misuse of ICTs as well as the absence of a UN-led framework to counter the use of ICTs for criminal purposes. Noting that new challenges and threats in this respect require international cooperation, the Ministers appreciated the launch of the UN Open-Ended Ad-Hoc Intergovernmental Committee of Experts to elaborate a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes under the auspices of the United Nations, pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly resolution 74/247.

16. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to broadening and strengthening the participation of emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs) in the international economic decision-making and norm-setting processes, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this regard, they emphasized the importance of constant efforts to reform the international financial architecture. They expressed concern that enhancing the voice and participation of EMDCs in the Bretton Woods institutions remains far from realization.

17. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for a transparent, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core. In this context, they reiterated their support for the necessary reform which would preserve the centrality, core values and fundamental principles of the WTO while taking into account the interests of all members, especially developing countries and Least Developing Countries (LDCs). They emphasized the primary importance of ensuring the restoration and preservation of the normal functioning of a two-stage WTO Dispute Settlement system, including the expeditious appointment of all Appellate Body members. The post-pandemic world requires diversified global value chains that are based on resilience and reliability.

18. The Ministers agreed that the imposition of unilateral sanctions beyond those adopted by the UNSC as well as “long-arm jurisdiction” were inconsistent with the principles of international law, have reduced the effectiveness and legitimacy of the UNSC sanction regime, and had a negative impact on third States and international economic and trade relations. They called for a further consolidation and strengthening of the working methods of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee to ensure their effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency.

19. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions- economic, social and environmental in a balanced and integrated manner – and reiterated that the Sustainable Development Goals are integrated and indivisible and must be achieved ‘leaving no one behind’. The Ministers called upon the international community to foster a more equitable and balanced global development partnership to address the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and to accelerate the implementation of 2030 Agenda while giving special attention to the difficulties and needs of the developing countries. The Ministers urged developed countries to honour their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments, including the commitment to achieve the target of 0.7 percent of gross national income for official development assistance (ODA/GNI) to developing countries and to facilitate capacity building and the transfer of technology to developing countries together with additional development resources, in line with national policy objectives of the recipients.

20. The Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to Climate action by implementation of Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement adopted under the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the principle of Equity, Common But Differentiated Responsibilities, the criticality of adequate finance and technology flows, judicious use of resources and the need for sustainable lifestyles. They recognized that peaking of Greenhouse Gas Emissions will take longer for developing countries, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. They stressed the importance of a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that addresses the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in a balanced way. They welcomed the outcomes of the 26th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-26) and the 15th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-15).

21. The Ministers underlined the imperative of dialogue to strengthen international peace and security through political and diplomatic means. The Ministers confirmed their commitment to ensure prevention of an arms race in outer space and its weaponization, through the adoption of a relevant multilateral legally binding instrument. In this regard, they noted the relevance of the draft treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects. They emphasized that the Conference on Disarmament, as the single multilateral negotiating forum on this subject, has the primary role in the negotiation of a multilateral agreement, or agreements, as appropriate, on the prevention of an arms race in outer space in all its aspects. They expressed concern over the possibility of outer space turning into an arena of military confrontation. They stressed that practical transparency and confidence building measures, such as the No First Placement initiative may also contribute towards the prevention of an arms race in outer space. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for enhancing international cooperation in outer space in accordance with international law, based on the Outer Space Treaty. They recognized, in that regard, the leading role of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). They agreed to stand together for enhancing the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and safety of space operations through deliberations under UNCOPUOS.

22. The Ministers reiterated the importance of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC) as a key pillar of the global disarmament and security architecture. They highlighted the need for BTWC States Parties to comply with BTWC, and actively consult one another on addressing issues through cooperation in relation to the implementation of the Convention and strengthening it, including by negotiating a legally binding Protocol for the Convention that provides for, inter alia, an efficient verification mechanism. The BTWC functions should not be duplicated by other mechanisms. They also reaffirmed support for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and called upon the State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to uphold the Convention and the integrity of the CWC and engage in a constructive dialogue with a view to restoring the spirit of consensus in the OPCW.

23. The Ministers showed deep concern about the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) falling into the hands of terrorist groups, including the use of chemicals and biological agents for terrorist purposes. To address the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, they emphasized the need to launch multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism at the Conference on Disarmament. They urged all States to take and strengthen national measures, as appropriate, to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and materials and technologies related to their manufacture.

24. The Ministers noted rising concerns regarding dramatic change of the situation in Afghanistan. They reaffirmed their support for basic principle of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and called for formation of a truly inclusive government that represents all the major ethnic and political groups of the country. The Ministers advocated a peaceful, secure, united, sovereign, stable and prosperous inclusive Afghanistan that exists in harmony with its neighbors. They called on the Taliban to take actions in accordance with the results of all the recently held international and regional formats of interaction on Afghanistan, including the UN Resolutions on Afghanistan. Expressing concern over deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the Ministers called for immediate and unhindered humanitarian assistance to be provided to Afghanistan. The Ministers also emphasized on the central role of UN in Afghanistan.

25. They stressed the necessity of urgent elimination of UNSC proscribed terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, ISIL and others for lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region. The Ministers acknowledged the widespread and sincere demand of the Afghan people for lasting peace. They reaffirmed the importance of ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any other country, and that no Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country.

26. The Ministers reiterated the importance of full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and UNSC Resolution 2231 and expressed their support to the relevant efforts to ensure the earliest reinvigoration of the JCPOA which is a landmark achievement for multilateral diplomacy and the nuclear non-proliferation.

27. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Myanmar. They expressed support to the efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) aimed at implementation of its Five-Point Consensus in cooperation with Myanmar. They called on all sides to refrain from violence.

28. The Ministers underlined the importance of lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. They expressed their support for a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to resolve all issues pertaining to the Korean Peninsula.

29. The Ministers welcomed the announcement of the Gaza ceasefire beginning 21 May 2021 and stressed the importance of the restoration of general stabilization. They recognized the efforts made by the UN and regional countries to prevent the hostilities from escalating. They mourned the loss of civilian lives resulting from the violence, called for the full respect of international humanitarian law and urged the international community’s immediate attention to providing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in Gaza. They supported in this regard the Secretary General’s call for the international community to work with the United Nations, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), on developing an integrated, robust package of support for a swift and sustainable reconstruction and recovery as well as for appropriate use of such aid. The Ministers reiterated their support for a two-State solution guided by the international legal framework previously in place, resulting in creating an independent and viable Palestinian State and based on the vision of a region where Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders.

30. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic. They expressed their conviction that there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict. They also reaffirmed their support to a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in full compliance with UNSC Resolution 2254. They welcomed in this context the importance of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, launched with the decisive participation of the countries-guarantors of the Astana Process and other states engaged in efforts to address the conflict through political means, and expressed their support to the efforts of Mr. Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria, to ensure the sustainable and effective work of the Committee. They reiterated their conviction that in order to reach general agreement, members of the Constitutional Committee should be governed by a sense of compromise and constructive engagement without foreign interference and externally imposed timelines. They emphasized the fundamental importance of allowing unhindered humanitarian aid to all Syrians in accordance with the UN humanitarian principles and the post-conflict reconstruction of Syria that would contribute to the safe, voluntary and dignified return of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of origin thus paving the way to achieving long-term stability and security in Syria and the region in general.

31. The Ministers expressed grave concern over the ongoing conflict in Yemen which affects the security and stability not only of Yemen, but also of the entire region, and has caused what is being called by the United Nations as the worst humanitarian crisis currently in the world. They called for a complete cessation of hostilities and the establishment of an inclusive, Yemeni-led negotiation process mediated by the UN. They also stressed the importance of providing urgent humanitarian access and assistance to all Yemenis.

32. The Ministers welcomed the formation of the new transitional Presidency Council and Government of National Unity in Libya as a positive development and hoped that it would promote reconciliation among all political parties and Libyan society, work towards restoration of peace and stability and conduct elections on 24 December 2021 to hand over power to the new government as per the wishes of the Libyan people. They also noted the important role of UN in this regard.

33. The Ministers noted that some of the planned activities under the RIC format could not take place in the physical format due to the global Covid-19 pandemic situation. They welcomed the outcomes of the 18th RIC Trilateral Academic Conference organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi (ICWA) in the video-conference format on 22-23 April 2021. In this context, they also commended the contribution of the Institute of Chinese Studies (New Delhi), Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) and China Institute of International Studies (Beijing) in establishing the RIC Academic Conference as the premier annual analytical forum for deepening RIC cooperation in diverse fields.

34. The Ministers expressed their support to China to host Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

35. Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China and the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation thanked the External Affairs Minister of India for successful organization of the RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting. External Affairs Minister of India passed on the chairmanship in the RIC format to the Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China. The date and venue of the next RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting will be agreed upon through the diplomatic channels.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 24, Moscow

November 05, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 24, Moscow

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 24, Moscow, November 1, 2021

Question: Not so long ago, you said that Russia would not use ideology-based rules in its international diplomatic practices. What examples can you give to explain this to a layman in matters of politics?

Sergey Lavrov: It’s simple. Ideally, any society should obey generally accepted rules that have proved their efficacy and sensibility.  Speaking about international life, the United Nations Charter is a book of collectively and universally coordinated rules. Later, when new members joined the UN, they accepted these rules in their entirety, without any exemptions, because UN membership requires that the Charter be ratified without any reservations. These rules are universal and mandatory for all.

With the age of multipolarity now dawning – and its emergence is an objective fact – new centres of economic growth, financial power and political influence have come into being. The multitude of voices is louder at the UN. A consensus or a vote are required in a situation where new solutions or rules have to be developed based on the UN Charter. In both cases, this work involves conflicting opinions and the need to defend one’s position and prove it is correct. Truth springs from argument and this is what this collective work is all about.

Conscious of the fact that its arguments are increasingly vulnerable because its policy is aimed at slowing down the objective formation of a polycentric world fully in keeping with the UN Charter, the collective West thinks it more beneficial for itself to discuss current issues outside of universal organisations and make arrangements within its inner circle, where there is no one to argue with it. I am referring to the collective West itself and some “docile” countries it invites from time to time. The latter are needed as extras and create a semblance of a process that is wider than a purely Western affair. There are quite a few such examples.

Specifically, they are pushing the idea of a “summit for democracy.” This summit will take place in December at the invitation of US President Joe Biden. To be sure, we will not be invited. Neither are the Chinese on the list of invitees. The list itself is missing as well. Some of our partners are “whispering in our ear” that they have been told to get ready: supposedly an invitation is in the pipeline. Asked, what they would do there, they reply that theirs will be an online address, after which a final statement will be circulated. Can we see it? They promise to show it later. So we have here the “sovereign” and his “vassals.”

The Summit for Democracy seeks to divide people and countries into “democracies” and “non-democracies.”  Furthermore, my colleagues from a respected country have told me that they could infer from the invitation they had received that the democratic countries that were invited to attend were also divided into “fully” and “conditionally” democratic. I think the Americans want to have the biggest possible crowd to show that the Washington-led movement has so many followers. Watching who specifically gets invited and in what capacity will be quite amusing. I am certain that there will be attempts to reach out to some of our strategic partners and allies, but I do hope that they will remain faithful to the obligations they have in other frameworks instead of taking part in artificially concocted, one-off unofficial summits.

The same applies to the initiative Germany and France proposed two or three years ago. I am referring to the idea of an Alliance of Multilateralists. Asked, why should it be formed – after all, the United Nations, where all sovereign states are represented, stands at the pinnacle of multilateralism – they gave rather an interesting answer.   According to them, there are many conservatives at the United Nations, who hinder the genuine multilateral processes, while they are the “forerunners,”   they want to lead the van and show others with their example how to promote multilateralism. But this prompts the question: Where is the “ideal” of multilateralism? Allegedly, it is personified by the European Union, a paragon of “effective multilateralism.” Once again, they understand multilateralism as the need for the rest to accept the Western world’s leadership along with  the superiority of Western “values” and other things western. At the same time, multilateralism, as described on the US dollar  (E pluribus unum) and as embodied in the United Nations, seems  inconvenient, because there is too much diversity for those who want to impose their uniform values everywhere.

Question: Is this a constructive approach?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, not! Let me reiterate that this is how they understand the serious processes that are unfolding across the world against the backdrop of the emerging multilateralism and multipolarity. The latter, by the way, were conceived by God, for He created all men equal. And this is what the US Constitution says, but they tend to forget its formulas, when it comes to geopolitics.

There are other examples. The Dutch and the British are pushing the idea of a Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence. Why not do this at UNESCO? Why discuss this outside the organisation that was specifically created for dealing with new scientific achievements and making them available to mankind? There is no reply.

There are several competing partnerships, and the Media Freedom Coalition formed by Canada and Britain is one of them. The French, together with Reporters without Borders, promote the Information and Democracy Partnership. Once again, not everyone is invited to join it. Several years ago, Britain held the Global Conference for Media Freedom.

Question: Russia was not invited to attend, was it?

Sergey Lavrov: At first, there was no invitation, but then we reminded them that if this was a “global forum,” it was right to hear opposing points of views. But they did not invite us all the same.

Examples of this kind are not in short supply. Talking about these matters, there are mechanisms within UNESCO, which is fully legitimate and competent to deal with these issues. However, it gives a voice to others who may have a different view on media freedom compared to that of our Western colleagues. I think that this sets the international community on a path that is quite destructive, just like the attempts to “privatise” the secretariats of international organisations.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a case in point, since people from Western and NATO countries are fully in control of its Technical Secretariat. The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) states that everything must be done by consensus. However, the Technical Secretariat obediently tolerates gross violations of the Convention. The Western countries vote for their decisions, which is completely at odds with the CWC, and claim that executing these  is the Secretariat’s duty. By arrogating the right to pinpoint who is to blame for using chemical weapons, the Technical Secretariat takes over the functions of the UN Security Council.

The West has now instructed the Technical Secretariat to crack down on Syria, where many shady things and outright provocations took place over the past years. We exposed them and held news conferences in The Hague, where the OPCW has its headquarters, as well as in New York. We showed that the Technical Secretariat was being manipulated with the help of destructive and extremist NGOs like the White Helmets. I would like to note that we are starting to hear statements along these lines from heads of certain respected organisations. For example, some senior executives of the UNESCO Secretariat have come forward with the initiative to promote “values-based multilateralism.”

Question: And they are the ones who define these values, aren’t they?

Sergey Lavrov: Probably. The UNESCO leadership also represents a Western country and NATO. There is no doubt about this.

We do know that at the end of the day, behind all this talk on building consensus and having regard for the opinion of all countries, the collective West will set the tone. This has already happened more than once. The way the West views “values-based multilateralism” will shape its negotiating position.

At the same time, there is an effort to promote a “human rights-based” approach. If we look at the challenges the world is currently facing, there is security, including food security, as well as ensuring livelihoods and healthcare. This is also related to human rights. The right to life is central to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but it is being trampled upon in the most blatant manner, just like the socioeconomic rights. The United States has yet to join the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and has only signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that the West is seeking to emphasise. Lately they have been focusing on the ugliest ways to interpret these rights, including on transgender issues and other abnormal ideas that go against human nature itself.

Question: You mentioned the humanitarian aspect, which is very important. The border crisis in Belarus. Refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries trying to enter the EU are being deported peremptorily. It is a serious crisis, and the problem has grown in scale. It concerns the border with the EU, which claims to respect human rights and the humanitarian rules. Can Russia mediate the settlement of this conflict? Can we influence the situation at all? And would there be any point?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think that mediation is needed here. I do not see any violations of international law or obligations by Belarus. I have access to information about these developments, just as all the other stakeholders. According to this information, those who do not want to live in Belarus are trying to enter the EU from the territory of Belarus. Demanding that President Alexander Lukashenko and the Belarusian law enforcement agencies stop this would be contrary to international law, especially humanitarian law. The hysterical claims made in some EU countries that Belarus, supported by Russia, is deliberately encouraging these flows of refugees are unseemly for serious politicians. This means that they are aware of their helplessness, including in terms of international law, which is why they are growing hysterical.

Here is a simple example. You have said that the EU does not want refugees to enter its territory. I believe that it is not the EU but individual countries that do not want this. The situation is different across the EU in terms of the positions of individual countries and regions. There is no unity on this matter. Poland and Lithuania are pushing the refugees eager to enter their territory back to Belarus. I wonder how this is different from the recent developments in Italy. Former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refused to allow refugees to disembark in Italy. He argued that there were several other EU countries along their route where they could request asylum. Salvini is likely to face trial for endangering the lives of those refugees, who had fled from the dire, catastrophic conditions in their home countries. What is the difference between the behaviour of the Baltic states and Poland and the decision for which the former minister is about to  stand trial?

There are many other examples of double standards here, but just take a look at the identity of those refugees fleeing to Europe. They are Syrians, Iraqis and, recently, Afghans. People from the Sahel-Sahara region in Africa are trying to enter Europe via Libya.  As we list the countries from which illegal migrants are exporting instability, we should not forget the reason behind the collapse of their home countries. This collapse has been brought about by Western adventurism. A  case in point is the US adventure in Iraq, where tens of thousands of NATO troops and  contingents of other countries eager to please Washington were later stationed in a cover-up ploy . Look at the aggression against Libya, and the failure of the 20-year-long war trumpeted as a mission to restore peace in Afghanistan. They attempted to do the same in Syria. As a result, several million people have been uprooted and are now trying to enter Europe from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. This is our Western partners’ style. They regard any situation from a historical and chronological angle that suits them best. They launched devastating bombing attacks on Libya and Iraq. But after both countries were reduced to ruins, they urged everyone to assume a shared responsibility for the fate of refugees. We asked, why this should be a “shared responsibility?”After all, it was them who created the problem in the first place. They replied: “Let bygones be bygones.” There is no point looking back, they have awakened to the problem, and now it rests with us. Ukraine is another remarkable example of the logic of forgetting historical embarrassments.

QuestionI would be remiss not to ask you about Ukraine. The situation there is escalating. Not so long ago, an officer, a Russian citizen,from the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) on Ceasefire and Stabilisation in Southeastern Ukraine was detained (in fact, kidnapped) on the demarcation line. The Ukrainian military have become increasingly active in the grey zone. With that in mind, how much longer can the Normandy format dialogue continue? Is a ministerial meeting being planned? How productive will this dialogue be?

Sergey Lavrov: I would like to revisit the diplomatic tactics of cutting off inconvenient historical eras and periods. How did it all begin? In our exchanges with our German or French colleagues who co-founded the Normandy format and the February 2015 Minsk agreements, they unfailingly maintain a “constructive ambiguity” with regard to who must comply with the Minsk agreements. We keep telling them: What ambiguity is there? Here, it is clearly written: Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk must enter into consultations and agree on a special status, an amnesty and elections under the auspices of the OSCE. This is clearly stated there. They say they know who plays the decisive role there. We reply that we do not know who else plays the decisive role there except the parties whom the UN Security Council has obliged to act upon what they signed. To their claims that we “annexed” Crimea, we say that, first, we did not annex Crimea, but rather responded to the request of the Crimean people, who had come under a direct threat of destruction. I remember very well the Right Sector leaders saying that Russians should be expelled from Crimea, because they would never speak, think, or write in Ukrainian. Everyone back then was telling me that it was a figure of speech. It was not. Recently, President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky confirmed this when he said: If you think you are Russian, go to Russia. This is exactly the ideology proclaimed by the Right Sector immediately after the EU-guaranteed settlement document had been trampled upon in the morning by the same people who had signed it on behalf of the opposition with President Viktor Yanukovych. When you remind them of Russophobia, which instantly manifested itself among the putschists who seized power as a result of the coup, they say no, it is a thing of the past. They propose starting the discussion with the fact that the sanctions were imposed on us. This is an unsavoury approach.

I am disappointed to see such a decline in the Western negotiating and diplomatic culture. Take any hot item on the international agenda and you will see that the West is either helpless or is cheating. Take, for example, the alleged poisoning of blogger Alexey Navalny. This is a separate matter.

Returning to Ukraine and the Normandy format, indeed, the situation has escalated. There are attempts to create a provocative situation, to provoke the militia into responding and to drag Russia into military actions.

The Bayraktar drone incident is nothing short of a mystery. The Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that this weapon was indeed used, while the Defence Minister claimed that nothing of the kind had happened. I think they are now pondering options to see which one will work better for them: either to show how tough they are having started bombing in direct and gross violation of the Minsk agreements, or to say that they are complying with the Minsk agreements and to propose to get together in the Normandy format. We do not need a meeting for the sake of holding a meeting. They are sending mixed messages through characters like Alexey Arestovich (he is some kind of a semi-official adviser), or head of the presidential executive office Andrey Yermak, or Denis Shmygal, or President Zelensky himself. But they follow the same logic: the Minsk agreements should not and must not be fulfilled, because this will destroy Ukraine. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Minsk agreements were created as a result of 17-hour-long talks precisely in order to preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Initially, having proclaimed their independence, the new republics were even unhappy with us for encouraging them to find common ground with Kiev. Whatever the new authorities may be, Ukraine is our neighbour and a fraternal nation. After signing the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements in Minsk, the Russian Federation convinced representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk to sign this document as well.

Accusing us of destroying Ukraine’s territorial integrity is unseemly and dishonest. It is being destroyed by those who are trying to make it a super-unitary state while reducing the languages ​​of ethnic minorities, primarily Russian, to the status of token tools of communication, and making education in Russian and other languages nonexistent​. This is a neo-Nazi approach to society building.

As you may be aware, in April 2014, immediately after the Crimea referendum, former US Secretary of State John Kerry, former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, Acting Foreign Minister of the new regime in Ukraine Andrey Deshchitsa and I met in Vienna. We agreed on one page of a “dense” text to the effect that the United States, the EU and Russia welcomed the Kiev authorities’ plan to hold a nationwide dialogue on federalisation with the participation of all regions of Ukraine. It was approved. Truth be told, this document did not go anywhere, but it remains open information. It was made available to the media. That is, back then, neither the United States nor the EU wanted to make a “monster” out of Ukraine. They wanted it to be a truly democratic state with all regions and, most importantly, all ethnic minorities feeling involved in common work. Up until now, the Ukrainian Constitution has the linguistic and educational rights of ethnic minorities, including the separately stated rights of Russian speakers, enshrined in it. Just look at the outrageous things they are doing with the laws on education, languages ​​and the state language. There is a law recently submitted by the government titled On State Policy during the Transition Period. It does more than just cross out the Minsk agreements. It explicitly makes it illegal for Ukrainian political, diplomatic and other officials to fulfil them. The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe recently came up with a positive opinion about this law, which did not surprise us. This decision does not say a word about the fact that this law undermines Ukraine’s commitments under the Minsk agreements and, accordingly, Kiev’s obligations to comply with the UN Security Council resolution.

Question: If I understood you correctly, a ministerial meeting cannot even be prepared in this atmosphere.

Sergey Lavrov: Our German and French colleagues have been saying all the time: let’s preserve “constructive ambivalence” as regards who must observe the Minsk agreements. An EU-Ukraine summit took place literally two days after the telephone conversation of the President of Russia, the Chancellor of Germany and the President of France, when Vladimir Putin said such law-making was unacceptable, including the destructive draft law on a transitional period. Following the summit, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky signed a statement a good quarter of which is devoted to the crisis in southeastern Ukraine. The top-ranking EU officials and the Ukrainian President officially stated that Russia bears special responsibility for this crisis because it is a party to the conflict. We immediately asked Berlin and Paris: so which is it: constructive ambivalence or this position? We were told that we shouldn’t be surprised because from the very beginning of the crisis in 2014 they proceeded from the premise that we ought to do all this. If that is the case, what was the point of signing the Minsk agreements?

Now they are trying to draw us in, citing President Vladimir Putin, who promised to organise the Normandy format at least at the ministerial level. We are not avoiding meetings. But promising to instruct Russian officials to work on this process, President Putin said that first we must fulfil on what we agreed in Paris in December 2019. The Kiev authorities were supposed to do everything the sides agreed upon then. They did not move a finger to implement the Steinmeier formula, determine a special status for Donbass, fix it permanently in the Ukrainian legislation and settle security issues.

A draft of this document was prepared when the parties gathered for this summit in Paris in December 2019. Its first item was an appeal by the Normandy format leaders for the disengagement of troops and withdrawal of heavy artillery along the entire contact line. President Zelensky said he could not agree to do this along the entire contact line and suggested doing it in three points only. Even the German and French participants were a bit perplexed because the aides of the presidents and the Chancellor coordinated the text ahead of the summit. Eventually, they shook their heads and agreed to disengagement in three points. Ukraine has not carried out this provision so far. Its conduct was indicative: it did not want to adopt a radical measure that would considerably reduce the risks of armed clashes and threats to civilians.

With great difficulty, the parties agreed on special measures in the summer of 2020. They signed a Contact Group document stating that any fire must not immediately trigger reciprocal fire. Otherwise, there will be an escalation. After each shelling, a commander of a unit that was attacked was supposed to report to the supreme commander. Only after his approval, the commander of the unit could open reciprocal fire. The republics included this provision in their orders but Ukraine flatly refused to fulfil it. Then, several months ago, it was persuaded to accept it and went along with this, implementing what was agreed upon a year ago. However, recently the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that none of this was required: if you hear a shot, even into the air, you can go ahead and bomb the civilian population.

Question: Let’s move on to Central Asia, if you don’t mind. The Taliban coming to power is a daunting challenge to Russia and the post-Soviet Central Asian countries, which are our former fraternal republics. Are we ready to take up this challenge and how can we help our neighbours in Central Asia?

Sergey Lavrov: We saw it coming one way or another all these years while the Americans were trying to “stimulate” agreements between the Afghans. This was done, I would say, not too skilfully. I’m not hiding my assessment. The agreement that was concluded with the Taliban in Doha without the involvement of then President Ashraf Ghani was the last “diplomatic victory” as it was portrayed by the previous US administration. On the one hand, it gave rise to a hope that the Taliban would now be amenable to talks. On the other hand, there were many skeptical assessments, because the Taliban agreed to create some kind of common government bodies in exchange for a complete withdrawal of all foreign troops by May 1, 2021. Former President Ghani was outright unhappy with this since he realised that if this agreement was fulfilled, he would have to share power. Under all scenarios, he was unlikely to remain the number one person in the new Afghan government. So, he did his best to slow down the process. As a result, the Americans stayed longer. According to a number of US political analysts, this happened because Washington failed to withdraw its troops by the agreed deadline. The Taliban then decided they were free from any commitment to form a government of national accord.

However, this is a thing of the past, and we believe that the United States and those who stayed there for 20 years promising to make a model country out of Afghanistan must now get directly involved, primarily financially, to avert a humanitarian disaster. In this sense, we want to preserve historical continuity with its causal relationship.

An event that we held recently in Moscow with the participation of Afghanistan’s neighbours and other leading countries of the region and the SCO and CSTO-sponsored events that took place not so long ago in Dushanbe were aimed at urging the Taliban to deliver on their promises and the obligations that they made and assumed when they came to power. First of all, this is to prevent the destabilisation of neighbouring countries and the spread of the terrorist and drug threat from Afghanistan and the need to suppress these threats in Afghanistan itself, to ensure the inclusive nature of government in terms of ethnopolitical diversity and to be sure to guarantee, as they said, Islam-based human rights. This can be interpreted fairly broadly, but, nevertheless, it provides at least some benchmarks in order to get the Taliban to make good on its promises.

Humanitarian aid must be provided now. I see the Western countries making their first contributions. The issue is about distributing this aid. Many are opposed to making it available directly to the government and prefer to act through international organisations. We see the point and are helping to reach an agreement with the current authorities in Kabul to allow international organisations, primarily humanitarian organisations, to carry out the relevant activities. Of course, we will do our fair share. We are supplying medicines and food there. The Central Asian countries are doing the same. Their stability is important to us, because we have no borders with our Central Asian allies, and we have visa-free travel arrangements with almost all of them. In this regard, President Putin told President Biden in Geneva in June that we are strongly opposed to the attempts to negotiate with the Central Asian countries on the deployment of the US military infrastructure on their territory in order to deliver over-the-horizon strikes on targets in Afghanistan, if necessary. They came up with similar proposals to Pakistan as well, but Pakistan said no. Uzbekistan has publicly stated that its Constitution does not provide for deployment of military bases on its territory. Kyrgyzstan has also publicly, through the mouth of the President, announced that they do not want this.

Knowing the pushy nature of the Americans, I do not rule out the possibility of them continuing to come up with the same proposal from different angles. I heard they are allegedly trying to persuade India to provide the Pentagon with certain capabilities on Indian territory.

Refugees are issue number two, which is now being seriously considered. Many of them simply came to Central Asia on their own. These countries have different policies towards them and try in every possible way to protect themselves against these incoming flows. In Uzbekistan, special premises for the refugees have been allocated right outside the airport, from where they are flown to other countries and they are not allowed to enter other parts of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Our Tajik neighbours are doing the same. They are also being pressured to accept refugees. They want to set up holding centres under strong guarantee that after some time the refugees will be relocated. The West rushed to beg the neighbouring countries to accept tens of thousands of refugees, each claiming that it was a temporary solution until the West gives them documents for immigration to Western countries.

Question: But it turned out it was for the long haul …

Sergey Lavrov: Thankfully, no one has agreed to that, at least not to the numbers the West was talking about. Of course, some refugees relocated there, and proper arrangements must be made with regard to them. The West said they needed “two to three months” to issue documents for these people and it was necessary to save them, since they collaborated with the coalition forces. But if you collaborated with these Afghans on the ground for a long time and employed them as translators and informants, you surely ran background checks on them. If, after they had worked for you for so long you were still unable to decide whether you could trust them or not, why are you then “dumping” them onto the Central Asian countries, which are our allies? This issue remains open.

As you may be aware, we have come up with a proposal for the UN to convene a conference to address the Afghan people’s pressing humanitarian needs. I think the message was taken, so we expect a more specific response will come.

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