World War 3 for dummies

June 18, 2022

Source

By Gaius Baltar

Some knowledgeable people, apparently including the Pope, are beginning to suspect that there may be more going on in the world than just the war in the Ukraine. They say that World War 3 has already started and things will get worse from now on. This can be difficult to determine while we are participating in the unfolding events and do not have the benefit of the historical perspective. It is doubtful that people back in 1939 realized that they were looking at the start of a major worldwide conflict, although some may have suspected it.

The current global situation is in many ways like a giant jigsaw puzzle where the general public only sees a tiny part of the complete picture. Most don’t even realize that there may be more pieces and don’t even ask these simple questions: Why is all this happening and why is it happening now?

Things are more complicated than most people realize. What they see is the evil wizard Vladimir Saruman Putin invading innocent Ukraine with his orc army – for absolutely no reason. This is a simplistic view, to say the least because nothing happens without a reason. Let’s put things in perspective and see what is really going on – and why the world is going crazy before our eyes. Let’s see what World War 3 is all about.

The pressure cooker

The West (which we can define here as the US and the EU and a few more) has been maintaining pressure on the entire world for decades. This does not only apply to countries outside the West, but also to Western countries which strayed from the diktats of the West’s rulers. This pressure has been discussed widely and attributed to all kinds of motives, including neocolonialism, forced financial hegemony, and so forth. What is interesting, particularly during the last 20 years, is which countries have been pressured and what they do not have in common.

Among the pressured countries we find Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Libya, Syria, Serbia, Thailand, and Iran to mention a few. There have also been recent additions, including India and Hungary. In order to understand why they have been pressured, we need to find out what they have in common. That’s not easy since they are extremely different in most ways. There are democracies and non-democracies, conservative and communist governments, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist countries, and so on. Still, many of them are very clearly allied. One must ask why conservative and religious countries such as Russia or Iran would ally themselves with Godless communists in Cuba and Venezuela.

What all these countries have in common is their desire to run their own affairs; to be independent countries. This is unforgivable in the eyes of the West and must be tackled by any means necessary, including economic sanctions, color revolutions, and outright military aggression.

The West and its NATO military arm had surrounded Russia with hostile countries and military bases, armed and manipulated Ukraine to be used as a hammer against it, and employed sanctions and threats. The same thing was and is happening in Asia where China is being surrounded by all means available. The same applies to all the Independents mentioned above to some extent. In the past 10 years or so the pressure has increased massively on the Independents and it reached almost a fever pitch in the year before the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

During the year before the Ukraine war, the US sent its diplomats around the world to tune up the pressure. They were like a traveling circus or a rock band on a tour, but instead of entertainment, they delivered threats: buy this from us and do what we tell you or there will be consequences. The urgency was absolute and palpable, but then came the Ukraine war and the pressure went up to 11. During the first month of the war, the entire West’s diplomatic corps was fully engaged in threats against the ‘rest of the world’ to engineer the isolation of Russia. This didn’t work, which resulted in panic in political and diplomatic circles in the US and Europe.

All this pressure through the years, and all the fear and panic when it didn’t work, are clearly related to the events in the Ukraine. They are a part of the same ‘syndrome’ and have the same cause.

The debt dimension

There have been many explanations for what is going on and the most common is the fight between two possible futures; a multipolar world where there are several power centers in the world, and a unipolar world where the West governs the world. This is correct as far as it goes, but there is another reason which explains why this is happening now and all the urgency and panic in the West.

Recently the New Zealand tech guru Kim Dotcom tweeted a thread about the debt situation in the US. According to him all debt and unfunded liabilities of the US exceed the total value of the entire country, including the land. This situation is not unique to the US. Most countries in the West have debt that can only be paid back by selling the entire country and everything it contains. On top of that, most non-western countries are buried in dollar-denominated debt and are practically owned by the same financiers who own the West.

During the last few decades, the economy of the US and Europe has been falsified on a level that is difficult to believe. We in the West have been living far beyond our means and our currencies have been massively overvalued. We have been able to do this through two mechanisms:

  1. The first one is the reserve status of the dollar and the semi-reserve status of the euro which have enabled the West to export digital money and receive goods in return. This has created enormous financial power for the West and enabled it to function as a parasite on the world economy. We have been getting a lot of goods for free, to put it mildly.
  2. The second falsification mechanism is the increase in debt to a level where we have essentially pawned everything we own, including our houses and lands, to keep up our living standards. We own nothing now when the debt has been subtracted. The debt has long since become unserviceable – far beyond our ability to pay interests on – which explains why the interest rates in the West are in the neighborhood of zero. Any increase would make the debt unserviceable and we would all go formally bankrupt in a day.

On top of all this, the falsification has created artificially strong currencies in the West which has boosted their purchasing power for goods priced in non-western currencies. These mechanisms have also enabled the West to run bloated and dysfunctional service economies where inefficiencies are beyond belief. We have giant groups of people in our economies that not only create no value but destroy value systematically. What maintains the West’s standard of living now is a small minority of productive people, constant debt increase, and parasitism of the rest of the world.

The people who own all this debt actually own everything we think we own. We in the West own nothing at this point – we only think we do. But who are our real owners? We know more or less who they are because they meet every year at the World Economic Forum in Davos along with the western political elites who they also happen to own.

It is clear that our owners have been getting increasingly worried, and their worries have been increasing in sync with the increased pressure applied by the West on the rest of the world, particularly the Independents. During the last Davos meeting, the mood was bleak and panicked at the same time, much like the panic among the western political elites when the isolation of Russia failed.

What is about to happen

The panic of our owners and their politicians is understandable because we have come to the end of the line. We can no longer keep up our living standards by debt increase and parasitism. The debt is reaching beyond what we own as collateral and our currencies are about to become worthless. We will no longer be able to get free stuff from the rest of the world, or pay back our debt – let alone pay interest on it. The entire West is about to go bankrupt and our standard of living is about to go down by a massive percentage. This is what has our owners panicked and they see only two scenarios:

  1. In the first scenario most countries in the West, and everything and everyone within them, declare bankruptcy and erase the debt by diktat – which sovereign states are able to do. This will also erase the wealth and political power of our owners.
  2. In the second scenario, our owners take over the collateral during the bankruptcy. The collateral is us and everything we own.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which scenario was chosen. The plan for the second scenario is ready and being implemented as we speak. It is called ‘The Great Reset’ and was constructed by the people behind the World Economic Forum. This plan is not a secret and can be examined to a certain degree on the WEF website.

The Great Reset is a mechanism for the seizing of all debt collateral which includes your assets, the assets of your city or municipality, the assets of your state, and most corporate assets not already held by our owners.

This asset seizure mechanism has several components, but the most important are the following four:

  1. Abolishment of sovereignty: A sovereign (independent) country is a dangerous country because it can choose to default on its debt. The decrease in sovereignty has been a priority for our owners and various schemes have been attempted such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The most successful scheme is undoubtedly the European Union itself.
  2. The down-tuning of the economy: The western economy (and indeed the global economy) must be tuned down by a very significant percentage. This down-tuning is necessary because the western economy is massively falsified now and must be taken down to its real level – which may be as low as half of what it is now – or more. The slow takedown has also the purpose of avoiding a sudden crash that would cause massive social unrest which would be a threat to our owners. A controlled takedown is therefore preferable to an uncontrolled crash. This controlled takedown is already happening and has been going on for quite some time. Many examples can be mentioned of this takedown, including the EU and US energy policy which is designed to sabotage the western economy, and the obvious attempts at demand destruction during and after the epidemic, including the fairly bizarre logistical problems which suddenly came out of nowhere.
  3. Asset harvesting (you will own nothing and be ‘happy’): All assets that can be considered to be collateral to our private and collective/public debt will be taken over. This is a clearly stated aim of the Great Reset but it is less clear how this would be carried out. Total control of western governments (and indeed all governments) would seem to be necessary for this. That precondition is closer than one might think because most western governments seem to be beholden to Davos at this point. The process will be sold as necessary social restructuring because of an economic crisis and global warming and will result in a massive decrease in living standards for regular people, although not the elites.
  4. Oppression: A great many people will not like this and an uprising is a likely response, even if the takedown is done gradually. To prevent this from happening, a social control mechanism is being implemented which will erase personal freedom, the freedom of speech, and privacy. It will also create absolute dependence of the individual on the state. This must be done before the economic takedown can be completed or there will be a revolution. This mechanism is already being implemented enthusiastically in the West as anybody with eyes and ears can see.

Russia, China, and other Independents

How do Russia and China, and the war in Ukraine, factor into all of this? Why all the pressure from the West throughout the years and why all this panic now? Part of the reason for the pressure on the Independents, particularly Russia and China, is simply that they have resisted western hegemony. That is enough for getting on the West’s naughty list. But why the increased pressure in recent years?

The reason is that Russia and China cannot be subjugated through bankruptcy and their assets harvested. They do not have much debt in western currencies which means that the people who own the West through debt do not currently own Russia and China (like they own the West and the indebted ‘third world’) and cannot acquire them through debt. The only way to acquire them is through regime change. Their governments must be weakened by any means, including economic sanctions and military means if necessary -thus the use of Ukraine as a battering ram for Russia and Taiwan for China.

Subjugating Russia and China is an existential issue for our Davos owners because when they take the western economy down, everything else must go down too. If the western economy is taken down and a large economic block doesn’t participate in the downfall, it will be a disaster for the West. The new block will gain massive economic power, and possibly unipolar hegemony of sorts, while the West descends into a feudal Dark Age and irrelevance. Therefore the entire world must go down for the Great Reset to work. Russia and China must be subjugated by any means, as well as India and other stubborn nations.

This is what has fueled the situation we now find ourselves in and will fuel the continuation of World War 3. The western owner-elites are going to war to keep their wealth and power. Everyone who resists must be subjugated so they can follow the West into the planned Great Reset Dark Age.

The reason for the current panic among western elites is that the Ukraine project isn’t going as planned. Instead of Russia being bled on the battlefield, it is Ukraine and the West that bleed. Instead of the Russian economy crashing resulting in Putin’s replacement by a Davos-compatible leader, it is the West’s economy that is crashing. Instead of Russia being isolated, it is the West that is being increasingly isolated. Noting is working, and to top it all off, Europe has given the Russians the means and motive to destroy the European economy by partly shutting down its industry. Without Russian resources, there is no European industry, and without industry, there are no taxes for paying for unemployment benefits, pensions, all the refugees, and pretty much everything else which holds European societies together. The Russians now have the ability to engineer an uncontrolled crash in Europe which is not what Davos planned. An uncontrolled crash might see Davos’s heads roll, literally, and that is causing fear and panic in elite circles. The only solution for them is to move on with World War 3 and hope for the best.

What to do

The Great Reset of the world economy is the direct cause of World War 3 – assuming that is what is going on. What can be done about this? From inside the West, little can be done. The only way is to somehow remove Davos from the equation, but that is most likely not going to happen for two reasons: The first one is that the Davos great resetters are too entwined in the western economy and politics. Davos is like an octopus with its arms and suckers inside every country’s elite circles, media, and government. They are too entrenched to be easily removed. The second reason is that the western population is too brainwashed and ignorant. The level of their brainwashing is such that a large part of them actually want to become poor – although they use the word ‘green’ for ‘poor’ because it sounds better. There are, however, some indications that there may be divisions within western elites. Some of them, particularly within the US, may be resisting the primarily Europe-designed Great Reset – but whether this opposition is real or effective remains to be seen.

However, outside the West, there are certain measures that can be taken and must be taken. Some of those measures are drastic and some of them are being done as we speak. Among the measures are the following:

  1. The Independents, led by Russia, China, and India, must create a block to isolate themselves from the radioactive West. This isolation must not only be economic, but also political and social. Their economic systems must be divorced from the West and made autonomous. Their cultures and history must be defended against western influences and revisionism. This process appears to be underway.
  2. The Independents must immediately ban all western sponsored institutions and NGOs in their countries, regardless of whether they are sponsored by western states or individuals. Furthermore, they must ban all media receiving western sponsorship and strip every school and university of western sponsorship and influence.
  3. They must leave all international institutions up to and possibly including the United Nations because all international bodies are controlled by the West. They must then replace them with new institutions within their block.
  4. They must, at some point, declare the dollar and the euro currencies non grata. That means that they should declare default on all debts denominated in these currencies, but not other debts. This will most likely come at a later stage but is inevitable.

This will create a situation where the West will descend into darkness without pulling others down with it – if we manage to escape the nuclear fire.

Zelensky’s Davos Speech Should Alarm All Peace-Loving People In The World

25 MAY 2022

Source

By Andrew Korybko

Reviewing the unprecedented proposals put forth by Zelensky presumably at his foreign handlers’ behest, they collectively represent the cutting edge of US-led Western hegemony.

Ukrainian President Zelensky gave a highly disturbing speech at this week’s Davos Summit that should alarm all peace-loving people in the world because of the literally unprecedented proposals that he shared. Apart from ranting about Russia like he pathologically does during every one of his public appearances, which one of CNN’s US intel sources admitted last month is always an “information operation” and therefore pure propaganda, he demanded that the US-led West implement a policy of maximum preemptive sanctions on the false pretext of averting future wars.

According to him, the US-led West’s presently unprecedented ones against Russia in response to its ongoing special military operation in Ukraine aren’t enough and came too late. He wants them to do more by completely cutting their target off from the global economy. Had this been done last year, the Ukrainian leader said, then Russia supposedly wouldn’t have intervened. Put another way considering the regional security context in which this operation was launched, Zelensky is implying that the US-led West should unilaterally threaten others’ security then maximally sanction them before they can react.

In the event that the targeted state isn’t deterred from these preemptive sanctions aimed at crippling their economy so that they agree to unilateral concessions on issues of objective national security but instead kinetically responds in self-defense like Russia did in late February, then Zelensky wants there to be “a global structure that can provide sufficient support within 24 hours for any country that has suffered a military attack”. Provisionally called “United24”, Zelensky compared it to “the 911 service”, adding that it must be able to “guarantee security on a global scale” upon request.

This proposal, which amounts to the de facto globalization of NATO, could also help countries that have suffered from “natural disaster or, for example, a pandemic.” With the US-led West’s track record in mind, those two events could be exploited as the pretext for invading other countries on “humanitarian imperialist” bases. Since some of these targeted states might disproportionately contribute to the global food supply chain, Zelensky also proposed “to create an organization of responsible and democratic food-exporting states that can act with respect for human rights and global trade rules.”

The creation of a global food cartel by those countries that fall within the US-led West’s “sphere of influence” could lead to a new Hybrid War weapon that can easily be used against targeted states across the Global South. Not only could they find themselves preemptively sanctioned to the max in parallel with having their national security unilaterally threatened, but their people might also become victims of artificially manufactured famines intended to pressure the starving masses into overthrowing their governments through Color Revolutions out of pure desperation to survive.

The other precedent that Zelensky, or rather those US-led Western strategists that are using him as their face to introduce these ideas to the public, proposes concerns post-conflict reconstruction. The Ukrainian model that he’s overseeing was described by him in the following way: “And we offer a special – historically significant – model of reconstruction. When each of the partner countries or partner cities or partner companies will have the opportunity – historical one – to take patronage over a particular region of Ukraine, city, community or industry.”

In other words, the economic pie will be divided by various countries amongst themselves, each of which will dominate a particular region, city, community, or industry. There’s no way to describe this other than prompting a so-called “scramble” for targeted countries (or proxy ones like in Ukraine’s case) akin to the infamous one in Africa during the late 19th century. This mixture of neo- and traditional imperialism confirms that the US-led West is going back to its historic basics of not even attempting to hide its hegemonic intentions over others anymore.

Reviewing the unprecedented proposals put forth by Zelensky presumably at his foreign handlers’ behest, they collectively represent the cutting edge of US-led Western hegemony. From the policy of preemptive maximum sanctions in parallel with unilaterally threatening others’ security to the de facto globalization of NATO under the “United24” banner, the new food cartel, and the literally imperialist policy of “reconstructing” post-conflict countries, it’s clear that his speech was meant to inspire the Western policymakers at Davos to follow his lead and implement these ideas into practice. That should alarm all peace-loving people across the world because it suggests the start of a new era of global chaos.  

Sitrep Operation Z: + consequences = petty Tabaquis howling

May 26, 2022

by Saker Staff

After the Russian forces took POPASNA, the pace increased. There are still battles, but the Russians are now rolling over everything else in the Donbas. The Ukrainians are being annihilated, more and more soldiers are refusing to fight, reports of mass surrenders pour in, and the Russian strategy of cauldrons and partial cauldrons is proving incredibly effective. It is a bloody war in that area exacerbated by the Ukrainian leaders because orders for a sensible retreat are not forthcoming.

Two videos today – both quite detailed:

This first video from Military Summary on Rumble, describes the logjam against sensible retreat.

This second video describes some of the very recent battles and how these brought the Ukraine to this point.  Very detailed and he draws his maps on the fly as he talks.

A few hours ago reports started filtering in of huge forces of the Russian Aerospace Forces passing over Lugansk towards the front, and powerful explosions thundered everywhere. The correspondent of “Russian Spring” rusvesna.su from the capital of the LPR reports that he sees this for the first time, a lot of combat aircraft and helicopters swept over the city in several waves. Of course we do not know yet the what, why and where of this, excepting the Russian MoD report of this morning tells the story of the increased pace.

Take a look at the numbers:

💥High-precision air-based missiles have hit 48 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration, 2 artillery batteries, and 2 ammunition depots near Nikolaevka and Berestovoe in Donetsk People’s Republic during the day.

▫️1 Ukrainian electronic reconnaissance centre near Dneprovskoe, Nikolaev Region, has been destroyed, including 11 servicemen from the combat unit, as well as 15 foreign engineering specialists who arrived with security guards.

▫️In addition, 1 Osa-AKM anti-aircraft missile system launcher has been destroyed near Nikolaevka in Donetsk People’s Republic, and 1 radar of the Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system near Chuhuev in Kharkov region.

✈️💥Operational-tactical and army aviation have hit 49 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration, 2 mortar crews, as well as 1 depot of missile and artillery weapons and ammunition.

▫️The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than 350 nationalists and up to 96 armoured and motor vehicles.

💥Russian air defence means have shot down 1 Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter over Husarovka, Kharkov Region. 1 Ukrainian Air Force military transport aircraft delivering ammunition and weapons has been also shot down in mid-air near Kremidovka, Odessa Region.

▫️In addition, 13 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles have been shot down near Zelenyi Gai in Kherson Region, Bolshie and Malye Prokhody, Gavrilovka, Veseloe in Kharkov Region, and Epifanovka and Kirovsk in Lugansk People’s Republic, including 2 Soviet-made Tu-143 Reis jets near Melovatka in Lugansk People’s Republic.

💥Missile troops and artillery have hit 62 command posts, 407 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration, 47 artillery and mortar units at firing positions, as well as 3 ammunition depots.

▫️Units and military equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ 10th Mountain Assault Brigade, which arrived to reinforce the Ukrainian grouping in Donbass, have been destroyed during unloading near Pokrovsk railway station in Donetsk People’s Republic.

……………

Ukrainian General Staff says “The invaders are actively advancing in several directions at once.” — Specifically, the Russians are advancing simultaneously in Severodonetsk, Bakhmut, Avdeevsky, Novopavlovsk and Liman directions.

……………

We also had a short explanation of why the perceived slow down in the Russian operation. The slowdown of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is intentional with a view to evacuating the population and avoiding casualties among civilians, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said.  Russia’s Armed Forces are creating humanitarian corridors and announcing ceasefires to ensure the safe evacuation of residents from encircled settlements, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu explained, despite this approach stalling the progress of the country’s forces.  “Of course, this slows down the pace of the offensive, but it is being done deliberately to avoid civilian casualties,” he explained at a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Council of Defense Ministers.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev spoke on the Ukraine specifically and geopolitics:

▪️All the goals set by the President of the Russian Federation during the special military operation will be achieved, it cannot be otherwise. Russia is not chasing deadlines in the course of a special military operation in Ukraine.

The ideal scenario for US-led NATO is an endlessly smoldering conflict in Ukraine.

▪️Nazism must either be eradicated by 100%, or it will raise its head in a few years, and in an even uglier form.

▪️Ukraine, if it had remained an independent country, and not controlled from outside, “would have long ago expelled all Nazi evil spirits from its land.”

▪️Moscow will be obliged to respond to the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO, which is a direct security threat to Russia. Finland and Sweden will be accepted into NATO, despite the objections of Turkey and Croatia, “because Washington decided so.”

▪️The West is today obscuring Russia’s contribution to the preservation of other states in different historical periods with all its might.

……………

The political and geopolitical situation is heating up and at the same time becoming more surreal.

They’re even dusting off Kissinger at Davos.  (Note Pepe Escobar’s ascerbic entry to his telegram channel at the end.)**

There is a small window of opportunity to wind down the armed conflict in Ukraine and find a peace settlement, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has told a gathering of Western elites in Davos, Switzerland. Beyond that, Russia may break from, the rest of, Europe for good and become a permanent ally of China, he said on Monday during a speech at the World Economic Forum.

“Negotiations on peace need to begin in the next two months or so, [before the conflict] creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome,” the 98-year-old veteran diplomat said of the crisis. The outcome will determine the rest of Europe’s relationships with Russia and Ukraine alike, he said. “Ideally, the dividing line should return to the status quo ante,” he said.

“I believe pursuing the war beyond that point would turn it not into a war about the freedom of Ukraine, which had been undertaken with great cohesion by NATO, but into a war against Russia itself,” he added.

There are more voices from Europe asking for a peace process to start but first, the Ukrainian response:

Ukrainian presidential advisor Alexey Arestovich resorted to obscene language to criticize those in the West urging Kiev to cede part of the country’s territory to Russia for the sake of peace.

“Go f**k yourselves with such proposals, you dumb f**ks, to trade Ukrainian territory a little bit! Are you f**king crazy? Our children are dying, soldiers are stopping shells with their own bodies, and they are telling us how to sacrifice our territories. This will never happen,” Arestovich said in an interview on Wednesday.

Soros calls for Putin’s defeat:  George Soros told the World Economic Forum in Davos the West needs a quick victory over Russia in Ukraine so it can focus on climate change

The process of ‘disowning’ the Ukraine has started.

Gen. Milley notes that the US has reopened military-to-military level talks with the Russians. His call to his Russian counterpart last week was “important” and it was “purposeful”

Of course, the talk of another peace plan is not born of care for people or human rights or democracy or deep held care for the Ukrainian people.  It is driven by desperation and is a desperate grasp at avoiding a psychological defeat bigger than Afghanistan.

TASS/ Russia’s State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin took to his Telegram channel to highlight that the US and its partners do not plan to provide real assistance to Ukraine.

  • Ukraine will only get 15% of the $40 billion promised by the US, he said.
  • “Washington and Brussels do not really intend to help Ukraine, or solve its economic and social issues. They only need Ukraine to fight Russia till the last Ukrainian,” Volodin said.
  • According to the recent aid to Ukraine legislation signed by President Joe Biden, 35% of the $40 billion is going to finance the US Armed Forces, he explained. Meanwhile, 45.2% of that amount is set to be spent on other countries, not Ukraine, while another 4.8% will be earmarked to support refugees, and restore the US diplomatic mission in Ukraine. “Ukraine will only receive 15% of the allotted sum,” the speaker revealed.
  • But Ukrainians will have to pay off the whole sum, he said. The US is aware that Kiev will not be able to service the debt in the future. “That is why they are seizing Ukraine’s last reserves, including grain, which is what we are seeing right now”.

Quo Vadis Ukraine?

A list of those that want a piece of the pie is shaping up. Of course, Poland is not suddenly in love with the Ukraine without a reason.  They want their piece of the land pie. I suspect Hungary is also not innocent in this matter. Will the Ukraine be apportioned? Or will it lose its nation-state status completely, and cease to exist? Nobody knows because nobody knows the Russian plan. In Europe and the US/NATO, fear is taking hold. Nobody knows where Russia plans to stop after liberating the two new Republics, Donesk and Luhansk. Is this the moment that they will choose to push NATO back to its agreed borders?

Maria Zakharova noted that these peace proposals that are appearing (talking about the Italian one specifically) could show that Rome is perhaps “beginning to think about the depressing consequences of the military psychosis that was caused by the reaction of the West to the special military operation of Russia in Ukraine” – and the supposed plan could be an attempt “to offer some alternatives to the current escalation, which threatens to develop into a full-scale military conflict between Russia and NATO.”

The deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, said that “any peace proposal built purely in the interest of NATO and the Western world order should simply be ignored.”

“Or rather, their authors should be told to go in a certain direction,” Medvedev said.

Russia is ‘building back better’ and major reconstruction is starting as well as President Putin signed a decree relaxing rules for granting Russian citizenship to residents of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye and Kherson Region.

The amendments are added to the decree that previously introduced a similar procedure for residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR).

Russia continues to do business.  Delegations from over 90 countries have confirmed their participation in the 25th edition of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) scheduled for June.  Russia and Iran also agreed to implement the MIR payment card system in Iran.

That is it for today. Enjoy your discussion and careful on the Ukie propaganda. It is still everywhere.

**Escobar Telegram Channel:

THE PLIGHT OF DR. K – IN ONE MINUTE

War criminal Kissinger’s performance at Davos should be summed up as yet another massive failure of his master’s trademark Divide and Rule.

Ukraine/404 has always been a sort of Rubicon in terms of downsizing Russia (think Brzezinski).

It consumed A LOT of capital – physical and political. It was THE red line – success or failure – setting the stage for the triumph of the NWO and its top secretion, The Great Reset.

Kissinger – even as a mere Rockefeller messenger boy – was at the center of this racket for DECADES. It was Kissinger, under Rockefeller’s orders, that groomed cypto Dr. Evil Klaus Schwab to build the WEF and the Davos ethos.

Even if Davos is a mere outlet for the people who really run the show, the WEF remains the premier Influence Scoundrels club on the planet bent on forcing their agenda all across the spectrum. Still toxic after all these years. Yet now even Kissinger knows it’s bound to fail.

NATO vs Russia: what happens next

In Davos and beyond, NATO’s upbeat narrative plays like a broken record, while on the ground, Russia is stacking up wins that could sink the Atlantic order.

By Pepe Escobar

May 24 2022

Three months after the start of Russia’s Operation Z in Ukraine, the battle of The West (12 percent) against The Rest (88 percent) keeps metastasizing. Yet the narrative – oddly – remains the same.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

On Monday, from Davos, World Economic Forum Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab introduced Ukrainian comedian-cum-President Volodymyr Zelensky, on the latest leg of his weapons-solicitation-tour, with a glowing tribute. Herr Schwab stressed that an actor impersonating a president defending neo-Nazis is supported by “all of Europe and the international order.”

He means, of course, everyone except the 88 percent of the planet that subscribes to the Rule of Law – instead of the faux construct the west calls a ‘rules-based international order.’

Back in the real world, Russia, slowly but surely has been rewriting the Art of Hybrid War. Yet within the carnival of NATO psyops, aggressive cognitive infiltration, and stunning media sycophancy, much is being made of the new $40 billion US ‘aid’ package to Ukraine, deemed capable of becoming a game-changer in the war.

This ‘game-changing’ narrative comes courtesy of the same people who burned though trillions of dollars to secure Afghanistan and Iraq. And we saw how that went down.

Ukraine is the Holy Grail of international corruption. That $40 billion can be a game-changer for only two classes of people: First, the US military-industrial complex, and second, a bunch of Ukrainian oligarchs and neo-connish NGOs, that will corner the black market for weapons and humanitarian aid, and then launder the profits in the Cayman Islands.

A quick breakdown of the $40 billion reveals $8.7 billion will go to replenish the US weapons stockpile (thus not going to Ukraine at all); $3.9 billion for USEUCOM (the ‘office’ that dictates military tactics to Kiev); $5 billion for a fuzzy, unspecified “global food supply chain”; $6 billion for actual weapons and “training” to Ukraine; $9 billion in “economic assistance” (which will disappear into selected pockets); and $0.9 billion for refugees.

US risk agencies have downgraded Kiev to the dumpster of non-reimbursing-loan entities, so large American investment funds are ditching Ukraine, leaving the European Union (EU) and its member-states as the country’s only option.

Few of those countries, apart from Russophobic entities such as Poland, can justify to their own populations sending huge sums of direct aid to a failed state. So it will fall to the Brussels-based EU machine to do just enough to maintain Ukraine in an economic coma – independent from any input from member-states and institutions.

These EU ‘loans’ – mostly in the form of weapons shipments – can always be reimbursed by Kiev’s wheat exports. This is already happening on a small scale via the port of Constanta in Romania, where Ukrainian wheat arrives in barges over the Danube and is loaded into dozens of cargo ships everyday. Or, via convoys of trucks rolling with the weapons-for-wheat racket. However, Ukrainian wheat will keep feeding the wealthy west, not impoverished Ukrainians.

Moreover, expect NATO this summer to come up with another monster psyop to defend its divine (not legal) right to enter the Black Sea with warships to escort Ukrainian vessels transporting wheat. Pro-NATO media will spin it as the west being ‘saved’ from the global food crisis – which happens to be directly caused by serial, hysterical packages of western sanctions.

Poland goes for soft annexation

NATO is indeed massively ramping up its ‘support’ to Ukraine via the western border with Poland. That’s in synch with Washington’s two overarching targets: First, a ‘long war,’ insurgency-style, just like Afghanistan in the 1980s, with jihadis replaced by mercenaries and neo-Nazis.  Second, the sanctions instrumentalized to “weaken” Russia, militarily and economically.

Other targets remain unchanged, but are subordinate to the Top Two: make sure that the Democrats are re-elected in the mid-terms (that’s not going to happen); irrigate the industrial-military complex with funds that are recycled back as kickbacks (already happening); and keep the hegemony of the US dollar by all means (tricky: the multipolar world is getting its act together).

A key target being met with astonishing ease is the destruction of the German – and consequently the EU’s – economy, with a great deal of the surviving companies to be eventually sold off to American interests.

Take, for instance, BMW board member Milan Nedeljkovic telling Reuters that “our industry accounts for about 37 percent of natural gas consumption in Germany” which will sink without Russian gas supplies.

Washington’s plan is to keep the new ‘long war’ going at a not-too-incandescent level – think Syria during the 2010s – fueled by rows of mercenaries, and featuring periodic NATO escalations by anyone from Poland and the Baltic midgets to Germany.

Last week, that pitiful Eurocrat posing as High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, gave away the game when previewing the upcoming meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

Borrell admitted that “the conflict will be long” and “the priority of the EU member states” in Ukraine “consists in the supply of heavy weapons.”

Then Polish President Andrzej Duda met with Zelensky in Kiev. The slew of agreements the two signed indicate that Warsaw intends to profit handsomely from the war to enhance its politico-military, economic, and cultural influence in western Ukraine. Polish nationals will be allowed to be elected to Ukrainian government bodies and even aim to become constitutional judges.

In practice, that means Kiev is all but transferring management of the Ukrainian failed state to Poland. Warsaw won’t even have to send troops. Call it a soft annexation.

The steamroller on the move

As it stands, the situation on the battlefield can be examined in this map. Intercepted communications from the Ukrainian command reveal their aim to build a layered defense from Poltava through Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhia, Krivoy Rog, and Nikolaev – which happens to be a shield for the already fortified Odessa. None of that guarantees success against the incoming Russian onslaught.

It’s always important to remember that Operation Z started on February 24 with around 150,000 or so fighters – and definitely not Russia’s elite forces. And yet they liberated Mariupol and destroyed the elite neo-Nazi Azov batallion in a matter of only fifty days, cleaning up a city of 400,000 people with minimal casualties.

While fighting a real war on the ground – not those indiscriminate US bombings from the air – in a huge country against a large army, facing multiple technical, financial and logistical challenges, the Russians also managed to liberate Kherson, Zaporizhia and virtually the whole area of the ‘baby twins,’ the popular republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Russia’s ground forces commander, General Aleksandr Dvornikov, has turbo-charged missile, artillery and air strikes to a pace five times faster than during the first phase of Operation Z, while the Ukrainians, overall, are low or very low on fuel, ammo for artillery, trained specialists, drones, and radars.

What American armchair and TV generals simply cannot comprehend is that in Russia’s view of this war – which military expert Andrei Martyanov defines as a “combined arms and police operation” – the two top targets are the destruction of all military assets of the enemy while preserving the life of its own soldiers.

So while losing tanks is not a big deal for Moscow, losing lives is. And that accounts for those massive Russian bombings; each military target must be conclusively destroyed. Precision strikes are crucial.

There is a raging debate among Russian military experts on why the Ministry of Defense does not go for a fast strategic victory. They could have reduced Ukraine to rubble – American style – in no time. That’s not going to happen. The Russians prefer to advance slowly and surely, in a sort of steamroller pattern. They only advance after sappers have fully surveilled the terrain; after all there are mines everywhere.

The overall pattern is unmistakable, whatever the NATO spin barrage. Ukrainian losses are becoming exponential – as many as 1,500 killed or wounded each day, everyday. If there are 50,000 Ukrainians in the several Donbass cauldrons, they will be gone by the end of June.

Ukraine must have lost as many as 20,000 soldiers in and around Mariupol alone. That’s a massive military defeat, largely surpassing Debaltsevo in 2015 and previously Ilovaisk in 2014. The losses near Izyum may be even higher than in Mariupol. And now come the losses in the Severodonetsk corner.

We’re talking here about the best Ukrainian forces. It doesn’t even matter that only 70 percent of Western weapons sent by NATO ever make it to the battlefield: the major problem is that the best soldiers are going…going…gone, and won’t be replaced. Azov neo-Nazis, the 24th Brigade, the 36th Brigade, various Air Assault brigades – they all suffered losses of 60+ percent or have been completely demolished.

So the key question, as several Russian military experts have stressed, is not when Kiev will ‘lose’ as a point of no return; it is how many soldiers Moscow is prepared to lose to get to this point.

The entire Ukrainian defense is based on artillery. So the key battles ahead involve long-range artillery. There will be problems, because the US is about to deliver M270 MLRS systems with precision-guided ammunition, capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 70 kilometers or more.

Russia, though, has a counterpunch: the Hermes Small Operational-Tactical Complex, using high precision munitions, possibility of laser guidance, and a range of more than 100 kilometers. And they can work in conjunction with the already mass-produced Pantsir air defense systems.

The sinking ship

Ukraine, within its current borders, is already a thing of the past. Georgy Muradov, permanent representative of Crimea to the President of Russia and Deputy Prime Minister of the Crimean government, is adamant: “Ukraine in the form in which it was, I think, will no longer remain. This is already the former Ukraine.”

The Sea of ​​Azov has now become a “sea of ​​joint use” by Russia and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), as confirmed by Muradov.

Mariupol will be restored. Russia has had plenty of experience in this business in both Grozny and Crimea. The Russia-Crimea land corridor is on. Four hospitals among five in Mariupol have already reopened and public transportation is back, as well as three gas stations.

The imminent loss of Severodonetsk and Lysichansk will ring serious alarm bells in Washington and Brussels, because that will represent the beginning of the end of the current regime in Kiev. And that, for all practical purposes – and beyond all the lofty rhetoric of “the west stands with you” – means heavy players won’t be exactly encouraged to bet on a sinking ship.

On the sanctions front, Moscow knows exactly what to expect, as detailed by Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov: “Russia proceeds from the fact that sanctions against it are a rather long-term trend, and from the fact that the pivot to Asia, the acceleration of reorientation to eastern markets, to Asian markets is a strategic direction for Russia. We will make every effort to integrate into value chains precisely together with Asian countries, together with Arab countries, together with South America.”

On efforts to “intimidate Russia,” players would be wise to listen to the hypersonic sound of 50 Sarmat state-of-the-art missiles ready for combat this autumn, as explained by Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin.

This week’s meetings in Davos brings to light another alignment forming in the world’s overarching unipolar vs. multipolar battle. Russia, the baby twins, Chechnya and allies such as Belarus are now pitted against ‘Davos leaders’ – in other words, the combined western elite, with a few exceptions like Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Zelensky will be fine. He’s protected by British and American special forces. The family is reportedly living in an $8 million mansion in Israel. He owns a $34 million villa in Miami Beach, and another in Tuscany. Average Ukrainians were lied to, robbed, and in many cases, murdered, by the Kiev gang he presides over – oligarchs, security service (SBU) fanatics, neo-Nazis. And those Ukrainians that remain (10 million have already fled) will continue to be treated as expendable.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir “the new Hitler” Putin is in absolutely no hurry to end this larger than life drama that is ruining and rotting the already decaying west to its core. Why should he? He tried everything, since 2007, on the “why can’t we get along” front. Putin was totally rejected. So now it’s time to sit back, relax, and watch the Decline of the West.

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

COLLECTIVE HYSTERIA: WESTERN LEADERS WORK TO ALTER THE DEFINITION OF REALITY

09.02.2021

Alastair Crooke

U.S. leaders seek to suggest that America still has the power to alter ‘reality’ to fit to its own exceptionalist myth.

U.S. leaders seek to suggest that America still has the power to alter ‘reality’ to fit to its own exceptionalist myth.

President Putin in 2007 (at Munich) challenged the West: ‘We didn’t. You did; You continuously attack Russia; but we shall not bend’. The audience sniggered. Now, speaking at (a virtual) Davos this last month, after an absence of twelve years from that forum, President Putin held up a mirror to the key ‘influencers’ of the West: ‘See what you have become in the interim; Look at yourself, and be worried’.

This was not so much a be-gloved slap, prefacing duel-by-weapons-of-choice, but an earnest caution. At its’ bottom is a warning that the socio-economic dynamics set into motion by the western zero-interest, debt-led model have not just thrown swaths of society under the economic bus, but rather, that the internal socio-economic catastrophe is being widely vented at external ‘others’. That is, projected psychically abroad, in a lust to fight imaginary demons.

Italy in the 1400s had experienced psychological stresses somewhat similar to todays’ – the upending old ‘myths’, old cultural ties and sources of social cohesion, triggered by the gathering storm of Reformation and Scientific Enlightenment. The new leaders insisted to put old values and the ethos of ‘continuity’ to the auto da fé bonfires of sceptical rationalism’s shiny, new culture. There was then, no China to blame, but the witch and Satan hysteria of that era – a mass collective hysteria – led to some ten thousand Europeans being ‘cancelled’: they were burned alive for clinging to ancient ways (judged to be denials of ‘Truth’). Ultimately the Inquisition was instantiated to condemn and punish heresy.

Last week, President Putin noted at Davos:

“This [crisis in the economic models], in turn, is causing today a sharp polarisation of public views, provoking the growth of populism, right- and left-wing radicalism and other extremes … All this is inevitably affecting the nature of international relations, and is not making them more stable or predictable. International institutions are becoming weaker, regional conflicts are emerging one after another, and the system of global security is deteriorating … the differences are leading to a downward spiral”.

“The situation could take an unexpected and uncontrollable turn – unless we do something to prevent this. There is a chance that we will face a formidable break-down in global development, which will be fought as a war of all, against all … And attempts to deal with contradictions through the appointment of internal and external enemies [to scapegoat] the negative demographic consequences of the ongoing social crisis and the crisis of values, could result in humanity losing entire civilisational and cultural continents”.

The existing model, Putin explained, seems to have inverted ‘means and ends’ – Means (as in the Great Re-set’s emphasis on technological – even trans human – instrumentation of the economy) seem to have taken primacy over humans as its Ends.

Yes, globalisation may have lifted billions out of poverty, yet as Putin points out, “it has led to significant imbalances in global socioeconomic development, and these are a direct result of the policy pursued in the 1980s, which was often vulgar or dogmatic”. It has made “economic stimulation with traditional methods, through an increase in private loans virtually impossible. The so-called quantitative easing is only increasing the bubble of the value of financial assets and deepening the social divide. The widening gap between the real and virtual economies … presents a very real threat and is fraught with serious and unpredictable shocks …”.

“Hopes that it will be possible to reboot the old growth model are connected with rapid technological development. Indeed, during the past 20 years we have created a foundation for the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution based on the wide use of AI and automation and robotics. However, this process is leading to new structural changes, I am thinking in particular of the labour market. This means that very many people could lose their jobs unless the state takes effective measures to prevent this. Most of these people are from the so-called middle class, which is the basis of any modern society.”

Putin points out that these flaws, inherent within the western growth model, and the ‘turn’ to Big Tech as salvation, were not specifically caused by the pandemic. The latter nonetheless, has pulled the mask from the face of the economic model, and also exacerbated its noxious symptoms:

The coronavirus pandemic … which became a serious challenge for humankind, only spurred and accelerated the structural changes, the conditions for which had been created long ago. Needless to say, there are no direct parallels in history. However, some experts – and I respect their opinion – compare the current situation to the 1930s [the Great Depression]”.

Putin hints, but does not say explicitly, that that the pandemic, by aggravating the socio-economic stress, precisely has contributed to the general hysteria (and polarisation) – and the hunt for external enemies (i.e. such as the ‘CCP virus’).

Putin notes a further contributing factor:

“Modern technological giants, especially digital companies, have started playing an increasing role in the life of society. Much is being said about this now, especially regarding the events that took place during the election campaign in the U.S. They are not just some economic giants. In some areas, they are de facto competing with states. Their audiences consist of billions of users that pass a considerable part of their lives in these eco systems. In the opinion of these companies, their monopoly is optimal for organising technological and business processes. Maybe so – but society is wondering whether such monopolism meets public interests”.

Putin here alludes to something more troubling – the failure of the system-model to deliver on the promise of prosperity and opportunity ‘for all’, and specifically for the less advantaged in society. Can this flaw not be said to be directly related to the rise of Tech soft totalitarianism? Since the systemic nature of the failure cannot be admitted, is it then so surprising there has been a resort to big Tech enforcement of its more favourable version of reality (i.e. one that insists that the systemic failures all derive, rather, from historic racism and injustices, and they will not countenance any dissent from this narrative)?

The core idea here – the response to civic, socio-economic anger – is that a combination of unparalleled monetary injection, radical positive discrimination prioritising non-white identities, plus access to élite oligarchic Tech expertise, will solve most of society’s problems. This is pure ideology. But, unable to deal directly with the evidence of systematic failings and economic ‘rigging’ (that being far too sensitive an issue), western leaders work instead to alter the definition of reality. When you are attempting to extend a make-believe economy by printing more and more debt, in spite of its failed history, it is no wonder you have to silence dissent.

Those then, that do not embrace the propaganda that big Tech and the corporate media relentlessly push, need to be de-platformed, and pushed to the fringes of society. In a striking echo of that earlier Italian era of psychic tensions, the New York Times is now asking for the Biden administration to appoint a “Reality Czar” who will be given authority to deal with “misinformation” and “extremism” (shades of the Inquisition)?

Putin’s speech was a withering de-construction (polite, and very measured) of where we stand – and why. Did his audience hear? And will President Putin’s call for a return to the ‘classic’ economic model; to the real economy; to job creation; comfortable living standards, and education with opportunity for the young, have any impact?

Probably not, unfortunately. One only has to note the European ‘hysteria’ for the quick return to absolute ‘normal’ – to everything being ‘just as it was before’ – and above all, to ‘our summer holidays’. Again Putin alludes, but does not say it: The pandemic has exposed the brittleness, the friability, of European society. It finds hardship impossible to endure (even by those well insulated from the true hardships, which have been real, but only for some: “Worse than WW2, this pandemic”, one veteran said to me this morning!). The space for true (and urgent) structural reforms is disappearingly small.

The future course for the western economies is obvious – one only has to observe the return of (former Fed head) Janet Yellen to the U.S. Treasury; of (former IMF head) Christine Lagarde to the ECB and (former ECB head) Mario Draghi as PM in Italy, to understand that a full blown ‘reflation trade’ is underway.

And as for Putin’s caution about “attempts to deal with contradictions through the appointment of internal and external enemies [to scapegoat] the negative demographic consequences of the ongoing social crisis”, this looks no more promising than the financial scene.

Recently, an anonymous former U.S. government official wrote a paper of policy recommendations on China. The Atlantic Council and Politico both published versions of the piece, and they agreed to keep the author’s identity under wraps for reasons known only to them. The Atlantic Council claims that anonymity was necessary because of “the extraordinary significance of the author’s insights and recommendations”. It is not clear however, why they find these insights and recommendations to be so extraordinary – the paper simply is yet another blueprint for regime change (in this case, a coup against the CCP).

Quite possibly, the door to a peaceful resolution of U.S. tensions with China already is closed. China’s intention always has been peacefully, through economic integration, to re-absorb Taiwan into China. It is committed to that. But it seems from Biden Administration statements that it is equally committed to exacerbating the Taiwan autonomy issue sufficiently so that Beijing has no other option, but to annex Taiwan by force (a last resort for Beijing). In the pages of mainstream U.S. media, experts ostensibly regret this, yet nonetheless conclude that America will again ‘be obliged’ to intervene, in order to stop ‘an aggressor state’ from occupying a democratic, American ally.

Again in the context of the U.S. internal tensions, this is more about the fragility of the U.S. psyche at a moment of potential Thucydides’ angst, than of China posing any real threat to America. China will overtake the U.S. economically, at some point. U.S. leaders seek to suggest that America still has the power to alter ‘reality’ to fit to its own exceptionalist myth.

President Putin of course, knows all this, but at least no one can now complain, ‘We were not warned’.

Xi and Putin make the case for win-win vs. zero-sum

Xi and Putin make the case for win-win vs. zero-sum

February 02, 2021

By Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

So the Davos Agenda has come and gone.

That was the virtual Great Reset preview, hosted by Kissinger acolyte cum World Economic Forum (WEF) oracle Herr Klaus Schwab.

Still, corporate/political so-called “leaders” will continue to wax lyrical about the Fourth Industrial Revolution – or its mild spin-offs such as Build Back Better, the favorite slogan of the new White House tenants.

The WEF co-sponsors – from the UN and the IMF to BlackRock, Blackstone and the Carlyle Group – will continue to expand their synchronicity with Lynn Forester de Rothschild and her corporate-heavy Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican – pop Pope Francis at the helm.

And yes, they accept Visa.

Predictably, the two really crucial events at Davos received minimal or non-existent coverage across the wobbly West: the speeches by President Xi and President Putin.

We have already highlighted Xi’s essentials. Aside from arguing a powerful case for multilateralism as the only possible road map to deal with global challenges, Xi stressed nothing substantial may be achieved if the inequality gap between North and South is not reduced.

The best in-depth analysis of Putin’s extraordinary speech , hands down, was provided by Rostislav Ishchenko, whom I had the pleasure to meet in Moscow in 2018.

Ishchenko stresses how, “in terms of scale and impact on historical processes, this is steeper than the Battles of Stalingrad and Kursk combined.” The speech, he adds, was totally unexpected, as much as Putin’s stunning intervention at the Munich Security Conference in 2007, “the crushing defeat” imposed on Georgia in 2008, and the return of Crimea in 2014.

Ishchenko also reveals something that will never be acknowledged in the West: “80 people from among the most influential on the planet did not laugh in Putin’s face, as it was in 2007 in Munich, and without noise immediately after his open speech signed up for a closed conference with him.”

Putin’s very important reference to the ominous 1930s – “the inability and unwillingness to find substantive solutions to problems like this in the 20th century led to World War 2 catastrophe” – was juxtaposed with a common sense warning: the necessity of preventing the takeover of global policy by Big Tech , which “are de facto competing with states”.

Xi and Putin’s speeches were de facto complementary – emphasizing sustainable, win-win economic development for all actors, especially across the Global South, coupled with the necessity of a new socio-political contract in international relations.

This drive should be based on two pillars: sovereignty – that is, the good old Westphalian model (and not Great Reset, hyper-concentrated, one world “governance”) and sustainable development propelled by techno-scientific progress (and not techno-feudalism).

So what Putin-Xi proposed, in fact, was a concerted effort to expand the basic foundations of the Russia-China strategic partnership to the whole Global South: the crucial choice ahead is between win-win and the Exceptionalist zero-sum game.

Regime-change that commie!

The Xi-Putin road map is already being examined in excruciating detail by Michael Hudson, for instance in this essay based on the first chapter of his upcoming book Cold War 2.0: The Geopolitical Economics of Finance Capitalism vs. Industrial Capitalism. Many of these themes have been elaborated in a recent conversation/interview between Michael and myself.

The whole Global South is figuring out how the contrast could not be starker between the American model – neoliberalism redux, in the form of turbo-financialization – and East Asia’s productive investment in industrial capitalism.

Alastair Crooke has outlined the dubious “appeal” of the American model, including “asset markets…severed from any connection to economic returns”; markets that “are not free, but Treasury managed”; and “enterprise capitalism…morphed into monopolistic oligarchism”.

The glaring counterpoint to Xi-Putin at Davos has been a so-called “strategy paper” released by NATO think tank The Atlantic Council, pompously titled The Longer Telegram, as if this was as relevant as George Kennan’s 1946 Long Telegram that designed the containment of the USSR.

Well, the least one can say to the anonymous “former senior government official with deep expertise” on China is, “Mr. Anonymous, You’re No George Kennan”. At best, we’re dealing with a sub-Mike Pompeo with a massive hangover.

Amidst a tsunami of platitudes, we learn that China is a “revisionist power” that “presents a serious problem for the whole of the democratic world”; and that the Chinese leadership better get its act together and operate “within the US-led liberal international order rather than building a rival order”.

The usual toxic mix of arrogance and condescension totally gives away the game, which boils down to “deterring and preventing China from crossing US red lines”, and applying good, old Kissingerian Divide and Rule between Russia and China.

Oh, and don’t forget regime change: if the “strategy” works, “Xi will in time be replaced by the more traditional form of Communist Party leadership.”

If this is what passes for intellectual firepower in Atlanticist circles, Beijing and Moscow don’t even need enemies.

The Asian center of gravity

Martin Jacques, now a visiting professor at Tsinghua University and a senior fellow at the China Institute of Fudan University, is one of the very few Westerners who actually has real “expertise” on China.

He’s now focusing on the main battlefield in the evolving US-China clash: Europe. Jacques notes that, “the trend toward a growing distance between Europe and the US will be slow, tortuous, conflict-riddled, and painful.” We are now “in new territory. American decline means that it has increasingly less to offer Europe.”

As an example, let’s jump cut to a distinct feature of the BRI/New Silk Roads and one of its key hubs, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC): the Digital Silk Road .

In partnership with Huawei, fiber optic cable is being laid out all across Pakistan – as I saw for myself when I traveled the Karakoram Highway, the northern part of CPEC. This fiber optic cable all the way from the Karakoram to Balochistan will link with the Pakistan-East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) submarine cable in the Arabian Sea.

The end result will be high-end connectivity between a host of BRI-participating nations and Europe – as the Mediterranean section is already being laid, running from Egypt to France. Before the end of 2021, the whole 15,000 km-long fiber optic cable will be online.

This shows that BRI is not as much about building roads, dams and high-speed rail networks but especially the Digital Silk Road, intimately connected with state of the art Chinese cyber-tech.

It’s no wonder Jacques fully understands how “the gravitational pull of China, and Asia more generally, is drawing Europe eastward. Nothing illustrates this phenomenon better than the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.”

In ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age, an extraordinary book published way back in 1998, the late, great Andre Gunder Frank exhaustively smashed Eurocentrism, demonstrating how the rise of the West was a mere historical blip, and a consequence of the decline of the East around 1800.

Now, only two centuries later, the planet’s center of gravity is back in Asia, as it’s been for most of recorded history. The fate of those blind to the evidence and unable to adapt is to telegram themselves to utter irrelevance.

Munich-esque Davos

January 31, 2021

Munich-esque Davos

Rostislav Ishchenko – Crossposted with permission from Stalker Zone

Vladimir Putin’s speech, delivered in the format of remote participation in the annual Davos forum, is already being actively compared with his Munich speech of 2007.

Well, there is something in common. It is about the same general as between Stalin’s “Brothers and Sisters!” in 1941 and the toast “To the great Russian people!” in 1945.

The Munich Speech of 2007 stated Russia’s acceptance of the challenge posed by the west. We didn’t attack, we were attacked. We offered peace, but the enemy chose war. We are not going to capitulate, we will win the war. We suggest, before it’s too late, to come to your senses and stop the aggression. The Emperor Aleksandr the Blessed conveyed similar words to Napoleon through the Adjutant-General Balashov in June 1812, adding that if necessary, he would retreat to Kamchatka, but would not lay down his weapons as long as at least one enemy was on Russian soil.

So Putin’s Munich speech is evidence of Russia’s entry into a new (hybrid, informational) Patriotic War. And here is his Davos speech – summing up the results of this war. A kind of new Yalta (the Yalta Conference also took place before Germany finally capitulated).

The people who came up with this move and worked on organising the speech of the President of Russia at the Davos Forum in 2021 should be given the hero of Russia title in full force. It’s also possible to erect a monument. Thanks to their efforts, unlike Yalta in 1945, today Russia has found itself at the origins of a new post-war world in the singular, without any allies/competitors. At the same time, the same China can not be offended — no one has removed it. Somehow it just happened. And its interests are not being violated.

Let’s look at the Davos speech from the point of view of diplomatic art.

Everyone knows that the Davos Forum is a gathering of the global financial and industrial elite, people who have a significant, and sometimes decisive, influence on the policies of their (and sometimes neighboring) states. Politicians, even the most prominent ones, serve only as a condiment there. Their presence is evidence of the importance of the non-political part of the guests. Those who speak from the stage mean much less there than those who are silent and listen on the sidelines. In addition, in terms of information, any speech will be blocked by a dozen others, blocked in a panel discussion. The journalists present at the forum are more interested in showing their own importance by interviewing at least a minor oligarch (Ukrainian, for example, from year to year discuss the colour of dumplings and the size of portions at Pinchuk‘s “Ukrainian Breakfast”, without being distracted by anything else). In general, it is almost impossible to give a speech on this platform an appropriate political and informational sound.

That is why Putin did not go to Davos for 12 years — there was no need.

It was then that the coronavirus pandemic came, which forced the forum to be held remotely. As a result, a huge number of narcissistic peacocks, who previously proudly wore their shiny tails on the sidelines of the forum, remained at home. On Skype, you can’t take a picture against the background of someone from the powerful of this world and you can’t exchange a few words with anyone during a coffee break. The forum was almost forgotten.

But it didn’t die. Its organisers did not want to chop up the chicken that lays the golden eggs, because of some pandemic. If the motley retinue that gave the picture is cut off, and there are only a few dozen people who really make serious decisions, then the problem lies only behind the topic that would captivate everyone so much that it would put the forum held on Skype at the centre of the world information agenda.

Nothing could be better than Putin’s speech to solve this problem.

Firstly, as a result of the crisis in the US, it became obvious even to the deepest skeptics that Washington had lost its leadership in the modern world. Moreover, the Biden coup made the US a pillar of the liberal left and a threat to right-wing conservative forces around the world. The right-wing conservative traditionalist Trump, considered by western conservatives as a potential leader, has been knocked out of politics for a long time, if not forever. At best, he will be able to return to American politics after some time, but he is still far from returning to global politics.

Secondly, there is also no leader among European politicians capable of leading the right-conservative resistance to the left-liberal globalists. Merkel herself is a liberal (though pragmatic), and is also retiring. Macron is ambitious, but he works in the style of “both yours and ours”, he can not be trusted — at any time he can go to the other side. The rest neither came out in caliber, nor the countries they represent can claim to be a leader.

Thirdly, Xi Jinping in China is certainly a conservative leader in Asia, but due to the huge cultural and historical differences, he cannot claim leadership in Europe.

Putin in Davos came to a popular position in the conditions of a complete absence of competitors. It is designed for the world’s financial and industrial elite, was the only offer of a “bright future”, which should come after the final demolition of the American-centric system (and for this reason it turned out to be the number one information topic of the week that no one can ignore).

Putin elegantly demonstrated the inevitability of its final disintegration with a few figures, which showed that while over the past 15-20 years the number of poor people (living on less than $5 a day) in the US has increased by 1.5-fold, in China the number of such people has decreased by 4-fold, and in Russia – 12-fold. At the same time, in Russia today the number of people living on less than $5 a day is already less than in the US.

For people who are used to buying and selling, who know well what the purchasing power of the population is, who are able to calculate processes in dynamics, these figures are a verdict for the US. Moreover, they already know that in military terms, Russia has also overtaken the west forever. The US and Europe do not have the technology to catch up with Moscow in the field of weapons, and there are no resources to develop such technologies in the next decade.

I.e., on the computer screens of about 100 of the most influential people on the planet, the president of Russia appears and offers a model of a new post-American world without an alternative (in the absence of at least some competitor). Putin points out that the loose liberal leftists pose a threat to any statehood, and gently unobtrusively hints that Russia will not just fight this, but is also ready to lead an alliance of healthy conservative forces around the world, ensuring the protection of national statehood from the encroachments of TNCs.

To the natural question in return, without waiting for it to be asked, Putin explains that no one is going to demolish the system to the ground, just in the conditions of a severe systemic crisis, the role of the state in economic life should be strengthened. The state is not going to replace a private initiative. It only plans to smooth out the rough edges and make sure that the private pursuit of profit maximisation does not conflict with public interests and conservative values. What remains behind the scenes is that it is the Russian state that should become the guarantor and leader of this process.

Another unasked question, “How to defeat the left-liberal destroyers of the state in the interests of the transnational financial oligarchy?” was answered on January 23rd and in the following days on the streets of Russian cities. Without excessive violence, without totalitarian prohibitions, but also without liberalism with outright hooliganism. Those who can be negotiated with — an agreement will be made. And those leopards who will change their spots will be jailed (but alive). In general, against the background of what is happening in the world (from Belarus to the US), Russian protective measures are indeed the softest, but at the same time the most effective.

In general, for the global money that really wants to work within the framework of a classical market economy, which doesn’t want to wait for the “golden billion” to turn into a “golden million”, then into a “golden thousand”, and then into a gang of crazy bankers fighting on the ruins of the planet, Putin proposed a way out of the crisis, drew the outline of the “post-Yalta world” (guaranteed by Russian power) and suggested that we begin discussing its final format.

And look, 80 people from among the most influential people on the planet did not laugh in Putin’s face, as it was in 2007 in Munich, and without noise and dust immediately after his open speech signed up for a closed conference with him.

Honest liberals and ordinary urban lunatics can laugh quite sincerely and free of charge at the claims (and evidence) of Russian power and global authority. This queue of those who run the global economy for a private meeting with Putin is the best evidence that what seemed incredible yesterday has become obvious today. Russia has put the terms of a new world on the table. And the world reached out to discuss these conditions.

Finally, once again, I want to draw your attention to the inconspicuous feat of the people who prepared this speech of Putin. In terms of scale and impact on historical processes, this is steeper than the Battles of Stalingrad and Kursk combined. In addition, the victory was achieved with little blood and on foreign territory. The effect of the bomb explosion is achieved by surprise. This is already the corporate identity of Russia. Putin’s speech in Munich was sudden, and the crushing defeat of the presumptuous Saakashvili regime in August 2008 was sudden. The return of Crimea was sudden. And now the same sudden Davos.

The late Viktor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin would have remarked with satisfaction: “This has never happened before, and here it is again!”

Russian President Putin Delivers Speech at Virtual World Economic Forum

January 27, 2021

This is the live stream video.  The transcript is now being posted as it becomes available.

Update: Transcript complete.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Schwab, dear Klaus,

Colleagues,

I have been to Davos many times, attending the events organised by Mr Schwab, even back in the 1990s. Klaus [Schwab] just recalled that we met in 1992. Indeed, during my time in St Petersburg, I visited this important forum many times. I would like to thank you for this opportunity today to convey my point of view to the expert community that gathers at this world-renowned platform thanks to the efforts of Mr Schwab.

First of all, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to greet all the World Economic Forum participants.

It is gratifying that this year, despite the pandemic, despite all the restrictions, the forum is still continuing its work. Although it is limited to online participation, the forum is taking place anyway, providing an opportunity for participants to exchange their assessments and forecasts during an open and free discussion, partially compensating for the increasing lack of in-person meetings between leaders of states, representatives of international business and the public in recent months. All this is very important now, when we have so many difficult questions to answer.

The current forum is the first one in the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century and, naturally, the majority of its topics are devoted to the profound changes that are taking place in the world.

Indeed, it is difficult to overlook the fundamental changes in the global economy, politics, social life and technology. The coronavirus pandemic, which Klaus just mentioned, which became a serious challenge for humankind, only spurred and accelerated the structural changes, the conditions for which had been created long ago. The pandemic has exacerbated the problems and imbalances that built up in the world before. There is every reason to believe that differences are likely to grow stronger. These trends may appear practically in all areas.

Needless to say, there are no direct parallels in history. However, some experts – and I respect their opinion – compare the current situation to the 1930s. One can agree or disagree, but certain analogies are still suggested by many parameters, including the comprehensive, systemic nature of the challenges and potential threats.

We are seeing a crisis of the previous models and instruments of economic development. Social stratification is growing stronger both globally and in individual countries. We have spoken about this before as well. But this, in turn, is causing today a sharp polarisation of public views, provoking the growth of populism, right- and left-wing radicalism and other extremes, and the exacerbation of domestic political processes including in the leading countries.

All this is inevitably affecting the nature of international relations and is not making them more stable or predictable. International institutions are becoming weaker, regional conflicts are emerging one after another, and the system of global security is deteriorating.

Klaus has mentioned the conversation I had yesterday with the US President on extending the New START. This is, without a doubt, a step in the right direction. Nevertheless, the differences are leading to a downward spiral. As you are aware, the inability and unwillingness to find substantive solutions to problems like this in the 20th century led to the WWII catastrophe.

Of course, such a heated global conflict is impossible in principle, I hope. This is what I am pinning my hopes on, because this would be the end of humanity. However, as I have said, the situation could take an unexpected and uncontrollable turn – unless we do something to prevent this. There is a chance that we will face a formidable break-down in global development, which will be fraught with a war of all against all and attempts to deal with contradictions through the appointment of internal and external enemies and the destruction of not only traditional values such as the family, which we hold dear in Russia, but fundamental freedoms such as the right of choice and privacy.

I would like to point out the negative demographic consequences of the ongoing social crisis and the crisis of values, which could result in humanity losing entire civilisational and cultural continents.

We have a shared responsibility to prevent this scenario, which looks like a grim dystopia, and to ensure instead that our development takes a different trajectory – positive, harmonious and creative.

In this context, I would like to speak in more detail about the main challenges which, I believe, the international community is facing.

The first one is socioeconomic.

Indeed, judging by the statistics, even despite the deep crises in 2008 and 2020, the last 40 years can be referred to as successful or even super successful for the global economy. Starting from 1980, global per capita GDP has doubled in terms of real purchasing power parity. This is definitely a positive indicator.

Globalisation and domestic growth have led to strong growth in developing countries and lifted over a billion people out of poverty. So, if we take an income level of $5.50 per person per day (in terms of PPP) then, according to the World Bank, in China, for example, the number of people with lower incomes went from 1.1 billion in 1990 down to less than 300 million in recent years. This is definitely China’s success. In Russia, this number went from 64 million people in 1999 to about 5 million now. We believe this is also progress in our country, and in the most important area, by the way.

Still, the main question, the answer to which can, in many respects, provide a clue to today’s problems, is what was the nature of this global growth and who benefitted from it most.

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, developing countries benefitted a lot from the growing demand for their traditional and even new products. However, this integration into the global economy has resulted in more than just new jobs or greater export earnings. It also had its social costs, including a significant gap in individual incomes.

What about the developed economies where average incomes are much higher? It may sound ironic, but stratification in the developed countries is even deeper. According to the World Bank, 3.6 million people subsisted on incomes of under $5.50 per day in the United States in 2000, but in 2016 this number grew to 5.6 million people.

Meanwhile, globalisation led to a significant increase in the revenue of large multinational, primarily US and European, companies.

By the way, in terms of individual income, the developed economies in Europe show the same trend as the United States.

But then again, in terms of corporate profits, who got hold of the revenue? The answer is clear: one percent of the population.

And what has happened in the lives of other people? In the past 30 years, in a number of developed countries, the real incomes of over half of the citizens have been stagnating, not growing. Meanwhile, the cost of education and healthcare services has gone up. Do you know by how much? Three times.

In other words, millions of people even in wealthy countries have stopped hoping for an increase of their incomes. In the meantime, they are faced with the problem of how to keep themselves and their parents healthy and how to provide their children with a decent education.

There is no call for a huge mass of people and their number keeps growing. Thus, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in 2019, 21 percent or 267 million young people in the world did not study or work anywhere. Even among those who had jobs (these are interesting figures) 30 percent had an income below $3.2 per day in terms of purchasing power parity.

These imbalances in global socioeconomic development are a direct result of the policy pursued in the 1980s, which was often vulgar or dogmatic. This policy rested on the so-called Washington Consensus with its unwritten rules, when the priority was given to the economic growth based on a private debt in conditions of deregulation and low taxes on the wealthy and the corporations.

As I have already mentioned, the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated these problems. In the last year, the global economy sustained its biggest decline since WWII. By July, the labour market had lost almost 500 million jobs. Yes, half of them were restored by the end of the year but still almost 250 million jobs were lost. This is a big and very alarming figure. In the first nine months of the past year alone, the losses of earnings amounted to $3.5 trillion. This figure is going up and, hence, social tension is on the rise.

At the same time, post-crisis recovery is not simple at all. If some 20 or 30 years ago, we would have solved the problem through stimulating macroeconomic policies (incidentally, this is still being done), today such mechanisms have reached their limits and are no longer effective. This resource has outlived its usefulness. This is not an unsubstantiated personal conclusion.

According to the IMF, the aggregate sovereign and private debt level has approached 200 percent of global GDP, and has even exceeded 300 percent of national GDP in some countries. At the same time, interest rates in developed market economies are kept at almost zero and are at a historic low in emerging market economies.

Taken together, this makes economic stimulation with traditional methods, through an increase in private loans virtually impossible. The so-called quantitative easing is only increasing the bubble of the value of financial assets and deepening the social divide. The widening gap between the real and virtual economies (incidentally, representatives of the real economy sector from many countries have told me about this on numerous occasions, and I believe that the business representatives attending this meeting will agree with me) presents a very real threat and is fraught with serious and unpredictable shocks.

Hopes that it will be possible to reboot the old growth model are connected with rapid technological development. Indeed, during the past 20 years we have created a foundation for the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution based on the wide use of AI and automation and robotics. The coronavirus pandemic has greatly accelerated such projects and their implementation.

However, this process is leading to new structural changes, I am thinking in particular of the labour market. This means that very many people could lose their jobs unless the state takes effective measures to prevent this. Most of these people are from the so-called middle class, which is the basis of any modern society.

In this context, I would like to mention the second fundamental challenge of the forthcoming decade – the socio-political one. The rise of economic problems and inequality is splitting society, triggering social, racial and ethnic intolerance. Indicatively, these tensions are bursting out even in the countries with seemingly civil and democratic institutions that are designed to alleviate and stop such phenomena and excesses.

The systemic socioeconomic problems are evoking such social discontent that they require special attention and real solutions. The dangerous illusion that they may be ignored or pushed into the corner is fraught with serious consequences.

In this case, society will still be divided politically and socially. This is bound to happen because people are dissatisfied not by some abstract issues but by real problems that concern everyone regardless of the political views that people have or think they have. Meanwhile, real problems evoke discontent.

I would like to emphasise one more important point. Modern technological giants, especially digital companies, have started playing an increasing role in the life of society. Much is being said about this now, especially regarding the events that took place during the election campaign in the US. They are not just some economic giants. In some areas, they are de facto competing with states. Their audiences consist of billions of users that pass a considerable part of their lives in these eco systems.

In the opinion of these companies, their monopoly is optimal for organising technological and business processes. Maybe so but society is wondering whether such monopolism meets public interests. Where is the border between successful global business, in-demand services and big data consolidation and the attempts to manage society at one’s own discretion and in a tough manner, replace legal democratic institutions and essentially usurp or restrict the natural right of people to decide for themselves how to live, what to choose and what position to express freely? We have just seen all of these phenomena in the US and everyone understands what I am talking about now. I am confident that the overwhelming majority of people share this position, including the participants in the current event.

And finally, the third challenge, or rather, a clear threat that we may well run into in the coming decade is the further exacerbation of many international problems. After all, unresolved and mounting internal socioeconomic problems may push people to look for someone to blame for all their troubles and to redirect their irritation and discontent. We can already see this. We feel that the degree of foreign policy propaganda rhetoric is growing.

We can expect the nature of practical actions to also become more aggressive, including pressure on the countries that do not agree with a role of obedient controlled satellites, use of trade barriers, illegitimate sanctions and restrictions in the financial, technological and cyber spheres.

Such a game with no rules critically increases the risk of unilateral use of military force. The use of force under a far-fetched pretext is what this danger is all about. This multiplies the likelihood of new hot spots flaring up on our planet. This concerns us.

Colleagues, despite this tangle of differences and challenges, we certainly should keep a positive outlook on the future and remain committed to a constructive agenda. It would be naive to come up with universal miraculous recipes for resolving the above problems. But we certainly need to try to work out common approaches, bring our positions as close as possible and identify sources that generate global tensions.

Once again, I want to emphasise my thesis that accumulated socioeconomic problems are the fundamental reason for unstable global growth.

So, the key question today is how to build a programme of actions in order to not only quickly restore the global and national economies affected by the pandemic, but to ensure that this recovery is sustainable in the long run, relies on a high-quality structure and helps overcome the burden of social imbalances. Clearly, with the above restrictions and macroeconomic policy in mind, economic growth will largely rely on fiscal incentives with state budgets and central banks playing the key role.

Actually, we can see these kinds of trends in the developed countries and also in some developing economies as well. An increasing role of the state in the socioeconomic sphere at the national level obviously implies greater responsibility and close interstate interaction when it comes to issues on the global agenda.

Calls for inclusive growth and for creating decent standards of living for everyone are regularly made at various international forums. This is how it should be, and this is an absolutely correct view of our joint efforts.

It is clear that the world cannot continue creating an economy that will only benefit a million people, or even the golden billion. This is a destructive precept. This model is unbalanced by default. The recent developments, including migration crises, have reaffirmed this once again.

We must now proceed from stating facts to action, investing our efforts and resources into reducing social inequality in individual countries and into gradually balancing the economic development standards of different countries and regions in the world. This would put an end to migration crises.

The essence and focus of this policy aimed at ensuring sustainable and harmonious development are clear. They imply the creation of new opportunities for everyone, conditions under which everyone will be able to develop and realise their potential regardless of where they were born and are living

I would like to point out four key priorities, as I see them. This might be old news, but since Klaus has allowed me to present Russia’s position, my position, I will certainly do so.

First, everyone must have comfortable living conditions, including housing and affordable transport, energy and public utility infrastructure. Plus environmental welfare, something that must not be overlooked.

Second, everyone must be sure that they will have a job that can ensure sustainable growth of income and, hence, decent standards of living. Everyone must have access to an effective system of lifelong education, which is absolutely indispensable now and which will allow people to develop, make a career and receive a decent pension and social benefits upon retirement.

Third, people must be confident that they will receive high-quality and effective medical care whenever necessary, and that the national healthcare system will guarantee access to modern medical services.

Fourth, regardless of the family income, children must be able to receive a decent education and realise their potential. Every child has potential.

This is the only way to guarantee the cost-effective development of the modern economy, in which people are perceived as the end, rather than the means. Only those countries capable of attaining progress in at least these four areas will facilitate their own sustainable and all-inclusive development. These areas are not exhaustive, and I have just mentioned the main aspects.

A strategy, also being implemented by my country, hinges on precisely these approaches. Our priorities revolve around people, their families, and they aim to ensure demographic development, to protect the people, to improve their well-being and to protect their health. We are now working to create favourable conditions for worthy and cost-effective work and successful entrepreneurship and to ensure digital transformation as the foundation of a high-tech future for the entire country, rather than that of a narrow group of companies.

We intend to focus the efforts of the state, the business community and civil society on these tasks and to implement a budgetary policy with the relevant incentives in the years ahead.

We are open to the broadest international cooperation, while achieving our national goals, and we are confident that cooperation on matters of the global socioeconomic agenda would have a positive influence on the overall atmosphere in global affairs, and that interdependence in addressing acute current problems would also increase mutual trust which is particularly important and particularly topical today.

Obviously, the era linked with attempts to build a centralised and unipolar world order has ended. To be honest, this era did not even begin. A mere attempt was made in this direction, but this, too, is now history. The essence of this monopoly ran counter to our civilisation’s cultural and historical diversity.

The reality is such that really different development centres with their distinctive models, political systems and public institutions have taken shape in the world. Today, it is very important to create mechanisms for harmonising their interests to prevent the diversity and natural competition of the development poles from triggering anarchy and a series of protracted conflicts.

To achieve this we must, in part, consolidate and develop universal institutions that bear special responsibility for ensuring stability and security in the world and for formulating and defining the rules of conduct both in the global economy and trade.

I have mentioned more than once that many of these institutions are not going through the best of times. We have been bringing this up at various summits. Of course, these institutions were established in a different era. This is clear. Probably, they even find it difficult to parry modern challenges for objective reasons. However, I would like to emphasise that this is not an excuse to give up on them without offering anything in exchange, all the more so since these structures have unique experience of work and a huge but largely untapped potential. And it certainly needs to be carefully adapted to modern realities. It is too early to dump it in the dustbin of history. It is essential to work with it and to use it.

Naturally, in addition to this, it is important to use new, additional formats of cooperation. I am referring to such phenomenon as multiversity. Of course, it is also possible to interpret it differently, in one’s own way. It may be viewed as an attempt to push one’s own interests or feign the legitimacy of one’s own actions when all others can merely nod in approval. Or it may be a concerted effort of sovereign states to resolve specific problems for common benefit. In this case, this may refer to the efforts to settle regional conflicts, establish technological alliances and resolve many other issues, including the formation of cross-border transport and energy corridors and so on and so forth.

Friends,

Ladies and gentlemen,

This opens wide possibilities for collaboration. Multi-faceted approaches do work. We know from practice that they work. As you may be aware, within the framework of, for example, the Astana format, Russia, Iran and Turkey are doing much to stabilise the situation in Syria and are now helping establish a political dialogue in that country, of course, alongside other countries. We are doing this together. And, importantly, not without success.

For example, Russia has undertaken energetic mediation efforts to stop the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, in which peoples and states that are close to us – Azerbaijan and Armenia – are involved. We strived to follow the key agreements reached by the OSCE Minsk Group, in particular between its co-chairs – Russia, the United States and France. This is also a very good example of cooperation.

As you may be aware, a trilateral Statement by Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia was signed in November. Importantly, by and large, it is being steadily implemented. The bloodshed was stopped. This is the most important thing. We managed to stop the bloodshed, achieve a complete ceasefire and start the stabilisation process.

Now the international community and, undoubtedly, the countries involved in crisis resolution are faced with the task of helping the affected areas overcome humanitarian challenges related to returning refugees, rebuilding destroyed infrastructure, protecting and restoring historical, religious and cultural landmarks.

Or, another example. I will note the role of Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United States and a number of other countries in stabilising the global energy market. This format has become a productive example of interaction between the states with different, sometimes even diametrically opposite assessments of global processes, and with their own outlooks on the world.

At the same time there are certainly problems that concern every state without exception. One example is cooperation in studying and countering the coronavirus infection. As you know, several strains of this dangerous virus have emerged. The international community must create conditions for cooperation between scientists and other specialists to understand how and why coronavirus mutations occur, as well as the difference between the various strains.

Of course, we need to coordinate the efforts of the entire world, as the UN Secretary-General suggests and as we urged recently at the G20 summit. It is essential to join and coordinate the efforts of the world in countering the spread of the virus and making the much needed vaccines more accessible. We need to help the countries that need support, including the African nations. I am referring to expanding the scale of testing and vaccinations.

We see that mass vaccination is accessible today, primarily to people in the developed countries. Meanwhile, millions of people in the world are deprived even of the hope for this protection. In practice, such inequality could create a common threat because this is well known and has been said many times that it will drag out the epidemic and uncontrolled hotbeds will continue. The epidemic has no borders.

There are no borders for infections or pandemics. Therefore, we must learn the lessons from the current situation and suggest measures aimed at improving the monitoring of the emergence of such diseases and the development of such cases in the world.

Another important area that requires coordination, in fact, the coordination of the efforts of the entire international community, is to preserve the climate and nature of our planet. I will not say anything new in this respect.

Only together can we achieve progress in resolving such critical problems as global warming, the reduction of forestlands, the loss of biodiversity, the increase in waste, the pollution of the ocean with plastic and so on, and find an optimal balance between economic development and the preservation of the environment for the current and future generations.

My friends,

We all know that competition and rivalry between countries in world history never stopped, do not stop and will never stop. Differences and a clash of interests are also natural for such a complicated body as human civilisation. However, in critical times this did not prevent it from pooling its efforts – on the contrary, it united in the most important destinies of humankind. I believe this is the period we are going through today.

It is very important to honestly assess the situation, to concentrate on real rather than artificial global problems, on removing the imbalances that are critical for the entire international community. I am sure that in this way we will be able to achieve success and befittingly parry the challenges of the third decade of the 21st century.

I would like to finish my speech at this point and thank all of you for your patience and attention.

Thank you very much.

Klaus Schwab: Thank you very much, Mr President.

Many of the issues raised, certainly, are part of our discussions here during the Davos Week. We complement the speeches also by task forces which address some of the issues you mentioned, like not leaving the developing world behind, taking care of, let’s say, creating the skills for tomorrow, and so on. Mr President, we prepare for the discussion afterwards, but I have one very short question. It is a question which we discussed when I visited you in St Petersburg 14 months ago. How do you see the future of European-Russian relations? Just a short answer.

Vladimir Putin: You know there are things of an absolutely fundamental nature such as our common culture. Major European political figures have talked in the recent past about the need to expand relations between Europe and Russia, saying that Russia is part of Europe. Geographically and, most importantly, culturally, we are one civilisation. French leaders have spoken of the need to create a single space from Lisbon to the Urals. I believe, and I mentioned this, why the Urals? To Vladivostok.

I personally heard the outstanding European politician, former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, say that if we want European culture to survive and remain a centre of world civilisation in the future, keeping in mind the challenges and trends underlying the world civilisation, then of course, Western Europe and Russia must be together. It is hard to disagree with that. We hold exactly the same point of view.

Clearly, today’s situation is not normal. We need to return to a positive agenda. This is in the interests of Russia and, I am confident, the European countries. Clearly, the pandemic has also played a negative role. Our trade with the European Union is down, although the EU is one of our key trade and economic partners. Our agenda includes returning to positive trends and building up trade and economic cooperation.

Europe and Russia are absolutely natural partners from the point of view of the economy, research, technology and spatial development for European culture, since Russia, being a country of European culture, is a little larger than the entire EU in terms of territory. Russia’s resources and human potential are enormous. I will not go over everything that is positive in Europe, which can also benefit the Russian Federation.

Only one thing matters: we need to approach the dialogue with each other honestly. We need to discard the phobias of the past, stop using the problems that we inherited from past centuries in internal political processes and look to the future. If we can rise above these problems of the past and get rid of these phobias, then we will certainly enjoy a positive stage in our relations.

We are ready for this, we want this, and we will strive to make this happen. But love is impossible if it is declared only by one side. It must be mutual.

Klaus Schwab: Thank you very much, Mr President.

%d bloggers like this: