3000 KM GAS PIPELINE FROM RUSSIA TO CHINA 99% COMPLETE

3000 km Gas Pipeline From Russia To China 99% Complete

Construction of its gas pipeline from Russia to China is 99% finished, Russian energy giant Gazprom has announced. According to reports, the company is planning to start delivering gas to China via the Power of Siberia line as early as December 2019.

Gazprom’s Investor Day presentation in Singapore revealed that in 2019 the company is planning to invest about $2.24 billion into the project. The pipeline is set to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas to China annually.

Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) reached a 30-year agreement for gas supplies via the Power of Siberia gas pipeline in 2014. In September 2018, Gazprom reported that the Russian part of the pipeline, running from Yakutia gas production centers to China’s border, was almost complete. The construction of pipeline on Chinese territory is also almost completed.

Advertisements

Russia Slides Towards Internal Political Crisis (MUST SEE SouthFront video report!)

Source

February 26, 2019

Saker note: a rather harsh criticism of the Russian Government and the Kremlin in this SouthFront analysis.  Sadly, I cannot say that I disagree with what they say.  In fact, I think that they are spot on and that all the “loyal” Kremlin-bots who deny that there is a serious problem in Russia are wrong.  Supporting Vladimir Putin’s struggle to truly make Russia sovereign again and built a new multi-polar world does not at all entail being blind to all the very real mistakes and even faults of the Russian government.  I can only say that I hope that SF is right and that the current lack of support of the Russian people of the government’s neo-liberal/capitalist policies will force Putin to correct the course and return to the kind of social policies the Russian people clearly want.  It is also high time for Russia to take a harsher stance on the Ukraine, if only because the situation in the Ukraine (political and economic) is a total disaster and because some kind of military escalation in the Ukraine seems inevitable.  All in all, yet another absolutely superb report by SouthFront who sober analysis contrasts favorably with what both flag-wavers and fear-mongers typically produce.

https://southfront.org/wp-content/plugins/fwduvp/content/video.php?path=https%3A%2F%2Fsouthfront.org%2Finternal-political-crisis-russia%2F&pid=1583

Transcript:

This is a critical look at the situation in Russia. The video is based on an article of one of our readers and additional data.

The Russia of 2019 is in a complicated economic and even political situation. Smoldering conflicts near its borders amid continued pressure from the US and NATO affect the situation in the country negatively. This is manifested in society and in national politics. The approval rating of the Russian government and personally of President Vladimir Putin has been decreasing.

According to VCIOM, a state pollster, in January 2019, Putin’s confidence rating was only 32.8%. This is 24% less than in January 2018 when it was 57.2%. At the same time, the confidence rating of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was 7.8%. The approval rating of his cabinet is 37.7% while the disapproval rating is 38.7%. Opposition sources show data, which is far worse for the current Russian leadership.

This tendency is not linked to the foreign policy course of the Kremlin. Rather, it’s the result of the recent series of liberal-minded economic reforms, which look similar to the approaches exercised by the Russian government in the mid-1990s. The decision to increase Value Added Tax amid the slowing Russian economy, especially in the industrial sector, and a very unpopular pension reform increasing the retirement age were both factors contributing to the further growth of discontent in the population.

Russia’s GDP increased by 2.3% in 2018 compared to 1.6% in 2017. However, the Ministry of Economic Development, in its document entitled “Economic Picture” stated that this is linked to “one-time factors” and is not “stable”. The ministry maintained its earlier forecast stating that GDP growth in 2019 will be 1.3%. It confirmed increasing capital outflow. In this case, the repayment of funds to Western creditors by the Russian private sector is one of the causes.

The Ministry of Economic Development also pointed out that the expendable income of the population decreased by 0.2%. Statutory charges, including the increased taxes, are named as one of the reasons. The document says that statutory charges grew by 14.8% in 2018.

Additionally, the population is facing an increasingly restrictive administrative pressure: new fines and other penalties for minor violations in various fields and additional administrative restrictions limiting the freedom of actions of citizens. Restrictive traffic management of big cities, increasing fees for using federal highways as well as policies that are de-facto aimed at small business and self-employed persons are among its landmarks.

Meanwhile the general population has no effective levers of pressure to affect or correct government policy. The public political sphere has become a desert. United Russia (Edinaya Rossiya) is the only political party still de—facto existing in public politics. By now its ideological and organizational capabilities have become exhausted. Other “political parties and organizations” are just media constructs designed to defend the interests of a narrow group of their sponsors. It is hard to find a lawmaker in the State Duma or the Federation Council, who is not affiliated with the cliquish top political elite and oligarch clans.

In the media sphere, the government has failed to explain its current course to the population. A vast majority of the initiatives of Medvedev’s cabinet face a negative reaction from the population. A spate of scandals involving high and middle level government officials made the situation even worse. These cases revealed blatant hypocrisy and the neglectful attitude to duties of some Russian officials.

Some of the officials even became heroes of nationwide memes. Probably, the most prominent of these heroes are Minister of Labour and Employment of the Saratov region Natalia Sokolova and Head of Department for Youth Policy in the Sverdlov Region Olga Glatskikh.

Sokolova advised Russian pensioners to eat “makaroshki” [a derogatory term for maccheroni] to save money and to thus become able to survive on the subsistence minimum of 3,500 RUB [about 50 USD] per month.

“You will become younger, prettier and slimmer! Makaroshki cost is always the same!”, she said during a meeting of the regional parliamentary group on social policy in October 2018 adding that discounted products can be used to create a “balanced, but dietic” menu.

Glatskikh became a meme hero thank to her meeting with young volunteers during the same month. Commenting on the possible financing of youth projects, she told volunteers that the government did not ask their parents “to give birth” to them. So, they should expect nothing from the state.

In the period from 2018 to 2019, there were multiple arrests of officials caught exceeding the limits of their authority and being involved in corruption schemes. In comparison to previous periods, this number had increased by 1.5-2 times. The most recent detention took place right in the Parliament building on January 30. A 32-year-old senator, Rauf Arashukov, is suspected of being a member of a criminal group involved in the 2010 murders of two people and in pressuring a witness to one of the killings. On the same day, authorities detained his father, an adviser to the chief executive of a Gazprom subsidiary, Raul Arashukov. He is suspected of embezzling natural gas worth 30 billion rubles ($450 million).

However, these actions do not appear to be enough to change the established media situation. After a large-scale corruption scandal in the Ministry of Defense in 2012, which led to almost no consequences for key responsible persons including former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who even continued his carrier in state-linked corporation Rostec. The general public has serious reservations about any real success of anti-corruption efforts.

The aforementioned factors fuel the negative perception of the Medvedev government and Vladimir Putin as the head of state among Russian citizens.

The 2014 events in Crimea showed to the Russian population that its state is ready to defend the interests of the nation and those who describe themselves as Russians even by force of arms. This was the first case when this approach was openly employed in the recent history of Russia. Therefore, the population was enthusiastic and national pride was on the rise. However, the Kremlin failed to exploit these gained opportunities and did not use them to strengthen the Russian state. In fact, up to February 2019, the policy towards eastern Ukraine has been inconsistent. At the same time, Moscow continues to lose its influence in post-Soviet states. This can be observed in both the Caucasus and Central Asia. Even, their close ally, Belarus, occasionally demonstrates unfriendly behavior and focuses its own efforts on the exploitation of economic preferences granted by Russia.

Evaluating the current internal political situation in Russia and its foreign policy course, it’s possible to say that the Russian leadership has lost its clear vision of national development and a firm and consistent policy, which are needed for any great power. Another explanation of this is that the Russian leadership is facing pressure from multiple agents of influence, which stand against vision of a powerful independent state seeking to act as one of the centers of power on the global stage. One more factor, often pointed out by experts, is the closed crony-caste system of elites. This system led to the creation of a leadership, which pursues its own narrow clannish interests. Apparently, all of these factors influence Russian foreign and domestic policies in one way or another.

The aforementioned large-scale anti-corruption campaign, regarding the people’s show-me attitude towards its result, could be a sign of a new emerging trend, which would lead to a purge of the corrupt elites and to strategic changes in Russian domestic policy.

It is highly likely that Russia will face hard times in the next two years (2019-2020) and face various threats and challenges to its economy, foreign policy course and even to its statehood.

Washington Cheats its Way into the EU Energy Market, Yet it Lives Off Russian Gas

Source

RLNG564522

Over the past two years, Washington has been adamant in its attempts to pursue a dominant position on the international energy markets in accordance with the strategy presented by Donald Trump, which included an aggressive takeover of the European market by ensuring its LNG supplies to the EU, while using every dirty trick in the book to somehow push Russia out of it, in spite of the fact the latter remains the strongest competitive on it for decades

Just recently, the US house of representatives has approved a largely symbolic resolution expressing opposition to Gazprom’s 11 billion dollars worth natural gas pipeline known as Nord Stream 2, on grounds that «the project will boost the Kremlin’s control over Europe’s energy supplies» (sic!).

To be more specific, the bill finds that the pipeline is a “drastic step backwards for European energy security and United States interests,” and calls for European governments to reject the project. The measure also urges the Trump to administration to “use all available means to support European energy security.”

At this point it’s clear that Washington would basically use every political and military lever it has in a desperate bid to low-kick Russian. It goes without saying that the ongoing US attempts to prevent the construction of Nord Stream-2 that will prevent European consumers to enjoy a steady supply of cheap gas from Russia, as the US is forcing European governments into building expensive LNG terminals so that they can import expensive gas from the United States. It’s ironical that while Moscow has made the decision to foot the bill for the construction of its pipeline, Washington is too cheap to invest a single cent in the construction of LNG terminals across the EU, forcing the costs on European consumers.

It goes without saying that hardly anyone today has any doubts about the fact that if American gas was a competitively viable alternative, the United States would not have such a hard time twisting the hands of European governments for them to support its LNG fantasies.

And while most Western media sources are busy telling us that America is on track to become the dominant exporter of LNG, the Economist would reveal that:

But the big problem with its LNG, is that it is more expensive than pipelined gas from Russia. American LNG exporters need to sell in Europe for at least 6-7 dollars per million British thermal units to cover the costs of freezing, shipping and re-gasification. By contrast Russia’s long-run marginal cost of supply to Europe is only about 5 dollars per British thermal units. American LNG is also more expensive than LNG from Qatar and some African countries because gas in America is more costly to extract, and the distances it has to travel to the customer are longer.

Is it any wonder then that last year Europe imported eight times more gas by pipeline than in the form of LNG shipments, with the trend continuing well into 2019. Even though American liquefied gas has never been a viable alternative for European consumers, the recent gas price spike on the domestic US market makes the rhetorics about American LNG supplies to Europe even more laughable.

Last October, the German foreign ministry released a paper stating that LNG supplies from the US cannot be regarded as a viable alternative to the gas transported via well-established routes. Nevertheless, the idea of forcing Europe into abandoning Russian gas supplies remains a top priority of American policymakers. This fact has been confirmed by the recent statement of America’s ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, who revealed that Washington has a number of yet unused tricks to advance its agenda.

Among those once can name a recent anti-Russian resolution by the European Parliament a month after Sondland’s statement, with PMs casting their votes under an immense pressure applied on them and the states they represent by Washington. This resolution calls on all EU members states to oppose the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

In order to persuade the EU to shoot itself in the foot, Washington has recently started placing a particular emphasis on supporting the Polish Three Seas Initiative, a project aimed at bring closer the twelve anti-Russian states between the Adriatic, Baltic and the Black Sea closer together. Those states are Poland, Croatia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. According to the assurances of Polish politicians, the deepening of the military, economic and ideological partnership of the Three Seas Initiative will create a sanitary cordon at the eastern borders of the Eurasian Union, thus achieving NATO’s policy of containing Russia, while cutting off its gas supplies to the EU.

As for Poland, it has recently become the most active supporter of Washington’s ideas about the bright future of American LNG supplies to Europe. Last October, Poland’s oil and gas company PGNiG signed a 20-year contract with the American company Venture Global on the supply of 2 million tons of LNG (which amounts to 2.7 billion cubic meters after deliquification). At the same time, Warsaw launched a propaganda campaign aimed at persuading its own citizens and the rest of the world that the US will be able to somehow start selling gas across Europe some 30% below the market price.

However, there are facts that look particularly remarkable against this background. First of all, the head of PGNiG refused to reveal the price at which it’s been buying American LNG gas. Then, Poland, in spite of being one of the world’s most dire opponents of Russia and everything that is related to it, oddly enough, over the past six months Poland has increased the import of Russian gas by 0.4 billion cubic meters – which constitutes a 6% increase over the last year! Thus, within 9.5 months of 2018, Poland bought the same amount of Russian gas as it did in 2015!

To make the matters even more grotesque, at the very end of 2018 a n LNG tanker left sailed off the the Russian shores and set its course for the United States of America. Back then it was reported that this shipment was bound to satisfy the needs of the residents of the east coast of the US. And all this is happening the backdrop of a massive hysteria in the media, with Western officials claiming that the US is more than capable to replace Russia on the European energy market! It’s simply ridiculous.

Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook“. 
https://journal-neo.org/2019/01/10/washington-is-cheating-its-way-into-the-eu-energy-market-while-it-lives-off-russian-gas/

Erdogan, MBS, Islamic leadership and the price of silence

November 21, 2018

The House of Saud’s ties to the Khashoggi slaying are being milked by the Turkish President for maximum benefit amid debate on leadership of the Islamic world and how the crisis may affect US and Saudi strategy in the Middle East

Erdogan, MBS, Islamic leadership and the price of silence

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with The Asia Times by special agreement with the author)

It was packaged as a stark, graphic message, echoing across Eurasia: Presidents Erdogan and Putin, in a packed hall in Istanbul on Monday, surrounded by notables, celebrating completion of the 930 kilometer-long offshore section of the TurkStream gas pipeline across the bottom of the Black Sea.

This is no less than a key landmark in that fraught terrain I named ‘Pipelineistan’ in the early 2000s. It was built by Gazprom in only two and a half years despite facing massive pressure from Washington, which had already managed to derail TurkStream’s predecessor, South Stream.

TurkStream is projected as two lines, each capable of delivering 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas a year. The first will supply the Turkish market. The second will run 180 km to Turkey’s western borderlands and supply south and southeast Europe, with first deliveries expected by the end of next year. Potential customers include Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.

Call it the Gazprom double down. Nord Stream 1 and 2 supply northern Europe while TurkStream supplies southern Europe. Pipelines are steel umbilical cords. They represent liquid connectivity at its best while conclusively decreasing risks of geopolitical friction.

Turkey is already being supplied by Russian gas via Blue Stream and the Trans-Balkan pipeline. Significantly, Turkey is Gazprom’s second largest export market after China.

Erdogan’s speech, strenuously emphasizing the benefits of Turkey’s energy security, was played and replayed all across a rainy, ultra-congested Istanbul. To witness this geopolitical and geoeconomic breakthrough was particularly enlightening, as I was deep into discussing Turkish geopolitics with members of the progressive Turkish Left.

Even the opposition to what in Europe is routinely defined as Erdogan’s brand of “Asian illiberalism” concedes Turkey-Russia trade connectivity – in energy, in the military domain via the sale of the S-400 missile system, in the building of nuclear power plants – has been conducted with consummate skill by Erdogan, who is always careful to send direct and indirect messages to Washington that Turkish national interests will not be compromised.

The big prize: leading Islam

Now juxtapose this developing entente cordiale between the Bear and the (aspiring) Sultan with the gripping drama in Istanbul. Ibrahim Karagul – never afraid to apply a Rabelais touch – is always useful as a mirror reflecting the state of play of AKP circles around Erdogan.

For this political elite, a breakthrough in the Erdogan-conducted “Death By a Thousand Leaks” is imminent, allegedly proving that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) directly gave the order for the killing and slaying of Jamal Khashoggi.

The consensus among the AKP leadership – confirmed by independent Left academics – is that the US-Israel-House of Saud-UAE axis is deep in negotiations to extricate MBS from any culpability.

That includes key items in the hefty Erdogan “package” dangled to the axis to essentially buy Ankara’s silence – an end of the Saudi blockade on Qatar and the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, described across the Turkish political spectrum as the leader of FETO (the Fetullah Terrorist Organization).

The Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry are very much aware that the high-stakes game goes way beyond ‘Pulp Fiction’ in Istanbul and the Astana peace process on Syria – carefully micro-managed by both Putin and Erdogan alongside Iran’s Rouhani. The big prize is no less than the leadership of the Islamic world.

There is nowhere better than a few stops in select landmarks of Ottoman imperial power, or a lively conversation at Istanbul’s Old Book Bazaar, to be reminded that this was the seat of the Islamic Umma for centuries – a role usurped by those Arabian desert upstarts.

Alastair Cooke has captured with perfection the House of Saud’s close involvement in the slaying of Khashoggi and how this raises questions about Saudi Arabia’s status as “no more than an inept Custodian of Mecca and Medina”. This is indeed splashed all over the – Erdogan-aligned – Turkish media. And Cooke notes how this status “would strip the Gulf of much of its significance and value to Washington”.

My ongoing conversations with progressive, Kemalist Turkish academics – yes, they are a minority – have unveiled a fascinating process. The Erdogan machine has sensed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to simultaneously bury the House of Saud’s shaky Islamic credibility while solidifying Turkish neo-Ottomanism, but with an Ikhwan framework.

And that’s the rationale behind Erdogan and Turkish media relentlessly denouncing what is interpreted as a plot concocted by MBZ (MBS’s puppet master), Tel Aviv and the Trump administration.

No one can possibly advance the endgame. But that carries the strong possibility of a dominant, Erdogan-led Turkey all across the lands of Islam, allied with Qatar and also with Iran. Plus all of the above enjoying very close geopolitical and economic relations with Russia. Expect major fireworks ahead.

Erdogan, MBS, Islamic leadership and the price of silence

By Pepe Escobar
Source

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, shakes hands with his Russian leader Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Tehran on September 7, 2018. Photo: AFP / Kirill Kudryavtsev

The House of Saud’s ties to the Khashoggi slaying are being milked by the Turkish President for maximum benefit amid debate on leadership of the Islamic world and how the crisis may affect US and Saudi strategy in the Middle East

It was packaged as a stark, graphic message, echoing across Eurasia: Presidents Erdogan and Putin, in a packed hall in Istanbul on Monday, surrounded by notables, celebrating completion of the 930 kilometer-long offshore section of the TurkStream gas pipeline across the bottom of the Black Sea.

This is no less than a key landmark in that fraught terrain I named ‘Pipelineistan’ in the early 2000s. It was built by Gazprom in only two and a half years despite facing massive pressure from Washington, which had already managed to derail TurkStream’s predecessor, South Stream.

TurkStream is projected as two lines, each capable of delivering 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas a year. The first will supply the Turkish market. The second will run 180 km to Turkey’s western borderlands and supply south and southeast Europe, with first deliveries expected by the end of next year. Potential customers include Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.

Call it the Gazprom double down. Nord Stream 1 and 2 supply northern Europe while TurkStream supplies southern Europe. Pipelines are steel umbilical cords. They represent liquid connectivity at its best while conclusively decreasing risks of geopolitical friction.

Turkey is already being supplied by Russian gas via Blue Stream and the Trans-Balkan pipeline. Significantly, Turkey is Gazprom’s second largest export market after China.

Erdogan’s speech, strenuously emphasizing the benefits of Turkey’s energy security, was played and replayed all across a rainy, ultra-congested Istanbul. To witness this geopolitical and geoeconomic breakthrough was particularly enlightening, as I was deep into discussing Turkish geopolitics with members of the progressive Turkish Left.

Even the opposition to what in Europe is routinely defined as Erdogan’s brand of “Asian illiberalism” concedes Turkey-Russia trade connectivity – in energy, in the military domain via the sale of the S-400 missile system, in the building of nuclear power plants – has been conducted with consummate skill by Erdogan, who is always careful to send direct and indirect messages to Washington that Turkish national interests will not be compromised.

The big prize: leading Islam

Now juxtapose this developing entente cordiale between the Bear and the (aspiring) Sultan with the gripping drama in Istanbul. Ibrahim Karagul – never afraid to apply a Rabelais touch – is always useful as a mirror reflecting the state of play of AKP circles around Erdogan.

For this political elite, a breakthrough in the Erdogan-conducted “Death By a Thousand Leaks” is imminent, allegedly proving that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) directly gave the order for the killing and slaying of Jamal Khashoggi.

The consensus among the AKP leadership – confirmed by independent Left academics – is that the US-Israel-House of Saud-UAE axis is deep in negotiations to extricate MBS from any culpability.

That includes key items in the hefty Erdogan “package” dangled to the axis to essentially buy Ankara’s silence – an end of the Saudi blockade on Qatar and the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, described across the Turkish political spectrum as the leader of FETO (the Fetullah Terrorist Organization).

The Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry are very much aware that the high-stakes game goes way beyond ‘Pulp Fiction’ in Istanbul and the Astana peace process on Syria – carefully micro-managed by both Putin and Erdogan alongside Iran’s Rouhani. The big prize is no less than the leadership of the Islamic world.

There is nowhere better than a few stops in select landmarks of Ottoman imperial power, or a lively conversation at Istanbul’s Old Book Bazaar, to be reminded that this was the seat of the Islamic Umma for centuries – a role usurped by those Arabian desert upstarts.

Alastair Cooke has captured with perfection the House of Saud’s close involvement in the slaying of Khashoggi and how this raises questions about Saudi Arabia’s status as “no more than an inept Custodian of Mecca and Medina”. This is indeed splashed all over the – Erdogan-aligned – Turkish media. And Cooke notes how this status “would strip the Gulf of much of its significance and value to Washington”.

My ongoing conversations with progressive, Kemalist Turkish academics – yes, they are a minority – have unveiled a fascinating process. The Erdogan machine has sensed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to simultaneously bury the House of Saud’s shaky Islamic credibility while solidifying Turkish neo-Ottomanism, but with an Ikhwan framework.

And that’s the rationale behind Erdogan and Turkish media relentlessly denouncing what is interpreted as a plot concocted by MBZ (MBS’s puppet master), Tel Aviv and the Trump administration.

No one can possibly advance the endgame. But that carries the strong possibility of a dominant, Erdogan-led Turkey all across the lands of Islam, allied with Qatar and also with Iran. Plus all of the above enjoying very close geopolitical and economic relations with Russia. Expect major fireworks ahead.

Russian Order vs. Western Chaos

September 16, 2018

By Rostislav Ishchenko 

Russian Order vs. Western Chaos
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-russian-order-vs-western-chaos/
source: https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20180914/1021144841.html

 

On September 14th the Court of Appeal of England and Wales made the decision to satisfy Ukraine’s appeal and to send the case of the $3 billion that Yanukovych managed to receive from the $15 billion loan granted by Russia in 2013 for new consideration.

Ukraine recognises the debt, but hopes that a final decision is made on the example of the decision of the Stockholm arbitration court about the debt of “Naftogaz” to “Gazprom”. Kiev considers that if to subtract its debt from the bills [presented to Russia – ed] for “stealing Crimea” and the help of Russia to Donbass, then Moscow will continue to be indebted to Ukraine for a large sum.

I will remind that the Stockholm arbitration, having reviewed the mutual claims of the parties, “satisfied” them in such a way that Ukraine appeared to be the winner for $2.5 billion. The arbitrators motivated their decision not by the contents of contracts, but by the bad economic situation in Ukraine. Now Russia fights for the revision of this decision in the court of appeal and, exactly on the day prior to the decision of the British court, the Court of Appeal of Stockholm cancelled the suspension of the decision of the Stockholm arbitration until a final decision is pronounced by the appeal instance.

Meanwhile both decisions don’t change anything. Both disputes remain essentially incomplete. But it is precisely their basic incompleteness, along with the absolutely obvious faultlessness of the Russian position, together with the already made illegal decision of the Stockholm arbitration court, that creates a situation in which traditional international structures regulating economic disputes are useless because of the obvious politicisation of the made decisions.

The Stockholm arbitration court isn’t authorised to solve the economic problems of Ukraine (especially at the expense of “Gazprom”), and the British courts can’t consider the political claims of states made to each other. Their business lies only in considering the performance/non-performance by the parties of clauses and, in the event of non-performance, applying the sanctions provided by this same contract.

But in recent days not only “Gazprom” suffered, not only Russia, and not only international justice. The Constantinople Patriarchate Bartholomew, despite the protests of the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Metropolitan Onufry, sent two exarchs to Ukraine for the preparation of autocephaly, concerning which he was asked not by Orthodox Christians of Ukraine, but by political authorities and schismatic sects. Meanwhile, in the EU a scandal inflames over the attempt of the European Parliament and the EU Council to undermine Hungary for its anti-migrant policy.

Externally these events can seem like they have nothing in common with each other. In reality, they are links of the same chain. Each of them is an attempt to destroy the existing world order – some in the sphere of the international justice, some in the church’s relationship in the orthodox world, some in the sphere of the relations of national states and the bureaucratic structures of the EU. And here it is not about reformatting certain structures or obtaining advantages by some state, but precisely about destroying the entire global legal system regulating political, economic, financial, sports, cultural, and other relations. So, for example, the “Olympic doping scandal” concerning Russian athletes was not so much an attempt to steal the victories of the Russian national team, defame Russian sport, and humiliate Russia (it was desired to make it seem like this in order to force Moscow to make inadequate reciprocal actions) as it was an attempt to destroy the world Olympic Movement, but in such a way that Russia is to blame for it.

As we see, Moscow is constantly being pushed towards making sharp actions in the most different directions – against the international economic courts, against the Olympic Movement, and intervening in the church question. And in the political-diplomatic sphere the “case of Skripal’s cat” – within the framework of which the royal British government remorselessly poisons not only our deserters, but also their own citizens – Russia, being led to the point of absurdity, is supposed to be finally roused to a sharp diplomatic demarche against Britain, which will allow to lay the blame on Moscow for the sharp deterioration of the international climate.

But it’s not only about Moscow here. Similarly, the US pushes China and the EU towards the game of weakening the dollar, which is needed by Trump’s team much more than it is by Beijing or Brussels (it will yield only losses rather than profits to Europe and the People’s Republic of China). We already mentioned the Hungarian precedent. Here, in fact, it concerns the fact that globalist euro-bureaucracy pushes the national states of Europe towards the dismantlement of the European Union as a structure hostile to their sovereignty.

Since time immemorial, the state launching war wishes to lay the blame on the victim of aggression. It happens not at all with the aim of calming a sick conscience. The reputation of an aggressor still hasn’t brought dividends to anyone. Usually people unite against those who can attack without a motivation. For example, the reason for the entry of Great Britain, and then the US in World War I was the violation by Germany of the neutrality of Belgium. Similarly, the violation of the neutrality of Belgium, Denmark, and Norway in World War II served Roosevelt’s administration a good propaganda service, which allowed to firstly convince the more than neutrally-intended Americans that the US is obliged to give military-economic support to Great Britain, including in forms that are inadmissible for a neutral state (in fact, to provoke the involvement of the US in war). And this is despite the fact that during World War II the allies didn’t hide their intention to also violate neutrality – at least of Belgium and Norway, and on the eve of World War I England strenuously hinted to the Germans that it won’t start to be at war regardless of what happens on the continent. And then it stated that it simply can’t endure the impudent violation of Belgian neutrality.

In both cases, the status of an aggressor assigned to Germany promoted the creation against it of an almost global coalition. Moreover, if during World War II this status corresponded to reality, then in World War I Berlin was no more an aggressor than London, which used more than its best efforts to provoke and incite this war.

Thus, the culprit for global troubles loses allies, bears responsibility for the creation of a conflict situation in the opinion of the world community, loses support, and plunges into isolation, and all of this doesn’t help its victory in the standoff.

Nowadays the US, having appeared to be incapable of preserving its hegemony in the current global configuration, puts in maximum effort for its destruction. Everything that Washington can reach is being destroyed: countries, international organisations, and the norms of international law. But the reputation of a destroyer leads to serious political expenses. Even the congenial elite of the closest allies started to become afraid of the unpredictability of their partner – more precisely, of its predictable destructiveness. And the US would like to share this responsibility with the others (Russia, the EU, and China). It is approximately like Ukrainian “experts” on Russian talk-shows, who answer a question about any violations in Ukraine of norms of law, honor, justice, and common sense by starting to howl: “It’s the same in your country!” or “it’s even worse in your country!”. In a situation when there is no justification and the crime is obvious, they don’t try to justify themselves, but seek to share responsibility.

And the US in the same way, chaotisizing the planet, destroying the structures governing international relations in the most different spheres, creating a barbarous periphery where there was once civilisation (like in Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen; as they tried and still try in Syria, Iran, Turkey, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Armenia, Central Asia, Pakistan, China, and in Russia) wishes to transfer responsibility for the destruction of civilisation, the death of millions and displacement of tens, if not hundreds of millions of people – who lost in the homeland their means of livelihood – to other world players.

It is for this purpose that they support the available contradictions and create new lines of split where they previously didn’t exist, and they use their influence in international structures to force some of them to make decisions that are inadequate and obviously hostile towards certain countries (including Russia), waiting for a reciprocal rigid reaction from the offended, which would make it possible to blame them for the dismantlement of the global system of international law and the collapse of the relevant institutions.

All of this is supposed to increase the level of trust in the US and reduce the support that its opponents receive, which, in turn, will give Washington the chance, having lost the ordered world, to win a chaotisized world.

This is the long and difficult playing on the nerves of each other, in which Russia, China, Iran, partially Turkey, and now a considerable part of the European Union buy time for the rebuilding of the global system and the creation of a new area of international law that is closed to the US’ interference. In turn, Washington and its allies in the most different countries hurry to chaotisize as many countries and structures as possible, to provoke clashes with the participation of their opponents, so that in the game without rules they are deprived of the advantages that they obtained in the game with rules.

We have to understand that the destruction of the system of international law is not a side effect of America’s actions, but a strategic objective of the US – their last chance to jump out of zugzwang and to obtain freedom of political manoeuvre. And Washington will continue to consistently go all the way towards this goal.

When the desire exists to provoke you into a conflict, sooner or later a situation will be created whereby you all the same will be obliged to either fight or capitulate. There is a need to always be ready for this. It’s just that the transformation of “Leopold into a leopard” [A Soviet cartoon in which Leopold transforms into a leopard – ed] must always be sudden, unexpected for the enemy, and as (or even more) effective as the Georgian operation of 2008 and Crimean one of 2014.

Order always has more of a chance of winning than chaos does. But for this purpose one needs to preserve order, at least for oneself and one’s allies.

 

%d bloggers like this: