Nancy braves the Chinese dragon and wins?

August 02, 2022

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So, it appears that Pelosi landed in Taiwan. This is a HUGE victory for the invincible USA and China with all its hollow threats has now lost face.  That is how those evil commies are – they only understand the language of force, and when faced with the united forces of democracy they cave.

Right?

Right?!

Well……

Yes, if your expertise in international relation, military matters and China (or Russia) come from reading Tom Clancy’s books, then yes.

But there is another way to look at this:

First, in objective terms, this visit is a pure provocation with no practical effects whatsoever.  Pelosi is as much a old teleprompter reading hag as President Brandon.  Whatever real dealings the USA and Taiwan had to discuss, they would have done that either remotely or by arranging a meeting between people capable of thinking.

Second, just like Russia many times in the past, the Chinese drew a red line and then let the US cross it.  Being the narcissistic civilization that it is, the West only saw this as a sign of “weakness”, “indecisiveness” or even “naivete”.  What these folks fail to even think about is this: how do you feel most Chinese will react both to the visit and to the lack of Chinese reaction (so far!)?  They will get mad and express their frustrations.  Now look at it from the Chinese government’s point of view, rather then spending billions on anti-US propaganda they, instead, let the US humiliate China and thereby solidifying the Chinese population for the day when the real confrontation will take place.

[Sidebar: there is a direct connection between years of Kremlin’s rather weak and mostly verbal protests and the “sudden” appearance of the Russian ultimatum to the West followed by the SMO: the Kremlin literally “cooked” its own public opinion to the point were IT *demanded* strong action.  Far from alienating or frightening most Russians, the SMO came as a huge relief to them: “we are FINALLY putting the foot down and taking real action”.  That would not have been possible before 2018.  Those in the West who saw Putin’s “indecisiveness” simply don’t understand the Russian mindset anymore than they understand the Chinese one.  Simply put: you cannot prepare for war without preparing your own population for it! That is what Tom Clancy does to the brains of those reading him]

Third, let me ask you a simple question: who decided on the timing of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan?  The answer is obvious, it was the leaders of the USA.  And you can bet that they had everything carefully lined up to make that visit happen in the best of possible circumstances.  Now, a BASIC principle of warfare is that you do NOT let your enemy chose the time and place of the battle. Yes, yes, yes, in the western culture any “affront” (real or perceived) demands an immediate reaction.  But the Chinese have been at this for many millennia, not just 200 years, and they know better and you can be sure that THEY, not the USA, will chose the time, place and mode of retaliation.

In sum, the woke-soaking narcissists who run the USA can celebrate how they chose to show “them Chinese commies” who is boss.  Just like they did with Russia between 1991 and 2021.  And then, when the Russians decided to act, Uncle Shmuel was caught totally off-guard and clueless as to who to deal with this sudden and direct threat.

Last but not least.  That kind of imperial arrogance is something which not only impact (the already pretty angry Chinese population), it also infuriates all of Zone B, thereby creating the conditions for more defeats for the USA in Asia, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, Central Asia and Latin America.

Most US Americans have absolutely no idea how offensive their condescending arrogance, constant flag waving, talks about their messianic mission for mankind and general narcissism is offensive to the rest of the planet.  But when you look objectively at the endless list of US failures pretty much anywhere on the planet, you can tell that there is something deep going on here.  For some reason, the “Yankees go home” thing seems to be very contagious.

I think that Nancy Pelosi deserves our profound gratitude.  She should get at least two medals:

  • One from the CP of China in gratitude for her endless efforts to rally the people of China around their government and
  • One from Russia, for her endless efforts into solidifying the Russian-Chinese alliance.

Truth be told, between Bliken and Pelosi the national security interests of China and Russia are in good hands 🙂

Andrei

Why don’t the African cosmos support the West in its sanctions war against Russia?

July 06, 2022

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By José Francisco Lumango

The answer may not be simple. But the memory of European colonisation in Africa, and its harmful effects, are still visible despite the independence of its states, may be a reasonable way of understanding it. An African adage teaches that “One should never forget the lessons learned in times of pain”, which seems to be the source of inspiration for the African cosmos – the set of entities that formally and materially hold the power relations in Africa – not to forget the tragic consequences of European colonisation, to protect their independence and not repeat the errors of the past. Without being simplistic or too complex, the answer to the question in question may have several reasons:

1. Historical memory of colonisation and the struggle for national liberation: Russia, heir to the Former USSR, supported ideologically, politically, economically, and militarily the national liberation struggles of several African countries, which after the achievement of independence, followed the communist model as the basis of their political, social and economic construction. Even though they later adopted Western capitalism, the mentality of the African cosmos is still of Soviet influence, because it was there that most of them did their military and political training and received economic support to finance the liberation wars to put an end to Western colonisation, with direct and indirect help from Cuba as an intermediary in some cases. The cold war between the USA and NATO against the USSR led to civil wars in African countries to conquer the spaces of influence. After the fall of the Berlin wall and the resurgence of Russia, Westerners looked at the situation as an absolute victory. Despite this, the African cosmos has not forgotten colonisation, the interference of Western countries in their internal affairs, and the rigged processes of massive indebtedness of their economies as a way of controlling their strategic natural resources.

2. Recent memory of wars at the beginning of the 21st century: Beyond colonial issues, the African cosmos has been following since 2001 the behaviour of the West (US, NATO, and EU) in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, sweetened by the Arab Springs, attempted coups in Turkey, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Egypt, etc., without forgetting the massacre in Rwanda and the war in Somalia and Yemen. These wars and coups have destroyed thousands of human lives, social infrastructure, jobs, etc. It was a catastrophe for the entire continent and nearby territories like South East Asia. The existing wars in Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, Mali, Mozambique, DRC, Ethiopia, etc, allow the African cosmos, even those with strong ties to the West like Morocco, for example, not to act frontally against Russia, a fact verified in the recent votes of the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council which suspended it. The expulsion of French forces by the military junta in Mali and their replacement by the Russians through the Wagner group, like the construction of a port for the Russian Nave Arms on the Sudanese Red Sea coast, could be a revealing symptom.

3. The damaging memory of Western unipolarity and the chance for a global multipolar alternative power: For Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, the Ukrainian war is a civil war within Slavic civilisation, through several wars within it: economic-financial, propaganda-media, cultural, biological, radiological, and military war. It is a hybrid war that has ended with globalisation, as confirmed by Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock. For Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, it is not a question of total deglobalisation, but of economic-financial, cybernetic-digital, energy, and commercial deglobalisation. The West was no longer interested in economic-financial globalisation because they lost the battle against China, and cybernetic-digital globalisation (software, etc.) was won by the Indians. This bipolarity also involves the division of the UN Security Council into two blocs: the first composed of the US, UK, France (G7/NATO), and the second of Russia and China (Shanghai Group and BRICS). This situation led to an operational dysfunction of the WTO and led to the resignation of its previous Director General, Roberto Azevedo. In this sense, Jalife-Rahme quotes Philipe Stephens’ article “The world is marching back from globalisation”, where he states that “The US does not see a vital national interest in maintaining an order that transfers power to rivals”. Thus, according to Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, “Everything that is not globalised becomes balkanised”. Thus, the end of globalisation, especially the economic-financial one, as dictated by Larry Fink, will inevitably entail its balkanisation, through two regional blocs, i.e. de-globalisation and bipolar trans-meta-regionalisation, on one side the G7/NATO and EU, and on the other side the BRICS/Shanghai Group and Eurasian Union.

The de-globalisation said by Larry Fink is “neoliberal de-globalisation”, which occurs through the gradual paralysis of global supply chains, which are founded on the reduction of operating costs through outsourcing (relocation of companies) and downsizing (lowering labour costs to increase shareholder profits and value companies in capital markets), according to Alfredo Jalife-Rahme. The African cosmos believes that if Russia, even with nuclear weapons, a continental country with Eurasian tradition, which supplies almost 40% of energy resources and other strategic raw materials to the West, is treated this way, what will become of African countries, which are visibly weaker in military terms? The destruction of Libya for trying to sell oil in Euro and rejecting the USD may be indisputable proof.

The meddling of the West in Africa, beyond colonisation, needs no introduction. The wars and coups d’état in Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Sudan, the Central African Republic, the civil war in Angola and other conflicts are facts that remain in the collective memory of the African cosmos. If the colonial memory was tragic, the expressive and aggressive interference of the West in the African cosmos is breaking any remaining trust, for historical reasons (over 400 years of colonisation), by unfair competition in the exploitation of natural resources, the massive interference in internal affairs by the IMF in the financing of road and housing infrastructures, etc., and the attempt to incorporate western values aggressively through sanctions and blackmail, even if these values do not correspond to the African historical-epistemic and gnosiological cosmogony.

4. China and Russia as a financial and military alternative for the existential survival of African countries in a multipolar world in the medium and long term: The African cosmos observes with concern and caution everything that Western leaders do against Russia as a result of the technical-military operation in Ukraine, regardless of the causes, which by common sense is perceived since 2014. The reason for this concern lies in the fact that whenever the West finds itself in crisis or politically, geostrategically, and economically cornered, it uses internal or external wars as a way out, a can be seen in the Roman wars, the colonisation of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the Napoleonic wars, the First and Second World Wars. Faced with the circumstances, the African cosmos shows resistance towards sanctions against Russia, abstaining from votes at the UN, in official pronouncements, that is, maintaining certain strategic neutrality, despite the gigantic Western pressure, forcing them to choose a side as if they were still vassals or colonised. It is not that the African cosmos agrees in its entirety with Russia’s technical-military operation in Ukraine, insofar as, there is a history of invasions in Africa carried out by Westerners, Arabs, Persians, and Ottomans. The main concern is the need for an economic-financial and military alternative to the West for its own existential survival, and to protect itself from possible aggressive interference in the long term, when strategic reserves of Western raw materials reach their limit. The way the West behaved during the Covid19 Pandemic in the context of vaccine distribution policies, by buying in advance almost 80% of all vaccines in production in the world, leaving poor countries without vaccines even to buy for a certain period, and changing their position only when they realised that, the non-global distribution of the vaccines prolonged the pandemic, led to the creation of the COVAX system by the WHO, after harsh criticism from Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, stating that, “The growing gap between the number of vaccines offered in rich countries and those administered through COVAX is becoming “more grotesque by the day”. And how could it be otherwise, the gesture of Russia and China in the swift distribution of vaccines and protective medical supplies was taken into account by the African cosmos at the time of decision making. As is well known, China’s economic and Russia’s military presence in Africa is seen as an alternative guarantee to what the West is offering. Since 2002, while the West was distracted with its eternal wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Arab Spring, Syria, Libya, etc., China entered Africa in silence, massively funding road infrastructure projects etc., without interference in internal affairs, through the adoption of the “Win-Win” strategy.

Russia, on the other hand, has become the main military alternative, accounting for 49% of total arms exports to Africa by 2020, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) database, to avoid internal conflicts and protect itself from external interference. Paul Stronski confirms that “The rulers of many African countries look to Moscow from Soviet-era links, and Moscow takes advantage of this and manages to maintain its influence. In the case of Algeria [and Angola], this is done by writing off old debts. Sometimes Russia also makes generous promises, assuring that it will build workshops or facilities for manufacturing or maintenance.

The African cosmos serenely realises that a defeat of Russia in Ukraine will lead the world to a more aggressive, self-centred and militarised Western unipolarisation and the weaker countries will have no alternative for survival and existential resistance. The fear of perishing and becoming a colonial space again seems to be more important to the strategists of the African cosmos than Western values about democracy, neoliberalism, capitalism, etc. For the African cosmos, its course and future depend on the economic-financial cover of China and the military cover of Russia, so that there is a certain balance in its relations with the West.

And it considers the situation of Russia and Ukraine as an internal issue between brothers of the same homeland linked historically, culturally, linguistically, and religiously. But it does not mean that it wants a radical change in its strategic relations with the West. It is only a preventive measure of existential survival.

The way the West treats Ukrainian refugees compared to what has been done with African refugees arriving via the Mediterranean and from the Canary Islands via the Atlantic has not been forgotten, as have the Punic wars between Rome and Carthage and the destruction of Libya. These historical events may justify the fear of the African cosmos in resisting in the face of Western pressure to give up its strategic relations with Russia and China.

This neutrality and strategic ambiguity serve to prevent a geostrategic and existential risk for sovereign and independent countries in the medium and long term. And, according to an African adage “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers”. Thus, the African cosmos realises that it is grass in this war of titans, and Ukraine only as a geostrategic, geopolitical, geoeconomic, and geofinancial singularity of the hegemonic power struggle between Eurasia and the West. So that may have been the reason they refrained from the sanctions war against Russia, for the lessons learned from their tragic experiences, old and recent, of their relations with the West.

The African cosmos does everything it can to avoid being the grass in the conflict at hand, promoted by the West since 2014, through the coup d’état against Viktor Yanukovich, and the failure to implement the Minsk I and II agreements. Soon, it seems that the African cosmos uses the proverbial philosophy of its ancestors to avoid entering into another’s war, even though it is already feeling the side effects of the increase in the prices of wheat, fertilizers, oil, gas, etc., and the risk of probable retaliations, for disobedience of political guidelines, by the West.

The claim by Macky Sall, President of Senegal and Chairperson-in-Office of the African Union on his recent visit to Russia, in demanding the West remove sanctions affecting Africa’s food security is, without doubt, a clear and unequivocal demonstration of this position. ”

أميركا تحزم أمرها: نحو عسكرة العالم

الجمعة 1 تموز 2022

 سعيد محمد

أهمّ القرارات الصادرة عن القمة كان زيادة تعداد القوّة الضاربة للحلف في أوروبا من 40 ألف جندي إلى 300 ألف (أ ف ب)

لندن انتهت قمّة «حلف شمال الأطلسي» (الناتو) المنعقدة في مدريد، مع انتصاف نهار أمس، وغادر رؤساء دول وحكومات الغرب إلى بلدانهم، وفي جُعبهم خطط لمزيد من الإنفاق الحربي والتجنيد والتصعيد، فيما تُواجه اقتصاداتهم أزمات تضخّم وركود لم يشهد مثلَها العالم منذ الحرب العالمية الثانية. وبدت الولايات المتحدة، في خلال إعلان مخرجات القمّة، وكأنها ألقت على نفسها رداء العسكرة، وعزمت على أخذ العالم برمّته نحو الحرب، وذلك بعدما بثّت الروح في جسد «الناتو»، وفرضت تضخيم عديده في شرقيّ أوروبا إلى ضِعف حجم الجيش الروسي، وأعادت توجيه بوصلته نحو عدوّ مباشر آنيّ (روسيا)، وتحدّ استراتيجي (الصين)، إضافة إلى تجديد الالتزام بـ«مكافحة الإرهاب» في العالم العربي والساحل

وافق رؤساء دول وحكومات «حلف شمال الأطلسي»، في قمّتهم الطارئة التي عُقدت في العاصمة الإسبانية مدريد، على صياغة جديدة لفلسفة الحلف، تُحدّد استراتيجياته ومهامه الأساسية للعقد المقبل. وفي تحوُّل كبير عن وثيقة الاستراتيجية السابقة (قمّة لشبونة 2010) التي كانت اعتبرت روسيا شريكاً محتملاً، فإن موجز الوثيقة التي تمّ التوافق عليها في مدريد يقول إن روسيا تظلّ «التهديد الأكثر أهمية ومباشرة لأمن الدول الأعضاء وللسلام والاستقرار»، كما يضع الصين، لأوّل مرّة، في خانة «التحدّي الرئيس لأمن الحلفاء ومصالحهم وقيمهم». واعتَبر المجتمعون أن بيئة الأمن الأوروبي تغيّرت كليّاً نتيجة «العدوان» الروسي على أوكرانيا، و«انتهاك المعايير والمبادئ» التي ساهمت في ضمان استقرار تلك البيئة لعقود، ولم يستبعدوا «احتمال شنّ هجوم روسيّ في أيّ وقت ضدّ سيادة الحلفاء وسلامة أراضيهم»، مستشهدين بجهود موسكو لتحديث قوّتها النووية، ورفضها الامتثال للالتزامات الدولية للحدّ من التسلح، وما وصفوه بمحاولاتها «زعزعة استقرار الدول المجاورة على الجناحَين الشرقي والجنوبي للناتو».

كما تعهّدوا بـ«العمل معاً في التصدّي للتحدّيات المنهجية التي تفرضها الصين على الأمن الأوروبي – الأطلسي جرّاء طموحاتها المعلَنة وسياساتها القمعية التي تهدّد مصالح الغرب، ومحاولاتها الحثيثة للسيطرة على التقنيات والصناعات الرئيسة، مع تجاهل القواعد واللوائح الدولية». ومع ذلك، لم ينصّ الاتفاق على وصف الصين بالعدو، بل أكد أن الحلف لا يزال منفتحاً على إمكانية بناء علاقات بنّاءة معها، ربّما في حالة تخلّيها عن شراكتها الاستراتيجيّة مع روسيا، والتي عدّها المجتمعون «طليعة التصدّي الاستبدادي» لقواعد النظام الدولي. وفي الواقع، فإن الشراكة الصينية – الروسية تبدو أخطر تهديد لهيمنة الغرب منذ انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي، وانتهاء الحرب الباردة، إذ نجحت روسيا في عقدَين من حُكم الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين في استعادة حيويتها، فيما تقدّمت الصين بشكل مطّرد لتُنافس الولايات المتحدة اليوم على مكانة أكبر اقتصادات العالم، وهما اليوم تتعاونان في غير مجال، في ما من شأنه التمهيد لنشوء بيئة بديلة لا تخضع لرغبات نُخبة واشنطن، وقادرة على استيعاب شعوب أخرى في الجنوب.

ستتعيّن على ستولتنبرغ متابعةُ الحلفاء للحصول على تعهّدات منهم بالمساهمة بقوات إضافية ومعدّات وتمويل


وبالعودة إلى الوثيقة الصادرة عن القمّة، فإن «الإرهاب لا يزال يشكّل تهديداً مستمرّاً غير متكافئ لأمن الدول الأعضاء» (الثلاثين)، فضلاً عن تغيّرات المناخ، والتكنولوجيات الحديثة المخلّة بالاستقرار، وانتشار الأسلحة. كما شدّد المجتمعون على حق الردّ المسلّح على الهجمات الهجينة (السايبرية وعبر الفضاء) التي قد تستهدف دول الحلف، وعلى دور الأخير في الردع والدفاع ومنع الأزمات وإدارتها، كما التعاون الأمني (الاستخباراتي)، والذي يقتضي استدامة عملياته. وتضمّنت الوثيقة عدّة إشارات إلى شمال أفريقيا والشرق الأوسط ومنطقة الساحل، بحجّة أن أيّ «صراع أو عدم استقرار» في هذه المناطق يمكن أن «يؤثّر بشكل مباشر على أمننا»، وهو ما سيثير ارتياح أعضاء «الناتو» في جنوبي أوروبا، ولا سيما إسبانيا وإيطاليا واليونان التي طالما طالبت بدعمها لمواجهة تدفّق اللاجئين من الجنوب. كذلك، أشار الموجز إلى أن المناطق المذكورة تُواجه «تحدّيات أمنية وديموغرافية واقتصادية وسياسية عميقة ومترابطة ومرشّحة للتفاقم»، مضيفاً أن «هذه الديناميكيات توفّر أرضاً خصبة لانتشار الجماعات المسلحة، بما في ذلك المنظّمات الإرهابية، وتشرّع الأبواب لتدخّلات تزعزع الاستقرار من قِبَل المنافسين الاستراتيجيين» – في إشارة إلى الصين وروسيا -.
إلى جانب ذلك، قرّرت القمّة دعوة فنلندا والسويد، رسمياً، للانضمام إلى «الناتو»، علماً أن التحاقهما به سيعزّز تواجده في بيئة بحر البلطيق، ويسهّل «الدفاع» عن لاتفيا وليتوانيا وإستونيا القابعة تحت هاجس «الغزو» الروسي. لكن أهمّ القرارات الصادرة عن المجتمعين في مدريد، كان زيادة تعداد القوّة الضاربة للحلف في أوروبا من 40 ألف جندي حالياً، إلى 300 ألف، وفق مقترح الأمين العام لـ«الناتو»، ينس ستولتنبرغ. على أن هذا القرار يظلّ مجرّد إطار عمل، فيما ستتعيّن على ستولتنبرغ متابعة الحلفاء للحصول على تعهّدات منهم بالمساهمة بقوات إضافية ومعدّات وتمويل. وقالت ألمانيا إنها ستخصّص 15 ألف جندي لهذه الغاية، وتعهّدت كندا برفع تواجدها الأوروبي من نحو 1375 جندياً حالياً إلى مستوى لواء. لكنّ الاندفاعة الأكبر أتت من الرئيس الأميركي، جو بايدن، الذي أعلن أن بلاده ستُعزّز تواجدها في كلّ أوروبا، وستُخصّص أسلحة ومعدّات متطوّرة لدعم حضور «الناتو» بحراً وبرّاً وجوّاً في مواجهة روسيا. وتشمل الخطط الأميركية المعلَنة مقرّاً دائماً في بولندا، و5000 جندي إضافي في رومانيا، وسربَين من طائرات «إف-35» في المملكة المتّحدة، ومعدّات دفاع جوي متقدّم في إيطاليا وألمانيا، ومدمّرتَين بحريتَين في إسبانيا. وتمتلك الولايات المتحدة وجوداً عسكرياً دائماً في 13 بلداً أوروبياً، ويصل تعداد جنودها في مختلف القطاعات عبر القارّة إلى 70 ألفاً الآن، فيما يمكن أن يبلغ بعد القمّة 100 ألف، وفق تقديرات الخبراء.

من جهتها، أعربت إسبانيا عن راحتها لحصولها على ضمانات من «الناتو» لحماية سبتة ومليلة، وهما مدينتان عربيتان تحتلّهما في شمال أفريقيا. ونُقل عن رئيس هيئة الأركان الإسبانية، تيودورو لوبيز كالديرون، قوله إن التزام الحلف بالدفاع عن «السلامة الإقليمية» للدول الأعضاء يشمل أيضاً ممتلكات إسبانيا في القارة الأفريقية. بريطانياً، أعلن بوريس جونسون، رئيس الوزراء، عن دعم مسلّح إضافي بقيمة مليار جنيه إسترليني لأوكرانيا، وهو ما من شأنه أن يرفع مجموع ما قدّمته لندن لكييف منذ شباط الماضي، إلى 2.3 مليار جنيه إسترليني (2.8 مليار دولار أميركي)، الأمر الذي يجعلها أكبر مموّلي النظام الأوكراني بعد الولايات المتحدة. وتعهّد جونسون، الذي يواجه ضغوطاً داخلية شديدة للاستقالة، بزيادة حجم الإنفاق العسكري لبلاده داخل «الناتو»، إلى 2.5% من مجموع الناتج القومي، أي بزيادة 20% عن الحد الأدنى. لكنّ سخاء الرئيس من جيوب البريطانيين لن يكون من دون عواقب محلّية على الأقل، حيث يشتكي وزير الدفاع من عدم توفّر الاعتمادات الكافية للجيش البريطاني، فيما تملأ الصحفَ التي سيقرأها أثناء رحلة العودة إلى لندن تصريحات محبطة من أندرو بيلي، محافظ بنك إنكلترا (المركزي)، الذي قال في مؤتمر في البرتغال إن المملكة المتحدة – من الناحية الاقتصادية – في أسوأ وضع ممكن -، وتعاني من أزمة طاقة أكثر من بقيّة أوروبا، وقد تعيش حالة تضخّم أعلى لفترة أطول.
وحضرت اليابان – مُمثَّلة برئيس وزرائها فوميو كيشيدا – القمّة، وذلك لأوّل مرّة في تاريخ الحلف الذي تأسّس قبل 73 عاماً. وشارك كيشيدا زعماء الحلف مخاوفهم من صعود الصين، وقلقهم على مستقبل تايوان، لكنّ مراقبين أعربوا عن خشيتهم من أن الأميركيين سيعيدون عسكرة اليابان، كما شرعوا بالفعل في عسكرة ألمانيا، مع كلّ ما يحمله هذا من كوابيس فاشيات القرن العشرين. وحضرت القمّةَ أيضاً مجموعة ممّن تسمّيهم واشنطن شركاء «الناتو»، ومن هؤلاء رؤساء دول وحكومات أستراليا، وأوكرانيا (عن بعد)، وجورجيا، وكوريا (الجنوبية)، فضلاً عن رئيس المجلس الأوروبي ورئيس المفوّضية الأوروبية والسويد وفنلندا. وتَمثّل الأردن وموريتانيا من خلال وزيرَي خارجيّتهما، في حين سُجّل حضور وزير الدفاع في البوسنة والهرسك.

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You’re either with us or you’re a “systemic challenge”

June 30, 2022

Source

After all we’re deep into the metaverse spectrum, where things are the opposite of what they seem.

By Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Fast but not furious, the Global South is revving up. The key takeaway of the BRICS+ summit in Beijing,  held in sharp contrast with the G7 in the Bavarian Alps, is that both West Asia’s Iran and South America’s Argentina officially applied for BRICS membership.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has highlighted how BRICS has “a very creative mechanism with broad aspects”. Tehran – a close partner of both Beijing and Moscow – already had “a series of consultations” about the application: the Iranians are sure that will “add value” to the expanded BRICS.

Talk about China, Russia and Iran being sooooo isolated. Well, after all we’re deep into the metaverse spectrum, where things are the opposite of what they seem.

Moscow’s obstinacy in not following Washington’s Plan A to start a pan-European war is rattling Atlanticist nerves to the core. So right after the G7 summit significantly held at a former Nazi sanatorium, enter NATO’s, in full warmongering regalia.

So welcome to an atrocity exhibition featuring total demonization of Russia, defined as the ultimate “direct threat”; the upgrading of Eastern Europe into “a fort”; a torrent of tears shed about the Russia-China strategic partnership; and as an extra bonus, the branding of China as a “systemic challenge”.

There you go: for the NATO/G7 combo, the leaders of the emerging multipolar world as well as the vast swathes of the Global South that want to join in, are a “systemic challenge”.

Turkiye under the Sultan of Swing – Global South in spirit, tightrope walker in practice – got literally everything it wanted to magnanimously allow Sweden and Finland to clear their paths on the way of being absorbed by NATO.

Bets can be made on what kind of shenanigans NATO navies will come up with in the Baltics against the Russian Baltic Fleet, to be followed by assorted business cards distributed by Mr. Khinzal, Mr. Zircon, Mr. Onyx and Mr. Kalibr, capable of course of annihilating any NATO permutation, including “decision centers”.

So it came as a sort of perverse comic relief when Roscosmos released a set of quite entertaining satellite images pinpointing the coordinates of those “decision centers”.

The “leaders” of NATO and the G7 seem to enjoy performing a brand of lousy cop/clownish cop routine. The NATO summit told coke comedian Elensky (remember, the letter “Z” is verboten) that the Russian combined arms police operation – or war – must be “resolved” militarily. So NATO will continue to help Kiev to fight till the last Ukrainian cannon fodder.

In parallel, at the G7, German Chancellor Scholz was asked to specify what “security guarantees” would be provided to what’s left of Ukraine after the war. Response from the grinning Chancellor: “Yes … I could” (specify). And then he trailed off.

Illiberal Western liberalism

Over 4 months after the start of Operation Z, zombified Western public opinion completely forgot – or willfully ignores – that Moscow spent the last stretch of 2021 demanding a serious discussion on legally binding security guarantees from Washington, with an emphasis on no more NATO eastward expansion and a return to the 1997 status quo.

Diplomacy did fail, as Washington emitted a non-response response. President Putin had stressed the follow-up would be a “military technical” response (that turned out to be Operation Z) even as the Americans warned that would trigger massive sanctions.

Contrary to Divide and Rule wishful thinking, what happened after February 24 only solidified the synergistic Russia-China strategic partnership – and their expanded circle, especially in the context of BRICS and the SCO. As Sergey Karaganov, head of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy noted earlier this year, “China is our strategic cushion (…) We know that in any difficult situation, we can lean on it for military, political and economic support.”

That was outlined in detail for all the Global South to see by the landmark February 4th joint statement for Cooperation Entering a New Era – complete with the accelerated integration of BRI and the EAEU in tandem with military intelligence harmonization under the SCO (including new full member Iran), key foundation stones of multipolarism.

Now compare it with the wet dreams of the Council on Foreign Relations or assorted ravings by armchair strategic “experts” of “the top national security think tank in the world” whose military experience is limited to negotiating a can of beer.

Makes one yearn for those serious analytic days when the late, great Andre Gunder Frank penned ” a paper on the paper tiger” , examining American power at the crossroads of paper dollar and the Pentagon.

The Brits, with better imperial education standards, at least seem to understand, halfway, how Xi Jinping “has embraced a variant of integral nationalism not unlike those that emerged in interwar Europe”, while Putin “skillfully deployed Leninist methods to resurrect an enfeebled Russia as a global power.”

Yet the notion that “ideas and projects originating in the illiberal West continue to shape global politics” is nonsense, as Xi in fact is inspired by Mao as much as Putin is inspired by several Eurasianist theoreticians. What’s relevant is that in the process of the West plunging into a geopolitical abyss, “Western liberalism has itself become illiberal.”

Much worse: it actually became totalitarian.

Holding the Global South hostage

The G7 is essentially offering to most of the Global South a toxic cocktail of massive inflation, rising prices and uncontrolled dollarized debt.

Fabio Vighi has brilliantly outlined how “the purpose of the Ukrainian emergency is to keep the money printer switched on while blaming Putin for worldwide economic downturn. The war serves the opposite aim of what we are told: not to defend Ukraine but to prolong the conflict and nourish inflation in a bid to defuse cataclysmic risk in the debt market, which would spread like wildfire across the whole financial sector.”

And if it can get worse, it will. At the Bavarian Alps, the G7 promised to find “ways to limit the price of Russian oil and gas”: if that doesn’t work according to “market methods”, then “means will be imposed by force”.

A G7 “indulgence” – neo-medievalism in action – would only be possible if a prospective buyer of Russian energy agrees to strike a deal on the price with G7 representatives.

What this means in practice is that the G7 arguably will be creating a new body to “regulate” the price of oil and gas, subordinated to Washington’s whims: for all practical purposes, a major twist of the post-1945 system.

The whole planet, especially the Global South, would be held hostage.

Meanwhile, in real life, Gazprom is on a roll, making as much money from gas exports to the EU as it did in 2021, even though it’s shipping much smaller volumes.

About the only thing this German analyst gets right is that were Gazprom forced to cut off supplies for good, that would represent “the implosion of an economic model that is over-reliant on industrial exports, and therefore on imports of cheap fossil fuels. Industry is responsible for 36% of Germany’s gas use.”

Think, for instance, BASF forced to halt production at the world’s biggest chemicals plant in Ludwigshafen. Or Shell’s CEO stressing it’s absolutely impossible to replace Russian gas supplied to the EU via pipelines with (American) LNG.

This coming implosion is exactly what Washington neocon/neoliberalcon circles want – removing a powerful (Western) economic competitor from the world trading stage. What’s truly astonishing is that Team Scholz can’t even see it coming.

Virtually no one remembers what happened a year ago when the G7 struck a pose of trying to help the Global South. That was branded as Build Back Better World (B3W). “Promising projects” were identified in Senegal and Ghana, there were “visits” to Ecuador, Panama and Colombia. The Crash Test Dummy administration was offering “the full range” of US financial tools: equity stakes, loan guarantees, political insurance, grants, technical expertise on climate, digital technology and gender equality.

The Global South was not impressed. Most of it had already joined BRI. B3W went down with a whimper.

Now the EU is promoting its new “infrastructure” project for the Global South, branded as Global Gateway, officially presented by European Commission (EC) Fuhrer Ursula von der Leyen and – surprise! – coordinated with the floundering B3W. That’s the Western “response” to BRI, demonized as – what else – “a debt trap”.

Global Gateway in theory should be spending 300 billion euros in 5 years; the EC will come up with only 18 billion from the EU budget (that is, financed by EU taxpayers), with the intention of amassing 135 billion euros in private investment. No Eurocrat has been able to explain the gap between the announced 300 billion and the wishful thinking 135 billion.

In parallel, the EC is doubling down on their floundering Green Energy agenda – blaming, what else, gas and coal. EU climate honcho Frans Timmermans has uttered an absolute pearl: “Had we had the green deal five years earlier, we would not be in this position because then we would have less dependency on fossil fuels and natural gas.”

Well, in real life the EU remains stubbornly on the road to become a fully de-industrialized wasteland by 2030. Inefficient solar or wind-based Green Energy is incapable of offering stable, reliable power. No wonder vast swathes of the EU are now Back to Coal.

The right kind of swing

It’s a tough call to establish who’s The Lousiest in the NATO/G7 cop routine. Or the most predictable. This is what I published about the NATO summit . Not now: in 2014, eight years ago. The same old demonization, over and over again.

And once again, if it can get worse, predictably it will. Think of what’s left of Ukraine – mostly eastern Galicia – being annexed to the Polish wet dream: the revamped Intermarium, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, now dubbed as a bland “Three Seas Initiative” (with the added Adriatic) and comprising 12 nation-states.

What that implies long-term is a EU breakdown from within. Opportunist Warsaw just profits financially from the Brussels system’s largesse while holding its own hegemonic designs. Most of the “Three Seas” will end up exiting the EU. Guess who will guarantee their “defense”: Washington, via NATO. What else is new? The revamped Intermarium concept goes back all the way to the late Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski.

So Poland dreams of becoming the Intermarium leader, seconded by the Three Baltic Midgets, enlarged Scandinavia, plus Bulgaria and Romania. Their aim is straight from Comedy Central: reducing Russia into “pariah state” status – and then the whole enchilada: regime change, Putin out, balkanization of the Russian Federation.

Britain, that inconsequential island, still invested in teaching Empire to the American upstarts, will love it. Germany-France-Italy much less. Lost in the wilderness Euro-analysts dream of a European Quad (Spain added), replicating the Indo-Pacific scam, but in the end it will all depend which way Berlin swings.

And then there’s that unpredictable Global South stalwart led by the Sultan of Swing: freshly rebranded Turkiye. Soft neo-Ottomanism seems to be on a roll, still expanding its tentacles from the Balkans and Libya to Syria and Central Asia. Evoking the golden age of the Sublime Porte, Istanbul is the only serious mediator between Moscow and Kiev. And it’s carefully micromanaging the evolving process of Eurasia integration.

The Americans were on the verge of regime-changing the Sultan. Now they have been forced to listen to him. Talk about a serious geopolitical lesson to the whole Global South: it don’t mean a “systemic challenge” thing if you’ve got the right kind of swing.

A quick update from Andrei, with a few additional notes

June 23, 2022

Dear friends,

It has now been a month since my last update, so I have decided to post this note to share a few thoughts with you.

First, the boring stuff: my health is definitely doing better and, while I very much regret having had to take that time off, I now am sure that it was the right decision, both for me and the blog.  I hope to come back to full-time blogging by the end of July.  Again, I apologize to you all for my absence, and I ask for your understanding.

Second, and as I had predicted, the situation in the world and in the Ukraine has changed a great deal over the past couple of months.  I will just mention a few bullet-points of what I see as the highlights:

  • The “the glorious Ukrainians are winning” narrative has now quasi-officially faceplanted (heck, even the NYT changed its tune) and nobody sane is spewing this nonsense anymore.  The reality is that the Ukrainians are, on average, losing about one battalion per day, and this is why they are now sending barely trained civilians to the East: most of the (often very well-trained and courageous) Ukrainian combat units are even dead, prisoners, MIA or in “cauldrons” (actual or by firepower) with no chance to escape.
  • It is now also undeniable that what began as a special military operation (SMO) has now turned into a open and full-scale war between the consolidated West (aka the Anglo-Zionist Empire) and Russia: the Empire has now “hit” Russia with everything it had short of a direct military attack.  The (originally 200’000+ strong) Ukrainian military, arguably the strongest NATO military force (which is otherwise mostly composed of small and thoroughly woked-out “parade militaries”!), especially with the full support of the West (intelligence, weapons, money, political, etc. etc. etc.) is being “demilitarized” and “denazified” by a vastly superior Russian military force (but not one bigger in size: Russia has used only a fraction of her full military power).  The outcome here is not in doubt.
  • This reality has now been fully accepted by the Russian society which now stands behind the Kremlin (at 80%+) which has made no secret that it is now locked into an existential war against the West.  This has been the case since at least 2013, but now the original ratios (roughly 80% informational, 15% economic and 5% military) have shifted to what I would call “total war by proxy“.
  • The hardcore crazies in the West (US Neocons, UK, Poland and the 3B) are trying hard to trigger a fullscale war between NATO and Russia and, so far, the spineless Eurolemmings have let them set the agenda, however suicidal it might be for the EU and NATO.  Frankly, my disgust with western Europe is total – I never had any illusions about the “new” Europeans – and all I can say is that they all richly deserve each other and what is coming their way.  All I can say is this: continue to act like Nazis and you shall be denazified.  It is really that simple.
  • The leaders of the Empire know that they lost yet again, and they are seeking refuge in their usual coping mechanisms: ideological self-gratification and deep, deep denial.  While the EU is committing a straightforward economic, political and social suicide, the Biden Administration has gone “full woke”, as did corporate “America”(meaning the USA, of course, not the American continent): the so-called “minorities” are now shoved down the collective throats of the US people now, no matter how small, or freaky, the said “minorities” are.  This is especially striking in the kind of advertisements the US corporations are now unanimously producing.   I think, for example, of the morbidly obese black women in diapers (!!!) taking “ballerina poses” YouTube is now regularly showing.  Watching these ads, one would think that blacks in the USA occupy all positions of authority and prestige, that most US women are lesbians, and millions of US kids (and even infants!) urgently need a sex change (watch the excellent “What is a Woman?” documentary to see how insane this has all become).  When I see this collective woke insanity, I cannot help but wonder whether corporate “America” is not deliberately trying to really piss off the vast majority of US Americans and trigger some kind of major and violent internal crisis.
  • The Russians, in the meantime, are passing new laws against the propaganda of homosexuality: while in the past, such propaganda was only banned if directed at children, now this expanded to the entire population of Russia.  Just to clarify: Russia is not banning homosexuals and their sexual practices, however pathological, remain fully legal.  But what Russia IS doing is refusing to consider homosexuality as a “normal and natural variation in human sexuality” (Wikipedia).  In other words, the Russians still consider homosexuality as a psychological disorder which might deserve compassion, but not affirmation (nevermind encouragement).  Since “inclusiveness” and “positivity” are now key western “values” this is also a message from Russia: keep your woke-freaks and their ideology to yourselves, we want none of it!
  • In the meantime the Euroukrainians are now planning to ban and destroy over 100’000’000 copies of Russian language books.  Hitler would be proud.  The Eurolemmings have nothing to say.  You know, “#cancelRussia” thingie (meaning both Russians themselves and the Russian culture in all its forms) and all that “it’s okay when we do it” or “our SOBs” stuff.
  • The Western economic Blitzkrieg against Russia has totally failed and the joke in Russia is that while McCain famously once said that “Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country” with contempt, “Biden” is now saying the same thing, but with deep envy 🙂
Translation: for our Fatherland

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: the West has declared total war on Russia (and, de facto, to all of Zone B) and Russia has accepted this.  For a decade and more the West has tried hard to wake up and provoke the proverbial Russian bear and these efforts have finally been successful: the bear is now out, and he is very, very angry.  To clarify, by this I am not referring to former Atlantic Integrationists like Medvedev now “coming out” as a Eurasian Sovereignist hardliner (he is clearly setting himself up for a future Presidential election and says all the “right things”), but about the Russian people which are now in what I call a full “WWII” mode (“Rise up immense country” and all that).  To the right is the kind of images now circulating on the Russian Internet and which expresses the awareness that Europe was never truly denazifed, at least not in the US occupied countries.

Russia is now determined to finish this ugly job, once and forever.  You want to “cancel Russia”?  In your dreams only, but Russia can, and will, “cancel Nazism” once and or all.  1000 years of that crap is enough!

From the first Crusades to the invasion of the USSR by the united Europe under Hitler’s command, the West has always has some kind of ideology to justify its wars of imperialist aggression.  The interesting thing is that now this is over and rather than justify is acts of aggression in the name of some putatively universal religion or ideology, the western elites (and, alas, much of its population) have now finally shown their true face which is:

  • Virulent anti-Russian racism in its purest form (again, Hitler would be proud)
  • Pure and overt Satanism under the label of “Woke” ideology (the last western ideology it appears) with its focus on the destruction of the family and, especially, children (Satanists know that they cannot do anything against the Creator of all, hence they try to take out their hatred and revenge against His creatures, especially children)
  • Overt and even “in your face” hatred to any and all who oppose that agenda (as the French revolutionary Louis Antoine de Saint-Just famously declared “No freedom for the enemies of freedom“, right?!)

The truth is that the real West, the one born from the Middle-Ages (and *not* from the Roman or Greek civilizations!) has always been ruled by cynical, evil, thugs.  In the past, these thugs always concealed their real worldview and agenda under all sorts of pious pretexts, now its only “ideology” left is pure hatred and wokism (same thing, really).

I submit that it is impossible to predict what will happen in the coming months and years – there are simply too many variables which can dramatically affect our future.  What began as a special military operation (as opposed to a combined arms operation) has now morphed into what one could call WWIII or even WWIV (depending on your definitions).  This war will last for several years unless, of course, the Neocons and their associated crazies in the EU get their way and trigger a nuclear conflict: in the latter case it will be short and very final.

Right now the focus is on the Donbass and the southern Ukraine, but we have to understand two things about this:

  • The Ukronazis and their NATO bosses have already long lost that war, and all the West and its Nazi puppets in Kiev are doing is trying to prolong this unwinnable war for as long as possible to get a maximum number of Ukrainians killed or maimed and to destroy as much of the Ukraine as possible and make Russia “pay the highest price” for her (quite inevitable) victory on the battlefield.  What a paradox!  The Russian “aggressors” are trying as hard as they can to save as many Ukrainians as possible (even at the cost of their own lives!) along with whatever is left of the Ukrainian infrastructure after 30 years of “independence”, while the western “defenders” and even “allies” of the Ukraine want to turn it into a desolate moonscape covered with corpses.
  • This is not a war about the Ukraine, at least not anymore, this is now a war for the future of the European continent and even the future international order.  As I have said many times already, the Russians fully intend to denazify at least all of the European continent, preferably by economic and political means but, if needed, by military means too.  Why?  Because the West has left Russia no other choice.  For Russia and, I would argue, all of Zone B the choice is both stark and simple: true and full sovereignty (economic, of course, but also cultural, spiritual and civilizational) or subjugation.

In other words, this is not a war Russia can afford to lose and the Russian people know it.

Last time around, Russia lost about 27 million people while China lost about 35 millions.  That a total of 62 million people, about two thirds of which were civilians.  Keep these figures in mind when you look at the quick and quite radical modernization of the Russian and Chinese armed forces (btw – the Chinese people also “get it” and they fully support Russia, as does the Chinese leadership, even if they try to keep a low profile for the time being and let Russia carry the burden of being on the frontline of this war: simply put, the Chinese are buying time which, frankly, they still need to achieve parity, or better, against the US and its protectorates in Asia such as Taiwan, Japan, ROK or Australia.  The Russians also understand that as they themselves were in a similar position between 2000 and 2018.  But they know that the Chinese Dragon will have to fully “wake up” sooner rather than later.

Yeah, I know, most folks in the West don’t know that, or don’t care, but the point is now what the folks in the West do not know, but rather it is what the people of Russia and China know and understand quite well.  Only an utter fool would doubt or disregard the kind of determination which sits deep inside the souls of the Russian and Chinese people to never allow the West to subjugate them again.  Ever.

[Sidebar: yes, I know, the Japanese Empire which attacked China was not part of the West (yet), but that is an extremely superficial argument which fails to understand that it was precisely western imperialism which created the conditions, in both China and Japan, which resulted in the Japanese imperialist attacks against the entire Asian-Pacific region!]

The above does not even begin to cover all the amazing developments which have taken place in the last few months.  Not only have there been truly huge changes INSIDE Russia (and they are only accelerating), but also in Latin America, Africa and the Middle-East.  And I will revisit all these topics in about a month or so, when I will come back to full-time blogging.  Besides, in a month or so many of the things I mentioned above will become even more obvious for all to see so rather than trying to establish “fact X” we will be able to actually discuss and analyze it, its reality having been quite established.

[Sidebar: please remember who told you the truth and who lied to you over the past months.  There were many, many such liars, ranging from the official propaganda machine (aka the “free press”) to the “Putin has lost it all” emo-Marxists and assorted 6th columnists who, whether they understood it or not, served the purpose of the Empire’s PSYOPs.  Also please remember that Andrei MartynovBernard and Gonzalo Lira not only spoke truthfully, but they were right and their detractors totally wrong.  We all owe them an immense debt of gratitude!]

Frankly, before my forced break, I was getting really frustrated trying to prove to misinformed or even fully brainwashed commentators that the official narrative (produced by the biggest strategic PSYOP in history) was a load of bull, based on lies and/or on a total “misunderstanding” (and I am being kind here!) of the real world outside the “mental Zone A”.  Now most of that narrative has collapsed.

I am also confident that a month from today, things will be even more obvious than they are today.

So, my friends and readers, I leave you in the (very competent) hands of Amarynth, Herb and the rest of the Saker team and I very much look forward to my full return, God willing, in a month or so.

Kind regards to all, and many thanks for your support!

Andrei

PS: yesterday I was re-watching the superb movie by Costa Gavras “Z” which, at the end, lists all the works of art, literature, music, etc. which the (US CIA backed) Greek “colonels” banned and I thought to myself: “what leftist director would make such a movie today about how the entire West is now doing the same with all things Russian?“.  None, of course.  I also noticed the sweet irony of Costa Gavras’ movie being called “Z” (which in Greek stands for “Ζει” or “he lives”) and I wondered if the copyright owners of the movie will now have to rename it since the letter “Z” is now banned amongst doubleplusgoodthinking russophobes.  Finally, there are some in the West who want to create two categories: “good Russians”, who are expected to publicly denounce their country and President, and “bad Russians” who refuse to do so.  Hitler wanted Jews to wear a star of David, so could we see a day when “bad Russians” in Zone A will be told to wear a “Z”.  Right now, no T-shirt or mugs printing companies in Zone A will accept to print a “Z” on their items (I know, I tried and failed!), but considering the collective rage and insanity of the western ruling elites, maybe the letter “Z” will become obligatory for “bad Russians” in Zone A?  Just kidding, of course, but rewatching the movie “Z” felt quite eerie anyway.

“قلعة روسيا”.. إلى متى ستستمر المواجهة مع الغرب؟

 الإثنين 20 حزيران 2022

سيرغي كاراغانوف

مواقف الغرب القائمة على التفوّق العسكري، ظلت ثابتة نحو 500 عام، ومثّلت أساس رفاهيته، ما سمح له بنهب العالم بأسره بشكل مباشر أو خفي.

مع نموّ الهستيريا المعادية لروسيا والصين، كان الغرب يتوطّد فعلاً

عشيّة  الاحتفال بيوم روسيا، كثرت الأحاديث حول الأشياء التي يمكن لروسيا أن تفتخر بها، وما الذي نجحت فيه، وماذا الذي يعبّر عن هذا النجاح؟ هل هو توسّع رقعتها الجغرافية، أم اعتماد بعض الصواريخ ذات السرعة الفائقة والقدرة التدميرية الهائلة، أم الحدّ من الفقر مثلاً؟ ما الذي نفخر به حقاً؟

أودّ أن أقترح أن نكون فخورين بأننا نجَونا مرة أخرى. نجَونا من الاضطرابات التي فُرضت علينا جزئياً من الخارج، وقد بدأنا نولد من جديد. لقد أصبحنا أقوى، وعدنا إلى صفوف القوى العظمى. وروسيا لا يسعها إلا أن تكون من بين القوى العظمى، فمن دون ذلك لا تستطيع ببساطة أن تشعر بأنها دولة، لأن ذلك هو طبيعة تاريخها.

على مدار الخمسة عشر عاماً الماضية، ومع نموّ الهستيريا المعادية لروسيا والصين، كان الغرب يتوطّد فعلاً. لكنه يفعل ذلك على وجه التحديد لأنه يدرك أن مواقفه تتداعى. هذه المواقف، القائمة على التفوّق العسكري، ظلت ثابتة نحو 500 عام، ومثّلت أساس رفاهيته، ما سمح له بنهب العالم بأسره – بشكل مباشر أو خفي.

أما اليوم، فلم يعد هناك تفوق عسكري، كما أن الواقع كشف أن القيم السائدة في الغرب هي مناهضة لأوروبا نفسها ومعادية للإنسان، ويرفضها معظم الناس في العالم – كالمثلية، والنسوية المتطرفة، وإنكار الأسرة والتاريخ والوطن.

وفي الغرب، وإن لم يقتصر الأمر عليه، يوجد الكثير من المشاكل الآخذة في الازدياد، ولكن سوى الضجيج الدائر حولها، لم يتم في الواقع حلها، كالتلوث والمشاكل البيئية (جميع الخبراء يؤكدون منذ سنوات عديدة أن تغيّر المناخ، وتقلّص الأراضي الصالحة للزراعة، وضحالة الأنهار في المناطق الزراعية، ستؤدي إلى المجاعة – لكن لم يتم فعل شيء). وهذا إضافة إلى إفقار الطبقة الوسطى، وتنامي التفاوت الطبقي بشكل صارخ (هذا الأخير ينطبق أيضاً على بلدنا). 

إن النخب القديمة التي نشأت على الازدهار النسبي، خلال العقود الأربعة الماضية، لا تريد التغيير ولا تستطيع ذلك. لقد بدأت الأرض تنهار تحت أقدامهم، وهذا أحد أسباب المواجهة اليوم: إنهم بحاجة إلى عدو يمكنهم تحويل انتباههم إليه، ولبعض الوقت، لتجنّب المسؤولية عن الفشل.

إلى جانب ذلك، قد يبدو غريباً بالنسبة إلى البعض أن روسيا يمكن أن تعتبر نفسها، إلى جانب الصين – وجزئياً الهند- جزيرة استقرار في عالم يتساقط، بينما بدأ الغرب والعديد من المناطق الأخرى بالانهيار.

فعلًا، إن العالم من حولنا ينهار، وقريباً سيكون هناك مئات الملايين من الجياع والمهاجرين والعديد من النزاعات الجديدة، ومن الأفضل لنا أن نعيش لبعض الوقت في “قلعة روسيا”، المحميّة بشكل موثوق، والتي تعتني بنفسها بالدرجة الأولى، ولكن في الوقت نفسه، منفتحة على التعاون مع أولئك المستعدين لذلك. ينبغي، بأي حال من الأحوال، أن لا نعزل أنفسنا عن العالم فكرياً أو علمياً، وإلا فإننا سنتوقف عن فهمه، كما كانت عليه الحال في العهد السوفياتي.

نحن بحاجة إلى إقامة علاقات مع جميع الدول المستعدة للتعاون معنا، كأفريقيا والعالم العربي، وتقريباً كل آسيا وأميركا اللاتينية.

أما بخصوص الموقف الصيني، فأنا متأكد تماماً من أن بكين ستساعدنا. بطبيعة الحال، هم يحاولون عدم تقويض موقف شركاتهم، التي لا تزال تعتمد بشكل وثيق على الأسواق والتقنيات الغربية. ومن نواحٍ كثيرة، يُنفَّذ هجوم الغرب على روسيا لشطبها كحليف استراتيجي محتمل للصين. وإذا تعثرت روسيا، فإن الموقف الصيني سيضعف بشكل كبير، وهم يفهمون هذا جيداً.

ومن المهم أيضاً التخلّي عن الصور النمطية التي أسرَتنا لعقود. لقد أكلنا العصيدة الفكرية التي طُبخت في الغرب، والتي أصبحت فاسدة منذ زمن طويل، لكننا ما زلنا نمضغها. وهذا ما يحدث في العلوم الاجتماعية والاقتصادية والسياسية والعلاقات الدولية.

لنأخذ هنا على سبيل المثال فكرة التكافؤ العسكري السيّئة السمعة. هذا غباء! لقد أعاق 300 من المقاتلين الاسبارطيين الجيش الفارسي المؤلف من 100 ألف مقاتل  في تيرموبيلاي. كما حطم نابليون على الدوام (باستثناء حملته المؤسفة ضد روسيا) الجيوش الأوروبية، التي كان لها تفوّق عددي عليه.

أما نحن فاستوعبنا مفهوم التكافؤ في الحقبة السوفياتية، وقمنا ببناء كمية مجنونة من الصواريخ والدبابات والأسلحة الأخرى – كان لدى الاتحاد السوفياتي دبابات أكثر من بقية العالم! وما زال البعض متمسكاً بهذه الفكرة.

 وعلى الرغم من ذلك، لماذا نحتاج إلى الكثير من الصواريخ مثل الأميركيين؟ فإذا افترضنا أن لديهم 5 آلاف صاروخ، ولدينا ألف فقط، وهو أمر مضمون لتحقيق أهدافهم، فإن التهديد حتى باستخدامهم المحدود لها سيبدو مقنعاً ويمنع العدوان والصراع العالمي. لكن قد يكون لدينا المزيد من الأسلحة الأخرى. الشيء الرئيسي هو عدم التورط في سباق تسلح، ولا سيما أن تبنّي مفهوم التوازن العسكري، والحدّ من التسلح أدّى إلى تضخيمهما إلى حدّ كبير.

إن عودة روسيا إلى الوقوف على قدميها، بعد أن تحولت من دون إرادتها إلى بطلة العالم في العقوبات الاقتصادية، ستعتمد على مدى سرعة انتقالها إلى طريق التعبئة في مجال التنمية. حتى الآن هذا يحدث ببطء شديد. أنا لا أتحدّث عن “شيوعية الحرب”. فبالطبع، يجب أن يظل الاقتصاد مختلطاً، مع الملكية الخاصة المتطورة. لكن الصناعات الرئيسية يجب أن تتعامل معها الدولة بشكل مباشر.
 
نقله إلى العربية: فهيم الصوراني
 
المؤلف: سيرغي كاراغانوف – المشرف الأكاديمي لكلية الاقتصاد العالمي والشؤون الدولية في الجامعة الوطنية للبحوث.

انقر هنا للحصول على رابط المقال الأصلي

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

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مقالات متعلقة

Andrei Martyanov: Ukraine’s losses, Admiral Cebrowski and Netcentric Warfare, SU-57s in Ukraine.

June 10, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Bilderberg does China

June 04, 2022

When Davos and Bilderberg messenger boys look at The Grand Chessboard, they realize that their era of perpetual free lunch is over.

By Pepe Escobar posted with his permission and widely cross-posted. 

Discreetly, as under the radar as a looming virus, the 68th Bilderberg meeting  is currently underway in Washington, D.C. Nothing to see here. No conspiracy theories about a “secret cabal”, please. This is just a docile, “diverse group of political leaders and experts” having a chat, a laugh, and a bubbly.

Still, one cannot but notice that the choice of venue speaks more volumes than the entire – burned to the ground – Library of Alexandria. In the year heralding the explosion of a much-awaited NATO vs. Russia proxy war, discussing its myriad ramifications does suit the capital of the Empire of Lies, much more than Davos a few weeks ago, where one Henry Kissinger sent them into a frenzy by advancing the necessity of a toxic compromise named “diplomacy”.

The list of Bilderberg 2022 participants is a joy to peruse. Here are just some of the stalwarts:

James Baker, Consigliere extraordinaire, now a mere Director of the Office of Net Assessment at the Pentagon.

José Manuel Barroso, former head of the European Commission, later the recipient of a golden parachute in the form of Chairman of Goldman Sachs International.

Albert Bourla, the Pfizer Big Guy.

William Burns, CIA director.

Kurt Campbell, the guy who invented the Obama/Hillary “pivot to Asia”, now White House Coordinator for Indo-Pacific.

Mark Carney, former Bank of England, one of the designers of the Great Reset, now Vice Chair of Brookfield Asset Management.

Henry Kissinger, The Establishment’s Voice (or a war criminal: take your pick).

Charles Michel, President of the European Council.

Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, which will duly relay all major Bilderberg directives in the magazine’s upcoming cover stories.

David Petraeus, certified loser of endless surges and Chairman of KKR Global Institute.

Mark Rutte, hawkish Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO top parrot, sorry, secretary-general.

Jake Sullivan, Director of the National Security Council.

The ideological and geopolitical affiliations of these members of the “diverse group” need no further elaboration. It gets positively sexier when we see what they will be discussing.

Among other issues we find “NATO challenges”; “Indo-Pacific realignment”; “continuity of government and economy” (Conspirationists: continuity in case of nuclear war?); “disruption of global financial system” (already on); “post-pandemic health” (Conspirationists: how to engineer the next pandemic?); “trade and deglobalization”; and of course, the choice wagyu beef steaks: Russia and China.

As Bilderberg follows Chatham House Rules, mere mortals won’t have a clue of what they actually “proposed” or approved, and none of the participants will be allowed to talk about it with anyone else. One of my top New York sources, with direct access to most of the Masters of the Universe, loves to quip that Davos and Bilderberg are just for the messenger boys: the guys who really run the show don’t even bother to show up, ensconced in their uber-private meetings in uber-private clubs, where the real decisions are made.

Still, anyone following in some detail the rotten state of the “rules-based international order” will have a pretty good idea about the 2022 Bilderberg chatter.

What the Chinese say

Secretary of State Little Blinken – Sullivan’s sidekick in the ongoing Crash Test Dummy administration’s Dumb and Dumber remake – has recently claimed that China “supports” Russia on Ukraine instead of remaining neutral.

What really matters here is that Little Blinken is implying that Beijing wants to destabilize Asia-Pacific – which is a notorious absurdity. Yet that’s the master narrative that must pave the way for the US to muscle up its “Indo-Pacific” concoction. And that’s the briefing Sullivan and Kurt Campbell will be delivering to the “diverse group”.

Davos – with its new self-billed mantra, “The Great Narrative” – completely excluded Russia. Bilderberg is mostly about containment of China – which after all is the number one existential threat to the Empire of Lies and its satrapies.

Rather than wait for Bilderberg morsels dispensed by The Economist, it’s much more productive to check out what a cross-section of fact-based Chinese intelligentsia thinks about the new “collective West” racket.

Let’s start with Justin Lin Yifu, former Chief Economist of the World Bank and now Dean of the Institute of New Structural Economics at Peking University, and Sheng Songcheng, former head of the Financial Survey and Statistic Dept. a the Bank of China.

They advance that if China achieves “dynamic zero infection” on Covid-19 by the end of May (that actually happened: see the end of the Shanghai lockdown), China’s economy may grow by 5.5% in 2022.

They dismiss the imperial attempt to establish an “Asian version of NATO”: “As long as China continues to grow at a higher rate and to open up, European and ASEAN countries would not participate in the US’s decoupling trap so as to ensure their economic growth and job creation.”

Three academics from the Shanghai Institute of International Studies and Fudan University touch on the same point: the American-announced “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework”, supposed to be the economic pillar of the Indo-Pacific strategy, is nothing but a cumbersome attempt to “weaken the internal cohesion and regional autonomy of ASEAN.”

Liu Zongyi stresses that China’s position at the heart of the vastly inter-connected Asian supply chains “has been consolidated”, especially now with the onset of the largest trade deal on the planet, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Chen Wengling, Chief Economist of a think tank under the key National Development and Reform Commission, notes  the “comprehensive ideological and technological war against China” launched by the Americans.

But he’s keen to stress how they are “not ready for a hot war as the US and Chinese economies are so closely linked.” The crucial vector is that “the US has not yet made substantial progress in strengthening its supply chain focusing on four key fields including semiconductors.”

Chen worries about “China’s energy security”; “China’s silence” on US sanctions on Russia, which “may result in US retaliation”; and crucially, how “China’s plan of building the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with Ukraine and EU countries will be affected.” What will happen in practice is BRI will be privileging economic corridors across Iran and West Asia, as well as the Maritime Silk Road, instead of the Trans-Siberian corridor across Russia.

It’s up to Yu Yongding, from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank, to go for the jugular, noting how” the global financial system and the US dollar have been weaponized into geopolitical tools. The nefarious behavior of the US in freezing foreign exchange reserves has not only seriously damaged the international credibility of the US but has also shaken the credit foundation of the dominant international financial system in the West.”

He expresses the consensus among Chinese intel, that “if there is a geopolitical conflict between the US and China, then China’s overseas assets will be seriously threatened, especially its huge reserves. Therefore, the composition of China’s external financial assets and liabilities urgently needs to be adjusted and the portion of US dollar denominated assets in its reserves portfolio should be reduced.”

This chessboard sucks

A serious debate is raging across virtually all sectors of Chinese society on the American weaponization of the world financial casino. The conclusions are inevitable: get rid of US Treasuries, fast, by any means necessary; more imports of commodities and strategic materials (thus the importance of the Russia-China strategic partnership); and firmly secure overseas assets, especially those foreign currency reserves.

Meanwhile Bilderberg’s “diverse group”, on the other side of the pond, is discussing, among other things, what will really happen in case they force the IMF racket to blow up (a key plan to implement The Great Reset, or “Great Narrative”).

They are starting to literally freak out with the slowly but surely emergence of an alternative, resource-based monetary/financial system: exactly what the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) is currently discussing and designing, with Chinese input.

Imagine a counter-Bilderberg system where a basket of Global South actors, resource-rich but economically poor, are able to issue their own currencies backed by commodities, and finally get rid of their status of IMF hostages. They are all paying close attention to the Russia gas-for-rubles experiment.

And in China’s particular case, what will always matter is loads of productive capital underpinning a massive, extremely deep industrial and civil infrastructure.

No wonder Davos and Bilderberg messenger boys, when they look at The Grand Chessboard, are filled with dread: their era of perpetual free lunch is over. What would delight cynics, skeptics, neoplatonists and Taoists galore is that it was Davos-Bilderberg Men (and Women) who actually boxed themselves into zugzwang.

All dressed up – with nowhere to go. Even JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon – who didn’t even bother to go to Bilderberg – is scared, saying an economic “hurricane” is coming. And overturning the chessboard is no remedy: at best that may invite a ceremonious tuxedo visit by Mr. Sarmat and Mr. Zircon carrying some hypersonic bubbly.

West Asia’s economic savior is called ‘multipolarity’

The transition from a western economic order toward a multipolar one is ushering in unprecedented economic and security advancements for West Asia.

May 02 2022

With Russia and Iran standing guard, and China’s ambitious investments, West Asia must sever its western economic dependencies and race toward the riches of multipolarity. Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Matthew Ehret

With Russia and Iran standing guard, and China’s ambitious investments, West Asia must sever its western economic dependencies and race toward the riches of multipolarity.

A race is now underway that will determine the shape of things to come for many generations.

While it is easy to get lost in the swarm of chaotic facts, sound bites, narrative spin, and other noise, it is vital to keep sight of the larger historical forces shaping our present crisis-ridden age.

Two weeks ago, in an important exclusive interview for The Cradle, influential Russian economist Sergey Glazyev outlined the terms and operating principles quickly being brought online by the leading member states of the Greater Eurasian Partnership.

Glazyev laid out the fundamental principles upon which the new post-US dollar economic system will be based. Although some common unit will be agreed upon, it will not be based upon any particular currency as with the Bretton Woods order, but rather a market basket of local currencies tied more deeply to an array of real commodities such as gold and other precious metals, grain, hydrocarbons, sugar, etc.

Real science, not casino-economics

The difference between this system and the now defunct Anglo-American economic structures is that Glazyev’s conception is based on real, tangible, measurable processes defining economic value among participants of the multipolar alliance.

This new paradigm of value stands in stark contrast to the post-1971 floating exchange rate system of rampant speculation and hyperbolically increasing rates of unpayable debts supporting decades of western economic malpractice.

Whereas one system justifies the increase of monetary flows within its system by speculative casino-logic devoid of any measurable improvement in the productive powers of labor, the opposing Eurasian system as described by Glazyev is very different. This multipolar system justifies economic growth, investment, and profit by activities that are tied to improving the conditions of life of people through practices tied to agro-industrial and scientific progress.

For those willing to do their research, they will take note that this is ironically how the west behaved when it was still growing industrially during the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. Sadly, two generations of a post-industrial consumer society logic have destroyed that earlier heritage.

Glazyev is not just any theoretician. He is the Russian minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU) and a leading strategist behind the Eurasian Economic Union-China commission for a new financial architecture. As such, his words are not merely academic, but an active force of grand strategy which keeps even monetarist ideologues at the Russian Central Bank up at night.

In all of his recent interviews and writings, Glazyev has also made it clear that the principles of this new system are already operational in the form of China’s unique approach to finance and international relations, recently describing China in the following terms:

“The entire banking system in China is state-owned, it operates as a single development institution, directing cash flows to expand output and develop new technologies. In the United States, the money supply is used to finance the budget deficit and is reallocated to financial bubbles. As a result, the efficiency of the US financial and economic system is 20 percent-there only one in five dollars reaches the real sector, and in China almost 90 percent (that is, almost all the yuan created by the Central Bank of the PRC) feed the contours of expanding production and ensure ultra-high economic growth.”

Across South and Central Asia, the Sino-Russian alliance has been transformative with Moscow providing strategic military and intelligence assistance to prevent western-directed regime change over the past seven years, as we have seen in the case of Syria since 2015, Turkey in 2016, and most recently Kazakhstan in 2022.

However, Russia lacks the economic freedom to carry out construction of mega-projects due to the continuing (for now) IMF hold on its economy — this is where China comes in. Beijing has been able to use its vast state banking apparatus to provide long term investments for the reconstruction of all nations abused by globalization for generations.

‘Tunxi’ to transform western Asia

While China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been evolving at a fast pace since it was first unveiled in 2013, nowhere does it offer more hope than in the regions of West and Southwest Asia which have suffered under Anglo-American manipulation for generations and whose people are hungry for economic advancement.

With the April 1, 2022 comprehensive Tunxi Agreement signed by the foreign ministers of Russia, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the Southwest and Central Asian BRI projects took on new energy.

Among the many initiatives in the Tunxi’s goal of integrating Afghanistan into the BRI while also amplifying BRI influence in surrounding regions, we see a high priority on energy projects, transport/connectivity, integration, agriculture, telecommunications and integration with surrounding nations. Among its 72 points, the agreement states:

“China supports the extension of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor to Afghanistan, and is ready to promote synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the development strategies of Afghanistan, and support the smooth operation of the China-Afghanistan freight train services, to help Afghanistan better integrate into the regional economic integration process.”

Leading projects will include the Khaf-Herat railway which will be completed and extended to central Asian countries via the Mazar-e-Sharif rail line and also the Chabahar Port in Iran.

Iran’s Deputy Transport Minister Abbas Khatibi pointed out that this project will soon link to China and other regional nations saying, “In addition to connect Iran’s rail network to Europe, the new Khaf-Herat railroad will link the country’s southern ports to Central Asian countries, the Caucasus, Iraq and even China.”

Increased interconnectivity

On February 23, 2022, The Silk Road Briefing stated:

“There is much to be done to attain Iran-Afghanistan-China rail connectivity. The planned route east would exit Afghanistan on the border with Tajikistan, then continue east to Kyrgyzstan before entering China through valleys of the Tian Shan mountain range that divide the two countries. A likely terminus would be Kashgar, with existing spurs heading north to Urumqi and connecting to China’s high-speed national rail network and through West to Kazakhstan. There are as yet unrealised plans to create a southern rail connection from Kashgar through to Pakistan.”

According to the Tunxi agreement, Turkmenistan also vowed to contributed to the “development of the transport, transit and communication system of Afghanistan, the intensification of the transit of cargo and passenger flows, by maintaining the operation of the railways along the route Atamyrat-Imamnazar-Akina-Andkhoy, which is designed to connect the countries of the region with further access to the railway network of China.”

Also important is the 6540 km Pakistan-Iran-Turkey freight line now being re-opened after 10 years of disarray. This strategic line which can easily intersect with CPEC and rail networks in China cuts travel down from 21 days at sea to only 10 days. Plans to add a new parallel passenger line to the freight service are also underway.

Commenting on the significance of this project, Pakistan’s Railway minister Azam Khan Swati said, “The start of the container train from Pakistan to Iran and Turkey was a long-standing dream of the countries of the region which has come true again.”

Following the Economic Cooperation Organization meeting in November 2021, projects to connect the Persian Gulf (at the Port of Bandar Abbas in Iran) with the Black Sea via rail were advanced by representatives of Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

This development is part of the broader International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) which has become increasingly synergistic with the East-West BRI in recent years and which offers multiple points of intersection with both Russia, Ukraine and Europe. If a wider conflict is to be avoided among Russia and its European neighbors, win-win projects of economic cooperation embodied by this project are essential.

A high priority in the Tunxi agreement was placed on energy projects which Afghanistan desperately needs. Among the many coal, natural gas and other projects showcased, much effort was made to emphasize their complementarity with the CASA-1000 project launched in 2016. This $1.2 billion energy mega project involves creating a vast system of transmission lines stretching from the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Another high priority project featured in Tunxi is the 1814 km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Natural Gas Pipeline whose construction began in 2018 which will be an important force for residential and industrial development of all four nations.

How ‘new’ will the international order be?

While the Russia-China alliance is robust, other nations among the 148 which have so far signed cooperation agreements with the BRI are on shakier ground. It is in these weaker zones that efforts are being made to loosen the fabric of the Eurasian alliance through any and all possible means.

Such has been the fate of Pakistan which saw an alleged US State Department-directed overthrow of Prime Minister Imran Khan on 10 April. This has cast doubt over the new government’s level of commitment to the CPEC and BRI projects as outlined in Tunxi and other locations as well as broader pro-Eurasian security agreements advanced through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in recent years. At least for the time being, the new Pakistani government of Shehbaz Sharif has vowed to maintain CPEC as a top national priority.

Whatever the outcome of the unfolding conflict in Ukraine, military saber-rattling by the US in Asia-Pacific, or broader efforts to destabilize the allies of Russia, Iran and China (RIC), the fact is that the current order as we know it is in terminal decline, while a new economic system will arise one way or another.

The question isn’t “will it collapse?” but “will the new system be based on the principles advocated by Sergey Glazyev?” If not, will it be premised on the model of a new Roman Empire managing a divided, impoverished, and warring world under the influence of a sociopathic supranational hegemon?

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

Empire of Lies Eager to Receive Mr. Sarmat’s Business Card

April 29, 2022

Source

The only antidote to propaganda dementia is served by sparse voices of reason, which happen to be Russian, thus silenced and/or dismissed.

By Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Especially since the onset of GWOT (Global War on Terror) at the start of the millennium, no one ever lost money betting against the toxic combo of hubris, arrogance and ignorance serially deployed by the Empire of Chaos and Lies.

What passes for “analysis” in the vast intellectual no-fly zone known as U.S. Think Tankland includes wishful thinking babble such as Beijing “believing” that Moscow would play a supporting role in the Chinese century just to see Russia, now, in the geopolitical driver’s seat.

This is a fitting example not only of outright Russophobic/Sinophobic paranoia about the emergence of peer competitors in Eurasia – the primeval Anglo-American nightmare – but also crass ignorance about the finer points of the complex Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

As Operation Z methodically hits Phase 2, the Americans – with a vengeance – have also embarked on their symmetrical Phase 2, which de facto translates as an outright escalation towards Totalen Krieg, from shades of hybrid to incandescent, everything of course by proxy. Notorious Raytheon weapons peddler reconverted into Pentagon head, Lloyd Austin, gave away the game in Kiev:

“We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”

So this is it: the Empire wants to annihilate Russia. Cue to War Inc.’s frenzy of limitless weapon cargos descending on Ukraine, the overwhelming majority on the road to be duly eviscerated by Russian precision strikes. The Americans are sharing intel 24/7 with Kiev not only on Donbass and Crimea but also Russian territory. Totalen Krieg proceeds in parallel to the engineered controlled demolition of the EU’s economy, with the European Commission merrily acting as a sort of P.R. arm of NATO.

Amidst the propaganda dementia cum acute cognitive dissonance overdrive across the whole NATOstan sphere, the only antidote is served by sparse voices of reason, which happen to be Russian, thus silenced and/or dismissed. The West ignores them at their own collective peril.

Patrushev goes Triple-X unplugged

Let’s start with President Putin’s speech to the Council of Legislators in St. Petersburg celebrating the Day of Russian Parliamentarism.

Putin demonstrated how a hardly new “geopolitical weapon” relying on “Russophobia and neo-Nazis”, coupled with efforts of “economic strangulation”, not only failed to smother Russia, but impregnated in the collective unconscious the feeling this an existential conflict: a “Second Great Patriotic War”.

With off the charts hysteria across the spectrum, a message for an Empire that still refuses to listen, and doesn’t even understand the meaning of “indivisibility of security”, had to be inevitable:

“I would like to emphasize once again that if someone intends to interfere in the events taking place from the outside and creates threats of a strategic nature unacceptable to Russia, they should know that our retaliatory strikes will be lightning fast. We have all the tools for this. Such as no one can boast of now. And we won’t brag. We will use them if necessary. And I want everyone to know about it – we have made all the decisions on this matter.”

Translation: non-stop provocations may lead Mr. Kinzhal, Mr. Zircon and Mr. Sarmat to be forced to present their business cards in select Western latitudes, even without an official invitation.

Arguably for the first time since the start of Operation Z, Putin made a distinction between military operations in Donbass and the rest of Ukraine. This directly relates to the integration in progress of Kherson, Zaporozhye and Kharkov, and implies the Russian Armed Forces will keep going and going, establishing sovereignty not only in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics but also over Kherson, Zaporozhye, and further on down the road from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea, all the way to establishing full control of Nikolaev and Odessa.

The formula is crystal clear: “Russia cannot allow the creation of anti-Russian territories around the country.”

Now let’s move to an extremely detailed interview by Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev to Rossiyskaya Gazeta, where Patrushev sort of went triple-X unplugged.

The key take away may be here: “The collapse of the American-centric world is a reality in which one must live and build an optimal line of behavior.” Russia’s “optimal line of behavior” – much to the wrath of the universalist and unilateralist hegemon – features “sovereignty, cultural and spiritual identity and historical memory.”

Patrushev shows how “tragic scenarios of world crises, both in past years and today, are imposed by Washington in its desire to consolidate its hegemony, resisting the collapse of the unipolar world.” The U.S. goes no holds barred “to ensure that other centers of the multipolar world do not even dare to raise their heads, and our country not only dared, but publicly declared that it would not play by the imposed rules.”

Patrushev could not but stress how War Inc. is literally making a killing in Ukraine: “The American and European military-industrial complex is jubilant, because thanks to the crisis in Ukraine, it has no respite from order. It is not surprising that, unlike Russia, which is interested in the speedy completion of a special military operation and minimizing losses on all sides, the West is determined to delay it at least to the last Ukrainian.”

And that mirrors the psyche of American elites: “You are talking about a country whose elite is not able to appreciate other people’s lives. Americans are used to walking on scorched earth. Since World War II, entire cities have been razed to the ground by bombing, including nuclear bombing. They flooded the Vietnamese jungle with poison, bombed the Serbs with radioactive munitions, burned Iraqis alive with white phosphorus, helped terrorists poison Syrians with chlorine (…) As history shows, NATO has also never been a defensive alliance, only an offensive one.”

Previously, in an interview with the delightfully named The Great Game show on Russian TV, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had once again detailed how the Americans “no longer insist on the implementation of international law, but on respect for the ‘rules-based world order’. These ‘rules’ are not deciphered in any way. They say that now there are few rules. For us, they don’t exist at all. There is international law. We respect it, as does the UN Charter. The key provision, the main principle is the sovereign equality of states. The U.S. flagrantly violates its obligations under the UN Charter when it promotes its ‘rules’”.

Lavrov had to stress, once again, that the current incandescent situation may be compared to the Cuban Missile Crisis: “In those years, there was a channel of communication that both leaders trusted. Now there is no such channel. No one is trying to create it.”

The Empire of Lies, in its current state, does not do diplomacy.

The pace of the game in the new chessboard

In a subtle reference to the work of Sergei Glazyev, as the Minister in Charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasia Economic Union explained in our recent interview, Patrushev hit the heart of the current geoeconomic game, with Russia now actively moving towards a gold standard: “Experts are working on a project proposed by the scientific community to create a two-circuit monetary and financial system. In particular, it is proposed to determine the value of the ruble, which should be secured by both gold and a group of goods that are currency values, to put the ruble exchange rate in line with real purchasing power parity.”

That was inevitable after the outright theft of over $300 billion in Russian foreign reserves. It may have taken a few days for Moscow to be fully certified it was facing Totalen Krieg. The corollary is that the collective West has lost any power to influence Russian decisions. The pace of the game in the new chessboard is being set by Russia.

Earlier in the week, in his meeting with the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, Putin went as far as stating that he’d be more than willing to negotiate – with only a few conditions: Ukrainian neutrality and autonomy status for Donbass. Yet now everyone knows it’s too late. For a Washington in Totalen Krieg mode negotiation is anathema – and that has been the case since the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine meeting in Istanbul in late March.

So far, on Operation Z, the Russian Armed forces have used only 12% of its soldiers,10% of its fighter jets, 7% of its tanks, 5% of its missiles, and 4% of its artillery. The pain dial is set to go substantially up – and with the total liberation of Mariupol and the resolution one way or another of the Donbass cauldron there is nothing the hysteria/propaganda/weaponizing combo deployed by the collective West can do to alter facts on the ground.

That includes desperate gambits such as the one uncovered by SVR – Russian foreign intel, which very rarely makes mistakes. SVR found out that the Empire of Lies/War Inc. axis is pushing not only for a de facto Polish invasion to annex Western Ukraine, under the banner of “historical reunification”, but also for a joint Romanian/Ukrainian invasion of Moldova/Transnistria, with Romanian “peacekeepers” already piling up near the Moldova border.

Washington, as the SVR maintains, has been plotting the Polish gambit for over a month now. It would “lead from behind” (remember Libya?), “encouraging” a “group of countries” to occupy Western Ukraine.

So partition is already on the cards. Were that ever to materialize, it will be fascinating to bet on which locations Mr. Sarmat would be inclined to distribute his business card.

Andrei Martyanov: They are terrified when seeing this banner

April 28, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Here comes China: The world rotated one more time

April 14, 2022

Source

By Amarynth

The world rotated one more time since the last report on China.

So, what do we know?

China is rock-solid behind Russia in all of Russia’s objectives, and in some instances, up ahead.

It almost seems as if an agreement was, if not stated, then understood. Russia will do the shootin’ for now, and China will keep the economic boat afloat. We see consistent commenting such as China is a consistent stabilizing force in a changing world

Overall NATO is feeling the pressure and ‘resetting’ and trying to clone itself as Aukus in the east while trying to strengthen itself in the west. We have Stoltenberg announcing: “What we see now is a new reality, a new normal for European security. Therefore, we have now asked our military commanders to provide options for what we call a reset, a more longer-term adaptation of NATO.”. In this speech, he announced that plans are being worked up to transform NATO into a major force capable of taking on an invading army and states that NATO deepens partnerships in Asia in response to a rising “security challenge” from China.

Yet, in the east, the Quad is one less, given India’s refusal to follow the U.S. regarding Russia.

Japan has been asked to join Aukus as a Japan, US, Australia, UK alliance intending to project a strong regional balance of power against China, Russia (and maybe India then?) in Asia. This Aukus will then have synergy,, they say, with Japanese technologies in areas such as hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare. Somehow I don’t see Japan as a suitable switch out for India, but then again, we’re dealing with desperate last gyrations of a world hegemon here, trying to project that it still has many friends.

A quick look at India. These days, if you see a country being threatened, you know already that they have started decoupling from so-called western democracy and Blinken has just threatened India yet again. He says the US is “monitoring rise in rights abuses in India” So, suddenly the US cares about human rights abuses in India. This bellicose rhetoric is not effective and way beyond its sell-by date.

It is clear that Russia is decoupling from Europe, and this started before sanctions. But did you know that China is decoupling from Britain, Canada, and the US? This is a brand-new trend. China’s top offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd. is preparing to exit its operations in Britain, Canada, and the United States, because of concerns in Beijing that assets could become subject to Western sanctions. As it seeks to leave the West, CNOOC is looking to acquire new assets in Latin America and Africa, and also wants to prioritize the development of large, new prospects in Brazil, Guyana, and Uganda.

Apparently trying to deal with those three countries has become painful and CNOOC is seeking to sell “marginal and hard to manage” assets. Quoted are red tape and high operating costs in the western climes.

In the Asia region, we also saw the ease with which Imran Khan was relieved of his post as Prime Minister. I don’t believe this is the end of this story, because the citizens of Pakistan are truly unhappy.  https://www.rt.com/news/553734-us-involved-imran-khan-departure/

So if you were thinking that while the Ukraine war is hot, the Pacific is cool, that would be a mis judgement.

The new cry going out is if we’ve censored all the Russian voices, how can we allow the Chinese voices to carry water for Russia. We have to cancel them too! (These people deserve to go and live underground in bunkers!)

Taiwan keeps the war propaganda at a fever pitch by releasing a China Invasion Survival Guide.

Taiwan’s All-out Defense Mobilization unit has released a guide for citizens in the event of a war with Beijing, complete with comic strips and tips for survival, locating bomb shelters, and preparing food and first aid provisions.  The guide has been planned for some time, and comes as local officials look to extend military service beyond the current 4 months. https://t.me/rtnews/23455

Nancy Pelosi was planning to visit Taiwan. China made its displeasure known widely and loudly. And Pelosi immediately contracted Covid and had to suspend her trip.

From the Australian side, the propaganda is flowing strong. Here is a very fine video with Brian Berletic and Robbie Barwick, explaining exactly what happened with the contretemps in the Solomon Islands, as well as the overall trajectory and the speed thereof, of Australia’s belligerence against China. This video contains some interesting statements and supporting data. Seemingly, if Australia interacts with Island Nations like the Solomon’s the idea is to build infrastructure suitable for war, so, building a port must be suitable for US aircraft carriers, and building a road must be suitable for landing US airplanes. If China interacts with these very same Island Nations, the idea is to build infrastructure that can benefit their population and this is now clear among all.

Is it over? No, not by a long shot. Aussie minister pays ‘unprecedented coercive visit’ to Solomon Islands over China security pact. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202204/1259266.shtml

I’ve come to enjoy China’s spokespeople. They are sharp and do not miss a trick. Acerbic and incisive commentary is the order of the day. This is a good example, and please note the tone of the Western journos .. If you have never spent time on one of these, it is an education. The western journos try and beat the spox to death with repeated questions loaded with innuendo. https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/202204/t20220411_10666750.html

It is quite clear that China is not leaving the issue of Biolabs behind. They have just about daily coverage in various media about it.

SEOUL, April 12 (Xinhua) — U.S. military biological facilities in South Korea are serious threats to local residents’ safety, said a South Korean expert, as the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) continues with a scandalous program involving experiments with living toxic samples. #GLOBALink

https://english.news.cn/20220412/a7d456ef4d5c4b7bab7fa07305aa6333/c.html

China will never forget epithets like “China Virus” and “Wuhan Flu”. Take a good look at this image titled Poison Disseminator.

China had to evacuate +- 2,000 Chinese citizens from the Ukraine. From media, it was a successful evacuation. They have also repeatedly made their stance clear on the Ukraine.

https://www.silkroadbriefing.com/news/2022/03/08/chinas-foreign-ministry-position-on-russia-ukraine/

The main focus is humanitarian. China released a five-point position statement supported by a six-point humanitarian plan

The position statement is:

  • First, we persevere in promoting peace talks in the right direction. We hold that dialogue and negotiation are the only way out, oppose adding fuel to the fire and intensifying confrontation, call for achieving a ceasefire and ending the conflict, and support Russia and Ukraine in carrying out direct dialogue.
  • Second, we persevere in upholding the basic norms governing international relations. We advocate respect for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, and oppose putting small and medium-sized countries on the front line of geopolitical games.
  • Third, we persevere in preventing the resurgence of the Cold War mentality. We do not agree with the “friend-or-foe” camp confrontation, firmly promote international solidarity, advocate the vision of common, cooperative, comprehensive and sustainable security, and respect and accommodate the legitimate and reasonable concerns of all parties.
  • Fourth, we persevere in upholding the legitimate rights and interests of all countries. We oppose unilateral sanctions that have no basis in international law and call for safeguarding the international industrial and supply chains to avoid harming normal economic and trade exchanges and people’s lives.
  • Fifth, we persevere in consolidating peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. We firmly uphold the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness in our neighborhood diplomacy, guard against the introduction of bloc confrontation into the region by the United States through the “Indo-Pacific strategy”, accelerate the promotion of regional integration and cooperation, and guard the hard-won development momentum in the region.

Wang Ji describes the six-point humanitarian plan:

While China is doing its best to create a level playing field and do real humanitarian work, they are not hiding the fact that they hold the US/NATO fully responsible for what they see as an action that was forced onto Russia.

Inside China, it is all about economic miracles. Taking a huge bow now in their theater of urgent needs is seeds: Chinese Seeds, Chinese developed, and Chinese local seeds. The seed companies of the west are unwelcome with the IP registration of their seeds and China will hold its ownership over its seeds.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202204/12/WS6253c2e2a310fd2b29e563d6.html

The Shanghai lockdown provided endless China-bashing opportunities for western commentators. Tucker Carlson jumped on this horse and did his part for the anti-China campaign with a litany of complaints, a bunch of pixellated videos that are propaganda material, never having spoken to anyone actually living in Shanghai, without an idea of China’s principled management of Covid and without understanding the levels of the lockdown – complete political projection of US so-called values.  As we have seen so many times from the USA’ians, trying to fight his political battles on the back of the Chinese (or anyone else, for that matter).  He also perceivably has no idea that the Chinese lockdown supports the people with food and medicines, and it is not like the west. So, he looks at this with western eyes and truly, he has no clue. It is exactly the same that the world complains about .. it is: “We are right and exceptional and we know better.” Because China makes its own rules, Carlson calls it wrong. He is totally committed to the idea of US manifest destiny and his way is the right way.  Carlson is anti a war with Russia for political purposes but show him China as a possible war partner, and he blooms with bloodlust.

It is truly better to listen to those that are actually living there and can actually speak the language.  It is so that people believe the MSM when that very same MSM says something that they like and rail against that very same MSM when they say something that they don’t like.

David Fishman tweets: So it’s CRAZY that we have to do this, it’s also incredibly fascinating from a supply chain/logistics/economics perspective. We are in the process of re-inventing the food distribution network in Shanghai. It’s all based on the newly prevalent concept of Group-Buying.

If you really want to know how people live through a 14 day lockdown, a 14 day lighter lockdown if no Covid presents itself, a closed and open-loop system, and then thereafter no lock down. I would recommend that you click on this tweet and read all the parts:

Let’s hear from someone who is actually right there:

And Jeff Brown weighed in as well. Special explanation to address the many concerns global citizens have about China’s “Zero-Covid” policy, with Shanghai now in the headlines.

https://jeffjbrown.substack.com/p/special-explanation-to-address-the

And so there are to my knowledge hundreds of people reporting that they get their food delivered, they take part in group buying, they mostly get what they want but sometimes not and we see things like this:

The lesson here is that if you want to know what is happening in China, listen to the people in China. Now, they are not brutally suppressed and silenced. Online media is bigger than ever. What is frowned upon and can get you into hot water, is if you are rude and rude to others. State your case, don’t be rude and you will be fine with social media communication.  (Somewhat like the concept of Saving Face).

No, China is not killing 25 million people in Shanghai.

There are thousands of made-up and anti-China video clips breathlessly being passed around by the usual suspects.  I saw one that purports that the Chinese are breaking down their 5G towers.  It was a clip from the umbrella riots in Hong Kong where the rioters were breaking down public infrastructure.

Is everything perfect? Of course not. Are their people struggling? Of course. Was there food distribution problems initially?  Of course.  Is it easy? Of course not. Are most people content with the decision to do a phased lock-in of a city of 25 million people? Most of the ones that I’ve regularly followed are, if not content, they understand the reason and trust the Chinese Zero-Covid policy. Westerners need to start understanding that the Chinese people are part of their government and that they actually believe the government does what is best for the people and they have evidence and proof of this, because they are part of a very inclusive system.

Cyrus Janssen is a regular commentator on China.  He does not like the Shanghai lockdown.  This is his thread, and take a look at what the Chinese actually answered.

The conversation in China is different from the conversation in the west.  Their current concern is future management of Covid.  They have concerns that their Zero-Covid strategy needs to be adjusted.  They are in the process of refining its strategy.  They do not have concerns about their strategy, because they have the numbers.

The last report that I have is as of Saturday.  The Shanghai port STILL operating smoothly, with berthing efficiency better than 2021. The average waiting time for ships in Port is under 24 hours, and all the production units at the port maintain normal 24-hour operations, except in extreme weather. In 2021, the Port moved 47 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), ranking first globally. Throughput of international containers exceeded 6 million TEUs for the first time.

Trade between Russia and China skyrocketed. Paul from the Sirius report states it as follows:  “Western experts fail to grasp that the Global South is around 87% of the world’s population, is in its ascendancy and has a myriad of vertical growth markets now in play and is embracing the multipolar world. West meanwhile is in terminal decline.”

China and Russia trade in Q1 rose 28% to $38.2bn equivalent.

In 2021, trade turnover between Russia and China hit a record high of $146.88 billion, having surged 35.8%. In December, the Russian and Chinese presidents agreed on creating infrastructure to service trade operations between the two nations without third parties.

The ASEAN surpassed the EU to become China’s largest trading partner. China’s imports and exports with ASEAN jumped 8.4% yoy to 1.35tn yuan in Q1 accounting for 14.4% of the country’s foreign trade volume.

Beijing’s economic and trade cooperation with other countries including Russia and Ukraine remains normal.

Beijing has refused to join sanctions against Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine, saying cooperation between China and Russia “has no limits.” The two countries have been switching from the US dollar and the euro to local currencies in trade to avoid possible sanctions.

It’s all digital currency for the years ahead for China. Make a strong distinction in your mind between CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), Cryptocurrencies and China’s digital currency. They are not all the same.

Russia is increasing its holdings in Yuan. This is explained as underscoring the falling credibility of the US dollar, as the US has been weaponizing the dollar as a financial weapon instead of a trusted international payment currency.  This via Xu Wenhong, a research fellow at the Institute of Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

From the Here Comes China newsletter by Godfree Roberts, we see this:

Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics arm, rolled out a digital end-to-end e-commerce logistics service that includes pickup, warehousing, supply chain, customs clearance, and last-mile delivery.  You may think this is for China internally and it might well be so, but China has now something like 3,000 warehouses across the world, supporting the products that the belt and road transport, to get to the last-mile delivery.

Earlier I referred to the Quad as well as to the fact that China is doing its own selective decoupling. The Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline, which runs through Mongolia, is specifically aimed at reducing any Chinese dependence on Quad Members.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Energy/China-turns-to-Russian-gas-to-curb-dependence-on-Quad-members

To conclude before we get to a lighter note, the west has no competitive edge any longer in trade, very little in war if we look at it as of today (they can still wipe us all out and turn us into glass), and have no honor left. They are not serious people and cannot be allowed to try and run our planet any longer, exclusively to their own benefit.

From Godfree’s newsletter about one of China’s minorities that I had actually never heard of. The Naxi, one of China’s 55 ethnic minorities, have long been popular with anthropologists, but its folk music is routinely overlooked. A new album hopes to change that. It might not be your style, but something different and away from war is always welcome.


Many of the data points here are courtesy of Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter: Here Comes China. You can get it here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

Russia sets ruble gas payment deadline موسكو سنبيع الغاز بالروبل حصراً والعزلة الغربية لا معنى لها

Russia sets ruble gas payment deadline

28 Mar, 2022 09:14

President Putin says ‘unfriendly countries’ must switch to its currency by March 31

Russian President Vladimir Putin has authorized the government, the central bank, and Gazprombank to take the necessary steps to switch all payments for Russian natural gas from “unfriendly states” to rubles starting March 31.

The measure targets “member states of the EU and other countries that have introduced restrictions against citizens of the Russian Federation and Russian legal entities,” the mandate published on the Kremlin website reads.

Russia will stop shipping natural gas to countries refusing to settle payments in rubles, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

The decision, first announced last week, came as Russia’s oil trade has been left in disarray as importers put orders on hold due to the latest sanctions introduced against Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine.

READ MORE: Gas payments in rubles would backfire on EU sanctions – media

The conflict in Ukraine and the anti-Russia sanctions that followed have raised concerns of a global economic crisis. Skyrocketing commodity prices are sending the costs of consumer goods, energy, and food ever higher, giving rise to fears of a possible recession in many countries and even hunger in some parts of the world.

Russia’s decision to switch payments to its domestic currency has been made in response to the unprecedented penalties imposed by the US and its allies on the country’s financial system.

The ruble plummeted to record lows after Western nations and Japan blocked Russia’s access to some of its international reserves. Since last week’s currency-switch announcement, the ruble has reached its strongest level against the US dollar and the euro in nearly a month.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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الثلاثاء 29 آذار 2022

موسكو: سنبيع الغاز بالروبل حصراً والعزلة الغربية لا معنى لها

البناء

في إطار الرد على العقوبات الغربية، أصدر الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، تعليماته إلى مجلس الوزراء والبنك المركزي وشركة «غاز بروم» لاتخاذ التدابير الضرورية لتغيير عملة الدفع لإمدادات الغاز إلى الروبل بحلول 31 آذار/ مارس.

في غضون ذلك، أفاد المتحدث باسم الكرملين، ديمتري بيسكوف بأنّ محادثات السلام بين روسيا وأوكرانيا قد تبدأ في تركيا اليوم الثلاثاء، مضيفاً أنّه “من المهم أن تعقد المحادثات وجهاً لوجه».

وأشار بيسكوف، في تصريح أمس، إلى أنه “لم يتم إحراز أي تقدم بشأن عقد اجتماع بين بوتين والرئيس الأوكراني فلاديمير زيلينسكي”، معتبراً أنّ “المحادثات فشلت حتى الآن في تحقيق أيّ انفراج».

وعن قرار الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين بتقاضي ثمن الغاز المصدر بالروبل، أكد بيسكوف أنّ “روسيا لن تقدم الغاز مجاناً إذا رفض الأوروبيون الدفع بالروبل».

من جانبه، صرح وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف، بأن الغرب كان يبرر بشكلٍ دائم فرض العقوبات على روسيا بهدف كبح تطورها.

وأضاف لافروف، خلال مؤتمرٍ صحافي مع قنوات تلفزيونية صربية، أمس، أنّ روسيا لديها عددٌ كبير من الشركاء والحلفاء في العالم، وبالتالي لا معنى للعزلة الغربية.

ولفت لافروف إلى أنّ “موسكو ترى وتشعر بالضغط الذي يفرضه الاتحاد الأوروبي على دول البلقان للانضمام إلى العقوبات المفروضة على روسيا”، مشدداً على أنّ “الولايات المتحدة الأميركية تطالب الدول الأخرى بالديمقراطية، بينما تفرض على الدول نهجاً ديكتاتورياً».

وأوضح لافروف أن الاتحاد الأوروبي يمارس ضغوطاً سياسية كبرى على صربيا لتغيير موقفها السياسي وفرض عقوبات اقتصادية على روسيا.

وعن آفاق المفاوضات الروسية الاوكرانية، شدد لافروف على أنّ لقاء الرئيس الروسي ​فلاديمير بوتين مع نظيره الأوكراني سيكون ممكناً فور الحصول على توضيحات بشأن المسائل الأساسية التي قدمتها روسيا، مضيفاً «أننا نرغب في نجاح المفاوضات مع الأوكرانيين في إسطنبول، وأن تؤدي إلى وقف قتل المدنيين في دونباس من قبل نظام كييف».

كما أشاد لافروف بالعلاقات الروسية الصينية، معتبراً أنها “في أقوى مستوياتها على الإطلاق”.

بدوره، قال عضو لجنة السياسات الاقتصادية لمجلس الاتحاد في بالبرلمان الروسي إيفان أبرامون إنَّ “رفض مجموعة السبع دفع ثمن الغاز الروسي بالروبل سيؤدّي إلى توقّف الإمدادات من دون شكّ».

إلى ذلك، أظهرت نتائج استطلاعٍ جديد للرأي، ارتفاع نسبة المواطنين الروس المؤيدين للعملية العسكرية الخاصة في أوكرانيا، من 65% إلى 73%.

وبحسب الاستطلاع، الذي أجري في 20 من الشهر الجاري، فقد “دعمت نسبة 73% من العينة الاستطلاعية قرار بدء العملية العسكرية، بينما كانت نسبة 14% ضد القرار” في استطلاع سابق للرأي أجري في شباط/ فبراير الماضي.

وأظهرت نسبة 71% من المستطلعين إعتقادها أنَّ “روسيا تريد ضمان أمنها، وتحقيق نزع سلاح أوكرانيا، ومنع حلف الناتو من نشر قواعده هناك” من خلال العملية العسكرية في أوكرانيا.

ميدانياً، أعلن المتحدث باسم وزارة الدفاع الروسية، اللواء إيغور كوناشينكوف، تدمير مستودعاتٍ ضخمةٍ للذخيرة في مقاطعة جيتومير، مشيراً إلى إنّها “كانت تُستخدم لإمداد القوات الأوكرانية في ضواحي العاصمة كييف”.

وأضاف كوناشينكوف  أنّه “خلال الساعات القليلة الماضية، أسقطنا 3 طائراتٍ أوكرانيةٍ إضافيةٍ” فوق مناطق في جيتومير ودونيتسك.

وأشار كوناشينكوف إلى إسقاط مروحيةٍ أوكرانيةٍ من طراز (Mi-8) فوق ماريوبول، الواقعة على بحر آزوف، إلى جانب إسقاط طائرةٍ أوكرانيةٍ من دون طيار بالقرب من قرية تشيرنوبايفكا.

وأكمل كوناشينكوف أن قواته ضربت 41 موقعاً عسكرياً في أوكرانيا، بينها 2 للصواريخ، ومحطةَ حربٍ إلكترونيةٍ، ومخازنَ ذخيرةٍ».

ولفت المتحدّث العسكري إلى أنّه “منذ بداية العملية العسكرية، تمَّ تدمير 123 طائرةً و74 مروحيةً، و309 طائراتٍ من دون طيّارٍ، و1721 دبابةً وعربةً قتاليةً، إضافة إلى مئات المدافع، وعشرات راجمات الصواريخ.

على صعيد مواز، قالت رئيسة الهيئة الفيدرالية الروسية لرقابة حماية حقوق المستهلكين، آنا بوبوفا، إنّ “أكثر من 300 مختبر بيولوجي تنتشر في العالم بتمويلٍ أميركيٍّ».

وأضافت أنَّ “هناك مناطق يوجد فيها تركيز عال من المختبرات الأميركية العسكرية والمدنية على حد سواء، ويزداد عددها يوماً بعد يوم”، مشيرةً إلى أنّ عددها يبلغ في الوقت الحالي أكثر من 300 مختبر.

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Sergey Karaganov: Russia’s new foreign policy, the Putin Doctrine

23 Feb, 2022

Moscow’s confrontation with NATO is just the start

By Professor Sergey Karaganov, honorary chairman of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and academic supervisor at the School of International Economics and Foreign Affairs Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow

Sergey Karaganov: Russia’s new foreign policy, the Putin Doctrine
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his address to the nation at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 21, 2022. © AFP / Alexey NIKOLSKY

It seems like Russia has entered a new era of its foreign policy – a ‘constructive destruction’, let’s call it, of the previous model of relations with the West. Parts of this new way of thinking have been seen over the last 15 years – starting with Vladimir Putin’s famous Munich speech in 2007 – but much is only just becoming clear now. At the same time, lackluster efforts to integrate into the western system, while maintaining a doggedly defensive attitude, has remained the general trend in Russia’s politics and rhetoric.

Constructive destruction is not aggressive. Russia maintains it isn’t going to attack anyone or blow them up. It simply doesn’t need to. The outside world provides Russia with more and more geopolitical opportunities for medium-term development as it is. With one big exception. NATO’s expansion and formal or informal inclusion of Ukraine poses a risk to the country’s security that Moscow simply won’t accept.

For now, the West is on course to a slow but inevitable decay, both in terms of internal and external affairs and even the economy. And this is precisely why it has started this new Cold War after almost five hundred years of domination in world politics, the economy, and culture. Especially after its decisive victory in the 1990s to mid-2000s. I believe [1] it will most likely lose, stepping down as the global leader and becoming a more reasonable partner. And not a moment too soon: Russia will need to balance relations with a friendly, but increasingly more powerful China.

Presently, the West desperately tries to defend against this with aggressive rhetoric. It tries to consolidate, playing its last trump cards to reverse this trend. One of those is trying to use Ukraine to damage and neuter Russia. It’s important to prevent these convulsive attempts from transforming into a full-fledged standoff and to counter the current US and NATO policies. They are counterproductive and dangerous, though relatively undemanding for the initiators. We are yet to convince the West that it is only hurting itself.

Another trump card is the West’s dominating role in the existing Euro-Atlantic security system established at a time when Russia was seriously weakened following the Cold War. There’s merit in gradually erasing this system, primarily by refusing to take part in it and play by its obsolete rules, which are inherently disadvantageous to us. For Russia, the western track should become secondary to its Eurasian diplomacy. Maintaining constructive relations with the countries in the western part of the continent may ease the integration into Greater Eurasia for Russia. The old system is in the way, though, and so it should be dismantled.

The critical next step to creating a new system (aside from dismantling the old one) is ‘uniting the lands’. It’s a necessity for Moscow, not a whim. 

It would be nice if we had more time to do this. But history shows that, since the collapse of the USSR 30 years ago, few post-Soviet nations have managed to become truly independent. And some may never even get there, for various reasons. This is a subject for a future analysis. Right now, I can only point out the obvious: Most local elites don’t have the historical or cultural experience of state-building. They’ve never been able to become the core of the nation – they didn’t have enough time for this. When the shared intellectual and cultural space disappeared, it hurt small countries the most. The new opportunities to build ties with the West turned out to be no replacement. Those who have found themselves at the helm of such nations have been selling their country for their own benefit, because there’s been no national idea to fight for.

The majority of those countries will either follow the example of the Baltic states, accepting external control, or continue to spiral out of control, which in some cases may be extremely dangerous.

The question is: How to ‘unite’ the nations in the most efficient and beneficial way for Russia, taking into account the tsarist and Soviet experience, when the sphere of influence was extended beyond any reasonable limits and then kept together at the expense of core Russian peoples?

Let’s leave the discussion about the ‘unification’ that history is forcing on us for another day. This time, let’s focus on the objective need to make a tough decision and adopt the ‘constructive destruction’ policy.

The milestones we passed

Today, we see the inception of the fourth era of Russia’s foreign policy. The first one started in the late 1980s, and it was a time of weakness and delusions. The nation had lost the will to fight, people wanted to believe democracy and the West would come and save them [2]. It all ended in 1999 after the first waves of NATO expansion, seen by Russians as a backstabbing move, when the West tore apart what was left of Yugoslavia.

Then Russia started to get up off its knees and rebuild, stealthily and covertly, while appearing friendly and humbled. The US withdrawing from the ABM Treaty signaled its intention to regain its strategic dominance, so the still broke Russia made a fateful decision to develop weapon systems to challenge American aspirations. The Munich speech, the Georgian War, and the army reform, conducted amid a global economic crisis that spelled the end of the western liberal globalist imperialism (the term coined by a prominent expert on international affairs, Richard Sakwa) marked the new goal for Russian foreign policy – to once again become a leading global power that can defend its sovereignty and interests. This was followed by the events in Crimea, Syria, the military build-up, and blocking the West from interfering in Russia’s domestic affairs, rooting out from the public service those who partnered with the West to the disadvantage of their homeland, including by a masterful use of the West’s reaction to those developments. As the tensions keep growing, looking up to the West and keeping assets there becomes increasingly less lucrative.

China’s incredible rise and becoming de-facto allies with Beijing starting in the 2010s, the pivot to the East, and the multidimensional crisis that enveloped the West led to a great shift in political and geoeconomic balance in favor of Russia. This is especially pronounced in Europe. Only a decade ago, the EU saw Russia as a backward and weak outskirts of the continent trying to contend with major powers. Now, it is desperately trying to cling to the geopolitical and geoeconomic independence that is slipping through its fingers.

The ‘back to greatness’ period ended around 2017 to 2018. After that, Russia hit a plateau. The modernization continued, but the weak economy threatened to negate its achievements. People (myself included) were frustrated, fearing that Russia once again was going to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.” But that turned out to be another build-up period, primarily in terms of defense capabilities.

Russia has gotten ahead, making sure that for the next decade, it will be relatively invulnerable strategically and capable of “dominating in an escalation scenario” in case of conflicts in the regions within its sphere of interests.

The ultimatum that Russia issued to the US and NATO at the end of 2021, demanding they stop developing military infrastructure near the Russian borders and expansion to the east, marked the start of the ‘constructive destruction’. The goal is not simply to stop the flagging, albeit really dangerous inertia of the West’s geostrategic push, but also to start laying the foundation for a new kind of relations between Russia and the West, different from what we settled on in the 1990s.

Russia’s military capabilities, the returning sense of moral righteousness, lessons learned from past mistakes, and a close alliance with China could mean that the West, which chose the role of an adversary, will start being reasonable, even if not all the time. Then, in a decade or sooner, I hope, a new system of international security and cooperation will be built that will include the whole Greater Eurasia this time, and it will be based on UN principles and international law, not unilateral ‘rules’ that the West has been trying to impose on the world in recent decades.

Correcting mistakes

Before I go any further, let me say that I think very highly of Russian diplomacy – it’s been absolutely brilliant in the past 25 years. Moscow was dealt a weak hand but managed to play a great game nevertheless. First, it didn’t let the West ‘finish it off’. Russia maintained its formal status of a great country, retaining permanent membership in the UN Security Council and keeping nuclear arsenals. Then it gradually improved its global standing by leveraging the weaknesses of its rivals and the strengths of its partners. Building a strong friendship with China has been a major achievement. Russia has some geopolitical advantages that the Soviet Union didn’t have. Unless, of course, it goes back to the aspirations of becoming a global superpower, which eventually ruined the USSR.  

However, we shouldn’t forget the mistakes we’ve made so we don’t repeat them. It was our laziness, weakness, and bureaucratic inertia that helped create and keep afloat the unjust and unstable system of European security that we have today.

The beautifully-worded Charter of Paris for a New Europe that was signed in 1990 had a statement about freedom of association – countries could choose their allies, something that would’ve been impossible under the 1975 Helsinki Declaration. Since the Warsaw Pact was running on fumes at that point, this clause meant that NATO would be free to expand. This is the document everyone keeps referring to, even in Russia. Back in 1990, however, NATO could at least be considered a “defense” organization. The alliance and most of its members have launched a number of aggressive military campaigns since then – against the remnants of Yugoslavia, as well as in Iraq and Libya.  

After a heart-to-heart chat with Lech Walesa in 1993, Boris Yeltsin signed a document where it stated that Russia “understood Poland’s plan to join NATO.” When Andrey Kozyrev, Russia’s foreign minister at the time, learned about NATO’s expansion plans in 1994, he began a bargaining process on Russia’s behalf without consulting the president. The other side took it as a sign that Russia was OK with the general concept, since it was trying to negotiate acceptable terms. In 1995, Moscow stepped on the brakes, but it was too late – the dam burst and swept away any reservations about the West’s expansion efforts. 

In 1997, Russia, being economically weak and completely dependent on the West, signed the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security with NATO. Moscow was able to compel certain concessions from the West, like the pledge not to deploy large military units to the new member states. NATO has been consistently violating this obligation. Another agreement was to keep these territories free of nuclear weapons. The US would not have wanted it anyway, because it had been trying to distance itself from a potential nuclear conflict in Europe as much as possible (despite their allies’ wishes), since it would undoubtedly cause a nuclear strike against America. In reality, the document legitimized NATO’s expansion.  

There were other mistakes – not as major but extremely painful nevertheless. Russia participated in the Partnership for Peace program, the sole purpose of which was to make it look like NATO was prepared to listen to Moscow, but in reality, the alliance was using the project to justify its existence and further expansion. Another frustrating misstep was our involvement in the NATO-Russia Council after the Yugoslavia aggression. The topics discussed at that level desperately lacked substance. They should’ve focused on the truly significant issue – restraining the alliance’s expansion and the buildup of its military infrastructure near the Russian borders. Sadly, this never made it to the agenda. The Council continued to operate even after the majority of NATO members started a war in Iraq and then Libya in 2011.  

READ MORE: Ukraine asks for help and mulls retaliation against Russia: Six key takeaways from Zelensky’s speech

It is very unfortunate that we never got the nerve to openly say it – NATO had become an aggressor that committed numerous war crimes. This would’ve been a sobering truth for various political circles in Europe, like in Finland and Sweden for example, where some are considering the advantages of joining the organization. And all the others for that matter, with their mantra about NATO being a defense and deterrence alliance that needs to be further consolidated so it can stand against imaginary enemies. 

I understand those in the West who are used to the existing system that allows the Americans to buy the obedience of their junior partners, and not just in terms of military support, while these allies can save on security expenses by selling part of their sovereignty. But what do we gain from this system? Especially now that it’s become obvious that it breeds and escalates confrontation at our western borders and in the whole world. 

NATO feeds off forced confrontation, and the longer the organization exists, the worse this confrontation will be. 

The bloc is a threat to its members as well. While provoking confrontation, it doesn’t actually guarantee protection. It is not true that Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty warrants collective defense if one ally is attacked. This article doesn’t say that this is automatically guaranteed. I am familiar with the history of the bloc and the discussions in America regarding its establishment. I know for a fact that the US will never deploy nuclear weapons to “protect” its allies if there is conflict with a nuclear state. 

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is also outdated. It is dominated by NATO and the EU that use the organization to drag out the confrontation and impose the West’s political values and standards on everyone else. Fortunately, this policy is becoming less and less effective. In the mid-2010s I had the chance to work with the OSCE Panel of Eminent Persons (what a name!), which was supposed to develop a new mandate for the organization. And if I had my doubts about the OSCE’s effectiveness before that, this experience convinced me that it is an extremely destructive institution. It’s an antiquated organization with a mission to preserve things that are obsolete. In the 1990s, it served as an instrument of burying any attempt made by Russia or others to create a common European security system; in the 2000s, the so-called Corfu Process bogged down Russia’s new security initiative.

Practically all UN institutions have been squeezed out of the continent, including the UN Economic Commission for Europe, its Human Rights Council and Security Council. Once upon a time, the OSCE was viewed as a useful organization that would promote the UN system and principles in a key subcontinent. That didn’t happen. 

As for NATO, it is very clear what we should do. We need to undermine the bloc’s moral and political legitimacy and refuse any institutional partnership, since its counterproductivity is obvious. Only the military should continue to communicate, but as an auxiliary channel that would supplement dialogue with the DOD and defense ministries of leading European nations. After all, it’s not Brussels that makes strategically important decisions. 

The same policy could be adopted when it comes to the OSCE. Yes, there is a difference, because even though this is a destructive organization, it never initiated any wars, destabilization, or killings. So we need to keep our involvement in this format to a minimum. Some say that this is the only context that provides the Russian foreign minister with a chance to see his counterparts. That is not true. The UN can offer an even better context. Bilateral talks are much more effective anyway, because it is easier for the bloc to hijack the agenda when there is a crowd. Sending observers and peacekeepers through the UN would also make a lot more sense.  

The limited article format does not allow me to dwell on specific policies for each European organization, like the Council of Europe for example. But I would define the general principle this way – we partner where we see benefits for ourselves and keep our distance otherwise. 

Thirty years under the current system of European institutions proved that continuing with it would be detrimental. Russia doesn’t benefit in any way from Europe’s disposition towards breeding and escalating confrontation or even posing military threat to the subcontinent and the whole world. Back in the day, we could dream that Europe would help us bolster security, as well as political and economic modernization. Instead, they are undermining security, so why would we copy the West’s dysfunctional and deteriorating political system? Do we really need these new values that they have adopted? 

We will have to limit the expansion by refusing to cooperate within an eroding system. Hopefully, by taking a firm stand and leaving our civilization neighbors from the West to their own devices, we will actually help them. The elites may return to a less suicidal policy that would be safer for everyone. Of course, we have to be smart about taking ourselves out of the equation and make sure to minimize the collateral damage that the failing system will inevitably cause. But maintaining it in its current form is simply dangerous. 

Policies for tomorrow’s Russia

As the existing global order continues to crumble, it seems that the most prudent course for Russia would be to sit it out for as long as possible – to take cover within the walls of its ‘neo-isolationist fortress’ and deal with domestic matters. But this time, history demands that we take action. Many of my suggestions with respect to the foreign policy approach I have tentatively called ‘constructive destruction’ naturally emerge from the analysis presented above.

There is no need to interfere or to try to influence the internal dynamics of the West, whose elites are desperate enough to start a new cold war against Russia. What we should do instead is use various foreign policy instruments – including military ones – to establish certain red lines. Meanwhile, as the Western system continues to steer towards moral, political, and economic degradation, non-Western powers (with Russia as a major player) will inevitably see their geo-political, geo-economic and geo-ideological positions strengthen. 

READ MORE: UK sanctions Putin’s ‘inner circle’ over Donbass

Our Western partners predictably try to squelch Russia’s calls for security guarantees and take advantage of the ongoing diplomatic process in order to extend the lifespan of their own institutions. There is no need to give up dialogue or cooperation in matters of trade, politics, culture, education, and healthcare, whenever it’s useful. But we must also use the time we’ve got to ramp up military-political, psychological, and even military-technical pressure – not so much on Ukraine, whose people have been turned into cannon fodder for a new Cold War – but on the collective West, in order to force it to change its mind and step back from the policies it has pursued for the past several decades. There is nothing to fear about the confrontation escalating: We saw tensions grow even as Russia was trying to appease the Western world. What we should do is prepare for a stronger pushback from the West; also, Russia should be able to offer the world a long-term alternative – a new political framework based on peace and cooperation.

The West can try to intimidate us with devastating sanctions – but we are also capable of deterring the West with our own threat of an asymmetrical response, one that would cripple Western economies and disrupt whole societies.

Naturally, it is useful to remind our partners, from time to time, that there exists a mutually beneficial alternative to all that.

If Russia carries out reasonable but assertive policies (domestically, too), it will successfully (and relatively peacefully) overcome the latest surge of Western hostility. As I have written before, we stand a good chance of winning this Cold War.

What also inspires optimism is Russia’s own past record: We have more than once managed to tame the imperial ambitions of foreign powers – for our own good, and for the good of humanity, as a whole. Russia was able to transform would-be empires into tame and relatively harmless neighbors: Sweden after the Battle of Poltava, France after Borodino, Germany after Stalingrad and Berlin.

We can find a slogan for the new Russian policy toward the West in a verse from Alexander Blok’s ‘The Scythians’, a brilliant poem that seems especially relevant today: “Come join us, then! Leave war and war’s alarms, / And grasp the hand of peace and amity. / While still there’s time, Comrades, lay down your arms! / Let us unite in true fraternity!”

While attempting to heal our relations with the West (even if that requires some bitter medicine), we must remember that, while culturally close to us, the Western world is running out of time – in fact, it has been for two decades now. It is essentially in damage control mode, seeking cooperation whenever possible. The real prospects and challenges of our present and future lie with the East and the South. Taking a harder line with Western nations must not distract Russia from maintaining its pivot to the East. And we have seen this pivot slow down in the past two or three years, especially when it comes to developing territories beyond the Ural Mountains.

We must not allow Ukraine to become a security threat to Russia. That said, it would be counterproductive to spend too many administrative and political (not to mention economic) resources on it. Russia must learn to actively manage this volatile situation, keep it within limits. Most of Ukraine has been neutered by its own anti-national elite, corrupted by the West, and infected with the pathogen of militant nationalism.

It would be much more effective to invest in the East, in the development of Siberia. By creating favorable working and living conditions, we will attract not only Russian citizens, but also people from the other parts of the former Russian Empire, including the Ukrainians. The latter have, historically, contributed a great deal to the development of Siberia.

Let me reiterate a point from my other articles: It was the incorporation of Siberia under Ivan the Terrible that made Russia a great power, not the accession of Ukraine under Aleksey Mikhaylovich, known under the moniker ‘the most peaceful’. It is high time we stopped repeating Zbigniew Brzezinski’s disingenuous – and so strikingly Polish – assertion that Russia cannot be a great power without Ukraine. The opposite is much closer to the truth: Russia cannot be a great power when it is burdened by an increasingly unwieldy Ukraine – a political entity created by Lenin which later expanded westward under Stalin.

The most promising path for Russia lies with the development and strengthening of ties with China. A partnership with Beijing would multiply the potential of both countries many times over. If the West carries on with its bitterly hostile policies, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to consider a temporary five-year defense alliance with China. Naturally, one should also be careful not to get ‘dizzy with success’ on the China track, so as not to return to the medieval model of China’s Middle Kingdom, which grew by turning its neighbors into vassals. We should help Beijing wherever we can to keep it from suffering even a momentary defeat in the new Cold War unleashed by the West. That defeat would weaken us, too. Besides, we know all too well what the West transforms into when it thinks it is winning. It took some harsh remedies to treat America’s hangover after it got drunk with power in the 1990s.

Clearly, an East-oriented policy must not focus solely on China. Both the East and the South are on the rise in global politics, economics, and culture, which is partly due to our undermining of the West’s military superiority – the primary source of its 500-year hegemony.

When the time comes to establish a new system of European security to replace the dangerously outdated existing one, it must be done within the framework of a greater Eurasian project. Nothing worthwhile can be born out of the old Euro-Atlantic system.

It is self-evident that success requires the development and modernization of the country’s economic, technological, and scientific potential – all pillars of a country’s military power, which remains the backbone of any nation’s sovereignty and security. Russia cannot be successful without improving the quality of life for the majority of its people: This includes overall prosperity, healthcare, education, and the environment. 

The restriction of political freedoms, which is inevitable when confronting the collective West, must by no means extend to the intellectual sphere. This is difficult, but achievable. For the talented, creatively-minded part of the population who are ready to serve their country, we must preserve as much intellectual freedom as possible. Scientific development through Soviet-style ‘sharashkas’ (research and development laboratories operating within the Soviet labor camp system) is not something that would work in the modern world. Freedom enhances the talents of Russian people, and inventiveness runs in our blood. Even in foreign policy, the freedom from ideological constraints that we enjoy offers us massive advantages compared to our more close-minded neighbors. History teaches us that the brutal restriction of freedom of thought imposed by the Communist regime on its people led the Soviet Union to ruin. Preserving personal freedom is an essential condition for any nation’s development.

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If we want to grow as a society and be victorious, it is absolutely vital that we develop a spiritual backbone – a national idea, an ideology that unites and shines the way forward. It is a fundamental truth that great nations cannot be truly great without such an idea at their core. This is part of the tragedy that happened to us in the 1970s and 1980s. Hopefully, the resistance of the ruling elites to the advancement of a new ideology, rooted in the pains of the communist era, is beginning to fade. Vladimir Putin’s speech at the October 2021 annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club was a powerful reassuring signal in that respect.

Like the ever-growing number of Russian philosophers and authors, I have put forward my own vision of the ‘Russian idea’[3]. (I apologize for having to reference my own publications again – it is an inevitable side effect of having to stick to the format).

Questions for the future

And now let’s discuss a significant, yet mostly overlooked aspect of the new policy that needs to be addressed. We need to dismiss and reform the obsolete and often harmful ideological foundation of our social sciences and public life for this new policy to get implemented, let alone succeed.

This doesn’t mean we have to reject once again the advancements in political science, economy, and foreign affairs of our predecessors. The Bolsheviks tried to dump the social ideas of tsarist Russia – everybody knows how this played out. We rejected Marxism and were happy about it. Now, fed up with other tenets, we realize we were too impatient with it. Marx, Engels, and Lenin had sound ideas in their theory of imperialism we could use.

Social sciences that study the ways of public and private life have to take into account national context, however inclusive it wants to appear. It stems from the national history and ultimately is aimed to help the nations and/or their government and elites. The mindless application of solutions valid in one country to another are fruitless and only create abominations.

We need to start working towards intellectual independence after we achieve military security and political and economic sovereignty. In the new world, it’s compulsory to achieve development and exert influence. Mikhail Remizov, a prominent Russian political scientist, was the first, as far as I know, to call this ‘intellectual decolonization’.

Having spent decades in the shadow of imported Marxism, we’ve begun a transition to yet another foreign ideology of liberal democracy in economics and political science and, to certain extent, even in foreign policy and defense. This fascination has done us no good – we’ve lost land, technology, and people. In the mid-2000s, we started to exercise our sovereignty, but had to rely on our instincts rather than clear national (again – it cannot be anything else) scientific and ideological principles.

We still don’t have the courage to acknowledge that the scientific and ideological worldview we’ve had for the last forty to fifty years is obsolete and/or was intended to serve foreign elites.

To illustrate this point, here are a few randomly picked questions from my very long list.

I’ll start with existential issues, purely philosophical ones. What comes first in humans, the spirit or the matter? And in the more mundane political sense – what drives people and states in the modern world? To common Marxists and liberals, the answer is the economy. Just remember that until recently Bill Clinton’s famous “It’s the economy, stupid” was thought to be an axiom. But people seek something greater when the basic need for food is satisfied. Love for their family, their homeland, desire for national dignity, personal freedoms, power, and fame. The hierarchy of needs has been well known to us since Maslow introduced it in the 1940–50s in his famous pyramid. Modern capitalism, however, twisted it, forcing ever-expanding consumption via traditional media at first and all-encompassing digital networks later – for rich and poor, each according to their ability.

What can we do when the modern capitalism deprived of moral or religious foundations incites limitless consumption, breaking down moral and geographic boundaries and comes into conflict with nature, threatening the very existence of our species? We, Russians, understand better than anybody that attempts to get rid of entrepreneurs and capitalists who are driven by the desire to build wealth will have disastrous consequences for society and the environment (the socialist economy model wasn’t exactly environmentally friendly).

What do we do with the latest values of rejecting history, your homeland, gender, and beliefs, as well as aggressive LGBT and ultra-feminist movements? I respect the right to follow them, but I think they’re post-humanist. Should we treat this as just another stage of social evolution? I don’t think so. Should we try to ward it off, limit its spread, and wait till society lives through this moral epidemic? Or should we actively fight it, leading the majority of humanity that adheres to so-called “conservative” values or, to put it simply, normal human values? Should we get into the fight escalating an already dangerous confrontation with the Western elites?

The technological development and increased labor productivity have helped feed the majority of people, but the world itself has slipped into anarchy, and many guiding principles have been lost at the global level. Security concerns, perhaps, are prevailing over the economy once again. Military instruments and the political will might take the lead from now on.

What is military deterrence in the modern world? Is it a threat to cause damage to national and individual assets or foreign assets and information infrastructure to which today’s Western elites are tied so closely? What will become of the Western world if this infrastructure is brought down?

And a related question: What is strategic parity we still talk about today? Is it some foreign nonsense picked by Soviet leaders who sucked their people into an exhausting arms race because of their inferiority complex and June 22, 1941 syndrome? Looks like we are already answering this question, even though we still churn out speeches about equality and symmetrical measures.

And what is this arms control many believe to be instrumental? Is it an attempt to restrain the expensive arms race beneficial to the wealthier economy, to limit the risk of hostilities or something more – a tool to legitimize the race, the development of arms, and the process of unnecessary programs on your opponent? There’s no obvious answer to that.

But let’s go back to the more existential questions.

Is democracy really the pinnacle of political development? Or is it just another tool that helps the elites control society, if we are not talking about Aristotle’s pure democracy (which also has certain limitations)? There are many tools that come and go as society and conditions change. Sometimes we abandon them only to bring them back when the time is right and there’s external and internal demand for them. I’m not calling for boundless authoritarianism or monarchy. I think we have already overdone it with centralization, especially at the municipal government level. But if this is just a tool, shouldn’t we stop pretending that we strive for democracy and put it straight – we want personal freedoms, a prosperous society, security, and national dignity? But how do we justify power to the people then?

Is the state really destined to die off, as Marxists and liberal globalists used to believe, as they dreamed of alliances between transnational corporations, international NGOs (both have been going through nationalization and privatization), and supranational political bodies? We’ll see how long the EU can survive in its current form. Note that I don’t want to say there’s no reason to join national efforts for the greater good, like bringing down expensive custom barriers or introducing joint environmental policies. Or isn’t it better to focus on developing your own state and supporting neighbors while disregarding global problems created by others? Aren’t they going to mess with us if we act this way?

What is the role of land and territories? Is it a dwindling asset, a burden as was believed among political scientists only recently? Or the greatest national treasure, especially in the face of the environmental crisis, climate change, the growing deficit of water and food in some regions and the total lack of it in others?

What should we do then with hundreds of millions of Pakistanis, Indians, Arabs, and others whose lands might soon be uninhabitable? Should we invite them now as the US and Europe began to do in the 1960s, drawing migrants to bring down the cost of local labor and undermine the trade unions? Or should we prepare to defend our territories from the outsiders? In that case, we should abandon all hope to develop democracy, as Israel’s experience with its Arab population shows.

Would developing robotics, which is currently in a sorry state, help compensate for the lack of workforce and make those territories livable again? What is the role of indigenous Russian people in our country, considering their number will inevitably keep shrinking? Given that Russians have historically been an open people, the prospects might be optimistic. But so far it’s unclear.

I can go on and on, especially when it comes to the economy. These questions need to be asked and it’s vital to find answers as soon as possible in order to grow and come out on top. Russia needs a new political economy – free from Marxist and liberal dogmas, but something more than the current pragmatism our foreign policy is based on. It must include forward-oriented idealism, a new Russian ideology incorporating our history and philosophical traditions. This echoes the ideas put forward by the academic Pavel Tsygankov.

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I believe that this is the ultimate goal of all our research in foreign affairs, political science, economics and philosophy. This task is beyond difficult. We can continue contributing to our society and our country only by breaking our old thinking patterns. But to end on an optimistic note, here’s a humorous thought: Isn’t it time to recognize that the subject of our studies – foreign affairs, domestic policies, and the economy – is the result of a creative process involving masses and leaders alike? To recognize that it is, in a way, art? To a large degree, it defies explanation and stems from intuition and talent. And so we are like art experts: We talk about it, identify trends and teach the artists – the masses and the leaders – history, which is useful to them. We often get lost in the theoretical, though, coming up with ideas divorced from reality or distorting it by focusing on separate fragments.

Sometimes we do make history: think Evgeny Primakov or Henry Kissinger. But I’d argue they didn’t care what approaches to this art history they represented. They drew upon their knowledge, personal experience, moral principles, and intuition. I like the idea of us being a type of art expert, and I believe it can make the daunting task of revising the dogmas a little easier.

This article was first published online by the Russia in Global Affairs journal.

القمة الصينية الروسية.. ولادة عالَمٍ جديدٍ

الثلاثاء 14شباط 2021

عمرو علان

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

البيان الختامي للقمة تناول في 5000 كلمةٍ العديد من القضايا

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

صفقات استراتيجية في عدة حقول رئيسية، كالطاقة وتكنولوجيا الفضاء.

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

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

صفقات استراتيجية

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

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

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

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

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

تنسيق المواقف

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

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

رؤية الصين وروسيا إلى النظام العالمي

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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سقوط معادلة كسينجر روسيا والصين

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لا ينكر المحللون الاستراتيجيون الأميركيون دور الانفتاح الأميركي على الصين قبل نصف قرن، وفقاً للصفقة التي أبرمها هنري كيسنجر كمستشار للأمن القومي الأميركي لحكم الرئيس ريتشارد نيكسون، مع رئيس وزراء الصين يومها شي أون لاي، في توفير البيئة اللازمة للتفرّغ لمواجهة الاتحاد السوفياتي، وصولاً للنجاح بتفكيكه عام 1990. وكانت المعادلة التي أقامها كيسنجر وشكلت أساس عقيدته للأمن القومي بعد حرب فييتنام، وتابعها من بعده زبيغنيو بريجنسكي مستشار الأمن القومي في حكم الرئيس رونالد ريغان بالتعاون مع رئيس المخابرات يومها جورج بوش الأب قبل أن يصبح نائباً للرئيس فرئيساً، يواصل السياسات ذاتها، هي معادلة قدمي النسر، وتقوم على إغراء الصين بفك الحصار المالي والغذائي عنها، لرد خطر المجاعة التي تهدد دائماً تكاثرها السكاني الضخم، وما يعنيه ذلك من غض نظر عما تصفه الوكالات الأميركية المعنية بانتهاكات صينية للمعايير الأميركية لحقوق الإنسان والتجارة العالمية وحقوق الملكية الفكرية، مقابل امتناع الصيني عن وضع سياسة خارجية نشطة تخرج عن مجرد تثبيت المواقف على طريقة رفع العتب، وخصوصا لما يتصل بملفات المواجهة بين واشنطن وموسكو، على قاعدة اعتبار الاتحاد السوفياتي عدواً أول لأميركا، ومنافساً ايديولوجياً للصين، وبالتوازي تقوم عقيدة كيسنجر على خوض مواجهة ضارية مع الاتحاد السوفياتي محورها سباق تسلّح يقود موسكو نحو الإفلاس، ويدفع بنظام أمانها الاجتماعي الى الانهيار.

بعد تحقيق ما رسمته عقيدة كيسنجر من أهداف قبل ثلاثة عقود، أدارت واشنطن ظهرها للصين وروسيا، متفرغة لملء الفراغ الجيواستراتيجي الناتج عن انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي، ففي العقد الأول كان اهتمامها على حسم المساحة الأوروبية التي خرجت منها موسكو، وبعد العام 2000 توجّهت واشنطن نحو آسيا لملء الفراغات الناشئة في مناطق الصراع، وشكلت أفغانستان والعراق الوجهة الطبيعية، وفقاً لعقيدة أخرى وضعها بريجنسكي بعد انتصار الثورة الإسلامية في إيران، هي معادلة فتحات السدود، وعنوانها نصب الحواجز وإزالة الحواجز، ترتكز عملياً على ثنائية أوكرانيا وأفغانستان، حيث أمن روسيا يحسم في أوكرانيا، لدرجة التداخل الجغرافي والسكاني بينها وبين روسيا، وأمن آسيا يحسم في أفغانستان لموقعها الجغرافي كحاجز برّي يمنع التلاقي الجغرافي بين عمالقة آسيا، روسيا والصين وإيران، ومنذ ذلك التاريخ والتعثر يرافق السياسات الأميركية، وصولاً لضم روسيا لشبه جزيرة القرم، وانسحاب القوات الأميركية من أفغانستان.

خلال العقود الثلاثة الماضية كانت النهضة المتحررة من أعباء المنافسة الافتراضيّة بين موسكو وبكين، تسجل تقدماً حثيثاً، وتتحوّل معها كل منهما إلى دولة قوية ومقتدرة، وتشكل كل منهما مصدراً لتلبية حاجات الآخر، فروسيا البلد الأول في العالم في تصدير النفط والغاز معاً، والصين هي البلد الأول في العالم في الاستهلاك الصناعي للنفط والغاز، وبعد التكامل السياسي والعسكري تأتي الخطوة الأخيرة بإعلان التكامل الاقتصادي، لتشكل الضربة القاضية للأحلام الأميركية باستعادة فرص الحياة لمشروع الهيمنة والأحادية، وليس غريباً الآن أن تنتشر في واشنطن، نظريات الإدانة لمعادلات كيسنجر وبريجنسكي، على قاعدة الاعتراف بالفشل، لكن بما هو أخطر، وهو استحالة ترميم المشهد وتعديل الاتجاه، وفيما تبدو السياسات الأميركية انفعاليّة وأقرب للعشوائية، تبدو كل من روسيا والصين وهما تعملان وفقاً لخطة وروزنامة، لترتسم معامل العالم الجديد، تحت عنوان التعدديّة وسقوط الهيمنة، ونهوض الدولة الوطنيّة التي جعلتها منظومة العولمة الأميركية الفكرية والسياسية هدفاً يجب إسقاطه.

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Full text of Putin’s signed article for Xinhua: Russia and China: A Future-Oriented Strategic Partnership

February 02, 2022

Source

President of the Russian Federation

Vladimir Putin

On the eve of my upcoming visit to China, I am pleased to communicate directly with the Chinese and foreign audience of Xinhua, the largest news agency.

Our countries are close neighbours bound by centuries-old traditions of friendship and trust. We highly appreciate that Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, entering a new era, has reached an unprecedented level and become a model of efficiency, responsibility, and aspiration for the future. Last year, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. The basic principles and guidelines for joint work were defined by our two countries in the treaty, which include first and foremost, equality, consideration of one another’s interests, freedom from political and ideological circumstances as well as from the vestiges of the past. These are the principles we consistently build on year after year in the spirit of continuity to deepen our political dialogue. Despite the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are striving to build the capacity of economic partnerships and expand people-to-people exchanges.

During the upcoming visit, President Xi Jinping and I will thoroughly discuss key issues on the bilateral, regional, and global agendas. It is symbolic that our meeting will take place during the Spring Festival – the Chinese Lunar New Year. After all, as the Chinese saying goes, “The whole year’s work depends on a good start in spring.”

The development of business ties will certainly be given special attention. There is every opportunity for this as our countries have substantial financial, industrial, technological and human resources allowing us to successfully resolve long-term development issues. Working together, we can achieve stable economic growth and improve the well-being of our citizens, strengthen our competitiveness, and stand together against today’s risks and challenges.

At the end of 2021, the volume of mutual trade increased by more than a third, exceeding the record level of 140 billion U.S. dollars. We are well on the way towards our goal of increasing the volume of trade to 200 billion U.S. dollars a year. A number of important initiatives are being implemented in the investment, manufacturing, industrial and agricultural sectors. In particular, the portfolio of the Intergovernmental Commission on Investment Cooperation includes 65 projects worth over 120 billion U.S. dollars. This is about collaboration in such fields as mining and mineral processing, infrastructure construction, and agriculture.

We are consistently expanding settlements in national currencies and creating mechanisms to offset the negative impact of unilateral sanctions. A major milestone in this work was the signing of an agreement between the Government of Russia and the Government of China on payments and settlements in 2019.

A mutually beneficial energy partnership is being formed between our countries. Along with long-term oil and gas supplies to China, we have plans to implement a number of large-scale joint projects. The construction of four new power units at Chinese nuclear power plants with the participation of Rosatom State Corporation launched last year is one of them. All this significantly strengthens the energy security of China and the Asia region as a whole.

We see an array of opportunities in developing partnerships in information and communication technologies, medicine, space exploration, including the use of national navigation systems and the International Lunar Research Station project. A strong impetus to strengthening bilateral ties was given by the cross Years of Russian-Chinese Scientific and Technological Innovation in 2020-2021.

We are grateful to our Chinese colleagues for their assistance in launching the production of Russian Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines in China and for the timely supply of necessary protective equipment to our country. We hope that this cooperation will develop and strengthen.

One of Russia’s strategic objectives is to accelerate the social and economic development of Siberia and the Russian Far East. These territories are in the immediate neighborhood of China. We also intend to actively develop sub-national cooperation. Thus, the modernization of the Baikal-Amur Mainline and the Trans-Siberian Railway has been started. By 2024, their capacity will increase one and a half times through higher volumes of transit cargo and reduced transport time. The port infrastructure in the Russian Far East is also growing. All this should further enhance the complementarity of the Russian and Chinese economies.

And, of course, the conservation of nature and shared ecosystems remains an important area of local and cross-border cooperation. These issues have always been a focus of our countries’ public attention, and we will certainly discuss them in detail during the meeting, as well as a wide range of people-to-people and cultural topics.

Russia and China are countries with thousands of years of unique traditions and celebrated cultural heritage. Interest in Russian and Chinese cultures is high in both and other countries. It is true that in the last two years the number of tourists, joint big-scale events and direct contacts between our citizens has reduced due to the pandemic. However, I have no doubt that we will catch up and, as soon as the situation allows, will launch new outreach and educational programs to introduce our citizens to the history and present-day life of the two countries. Thus, President Xi Jinping and I have agreed to hold the Years of Sports Exchanges in 2022 and 2023.

Certainly, an important part of the visit will be a discussion of relevant international topics. Foreign policy coordination between Russia and China is based on close and coinciding approaches to solving global and regional issues. Our countries play an important stabilizing role in today’s challenging international environment, promoting greater democracy in the system of international relations to make it more equitable and inclusive. We are working together to strengthen the central coordinating role of the United Nations in global affairs and to prevent the international legal system, with the UN Charter at its centre, from being eroded.

Russia and China are actively cooperating on the broadest agenda within BRICS, the Russia-India-China framework, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as well as other multilateral frameworks. Within the G20, we are committed to taking national specifics into account when formulating our recommendations, be it the fight against pandemics or the implementation of the climate agenda. Thanks to a large extent to our countries’ shared solidarity, following the 2021 G20 Summit in Rome, informed decisions were made on international cooperation to restore economic growth, recognize vaccines and vaccine certificates, optimize energy transition, and reduce the risks of digitalization.

We also have convergent positions on international trade issues. We advocate maintaining an open, transparent and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system based on the rules of the World Trade Organization. We support restoring global supply chains. Back in March 2020, Russia proposed an initiative on “green trade corridors” that excludes any sanctions, political and administrative barriers. Its implementation is a useful aid to overcoming the economic consequences of the pandemic.

The XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing will be a major event of global significance. Russia and China are leading sporting nations renowned for their sporting traditions and have hosted large international sports games more than once. I fondly remember my visit to Beijing in August 2008 to attend the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Guests and athletes from Russia will remember the vivid performance for a long time, and the Games themselves were organized with the exceptional hospitality inherent to our Chinese friends. For our part, we were delighted to host President Xi Jinping at the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Sadly, attempts by a number of countries to politicize sports for their selfish interests have recently intensified. This is fundamentally wrong and contrary to the very spirit and principles of the Olympic Charter. The power and greatness of sports are that they bring people together, give moments of triumph and national pride as well as delight with fair, just and unwavering competition. And these approaches are shared by most of the countries participating in the international Olympic Movement.

Our Chinese friends have done tremendous work to prepare well for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. I am convinced that China’s extensive experience in the excellent organization of representative international competitions will make it possible to hold this global festival of sports of the highest level. I would like to wish the Russian and Chinese teams impressive results and new records!

I send my warmest congratulations to the friendly people of China on the occasion of the Spring Festival, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Tiger. I wish you good health, prosperity, and success. ■

https://english.news.cn/20220203/c11f134fb822487a83a8361d61d9c1af/c.html

Exit Nord Stream 2, Enter Power of Siberia 2

THURSDAY 23 DEC 21

Military superpower Russia, having had enough of U.S./NATO bullying, is now dictating the terms of a new arrangement.

PEPE ESCOBAR 

Coming straight from President Putin, it did sound like a bolt from the sky:

“We need long-term legally binding guarantees even if we know they cannot be trusted, as the U.S. frequently withdraws from treaties that become uninteresting to them. But it’s something, not just verbal assurances.”

And that’s how Russia-U.S. relations come to the definitive crunch – after an interminable series of polite red alerts coming from Moscow.

Putin once again had to specify that Russia is looking for “indivisible, equitable security” – a principle established since Helsinki in 1975 – even though he no longer sees the U.S. as a dependable “partner”, that diplomatically nicety so debased by the Empire since the end of the USSR.

The “frequently withdrawing from treaties” passage can easily be referred to as Washington in 2002 under Bush Jr. pulling out of the ABM treaty signed between the U.S. and the USSR in 1972. Or it could be referred to as the U.S. under Trump destroying the JCPOA signed with Iran and guaranteed by the UN. Precedents abound.

Putin was once again exercising the Taoist patience so characteristic of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: explaining the obvious not only to a Russian but also a global audience. The Global South may easily understand this reference; “When international law and the UN Charter interfere, they [the U.S.] declare it all obsolete and unnecessary.”

Earlier, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko had been uncommonly assertive – leaving nothing for the imagination:

“We just make it clear that we are ready to talk about switching over from a military or a military-technical scenario to a political process that will strengthen the security of all countries in the area of the OCSE, Euro-Atlantic and Eurasia. If that doesn’t work out, we signaled to them [NATO] that we will also move over to creating counter threats, but it will then be too late to ask us why we made these decisions and why we deployed these systems.”

So in the end it comes down to Europeans facing “the prospect of turning the continent into a field of military confrontation.” That will be the inevitable consequence of a NATO “decision” actually decided in Washington.

Incidentally: any possible, future “counter threats” will be coordinated between Russia and China.

Mr. Zircon is on the line, Sir

Every sentient being from Atlanticist shores to Eurasian steppes by now knows the content of the Russian draft agreements on security guarantees presented to the Americans, as detailed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

Key provisions include no further NATO expansion; no Ukraine admission; no NATO shenanigans in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia; Russia and NATO agreeing not to deploy intermediate and short-range missiles in areas from where they can hit each other’s territory; establishment of hotlines; and the NATO-Russia Council actively involved in resolving disputes.

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs extensively reiterated that the Americans received “detailed explanations of the logic of the Russian approach”, so the ball is in Washington’s court.

Well, National Security advisor Jake Sullivan at first seemed to kick it, when he admitted, on the record, that Putin may not want to “invade” Ukraine.

Then there were rumblings that the Americans would get back to Moscow this week with their own “concrete security proposals”, after de facto writing the script for their NATO minions, invariably conveyed in spectacularly mediocre fashion by secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg.

The Ukraine narrative didn’t change an inch: “severe measures” – of an economic and financial nature – remain in the pipeline if Russia engages in “further aggression” in Ukraine.

Moscow was not fooled. Ryabkow had to specify, once again, that the Russian proposals were on a bilateral basis. Translation: we talk only to those with deciding power, not to minions. The involvement of other countries, Ryabkov said, “will deprive them of their meaning.”

From the start, NATO’s response had been predictably obvious: Russia is conducting a “substantial, unprovoked, and unjustified” military buildup along its border with Ukraine and is making “false … claims of Ukrainian and NATO provocations”.

That once again proved the point it’s a monumental waste of time to discuss with yapping chihuahuas of the Stoltenberg variety, for whom “NATO expansion will continue, whether Russia likes it or not.”

In fact, whether U.S. and NATO functionaries like it or not, what’s really happening in the realpolitk realm is Russia dictating new terms from a position of power. In a nutshell: you may learn the new game in town in a peaceful manner, civilized dialogue included, or you will learn the hard way via a dialogue with Mr. Iskandr, Mr. Kalibr, Mr. Khinzal and Mr. Zircon.

The inestimable Andrei Martyanov has extensively analysed for years now all the details of Russia’s overwhelming military dominance, hypersonic and otherwise, across the European space – as well as the dire consequences if the U.S. and NATO minions “decide that they want to continue to play dumb.”

Martyanov has also noted that Russia “understands the split with the West and is ready to take any consequences, including, already declining, shrinkage of trade and reduction of the supply of hydrocarbons to the EU.”

That’s where the whole ballet around the security guarantees intersects with the crucial Pipelineistan angle. To sum it all up: exit Nord Stream 2, enter Power of Siberia 2.

So let’s revisit why the looming energy catastrophe in the EU is not forcing anyone in Russia to lose his/her sleep.

Dancing in the Siberian night

One of the top takeaways of the strategic Putin-Xi video conference last week was the immediate future of Power of Siberia 2 – which will snake in across Mongolia to deliver up to 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to China.

So it was hardly an accident that Putin received Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh in the Kremlin, the day after he talked to Xi, to discuss Power of Siberia 2. The key parameters of the pipeline have already been set, a feasibility study will be completed in early 2022, and the deal – minus last-minute pricing tune-ups – is practically clinched.

Power of Siberia 2 follows the 2,200 km long Power of Siberia 1, launched in 2019 from Eastern Siberia to northern China and the focus of a $400 billion deal struck between Gazprom and China’s CNPC. Power of Siberia 1’s full capacity will be reached in 2025, when it will be supplying 38 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

Power of Siberia 2, a much bigger operation, was planned years ago, but it was hard to find consensus on the final route. Gazprom wanted Western Siberia to Xinjiang across the Altai mountains. The Chinese wanted transit via Mongolia straight into central China. The Chinese eventually prevailed. The final route across Mongolia was decided only two months ago. Construction should begin in 2024.

This is a massive geoeconomic game-changer, totally in line with the increasingly sophisticated Russia-China strategic partnership. But it’s also supremely important geopolitically (Remember Xi: China supports Russia’s “core interests”).

The gas for Power of Siberia 2 will come from the same fields currently supplying the EU market. Whatever demented concoctions the European Commission – and the new German government – may apply on stalling the operation of Nord Stream 2, Gazprom’s main focus will be China.

It doesn’t matter for Gazprom that China as a customer in the near future will not fully replace the whole EU market. What matters is the steady business flow and the absence of infantile politicking. For China what matters is an extra, guaranteed overland supply rote boosting its strategy of “escaping from Malacca”: the possibility, in case Cold War 2.0 turns hot, that the U.S. Navy would eventually block maritime shipping of energy sources via Southeast Asia to China.

Beijing of course is all over the place when it comes to buying Russian natural gas. The Chinese have a 30% stake in Novatek’s $27 billion Yamal project and a 20% stake in the $21 billion Arctic project.

So welcome to 2022 and the new, high stakes realpolitik Great Game.

U.S. elites had been terrified of playing Russia against China because they fear this would lead Germany to ally with Russia and China – leaving the Empire of Chaos out in the cold.

And that leads to the “mystery” inside the enigma of the whole Ukrainian face: use it to force the EU away from Russian natural resources.

Russia is turning the whole show upside down. As an energy superpower, instead of an internally corroded EU dictated by NATO, Russia will be mostly focused on its Asian customers.

In parallel, military superpower Russia, having had enough of U.S./NATO bullying, is now dictating the terms of a new arrangement. Lavrov confirmed the first round of Russia-U.S. talks on security guarantees will be held in early 2022.

Are these ultimatums? Not really. Seems like Ryabkov, with notable didacticism, will have to keep explaining it over and over again: “We do not speak in the language of ultimatums with anyone. We have a responsible attitude towards our own security and the security of others. The point is not that we have issued an ultimatum, not at all, but that the seriousness of our warning must not be underestimated.”

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فيينا نحو الاتفاق عاجلاً أو آجلاً

الجمعة 17 كانون أول 2021

 ناصر قنديل

تمر إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن بأسوأ ظروف مرت على إدارة تسلمت البيض الأبيض، ففي الوقت الذي تعاني الخزانة الأميركية من أزمة ديون تتجاوز الخطوط الحمراء، وتضخم مالي تتآكل معه القدرة الشرائية للأميركيين أمام إرتفاعات الأسعار، يسود ركود اقتصادي تزيده كورونا تفاقماً، وتتعقد المنافسة التجارية مع الصين في غير صالح الاقتصاد الأميركي، بينما المواجهة التي فتحتها إدارة بايدن مع روسيا حول أوكرانيا، في ظرف تدرك الإدارة أنها لا تستطيع الذهاب إلى الخيار العسكري، وأن العقوبات التي تلوح بها لم تعد تجد نفعاً مع الرئيس الروسي، بل أن موسكو حولت هذا التحدي إلى فرصة، وفتحت الباب لطرح مطالبها المزمنة مقابل تعهداتها تجاه أوكرانيا، لجهة طلب تعهدات حلف الناتو بعدم ضم دول شرق أوروبا إلى صفوفه، بينما يخرج إلى العلن حلف صيني- روسي سياسي عسكري اقتصادي، أول مخرجاته قرار بكسر حصرية الدولار في التعامل التجاري، وفي ظل هذه الظروف الشديدة التعقيد تخوض واشنطن مفاوضات أشد تعقيداً مع إيران حول ملفها النووي، الذي انسحبت منه أميركا وتدفع الثمن السياسي والقانوني لانسحابها أمام إيران التي نجحت بإثبات إلتزامها لسنتين، وعندما خرجت عن بعض الإلتزامات نجحت بتوظيفها لتحسين وضعها النووي أضعافاً مضاعفة، بينما لم ينفع الانسحاب أميركا بشيء.

احتاجت واشنطن لوقت كي تستوعب أنها الطرف الأضعف في المفاوضات، كما احتاج شركاؤها الأوروبيون، فقد بدأ التفاوض وفي العقل الغربي أن مجرد التلويح لإيران بفرص العودة إلى الاتفاق سيكون كافياً لتتلقف إيران الأمر بالإستعداد لوقف اجراءاتها من خارج الاتفاق، ويدخل التفاوض إلى نوعية العقوبات التي يمكن رفعها، كما توهم الأميركيون والأوروبيون أن ما تم خلال فترة الانسحاب الأميركي من الاتفاق وما رافقه من عقوبات حقق الضغط اللازم على إيران، أي أنه أنضجها لقبول ما لم يكن مقبولاً عندها من قبل، ولذلك يمكن القول إن ما مر من وقت التفاوض كانت مهمته من وجهة نظر الوفد الإيراني إفهام الأميركيين والأوروبيين بوضوح أنهم أصحاب الحاجة الأصلية للعودة إلى الاتفاق، وأن إيران تأقلمت مع العقوبات، وأنهم لا يملكون بدائل للاتفاق بخلاف إيران التي تملك خيار المضي ببرنامجها النووي إلى لحظة الرعب النووية للغرب، وأنها بعدما تخلصت من العقوبات الأممية باتت طرفاً في حلف مع روسيا والصين يضمن لها عدم عودة هذه العقوبات، وأنها اقتصادياً تخطت الكثير من عقد العقوبات أمام المتاجرة قبل اتفاقها الاستراتيجي مع الصين فكيف بعده.

ما جرى في اليومين الأخيرين يقول إن واشنطن والعواصم الأوروبية بدأوا يلامسون الواقع بصورة أفضل من أوهام العظمة التي دخلوا التفاوض على أساسها، لكنهم لم يصلوا بعد إلى اللحظة التي تصنع الاتفاق، لكن إعتمادهم أسلوب تبادل الأوراق مع الوفد الإيراني المحترف والممسك جيداً بملفاته، سواء في ملف العقوبات بالتفاصيل أو الملف النووي بأشد التفاصيل دقة، يقول إن الإقرار بالحاجة للتعامل بجدية مع توازن القوى الموضوعي المحيط بالتفاوض بعقلية السعي لتسريع التفاوض وبلوغ النتيجة الايجابية، قد بدأ، لكن واشنطن تواجه مشكلتين خطيرتين، الأولى حالة حلفائها الاقليميين وخصوصاً السعودية و”إسرائيل”، وعجزهما عن التأقلم بسهولة مع إتفاق تقبل به إيران، وينظر إليها كرضوخ أميركي للشروط الإيرانية، والثانية كيفية تقديم الضمانات التي تطلبها إيران مقابل خطر الانسحاب الأميركي مجدداً من الاتفاق، ومصير أجهزة الطرد المركزي المتطورة التي تم تركيبها وكميات اليورانيوم التي تم تخصيبها، واصرار إيران على اعتبار الحفاظ عليها ضمانة موازية بديلة.

المفاوضات الدائرة في فيينا، بكل ما يرافقها ويحيط بها، سترسم حكماً مشهد الشرق الجديد، لكنها ستضع رؤوس الجسور لرؤية مشهد عالمي جديد، والوقت الذي تستهلكه المفاوضات ليس وقتاً ضائعاً، بل هو التعبير عن السياق اللازم لترسيم التوازنات التي ستنتج منها هذه التحولات.

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Putin and Xi plot their SWIFT escape

Russia and China’s announcement of an independent financial trading platform will free nations under US sanctions from western intrusion into their commercial activities.

December 17 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s December video summit could mark the start of some major global financial shiftsPhoto Credit: The Cradle

By Pepe Escobar

Vladimir Putin got straight to the point. At the opening of his one hour and fourteen minute video conversation with Xi Jinping on 15 December, he described Russia-China relations as “an example of genuine inter-state cooperation in the 21st century.”

Their myriad levels of cooperation have been known for years now – from trade, oil and gas, finance, aerospace and the fight against Covid-19, to the progressive interconnection of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU).

But now the stage was set for the announcement of a serious counter-move in their carefully coordinated ballet opposing the relentless Hybrid War/Cold War 2.0 combo deployed by Empire.

As Assistant to the President for Foreign Policy Yuri Ushakov succinctly explained, Putin and Xi agreed to create an “independent financial structure for trade operations that could not be influenced by other countries.”

Diplomatic sources, off the record, confirmed the structure may be announced by a joint summit before the end of 2022.

This is a stunning game-changer in more ways than one. It had been extensively discussed in previous bilaterals and in preparations for BRICS summits – mostly centered on increasing the share of yuan and rubles in Russia-China settlements, bypassing the US dollar, and opening new stock market options for Russian and Chinese investors.

Now we’ve come to the crunch. And the catalyzing event was none other than US hawks floating the – financially nuclear – idea of expelling Russia from SWIFT, the messaging network used by 11,000+ banks in over 200 countries, as well as financial institutions, for rapid money transfers worldwide.

Cutting off Russia from SWIFT would be part of a harsh new sanctions package developed in response to an ‘invasion’ of Ukraine that will never happen – mainly because the only ones praying for it are professional NATO warmongers.

Profiting from a strategic blunder

Once again, an American strategic blunder offers the Russia-China self-described “comprehensive strategic partnership” the chance to advance their coordination.

Ushakov put it very diplomatically: it’s time to bypass a SWIFT mechanism “influenced by third countries” to form “an independent financial structure.”

That amounts to a serious game-changer for the entire Global South – as scores of nations yearn to be released from a de facto US dollar dictatorship, complete with recurring Fed quantitative easing circus packages.

Russia and China have been experimenting with their alternative payment systems for quite a while now: the Russian SPFS (System for Transfer of Financial Messages) and the Chinese CIPS (Cross Border Interbank Payment System).

It won’t be easy, as the most powerful Chinese banks are deep into SWIFT and have expressed their reservations about SPFS. Yet, they will have to inevitably integrate prior to the launch of the new mechanism, possibly in late 2022.

Once the most important Russian and Chinese banks – from Sberbank to the Bank of China – adopt the system, the path opens for other banks across Eurasia and the Global South to join in.

In the long run, SWIFT, prone to non-stop American political interference, will be increasingly marginalized, or restricted to Atlanticist latitudes.

Bypassing the US dollar, on trade and all sorts of financial settlements, is an absolutely central plank of the ever-evolving Russia-China notion of a multipolar world.

The road will be long, of course, especially when it comes to offering a solid counterpoint to the US-controlled global financial system, a maze that includes the humongous investment houses of the BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street variety, with their interlocking shareholding of virtually every major multinational company.

Yet a SWIFT escape will rapidly gain momentum, because it is inextricably linked to a series of developments that Putin-Xi touched upon in their conversation, the most important of which are:

1. The progressive interconnection of BRI and EAEU, offering expanding roles to the BRICS-run New Development Bank (NDB) as well as the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

2. The increasing geopolitical and geo-economic reach of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), especially after the admission of Iran in October.

3. And crucially, the upcoming Chinese presidency of the BRICS in 2022.

China in 2022 will invest deeply in BRICS+. This expanded BRICS club will be linked to a development process that includes:

1. The consolidation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – a massive East Asia trade deal uniting China, the ASEAN 10 and Japan, and South Korea, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

2. The African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

3. And the memoranda of understanding signed between the EAEU and MERCOSUR and between the EAEU and ASEAN.

Anchoring West Asia  

Yaroslav Lissovolik, one of the world’s leading experts on BRICS+, argues that it’s now time for BRICS+ 2.0, operating in a system that opens “the possibility for bilateral and plurilateral agreements to complement the core network of regional alliances formed by BRICS countries and their respective regional neighbors.”

So if we’re talking about a major qualitative jump in terms of economic development across the Global South, the question is inevitable. What about West Asia?

All these interconnections, plus an escape from SWIFT, will certainly profit the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), arguably the flagship BRI project, to which Beijing plans to annex Afghanistan.

CPEC will be progressively connected to the future Iran-China corridor via Afghanistan, part of the 20 year Iran-China strategic deal in which BRI projects will be prominently featured. Iran and China already trade in yuan and rials, so settlements between Iran and China in a non-SWIFT mechanism will be a given.

What happened to Iran is a classic example of SWIFT becoming hostage of imperial political manipulation. Iranian banks were expelled from SWIFT in 2012, because of pressure from the usual suspects. In 2016, access was restored as part of the JCPOA, clinched in 2015. Yet in 2018, under the Trump administration, Iran was once again cut off from SWIFT.

None of that will ever happen with Iran joining the new Russia-China mechanism.

And that leads us to the interconnection of China’s BRI expansion in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. The reconstruction of Syria may be largely financed via the non-SWIFT mechanism. Same for China buying Iraqi energy. Same for the reconstruction of a Yemen possibly hosting a Chinese-owned port, part of the “string of pearls.”

Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Israel may remain in the US financial sphere of influence, or lack thereof. And even if there is no BRICS nation anchoring West Asia, and no regional integration economic agreement on the horizon, the role of the economic integrator is bound to be eventually played by China.

China will play a similar role to Brazil anchoring MERCOSUR, Russia anchoring the EAEU and South Africa anchoring the SADC/SACU.

Both BRI and the EAEU will get a tremendous boost by bypassing SWIFT. You simply can’t go multipolar if you trade using (devalued) imperial legal tender.

BRI, EAEU and those interlocking economic development agreements, combined with digital technology, will be integrating billions of people in the Global South.

Think of a possible, auspicious future spelling out cheap telecom delivering financial services and world market access, in a non-dollar environment, to all those who have been so far cut off from a truly globalized economy.

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

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