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Putin Is Right, The West’s Anti-Chinese Policy Is Indeed Repulsive

Putin Is Right, The West’s Anti-Chinese Policy Is Indeed Repulsive

14 DECEMBER 2021

Whether it’s the West’s trade and tech wars that they provoked against the People’s Republic, their fake news-driven information warfare campaigns against that country, or the AUKUS military alliance which aims to aggressively contain it through nuclear-related means, every aspect of their policy towards Beijing is indeed repulsive.

Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed the West’s anti-Chinese policy as “repulsive” while recently speaking at the “Russia Calling!” annual investment forum. He criticized the sanctions and restrictions against China as “completely unjustified” and said that “they contradict international law.” The Russian leader also condemned the Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) military alliance, which he said “does not help improve the situation in the region, it escalates tensions.” He’s right about everything that he said.

What’s so repulsive about all of this isn’t just that it’s illegal, but that it’s so hypocritical and dangerous. The West preaches a policy of so-called “democracy” and “human rights”, yet there’s nothing “democratic” or “humane” about a gang of countries such as the AUKUS states teaming up against anyone else like China. It’s anti-democratic and inhumane, especially since the sanctions are meant to hurt the Chinese people. These policies are the opposite of what the West says that it stands for.

They’re also dangerous too because they unnecessarily raise the risk of war. Two of AUKUS’ three countries are nuclear powers and are plotting to controversially proliferate nuclear submarine technology to the Asia-Pacific member of their alliance. All three have provoked differing levels of tension with China in recent years so it’s clear that this nuclear pact is aimed against the People’s Republic. The AUKUS states arrogantly assume that China will sit back and not defend itself.

Every defensive move that China takes, both in the past and in the future, is misportrayed as a so-called “unprovoked act of aggression”. This is also extremely repulsive. President Putin defended China’s military policy during his talk when he remarked that “it has the right to build its defense policy in a way to ensure the security of that huge country. Who can deny it [China] this right? It is natural that the military might grows along with the rise in the economic potential. This is a natural process.”

Taking this insight into consideration, it becomes clear that the West’s repulsive anti-Chinese policy is also unnatural. Nevertheless, delusional Western officials perversely claim that it’s actually “natural” because they say that there’s no alternative to their countries trying to keep China in check. That’s the wrong way to look at the world since mutually beneficial cooperation is the way of the future, not the zero-sum thinking that’s responsible for two World Wars and countless comparatively smaller ones.

President Putin elaborated on the reason why he isn’t concerned by China’s growing military capabilities. In his words, “why do we have to show any concern over the growing defense potential of our nearest neighbor, with which we enjoy an unprecedentedly high level of inter-state relations?” Put another way, if countries focus on cooperating in areas of shared interest like China and Russia do instead of provoking conflict like the West does, then there’s no reason to fear one another.

This is a pragmatic and natural way to conduct international relations. If the West only followed China’s and Russia’s lead by respecting other countries’ rights to govern themselves in accordance with their people’s wishes, defend themselves, and develop with whatever model they believe is best, then the world would be so much more peaceful. Instead, the West continues to cling to its reprehensible, hypocritical, and dangerous policies against China, which are endangering world peace.

President Putin advised in a different part of his speech that “We need to build such a model of international relations where all members of the international community could feel equal and where common rules are adopted. Not to live by somebody else’s rule established by no one knows who and how, but to live by common rules, agreed and adopted by the world community. It means to live by stable rule.”

The core of the problem is that the West doesn’t abide by the rules-based order legitimized by the same United Nations Charter that its governments formally agreed to respect by participating in that global body. This is the real root of its repulsive policies against China and all other peace-loving countries that respect international law. These double standards contradict the “democratic” and “human rights” rhetoric spewed by their governments. All the trouble that they cause can be traced back to this.

Whether it’s the West’s trade and tech wars that they provoked against the People’s Republic, their fake news-driven information warfare campaigns against that country, or the AUKUS military alliance which aims to aggressively contain it through nuclear-related means, every aspect of their policy towards Beijing is indeed repulsive. Raising awareness of this objective observation like President Putin did will hopefully get the West to wake up and realize how counterproductive this all is before it’s too late.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, China, Putin, US, West, New Cold War.


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Geopolitics and Terrorism

Putin ready to help Tajiks against the Taliban | Source: Asia News

Russia is ready to help Tajikistan against the Afghan Taliban, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. The Kremlin offered its support in the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), which in addition to the Russian Federation includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan itself.

Source: Asia News


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Putin To Help Belarus Overcome EU Sanctions | Source: Telesur

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin promised to help President Alexander Lukashenko overcome the economic problems caused by European Union sanctions against Belarus. Last week, the EU imposed restrictions on Belarus’ trade in petroleum derivatives, among others.

Source: Telesur


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Putin Wants Peace & Prosperity For Europe, Not Pandemonium & Problems

Putin Wants Peace & Prosperity For Europe, Not Pandemonium & Problems

28 JUNE 2021

Putin Wants Peace & Prosperity For Europe, Not Pandemonium & Problems

President Putin’s article for German media that was published on the 80th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union debunks the Mainstream Media’s lies that the Russian leader wants pandemonium and problems for Europe since he very convincingly proved that all he’s interested in is peace and prosperity.

President Putin has been maliciously misportrayed by the Western Mainstream Media as an evil genius who’s obsessed with sowing pandemonium and problems across the world, especially in Europe. The truth, as could be expected, is the exact opposite. The Russian leader is simply a pragmatic moderate who harbors no “revolutionary” designs for better or for worse, and simply believes in adhering to the traditional vision of International Relations articulated by the UN Charter. It’s very rare that he’s able to speak directly to those who’ve been misled by the Mainstream Media into believing all sorts of fake news about him and his country’s alleged intentions, but that’s precisely what he did earlier this week in an article for German media.

Published on the 80th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union, his piece about “Being Open, Despite The Past” deserves to be read by all because it debunks the misperceptions that have been propagated about Russia and especially its leader in recent years. President Putin very convincingly wrote about his desire to restore his country’s comprehensive partnership with Europe for the betterment of both of their people. He paid special attention to how the historic Russian-German reconciliation after World War II and subsequent energy cooperation during the height of the Old Cold War in 1970 helped lay the political basis for modern-day Europe.

He also wrote quite positively about what he sconsiders their shared vision of a Europe stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok and reaffirmed Russia’s civilizational and historical ties to it. In essence, he was reiterating his vision for a Greater Eurasian Partnership though with particular emphasis paid to the European dimension due to his target audience in the bloc’s de facto leader. The only two obstacles in the way of achieving this mutually beneficial dream are NATO’s aggressive military expansion towards Russia’s borders and the artificial zero-sum choice that was forced upon some countries like Ukraine to choose between Europe and Russia. If Russia-NATO ties de-escalate and the EU behaves more pragmatically towards third countries, a breakthrough might happen.

That, however, clearly requires considerable political will but thankfully the latest developments indicate that it’s finally present on part of the European side. French President Macron and German Chancellor Merkel want to invite President Putin to attend a summit of European leaders later this summer, though some countries like Poland fiercely oppose this proposal. If it happens, though, then it might end up being one of the first major outcomes of last week’s Geneva Summit which sought to de-escalate Russian-US tensions. It’s also interesting that this was reported the day after President Putin’s article that he wrote for the European audience, which suggests a sequence of events connecting Geneva, his article, and the Franco-German summit proposal.

Nobody should be under any illusions though that progress would happen at the expense of Russian-Chinese relations. There is no credible scenario wherein these two Great Powers would revert to the fierce competition that characterized their ties for many years during the Old Cold War. Neither regards International Relations as being a zero-sum game but a win-win one. Improved Russian-EU relations would actually benefit China too by making the Eurasian Land Bridge more viable than it presently is considering the ongoing sanctions regime against Moscow. That outcome would advance China’s vision for a Community of Common Destiny between itself, Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union, and the EU, thereby greatly stabilizing the supercontinent.

Europeans, both average folks and political officials alike, should therefore seriously contemplate the proposals contained in President Putin’s latest article for German media. They should realize that he’s being totally sincere and doing his utmost to articulate his country’s grand strategic vision. This doesn’t concern sowing pandemonium and problems across Europe like the Mainstream Media falsely claimed for years, but is all about ensuring peace and prosperity for their people. That mutually beneficial outcome can only occur if the EU finally musters the political will to move past it’s presently difficult era of relations with Russia and restore their comprehensive partnership in order to establish a Greater Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, EU, Putin, World War II, New Cold War, New Detente.


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Putin: We Will Continue to Support Syria’s War on Terrorism | Source: Syria Observer

Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed that Russia will continue to support Syria in its war against terrorism. He also affirmed Russia’s keenness on improving its relations with neighboring countries to achieve security.

Source: Syria Observer


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Russian-American Relations: Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

Russian-American Relations: Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

17 JUNE 2021

Russian-American Relations: Where There

The highly anticipated Putin-Biden Summit resulted in very few tangible outcomes, but obsessing over that fact misses the most important point, which is that their leaders confirmed that there’s a mutual will to improve their relations.

Presidents Putin and Biden went into Wednesday’s summit with the intention of rescuing their bilateral relations from their lowest level since the end of the Old Cold War, and while their efforts resulted in few tangible outcomes, they nevertheless succeed in confirming that they both have the will to improve their ties. The only visible successes were the decision to return their ambassadors and set up a variety of working groups, with the most important one focusing on strategic security issues. They also revealed that they discussed the Arctic, cybersecurity, and regional conflicts like Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine, as well as Iran’s nuclear program. Both leaders also expressed a desire to improve trade in the future too.

Differences still persist, however, especially over issues that the US describes as “democracy” and “human rights”. Nevertheless, these aren’t serious enough to impede the improvement of their relations. They simply agreed to disagree and that’s that. It’s much more important for both leaders to resolve their strategic security problems first and foremost, especially by negotiating a successor to the recently extended New START upon its expiry. They also needed to discuss the “rules of the road”, as President Biden put it, when it comes to their overall competition with one another. Both leaders confirmed that the talks were held in a positive atmosphere free from threats, which further confirms their desire to resolve whatever issues they realistically can.

Since not a lot of specific details were disclosed, it’s difficult to predict exactly what form their possible cooperation could take on the wide range of issues that they discussed. Even so, what’s most important is that they talked about those topics and sought to find a convergence of interests between them. This further speaks to their positive intentions in responsibly regulating their comprehensive competition with one another, the end effect of which could be a reduction of tensions in Europe. That in turn could free up the US to more aggressively “contain” China on the other side of Eurasia, but nobody should expect an intensification of such efforts anytime soon since it’ll still take some time to make progress on the Russian front, if it happens at all.

The reason for such caution is that there are still some rabidly anti-Russian members of the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) who could try to sabotage their incipient rapprochement. They already tried doing so by provoking this April’s tensions in Ukraine as well as setting President Biden up during an interview around that time to agree with his interlocutor that his Russian counterpart is a so-called “killer”. Those efforts failed to derail what the world now knows was their behind-the-scenes talks this entire time which helped pave the way for Wednesday’s summit.

That being said, the anti-Russian faction of the American “deep state” might still not given up on trying to ruin bilateral relations. Even in the event that they stage another provocation, however, it’s unclear whether Russia would react to it or even whether those closest to Biden who were responsible for organizing Wednesday’s summit would fall for it. President Putin sincerely seems to believe that his American counterpart wants to improve relations, and even though neither leader trusts the other, they appear to understand that this vision is in their mutual interests. For that reason, the anti-Russian faction of the “deep state” might not succeed.

Speculation aside, there’s no question that Wednesday’s summit was a positive development for both countries. Their leaders finally had the chance to talk face-to-face and sort out as many of their problems as possible. It’ll now be up to those below them to see to it that tangible progress is achieved on everything that they discussed. The world might have to wait some time before seeing the visible fruits of their efforts, but they should expect that they’ll eventually see something, even if only in the sphere of strategic security. That would make Wednesday’s summit a success even if nothing else improves, whether in general or right away.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, Russia, Biden, Putin, New Cold War, New Detente.


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Korybko Interview To Italian Media About Russia’s Evolving Geostrategic Vision

Korybko Interview To Italian Media About Russia’s Evolving Geostrategic Vision

16 JUNE 2021

Korybko Interview To Italian Media About Russia

OneWorld is publishing the original English version of the interview that Andrew Korybko recently gave to Italy’s Mittdolcino about Russia’s evolving geostrategic vision.

1. China and Russia do not have symmetrical interests –other than the US and Western opposition– that support natural cooperation (especially since the disparity between Russia’s low economic complexity, compared to China’s diversified and modern economy, is becoming increasingly apparent. Not to mention Russia’s concern about China’s prominence in Central Asia and even the Balkans). Would the de facto alliance between the two countries hold up, therefore, in the face of an agreement of Russia with the United States, according to what would seem to be the new “Biden doctrine”, with clear reference to the green light to the North Stream 2 gas pipeline?

I don’t agree with that assessment and responded to the famous International Relations theorist John Mearsheimer’s similar claim earlier in the year in my article explaining “Why Structural Realists Are Wrong To Predict That Russia Will Help The US Against China”. To summarize, the first point to make is that Russia and China are not “allies”, and both their leaders have confirmed this. They instead regard themselves as being strategic partners with a wider scope for cooperation than conventional allies while having none of the controversial military commitments that come with the latter relationship. Secondly, despite the economic and military asymmetries between them, they have shared interests in accelerating the emergence of the multipolar world order, which explains their close cooperation in practically all spheres that’s expected to continue for the indefinite future.

To the question of what effect an improvement (however mild) in US-Russian relations would have on Russian-Chinese relations, there’s no credible reason to doubt that the latter will remain strong and enduring. Their diplomats have recently confirmed this and there’s no chance that Russia would ever be co-opted to turn against China. Rather, the most that could happen is that the US redirects some of the pressure that it’s put on Russia’s Western flank towards China’s Southern one in the event that relations between those two improve. This wouldn’t be any fault of Russia’s own though since it’s understandable why it would want to relieve such pressure along its borders with NATO, though it won’t undertake any unilateral concessions to achieve this nor jump on the US’ anti-Chinese bandwagon. The opposite is true as the US seems to be the one undertaking such unilateral concessions with respect to the decision to waive most sanctions on Nord Stream II.

The reason why America decided to do this is that its permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) seemingly realized the futility of attempting to simultaneously contain Russia and China. Not only has that only pushed those two closer together, but that very outcome has served China’s grand strategic interests vis-a-vis the New Cold War that it’s in with the US. From the American strategic standpoint, China is a global competitor on the structural level whereas Russia is a trans-regional one mostly operating within its neighboring regions (Central & Eastern Europe, South Caucasus, West Asia, Central Asia), though with a growing strategic presence in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and most recently Africa. Nevertheless, Russia lacks the economic might to make meaningful changes to the international order, unlike China, ergo the American need to redirect its strategic focus from Moscow towards Beijing by de-escalating with the former.

2. Since the beginning of the Cold War, interactions between the US, China and Russia/Soviet Union have always played a predominant role in international relations. Whether in the years of Sino-Soviet alignment or the historic ‘Nixon in China’ moment, this game has always seen two sides aligned against the third. But is the game still relevant today? According to The Diplomat, it would appear that Russia very much enjoys the cross-courtship of the other two countries and is cynically thinking of exploiting the situation to gain more advantages. Are you aware of this possible development?

Officially speaking, Russia would prefer for there to be no New Cold War between the US and China, but since it’s powerless to stop it, Moscow seemingly intends to take maximum advantage of it in pursuit of its own interests. This takes the form of the Eurasian Great Power’s ambitions to serve as the supreme “balancing” force in Eurasia across the 21st century, to which end it aspires to present itself as a pragmatic alternative to those many countries that are increasingly compelled to choose between the US and China. In other words, just as Russia hopes to “balance” between the US and China (with the first-mentioned being dependent on the outcome of the upcoming Putin-Biden Summit though that event’s been preceded by some positive progress as of late), so too does it hope to help its partners across Eurasia do the same.

In practice, this can result in Russia playing a larger economic role in those countries, particularly when it comes to certain types of infrastructure such as energy and railroads. In addition, those countries that are most susceptible to certain Hybrid War threats can make use of Russia’s wide range of customized “Democratic Security” solutions just like Syria and the Central African Republic presently are doing. Moscow hopes to use these means to expand its influence within their “deep states”, thereby setting the stage for more comprehensive relations between them, especially in the political and commercial sense. Another avenue for achieving this is through its “vaccine diplomacy” of selling its effective Sputnik V to anyone who wants it, which also improves its soft power within each of the recipient societies.

Russia realizes that it lacks the economic capabilities to compete with China and the US, hence why it must carve out certain niches for itself, all of which enhance its partners’ “balancing” capabilities too. This is a very unique role that only Russia is poised to fulfill since its other Great Power peers like some of the EU nations or Japan don’t have the reputation for independent decision-making that Moscow does. Their attempts to replicate Russia’s model would only be superficial in the sense of de facto advancing American strategic interests vis-a-vis China without improving their partners’ “balancing” capabilities. Since Russia and China enjoy very close relations like was previously explained, Beijing isn’t expected to react negatively to Moscow’s moves since they advance their shared vision of multipolarity, unlike whatever Washington and its allies might do.

3. Will the China-European links, whether by sea through the Bering Strait or by rail through Russia, significantly alter the Silk and Belt Road by sea, i.e. the route through the Suez Canal? If so, what are the repercussions for Mediterranean Europe and the balance in the Middle East?

Most Chinese-EU trade is carried out through the high seas, though Beijing wants to increase the amount that occurs through overland routes for reasons of strategic security related to countering any scenario wherein the powerful US Navy could cut off its trade lines in the event of a crisis. There are presently several alternative East-West corridors that are either presently in service and are expected to scale up in the coming future or are seriously planned. From north to south, these are the “Polar Silk Road” through the Arctic, the Eurasian Land Bridge across Russia, the “Middle Corridor” with Turkey via Central Asia-Caspian Sea-South Caucasus, the China-Central Asia-West Asia economic corridor (“Central Asian Silk Road”), and the western expansion of the Belt & Road Initiative’s (BRI) flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (W-CPEC+) through Iran, Turkey, and thenceforth to the EU.

The consequences of these various Silk Roads on the Suez Canal won’t be felt for some time since that choke point will remain important for at least the next decade or two. Furthermore, Israel is considering something called the “Red-Med Corridor”, which is a high-speed railway connecting those two seas. It could function as a complement, if not alternative, to the Suez Canal considering the unexpected blockage that occurred earlier this year. Either way, Mediterranean Europe doesn’t have much to worry about because China will always continue to use that maritime route. This is proven by its hefty investments in the Greek port of Pireaus, as well as its plans to build a high-speed railway from there to Budapest and potentially as far north as Warsaw and maybe even Helsinki. China’s investment in north-south connectivity within Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) speaks to how seriously committed it is to continuing maritime trade with the EU via the Suez Canal.

4. In Israel, a considerable portion of the population is of Russian origin and, after all, there have always been talks between the leaders of the two countries. Considering that the United States, to use Tom Luongo’s words, has left Israel twisting in the wind, could new spaces open up for some form of cooperation between Russians and Israelis?

New spaces for cooperation have already opened up, this isn’t anything new, but is purposely ignored by most of the Mainstream and Alternative Media though for different reasons. I hyperlinked to 15 of my relevant analyses on this topic from the past few years in my article earlier this year asking, “Why Isn’t Alt-Media Asking About The S-300s After Biden’s Latest Strike in Syria?”, that should be reviewed by any readers that are interested in learning more about the reality of their de facto alliance that I describe through the portmanteau of “Rusrael”. In fact, it’s arguably one of the most consequential factors in contemporary West Asian geopolitics. The Mainstream Media doesn’t talk about it because Russia is seen as the ultimate evil whereas Israel is the ultimate good in their eyes, while the reverse is true for Alt-Media. Reporting the facts about their very close strategic coordination in West Asia would therefore undermine both of their narratives.

Russia “passively facilitated” literally hundreds of Israeli strikes against the IRGC and Hezbollah since the onset of its anti-terrorist intervention in the Arab Republic in September 2015. Just days prior to its commencement, former Prime Minister Netanyahu met President Putin in Moscow where they agreed to a so-called “deconfliction agreement” for coordinating these strikes. Furthermore, Russia acknowledged after the September 2018 mid-air incident that it pushed Iran and its allied forces away from the occupied Golan Heights at Israel’s request. It also revealed that its special forces are searching for the long-lost IDF remains in Syria, including in the middle of firefights between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and ISIS according to RT. In fact, it was through these efforts that Russia found Zachary Baumel’s remains a few years ago and gave them back to Israel.

Bilateral trade and investment is also on the rise, as are people-to-people ties, the latter of which President Putin regularly praises whenever discussing Russia’s ties with Israel. Earlier this year, the two sides also agreed to cooperate on a wide range of internal security matters according to The Times Of Israel, which importantly includes anti-terrorism as well. None of this is a secret either but is openly reported upon in both Russian and Israeli media, yet most Mainstream and Alternative Media still refuse to draw much attention to this for the earlier mentioned reasons of what essentially boil down to their respective “politically correct” narratives that they push on their audiences. The former can’t afford to present Russia in a positive light, the same as the latter can’t do the same for Israel, but curious folks can do their own research to confirm what I’ve just shared.

5. Are Russia and China in favour of the Iranian atomic bomb? What would be their reaction to an Israeli attack on Iran?

Neither of them are in favor of an Iranian atomic bomb, nor of an Israeli attack on Iran, though they don’t have much influence over either of these two scenarios. They won’t take any meaningful action to prevent either except for perhaps agreeing to UNSC sanctions against the Islamic Republic in the worst-case scenario like they previously did around a decade ago. Even so, they’re very unlikely to do so again, let alone anytime soon, since they each have plans to invest more in the Islamic Republic and therefore won’t proverbially “cut their nose to spite their face” so to speak. As for the second scenario about an Israeli strike on Iran, the most that they might do is sell air-defense systems to Tehran, but they won’t consider any sanctions against the self-professed “Jewish State”. Simply put, they intend to “balance” between those two regional rivals.

6. The American Conservative, among many others, wrote that Putin’s nightmare is called Erdogan. How will he deal with his brazen activism in the Caucasus, Turkic-speaking Asia, Ukraine and even Poland? In this sense, is an agreement with the United States, resulting from a possible appeasement between the two countries, conceivable in order to punish President Erdogan and his neo-Ottomanism?

The Russian and Turkish leaders are doing their utmost to responsibly manage their “friendly competition” with one another but this will inevitably require more than just personal diplomacy at the highest level. Part of the solution rests in strengthening trade and connectivity between them in order to serve as a deterrent to either side undertaking any unilateral action that could seriously harm the other’s interests. In practice, it can already be observed that this is occurring, which also includes Russia’s construction of Turkish nuclear reactors. Azerbaijan’s victory in last year’s Karabakh War could turn the South Caucasus into a platform for expanding connectivity between them and Iran as well per President Aliyev’s proposal for a six-country regional integration platform.

The long-term solution is for Russia and Turkey to coordinate their bilateral relations and each of their ties with the countries within their overlapping “spheres of influence” in the South Caucasus and Central Asia through the establishment of a new institutional framework or the inclusion of Ankara into existing ones that include those regions. The former could involve some sort of symbolic synergy between the “Russian World” and the “Turkic World”, while the latter might lead to Turkey joining the Eurasian Economic Union and/or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO, which is much more multilateral though and therefore less capable of focusing on those two Great Powers’ most pressing needs). Either way, the basis for sustainably regulating their “friendly competition” across this broad space must be more than just personal diplomacy and trade.

As for the US potentially co-opting Turkey in order to encourage it to disrupt the situation in the regions where it’s engaged in a now-manageable “friendly competition” with Russia, that’s always possible in theory but it’s unclear whether Ankara would agree to behave in such an irresponsible way. After all, it too benefits from stability in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Russia also doesn’t serve as an obstacle to the expansion of Turkey’s soft power and economic influence there. Moscow might feel somewhat uncomfortable with the long-term strategic consequences if Ankara’s influence uncontrollably spreads through those strategic spaces, but it’s unlikely to result in any zero-sum outcome since most of the Central Asian states are in a mutual defense pact with Russia through the CSTO. Turkey is therefore unlikely to pose any latent security threat to Russia there.

7. Despite the fact that Russia’s assertive policy is expanding all over the world, including in the so-called backyard of the United States, in your opinion its greatest political interest will continue to be Europe, not just Eastern Europe?

I’d like to clarify any potential innuendo contained in the present question which might imply that Russia’s expansion of influence across the world and especially in Europe is somewhat aggressive or destabilizing. All of Russia’s partners there, which include EU and NATO states like Hungary, voluntarily cooperate with it and aren’t doing so under any sort of duress or due to corruption. They recognize the benefits inherent in cooperating with Moscow since they rightly regard relations with Russia as a means for enhancing their respective “balancing” acts. The same is true for Germany vis-a-vis Nord Stream II since it has a shared interest with Russia in this megaproject. Unlike the US, Russia doesn’t make ultimatums of its partners nor meddles in their relations with others such as America. This is a crucial difference which explains Russia’s recent appeal to them.

To address the question after having clarified any misunderstanding that readers might have from the question that was asked, Europe as a whole will always remain very important for Russia since the country is an historical part of that civilization which is also its top trade partner. Furthermore, its economies are comparatively more developed than in most other parts of the world except North America and East Asia so there will always be an interest in expanding relations with them regardless of however dismal their current ties might be as a result of external (American) pressure on their governments. Nevertheless, Russia has begun to broaden its strategic horizons ever since 2014 in response to the sanctions that the EU imposed against it at the US’ behest. This has seen Russia diversifying its strategic focus to the Global South.

While most observers tend to concentrate on its ties with China, there’s much more to it than just that. Russia retains excellent relations with India, which it regards as a “friendly” means for “balancing” China, especially within the BRICS and SCO groups that all three of them participate in. Turkey is another important partner for Russia, especially in recent years as Ankara has sought to take advantage of its newfound ties with Moscow in order to enhance its own “balancing” act vis-a-vis the US following very serious disagreements with its NATO ally over Washington’s arming of Kurdish fighters in Syria that Turkey regards as terrorists. What’s most worthwhile paying attention to isn’t Russia’s so-called “Pivot to Asia” (or “Turn to Asia” as many in Russia describe it as), but what I’ve previously claimed is its “Ummah Pivot” of comprehensively engaging with the Muslim-majority countries along its southern periphery and beyond.

As part of its 21st-century grand strategic ambition to become the supreme “balancing” force in Eurasia, Russia has recently sought to cultivate strategic relations with non-traditional partners such as Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE as well as Turkey of course. These rapidly expanding partnerships have sometimes caused concern among some of Russia’s traditional partners such as Armenia, India, and Syria, but Moscow continues to do its utmost to “balance” between various pairs of rivals by ensuring that none of its moves towards one of them occurs at the other’s actual expense (even if it’s perceived otherwise by some). Altogether, the international Muslim community (“Ummah”), especially those countries located within West and South Asia, has suddenly emerged as an important focus of Russian strategy.

For instance, the earlier mentioned six-nation regional integration platform in the South Caucasus will serve to expand Russia’s connectivity with Turkey and Iran. The North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) with Azerbaijan, Iran, and India will place the Islamic Republic smack dab in the middle of this transregional trade route. The plans for de facto expanding CPEC northwards (N-CPEC+) through the recently agreed trilateral railway between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan (PAKAFUZ) will complement the NSTC by giving Russia another route to the Indian Ocean that it’s historically wanted to reach. These three north-south corridors will facilitate Russia’s economic outreaches with Africa, which has also recently emerged as a strategic focus, albeit nowhere near as important as the Ummah is. The ASEAN states are also promising partners as well, which Russia plans to engage with more through the Vladivostok-Chennai Maritime Corridor (VCMC) that it announced in 2019 with India.

What all of this means is that while Europe might remain Russia’s preferred partner for economic, geographic, and historical reasons, it’s no longer Moscow’s primary focus ever since 2014. China, India, and the Ummah are increasingly important to its grand strategic calculus, with each of these three now occupying complementary roles within its envisioned Greater Eurasian Partnership (GEP). In fact, successful integration with those Global South states could help compensate for the recent worsening of Russian-EU relations as well as provide Moscow with the leverage needed to perhaps broker a breakthrough in relations with Europe. After all, the EU previously thought that Russia needs it more than the reverse, but actually neither “needs” the other anymore. This might inspire more pragmatic policies by the European countries towards Russia with time, especially in the possible context of gradually improving Russian-American relations.

8. Can you give us your opinion on the abolition of the Open Skies Treaty, and your prediction on the outcome of the forthcoming meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin?

The Treaty’s abolition is an unfortunate casualty of worsened Russian-American relations, and international security will undoubtedly be adversely affected by it. As for the outcome of the forthcoming meeting between the Russian and American leaders, I predict that there won’t be any dramatic outcome but that it’ll nevertheless be a pragmatic step in the direction of responsibly regulating their comprehensive competition. This will in turn relieve pressure upon Russia’s Western flank while simultaneously freeing up the US to devote more of its resources towards “containing” China. I elaborated more on the strategic consequences of this prediction in my latest expert column for the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) titled “Towards Increasingly Complex Multipolarity: Scenario For The Future”.

In a nutshell, I foresee Russia, Turkey, India, and China continuing to expand their influence across Eurasia, both cooperating with and “balancing” against one another in various ways, most of them “friendly”. Nevertheless, these strategic dynamics are ripe for external exploitation by the US in advance of its ambition to divide and rule the supercontinent, though they also present plenty of opportunities for those countries to more sustainably stabilize it provided that they have the political will to do so, including by making some tough mutual compromises where needed. The so-called “Age of Complexity” is upon us wherein everything is evolving at an unprecedented pace, accelerated by the full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes catalyzed by the world’s uncoordinated attempts to contain COVID-19, or World War C as I call it.

Three of my most relevant analyses on this concept are about how “The Connection Between World War C & Psychological Processes Is Seriously Concerning”, “Russia’s Five Most Important Tasks For Surviving World War C”, and how “President Putin’s Davos Speech Defined The World War C Era”. It’s within this transformative context that all of the previously described processes are unfolding, which makes everything all the more uncertain and therefore complex. In my view, it’s only by obtaining a deeper understanding of everything that World War C entails that one can produce an accurate forecast nowadays considering how radically everything is changing, to say nothing about how fast the said changes are occurring. I therefore encourage everyone to publish their own thoughts about World War C in order to contribute to the literature and enrich our insight.

The interview was originally published in Italian at Mittdolcino.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, Putin, US, EU, China, India, Ummah Pivot, Africa, Balancing, New Cold War.


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Biden, Putin Prepare for Tense Talks in Geneva | Source: Wall Street Journal

President Biden is set to raise a number of thorny issues with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their summit today, from Moscow’s aggression toward Ukraine to alleged cyberattacks against the U.S.

Source: Wall Street Journal


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How Serious Are Poland’s Grand Strategic Disagreements With The US?

How Serious Are Poland’s Grand Strategic Disagreements With The US?

15 JUNE 2021

How Serious Are Poland

Few could have expected that one of America’s top allies anywhere in the world would so seriously disagree with its patron, but that’s exactly what happened after Polish officials publicly expressed deep concern over the US’ recent recalibration of relations with Russia, prompting observers to wonder exactly how far everything will go and towards what ultimate ends.

Poland is widely regarded as one of America’s top allies anywhere in the world and with good reason considering that it’s marched in lockstep with its patron ever since the end of communism in 1989 with only a single exception. That was the Obama-era “Reset” with Russia, which Poland regarded as a betrayal of its national security interests even though that policy eventually failed. History is once again repeating itself, however, after Polish officials publicly expressed deep concern over the Biden Administration’s recent recalibration of relations with Russia which some fear might be even more disastrous for their country’s national security than Obama’s plans to change the nature of the US’ missile defense shield in this geostrategically positioned Central & Eastern European (CEE) country.

Poland was surprised by the Biden Administration’s decision to waive most Nord Stream II sanctions last month, with different officials describing this move as a “threat” to energy security and even a “gas bomb placed under European integration”. Prime Minister Morawiecki very loudly condemned what he called the US’ “180-degree change of policy” towards Russia in an exclusive interview that he recently gave to Newsweek, which was followed by his Foreign Minister expressing deep “regret” over Biden’s refusal to meet with CEE leaders ahead of his summit with President Putin. The end result is that Poland is presently in a very serious geostrategic predicament after proverbially putting all of its eggs into the basket of Trump’s re-election. This was the culmination of a series of counterproductive policy calculations that I elaborated upon earlier in the month.

In summary, Poland’s practically pathological expression of “negative nationalism” vis-a-vis Russia was responsible for it obsessively doing everything in its power to undermine its Great Power neighbor in the contested “sphere of influence” between them in Belarus and Ukraine ever since 2013. This absolutely ruined relations with Russia and therefore made it impossible for Poland to take advantage of the opportunity to “balance” between East and West in pursuit of better deals from both of its neighbors. Instead, it eagerly submitted itself to the US’ regional strategic designs, only to have Biden pull the rug out from under its leaders’ feet in recent weeks as America once again pursued its own interests at Poland’s expense. I forecast the larger consequences of this for Eurasia in my latest analysis for the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).

It also deserves mentioning that the Polish leadership’s conservative-nationalist worldview is the ideological opposite of the present American’s liberal-globalist one, a point that was further emphasized in Morawiecki’s interview where he envisioned a “Europe of homelands” instead of the “United States of Europe” that the US is nowadays more in favor of. Although this prompted an RT contributor to wonder whether a “Polexit” might be in the cards sometime later this decade if the ideological contradiction between Warsaw and EU-leader Berlin isn’t resolved soon enough, it’s highly unlikely that anything of the sort will ever transpire because the CEE leader immensely benefits from the bloc’s free movement of goods, services, and people. Rather, it’s much more likely that Poland might seek to turn its “Three Seas Initiative” into less of a complement to the European project like Morawiecki told Newsweek that it is and more of an intra-organizational ideological competitor.

It’s too early to say whether that’ll happen, but it’s already undeniable that Poland has suddenly become much more isolated on the European stage due both to its deliberately counterproductive policies towards Russia as well as the bloc’s leading members like Germany supporting the US’ pragmatic recalibration of relations with Moscow. Morawiecki also mentioned in his earlier cited interview that while he’s concerned about some of China’s growing influence, he nevertheless “believe(s) that competition is good and some competition coming from China—not the sort that is subsidized or where there is price dumping or industrial output via slave labor, but outside those abuses, competition is not bad for us. And we are open for the Chinese investments strengthening our intelligence competitive capacities and our abilities to defend vis-à-vis their attacks.” This suggests a possible economic pivot towards China if relations with the US can’t be repaired.

That said, the US probably isn’t going to ever abandon Poland and thus open up the possibility of it economically pivoting towards the People’s Republic. Biden will probably retain his country’s recently bolstered military presence in Poland or at the very least ensure that some robust NATO presence remains in order to symbolically reassure its leadership that the US hasn’t “sold it out to Russia” like they increasingly fear. At the same time, however, American pressure on Poland might increase, including through more covert US support for the German Hybrid War on Poland that’s seen Berlin back a rolling Color Revolution over the past few years which aims to replace its target’s conservative-nationalist government with liberal-globalist puppets.

With any improvement of relations with Russia being politically impossible especially in light of recent so-called “spy scandals” (one of which is arguably paranoid persecution of a genuine human rights activist), the only realistic policy option for Poland in the event of worsening ties with America (or at the very least growing mistrust and associated suspicion of its “ally’s” grand strategic motives vis-a-vis Russia) is to focus on accelerating the comprehensive expansion of ties with China. Poland is already China’s top partner in CEE by virtue of its enormous population, strong economy, and geostrategic position, so it wouldn’t be difficult in principle for Warsaw to strategically partner with Beijing if the political will is present.

It should also be remembered that China is pioneering a high-speed railway from the Hungarian capital of Budapest to the Greek port of Pireaus which could even expand as far northwards as Warsaw and Helsinki by the end of the decade so the People’s Republic certainly has an interest in cultivating more strategic partnerships in CEE, especially with Poland. If Poland already believes (whether rightly or wrongly) that the US “sold it out to Russia” and that Washington might even soon throw more of its covert weight behind Berlin’s ongoing Hybrid War, then Warsaw wouldn’t really have anything to lose by at the very least beginning to seriously explore this policy proposal.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Biden, Putin, New Cold War, Poland, US, Russia, China, Three Seas Initiative, 3SI, Belt & Road Initiative, BRI, Balancing.


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Republicans Should Applaud Biden’s New Approach To Russia

Republicans Should Applaud Biden’s New Approach To Russia

14 JUNE 2021

Biden is surprisingly attempting to accomplish what Trump was unable to pull off due to selfishly politicized “deep state” pressure at the time, and that’s responsibly regulate the US’ comprehensive competition with Russia so as to free up the strategic resources to more aggressively “contain” China, which should therefore earn him the applause of every Republican.

In a surprising twist that perhaps nobody ever saw coming, Biden is attempting to accomplish what Trump was unable to pull off due to selfishly politicized pressure from his country’s permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) at the time, and that’s responsibly regulate the US’ comprehensive competition with Russia so as to free up the strategic resources to more aggressively “contain” China. This observation is backed up by a fast-moving sequence of events which includes the unexpected de-escalation in Ukraine in April, the meeting between their Foreign Ministers in Reykjavik last month, Washington’s near-simultaneously waive most Nord Stream II sanctions, the Pentagon’s subsequent announcement that it doesn’t regard Russia as an “enemy”, and the upcoming Putin-Biden Summit later this week in Geneva.

I explained in my recent analyses for CGTN and the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) that this is attributable to the “deep state” finally realizing the futility of attempting to simultaneously “contain” Russia and China. I noted last November that both the pro-Trump and pro-Biden factions of the country’s “deep state” were in agreement with respect to the view that China is the US’ top strategic competitor, but they still differed at the time over whether the People’s Republic or the Eurasian Great Power respectively represented the greatest threat. There now seems to be no difference of view over this issue as evidenced by the Biden Administration picking up the anti-Chinese torch that the Trump one left it through the continuation of practically every one of his hostile policies, especially when it comes to the trade war and Xinjiang.

It’s not the case that the Democrats’ “deep state” allies suddenly had a change of heart and magically transformed into political Russophiles, but simply that they realized just how counterproductive the policies that they pressured Trump to implement over the past few years were for their country’s grand strategy. In addition, as I mentioned in my earlier cited RIAC analysis, one of Trump’s most important legacies was purging his “deep state” (and especially its military faction that was always most closely aligned with his worldview) of all Chinese-friendly influences. This created an irreversible situation whereby the fading unipolar superpower was forced by strategic momentum to continue his anti-Chinese crusade since there was no going back after the military began to implement his many anti-Chinese doctrines. The Democrats simply had to accept this.

They therefore didn’t decide to reach out to Russia from a position of strength, but of weakness, at least relative to the zero-sum perspective of the US-Chinese New Cold War. The US might still be more powerful than Russia in everything other than hypersonic weaponry (the importance of which mustn’t be downplayed of course), but this actually enables it to more comfortably make some so-called “concessions” in the interests of relieving pressure along the Eurasian Great Power’s Western flank so as to free up those resources to more aggressively “contain” China. The decisions to de-escalate this spring’s US-provoked tensions between Ukraine and Russia (speculatively initiated by the remaining members of the “deep state’s” anti-Russian faction so as to sabotage the Biden Administration’s planned outreaches) and waive most Nord Stream II sanctions prove this.

Unlike what some cynics might think, none of those moves are “just for show” or to “trick Russia” since they created very real consequences for some of the US’ regional relationships. The Prime Minister of Poland, which is among one of the world’s most politically Russophobic states due to its practically pathological “negative nationalism” that’s directed against its historical neighbor, very strongly condemned what he described as Biden’s “180-degree change of policy” towards Moscow in a recent interview with Newsweek. His Foreign Minister then expressed very deep regret over Biden’s refusal to meet with regional leaders, including Ukraine’s, ahead of this week’s summit with Putin. From the looks of it, the US might pull back some of its support for the Polish-led “Three Seas Initiative” (3SI) as a “goodwill gesture” towards Russia.

No matter what the tangible outcome of the upcoming summit might be, there’s no denying that an incipient rapprochement of sorts is in the works between the US and Russia, driven as it is by the American “deep state’s” desire to refocus more of their strategic resources on “containing” what both of its factions nowadays regard as the seemingly more pressing challenge posed by China. It was already described above how this is negatively impacting some of the US’ regional partnerships, though Washington knows that those countries need it more than the reverse, hence why it’s not afraid to “compromise” on some of their interests as part of a grander deal that it might be secretly working out with Moscow in pursuit of a “New Detente” sometime in the future. These observations speak to how serious the US is about recalibrating its grand strategy.

Nevertheless, there’s always the chance that something could go wrong, especially considering that there still remain some dissident “deep state” members who are firmly opposed in principle to any rapprochement with Russia. As was earlier speculated, it might very well have been these forces that sought to provoke a Russian-Ukrainian War earlier this spring, and it also can’t be discounted that they were the ones who provoked Biden to agree with his interviewer around that time that President Putin is a so-called “killer” by possibly pressuring that journalist to ask him such a scandalous question that he couldn’t realistically disagree with on TV. Those subversive efforts have thus far failed, but similar ones might soon be attempted once again in Ukraine, Belarus, or the South Caucasus (specifically Georgia).

As it presently stands, though, it certainly seems to be the case that the US’ four-year-long “deep state” (civil) war is finally drawing to a close as both ideological factions unite behind their shared desire to “contain” China as effectively as possible. This in turn necessitates a pragmatic recalibration of American strategy towards Russia, ergo Biden’s outreaches that were previously impossible to pull off under Trump due to prior “deep state” differences of grand strategic vision regarding the disagreement over whether to more aggressively “contain” Russia or China. America is arguably in a more disadvantageous position of the two when it comes to its ongoing New Cold War with China, hence why it’s already undertaken some mild unilateral “concessions” related to Nord Stream II in pursuit of its rapprochement with Russia, but a lot of work still remains to be done.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, Russia, Biden, Putin, New Cold War, New Detente, China.


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