When it comes to business, Ukraine’s independence is dispensable

In December 2019 expires the agreement on natural gas transit through the Yamal Pipeline between Russia and Ukraine. Almost concurrently the Nord Stream 2 pipeline – a joint Russo-German venture in which French and Dutch companies have a stake – is slated to be completed, which in combination with Nord Stream 1 will have a comparable capacity to that of Yamal. Thus Ukraine – but also Belarus and Poland – may be put out of the transit business with the conniving of Ukraine’s European Union partners.

Factual information

(i) In the years 2011 and 2017 Russia transited between – approximately, in round numbers – 50 and 105 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually; both Nord Stream pipelines have a combined capacity of 110 bcm, so theoretically Yamal can be abandoned altogether.

(ii) Without Nord Stream 1 and 2 Ukraine and Russia could hold each other in mutual check: Moscow could not transit gas through Ukraine to Western Europe without having to acquiesce in Kiev’s demands; Kiev would have to be supported by the European Union because its member states would depend and the transit for gas.

(iii) Ukraine receives a considerable amount of transit fee, which replenishes its budget and provides funds for maintenance of the pipeline, so that too low revenues from it will make it hard for Kiev to operate its stretch of it. Continue reading

Strong fences make good neighbours

Latvia has just completed a 90 km barbed-wire fence along its border with Russia. The Estonian authorities are soon to follow suit. Hungary built a wall along its border with Serbia some time ago. President Donald trump has promised and is going to deliver on his promise to construct a wall separating the United States from Mexico. Israel has long been building walls to shut off the Palestinian population from its territory. There is a heavily guarded border between North and South Korea. The UK built a wall in Calais to keep refugees out. The Spanish-Moroccan border is a fence. Also Saudi Arabia has built an almost 1000-km-long wall along its border with Iraq. Where will the next fence emerge?

Almost right after though Second World War there appeared an iron curtain separating the West from the east, with an isle of the Western world within the precincts of Berlin. When in 1962 East Germany decided to put up a wall around West Berlin, the western world’s criticism had no end. Continue reading

Poland: Like all over Europe, cities are used to destroy the cohesion of the nation

Whichever party rules in Poland – just as is the case in the United States or United Kingdom – the government’s policy is pro-European. The differences – just like in the United States or United Kingdom – concern details. One of the those details is that the ruling PiS (Law and Order) Party as opposed to the PO (Civic Platform), now acting as an opposition, is traditionalist in moral issues. Poland’s present authorities – the president, the parliament and the resultant government – were elected by the nation’s majority. It so happens that the minority of the the voters – supporters of the Civic Platform – make up the majority of the largest city residents and so in the municipal elections their vote puts in office PO politicians who want to ingratiate themselves with the EU commissioners as much as possible: they pursue policies that are pleasing to Brussels and do anything to spite the government or the president.

And so, almost two years ago the mayors of several Polish cities drafted and signed a declaration in favour of accepting immigrants from the Third World just about the time when the government did all in its powers not to gave in to the EU’s pressure in this respect. Just who instigated the city mayors to take that step – especially so as they all knew that the majority of Poles was against it – remains a secret. Continue reading

The Netherlands wants Poland to turn over 12% of its youth annually

Rob Jetten, the leader of D66 – one of the Dutch ruling political parties – publicly said that he wants to have 50,000 Poles – i.e. 12% of Poland’s youth – coming to the Netherlands to compensate for the Dutch birth deficit.

Both Poland and the Netherlands have a declining population, but while Warsaw is pursuing a policy of increasing the birth rate – as a result of which the country has about 400.000 newborns a year – Dutch liberals like Rob Jetten regard such social programs as backward. What remains then is a policy of robbing another country of a part of its population so much so that it is slowly dawning upon the progressivists that Europe is heading for a demographic and the resultant economic calamity, unprecedented in modern history.

From the 15th century onward the number of consumers and producers in Europe was increasing steadily, which boosted economy and the banking system to serve its needs. Even the two World Wars barely had an adverse effect on population and economic growth. It was only in the latter half of the 20th that the world’s most productive nations – the white Europeans and East Asians – began to numerically decline and that process has negatively affected their economies. Economic analyses or predictions are utterly futile so long as the underlying demographic, reality is not taken into consideration. As it is, none of the famed pundits – be it Paul Krugman or Max Keiser – dare to so much as touch the subject, as if it were a terribly contagious incurable disease. Continue reading

Blame Games in Cyprus: What About a Solution?

Guest author: Mirko Spasic

The political pain of Cyprus continues to this day, unabated. The island remains divided and the wounds of the Turkish invasion of 1974 and subsequent occupation are still very much yet to heal. So, in the midst of the Byzantine politics that define contemporary Cyprus, from time to time, a stand out name arises.

In this instance, we need to look at Mustafa Akinci, current Turkish Cypriot leader. Particularly so, as he remains a notable figure in the face of the latest political machinations and trickery being dreamt up between President Anastasiades, the President of Republic of Cyprus, and Ankara.

A long-time advocate of Cypriot reunification and avowed social democrat, Akinci brings a long and respected pedigree to the politics of Cyprus. He became Mayor of the Nicosia Turkish Municipality in 1976 at the age of just 28 and served in that role until 1990. Subsequent to that, among other things, Akinci served in the Assembly of the so called TRNC for 16 years and established the Peace and Democracy Movement political party. In April 2015, he took 60.38% of the vote to become leader of Turkish Cypriots, handsomely beating Dervis Eroglu’s 39.62%.

On assuming power, Akinci brought a breath of fresh air to the movement for the reunification of Cyprus. In doing so, he underscored the desire of the vast majority of Cypriots for normalcy to return to the island with an effective solution for Cyprus. Continue reading

Donald Tusk’s speech in Kiev

Once upon a time in a socialist country a man comes to a car dealer to arrange a purchase of a vehicle. The list of customers is very long whereas automobiles are in low supply. It turns out that the customer will be able to have his car in ten years’ time. The dealer sets the date for it. There only remains one thing to decide – says the customer – whether it is going to be in the morning or afternoon. How can it matter – asks the bewildered dealer – after ten years? Ah, because on that particular day – answers the customer – I am having a plumber in my place.

When President Ronald Reagan wanted to learn something about a nation’s economic or political condition, he would have his intelligence staff gather jokes told among that country’s citizens. Such items of information were worth to him more than reams of printed detailed analyses. What would President Reagan say in the run-up to the presidential elections in Ukraine upon hearing that according to the many pollsters it is Volodymyr Zelensky – an actor, a comedian, to be precise – who is the leading contender for the post?

(It is not that an actor holding this position would be much of a novelty in Ukraine: we remember Vitali Klitschko, the boxer, who put forward his candidacy for president some time ago.)
Continue reading

The future of the Middle East: The Astana Trio versus the Warsaw debacle

While on February 13/14 Warsaw, Poland, hosted the US-sponsored and US-supervised Middle East conference – well attended by the representatives of the Arab countries but only by second-trier EU diplomats – the Astana Trio – Russia, Turkey and Iran – held theirs in the resort city of Sochi (the venue of the 2016 Winter Olympics); while the Warsaw event for all purposes and intentions was held to drum up support for a joint action against Tehran, the rival Sochi meeting addressed the on-the-ground situation in war-torn Syria, the makeup of the country’s future government, the formation of the constitutional committee, the restoration of the basic infrastructure in terms of water and electricity supply systems and the voluntary return of the many refugees.

Warsaw and Sochi, two simultaneous games of chess with two sets of chess pawns, swearing allegiance to different sovereigns or to none at all. Turkey, though formally a NATO member, used the occasion to strengthen its ties with Russia rather than its military ally the United States. Israel, though no NATO member, used the occasion of the Warsaw gathering to form a crusade against Iran, eliciting NATO countries’ aid; the European Union members, though predominantly members of the Atlantic Treaty, distanced themselves from the Middle East conference with Germany, as is known, continuing to cooperate with Russia over natural gas supplies. Continue reading