Quo vadis, Europa?

Is this the European Union that we have dreamt of? Is this the European Union that we have been tempted with? A united continent, with no borders, a continent blessed with peace and fraternity, with the well-being of its residents, blessed with the preservation of everything that singles the continent out from the rest of the world? As it is, European values transpired as the values that are not shared by the overwhelming majority of Europeans. These are same-sex marriages, gender mainstreaming, extirpation of all traditional values and mass immigration that increasingly changes the racial make-up of the European population and – what necessarily follows – the continent’s culture.

Up to very recently it was the Western part of Europe – the so-called old Union – that was subjected to the programmed and systematic influx of peoples from the Third World. The new members of the union – especially Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary – resisted the policy of mass immigration, running afoul of the Brussels’ commissioners and ruffling a few feathers among Western intellectuals. The year 2015 – that notorious year during which Germany is believed to have accepted between 800.000 and 1,200.000 arrivals – made the blood of Eastern Europeans run cold. They wanted to mingle with the French, the British, the Italians or the Germans, but were totally unprepared to regard the Afghanis or Somalis as new Europeans! The cultural, religious, mental gap was far too large to be bridged as was the pace with which those ethnic changes were effected! It did not go unnoticed either that Third World immigrants were clearly used as a weapon: a look at Turkey’s policy said it all. Also, the acceptance of tens of thousands of Third World immigrants was perceived by both Western and Eastern Europeans as mere virtue signalling and – in the case of the new member-states – as a sign of their submission the Brussels (Paris and Berlin). Add to this the indiscriminate procedure of letting foreigners into European countries: there was no way of screening the masses of arrivals whether they contained common criminals, mafiosi, terrorists and the like. Continue reading

The Balkans

The Balkans, similarly to the Iberian Peninsula, have been the place where Muslims have made inroads into the European continent; the region has often been a scenery for many hostilities between both the local small powers and the external large players. In the 20 century alone the region saw two wars of 1912-1913, two world wars (with the first being triggered here) and numerous civil armed conflicts among the republics of former Yugoslavia.

Broadly, the Balkans can be divided into Eastern (Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, a small chunk of Turkey this side the Bosporus), Western (territories occupied once by Yugoslavia) and Southern (Greece).

Ethnically, the Balkans is home to Slavic (Slovenians, Croats, Serbs, Montenegrins, Bosnians, Macedonians, Bulgarians) and non-Slavic peoples (Hungarians, Romanians, Albanians, Greeks and Turks). In terms of religion (the fact that determines to which civilisation model a particular nation belongs), the inhabitants are either Muslim (most of Albanians, some Bosnians, Turks) or Christian of either the Catholic (Slovenians, Croats, Hungarians, a sizable part of Albanians, especially in the north of the country) and Orthodox (Romanians, Bulgarians, Serbs, Bosnians, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Greeks) creeds. Notice in passing that not all Slavs are Orthodox Christian (some are Catholic, some are Muslim) and that Orthodox Christianity is the creed of non-Slavic Greeks and Romanians.

The three great historical influences were two European and one Asian powers. The former were the Germans either of the Hapsburg and then Austria-Hungary monarchy, followed by Germany, and Russia; the latter was the Ottoman Empire or its descendant: Turkey. It was in the Middle Ages that Hungary began to rule Croatia and north-western parts of today’s Romania. The German Habsburgs dynasty gradually expanded to control Hungary with the latter’s territorial gains as well as making military or diplomatic conquests of its own, extending its rule by incorporating Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908. It was the German house of Hohenzollern, which provided monarchs to the nascent forms of statehood of Greece, Bulgaria and Romania. The Russian Empire rendered significant aid to Greece and then to Serbia and Bulgaria in the respective nations’ wars of independence from the Ottoman Empire. Turkey may have withdrawn from the region, but it maintained close ties to the German Empire and the Third Reich and left behind a numerically significant Muslim population. Soviet Russia continued to be interested in the Balkans and gained control over most of it after the Second World War. Continue reading

What is Kazakhstan about?

That the Russians and Belarusians are invading Kazakhstan right now is no wonder at all: the subversives, protesting against higher gas and fuel prices, also demanded that Kazakhstan abandon all alliances with Russia and that both President Tokayev and the government resign immediately. Moscow cannot put up with such political demands. Kazakhstan is a major oil and gas producer and also supplies about 40 per cent of the world’s uranium. Kazakhstan is home to a number of first-class mining companies: Lukoil from Russia, CNPC from China, Chevron and ExxonMobil from the USA, Shell from the Netherlands, ENI from Italy, and Total from France. Insofar as oil and gas extraction has been allowed to the foreign corporations, uranium extraction remains in Kazakh hands. It is a tasty morsel for all the countries that talk so much about green energy at the moment, but in fact are preparing for the future that will be based on nuclear energy. After all, Russia’s nuclear missiles and power plants, Baikonur and space presence depend on Kazakhstan.

Rioters topple statues of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the “Elbasy”, the father of the nation, as Nazarbayev is called for life, the man who once guaranteed friendly relations with Moscow as long as he was honorary chairman of the Security Council. The Nazarbayev-Tokayev tandem has been uneasy for some time, however, and now the Father of the Nation left his fatherland aboard the private plane of his son-in-law Timur Kulibayev, a billionaire and one of Kazakhstan’s richest men. We know such stories from different countries. Main characters: oligarchs serving foreign capital. Behind the protests could be Mukhtar Ablyazov, another controversial oligarch who is at odds with the current government team in Kazakhstan and who used to live permanently in Paris, but is now in Kiev. Please note: in Kiev. If you think about the role of the oligarchs in the upheavals in Ukraine in recent years and at present, it will immediately become clear to you that this is an attack by the West, namely the USA and Ukraine, who want to “facilitate” the forthcoming talks between Biden and Putin with a blow to the “soft underbelly” of Russia, i.e. Kazakhstan.

Tokayev has also taken advantage of current events domestically to remove the government that was loyal to Nazarbayev and especially Abish Satidbaldila, the former president’s “man” who was deputy chairman of the Public Security Committee. As a result, Tokayev took full power, which enabled him to get rid of Nazarbayev painlessly. From Moscow’s point of view, what happened is actually a palace revolution, a shock. Not only because, as it turned out, in practice there is no ironclad guarantee of life for the former head of state, but also because Putin has been demonstrably respectful towards Nazarbayev and somewhat, perhaps even more, disrespectful towards Tokayev. At the recent CIS summit in St. Petersburg, he met with “Elbasy” and found no time to talk to the current president. It is likely that if a new government is formed, relations with Moscow will be different and probably more difficult for Russia.

The Western world is enthusiastic about the revolution and interprets what is happening on the streets as a struggle against dictatorship and for democracy, but it seems to me that this perspective is misleading and that it is worth looking at the situation in Kazakhstan from a different, non-European angle. We tend to see the roots of the revolutionary events in the bad mood related to poverty and the lack of reforms in the authoritarian state, which drives people to the extreme and to the streets. Apart from what can be seen with the naked eye and what is difficult to question, there is an even deeper level, which is the logic of the people living there. In any Central Asian society, clan and family relations are more important than political divisions or material differences.

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OPEC+ members shun Biden’s calls to boost oil output

OPEC+ headed for a clash with the U.S. as more members rejected President Joe Biden’s call for the group to raise oil production faster and help reduce gasoline prices. On Monday, Kuwait said the cartel should stick with its plan to increase output gradually because oil markets were well-balanced. That followed similar statements from other key members in recent days, including Iraq, Algeria, Angola and Nigeria. Source Al Jazeera