Global Analysis from the European Perspective. Preparing for the world of tomorrow


Russia



Turkey: the Game Changer

The deal between Ankara and Moscow has been signed and sealed and the first shipments of the S-400 air defence system have just landed on Turkish soil, at a military airbase located at the vicinity of the country’s capital. The second-largest NATO army is acquiring weapons and materiel from a state that by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is viewed as inimical.

Turkey occupies an area which is bridging Europe with Asia and neighbouring some of the war-ridden countries like Iraq and Syria in the volatile region known as the Middle East. It is also strategically important for NATO because it controls the Straits between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and because it outflanks Russia from the south. A NATO member since 1952 Turkey – although a Third World country – wanted to remain a loyal member of the Alliance with ever closer ties to the Western world. Not only did Ankara join its troops to the NATO but also lent its territory to the pact. The reader will have remembered that it was the American missiles deployed to Turkish territory which caused anxiety at the Kremlin and induced Nikita Khrushchev to retaliate by deploying Soviet missiles to Cuba, which led to the international conflict threatening to culminate in a third world war. The strained relations between the two superpowers were only eased when both the Soviets withdrew their missiles from the largest island in the Caribic and the Americans removed theirs from Turkey.

Turkey’s membership in the Alliance has never meant that Ankara was a patsy in Washington’s hands. It skilfully guarded its sovereignty and pursued its own interests. Thus in 1974 Turkish armed forces landed in Northern Cyprus, establishing there of a separate Turkish state and a permanent – as yet – division of the island predominantly inhabited by Greeks. Thus Ankara dared to thwart the interest of another NATO member – Greece – and Athens could do nothing about it. Turkey was strategically too important and that is why it could afford to act independently of NATO’s most important allies.

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Russia’s demography is a case apart

The Russian Federation is the world’s largest country in terms of area, the largest producer and exporter of natural gas, crude oil, and many food products, which is why this state exerts a significant influence on others. If anything goes wrong there some countries will be rubbing their hands in delight that one of their competitors is getting weaker, while others will be in a difficult, situation, losing their main supplier or buyer.

Moscow is concerned about the demographic decline which negatively affects the country’s geopolitical, economic and military potential. Though the Russian population is not threatened with extinction in the foreseeable future, the media often describe the country’s demographic situation as difficult or critical. The labour force is said to be declining by 800 thousand workers every year. Immigration could be a solution but for a disproportionately high number of umie educated people among foreigners. A brain drain is yet another problem that the government needs to deal with.Certainly, pension expenditure will have to be increased because of the growing number of seniors or pensions will have to be reduced. There could arise a need to levy a higher income tax and extend the retirement age. As for now the authorities are focused on encouraging families to have children. Continue reading

Beware the Chinese!

The world is on the dawn of the outbreak of a major conflict: trade war is being waged between the USA and China and between the USA and Russia, while European countries are lacking any leadership and drifting ungovernable because they have surrendered their currency and with it their sovereignty to bureaucrats. Beijing is not satisfied with the fact that the dollar is an international currency. Along with the rise of its economic power China would like to play an increasing role in financial affairs. Russia, encircled by NATO, is currently implementing a large-scale rearmament program. In 2010 Moscow announced it would have modernized 70 percent of its military hardware by 2020. In 2016 civil defense exercises were conducted, in which allegedly 40 mln people took part. In Moscow anti-nuclear shelters are being built.

When in 1937 Heinz Guderian stressed the growing importance of self-propelled armored vehicles in his “Achtung Panzer” (Beware the Tank!), not all of the military analysts appreciated the significance of the German strategist’s insight. A few years later those who disregarded this problem learned the importance of the new weaponry the hard way. Continue reading

Turkey, Serbia and Russia are preparing for the looming war in the Balkans

A break-up of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia’s claims to legal authority over Kosovo will be the next setback for the European establishment. It is not a matter of if but rather when the war in the Balkans will resume. The consequences will be more detrimental to European stability than the Bosnia war in the nineties. A war in Bosnia will increase the tension between the Muslim and the native populations in West Europe, with the latter being more and more vocal in its opposition to the Islamisation of Europe.

The 1999 NATO bombardments of Belgrade forced the Serbian authorities to withdraw their troops from the province of Kosovo. Unlike Bosnia, Kosovo was an integral part of the Serbian Republic.By all international standards, the bombardments of Serbia were an illegal act of war. The European Union and Washington recognised Kosovo in 2008 as an independent state; 45% of the countries in the world did not follow suit, seeing the forced secession as a dangerous precedence incompatible with international law.To tell the truth, there is no such thing as international law; there is only international diplomacy where war is a strategic tool to bend the weaker party to the will of the stronger one. Continue reading

Obama’s strategy for Syria: why it failed (and why it was never going to work)

Syria has long been a target of Neoconservative foreign policy. After the removal of Saddam Hussein from Iraq, Paul Wolfowitz, the leading Neocon ideologist, Deputy Defence Secretary under George Bush and an architect of the invasion of Iraq, said in 2003 that ”there will have to be a change in Syria”.The problems during the occupation of Iraq and the radical change in the American public opinion towards the conflict forced the Bush administration and Neoconservative circles to shelve their plans.

Original plan and first problems
In 2011, Obama assembled a mighty coalition, including France, the UK, Israel, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia to finally remove Assad and bring “regime” change to the Syrian people, confirming the line of of “liberal interventionism” of the Bush years as Robert Kagan, another prominent Neocon ideologist, defines it.

In August 2013, following an alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad government against rebels, Obama finally found his pretext to justify the invasion of Syria, obtaining the authorization for the use of force from the US Senate.The use of sarin by the Assad troops would later turn out to be a fabrication,much like Saddam’s never found weapons of mass destruction that the Bush Neocons had used as an excuse to justify the invasion of Iraq. Continue reading

“Russia did it” – the last stand of neoconservatism

In 1992, at the end of the Cold War, an American political scientist infamously proclaimed “the end of history:” liberal democracy and the capitalist system has won, the rest of the world will eventually embrace western ideas as superior to theirs because only they are able to provide peace and prosperity.
This line of reasoning has since become the West’s dogma in international relations, and so under the pretext of spreading human rights and parliamentary democracy all over the world the West perceives itself to be on a mission. For a while, it worked. Most of Eastern Europe readily embraced Western democracy and capitalism and even Russia seemed to follow. Continue reading

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The stock closed 16.4 per cent higher at an over seven-year high of Rbs189.7 and lifted the company’s market value to Rbs4.49tn (€61.8bn). That is enough to help it surpass Rosneft and Lukoil, the country’s top two crude producers, to become the second most valuable company on the exchange. Sberbank, the country’s biggest lender remains the biggest with a market capitalisation of Rbs4.92tn. Source: Financial Times


  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, next week, according to a release from the State Department.
  • Pompeo will meet with Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday to discuss “the full range of bilateral and multilateral challenges,” the release said.
  • Pompeo is scheduled to arrive in Moscow on Monday with a diplomatic team.

Source:CNBC







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Asked about these developments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told a press briefing Tuesday that “countries in the Western Hemisphere, including Latin American countries, are all sovereign states,” so “they have the right to determine their own foreign policy and their way to engage in mutually beneficial cooperation with countries of their own choosing.” Source: Newsweek





  • Shortly before an important decision, France is against the planned gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, which advocates Germany.
  • The decision is an amendment to an EU rule that would allow the Commission to take greater action against Nord Stream 2.
  • The project of the Russian energy company Gazprom raises problems in the strained relationship between Moscow and the Europeans, France justifies.

Source: Sued Deutsche Zeitung


Vladimir Putin has said that Russia finds the Kosovo authorities’ decision to create their own army regrettable and sees it as another risk of destabilization of the situation in the Balkans.

“Regrettably, Kosovo’s authorities took a series of provocative steps lately, thus greatly aggravating the situation. In the first place I have in mind their decision of December 14 to form a so-called army in Kosovo,” Putin told a news conference. “It goes without saying that this is a direct violation of the UN resolution, which does not allow for the creation of any paramilitary forces except for the international UN contingent.”

“Such irresponsible steps by Kosovo’s authorities may cause destabilization in the Balkans,” he warned. Source: Tass




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