Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

The Unipolar Moment is Over, by Pepe Escobar

The US cannot match Russia and China’s power and influence in Eurasia, which means the US can no longer be the global hegemon. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:

The Russia-China strategic partnership, consolidated last week in Russia, has thrown U.S. elites into Supreme Paranoia mode, which is holding the whole world hostage.

Something extraordinary began with a short walk in St. Petersburg last Friday.

After a stroll, they took a boat on the Neva River, visited the legendary Aurora cruiser, and dropped in to examine the Renaissance masterpieces at the Hermitage. Cool, calm, collected, all the while it felt like they were mapping the ins and outs of a new, emerging, multipolar world.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was the guest of honor of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was Xi’s eighth trip to Russia since 2013, when he announced the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

First they met in Moscow, signing multiple deals. The most important is a bombshell: a commitment to develop bilateral trade and cross-border payments using the ruble and the yuan, bypassing the U.S. dollar.

Then Xi visited the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia’s premier business gathering, absolutely essential for anyone to understand the hyper-complex mechanisms inherent in the construction of Eurasian integration. I addressed some of SPIEF’s foremost discussions and round tables here.

In Moscow, Putin and Xi signed two joint statements – whose key concepts, crucially, are “comprehensive partnership”, “strategic interaction” and “global strategic stability.”

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Bipartisan Support for Trump’s Aggressive Iran Policy Reveals the Hollowness of Russiagate, by Whitney Webb

Russia, the US’s supposed mortal enemy, would be a big winner if the US went to war with Iran. That isn’t stopping any of the usual suspects from pushing for war with Iran. From Whitney Webb at mintpressnew.com:

While Russia often serves as a useful “boogeyman” for promoting militaristic policies, the odd moments when those same policies actually benefit Russia and avoid strong opposition from U.S. politicians and media provide a rare glimpse into the real motivations behind Cold War 2.0.

In early May, MSNBC news host Rachel Maddow — known as one of the top promoters of the new Cold War and Russiagate in American media — emphatically endorsed regime change in Venezuela after she claimed that President Donald Trump’s hawkishness towards the South American country had changed, all because of a single phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Though Maddow’s claims were arguably the most extreme in suggesting that Trump was “taking orders” from Putin on Venezuela, she wasn’t alone in making them. For instance, Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks also made the claim that the Trump-Putin phone call on Venezuela was “direct evidence that he is literally taking orders from Putin.” In addition, several corporate media outlets supported this narrative by suggesting that Trump “echoed” Putin’s Venezuela stance after the phone call and directly contradicted his top staffers and even himself in doing so.

Yet now, strangely, those same corporate media voices remain silent on the Trump administration’s other regime-change project — in Iran — despite the fact that the Putin-led Russian government is set to be the biggest winner as tensions between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic boil over and threaten to send the Middle East into a fresh bout of destruction and chaos.

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Russia’s Middle East Brinkmanship vs. Acquiescence to Trump’s Greater Israel Plan, by Alastair Crooke

Does Trump want Russia’s help to cement Israel’s dominance of the Middle East? From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

Secretary of State Pompeo was in Sochi on 14 May for talks with his counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. And in his opening address, Lavrov observed: “I believe it’s time to start building a new, more responsible and constructive matrix of how we see each other. We are ready to do so, of course, if our US partners are interested in doing so as well … The fact that we are meeting for the second time in the past two weeks inspires certain optimism. Let’s give it a try and see what happens”.

President Putin subsequently hosted Pompeo for a short discussion, noting: “I got the impression that the President [Trump] is in favour of restoring Russia-US ties and contacts – and of resolving issues of mutual interest. For our part, we have said many times, that we would also like to restore relations on a full scale”.

It is clear that Mr Putin’s impression of a US possible apertura arose from Trump’s call to him on 3 May, in which co-operation on assuring ‘strategic stability’ was discussed. The remarks by both Lavrov and Putin indicate both a readiness and a generosity (i.e. calling the US Administration “our US partners”) that is a mite surprising, given the extent to which Washington has been inserting its spanners into all, and everything, Moscow recently has tried to do.

Why this Trump initiative – managed by two foremost US war hawks – precisely now? Ok, the Mueller investigation is closed, but Moscow will not be naïve enough to imagine that this draws a line under the Russian malign intervention narrative. Mueller has simply gifted the claim to Congress.

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What Putin and Pompeo did not talk about, by Pepe Escobar

Pompeo journeys to Russia and plays a very weak hand. From Pepe Escobar at atimes.com:

What Putin and Pompeo did not talk about

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes US State Secretary Mike Pompeo, left, during their meeting, in Sochi, Russia. Photo: AFP / Sergey Guneev / Sputnik
Russia is uneasy over the destabilization of Tehran, and on other hotspots the powers’ positions are clear
Even veiled by thick layers of diplomatic fog, the overlapping meetings in Sochi between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov still offer tantalizing geopolitical nuggets.

Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov did his best to smooth the utterly intractable, admitting there was “no breakthrough yet” during the talks but at least the US “demonstrated a constructive approach.”

Putin told Pompeo that after his 90-minute phone call with Trump, initiated by the White House, and described by Ushakov as “very good,” the Russian president “got the impression that the [US] president was inclined to re-establish Russian-American relations and contacts to resolve together the issues that are of mutual interest to us.”

That would imply a Russiagate closure. Putin told Pompeo, in no uncertain terms, that Moscow never interfered in the US elections, and that the Mueller report proved that there was no connection between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

This adds to the fact Russiagate has been consistently debunked by the best independent American investigators such as the VIPS group.

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China and Russia: Whoopin’ Uncle Sam at His Own Game, by Mike Whitney

China and Russia are building alliances that span the Eurasian land mass, and there’s very little the US can do about it. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:

Your Geopolitical Quiz for the Day:

Two countries are embroiled in a ferocious rivalry. One country’s meteoric growth has put it on a path to become the world’s biggest economic superpower while the other country appears to be slipping into irreversible decline. Which country will lead the world into the future?

Country A builds factories and plants, it employees zillions of people who manufacture things, it launches massive infrastructure programs, paves millions of miles of highways and roads, opens new sea lanes, vastly expands its high-speed rail network, and pumps profits back into productive operations that turbo-charge its economy and bolster its stature among the nations of the world.

Country B has the finest military in the world, it has more than 800 bases scattered across the planet, and spends more on weapons systems and war-making than all the other nations combined. Country B has gutted its industrial core, hollowed out its factory base, allowed its vital infrastructure to crumble, outsourced millions of jobs, off-shored thousands of businesses, plunged the center of the country into permanent recession, delivered control of its economy to the Central Bank, and recycled 96 percent of its corporate and financial profits into a stock buyback scam that sucks critical capital out of the economy and into the pockets of corrupt Wall Street plutocrats whose voracious greed is pushing the world towards another catastrophic meltdown.

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Interpreting President Putin’s Speech At The 2019 BRI Forum, by Andrew Korybko

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jingping’s approach to international relations certainly seems to be winning the Russians and Chinese more friends than the US approach. From Andrew Korybko at orientalreview.org:

President Putin left nothing to doubt when he proudly proclaimed that Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union regional integration organization that it leads are strategically merging with China and its Belt & Road Initiative, with this process having unprecedentedly far-reaching strategic consequences for the supercontinent and 21st-century geopolitics as a whole.

This year’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) Forum is a monumental event bringing together several dozen heads of state and providing a platform for the international community to better understand this world-changing vision. President Putin gave an important speech during this event that can be summarized as his proud proclamation that Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAU) regional integration organization that it leads are strategically merging with China and its BRI. There’s no doubt that this process will have unprecedentedly far-reaching strategic consequences for the supercontinent and 21st-century geopolitics as a whole, which is why his entire address deserves to be analyzed in full. What therefore follows is the transcript of his speech interspersed with brief interpretations of the text in order to help the reader appreciate just how significant of an event this was and what his words might mean for the future of Russian grand strategy:

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Poroshenko Out, Zelensky In. Will Things Change in Ukraine? by Tom Luongo

Will Ukraine’s new president decide that getting along with its next-door neighbor is more important that appeasing the US? From Tom Luongo at strategic-culture.org:

The incalculable damage that’s been done to the region for cynical geopolitical goals can never be undone but it can stop.

With art imitating life presidential elections in Ukraine ended with Volodymyr Zelenski garnering a massive majority over incumbent Petro Poroshenko. So, let’s get right to the point.

Will this change anything?

The West poured a lot of money and time into Poroshenko. It was obvious months ago he was not going to win a second term no matter what he did. With him mostly gone from the scene it is now up to Zelensky to put together a plan which goes far beyond the protest vote against Poroshenko’s obvious corruption.

The problem is we have no idea if he’s 1) capable of doing this or 2) strong enough to implement anything he comes up with.

With his party polling below 30% it’s clear this wasn’t a mandate for him but one against Poroshenko. The probability is high that he will be unable to form a stable, majority government later this year if his election isn’t a country-wide revolution but rather a short-lived temper tantrum.

Let’s hope it’s the former. Given just how deep the US ties into Poroshenko and Yulia Tymoshenko are I would bet on the latter, unfortunately.

So, his next steps are important. And the issues facing him are severe.

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