‘Slowly but surely Europe is figuring out that as a result of the western economic and financial blockade of Russian, it is Europe itself that is suffering the most. And while Germany was first to acknowledge this late in 2014 when its economy swooned and is now on the verge of a recession, now others are catching on. Case in point: the former head of the European Commission, and Italy’s former Prime Minister, Romano Prodi who told Messaggero newspaper that the “weaker Russian economy is extremely unprofitable for Italy.”
Lowered prices in the international energy markets have positive aspects for the Italian consumers, who pay less for the fuel, but the effect will be only short-term. In the long-term however the weaker economic situation in countries producing energy resources, caused by lower oil and gas prices, mostly in Russia, is extremely unprofitable for Italy, he said.
“The lowering of the oil and gas prices in combination with the sanctions, pushed by the Ukrainian crisis, will drop the Russian GPD by five percent per annum, and thus it will cause cutting of the Italian export by about 50%,”Prodi said.
“Setting aside the uselessness or imminence of the sanctions, one should highlight a clear skew: regardless of the rouble rate against dollar, which is lower by almost a half, the American export to Russia is growing, while the export from Europe is shrinking.”
In other words, just as slowly, the world is starting to grasp the bottom line: it is not the financial exposure to Russia, or the threat of financial contagion should Russia suffer a major recession or worse: it is something far simpler that will lead to the biggest harm for Europe’s countries. The lack of trade.
Because while central banks can monetize everything, leading to an unprecedented asset bubble which if only for the time being boosts investor and consumer confidence, they can’t print trade – that all important driver of growth in a globalized world long before central banks were set to monetize over $1 trillion in bonds each and every year to mask the fact that the world is deep in a global depression.
Which is why we read the following report written in yesterday’s Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten with great interest because it goes right to the bottom line. In it Russia has a not so modest proposal to Europe: dump trade with the US, whose call for Russian “costs” has cost you another year of declining economic growth, and instead join the Eurasian Economic Union!’
- Move against the United States: Russia advises EU to phase out the TTIP
- Russia calls for EU talks with newly born Eurasian Union
- Germany, France Pushing for End to Russia Sanctions
- Weaker Russian economy is extremely unprofitable for Italy, says Romano Prodi
- Russian FM: US wants to cut economic ties between EU and Russia to aid TTIP negotiations
‘Armenia officially joined the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) on Friday, banding together with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus in a Moscow-led project meant to counterbalance the European Union.
As part of a deal signed last October, Armenia will have limited representation in the organization until the end of 2015. Three Armenian members will share one vote in the union’s governing body, the Eurasian Economic Commission, TASS news agency reported Friday.
Kyrgyzstan is also set to join the union on May 1.’
‘A specter haunts the fast-aging “New American Century”: the possibility of a future Beijing-Moscow-Berlin strategic trade and commercial alliance. Let’s call it the BMB.
Its likelihood is being seriously discussed at the highest levels in Beijing and Moscow, and viewed with interest in Berlin, New Delhi and Tehran. But don’t mention it inside Washington’s Beltway or at NATO headquarters in Brussels. There, the star of the show today and tomorrow is the new Osama bin Laden: Caliph Ibrahim, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the elusive, self-appointed beheading prophet of a new mini-state and movement that has provided an acronym feast—ISIS/ISIL/IS—for hysterics in Washington and elsewhere.
No matter how often Washington remixes its “Global War on Terror,” however, the tectonic plates of Eurasian geopolitics continue to shift, and they’re not going to stop just because American elites refuse to accept that their historically brief “unipolar moment” is on the wane. For them, the closing of the era of “full-spectrum dominance,” as the Pentagon likes to call it, is inconceivable. After all, the necessity for the indispensable nation to control all space—military, economic, cultural, cyber and outer—is little short of a religious doctrine. Exceptionalist missionaries don’t do equality. At best, they do “coalitions of the willing” like the one crammed with “over 40 countries” assembled to fight ISIS/ISIL/IS and either applauding (and plotting) from the sidelines or sending the odd plane or two toward Iraq or Syria.
NATO, which unlike some of its members won’t officially fight Jihadistan, remains a top-down outfit controlled by Washington. It’s never fully bothered to take in the European Union (EU) or considered allowing Russia to “feel” European. As for the Caliph, he’s just a minor diversion. A postmodern cynic might even contend that he was an emissary sent onto the global playing field by China and Russia to take the eye of the planet’s hyperpower off the ball.’
- Robert Kaplan: In Defense of Empire
- The Chinese Dream
- Chinese President Op-Ed: Towards an Asian century of prosperity
- PM Modi leads India to the Silk Road
- What draws Modi to China
- Putin breaks ground on Russia-China gas pipeline, world’s biggest
- 6 Pillars of the Chinese Russian Strategic Partnership
- Russia’s Gazprom Neft to Sell Oil for Rubles, Yuan
- SCO’s adding new members ‘need of the hour’
- Marching Westwards: The Rebalancing of China’s Geostrategy
- India and Japan must propel the Eurasian juggernaut
- Understanding German-Russian Trade Relations
- Germany’s most important trading partners 2013
- Merkel: Ukraine can go to Eurasian Union
- Angela Merkel in China
‘The deal signed last week by Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan to create a Eurasian Economic Union is yet another countermeasure against US and European attempts to isolate Russia. By moving towards closer economic cooperation, Russia hopes to build, piecemeal if necessary, a common Eurasian economic space that will ultimately rival the US and Europe in terms of economic influence.
However, the ultimate goal of this sort of cooperation goes far beyond just economic power. Rather, Russia is the key facilitator of a series of multilateral arrangements created in the last fifteen years that Putin (and much of the world) hopes will ultimately move the world towards a multipolar global order. While this is undoubtedly on the agenda for Russia and its ally Belarus, Kazakhstan is a complicated partner as it is deeply involved with the West in terms of business, investment, education, and a number of other critical areas.
The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) presents a host of possibilities for economic cooperation and development. From energy reserves to the all important pipeline infrastructure, the new arrangement will, over time, have a greater and greater impact on energy exports and consumption both in Europe and Asia as China looks to further secure its energy future. Moreover, the EEU will impact vital trade routes and commercial and private transportation options, in addition to promoting political, military, and security cooperation among the members, and in the region generally. Essentially then, the EEU should be understood as yet another blow to US hegemony in Asia and the former Soviet space.’
- Pepe Escobar: The Birth of a Eurasian Century?
- Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus form Eurasian Economic Union
- Why the Russia-China gas deal matters
- China taking in more oil from Kazakh pipeline
- The Altai project
- China’s ‘New Silk Road’ Vision Revealed
- New Silk Road New Dream: How to win the World?
- Russia, China sign deal to bypass U.S. dollar
- What the epic China-Russia natural gas deal looks like
- Kazakhstan Urges Talks With Russia, Ukraine for Launch Pad Project
- U.S. sanctions on Russia threaten America’s space ambitions
- Gas Deal With Belarus Gives Control of Pipeline to Russia
- Belarusian Foreign Trade
- U.S.-Kazakhstan Public-Private Economic Partnership Initiative
- American Chamber of Commerce in Kazakhstan
- New head appointed to Kazakhstan Public-Private Partnership Centre
- The World Bank Brings Nazarbayev University to Kazakhstan
- Nazarbayev invites Turkey to join Eurasian Economic Union
- NED in China (Xinjiang/East Turkistan)
- NED in Kazakhstan
‘President of Russia Vladimir Putin stated at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that the unipolar model of the world has failed; and today it is obvious to everybody, including those who try to live in the past and maintain a monopoly, dictate their rules in politics, trade, finance, and impose cultural standards.’
A senior U.S. official will travel to two countries in Central Asia next week to emphasize U.S. support for the independence of post-Soviet states after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal, Washington’s point person for South and Central Asia, will visit Kazakhstan from March 31 to April 2 and Kyrgyzstan from April 2-4.
“In both countries Assistant Secretary Biswal will re-affirm the U.S. commitment to continued engagement and partnership with the countries of the region for stability and prosperity,” the State Department said in a statement. A State Department official added that would “affirm our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries and for all post-Soviet states.”
The U.S. visit will come two weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine, another former Soviet state. Putin is now expected to turn to the autocrats of Central Asia, particularly Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbayev, to further his aim of erecting a Eurasian Union of former Soviet states.
- As Kiev looks West, Putin turns east to build Eurasian dream
- Russia’s unique Eurasian identity
- Armenia’s PM: Armenia’s decision to join Eurasian Union has military-political content
- Ukraine’s Revolution:A Challenge to Russia’s Eurasian Integration Project
- Washington Post Op-Ed: Obama doesn’t grasp Putin’s Eurasian ambitions
- A brief primer on Vladimir Putin’s Eurasian dream
- Putin’s Eurasian Union: Just another Union?
- Putin calls for ‘Eurasian Union’ of ex-Soviet republics
As the Obama Administration continues to try to insinuate itself into the Ukraine protest movement, they have felt to issue multiple statements in recent days denying that it is a “proxy war” or anything Cold War-like. It’s not really clear who the denials are designed to convince, as whatever you want to call it, America’s policy in the Ukraine remains profoundly Russo-centric, and for years America’s relationship with Ukraine has been colored entirely by a desire to back the side that’s not pro-Russia.
Russia’s interests in the Ukraine remain relatively straightforward, supporting the politicians popular in the Russian-speaking east, and those who back Russia keeping its naval base in the Crimea, the historic home of the Russian Navy. US policy, by contrast, is to back whoever Russia isn’t backing, pushing their membership in NATO seemingly just because Russia opposes that membership, and because it would force the nation to relocate its navy further south. In the past that’s included the color-coded revolution of early 2005, the embezzlement scandal-ridden government in 2009-10, and the current protesters.
But while nominally backing protesters for the sake of backing protesters, US officials have increasingly cozied up to the neo-Nazi elements trying to hijack those protests toward violent revolution, openly meeting with their leaders and praising them as the voice of a “free” Ukraine. If that policy decision isn’t being done simply to spite Russia, it is a profound shift from the traditionally anti-Nazi stance of modern US foreign policy.
- Ukraine crisis: Why Russia and EU both stand to lose
- Obama, Vladimir Putin discuss Ukraine deal
- US hails Ukraine deal, wants immediate implementation
- Ukraine protesters call for Yanukovych’s immediate ouster, denounce peace deal
- Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich Reportedly Flees Kiev
- Ukraine peace deal halts violence but crowds still angry
- Polish FM warned protest leaders: ‘Sign deal or you will all die’
- Ukraine to Release Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko
- Ukraine default risk rises as Russia bond sale canceled
- ‘Don’t be doormat’ Russia warns cash-starved Kiev
- Russian media paint a dark picture of Ukraine
- Ukraine’s western pro-European cities warn they could break away
- The Day We Pretended to Care About Ukraine
- Senators Press Obama for Sanctions Against Ukrainian Officials
- Euromaidan: The Dark Shadows Of The Far-Right In Ukraine Protests
- John McCain Meets Oleh Tyahnybok In Ukraine
- Ukrainian far-right group claims to be co-ordinating violence in Kiev
- Secret Tape Reveals US-backed Plot to Topple Ukraine’s Democratically-Elected President
- Victoria Nuland Admits: US Has Invested $5 Billion In The Development of Ukrainian, “Democratic Institutions”
- US NGO Uncovered in Ukraine Protests
- Documentary: The Revolution Business
- Meet the Face of Ukraine’s Protests, ‘Yulia’ Video Goes Viral
- Ukrainian ‘Protesters’ Backed by Kony 2012-Style Scam?
- Documentary: Ukraine Burning