The EU is Changing its Approach to Russia. What Awaits the Eurasian Integration?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017. © Kay Nietfeld / Reuters

 

Russia’s economic growth after the crisis forced many countries thinking that Moscow will not be able to do without enormous infusion of foreign capital, to rethink their position. In the complicated relations between the EU with the US and with not the fastest pace of rapprochement with China the optimal decision for the European Union is the development of relations with Russia, but political factors complicate the implementation of this course. The post-Soviet republics of Eurasia, working with an eye to the West, are not in a hurry to increase the pace with the Russian Federation. Will Moscow grow tired of “Eurasian integration into one direction”?

Noticeable changes are occurring in the West’s representative’s estimation of relations with Russia. More and more representative of Western, primarily, European elite advocate for the “normalization” of relations with Russia and a gradual lifting of sanctions from our country. Lately Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron as well as other notable European politicians spoke in this vein. Thus, the president of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier offered to start a gradual change of sanctions against Russia in case of the realisation of the proposal of deploying peacekeepers in the Donbas. Continue reading

NATO on guard ahead of major Russian war games

 

NATO has put Moscow on notice that it will be keeping a close eye on a major military exercise with Belarus next week, in a region still on edge after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Similar drills in the past included a simulated invasion of Poland by tens of thousands of Russian troops culminating in a nuclear strike on Warsaw, and the coming show of force, codenamed “Zapad 2017” (West 2017) has sparked months of speculation and fears along NATO’s eastern flank.

Observers say that while there is little chance of Russia using the exercise as cover for an actual invasion, there are concerns about what troops and equipment it will leave behind afterwards.

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A Giant Russian Exercise Will Soon Put 100,000 Troops on NATO’s Border. Then What?

Russian soldiers dressed in a new field uniform marched along the Red Square last month during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 72 years since the end of WWII. (Yuri Kochetkov/AP)

 

As Russia and Belarus prep for their quadrennial fight-the-West wargame, NATO’s Baltic states are watching more than a bit nervously.

For the Baltic countries on NATO’s northeastern flank, carefully monitoring Russia’s various defense investments and activities is nothing new. Like brushing your teeth, it’s just a matter of staying healthy, Estonia’s defense minister told a small group of reporters while visiting the U.S. last week. Observing Russian military activity is that routine, “but we do it even more often,” he said.

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Russia’s New Global Aims

The Cold War is back, but it is a different Cold War because it is a different Russia. It is important to know who the Russians are and what has shaped their worldview, including their sometimes justified suspicion and hostility toward the US.

Some features of Russian government go back to their beginnings as a country in the 10th century. Their geography places them very far north, which means that food, particularly grain harvests, are uncertain. The country has experienced more famine than feast. This is one reason for aggressively moving in on neighbors with better geography and better harvests (Ukraine and Belarus). Continue reading

India, Pakistan to Become Full Fledged SCO Members

Not only is this an economic union forming, but also the next world war axis under construction. It is a Sino-Soviet military counterweight to the global Western hegemony.

 

 

The meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states wrapped up in Astana on April 21. The participants confirmed the unanimous decision to grant full-fledged membership to India and Pakistan at the SCO Astana summit on June 8-9, 2017.

The SCO was established in 2001 as a multi-purpose regional organization active in three main fields: economic, military-political and humanitarian. The SCO members now are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus are the SCO observer-countries, while Azerbaijan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners. Although Russia and China are the most important SCO members, the organization operates by consensus. Continue reading

Is A Russian-Iranian Energy Pact In The Making?

Oil Rigs

 

In the lead-up to President Rouhani’s visit to Moscow, expected to take place in late March, a plethora of news regarding joint Russo-Iranian energy projects has been circulating on the Internet. A three-year long negotiation process regarding a 100,000 barrels-per-day swap contract is believed to be agreed upon, premised on Iran providing Russia (most likely, Rosneft) oil from Kharg Island or other hubs in the Persian Gulf in return for cash and Russian goods that Iran would “require”. Teheran also woos LUKOIL, currently Russia’s only major oil producer in the Caspian, to participate in swap deals bound for Iran’s Neka Port (in return for Iranian crude provided from Kharg Island or other Persian Gulf hubs), albeit on a much smaller scale at 4000 to 5000 barrels per day. To top it all up, numerous Russian oil companies have committed themselves to developing Iran’s hydrocarbon fields. Continue reading

Eastern Europe & World War III

Romania-Protest Feb 2017

 

Europe could become the site of a new global war in the East as tensions build there against refugees and the economic decline fosters old wounds. The EU is deeply divided over the refugee issue and thus it is fueling its own demise and has failed to be a stabilizing force. After five days of demonstrations, Romania’s month-old government backed down and withdrew a decree that had decriminalized some corruption offenses. They were still acting like typical politicians and looking to line their pockets. After one month, the people have rising up saying “We can’t trust this new government.”

On the eastern border of the EU, only a few hundred kilometers from Berlin as well as Vienna, there is a growing danger that the world will stumble into a global war primarily from through the incompetence of the politicians in the EU as well as in the East. The EU is more concerned about punishing Britain and trying to hold on to overpaid political jobs that to address the real issues facing Europe. Continue reading

China launches freight train to Britain

The train is part of an initiative by Chinese leader Xi Jinping

 

China launched its first freight train to London on Sunday, according to the China Railway Corporation.

The train will travel from Yiwu West Railway Station in Zhejiang Province, Eastern China to Barking, London, taking 18 days to travel over 7,400 miles.  Continue reading

New USSR: Vladimir Putin ‘to recreate HUGE SOVIET BLOCK’ in plan to DESTROY the West

Split

Putin could potentially head up a huge Soviet bloc (Getty)

 

FORMER Soviet countries could be set to form a huge powerful bloc reminiscent of the USSER [sic], the former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev has claimed amid heightened tensions between Russia and the West.

Mr Gorbachev, who was the eighth and final leader of the former Soviet Union, has suggested countries within the former Communist republic could form a new union with an opt-in basis.

Reflecting on the collapse of the USSR in an interview with a Russian TV show to mark the 25th anniversary of its dissolution, the former statesman said: “I think that a new union is possible.” Continue reading

Fed up with EU, Erdogan says Turkey could join Shanghai bloc

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, November 16, 2016. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

 

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted on Sunday as saying that Turkey did not need to join the European Union “at all costs” and could instead become part of a security bloc dominated by China, Russia and Central Asian nations.

NATO member Turkey’s prospects of joining the EU look more remote than ever after 11 years of negotiations. European leaders have been critical of its record on democratic freedoms, while Ankara has grown increasingly exasperated by what it sees as Western condescension.

“Turkey must feel at ease. It mustn’t say ‘for me it’s the European Union at all costs’. That’s my view,” Erdogan was quoted by the Hurriyet newspaper as telling reporters on his plane on the way back from a visit to Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Continue reading

Something big is underway on all fronts: “Within the next few weeks the future of the united states will be decided”

Congress gave the green light to send weapons and munitions to Ukraine; the “holdup” is due to Obama not wanting to jeopardize the election of Hillary Clinton

As of this writing, the increased U.S. troop presence in Eastern Europe includes a battalion-sized element of American troops being emplaced in the Suwalki Gap, Polish territory that borders Lithuania in a 60-mile stretch of corridor.  The Russian Defense Ministry announced that 600 Russian and Belarussian airborne troops conducted training exercises in Brest, on the Belorussian-Polish border only a few miles from where the U.S. forces are deploying in Poland.  This on the heels of Britain deploying 800 men, tanks, and jets to Estonia, along with pledges of Challenger 2 tanks, APC’s (Armored Personnel Carriers), and drones.  Two companies of French and Danish Soldiers will join the British in the deployment to Estonia. Continue reading

Russia Launches Drills in Serbia as NATO Tensions Increase

Please see the source for the video.

 

Russia and Belarus are to send troops for a week-long military drill in Serbia for the second time this year, the Serbian Ministry of Defense has announced.

The drill, entitled the Slavic Fraternity, will involve the deployment of paratroopers across several locations, including in the outskirts of the capital city of Belgrade. The exercise will engage 212 Russian troops, 56 Belarusian troops and 450 troops from the host country Serbia. Continue reading

Countries using Eastern Europe to flood Syria with weapons, study finds

Unprecedented quantities of weapons and ammunition worth in nearly $1.5 billion have been procured from Eastern Europe and sent to Syria to arm nearly every side in the ongoing civil war, a study has found. The weapons are transported through the Balkans and sold legally to countries bordering Syria, including Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Once there, they are secretly transported to Syria for use in the bloody five-year civil war, which has so far killed or displaced millions. The revelation resulted from a year-long investigative project by the Serbia-based Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) in the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in Bosnia. Continue reading

At the Russian Border

BERLIN/WARSAW (Own report) – NATO wound up its summit in Warsaw, Saturday, with a decision to bolster its arms buildup. The measures decided by the Western war alliance are particularly aimed at Russia. Four battalion-sized NATO-“Battle Groups” will be deployed in Poland and the Baltic countries – one under German command. NATO will also support Ukraine’s armed forces and reinforce its presence on the Black Sea. The war alliance pursues its propaganda of Cold-War style alleged threat scenarios. With allusion to the “Fulda Gap,” NATO identifies today a “Suwalki Gap” between northeastern Poland and southern Lithuania as an alleged gateway for Russian troops to Kaliningrad through Belarus, against which, NATO would be “helpless.” Statistics show that the “helpless” NATO invests thirteen times more than Russia in its military. While the EU is enhancing its cooperation with the western war alliance, the US is heating up the next major conflict – with China – through its deployment of a missile defense system in Asia.

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Report: Russia Building Military Base Near Border With Ukraine

Russia is in the process of building a military base close to its border with Ukraine, according to a report Tuesday.

Reuters reported:

A Reuters reporter who visited the Russian town of Klintsy, about 50 km (30 miles) from Ukraine, saw a makeshift army camp, large numbers of newly-arrived servicemen and military vehicles. Two soldiers in camouflage gear who were manning a checkpoint in a forest turned the reporter away, saying they were guarding a “special military site.” Last year, Reuters also reported on construction of two other bases further to the south on Russia’s border with Ukraine. The defense ministry has not acknowledged the deployment of troops to Klintsy, which usually serves as a stop for truck drivers traveling between Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Continue reading