How the New Silk Roads are merging into Greater Eurasia

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People take pictures of the first freight train from Shenzhen to Minsk, capital of Belarus, that set out of Yantian Port in Shenzhen in May 2017. Photo: Reuters / stringer

 

Russia’s embrace of the Far East and other parts of Asia is proceeding with a symbiotic embrace of China’s New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative

The concept of Greater Eurasia has been discussed at the highest levels of Russian academia and policy-making for some time. This week the policy was presented at the Council of Ministers and looks set to be enshrined, without fanfare, as the main guideline of Russian foreign policy for the foreseeable future.

President Putin is unconditionally engaged to make it a success. Already at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2016, Putin referred to an emerging “Eurasian partnership” Continue reading

The Sanctions Debate

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) – In the prelude to Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Russia, German business associations and foreign policy experts are urging that the policy of sanctions be ended. They argue that sanctions practically have become ineffective, since Russia’s economy has withstood these trade restrictions and is now even recovering. The boycott has also damaged the EU’s image and that of the USA in Russia and, even though intended to weaken, it has helped to stabilize the Russian government. Moreover, Russian orders, that German businesses had once expected, were increasingly going to competitors, for example in China – and are ultimately lost. However, German economists still see Russia as a lucrative market. According to an analysis by the Bertelsmann Foundation and Munich’s ifo Institute, a free-trade agreement between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), congregated around Russia, would generate a growth of 45 billion euros. Government advisors recommend that the sanctions policy be gradually ended. This would not eliminate the prospect that Moscow, at any time, could be forced to its knees with an arms race. Continue reading

Understanding Russian Political Ideology And Vision: A Call For Eurasia, From Lisbon To Vladivostok

Perhaps the next superpower on the world stage will indeed be a Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis. It’s often said here on Global Geopolitics that Germany’s Fourth Reich will lead the new superpower, which is to say a United States of Europe. That may strongly be the case, but a twist as described here, can also come into play. This isn’t the first time “from Lisbon to Vladivostok” has been mentioned.

Whatever it may look like, a new superpower emerging certainly isn’t far away as America suicides itself into the history books. The next chapter in world history isn’t going to be the end of the world, but the end of America as we know it.

 

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The five-pointed red star, symbolizing both communism and socialism. This photo accompanied the article in Russia in Global Affairs (Source: Russia in Global Affairs, March 3, 2016).

 

Introduction

In a landmark treatise titled “Russia’s Foreign Policy: Historical Background,” published March 3, 2016 in the Russian foreign affairs journal Russia in Global Affairs, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov challenged the Western perspective on Russia with an analysis of Russian history. According to Lavrov, Russia has played an important role in shaping both European history and contemporary European policies. He writes that contrary to the belief widespread in the West that Russia is Europe’s” political outsider, “it is an integral part of the European context, adding that while throughout history Russia’s power has been obstructed by European countries, Europe’s geography, and its historical, intrinsic interconnection with Russia, signifies that the former will always have to consider the latter. Lavrov also sketches out a bipolar world in which Russia confronts the U.S. by expanding its own realm of political influence and power from the Atlantic to the Pacific, as part of a new political entity – Eurasia. The vision of Eurasia and the resultant political goals are in essence an ideological blueprint for an ideological agenda to counter the U.S.

This report will present the Russian perspective, political ideology, and goals, as set out not only by Foreign Minister Lavrov but also by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and citing these ideas’ roots in recent history. It will not, however, include an examination of the extent to which these ideas and goals can actually be implemented at this time, given the country’s current economic, political, and structural situation Continue reading