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Russian Influence In The Mediterranean Is Multipolar, Not Malign

Russian Influence In The Mediterranean Is Multipolar, Not Malign

17 DECEMBER 2020

Russian Influence In The Mediterranean Is Multipolar, Not Malign

US Secretary of State Pompeo’s misportrayal of Russian influence in the Mediterranean as malign is likely due to the fading unipolar hegemon’s fear of the growing multipolar impact that the Eurasian Great Power is having on regional affairs, and it also very conspicuously ignores the de-facto Russian-”Israeli” alliance which voices on both sides of the partisan aisle as well as the vast majority of the Alt-Media Community feel very uncomfortable discussing for vastly different reasons.

Malicious Accusations

America’s top diplomat claimed earlier this week that “Russia continues to threaten Mediterranean stability using a variety of techniques to spread disinformation, undermine national sovereignty, and sow chaos, conflict, and division within countries throughout the [Mediterranean].” Pompeo purported that the Eurasian Great Power’s enormous military support of the Syrian government in its anti-terrorist campaign was proof of this, as well as a diplomatic scandal in Greece a few years back, its diaspora’s financial connections with the region, and its reported mercenary-led intervention in Libya. In reality, however, Russia’s regional role is far from malign but actually represents the embodiment of irreversible multipolar trends, an observation which understandably upsets the fading unipolar hegemon. Moreover, Pompeo also conspicuously ignores the de-facto Russian-”Israeli” alliance which voices on both sides of the partisan aisle as well as the vast majority of the Alt-Media Community feel very uncomfortable discussing for vastly different reasons.

Setting The Record Straight

To briefly address each of his points, Russia’s anti-terrorist military intervention played a decisive role in defeating ISIS. In addition, the author earlier also drew attention two years ago to how “Russia’s Reshaping Syria’s ‘Deep State’ In Its Own Image”, specifically through one of its top think tank’s “recommendations” for security sector “reform” aimed at countering Iranian influence on that country’s armed forces, something which is being pursued independently of US interests but nevertheless dovetails with them. Secondly, the diplomatic scandal that Pompeo touched upon relates to Greece’s expulsion of Russian diplomats for supposedly trying to subvert the so-called “Prespes Agreement”that eventually made Macedonia the world’s first “politically correct” police state exactly as the author predicted, which they never attempted to do. Regarding its diaspora’s financial influence, there’s nothing wrong with this, and it in many ways compares to Western expats’ own. As for Libya, Russia is working closely with Turkey to stabilize the situation despite disagreements.

The Impact Of Multipolarity

The previously unforeseen and subsequently rapid expansion of Russian influence in the Mediterranean — greatly advanced by the newfound Russian-Turkish Strategic Partnership that rose in the wake of their regrettable November 2015 plane incident in Syria — has had the effect of facilitating the spread of multipolarity throughout the region. What’s meant by this is that the US’ unipolar hegemonic designs are being threatened by Russia’s emergence as a credible alternative to it in many respects, thus finally giving regional players someone else to rely upon instead of having to retain their former dependence on America for whatever their needs may be or oppose its aggression almost entirely alone (with Iran’s support to the Resistance being the notable exception). Where Russia doesn’t differ from the US, however, is with its de-facto alliance with “Israel”, which the author elaborated upon at length in his extensively researched piece for Global Research in September 2019 titled “Russia’s Middle East Strategy: ‘Balance’ vs. ‘Betrayal’?”.

Pompeo’s “Politically Correct” Omission

Although some differences still remain between these two strategic partners, notably in terms of the limits to their cooperation in Syria, they’re still largely on the same page in many respects as the cited Global Research analysis explains. This, however, is conspicuously ignored by Pompeo, his partisan opponents, and most of the Alt-Media Community, albeit for their own reasons. Neither America’s top diplomat nor his domestic enemies dare to draw attention to this after spending the past four years defaming Russia since they’re afraid that it would thus make their “Israeli” ally look bad by association. They’re also probably a bit jealous of how close President Putin and Netanyahu have become over the years, the resultant relationship of which the author describes with the portmanteau of “Putinyahu’s Rusrael”. “Israel”, long thought by some to be under the US’ influence, is actually impressively independent as far as cultivating its own strategic relations with Russia goes. These observations make Americans uncomfortable, hence why they choose not to publicly discuss them.

The Alt-Media Community’s Self-Censorship

As for the Alt-Media Community, most are zealously opposed to Zionism, so much so that their beliefs are practically dogmatic at this point. Every member has the right to hold whichever sentiments they want, but they’re unable to reconcile their anti-Zionism and Russophilia like the author explained in his Global Research analysis. This leads to what he described as the “freakish fusion” between the two whereby those who espouse these views cannot accept that President Putin is a proud philo-Semite who’s overseen his country’s de-facto alliance with “Israel”, something that he passionately defended back in September 2019 while speaking before the self-described “preeminent worldwide fundraising organization for Israel” and “fundraising arm of the Jewish People and the Zionist Movement”, the Keren Heyesod Foundation. Instead of supporting Russia on some issues while disagreeing with it on others such as this one for instance, they feel that no such balanced approach is possible, so they simply ignore the Russian-”Israeli” alliance because it’s “politically inconvenient”.

The Jewel In Russia’s Geopolitical Crown

Truth be told, however, this game-changing strategic partnership is actually the jewel in Russia’s geopolitical crown, and no serious discussion of its Mediterranean strategy is possible without focusing the majority of one’s analytical attention on it. However one personally feels about Russia’s extremely close ties with “Israel”, the fact of the matter is Moscow seeks to replace Washington as Tel Aviv’s top regional security partner. There are of course practical limits to how far Russia is willing to go in this regard, but there’s no denying that it successfully pushed Iranian forces back from the occupied Golan Heights in 2018 as publicly acknowledged by Russia’s own Defense Ministry and even passively facilitated “Israel’s” hundreds of strikes against the IRGC and Hezbollah in the Arab Republic by never interfering with them despite receiving advanced notice. These developments — and especially Russia not allowing Syria to use the S-300s to shoot down “Israeli” jets as the author analyzed at length here — helped “Israel’s” security interests much more than the US has in recent years.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s not the author’s intent to argue in support of or against Russia’s de-facto alliance with “Israel” since he respects the reader’s right to arrive at their own conclusions about this sensitive issue, but simply to remind everyone that this strategic partnerships exists and thus raise the “uncomfortable question” of why Pompeo, his domestic opponents, and the Alt-Media Community all fail to mention it when discussing the Eurasian Great Power’s growing influence in the Mediterranean. As it was provocatively described in the article, this is actually the jewel in Russia’s geopolitical crown, and it can also be said that “Israel” regards its privileged relationship with Russia as being a jewel in its own such crown as well. After all, everything that Russia has done for “Israel’s” regional security interests in recent years (particularly with respect to Syria) can’t help but be immensely appreciated by Tel Aviv, especially since it’s much more than its traditional American ally has done for it during the same time. It’s therefore impossible to discuss Mediterranean geopolitics without acknowleding that the de-facto Russian-”Israeli” alliance is one of its most prominent features.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, Mediterranean, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Libya, Syria, Iran, Balancing, Putin, Netanyahu, Pompeo, US.


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Western Sahara Is Extremely Important For The Anti-Imperialist Cause

Western Sahara Is Extremely Important For The Anti-Imperialist Cause

16 DECEMBER 2020

Western Sahara Is Extremely Important For The Anti-Imperialist Cause

Most folks never heard about Western Sahara until Trump unilaterally recognized Morocco’s claims to this disputed region of the Maghreb last week in exchange for it agreeing to a peace deal with “Israel”, but it’s actually extremely important for the anti-imperialist cause since its standing is similar to Palestine and Kashmir’s in the eyes of international law.

Trump’s unilateral recognition of Morocco’s claims to the disputed Maghreb region of Western Sahara in exchange for Rabat formalizing its long-held and not-so-secret ties with Tel Aviv caught many observers by surprise who previously weren’t familiar with this unresolved conflict. Palestine and Kashmir are much more globally prominent because of the involvement of nuclear powers and the efforts of some to focus more on the inter-religious optics of these conflicts than their international legal origins. Western Sahara satisfies neither of those two “exciting” criteria, hence why it’s largely been forgotten about by most of the world since the issue first came to the fore of international politics in the mid-1970s.

Francoist Spain’s “decolonization” process saw the totalitarian country refuse to grant independence to the Western Sahara, instead dividing it between neighboring Morocco and Mauritania against the wishes of the indigenous Sahrawi people as represented by the Polisario Front. This group in turn proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic with the support of neighboring Algeria, which has an historic rivalry with Morocco and was also sympathetic to socialist causes such as this one during the Old Cold War. Mauritania eventually abandoned its claims to the disputed region, and after over a decades’ worth of fighting, Morocco and the Western Sahara reached a UN-backed agreement in 1991 to hold a referendum on the region’s political status.

The vote never took place since the two warring sides couldn’t agree on who’s eligible to vote, with the primary problem being Morocco’s insistence on letting settlers participate. Western Sahara is also de-facto divided by a sand wall that the occupying army built to solidify its control over approximately 80% of the territory. With Trump’s unilateral recognition of Rabat’s claim to the entire region (which might eventually be followed by others such as “Israel”), as well as his government’s subsequent decision to move forward with a $1 billion arms deal, it’s extremely unlikely that last month’s end of the 29-year ceasefire will result in any serious gains being made by the Polisario Front.

Russia denounced the US’ political decision as illegal under international law, which is an entirely accurate assessment, but this isn’t expected to have any tangible effect on altering the conflict’s dynamics. Only Algeria could potentially have an impact, but its ongoing domestic political problems over nearly the past two years have forced it to suddenly look inward instead of continue with its traditional policy of presenting itself as a regional leader. Moreover, the US’ planned arms deal might ultimately shift the regional balance of power in a decisive way, especially if “Israel” gets involved too, or at the very least spark a new arms race between Morocco and Algeria as the latter looks to Russia and China for more military support in response.

Amidst all of this, anti-imperialists shouldn’t ever forget the international legal importance of the Western Saharan cause. However one feels about the legitimacy of either side’s claims in the conflict, it’s nevertheless a UNSC-recognized dispute that’s supposed to be resolved by a referendum. The precedent of the US unilaterally abandoning its international legal obligations is disturbing and arguably also destabilizing, though it’s obviously doing this in pursuit of its own national interests as it subjectively understands them. The problem, however, is that this might embolden other claimants over different UNSC-recognized disputed territories across the world to double down on their maximalist positions, thus making it much more difficult to resolve those issues.

Another important point is that international law exists not solely for “moral” reasons like its most passionate supporters claim (since it’s obviously imperfect), but for practical ones related to the necessity of having predictable means to resolve international disputes in order to avoid unintentional escalations that could quickly evolve into larger and more uncontrollable conflicts. Unilateral maximalist claims by one party are troublesome, but they become even worse when they’re supported by self-interested external actors who might also have an ulterior motive to divide and rule the region in question like the US clearly does in the Maghreb, Mideast, and South Asia regarding Western Sahara, Palestine, and Kashmir.

The Western Saharan cause is therefore inextricable from the Palestinian and Kashmiri ones in the eyes of international law, which is why supporters of those two should stand in solidarity with their Sahrawi counterparts. The issue can only legally be settled by a referendum according to the UNSC regardless of one’s personal views towards the conflict, but since that has yet to happen and might very well never occur after Trump’s combined diplomatic-military support for Morocco’s claims gives Rabat no incentive to comply, observers can’t help but be concerned. The only way to remain consistent with supporting Palestine and Kashmir is to support Western Sahara’s UNSC-recognized right to a referendum.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Morocco, Western Sahara, Israel, Palestine, Kashmir, US, North Africa, Maghreb, Trump.


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The US’ Anti-Turkish Sanctions Will Strengthen Its Target’s Sovereignty

The US’ Anti-Turkish Sanctions Will Strengthen Its Target’s Sovereignty

15 DECEMBER 2020

The recently imposed targeted sanctions against Turkey and the impending National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2021 ones mandating similar measures against it for its acquisition of Russia’s S-400 air defense systems, while illegal in terms of international law and a blatant example of unfriendly meddling in its nominal NATO ally’s affairs, will actually strengthen its target’s sovereignty by inspiring it to double down on its independent policies.

Subversive Sanctions

Mideast observers were alarmed but not necessarily surprised to hear that the US recently imposed targeted sanctions against Turkey and that its National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2021 mandates similar ones for its acquisition of Russia’s S-400 air defense systems. The US has long threatened to punish its nominal NATO ally under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), but now it’s finally come to pass and will become law through the NDAA. Although Trump threatened to veto it for not appealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the Senate has a veto-proof majority so they’ll ultimately be able to override his efforts. Moreover, Monday’s targeted sanctions show that the President certainly supports this policy in principle. Although illegal in terms of international law and a blatant example of unfriendly meddling in its putative partner’s affairs, this development actually strengthens its target’s sovereignty by inspiring it to double down on its independent policies.

Turkey’s “Military Diplomacy” With Russia

The US’ intention is to pressure Turkey into reversing its fast-moving rapprochement with Russia over the past few years which was supercharged after the failed pro-American military coup attempt against President Erdogan in summer 2016. That decisive event showed Turkey the importance of diversifying its strategic partnerships, particularly in the military sphere, ergo its decision to purchase the S-400s. The US argues that these systems are redundant since Turkey has access to American options instead, yet it’s particularly because of the unprecedented distrust between those two countries that Ankara doesn’t feel comfortably relying on its so-called “ally’s” equipment, especially not after the failed military coup. Since then, “military diplomacy” — the use of military means to advance political ends — has been at the core of the emerging Russian-Turkish Strategic Partnership. This has enabled both countries to quickly improve the trust between them, as well more responsibly manage regional conflicts such as those in Syria, Libya, and Azerbaijan.

American Mistakes

American policymakers underestimated President Erdogan’s resolve to diversify Turkey’s strategic partnerships, wrongly thinking that the threat of sanctions would succeed in getting him to step back from his country’s ongoing rapprochement with Russia and possibly even manufacture an unexpected rift between them if Ankara abandoned the S-400 deal. They also failed to understand just how much he distrusts the US after the failed military coup. By arrogantly sanctioning his country, they’re counterproductively confirming his suspicions that the US treats Turkey like a “junior partner” and is still committed to undermining him personally after he invested so much of his political reputation at home into seeing the historic S-400 deal succeed. Even a simple leadership analysis by a casual observer would suggest that threats are the wrong way to deal with someone like President Erdogan since he doesn’t back down and is actually emboldened to stick with his position when pressured for principle’s sake. The US obviously knows this, yet it still sanctioned Turkey.

Three Explanations

There are three primary explanations for why they decided to go through with this policy in spite of that. The first is that the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) are deeply divided on the issue and that the pragmatists who understand just how counterproductive this policy is have been beaten by the ideologues who want to send a strong message of displeasure by sanctioning Turkey. The second one is that the “deep state” is united on this issue, perhaps believing that the substance of the forthcoming sanctions will eventually be just as significant as their optics and thus stand a chance of succeeding with their stated goal. And thirdly, it might very well be that the US has resigned itself to the fact that the Russian-Turkish Strategic Partnership is a geopolitical reality that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon and that the best that they can do is show the world that the American-Turkish Strategic Partnership will be irreparably harmed as a result.

The US’ Dual Containment Strategy

The author predicted last month that “Russia & Turkey Stand To Lose The Most From A Biden Presidency”, arguing that the Democrat’s promise of more pragmatic relations with China and a possible return to the Iranian nuclear deal would combine to put immense pressure on those two Great Powers, though with the unintended outcome of naturally driving them even closer together into a deeper relationship of complex strategic interdependence. That likely being the case in such a scenario, the US might want to get a head start on its dual containment of those two, thus finally imposing sanctions on Turkey for its S-400 purchase in order to set the stage for the next four years, during which time its target will either double down on its independent policies or buckle under pressure. The latter scenario is unlikely though since it would amount to Turkey strategically submitting to the US’ fading unipolar hegemony, which would have drastic consequences for the country’s sovereignty, perhaps even accelerating America’s plans to carry out regime change there.

Concluding Thoughts

That’s why the last of the three explanations behind this move — that the US accepts the continued existence of the Russian-Turkish Strategic Partnership but wants to fire off a warning shot signaling its severe displeasure — is the most credible. This observation also reinforces the author’s feelings that Russia and Turkey will be Biden’s top two geopolitical targets, which will in turn lead to them moving much closer together in response. It’ll of course remain to be seen whether more such sanctions will be symbolic or substantive, but this development is still an unquestionably negative one for American-Turkish relations. President Erdogan’s domestic position won’t be weakened either, but will actually improve since the US is showing the Turkish people how responsible their leader’s “military diplomacy” was in diversifying the country’s strategic partnerships out of concern that America couldn’t be trusted. While the future is always difficult to predict, one thing is clear, and it’s that US-Turkish relations will never be the same after these sanctions were imposed.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

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Here’s How China Survived & Thrived During Four Years Of Trump

Here’s How China Survived & Thrived During Four Years Of Trump

The lesson to be learned is that aggression will always backfire and that cooperation is the only way forward in today’s complex world.

The past four years of US President Trump’s time in office were very challenging for China, ye the country managed to not only survive, but even thrive despite the American leader’s best efforts to thwart its rise. It’s important to study how the People’s Republic managed to succeed in spite of all the obstacles that Trump placed in its path. The resultant insight will show the world that China’s leadership accurately understood the elements of the American challenge and accordingly took the most effective measures to counter them.

Chinese-American relations over the past four years are most popular described against the context of Trump’s trade war, which he decided to wage with the intent of crippling what he wrongly believed was the economic foundation of China’s rise. It’s true that bilateral trade played an enormous role in China’s modern-day development over the past four decades, but the country sought to diversify from its erstwhile dependence on this for pragmatic reasons through the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) that Chinese President Xi unveiled in 2013.

While Trump did make some attempts to obstruct BRI, he focused much more on trying to directly harm the domestic Chinese economy out of the mistaken belief that any externally provoked destabilization thereof through the trade war would catalyze a chain reaction through the global Silk Road network. This was perhaps the most fundamental flaw in his strategy (apart from the obvious one of even waging such an economic war in the first place) because it proves that he completely underestimated the strength of the Silk Roads.

Trump also took a while to realize that China’s economy had diversified quite a lot throughout the past decade and that it was therefore capable of absorbing the artificial shock that the trade war was intended to produce. Once this became unquestionably obvious to him, he tried to expand the trade war into the technological sphere by attempting to curtail the activities of companies such as Huawei, TikTok, and WeChat, albeit to little avail. Those companies are giants in their respective fields and cannot be easily contained.

Again, as the case study of Huawei shows, China had already diversified its economy through the establishment of dozens of new foreign partnerships over the past decade to the point where a system of complex interdependence between the People’s Republic and the rest of the world had already started to take shape. The simple truth is that everyone increasingly needs one another and that only the US and a few of its closest allies are the odd countries left out of this mix due to their increasingly rogue behavior.

As global trends began to suddenly shift in the anti-globalization direction with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump was unexpectedly filled with false hope that he might finally dismantle the Silk Roads and their associated supply chains. Alas, this wasn’t meant to be since the Chinese economy recovered earlier than anyone else’s and subsequently became the engine for revitalizing the global economy. Understanding its responsibility to the rest of the world, China unveiled its new development paradigm of dual circulation.

This model more effectively manages globalization processes for everyone by strengthening the complex interdependence between the Chinese economy and the rest of the world. Circulation within the Chinese domestic economy will drive more foreign direct investment into the country, which will in turn stimulate the global economy’s recovery. This isn’t just wishful thinking either but will be actively practiced in the Asia-Pacific after the recent Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was agreed to by 15 regional states.

Lo and behold, the US found itself outside of the world’s largest trade bloc, and all because of its own counterproductive policies. By being so obsessed with crippling China’s economy, Trump was blinded to the reality that he was actually crippling America’s own. The US is now ironically just as economically isolated as it hoped that China would be by this time, and it’s no one’s fault but Trump’s. The lesson to be learned is that aggression will always backfire and that cooperation is the only way forward in today’s complex world.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

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Why is Russia participating in the AMAN-2021 naval drills?

Why is Russia participating in the AMAN-2021 naval drills?

The improvement of relations with Pakistan allows Moscow to perfect its sensitive “balancing” act in Eurasia

vladimir putin and imran khan pose for a photo photo afp
Vladimir Putin and Imran Khan pose for a photo. PHOTO: AFP

The Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet announced on Thursday that it plans to participate in next year’s multinational AMAN-2021 naval drills to be hosted by Pakistan. These biennial exercises aim to improve joint coordination in maritime rescue missions and combating piracy, among other issues of common concern. It’s extremely symbolic that Russia agreed to participate since its fleet said that it’ll be the first time since the “Bold Monarch-2011” exercises off of the Spanish coast that its naval forces will join NATO’s. Other than Pakistan, Russia, and the US, nearly 30 other countries’ navies will take part in next year’s drills too.

Moscow is sending several important signals by agreeing to participate, the most obvious of which is that relations with Islamabad are rapidly improving to the point where it feels comfortable attending its exercises alongside NATO forces. This speaks to Russia’s changing perceptions of Pakistan from a partisan Old Cold War-era player to a neutral “balancing” force in global affairs. It also represents an important milestone in their on-going rapprochement, which was initially driven by shared anti-terrorist concerns stemming from ISIS’ arrival in Afghanistan but has since evolved to a comprehensive partnership with long-term strategic intentions.

Extrapolating from this observation, my insight from almost two years ago that Pakistan is the global pivot state seems to now be tacitly shared by the Russian leadership. The South Asian country’s hosting of the BRI’s flagship project of CPEC enables it to function as the Zipper of Eurasia, after which it could serve as the Convergence of Civilisations across the Eastern Hemisphere through my related CPEC+ proposals for more closely integrating Afro-Asia via northern (N-CPEC+), western (W-CPEC+), and southern (S-CPEC+) branch corridors. Russia naturally appreciates Pakistan’s growing global geostrategic significance and doesn’t want to be left out.

Moscow’s “military diplomacy” – which is the use of military means to advance political goals – explains its participation in next year’s naval exercises. Russian political observer Dmitry Bokarev, in his latest article for Journal NEO (which is the official journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies), quoted Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Danila Ganich’s speech at the opening of this year’s Druzhba (“Friendship”) joint anti-terrorist drills where he praised the Pakistan Army as “the core of Pakistani statehood and society.” This suggests that the Russian-Pakistani rapprochement is being driven by “military diplomacy”.

With that in mind, the larger geopolitical context of their rapprochement needs to be discussed. As I asked in September, “Is Russia ‘Abandoning’ Or ‘Recalibrating’ Its ‘Balancing’ Act Between China & India?”, which raised questions about the inadvertent impact that the “The Indian-Russian Relations Renaissance” might have on Russian-Chinese relations. Following the unexpected publication of influential BJP official Subramanian Swamy’s hateful anti-Russian article in November, I then warned that “Extreme Pro-US BJP Ideologues Mustn’t Be Allowed To Sabotage Russian-Indian Relations”.

In the aftermath of that political scandal which enormously damaged the goodwill and trust which previously characterised the Russian-Indian Strategic Partnership (especially over the past year since they began their “renaissance”), it makes sense that Russia would seek to recalibrate its “balancing” act even further by more openly embracing Pakistan. This is exactly what I encouraged Russia to do in the academic article that I jointly co-authored over the summer about “Pakistan’s Role In Russia’s Greater Eurasian Partnership”, which was republished by the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), one of the country’s top think tanks.

Proof of that policy being practiced in the current context can be seen by the fact that Russia and Pakistan finally reached an agreement on their long-discussed pipeline plans two weeks after the Swamy scandal. Discussions clearly predated that scandal by many years, but it’s symbolic that the timing happened to coincide with the diplomatic aftermath of that incident. It’s also more than curious that Russia is now more confidently practicing its “military diplomacy” with Pakistan by agreeing to join next year’s AMAN-2021 drills, during which time it’ll participate alongside some of its NATO rivals.

Interestingly, it had hitherto been India which professed to practice a policy of so-called “multi-alignment”, yet instead of that South Asian state being the scene where the Russian and NATO navies will participate in multilateral exercises, it ends up being the global pivot state of Pakistan. At the risk of reading too much between the lines and “speculating”, it certainly seems to be the case that Russia is nowadays more sure of Pakistan’s actual geostrategic neutrality than India’s unconvincing claim to the same, especially since Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov sharply criticised the influence of India’s American ally over New Delhi recently.

All things considered, next year’s AMAN-2021 will be a milestone in Russian-Pakistani relations, and it wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for Moscow’s political maturity in turning the page on its complicated history of relations with Islamabad and courageously deciding to chart a new chapter of cooperation together in the emerging Multipolar World Order. From the Russian perspective, the improvement of relations with Pakistan allows Moscow to perfect its sensitive “balancing” act in Eurasia – especially between newfound rivals China and India – whereas relations with Russia allow Islamabad to reaffirm its geostrategic neutrality.

Both countries have increasingly come to realise that they need one another. President Vladimir Putin’s vision of a Greater Eurasian Partnership is incomplete without Pakistan’s participation – the same as it’s impossible to synergise the Eurasian Union with the BRI like he earlier proposed without a rapprochement in relations considering that Pakistan hosts the BRI’s flagship project of CPEC – just like Pakistan’s CPEC+ vision of becoming the global pivot state can’t happen without N-CPEC+ connecting it to Russia. Since both of their militaries influence foreign policy, it makes sense why “military diplomacy” is driving their rapprochement, hence AMAN-2021.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

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The Future Of The Belt & Road Initiative In The Dual Circulation Era

The Future Of The Belt & Road Initiative In The Dual Circulation Era

11 DECEMBER 2020

The Future Of The Belt & Road Initiative In The Dual Circulation Era

China’s new development paradigm of dual circulation is not a repudiation of its prior BRI-driven model of globalization, but is actually complementary to it. Observers shouldn’t forget that many of the hundreds of billions of dollars of BRI-related loans are for long-term infrastructure investments.

The Financial Times published an article on Tuesday titled “China curtails overseas lending in face of geopolitical backlash”. It reported on a recent study by researchers at Boston University which found that the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China only lent $4 billion last year compared to $75 in 2016. The outlet then relies heavily on a report from the partially US government-funded “Overseas Development Institute” and a Chatham House expert to editorialize that this due to the alleged model of prioritizing Chinese interests over recipient countries’ and the “reputational damage” caused by Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) deals.

These interpretations are inaccurate and likely being promoted only to smear BRI. It’s also suspicious that the quoted Chatham House expert claimed without any evidence that the Chinese public is pressuring decision makers to curtail international lending in order to focus on revitalizing the domestic healthcare industry after COVID-19. The fact of the matter is that China’s healthcare system succeeded in containing the pandemic and saving countless lives. While every system in any country across the world continually seeks to improve, China’s has proven itself to be far superior to most of its peers in this respect, so that point is a propagandist one.

The only other element of value in the Financial Times’ article besides the statistics that they cited in the introduction was the explanation provided by Kevin Gallagher, director of the Boston University Global Development Policy Center, which compiled the data. He attributed this drastic decline in international lending to the US’ trade war against China. That development was the first serious structural change in the global economy since the end of the Cold War, hence why his theory that China wanted to keep dollar assets at home because of the prevailing uncertainty makes a lot of sense.

Still, these observations raise questions about BRI’s future, but there’s actually nothing to be worried about even if China’s international lending remains low for the foreseeable future. The global economy is in the midst of crisis due to the world’s uncoordinated efforts to contain COVID-19, and certain protectionist trends have proliferated to the point of becoming commonplace in many countries. That doesn’t mean that the era of globalization is over, but just that it’s presently undergoing a transformation, and it might still take some time for the entire world to recover to the pre-COVID-19 status quo.

As these complex processes unfold, China also recently unveiled its new development paradigm of dual circulation whereby domestic and international circulation will be equally prioritized. This pragmatic policy will enable the world’s largest marketplace to flexibly react to the forthcoming shocks that are expected to continue shaking the global economy during this era of uncertainty. It is not, however, a repudiation of its prior BRI-driven model of globalization, but is actually complementary to it. Observers shouldn’t forget that many of the hundreds of billions of dollars of BRI-related loans are for long-term infrastructure investments.

Many of these have yet to fully materialize, such as those connected to BRI’s flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which has already attracted at least $60 billion worth of investments, but their projected implementation is such that they should all be completed by the end of the decade at the latest. That should be more than enough time for the global economy to recover, prior to which Pakistan and China’s other BRI partners will continue to develop as they finish constructing their planned large-scale infrastructure projects. These will in turn enable them to increase their exports to the growing Chinese economy.

The dual circulation paradigm wouldn’t be possible without BRI, and all BRI countries will benefit from this new development paradigm since they’ll have greater access to the Chinese economy. While China’s international lending might remain low as it prioritizes more domestic projects, the seeds that hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of BRI investments have planted across the world will continue to grow in the interim, thus mutually reinforcing each other’s economies. As China grows, so does the world, and vice-versa, with BRI being the bridge connecting them all together towards the ultimate goal of a community of shared future for mankind.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: China, Belt & Road Initiative, BRI, Dual Circulation, US, Fake News, Infowars.


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NATO’s Attempted Infringement Of Russia’s Airspace & Maritime Borders Is Very Dangerous

NATO’s Attempted Infringement Of Russia’s Airspace & Maritime Borders Is Very Dangerous

27 NOVEMBER 2020

NATO

Recent attempted infringements of Russia’s airspace and maritime borders by NATO are very dangerous instances of de-facto brinksmanship intended to provoke the Eurasian Great Power into reacting in a way that could then be manipulated as the “plausible pretext” for imposing further pressure upon it.

It seems like almost every week that Russian media reports on NATO’s attempted infringement of Russian airspace and maritime borders, but two ultra-dangerous developments occurred over the past week which signify that this trend will intensify. The Russian Navy threatened to ram the USS John McCain after it aggressively passed into the country’s territorial waters near Peter the Great Bay off Vladivostok, after which it thankfully reversed its course. The second incident involved the US launching rockets into the Black Sea from Romania that are capable of reaching Crimea in a wartime scenario. These two events deserve to be discussed more in detail because of their significance to NATO’s grand strategy.

The transatlantic alliance intends to provoke the Eurasian Great Power into reacting in a way that could then be manipulated as the “plausible pretext” for imposing further pressure upon it. It amounts to de-facto brinksmanship and is therefore incredibly dangerous since both parties are nuclear powers. Furthermore, it’s the definition of unprovoked aggression since Russia doesn’t partake in symmetrical provocations against NATO. If anything, every time that it’s been dishonestly accused of such was just the country carrying out military exercises within its own borders which just so happen to abut several NATO states after the bloc extended its frontiers eastward following the end of the Old Cold War.

It’s the eastern expansion of NATO and the alliance’s recent activities in the Arctic Ocean that represent the greatest threat to peace between the two. On the eastern front, the US is once again provoking Russia in order to craft the false impression among the Japanese that Moscow is a military threat to their interests. Washington is greatly perturbed by their past couple years of technically fruitless but nevertheless highly symbolic talks over signing a peace treaty to end the Second World War and resolve what Tokyo subjectively regards as the “Northern Territories Dispute”. Moscow’s reclamation of control over the Kuril Islands following that conflict was agreed to by the Allies, but then America went back on its word in order to divide and rule the two.

Their mutual intent to enter into a rapprochement with one another could in theory occur in parallel with a similar rapprochement between Japan and China, which might altogether reduce Tokyo’s need to retain as robust of an American military presence on its islands. That in turn would weaken the US’ military posturing and therefore reduce the viability of its grand strategic designs to “contain” both multipolar countries in that theater. As regards the Arctic and Eastern European fronts, these are also part of the same “containment” policy, albeit aimed most directly against Russia and only tangentially against China’s “Polar Silk Road”.

It’s understandable that the US will continue to compete with these two rival Great Powers, but such competition must be responsibly regulated in order to avoid the unintended scenario of a war by miscalculation. It’s for that reason why the world should be alarmed by American brinksmanship against them, especially the latest developments with respect to Russia that were earlier described. All that it takes is one wrong move for everything to spiral out of control and beyond the point of no return. Regrettably, while Biden might ease some pressure on China, he’ll likely compensate by doubling down against Russia.

Trump should also take responsibility for this as well since it’s occurring during his presidency after all, even if it might possibly be in its final months if he isn’t able to thwart the Democrats’ illegal seizure of power following their large-scale defrauding of this month’s elections. He capitulated to hostile “deep state” pressure early on into this term perhaps out of the mistaken belief that “compromising” with his enemies in the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies would result in them easing their pressure upon him on other fronts, but this gamble obviously failed since it only emboldened them to pressure him even more.

It’s unfortunate that Trump was never able to actualize his intended rapprochement with Russia for the aforementioned reasons, but he could have rebelliously defied the “deep state” after this month’s fraudulent elections by reversing his currently aggressive policy against Moscow if he truly had the political will to do so. He doesn’t, though, and this might nowadays be due more to his support of the military-industrial complex than any “deep state” pressure like it initially was. After all, war is a very profitable business, and artificially amplifying the so-called “Russia threat” by provoking Moscow into various responses could pay off handsomely.

It’s therefore extremely unlikely that this dangerous trend will change anytime in the coming future. To the contrary, it’ll likely only intensify and get much worse under a possible Biden Administration. Nevertheless, Russia doesn’t lack the resolve to defend its legitimate interests and will always do what’s needed in this respect, albeit responsibly (so long as it’s realistic to react in such a way) in order to avoid falling into the Americans’ trap. The ones who should be the most worried, then, are the US’ NATO and other “allied” vassals who stand to lose the most by getting caught in any potential crossfire for facilitating American aggression.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia ,NATO ,US.


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What Kind Of Secretary Of State Might Antony Blinken Be?

What Kind Of Secretary Of State Might Antony Blinken Be?

25 NOVEMBER 2020

What Kind Of Secretary Of State Might Antony Blinken Be?

While Pompeo is brash, Blinken is humble, and this key difference might play a leading role in repairing America’s damaged reputation abroad after the past four years of current US President Trump’s bombastic foreign policy statements. Nevertheless, this impression shouldn’t be taken to mean that Blinken isn’t decisive.

Democrat presidential candidate and popularly projected winner of this month’s elections Joe Biden announced that he’ll nominate his close advisor Antony Blinken as the US’ next Secretary of State. Blinken is a veteran Democrat expert in the foreign policy field who comes from a family of diplomats. He previously served as Biden’s National Security Advisor when he was Vice-President as well as Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy Secretary of State. The tremendous experience that Blinken will bring to a possible Biden Administration means that the world can expect a return to the US’ Obama-era foreign policy.

Media reports indicate that his personality is the complete opposite of current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. While Pompeo is brash, Blinken is humble, and this key difference might play a leading role in repairing America’s damaged reputation abroad after the past four years of current US President Trump’s bombastic foreign policy statements. Nevertheless, this impression shouldn’t be taken to mean that Blinken isn’t decisive. Other reports claim that he was in favor of former President Obama bombing Syria during the 2013 chemical weapons crisis, and former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul revealed some other interesting details.

According to the Financial Times in their article titled “Biden’s ‘alter ego’ Antony Blinken tipped for top foreign policy job”, McFaul said that Blinken was part of a secretive group of Democrats called the “Phoneix Initiative”. The former ambassador claimed that they began assembling in 2004 after former Democrat presidential candidate Kerry’s loss to incumbent President Bush Jr. Their debates allegedly consisted of passionate arguments in support of more robust national security strategies, including Blinken advocating very strongly for “human rights” according to McFaul.

This correlates with the US’ Obama-era foreign policy of supporting Color Revolutions and so-called “humanitarian interventions” across the world in countries as diverse as Ukraine and Libya respectively under such pretexts. Observers might thus be worried that these policies could repeat themselves under a possible Biden Presidency, which could in turn be destabilizing for Eastern Europe and the Mideast, especially if those aforesaid processes were weaponized for the purpose of geopolitically containing Russia and Iran. It’s too early to tell whether that’ll be the case, but it’s worth noting nonetheless.

Blinken was also critical of Russia over the past few years and even dramatically claimed in 2017 that “The president’s ongoing collusion with Russia’s plans is really striking, intentional or not.” It’s therefore unlikely that he’ll oversee any improvement of relations with Russia, which is worrisome because the two nuclear powers should renegotiate a new strategic weapons treaty after the New START expires early next year. Failing to do so for reasons possibly related to Blinken’s groundless suspicions of then-former President Trump’s relations with Russia (which were never proven despite several years of investigations) would worsen global insecurity.

On the topic of Iran, however, he seems to be much more pragmatic. Blinken supported the 2015 nuclear deal and would likely see the US attempt to return to it under a possible Biden presidency. While that might repair American-Iranian relations, it could also inadvertently worsen the US’ historical ties with Israel and Saudi Arabia, both of which are totally against the agreement. Still, it would represent a symbolic return to the UN-enshrined rules-based order if Blinken were to oversee the US’ return to that pact. Thus far, it can be concluded that he’d probably be harder on Russia but more flexible with Iran, but his stance towards China is unclear.

The same earlier cited Financial Times piece reported that Blinken told an interviewer during a recent podcast that “the US had to rebuild alliances to tackle the ‘democratic recession’ enabled by Mr Trump that let ‘autocracies from Russia to China . . . exploit our difficulties’.” This suggests that he might share some of his predecessor’s suspicions of China and thus be less pragmatic towards it than some had initially hoped after first hearing that Biden was projected by the media to be the next President-Elect. His ideological views towards governance hint that he might even try to strengthen the US’ regional alliances on a “democratic” basis.

It can only be hoped that Blinken wouldn’t let his personal opinions blind him to the fact that the US has no choice but to pragmatically cooperate with China despite those two countries’ different governing systems. Seeing the world in black-and-white terms of us-versus-them with respect to democracies versus what he regards as autocracies would be the wrong way to approach relations with the People’s Republic. It might even result in a possible Biden Administration ruining the chance to enter into a comprehensive rapprochement with China towards what some have predicted could even become a New Detente between the two if successful.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, Biden, Blinken, Russia, Iran, China, Color Revolutions, Regime Change, Hybrid Wars, Obama.


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Russian-Moldovan Relations Might Become Much More Difficult To Manage

Russian-Moldovan Relations Might Become Much More Difficult To Manage

23 NOVEMBER 2020

Russian-Moldovan Relations Might Become Much More Difficult To Manage

Pro-Western Maia Sandu’s victory in the second round of the Moldovan presidential elections last week might make bilateral relations with Russia much more difficult to manage than they were under her Russian-friendly predecessor, with the worst-case scenario being a new East-West crisis in the event that Moldova attempts to (re)unify with Romania and/or militarily resolve the frozen Transnistrian Conflict while the “best-case” one might realistically be a “managed decoupling” between the two with time.

Pro-Western Maia Sandu’s victory in the second round of the Moldovan presidential elections last week inspires optimism among her domestic supporters and their foreign patrons while raising worries in Russia that bilateral ties might soon become much more difficult to manage. Her Russian-friendly predecessor worked very hard to cultivate excellent ties with his country’s historical partner despite intense resistance from hostile elements of his permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”), but that renaissance in relations might now be over. It’s very difficult to imagine Sandu standing against those same “deep state” forces that she’s presumably a part of. In fact, she might even seek to impose their dual vision of (re)unifying with Romania and militarily resolving the frozen Transnistrian Conflict, which could spark a new East-West crisis in the worst-case scenario. The “best-case” one might then realistically be that a “managed decoupling” occurs between the two with time, but that would of course be less preferred than simply retaining their strategic ties.

For those who aren’t too familiar with the geopolitical dynamics, it’s important to point out that Moldova is a territory historically claimed by Romania but which had been under Russian Imperial and Soviet control for around one and a half centuries from 1812-1991 except for the interwar period when it was controlled by Bucharest. The tiny sliver of land east of the Dniester River (“Transnistria” literally meaning “beyond the Dniester”) remained under Russian control between the two World Wars but sought to secede from Moldova during the late Soviet period in response to Romanian nationalists coming to power in Chisinau, which frightened the region’s many Slavic people who feared for their rights and identity. The brief war that soon followed has yet to officially conclude but saw the introduction of Russian peacekeepers and subsequent bestowing of citizenship upon some of that area’s people. It presently hosts a Russian base but is completely surrounded by Moldova and Ukraine, which greatly complicates any potential military scenario.

To explain, Moldovans are divided over whether or not to (re)unify with Romania, but since Transnistria is universally recognized as their united country’s sovereign territory, its political future is uncertain in the event that that happens. One possibility for politically resolving this frozen conflict is to asymmetrically federalize the country, but opponents of this outcome argue that it would forever weaken the state. Supporters, meanwhile, insist that this is the only way to avoid more bloodshed and ensure that the locals’ human and cultural rights are protected. The presence of the Russian military base has hitherto served as a deterrent to any reckless NATO-provoked military adventure by Chisinau, but Sandu might gamble just like Saakashvili did before her that the time might soon be coming to strike. Unlike Georgia’s previously unrecognized breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Transnistria isn’t adjacent to Russia and therefore couldn’t be as easily supported as they were if she were to launch a similar midnight attack against its peacekeepers there.

The Russian military is more than capable of holding its own in the opening stages of any possible conflict, but it would certainly need support sooner than later, especially in the event that Ukraine were to join in any potential NATO-provoked Moldovan military operation there. That’s why observers have been warning about the worst-case scenario of a larger war in Transnistria for a while already ever since the 2013-2014 Ukrainian Crisis because the geo-military variables aren’t in Russia’s long-term favor. Moscow would have to pass through Ukrainian airspace to save its soldiers in that scenario, which would probably be closed to them for obvious reasons. Realistically speaking, the odds are against Russia unless it ups the ante by escalating the situation according to what the US — especially under a possible Biden presidency — might likely expect it to do. This means that Sandu’s election might be very dangerous in hindsight if she submits to the neoconservatives’ plans.

The reader must keep in mind that the author is only forecasting a series of scenarios and isn’t making any clear-cut predictions. It might end up being the case that Russian-Moldovan relations remain stable and that there isn’t any effort to (re)unify with Moldova and/or militarily resolve the Transnistrian Conflict. That’s certainly possible, however increasingly unlikely it might become, especially under a Biden presidency which restores the neoconservatives’ influence in Washington. For that reason, the “best-case” scenario should also be discussed whereby a “managed decoupling” is initiated between Russia and Moldova, no matter how economically disastrous this would be for the Moldovan people who depend on the Russian consumer and labor markets. At the very least, it would be preferable to the larger war that might be unleashed in the worst-case scenario even though Moscow would of course wish to retain strategic relations with Chisinau.

So as not to be misunderstood, the author isn’t promoting so-called “defeatism”, but just feels obligated to realistically assess all possible options in the event that indicators suggest that the worst-case scenario is becoming a reality. Russia undoubtedly has contingency plans in place for how to respond to that series of events, but it might nevertheless catch some observers unaware who hadn’t foreseen any of this happening. That’s why the purpose of this analysis is to inform, not advise, for the sake of educating everyone about what might come next. Sandu’s victory could very well be a dark omen for East-West relations, but it might also not be a big deal at all if she realizes that her country’s interests objectively rest in retaining pragmatic relations with Russia and politically resolving the Transnistrian Conflict. Only time will tell which path she chooses to take and a lot will definitely depend on the outcome of the as-yet-undecided US presidential election.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, Moldova, NATO, Romania, Transnistria.


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Russia’s Red Sea Base In Sudan Is A Recalibration Of Its Intra-Ummah Balancing Act

Russia’s Red Sea Base In Sudan Is A Recalibration Of Its Intra-Ummah Balancing Act

16 NOVEMBER 2020

Russia

Russia’s draft deal to open up a Red Sea naval base in Sudan amounts to a strategic recalibration of its careful “balancing” act between the GCC and Turkey after moving more closely to the latter following the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War, which in turn shows how important Moscow regards its “Ummah Pivot” as being by seeking to maintain equally excellent relations with all majority-Muslim countries without any of its bilateral relations being misperceived as directed against any third country in this civilizational sphere.

A Deal Three Years In The Making

Some observers were surprised by reports late last week that a Russian government website published details of a draft deal pertaining to Moscow’s plans to open up a Red Sea naval base in Sudan, but this was actually something that’s been openly discussed for the past three years already. The author wrote about former President Bashir’s public invitation for Russia to do exactly just that during his visit to the Eurasian Great Power in November 2017 in his piece titled “Here’s Why Russia Might Set Up A Red Sea Base In Sudan”. The geopolitical situation has considerably changed since then following his overthrow last year, which the author also recently analyzed at length in an article about how “The Sudanese-‘Israeli’ Peace Deal Required Lots Of Behind-The-Scenes Maneuvering”, but some of his insight from that time is still relevant.

Russia’s Silk Road & “Democratic Security” Interests

For instance, Russia indeed hopes to gain influence along China’s prospective Sahelian-Saharan Silk Road that he first identified in early 2017 and which is expected to terminate precisely in Port Sudan, which is where Moscow plans to open up its naval base. There are still domestic military dimensions to this draft deal which could be taken advantage of by Sudan, though not necessarily in terms of preventing the country’s further Balkanization considering the recent peace deal between its warring sides. More specifically, they likely relate to the “Democratic Security” strategies that the author summarized in his October 2019 piece written during the first-ever Russia-Africa Summit about how “Africa Needs Russia More Than Ever, And This Week’s Sochi Summit Proves It”, in which some hyperlinks are now broken but can still be accessed via other sites.

The “Ummah Pivot”

The most pertinent point made in his prior topical analysis, however, relates to Russia’s “balancing” act. The hyperlinked piece from the preceding sentence introduced the author’s concept of the “Ummah Pivot”, which he describes as the recent prioritization of Russia’s relations with majority-Muslim countries stimulated by the West’s anti-Russian sanctions of the past six and a half years. Many observers predicted Russia to “pivot eastward” in the face of that economic warfare campaign, but in reality, the country ended up pivoting southward towards the international Muslim community (“Ummah”) in order to optimize its continental “balancing” strategy by incorporating a third element (the Ummah) into this supposedly binary choice between East (China) and West (EU).

The Unofficial Russian-Turkish Alliance

In the present geostrategic conditions, there’s little doubt after the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War that Russia and Turkey are the new power duo in the “Greater Mideast”, which the author coined “Putogan” in his latest analysis on the topic titled “Analytical Reflections: Learning From The Nagorno-Karabakh Fiasco”. Less than a week prior, he noted that “Russia & Turkey Stand To Lose The Most From A Biden Presidency”, predicting that the simultaneous pressure that might likely be placed upon them in that scenario could result in them being pushed into an unofficial alliance out of pragmatic necessity. That potential outcome would risk giving off the optics that Russia is a partisan player in the cold war between Turkey and the GCC, however, hence the need to preemptively recalibrate that aspect of its “balancing” act within its larger “Ummah Pivot”.

The Unofficial Russian-Emirati Alliance

Post-coup Sudan is practically a GCC protectorate nowadays, and it wouldn’t have been possible for Russia to clinch its draft deal for a Red Sea naval base in Port Sudan without the approval of the North African state’s new Gulf overlords. They seemingly understand the importance of improving military interoperability with Russia through the joint naval drills that they’ll likely carry out in the Red Sea upon this agreement’s conclusion. The UAE in particular is the most important extra-regional player in this strategic waterway as a result of its newly established bases in Eritrea and the de-facto independent Somali and Yemeni regions of Somaliland and South Yemen, as well as its hegemonic influence over Ethiopia after brokering its historic peace deal with Eritrea two years back. Russia has also been seeking to cultivate closer state-to-state military ties with the UAE as well.

The Syrian Convergence

Unofficially allying with the UAE in this trans-regional space could “balance” its unofficial alliance with Turkey elsewhere in the “Greater Mideast”, thus reinforcing the impression that Russia is indeed the neutral partner that it presents itself as being in the Ummah. This in turn preemptively thwarts any misperception about the grand strategic motives behind its “Ummah Pivot”, thus helping it to maintain its careful “balancing” act in this civilizational space. The two halves of its intra-Ummah “balancing” act might ultimately converge in Syria where Turkey and the GCC are intensely competing in this geostrategic state where Russian influence undoubtedly predominates. It would be a diplomatic masterstroke if Moscow was able to leverage its “balancing” act in pursuit of a lasting political solution there, though it’ll still take lots of time and skill to achieve, if ever.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, Sudan, Horn Of Africa, Red Sea, UAE, Turkey, Ummah Pivot, Balancing, China, BRI.


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