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Russia’s Unfriendly States List Is Long Overdue

27 APRIL 2021

Russia

Russia’s decision to assemble a list of unfriendly states whose diplomatic missions would be prohibited from hiring locals and perhaps also subject to other restrictions is long overdue and shows that the country is finally taking the New Cold War very seriously approximately seven years after it first started.

President Putin signed a decree on countermeasures against unfriendly states on Friday, which would prohibit their diplomatic missions from hiring locals and perhaps also subject them to other restrictions in the future. The average person might not understand the importance of this move, but it basically means that those countries will have to staff lower-level administrative and other positions with their own highly trained diplomats instead of hiring locals to do the work. In other words, this diminishes those countries’ diplomatic capabilities because overqualified individuals are forced to do basic tasks instead of focus on more important matters. Since every country only has a limited number of diplomats, this might at least in theory make it more difficult for them to destabilize their host state, in this case Russia.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that the US will be on that list of unfriendly states, while it remains to be seen which other countries will be designated as such alongside it. In any case, this move is long overdue and shows that Russia is finally taking the New Cold War very seriously approximately seven years after it first started. The prior approach had been to refer to all countries, even obvious opponents, as so-called “partners” in order to retain a degree of “professionalism” in their relations. Russia’s adherence to classic diplomatic norms wasn’t reciprocated by the US, though, which continued to openly declare that Russia was a rival, if not an outright enemy. The diplomatic mood never recovered despite Russia’s best wishes to the contrary.

The last four years of former President Trump’s reign remain a major disappointment in the minds of many in Moscow who hoped that a “New Detente” would have been brokered between them by now. Regrettably, subversive elements of the country’s permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) successfully sabotaged the elected head of state’s foreign policy in this respect, which ruin bilateral relations and set the stage for President Biden to recently make them even worse. It’s therefore appropriate that Russia finally recalibrates its diplomatic stance towards the US and its proxies by bringing it in line with the new norms that the latter have imposed upon it all this time. Although the Mainstream Media will likely spin this move as “unprovoked aggression”, it’s actually a legitimate response against US aggression.

The significance of Russia’s decision to designate certain countries as unfriendly states and subsequently impose various restrictions upon their diplomatic activities suggests that the current state of tension between it and the West will remain the “new normal” for the indefinite future. Neither side is likely to backtrack on its stance towards the either, with each being convinced of the righteousness of their actions, for better (like in Russia’s case) or for worse (like in America’s). The recent expulsion of Russian diplomats in Czechia and several other countries speaks to how serious this “deep state” war between them has become. If there’s any silver lining to this state of affairs, it’s that Russia might finally begin the active containment of America according to the 20-point plan that I suggested in February, which would greatly improve its Hybrid War resilience.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, US, Putin, New Cold War, Hybrid War, Deep State, Diplomacy.


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What Explains The Latest De-Escalation In Donbass?

24 APRIL 2021

What Explains The Latest De-Escalation In Donbass?

The latest de-escalation in Donbass is attributable to Russia’s resoluteness in refusing to fall into the US’ Hybrid War trap of launching an all-out military intervention there in support of its legal interests while nevertheless flexing its muscles in this respect by sending the signal that it reserves the right to deliver a crushing strike in defense of its border and/or citizens if they’re seriously threatened.

The month of April was marked by serious tension in the Eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass after Kiev appeared to be gearing up for an Operation Storm-like genocidal advance against the Russian-friendly separatists there which many predicted might trigger a major military response from Moscow. Of course, the Mainstream Media flipped the victims and villains in order to misportray Russia as the aggressor even though it was Ukraine that declined to implement its legal obligations as agreed to during the Minsk peace process and thus unilaterally worsened the situation. I published two analyses at the time explaining the complicated dynamics of those tense events, which should be reviewed by interested readers in case they aren’t already familiar with them:

* 6 April: “Are Vaccines The Real Driving Force Behind The Latest Donbass Destabilization?

* 8 April: “Why Does Ukraine Want War?

Basically, Kiev was being put up to this by its Washington patron which wanted to provoke a scenario that would make it politically impossible for most of the EU nations to purchase Russia’s Sputnik V like they were reportedly planning to do up until that point. The US feared the long-term strategic impact of improved Russian-EU relations as a result of their prospective epidemiological cooperation. It hoped to “bait the bear” into launching an all-out military intervention in support of its border and/or citizens, which could in turn function as a Hybrid War trap for creating an Afghan-like quagmire in the worst-case scenario. Russia refused to fall for this scheme but nevertheless flexed its muscles by sending the signal that it still reserves the right to deliver a crushing strike in defense of its legal interests if they’re threatened, which got the West to back off.

The situation could of course change at any moment since the strategic dynamics haven’t changed all that much, but Russia’s confident moves must have made the West rethink the wisdom of this Hybrid War plot considering the obviously unacceptable costs that it would likely entail. For the moment at least, everything seems to be de-escalating a bit as a result of Russia’s prudent policy. The Russian “spy” scandal in Czechia was manufactured to serve as a convenient distraction from Western warmongers backtracking in Eastern Ukraine since their leadership couldn’t openly acknowledge that they blinked in the face of Russian resoluteness lest they lose credibility with their populace which has been hyped up by anti-Russian propaganda. This was followed by President Putin’s annual address to the Federal Assembly and the end of Russian drills in the south.

About those last two, they’re actually interconnected if one takes the time to think about them. The Russian leader very clearly implied that his country’s red lines are connected not only to conventional security interests such as the obvious ones in Eastern Ukraine that everyone had been talking about up until that point, but also “Democratic Security” insofar as announcing how unacceptable the recently foiled Belarusian regime change plot was. Without saying as much but clearly hinting in this direction, President Putin was conveying the message that the West mustn’t dare even think about attempting to assassinate him, stage a Color Revolution (the ongoing Navalny-inspired unrest isn’t a serious threat), try to co-opt military officials for a coup plot, or launch a crippling cyber offensive attack to shut down the national capital like was all planned for Belarus.

Since Russia’s southern military drills were sufficient enough to prove how resolute it was in defending its legal interests if need be, and considering the fact that the West had already begun to de facto de-escalate the situation by staging the Russian “spy” distraction in Czechia and subsequent expulsion of diplomats across a growing number of European countries, it naturally followed that Russia would reciprocate by ending its exercises. Moscow had already managed to show the West that it won’t be pushed around, and its military forces can always snap back into action at a moment’s notice if the situation requires them to do so. In other words, those drills and President Putin’s very clearly implied “Democratic Security” (counter-Hybrid War) red lines were responsible for getting the West to de-escalate, after which Russia responded in kind as is the norm.

The lessons to be learned are several. Firstly, Russia is much too wise to fall into Hybrid War traps that are so obviously laid out for it. Secondly, it still succeeded in showing its opponents that they’ll suffer unacceptably high costs for their schemes if they force Russia to militarily respond in a limited way in defense of its legal interests. Thirdly, awareness of these first two points resulted in a rethink of Western strategy, which was fourthly followed by their desperate manufacturing of the Russian “spy” scandal in Czechia to distract their hyped-up Russophobic populations that had expected the West to be the one to deliver a crushing blow to Russia and not the inverse. Fifthly, Russia conveyed its “Democratic Security” red lines, thereby essentially expanding the list of unacceptable actions against it which could provoke a hot war in the worst-case scenario.

This sequence of events explains the latest de-escalation in Donbass, but observers must remember that the present respite might only be short-lived since the strategic dynamics that provoked the original tensions still remain. There’s nothing stopping the West from trying to provoke Russia again and again, albeit perhaps modifying their approach each time. That would of course increase the chances of a war by miscalculation and contradict the so-called “rational actor theory” upon which many had (naively?) premised their understanding of International Relations up until this point. It might still be premature to predict that this will happen and that the US isn’t behaving rationally since it did after all de-escalate, though only in the face of Russian resoluteness, but everything should become much clearer by the time NATO’s Defender Europe 2021 drills end in June.


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Why’s The West Covering Up The Foiled Belarusian Coup Attempt?

22 APRIL 2021

Why

President Putin used the global attention afforded to him during his annual address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday to raise widespread awareness of the Belarusian coup attempt that his security services helped foil last weekend but which has since been mostly ignored by the Western Mainstream Media.

The Hybrid War On Belarus

The ongoing Hybrid War on Belarus could have taken a dramatic turn for the worse had the Russian security services and their Belarusian counterparts not foiled an assassination and coup attempt against President Lukashenko over the weekend that was being planned for the very near future. President Putin remarked about this near the end of his approximately 1,5-hour-long annual address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday, wisely using the global attention afforded to him during this time to raise widespread awareness of this scheme. The Russian leader even remarked how strange it was that the West has been mostly ignoring this dramatic development despite the potential consequences of its successful implementation predictably being disastrous for the Eastern European nation.

The News Story That Never Broke

Another point to keep in mind is that his spokesman Dmitry Peskov informed the press on Monday that President Putin discussed the issue with his American counterpart during their last phone call, which strongly suggests that the US government might have pressured its Mainstream Media proxies not to report on that aspect of their conversation. After all, there were plenty of leaks in the last administration, yet curiously barely any have thus have happened in the present one. Nevertheless, Russian media reported on the scandal over the weekend after it first broke, but few outlets elsewhere picked up on it. It can’t be known for sure, but apart from the previously mentioned reasonable speculation, this might also be attributable to self-censorship. Some outlets might simply not want to portray Biden’s foreign policy in any negative light.

American Tradecraft

Although the US officially denied any involvement in the plot, the details that the media disclosed about it (and which President Putin also repeated to everyone on Wednesday) bear the hallmarks of American tradecraft. The scheme involved assassinating President Lukashenko, reportedly during the military parade on Victory Day (9 May), which was to have been followed by a military coup carried out by compromised elements of the armed forces. In addition, the capital of Minsk was supposed to have been cut off from the rest of the country and victimized by a massive power outage, presumably as a result of a cyber offensive operation. The ongoing Color Revolution movement would have also been ordered to repeat the EuroMaidan scenario of all-out urban terrorism during this sensitive time in order to ensure that the coup succeeds by one means or another.

The Ukrainian & Venezuelan Precedents

President Putin compared this plot to what had previously been employed against former Ukrainian President Yanukovich and current Venezuelan President Maduro, thereby implying an American hand in the reported Belarusian events considering that the US’ leading tactical and strategic involvement in the prior two bears close resemblance to the Belarusian scenario. The Western Mainstream Media wanted to keep silent about this scheme out of fear of making Biden look bad since their targeted audience has been indoctrinated into thinking that he’s a comprehensive improvement upon everything that former US President Trump earlier was. If Biden – or rather, the military, intelligence, and diplomatic power structure (“deep state”) behind him – was implicated in a foreign assassination and coup attempt, then it might raise questions about whether the US’ ostensibly “democratically driven” regime change last November actually changed anything across the world.

Biden’s Following In Trump’s Footsteps

It shouldn’t be forgotten that despite legally discredited accusations of being a so-called “Russian puppet”, former President Trump did more to destabilize Russia than any US leader in history, which in this context includes organizing the ongoing Hybrid War on Belarus. Biden is therefore following in Trump’s footsteps whether his supporters acknowledge it or not, but this observation is very “politically inconvenient” for his base and must therefore be suppressed from the public’s consciousness. That explains why it’s practically forbidden from being discussed by the Mainstream Media, but that might have suddenly changed after President Putin ensured that the whole world became aware of it during his address to the Federal Assembly. He didn’t just do this to spite Biden, though, but for very practical reasons related to Russia’s national security interests.

Belarusian Threats = Russian Threats

The context in which the Russian leader talked about the foiled assassination and coup attempt in neighboring Belarus concerned the West’s larger campaign of maximum pressure against his country. Since Belarus is a civilizationally similar state that’s also proudly part of what many in Moscow consider the so-called “Russian World”, it naturally follows that its latest Hybrid War intrigue directly threatens Russia itself since the successful implementation of that regime change scenario could one day result in its replication inside Russia too. The socio-economic and even political situations are remarkably similar between those two nations, even though their security capabilities are incomparable by virtue of Russia being a Great Power while Belarus is simply a moderately sized regional state with very limited influence even within its own neighborhood.

Russia’s Red Lines

Even so, President Putin warned his country’s opponents against getting any crazy ideas by attempting to cross Russia’s red lines, which he said his country will draw at its own discretion on a case-by-case basis. Considering that he had just finished talking about the latest Hybrid War escalation against neighboring Belarus with which Russia has a mutual defense treaty through the CSTO and which is civilizationally similar to his own country, the implied message is obvious and it’s that Moscow won’t tolerate any such plots being attempted within its own borders. It would arguably constitute the crossing of a very clear red line if the West attempted (let alone coordinated) the assassination of President Putin, a military coup, a serious Color Revolution (the Navalny-inspired one isn’t all that threatening), and/or a crippling cyber attack.

The Truth About The New Cold War

The Belarusian attempt was foiled which is why it’s not being discussed by the Western Mainstream Media because of how embarrassing this failure is for their leaders. It also confirms what President Putin has been saying all along, namely that the real aggressor in the New Cold War isn’t Russia, but the West and especially the US. Most of the people living in the West have been indoctrinated through an incessant stream of propaganda and intense perception management operations into thinking the inverse, but even these brainwashed masses might reconsider their dogmatic beliefs if they took the time to reflect on the implications of their governments organizing the assassination of a Russian-friendly foreign leader and a military coup against him. That might, in the “worst-case scenario” from their leaders’ perspectives, get them to wake up.

Concluding Thoughts

Many of President Putin’s foreign supporters oftentimes describe him as “5D chess grandmaster”, and while this label is sometimes laughably exploited to deflect from some seemingly unsavory parts of his foreign policy such as Russia’s indisputable alliance with “Israel”, it can be said that this time it’s right on the mark when talking about his strategic genius in bringing up the foiled assassination and coup attempt in Belarus during his address to the Federal Assembly. The Russian leader broke through the Western Mainstream Media’s censorship firewall and forced this politically suppressed issue into the wider discussion, though it remains to be seen whether it’ll have any meaningful impact on public perceptions. In any case, it was a wily move to make and completely in line with the Russian leader’s style of responding to the West in asymmetrical ways.


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What’s Everything That Biden & Putin Have To Discuss?

15 APRIL 2021

What

The American and Russian Presidents have a slew of issues to discuss in the event that they meet in person sometime in the coming future like Biden proposed doing during their last phone conversation, but the most important topics on the itinerary would arguably be strategic security and peacefully resolving the conflicts in Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Syria.

Biden-Putin Summit Plans

Russian-American tensions are at an historic high for the post-1991 period so it’s sensible that President Biden proposed to hold an in-person meeting with his Russian counterpart during their last phone conversation in order “to discuss the full range of issues” facing their countries. The most important topics on the itinerary would arguably be strategic security and peacefully resolving the long-running conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine, but other issues would of course also be brought up. What follows is a list of the most pressing problems between these two Great Powers in the order of their significance. Each point includes a summary of their respective positions and what a compromise might look like if one’s realistically possible:

Strategic Security

The White House’s readout of their call noted “the intent of the United States and Russia to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues, building on the extension of the New START Treaty”, which was reflected by the Kremlin also referencing “strategic stability and arms control”. Both countries therefore share the common desire to build upon the New START Treaty’s last-minute extension in February, though it’s unclear in what direction this might go. The prior US administration demanded that China join all such forthcoming talks while Russia respects Beijing’s right not to do so. The ideal scenario would be if all relevant powers made proportionate cuts to their pertinent arsenals, but that might not be realistic.

Ukraine

This hot button issue concerns more than just politically resolving the Eastern European country’s civil war in line with the Minsk Accords that US-backed Kiev has thus far refused to implement despite previously agreeing to them. It also involves NATO’s aggressive forward posturing in the region and its support for Ukraine’s anti-Russian activities, including against Crimea. The situation is so tense at the moment that a war might even break out before the Russian and American leaders meet, with the subsequently feared brinksmanship potentially serving as the reason to expedite their summit plans. The best-case scenario would be if the US assesses the seriousness of the situation and finally pressures Kiev to implement the Minsk Accords.

Afghanistan

The Kremlin’s readout reported “the situation in Afghanistan”, which was missing from the White House’s, but this issue will likely be at the fore of their discussions considering that the US plans to fully withdraw from that country by 9/11 this year. Both Great Powers have recently seen their positions converge insofar as supporting an inclusive transitional government in which the officially terrorist-designated Taliban participates as the only pragmatic political outcome of the conflict. The challenge is that the Taliban reacted negatively to the US’ announcement that it’ll miss its originally scheduled deadline for withdrawing by 1 May, so it remains to be seen whether the fragile ceasefire between those two holds long enough for the meeting to occur.

Syria

Syria didn’t warrant a mention on either government’s readout so it’s unclear whether it was brought up during their last discussion, but it’s nevertheless a major issue between them that can’t be ignored. The US retains occupation forces in the northeast beyond the de facto “internal partition” line of the Euphrates River, and its widely reported support of terrorist forces in the country is a major impediment to the conflict’s resolution. Moreover, the US’ political proxies have hitherto obstructed the parallel peace processes, so something must be done in order to make progress on these tracks. The only realistic compromise would be “decentralization” and Damascus requesting Iran’s dignified but phased withdrawal from the country, but the latter still seems unlikely.

China

The US is slowly realizing that it made a major mistake by triggering Russia’s historical siege mentality, pushing it closer to China in response, and provoking Moscow to actively seek Washington’s containment all across the world. Even a simple thought exercise embracing the US’ infamous zero-sum outlook on International Relations suggests that this works out to America’s grand strategic disadvantage while being one of the best-ever scenarios for China. Accordingly, Biden’s team might attempt to court Russia into reversing its recent American-provoked foreign policy pivot so as to restore Moscow’s traditional “balancing” act between East and West, but this outcome is only possible in the event credible progress is made on a “New Detente”.

Iran

The Islamic Republic’s nuclear program is another major issue of disagreement between the US and Russia, but one which also attracts their interest more than ever after Iran recently clinched a 25-year strategic partnership deal with China. That agreement stands the chance to revolutionize the greater region’s geostrategic situation through the expansion of Beijing’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) to West Asia via W-CPEC+, which was an unexpected game-changing development that seemingly caught both the US and Russia off guard. Not only will they seek to address the immediate nuclear-related issue, but they might also discuss ways to manage this new regional geostrategic reality, perhaps in an indirectly joint way if they make progress on a “New Detente”.

Palestine

The so-called “Mideast Peace Process” (MEPP) is also an area of mutual concern for Russia and the US. Both Great Powers are also allied with “Israel” to different extents, with Russia’s largely under-discussed relationship being the result of skillful policymaking at the presidential level through Putin’s personal diplomacy with his close friend Prime Minister Netanyahu (background context herehereherehere, and here). Since Biden is attempting to balance the US’ regional relationships a bit more than Trump did, it’s possible that he’ll walk back his predecessor’s so-called “Deal of the Century” and thus help pave the way for his country and Russia to jointly herald at least the symbolic creation of a Palestinian state, though it’ll still take a while for this to occur.

Russiagate/Navalny/Climate

Biden will almost certainly bring up the discredited Russiagate conspiracy theory due to domestic pressure from his base. This speculative aspect of their discussion would be entirely symbolic since it’s what many have rightly called a “nothingburger”. It’ll only be talked about for appearance’s sake, the same as Navalny‘s imprisonment might too if that’s even brought up that is. As for climate change, this is a “neutral” means through which the two could at least superficially cooperate more closely and result in a semi-tangibly positive outcome to their planned summit. Both of their leaders agree on the need to thwart this threat, but there really isn’t much that they can do together. Still, it could make for some good headlines if they release a joint statement about it.


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China And Russia Are Jointly Leading A Real-Life Justice League

24 MARCH 2021

China And Russia Are Jointly Leading A Real-Life Justice League

Before the world’s eyes, a real-life Justice League is quickly emerging, jointly led by China and Russia.

America loves its superhero films, but fiction is fast transforming into fact as China and Russia aspire to lead a real-life Justice League. The comic book series and film of the same name refers to a collection of superheroes who save the world from evil, which is essentially what those countries are trying to do. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday during the latter’s two-day visit to the People’s Republic that “We should act as guarantors of justice in international affairs.”

He also added that “China is ready to promote the international system established by the United Nations, protect the world order based on international law, and abide by universal values such as peace, development, justice, democracy, equality and freedom.” This was preceded by Mr. Lavrov’s support the day earlier for their shared Venezuelan partner’s earlier proposal to assemble a worldwide anti-sanctions coalition. He said that “We must form a maximally wide coalition of countries that would combat this illegal practice.”

Russia’s top diplomat also declared on Monday that “We must deviate from the use of the West-controlled international payment systems. We must lower risks of sanctions by means of enhancing our own technical self-dependence, transition to payments in national currencies and international currencies, which are alternative to the [US] dollar.” The two Foreign Ministers then released a joint statement calling for a UN Security Council (UNSC) summit “to resolve humankind’s common problems in the interests of maintaining global stability.”

Before the world’s eyes, a real-life Justice League is quickly emerging, jointly led by China and Russia. These two rising powers are multipolar and strictly ascribe to the principles of the UN Charter. They stand in firm opposition to America’s hegemonic bullying and its doomed philosophy of zero-sum gains. By embracing its foil of win-win cooperation, they hope to inspire the rest of the international community to follow their lead in charting a new era of International Relations with their excellent bilateral ties serving as the perfect example.

It deserves mention that this year also marks the 20th year anniversary of their historic Treaty of Good- Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, which stands in hindsight as a defining moment in International Relations whereby two large and powerful countries proved that it’s possible to put aside their past differences in cooperating to build a better future for all. The resilience and lasting relevance of this pact serves as proof that pragmatic relations are always mutually beneficial and stabilize the international system.

The US should seriously consider China and Russia’s joint call for convening an urgent UNSC summit at the earliest availability. America’s aggression has destabilized the world, made all the worse by the fact that everyone is still struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of continuing to provoke those two countries, Washington should pragmatically cooperate with them on matters of shared interest such as nuclear non-proliferation, climate change, epidemiological security, cyber security, and reviving the global economy.

In the event that America declines their peaceful proposal, then it’ll finally expose its true intentions once and for all before the eyes of the world. The real-life Justice League jointly led by China and Russia will continue to peacefully promote their new model of International Relations inspired by the shining example of their comprehensive and strategic partnership with the aim of restoring true equality to the global system. The first order of business clearly rests in enhancing victimized nations’ capabilities to resist unilateral sanctions.

America’s policy of economic coercion was long considered to be the ace up its sleeve that it could pull out in lieu of costly military pressure to more easily impose its will onto others, yet that trick is increasingly losing its luster as China and Russia take meaningful steps to neutralize its effectiveness. Their real-life Justice League will inevitably succeed in fulfilling Mr. Wang’s vision of “act[ing] as guarantors of justice in international relations” by restoring the primacy of international law and genuine equality between all nations with time.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, China, Putin, Xi, Justice League, US, UN, Multipolarity, Sanctions.


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Lavrov Authoritatively Debunked The Fake News About Russian-‘Israeli’ Relations

19 MARCH 2021

Lavrov Authoritatively Debunked The Fake News About Russian-

Wednesday’s press conference in Moscow between the Russian and “Israeli” Foreign Ministers authoritatively debunked the rampant fake news that’s been virally spreading throughout the Alt-Media Community for years about the true nature of their bilateral relations, which remain excellent despite consistent efforts from some influential forces to misportray them as rivals for reasons that only such individuals can account for if publicly but politely challenged by their audience to do so.

Debunking The Latest Lie About Russian-”Israeli” Relations

Every member of the Alt-Media Community is familiar by now with the rampant fake news narrative that’s been virally spreading throughout their sphere of the information space for years already alleging that Russia and “Israel” are supposedly heated rivals with one another, so much so that President Putin might even be secretly plotting an all-out war against the self-professed “Jewish State”. The latest disinformation attack in that direction came late last month after it was falsely reported that Russian Special Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev threatened to shoot down “Israeli” jets over international airspace the next time that they bomb Syria. I responded to this ridiculous claim that even the most casual objective observer should have immediately known was unrealistic earlier this week in an analysis for The Alt World asking “Should Iran Be Worried About Russia’s Coordination With ‘Israel’ & The US In Syria?” That piece cites recent diplomatic developments and my prior work from late last month about the S-300s, the latter of which provides a list of my 15 most relevant analyses over the years for the reader to review at their leisure.

Relying On Lavrov’s Diplomatic Authority To Set The Record Straight

Despite my detailed analyses being based on objectively existing and easily verifiable facts that are always hyperlinked to their original source (which is usually an official one whenever possible), the most indoctrinated members of the Alt-Media Community still angrily claim that they’re “anti-Russian”, “divisive”, and/or “Zionist” “propaganda”, so powerful is the false narrative that they’ve been brainwashed into believing. That’s why it’s so important to review the highlights of Wednesday’s press conference between the Russian and “Israeli” Foreign Ministers as reported by the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which can’t credibly be accused of being “anti-Russian”, “divisive”, and/or “Zionist” “propaganda”. The purpose in doing so is to hopefully enlighten the “moderate” members of the Alt-Media Community who might be willing to finally listen to the truth about Russian-”Israeli” relations so long as it comes from none other than Foreign Minister Lavrov, the most authoritative source on Russian foreign policy by virtue of his position as its top diplomat. What follows is a list of bullet points summarizing the gist of his key statements, followed by the specific quotes themselves:

A Collection Of Key Quotes

* Russian-”Israeli” Relations Are Guided By Putin & Netanyahu’s Shared Vision:

We believe that Russian-Israeli bilateral ties are making progress in accordance with the agreements reached between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

* Russia & “Israel” Are Comprehensively Strengthening Their Relations, Including In The Defense Sphere:

We reiterated our commitment to promote interaction across all areas, including the economy, culture, science and education. Steady contacts have been established between the defence ministries.”

* Neither Supports The Dangerous Rehabilitation Of Nazism In Europe:

Russia and Israel have consistently opposed the increasingly frequent attempts to rewrite the history of WWII, to glorify Nazi war criminals and to revive neo-Nazism. We emphasised the importance of our acting jointly with the overwhelming majority of other countries in adopting the related annual resolution by the UN General Assembly.”

* Russia Supports The Arab-”Israeli” Normalization Process:

Moscow welcomes the normalisation of Israel’s relations with a number of Arab states and believes this should help advance a comprehensive settlement in the region, including the long-standing Palestinian problem.”

* Russia & “Israel” Are On The Same Page As Regards A Peaceful Resolution To The Syrian Conflict:

With regard to Syria, we have an overlapping position on the need for a political settlement based on the principles laid down in UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We declared our principled support for Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and the Syrians’ legitimate right to decide on their own future without outside interference.”

* Russia Briefed “Israel” On Sensitive Aspects Of The Syrian Peace Process, Including Constitutional Reform

We updated our Israeli friends on Russia’s activities as part of the Astana format and other channels in order to help overcome various aspects of the Syria crisis. We focused particularly on stepping up the Constitutional Committee’s activities and shared our steps designed to make the upcoming 6th meeting of the Constitutional Committee’s drafting committee productive.”

* Russia Hinted That “Israel” Might Be Interested In Providing Humanitarian Support To Syria:

We also spoke about the need to help overcome the humanitarian crisis in Syria, where the infrastructure has been destroyed and the people are suffering badly in the wake of crippling sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries.”

* Russia Also Hinted That “Israel” Might Join Moscow’s Proposed Gulf Collective Security System:

We mentioned Russia’s initiative to form a collective security system in the Gulf region with the potential to include neighbouring countries.”

* Russia Sincerely Trusts “Israel” And Vice-Versa:

I believe we had productive talks. We appreciate mutual trust in our contacts with our Israeli colleagues on all matters on the bilateral and multilateral agendas.”

* Russia Is Against The ICC’s Investigation Into “Israeli” War Crimes In Palestine, Believing It’s Politically Biased:

We have a negative impression of this body. This is our principled and consistent position. When the ICC was created, we hoped it would be an independent and professional judicial body with the potential to eventually become a universal body. In reality, it turned out to be the other way round.

The ICC has not lived up to our expectations. It has repeatedly demonstrated a political bias, a lack of professionalism or understanding of certain rules of international law, made mistakes in using them and, contrary to the Rome Statute provisions, unjustifiably tried to expand its competence by invading spheres that are beyond its terms of reference.”

Russia has refused to participate in this and has revoked its signature under statute. Israel did so even earlier. China, India and many other states are not part of the ICC. Even the countries that are parties to the Rome Statute recognise the systemic problems plaguing ICC functions. Unfortunately, the ICC has discredited itself and the mission that was entrusted to it. Any action taken in The Hague must be viewed through this lens and in light of the court’s tarnished reputation.”

Analytical Wrap-Up

As evidenced from the above, there’s no doubt that Russia and “Israel” are much more akin to allies than rivals nowadays. They sincerely trust one another and Moscow supports Tel Aviv on practically every issue of significance, including its opposition to the ICC’s investigation into the self-professed “Jewish State’s” war crimes in Palestine. The Eurasian Great Power hopes to see its de facto regional ally eventually incorporated into the proposed Gulf collective security system, and it also seemingly appreciates the insight that it provides about the Syrian peace process as well during their close consultations on this matter of mutual interest, especially as relates to the Arab Republic’s ongoing constitutional reform. Unlike what many in the Alt-Media Community have been falsely led to believe for years and even as most recently as last month, there exist no serious military disagreements between Russia and “Israel”, as confirmed by Lavrov himself when talking about the “steady contacts” that have been established between their Defense Ministries. This key quote crucially debunks the fake news about Russia allegedly threatening to shoot down “Israeli” jets.

Holding The Alt-Media Community To Account

Nevertheless, it’s all but certain that some of the Alt-Media Community’s key influencers – particularly those whose claim to fame is their coverage of the Syrian conflict – will either suspiciously ignore the objectively existing and easily verifiable policy facts presented in Wednesday’s joint Russian-”Israeli” Foreign Ministers press conference or concoct some crazed theory to protect their precious disinformation narrative about their ties. At all costs, the most responsible truth-seeking members of the Alt-Media Community must hold those said influencers (who in some cases might arguably be deliberate deceivers) to account by publicly but very politely challenging them about their response to this latest diplomatic development. They must be presented with the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official readout of Wednesday’s joint press conference that’s accessible here and asked to share their opinion about Lavrov’s official policy pronouncements. It’s time to find out who’s lying to themselves due to their own wishful thinking delusions as influenced by Alt-Media disinformation and who’s deliberately lying to others about this sensitive issue, including through suspicious omission of the facts.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, Israel, Lavrov, Fake News, Infowars, Alt-Media, Syria, Balancing, ICC, Palestine, Putin, Netanyahu.


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EUROPE:

NORD STREAM 2:

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the administration of President Joe Biden opposes the construction of Nord Stream 2. Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs argued that the construction of Nord Stream 2 could not be allowed to be completed. “If we allow the construction of the gas pipeline to be completed, it will be a great victory for Vladimir Putin”.

SOURCE: POLANDIN


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Bild’s Libelous Spy Claim Against RT Is Part Of The German Hybrid War On Russia

11 MARCH 2021

Bild

Russian-German relations continue to tank after Bild’s libelous spy claim against RT left little doubt that Germany is waging a Hybrid War on Russia, though Berlin still hopes to complete Nord Stream II in order to retain a limited degree of strategic autonomy in Europe vis-a-vis its Washington patron and enable the Central European country to possibly influence Moscow’s “balancing” act with Beijing.

The Gist Of Germany’s Hybrid War On Russia

Contrary to what many in the Alt-Media Community inaccurately claimed for years, Germany isn’t trying to partner with Russia as part of some “master plan” to remove American influence from Europe but is actively waging a Hybrid War against the Eurasian Great Power to expand Berlin’s influence there at Moscow’s expense. Bild’s libelous spy claim against RT are but the latest iteration of this comprehensive strategy, which follow in the footsteps of German banks refusing to do business with RT-affiliated companies shortly after the outlet announced its plans to launch RT Deutsche at the end of the year. It also shouldn’t be forgotten that not only did Germany earlier treat allegedly poisoned anti-corruption blogger and NATO agent Alexei Navalny, but it also supported the 2013-2014 urban spree of terrorism in Ukraine that’s commonly known as “EuroMaidan” as well as presently backs the spiritually similar Color Revolution movement that erupted in neighboring Belarus last summer. The Central European country still hopes to complete Nord Stream II, but only in order to retain a limited degree of strategic autonomy in Europe vis-a-vis its American patron and enable Germany to possibly influence Russia’s “balancing” act with China. All of this insight will now be explained in detail.

Bild’s Libelous Allegation Against RT

Regarding Bild’s libelous allegation, the tabloid claims that a former RT investigative journalist suspected that he was being exploited as a useful idiot to illegally spy on Navalny during his period of treatment in the German capital. Their full article in German can be read here. Upon reviewing the piece, it’s clear that the Russian outlet did nothing wrong. If anything, the only criticism that can be leveled against the company is that its management might have been so eager in their competitive drive to get the scoop about this globally relevant story that they unintentionally made one of their former employees feel uncomfortable. Their reported tactics, however, aren’t anything exceptional in this industry but are par for the course even if the average news consumer is largely unaware that this is how that line of work generally operates. Real-time brainstorming between some senior managers and the employee in question over Telegram is dishonestly misportrayed in a scandalous way akin to a spymaster giving their agent secret orders. RT vowed legal action to clear its name and seems to stand a solid chance at succeeding, especially since the former employee released a book about his experiences the day before the scandal broke and thus seems to have provoked all of this just for publicity.

Banking Obstacles

On the topic of German banks refusing to do business with RT-affiliated companies, this clearly seems to be part of the host country’s campaign against the Russian outlet. Bild’s libelous allegation adds fuel to the fire that RT’s network of affiliates is toxic to associate with, which might have also been one of the supplementary objectives behind the latest scandal. It’s evident that Germany is doing all that it can to impede the launch and subsequent activities of RT’s forthcoming German-language channel by the end of the year. There are also active efforts underway to discredit its activities far ahead of time, potentially to manufacture the supposedly “plausible pretext” for the government to promulgate legislation to prevent it from operating. That theory makes sense from a strategic standpoint because everything that the company has endured over the past month points to a concerted campaign aimed towards that end. German officials fear the influence that RT’s German-language channel could have on shaping the domestic debate, yet they’re currently powerless to apply existing legal mechanisms to stop it. That might soon change as a result of the latest scandals in addition to whatever other provocations might be still committed before the planned December launch.

Merkel’s Color Revolution Mania

Germany’s prior treatment of Navalny following his alleged poisoning was officially a humanitarian gesture but one that was politically exploited for the purpose of discrediting Russia after the patient’s speculative claims that his homeland’s security services were responsible for his medical emergency. German officials participated in this latest escalation of the West’s long-running information war against Russia, which served to incite unauthorized rallies across some of the Eurasian Great Power’s main cities, especially its capital. In fact, the Russian government even expelled a German diplomat alongside two of their Polish and Swedish counterparts who directly took part in those proto-Color Revolution events. This shouldn’t have been surprising since one mustn’t forget that Berlin supported the infamous 2014 “EuroMaidan” Color Revolution regime change operation and subsequent coup in Ukraine. The Central European country also backs a similar albeit much less successful movement in Belarus. An indisputable pattern of behavior is on full display in which Germany actively aids Eastern European Color Revolutions in Ukraine, Belarus, and nowadays even Russia itself as part of its efforts to assert itself as the continent’s hegemon at the “Lead From Behind” behest of its American patron.

Germany’s Ulterior Motives For Supporting Nord Stream II

Even so, Germany also doesn’t want to surrender all of its strategic autonomy to the US either, ergo why it continues to press ahead with Nord Stream II. Although that megaproject is officially apolitical, it’ll nevertheless enable Berlin to retain a limited degree of strategic autonomy upon its full completion, which explains why the US is so adamantly against it since Washington fears that Berlin might subsequently feel emboldened to undertake certain political courses that America doesn’t approve of. Some of these might speculatively relate to the Central European state leading an EU rapprochement with Russia that some countries like Poland fear would be at the eventual expense of their regional interests. The US in turn has been preemptively seeking to support the rise of the Polish-led “Three Seas Initiative” (3SI) for the purpose of carving out a “sphere of influence” between the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Seas that could serve as a pro-American geostrategic wedge between Germany and Russia in that scenario. In his country’s defense, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass suspiciously claimed last month that Nord Stream II would actually enhance “Europe’s abilities to influence Russia” by not pushing the Eurasian Great Power into China’s arms like would happen if the project is scuttled.

It’s Against German Interests To Push Russia Into China’s Arms

Some further elaboration is required in order for the reader to better understand the complex strategic dynamics at play. To simplify, Russia’s 21st-century grand strategic ambition is to become the supreme “balancing” force in Eurasia, to which end it seeks to work a lot closer with China following the imposition of the West’s anti-Russian sanctions in 2014 but is nevertheless also seeking to “balance” the People’s Republic in a “friendly” manner via their fellow BRICS and SCO partner India. From the standpoint of EU-leader Germany, the continent’s full compliance with its American patron’s strategic demands to impose a policy of so-called “maximum pressure” against Moscow through the scuttling of Nord Stream II would accelerate Russia’s “Eastern Pivot” and ultimately be disadvantageous for German interests. This would be especially so if the Eurasian Great Power implemented some of the 20 proposals that the author shared last month for how it could “contain” the US in response to intensified Western pressure upon it. German rhetoric has been more aggressive against Russia lately, which is why the latter fears the seemingly inevitable establishment of an ideological wall between them as a consequence of the New Cold War, so this scenario isn’t purely speculative.

The German-American Strategic Divergence Over Russia

It’s here where the German and American strategies diverge in their joint Hybrid War on Russia. Berlin agrees with Washington insofar as keeping up the pressure on Moscow, but it doesn’t want to push Russia too far lest it risk the consequences of the Eurasian Great Power being compelled to abandon Europe per the gist of the 20 aforementioned proposals, wholeheartedly embracing China in response, and therefore qualitatively empowering the People’s Republic in its quest to become the leading force in the Eastern Hemisphere. Germany fears that such a state of affairs might eventually entail the EU making “concessions” to China or at the very least being caught up too closely in the New Cold War between Washington and Beijing, which it’s already in the middle of but has yet to become as intense of a scene for strategic competition as it could be in that scenario. Ideally, Germany would prefer for Russia to keep one foot in Europe through Nord Stream II and the other in Asia through its Sino-Indo “balancing” act, which could enable Berlin to “balance” between Washington, Moscow, and Beijing more adroitly. The US, however, prefers the EU’s full submission to its “sphere of influence” and doesn’t care about the consequences of intensified competition with China there.

Russia’s “Asian Pivot” Might Ruin Its Sino-Indo “Balancing” Act

As for Russia, while it’ll pivot eastward in support of its interests if the circumstances compel it to, the country also fears the long-term consequences of becoming strategically over-reliant on China. This explains its tricky “balancing” act between China and India, which it practices in an attempt to preserve as much of its strategic autonomy as possible, exactly as Germany is attempting to do vis-a-vis Russia and the US via Nord Stream II. If that megaproject is scuttled, however, then Russia wouldn’t have as effective of a means of “balancing” Eurasia since it’ll be forced to abandon the Western half of its strategy and thus become entirely dependent on its Eastern one. Russia can’t properly “balance” China and India in such a scenario since those two might inevitably enter into a rapid rapprochement if Washington sanctions New Delhi for its S-400 purchase like it threatened to and thus compels the South Asian state to implement what critics might describe as “concessions” towards the People’s Republic since it would lose the ability to militarily contain Beijing along the Line of Actual Control (seeing as how Moscow wouldn’t replace Washington’s role in this respect in order to avoid provoking a security dilemma with the People’s Republic). Russia might then become less relevant in Asian affairs.

The Convergence Of Russian, German, And American Interests

This strategic insight suggests that Russian, German, and American interests indirectly align over Nord Stream II. Its completion would bolster Moscow’s “balancing” capabilities vis-a-vis Beijing, thus preventing Berlin and Brussels from becoming intensified objects of competition between the US and China if Russia eventually becomes a second-rate geopolitical player in Eurasia as might happen if the project isn’t completed, which could in turn endanger the viability of Washington’s hegemony there. That outcome is entirely possible upon Russia being pushed out of Europe in the event that its pipeline is scuttled and then de facto transformed into the junior partner of what might then become the Asian-wide Sino-Indo alliance that could blossom following speculative “concessions” by New Delhi should Moscow’s tricky “balancing” act between them fail. The worst-case scenario for the US is that China pushes it out of Europe once Russia’s influence there is neutralized by the US first, which could in divide the world between Beijing and Washington along hemispheric axes. With time, China would inevitably win the New Cold War, but America could prevent this if it doesn’t “lose” Europe, which requires saving the viability of Russia’s “balancing” act by allowing Nord Stream II to be completed as planned.

Concluding Thoughts

It might be a lot for the reader to take in, so they should consider rereading the piece after putting it down for a while to ponder the complex strategic insight contained within it. What’s being argued is that Germany’s Hybrid War on Russia veritably exists as evidenced by Bild’s libelous accusation against RT, the country’s banks refusing to service RT-affiliated companies, Berlin’s support of Navalny, and the Central European state’s active backing of Color Revolutions in Ukraine, Belarus, and even Russia nowadays. Nevertheless, this Hybrid War does indeed have its limits since Germany still wants to preserve Nord Stream II so as to prevent the feared collapse of Russia’s Eurasian “balancing” act that could in turn lead to China becoming the preeminent superpower all across the Eastern Hemisphere (which entails speculative eventual “concessions” by Berlin and Brussels to Beijing). The US doesn’t see the situation the same way and arrogantly believes that its hegemonic control over Europe is best preserved by compelling its proxies to fully submit to its strategic diktats, not realizing that America actually needs Russia’s “balancing” act in order to comparatively keep China somewhat more at bay. The fate of Nord Stream II might therefore prove to be a game-changer for Eastern Hemispheric geopolitics.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, Germany, Merkel, Putin, RT. Fake News, Infowars, Hybrid War, Nord Stream II, China, Balancing, US, EU, Navalny, Color Revolutions, Ukraine, Belarus, Regime Change.


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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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Extreme Pro-US BJP Ideologues Mustn’t Be Allowed To Sabotage Russian-Indian Relations

Extreme Pro-US BJP Ideologues Mustn’t Be Allowed To Sabotage Russian-Indian Relations

2 NOVEMBER 2020

Extreme Pro-US BJP Ideologues Mustn

Influential BJP ideologue Subramanian Swamy published an unprecedentedly vitriolic screed against Russia which spits in the face of their decades-long strategic partnership by arguing that Moscow is an irresponsible imperialist power that’s historically exploited New Delhi’s naive leaders, but the reality is that these two Great Powers are presently enjoying a renaissance in their relations and that Swamy’s twisted depiction of their ties is nothing more than an information warfare narrative which proves the existence of a very powerful pro-American lobby that’s pulling out all the stops to sabotage Russian-Indian relations.

The US-Indian Alliance

Those who’ve followed my work for the past few years should already be well aware of my very critical attitude towards the Hindu nationalist BJP that’s ruled India since Prime Minister Modi’s election in 2014. I’ve consistently argued that the country is manipulating nostalgia in Moscow over their Old Cold War-era relations to dupe Russian decision makers into ignoring India’s pro-American anti-Chinese pivot in recent years. I chronicled this development in two pieces since September about how “It Was Inevitable That India Would Seek To Actively ‘Contain’ China” and “The US’ Alliance With India Is A Bipartisan Issue Of Grand Strategic Importance”. The first article also references my first work on the topic back in May 2016 which later led to me receiving death threats on social media, being defamed as a drug addict by one of India’s top Russia experts, and even being subjected to other intimidation tactics in the real world that I’d prefer not to publicly disclose for the time being, and all because I wouldn’t back down from my assessment which has since been vindicated.

My Professional Intentions

Nevertheless, my intentions always remained sincere and transparent. All that I endeavor to do is warn Russia about India’s duplicity in the hopes that decision makers would wise up to the game being played against them, asymmetrically respond in a plausibly deniable way (such as through the “bait strategy” vis-a-vis Pakistan as I argued in summer 2019), and ultimately restore “balance” to their historical relations. It’s arguably in Russia’s best interests to do so since acquiescing to “junior partner” status with India would contradict Moscow’s publicly proclaimed pro-sovereignty strategy as I wrote over the weekend when insisting that “Russia Must Resist Indian Pressure” to curtail its relations with Pakistan. Becoming India’s “junior partner” could also unintentionally trigger a “security dilemma” with China, which might misinterpret Russian “weakness” in this respect as tacit approval of India’s anti-Chinese alliance with the US, thus compelling Beijing to reconsider the nature of its strategic relations with Moscow in defensive response.

The Russian-Indian Renaissance

As it stands, Russian-Indian relations are presently experiencing a renaissance as I wrote for Pakistan’s Tribune newspaper in September after the two sides supercharged their strategic partnership following Prime Minister Modi’s attendance at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivistok 12 months prior. So excellent are their ties, which have overcome mutual suspicions stemming from Russia’s relations with China and India’s own with the US, that I even co-authored an academic article for the official journal of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO, which is run by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) about “The Prospects Of Russia And India Jointly Leading A New Non-Aligned Movement” with a view towards making their recently improved strategic partnership more globally significant this century. Still, I also warned that Russia mustn’t side too closely with India at China’s perceived expense otherwise it risks provoking the same “security dilemma” that Moscow sought to avoid by not becoming its “junior partner”, ergo the importance of improving Russian-Pakistani relations to “balance” the Kremlin’s delicate “balancing” act between those two Asian Great Powers.

An Unprecedented Infowar Attack

The reason why I spent so much time explaining the gist of my vision for Russian-Indian relations is to dispel any questions about my credibility in addressing the very sensitive subject of the present analysis, which is influential BJP ideologue Subramanian Swamy’s unprecedentedly vitriolic screed against Russia that he published over the weekend at The Sunday Guardian provocatively declaring that “Russia Is Not A Friend Of India”. Looking beyond the factual errors in his article such as stating that the Russian-Chinese border conflict occurred in 1977 (it actually happened in 1969), writing that the Soviet Union broke up into 16 different countries (15 is the real number), and fearmongering that President Putin “recently won a rigged election to be President of Russia till 2036” (only constitutional amendments were passed to enable this possibility after his present term expires in 2024), his general argument of Russia being an irresponsible imperialist power that’s historically exploited India’s naive leaders must be countered head-on in order to prevent him from sabotaging the renaissance of Russian-Indian relations to the benefit of the US’ dangerous divide-and-rule grand strategy.

Who’s Really At Risk Of Becoming Whose “Junior Partner”?

As I argued earlier in my analysis, it’s Russia — not India — that’s at risk of becoming the “junior partner” in this relationship if any party can be described as such. Russia’s “balancing” act between China and India is becoming increasingly “imbalanced” after Moscow supported New Delhi’s annexation and subsequent bifurcation of Jammu & Kashmir in August 2019 despite Beijing’s concerns that this could negatively affect the situation in Aksai Chin (as ultimately happened earlier this year during their ongoing standoff there), opposed China’s efforts to seek meaningfully address the issue at the UN Security Council, and recently fulfilled India’s defense requirements from June at the start of the Himalayan Crisis for wares that will almost certainly be used to “contain” China. It is therefore categorically false for Swamy to misportray India as being at risk of becoming Russia’s “junior partner” when New Delhi’s de-facto military alliance with the US through the so-called “Quad” is proceeding apace despite Moscow’s earlier expressed concerns that it could be exploited to “contain” China.

Political Russophobia Must Urgently Be Suppressed In India

Swamy’s intentions seem to be to influence the ruling party of which he’s a part into jettisoning its historic strategic partnership with Russia for the purpose of doubling down on its pro-American anti-Chinese military alliance, which would actually ironically make India more dependent on the US in parallel with Russia becoming equally dependent on China in response, the scenario of which the Kremlin is eager to avoid and which explains its recent efforts in achieving the Russian-Indian renaissance that I earlier described. There’s no other way to describe Swamy’s malicious writings than as a desire to divide-and-rule Eurasia for destabilizing ends that would ultimately work out to the US’ grand strategic benefit. His article wouldn’t have even warranted any attention from me had he not been the influential ruling party ideologue that he is who directly has access to India’s top decision makers and strategists. It’s completely unprecedented for someone of his stature in India to publish such a hateful text against Russian-Indian relations, which hints at political Russophobia gradually becoming “normalized” at the highest levels of political society if it isn’t suppressed as soon as possible.

The Ridiculous GRU Conspiracy

The proverbial genie already seems to be out of the bottle, however, since The Sunday Guardian — the same outlet that Swamy chose to publish his anti-Russian screed — released a provocative piece the day afterwards about how “US-India Ties Attract Attention Of Russian Intelligence”. The journalist who wrote it very strongly implies that Russian intelligence has infiltrated the highest levels of the Indian leadership, ominously hinting that its military-intelligence agency GRU — of Skripal poisoning infamy according to Western sources at least — is preparing to meddle in Indian affairs in order to sabotage the country’s pro-American military alliance. The article quotes an unnamed Indian official who warned that “Russia, like a few other countries, has a lot of interest in how things move in India. Russia has highly capable infrastructure and units to launch cyber campaigns with deep ramifications. We are aware of the challenges that can come in the near future due to recent developments that we are witnessing between India and the US”.

It’s American Meddling, Not Russian, That India Should Be Worried About

In reality, the only meddling taking place in India is from the American side, not the Russian one, since the latter — with all due respect to them — seems to be so powerfully influenced by the illusion of Soviet-era nostalgia about their relations that they’ve been basically blinded to India’s pro-American pivot of recent years to the extent that they’re now unwittingly risking provoking a “security dilemma” with China by too openly supporting the South Asian state against the People’s Republic. It personally pains me to see the country that I love, Russia, being taken advantage of by its historical strategic partner through these means and having the relationship that it holds so dear spit upon by an influential ideologue such as Swamy and his allies at The Sunday Guardian. I’ve warned about this for nearly the past 4,5 years in literally hundreds of articles about India’s trend of transitioning from a policy of so-called “multipolar multi-alignment” to one of anti-Chinese pro-American alignment which would inevitably harm Russian-Indian relations, and once again I’ve been vindicated.

Neither Russia Nor India Has To Become Anyone’s “Junior Partner”

The path ahead will be a difficult one for both parties, but provided that the political will is present, Russia and India should hopefully be able to surmount what convincingly appears to be a coming crisis in their relations. On the one hand, Russia must ensure that it doesn’t become India’s “junior partner” and thus unwittingly provoke a “security dilemma” with China by doing so, ergo the importance of improving Russian-Pakistani relations in order to restore “balance” to its increasingly imperfect “balancing” act. On the other hand, India must ensure that it doesn’t become the US’ “junior partner” and thus lose its cherished “strategic autonomy”, to which end it mustn’t allow pro-American ideologues such as Swamy to sabotage Russian-Indian relations otherwise New Delhi will lose the only solution to its foreign policy dilemma of attempting to “balance” its “frenemy” relations with China and its newfound allied ones with America. It’s therefore incumbent on the Indian government to either publicly condemn Swamy for his hateful screed or take other measures to unequivocally communicate the message to Moscow that his views aren’t supported by New Delhi.

A Rude Awakening For Russia

The Russian side, considering how “naive” they’ve been about relations with India (once again, with all due respect to them), must certainly have been shocked to discover that such an influential ruling party official — and one of its chief ideologues, no less! — would publish such a vicious rant against their historic relations with India. Just as concerning must have been the observation that the same outlet which released his article followed it up a day later by strongly implying that GRU plans to meddle in Indian affairs, with all the ominous consequences that could follow. As such, there’s shouldn’t be any doubt that a coordinated pro-American anti-Russian information warfare campaign has been unleashed at the highest levels of Indian political society which, if anything, should hopefully serve as a long-overdue and much-needed wake-up call to Russian decision makers about the reality of what’s happening in India nowadays. To reaffirm my personal views, I’m fully in support of the Russian-Indian strategic partnership so long as relations as “balanced” and on an equal footing, but I’m adamantly against Moscow being taken advantage of by New Delhi for pro-American anti-Chinese ends.

Concluding Thoughts

Eurasian geopolitics are on the precipice of profound and pivotal change since it’s impossible to maintain the status quo of Russian-Indian relations due to Chinese security concerns and American pressure respectively. Russia must decide whether to submit to becoming India’s “junior partner” or actively “recalibrate” its “balancing” act between it and China by moving towards a strategic partnership with Pakistan for the purpose of preemptively mitigating the prospect of any “security dilemma” inadvertently popping up with the People’s Republic due to the Kremlin’s extremely close relations with unquestionably pro-American India. As for that South Asian state, there’s little doubt that it’ll continue to ally itself with the US in pursuit of their shared grand strategic goal of “containing” China, but India would lose what little “strategic autonomy” it still has left if it submits to the pressure of pro-American ideologues such as Swamy by jettisoning its strategic relations with Russia and thus fully submitting to becoming the US’ “junior partner”. Eurasia is on the brink of a major divide-and-rule destabilization if either Great Power, let alone both of them at the same time, makes the wrong move, which is why sincere supporters of the Multipolar World Order like me hope that this scenario will be avoided.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

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