Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Geopolitica Mondiale, Putin, Russia

Russia. Putin. Prolusione alla Assembla Federale.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-04-22.

Arco di Trionfo. Mosca. 001

Il Presidente della Federazione Russa, Mr Putin, ha tenuto la annuale prolusione alla Assembla Federale.

Chiunque voglia sapere cosa pensi e cosa stia facendo dovrebbe leggere il testo con molta attenzione.

Sui problemi internazionali Mr Putin spende poche parole, pacate e meditate: non sono minacce, bensì certezze.

* * * * * * *


«President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Wednesday not to cross Russia’s “red lines”, saying Moscow would respond swiftly and harshly to any provocations and those responsible would regret it»

«We want good relations…and really don’t want to burn bridges»

«But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn down or even blow up these bridges, they should know that Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, swift and harsh»

«Russia would determine where its red line lay in each specific case, he said, comparing those who attack it to hyenas led by a tiger»

«In some countries, they have developed a highly unseemly habit of picking on Russia for any reason, and most often for no reason at all – a kind of sport»

«Organisers of any provocations that threaten our core security interests will regret what they have done like they’ve never regretted anything for a long time»

«The meaning and purpose of Russia’s policy in the international arena – I will just say a few words about this to conclude my address – is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens, for the stable development of our country. Russia certainly has its own interests we defend and will continue to defend within the framework of international law, as all other states do. And if someone refuses to understand this obvious thing or does not want to conduct a dialogue and chooses a selfish and arrogant tone with us, Russia will always find a way to defend its stance»

«At the same time, unfortunately, everyone in the world seems to be used to the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions and to certain actors’ brutal attempts to impose their will on others by force. But today, this practice is degenerating into something even more dangerous – I am referring to the recently exposed direct interference in Belarus in an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état and assassinate the President of that country. At the same time, it is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seemed to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening»

«You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials – well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits»

«Clearly, there is a reason why our Western colleagues have been stubbornly rejecting Russia’s numerous proposals to establish an international dialogue on information and cyber security. We have come up with these proposals many times. They avoid even discussing this matter»

«All the while, unfriendly moves towards Russia have also continued unabated. Some countries have taken up an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often, for no reason at all. It is some kind of new sport of who shouts the loudest»

«As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer»

«By 2024, the share of modern weapons and military equipment in the armed forces will reach nearly 76 percent, which is a very good indicator. This share in the nuclear triad will be over 88 percent before this year is out.

Standing on combat duty are the latest Avangard hypersonic intercontinental missile systems and the Peresvet combat laser systems, and the first regiment armed with Sarmat super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles is scheduled to go on combat duty in late 2022.»

* * * * * * *


President of Russia. Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly

The President of Russia delivered the Address to the Federal Assembly. The ceremony took place at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall.

The ceremony was attended by the senators of the Russian Federation, State Duma deputies, members of the Government, the heads of the Constitutional and Supreme courts, regional governors, speakers of regional legislatures, the heads of traditional religious denominations and public activists.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies,

Citizens of Russia,

Today’s Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly will be dedicated mostly to internal issues. These include, naturally, healthcare, social policy and the economy. Of course, I will say a few words about external affairs and literally a few words about security issues.

It stands to reason that I will begin with last year’s events, when our country and, actually, the entire world faced a new, previously unknown and extremely dangerous infection.

It that period, including during our meetings with experts and conversations with the leaders of many states, I often heard the following description of the situation: we are faced with total uncertainty. And this is how it really was.

I could see this from the information I received from the regions. The number of people who contracted the disease and needed to be rushed to hospital kept growing. Actually, all of you are very well aware of this. Many hospitals were filled to capacity and reported that they could run out of oxygen soon, including in intensive care units. Ventilators, protective masks and PPE were actually distributed by the piece. Shops were running out of basic products, such as cereals, butter and sugar, due to increased demand.

The epidemic was on the offensive. But although there was great concern, I personally had no doubt that we would pull through.

Citizens, society and the state acted responsibly and in unison. We rallied, managed to take preventive action, to create conditions that would reduce the risk of infection, and to provide medical personnel and citizens with personal protective equipment. We increased the number of hospital beds for coronavirus patients more than five times over, to 280,000 beds.

The brief outline of measures conceals the tremendous and intensive work of millions of people in all regions of the Russian Federation. I would like to cordially thank all of you for this. Everyone worked quickly, efficiently and conscientiously.

At that time and later on, we were analysing the situation practically non-stop. I recall vividly my visit to the hospital in Kommunarka. It was necessary to experience, to see at first hand the danger facing us and to assess the working conditions of medical specialists. They immediately found themselves in the thick of events and fought for every life, while risking their own.

Today, doctors, paramedics, medical nurses and members of ambulance teams are sitting here in this hall. Once again my heartfelt thanks to you and your colleagues from all the Russian regions.

Russian researchers made a real breakthrough, and Russia now has three reliable coronavirus vaccines. These and many other achievements of the past few years highlight the country’s growing science and technological potential.

I would like to thank everyone, every person who contributed to the fight against infection, including the workers at the plants manufacturing medications, medical equipment, personal protective equipment, and enterprises working 24 hours a day, housing and utility agencies, trade companies, the Russian business community that quickly converted entire sectors so that they could manufacture essential goods, civilian and military builders, agriculture workers who gathered a record-breaking harvest, one of the biggest in the country’s history, that is, over 130 million tonnes.

The personnel of law enforcement agencies and the special services continued to carry out their duty, and the Russian Armed Forces reliably ensured our country’s security.

I would like to underscore the selfless behaviour of people working for social services, orphanages, boarding schools, retirement homes and hospices who stayed and who continue to stay with their charges. You will certainly agree with me that, while analysing developments at these institutions, one feels proud of people who are carrying out their duty there in such a responsible manner. It could move you to tears. I would like to thank them once again.

I would also like to convey my sincere gratitude to school teachers and the lecturers at universities and other education institutions. You did everything possible to enable your students and pupils to gain knowledge and successfully pass their exams, with the involvement and support of their parents.

Russia’s cultural life continued unabated. Theatres, museums and concert halls remained open to audiences online thanks to modern technology. Everyone who works in this crucial sphere rose to the occasion.

Our people showed discipline and managed to observe, let’s face it, quite exhausting, but vital precautions. Thus, acting together, we have put up an effective barrier to the pandemic.

The people’s solidarity showed in concrete actions, in caring for the loved ones and in willingness to help people in need. Millions became volunteers and engaged in building person-to-person help routes. The nationwide We Are Together campaign brought together people from different walks of life and ages. As always during challenging times, our traditional religions stepped up to provide spiritual support to the society. I see the leaders of our religions here and I would like to bow deeply to you, thank you very much

Throughout history, our people have come out victorious and overcome trials thanks to unity. Today, family, friendship, mutual assistance, graciousness and unity have come to the fore as well.

Spiritual and moral values, which are already being forgotten in some countries, have, on the contrary, made us stronger. And we will always uphold and defend these values.

Colleagues,

The pandemic broke out at a time when the aftermath of the demographic shocks of the 1940s and 1990s converged. We realise that the current demographic situation is an emergency. Unfortunately, this is how things are. We must accept and admit it and do something about it based on our understanding of this situation.

Saving the people of Russia is our top national priority. This priority underlies the stipulations of the updated Constitution concerning the protection of the family, the important role parents play in bringing up their children, strengthening social guarantees, and further developing the economy, education and culture.

Our strategy is to return to sustainable population growth to make sure that the average life expectancy in Russia increases to 78 years in 2030.

Unfortunately, the statistics show us sad and disappointing numbers. We are even seeing a certain decline. It is clear what is happening because of the pandemic, but we will keep our strategic goals in this critical sphere unchanged.

I fully realise that this is no small feat, the more so as the coronavirus has not yet been completely defeated and remains a direct threat. We see the dramatic developments in many countries where the cases of infection continue to grow. We need to keep in check the defence barriers designed to slow down the spread of the virus along our external borders and within our country.

I would like to address all citizens of Russia once again. Friends, please stay alert. I am asking you to take care of yourselves and your loved ones and to comply with the doctors’ and sanitary services’ recommendations as closely as possible.

Vaccination is of crucial importance. I would like to ask the Government, the Healthcare Ministry and the heads of the regions to monitor this process on a daily basis. The opportunity to take the jab must be available everywhere, so that we achieve the so-called herd immunity by the autumn.

The attainment of this goal depends on everyone, on all our citizens. Please, I am asking all citizens of Russia once again to get vaccinated. This is the only way to stop this deadly epidemic. There is no alternative. The other choice is much worse: to contract the disease with unpredictable consequences.

I would like to say once again that the disease is still with us. But we must start thinking already now about healing the wounds it has inflicted and restoring people’s health.

During the peak periods, our hospitals and outpatient clinics had to reduce or even suspend scheduled visits. This increased the risk of the aggravation of chronic illnesses or the risk of missing the first signs of or correctly diagnosing new illnesses.

I would like to ask the Government, the Healthcare Ministry and the constituent entities of the Russian Federation to expand the system of medical check-ups and periodic screenings, taking into account the current epidemiological situation, and to relaunch them in full measure on July 1, 2021 for people of all ages. They must involve the largest number of people possible. This is why we will increase the supply of mobile medical diagnostic systems to the regions in the near future.

One of the targets of the coronavirus is the cardiovascular system. These diseases have always been the leading cause of death. Therefore, special attention during periodic screenings must be given to people with cardiovascular diseases. I would like to instruct the Government to take additional measures to prevent the diseases that are the main causes of premature death. As I have already mentioned, these are cardiovascular diseases plus malignant tumours and respiratory system diseases.

Hepatitis C claims many young lives. Decisions must be made to reduce this threat to the health of the nation to a minimum within 10 years.

To ensure that as many people as possible can restore their health at sanatoriums and health resorts, I propose that the 20 percent rebate programme for domestic travel is extended at least until the end of the year.

Children’s health is our special priority. Indeed, the foundation for good health for many years to come is laid during childhood. Children’s rest and recreation activities must be made as affordable as possible. In this regard, this year, I propose reimbursing half of what parents spend on their children’s summer camps.

In addition, we need to expand opportunities for student tourism. Already this year, we must launch several pilot projects, including accommodation on university campuses and in dormitories in other regions for students who travel around the country during the summer.

And, of course, we must reward the young people who have done well in academic competitions and in volunteer and creative initiatives as well as the projects operated by the Russia – Land of Opportunity platform. For them, the partial reimbursement programme for tourist vouchers will remain valid during the holidays, aka the high season. This is a ground-breaking decision.

I wish to thank all the parliamentary groups which supported the decision on the taxation of high incomes, or rather, a portion of high incomes. These proceeds will go to the dedicated Circle of Kindness fund and have already been released to help children affected by rare and serious diseases, to purchase expensive medicines and medical equipment, and to cover the costs of surgeries.

On April 28, we will celebrate Ambulance Worker Day which was established as a show of respect to those who arrive first to save lives. These specialists must be provided with all necessary supplies. Within the next three years, we will make another 5,000 new ambulances available to rural communities, urban-type localities and small towns, which will replace the ambulance fleet almost in full.

I want to emphasise that public healthcare authorities in many leading countries – we are well aware of it and, in fact, they themselves are saying so – were unable to deal with the challenges of the pandemic as effectively as we did in Russia. At the same time, global health care is on the cusp of a genuine revolution. This must be recognised and clearly seen. We cannot miss it.

The pandemic has exponentially sped up the introduction of telemedicine, artificial intelligence and new approaches in diagnostics, surgery, rehabilitation and the production of medicines everywhere. We must put these technologies at the service of the people of our country.

We must build our healthcare system around this ground-breaking technology, and keep an eye on pressing everyday problems in the process. As we are all aware, they abound, mostly in primary care. There must be no such thing as waiting lines, no hassle making a diagnostics appointment or a specialist doctor appointment, or obtaining prescriptions and sick leaves, for that matter. This has often come up in our discussions lately. The funds have been set side and allocated. It is time to move quickly and efficiently to make it happen.

We have a backlog to deal with in healthcare and other social sectors, including many technical, financial and managerial challenges. However, what people need is qualified and timely medical help. I propose reviewing public healthcare problems from this perspective at an expanded meeting of the State Council some time soon. We will prepare for it and hold it shortly.

I repeat: we have gained some fundamentally new experience in fulfilling our social commitments. During the pandemic, we made direct payments to families bringing up almost 28 million children, and they received their benefits without any unnecessary paperwork or other kinds of red tape – they got the money they needed and were entitled to automatically. I know Government members have been working on this, focusing deliberately, not without some failures, but they have made every effort to accomplish this task, and coped with it. This is great, this is a good example. This approach should become the norm at all levels of government.

This is the essence of the National Social Initiative, which was discussed at a recent joint meeting of the State Council Presidium and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

I am calling on the regional governors: it is your direct responsibility to organise the work of local clinics, daycare nurseries and schools, and employment centres, based on the daily needs of families, of each and every person. In many regions, I have seen with my own eyes that such work has already been launched in certain areas. This needs to be done everywhere and in all social sectors.

As soon as in 2022, we must introduce the ‘social treasury’ principles. This means that all federal benefits, pensions and other social payments and services will be provided and paid in a one-stop mode, without having to visit dozens of different agencies, but simply upon marriage, the birth of a child, retirement or other life milestones. Within three years, the vast majority of public and municipal services should be provided to Russian citizens remotely, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that is, on an ongoing basis.

Separately, we will have to discuss child-support payments, which are a sensitive topic for many families. Unfortunately, this is a problem in our country. This procedure should not be humiliating for anyone. Most issues here need to be resolved remotely and, most importantly, in the interests of the affected party. A mother with a child should not have to camp on the doorstep of various authorities to collect official documents, carrying her baby in her arms, and this is what usually happens. A system of interagency communication needs to be built, with banks included, in such a way as to ensure the unconditional execution of court decisions on the recovery of child-support payments. The state is obliged to protect the rights of the child; this is what we are talking about. I will return to this topic again later.

Colleagues,

We understand the heavy toll that the pandemic has taken on people’s welfare. Statistics show the aggravating effects of this outbreak on social inequality and poverty. It has been a challenge for all countries around the world – remember, all countries, not only Russia, are experiencing the same consequences. Certainly, we should be primarily concerned about the situation in our own country.

We are now facing price hikes that are undercutting people’s incomes. Some urgent decisions have been made, of course, but we cannot solely rely on targeted and essentially directive measures. We remember potential outcomes. Back in the late 1980s and the 1990s in the Soviet Union, they resulted in empty store shelves. But today, even when the pandemic was at its worst, we did not allow the same thing to happen.

The Government’s goal is to create conditions that will be long-term and which, I want to stress this part, colleagues, can, thanks to market mechanisms (which we have), guarantee the predictability of prices and quality replenishment of the domestic market. Nobody is saying that we will be setting prices from the top. There’s no need to muddy the waters and scare people. There are market regulatory mechanisms and they must be employed – promptly and to the extent required and appropriate to a specific situation in the economy and social sphere. We need to stimulate investment activity by reducing business risks. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Surely, the main goal right now is to ensure that people’s real incomes grow – that is, to restore them and secure their further growth. As I said, we need tangible changes in our fight against poverty.

Before anything else, the Government must provide direct support to families with children who are experiencing hardships. This has been our consistent policy and we will continue to pursue it.

We already have a system of benefits paid to parents of one or two children from the time the children are born and until they reach the age of three. Families with incomes below two subsistence minimums per family member are entitled to such benefits. The average monthly amount paid across the country is 11,300 rubles per child. Seventy-eight Russian regions pay benefits for the third child, also 11,300 rubles on average.

Please note that we are making consistent progress in this area, step by step. Last year, we introduced benefits for children aged three to seven. They range from 5,650 to 11,300 rubles per month depending on the region.

I instruct the Government to develop, by July 1, a comprehensive system of support for families with children. Our goal is to minimise the risk of poverty for such families.

But a number of new decisions need to be taken immediately, already today. It is always difficult for a single parent to raise a child. There are plenty of reasons for that. And this is not about the reasons but about supporting children. It is particularly difficult when a single-parent family is having financial problems, especially when children start going to school and family expenses objectively rise.

In particular, we must support single-parent families, where a mother or a father is bringing up a child alone, and only one of the parents is registered on the birth certificate – sorry to be speaking of such mundane things, but this is a fact of life – or the parents have divorced and one of them has the right to child-support payments. Therefore, as of July 1 this year, all children in such families aged between 8 and 16, inclusively, will receive a benefit. The national average of such benefit will be 5,650 rubles.

Of course, we must also help women who are expecting a baby and who have financial problems. It is extremely important for a mother-to-be to get support from the state and society, so that they can keep their pregnancy and know that they will receive help in raising and bringing up their child.

I propose approving a monthly subsidy for women who register at a maternity centre during early pregnancy and who have financial problems. The average subsidy for them will be 6,350 rubles a month.

Next, the sick pay for taking care of a child who falls ill depends on the employment record, which is correct, on the whole, and fair. However, young women receive much smaller sick leave payments. We have discussed this issue at the State Council, and it has been raised by the United Russia. We need to adopt legal decisions on this matter without delay, so that payments for taking care of a sick child aged up to 7 years inclusively are approved at 100 percent of the parent’s salary as soon as this year.

You understand what this means. The majority of those in this room know that the longer the employment record the larger the sick pay. Women who have a long work record usually receive full sick pay, but they usually do not have children at their age. Those who have children do not receive full pay. We must definitely help those who are expecting a baby.

I would also like to remind you that we have expanded and extended the maternity capital programme up until 2026. This benefit will now be paid already for the first child. We could not afford this before. The maternity capital has been adjusted to inflation and is almost 640,000 rubles

Free hot meals for all primary school children were approved as of January 1, 2020, and this measure has become a great help for families.

I would like to point out that all our decisions were designed to support our people. I know that many and very many people have financial problems now. The labour market and real disposable income of the people will be certainly restored, and we will move on. This has not happened yet. Therefore, I suggest approving one more one-off payment for the families that have school children, namely, 10,000 rubles per schoolchild. Moreover, this payment will also be made for the children who will only start school this year. We will transfer the money in mid-August, so that parents can get their children ready for school.

The updated Constitution of Russia includes clauses on demographic development, and protection of the family and childhood. They should be implemented in practice at all levels of government. I propose including a section aimed at supporting young people in each national project.

Friends,

During the pandemic, many young doctors and nurses, recent graduates as well as residents and students of medical universities worked courageously in the so-called red zones, joining their senior colleagues. In that extraordinary situation, teachers, schoolchildren, college and university students continued to teach and study, to have exams. Young family members supported their parents and older relatives. The youth of Russia proved to be extremely worthy during that period of trials. We can be proud of them.

We will do everything to open up as many life opportunities as possible for the younger generation. Their journey certainly begins at school, and I am sure that school will always be a second home for children; a new home, comfortable and modern.

Under the existing federal programme and with additional resources provided by the VEB Development Bank, we will build at least 1,300 new schools for more than a million children by the end of 2024. We will also purchase at least 16,000 school buses over the next four years. All school buses must be modern and safe.

Classroom teachers have been receiving a monthly addition to their salaries since last year. A very necessary and, I am sure, fair decision. I remember how we held discussions on this matter last year.

However, I have received requests, letters from teachers in secondary vocational institutions who say they have been forgotten. This is actually true. Justice must be restored. We have to fix this and establish the same additional payment of 5,000 rubles for supervisors of educational groups at technical schools and colleges.

I propose allocating an additional 10 billion rubles in the next two years for major repairs and technical equipment of our pedagogical universities. I ask the Government to pay close attention to up-to-date training of future teachers. The future of Russia largely depends on them.

Furthermore, school teaching teams should be expanded with teaching assistants, mentors and counsellors, whose job will be to organise exciting projects for children at schools.

It is very important that our young people should look to and be inspired by the achievements and victories of our outstanding ancestors and contemporaries, by their love for our Motherland and aspiration to make a personal contribution to its development. Children should have the opportunity to explore the national history and the multinational culture, our achievements in science and technology, literature and art in advanced formats. You know, I still open certain school textbooks occasionally and am surprised at what I see there – as if what is written there has nothing to do with us at all. Who writes such textbooks? Who approves them? It is unbelievable. They mention everything, the ‘second front’ and a lot of other facts, but not the Battle of Stalingrad – how is that possible? Amazing! I do not even want to comment.

I propose allocating an additional 24 billion rubles within the next three years to renovate cultural centres, libraries and museums in rural areas and small historical towns. This is another crucial area.

It is important to resume the activities of the Knowledge Society – we all remember well what it is – based on a modern digital platform. It seems to have been operational lately, but no one seems to notice it is there, either. Also, in order to support projects in culture, art and creative activities, we will set up a Presidential fund for cultural initiatives. Already this year, we will use its competitive grants to finance over 1,500 creative teams.

Colleagues,

A month from now, 11th grade students will be taking exams. Based on the results, most of them, about 60 percent, will enrol in universities and have their tuition covered from the budget. It can be safely stated that practically no country in the world apart from Russia has this kind of broad and free access to higher education.

In the next two years, we will make an additional 45,000 state-funded places available at our universities. At least 70 percent of them will go to the regions which need university graduates.

Starting this year, at least 100 universities in the constituent entities of our Federation will receive grants in the amount of 100 million rubles or more for opening student technoparks and business incubators, upgrading academic and laboratory facilities, and running training programmes. All state universities will be eligible for this support, including the ones that train future teachers, medical doctors, transport and culture workers. I am confident that the young generation of Russians, Russian scientists, will make their names known in the meaningful research projects that are yet to come.

This year was declared Science and Technology Year in our country. We realise that science is absolutely key in the modern world. Until 2024, Russia will allocate 1.63 trillion rubles from the federal budget alone for civil, including fundamental, research. But that is not all.

We are about to launch ground-breaking programmes in areas that are critical to our country. They will be given the status of nationwide projects. I would like to discuss some of them separately just to give you a sense.

First, we must have a solid and reliable shield to give us sanitary and biological safety. We now understand what it is about. It is imperative to ensure Russia’s independence in the production of the entire range of vaccines and pharmaceutical substances, including medications against infections that are resistant to the current generation of antibiotics. Importantly, this must be achieved with the maximum engagement of Russian-made equipment and domestic components.

In the event of an infection as dangerous as the coronavirus, or, God forbid, even more dangerous, Russia must be prepared to develop its own test systems within four days, precisely four days, and to create an efficacious domestic vaccine and start its mass production as soon as possible. These are the goals that we are setting for ourselves. The timeframe for achieving these goals is 2030. But the sooner we get there, the better.

Second, we need new comprehensive approaches to the development of our energy sector, including new solutions for nuclear generation in the promising areas of hydrogen energy and energy storage.

Third, we must find answers to the climate change challenges, adjust our agriculture, industry, the housing and utilities sector and the entire infrastructure to them, create a carbon utilisation sector, bring down emissions and introduce strict control and monitoring measures.

Over the next 30 years, the cumulative emissions in Russia must be smaller than in the EU. It is an ambitious goal, considering the size of our country and the specific features of its geography, climate and economic structure. However, I have no doubt whatsoever that it is a perfectly realistic goal in light of our research and technological potential.

Our new energy and pharmaceutical sectors and the solution of climate problems must provide a powerful boost to a comprehensive modernisation of all economic sectors and the social sphere. It is a direct path to the creation of modern and well-paid jobs.

The efforts taken by each level of government, business, development institutions and the Russian Academy of Sciences must have in view the main, central task: to improve the quality of life for our people. I would like to point out that our position on environmental protection is a matter of principle in this respect, and it will definitely remain unchanged.

The dangers of the alternative position have been recently exemplified by the events in Norilsk, Usolye-Sibirskoye and several other places. We will certainly help the people who live there, but we must also preclude a repetition of such environmental disasters.

I would like to ask those responsible to accelerate the adoption of a law on the financial responsibility of enterprise owners for clearing up the accumulated pollution and for the reclamation of industrial sites. This is a very simple approach. Here it is: if you have benefited from polluting the environment, clean up after yourself. We must act harshly. Rosprirodnadoz [the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources] and other regulatory authorities must do their jobs.

I would like to add that the “polluter pays” principle must also be employed in full in the waste disposal sector to ensure transition to the so-called closed-loop economy. With this aim in view, we must launch a mechanism of extended producers and importers’ responsibility for the management of products and packaging wastes as soon as this year.

I also propose marking environmental payments to the federal budget. I know that experts and financial specialists do not like such special marks, but I see this as a vital sphere of our activity. We can make an exception in this case, and invest these funds in clearing up accumulated pollution and improving the environment.

Also, as I said, the amount of hazardous emissions in Russia’s 12 largest industrial centres must be reduced by 20 percent by 2024. We have already discussed this. Obviously, this goal must be accomplished through a comprehensive modernisation of the industrial sector, the housing and utilities sector, transport and energy.

Moreover, I propose expanding the emission quota system to all Russian cities with major air quality problems and introduce strict liability for non-compliance with environmental regulations. Of course, this requires transparent monitoring.

We will definitely support the efforts of businesses to upgrade their facilities up to current environmental standards. For example, upgrading will begin this year at aluminium plants in Bratsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Novokuznetsk based on the state guarantee mechanism. I will later name other cities and towns in other contexts but it does not mean that our work is limited to those areas. They only serve as examples.

Colleagues,

Last year, we allocated unprecedented resources for supporting the economy. Among other things, we managed to preserve over 5 million jobs through subsidised loans for wage payments. I want to stress that this programme succeeded but it succeeded precisely because businesses acted responsibly and did everything they could to keep their employees. We could see that.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to prevent layoffs completely. I understand how hard it is for those who lost their jobs. The Government was instructed to ensure that the labour market recovers by the end of the year. Still, this problem must be solved sooner so that people can have a stable income again. The Government will be encouraging entrepreneurial initiatives and stimulate private investments that create new jobs.

As you know, last year, social insurance contributions for small and medium-sized businesses were reduced by half, from 30 to 15 percent. This decision will remain in force permanently and is not subject to review.

I instruct the Government to present, within the next month, additional proposals on supporting small and medium-sized businesses, such as tax incentives, accessible loans and expanding product distribution and sales, including to major state-run companies.

As for other decisions in the economic sphere, I would like to mention the following.

First, we have already scrapped many archaic norms and requirements in construction and other fields and discontinued many unnecessary control inspections, but we also need to increase the momentum to achieve substantive, clear and tangible results in improving the business climate. For example, building a turnkey factory in Russia should be faster, more economically efficient and easier than in other regions of the world, including countries with developed economies.

Furthermore, we need to simplify the working conditions for non-commodity exporters. We have certainly been pursuing this policy line for a few years now, but we still need to remove all excessive restrictions in forex control for these exporters. This is one of the problems. The new procedure should start functioning in July. We have discussed this matter more than once. All amendments to the legislation must be adopted as quickly as possible during the spring session.

Secondly, the talent of an entrepreneur is primarily the talent of a creator, an aspiration to change life for the better, to create new jobs. The state will definitely support this attitude.

In the modern world where the market situation sometimes changes almost every day, businesses have to deal with high risks, especially when investing in long-term projects. To address this, we will be adjusting the entire private investment support system. We will evaluate how effective the projects are by the new products, services, and technologies they provide people with and how they improve the potential of Russia and each individual region.

The Special Investment Contract mechanism has already been improved; we have implemented a new instrument – Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements. We have consolidated development institutions on the basis of VEB. Their job is to reduce the risks for investing private capital, to help in the creation of new markets and investment mechanisms, the same as with the Project Finance Factory mechanism already in place. It is currently supporting more than 40 commercial projects with a total investment of 3 trillion rubles.

I am waiting for proposals from the Government on the implementation of the ideas proposed in March at a meeting with Russian businesses. Colleagues, you are well aware of this.

Third, we are making all major decisions concerning the economy through a dialogue with the business community. This is the practice established over many years. Of course, we have the right to expect that the auxiliary financial instruments and support mechanisms will bring the most desired result, which is converting profit into investment and development.

There is an important thing I want to say although it is nothing new to businesses. They know it already. The corporate sector is expected to make a record profit this year, despite all the problems that we are dealing with. Despite these problems, this is the real picture. We will take note of how this profit will be used and, based on the annual results, we may decide to calibrate the tax legislation. I want to see specific proposals from the Government. Off the record, I should note: some withdraw dividends while others invest in the development of their companies and entire industries. We will be encouraging those who invest.

Last year, we substantially increased budget expenditure while managing to maintain the stability of state finances. The Government and the Central Bank must continue to pursue a responsible financial policy. Ensuring macroeconomic stability and containing inflation within set parameters is an extremely important task. I assume that it will definitely be accomplished.

At the same time, thanks to our budget capacity and our reserves, we can allocate more funds to support investment in infrastructure and provide regions with new development instruments. Launching these instruments will require the law to be amended. I expect that all parliamentary parties – A Just Russia, the Liberal Democratic Party, the Communist Party and United Russia – will uphold these amendments.

In this regard, I want to thank all constructive public forces in the country for their responsible and patriotic attitude during this difficult epidemic. These are not just meaningless words because it was this attitude and its practical significance that helped all of us preserve the balance and stability of Russia’s government and political system. This is always important but it is especially relevant because we are preparing for the elections to the State Duma and other government bodies, considering the extensive work we will have to carry out. I hope that this competitive mindset that unites us in the face of common goals will persist.

Colleagues,

The country is developing and moving forward, but this is only taking place when the regions of the Russian Federation are developing. A striving of the heads of constituent entities to make their regions successful and self-sufficient must be and will be encouraged in every way.

We will support those who assume responsibility and launch constructive projects. I am confident that every Russian region has huge potential. To help make positive and productive use of this potential, what must we reduce first of all? The governors know what I am referring to: we must reduce the debt burden. These topics must be thoroughly discussed once again.

I ask the Government to submit by June 1 the proposals on ensuring long-term stability of regional and municipal finance and on increasing the regions’ self-sufficiency. We will discuss them in summer at a State Council meeting, and we will do so with due regard for the priority decisions about which I will tell you now.

First of all, we must help regions with large commercial debts. Here is what I suggest: the amount of a region’s commercial debt that exceeds 25 percent of the given region’s own revenues will be replaced with budgetary loans that will mature in 2029.

In addition, I propose restructuring the budgetary loans, yes, budgetary loans that were issued to the regions last year for taking measures to combat the pandemic. I believe that this would be fair. I would like to remind everyone that these loans will mature in two months, on July 1. I suggest extending them to 2029 as well.

I would like to emphasise that the restructuring of accumulated debts should be used as a mechanism of increasing the self-sufficiency of regional economies, especially considering that we will be offering a fundamentally new development tool to our constituent entities. I am referring to the so-called budgetary infrastructure loans with an interest rate of not more than 3 percent per annum and with maturity in 15 years. We intend to allocate a total of at least 0.5 trillion rubles, that is, 500 billion rubles of such infrastructure loans by the end of 2023.

Regional debt restructuring must be based on the concept of justice, which has always been the case, actually. Some constituent entities have large accumulated commercial debts, while other entities did not take out many loans. The latter may feel neglected in this case. This will not do, and we will not permit this. We will support those who have always pursued and continue to pursue a balanced financial policy. The principle of the distribution of infrastructure loans will be as follows: the fewer debts a region had, the more it will be able to receive in infrastructure loans.

We are one country. All levels of government and business must work to one end. Debt restructuring and an innovative investment resource in the form of infrastructure loans will allow us to expand the planning horizon and to launch new solutions that are tied in with the implementation of national projects, sector-specific strategies and a comprehensive plan for upgrading the backbone infrastructure.

Federal infrastructure loans are a powerful resource, but whether they will help us get ahead or attract private investment hugely depends on what regional management teams do and on their ability to conduct an open and candid dialogue with businesses, investors, and, of course, primarily, individuals.

The infrastructure projects in the regions must be implemented, primarily, in the interests of the people, and serve as investment in the creation of new jobs and in promoting the well-being of millions of Russian households and securing the future of our children. The priorities will be building motorways and bypasses in urban areas, upgrading the housing and utilities sector infrastructure and the public transport system, as well as conducting integrated development of territories and building tourist facilities.

Please note that the infrastructure and budget loans will be fully under the control of the Federal Treasury and will be provided exclusively for specific projects that have been thoroughly analysed by experts at the federal level. While we are at it, I would like to say something to regional leaders and the Government: listen, let’s work in a rhythmic and business-like manner. I do not want to use harsh or rude language at this rostrum, but things must be done on time and projects must be prepared, not just pictures shown to the Government. In turn, the Government must quickly process the projects and help the regions deal with things they have problems dealing with. You must help your colleagues, you understand that? Not trash what they have brought to you and say they did a bad job. Some of them are unable to do what you ask of them. Help them, and then things will be on the path forwards.

The scale of the projects may vary, but most importantly, as I said, they must benefit our people and open up new opportunities. For example, in conjunction with our major companies and using the proposed mechanism, the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area will begin the construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway. This is the railway that will spur the development of the richest resources of the Arctic. This project has been in the works for a long time now, and it’s time to launch it, since we can do so now. For example, as a result, Nizhny Novgorod will be able to continue building the metro and to start renovating the city centre. Chelyabinsk, another city with a million-plus residents, will also have the opportunity to upgrade its transport system through a long-standing metro construction project. I am aware of other similar projects in Krasnoyarsk and other regions.

And, of course, the construction of new facilities must be at a qualitatively higher level. I want the Government to draft a clear step-by-step plan for the end-to-end and widespread use of digital design, and the production and introduction of cutting-edge energy-efficient materials. This is also important if we want to tackle the climate and environmental challenges.

Large-scale infrastructure development sets fundamentally new tasks before the construction industry. In the difficult past year, it worked smoothly and built over 80 million square metres of housing. This is a good result. The more we build, the more affordable housing will there be for Russian families.

Therefore, we have an ambitious goal. We have already discussed it as well and this ambitious goal has not disappeared– we plan to build 120 million square metres of housing every year. That said, we must certainly envisage a special mechanism for supporting private housing construction.

As for large-scale construction, the DOM.RF development institute will attract financial resources through the placement of bonds. This is a tried and tested mechanism that generally works well. These resources must go to developers as targeted loans.

I would like to emphasise that federal budget subsidies will allow DOM.RF to issue loans to developers at a minimal annual rate of about 3–4 percent. The construction of residential neighbourhoods in Tula, Tyumen, the Sakhalin Region and Kuzbass will be pilot projects for developing this model.

Improvement of cities and towns and housing construction growth play a major role in the development of the regions. We must take care of the urgent, daily problems of local residents. Quite a few Russian families live in areas connected to gas networks but their homes still have no access to gas for some reason. It seems the pipe is there but there is no gas at home.

I would like to ask the Government to work out, in cooperation with the regions, a clear-cut plan for bringing gas to such households. In this context, I support United Russia’s initiative, notably, that people do not have to pay for laying gas pipes directly to the border of their land plots in a residential area.

As I have already said, the Government must analyse all details in cooperation with Gazprom and other companies and agencies that work in this area to prevent any setbacks. Otherwise, I will say something from this rostrum and people will be waiting for it but because you don’t put some squiggles or commas in the right place everything will get bogged down again. This is unacceptable, and I will check on it myself, so please pay attention. Mosoblgaz and other companies must understand what they must do, in what timeframe and how much money they have at their disposal.

The goal is certainly more extensive. We must offer every region our solutions on public access to reliable and clean energy sources. This may be electricity, including from renewable sources, or environmentally friendly use of coal, which is also an option in the modern world, pipeline or liquefied gas. I instruct the regional heads to prepare, in coordination with the Government, detailed plans of action and start implementing them next year.

For example, in Kamchatka we must envisage the creation of local gas-receiving infrastructure to ensure reliable long-term gas supplies to the residents and companies of the Kamchatka Territory.

Colleagues,

We will not only give fundamentally new development tools to the regions, but will also directly invest federal resources into the settlement of the worst systemic problems, which will have a compound effect on boosting the regions’ growth and improving the quality of people’s lives.

We will begin with allocations from the National Welfare Fund for building mainline motorways. First of all, we should finance the ongoing construction of the Moscow-Kazan high-speed road and, more than that, extend it all the way to Yekaterinburg, completing this project within three years.

This way, together with the existing Moscow-St Petersburg high-speed road and the Central Ring Road, this will ensure safe high-speed motorway transit across the entire European part of Russia, from the Baltic Sea to the Urals, by 2024.

However, it is not enough to simply connect the end-of-line destinations. What good will this do, if it does not change anything about life in villages or small towns but only gives the people there an opportunity to watch high-speed trains and vehicles rush past? The backbone infrastructure must definitely lead to the development of all the territories where it has been built, giving rise to the development of a modern regional network.

The constituent entities will now be able to use infrastructure loans to speed up the implementation of these construction projects. But in their development plans, our colleagues should remember and take into account that the federal and regional mainlines must function as a unified system in the interests of our citizens, businesses and regions. In this way, the infrastructure loans and the resources of the National Welfare Fund will be working for the benefit of all Russian regions.

The same goes for our new national project in the tourist sphere. A programme of easy loans will be launched soon to finance the construction and renovation of hotels and other tourist infrastructure. The interest rate on these loans will be 3–5 percent as well, and the loans will mature in 15 years.

There are many other pilot projects. I will only mention some of them: the development of Sheregesh, the leading mountain ski resort in Kuzbass; the creation of a yachting resort in the Bay of Balaklava in Sevastopol; and the development of the tourist industry on the Altai and in the Kaliningrad Region.

The infrastructure loans project will give a new impetus to entire tourist clusters. In particular, several regions in Central Russia will be able to modernise and expand the Golden Ring route at a fundamentally new level, realising the tourist potential of small towns such as Tarusa, Palekh, Murom, Gorokhovets, Tutayev and Borovsk. Development projects will be launched in the Volga Region cities, the Crimean resorts, the Black Sea and Pacific coast areas, as well as in our resort towns such as Staraya Russa in the Novgorod Region and Kavkazskiye Mineralnye Vody in the Caucasus, including its gem, Kislovodsk.

Russia is a hospitable country that is open to its good friends. You surely remember what happened during the 2018 football championships. As soon as the epidemiological situation allows, we will lift the remaining restrictions and millions of tourists from all over the world will come to Russia again. We have a practical task at hand: to ensure that e-visas for travel to Russia are available remotely and without undue formalities within a matter of four days in the majority of countries.

Colleagues,

The meaning and purpose of Russia’s policy in the international arena – I will just say a few words about this to conclude my address – is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens, for the stable development of our country. Russia certainly has its own interests we defend and will continue to defend within the framework of international law, as all other states do. And if someone refuses to understand this obvious thing or does not want to conduct a dialogue and chooses a selfish and arrogant tone with us, Russia will always find a way to defend its stance.

At the same time, unfortunately, everyone in the world seems to be used to the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions and to certain actors’ brutal attempts to impose their will on others by force. But today, this practice is degenerating into something even more dangerous – I am referring to the recently exposed direct interference in Belarus in an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état and assassinate the President of that country. At the same time, it is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seemed to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening.

But listen, you can think whatever you like of, say, Ukrainian President [Viktor] Yanukovych or [Nicolas] Maduro in Venezuela. I repeat, you can like or dislike them, including Yanukovych who almost got killed, too, and removed from power via an armed coup. You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials – well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits.

Suffice it to mention the admission made by the detained participants in the conspiracy about a planned siege of Minsk, including plans to block the city infrastructure and communications, and a complete shutdown of the entire power system in the capital of Belarus! This actually means they were preparing a massive cyberattack. What else could it be? You know, you cannot just do it all with one switch.

Clearly, there is a reason why our Western colleagues have been stubbornly rejecting Russia’s numerous proposals to establish an international dialogue on information and cyber security. We have come up with these proposals many times. They avoid even discussing this matter.

What if there had been a real attempt at a coup d’état in Belarus? After all, this was the ultimate goal. How many people would have been hurt? What would have become of Belarus? Nobody is thinking about this.

Just as no one was thinking about the future of Ukraine during the coup in that country.

All the while, unfriendly moves towards Russia have also continued unabated. Some countries have taken up an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often, for no reason at all. It is some kind of new sport of who shouts the loudest.

In this regard, we behave in an extremely restrained manner, I would even say, modestly, and I am saying this without irony. Often, we prefer not to respond at all, not just to unfriendly moves, but even to outright rudeness. We want to maintain good relations with everyone who participates in the international dialogue. But we see what is happening in real life. As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer.

We really want to maintain good relations with all those engaged in international communication, including, by the way, those with whom we have not been getting along lately, to put it mildly. We really do not want to burn bridges. But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn or even blow up these bridges, they must know that Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, swift and tough.

Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time.

At the same time, I just have to make it clear, we have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence and certainty in our cause, as well as common sense, when making a decision of any kind. But I hope that no one will think about crossing the “red line” with regard to Russia. We ourselves will determine in each specific case where it will be drawn.

I will now say, just as I always do during the annual addresses to the Federal Assembly, that the improvement and qualitative strengthening of Russia’s Armed Forces continues on a regular basis. In particular, special attention will be given to the development of military education both at military school and academies and at military training centres at civilian universities.

By 2024, the share of modern weapons and military equipment in the armed forces will reach nearly 76 percent, which is a very good indicator. This share in the nuclear triad will be over 88 percent before this year is out.

Standing on combat duty are the latest Avangard hypersonic intercontinental missile systems and the Peresvet combat laser systems, and the first regiment armed with Sarmat super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles is scheduled to go on combat duty in late 2022.

The number of combat air systems with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, and warships armed with precision hypersonic weapons such as Kinzhal that I mentioned, and with the Kalibr missiles, is increasing. The Tsirkon hypersonic missiles will be put on combat duty soon. Work is underway on other modern combat systems, including Poseidon and Burevestnik, in accordance with the development plans of the Armed Forces.

As the leader in the creation of new-generation combat systems and in the development of modern nuclear forces, Russia is urging its partners once again to discuss the issues related to strategic armaments and to ensuring global stability. The subject matter and the goal of these talks could be the creation of an environment for a conflict-free coexistence based on the security equation, which would include not only the traditional strategic armaments, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, heavy bombers and submarines, but – I would like to emphasise this – all offensive and defensive systems capable of attaining strategic goals regardless of the armament.

The five nuclear countries bear special responsibility. I hope that the initiative on a personal meeting of the heads of state of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, which we proposed last year, will materialise and will be held as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.

Russia is always open to broad international cooperation. We have consistently advocated the preservation and strengthening of the key role of the United Nations in international affairs, and we try to provide assistance to the settlement of regional conflicts and have already done a great deal to stabilise the situation in Syria and to launch a political dialogue in Libya. As you know, Russia played the main role in stopping the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

It is on the basis of mutual respect that we are building relations with the absolute majority of the world’s countries: in Asia, Latin America, Africa and many European countries. We are consistently expanding as a priority contacts with our closest partners in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and our allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Our common projects in the Eurasian Economic Union are aimed at ensuring economic growth and the wellbeing of our people. There are new, interesting projects here, such as the development of transport-and-logistics corridors. I am sure they will become a reliable infrastructure backbone for large-scale Eurasian partnership. The Russian ideas of this broad, open association are already being put into practice, in part, via alignment with other integration processes.

All these projects are not just geopolitical ideas but strictly practical instruments for resolving national development tasks.

Colleagues,

I began today’s Address with urgent healthcare issues, and concluding it, I would like to say the following. Nobody in the world knew what misfortune we would have to face. However, we, citizens of Russia, have already done much and will do all we can to counter the threat of the epidemic. Our country has reliable resources for this. We created them in healthcare, science, education and industry in previous years.

However, we must definitely move forward. We have mapped out national development tasks. Naturally, the challenge of the epidemic has made objective adjustments to our work. Today’s Address contains instructions on demography and family support, as well as on efforts to fight poverty, increase incomes, create jobs, improve the business environment and raise state management to a new level.

I would like to ask the Government to focus on these tasks in preparing new initiatives on Russia’s socioeconomic development and instruct it to present them by July 1 of this year.

What do I have in mind? Doing everyday work, we must certainly not forget about our strategic development goals and our national development goals, and we must improve the mechanisms for reaching them.

We will discuss the Government’s proposals with the participation of the relevant State Council commissions, our business associations, experts and the Civic Chamber. Following such a broad discussion, we will make final decisions on further financial and organisational actions at the meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects.

Now I would like to address all citizens of Russia once again to say that we will do everything in our power to achieve the goals set. I am sure we will move forward together and accomplish all the tasks that we have set for ourselves.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Pubblicato in: Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Mondiale

Suez. Collo di bottiglia dell’enclave occidentale, non del mondo.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-03-31.

2021-03-29__ Suez 001

«The Suez Canal, which cuts through Egypt to connect the Mediterranean and Red seas, is so important to world trade that world powers have fought over it since it was completed in 1869»

«The 193 kilometer (120 mile) man-made waterway cuts through Egypt to connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, and by extension the Atlantic and Indian oceans»

«That makes it a key transit point for ships moving goods between Asia and Europe and the eastern U.S. It entered service in 1869, 45 years before the Panama Canal»

«About 12% of world trade passes through the canal each year, everything from crude oil to grains to instant coffee. Without Suez, a supertanker carrying Mideast crude oil to Europe would have to travel an extra 6,000 miles around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, adding some $300,000 in fuel costs»

«Just about every good imaginable, adding up in 2019 to 1.03 billion tons of cargo, according to the Suez Canal Authority. That’s roughly four times more than passed through the Panama Canal»

«The canal’s location makes it a key link for shipping crude oil and other hydrocarbons from countries such as Saudi Arabia to Europe and North America»

«Among other goods, 54.1 million tons of cereal passed through the canal, 53.5 million tons of ores and metals and 35.4 million tons of coal and coke in 2019»

«Egypt’s anti-colonial President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the canal in 1956, a move that sparked the Suez Crisis that same year when Israeli, British and France forces staged an invasion of the Sinai and canal zone. The crisis, which ended after the U.S. intervened against the invasion»

«Today, the canal is operated by the state-owned Suez Canal Authority and is a major money-earner for Egypt’s government, generating $5.61 billion in revenue last year»

* * * * * * *

Per la loro innata modestia ed umiltà, i media occidentali liberal identificano sé stessi come il “mondo“.

Ma questo è oramai soltanto una loro allucinazione ideologica.

I paesi del sud est asiatico, Cina in testa, con l’Asean e con il Rcep, hanno da tempo superato l’enclave occidentale intermini di pil ppa, ed esportano per lo più all’interno dell’Asean e del Rcep.

Cina. Febbraio 2021. Export +60.6%, Import +22.2% anno su anno, Saldo +103.25 mld Usd.

L’export cinese ammonta al 25% verso le Americhe, al 20% verso il blocco europeo ed al 48% verso l’Asia.

Se sicuramente l’export verso l’occidente sia ancora rilevante, tuttavia la sua quota sarebbe costantemente in caduta: i commercio con tra i paesi asiatici stanno crescendo a vista d’occhio.

Il caso della superportacontainer incagliata nel canale, sempre che sia stato un incidente casuale, tange in ben poco gli interessi asiatici, mentre colpisce duramente quelli occidentali, specie nel traffico dei cereali, del greggio, dei metalli estrattivi e del carbone.

È stato sufficiente bloccare un collo di bottiglia strategico per dare un colpo feroce al sistema economico occidentale.

E mica è detto che un incidente di tal tipo non possa ripetersi.

*


Why a Canal Built in 1869 Is More Important Than Ever.

The Suez Canal, which cuts through Egypt to connect the Mediterranean and Red seas, is so important to world trade that world powers have fought over it since it was completed in 1869. That strategic shipping lane was completely blocked on March 23, when the heavily laden cargo ship Ever Given, longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall, went askew in heavy winds and got its bow wedged into the side of the waterway. The mishap snarled international shipping amid efforts by elite teams to refloat the massive vessel.

  1. What’s the Suez Canal?

The 193 kilometer (120 mile) man-made waterway cuts through Egypt to connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, and by extension the Atlantic and Indian oceans. That makes it a key transit point for ships moving goods between Asia and Europe and the eastern U.S. It entered service in 1869, 45 years before the Panama Canal, which is much shorter, linking the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The sea-level canal is the longest in the world without locks, with a normal transit time from end to end of about 13-15 hours, according to GlobalSecurity.org.

Container Ship Blocking Suez Canal Paralyzes Trade

  1. Why is it so important?

About 12% of world trade passes through the canal each year, everything from crude oil to grains to instant coffee. Without Suez, a supertanker carrying Mideast crude oil to Europe would have to travel an extra 6,000 miles around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, adding some $300,000 in fuel costs (although there would be savings from avoiding the Suez passage tolls, which can run hundreds of thousands of dollars.) Because it has no locks, it can even handle aircraft carriers.

  1. What travels through it?

Just about every good imaginable, adding up in 2019 to 1.03 billion tons of cargo, according to the Suez Canal Authority. That’s roughly four times more than passed through the Panama Canal. The canal’s location makes it a key link for shipping crude oil and other hydrocarbons from countries such as Saudi Arabia to Europe and North America. Among other goods, 54.1 million tons of cereal passed through the canal, 53.5 million tons of ores and metals and 35.4 million tons of coal and coke in 2019.

Tight Fit

There’s not a lot of room for maneuver in the Suez Canal for a ship as big as Ever Given

Source: Suez Canal Authority and ship tracking data monitored by Bloomberg

  1. What are the origins of the canal?

The idea dates back to antiquity but it wasn’t until the mid 19th century that Egypt’s Ottoman viceroy Said Pasha granted a French company a concession to build the canal. The project took 10 years and some 1.5 million laborers and cost $100 million ($1.9 billion today), twice the initial estimate. The canal entered service in 1869 but its owners faced financial difficulties shortly after and were forced to sell a controlling stake to the U.K., which ran the canal for the next eight decades.

  1. Who owns it today?

Egypt’s anti-colonial President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the canal in 1956, a move that sparked the Suez Crisis that same year when Israeli, British and France forces staged an invasion of the Sinai and canal zone. The crisis, which ended after the U.S. intervened against the invasion, resulted in the canal’s closure for a year. (It also saw the first UN peacekeeping force.) A decade later, the 1967 Israeli-Arab war prompted Egypt to close Suez to ship traffic for eight years as Egyptian and Israeli forces faced off across the water. Today, the canal is operated by the state-owned Suez Canal Authority and is a major money-earner for Egypt’s government, generating $5.61 billion in revenue last year. An $8 billion expansion of the canal was launched in 2015 with the goal of increasing ship traffic and more than doubling revenue.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Mondiale

Bavarian Industry Association. Cina quale volano economico per i paesi emergenti.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-03-27.

Baviera 001

La Bavarian Industry Association così si definisce:

«We represent the interests of the Bavarian industry and provide support through our expertise and experience, our partners and networks as well as through our projects, programmes and our comprehensive range of services.

Our members represent the whole spectrum of Bavarian industries. This strengthens our political influence. Together, we lend a distinctive profile to the Bavarian economy.

– We are the central point of contact for policy makers.

– We pool the competence and experience of the Bavarian business community and actively contribute to our pluralistic society.

– Together with our members we develop the political base for decision-making. ….»

*

Da lungo tempo la Bavarian Industry Association presenta studi sul sistema economico cinese.

Studie zu den Wirtschaftsbeziehungen mit China / Öffnung Chinas für ausländische Direktinvestitionen nimmt zu

Frühjahrsgespräch Mittelfranken

*

La Bavarian Industry Association ha pubblicato un voluminoso e ben documentato report, intitolato

Shifts in the global economy — Danger for the economic dominance of the West

*

«China is a very decisive driver of a dynamic catch-up process of many emerging countries»

«While the growth potential in the classic industrialized countries is limited — mainly due to demographic factors — many emerging countries, especially in Asia, are experiencing a dynamic catch-up process»

«China is not the only driver, but a very decisive one of this development»

«China’s increasing importance also has economic and trade policy consequences …. adding that the competition between China and the United States may change the global trade order »

«The global economy is in upheaval, a shift of forces is underway»

* * * * * * *

Sono molti i temi trattati, ma tra questi si vorrebbero sottolineare alcuni.

– Gli industriali bavaresi identificano nel fattore demografico una delle principali cause della stasi dei sistemi economici occidentali

– Visto in una ottica strategica, su di un lasso di tempo almeno decennale, gli attuali paesi emergenti saranno emersi e graviteranno nella sfera politica, militare ed economica cinese, grati degli aiuti incondizionati ricevuti. Processo questo che è definito “danger for the economic dominance of the West”

*


China serves as decisive driver of dynamic catch-up process in changing world: German study

BERLIN, March 20 (Xinhua) — China is a very decisive driver of a dynamic catch-up process of many emerging countries, a recent German study showed.

While the growth potential in the classic industrialized countries is limited — mainly due to demographic factors — many emerging countries, especially in Asia, are experiencing a dynamic catch-up process, a study of the Bavarian Industry Association noted.

“China is not the only driver, but a very decisive one of this development,” it said.

China’s increasing importance also has economic and trade policy consequences, the study said, adding that the competition between China and the United States may change the global trade order.

“The global economy is in upheaval, a shift of forces is underway,” the study said.

Above all, the study also makes it clear that de-globalization, which is increasingly becoming a realistic threat, will lead to a loss of prosperity worldwide.

There is no alternative to free trade and the international division of labor, and protectionism and trade wars ultimately hurt everyone, it said.

In addition, the study noted that the European Union must stand up for free trade and against protectionism. It has enough economic weight to ensure the stabilization of the world trade order.

The study, titled “Shifts in the global economy — Danger for the economic dominance of the West,” analyzed the economic and political changes in the global economy. Enditem

Pubblicato in: Cina, Commercio, Geopolitica Mondiale

Cina – Europa. Gennaio. Da Manzhouli sono partiti 331 treni, +59.9% anno su anno.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-02-21.

Cina Manzhouli 001

«Manzhouli, China’s largest land port, handled a growing number of China-Europe freight trains in January»

«A total of 331 cross-border freight trains went through the port in January, up 59.9 percent year on year, marking growth for 11 consecutive months»

«Of the total, the port handled 157 outbound trains, an increase of 27.6 percent year on year, while the number of inbound trains soared by 107.1 percent year on year to 174»

«The outbound China-Europe freight trains through Manzhouli can reach 13 European countries»

«The imported and exported goods mainly include daily necessities, electrical products, industrial machinery, metals and agricultural products»

«short freight time, low price and high efficiency, have played an important role in ensuring smooth logistics and stable material supply in China and European countries»

* * * * * * *

Ferrovia Cina – Europa. 2020. 12,400 treni, +50% anno su anno.

Ferrovia Cina, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Iran, Afganistan, più Uzbekistan e Turkmenistan.

Nepal. Belt and Road. Progetto di collegamento ferroviario moderno con la Cina.

Rep Ceka e Cina. Attiva la ferrovia Praga – Yiwu.

Kenya. Nuova linea ferroviaria Nairobi – Mombasa finanziata dalla Cina.

Cina. Xi Jinping si meriterebbe il Premio Nobel per l’economia.

Ferrovia Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe. 11,920 km in dieci giorni. 1,033 convogli al mese.

*

La costruzione di interporti ferroviari, ed il loro collegamento alla rete ferroviaria, permette alla Cina di portare lavoro produttivo nelle sue zone periferiche, sottosviluppate. Non elargizione di sussidi, bensì allestimento di infrastrutture.

Questo discorso vale anche per l’interporto di Manzhouli, che ha generato quasi trentamila posti di lavoro degni di quel nome, per non parlare dell’indotto.

Ma la direttrice verso l’Europa non è certamente l’unica.

Cina. New Silk Road. Qualche difficoltà nel sud-est asiatico.

Cina. La diplomazia ferroviaria.

Al contrario degli Stati Uniti e dell’Occidente in genere, massimamente le Nazioni Unite, la Cina non vincola i propri investimenti alla soddisfazione di propri modi di vedere e sentire i problemi etici e morali. Accetta le altre realtà così come esse siano e richiede solo rapporti paritetici. La Cina investe in Africa ed Asia soprattutto in progetti infrastrutturali, quali ferrovie e strade.

Il conseguente indotto alimenta quindi il perfezionamento dei rapporti politici.

*

Xinhua. China’s largest land port sees rising number of China-Europe freight trains

HOHHOT, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) — Manzhouli, China’s largest land port, handled a growing number of China-Europe freight trains in January, local authorities said.

A total of 331 cross-border freight trains went through the port in January, up 59.9 percent year on year, marking growth for 11 consecutive months, said the Manzhouli station under China Railway Harbin Group.

Of the total, the port handled 157 outbound trains, an increase of 27.6 percent year on year, while the number of inbound trains soared by 107.1 percent year on year to 174.

The outbound China-Europe freight trains through Manzhouli can reach 13 European countries. The imported and exported goods mainly include daily necessities, electrical products, industrial machinery, metals and agricultural products.

The global sea and air transport capacity has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the China-Europe freight trains, due to advantages such as short freight time, low price and high efficiency, have played an important role in ensuring smooth logistics and stable material supply in China and European countries.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Mondiale

Cook Islands. Si staccano dall’occidente ed accettano fondi dalla Aiib. La conquista dello Oceano Pacifico.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-02-19.

Cook Islands 001


Dovrebbe essere sufficiente dare una occhiata rapida alla carta geografica per comprendere l’importanza strategica delle Cook Islands, o Cook Islands Māori come amano farsi denominare.

Formalmente legate alla Nuova Zelanda, alla cui cittadinanza hanno diritto, sono una nazione nei triboli.  L’occidente le tratta da paria, principalmente perché

«Male homosexuality is illegal in the Cook Islands and is punishable by a maximum term of seven years imprisonment»

Ma la Cina ha tutto l’interesse di rendersele amiche, dapprima con vincoli economici, quindi politici, ed infine militari.

Per i cinesi sarebbero uno dei posti ideali dove poter allestire una loro propria base navale, nell’aperto Oceano Pacifico.

* * * * * * *

«Pacific island nations are turning to the China-backed AIIB development bank to plug funding gaps in their pandemic-ravaged budgets after exhausting financing options from traditional western partners, stoking fears the region is becoming more dependent on Beijing»

«The Cook Islands, a tiny country of around 20,000 people in the South Pacific, turned to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) late last year after a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and a grant from close ally New Zealand fell short»

«The US$20 million loan to the Cook Islands was the AIIB’s second to a strained Pacific economy in the last few months, after Fiji secured a US$50 million facility, signalling its arrival in the Pacific region»

«The multi-lateral lender said the loans to Fiji and Cook Islands were co-finance»

«The objective is to minimise the pandemic’s uncertain socio-economic impact on AIIB members given their heavy dependence on the international tourism market»

«in January that it had accepted a US$12 million grant from the Chinese government»

«China’s growing reach in the region is unsettling for the United States and its allies, who have been the dominant powers in the Pacific since World War Two»

«Despite being small, Pacific states boast strategic ports and air strips and control vast swathes of resource-rich ocean»

«China is very willing to lend money to any Pacific island nation. As much as Australia and New Zealand have encouraged the islands to look to them first it’s been a lot easier getting money out of China»

«More than 100 countries are members of the multi-lateral bank, with the noteable exceptions of the United States and Japan»

«One of the most remote outposts of World War Two, Cook Islands has a free association agreement with New Zealand and shared citizenship, though it is its own country»

«Almost one-third of Cook Islands’ NZ$215 million ($153.2 million) external debt now lies with Beijing-linked bodies, AIIB and China’s Exim Bank, up from 16% before the pandemic»

«Cook Islands expects to require additional borrowings of NZ$71.2 million ($50.74 million) over the next three years to cover shortfalls»

«If the AIIB becomes the primary lender to the Pacific and the region’s economic recovery is driven by Chinese lending, then certainly there will be cause for significant concern that economic dependence could be exploited»

* * * * * * *

Anche se a dirlo si potrebbe essere linciati, l’occidente ha negato o lesinato fondi alle Cook Islands a causa delle loro posizioni sulla omosessualità.

I cinesi hanno colto al volo questa opportunità: come di abitudine hanno rispettato la sovranità nazionale ed hanno elargito sostanziosi finanziamenti.

Se sicuramente potrebbe servire ancora molto tempo, una volta che le Cook Islands le fossero intimamente connesse, la Cina avrebbe preso posizione nel bel mezzo dell’Oceano Pacifico, avendo investito cifre ridicolmente basse.

Questo è un altro aspetto delle devoluzione dell’occidente liberal.

*


Pacific island nations turn to Beijing-backed AIIB as pandemic sinks economies.

Pacific island nations are turning to the China-backed AIIB development bank to plug funding gaps in their pandemic-ravaged budgets after exhausting financing options from traditional western partners, stoking fears the region is becoming more dependent on Beijing.

The Cook Islands, a tiny country of around 20,000 people in the South Pacific, turned to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) late last year after a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and a grant from close ally New Zealand fell short, two sources with knowledge of the talks said.

The US$20 million loan to the Cook Islands was the AIIB’s second to a strained Pacific economy in the last few months, after Fiji secured a US$50 million facility, signalling its arrival in the Pacific region.

The multi-lateral lender said the loans to Fiji and Cook Islands were co-financed with the U.S. and Japanese-led ADB.

“The objective is to minimise the pandemic’s uncertain socio-economic impact on AIIB members given their heavy dependence on the international tourism market,” it said.

Vanuatu, with a population of 300,000, also announced in January that it had accepted a US$12 million grant from the Chinese government.

While most Pacific island countries have used their natural borders to combat COVID-19 infections, they have faced economic hardship given their reliance on international tourism, a sector that abruptly shut as the pandemic struck.

China’s growing reach in the region is unsettling for the United States and its allies, who have been the dominant powers in the Pacific since World War Two.

Despite being small, Pacific states boast strategic ports and air strips and control vast swathes of resource-rich ocean. They also represent a vote in some international forums.

“China is very willing to lend money to any Pacific island nation. As much as Australia and New Zealand have encouraged the islands to look to them first it’s been a lot easier getting money out of China,” said Fletcher Melvin, president of Cook Islands’ Chamber of Commerce.

The Cook Islands became an AIIB member last year. More than 100 countries are members of the multi-lateral bank, with the noteable exceptions of the United States and Japan. China, which proposed the idea of setting up the AIIB, is the biggest stakeholder.

The lender, which began operations in 2016, is often closely linked to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The AIIB says while there is an overlap in mandates of the bank and the BRI to benefit the region, the BRI is not part of its project decisions.

FUNDING GAP

One of the most remote outposts of World War Two, Cook Islands has a free association agreement with New Zealand and shared citizenship, though it is its own country.

Almost one-third of Cook Islands’ NZ$215 million ($153.2 million) external debt now lies with Beijing-linked bodies, AIIB and China’s Exim Bank, up from 16% before the pandemic.

Cook Islands expects to require additional borrowings of NZ$71.2 million ($50.74 million) over the next three years to cover shortfalls, budget documents show.

Jon Fraenkel, professor in comparative politics at Victoria University of Wellington, said Fiji, which has one of the biggest Pacific economies, was desperate for foreign funds after it entered the pandemic in a weak financial position.

The Cook Islands has previously defended its economic ties to China, which has funded several projects, including a water supply system. Its government did not respond to requests from Reuters for comment.

The ADB said in a statement to Reuters that late last year it provided an additional US$20 million loan, which under its internal rules took its lending to the “country limit” for the small island nation.

The New Zealand government said it provided a NZ$22 million ($16 million) grant through its aid programme. It does not provide loans to governments.

That left a funding gap, two sources with knowledge of the talks told Reuters. The AIIB collaborated with the ADB to contribute a US$20 million loan to create the financing package.

“If the AIIB becomes the primary lender to the Pacific and the region’s economic recovery is driven by Chinese lending, then certainly there will be cause for significant concern that economic dependence could be exploited,” said Anna Powles, senior lecturer in the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at Massey University based in Wellington

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Mondiale, India

World Economic Forum. Nel 2020 l’Asia avrà il maggiore pil mondiale.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-02-06.

2021-02-04__ The Biggest Economies in the World 001

«The World Economic Forum (WEF), based in Cologny, Geneva Canton, Switzerland, is an international NGO, founded on 24 January 1971. The WEF’s mission is stated as “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas”.

The WEF hosts an annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. The meeting brings together some 3,000 business leaders, international political leaders, economists, celebrities and journalists for up to five days to discuss global issues, across 500 sessions» [Fonte]

L’istogramma rilasciato dall’IMF sulle maggiori economie mondiali non lascia adito a dubbi.

Da anni l’economia della Cina, dell’India e dell’Indonesia, solo per citare i paesi più performanti, stanno crescendo vorticosamente e nel 2020 la somma dei pil asiatici dovrebbe superare quello dell’enclave libearl occidentale. Infatti i paesi asiatici hanno pil molto positivi mentre quello dell’enclave occidentale liberal è crollato.

Questi sono i dati macroscopici, piacciano o meno.

Il World Economic Forum si domanda il come, il perché, e cosa fare, per cercare di evitare che il blocco occidentale non sprofondi ulteriormente. È una analisi condotta sotto i lumi dell’ideologia liberal.

* * * * * * *

«In 2020 Asia’s GDP will overtake the GDP of the rest of the world combined»

«By 2030, the region is expected to contribute roughly 60% of global growth»

«Asia-Pacific will also be responsible for the overwhelming majority (90%) of the 2.4 billion new members of the middle class entering the global economy»

«The bulk of that growth will come from the developing markets of China, India and throughout South-East Asia and it will give rise to a host of new decisions for businesses, governments»

«Business must adapt to a rapidly growing middle class changing consumer behaviour and profiles»

«Poverty and a lack of infrastructure add to the challenges»

«While these estimates paint a picture of massive growth in consumption, the reality is that consumption patterns will emerge differently across markets, with growth rates dependent on local demographics and other macro factors»

«India’s massive demographic dividend and burgeoning middle class will spur consumption and aid economic growth»

«All these macro forces are leading to a bi-polarization of consumption, where consumers will have more power and simultaneously demand both premium and value-for-money goods and services»

«One trend that will play an increasingly important role is local and insurgent businesses outgrowing incumbents and beginning to disrupt the market»

«We are also seeing the continued emergence of Asian multinational corporation – Huawei in technology, DBS in Banking, Unicharm and Kao in personal care; and Suntory, Universal Robina and Indofood in F&B to name a few»

«China leads in the number of patents held in artificial intelligence and deep learning»

«Are we building future-proof competitive advantages and business models?»

«How should we organize ourselves to be extremely agile to make the most of this unprecedented opportunity?»

«Governments in developing countries across Asia-Pacific are in a race to overcome poverty, the lack of infrastructure and other significant obstacles»

* * * * * * *

Questa analisi potrebbe apparire essere corretta ma solo sotto la condizione che il sistema economico occidentale fosse predominante, cosa che non è più.

Il blocco euroasiatico è diventato autosufficiente nei confronti di quello occidentale, ed accetta produzioni straniere solo sotto la condizione che cedano il know-how, per poterle rimpiazzare a breve con produzioni asiatiche.

La devoluzione dell’enclave occidentale liberal socialista prosegue impietosa.

*


World Economic Forum. In 2020 Asia will have the world’s largest GDP. Here’s what that means

– Business must adapt to a rapidly growing middle class changing consumer behaviour and profiles.

– Policy-makers must find ways to make the region’s growth sustainable.

– Poverty and a lack of infrastructure add to the challenges of digital and labour transformation brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In 2020 Asia’s GDP will overtake the GDP of the rest of the world combined. By 2030, the region is expected to contribute roughly 60% of global growth. Asia-Pacific will also be responsible for the overwhelming majority (90%) of the 2.4 billion new members of the middle class entering the global economy.

The bulk of that growth will come from the developing markets of China, India and throughout South-East Asia and it will give rise to a host of new decisions for businesses, governments and NGOs. The pressure will be on them to guide Asia’s development in a way that is equitable and designed to solve a host of social and economic problems.

Different countries, different prospects

While these estimates paint a picture of massive growth in consumption, the reality is that consumption patterns will emerge differently across markets, with growth rates dependent on local demographics and other macro factors. For example, as the World Economic Forum’s Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Markets work demonstrates, China’s ageing population will negatively impact the population dividend, but rising wages, urban migration, service jobs and an anticipated drop in household savings rates will boost consumption. India’s massive demographic dividend and burgeoning middle class will spur consumption and aid economic growth.

Meanwhile, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia are set to grow their labour forces significantly, leading to a rise in per-capita disposable income. The rapidly advancing digital economy in the region will provide additional access to the previously unserved and deliver on consumer demands for convenience and efficiency.

A new consumer profile

All these macro forces are leading to a bi-polarization of consumption, where consumers will have more power and simultaneously demand both premium and value-for-money goods and services. The consumer of the future is likely to be far more discerning in everything, from what she consumes (personalized/localized/healthy/sustainable) to where she shops (omnichannel, shopping at her convenience) to how she is influenced (less by companies and more by social communities).

Local and regional players gain ground

One trend that will play an increasingly important role is local and insurgent businesses outgrowing incumbents and beginning to disrupt the market – it’s visible across developed and developing markets alike. Nimble local players are winning as they take advantage of proprietary access and local familiarity. For example, Wardah has captured a 30% market share in Indonesia by focusing on halal-compliant cosmetics.

Another advantage to local companies is a commitment to weather short-term turbulence. At one Indonesian conglomerate, the C-suite view is to take a secular view, invest it and stay the course – and not worry about the quarterly or yearly fluctuations in results.

We are also seeing the continued emergence of Asian multinational corporation – Huawei in technology, DBS in Banking, Unicharm and Kao in personal care; and Suntory, Universal Robina and Indofood in F&B to name a few. Entrepreneurialism is peaking with more than 140 unicorns in Asia as of 2019. China leads in the number of patents held in artificial intelligence and deep learning.

Questions for companies

The Asian era is here and as companies ramp up their ambitions and efforts, they need to ask themselves several basic questions. Among the most important:

– Do we have a “future-back” strategy (imagining the future and then working on the steps required to position a company to compete in 10 or 20 years) that’s right for the dynamic nature of the region?

– Are we building future-proof competitive advantages and business models?

– What do our consumers want, what new products will serve their needs, how best to engage and serve them?

– How do we handle data?

– Do we have a sustainability agenda that will help support this consumption boom without taking away from the planet even more?

– How should we organize ourselves to be extremely agile to make the most of this unprecedented opportunity?

A job market in transformation

Governments in developing countries across Asia-Pacific are in a race to overcome poverty, the lack of infrastructure and other significant obstacles to catch up with the rest of the digital world. The digital transformation and Fourth Industrial Revolution across markets will displace existing jobs and the distribution of jobs across sectors will shift considerably in the process.

Employment is expected to rise in healthcare, spurred by the ageing population, for example. However, labour-intensive sectors such as manufacturing, transport and storage are likely to see a reduction in employment levels as a result of automation. It is expected that 53 million workers will have to be reskilled in ASEAN alone. This dynamic is further complicated by the rise of the gig economy, where qualified graduates are taking on jobs as ride-hailing drivers and food delivery couriers.

The new focus on sustainability

Sustainability and its environmental, social and economic impact will also continue to rise on the agendas of governments and NGOs in the region. Both the institutional definition and scope for business will continue to expand to cover topics from health and wellness to diversity and equality opportunities. Investors will also have to play their part: many large investors in Asia-Pacific have started shifting away from primary industries such as oil and gas, mining and agricultural commodities to business models that address environmental and social needs, such as renewable energy and for-profit hospital networks that offer underserved populations better access to healthcare.

A tricky balance for government

As this future unfolds, governments will need to get a few things right. They will need to create trade and investor-friendly reforms, promote social and financial inclusion, invest in hard and soft infrastructure and institute public-private partnerships. They will need to innovate and reform education to ensure there is a competitive and appropriately skilled workforce. While they make these moves, they will be required to balance technological advancement and job creation and talent reskilling, economic development and sustainability, and scale advantages and concentration of power. South-East Asia’s ability to live up to its growth potential will largely depend on it.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, Diplomazia, Geopolitica Mondiale

Cina. Rcep. Non enfatizzato, il vero obiettivo è il controllo del mondo.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-11-26.

Cina 017

«the RCEP is a Chinese Masterpiece

with Chinese characteristics»

I media, gli economisti ed i politici occidentali hanno percepito l’Rcep, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, quasi esclusivamente nella sua portata economica di blocco di libero scambio.

Se questo sia vero nel breve e medio termine, di ben più vasto effetto saranno le ricadute strategiche nel lungo termine.

L’obiettivo di lungo termine è ridurre l’occidente da potenza mondiale ad una realtà locoregionale e dedollarizzare il mondo.

* * * * * * *


«China has achieved the almost impossible – a free trade agreement with 14 countries – the ten ASEAN, plus Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, altogether 15 countries, including China. The so-called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, was in negotiations during eight years – and achieved to pull together a group of countries for free trade, i.e. some 2.2 billion people, commanding some 30% of the world’s GDP»

«This is a never before reached agreement in size, value and tenor»

«On top of being the largest such trade agreement in human history, it also associates with and binds to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), or One Belt, One Road (OBOR), or also called the New Silk Road, which in itself comprises already more than 130 countries and more than 30 international organizations»

«In addition, China and Russia have a longstanding strategic partnership, containing bilateral agreements that also enter into this new trade fold – plus the countries of the Central Asia Economic Union (CAEU), consisting mostly of former Soviet Republics, are also integrated into this eastern trade block»

«The conglomerate of agreements and sub-agreements between Asian-Pacific countries that will cooperate with RCEP, is bound together by for the west a little-understood Asian Pact, called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), founded on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai as an intergovernmental organization composed of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan»

«Much of the funding for RCEP and BRI projects will be in the form of low-cost loans from China’s Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) and other Chinese and participating countries’ national funding sources»

«The real beauty of this RCEP agreement is that it pursues a steady course forward, despite all the adversities imposed by the west, foremost the US of A. In fact, the RCEP may, as “byproduct”, integrate the huge Continent of Eurasia that spans all the way from western Europe to what is called Asia and covering the Middle East as well as North Africa, of some 55 million square kilometers (km2

«The crux of the RCEP agreement’s trade deals is that they will be carried out in local currencies and in yuan – no US dollars»

«The RCEP is a massive instrument for dedollarizing, primarily the Asia-Pacific Region, and gradually the rest of the world»

«Much of the BRI infrastructure investments, or New Silk Road, may be funded by other currencies than the US dollar»

«The new digital RMB will become attractive for many countries which are fed up with being subjected to US sanctions, because using the US-dollar, they automatically become vulnerable to being punished with dollar blockages, confiscations of resources, whenever their international “behavior” doesn’t conform with the mandates of Washington’s»

«This is a warning for many countries, who want to jump the fiat-dollar-ship and join an honest trading and reserve currency, offered by China’s solid and stable economy-backed RMB / yuan»

«The dollar is already today in decline. When some 20-25 years ago about 90% of all worldwide held reserve-assets were denominated in US dollars, this proportion has shrunk by today to below 60% – and keeps declining»

«The emerging international RMB / yuan, together with a RCEP- and BRI-strengthened Chinese economy, may further contribute to a dedollarization, as well as dehegemonization of the United States in the world»

«For the west adapting to this new reality may not be easy»

«Cooperation instead of competition and warrying for power, is a concept not easily adhered to by the west»

«Having to adapt to the new RCEP, conforming to an agreement among equals, will not come easy for the west»

«In conclusion, the RCEP is a Chinese Masterpiece with Chinese characteristics and is paving the way for further progressing towards a world community with a shared future for mankind …. a community of sovereign nations»

* * * * * * *


L’occidente è politicamente diviso in due componenti, due differenti Weltanschauung, che hanno forza politica ed economica quasi eguale. Basti guardare le elezioni americane degli ultimi trenta anni: sono state vinte quasi tutte per una manciata di voti. Ma aver potuto eleggere un presidente non significa certo aver nuovamente coeso la nazione.

In questo scenario di debolezza politica ed economica si generano molti spazi vuoti, che la Cina è magistralmente riuscita ad occupare. Il segreto è semplicissimo e deriva dalle migliaia di anni di scuola mandarinica:

«a community of sovereign nations».

L’obiettivo non dichiarato ma evidente è la dedollarizzazione del mondo.

*


The China Moment.

China has achieved the almost impossible – a free trade agreement with 14 countries – the ten ASEAN, plus Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, altogether 15 countries, including China. The so-called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, was in negotiations during eight years – and achieved to pull together a group of countries for free trade, i.e. some 2.2 billion people, commanding some 30% of the world’s GDP. This is a never before reached agreement in size, value and tenor. The RCEP was signed during the 37th ASEAN Summit on 11 November in Vietnam.

On top of being the largest such trade agreement in human history, it also associates with and binds to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), or One Belt, One Road (OBOR), or also called the New Silk Road, which in itself comprises already more than 130 countries and more than 30 international organizations. In addition, China and Russia have a longstanding strategic partnership, containing bilateral agreements that also enter into this new trade fold – plus the countries of the Central Asia Economic Union (CAEU), consisting mostly of former Soviet Republics, are also integrated into this eastern trade block.

The conglomerate of agreements and sub-agreements between Asian-Pacific countries that will cooperate with RCEP, is bound together by for the west a little-understood Asian Pact, called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), founded on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai as an intergovernmental organization composed of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The SCO’s purpose is to ensure security and maintain stability across the vast Eurasian region, join forces to counteract emerging challenges and threats, and enhance trade, as well as cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

Much of the funding for RCEP and BRI projects will be in the form of low-cost loans from China’s Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) and other Chinese and participating countries’ national funding sources. In the hard times emerging from the covid crisis, many countries may need grant assistance to be able to recover as quickly as possible their huge socioeconomic losses created by the pandemic. In this sense, it is likely that the new Silk Road may enhance a special “Health Road” across the Asian Continent.

The real beauty of this RCEP agreement is that it pursues a steady course forward, despite all the adversities imposed by the west, foremost the US of A. In fact, the RCEP may, as “byproduct”, integrate the huge Continent of Eurasia that spans all the way from western Europe to what is called Asia and covering the Middle East as well as North Africa, of some 55 million square kilometers (km2).

The crux of the RCEP agreement’s trade deals is that they will be carried out in local currencies and in yuan – no US dollars. The RCEP is a massive instrument for dedollarizing, primarily the Asia-Pacific Region, and gradually the rest of the world.

Much of the BRI infrastructure investments, or New Silk Road, may be funded by other currencies than the US dollar. China’s new digital Renminbi (RMB) or yuan soon being rolled out internationally as legal tender for international payments and transfers, will drastically reduce the use of the dollar. The new digital RMB will become attractive for many countries which are fed up with being subjected to US sanctions, because using the US-dollar, they automatically become vulnerable to being punished with dollar blockages, confiscations of resources, whenever their international “behavior” doesn’t conform with the mandates of Washington’s.

Even country reserves can be stolen, a crime perpetrated by Washington with impunity and with the help of the UK, in full sight of the world, stealing 1.2 billion dollars’ worth of Venezuelan gold deposited with the Bank of England. Only a cumbersome lengthy legal process in UK courts initiated by Venezuela could eventually free the funds to be returned to the jurisdiction of Caracas. This is a warning for many countries, who want to jump the fiat-dollar-ship and join an honest trading and reserve currency, offered by China’s solid and stable economy-backed RMB / yuan.

The dollar is already today in decline. When some 20-25 years ago about 90% of all worldwide held reserve-assets were denominated in US dollars, this proportion has shrunk by today to below 60% – and keeps declining. The emerging international RMB / yuan, together with a RCEP- and BRI-strengthened Chinese economy, may further contribute to a dedollarization, as well as dehegemonization of the United States in the world. Simultaneously and progressively the international digital RMB / yuan may also be replacing the US-dollar / euro reserves in countries’ coffers around the globe.

The US-dollar may eventually return to be just a local US-currency, as it should be. Under China’s philosophy, the unilateral word will transform into a multi-polar world. The RCEP and New Silk Road combination are rapidly pursuing this noble objective, a goal that will bring much more equilibrium into the world.

***

For the west adapting to this new reality may not be easy. Cooperation instead of competition has never been a western concept or philosophy. For hundreds if not thousands of years the western dominance has left a sad legacy of exploitation of the poor by the rich colonial masters and of bloody wars.

Cooperation instead of competition and warrying for power, is a concept not easily adhered to by the west. It is clearly visible by US-instigated trade wars, and possibly a currency war between the US and China may already be in the making. The FED has vaguely expressed its plans to also launch a digital, possibly cryptic, blockchain-based currency to counter the new RMB / yuan – not yet even launched internationally. Details of the FED’s plans are at the time of this writing not clear.

Having to adapt to the new RCEP, conforming to an agreement among equals, will not come easy for the west. The west will not let go and may use to the utmost possible, its creation and western biased World Trade Organization (WTO), to sabotage as much as possible the RCEP’s trade deals and BRI-infrastructure, as well as cross-border industrial development advances.

The west, led by the US – and always backed by the Pentagon and NATO, may not shy from threatening countries participating in China’s projects, but to no avail. Under Tao philosophy, China will move forward with her partners, like steadily flowing water, constantly creating, avoiding obstacles, in pursuit of her noble goal – a world in Peace with a bright common future.

***

In conclusion, the RCEP is a Chinese Masterpiece with Chinese characteristics and is paving the way for further progressing towards a world community with a shared future for mankind. The underlying principle is a community of sovereign nations, living, working, building, inventing, creating and culturally enriching each other in peace.

Pubblicato in: Diplomazia, Geopolitica Mondiale

G20. Un meeting virtuale in Arabia Saudita, sotto tono e contestato.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-11-22.

Arabia Saudita 001

È in corso un G20 virtuale, causa la pandemia.

«Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz will chair the G20 Summit, set to be attended by US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga, Rusian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others.»

«The Leaders’ Summit will bring together Heads of State or Government leaders from 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK and the US) and the European Union. Together, the G20 comprises the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies and accounts for 85 percent of the global GDP and two-thirds of its population»

«In 2020, Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland have also been invited as guest countries»

Molte sono anche le contestazioni alla Presidenza dell’Arabia Saudita, non gradita a molti.

Tema principale l’attuale epidemia da Covid-19, ma non mancano temi proposti dall’Unione Europea.

«To build a more sustainable future, President Michel said climate goals should be linked to global trade and finance policies. He also stressed that massive investments into the green transition of the economy were required, and that the private sector would be key to those investments»

«To ensure a more inclusive post-COVID world, he said the G20 debt moratorium was a good step in the right direction, but it might have to be extended beyond mid-2021»

A nostra sommessa opinione, questo G20 otterrà ben poco, per non dire nulla.

*


Reale Ambasciata dell’Arabia Saudita. Roma. Gli opening remarks di Re Salman al vertice straordinario virtuale del G20 su COVID19.

Opening Remarks for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques during the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit
Your Majesties, Your Excellencies, Your Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the beginning I’d like to welcome all of you to this extraordinary summit, thanking you all for your participation.

We are holding this meeting to carry out our responsibilities as the leaders of the world’s largest economies, in order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which requires that we take firm measures on various fronts. This pandemic has greatly taken toll on human lives and caused tremendous suffering to many people around the world. And here, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to all countries around the world and to their respective citizens over the lives lost to this pandemic, wishing speedy recovery for all those who are infected.

The impact of this pandemic has spread to reach the global economy, financial markets, trade, and global supply chains, hampering growth and development and reversing the gains accomplished in the previous years.

This human crisis requires a global response. The world counts on us to come together and cooperate in order to face this challenge.

On the health front, the Saudi G20 Presidency took the lead and worked with partners and relevant organizations to take all necessary actions in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard people’s health. And, here, we value the effective measures adopted by different countries in this regard. We reaffirm our full support for the World Health Organization in coordinating the efforts to counter this pandemic. To complement these efforts, the G20 must assume the responsibility of reinforcing cooperation in financing research and development for therapeutics and a vaccine for COVID-19 and ensure the availability of the vital medical supplies and equipment. We must also strengthen the global preparedness to counter infectious diseases that may spread in the future.

On the economic front, amid the slowdown in global growth and the turmoil in financial markets, the G20 has a pivotal role in countering the economic and social impact of this pandemic. Therefore, we must have an effective and coordinated response to this pandemic and restore confidence in the global economy. The Presidency welcomes the policies and measures taken by countries to revive their respective economies, including stimulus packages, precautionary measures, sector targeted policies, and job protection measures. But despite the importance of any country’s individual responses, it is our duty to strengthen cooperation and coordination in all aspects of the adopted economic policies.

On the trade front, the G20 must send a strong signal to restore confidence in the global economy by resuming, as soon as possible, the normal flow of goods and services, especially vital medical supplies.

In addition, it is our responsibility to extend a helping hand to developing countries and least developed countries to enable them to build their capacities and improve their infrastructure to overcome this crisis and its repercussions.

The G20 has previously proven its effectiveness in mitigating the severity of the global financial crisis and its ability to overcome it. Today, through our cooperation, we are confident that we, together, will overcome this crisis, and move forward towards a future where all people thrive, prosper and are healthy.

Thank you very much

May peace, mercy, and blessings of god be upon you

*


Al Arabyia. What to expect from Saudi Arabia’s virtual G20 summit.

Saudi Arabia will next week host a virtual G20 leaders summit – the meeting of the leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies – with the COVID-19 pandemic and its human and economic implications likely to lead the agenda for this year’s talks.

When will it take place and where?

Saudi Arabia will hold the G20 Riyadh Leaders’ Summit online between Saturday November 21 – Sunday, November 22, 2020, with the meeting – taking place in the midst of the worst economic downturn the world is witnessing since the Great Depression of the 1930s – set to focus on protecting lives and restoring growth by addressing vulnerabilities brought about by the pandemic, and building the foundations for a better future.

Who will attend?

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz will chair the G20 Summit, set to be attended by US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga, Rusian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others.

The Leaders’ Summit will bring together Heads of State or Government leaders from 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK and the US) and the European Union. Together, the G20 comprises the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies and accounts for 85 percent of the global GDP and two-thirds of its population. In 2020, Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland have also been invited as guest countries.

International organizations that have historically contributed to the work of the G20 have also been invited. These include the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Financial Stability Board, the International Labor Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations, the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, and the World Trade Organization.

Regional organizations were also invited, including the Arab Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the African Union, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

What have we seen from Saudi Arabia since they assumed the G20 Presidency?

Saudi Arabia assumed presidency on December 1, 2019, and since then have been driving efforts to address social and economic inequalities between men and women with the aim of ‘Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All’. The three pillars of the theme include: empowering people, safeguarding the planet and shaping new frontiers.

Throughout the year, in the lead up to the Riyadh Summit, the Presidency has hosted a series of ministerial meetings and Sherpa meetings to help shape the discussions, policy development and the Leader’s Declaration. Ministerial meetings address topics such as agriculture, digital economy, energy, environment, employment, finance, health, tourism, and trade. Additionally, for the first time at the G20, Saudi Arabia hosted a Ministerial Meeting on anti-corruption.

This year, the Saudi G20 Presidency hosted an Extraordinary Virtual Leaders’ Summit on COVID19 on March 26, 2020, and released a Leaders’ Statement. After which, the Presidency held a series of extraordinary ministerial meetings to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and mitigate its impacts. The Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit resulted in swift and unprecedented action – through coordination with the World Health organization (WHO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) – to protect lives, livelihoods and the most vulnerable, including: $11 trillion injected into the global economy since March 26, $21 billion at the outset of the crisis to support health systems and the hunt for a vaccine, and $14 billion in debt relief for the world’s most vulnerable nations, ensuring they could focus their resources on fighting the pandemic.

Saudi Arabia has also co-led the Global Response Pledging on May 4, 2020 aimed to raise funds for the immediate need of $8 billion, which the Global Preparedness and Monitoring Board stated is urgently required to develop and deliver a Covid-19 vaccine, along with diagnostics and therapeutic resources.

Coupled with key ministerial meetings and leaders’ summits, the G20 this year has attached great attention to the work of the eight engagement groups, as they constituted the core of the efforts of the G20 for this year, with the aim of building a more resilient and better world. However, the presidency had to redirect its focus towards addressing the immediate and the future fallouts of the pandemic and engage all the leaders on a regular basis to form coordinated responses to the pandemic.

The summit of the grouping was due to be held in the Kingdom for the first time in Riyadh. However, as the pandemic hit – leading to most major events around the world either shifting online, being postponed or canceled – it was decided to hold the summit on a virtual platform.

What is likely to lead next week’s agenda?

There have been expectations that the G20 meeting next week will unveil an economic stimulus program as well as a framework for debt reductions for poor countries at the summit as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to leave a lasting devastating blow to the global economy. The virtual summit on November 21-22 is expected largely focus on addressing the implications of the coronavirus pandemic, future health care plans and steps for reviving the global economy amid mounting expectations of fiscal support, debt reductions and several other monetary measures by the grouping to help the global economy recover from the coronavirus-driven collapse.

More broadly, the Riyadh Summit will set the foundations for a more inclusive, more resilient, and more sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. This will result in a stronger and better world, where we can realize the opportunities of the 21st century for all by empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers.

Where with G20 next be held?

In 2021, Italy will host the G20 Summit and in 2022 India will host the summit, when the country celebrates its 75th year of Independence.

*


Council of the European Union. G20 summit, 21-22 November 2020.

Agenda highlights

A virtual leaders’ summit is being hosted this weekend by the Saudi Arabian 2020 G20 presidency, replacing the physical meeting originally planned to take place in Riyadh.

The EU is being represented by Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.

At a joint press conference on 20 November, President Michel outlined three key areas the G20 leaders will be discussing this weekend.

——-

Tomorrow’s G20 summit will be about what a post-COVID world will look like. And what we want it to look like. We will discuss how to make that future more resilient, more sustainable, and more inclusive.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council

——-

An international treaty on pandemics “could help prevent future pandemics and help us respond more quickly and in a more coordinated manner,” the European Council President said. He stressed that such a treaty should be negotiated with all nations, UN organisations and agencies, in particular the WHO.

To build a more sustainable future, President Michel said climate goals should be linked to global trade and finance policies. He also stressed that massive investments into the green transition of the economy were required, and that the private sector would be key to those investments.

The President acknowledged that COVID-19 had hit the most fragile countries hardest. To ensure a more inclusive post-COVID world, he said the G20 debt moratorium was “a good step in the right direction, but it might have to be extended beyond mid-2021.”

*


G20 Arabia tra Covid, ripresa e polemiche. E l’Italia si scalda per il 2021

Causa virus, sarà virtuale, con base a Riad, l’incontro dei leader delle nazioni più ricche del mondo, in attesa della presidenza italiana dal 1 dicembre.

G20, le questioni sul tavolo

Sabato 21 e domenica 22 novembre si terrà l’incontro dei leader del G20. Vista la pandemia e l’insicurezza sanitaria del momento, sarà ovviamente tutto virtuale, tramite connesioni e schermi. L’Arabia Saudita, presidente di turno dell’organismo internazionale, dirigerà i lavori nella persona di Sua Maestà il Re Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud. Per la prima volta un paese arabo ospita il summit del G20, che però probabilmente sarà fortemente limitato in termini di efficacia dalla modalità telematica. Si terranno infatti delle sessioni online sulle maggiori tematiche globali che i grandi paesi del mondo si trovano ad affrontare, ma non avverranno gli incontri personali tra i capi di stato e di governo che in tempi normali si sarebbero svolti.

Al centro dei lavori verranno posti gli effetti della pandemia di Covid-19 e le misure economiche da programmare per la ripresa della crescita mondiale. Altra questione importante sarà quella della corsa globale al vaccino. Pur nelle difficoltà realizzative e nella competizione attorno a una “geopolitica dei vaccini”, da più parti si auspicano l’impegno a unire il più possibile gli sforzi nella ricerca e nello sviluppo. Inoltre, come dichiarato dalla stessa Arabia Saudita in un comunicato rilasciato nelle scorse settimane, il meeting si focalizzerà anche sulla “protezione delle vite” e sulle diverse “vulnerabilità” emerse durante la pandemia.

Ipotesi di boicottaggio

Proprio su questi ultimi punti non mancano le polemiche. L’Arabia Saudita da diverso tempo è, infatti, messa sotto accusa per le violazioni dei diritti umani che negli ultimi anni sono aumentate notevolmente. Attivisti, dissidenti o semplici donne che richiedono equità di genere, sono puniti e imprigionati. Nel 2018, il controverso omicidio del giornalista e dissidente Jamal Khashoggi, nel consolato saudita di Istanbul, ha messo ulteriormente in cattiva luce Riad.

Sull’imminente vertice del G20 si sono alzate diverse voci, anche molto influenti, per invitare a boicottare l’evento presieduto dai sauditi. Tra queste, oltre a molte organizzazioni internazionali per i diritti umani o la fidanzata di Khashoggi, Hatice Cengiz, si rilevano per esempio quelle di 45 membri del Congresso americano che hanno chiesto al presidente Donald Trump di non presenziare al summit. Anche dall’Unione europea si sono alzate proteste. 65 rappresentanti dell’europarlamento hanno firmato una lettera in cui domandano alla presidente della Commissione Ursula von der Leyen e al presidente del Consiglio europeo Charles Michel, di non prendere parte al G20. I gruppi pacifisti invece accusano sia Riad per il coinvolgimento nella terribile guerra in Yemen, che va avanti da anni senza un’apparente soluzione, sia i paesi occidentali che riforniscono di armamenti proprio il regno saudita.

La futura presidenza italiana

Nonostante le polemiche e l’anomalia dello svolgimento a distanza, sarà comunque un evento da tenere in considerazione, visto che dal 1° dicembre la presidenza di turno del G20 sarà italiana e inevitabilmente erediterà da questi lavori alcuni temi cruciali. Se il summit del 2020 avviene quando la pandemia, con la seconda ondata, è ancora in corso, Roma ospiterà quello del prossimo anno, quando (ci si augura) la crisi sanitaria sarà ridimensionata. Il 2021 quindi sarà decisivo per le 19 prime economie (più l’Ue) e di conseguenza per tutto il mondo.

La presidenza dell’Italia avrà l’obiettivo di mettersi alle spalle l’emergenza Covid e trattare, multilateralmente, le sfide globali dei prossimi anni. Pietro Benassi, consigliere diplomatico del presidente del Consiglio, ha recentemente indicato le linee guida da valorizzare nell’agenda del G20 italiano: People, Planet, Prosperity, Public Health.

In un periodo storico in cui le iniziative nazionali e bilaterali la fanno da padrone, il prossimo G20 ha la possibilità di incidere in maniera più marcata. In questo potrebbe venire in aiuto Joe Biden, prossimo presidente statunitense, che, al contrario di Trump, non ha mai nascosto la sua fiducia nel multilateralismo. Fare da traghettatore sarà compito dell’Italia, con relativi onori e oneri.

Pubblicato in: Diplomazia, Geopolitica Mondiale, Putin, Russia

Putin. Mette regolarmente nel sacco Merkel, sodali ed Europa. – Bloomberg.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-09-03.

Putin 1002

Da molti punti di vista Mr Putin assomma in sé le doti di Armand-Jean du Plessise del suo fido consigliere François Leclerc du Tremblay.

Con studiata naturalezza, Putin alterna comportamenti visibili da cardinal di Richelieu, lasciando in altri momenti intravedere un operoso Padre Giuseppe. Prima fa vedere i fatti, poi dice che li avrebbe compiuti.

Sarebbe sufficiente leggere le sue relazioni ai convegni di Valdai, ed i suoi interventi pubblici, per poterne capire la psicologia. Ne riportiamo un breve florilegio.

Fonti di informazione e difficoltà di tenersi informati.

*

Putin asfalta Megyn Kelly. Una intervista goduriosa, da risentirsi e rivedersi con cura.

Vladimir Putin distrugge la giornalista pagata per metterlo al muro.

Putin il Grande. Bloomberg lo incorona Master of the Middle East.

Occidente che muta. 01. Putin, Valdai e la Santa Pasqua.

Valdai. Mr Putin delinea la futura politica estera russa.

Putin. La strategia delle matrioske.

*

Mikhail Kalashnikov. Mosca erige il monumento che i liberal avrebbero abbattuto.

Russia. Il trionfo della Tradizione. Putin e la religione.

Russia, Putin inaugura statua di San Vladimiro il Grande 

Russia. Putin il rispetto della memoria storica

* * * * * * *

Per capire i russi, sarebbe molto utile leggere questo articolo:

Russia. Capire un popolo per capire una nazione.

Poi ascoltate bene musica e parole di questa canzone russa:

Katyusha Катюшa Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

Chi non parlasse il russo, cerchi le parole: chi le capisca bene, conoscerebbe a fondo i russi.

* * * * * * *

«Putin wins any staring contest with Germany and Europe»

«The Russian president wants to be feared, not believed or trusted»

«That’s why Germany and the EU are so ineffective against him»

«Let no one say that Angela Merkel isn’t onto Vladimir Putin’s dirty tricks and cynicism. As a former East German, the chancellor speaks Russian just as the Russian president, a former KGB offer stationed in Dresden, is fluent in German»

«Merkel’s done her best over the years to call Putin out. When he seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then instigated the fighting in its eastern Donbas region, she took the West’s lead in condemning the breach and containing the crisis»

«Merkel demanded Russian answers but received none.»

«The doctors in Berlin have confirmed that they found a cholinesterase inhibitor in Navalny — though there’s no proof of course that Putin had anything to do with getting this nerve agent into his body»

«On cue, a Kremlin spokesperson feigned astonishment that “our German colleagues are in such a hurry in using the word poisoning.” …. provocation by Germany and other members of the EU aimed at creating more allegations against our country»

«The getting away with it is the point»

«Neither Putin nor anybody who works for him seriously pretends, or actually wants to convince skeptics, that they’re telling the truth»

«The point instead, as for Big Brother, is to display the naked power that allows them to abolish truth with impunity»

«The Kremlin intimidates others by showing that it is in control of defining ‘reality’»

«If nothing is true, then anything is possible»

«We are left with the sense that we don’t know what Putin will do next — that he’s unpredictable and thus dangerous»

«Any potential enemy will fear being the next Navalny. The game, in short, is asymmetrical.»

«Thanks to his biography of serving as a KGB officer in a communist regime — and pining for it — Putin has no scruples»

«That gives him the edge in matters of life and death. And both leaders know it.»         

* * * * * * *

«We are left with the sense that we don’t know what Putin will do next — that he’s unpredictable and thus dangerous»

Tutti i pensieri e le azioni delle persone intelligenti hanno dell’imprevedibile.

Chi mai si sarebbe potuto immaginare che guardando un candelabro oscillare Galileo ne avrebbe dedotto la legge del pendolo e, quindi, proposto il concetto di forza di gravità?

Merkel, sodali ed europei pensano secondo archetipi ideologici che li imbrigliano nell’ideazione e nella prassi: sono facilmente prevedibili e sempre scollati dal reale. Mr Putin sa sempre cosa stiano pensando, come lo pensino, e come poi lo attueranno. Preparar loro le polpette avvelenate è gioco da ragazzi.

In questo l’articolo di Bloomberg coglie solo un aspetto della personalità di Mr Putin. Non riesce a vedere il Putin che è russo.

*


Putin Wins Any Staring Contest with Germany and Europe.

The Russian president wants to be feared, not believed or trusted. That’s why Germany and the EU are so ineffective against him.

Let no one say that Angela Merkel isn’t onto Vladimir Putin’s dirty tricks and cynicism. As a former East German, the chancellor speaks Russian just as the Russian president, a former KGB offer stationed in Dresden, is fluent in German. They’ve known each other for decades. She still recalls vividly his attempt during a visit in 2007 to intimidate her, a known cynophobe, by letting his black Labrador Koni sniff her.

So as the worldly-wise leader of a country that’s often naively Russophile, Merkel’s done her best over the years to call Putin out. When he seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then instigated the fighting in its eastern Donbas region, she took the West’s lead in condemning the breach and containing the crisis.

When Russia kept feeding the West, including Germany, disinformation and fake news, she let him know that she didn’t like it, but kept up the dialogue. After a Russian cyberattack on the Bundestag and her own e-mail account, Merkel called such methods “outrageous.” And after a gangland-style execution last summer of a Chechen who had fought against Russian forces — in a Berlin park in broad daylight — Merkel demanded Russian answers but received none.

And then, this month, came the poisoning of Alexey Navalny, the most prominent figure in Russia’s remaining opposition movement. Merkel’s reaction has been stronger than that of any other Western leader. She’s had Navalny airlifted out of Russia and brought to a clinic in Berlin, where she’s put guards around his bed.

But now, with Navalny still in a coma, all sides are reverting to the usual script. The doctors in Berlin have confirmed that they found a cholinesterase inhibitor in Navalny — though there’s no proof of course that Putin had anything to do with getting this nerve agent into his body. Merkel and her foreign minister, Heiko Maas, immediately and “urgently” demanded that Russia investigate this poisoning “in a completely transparent way.”

On cue, a Kremlin spokesperson feigned astonishment that “our German colleagues are in such a hurry in using the word poisoning.” The speaker of the lower house of Russia’s parliament suggested the whole episode may be just another “provocation by Germany and other members of the EU aimed at creating more allegations against our country.” And everything goes on as usual.

In these recurring charades between the West and Russia, and in particular between Merkel and Putin, everybody knows the game, and yet everybody feels the need to keep playing it. It’s like a nightmare from which there is no waking up, as in George Orwell’s “1984.” Like the Ministry of Truth in the novel, Putin’s Kremlin can insist that “war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength” — and get away with it.

The getting away with it is the point. Neither Putin nor anybody who works for him seriously pretends, or actually wants to convince skeptics, that they’re telling the truth. The point instead, as for Big Brother, is to display the naked power that allows them to abolish truth with impunity.

“The Kremlin intimidates others by showing that it is in control of defining ‘reality’,” as Peter Pomerantsev, a Soviet-born British author, has been pointing out since 2014. “If nothing is true, then anything is possible. We are left with the sense that we don’t know what Putin will do next — that he’s unpredictable and thus dangerous. We’re rendered stunned, spun, and flummoxed by the Kremlin’s weaponization of absurdity and unreality.”

For these purposes it’s moot whether Putin is acting out of a sense of strength or vulnerability. Unlike Big Brother, he hasn’t yet squashed all opposition. In Russia’s far east, people are demonstrating. In next-door Belarus, citizens are rebelling against the dictatorship of his geopolitical buddy, Alexander Lukashenko.

But Putin knows he can disturb any “narrative” that doesn’t suit him. Nobody knows where next he will cause mischief, and even massive human suffering — in Syria or Libya, in the Baltic, on the streets of Berlin or in Belarus. Any potential enemy will fear being the next Navalny.

The game, in short, is asymmetrical. Thanks to her biography of growing up in a communist regime and hating it, Merkel values truth and freedom, and she understands that “the West” only lives as an idea, one that couldn’t survive the abolition of reality. Thanks to his biography of serving as a KGB officer in a communist regime — and pining for it — Putin has no scruples. That gives him the edge in matters of life and death. And both leaders know it.

Pubblicato in: Agricoltura, Geopolitica Mondiale

UN World Food Program prevede una carestia di proporzioni bibliche.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-08-31.

UN World Food Program 001

«WFP requests $5 billion in emergency funds to prevent ‘famine of biblical proportions’.»

«While virus cases and deaths dominate headlines, other humanitarian crises also need attention, that is, an emerging “famine of biblical proportions” that threatens much of the world»

«All the data we have, including WFP’s forecast of an 80% increase in the number of food-insecure people – from 140 million before the pandemic to 270 million by the end of this year – points to a real catastrophe, a famine of biblical proportions»

«The dramatic rise in the number of people who don’t have the means to feed themselves because of depressionary unemployment, supply chain breakdowns, and crop failures is set to cause long-term economic damage that could prevent a vibrant economic recovery»

«it is clear that social tensions will escalate, migration will increase, conflicts will expand, and hunger can affect those who have not experienced it before»

«Even in the US, a developed world economy, tens of millions of folks have gone hungry, now relying on government aid and food banks for survival»

«WFP projections show significant increases in malnourished people in Latin America, countries in Eastern and Central Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, had a doubling of the number of people going hungry in a short period»

«WFP’s mission is to provide food to 138 million people in 2020, the largest humanitarian operation in history. And this unprecedented crisis requires an incredible amount of money.»

«In a separate food insecurity report from June, the UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, warned the world is on the brink of the worst food crisis ever witnessed in the post-World War II era»

* * * * * * *

Se la fame è un radicato fenomeno nell’America Latina, nell’Africa sub-sahariana e nella parte sud-est dell’Asia, ma non ci si illuda che non colpisca anche i paesi occidentali.

Il report della Kaiser Family Foundation sugli Stati Uniti è di drammatica attualità.

«One in four Americans (26%) say they or a member of their household have skipped meals or relied on charity or government food programs since February, including 14% who say they have reduced the size of meals or skipped meals because there wasn’t enough money for food, 13% who have visited a food bank or pantry for meals, and 13% who have applied for or received SNAP benefits»

«Black and Latino adults and those with lower incomes appear to be harder hit. About four in ten Black adults (45%) and Latinos (39%) say they have skipped meals or relied on charity or government food programs since February, including three in ten Black adults and about a quarter (26%) of Hispanics who say their experiences were directly related to the financial impact of coronavirus. Among those in households with an annual income under $40,000, nearly half (48%) say they have skipped meals or relied on charity or government food programs, including one-quarter who attribute this to coronavirus and a similar share (23%) who say they were already skipping meals or relying on food programs before the pandemic hit»

* * * * * * *

L’Alleanza per la Rivoluzione Verde in Africa è fallita. Sono alla fame.

Si faccia molta, ma molta attenzione.

Quelle apparentemente aride cifre che riportiamo, i macroindicatori, corrispondono abbastanza bene al numero degli affamati. Ma di fame si muore.

*


WFP Requests $5 Billion In Emergency Funds To Prevent ‘Famine Of Biblical Proportions’.

Readers may recall we outlined months back how the COVID-19 pandemic increased the risk of famine across the world’s more impoverished regions (see: Hunger Pandemic: Visualizing COVID-19’s Effect On Global Food Insecurity). 

While virus cases and deaths dominate headlines, other humanitarian crises also need attention, that is, an emerging “famine of biblical proportions” that threatens much of the world, United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Director David Beasley told TASS News last weekend in an interview. 

Beasley said the WFP is requesting $5 billion in emergency funds within the next six months that will help in the effort to thwart a global famine. 

“All the data we have, including WFP’s forecast of an 80% increase in the number of food-insecure people – from 140 million before the pandemic to 270 million by the end of this year – points to a real catastrophe, a famine of biblical proportions, “he said.

The dramatic rise in the number of people who don’t have the means to feed themselves because of depressionary unemployment, supply chain breakdowns, and crop failures is set to cause long-term economic damage that could prevent a vibrant economic recovery. 

Beasley said, “it is clear that social tensions will escalate, migration will increase, conflicts will expand, and hunger can affect those who have not experienced it before.”

Even in the US, a developed world economy, tens of millions of folks have gone hungry, now relying on government aid and food banks for survival. He noted that countries in the 2008 financial crash with a “stronger social protection system” were less impacted by famine. 

WFP projections show significant increases in malnourished people in Latin America, countries in Eastern and Central Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, had a doubling of the number of people going hungry in a short period. 

“World hunger is already sky-high, and if we do not act immediately, many will die, children will suffer the consequences of malnutrition for many years to come, and the whole world will be thrown back, having lost all the gains in the fight against hunger of the last decade. Will be incredibly high, we need to act quickly and wisely, balancing immediate relief and long-term recovery,” Beasley said.

He added: “WFP’s mission is to provide food to 138 million people in 2020, the largest humanitarian operation in history. And this unprecedented crisis requires an incredible amount of money.” 

In a separate food insecurity report from June, the UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, warned the world is on the brink of the worst food crisis ever witnessed in the post-World War II era. 

All of this makes you wonder if the famine warnings are just hype or if the virus-induced downturn has really sent the world into years of crisis.