Pubblicato in: Agricoltura, Devoluzione socialismo, Putin, Russia

Russia. Putin mira al controllo globale degli alimenti.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-06-27.

Putin 7513

Mr Putin è silenzioso. Prima agisce e poi parla.

«Last month, Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, suspended global grain exports – precisely the type of action the World Health Organization, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Trade Organization have warned would endanger global food supply chains»

«This is bad news for the EU, a major importer of essential foods from Russia – not least because Russia’s ban also extends to other essential foods like rye, barley, corn, soybeans, and sunflower oil»

«Russia’s actions are undoubtedly partly motivated by the same inclination to stockpile that we have seen elsewhere»

«But that doesn’t mean the politics behind the ban should be ignored»

«The Kremlin chose not to extend the ban to two of Russia’s closest geopolitical allies, Saudi Arabia, and South Sudan»

«In addition, Russian authorities made public proposals late last year for a so-called ‘Grain OPEC’, a brazen attempt to control global food markets»

«It would effectively mean the EU, not just depending on Russian energy, but increasingly also on Russian food supply»

«The doctrine [Food Security Doctrine] revealed ambitious targets for domestic food production as part of a larger Russia “exit strategy” from the global trade system»

«Thus, Russia is creating new food production targets that far exceed domestic demand.  …. Vegetable oil is a notable example, whose domestic target increased from 80 percent to 90 percent.»

«Russia is now the world’s second-largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil.»

«a recent US department of agriculture report concluded the EU is expected to produce a much smaller crop this year (EU production is forecast down by nearly 12 million tonnes)»

«To address this predicament, the EU must diversify its global food supply chains sooner rather then later»

«Russia’s dominance over Europe’s energy market must not pave way for its control over the food market.»

* * * * * * *

Nel breve volgere di venti anni Mr Putin è riuscito a far risorgere la Russia come potenza politica e militare e a renderla il fornitore energetico fisso del blocco europeo e della Cina.

Adesso sta sviluppando il progetto di diversificare il sistema economico, rendendolo di importanza mondiale nella produzione alimentare, altro settore di importanza strategica.

Nella sua intrinseca miopia, il blocco europeo sta iniziando a razionalizzare quanto stia accadendo solo adesso.

Mr Putin ha saputo rendere la Russia un partner indispensabile.

Ma siamo solo agli inizi.

*


Is Russia manipulating food supplies during pandemic?

The Kremlin chose not to extend the ban to two of Russia’s closest geopolitical allies – Saudi Arabia and South Sudan.

Last month, Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, suspended global grain exports – precisely the type of action the World Health Organization, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Trade Organization have warned would endanger global food supply chains.

This is bad news for the EU, a major importer of essential foods from Russia – not least because Russia’s ban also extends to other essential foods like rye, barley, corn, soybeans, and sunflower oil.

To make matters worse, the ban was announced when Russia seemed to have weathered the worst of the pandemic.

But given that Russia has, in past weeks, become an epicentre of the pandemic (now having the third-highest confirmed Covid-19 cases globally), it’s likely the ban won’t just persist beyond July, but that even more essential foods will have export bans slapped on them.

Russia’s actions are undoubtedly partly motivated by the same inclination to stockpile that we have seen elsewhere. But that doesn’t mean the politics behind the ban should be ignored.

Saudia Arabia and South Sudan

The Kremlin chose not to extend the ban to two of Russia’s closest geopolitical allies, Saudi Arabia, and South Sudan.

In addition, Russian authorities made public proposals late last year for a so-called ‘Grain OPEC’, a brazen attempt to control global food markets.

It would effectively mean the EU, not just depending on Russian energy, but increasingly also on Russian food supply. And considering Russia’s track record of weaponising energy as a political tool against the EU, it’s a prospect that bodes badly for long-term EU food security.

Furthermore, the current bans support the direction president Vladimir Putin took by signing Russia’s largely-unnoticed Food Security Doctrine two months ago.

The doctrine revealed ambitious targets for domestic food production as part of a larger Russia “exit strategy” from the global trade system.

Thus, Russia is creating new food production targets that far exceed domestic demand.

Vegetable oil is a notable example, whose domestic target increased from 80 percent to 90 percent.

This demonstrates the strategic importance of the commodity: Russia is now the world’s second-largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil.

And the EU has most to lose from Russia’s control of this new ‘strategic oil’, with the seven largest global sunflower oil importers being European nations.

Reduced European harvest

This means the consequences of Russia’s export bans will inevitably impact EU markets and consumers – especially when you consider that a recent US department of agriculture report concluded the EU is expected to produce a much smaller crop this year (EU production is forecast down by nearly 12 million tonnes).

The consequent need for the EU to compensate with imports of essential foods as well as the increased impact that Russia’s export bans will have in the absence of surplus EU produce being exported – will only compounds the threat to EU and global food security.

To address this predicament, the EU must diversify its global food supply chains sooner rather then later.

But equally, it must also confront the temptation to veer towards protectionism during a global crisis – particularly over its agricultural sector. Doing so has already led to potential trade deals with the United States in the West, and ASEAN in the East falling through – drastically limiting the EU’s scope of potential suppliers and endangering long-term EU food security in the process.

The US, after all, could potentially supply alternative sources of wheat, whereas ASEAN, (and Malaysia in particular) is a supplier of sustainable palm oil as a substitute for sunflower oil, which Russia has attempted to monopolise.

Agriculture has remained the key sticking-point in US-EU trade negotiations.

For ASEAN, the EU’s ban on palm oil for biodiesel has been the major obstacle.

Russia’s food export bans also open up an opportunity for the EU to take advantage of US keenness to access EU markets.

As such, Europe may wish to consider a more constructive approach to palm oil to avoid alienating ASEAN as the Covid-19 economic crisis escalates.

This does not mean blindly committing to lower meat standards, which has often been brought up in the US-UK trade negotiations, nor allowing environmentally unsustainable commodities to enter the market, a defence commonly used against palm oil products.

Palm oil, after all, is proven to have be less land-, water-, and energy-intensive than almost all other edible oils, including sunflower oil, soy, and rapeseed, and Malaysia has made significant steps towards sustainable palm oil cultivation – a key EU demand.

In September 2018, the Malaysian government declared a moratorium on palm oil expansion to protect forest cover at 50 percent and enforced mandatory sustainability standards for 100 percent of Malaysia’s palm oil production.

Sustainable palm oil certification is now obligatory for Malaysian producers, as the government also embarks on reforestation programmes like the one million forest tree planting initiative in the Ulu Segama-Malua Forest Reserve.

Now, at a time when most global economic powers are keen on shoring up stronger trade relations (with the notable exception of Russia it seems), there also exists a unique window of opportunity for the EU to use constructive trade talks as a way of influencing economic powers to prioritise sustainability and environmental standards.

On the other hand, protectionism puts Europe’s food security at risk and opens a door to another crisis.

Covid-19, after all, transformed health security in Europe in ways no one could have predicted. It will likely transform food security as well, only this time we can choose to be better prepared. Russia’s dominance over Europe’s energy market must not pave way for its control over the food market.

Pubblicato in: Putin, Russia

Putin. Lectio Magistralis sul ruolo svolto dalla Russia. – Kremlin.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-06-25.

Putin Vladimir 012

Mr Putin è uomo sorprendente: ha una preparazione filosofica e storica di alto livello.

Riproponiamo il suo discorso tenuto al Summit Cis sul ruolo svolto dalla Russia nell’intervallo di tempo che precedette la seconda guerra mondiale.

«Future generations will acknowledge their debt to the Red Army as unreservedly as do we who have lived to witness these proud achievements» [Winston Churchill]

«We fully appreciate the magnificent contribution made by the mighty Soviet Union to the cause of civilization and liberty. You have demonstrated the ability of a freedom-loving and supremely courageous people to crush the evil forces of barbarism, however powerful» [Harry Truman]

Ne riportiamo la versione integrale pubblicata direttamente dal Kremlin, President of Russia.

*


CIS informal summit. An informal CIS summit took place in St Petersburg.

Speech at the informal CIS summit

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, I am very happy to see you. I would like to welcome you once again, in this “very extended” format of CIS heads of state.

We have resolved on events dedicated to the end of the Great Patriotic War between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany and the Victory of the Soviet Union.

Let me stress that for all of us, and I know you agree, it is a special date because our fathers and grandfathers sacrificed a lot to our Fatherland, our common Fatherland back then. In fact, every family in the former Soviet Union in one way or another suffered from what happened with our country and the world.

We have discussed this many times both formally and informally and decided to work together on the eve of the 75th anniversary. I would like to share some of my thoughts on this.

I was surprised, even somewhat hurt by one of the latest European Parliament resolutions dated September 19, 2019 “on the importance of preserving historical memory for the future of Europe.” We, too, have always strived to ensure the quality of history, its truthfulness, openness and objectivity. I want to emphasise once again that this applies to all of us, because we are to some extent descendants of the former Soviet Union. When they talk about the Soviet Union, they talk about us.

What does it say? According to this paper, the so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (the foreign ministers of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany), as they write further, divided Europe and the territories of independent states between two totalitarian regimes, which paved the way for World War II. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact ‘paved the way to WWII…’ Well, maybe.

In addition, the European parliamentarians are demanding that Russia stop its efforts aimed at distorting historical facts and promoting the thesis that Poland, the Baltic countries and the West really started the war. I do not think we have ever said anything like this, or that any of the above countries were the perpetrators.

Where is the truth after all? I decided to figure this out and asked my colleagues to check the archives. When I started reading them, I found something that I think would be interesting for all of us, because, again, we all come from the Soviet Union.

Here is the first question. We talk about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact all the time. We repeat this after our European colleagues. This begs the question: was this the only document signed by one of the European countries, back then the Soviet Union, with Nazi Germany? It turns out that this is not at all the case. I will simply give a list of them, if I may.

So, the Declaration on the Non-use of Force between Germany and Poland. This is, in fact, the so-called Pilsudski-Hitler Pact signed in 1934. In essence, this is a non-aggression pact.

Then, the Anglo-German maritime agreement of 1935. Great Britain provided Hitler with an opportunity to have his own Navy, which was illegal for him or, in fact, reduced to a minimum following World War I.

Then, the joint Anglo-German declaration of Chamberlain and Hitler signed on September 30, 1938, which they agreed upon at Chamberlain’s initiative. It said that the signed ‘Munich Agreement, as well as the Anglo-German maritime agreement symbolise…’ and so on. The creation of a legal framework between the two states continued.

That is not all. There is the Franco-German Declaration signed on December 6, 1938 in Paris by the foreign ministers of France and Germany, Bonnet and Ribbentrop.

Finally, the treaty between the Republic of Lithuania and the German Reich signed on March 22, 1939 in Berlin by the foreign minister of Lithuania and Ribbentop to the effect that Klaipeda Territory will reunite with the German Reich.

Then, there was the Nonaggression Treaty between the German Reich and Latvia of June 7, 1939.

Thus, the Treaty between the Soviet Union and Germany was the last in a line of treaties signed by European countries that seemed to be interested in maintaining peace in Europe. Also, I want to note that the Soviet Union agreed to sign this document only after all other avenues had been exhausted and all proposals by the Soviet Union to create a unified security system, in fact, an anti-Nazi coalition in Europe were rejected.

In this connection, I am asking you to take a few minutes to return to the origins, to the very beginning, which I find very important. I suggest beginning, as they say, from ‘centre field’, as they say, I mean from the results from World War I, from the Versailles Peace conditions written in the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

For Germany, the Treaty of Versailles became a symbol of blatant injustice and national humiliation. In fact, it meant robbing Germany. I will give you some numbers, because they are very interesting.

Germany had to pay the Triple Entente countries (Russia left the winners and did not sign the Treaty of Versailles) an astronomical sum of 269 billion golden marks, the equivalent of 100,000 tonnes of gold. For comparison, I would say the gold reserves as of October 2019 are 8,130 tonnes in the US, 3,370 tonnes in Germany and 2,250 tonnes in Russia. And Germany had to pay 100,000 tonnes. At the current price of gold of $1,464 for a troy ounce, the reparations would be worth about $4.7 trillion, while the German GDP in 2018 prices, if my data are correct, is only $4 trillion.

Suffice it to say that the last payments of 70 million euros were made quite recently, on October 3, 2010. Germany was still paying for World War I on the 20th anniversary of the Federal Republic of Germany.

I believe, and many, including researchers, agree that the so-called spirit of Versailles created an environment for a radical and revanchist mood. The Nazis were actively exploiting Versailles in their propaganda promising to relieve Germany of this national shame, so the West gave the Nazis a free hand for revenge.

For reference, I can say that the man behind the French victory in World War I, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, the French commander, spoke about the results of the Treaty of Versailles and once uttered a famous prophecy, I quote: “This is not peace. It is an armistice for twenty years.” He was right even about the time.

US President Woodrow Wilson warned that giving Germany reason to avenge one day would be a big mistake. The internationally renowned Winston Churchill wrote that the economic articles of the treaty were vicious and stupid to the point of being clearly meaningless.

The Versailles world order gave rise to many conflicts and disagreements. They are based on the borders of new states arbitrarily drawn up in Europe by the winners of World War I. That is, the borders were reshaped. This created conditions for the so-called Sudeten crisis. Sudetenland was part of Czechoslovakia where the German population lived. Here is a reference document about the Sudeten crisis and the ensuing so-called Munich Conference.

In 1938, 14 million people lived in Czechoslovakia, of which 3.5 million were ethnic Germans. On September 13, 1938, a rebellion broke out there, and Great Britain immediately proposed talking to Hitler and appeasing him in order to keep the peace. I will not bore you with the details of the correspondence and talks, but they led to the signing of the well-known Munich agreement.

To reiterate, we used some archive materials. I want to explain some of them. We have an encrypted message from the Soviet Plenipotentiary Envoy to France to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs Litvinov dated May 25, 1938, about a confidential conversation with French Prime Minister Daladier.

I will read an excerpt, as it is an interesting document. “Prime Minister of France, Eduard Daladier, has devoted the past several days to clarifying Poland’s position.” This refers to the Munich Agreement, as a result of which Sudetenland, part of Czechoslovak territory, was supposed to go to Germany. ‘The probe in Poland gave an utterly negative result,’ the Prime Minister of France said. “Not only can we not rely on Polish support, but there is no certainty that Poland will not stab us in the back.” Contrary to Polish assurances, Daladier does not believe in the Poles’ loyalty, even if Germany were to directly attack France. He demanded a clear and unambiguous answer from the Poles as to whose side they are on in peace and in war. In this regard, he asked the Polish ambassador to France, Juliusz Łukasiewicz, a number of direct questions. He asked him if the Poles would let Soviet troops pass through their territory. Łukasiewicz said no. Daladier then asked if they would let Soviet planes fly across their territory. Łukasiewicz said the Poles would open fire on them. When Łukasiewicz said no to the question of whether Poland would come to the rescue if after a German attack on Czechoslovakia (there was an agreement on mutual assistance between France and Czechoslovakia)… Germany declares war on France. The Polish representative said no. Daladier said he saw no reason in a Franco-Polish alliance and the sacrifices that France is making as part of it.“

So what does this mean? It means the Soviet Union was ready to help Czechoslovakia, which Nazi Germany was going to rob. But the agreement between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia stated that the Soviet Union would do this only if France fulfilled its obligations to Czechoslovakia. France linked its aid to Czechoslovakia to support from Poland. But Poland refused to provide it.

The following document is this document No. 5 in front of me, which I have just spoken about. Let us go ahead. The sixth document.

What did the Polish authorities do when Germany began to claim part of Czechoslovak territory? They also laid claim to their part of the “prey” during the partitioning of Czechoslovak territory and demanded that a certain part of Czechoslovakia be transferred to them. Moreover, they were ready to use force. They formed a special military group called ‘Silesia,’ which included three infantry divisions, a cavalry brigade and other units.

There is also a specific document from the archives. From a report from a commander of the Silesia Independent Operation Group, a Mr Bortnowski on preparations for the offensive operation, the capture of Tesin Silesia and the training of troops, the Polish authorities trained and sent militants to Czechoslovakia to carry out sabotage and terrorist attacks and actively prepare for the partitioning and occupation of Czechoslovakia.

The next document is a record of a conversation between German Ambassador to Poland Mr Moltke and Polish Foreign Minister, Mr Beck. In this document, Polish Foreign Minister Beck spoke directly about this, I quote: “In the areas claimed by Poland, there will be no conflict with German interests.” Therefore, there will be a division of Czechoslovak territory.

Immediately after the Munich Agreement was concluded on September 30, 1938, Warsaw, having imitated in fact Nazi methods, sent an ultimatum to Prague with an unconditional claim for part of the territory of Czechoslovakia – Tesin Silesia. France and Great Britain did not support Czechoslovakia, which forced it to yield to this violence. Simultaneously with Germany, which annexed Sudetenland, Poland began a direct seizing of Czechoslovak territory on October 1, 1938, thereby violating the agreement it had previously concluded with Czechoslovakia.

The next document tells about the final agreement to set the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia. Here is what this is about: on July 28, 1920, with the arbitration of the Triple Entente, Poland and Czechoslovakia signed the so-called final border agreement, which gave the western part of Czechoslovakia’s Cieszyn Region to the Czechs and the eastern part to Warsaw. Both parts officially recognised and, more importantly, guaranteed their shared border.

Of course, Poland understood that without Hitler’s support all attempts to seize part of Czechoslovakia were doomed to fail. In this context, I would like to cite a very interesting document: a recorded conversation between German Ambassador in Warsaw Hans-Adolf von Moltke and Josef Beck about Polish-Czech relations and the USSR’s position on this from October 1, 1938.

The German ambassador reports to his superiors in Berlin. Mr Beck – let me remind you that he was the Foreign Minister of Poland – expressed his deep gratitude for the loyal interpretation of Polish interests at the Munich conference as well as for the sincere relations during the Czech conflict. The Polish government and people credited Hitler and the Reichskanzler, which means he was grateful for Hitler’s actions at the conference in Munich.

It is noteworthy that representatives of Poland were not invited to the Munich conference, and that their interests were in fact represented by Hitler.

At this point Poland assumed the role of instigator: it tried to draw Hungary into the division of Czechoslovakia, which means deliberately pulling other countries into violating international law. It was well known to other European countries, including to both Great Britain and France, that Germany and Poland acted together.

The next, tenth document. From a report by French Ambassador to Germany André François-Poncet to the Foreign Minister of France Georges-Étienne Bonnet of September 22, 1938. I will read it; it is a very interesting document. Next comes a quote, it is the French ambassador’s report to his superior in Paris; he writes, “This is about the demarches taken by Poland and Hungary on September 20 to the Fuehrer, and in London, which were designed to point out that Warsaw and Budapest would not agree to exercising a less favourable plan for their ethnic minorities in the Czechoslovakian state than the plan offered to Sudeten Germans. This was equivalent to a statement, the French Ambassador goes on to say, that ceding territories inhabited by the German majority should also entail Prague’s surrender of the Těšín district and 700,000 Hungarians in Slovakia. Therefore, the presumed divestiture of the territory would amount to the partitioning of the country (that is, Czechoslovakia).”

This is exactly what the Reich wanted. Poland and Warsaw were joining Germany in hounding Czechoslovakia. France and England, who were trying to offer concessions and doing their best to meet Germany’s demands, wanted to save the existence of the Czech state, which was facing a united front of three states that were set to partition Czechoslovakia.

The leaders of the Reich, who made no secret of their goal to erase Czechoslovakia from the map of Europe, immediately used the Polish and Hungarian demarches to declare through their official print media as early as September 21, that a new situation had emerged which required a new solution.

Next. The fact that Poland expressed its appetite once it felt the hour for the division of the spoils was coming, could not have come as a surprise to those who were aware of the intentions of Polish Foreign Minister Beck, who had displayed an increasing caution about Germany and was fully informed of the designs of Hitler’s leaders. In particular, due to regular contact with Hermann Goering throughout several months, the Polish foreign minister believed that the partitioning of Czechoslovakia was unavoidable, that it would happen before the end of 1938. Beck also made no secret of his intentions to claim Těšín and to occupy it if needed.

And the last point. The differences between the party led by Konrad Henlein – the party’s leader in Czechoslovakia – and the Czechs only served as a pretext and the starting point for the Reich as, by persecuting the Prague authorities, the Reich could achieve its main objective, which was to take down a barrier to Germany’s expansion, as Czechoslovakia was an ally of France and Russia in Central Europe.

This is significant. How did the leading politicians around the world respond to the Munich Betrayal, an agreement signed between Hitler, Great Britain and France in 1938? What did well-known people who earned the respect of the public around the world and Europe say back then? We can say that with a few exceptions their reaction was positive and optimistic. Only Winston Churchill was honest in describing the situation, calling a spade a spade.

I want to add that after the agreement was signed, the British Prime Minister, speaking outside his residence on Downing Street upon his return from Munich on September 30, 1938, said: “For the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time.” That is, for our generation.

After the Munich Agreement was signed, Franklin Roosevelt in his message of greetings to Chamberlain dated October 5, 1938, wrote that he completely shared his belief that this was a great opportunity to establish a new order based on justice and the rule of law.

On October 19, 1938, US Ambassador to the UK Joseph Kennedy, the father of future president John Kennedy, gave the following assessment of the Munich Agreement signed between the Western countries, or democracies, and Germany and Italy: It has been my belief for a long time now that it is unproductive and unreasonable on the part of both democracies and dictatorships to emphasise the existing differences between them. They can benefit from working towards resolving their common problems, something that will change relations between them for the better.

And now from Churchill’s speech made in the House of Commons in the British Parliament on October 5, 1938: “We have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat… All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness… Do not let us blind ourselves to that.” He said we should stop deceiving ourselves; we must look realistically at the scale of the disaster that the world is facing. “A disaster of the first magnitude has befallen Great Britain and France… We have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road… And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip.” Quite an assessment.

What was Churchill talking about? The fact that, in Munich, the so-called Western democracies had betrayed their ally, signaling that war was imminent.

Speaking at a League of Nations plenary meeting in September 1938, our Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov said, “Avoiding a likely war today and getting a sure and universal war tomorrow – and that at the cost of feeding the aggressors’ insatiable appetite and destroying sovereign countries – does not mean acting in the spirit of the League of Nations pact.” That is, the Soviet Union condemned this event.

In this connection, I would like to present the following very important document; it is a curious document. Actually, we have all of them displayed at our exhibit. This is a response from the Political Bureau of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) to the September 20, 1938 cable from the USSR’s Plenipotentiary Envoy to Czechoslovakia, Alexandrovsky. On September 20, 1938, the Political Bureau of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) unanimously gave a positive answer to the direct question from President Edvard Benes as to whether the USSR would deliver prompt assistance to Czechoslovakia if France stood loyal to it.

Further, on September 23, 1938, the Soviet Union officially notified Poland that if it invaded Czechoslovakia, the Soviet-Polish non-aggression pact would be terminated. Poland’s Foreign Minister Jozef Beck called this a propaganda ploy of no significance.

In addition, while considering the forthcoming invasion of Tesin, Poland did everything it could to prevent the Soviet Union from fulfilling its obligations to provide assistance to Czechoslovakia. As you recall, they were going to shoot down Soviet planes, and not allow the transit of Soviet troops to help rescue Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, France, the chief ally of the Czechs and Slovaks at the time, in fact reneged on its guarantees to defend Czechoslovakia’s integrity.

Being left alone, the USSR had to face the reality created by the Western states. The partitioning of Czechoslovakia was cruel and cynical, in essence, it was pillaging. We have every reason to say that the Munich agreement was the turning point in history following which World War II became inevitable.

Hitler could have been stopped in 1938 through the collective efforts of the European states. This was acknowledged by the Western leaders themselves.

Another reference to a document. This is a transcript of conversations of May 17, 1939, between representatives of the French and Polish Commands about the possibilities of war in Europe between the Italian-German and Polish-French coalitions. The French Chief of Staff said at a meeting with the Polish Minister of Military Affairs that the overall situation in 1938 offered many more opportunities for opposition to Germany. So what was he talking about? That given a timely response, the war could have been avoided. Meanwhile, during the Nuremberg Trials, Field Marshall Keitel said, when responding to the question of whether Germany would have attacked Czechoslovakia in 1938 if the Western powers had supported Prague, “No. We were not strong enough militarily.” The Munich [agreement] objective was to push Russia out of Europe, gain time and complete the arming of Germany.

The Soviet Union consistently tried to prevent the tragedy of partitioning Czechoslovakia based on its international obligations, including its agreements with France and Czechoslovakia. However, Britain and France preferred to throw a democratic East European country to the Nazis to appease them. And not only that, but also to steer Nazi aspirations eastward. Polandat the time, unfortunately, was instrumental in this. The leaders of the Second Rzeczpospolita did everything they could to resist a collective security system that would include the USSR.

I want to show you another document – a transcript of Adolf Hitler’s conversation with Foreign Minister of Poland Jozef Beck of January 5, 1939. This document is indicative. It is a sort of distillation of the joint policy of the German Reich and Poland on the eve of, in the course of, and after the end of the Czechoslovakia crisis. The content is cynical in its attitude towards neighbouring nations and Europe as a whole. And it clearly illustrates the contours of the Polish-German alliance as a striking force against Russia.

Let me quote just a few excerpts. Document 13. Everything is in fine print here. This is a copy of the May 17, 1939 document, and I asked my colleagues to make excerpts for me so they are readable.

So, quote number one. The Fuehrer says bluntly, “It was not easy to get the French and the English to consent to the inclusion of Polish and Hungarian claims to Czechoslovakia in the Munich agreement.” This means Hitler was working in the interests of those countries then. In fact, Hitler was an attorney for the Polish authorities in Munich.

And the second quote. The Polish minister says, with certain pride, that Poland does not show such nervousness about enhancing its security as, for example, France does, and attaches no importance to the so-called security systems that went completely bankrupt after the September crisis (Sudetenlandcrisis) in Czechoslovakia. They do not want to establish anything. The Polish foreign minister says this to Hitler directly.

None of the decision-makers in Berlin or Warsaw cared about the fact that the security system in Europe was disintegrating. They cared about something else.

In this connection, the third quote. Hitler says (Adolf Hitler’s words), “Under all circumstances, Germany will be interested in the preservation of a strong national Poland, absolutely independently from the situation in Russia. Be it Bolshevik, Tsarist or any other Russia, Germany will always be extremely cautious in regard to this country. A strong Polish army takes a considerable burden off Germany. The divisions that Poland is forced to keep on the Russian border relieve Germany of additional military expense.” This looks like a military alliance against the Soviet Union.

This document, as you can see, was completely undisguised, and it did not come out of nowhere. This was not a result of tactical manoeuvring but rather a reflection of the consistent trend towards Polish-German rapprochement to the detriment of the Soviet Union. And I have more evidence in this vein, though from earlier dates, it is very revealing

This is an excerpt from a conversation between Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Szembek and Hermann Goering about Polish-Soviet relations of November 5, 1937. Goering is confident that the Third Empire, that is, the Third Reich, will not be able to cooperate with the Soviets and with Russia in general regardless of its internal structure. Goering also added that Germany needs a strong Poland whereby he added that the Baltic Sea is not enough for Poland and it must have access to the Black Sea.

Both then and now, Russia is used to scare people. Be it Tsarist, Soviet or today’s – nothing has changed. It does not matter what kind of country Russia is – this rationale remains. We should also not confuse ideological terms – Bolshevik, Russian, whatever, our former common homeland, the Soviet Union. To achieve this, they will make a deal with anyone, including Nazi Germany, we can, in fact, see this.

And related to that is another very revealing document – a transcript of the conversation between the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joachim Ribbentrop, and Polish Foreign Minister Jozef Beck on January 6, 1939. We got hold of a fairly substantial number of documents from Eastern Europe and Germany after World War II. Joachim Ribbentrop expressed Germany’s position, which, I quote, “will proceed from viewing the Ukrainian issue as Poland’s privilege, and we support Poland in all respects during the discussion of this issue, however, only on condition that Poland takes a more salient anti-Russian stance (this is a quote) since otherwise we (Nazi Germany) are unlikely to have common interests.” Responding to Ribbentrop’s question as to whether Poland had given up Marshal Pilsudski’s ambitions regarding Ukraine, Mr Beck said, “The Poles have already been to Kiev, and these plans are undoubtedly still alive today.”

Actually, this happened in 1939. Let us hope that at least something has changed in this respect. However, the foundation of what I am sharing now is pathological Russophobia. The European capitals, incidentally, were perfectly aware of that. Poland’s Western allies at that time were perfectly aware of that.

The following document will prove what I have just said. This is a report by Ambassador of France to Poland, Mr Leon Noel, to Foreign Minister of France Georges Bonnet on his conversations with his Polish colleagues of May 31, 1938. In this document, the French ambassador wrote about the unequivocal statements made by the Polish leaders, who did not mince words during their meeting.

To quote, “When a German is a rival, he nevertheless remains a European and a man of order.” And Poland would soon find out what a “European and man of order” means. Everyone experienced this on September 1, 1939.

According to Noel, the Poles saw Russians as barbarians with whom “all contact would be perilous and all compromise mortal.” To comment, this can be seen as a typical example of racism and contempt for the “untermensch,” a Nazi concept that included Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, and later the Poles themselves.

You know, in this context, I look at the cases of Russophobia, anti-Semitism and so on in certain European countries, and they bear a striking resemblance to this.

Aggressive nationalism always makes one blind and eliminates any and all moral boundaries. Those who take this path will stop at nothing to achieve their goals – but ultimately, it will hit them back, which we have seen repeatedly.

In this context, here is another document to support this, a report by Ambassador of Poland to Nazi Germany Jozef Lipski to Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Jozef Beck of September 20, 1938, which I think is necessary to read to you aloud. Mr Lipski had spoken to Hitler, and this is what he, the Polish ambassador, wrote to his Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Further to our discussion, the Chancellor of Germany, Hitler persistently emphasised that Poland is a paramount factor that protects Europe from Russia.”

It follows from Hitler’s other statements that he suddenly had an idea that the Jewish issue can be resolved through migration to colonies in accord with Poland, Hungary, and maybe also Romania. Hitler suggested forcibly expelling the Jewish population from Europe to Africa first – and not just expelling them but actually sending them to their extermination. We all know what was meant by colonies in 1938 – it meant extermination. This was the first step towards genocide, the extermination of Jews and what we today know as the Holocaust.

And this is what the Polish ambassador wrote to the Polish Foreign Minister in this connection – apparently hoping for understanding and approval: I, meaning the Polish Ambassador to Germany, responded, he writes to his Foreign Minister, that if this happens and this issue is resolved, we will build a beautiful monument to him, to Hitler, in Warsaw. There.

An excerpt from the above-mentioned conversation between Adolf Hitler and Polish Foreign Minister Jozef Beck of January 5, 1939. Hitler said, “Another issue of common interest for Germany and Poland is the Jewish issue.” He, the Fuhrer, is firmly resolved to oust Jews from Germany. At that moment, they would be allowed to take along some of their belongings, and Hitler noted, they would definitely take with them much more from Germany than they had when they had settled in that country. But the longer they procrastinate with emigration, the less property they will able to take with them.

What is this? What kind of people are they? Who are they? I have the impression that today’s Europe wants to know nothing about it, it is being deliberately hushed up while they try to shift the blame, including for starting World War II, from the Nazis to the Communists.

Yes, we know who Stalin was, we have given our assessments of him. But I think the fact remains that it was Nazi Germany that invaded first Poland on September 1, 1939, and then the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.

And what kind of people are those who hold such conversations with Hitler? It was them who, while pursuing their mercenary and exorbitantly overgrown ambitions, laid their people, the Polish people, open to attack from Germany’s military machine, and, moreover, generally contributed to the beginning of the Second World War. What else can one think after reading these documents?

And something we also witness today: they desecrate the graves of those who won that war, who gave their lives, including in Europe, while liberating those countries from Nazism.

By the way, it occurred to me that it had nothing to do with Stalin whatsoever. The monuments in Europe were erected to our regular Red Army soldiers, including those who came from currently absolutely independent states established after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. They were ordinary people. Who were these Red Army soldiers? They were mainly farmers and workers, many of whom also suffered from the Stalin regime – some of them were repressed kulaks, some had family members sent to labour camps. These people died as they were liberating the European countries from Nazism. Now memorials to them are being demolished, among other things, so that the facts of a real collusion of some European leaders with Hitler should not surface. This is not revenge on Bolsheviks: they are doing all they can to conceal their own position.

Why did I say that the leaders of those countries, including Poland, at that time, actually threw their people under the chariot of Nazi Germany’s military machine? Because they underestimated the real reasons underlying Hitler’s actions.

This is what he said at a meeting with German Army commanders at the Reich Chancellery, I quote: “The point is not Danzig,” this is a city that was declared to be an international entity and which Germany wanted back after World War I, “the point for us is to expand the Lebensraum eastward and to ensure food supplies.” It was not about Poland at all. The point is that they needed to pave the road for an aggression against the Soviet Union

The Soviet Union was trying to the utmost to use every opportunity for establishing an anti-Hitler coalition, held talks with military representatives of France and Great Britain, thus attempting to prevent the outbreak of World War II, but it practically remained alone and isolated. As I have already said, it was the last of the European states concerned that was compelled to sign a non-aggression pact with Hitler.

Yes, there is a classified part on the partitioning of some territory. But we do not know the content of other European countries’ agreements with Hitler. Because while we have de-classified these documents, the Western capitals are still keeping all this classified. We know nothing of their contents. But now we do not need to, because the facts show that there was collusion. In essence, we see the partitioning of a democratic independent state, Czechoslovakia. And the participants in it were not just Hitler but also the then leaders of those countries. It was this that opened the road to the east for Hitler, it was this that became the cause of the outbreak of World War II.

One more point concerning the Soviet Union’s actions after Germany launched a war against Poland. Let me remind you that in the west, in the area of Lvov, the Polish garrison was still resisting, this is true. When the Red Army advanced, they surrendered their weapons to the Red Army. Actually, the fact that the Red Army’s units entered there saved many lives of the local population, mainly the Jewish population. Because all those present here know that the percentage of the Jewish population in that area was very high. If the Nazis had entered, they would have cut out everyone and sent them to the furnaces.

Concerning Brest, for instance, the Red Army advanced there only after those territories were occupied by German troops. The Red Army did not wage any hostilities with anyone there; they were not fighting with the Poles. Moreover, by that time the Polish government had lost control over the country, over the armed forces, and stayed somewhere close to the Romanian border. There was nobody to have any negotiations with. Let me reiterate, the Brest Fortress, which we all know as a citadel for defending the interests of the Soviet Union and our common Fatherland and one of the most extraordinary pages in the history of the Great Patriotic War, was only occupied by the Red Army after the Germans left. They had already captured it, thus in reality the Soviet Union did not seize it from Poland.

In conclusion, I would like to remind you of the way contemporaries assessed the results of the victory over Nazism and the contribution of each of us to that victory, starting with 1941.

Churchill’s statement: “I am very glad to … learn from many sources of the valiant fight and many vigorous counter-attacks with which the Russian armies are defending their native soil. I fully realise the military advantage you have gained by forcing the enemy to deploy and engage on forward Western fronts,” “on forward Western fronts” – I draw your attention to this, the British leaders of the time admitted that this had a combat importance in fighting Nazi Germany, “thus exhausting some of the force of his initial effort.” That means the power of the initial assault of the Nazi army was weakened by the fact that the Red Army advanced to new frontiers. So advancing to these new positions also had a military importance for the Soviet Union.

And now a quote from Winston Churchill’s personal message to Joseph Stalin of February 22, 1945. It was on February 22, the eve of the 27th anniversary of the Red Army. Churchill writes that the Red Army celebrates its twenty-seventh anniversary amid triumphs, which have won the unstinted applause of their allies. And I would like to stress the following in connection with the resolution adopted recently by our colleagues in the European Parliament: “Future generations will acknowledge their debt to the Red Army as unreservedly as do we who have lived to witness these proud achievements.” But we see how the present-day generation of European politicians reacts to this.

Here is what Roosevelt wrote to Stalin in 1945, “The continued outstanding achievements of the Red Army together with the all-out effort of the United Nations forces in the South and the West assure the speedy attainment of our common goal—a peaceful world based upon mutual understanding and cooperation.”

And some time later Harry Truman, the new US President, wrote, “We fully appreciate the magnificent contribution made by the mighty Soviet Union to the cause of civilization and liberty. You have demonstrated the ability of a freedom-loving and supremely courageous people to crush the evil forces of barbarism, however powerful.”

I believe each of us here cannot forget and will never forget the feat of our fathers. I would very much like our colleagues in the West in general and in Europe in particular, to keep this in mind. And if they do not want to listen to us, let them heed the respected leaders of their own countries, who knew what they were saying and had first-hand knowledge of the events.

First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: This must be made public.

Vladimir Putin: We have already made it public. But I just want to put it all together properly and write an article. I want to write an article on this matter.

Pubblicato in: Russia

Russia. Maggio. Stato dell’economia. – World Bank.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-06-21.

Kremlino 001

La World Bank ha rilasciato il solito Report mensile sullo stato dell’economia russa relativo al mese di maggio.

In sintesi.

«In the first quarter of 2020, GDP growth slowed to 1.6 percent, y/y, from 2.1 percent, y/y, in the last quarter of 2019.»

«In March 2020, industrial production growth slowed to 0.3 percent, y/y, compared to 3.3 percent, y/y, in February …. This decline reflects the effect of lockdown measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, accompanied by falling commodity prices and declining demand»

«Primary expenditures increased by 5.8 percent of GDP in January–April 2020. Spending on social policy, national economy, and health were the main drivers of this growth.»

«In April, despite extremely low oil prices (average price for Urals oil dropped to S$18.2/bbl, compared to US$29.2 in March), the ruble weakened only by 2.8 percent, m/m, against the U.S. dollar»

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World Bank. Russia Monthly Economic Developments.

The global number of confirmed COVID-19 cases raced past the 5 million mark in late-May, after reaching 3 million a month prior. The global composite PMI sank further into contractionary territory to 26.5 in April, below its historical low of 36.8 in November 2008. Industrial output in China, however, registered positive growth for the first time this year at 3.9 percent (y/y). Oil prices reached their lowest levels since 2002 in April, with the price of Brent crude oil falling 30 percent on the month to US$23/bbl. As of May 26, 362,342 COVID-19 cases (3,807 deaths) were registered in Russia. The Russian Government and the Central Bank (CBR) continued to expand and refine their support measures to counter the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to lay a foundation for the recovery phase. In April, the ruble weakened by 2.8 percent against the U.S. dollar m/m. The current account (CA) surplus shrank in January-April, compared to the same period in the previous year, as the trade balance narrowed largely amidst lower energy commodities prices and diminished demand. In 1Q2020, GDP growth slowed to 1.6 percent, y/y, from 2.1 percent, y/y, in 4Q2019. In annual terms, in March 2020, industrial production growth slowed to 0.3 percent, y/y, compared to 3.3 percent, y/y, in February. Consumer price index (CPI) inflation accelerated with to 3.1 percent in April 2020, from 2.5 percent in March. Labor market dynamics deteriorated in March 2020. In the first four months of 2020, the federal budget surplus (cash basis) dropped to 0.4 percent of GDP from 2.4 percent in the same period last year on the back of higher spending. Key credit risk and performance indicators remained stable in March, while credit growth dynamics were mixed. 

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World Bank. Russia Monthly Economic Developments. [Full Text pdf] [Some Statements]

«The global composite PMI sank further into contractionary territory to 26.5 in April, surpassing its historical low of 36.8 in November 2008»

«Lockdowns and restriction measures have caused a very sharp drop in oil demand, and the International Energy Agency expects demand to fall by an unprecedented 9 percent this year. However, oil prices recovered in May as lockdown measures have started to ease in some countries, while oil production has also started to fall. Several large U.S. oil producers have announced cuts to production, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects oil production to drop to 11mb/d by the end of 2020, from 12.8 mb/d at the start of the year.»

«As of May 26, 362,342 COVID-19 cases (3,807 deaths) were registered in Russia»

«On May 11, President Putin announced the third package of support measures, with emphasis on families with children and SMEs. These measures include: (i) an additional Rub 5,000 per child for three months for all families (including for April retroactively); (ii) lump sum payments in the amount of Rub 10,000 per child from June 1 for all families with children aged 3 to 16; (iii) increase in the minimum amount of childcare (for children up to the age of 1.5 years) for unemployed (from Rub 3,375 to Rub 6,750); (iv) federal supplementary for employees of social institutions (from April 15 to July 15).»

«In April, despite extremely low oil prices (average price for Urals oil dropped to S$18.2/bbl, compared to US$29.2 in March), the ruble weakened only by 2.8 percent, m/m, against the U.S. dollar»

«In January-April, the CA surplus decreased to US$23.5 billion from US$40.1 billion in the same period last year. The trade balance surplus registered at US$35.6 billion, compared to US$61.6 in January-April 2019; the trade balance narrowed more severely in April, as oil prices dropped further»

«International reserves gained merely US$2.6 billion in January-April, compared to US$21.7 billion in the same period last year»

«In the first quarter of 2020, GDP growth slowed to 1.6 percent, y/y, from 2.1 percent, y/y, in the last quarter of 2019. In March 2020, industrial production growth slowed to 0.3 percent, y/y, compared to 3.3 percent, y/y, in February …. This decline reflects the effect of lockdown measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, accompanied by falling commodity prices and declining demand»

«In the first four months of 2020, the federal budget surplus (cash basis) dropped to 0.4 percent of GDP from 2.4 percent in the same period last year on the back of the higher spending»

«Primary expenditures increased by 5.8 percent of GDP in January–April 2020. Spending on social policy, national economy, and health were the main drivers of this growth.»

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Russia

Russia. Pil trimestrale annualizzato Q1 +1.6%, mensile base annua -12.0%.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-06-04.

Kremlino 003

«The global number of confirmed COVID-19 cases raced past the 5 million mark in late-May, after reaching 3 million a month prior»

«The global composite PMI sank further into contractionary territory to 26.5 in April, below its historical low of 36.8 in November 2008»

«Industrial output in China, however, registered positive growth for the first time this year at 3.9 percent (y/y)»

«Oil prices reached their lowest levels since 2002 in April, with the price of Brent crude oil falling 30 percent on the month to US$23/bbl »

«In 1Q2020, GDP growth slowed to 1.6 percent, y/y, from 2.1 percent, y/y, in 4Q2019»

«In annual terms, in March 2020, industrial production growth slowed to 0.3 percent, y/y, compared to 3.3 percent, y/y, in February »

«Consumer price index (CPI) inflation accelerated with to 3.1 percent in April 2020, from 2.5 percent in March. Labor market dynamics deteriorated in March 2020»

* * * * * * *

L’epidemia da Covid-19 ha iniziato a farsi sentire in Russia con ritardo di mesi rispetto all’Europa occidentale.

Per questo motivo si nota un consistente sfasamento tra il pil trimestrale annualizzato e quello mensile su base annua.

Si noti anche come le vendite di prodotti industriali verso la Cina sia creciuto del 3.9%.

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Russia’s GDP may fall 8% in second half of 2020 — Central Bank

«Data of advance indicators as of end of April correspond to the forecast of the Central Bank on Russian GDP decline by 8% in the second quarter of this year, Governor of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina said on Friday.

“Advance indicators data as of April end generally align with our outlook of GDP drop by 8% year-on-year in the second quarter,” she said.»

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The World Bank. Russia Monthly Economic Developments.

The global number of confirmed COVID-19 cases raced past the 5 million mark in late-May, after reaching 3 million a month prior. The global composite PMI sank further into contractionary territory to 26.5 in April, below its historical low of 36.8 in November 2008. Industrial output in China, however, registered positive growth for the first time this year at 3.9 percent (y/y). Oil prices reached their lowest levels since 2002 in April, with the price of Brent crude oil falling 30 percent on the month to US$23/bbl. As of May 26, 362,342 COVID-19 cases (3,807 deaths) were registered in Russia. The Russian Government and the Central Bank (CBR) continued to expand and refine their support measures to counter the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to lay a foundation for the recovery phase. In April, the ruble weakened by 2.8 percent against the U.S. dollar m/m. The current account (CA) surplus shrank in January-April, compared to the same period in the previous year, as the trade balance narrowed largely amidst lower energy commodities prices and diminished demand. In 1Q2020, GDP growth slowed to 1.6 percent, y/y, from 2.1 percent, y/y, in 4Q2019. In annual terms, in March 2020, industrial production growth slowed to 0.3 percent, y/y, compared to 3.3 percent, y/y, in February. Consumer price index (CPI) inflation accelerated with to 3.1 percent in April 2020, from 2.5 percent in March. Labor market dynamics deteriorated in March 2020. In the first four months of 2020, the federal budget surplus (cash basis) dropped to 0.4 percent of GDP from 2.4 percent in the same period last year on the back of higher spending. Key credit risk and performance indicators remained stable in March, while credit growth dynamics were mixed. 

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Africa, Problemi militari, Russia

Russia. Dispiegati cacciabombardieri in Libia. La strategia russa in Africa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-06-03.

2020-06-03__Russia Africa 001

Inizia a delinearsi la strategia di Mr Putin e della Russia per il dominio del Mare Mediterraneo. Dapprima l’intervento militare diretto in Siria, adesso in Libia. Ma il Mediterraneo è solo un elemento di uno scacchiere ben più vasto: l’obiettivo è il dominio dell’Africa.

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«The US has identified over a dozen Russia warplanes in Libya, marking Moscow’s first direct venture into the North African country»

«Experts say it is part of a larger Russian plan to expand its influence in the region»

«US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced earlier this week that Russia had deployed at least 14 warplanes to Libya in support of private military contractors known as the Wagner Group»

«It was the first time Russian armed forces were identified in the North African country. Although the Wagner Group purportedly enjoys Russian state backing, the Kremlin had initially stopped short of deploying official military assets to Libya, despite Moscow’s support for general-turned-warlord Khalifa Haftar»

«For too long, Russia has denied the full extent of its involvement in the ongoing Libyan conflict»

«neither Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) nor private military contractors could “arm, operate and sustain these fighters without state support — support they are getting from Russia»

«Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favor in Libya …. The UN said Russia’s Wagner group already has up to 1,200 mercenaries in Libya.»

«Haftar’s LNA has sought to oust the UN-backed government Tripoli in favor of a rival Tobruk-based government. He has received support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and, at one point, even France. …. But Russia remains Haftar’s most committed ally»

«Strengthening the Russian military position in North Africa will undoubtedly provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with a much tighter grip over Europe and possibly even deep-rooted influence and control in the wider MENA region»

«Libya’s energy resources and the presence of several deep-water ports will give Putin the logistical and geo-strategical advantage he is attempting to achieve»

2020-06-03__Russia Africa 002

Sarebbe impossibile dominare il Mediterraneo senza poter disporre di porti con acque sufficientemente profonde da permetterne l’uso a navi da guerra. Ma gli unici porti ‘acquisibili’ al momento sono quelli della Libia.

2020-06-03__Russia Africa 003

«Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport announced in April the first contract to supply assault boats to a country in sub-Saharan Africa»

«Russia is building its path to gain a foothold in Africa and broaden its export map for arms on the continent»

«Currently, it accounts for 49% of total arms exports to Africa, according to the database of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)»

«Until now, Algeria remains the biggest recipient of Russian arms in Africa, followed by Egypt, Sudan and Angola …. In the early 2000s, 16 African countries were recipients of Russian arms. Between 2010 and 2019, the figure went up to 21»

«Starting in 2015, Russia started selling arms to oil-rich Angola — mainly fighter aircraft and combat helicopters»

«That same year, Algeria signed another arms deal to buy Russian weapons for $7.5 billion»

«Russia hosted the first-ever Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in 2019 as a way of further identifying cooperation possibilities across the continent. During the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that “the strengthening of ties with African countries is one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities”»

«This exhibition showed that Russia does not aim to offer disruptive new technologies in arms; instead, it focuses on improving the models that have been demanded the most»

«Russia sees Africa as a key potential partner in the vision for a multipolar world order»

«Less European, less trans-Atlantic and focused more on rising powers and rising regions»

«Despite widespread international condemnation of Mugabe’s regime, Russia stayed on the side of Zimbabwe: together with China, it vetoed the UN’s Security Council resolution for an arms embargo in 2008 and criticized Western sanctions»

«Russia has been scaling up activities in the mining of resources such as coltan, cobalt, gold, and diamonds in several other countries across Africa»

«For example, Algeria alone bought around 200 aircraft items from Russia from 2000 to2019, ranging from transporter helicopters to combat helicopters, bomber and fighter ground aircrafts. Various models of surface-to-air missiles (SAM) that are designed for destroying aircrafts or other missiles have been ordered from Algeria (several orders through 2000-2019), Burkina Faso, Egypt (several orders), Ethiopia, Libya and Morocco. Algeria also ordered tanks (more than 500 items in total), as did Uganda (67 items).»

«Cheap weapons — no questions asked»

«Africa is the continent where Russia can freely push one of the key elements of its exports: weapons. Arms trading accounts for 39% of Russia’s defense industry revenue.»

«Russian arms are good. It is universally recognized. Russian arms are also cheaper. There is no reason why African countries would not want to buy them»

«For example, in 2014, government soldiers in Nigeria were accused of human rights abuses against suspects in the country’s fight against Boko Haram. Afterwards, the US cancelled a shipment of attack helicopters, even though the deal had already been signed. That same year, Nigeria placed an order and received six Mi-35M combat helicopters from Russia»

«from 2009 to 2018, Russia accounted for 31% of Egypt’s imports of major weapons.»

«Russia’s defense industry is secretive; the law does not oblige companies to report on arms exports as such, and usually this information falls under the state’s secrecy laws.»

«China is generally growing as an arms exporter and shows similar patterns as Russia in a way of giving weapons with less political conditions»

* * * * * * *

Fornire armi e sistemi di arma è sicuramente una operazione economica, ma i risvolti politici sono evidenti: i paesi che si dotano di armamenti russi alla fine dipendono dalla Russia.

La chiave del successo è di un semplice banalità.

«Russian arms are good»

«Cheap weapons — no questions asked»

«giving weapons with less political conditions»

Il vizietto di voler imporre la propria Weltanschauung come prerequisito ai commerci sta costando all’occidente il domini mondiale.

*


Russia expands war presence in Libya.

The US has identified over a dozen Russia warplanes in Libya, marking Moscow’s first direct venture into the North African country. Experts say it is part of a larger Russian plan to expand its influence in the region.

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced earlier this week that Russia had deployed at least 14 warplanes to Libya in support of private military contractors known as the Wagner Group.

It was the first time Russian armed forces were identified in the North African country. Although the Wagner Group purportedly enjoys Russian state backing, the Kremlin had initially stopped short of deploying official military assets to Libya, despite Moscow’s support for general-turned-warlord Khalifa Haftar.

“For too long, Russia has denied the full extent of its involvement in the ongoing Libyan conflict,” said US Army General Stephen Townsend, who leads AFRICOM. “We watched as Russia flew fourth-generation jet fighters to Libya — every step of the way.”

The US general noted that neither Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) nor private military contractors could “arm, operate and sustain these fighters without state support — support they are getting from Russia.

“Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favor in Libya,” Townsend said.

The UN said Russia’s Wagner group already has up to 1,200 mercenaries in Libya.

Russia’s man

Haftar’s LNA has sought to oust the UN-backed government Tripoli in favor of a rival Tobruk-based government. He has received support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and, at one point, even France.

But Russia remains Haftar’s most committed ally.

Moscow has sought to expand its influence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and supported that mission through military escapades. In Syria, Moscow deployed its armed forces to prop up the Assad regime, a move that has ensured its place as a regional stakeholder.

“Strengthening the Russian military position in North Africa will undoubtedly provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with a much tighter grip over Europe and possibly even deep-rooted influence and control in the wider MENA region,” said Tomas Olivier, a counter-terrorism expert and former senior officer in the Dutch government.

“Libya’s energy resources and the presence of several deep-water ports will give Putin the logistical and geo-strategical advantage he is attempting to achieve,” Olivier added.

Risky business

Although the Russian Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the US allegations, Russian lawmaker Andrei Krasov, a member of the Russian parliament’s Defense Committee, dismissed them as “fake.”

With state-supported paramilitary forces on the ground, the Kremlin maintains the ability to deny direct involvement, yet still has strategic assets in place. That plays into its larger hybrid warfare strategy, which serves to undermine rules and responsibilities in the conflicts it engages with.

But deploying warplanes raises the stakes, making it a highly risky move for Russia, according to Theresa Fallon, director and founder of the Brussels-based Center for Russia Europe Asia Studies.

“Moscow’s supply of aircraft reportedly repainted in Syria for plausible deniability, represents a creeping shift from a proxy war to open support for Haftar,” Fallon said. “If Turkey responds by deploying more aircraft, it is likely that this could turn into another endless, Syria-like conflict.”

Although Russian-Turkish ties have thawed in recent years, the countries back opposing parties in Syria and Libya. Earlier this month, the Turkish government threatened to strike Haftar’s forces if they continued to attack diplomatic missions in Tripoli, where the UN-backed government is based.

“Libya is rich in energy sources, migrants can be leveraged in negotiations with Europe and Russian mercenaries are likely to command a lucrative revenue stream,” Fallon said. “This could turn into one more frozen conflict on which Russia thrives.”

*


Russian arms exports to Africa: Moscow’s long-term strategy.

Along with natural resources, arms exports are a key component of Russia’s economy. In the last two decades, Moscow has managed to deepen its connection with Africa and became the biggest arms supplier on the continent.

Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport announced in April the first contract to supply assault boats to a country in sub-Saharan Africa. The recipient’s identity is concealed. What is known: It marks the first export contract of Russian-made final naval products to this region in the last 20 years. While this news might not have caught much international attention, this new deal adds up to a pattern: Russia is building its path to gain a foothold in Africa and broaden its export map for arms on the continent.

Once a major supplier during the Soviet era, Russia’s role in Africa waned after the collapse of the USSR. But by 2000, Russia had made inroads again, and within the last two decades Russia has managed to become the biggest arms exporter to Africa. Currently, it accounts for 49% of total arms exports to Africa, according to the database of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). 

Since 2000, Russia’s arms exports to Africa have grown significantly. The increases were mainly due to growth in Russia’s arms exports to Algeria.

Russia’s eye on Africa

Until now, Algeria remains the biggest recipient of Russian arms in Africa, followed by Egypt, Sudan and Angola. According to Alexandra Kuimova, a researcher with SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the number of African countries buying Russian arms increased over the last two decades. In the early 2000s, 16 African countries were recipients of Russian arms. Between 2010 and 2019, the figure went up to 21.

Starting in 2015, Russia started selling arms to oil-rich Angola — mainly fighter aircraft and combat helicopters. The Angolan government in Luanda has long maintained strong ties with Moscow, dating back to the USSR. In 1996, Russia forgave 70% of Angola’s $5 billion (€4.56 billion) in debt, which was mainly a result of several export credits the USSR had issued Angola for buying Soviet arms and military equipment. In the new millennium, Russia was a predictable choice for Angola to sign new arms deals — and within the last five years, Angola has become the third-biggest African client for Russian arms after Algeria and Egypt. Luanda’s other suppliers are Bulgaria, Belarus, Italy and China, but their shares are small.

The situation was similar with Algeria, the largest importer of Russian arms on the African continent. Soviet-era connections allowed Russia to secure its monopoly on arms deals, and Moscow completely wrote off Algeria’s $5.7 billion in debt in 2006. That same year, Algeria signed another arms deal to buy Russian weapons for $7.5 billion.

“Officials in these countries intrinsically look at Moscow from the Soviet-era links and Moscow has been able to maintain its influence. In some cases, like Algeria, it is done by debt release; sometimes by claiming that it will build repair facilities and manufacturing or maintenance facilities,” says Paul Stronski, a senior fellow in the Carnegie Endowment’s Russia and Eurasia Program.

Russia hosted the first-ever Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in 2019 as a way of further identifying cooperation possibilities across the continent. During the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that “the strengthening of ties with African countries is one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities”.

Arms deals were at the center of attention at the summit. African delegates were invited to exhibitions of Russian weapons: from subsonic jet trainor Yakovlev Yak-130, the Pantsir missile system, and the Tor-M2KM surface-to-air missile systems to smaller arms including a new Kalashnikov AK-200 series assault rifle. This exhibition showed that Russia does not aim to offer disruptive new technologies in arms; instead, it focuses on improving the models that have been demanded the most. 

Opening new markets in line with geopolitical vision

Russia’s growing interest in Africa is defined by not only economic, but also political and strategic reasons. Russia sees Africa as a key potential partner in the vision for a multipolar world order.

“Less European, less trans-Atlantic and focused more on rising powers and rising regions,” Stronski said. This is where Russia’s ties with countries like Zimbabwe and Sudan have been established, he stressed.

Zimbabwe has been subject to financial sanctions from the West since the early 2000s. The state was reportedly responsible for violence, tortures and killings of the president’s opponents during the era of former President Robert Mugabe. Despite widespread international condemnation of Mugabe’s regime, Russia stayed on the side of Zimbabwe: together with China, it vetoed the UN’s Security Council resolution for an arms embargo in 2008 and criticized Western sanctions. Russia exports a number of both raw and finished materials to Zimbabwe, ranging from wood, wheat and fertilizers to printed materials, railway cars and electronics. Russia, in turn, imports coffee and tobacco from Zimbabwe.

Russian companies are also involved in diamond and gold mining projects in the country. According to Gugu Dube, a researcher at the Transnational Threats and International Crime program in the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria, Russia has been scaling up activities in the mining of resources such as coltan, cobalt, gold, and diamonds in several other countries across Africa. In Zimbabwe, Russian companies are also involved in a joint venture of the Darwendale project — mining and smelting one of the world’s largest deposits of platinum group metal — for which production is planned in 2021.

These include aircrafts, missiles, tanks, air defense systems and artillery. For example, Algeria alone bought around 200 aircraft items from Russia from 2000 to2019, ranging from transporter helicopters to combat helicopters, bomber and fighter ground aircrafts. Various models of surface-to-air missiles (SAM) that are designed for destroying aircrafts or other missiles have been ordered from Algeria (several orders through 2000-2019), Burkina Faso, Egypt (several orders), Ethiopia, Libya and Morocco. Algeria also ordered tanks (more than 500 items in total), as did Uganda (67 items).

Cheap weapons — no questions asked

In Russia’s publicly available strategy documents, such as its foreign policy concept or defense doctrine, African states are defined as belonging to an unstable continent and posing an international threat in light of terrorist groups’ activities, particularly in the North African region. Such documents highlight Russia’s aims to expand interaction with Africa by developing beneficial trade and economic relations and supporting regional conflict and crisis prevention.

This ongoing instability feeds a continuous market for arms — and for Russia, Africa represents a major market without a limit in the form of economic sanctions that came from the West after the annexation of Crimea. Africa is the continent where Russia can freely push one of the key elements of its exports: weapons. Arms trading accounts for 39% of Russia’s defense industry revenue.

“Russian arms are good. It is universally recognized. Russian arms are also cheaper. There is no reason why African countries would not want to buy them,” says Irina Filatova, a history professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics and professor emeritus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, who specializes in Russo-African history and relations.

In comparison to other big players, arms deals with Russia do not demand political or human rights conditions. In some cases, Russia has managed to fill the gap where European or American suppliers stepped out.

For example, in 2014, government soldiers in Nigeria were accused of human rights abuses against suspects in the country’s fight against Boko Haram. Afterwards, the US cancelled a shipment of attack helicopters, even though the deal had already been signed. That same year, Nigeria placed an order and received six Mi-35M combat helicopters from Russia.

Egypt is a similar case. After a military coup in 2013, the US started cutting military aid and arms supplies to the country. This left Russia (together with France, another leading arms exporter) with an open opportunity; the country quickly intensified arms transfers to Egypt. From 2009 to 2018, Russia accounted for 31% of Egypt’s imports of major weapons.

According to Kuimova, arms deals with Russia generally go fast. If a certain country needs weapons right away and Russia has them, Russia will be able to supply. What also plays in its favor is a lack of pressure from local civil society groups to track weapons sales. Russia’s defense industry is secretive; the law does not oblige companies to report on arms exports as such, and usually this information falls under the state’s secrecy laws. A general lack of data and transparency has created a situation where civil society groups for monitoring arms trading simply do not exist.

Competition for Russia? Growing potential of Chinese arms

For now, Russia seems to be secure in its markets for arms in Africa. However, experts see the potential of China to become a bigger player for arms supplies in Africa. Currently, China accounts for 13% of arms exports to the continent.

“China has improved the quality and quantity of what it sells. They also do reverse-engineered Russian weapons. Since 2014, Russia has shared sensitive military technology as a part of its growing ties with China,” Stronski said.

Kuimova adds that today China is able to produce and offer all kinds of arms. “China is generally growing as an arms exporter and shows similar patterns as Russia in a way of giving weapons with less political conditions,” she explained.

Researcher Filatova does not see China as a threat to Russian arms in Africa, however — in her opinion, the main competitors for Russian arms will remain the same: the US and France. She defines China’s interest in Africa as predominantly economic and says that “Russia’s competition in Africa in that regard is already lost” — because economically, Russia is not able to offer what China can. Moscow instead focuses on natural resources exports and locking down arms deals. For arms importers, switching to other suppliers is costly, so the likelihood is high that Russia can ensure new deals with its arms buyers well into the future.

Pubblicato in: Putin, Russia

Putin. La strategia delle matrioske.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-05-28.

San Vladimiro. Russia. Putin inaugura. 001

La mentalità ideologizzata dei liberal democratici americani e socialisti in Europa trova una preclusione dottrinale alla comprensione della Russia, delle sue ambizioni e della sua realtà.

Intanto, la Russia è un Impero, intendendo con questo termine una federazione di realtà politiche, linguistiche ed etniche alquanto differenti, ma omogenee per amor di Patria. In questo la Russia assomiglia più alla Cina e differisce dall’occidente liberal.

Poi, la Russia vive in modo profondo il proprio retaggio religioso, storico, culturale ed artistico: è in questo che affonda le sue radici la profonda coesione che sta dimostrando. Ma i liberal rigettano persino le proprie tradizioni, figurarsi poi cercare di comprendere quelle altrui.

La concezione di governo quale quella dello Czar imperiale è l’unica realtà politica vissuta dai russi negli ultimi sei secoli: oramai è entrata nei loro cromosomi. È l’unico modo di governare la Federazione.

«La Russia non si può capire con la mente, né la si misura col metro comune: la Russia è fatta a modo proprio, in essa si può soltanto credere».

Russia. Capire un popolo per capire una nazione.

ДМИТРИЙ ХВОРОСТОВСКИЙ – КАТЮША / Dmitri Hvorostovsky – Katyusha

«Che Lui preservi la Patria.

Così come Katyusha preserva il loro amore».

*

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

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

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

Putin. Una personalità controversa. Una valutazione fortemente avversa.

Putin il Grande. Un intervento da statista.

Valdai. Mr Putin delinea la futura politica estera russa.

Russia, Putin inaugura statua di San Vladimiro il Grande 

Russia Putin il rispetto della memoria storica

*

L’allegato articolo ci sembrerebbe essere stato fatto in modo compiuto.

«la geopolitica di Putin supera la fantasia»

*


La matrioska di Putin

Secondo Fedor Tjutchev1 “La Russia non si può capire con la mente, né la si misura col metro comune: la Russia è fatta a modo proprio, in essa si può soltanto credere.”; una visione poetica, lo spirito slavo e passionale di Čajkovskij, la tessera di un mosaico molto più ampio. In 1984, l’Eurasia di Orwell indicava una superpotenza che comprendeva l’Europa, eccetto l’Inghilterra, ed oltrepassava l’Asia settentrionale fino allo stretto di Bering; la geopolitica di Putin supera la fantasia e va in senso opposto alle direttrici staliniane: l’Eurasia guarda al Mediterraneo in Libia ed in Turchia; in Medio Oriente verso la Siria dove ha conservato le basi di Tartus, Humaymin e Latakia; in Asia Centrale ed Estremo Oriente in coabitazione con Pechino, una convivenza supportata da un’attenta compensazione politica in ambito ONU e caratterizzata dalla fondazione di organizzazioni economiche2 capaci di creare ad Est valide alternative alle seduzioni occidentali, da nicchie negoziali nella SCO3, volte ad attrarre potenze quali Iran, Giappone ed India. La Russia conosce tuttavia limiti che vietano politiche espansive per imporne altre che la vedono quale trait d’union tra Asia Centrale ed Europa.

Useremo 8 Parole chiave, per dare punti di sintesi e giungere a conclusioni logiche.

1: Linee generali di politica estera. Se Kennan4 avesse presenziato al discorso tenuto da Putin nel 2016 al Valdai Club, avrebbe dato un seguito al suo lungo telegramma. Putin, stigmatizzando le politiche occidentali, ha ironizzato su quelle egemoniche obamiane (“Cos’è l’America? Una Repubblica delle Banane o una grande potenza?”), incolpando le élite tecnocratiche sia di privare di senso il concetto di sovranità, sia di ignorare i malesseri sociali. Putin, pro dacia sua, ha tralasciato il suo cortile, ma di certo la politica occidentale gli ha agevolato il compito, visti gli esiti del caos siro-libico. La Russia deve condurre una politica estera indipendente, centellinando le proprie risorse: sostenere sovieticamente troppi fronti è un errore strategico ed un suicidio economico. Fondamentale dunque mantenere rapporti non conflittuali conservando l’equilibrio di Jalta e Potsdam, non cedendo terreno in ambito ONU, e perseguendo strategie alternative a quella americana, troppo incline alla creazione di cohalition of willings, e che ha propiziato le fratture interne con Gorbačëv ed El’cin; meglio dunque attendere gli errori di Washington, punta sul vivo dall’entente cordiale con Maduro.

2: Nazione. Difensore della sovranità, Putin ha tenuto vivi storia e nazionalismo; solo la pandemia è riuscita ad impedire l’anniversario della vittoria sulla Germania, ancora memore dell’umiliazione inflitta con l’inchino degli stendardi nazisti davanti al Mausoleo di Lenin. Ora che l’intellighenzia comincia a soffrire di carenza di motivazioni, la Giornata della Vittoria contrasta il revisionismo occidentale (segnatamente polacco) sulle conseguenze del Patto Molotov – Ribbentrop, e ridesta il senso di accerchiamento con una costruzione verticale del potere e con una progressiva rivalutazione della figura di Stalin, non ancora riabilitata, ma che incarna una gloria russa, non marxista leninista, secondo la retorica usata in Crimea e Bielorussia.

3: Costituzione. Richiedesi uomo forte; il prossimo referendum, se approvato, introdurrà due riforme significative: il limite complessivo di due mandati presidenziali, cosa che permetterà a Putin di ricandidarsi fino al 2036, e la preminenza del diritto nazionale su quello internazionale, volta ad evitare interferenze esterne. Da ricordare la recente rivisitazione della legge sulla cittadinanza, un insieme di misure volte a contrastare il calo demografico e l’impoverimento del mercato del lavoro: una possibile società stratificata, con frange favorevoli ad uno Stato improntato ad una democrazia gestita centralmente.

4: Economia e Pensioni. Il modello produttivo russo, basato sull’export energetico non ha trovato diversificazione, ed il settore bancario è ancora impreparato per contenere le fasi recessive, acuite da tagli negli investimenti e penalizzate dalle sanzioni occidentali, puntate a colpire i settori energetico, della difesa e della finanza. Il Cremlino difende la sovranità economica cercando di attenuare l’interdipendenza estera, e con una programmazione sovietica di opere pubbliche da 400 Mld di dollari da ultimare nel 2024 che suscita non poche perplessità, visti gli elevati tassi d’interesse praticati dalla Banca Centrale che non favoriscono gli investimenti privati. Il cedimento della domanda globale ha portato al crollo del prezzo del greggio, ulteriormente penalizzato dalla decisione di Igor Sechin, CEO di Rosneft, di infrangere il patto con i Sauditi (che hanno continuato a produrre ed a continuare il loro processo di diversificazione) e l’Opec, originariamente indirizzato a colpire lo shale oil USA. D’attualità il problema pensionistico, con l’innalzamento della soglia per gli uomini a 65 anni (eccetto le FFAA) e che ha portato a mobilitazioni di massa. Il rapporto tra lavoratori e pensionati, sbilanciato verso questi ultimi, porta ad un calo contributivo; se è vero che l’aspettativa di vita per un uomo si attesta intorno ai 67 anni, l’erogazione pensionistica non si estenderebbe per oltre 2 anni.

5: Cina e USA. Cina e Russia perseguono propri interessi trovandosi spesso in amichevole disaccordo, tanto che un’alleanza militare non appare ipotizzabile; rimane dunque una cooperazione a livello economico, come nell’Artico, in cui il cambiamento climatico ha aperto vie commerciali altrimenti inaccessibili, in un’area strategicamente rilevante per la deterrenza nucleare e per le traiettorie missilistiche più brevi in caso di conflitto. Il divario esistente tra risorse economiche e tecnologiche acuisce la percezione di una subalternità russa rispetto ad un Dragone che sa che non esistono punti di possibile rottura, dato che anche la politica di Trump con il suo America first, non fornisce a Putin alcuna exit strategy utile.

6: COVID e Propaganda: La congiuntura economica ha acuito gli aspetti recessivi e le frizioni con oligarchi e Governatori chiamati a sopperire alle mancanze statali. Per ciò che concerne la propaganda, anche se può apparire singolare che Mosca lanci una campagna disinformativa proprio quando sta tentando di acquisire un appeal più seducente con i suoi aiuti umanitari, non si può escludere che l’Orso abbia perso il pelo ma non il vizio di ampliare linee di faglia, implementando una strategia del caos che si avvale di metodi asimmetrici, come già avvenuto in Donbas e Siria: “.. la guerra dell’informazione è una forma di potere politico ed uno strumento geopolitico che consente un alto livello di manipolazione ed influenza”5.

7: Dottrine. La dottrina russa ha sviluppato strategie non lineari, volte a difendere la Federazione secondo il principio per cui la politica, durante la guerra, continua ad avvalersi dei mezzi militari, anche quelli nucleari utili a compensare le carenze convenzionali; la stessa Marina, fatta eccezione per le armi subacquee, sembra destinata ad una pericolosa involuzione per ciò che concerne i mezzi di superficie; sotto questo aspetto assume particolare importanza la relazione con la Turchia, utile a garantire l’accesso ai Dardanelli. Non v’è certezza che la cosiddetta dottrina Gerasimov6 sia frutto di un parto originale, ma non c’è dubbio che aspetti strategici e militari siano stati oggetto di un approccio politico più sofisticato, che punta a sorprendere ed a dividere le alleanze del nemico, mascherando le intenzioni, colpendo di sorpresa e sfruttando le vulnerabilità; una rivisitazione della strategia Prometeo di Józef Piłsudski7. Più che di una singola dottrina sembra di poter parlare di un efficace connubio politico militare, dove il Ministro degli esteri Lavrov cura la visione strategica, e Gerasimov – abilmente – un quadro tattico difficile ed esteso.

8: Matrioske. Amarus in fundo, l’Italia. L’attuale situazione ricorda l’epoca rinascimentale, con la Penisola attraversata dalle milizie; secondo un consolidato cerchiobottismo, ci sono fazioni pro Cina, contrapposte ad altre che, guardando alla Russia, strizzano l’occhio ai partner Atlantici, con la Francia osservatore interessato. Il fattore sfuggente sta nella valutazione politica dei Paesi: il sistema Sino – Russo è caratterizzato da un impalpabile confronto democratico, con leader che hanno di fatto prolungato sine die il loro potere. L’aiuto sino russo sotto quale forma di contropartita si concretizzerà? Quale può essere l’effettivo impatto valutario e del PIL russo in un ambito come quello occidentale? Quale competitività può assicurare? La Russia, Federazione multietnica che non può essere gestita se non centralmente, nutre tutto l’interesse a mantenere un perdurante stallo che capitalizzi le risorse strategiche di cui dispone e che, per il momento, le permettono di sedere nei più alti consessi.

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1 Scrittore e poeta russo

2 Unione Economica Eurasiatica

3 Shanghai Cooperation Organization

4 George Kennan, diplomatico americano

5 Domenico Frascà – Collaboratore del Center for Cyber Security and International Relations Studies (CCSIRS)

6 gen. Valerij Vasil’evič Gerasimov, capo di stato maggiore generale.

7 Faceva leva sulle vulnerabilità russe creando divisioni e conflitti territoriali sostenendo movimenti di indipendenza potenzialmente distruttivi.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime, Russia

Russia. Partita la prima tanker LNG della stagione, da Yamal verso la Cina.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-05-23.

Immagine.png2020-05-22__Yamal 001

«Russia’s biggest liquefied natural gas producer is sending the fuel across the Arctic to China more than a month earlier than usual as the ice that typically blocks the route thaws»

«The Christophe de Margerie, an ice-class vessel serving Novatek PJSC’s-led Yamal LNG project, departed from the production plant in Sabetta, Russia, on Monday»

«That pathway is the shortest and cheapest way for Yamal cargoes to reach Asia. But it’s usually shut for navigation for half a year in the winter due to thick ice»

«Novatek is examining longer and eventually year-round navigation along the route with a new class of nuclear-powered icebreakers»

«The Christophe de Margerie is slated to reach the Caofeidian terminal in China on June 11»

«In 2018 and 2019, the first shipments via the route were dispatched in late June and arrived in July.»

* * * * * * *

Lo sfruttamento dei campi petroliferi e di gas naturale di Yamal, zona artica, ha richiesto colossali investimenti ed innovazioni tecnologiche, ma adesso la Russia inizia a tagliare i dividendi.

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Russia, Penisola Gydan. Arctic LNG-2: un progetto da 21 miliardi Usd.

Russia. Programma di quintuplicare il LNG entro il 2035.

Russia. Varato il Belgorod, Project 09852.

Russia. Akademik Lomonosov. Prima centrale atomica mobile e galleggiante.

Russia. Un gigantesco rompighiaccio per Lng. – Bloomberg.

Artico. 50% delle riserve minerarie.

Yamal. Gli Usa hanno perso, la Russia ha vinto e raddoppia. – Bloomberg

Russia. Yamal. Francia e Germania con il muso nella greppia delle sanzioni.

Cina, Groenlandia e ‘Polar Silk Road’.

Dimenticate Russia, Arabia, Iran, Opec. È la Cina che fa i prezzi del petrolio.

Cina. Arabia Saudita accetta i petro-yuan

Cina. Centrali elettriche nucleari. 37 reattori attivi, 60 in costruzione, 179 programmati.

Putin avvia lo sfruttamento del mega campo Kharasaveyskoye.

Russia. Varato il rompighiaccio atomico Ural. Alla fine saranno 13 navi.

Dall’Artico la sfida russa al gas Usa: Yamal Lng ultimato in tempi record

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Cina. Marzo. Import petrolifero. Arabia Saudita -1.6%, Russia +31%.

Gazprom. Investimenti per 1.1 trilioni di rubli. Sila Sibiri.

Russia e Cina. Sila Sibiri. Un gasdotto da 4,000 km e 70 mld Usd.

Russia – Cina. Accordo per costruire reattori nucleari di nuova generazione.

* * * * * * * * * * *

La collaborazione sino-russa si basa su solide fondamenta. La Russia esporta petrolio e gas naturale e la Cina li acquista a prezzi stabili e convenienti per ambo le parti.

Si è costituito un redditizio mercato robusto, totalmente fuori dalla portata del blocco occidentale, anche perché le rotte ed i gasdotti sono entro i confini di queste due nazioni.

La Cina è diventata energeticamente autosufficiente e la Russia solida finanziariamente.

*


Russia’s Yamal LNG Sends Early Shipment Via Arctic Route.

– Christophe de Margerie tanker will deliver cargo to China

– Yamal LNG usually starts Northern Sea Route use in late June

*

Russia’s biggest liquefied natural gas producer is sending the fuel across the Arctic to China more than a month earlier than usual as the ice that typically blocks the route thaws.

The Christophe de Margerie, an ice-class vessel serving Novatek PJSC’s-led Yamal LNG project, departed from the production plant in Sabetta, Russia, on Monday and is now headed east via the so-called Northern Sea Route, according to ship-tracking data on Bloomberg.

That pathway is the shortest and cheapest way for Yamal cargoes to reach Asia. But it’s usually shut for navigation for half a year in the winter due to thick ice.

“May is indeed a very unusual time for the start of an eastbound journey via the Northern Sea Route,” Sergey Balmasov, head of the information office at the Center for High North Logistics said by phone. “Normally, as late as in April the navigation conditions are the toughest in that part of the route. The shipment is a proof that the timeframe of the navigation season can be extended.”

Novatek is examining longer and eventually year-round navigation along the route with a new class of nuclear-powered icebreakers, a task made easier with climate change and thinning Arctic ice. The company did not immediately respond to requests for a comment.

The Christophe de Margerie is slated to reach the Caofeidian terminal in China on June 11. Cargo-tracking company Kpler identified the vessel’s move earlier.

The ship’s chosen path indicates the Northern Sea Route may have opened for navigation earlier than normal. In 2018 and 2019, the first shipments via the route were dispatched in late June and arrived in July.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Diplomazia, Russia

GRU si leggeva tranquillamente le email di Frau Merkel. Per anni …

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-05-12.

Gufo_019__

Quando si parla di servizi segreti la fantasia dei più corre a James Bond, ma la realtà è ben diversa.

Un buon numero di quanti seguano questo tipo di problematica vanno a pensare alla Cia americana, oppure alla Fsb russa, nuovo nome del vecchio Kgb. Ma un servizio segreto chiacchierato e noto in tutto il mondo avrebbe ben poco di segreto.

Se per Israele è ben noto il Mossad, la vera intelligence è svolta dal Shin Bet, il cui motto è “scudo invisibile”.

Negli Stati Uniti la Nsa ha il nomignolo di ‘no such agency’: l’agenzia che non esiste.

Stessa cosa per la Russia. Se Fsb e Kgb sono sulla bocca di tutti, il Gru è assolutamente non chiacchierato, nessuno ama parlarne, è una specie di ectoplasma. Il Glavnoe razvedyvatel’noe upravlenie (Главное разведывательное управление), in italiano Direttorato principale per l’informazione, è il servizio informativo delle forze armate russe.

I servizi segreti sono formati da gente pratica: non sono immorali, sono amorali per la ragion di stato.

Gerusalemme. Summit dei servizi segreti degli Usa, Israele e Russia.

* * * * * * *

«Russia’s GRU military intelligence service appears to have got hold of many emails from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s constituency office in a 2015 hack attack on Germany’s parliament»

«A spokesman for the German government had no immediate comment»

«Prosecutors have not commented on the report»

«There was also no immediate comment from Moscow, which has denied previous allegations of hacking abroad»

«Der Spiegel said federal criminal police and the federal cyber agency had been able to partially reconstruct the attack and found that two email inboxes from Merkel’s office had been targeted»

«They contained email correspondence from 2012 to 2015 and Der Spiegel said the hackers appear to have managed to copy both mailboxes to another computer»

«Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday, without citing its sources.»

* * * * * * *

Nessuno vuole fare dichiarazioni in merito e Mosca si dice stupefatta perché mica sapeva che esistesse il Gru e che qualche russo avesse fatto una birbonata del genere.

Il patetico giornalista di Reuters si rammarica che il Der Spiegel non abbia fatto nomi, cognomi, indirizzi e numeri telefonici della sua fonte di informazioni.

Se il Gru pubblicasse l’elenco dei propri informatori metà dei governanti occidentali finirebbe sulla forca.

*


Russian hackers accessed emails from Merkel’s constituency office: Der Spiegel.

Russia’s GRU military intelligence service appears to have got hold of many emails from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s constituency office in a 2015 hack attack on Germany’s parliament, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday, without citing its sources.

A spokesman for the German government had no immediate comment. There was also no immediate comment from Moscow, which has denied previous allegations of hacking abroad.

Der Spiegel said federal criminal police and the federal cyber agency had been able to partially reconstruct the attack and found that two email inboxes from Merkel’s office had been targeted.

They contained email correspondence from 2012 to 2015 and Der Spiegel said the hackers appear to have managed to copy both mailboxes to another computer.

Germany’s Bundestag lower house of parliament discovered its systems had been broken into in May 2015 and concluded that the intrusions had been continuing since at least the beginning of that year. It was impossible to determine what information had been stolen.

The Russian embassy in Berlin was not immediately available for comment.

German federal prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for an individual linked to the 2015 hacking incident, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported this week. Prosecutors have not commented on the report.

Pubblicato in: Putin, Russia

Putin fa rimuovere i mosaici suoi e di Stalin dalla Cattedrale militare.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-05-06.

2020-05-04__Putin 001

Disraeli soleva dire: “Dio ci scampi dagli zelanti“.

L’arte sacra russa ha una millenaria storia di raffigurare anche le immagini dei governanti.

Solo che la prudenza aveva sempre suggerito di aspettare un congruo lasso di tempo.

I russi stanno finendo di costruire la Cattedrale Militare: una grandiosa costruzione che avrebbe dovuto essere inaugurata questo mese di maggio, in occasione del 75° anniversario della vittoria. Inaugurazione rimandata a causa del Covid-19.

Un mosaico rappresentava Putin, generali di stato maggiore  e Lavrov. Un secondo mosaico inneggiava il ritorno della Krimea alla Madre Patria.

Putin in persona ha ordinato la rimozione di quei mosaici.

2020-05-04__Putin 002

«An enormous new military church was set to feature mosaics of Vladimir Putin, a tribute to the annexation of Crimea and Soviet leader Josef Stalin»

«The president himself has now intervened to remove his own image»

«Another mosaic of former Soviet leader Josef Stalin has also been met with criticism but has yet to be officially removed from the church»

«it had indeed been removed from display “in accordance with the wish of the head of state [Putin].”»

«Putin thought it was too early to celebrate Russia’s current leadership»

Ogni evento storico ammette almeno due differenti letture.

Se gli Stati Uniti celebrano la ricorrenza della loro indipendenza dal Regno Unito, in tale data gli inglesi ricordano una delle loro sconfitte. Se il 4 novembre l’Italia celebra la vittoria sull’Austria ed il ritorno del Trentino alla Patria, gli austriaci ne hanno l’amaro ricordo della sconfitta, delle perdite territoriali, del crollo di un impero centenario.

Si dovrebbe portare rispetto ad ambedue o modi di vedere.

*


Russia removes Vladimir Putin mosaic from military church.

An enormous new military church was set to feature mosaics of Vladimir Putin, a tribute to the annexation of Crimea and Soviet leader Josef Stalin. The president himself has now intervened to remove his own image.

Intricate mosaics depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking officials will not be put on display in a new Russian military church, officials confirmed late on Friday. The grandiose wall decorations faced objections from the Kremlin.

Another mosaic of former Soviet leader Josef Stalin has also been met with criticism but has yet to be officially removed from the church.

An image of the mosaic, which showed Putin alongside Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, was first made public in Russian media last week. While the Kremlin has not publicly commented on the mosaic, the decision to remove it apparently came from Putin himself.

Bishop Stefan of the church in question denied reports that the mosaic had been dismantled, but told Russian media that it had indeed been removed from display “in accordance with the wish of the head of state [Putin].”

According to a Kremlin spokesman, Putin thought it was too early to celebrate Russia’s current leadership. Putin recently moved to alter the Russian constitution to potentially allow him to stay in power until 2036.

‘Crimea is ours’

The mosaic of Putin celebrated the controversial 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea. Another mosaic panel shows a group of women and reads “Crimea is ours.”

Meanwhile, Vladimir Legoyda of the Synodal Department for Relations between the church and the media told Russian media that a second mosaic depicting former leader Josef Stalin should also be removed.

“With his name associated with many troubles in the lives of people who can not be crossed out of history,” he told Russian radio program Faith, while acknowledging that the featuring of secular figures in churches is not abnormal.

The massive military cathedral was scheduled to be opened during May to mark 75 years since the Soviet victory in World War II, but its opening is likely to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Russian annexation of Crimea has been condemned by many Western countries and led to several sanctions being slapped on Moscow.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici, Russia

Cina. Marzo. Import petrolifero. Arabia Saudita -1.6%, Russia +31%.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-05-05.

2020-05-05__russia-china-gas-deal-001

«China’s March crude oil imports rose 4.5% year on year to 9.68 million barrels per day (bpd)»

«China’s March crude oil imports from top supplier Saudi Arabia fell 1.6% from a year earlier, while purchases from No.2 supplier Russia rose 31%»

«Shipments from Saudi Arabia were 7.21 million tonnes, or 1.7 million bpd»

«That was down from 1.73 million bpd a year earlier and average daily imports of 1.79 million bpd during the first two months of this year»

«Russia supplied 7.02 million tonnes last month, or 1.66 million bpd, down from 1.71 million bpd recorded for the first two months»

«While state refiners mostly maintained deep production cuts in March to reduce their fuel stocks, independent plants cranked up run rates as the oil price plunge triggered partly by Saudi and Russian pledges to increase supply boosted refining margins»

«China’s imports from the United States remained close to zero in March»

«Also, data showed China’s imports from Iran at 255,779 tonnes, down 88.9% from a year earlier.»

* * * * * * *

2020-05-05__russia-china-gas-deal-002

Gazprom. Investimenti per 1.1 trilioni di rubli. Sila Sibiri. [2017-11-06]

Russia e Cina. Sila Sibiri. Un gasdotto da 4,000 km e 70 mld Usd. [2020-0408]

La Cina è il maggiore utilizzatore di prodotti petroliferi e gas naturale al mondo.

A marzo, nonostante l’epidemia da coronavirus, ha incrementato l’import petrolifero del 4.5% anno su anno, ossia 9.68 barili al giorno.

Nel contempo, è entrato in funzione il gasdotto Siri Sibiri, che porta il gas naturale estratto nella Siberia orientale in Cina, con un percorso di quasi 4,000 kilometri.

Se correttamente la Cina intende mantenere rapporti cordiali con tutti i produttori di energetici, al momento la Russia fornisce quasi la metà dei suoi fabbisogni energetici, a seguito di una lunga serie di accordi vantaggiosi per ambo le parti.

La Cina non è più ricattabile dal punto di vista energetico. Non solo.

Russia – Cina. Accordo per costruire reattori nucleari di nuova generazione.

Cina. Centrali elettriche nucleari. 37 reattori attivi, 60 in costruzione, 179 programmati.

A breve, in Cina vi saranno 97 reattori attivi e 179 in costruzione: dieci anni, che passano presto, e la Cina dovrebbe poter essere energeticamente del tutto autosufficiente.

*


China’s March crude imports from Saudi slip, Russia up 31%: customs.

China’s March crude oil imports from top supplier Saudi Arabia fell 1.6% from a year earlier, while purchases from No.2 supplier Russia rose 31%, Reuters’ calculations based on customs data showed on Sunday.

China’s March crude oil imports rose 4.5% year on year to 9.68 million barrels per day (bpd) as refiners stocked up on cheaper cargoes despite falling domestic fuel demand and cuts in refining rates due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shipments from Saudi Arabia were 7.21 million tonnes, or 1.7 million bpd, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

That was down from 1.73 million bpd a year earlier and average daily imports of 1.79 million bpd during the first two months of this year.

Russia supplied 7.02 million tonnes last month, or 1.66 million bpd, down from 1.71 million bpd recorded for the first two months, the data showed.

While state refiners mostly maintained deep production cuts in March to reduce their fuel stocks, independent plants cranked up run rates as the oil price plunge triggered partly by Saudi and Russian pledges to increase supply boosted refining margins.

Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as well as other producers have since reached a new agreement on output cuts, helping to lift oil prices off historical lows but with many saying that deeper reductions will be needed.

China’s imports from the United States remained close to zero in March. After falling last year because of the U.S.-China trade war, they are expected to pick up later in 2020 after Beijing started granting tariff waivers on U.S. goods including crude oil from early March.

There were no shipments from Venezuela for a fifth month in a row, as China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) [CNPET.UL], Caracas’s top oil client, steered clear of Venezuelan crudes to avoid violating secondary U.S. sanctions.

Also, data showed China’s imports from Iran at 255,779 tonnes, down 88.9% from a year earlier.

Below are details of imports from China’s key suppliers. Volumes are in million tonnes, with the percentage changes calculated by Reuters.