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Russian Security and Geopolitics

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: AE Geopolitical Institute
Forum Discription: Implications of Strategic Policies.
URL: http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=24601
Printed Date: 02-Jul-2022 at 22:59
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Topic: Russian Security and Geopolitics
Posted By: pikeshot1600
Subject: Russian Security and Geopolitics
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 15:57
Early and mid twentieth century geographers who indentified with geopolitics viewed Russia, the Ukraine and central Asia as the "Heartland" of the Eurasian land mass.  This was perceived by several of them as the key to both an unassailable defensive bastion and to self sufficiency, with contiguous access through modern transportation (railways/canals).
 
The demise of the USSR has detached both the agricultural Ukraine and control of the energy resources of much of central Asia from the Russian "empire."  Since the later 1990s, strategic thinking and actions have sought to re-establish Russian influence as far as possible in these areas.
 
Also, the role of Russia as a potential counterweight to both China and to the US has been a goal set by Russian leadership.
 
Russia has historically been, if not hostile, distrustful of "the West," or Europe beyond the river Nieman, and of western society.  There still seems to be an almost romantic nostalgia for Old Russia and of Russia's own perception of Russian civilization.  Russian expansion to south and east in the 19th century was similar to US expansion across North America.
 
The detachment of central Asian territories, acquired at great effort under the Empire has been a loss in terms of economic and strategic value.  The loss of Ukraine is a monumental loss as much arable land of the USSR was removed, putting stress on what was not an efficiently developed part of Russia's economy.
 
In both of these geographical regions, the West, in the form of NATO has been seen as an interloper, unwelcome and threatening to Russian interests.  In this regard, the West is still seen as a security concern for Russia especially the military resources expended by the US in Germany, the Caucasus (Georgia/Azerbaijan) and until recently in Uzbekistan.  Thus:
 
1)  Western (US) military presence, even as advisors, and new missile shields in Europe are seen as infringements on Russian interests, security and prestige.
 
2)  The diversion of hydrocarbon resources from central Asia to other states' uses limits both economic benefit and strategic control in a sensitive geography for Russian interests.
 
In addition, the loss of direct control over the central Asian states has created potential strategic and political security issues for Russia.  Not only had US forces been deployed to Uzbekistan, but India is maintaining an air base now in Tadjikistan, though not seen as directed against Russia.  In addition, Islamist influences, official or otherwise, are less able to be controlled by security forces in these independent republics.
 
Not yet mentioned, but ultimately most important, Russia and China share a very long border, and have had an historically tense relationship since the emergence of Russian influence, railroads and troops in the East in the late 19th century.  Even as Communist states, they were rivals with their own geopolitical issues (Russia-Viet Nam; Sino-American relations under Nixon, etc.)
 
3)  China is seen as a longer term security concern along the Asian border, with long and vulnerable Russian economic lines of communication to the Pacific.  As Sparten has observed elsewhere, there is a serious lack of strategic depth along this line, and China, as a resource hungry state (with her own historic sense of civilization) may at some time infringe on Asiatic Russia's natural raw materials and hydroelectric resources.
 
Although the "Heartland" is undeniably a strong defensive position strategically, it is as yet undetermined if Russia can overcome her diminishment as a great power.  Internally, there are still systemic problems yet to be solved:
 
4)  As part of her economic security, Russia needs to promote demand for Russian products outside Russia....This has always been a problem.  Outside of oil, capital has been insufficiently created.
 
Oil and Gas are the current world riches, but foreign business primarily determined by one commodity with historic price fluctuations is insufficiently diverse.  Much of that income has been allocated for rebuilding the military forces (for use against whom?)
 
Russia's population is somewhat less than a third that of North America, and one tenth that of China, and with a declining birth rate.
 
5)  Russia's international influence has been lessened since the early 1990s, but energetic leadership has sought to recover some important aspects of it.  The primary leverage for this influence continues to be control over hyrdocarbon resources, and their potential denial, with the defensive military backup of nuclear strike capability (including submarines).  Russia's peripheral capabilities in terms of overall naval power are currently much reduced and not adequately postioned for strategic effect.
 
These are the primary security concerns (as seen by the writer) for the Russian republic.
 
Comments?
 
 



Replies:
Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 16:12
I have made the argument before that Putin persues a race based (Ethnic Russian) policy towards Ukraine and Georgia. I think people said I was worse than Hitler, Stalin and all the other horrible people combined! Good luck.

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Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 16:16
Dominant populations often have done so.  It can be viewed as part of an elite's (or group of elites') security perceptions.
 
I would ask that we stick to geopolitical factors though.  Less emotion there.
 
 


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 17:28
I would say it's a very good summary. However, IMO the most important factor of the resurrection of the Russian "Imperialistic ambitions" is extremely unwise and hostile policy of the West. A very opitimistic start of the post Soviet Russia which wanted to see itself as  "a part of the West" eventually turned back to the old ideology of confrontation, simply because the West doesn't want to see Russia as a part of it.
 
As a result, Russia has not choice but to stick to the old "imperial" agenda.


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Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 17:44
I think for the time being the agenda is "Don't disregard us, and do not take us for granted either."  Whether Russia has an unarticulated old imperial agenda or a "new" imperial agenda may have to wait until Putin and Medvedev are superceded in office.
 
In recent months (can't remember when) there were hints that Belarus would re-attach itself to Russia.  Nothing further has been said, but at some time there may be something to it.  That would have brought Russia directly to Poland's frontier again.  Not welcome to the Poles, and the whole thing may have been for NATO consumption.  Who knows?
 
I think the biggest losses were Ukraine and the southwestern shore of the Caspian Sea (Baku).
 
Even though Kazakhstan takes away a good bit of the former border with China, realistically, in the event of military conflict, that territory would probably be heavily impacted, and without Russian troops there, the advantage would be to China.
 
I am sure Putin & Co. would like to have all that back.
 
 


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 18:16
Russia wrt to China is very vulnerable on the Vladivostock axis, little or no strategic dept there.
 
http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=64307&rendTypeId=4 - http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=64307&rendTypeId=4


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Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2008 at 18:39
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

I think for the time being the agenda is "Don't disregard us, and do not take us for granted either."  Whether Russia has an unarticulated old imperial agenda or a "new" imperial agenda may have to wait until Putin and Medvedev are superceded in office.
 
In recent months (can't remember when) there were hints that Belarus would re-attach itself to Russia.  Nothing further has been said, but at some time there may be something to it.  That would have brought Russia directly to Poland's frontier again.  Not welcome to the Poles, and the whole thing may have been for NATO consumption.  Who knows?
 
 
 
Unfortunately, for Russia the union with Belarus is just a dream. The negotiations on such union has been there for almost 20 years already and right now is actually not the peak of the "friendly" relations. The peak perhaps was about 8 years ago when Belarus was indeed supposed to unite with Russia. There are numerous inter governmental organizations between the 2 states on different levels but nothing really progressing. Lukashenko of Belarus wouldn't give up his leadership in any form. Another "good" news on this re-unification process is that Russia recently decided to rise the fees for gas supplies to Belarus. Smile
 
 
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

I think the biggest losses were Ukraine and the southwestern shore of the Caspian Sea (Baku).
 
Even though Kazakhstan takes away a good bit of the former border with China, realistically, in the event of military conflict, that territory would probably be heavily impacted, and without Russian troops there, the advantage would be to China.
 
I am sure Putin & Co. would like to have all that back.
 
Well. Perhaps Putin & Co. would want a lot. But the dreams to get everything that was lost back; are just the dreams for now. And honestly, I believe that the only chance for Russia to stop PRC in a potential conflict would be the use of nuclear weapons (the real factor which allows Russia to remain on the top of the world geopolitical agenda, besides the energy resources of course).


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Posted By: Kevin
Date Posted: 08-Jun-2008 at 17:25
From what we can observe there are a number of factors leading to the way Russia has been acting in international affairs and all of them are obvious to us.

. Western ignorance towards Russia since the Cold War along with NATO expansion that has edged ever so closer to Russia's traditional borders.

. Russia's sad state in the 1990's under Boris Yeltsin from which the West received some blame

. The economic resurgence and increased domestic confidence of the Putin years has translated into some additional foreign confidence for Russia.

. The Putin years and the more assertive and nationalistic attitude in foreign affairs that is confrontational with the West.

. Russian moves and attempts to dramatically increase influence over former Soviet States which makes one wonder if something like the old USSR is trying to be reestablished?

I wonder what all of this bodes for in the for in the future in regards to Russia?        


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 08-Jun-2008 at 20:56
The Russian elites, whether political or academic, are aware of historical conepts of geopolitical theory, as well as the more mundane matters of oil and resources.
 
Russia needs to be taken seriously as a factor, and her trump card is a wealth of resources.  According to some geopolitical theory, the Eurasian Heartland, dominated by the presence of Russia (now minus Ukraine and much of central Asia) cannot exert influence in her own interests without the cooperation of, or dominating either China or North America.  Dominating either of those is hardly likely anymore, so Russia needs to bargain from a perceived position of strength.  Some of that is stage managed by publicity and assertive behavior.  Assertiveness does not necessarily imply long term confrontation.  Putin's assertiveness on the missile shield systems in Europe got him nothing of value, but NATO expansion was shelved for the time being....not killed, just shelved.  (Ukraine likely will never be a NATO member, and Russia can exert pressure on Ukraine.)
 
To a great degree the same situation is faced by the US and also by China.  None can dominate the others like The US and USSR came to dominate the European world empires after WW II.  The great game going into this century may see Russia attempting to play the balancer in a more tri-polar geopolitical landscape.  The Russians are smart.  Their problem is that there are only 140,000,000 of them.
 
The question becomes where do the regional powers like India and Iran come in?  That is not a particular Russian problem.  Russia needs something to sell to either/both the US and China to make her influence effective.  That can be economic or strategic depending on the development of relations in certain geographies.
 
(This whole thing may need to be explored by more consideration of "Heartland," "Rimland," World Islands," and some geopolitical-speak from before the new century.  That would need another thread.)
 
 


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 17-Aug-2008 at 16:51

I debated whether to place this post in Current Events since it was based on the publication of an article in the Washington Post, but I decided to add it to this thread on Russian Security in the geopolitical subforum.

The President of the Brookings Institution, Mr. Strobe Talbot, wrote that Russia's propaganda on its Georgia operation "turns reality, and history, upside down."  He cites analogies on Serbia/Kosovo and Georgia/S. Ossetia; Abkhazia as bogus, etc.  He also notes statements by Russian For Min S. Lavrov that Georgia can forget about getting the two pro-Russian territories back.

As far as I can see, Lavrov, as a sophisticated and experienced diplomat, is not speaking off the cuff.  He is stating Russian policy, as much as is General A. Nogovitsyn of the General Staff.
 
Mr. Talbot represents the 1990s euphoria when, indeed, history was turned upside down.  Russia was a cripple, reviled and made fun of.  Those abberant days are evidently over, and history is now back on track.
 
It seems generally agreed around here that Russia is re-establishing herself as a great power, at least in the part of Eurasia that is most critical to her interests.  Mr. Talbot gushes over Boris Yeltsin's disestablishment of the boundaries of the USSR as if that was some revolution in international politics.  Now, he is alarmed at Russia's "ominous new doctrine."  In reality, this is a very historic doctrine.
 
Russia is intent on re-establishing buffers against any potential incusions by strong powers on her borders.  Buffer zones have been Russia's fortress walls at least since Peter the Great and arguably long before that.
 
Mr. Talbot, a "world federation" advocate, clings to the mirage of being able to "bring democracy" to places where it is foreign.  In this sense, he is on mark with the recent neocon theorists.  Mr. Talbot also professes himself to have been impressed with V. Putin's expression of Russia's "Western vocation" or orientation.
 
If this is, as I suspect, the usual example of Ivy League egg-head policy consultant that the government establishment treasures, it is little wonder that the US is now involved in her dilemma within the Russian sphere of influence.
 
It will evidently be Russian policy to re-establish her hegemony in various important spheres of influence, even if it is by dominating exSoviet bordering states (and excluding China) by overwhelming military capability.  This policy, as obsessed over by the Washington policy wonks and their academic familiars, is not necessarily a threat to US vital interests, but does reflect Russian vital interests.
 
Historical thinking here has again been ignored and buried by political idealism, and that should be reassessed.  Although well educated, Mr. Talbot, as an influential policy person, should lay aside the world federation mythology and recognize the geoplolitical realities.  US policy may indeed require Russia as some kind of partner in the future.  US policy needs to recognize Russia's historical interests and move on.
 
A bit too wordy and editorial, I suppose, but I don't apologize.
 
  
 


Posted By: Bankotsu
Date Posted: 18-Aug-2008 at 06:07
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Mr. Talbot, a "world federation" advocate, clings to the mirage of being able to "bring democracy" to places where it is foreign. 
 
  
 


That is a cranky idea, but there are lobbyists for that.

http://www.worldfederalistscanada.org/ - http://www.worldfederalistscanada.org
http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/COURSES/GENS4008/book.html - http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/CO
http://www.world-democracy.org/ - http://www.world-democracy.org
http://www.wfm.org/site/index.php/base/main - http://www.wfm.org/site/index




Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 18-Aug-2008 at 15:06
Originally posted by Bankotsu

Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Mr. Talbot, a "world federation" advocate, clings to the mirage of being able to "bring democracy" to places where it is foreign. 
 
  
 


That is a cranky idea, but there are lobbyists for that.

http://www.worldfederalistscanada.org/ - http://www.worldfederalistscanada.org
http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/COURSES/GENS4008/book.html - http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/CO
http://www.world-democracy.org/ - http://www.world-democracy.org
http://www.wfm.org/site/index.php/base/main - http://www.wfm.org/site/index


 
Well, I am cranky, and those people are welcome to waste their time if they want.
 
 


Posted By: Władysław Warnencz
Date Posted: 20-Aug-2008 at 16:56
Originally posted by Kevin


. Russian moves and attempts to dramatically increase influence over former Soviet States which makes one wonder if something like the old USSR is trying to be reestablished?

 
How dare you suggest Putin and his humble servants are trying to reestablish something like the old USSR! LOL 
 


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Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 20-Aug-2008 at 17:06
Dead Disgusting. It were Georgian who attacked on the day of the Olympics. Please don't put on their sholders someone else responsibility.

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Posted By: Roberts
Date Posted: 20-Aug-2008 at 17:27
Originally posted by Sarmat12

Dead Disgusting. It were Georgian who attacked on the day of the Olympics. Please don't put on their sholders someone else responsibility.

Com on, it is not that black and white, Ossetinians were shelling Georgian villages with they artillery week before. So hot blooded Georgians responded to that provocation. Russian peacekeepers somehow turned blind eye on that Wink.


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 20-Aug-2008 at 17:39
It's Georgian propaganda. Because they both were shelling each other. And yes, Russian peacekeeprs tried to stop this.
 


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Posted By: Władysław Warnencz
Date Posted: 20-Aug-2008 at 18:30
Originally posted by Sarmat12

It's Georgian propaganda. Because they both were shelling each other. And yes, Russian peacekeeprs tried to stop this.
 
 
 
You really believe a small nation like the georgians would dare risking a war with Russia without provokation?
 
 
And all know russians are the masters of false propaganda,because they've mastered this skill throughout history.Gerogians can't match them (no one can)... LOL


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Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 20-Aug-2008 at 18:50

Yes, I believe so absolutely, because there are videos of Georgian rockets flying in masse into the direction of the Ossetian villages recorded many hours before the Russian troops started to move into Ossetia and many similar videos and evidence.

That is hardcopy evidence which can't be falsified.

Also, the Georgian president is simply lying I read his interview when he said that he was not aware of the conflict and was preparing to go to the Olympics. How could he lie in such a outright way when he himself ordered the attack?

And please tell me why do you think that American propaganda is more truthworthy than Russian?

If I understand correctly you are from Poland, and you probably have some stereotypes about the Russian policies.

But believe me criticizing everything Russia does won't help Poland. Russia reacted hard only because of the bizzare move of Saakasvhili who started the whole thing.

Why don't you want to examine the origins of the conflict and why do you think that everything anti-Russian is good a priori. It's not that simple believe me.



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Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 20-Aug-2008 at 23:04
Let's keep this on geopolitics and not Current Affairs.  There are threads in C.A. where the arguments about who started what this month can be hashed out.
 
Thanks.
 
 


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 20-Aug-2008 at 23:10
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

I debated whether to place this post in Current Events since it was based on the publication of an article in the Washington Post, but I decided to add it to this thread on Russian Security in the geopolitical subforum.

The President of the Brookings Institution, Mr. Strobe Talbot, wrote that Russia's propaganda on its Georgia operation "turns reality, and history, upside down."  He cites analogies on Serbia/Kosovo and Georgia/S. Ossetia; Abkhazia as bogus, etc.  He also notes statements by Russian For Min S. Lavrov that Georgia can forget about getting the two pro-Russian territories back.

As far as I can see, Lavrov, as a sophisticated and experienced diplomat, is not speaking off the cuff.  He is stating Russian policy, as much as is General A. Nogovitsyn of the General Staff.
 
Mr. Talbot represents the 1990s euphoria when, indeed, history was turned upside down.  Russia was a cripple, reviled and made fun of.  Those abberant days are evidently over, and history is now back on track.
 
It seems generally agreed around here that Russia is re-establishing herself as a great power, at least in the part of Eurasia that is most critical to her interests.  Mr. Talbot gushes over Boris Yeltsin's disestablishment of the boundaries of the USSR as if that was some revolution in international politics.  Now, he is alarmed at Russia's "ominous new doctrine."  In reality, this is a very historic doctrine.
 
Russia is intent on re-establishing buffers against any potential incusions by strong powers on her borders.  Buffer zones have been Russia's fortress walls at least since Peter the Great and arguably long before that.
 
Mr. Talbot, a "world federation" advocate, clings to the mirage of being able to "bring democracy" to places where it is foreign.  In this sense, he is on mark with the recent neocon theorists.  Mr. Talbot also professes himself to have been impressed with V. Putin's expression of Russia's "Western vocation" or orientation.
 
If this is, as I suspect, the usual example of Ivy League egg-head policy consultant that the government establishment treasures, it is little wonder that the US is now involved in her dilemma within the Russian sphere of influence.
 
It will evidently be Russian policy to re-establish her hegemony in various important spheres of influence, even if it is by dominating exSoviet bordering states (and excluding China) by overwhelming military capability.  This policy, as obsessed over by the Washington policy wonks and their academic familiars, is not necessarily a threat to US vital interests, but does reflect Russian vital interests.
 
Historical thinking here has again been ignored and buried by political idealism, and that should be reassessed.  Although well educated, Mr. Talbot, as an influential policy person, should lay aside the world federation mythology and recognize the geopolitical realities.  US policy may indeed require Russia as some kind of partner in the future.  US policy needs to recognize Russia's historical interests and move on.
 
A bit too wordy and editorial, I suppose, but I don't apologize.
 
  
 
 
Sarmat12:
 
Can you comment on this from a geopolitical perspective?
 
 


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 07-Jan-2009 at 22:49
Here is an interesting article about Putin's so-called "conservative" economic policy.
 
http://www.nationalinterest.org/Article.aspx?id=20496 - http://www.nationalinterest.org/Article.aspx?id=20496


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Posted By: WolfHound85
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 05:59
Hmm with a faltering global economy I would expect to see Russia trying to flex its muscle more in areas of interest like Ukraine and the Caucasus. 

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College Student


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 14:05
Originally posted by WolfHound85

Hmm with a faltering global economy I would expect to see Russia trying to flex its muscle more in areas of interest like Ukraine and the Caucasus. 
 
I agree that these two areas are both most crucial to Russia's interests (needed cereal grains and influence over the Caspian region), and also the easiest to influence due to geography.  Sending a handful of overage naval vessels to Venezuela to prop up the socialist caudillo of the moment is meaningless.  The US just ignored it. 
 
Putin may boast of his foresight and economic savvy, but, as with the investor who "got out just in time," it is most likely more luck than anything.  Regardless of their oil and gas, Russia has more economic debilities than strengths.  We see what happens when volitile commodity prices fall substantially.
 
As a side note, has anyone noticed that we seem to view Putin as a Czar?  Maybe it has to do with the Imperial Golden Cockerel that always seems to be seen behind his photo ops.  Big smile
 
   


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 15-Jan-2009 at 14:17
Gee, no comments about the rather obvious Russian action on natural gas at the coldest time of the year?  Any chance the Russians want to make sure everyone close to their western (Western) borders knows who has the power, even though oil prices have plummeted?
 
I read the EU is *cough* "threatening lawsuits."  LOL
 
 


Posted By: Beylerbeyi
Date Posted: 15-Jan-2009 at 14:39
I read the EU is *cough* "threatening lawsuits."  LOL

That's called 'civilisation', something US doesn't know about. Anyway, what would US do? Threaten invasion to get their gas? Like you did to Iraq? Bring freedom and democracy to Russia? Yeah, right.

I remember, you were threatening Russia over Georgia, but in the end it did eff-all. That's US for you, bragging bully, beats up those who can't defend themselves and steals their resources, and when it sees someone even 1/10th of its size defend itself (Vietnam and soon Afghanistan), it runs away with its tail between its legs... 

So save us your bragging, there is nothing you can do about Russia.


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Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 15-Jan-2009 at 14:51
That wasn't the question, Bey. 
 
 


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 15-Jan-2009 at 14:54
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Gee, no comments about the rather obvious Russian action on natural gas at the coldest time of the year?  Any chance the Russians want to make sure everyone close to their western (Western) borders knows who has the power, even though oil prices have plummeted?
 
I read the EU is *cough* "threatening lawsuits."  LOL
 
 
 
Yes, I believe they gonna sue the Ukraine that is stealing the European gas.


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Posted By: Seko
Date Posted: 15-Jan-2009 at 15:04
Sarmat, the Russian gas ploy just happens to occur during the height of the cold season. An opportune time to shaft the west. Blaming the Ukraine as a scapegoat looks like typical Russian politics. That's how poor public opinion is of Russia. Nobody in the west will give them benefit of the doubt especially when Putin and Medvedev are calling the shots.

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Posted By: Beylerbeyi
Date Posted: 15-Jan-2009 at 15:12
That wasn't the question, Bey.
 
I am really sick and tired of US arrogance and aggression. It is high time that you realise that your neo-con party is over, Pike. 

Actually after 8 years of neo-con debacles I am behaving emotionally and not being tactical enough. Before I would have been glad to read Americans bash the EU. Let the hyenabite the jackal...


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Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 15-Jan-2009 at 15:12
It has been discussed before that Russia will take opportunities to influence, and or intimidate, political entities not under her direct control to further Russian geopolitical interests....as noted above, in Ukraine and in the Caucasus/Caspian regions.
 
The message of Russian ability to project influence by use of these opportunities is intended for more states than Ukraine.  When geopolitical interests are concerned, they are invariably vital interests, and public opinion is of no real consequence.
 
 


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 15-Jan-2009 at 15:56
Originally posted by Seko

Sarmat, the Russian gas ploy just happens to occur during the height of the cold season. An opportune time to shaft the west. Blaming the Ukraine as a scapegoat looks like typical Russian politics. That's how poor public opinion is of Russia. Nobody in the west will give them benefit of the doubt especially when Putin and Medvedev are calling the shots.
 
Dear Seko,
 
But why the Ukrainian authorities didn't pay for the gas although they knew that the old agreement was going to expire on January 1, 2009?
Why they are stealing the European gas while perfectly knowing that Russia won't like it?
The world is in the mindst of a severe economic crisis and Russia badly needs money as well. Why should it subsidize Ukraine for nothing?
Is Russia a selfless sponsor? Who is in the direct responsibility for the Ukrainian people?
Moscow authorities or the government in Kiev?
 
No Seko, on the contrary, I see that like in the past the scapegoat is Russia here. And it's no matter what happens, but "Russian imperialists" are always bad that's how the West sees it.


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Posted By: Beylerbeyi
Date Posted: 31-Jan-2009 at 12:19
Russia wants a new peace deal in Europe with the neo-cons gone but NATO men still behaving as rabid dogs. We'll see what Obama will do:  

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7861248.stm - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7861248.stm

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Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 31-Jan-2009 at 17:04
So, according to the BBC article, Russia agrees to "be no threat to Europe" as long as Europe does what Russia wants.  That is little different than Molotov's old litany "what is ours is ours, and what is yours is negotiable."
 
Russia (Soviet version) has been trying to split NATO since De Gaulle decided Napoleon still mattered.  I am sure they will continue to try, but the desired split now is to detach the old Russian territories (Czarist version) such as Poland and the Baltic states and restore sufficient influence to return those territories to the dependant influence of historic Russian interests.  That is all understandable.
 
Russian interests are legitimate, and (I know you find this hard to believe coming from me) NATO interposing itself in Georgia and Ukraine was ill advised.  Had that not been attempted, Russia might (might) not be seen by NATO as a possible resurgent threat. 
 
However, vital interests being as enduring as they become, once those are identified, Russia's geopolitical logic has been to exert as much influence and control over European affairs as they can.  Russia faces a future that is at best uncertain in the competition for the control of resources in Eurasia.  Russia also understands that her adversary in future is more likely to be China than any European power, but cancelling out any potential threat from Europe will be more critical in future than ever.
 
Obama will address and secure the interests of the United States, as it is his job, and those include not surrendering controlling influence to another great power on the European peninsula.
 
 


Posted By: Beylerbeyi
Date Posted: 02-Feb-2009 at 11:42
Obama will address and secure the interests of the United States, as it is his job, and those include not surrendering controlling influence to another great power on the European peninsula.
US accepted Soviet sphere in Eastern Europe after the war even though it was much more powerful than the USSR. When USSR collapsed, it expanded into Eastern Europe. Russians (rightly) see this as US aggression. But US  has overextended itself. Today, Russia is resurgent, and US suffers from imperial overreach.

The question is not whether Obama would want to continue the US influence over Western and Eastern Europe, you are right about that. Of course he does, or rather has to do it, as it is his job as emperor. The question is whether he will recognise the situation that he is in (i.e. imperial overreach) and come to an understanding with the Russians by giving in to some of their demands, or is he going to act like the neo-cons before him (and the barking NATO dogs mentioned in the article) and continue to practice the neo-con mantra of 'what is ours is ours, what is yours is ours too'.

Russia is powerless to extend its influence into Western Europe, so I believe it would be wise for EU to go behind the back of the US and reach a deal with Russia if Obama continues the cowboy international policy. They are already giving signs of this happening.  


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Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 02-Feb-2009 at 15:31
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Gee, no comments about the rather obvious Russian action on natural gas at the coldest time of the year?  Any chance the Russians want to make sure everyone close to their western (Western) borders knows who has the power, even though oil prices have plummeted?
 
I read the EU is *cough* "threatening lawsuits."  LOL
 
 
 
Russians just want to get money for their gas. That's it. It was a Ukrainian state propaganda that made it look like "another Russian invasion" in order to get a necessary aid from the West that always sees Russia as an "agressor."  However, it's only in the best Russian interest to guarantee the gas supplied in Europe without any impediments. Too bad, this legitimate business has been continously blackmailed by the corrupted Ukrainian regime that steals the gas and even sells it to its own people for the price that is several times more than the original price they pay to Russia. They are very lucky, indeed, to have evil Putin and Co on their Eastern borders. Perfect scapegoats to scare all Europe to death.
 
I hope that the Baltic pipeline project can be accomplished and Russia can get rid of the Ukrainian racketeers for good.


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Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 02-Feb-2009 at 15:40
Russia is trying to communicate "friendly" messages to the new US Administration.
 
We'll see how it works...
 
http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/world/20090128_ap_russiaofficialsaysbackingoffonmissilethreat.html - http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/world/20090128_ap_russiaofficialsaysbackingoffonmissilethreat.html


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