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Israeli ministers moot war scenario with Iran: Ex-envoy

Press TV – November 6, 2019

Israeli ministers have reportedly held several meetings to review the likely scenario of a potential war with Iran, with the participants speculating that the Islamic Republic could deal paralyzing blows to the regime in the course of such a confrontation.

The meetings, two of which were held last week, discussed potential lead-ups and aftermath of a conflict, with Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the US, allegedly unveiling contents of the discussions in an opinion piece carried by The Atlantic on Monday.

Titled “The Coming Middle East Conflagration,” the feature claimed the ministerial gatherings had concluded that “fighting could break out at any time” by “a single spark.”

‘Dangerous Israeli miscalculation’

The Israeli ministers suspected that a conflict could come as a result of an “Israeli miscalculation,” such as erringly hitting “particularly sensitive targets” in the countries where the Islamic Republic provides advisory support against terrorists such as Iraq and Syria.

“The result could be a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel’s air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv’s equivalent of the Pentagon,” Oren wrote. “And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin,” he went on.

‘4,000 projectiles to rain on Israel’

The article said such a war triggered by Tel Aviv’s blunder could see as many as “4,000” projectiles being rained down on Israel every day, with the regime’s so-called Iron Dome missile system liable to miss 10 percent of them.

“All of Israel, from Metulla in the north to the southern port city of Eilat, would be in range of enemy fire,” the former official noted.

That threat, the piece added, is eclipsed by the one posed by Iran’s surgical and long-range missiles such as “the deadly Shahab-3” — which would reach Israel “from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Iran itself.”

Those missiles “a growing numbers of which are in Iranian arsenals, pose a far deadlier threat,” Oren cautioned, highlighting how the projectiles can switch flight routes airborne.

“The David’s Sling system, developed in conjunction with the United States, can stop them—in theory, because it has never been tested in combat. And each of its interceptors costs $1 million. Even if it is not physically razed, Israel can be bled economically.”

Oren said those missiles can reach Israel directly from Iran, while the Israeli Air Force itself lacks the type of strategic bombers, which are capable of flying as far as the Islamic Republic’s territory.

‘Israel to be paralyzed’

The former envoy also said in detail how a potential war could cripple Israel by killing international flights, shutting down lifeline ports, putting out the electrical grid, overwhelming hospitals, and sending millions into shelters.

The situation, he added, would only be compounded after “the skies darken with the toxic fumes of blazing chemical factories and oil refineries.”

Tel Aviv’s response would, meanwhile, see the regime attacking people in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon as well as other countries, which have been receiving the Islamic Republic’s support in the face of Israeli aggression, the article said.

This would face Israel with international repercussions, including by the United Nations and its legal arm, the International Criminal Court, it noted.

US support

However, Oren said the participants were wondering how the US, as a staunch ally of Israel, would respond to a potential war with Iran.

“And over all of them looms a pressing question: How will the United States respond?” he wrote.

These include stocking up and replenishing Israel’s ammunition stockpiles and shielding the regime at the UN by wielding its veto power, the piece concluded.

“Though the details remain top secret, the United States is clearly committed to helping protect Israel’s skies. Whether American troops would go on the offensive on Israel’s behalf, striking Iranian bases, remains uncertain,” the article concluded.

November 6, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | 3 Comments

‘Israel’, Gulf States Preparing Non-aggression Pact

Al-Manar | November 6, 2019

In context of the process aimed at normalizing ties between the Zionist entity and the Gulf States, the Israeli media revealed that the two sides were preparing a non-aggression pact sponsored by the US administration.

Zionist analysts considered that Washington is trying to endorse the non-aggression pact as a substitute for the failed ‘Deal of the Century’, adding that the US Treasury Secretary conveyed the Israeli-prepared draft to the Gulf officials.

The Isralei media also unveiled the enemy’s participation in investment projects and expos in Saudi and Emirates, adding that Tel Aviv specialized hundreds of millions of dollars for this purpose.

November 6, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel ‘aiding Kurds’ in Syria, advocating for them in talks with US – deputy FM

RT | November 6, 2019

Israel is assisting Syrian Kurds battered by a month-old Turkish incursion, and advocating for them in talks with the United States, the deputy Israeli foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Ankara launched its assault targeting the Kurdish YPG militia after the abrupt withdrawal of 1,000 US troops from northern Syria in early October. Israel sees Syrian Kurds as a counterweight to “Iranian influence.”

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu offered humanitarian aid to the “gallant Kurdish people” on October 10, saying they faced possible “ethnic cleansing” by Turkey and its allies in Syria.

Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, told parliament on Wednesday that the offer had been taken up, Reuters said. “Israel has received many requests for assistance, mainly in the diplomatic and humanitarian realm,” she said. “We identify with the deep distress of the Kurds, and we are assisting them through a range of channels.”

Hotovely did not elaborate on the Israeli assistance. Syrian Kurdish officials have not commented on the statement.

November 6, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

How Amazon Supports Israeli Atrocities

Produced by Chris Smiley of If Americans Knew | November 6, 2019

More news and headlines: https://israelpalestinenews.org/

November 6, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Video | , , | 1 Comment

The Media’s Obsession With Personalities

By Joe Lauria  | Consortium News | November 5, 2019

Jury selection began Tuesday in Washington in the trial of political operative Roger Stone on charges of obstructing justice and lying to Congress. But instead of focusing on those narrow charges, the corporate media is trying to make this about Stone’s personality while attempting to revive the discredited allegation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The media has a long history of putting personality above facts. Judgement should be reserved to what people say and what they do. Instead we’ve seen character assassination of many people, including imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, rather than a truthful examination of his actions and the dangerous charges against him for practicing journalism. There is the same obsession with the personalities of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, for instance, rather than objectively examining their actions, particularly on foreign policy. In the same way, Barack Obama’s personality was elevated to cover up for his foreign policy disasters in Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and Yemen and in building tensions with Russia.

Now Stone, by all appearances a sleazy operative in a town full of sleazy operatives for both parties, is portrayed by The New York Times as a “swashbuckling and abrasive political trickster for decades” and “eccentric and flamboyant.” Stone is still innocent until proven otherwise. It’s becoming harder to find, but serious reporting about a person on trial would ditch the adjectives.

The reporting on Stone has little to do with the actual charges against him, but rather serves the purpose of reviving a narrative the media falsely pushed for two years: that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to turn the 2016 election.

Newsweek reported Tuesday:

“Stone, 67, is at the center of the question of whether the Trump campaign conspired or cooperated with WikiLeaks or Russia to leak stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 election.”

At least The New York Times admitted,

“Mr. Mueller’s investigation found insufficient evidence to charge anyone tied to the Trump campaign with criminally conspiring with WikiLeaks or the Russians to damage the campaign of Hillary Clinton. But as documents released last week by the Justice Department underscore, Trump campaign aides were elated when WikiLeaks began publishing emails that the Russians stole from Democrats.”

Of course they were elated as any campaign would be if such damaging, and true, information came out about its opponent. Is elation now a crime?

The Democrats’ and the media’s allegation against Stone, though it is not in his indictment, is that he somehow knew about coming WikiLeaks releases and told Trump about them. Even if he did, is it a crime if he had nothing to do with obtaining the emails? Stone knew about the coming WikiLeaks releases because Assange had already announced they were coming. The Times reported: “Mr. Stone later insisted that he never had any inside information from WikiLeaks, and his claims were simply ‘posture, bluff and hype.’”

The Only Russiagate Crime

Aside from the technical charges against Stone on lying and obstructing justice regarding his alleged efforts to learn what WikiLeaks was preparing to release, the only crime in this whole story is the stealing of the DNC and Podesta emails. It has never been proven in court who did it, and probably never will, despite the Times and other corporate media saying flatly that Russia did it.

Earlier in Stone’s legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter if it were a hack or a leak by an insider. That’s because the emails WikiLeaks released were accurate. When documents check out it is irrelevant who the source is. That’s why WikiLeaks set up an anonymous drop box, copied by big media like The Wall Street Journal and others. Had the emails been counterfeit and disinformation was inserted into a U.S. election by a foreign power that would be sabotage. But that is not what happened.

The attempt to stir up the thoroughly discredited charge of collusion appears to be part of the defense strategy of those whose reputations were thoroughly discredited by maniacally pushing that false charge for more than two years. This includes legions of journalists. But principal among them are intelligence agency officials who laundered this “collusion” disinformation campaign through the mainstream media.

Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy.

Stone may be just a footnote to this historic partisan battle that may scar the nation for a generation. But he has the personality to be the poster boy for the Democrats’ lost cause.


Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

November 6, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Russiagate is a cult, complete with unquestionable doctrine, dissent-shaming, and us-vs-them cosmology

By Helen Buyniski | RT | November 6, 2019

Americans still clinging to the idea that their candidate lost the 2016 election because of meddling by the Russian state have much in common with victims of brainwashing cults. For them, doctrine has eclipsed reality.

Russiagate true believers are already screaming about foreign interference in the 2020 election and it hasn’t even happened yet. Months after the long-awaited special counsel’s report failed to serve up the promised evidence of “Russian collusion,” they have held fast to their conviction that President Donald Trump is a Russian asset placed in office by Vladimir Putin, and the intelligence agencies that serve as their oracles have predicted further “meddling” will occur to keep him in office. Indeed, their beliefs only grow stronger the more contrary evidence is presented, to the point where they have more in common with a cult than any other political group.

Russiagaters are back in the headlines after the Justice Department, the Pentagon, and a cluster of intelligence agencies released a joint statement on “ensuring security” for the 2020 elections on Tuesday. But to be fair, they never really left. Just last month, they were pearl-clutching about Russians on Facebook targeting Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden, and before that, it was a non-story about Trump supposedly telling Russian officials he wasn’t concerned about the (still-unproven, but who’s counting) Russian interference in the 2016 election.

There’s no such thing as a negative Russiagate story, and even if Trump is ousted from office and replaced with a safely Russophobic warmonger like Biden, the election will be presented as a narrow victory over the forces of Russian meddling. If Trump wins in the absence of Russian interference, Russiagaters will claim there was a coverup. If intelligence agencies claim there was, but fail to show proof, as they did in 2016, it will be because the proof has to stay classified. If they declare there was meddling, and show reality-based proof – which hasn’t happened yet for any of the elections deemed to involve Russian meddling – then, and only then, can the story be trusted. This is not how reality works.

Such unshakeable faith is typically the domain of religion, not politics. But three years after the initial claims of Russian meddling in the US election, with the sanguine early predictions Trump would be running home to Putin within months having thoroughly collapsed, Russiagate resembles nothing so much as a fringe religious cult. The devotees of high priests Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher may not have a deity, but they have their saints – former FBI director James Comey, former special counsel Robert Mueller, and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who continues to play the part of the martyr in interviews. On the side of evil is, of course, Vladimir Putin, portrayed as omnipotent – “Russia” is behind all domestic discord and will shut off your heat in the middle of the winter on a lark – and irresistible, with a few Facebook groups and clumsy memes somehow enough to induce black voters to elect a Russian asset.

Led by Maddow and Maher, certain mainstream media figures have set themselves up as a “priest class,” urging viewers to allow them to interpret primary sources such as the Democratic National Committee emails released by WikiLeaks in lieu of reading them themselves. CNN’s Chris Cuomo led the establishment of this caste, warning viewers the month before the election that they were not allowed to read WikiLeaks publications – that was for journalists to do. The media can thus smooth over any logical inconsistencies with the collusion doctrine and memory-hole the really inconvenient primary sources. Believers’ faith is thus protected, dissenting reports rejected (after all, if it was legitimate, it would be printed or discussed in the mainstream media), and doubters frozen out in a phenomenon cult expert Robert J Lifton calls “mystical manipulation.” In fact, most of the characteristics Lifton includes in his checklist for brainwashing cults are fulfilled by Russiagaters.

Cultists are kept from straying too far into “wrongthink” through thought-stopping techniques they are taught by other members early on. For Russiagate, this manifests in buzzwords like “fake news” and the smearing of all non-mainstream sources as unreliable. True cultists will cut entire websites out of their news diet, lest they be exposed to “Russian disinformation” carefully disguised as, say, American conservatism (Breitbart, Infowars) or peace activism (antiwar.com, the Ron Paul Institute). Even aggregators like Drudge Report have been smeared by the PropOrNot list later used, more disturbingly, by more authoritative voices like the Poynter Institute in an attempt to smear entire sections of the web as disinformation and “fake news.” Such “milieu control” keeps cultists safe in their echo-chambers.

By controlling a person’s information environment, it becomes much easier to control their thoughts. Brainwashing cults demand purity from their members, and both impure thoughts – perusing “fake news” or having civilized online chats with dissenters – and impure people must be jettisoned. If you can’t convert your friends (or family, or spouse!) to see things your way politically, ditch them, a surprising number of articles recommended around the 2016 election. This is no different than a cult demanding followers cut off family members who frown on its activities. Cults know that without a strong support system, it can be difficult to leave.

“Sacred science” is another hallmark of brainwashing cults, referring to unquestionable doctrine and the discouragement of questioning. Many elements of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – CrowdStrike’s assessment that the DNC fell victim to “Russian hacking,” delivered to the FBI without the actual server; the claim that the Internet Research Agency somehow changed voters’ minds with a few hundred thousand dollars’ worth of goofy memes, many of which were posted after the election – require a complete suspension of one’s critical faculties. The Hamilton68 “Russian bot” dashboard, cited by dozens of publications to support the claim that the Kremlin is steering political conversation on social media, has seen one creator largely disavow it (“I’m not convinced on this bot thing,” Clint Watts told Buzzfeed last year) and the other exposed as the leader of his own election-swaying faux-Russian bot armies. Yet the “Russian bots persuading people on social media” narrative persists, even when its targets reveal themselves to be humans.

The most disturbing element of a true brainwashing cult is “dispensing of existence,” the cult leader’s ability to determine who lives or dies (sometimes metaphorically, by being excommunicated, but sometimes literally). Russiagaters are quick to label their enemies traitors – former CIA director John Brennan infamously accused the president of treason last year, a crime that has a very specific meaning for an intelligence official who delivered “kill lists” weekly to the desk of former president Barack Obama. Brennan is not the leader of the Russiagate cult per se, but the investigation currently being conducted into the operation’s roots seems to point to the intelligence community, and recently turned into a criminal investigation.

Less powerful Russiagaters are fond of denouncing their enemies as Russians (and by extension less than human – recall former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s conviction that Russians are “genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate and gain favor,” unlike the rest of humans who are presumably trustworthy types who never lie under oath). Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul have all been tarred with the Russiagaters’ brush recently, given cringe-inducing nicknames like “Moscow Mitch” and “Red Paul” for disagreeing with doctrine. In medieval times, heretics were burned at the stake; now they are “burned” on social media.

Perhaps sensing the cult’s days are numbered, Brennan recently backpedaled in his conviction that Russians stole the 2016 election. Russian meddling “changed the mind of at least one voter,” he hedged at the National Press Club last week, not long after an enthusiastic colleague caused him to cringe by cheering “Thank God for the Deep State!” Russiagate may not be over – the warning from the intelligence agencies suggests they are preparing yet another excuse in case they lose the election – but when it does end, it will be with the saddest of whimpers.

November 6, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Trick or heat

Climate Discussion Nexus | November 6, 2019

The National Post reports on a carpenter named Daniel Alagalak who spends Hallowe’en cruising around with a shotgun, not to scare people or because he’s one of those maniacs popular in urban legend. Rather, he’s keeping polar bears from eating the kids in his community of Arviat, Nunavut where, the Post reports without criticism, comment or substantiation, “climate change has led to a steady increase in polar bears migrating through town”. What? You mean the same climate change that up until 5 minutes ago was supposedly driving them to extinction?

It was just last week that we learned about University of Victoria polar bear expert Susan Crockford losing her position for pointing out that polar bear numbers are rising and they show no vulnerability to climate change, despite years of activist claims otherwise. Suddenly climate change is no longer to blame for them disappearing, instead they’re becoming so numerous they’re a menace to the locals, and that’s climate change too.

You can blame anything on climate change and not get challenged. If there really were razor blades in Hallowe’en apples you could blame it. By the same token you can’t attribute anything good to climate change (like, say, more abundant harvests) and escape contumely. But what does this statement about polar bears even mean? The story makes no effort to explain.

Polar bears are good in environmental propaganda and through the very thick window of a protected tour vehicle. Otherwise they’re a bit grim, making grizzlies look like housecats. But is warming causing there to be more of them? Is it making them hungry so they’re raiding the garbage dump? Is it driving them south, or north, or west by northwest?

Until recently it was meant to be driving them extinct. Which according to our dictionary means there’d be fewer. Later it was… well… what? The story says the bears are “a big issue in Arviat this time of year, Halloween or not…. They’re waiting for the sea ice to form on the bay so they can migrate out for the winter.” But what has the straggling remnant tens of thousands of surviving polar bears waiting for ice to form in autumn as it always does got to do with warming? Is the ice forming later?

Apparently not. Arviat turns out to be on the west coast of Hudson Bay, quite near… nothing whatsoever. Well, Egg Island is perhaps 125 km away but it has no people in it, which gives you some idea. But the nearest community featured to this point in our Climate Emergency Tour series is Churchill, MB, roughly 250 km due south. (If you ask Google Maps it says you can’t get there from here.) And in Churchill the impact of the climate crisis on average temperature and days below zero has been zero. Mind you in Cambridge Bay, also in Nunavut though so much further north that it makes Arviat look like Scarborough, the change since 1930 has been… uh… none at all either. And it turns out that weatherstats.ca has data from Arviat going back to 1974, with a gap from 1976 to 1983 (just click on the “10x – Most” button), and it shows that average maximum, mean and minimum temperature haven’t budged. Twenty years ago the high was 29 and the low -40, and this year were 28.2 and -43.5. And this attracts bears how?

Since the story offered no explanation of the link between climate change and polar bears thriving in the Arctic it can’t exactly be said to be wrong. But it didn’t get anything right either, except the quick genuflexion at the altar of warming. You can’t go wrong with one of those.

November 6, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

China’s Development of the Russian Far East Can Improve EU-Moscow Relations

By Paul Antonopoulos | November 6, 2019

Russia’s Far East Investment and Export Support Agency investment manager Vasily Libo revealed on November 1 that China’s foreign investment in the Far East advanced development zone accounted for about 59.1% of foreign investments in the region. This massive investment into the Far East is a strategic move by China as it aims to fully exploit the riches and benefits that this region of Russia can bring.

As the Russian Far East has a huge investment potential, especially with materials, natural resources, fisheries, and tourism, China aims to take advantage of the mostly underdeveloped region. The region is not only resource rich, but is strategically located as it borders China Mongolia and North Korea, and has a maritime border with Japan.

This is undoubtedly Russia’s gateway to Asia.

Many commentators and experts have claimed the 21st Century is the “Asian Century” as China, India, Japan, Indonesia and Russia will be some of the world’s biggest economies by 2030. It is precisely for this reason that Russian President Vladimir Putin has prioritized the rapid development of the Russian Far East and has encouraged foreign investments into the region. Putin in May 2016 offered free land handouts in the Far East to Russians and naturalized citizens, demonstrating that Russia wishes to gain from Asia’s rapid economic development in the 21st century. This can be achieved from the port city of Vladivostok, close to the Chinese and North Korean borders.

The official website of the Far East and the Arctic Development Department explained that China is one of the major investment partners in the Far East and that Chinese investors have participated in 49 projects in advanced development zones and the Vladivostok. Another 40 investment projects with a total value of more than $23 billion US dollars are in the preparatory stage.

The largest projects using Chinese capital include the gold mining project involving China Gold Group, the coal project participated by China Energy, the Nakhodka Mineral Fertilizer Plant, and also the Zhongding United Animal Husbandry Co., Ltd., who are involved in milk production. According to data from the Russian Far East and Arctic Development Department, trade between the Far East and China grew by 26% in 2018, reaching $9.7 billion. In the first half of 2019 it increased by 21% to $4.9 billion. These initiatives are aimed at not only developing the sparsely populated region that has only 7 million people, in which tens of thousands are Chinese citizens who have now migrated to the region in search of opportunities and establish themselves as merchants and entrepreneurs.

For China, the region is just another economic opportunity, while for Russia it plays a critical role in economically engaging with Asia. It is for this reason that the port city of Vladivostok, located conveniently close to China and North Korea, has hosted the Eastern Economic Forum annually ever since its establishment 2015. This is in part to attract and diversify the type of foreign investment in the Far East. However, with China contributing nearly 60% of foreign investment into the region, it would suggest that it has failed in this goal so far.

Although Indian Prime Minister Modi on the eve of Vladivostok’s 5th Eastern Economic Forum this year proposed a trilateral engagement between Moscow, New Delhi and Tokyo by collectively developing the Far East, it appears that China’s economic influence in the region will not be significantly challenged in the near future.

Japan’s investments in the Far East’s economy exceeds $15 billion after many years and will continue to develop, but this is still insignificant compared to the Chinese investment. Rather, the insignificant amount of foreign investment from sources other than China demonstrates that if Moscow wishes to economically engage with Asia through the Far East, it may only be able to do so through the nexus of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Because China controls a host of ports throughout Asia, including in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and even Australia, Russia’s growing engagement with Asia through Vladivostok has to be done through the BRI network. This port network however can create a corridor that stretches from Vladivostok to Darwin, and all the emerging markets in between like the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. This has also caught the attention of Western Europe.

French President Emmanuel Macron made a Facebook post in August where he said “progress on many political and economic issues is evident, for we’re trying to develop Franco-Russian relations. I’m convinced that, in this multilateral restructuring, we must develop a security and trust architecture between the European Union and Russia.” This is a curious choice of words since France has maintained hostile relations with Moscow over Russia’s reunification with Crimea, blaming Russia for the MH17 airline tragedy, and for Russia militarily defending Syria and economically supporting Venezuela.

However, Macron has proven to be a pragmatist and identifies that if the European Union wants to remain relevant in the 21st Century, it must grow its economic relations with Asia. It is for this reason that Macron also expanded on General de Gaulle’s famous phrase that Europe stretches “from Lisbon to the Urals” by saying Europe’s territory stretches to Vladivostok, the port city that is closer to Beijing, Tokyo, and even Darwin, then it is to Moscow, let alone Paris.

Coupled with the Trans-Siberian railway, products from Asia can reach Europe much faster than shipping to Europe, making the development of Vladivostok an interest for Western Europe too. Europe will probably not be enticed enough to develop the Far East, knowing full well that Asian powerhouses like China, India and Japan are already involved in the region. However, it is likely that Europe will be enticed enough to enjoy the benefits of having an open Eurasian corridor that must transverse Russia in its entirety from Vladivostok or other eastern cities to the European side of Russia.

Therefore, China’s development of the Russia’s Far East could push Europe to improving its relations with Russia. The European Union maintains a sanctions regime against Russia, mostly because of pressure from Washington. However, in recent months, there have been continued questions against the necessity to maintain sanctions against Russia from European Union officials and Members of European Parliament. It is likely that as we continue to venture into the “Asian Century,” the Russian Far East will become a thriving area. It remains to be seen whether the inevitability of the “Asian Century” will be recognized by the entirety of the European Union in the near future, but it would be in their own economic interests to recognize this reality quickly. And to recognize this would mean an eventual normalization of relations between the European Union and Russia.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

November 6, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , , | 1 Comment