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Russian Nato Political Military Moves


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Stuart And once again, he uses the opportunity to attack the man, instead of the argument.

 

 

Even the way you structured the purpose of your thread in the preamble precluded the possibility that we ever make a move Russia feels compelled to respond to. I find concept that the US doesn’t drive world events which other countries then respond to be...quite original. Sure, Putin does nasty stuff for his own agenda, but do you think it was Russia that requested NATO start talking to Georgia about NATO membership? You think it was Russia that requested NATO bomb Serbia? Do you think Putin called up the US Navy and asked for guided missile cruisers to patrol the Black Sea? The US drives events with Russia as much as or more than it reacts to them.

 

The argument that Russia could have joined NATO in the 1990’s had it requested it I find to be impossible for various reasons, yet you consider it so natural that my focus rapidly moved to why you would make the assertion. It’s like saying that Germany in 1913 could have joined the Triple Entente. No Stuart, it couldn’t have – the Triple Entente would have simply created conditions of entry that would have been a humiliation, and the more Germans proved willing to be humiliated the more the terms would have moved to make it so.

 

Instead, why dont you actually create an argument to address mine?

 

 

You’re asserting without evidence that in an alternative universe where Russia had actively pursued NATO membership after 1991 it would have succeeded. We’ll never know. My opinion is that this was quite unlikely. There were too many hurdles on the NATO side for Russia to have gotten in. One example, during the breakup of Yugoslavia, Russia in NATO could have paralyzed the West’s response by vetoing all military action against Serbia.

 

NATO didnt accept Russia into NATO because Russia didn’t ask.

 

 

If Russia had requested entry after 1991 I think a series of negotiations would have commenced in which criteria would be set down that Russia could not meet, and over time like Turkey and the EU, it would become clear that NATO had no intention of Russia ever meeting the entry requirements. These discussions would have the form of a negotiation but the appearance of a one-sided humiliation. For example, if Russia is joining NATO, what would the purpose of Russia nuclear arsenal continuing to exist? The US umbrella shall protect Russia now.

 

Largely I suspect because it would smack of joining an organisation it believed defeated it.

 

 

You’re mixing up two concepts. The first would be the negotiation for union between equals, like a couple talking about getting married. The second is the negotiation between the victor and the defeated, like Rome talking to Carthage after the Battle of Zama. A Russian request to join NATO would have been Zama, not marriage. .

 

Because as I suggest above, that any fracturing of the present European order, may well turn out to not be in Russias advantage.

 

 

The EU will survive or break up independently of Russian actions. Personally, I think Europe has passed some sort of hurdle towards eventual unity that it will overcome even the breakup of the EU.

 

I might add, in the present globalised society, nations are no longer rivals. That is an very anachronistic way of looking at the world. Today we have partners. That is what globalised trade is. Nation states exist by default, if you were creating something new today it would probably be more like a multinational corporation.

 

 

Sermon time? Ok, here’s my sermon. It’s all about domination and submission, haves and have nots. You want Russia to submit to the West and if it will not submit, it has to be cowed into submission by economic means, internal political division, or even militarily if this could somehow be accomplished without risk. You are a friend of a Russia that knows its place and an enemy of a Russia that does not. This is all perfectly defendable attitudes, of course. But for some reason, you just won't come out and admit it.

 

The “globalised” society you mention is a knock-on benefit to the effects of increased trade relations allowed by communications technology (trade tends to be more win/win than win/lose). It is also due to the interplay between the haves (1st world) and have nots (3rd world). In Canada, a similar thing occurs. We are a wonderful cultural milieu because of gradual transfer of power, status and wealth from the haves (British heritage) to the have nots (indigenous and immigrant populations). As long as this trend continues, we will continue to be wonderful. If it stops, we will stop being wonderful. So too is the new world order; once the have nots have transferred all the power and economy possible from the haves through cooperation, cooperation will lessen and become rivalry. Globalization works so long as the world's economies grow. Globalization will collapse if this no longer occurs.

 

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Stuart No, its actually I really cant work out how to use the quote button without screwing up a post.

 

 

I have the exact same issue with the quote feature on this site - it doesn’t work on my system. But I also have copy-paste and Word, so I just copy-paste into Word, type out the detailed reply, then copy paste back onto the forum. If the quote button works, I use it to create the captions. If it does not, (which happens every now and again) I use Word to bold the poster's caption to form a quote, (the bold always works).

So no, the reason you do block replies is not the hiccups with the quote feature, it's because you want to do block replies. Why? Your 35,898 vs. my 2,677 posts would be my guess - you're posting so much everywhere that you have no time to actually read or think about what people are saying to you.

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Even the way you structured the purpose of your thread in the preamble precluded the possibility that we ever make a move Russia feels compelled to respond to. I find concept that the US doesn’t drive world events which other countries then respond to be...quite original. Sure, Putin does nasty stuff for his own agenda, but do you think it was Russia that requested NATO start talking to Georgia about NATO membership? You think it was Russia that requested NATO bomb Serbia? Do you think Putin called up the US Navy and asked for guided missile cruisers to patrol the Black Sea? The US drives events with Russia as much as or more than it reacts to them.

Actually the header I gave is pretty clearly open to both sides of the debate. Do I think the present crisis is primarily driven by Russian political issues? Yes. Am I open to the idea that Western nations have made the situation considerably worse than it might be? Well as Ive suggested for the past 15 years ABM was a stupid idea, so clearly so. Ive never asserted that there is not a US dynamic to the problem. Where I think YOU are completely wrong is the idea that if the West suddenly gave Russia everything it wanted, that it would be content. Even if this were verifiable, and it isnt, It strikes me as a foolish idea to throw away notions of our own security to provide for our own security. :D Russia rejects the idea of making itself indefensible, justifiably, so what does Europe get out of doing the same thing? Hence the reason for a mutual defence treaty. Its the only way to reconcile the problem Russia has of thinking the only security it has is Europes insecurity, and vice versa. An ultimate settlement of East West relations, if it is not NATO, will very likely be something like it.

 

 

 

The argument that Russia could have joined NATO in the 1990’s had it requested it I find to be impossible for various reasons, yet you consider it so natural that my focus rapidly moved to why you would make the assertion. It’s like saying that Germany in 1913 could have joined the Triple Entente. No Stuart, it couldn’t have – the Triple Entente would have simply created conditions of entry that would have been a humiliation, and the more Germans proved willing to be humiliated the more the terms would have moved to make it so.

 

Im not talking about the 1990s. The situation I talk of existed for the briefest period between 2000 and 2003. You find it impossible because you dont want to believe it. Look at the approaches Russia made, and ask yourself whom would have chosen to have blocked it, particularly in the 2001 timeframe. . I can look the book out, but its on the record that George Robertson communicated to the Russians, whom expressed some interest, 'Well if you want to join, you have to make an offical approach'. And Russia did not make the final move, and settled for a lesser relationship that had Russians based in Brussels, again a curious situation to allow if we didnt trust Russia in this period. So clearly the final decision on it not happening was not the west, it was Vladimir Putin. Read up on this yourself, Im pretty sure the evidence will bear me out. If you can find evidence to the contrary, please post it, id find it an interesting read. In short, the blame for NATO existing to the exclusion of Russia, is Russia's own choice, not ours.

 

You’re asserting without evidence that in an alternative universe where Russia had actively pursued NATO membership after 1991 it would have succeeded. We’ll never know. My opinion is that this was quite unlikely. There were too many hurdles on the NATO side for Russia to have gotten in. One example, during the breakup of Yugoslavia, Russia in NATO could have paralyzed the West’s response by vetoing all military action against Serbia.

 

Im merely suggesting it was not tried because Putin decided not to, for whatever reasons that might be. Short of some parallel dimension defying machine, clearly we cant know what would have happened, but it strikes me as unlikely to be worse than the present situation is becoming. It didnt happen because of Vladimir Putin. Nobody else got the chance to defy the possibility, and my own view, if the US president got behind it, it would have happened. Funnily enough, contary to what most people seem to remember, relations between Vladimir Putin and George Bush in the early 2000's were actually pretty good. Bush was a Christian, and both had heartfelt discussions on the subject. More to the point, Bush needed Putin for the war on terror. Might it have failed even then? Perhaps. Though im damned if I can see why.

 

 

If Russia had requested entry after 1991 I think a series of negotiations would have commenced in which criteria would be set down that Russia could not meet, and over time like Turkey and the EU, it would become clear that NATO had no intention of Russia ever meeting the entry requirements. These discussions would have the form of a negotiation but the appearance of a one-sided humiliation. For example, if Russia is joining NATO, what would the purpose of Russia nuclear arsenal continuing to exist? The US umbrella shall protect Russia now.

 

Again, its contary to the evidence. Russia was allowed into the G8 with narry a murmur, why precisely would NATO be any different? You seem to be suggesting because we were concerned of Russia's threat. Which to my mind, even if it were true in the 2000's, and it wasnt because the Russian military was broke, it commends closer ties, not less. Again, if we didnt want to bring Russia in from the Cold, why let them join the G8? It makes no sense.

 

 

You’re mixing up two concepts. The first would be the negotiation for union between equals, like a couple talking about getting married. The second is the negotiation between the victor and the defeated, like Rome talking to Carthage after the Battle of Zama. A Russian request to join NATO would have been Zama, not marriage. .

 

Actually it would have been more akin to West Germany joining the allies that defeated it, in defending itself. Or indeed the former warsaw pact nations. So not quite such an alien concept as you insist. What makes Russia any more proud and keen to protect its independence than say, Poland?

 

 

The EU will survive or break up independently of Russian actions. Personally, I think Europe has passed some sort of hurdle towards eventual unity that it will overcome even the breakup of the EU.

 

Actually there are a number of news reports that suggest the Euro is in bad shape, and I would not put money on if the Euro goes under, it wouldnt take the EU with it. Again, a personal view.

We recently had Italy vote against a reform to integrate its constitution closer to the EU, which is a long way form wanting the leave the EU, but not perhaps the ringing endorsement you might expect from a nation that has sucked the hind tit of EU subsidy for years.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/italy-referendum-how-world-reacted-front-pages-matteo-renzi-a7456306.html

We of course had Brexit, and there seems now to be increasingly a choice between 3 Presidents in France whom only differ in the level of disgruntlement they have with the EU. Im also hearing lots of disgruntlement with the EU in Portugal Yes, it may well weather the storm. But im not going to take it for granted.

 

 

Sermon time? Ok, here’s my sermon. It’s all about domination and submission, haves and have nots. You want Russia to submit to the West and if it will not submit, it has to be cowed into submission by economic means, internal political division, or even militarily if this could somehow be accomplished without risk. You are a friend of a Russia that knows its place and an enemy of a Russia that does not. This is all perfectly defendable attitudes, of course. But for some reason, you just won't come out and admit it.

 

Yes domination, of the corporation. Read Niall Fergusons book on Kissinger, he pointed to the rise of Globalisation and how obsolescent the Nation state was in the era of jet planes and mass communications. That was in 1965, before the rise of the internet, satellite TV, and offshore hedge funds. Russia is fighting a reality that we are all fighting one way or another, that the Nation state is a force of some significance of the worlds stage. As far as security, it still does. As far as economic policy, in fact in many cases in foreign policy, it really doesnt. Russia itself realises this, which is why all its leaders prefered to bank in London.

The “globalised” society you mention is a knock-on benefit to the effects of increased trade relations allowed by communications technology (trade tends to be more win/win than win/lose). It is also due to the interplay between the haves (1st world) and have nots (3rd world). In Canada, a similar thing occurs. We are a wonderful cultural milieu because of gradual transfer of power, status and wealth from the haves (British heritage) to the have nots (indigenous and immigrant populations). As long as this trend continues, we will continue to be wonderful. If it stops, we will stop being wonderful. So too is the new world order; once the have nots have transferred all the power and economy possible from the haves through cooperation, cooperation will lessen and become rivalry. Globalization works so long as the world's economies grow. Globalization will collapse if this no longer occurs.

 

Except in the west as a whole, that no longer is true. Hence the rise of Brexit and the rise of Trump (and to be honest, the rise of Putin as well). They are all a rejection of globalisation. Ultimately doomed I suspect, but it doesnt mean they dont have real effects in the interim.

 

 

There, now that is a debate. I thank you. :)

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Stuart merely reflects the reality the UK has adopted vis a vis Syria. The emergency debate in the Commons is remarkable given that the jihadis have capitulated and are awaiting parole. It's not his fault, it's the tea.

Its not my fault if Russia insists on putting polonium in it. ^_^

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Stuart No, its actually I really cant work out how to use the quote button without screwing up a post.

 

 

I have the exact same issue with the quote feature on this site - it doesn’t work on my system. But I also have copy-paste and Word, so I just copy-paste into Word, type out the detailed reply, then copy paste back onto the forum. If the quote button works, I use it to create the captions. If it does not, (which happens every now and again) I use Word to bold the poster's caption to form a quote, (the bold always works).

So no, the reason you do block replies is not the hiccups with the quote feature, it's because you want to do block replies. Why? Your 35,898 vs. my 2,677 posts would be my guess - you're posting so much everywhere that you have no time to actually read or think about what people are saying to you.

 

The reason why I dont do it is every time ive tried using it, it says ' you quoted too many blocks' and I tend to have to rewrite posts about 15 times. When I did it above to demonstrate it is possible, I lost about 2 posts and had to rewrite them.

I regret all this causes you so much pain. :D

 

 

No, the reason why Ive got 35000 posts is that ive been posting here since 2000. Its not much of an achievement when you have been posting for 16 years. Thats less than 6 posts a day, and back in the day, tanknet was far, far busier than it was now.

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Stuart if you were creating something new today it would probably be more like a multinational corporation.

 

 

Niall Ferguson wrote a book on the British Empire about a decade ago. I can’t remember much of it, but one claim that really stuck in my mind was he said, during the period of British rule in India, that each year the British ‘skimmed’ about 1% of the Indian GDP and exported it to the empire. This had the effect of preventing India from growing economically, but the British made out just fine.

 

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21571873-how-stop-companies-and-people-dodging-tax-delaware-well-grand-cayman-missing-20

 

Nobody really knows how much money is stashed away: estimates vary from way below to way above $20 trillion.

 

The Economist does a little year end report on economic growth – for the west it was maybe 2% or so on average. But a couple things stand out. First, almost everyone runs a government deficit. So how much of that 2% growth was real, and how much is bullshit accounting from the borrowing? (If we subtract the GDP budget deficit from the GDP growth, it's much closer to zero growth). Second, and to your point, if like the old British Empire the corporations have “skimmed” 20 trillion from national GDP and taken it offshore, are we actually growing or, like with India, should we discount the corporate “skim” (which we may never see again) when calculating GDP? And if we did subtract that skim (until it came back from the offshore tax haven), would our actual GDP's per capita even be shrinking?

 

You suggests corporations might be the future. Perhaps you’re right, but I see they were also part of a distinctly more imperial the past – The East India Company would not know many things about today’s global corporate practices, but the art of skimming, they’d know exactly what’s going on with that these days. I mention this because much of the confrontation with Russia I see as having some similarity to older imperial jostling. Back then the game was to control territory to exploit the labor force and local resources. These days territory doesn't matter, the game is to sell advanced technology toys to the derkas, who have money but can't produce the high end toys themselves. Russia is almost a unique actor in this view of things - it is not of the West, but it has the technology and toys and so can 'jostle' for contracts throughout the world. Ideology, particularily of the NATO and EU type, serve to exclude large markets wholesale. Can't sell SU-35's to a NATO country, right?

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Here’s Gorbachev’s take on what's going wrong, (he’s no fan of Putin) -


http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/gorbachev-says-us-was-short-sighted-on-soviets/ar-AAluHUe?li=AAggNb9&ocid=iehp



He blasted what he described as Western "triumphalism," saying it remains a key factor in tensions between Russia and the West.


Gorbachev also praised outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama. But he deplored what he described as a misguided policy toward Russia pursued by the U.S. and its allies both during his presidency and now.


"They have been badgering Russia with accusations and blaming it for everything," Gorbachev said. "And now, there is a backlash to that in Russia. Russia wants to have friendly ties with America, but it's difficult to do that when Russia sees that it's being cheated."


Gorbachev sees the West's overbearing attitude as being critical to where we are now. "Blaming it for everything". He seems to think this approach will be a formula for disaster, if continued. And you do want to continue, correct?


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Here’s Gorbachev’s take on what's going wrong, (he’s no fan of Putin) -

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/gorbachev-says-us-was-short-sighted-on-soviets/ar-AAluHUe?li=AAggNb9&ocid=iehp

He blasted what he described as Western "triumphalism," saying it remains a key factor in tensions between Russia and the West.

Gorbachev also praised outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama. But he deplored what he described as a misguided policy toward Russia pursued by the U.S. and its allies both during his presidency and now.

"They have been badgering Russia with accusations and blaming it for everything," Gorbachev said. "And now, there is a backlash to that in Russia. Russia wants to have friendly ties with America, but it's difficult to do that when Russia sees that it's being cheated."

Gorbachev sees the West's overbearing attitude as being critical to where we are now. "Blaming it for everything". He seems to think this approach will be a formula for disaster, if continued. And you do want to continue, correct?

 

Well he is right about Triumphalism. I think you can blame the 2008 crash on a misguided belief that because ours system prevailed over Communism it was inherently flawless. There was also the idea that globalisation was the final cherry on the cake of capitalism, which you can put down to Bill Clinton. Clinton was far more misguided in his Russian policy than Obama, whom you can pretty much categorize as arch appeaser.

 

The trouble with Gorbachev, as always he is playing to the crowd. He is jumping on board a powerful stream of Russian nationalism to rebuild his reputation, which in Russia at least is in tatters, justifiably really. So you have to treat the rest with caution. What exactly did Obama do other than hold out the hand of friendship and keep jabbing that overcharge button? Well there was ABM, overlooking of course he had a handshake deal with Dimitri Medvedev over it which seemed to clear that up. Libya? Can blame that on the evil French and British, and Obama did. Ukraine? Didnt have anything to do with it at all. Syria? Well he did arm rebels. But that was only after they decided to revolt in the first place, so Im not convinced he actually created the problem, any more than he crated the 'Arab Spring'. So whichever way you add it up, there was a narrative of negativsm towards Obama which, if the Kremlin had played smarter, would very likely have given them damn near everything they believe they are going to get out of Trump.

 

The central problem was, they never believed Obama would be elected, because the American oligarchs wouldnt allow him. And secondly, they never beleived he was free to operate, because the American oligarchs wouldnt let him. Which is part of the reason why im deeply cautious that anything will get better under Trump. For a couple of years, it might. But Putin is sure to find another pretext to push him back in the corner and start the bad relations again. Its far too useful a ploy for Russian domestic reason, which is far more to do why relations are bad than anything Obama did.

 

Blaming Russia for everything? Like what, Invading Ukraine? They did. MH17 being shot down? They were. Alexander Livinenko being murdered? They did. So im not really sure what he is objecting to in unfairness here personally.

 

Personally I want good relations with Russia. But as a realist I have to say its unlikely, when 9/10s of the reasons exist in Vladimir Putins head.

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Stuart if you were creating something new today it would probably be more like a multinational corporation.

 

 

Niall Ferguson wrote a book on the British Empire about a decade ago. I can’t remember much of it, but one claim that really stuck in my mind was he said, during the period of British rule in India, that each year the British ‘skimmed’ about 1% of the Indian GDP and exported it to the empire. This had the effect of preventing India from growing economically, but the British made out just fine.

 

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21571873-how-stop-companies-and-people-dodging-tax-delaware-well-grand-cayman-missing-20

 

Nobody really knows how much money is stashed away: estimates vary from way below to way above $20 trillion.

 

The Economist does a little year end report on economic growth – for the west it was maybe 2% or so on average. But a couple things stand out. First, almost everyone runs a government deficit. So how much of that 2% growth was real, and how much is bullshit accounting from the borrowing? (If we subtract the GDP budget deficit from the GDP growth, it's much closer to zero growth). Second, and to your point, if like the old British Empire the corporations have “skimmed” 20 trillion from national GDP and taken it offshore, are we actually growing or, like with India, should we discount the corporate “skim” (which we may never see again) when calculating GDP? And if we did subtract that skim (until it came back from the offshore tax haven), would our actual GDP's per capita even be shrinking?

 

You suggests corporations might be the future. Perhaps you’re right, but I see they were also part of a distinctly more imperial the past – The East India Company would not know many things about today’s global corporate practices, but the art of skimming, they’d know exactly what’s going on with that these days. I mention this because much of the confrontation with Russia I see as having some similarity to older imperial jostling. Back then the game was to control territory to exploit the labor force and local resources. These days territory doesn't matter, the game is to sell advanced technology toys to the derkas, who have money but can't produce the high end toys themselves. Russia is almost a unique actor in this view of things - it is not of the West, but it has the technology and toys and so can 'jostle' for contracts throughout the world. Ideology, particularily of the NATO and EU type, serve to exclude large markets wholesale. Can't sell SU-35's to a NATO country, right?

 

Not sure why that is regarded as so exceptional with India. The British Government seem to have been doing that year on year since at least 2008. :)

 

Listen, as far as corruption, im entirely on board with you. We dont have the low level corruption as Russia has, but I suspect the high level corruption is probably in places comparable. Read up on the Libor rate, and it reveals quite how rotten the financial district of London actually is. Remember also Dave Camerons off shore hedge fund. Why do you think the Russian Oligarchs and bankers bank here? Because they know fellow hoodlums when they see them I dare-say.

 

Even Simon here whom wants to turn the UK into an out door glass lined parking lots says that its London financial institutions that have been stifling economic growth in the UK for years, not via corruption but by artificially raising the value of the pound making it uneconomic to export. In short, the financial institutions of the UK, and acrosss the west, are regarded as sacred cows beyond meddling. Which explains the 2008 crash, and why you get corruption. I doubt things are as bad as British india (which Ive not read fergusons book, but suspect that was largely to keep imperial defence in funds) but we have a problem, clearly.

 

Bear in mind, Russia invented the art of skimming. There is a very good book by Orlando Figes called 'A peoples tragedy' about the road to the Russia revolution, and he describes the Tsar, lacking money, encouraged regional Governors to skim off the top as a means of topping up (or in many cases entirely replacing) their mediocre salary. You might say it was an ingrained tradition even the Bolsheviks failed to demolish.

 

I dont entirely disagree with your last paragraph, in fact you can argue, plausibly, that the world financial market is not American at all, its the old British one with a US flag stamped on it. It dragged along many of its problems, possibly. But in the Russian context they are trying to desperately to believe they are independent, they overlook quite how linked their most important commodities are with world trade. They can nationalise Gazprom all they like, its still financial beholden to global demand of oil as much as any private company. Sure, they can sell S300's to derkastan as much as they like. And yet, their ability to sell depends on the ability to buy. Again, dependent on the market. They are no more free actors than Britain is.

 

If im honest, I would say in large part is Russia trying to come to terms with what it is. Is it western, is it eastern. Is a global free trader, is it part of the globalised market. Is it a democracy, is it a tyranny, is it a regional bit player, is it a superpower. till it resolves these issues itself, we probably shouldnt get our expectations up relations are going to greatly improve substantially.

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Glenn, further to your point about corporations.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/exxon-mobil-could-tap-huge-164819188.html

 

Which kind of proves the lie to Russia saying we want a war for financial reasons. Actually, the reverse is true, the real imperative is to free up Russia's oil reserves and help boost a corporations profits. At which point you see, that in some respects, the sanctions on Russia are a last remnants of the traditional, order based systems of the past. The demand to get free access to Russias market, as in France, the UK, the US, are actually part of the emerging corporatist agenda.

 

It turns the Russian narrative on its head. Keeping them in the box is not the corporate agenda at all. Getting them out the box, probably is. I wouldnt be surprised to see the current hard line on Iran being jettisoned for much the same reason.

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Stuart Listen, as far as corruption, im entirely on board with you. We dont have the low level corruption as Russia has, but I suspect the high level corruption is probably in places comparable. Read up on the Libor rate, and it reveals quite how rotten the financial district of London actually is. Remember also Dave Camerons off shore hedge fund. Why do you think the Russian Oligarchs and bankers bank here? Because they know fellow hoodlums when they see them I dare-say.

 

 

Russian corruption seem to me to be more along traditional lines of illegal operations being supported by underhanded government officials taking payoffs. But in Canada, for us the problem for us is more institutional corruption, which is the legal shake down of the public by government and private firms. So, for example, corporations ‘skimming’ a percentage of Canada’s GDP each year into offshore holdings, but the government does not report the ‘skim’ as a loss of GDP, (even though it is). Or, for another example, legislation that makes inheritance murkier and much more convoluted, the purpose to which is heavier taxes on the serfs that got their paperwork wrong. (When I grew up kids could get married and buy homes. Now? Not so much.) Or, for another example, lowering the bar to getting average citizens into court against their will, costing 35,000 to 50,000 easily in lawyer fees. On big cases, into the hundreds of thousands,. That sort of thing. By making some forms of corruption legal, this allows our governments to underreport the full extent of the damage while still being truthful within their definitions. At least the Russians have the integrity to keep much of their corruption illegal, and call it what it is, right?

 

I dont entirely disagree with your last paragraph, in fact you can argue, plausibly, that the world financial market is not American at all, its the old British one with a US flag stamped on it. It dragged along many of its problems, possibly. But in the Russian context they are trying to desperately to believe they are independent, they overlook quite how linked their most important commodities are with world trade. They can nationalise Gazprom all they like, its still financial beholden to global demand of oil as much as any private company. Sure, they can sell S300's to derkastan as much as they like. And yet, their ability to sell depends on the ability to buy. Again, dependent on the market. They are no more free actors than Britain is.

 

 

My point is, don’t underestimate big business as a motive in trying to capture exclusive markets, like the EU was trying to do with Ukraine and the Russians were trying to prevent. Ideology can be part of the leverage to push competitors off the prize. A clue that ideology is being employed cynically would be when, say, a country would be as happy killing, say, Iranians wholesale as it would be in arguing for their human rights.

 

Which kind of proves the lie to Russia saying we want a war for financial reasons.

 

 

I didn’t say the west wants war with Russia. I said that the West wanted to leverage exclusive economic access to the Ukraine market via EU and NATO membership.

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Putin arrived late to Japan, fugu sushi was on the working-dinner menu, and later hot springs maybe. Abe and Putin talked alone for 95 minutes with somewhat vague results. Still one more day of Putin's visit though. And I recall seeing funds being set up a few days ago as shown in the second article in the post.

 

Prime Minister Abe and President Putin had a working dinning starting around 9:30 on December 15th and is said to have ended at around 11:30. It's said that the working dinning that stretched for 2 hours has finished.

 

An interesting point as to why President Putin was late by 2 hours and 40 minutes was Syria.

 

It's said that President Putin was talking on the phone with President Erdogan which was at a time concerning as to whether or not Aleppo in Syria has come under military control.

 

At a time when military control has just been made, President Putin would have had to leave to make it on time but it's said that since Syria is something that could not be set off to the side, his telephone conversation was extended.

 

Then the Press Secretary expressed convincingly that it was not a big delay.

 

It's thought that for Russia, being late by 2 hours and 40 minutes is not so late.

 

On the other side, Prime Minister Abe answered questions at a press conference at around 9:20PM.

 

The Prime Minister said "About the talk between just the two of us, we talked for about 95 minutes. About the freedom for former native islanders to visit, about joint-economic activities on the 4 islands under a special system, and about the peace treaty issue. We were able to have a very candid and engaging discussion."

 

About the contents of the discussion, while there are parts that are thought to be a little vague, but concretely speaking, regarding the northern territory negotiations, the content wholly didn't have substantial progress.

 

It is just that there are various words to take into consideration, and while there will be keywords in the future, there are some dots that can be seen.

 

 

安倍首相とロシアのプーチン大統領は、15日午後9時半ごろから、ワーキングディナーを取り始めて、午後11時半ごろ、終わったという情報が入った。2時間に及んだワーキングディナーが終わったという。

 

気になるのは、プーチン大統領が、なぜ2時間40分遅れたということだが、鍵はシリアにあった。

 

シリアのアレッポを政府軍が制圧するかどうかという時、トルコのエルドアン大統領と電話で、ずっと会談をしていたという。

 

ちょうど制圧をしたという時に、プーチン大統領は、もう出なければ間に合わないという時間だったが、シリアを放っておくわけにはいかないということで、電話会談が長引いたためということだった。

 

それなら納得もいくとは思うが、報道官は、大きくはない遅延があったというふうに表現している。

2時間40分は、ロシアにとっては、大きくない遅延だったとみられる。

 

一方、安倍首相は、午後9時20分ごろ、記者団の質問に答えた。

 

安倍首相は、「2人だけの会談については、約95分、会談を行いました。元島民の皆さんの故郷への自由訪問、そして、4島における日ロ両国の特別な制度のもとでの共同経済活動、そして、平和条約の問題についてです。率直かつ、非常に突っ込んだ議論を行うことができた」と述べた。

 

話の中身を聞くと、少し曖昧と思われるところもあって、具体的にいえば、北方領土交渉に関しては、具体的な進展は、一切なかったと言い切ってもいい内容だった。

 

ただ、さまざまな言葉をくみ取っていくと、将来的には期待が持てるキーワードも、いくつかちりばめられていたとみられる。

 

 

http://www.fnn-news.com/news/headlines/articles/CONN00344706.html

 

 

Nov 22 Japanese and Russian state-backed lenders will create a fund to jointly invest in Moscow's "priority development projects", as the two countries look to promote business and diplomatic ties, the Nikkei reported.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Russian Direct Investment Fund will form an about 100 billion yen ($901 million) fund, and each will contribute roughly half of the total amount to launch the development projects in 2017, the report said.

The fund will invest in projects in fields of medicine, urban development and involve upgrades to manufacturing facilities, the Japanese daily reported.

JBIC will form a venture with Russia's Far East Investment and Export Agency and the Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund to encourage investment in a special economic zone, the report said.

JBIC will also extend a new line of credit worth around 30 billion yen to Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, subject to Western sanctions, the Nikkei reported.

Progress on the economic side hinges on making headway on disputed islands off Hokkaido, Reuters reported earlier this month.

"The territorial issue and economic cooperation are two sides of a coin," a Japanese government official had told Reuters. "It's meaningless if only economic cooperation moves ahead." ($1 = 111 yen) (Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/japan-russia-business-idUSL4N1DM4MH

Edited by JasonJ
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Russia joining NATO? I remember the idea kicked around in the early nineties, but I distinctly remember a soviet/russian General saying that Russia would only join am alliance when it has to because it is weak. But then Russia would play second fiddle to the USA, so they will not join. The only chance of joining wouldb e when Russia is at eye level with the USA, but the. Russia will be strong enough to stand on its own and thus there will be no need to join anymore.

 

Made perfect sense to me then.

 

 

And there are already established several forums to discuss security and military issues between Russia and the rest. There is the UN security council and OSCE. But both seem to.have been pretty much neglected by everyone in the last decades. Why should they have joined NATO? And why should that have been better, seeing how Turkey goes very much its own way at the moment and dives towards autocracy.

 


Stuart merely reflects the reality the UK has adopted vis a vis Syria. The emergency debate in the Commons is remarkable given that the jihadis have capitulated and are awaiting parole. It's not his fault, it's the tea.

Soo... it is all China's fault then giving tea seeds to the english? :D

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Russia joining NATO? I remember the idea kicked around in the early nineties, but I distinctly remember a soviet/russian General saying that Russia would only join am alliance when it has to because it is weak. But then Russia would play second fiddle to the USA, so they will not join. The only chance of joining wouldb e when Russia is at eye level with the USA, but the. Russia will be strong enough to stand on its own and thus there will be no need to join anymore.

 

Made perfect sense to me then.

 

 

And there are already established several forums to discuss security and military issues between Russia and the rest. There is the UN security council and OSCE. But both seem to.have been pretty much neglected by everyone in the last decades. Why should they have joined NATO? And why should that have been better, seeing how Turkey goes very much its own way at the moment and dives towards autocracy.

 


Stuart merely reflects the reality the UK has adopted vis a vis Syria. The emergency debate in the Commons is remarkable given that the jihadis have capitulated and are awaiting parole. It's not his fault, it's the tea.

Soo... it is all China's fault then giving tea seeds to the english? :D

 

Because being a part OF European concerns and sharing in them, might have been the best tonic to ensure they dont act like complete tools and assume we are going to invade them every decade or so. In fairness so should the NATO Russia founding act, but clearly it leaves a hole wide enough for a a tank army to ride through. Actually having them in NATO would have been useful for Balkan security, and very useful for problems in the middle east. Having a NATO ally on China's border is probably not a bad idea for the long term either.

 

Best indication it could have happened, Russia actually offering to host the NATO ABM facility on its territory. They gave the territory, the Yanks would pay to rebuild an OTH radar facility, and Russians would have been part of the facility (Presumably to ensure it could have been turned off in the event of an East/West nuclear war). They were serious about it, we didnt take them up on it. Which again was supremely stupid. It walked right into the rhetoric of hard-liners that claim the facility is aimed at them. We really have been first rate at supporting Putins negative narrative looking back. Its not true, but if I was Russia after the Bush years I might well believe it myself.

 

Well its missed the boat this time. I still will say the best way to ensure that Russia is not a potential enemy is have it as a treaty ally. Yes it would be awkward, yes it would be problematic in the Caucasus and other places. Its still better than where we are no with Russia emplacing nuclear missiles aimed at Europe again.

 

I blame China. Always China. :)

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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Putin's trip in Japan is finished. The total amount of various Japanese investments going into Russia is about 300 billion yen which around 2.7 billion USD give or take.

 

Fairly big article of blah blah but still worth copy/pasting the whole thing, but will insert it all in a spoiler.

 

 

 

 


Visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed Friday to start talks on potential “joint economic activities” they could launch on the four disputed Russia-held islands off Hokkaido, saying it could be an important first step toward resolving their decades-long territorial row.

 

The leaders also announced an expansion in economic cooperation comprising about 80 business deals between companies and government bodies from both sides.

 

A senior government official said Japan’s combined investments, loans and credit line for Russia will total ¥300 billion under the deals.

But whether the agreements, which concluded the high-profile summit in Japan, will lead to substantial progress on the isles issue is anyone’s guess.

 

Abe said any joint economic activities would be conducted under a special legal system that will ensure that each country can retain its legal arguments in the territorial dispute.

 

Russia insists the islands are its territory and that Russian law would apply to any economic activities on them. Tokyo argues that Moscow is illegally occupying the islands and that any application of Russian law would be unacceptable.

 

How the two countries will get around this remains unclear.

 

Putin — at least in public — has shown few signs that he’s ready to make concessions in the territorial dispute. He says economic cooperation should be promoted first to build confidence between the two countries.

 

Recently, Putin has argued that there is no territorial dispute with Japan, an apparent back-tracking from earlier hints that he would be willing to discuss the issue based on the 1956 Soviet-Japanese joint declaration.

 

In signing the 1956 document, the then-Soviet Union agreed to hand over two of the four islands after concluding a peace treaty with Japan. The document is still considered active by Russia and Japan.

 

At their joint news conference at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo, Putin pointed out that bilateral trade between Russia and Japan shrank considerably this year.

 

He attributed the fall to changes in currency exchange rates, declining prices for natural resources, and Japanese economic sanctions slapped on Russia for its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

 

“First we need to improve the economic relationship,” Putin said through a translator.

 

He also argued that Russia and Japan should stop engaging in debates over the history of the territorial row and focus instead on economic cooperation, including on the disputed islands.

 

“We should build up the joint economic mechanism that the prime minister has proposed. It’s important to move forward to the conclusion of a peace treaty based on this foundation,” Putin said.

 

But a lack of tangible progress on the dispute is a major setback for Abe.

 

Abe claimed to have a close rapport with Putin and was trying to win major concessions from Moscow during the two days of talks, which ended Friday.

 

Still, Abe touted the agreement as a key first step toward building more trust with Moscow, which Japanese officials hope will promote progress in future talks.

 

“I’m convinced of the legitimacy of Japan’s position and Vladimir is convinced of Russia’s own. We cannot resolve (the dispute) no matter how many times we argue over the cause with each other,” Abe said.

 

“We should not stick to the past only, and need to build up a win-win relationship” through economic cooperation first, Abe added.

At the news conference, Putin invited Abe to visit Russia and Abe pledged to continue negotiations over the territorial issue.

 

But time may not be on Abe’s side, at least in the foreseeable future. Oil prices have recently rebounded and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who will take office in January, is expected to considerably improve the Russia-U.S. relationship.

 

Both factors will strengthen Russia’s position on the global stage and reduce any need for Putin to make major concessions and win more economic cooperation from Japan, experts say.

 

Later the day, during a live interview on NHK, Abe confirmed the difficulty of the task by saying the territorial row is “not something you can resolve over (the next) couple of years,” but revealed that he and Putin had agreed to settle the issue “within our own generation.”

Earlier, a high-ranking government official acknowledged that the situation for Japan remained “tough” as far as the islands go.

 

At the same time, the same official emphasized that it will take more time to resolve the row despite widespread media speculation that Moscow would signal a willingness to concede at least two of the four islands during the summit.

“It’s not such an easy task,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

 

“We’ve said we want to make some progress, even if it may be just one or two steps forward.”

 

During Friday’s talks, the two leaders also agreed to consider simplifying procedures for letting former Japanese residents of the islands visit their hometowns. The measures would be taken for humanitarian reasons, they said in a joint statement. The average age of the 6,000 or so remaining former residents was 80.7 as of March.

 

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/12/16/national/politics-diplomacy/abe-putin-summit-ends-economic-deals-no-isle-steps/#.WFSs6VN97cs

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  • 2 weeks later...

Concrete evidence if any were needed, the west really does have a collective deathwish.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/trump-russian-cyberattacks-intelligence-233045

David Cameron has emerged as a frontrunner to be the next secretary general of Nato after reports he will be nominated by Theresa May.

The former prime minister is reportedly being lined up by the UK government as a candidate to replace the current secretary general, former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg, when he steps down in 2018 or 2019.

Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, has previously said the UK will play a bigger role in Nato to make up for its withdrawal from the EU.

Cabinet sources said they want to find a prominent role for Mr Cameron, who resigned in June after losing the EU referendum.

One senior Cabinet minister told the Daily Mail: "We've got to find a role for him – he has so much to offer. We have got to get him batting for Britain again."

 

The man who made Britain's waters indefensible and left our European alliance in tatters, and they want him to head NATO. What could possibly go wrong? :D

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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